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SALANGA, Judge of the Court of First Instance of Ilocos Sur. THE PROVINCIAL BOARD OF CANVASSERS, THE COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS and GREGORIO CORDERO, respondents. Jose W. Diokno for petitioner. Provincial Fiscal Juvenal K. Guerrero for respondent Provincial Board of Canvassers In the election of November 12, 1963, Amante Purisima and Gregorio Cordero were among the candidates for any of the three offices of Provincial Board Member of Ilocos Sur. After the election or on November 25, 1963 the provincial board of canvassers met and started canvassing the returns for said office. Purisima noted during the canvass that the returns from some precincts, forty-one (41) in all, showed on their face that the words and figures for Cordero’s votes had been ―obviously and manifestly erased‖ and superimposed with other words and figures. For purposes of comparison, the Nacionalista Party copies of the returns for the aforesaid precincts were submitted to the board. A discrepancy of 5,042 votes in favor of Cordero was thereby found, thus: Provincial Treasurer’s copy: 7,277 votes for Cordero Nacionalista Party’s copy: 2,235 votes for Cordero A request for suspension of the canvass was thereupon made by Purisima. The board of canvassers denied said request upon the ground that it was not yet ascertainable if the discrepancies would materially affect the result. Canvass proceeded. After the returns had all been read, the result for the office of third (and last) member of the Provincial Board was the following: Cordero: 41,229 votes Purisima: 39,372 votes. Difference: 1,857 votes Purisima again called attention to the erasures and discrepancies and asked for suspension of canvass – for him to have recourse to judicial remedy. Denying said request, the board of canvassers finished the canvass and proclaimed Cordero the winner. Purisima filed a petition in the Commission on Elections to annul the canvass and proclamation above-mentioned. The Commission on Elections issued a resolution annulling the canvass and proclamation, as regards Cordero and Purisima. Purisima filed in the Court of First Instance a petition for recount under Section 163 of the Revised Election Code. Subsequently, motions to dismiss the same were filed by the board of canvassers and by Cordero. In his motion to dismiss, Cordero admitted the erasures and discrepancies on the face of the returns from 41 precincts, but denied that said erasures were due to tampering or falsification. After a preliminary hearing on the motions to dismiss, the Court of First Instance dismissed the petition for recount. Cordero filed in the Commission on Elections a motion for resumption of the canvass. Purisima moved for reconsideration of the Court of First Instance’s order of dismissal. In the same case, he also filed a petition for preliminary injunction to restrain the holding of another canvass. Annexed to said petition were certified photostatic copies of the Comelec’s copies of the returns from the 41 precincts in question. Furthermore, Purisima filed with the Commission on Elections, on January 11, an opposition to the resumption of the canvass. Alleging that the Commission on Elections was about to order the canvass resumed, Purisima came to this Court by petition for certiorari with preliminary injunction. Petitioner asked that the lower court’s order dismissing his petition for recount be set aside and that the Commission on Elections be enjoined from ordering resumption of the canvass until after the judicial recount. We ordered respondents to answer, and allowed preliminary injunction to be issued as prayed for upon the posting of a bond of P500.00. After respondents filed their answer the case was heard and submitted for decision. The requisites for judicial recount are set forth in Section 163 of the Revised Election Code: When statements of precinct are contradictory. – In case it appears to the provincial board of canvassers that another copy or other authentic copies of the statement from an election precinct
submitted to the board give to a candidate a different number of votes and the difference affects the result of the election, the Court of First Instance of the province, upon motion of the board or of any candidate affected, may proceed to recount the votes cast in the precinct for the sole purpose of determining which is the true statement or which is the true result of the count of the votes cast in said precinct for the office in question. Notice of such proceeding shall be given to all candidates affected. In dismissing the petition for recount, respondent Judge stated that some of the requisites were not present, namely: first, that it appears to the provincial board of canvassers that a discrepancy exists; second, that said discrepancy is between the copy submitted to the board and another authentic copy thereof; third, that said authentic copy must also be submitted to the board. First of all, it is not disputed that a candidate affected can file the petition for recount, even if he does so alone, without the concurrence of the provincial board of canvassers (Cawa v. Del Rosario, L-16837-40, May 30,1960). From the fact, therefore, that the provincial board of canvassers has not petitioned for a recount it cannot be inferred that they were not convinced a discrepancy existed. In fact, when Purisima first called attention to the discrepancy between the Nacionalista Party copies and the Provincial Treasurer’s copies, the board of canvassers admitted the discrepancy but stated that it was not yet ascertainable whether the discrepancy would amount to enough votes as to affect the result. There is no more question now that the number of votes involved in said discrepancy is more than enough to alter the result. Finally, in the motion to dismiss filed by the board of canvassers, the existence of the discrepancy is not disputed, and the board merely raises the defense that the recount is up to the court and not to said board (Annex D, Petition). Passing on to the next point, the basis of the petition for recount was not merely a discrepancy between the Nacionalista Party copies and the Provincial Treasurer’s copies of the returns. Paragraph 8 of said petition shows that, in addition, the Commission on Elections’ copies were relied upon: That as a result of the aforesaid erasures, tampering and apparent falsifications, there exist discrepancies between the Provincial Treasurer’s copies (the basis of the canvass) of the election returns in the precincts in question, on one hand, and the copies pertaining to the Nacionalista Party and those pertaining to the Commission on Elections, on the other, and that said discrepancies materially affect the result of the election as between herein petitioner and respondent Gregorio Cordero; Accordingly, even assuming for the nonce – a point we do not here decide – that the Nacionalista Party copies are not copies that may be the basis of a petition for recount, the fact remains that the Commission on Elections’ copies were said to reflect the same discrepancy with the Provincial Treasurer’s copies. It is settled that the Commission on Elections’ copies are authentic copies within the meaning of Section 163 of the Revised Election Code (Laws in v. Escalona, L-22540, July 31, 1964; Matanog v. Alejandro, L-22502-08, June 30, 1964.) The trial court. however, ruled that the Commission on Elections’ copies had no application to the petition for recount because they were not submitted to the board of canvassers. The record definitely shows that the reason why Purisima was not able to submit to the board said Commission on Elections’ copies was because the board declined to suspend the canvass and proclamation. It is the duty of the board of canvassers to suspend the canvass in case of patent irregularity in the election returns. In the present case, there were patent erasures and superimpositions, in words and figures on the face of the election returns submitted to the board of canvassers. It was therefore imperative for the board to stop the canvass so as to allow time for verification of authentic copies and recourse to the courts (Javier v. Commission on Elections, L-22248, January 30, 1965). A canvass or proclamation made notwithstanding such patent defects, without awaiting proper remedies, is null and void (Ibid.). In fact, as stated, the Commission on Elections declared the canvass and proclamation, made by respondent provincial board of canvassers, null and void. Since the board of canvassers prevented Purisima from securing the Commission on Elections’ copies of the returns to establish a discrepancy between them and the Provincial Treasurer’s copies, the failure to submit the Commission on Elections’ copies to said board should not prejudice Purisima’s right t o petition for recount before the court. It was therefore grave abuse of discretion for respondent court to refuse to consider the Commission on Elections’
The Commission on Elections issued the restraining order prayed for by respondent Sanidad and set his petition for hearing. Antonio Barredo for petitioner. 1965.copies. This Court gave due course to the petition. herein petitioner. Ramon Barrios for respondent Commission on Elections. so that said resolution is null and void and should not be given legal force and effect. Pablo C. Sanidad and F.. San Fernando. until after the termination of proceedings in the petition for recount. 1965. 1966. is the only way to remove grave doubts as to the correctness of said returns as well as of ascertaining that they reflect the will of the people. and maintaining that the Commission on Elections had acted well within the bounds of its authority in issuing the order of December 22.. vs. for a recount of the votes in all the precincts of Candon. to enable the aggrieved party to establish discrepancy between copies of the election returns provided by law in the aforementioned precincts for the purpose of obtaining judicial remedy under the provisions of Section 163 of the Revised Election Code. in this case. the envelopes that were taken from the ballot boxes were opened and the election returns were taken out and their contents examined and recorded by a committee appointed by the Commission. the Commission Resolved .. that. petitioner alleges that the respondent Commission on Elections acted without or in excess of its jurisdiction in issuing the resolution of December 22. maintaining that it has authority under the law to order the opening of the ballot boxes as stated in its resolution of December 22. Upon instructions by respondent Commission on Elections. Respondent Pablo C. December 23. during the elections of November 9. WHEREFORE. admitting some of the allegations and denying others. on December 28. for the Commission on Elections and for the Provincial Treasurer for the municipality of Santa Cruz have uniform alterations in the entries of the votes cast for representative showing different number of votes compared with the Liberal Party copies. This petition is now the case before Us. Sta. abovementioned. COMELEC LUCAS V. D. respondent Commission on Elections issued an order providing. 1966. 1966. Sanidad filed a petition with the Court of First Instance of Ilocos Sur.. Cruz and Santiago. and that in the meantime the Provincial Board of Canvassers of Ilocos Sur be ordered to refrain from proclaiming the winning candidate for the office of Representative in said district. Sanidad filed his answer to instant petition on January 5. Ilocos Sur. Respondent Commission on Elections also filed its answer on January 5. Cruz. Pursuant to the instructions of respondent Commission. copies for the ballot box. or has acted in excess of jurisdiction in issuing. A comparison with the other copies. docketed as Election Case No. and respondents Commission on Elections and Provincial Board of Canvassers are enjoined. This was done in a formal hearing with notice to the parties concerned. while the copies of the election returns for the Commission on Elections and the Provincial Treasurer for the municipalities of Candon and Santiago have likewise uniform alterations and showing different numbers compared with the Liberal Party copies . 1965. On December 22. During the canvass by the Provincial Board of Canvassers of Ilocos Sur of the votes cast for the candidates for Representative in the second congressional district of Ilocos Sur. dated December 22.. 1965. a recount. Interpretation of election laws should give effect to the expressed will of the electorate. respondent Judge is ordered to proceed with the petition for recount. Cruz and Santiago were opened by the Chief of the Law Enforcement Division of the Commission. Cauton and respondent Pablo Sanidad. The petitioner contends that under Section 157 of the Revised Election Code the Commission on Elections has authority to order the opening of the ballot boxes "only in connection with an investigation conducted . to direct immediately the opening of the ballot boxes of the municipalities of Candon. Lucas V. respondents. Sta. respondent Pablo C. along with Godofredo S. "to enable the aggrieved party to establish discrepancy between copies of the election returns provided by law in the aforementioned precincts for the purpose of obtaining judicial remedy under the provisions of Section 163 of the Revised Election Code. contained in the resolution of December 22. Sta. In his petition. petitioner Lucas V. Jr. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS and PABLO SANIDAD. copies for the ballot box. among others. The principal issue in the present case revolves on the of the resolution of the respondent Commission of Elections. 1965 for the purpose of retrieving therefrom the corresponding election returns. and. and particularly after the Board had opened the envelopes containing the copies of the election returns from each of the election precincts in the municipalities of Candon. Case: CAUTON V. Respondent Sanidad filed a petition with the Commission on Elections praying for the opening of the ballot boxes in all the precincts of Candon. ZALDIVAR.: In the national elections held on November 9. Cruz and Santiago which are now impounded and under the custody of the Zone Commander of the 1st PC Zone in Camp Olivas. in the presence of witnesses. petitioner filed before this Court in urgent motion. Sta. Santiago and Sta. 1966. respondent Sanidad brought to the attention of the Board the fact that the entries of votes for the candidates for Representative in those copies of the election returns that came from the envelopes presented by the provincial treasurer differed from the entries appearing in the copies of the returns from the same election precincts that were in the possession of the Liberal Party. This motion was denied by this Court in a resolution dated February 17. the ballot boxes from all the precincts in the municipalities of Candon. from ordering or holding another canvass and proclamation as between petitioner Purisima and respondent Cordero. on the basis of the discrepancies in the entries of the votes for the candidates for Representative. 1965. pending final decision of the instance case. regardless of the patent and admitted irregularities on the face of the Provincial Treasurer’s copies and the alleged discrepancy amounting to thousands of votes sufficient to affect the results. praying that the resolution of the respondent Commission on Elections dated December 22. 16-N. 16-N. Atty. 1965 be annulled and set aside. CAUTON. and the envelopes containing the election returns found inside the ballot boxes were taken and brought to Manila on December 23. the Commission on Elections found "that it had been clearly established that the copies of the election returns for the Municipal Treasurer. 1965.. 1966. petitioner. which orders the opening of the ballot boxes used in all the precincts in the municipalities of Candon. filed before this Court a petition for certiorari and prohibition with preliminary injunction. 1965. were candidates for the office of Representative in the second congressional district of Ilocos Sur. Cruz and Santiago in the elections of November 9. Cruz that were presented by the Provincial Treasurer of Ilocos Sur to the Board. Santiago and Sta. J. upon the ground that the recount of the ballots in that case in the court below would render the instant case moot and academic. praying for the issuance of an order enjoining the Court of First Instance of Ilocos Sur (Branch II-Narvacan) from further proceeding with Election Case No. in order to retrieve the election returns deposited therein so that those election returns might be used in the canvass of the votes for the candidates for Representative in the second district of Ilocos Sur. The petition further prays that the Commission on Elections be restrained from opening. After hearing." It is the stand of the petitioner that respondent Commission on Elections is without jurisdiction to issue. pursuant to the provisions of Section 163 of the Revised Election Code. Villanueva and Associates for respondent Sanidad. between the election returns taken out of the ballot boxes that were opened by order of the Commission of Elections and the election returns submitted by the Provincial Treasurer of Ilocos Sur to the Provincial Board of Canvassers of Ilocos Sur. the envelopes containing the election returns found in the afore-mentioned ballot boxes and be ordered to return the said envelopes to the corresponding ballot boxes. Cruz and Santiago. the dismissal of the petition for recount is set aside. Sta. Pampanga solely for the purpose of retrieving therefrom the corresponding election returns. but did not issue the writ of preliminary injunction prayed for. Fernando Gorospe.."1The copies of the election returns that were furnished the municipal treasurers of Candon and Santiago were never verified because the municipal treasurers of those two municipalities did not comply with the subpoena duces tecum issued by the Commission on Elections directing them to bring to the Commission the copies of the election returns of the precincts in their respective municipalities that were in their possession.. Reyes. in all the precincts of said municipalities. in case of discrepancy. 1965. Cauton. On the same date. the resolution in question. 1965. On February 14. 1965 ordering the opening of the ballot boxes used in all the precincts of Candon. In the meantime. Patent erasures and superimpositions in words and figures of the votes stated in the election returns strike at the reliability of said returns as basis for canvass and proclamation.
as in this case." The Commission has the power to decide all administrative questions affecting elections.' What the respondent Commission on Elections did in the case now before Us is just what is contemplated in the abovequoted ruling of this Court.. Arranz. held as follows: The suspension of the proclamation of the winning candidate pending an inquiry into irregularities brought to the attention of the Commission on Elections was well within its administrative jurisdiction. 1962.B. it is found by the Commission on Elections that no other copies can be had except those deposited in the ballot boxes. The Commission on Elections may do this on its own initiative. can the Commission on Elections be remiss in the performance of its duties as a constitutional body committed with the exclusive charge of the enforcement and administration of all laws relative to the conduct of elections? The Revised Election Code gives to the Commission on Elections the direct and immediate supervision over provincial. while the copies of the election returns for the Commission of Elections and the Provincial Treasurer for the municipalities of Candon and Santiago have likewise uniform alterations and showing different numbers compared with the Liberal Party copies . When the Commission on Elections exercises this power the purpose is not for the Commission to help a candidate win the election but to bring about the canvass of the true results of the elections as certified by the boards of election inspectors in every precinct. The object of the canvass is to determine the result of the elections based on the official election returns. to order the taking of such steps as may be necessary in order that the proper basis for the canvass is obtained or made available.. Where the election returns produced by the provincial treasurer have been shown to have been tampered. and thus open the way for the summary recount of the votes. which indicates a clear violation of the election law. Justice J. may order the opening of the ballot boxes to ascertain whether the copy inside each ballot box is also tampered like the three copies outside the ballot box. Reyes. so that it is perfectly within the power of the Commission on Elections to issue such an order in the exercise of its exclusive power to administer and enforce the laws relative to the conduct of elections.9The Commission on Elections.. In the case of Albano vs. Certainly. and suspend the canvass all the meantime so the parties could ask for a recount in case of variance . or upon petition by the proper party. Hence. genuine. by constitutional mandate. had performed its constitutional duty of administering and enforcing the laws relative to the conduct of elections with a view to promoting clean and honest elections — the very purpose for which the Commission on Elections was created by constitutional mandate.. The purpose of the Revised Election Code is to protect the integrity of elections and to suppress all evils that may violate its purity and defeat the will of the voters. Cruz have uniform alteration in the entries of the votes cast for representative showing different number of votes compared with the Liberal Party copies. and (2) afforded the party aggrieved by the alteration of the election returns outside the ballot box a basis for a judicial recount of the votes as provided for in Section 163 of the Revised Election Code. Once the Commission on Elections is convinced that the elections returns in the hands of the board of canvassers do not constitute the proper basis in ascertaining the true result of the elections. the canvass must be based on true.6The provincial board of canvassers is enjoined by law to canvass all the votes cast for Representatives on the basis of the election returns produced by the provincial treasurer.3 This Court in a line of decisions has ruled that the Commission on Election has the power to investigate and act on the propriety or legality of the canvass of election returns made by the board of canvassers. In the case now before Us. If the Commission on Elections is duly informed and it so finds. by seeing to it that the canvass is based on the election returns as actually certified by the members of the board of inspectors. as we have said. then the Commission should afford the candidate adversely affected by the tampering an opportunity to show that there exist authentic copies of the same election returns which are not tampered. it is certainly within the power of the Commission on Elections to issue such order as would ascertain the existence of the genuine. L-19260. municipal and city officials designated by law to perform duties relative to the conduct of elections — and included among these officials are members of the provincial board of canvassers. whether they are also tampered or not. exercise all other functions which may be conferred upon it by law. In order that the result of the canvass would reflect the true expression of the people's will in the choice of their elective officials. The power of the Commission on Elections in this respect is simply administrative and supervisory — intended to secure the proclamation of the winning candidate based on the true count of the votes cast. one to be sent to the provincial treasurer. nay untampered. that the election returns in the hands of the provincial treasurer are tampered. correct. except the question involving the right to vote. it should be its concern. this Court.8The purity of the elections is one of the most fundamental requisites of popular government. and which indicates an attempt to procure the proclamation of the winner in the elections for Representative in the second congressional district of Ilocos Sur by the use of tampered election returns. nay its duty. the Commission on Elections issued the questioned resolution "after hearing the arguments of the petitioner and the opposition thereto and considering that it has been clearly established that the copies of the election returns for the Municipal Treasurer. We believe that in issuing the resolution in question the Commission on Elections simply performed a function as authorized by the Constitution. in view of the exclusive authority conferred upon it by the Constitution (Art. in the exercise of its power to administer and enforce the laws relative to the conduct of elections. Once it is found that the copy of the election return inside the ballot box is untampered. January 31. and one to be sent to the Commission on Elections. not falsified or tampered with. for the Commission on Elections and for the Provincial Treasurer for the municipality of Sta. X ) for the administration and enforcement of all laws relative to elections. for the purposes only of the canvass of the votes and the proclamation of the candidate found to have obtained the highest number of votes. election returns. It is the duty of the provincial treasurer to turn over to the provincial board of canvassers the election returns received by him from the boards of inspectors. the necessity for the Commission to order the retrieving of the copies of the election returns from the ballot boxes. through Mr."2 We cannot sustain the stand of the petitioner. that is. one to be delivered to the municipal treasurer." The petitioner further. must do . to assist a party in trying to win the election . The only copies left to be checked. and all the other copies outside the ballot boxes have also been shown to have been tampered or falsified. In the case now before Us. Thus. are the ones inside the ballot boxes. The Commission certainly had the right to inquire whether or not discrepancies existed between the various copies of election returns for the precincts in question. namely: (1) secured a basis for the prosecution for the violation of the laws relative to elections. corresponding to each precinct. the Commission on Elections has thereby made available the proper and reliable basis for the canvass of the votes that will lead to the proclamation by the board of canvassers of the true winner in the elections.. An order to this effect does not affect the right to vote or the validity of any vote cast.. in appropriate proceedings. that the copies in the hands of the Commission on Elections and of the municipal treasurer are similarly tampered as the copies in the hands of the provincial treasurer. the Commission of Elections and the Nacionalista Party as well does not legally support the validity of the resolution of the respondent Commission in question .for the purpose of helping the prosecution of any violation of the election laws or for the purely administrative purpose but not when the sole purpose is.. the Commission on Elections would then have accomplished two things. The election law requires the board of inspectors to prepare four copies of the election return in each precinct — one to be deposited in the ballot box.. to "have exclusive charge of the enforcement and administration of all laws relative to the conduct of elections and ."5Indeed.. in accordance with law. the election returns received by the provincial treasurer from the boards of inspectors are used.. If it is shown.. then it becomes evident that all the three copies of the election returns outside the ballot box do not constitute a reliable basis for a canvass. It is in this proceedings that the Commission on Elections exercises its supervisory and administrative power in the enforcement of laws relative to the conduct of elections. It would indeed be absurd to say that the Commission on Elections has a legal duty to perform and at the same time it is denied the necessary means to perform said duty. authentic and untampered election returns.. In the case of the canvass of the election returns for candidates for provincial or national offices.7The Commission on Elections has a duty to enforce this law and it has the duty to see to it that the election returns to be used for canvassing must be genuine and authentic. contends that "the mere fact that the copies of the returns in the precincts in question in the possession of the Liberal Party do not tally with the returns involving the same precincts in the possession of the Provincial Treasurer. A recourse may be had to the copies received by the Commission on Elections and to the copies received by the municipal treasurer.L.. in the face of this finding by the Commission on Elections. In so doing the Commission on Elections. the Commission on Elections.
10Technicalities. respondents TIM and Smartmatic. 4. they have little.12Moreover. Comelec abdicated its constitutional functions in favor of Smartmatic. therefore. which cannot be done unless the ballot boxes are opened. citing for the purpose a news item on Inquirer. Cruz. the Commission must be given a considerable latitude in adopting means and methods that will insure the accomplishment of the great objective for which it was created — to promote free. Certifications submitted by private respondents as to the successful use of the machines in elections abroad do not fulfill the requirement of Sec. which are not conducive to free. Upon taking a second hard look into the issues in the case at bar and the arguments earnestly pressed in the instant motions. and jurisprudence. on matters that may or may not occur. should not be allowed to hamper the Commission on Elections in the performance of its duties. 12 of RA 8436. authorizes the opening of the ballot box whenever it is the subject of an official investigation. or the competent authority shall order their preservation for a longer time in connection with any pending contest or investigation. Santiago and Sta. seek a reconsideration of the September 10. to support their speculative venture vis-à-vis the possibility of Comelec going manual. orderly.net. in order to assert a misleading conclusion. and honest elections. Improper meaning may be deliberately attached to innocent views or even occasional crude comments by the simple expediency of lifting them out of context from any publication. It is within the power of the Commission to order the investigation of that apparent anomaly that has connection with the conduct of elections. being questioned by the petitioner in the present case. petitioners Roque.” Under this section the ballot boxes may be opened in case there is an election contest. and 7. The effect can be dangerous. and mandamus to nullify the contract-award of the 2010 Election Automation Project to the joint venture of Total Information Management Corporation (TIM) and Smartmatic International Corporation (Smartmatic). Private respondents will not be able to provide telecommunications facilities that will assure 100% communications coverage at all times during the conduct of the 2010 elections. which denied the petition of H. Indeed. they may be opened when they are the subject of any official investigation which may be ordered by a competent court or other competent authority. "there is a high probability that the use of PCOS machines in the May 2010 elections will result in failure of elections". however. 3. have been tampered with. surely. or a component court or tribunal shall demand them sooner. and "COMELEC committed grave abuse of discretion when it signed x x x the contract for full automation x x x despite the likelihood of a failure of elections. Section 157 of the Revised Election Code. Wherefore. if any. cannot be the basis of a sound judgment. 2009 ruling of the Supreme Court. the petition for certiorari and prohibition in the present case is dismissed. but omitting to make reference to his succeeding statements to arrive at a clearer and true picture." Speculations and conjectures are not equivalent to proof. COMELEC Facts: This case is a motion for reconsideration filed by the petitioners of the September 10. however. be prayed for by a candidate who is prejudiced by the apparent falsification of the election returns outside the ballot boxes. and in ordering the opening of the ballot boxes the purpose of the Commission is not to help a particular candidate win an election but to properly administer and enforce the laws relative to the conduct of elections. It is so ordered. 1965. posted September 16. put a misleading spin to the Melo pronouncements by reproducing part of the news item. To sustain the petitioner in the present case is to deny the Commission on Elections the power to retrieve the copies of the election returns from the ballot boxes in order that the true number of votes cast for a candidate may be known and thus permit a canvass on the basis of election returns that are patently falsified. should not be interfered with. Inasmuch as the Commission on Elections has the right to determine whether said discrepancies exist. Intervening petitioner also interposed a similar motion. such as "the public pronouncements of public respondent COMELEC x x x clearly show that there is a high probability that there will be automated failure of elections". sometimes out of their proper context. et al. It provides: ―The municipal treasurer shall keep the boxes unopened in his possession in a secure place and under his responsibility for three months. unless they are the subject of an official investigation. for the same precincts. it glosses over the continuity and back-up plans that would be implemented in case the PCOS machines falter during the 2010 elections. We cannot.everything in its power to secure a fair and honest canvass of the votes cast in the elections. As We have adverted to. sanction the stand of petitioner. with costs against the petitioner. are again before the Supreme Court asking that the contract award be declared null and void on the stated ground that it was made in violation of the Constitution. but on the contrary may defeat the will of the sovereign people as expressed in their votes. i. In this MR. Where the three copies outside the ballot boxes appear to have been uniformly altered. Respondents cannot comply with the requirements of RA 8436 for a source code review. There is no legal framework to guide the Comelec in appreciating automated ballots in case the PCOS machines fail. Reacting to the attribution. et al. First. orderly and honest elections. it must also have the right to consult said returns. and We must not. 2.. the same respondents added. described the Melo pronouncements as made in the context of Comelec’s contingency plan. Petitioners. there is no plausible reason why the copy deposited in the ballot box may not be used to determine whether discrepancies exist in the various copies. the Court cannot grant the desired reconsideration. Private respondents’ observation is well-taken. "the unaddressed logistical nightmares—and the lack of contingency plans that should have been crafted as a result of a pilot test—make an automated failure of elections very probable". It is noteworthy that the Revised Election Code does not provide that it is the courts that have the power to order the opening of the ballot box in a situation like this. 2009. The opening of the ballot boxes may. They may also be opened even if there is no election contest when their contents have to be used as evidence in the prosecution of election frauds. The Comelec’s public pronouncements show that there is a "high probability" that there will be failure of automated elections. Issue: Is the motion for reconsideration meritorious? Ruling: No. The investigation may be in connection with the prosecution for the violations of the election laws and at the same time to ascertain the condition of the election returns inside the ballot boxes as compared with the election returns outside the ballot boxes. The conjectural and speculative nature of the first issue raised is reflected in the very manner of its formulation and by statements.. et al. in their comment. the Commission on Elections has the power to inquire whether there exist discrepancies among the various copies of the election returns. it is easy to selectively cite portions of what has been said.e. for certiorari. Petitioners Roque. as movants herein. but only to pray that the Board of Election Inspectors be ordered to manually count the ballots after the printing and electronic transmission of the election returns. Subcontracting the manufacture of PCOS machines to Quisdi violates the Comelec’s bidding rules.13The "competent authority" must include the Commission on Elections which is charged with the administration and enforcement of the laws relative to the conduct of elections. was perfectly within the power of the Commission on Elections to issue. From what has been said We hold that the order of December 22. Jr. 6. there no is legal framework to guide Comelec in the appreciation of automated ballots or to govern manual count should PCOS machines fail. cannot be accorded cogency. Petitioners’ posture anent the third issue. unless they are clearly illegal or constitute grave abuse of discretion. prohibition. on which petitioner herein relies in support of his stand in the present case. 5. probative value and. In the performance of its duties. In the instant case the Commission on Elections found that it has been clearly established that the election returns outside the ballot boxes. Petitioners’ threshold argument delves on possibilities.11Of all the copies prepared by the board of inspectors the copy least susceptible to being tampered with is the one deposited in the ballot box. The overall fallback strategy and options to address even the worst-case scenario—the wholesale breakdown of . The choice of means taken by the Commission on Elections. statutes. have attributed certain statements to respondent Comelec Chairman Melo. Harry L. Petitioners. Roque. in all the precincts in the municipalities of Candon. Case: ROQUE V. 2009 Decision on the following issues or grounds: 1.
navy or air force. but right is reacquired upon expiration of 5 years after service of sentence. shall be deemed not to have lost his original residence (Sec. theories. employment in private or public service. Petitioners have obviously inserted. a possible breach of a contractual stipulation is not a legal reason to prematurely rescind. the appropriate head of office shall submit to the Commission on Elections a list of officers and employees of the office who are registered voters. while disagreeing with the conclusion held by the majority. 8. is without evidentiary value and hardly provides a ground for the Court to nullify the automation contract. The head of the office shall prepare a sworn report on the manner of distribution of the absentee ballots. Person adjudged by final judgment as having committed any crime involving disloyalty to government or any crime against national security. and the serial numbers of the ballots. 117. and who. petitioners argue that. Any person who by reason of public functions and duties. 2. under certain conditions. Justice Artemio Panganiban in Loong v. GEN RULE: Person has to be physically present in the polling place whereof he is a registered voter in order to be able to vote EXCEPTION: Section 169 of Batas Pambansa Blg.29 This arrangement. Moreover. and 5. showing that the PCOS technology has been used in elections abroad.28 the TIM-Smartmatic joint venture has entered into a new contract with Quisdi. indicating therein the number of ballots transmitted to each province." and "the rules laid down in the Omnibus Election Code (OEC) for the appreciation and counting of ballots cast in a manual election x x x are inappropriate. 4. 3. 3. Sec. that he/she is a duly registered voter. Significantly. Domicile denotes a fixed permanent residence to which when absent for business or pleasure. justice frown on a piecemeal presentation of evidence and on the practice of parties of going to trial haphazardly. the contract. v. where he made the following observations: "Resort to manual appreciation of the ballots is precluded by the basic features of the automated election system. Art. one intends to return (Pundaodaya v Comelec) No literacy. Resident of the Philippines for at least one year. 881 – allows members of the board of election inspectors to vote in the polling place where they are assigned on election day. the names of the persons to whom the absentee ballots are delivered. No presumption can be indulged in favor of the claimant of Philippine citizenship.the 80. As it is. Sec. DISQUALIFICATIONS FOR SUFFRAGE (Sec. a ballot marking device. albeit the former. 2. or for like reasons. based on news reports. government officials and employees who are assigned to places other than their place of registration must not be deprived of their right to participate in electoral exercises. 5. later Chief. petitioners aver. unless pardoned or granted amnesty. Filipino citizen. V. LOCAL ABSENTEE VOTING EO 157 – LOCAL ABSENTEE VOTING LAW PROVIDING FOR ABSENTEE VOTING BY OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES OF GOVERNMENT WHO ARE AWAY FROM THE PLACES OF THEIR REGISTRATION BY REASON OF OFFICIAL FUNCTIONS ON ELECTION DAY. it is without binding effect. . 118. a dissenting opinion being a mere expression of the individual view of a member of the Court or other collegial adjudicating body." Without delving on its wisdom and validity. Upon verification. Comelec. petitioners assert that the system certified as having been used in New York was the Dominion Image Cast. Constitution) 1. OEC) 1. the Court cannot plausibly validate this factual assertion of petitioners. being again highly speculative. much less annul. or confinement or detention in government institutions in accordance with law. will be in places other than their place of registration. This we cannot allow for compelling reasons. and any doubt regarding citizenship must be resolved in favor of the state (Go v. and arguments not raised in the original proceedings cannot be brought out on review. property. Resident of the place where he proposes to vote for at least 6 months. petitioners cannot expect the Court to act on unverified reports foisted on it. And going to another but recycled issue. the view of Justice Panganiban thus cited came by way of a dissenting opinion. citing the same website. to manufacture on its behalf the needed PCOS machines to fully automate the 2010 elections. Both import not only an intention to reside in a fixed place but also personal presence in that place. It is incumbent upon one who claims Philippine citizenship to prove to the satisfaction of the court that he is really a Filipino. work in military or naval reservations. violates the bid rules proscribing subcontracting of significant components of the automation project. Person convicted by final judgment to suffer imprisonment for not less than 1 year. While a motion for reconsideration may tend to dwell on issues already resolved in the decision sought to be reconsidered — and this should not be an obstacle for a reconsideration—the hard reality is that petitioners have failed to raise matters substantially plausible or compellingly persuasive to warrant the desired course of action.000 reserved units—have been discussed in some detail in the Decision subject of this recourse. 2. As such. or other substantive requirement shall be imposed on the exercise ofs uffrage. Surely.000 needed machines nationwide and of the 2. Surely. as a matter of sound established practice. educational activities. petitioners claim that "there are very strong indications that Private Respondents will not be able to provide for telecommunication facilities for areas without these facilities. if not speedy. if not downright useless. Sec. it shall transmit the exact number of application forms to the head of the office making the request. coupled with conduct indicative of such intention. Sec. The Court need not belabor them again. the Court treats domicile and residence as synonymous terms. at this stage of the case. points of law." This argument. Tria) Any person who transfers residence to another city. in support of their position on the lack-of-legal-framework issue. private respondents have even questioned the reliability of the website24 whence petitioners base their assertion. is not in his/her place of registration on election day. petitioners would have the Court invalidate the automation contract on the ground that the certifications submitted by Smartmatic during the bidding. Thirty (30) days before the election. by reason of their duties and functions. to the proper appreciation and reading of the ballots used in the automated system.S. Sec. The voters who cast absentee voters shall vote one week before election day. invoke the opinion of Associate. Upon verification by the Commission on Elections. a Shanghai-based company. but right is reacquired upon expiration of 5 years after service of sentence. petitioners. and who desire to exercise their right to vote. the Commission shall transmit the exact number of absentee ballots to the appropriate head of the government office for distribution to the applicants. the constabulary or national police force. OEC). There exists no presumption that a person is entitled to vote and that the burden is in the voter to prove that he has the qualifications and none of the disqualifications prescribed by law (U. Moving still to another issue. Not otherwise disqualified by law. At least 18 years of age. do not comply with Sec. issues. an entirely new factual dimension to their cause. state that the Image Cast Precinct tabulation device refers to the Dominion’s PCOS machines. may vote in the city/municipality where he/she is assigned on election day: provided. The imperatives of orderly. The argument is untenable. Presently. and 3. Basic considerations of fair play impel this rule. Section 1. 6. service in the army. For starters. 1222 of RA 8436. Finally. municipality or country solely by reason of his occupation. based as it is again on news reports. Insane or incompetent persons as declared by competent authority. QUALIFICATIONS FOR SUFFRAGE (Sec. Ramos) - - - In election cases. profession. 1.
Declaration of Policy. – It is the prime duty of the State to provide a system of honest and orderly overseas absentee voting that upholds the secrecy and sanctity of the ballot. The embassies. otherwise known as the "The Voters Registration Act of 1996". 6. For succeeding elections. That the Commission may take cognizance of final judgments issued by foreign courts or tribunals only on the basis of reciprocity and subject to the formalities and processes prescribed by the Rules of Court on execution of judgments. 3. 4. Sec. 3. Personal Overseas Absentee Registration. In the case of seafarers. on election day. not otherwise disqualified by law. Towards this end. – The following shall be disqualified from voting under this Act: 1. 8189. consulates and other foreign service establishments that have jurisdiction over the locality where they temporarily reside. Section 12. Those who have committed and are convicted in a final judgment by a court or tribunal of an offense punishable by imprisonment of not less than one (1) year. VicePresident and Senators only and shall be limited to members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police and other government officers and employees who are duly registered voters and who. unless he/she executes. Disqualifications. 6. 10. consulates or foreign service establishments concerned. This list shall be approved by the Commission in an en banc resolution. which shall decide on the application within one (1) . unless such competent authority subsequently certifies that such person is no longer insane or incompetent. "Certified List of Overseas Absentee Voters" refers to the list of registered overseas absentee voters whose applications to vote in absentia have been approved by the Commission. OVERSEES ABSENTEE VOTING RA 9189 – OVERSEAS ABSENTEE VOTING ACT AN ACT PROVIDING FOR A SYSTEM OF OVERSEAS ABSENTEE VOTING BY QUALIFIED CITIZENS OF THE PHILIPPINES ABROAD. of overseas absentee voters whose applications for registration as absentee voters.1. who is abroad on the day of elections. Subject to the specific guidelines herein provided. All applications for the May. Coverage. may temporarily be assigned in connection with the performance of election duties to place where they are not registered voters. upon registration. the Election Officer shall immediately set the application for hearing. Sec. however. may vote for president. 5. The Election Officer shall immediately furnish a copy of the application to the designated representatives of political parties and other accredited groups. f. The Commission on Elections shall canvass the votes cast by absentee voters and shall add the results of the same to the votes reported throughout the country. c. have been approved by the Election Registered Board. Failure to return shall be the cause for the removal of the name of the immigrant or permanent resident from the National Registry of Absentee Voters and his/her permanent disqualification to vote in absentia. Definition of Terms. "National Registry of Absentee Voters" refers to the consolidated list prepared. Those who have lost their Filipino citizenship in accordance with Philippine laws. d. That any person disqualified to vote under this subsection shall automatically acquire the right to vote upon expiration of five (5) years after service of sentence. Provided. the Commission is hereby authorized to prescribe additional procedures for overseas absentee registration pursuant to the provisions of Republic Act No. who are not otherwise disqualified by law. 1987 shall apply to the elections for President. the notice of which shall be posted in a conspicuous place in the premises of the city or municipal building of the applicant’s stated residence for at least one (1) week before the date of the hearing. – Registration as an overseas absentee voter shall be done in person. the Commission shall provide for the period within which applications to register must be filed. said list to be prepared by the Committee on Absentee Voting of the Commission. at least eighteen (18) years of age on the day of elections. the State ensures equal opportunity to all qualified citizens of the Philippines abroad in the exercise of this fundamental right. APPROPRIATING FUNDS THEREFOR. "Day of Election" refers to the actual date of elections in the Philippines. b. an affidavit prepared for the purpose by the Commission declaring that he/she shall resume actual physical permanent residence in the Philippines not later than three (3) years from approval of his/her registration under this Act. Such affidavit shall also state that he/she has not applied for citizenship in another country. Those who have expressly renounced their Philippine citizenship and who have pledged allegiance to a foreign country." Sec.2. consulates and other foreign service establishments shall transmit within (5) days from receipt the accomplished registration forms to the Commission. the Commission shall provide a special mechanism for the time and manner of personal registration taking into consideration the nature of their work. or with the representative of the Commission at the Philippine embassies. 2004 elections shall be filed with the Commission not later than two hundred eighty (280) calendar days before the day of elections. "Commission" refers to the Commission on Elections. "Absentee Voting" refers to the process by which qualified citizens of the Philippines abroad exercise their right to vote. Provided. Sec. – For purposes of this Act: a. including those registered voters who have applied to be certified as absentee voters. hearing and annotation in the permanent list of voters. Sec. after which the Commission shall coordinate with the Election Officer of the city or municipality of the applicant’s stated residence for verification. 157 dated March 30. including those who have committed and been found guilty of Disloyalty as defined under Article 137 of the Revised Penal Code. 4. e. approved and maintained by the Commission. 6. 5. Qualified citizens of the Philippines abroad who failed to register under Republic Act No. AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES A registered overseas absentee voter may vote for the following positions: President (only in presidential election years) Vice president (only in presidential election years) Senators Party-list representatives Section 1. 2. RA 7166 (Synchronized National and Local Elections Act) – Absentee voting as provided for in Executive Order No. 8189. may personally apply for registration with the Election Registration Board of the city or municipality where they were domiciled immediately prior to their departure from the Philippines. An immigrant or a permanent resident who is recognized as such in the host country. Upon receipt of the application for registration. further. vice-president. Any citizen of the Philippines abroad previously declared insane or incompetent by competent authority in the Philippines or abroad. – This Act shall be known as "The Overseas Absentee Voting Act of 2003. such disability not having been removed by plenary pardon or amnesty. "Overseas Absentee Voter" refers to a citizen of the Philippines who is qualified to register and vote under this Act. whenever applicable. the Election Officer shall immediately forward the application to the Election Registration Board. senators and party-list representatives. taking into strict consideration the time zones and the various periods and processes herein provided for the proper implementation of this Act.Sec. Short Title. – All citizens of the Philippines abroad. 2. If no verified objection to the application is filed. on a country-by-country basis. as verified by the Philippine embassies.
6. Qualified citizens of the Philippines abroad. or. 8189 and who have been issued certifications as overseas absentee voters. a certification of the Department of Foreign Affairs that it has reviewed the appropriate documents submitted by the applicant and found them sufficient to warrant the issuance of a passport. enclosing therein copies of affidavits or documents submitted in support of the objection filed with the said Election Officer. an affidavit declaring the intention to resume actual physical permanent residence in the Philippines not later than three (3) years after approval of his/her registration as an overseas absentee voter under this Act. The petition shall be decided within fifteen (15) days after its filing on the basis of the documents submitted in connection therewith. through the embassies. The application shall be approved or disapproved based on the merits of the objection. and the frequency thereof. c. In the event that an objection to the application is filed prior to or on the date of hearing. Sec. or by mail to. at least six (6) months before the date set for the filing of applications for registration. System of Continuing Registration. Every application to vote in absentia may be done personally at. 11. Name and address of applicant’s authorized representative in the Philippines for purposes of Section 6. The Commission may also require additional data to facilitate registration and recording. consulates and other foreign service establishments. consulate or other foreign service establishment authorized by the Commission. subject to limitations imposed by law. 8189. Approved applications of overseas absentee registrants shall also be included in the permanent list of voters of the city or municipality where the registrant is domiciled. In the absence of a valid passport. ii. which has jurisdiction over the country where he/she has indicated his/her address for purposes of the elections.2.4. Address of applicant abroad. personnel and mechanisms of the various government agencies for purposes of data gathering.3. National Registry of Overseas Absentee Voters. Sec. – The Commission shall ensure that the benefits of the system of continuing registration are extended to qualified overseas absentee voters. within a period of five (5) days from receipt of the notice of disapproval. The petition shall be decided within five (5) days after its filing on the basis of documents submitted in connection therewith. Sec. shall. 6. including those certified as registered voters. or that his/her name be transferred to the regular registry of voters. Accomplished registration form prescribed by the Commission containing the following mandatory information: i. A valid Philippine passport. or forwarding address in the case of seafarers. 9.week from the date of hearing without waiting for the quarterly meeting of the Board. Overseas Workers’ Welfare Administration. Requirements for Registration. the Commission and the Department of Foreign Affairs shall post the same in their respective websites. and cannot be cancelled or amended except in any of the following cases: 9. Department of Labor and Employment. Likewise. 9. 11. 6. the Election Officer shall notify the applicant of said objection by registered mail. The applicant shall be notified of the approval or disapproval of his/her application by registered mail. The application form shall be accomplished in triplicate and submitted together with the photocopy of his/her overseas absentee voter certificate of registration. Procedure for Application to Vote in Absentia. information dissemination and facilitation of the registration process. When an overseas absentee voter’s name was ordered removed by the Commission from the Registry of Overseas Absentee Voters for his/her failure to exercise his/her right to vote under this Act for two (2) consecutive national elections. services and mechanisms offered and administered by the Department of Foreign Affairs. 6. Should the court fail to render a decision within the prescribed period. including those previously registered under Republic Act No. Commission on Filipinos Overseas and other appropriate agencies of the government shall be utilized for purposes of supporting the overseas absentee registration and voting processes. In the case of immigrants and permanent residents not otherwise disqualified to vote under this Act. counter-affidavit and documents submitted by the party objecting and those of the applicant. The Commission shall include the approved applications in the National Registry of Absentee Voters. with a corresponding annotation in the Certified Voters’ List. .1. The authorized officer of such embassy. with the corresponding annotation that such person has been registered or will be voting as an overseas absentee voter. Sec. 8189 shall apply for certification as absentee voters and for inclusion in the National Registry of Overseas Absentee Voters. date and time of the holding of a regular or special national election and the requirements for the participation of qualified citizens of the Philippines abroad. If the application has been approved. consulate or foreign service establishment. a sworn written application to vote in a form prescribed by the Commission. any interested party may file a petition for exclusion not later than two hundred ten (210) days before the day of elections with the proper municipal or metropolitan trial court. iii. The applicant shall have the right to file his counter-affidavit by registered mail. – Every Filipino registrant shall be required to furnish the following documents: a. Towards this end. Every qualified citizen of the Philippines abroad whose application for registration has been approved. in proper cases. who have previously registered as voters pursuant to Republic Act No. the applicant’s mailing address outside the Philippines where the ballot for absentee voters will be sent. Sec. When the overseas absentee voter files a letter under oath addressed to the Commission that he/she wishes to be removed from the Registry of Overseas Absentee Voters. – The Commission shall maintain a National Registry of Overseas Absentee Voters.7. Philippine Overseas Employment Administration. iv. if any. b. in every national election. The entries in the National Registry of Overseas Absentee Voters and the annotations as overseas absentee voters in the Certified Voters’ List shall be permanent. The registry shall also include those registered under Republic Act No. have the right to file a petition for inclusion with the proper municipal or metropolitan trial court. cause the publication in a newspaper of general circulation of the place. Such affidavit shall also state that he/she has not applied for citizenship in another country. and. consulate or other foreign service establishment shall transmit to the Commission the said application to vote within five (5) days from receipt thereof. 10.2. or that the applicant is a holder of a valid passport but is unable to produce the same for a valid reason. – The Commission shall.5 A Certificate of Registration as an overseas absentee voter shall be issued by the Commission to all applicants whose applications have been approved. 8. If the application has been disapproved. the ruling of the Election Registration Board shall be considered affirmed. data validation. 6. Where voting by mail is allowed. No information other than those necessary to establish the identity and qualification of the applicant shall be required.1. clearly stating therein facts and defenses sworn before any officer in the host country authorized to administer oaths. the embassy. – 11.6. file with the officer of the embassy. Pre-departure programs. Last known residence of the applicant in the Philippines before leaving for abroad. 7. Notice of Registration and Election. the Commission shall optimize the use of existing facilities.7 and Section 12 hereof. the applicant or his authorized representative shall. The Commission shall determine the countries where publication shall be made. taking into consideration the number of overseas Filipinos present in such countries.
In the case of seafarers. consulates and other foreign service establishments concerned shall keep a complete record of the ballots for overseas absentee voters. consulates and other foreign service establishments concerned in accordance with Section 17 hereof before the close of voting on the day of elections shall be counted in accordance with Section 18 hereof. Sec. consulates and other foreign service establishments. along with such materials and election paraphernalia necessary to ensure the secrecy and integrity of the election. and ballots returned to the embassies.9. without leaving the premises of the embassies. Preparation and Posting of Certified List of Overseas Absentee Voters. as well as the limits on campaign spending shall be governed by the laws and regulations applicable in the Philippines. The Commission shall act within five (5) days from receipt of such Motion for Reconsideration and shall immediately notify the voter of its decision.1. 16. Security markings shall be used in the printing of ballots for overseas absentee voters. – The use of campaign materials. and election forms in such number as may be necessary. Sec. The embassies. they shall cast their ballots anytime within sixty (60) days before the day of elections as prescribed in the Implementing Rules and Guidelines. consulate and other foreign service establishments of the ballots for overseas absentee voters. Regulation on Campaigning Abroad. – 16. Unclaimed ballots properly marked as such.4. The authorized representatives of accredited major political parties shall have the right to be present in all phases of printing. consulates and other foreign service establishments after the prescribed period shall not be opened. Election Forms and Paraphernalia.8. Subject to reasonable regulation and the payment of fees in such amounts as may be fixed by the Commission. or by registered mail. consulates and other foreign service establishments. In the event of disapproval of the application. the voter or his authorized representative may file a Motion for Reconsideration with the Commission personally.3. In addition. The Commission shall study the use of electronic mail. or other secured networks in the casting of votes. 16.1. shall be cancelled and shipped to the Commission by the least costly method. the authorized representatives of the political parties. election forms and other paraphernalia. 14. which shall post the same in their bulletin boards within ten (10) days from receipt thereof. Voting by mail may be allowed in countries that satisfy the following conditions: . 14. The overseas absentee voter shall be instructed that his/her ballot shall not be counted if it is not inside the special envelope furnished him/her when it is cast. 16. – 17. Immediately upon receiving it. Sec. transmit by special pouch to the embassies. in the case of voting by mail. including proof of receipt thereof. and citizens of the Philippines abroad. Voting by Mail. and furnish within the same period copies thereof to the appropriate embassies. election forms and other election paraphernalia for scrutiny and inspection prior to their transmittal to the embassies. voting instructions. The Commission shall present to the authorized representatives of the Department of Foreign Affairs and the accredited major political parties the ballots for overseas absentee voters.5. not later than seventy-five (75) days before the day of elections. in case of personal voting. 16. 16. 16. Sec. The decision of the Commission shall be final and executory. Consular and diplomatic services rendered in connection with the overseas absentee voting processes shall be made available at no cost to the overseas absentee voter.2. 2004 elections. specifically indicating the number of ballots they actually received. The overseas absentee voter shall personally accomplish his/her ballot at the embassy. voting instructions. 14. – The Commission shall prepare the Certified List of Overseas Absentee Voters within one hundred twenty (120) days before every election. consulates and other foreign service establishments shall submit a formal report to the Commission and the Joint Congressional Oversight Committee created under this Act within thirty (30) days from the day of elections. 14. 12. 15. consulates and other foreign service establishments shall be furnished copies thereof. 16. Printing and Transmittal of Ballots. and casting of ballots abroad. but in no case later than one hundred fifty (150) days before the day of elections. consulates and other foreign service establishments concerned. and shall be cancelled and shipped to the Commission by the least costly method within six (6) months from the day of elections. upon presentation of the absentee voter identification card issued by the Commission. and mailed ballots received by the Philippine embassies. Internet. Upon receipt by the designated officer of the embassy.4. political parties. During this phase of the election process. accredited citizens’ arms. voting instructions. 17. consulates and other foreign service establishments concerned. the number of invalid and unclaimed ballots and other pertinent data. All envelopes containing the ballots received by the embassies.3. – All applications shall be acted upon by the Commission upon receipt thereof. Sec.7. Such report shall contain data on the number of ballots cast and received by the offices.1. candidates. the Commission shall authorize voting by mail in not more than three (3) countries. the exact number of ballots for overseas absentee voters corresponding to the number of approved applications. For the May. Sec. Voting Instructions. 16. the names and addresses of the voters to whom these ballots were sent. interested persons and all embassies.11. Casting and Submission of Ballots. he/she shall make them available on the premises to the qualified overseas absentee voters in their respective jurisdictions during the thirty (30) days before the day of elections when overseas absentee voters may cast their vote. the overseas absentee voter must fill-out his/her ballot personally. The overseas absentee voter shall cast his ballot.10. subject to the approval of the Congressional Oversight Committee.11. within thirty (30) days before the day of elections. shall be cancelled and shipped to the Commission by the least costly method within six (6) months from the day of elections. Verification and Approval of Application to Vote. consulate or other foreign service establishment that has jurisdiction over the country where he/she temporarily resides or at any polling place designated and accredited by the Commission. and accredited citizens’ arms of the Commission shall be notified in writing thereof and shall have the right to witness the proceedings. consulates and other foreign service establishments concerned. who will be deputized to receive ballots and take custody of the same preparatory to their transmittal to the Special Boards of Election Inspectors. The Commission shall. All accomplished ballots received shall be placed unopened inside sealed containers and kept in a secure place designated by the Commission. within ten (10) days from receipt of the notice of disapproval. The Commission shall issue an overseas absentee voter identification card to those whose applications to vote have been approved. 13.3. and in cases where voting by mail is allowed under Section 17 hereof. A Special Ballot Reception and Custody Group composed of three (3) members shall be constituted by the Commission from among the staff of the embassies. the candidates. in secret. Only ballots cast.6. consulates and other foreign service establishments concerned. The Commission shall cause the printing of ballots for overseas absentee voters. – 14. the embassies.2. 16. and submit a report thereon to the Joint Congressional Oversight Committee. consulates and other foreign service establishments. but in no case shall it exceed the total number of approved applications. 16. transmittal. 16. including their attached agencies. Ballots not claimed by the overseas absentee voters at the embassies.
consulate and other foreign service establishments before the close of voting on the day of elections shall be counted in accordance with Section 18 hereof. Where the system of reception and custody of mailed ballots in the embassies. electronic mail and any other means of transmission equally safe. Overseas Workers’ Welfare Administration and the Commission on Filipinos Overseas. 18. That if any such deputized organization/association is discovered to have a member who is not a qualified overseas absentee voter as herein defined. or received by the embassies.2. in the Philippine political process abroad. electronic mail and any other means of transmission equally safe. – 18. the Commission is hereby authorized to borrow. Sec. as vice-chairman and member-secretary. 18. shall be constituted to canvass the election returns submitted to it by the Special Boards of Election Inspectors. For these purposes. The Commission may deputize Filipino organizations/associations overseas for the same purpose: Provided. – The Commission shall issue the necessary rules and regulations to effectively implement the provisions of this Act within sixty (60) days from the effectivity of this Act. Philippine Overseas and Employment Administration. . and shall cause to preserve the same immediately after the conclusion of the canvass. 18. Sec. lease or acquire automated voting machines for purposes of canvassing and counting of votes pursuant to the provisions of this Act. factors and circumstances peculiar to such country or countries. 18. The counting and canvassing of votes shall be conducted on site in the country where the votes were actually cast. in the absence of other government officers. For purposes of this Act. as the case may be. 18. rent. through the embassies. 18. It may require the support and assistance of the Department of Foreign Affairs. secure and reliable shall be the primary basis for the national canvass. The canvass of votes shall not cause the delay of the proclamation of a winning candidate if the outcome of the election will not be affected by the results thereof. Towards this end. All resolutions of the Special Board of Election Inspectors on issues brought before it during the conduct of its proceedings shall be valid only when they carry the approval of the chairman. Department of Labor and employment. the Special Boards of Election Inspectors shall transmit via facsimile and/or electronic mail the results to the Commission in Manila and the accredited major political parties. electronic mail. Philippine Overseas Employment Administration. in the absence of another government officer. Only mailed ballots received by the Philippine embassy.3. Sec. Philippine Postal Corporation. the Commission is empowered to order the proclamation of winning candidates despite the fact that the scheduled election has not taken place in a particular country or countries. consulates and other foreign service establishments. Information Campaign. the returns of every election for president and vice-president prepared by the Special Board of Canvassers shall be deemed a certificate of canvass of a city or province. b. The Commission shall ensure that the start of counting in all polling places abroad shall be synchronized with the start of counting in the Philippines. Non-government organizations and accredited Filipino organizations or associations abroad shall be consulted. in coordination with agencies concerned. Where feasible.2. The opening of the specially-marked envelopes containing the ballots and the counting and canvassing of votes shall be conducted within the premises of the embassies. the Commission shall constitute as many Special Boards of Election Inspectors as may be necessary to conduct and supervise the counting of votes as provided in Section 18. A Special Board of Canvassers composed of a lawyer preferably of the Commission as chairman.2 hereof. Those received afterwards shall not be counted.5.a. with a corresponding report thereon submitted to the Commission not later than thirty (30) days from the day of elections. On-Site Counting and Canvassing.4. 19. Thereafter. and at any stage. Such information campaign shall educate the Filipino public. shall undertake an information campaign to educate the public on the manner of absentee voting for qualified overseas absentee voters. The ambassador or consulgeneral. Where there exists a technically established identification system that would preclude multiple or proxy voting. Immediately upon the completion of the canvass. Notwithstanding the foregoing. 17. and which events. if the holding of elections therein has been rendered impossible by events. 17. provided that the same Is received before the close of voting on the day of elections.7. In the preparation of the final tally of votes on the results of the national elections. consulates and other foreign service establishments or in such other places as may be designated by the Commission pursuant to the Implementing Rules and Regulations. Only ballots cast on. The overseas absentee voter shall be instructed that his/her ballot shall not be counted if not transmitted in the special envelope furnished him/her. 20. Authority of the Commission to Promulgate Rules. consulates and other foreign service establishments concerned are adequate and well-secured.3. Immediately upon the completion of the counting. and. and shall be cancelled and disposed of appropriately. the two (2) other members shall be citizens of the Philippines who are qualified to vote under this act and deputized by the Commission not later than sixty (60) days before the day of elections. The Implementing Rules and Regulations shall be submitted to the Joint Congressional Oversight Committee created by virtue of this Act for prior approval. and in accordance with the Implementing Rules and Regulations promulgated by the Commission. the Commission shall coordinate with the Department of Foreign Affairs. secure and reliable. within and outside the Philippines. The Special Board of Canvassers shall also furnish the accredited major political parties and accredited citizens’ arms with copies thereof via facsimile. the Commission shall ensure that the votes canvassed by each and every country shall be reflected as a separate item from the tally of national votes. consular or other foreign service establishment that has jurisdiction over the country where he/she temporarily resides. factors and circumstances are beyond the control or influence of the Commission.6. the counting and canvassing of votes shall be automated. In the formulation of the rules and regulations. on the rights of overseas absentee voters. That any such deputized organization/association shall be prohibited from participating in the elections by campaigning for or fielding candidates. All envelopes containing the ballots received by the embassies. a citizen of the Philippines qualified to vote under this Act deputized by the Commission. The overseas absentee voters shall send his/her accomplished ballot to the corresponding embassy. further. or any other means of transmission equally safe and reliable the Certificates of Canvass and the Statements of Votes to the Commission. Department of Labor and Employment. voting by mail in any country shall be allowed only upon review and approval of the Joint Congressional Oversight Committee. consulates and other foreign service establishments before the close of voting on the day of elections shall be included in the counting of votes. The Special Boards of Election Inspectors to be constituted herein shall be composed of a Chairman and two (2) members. The Certificates of Canvass and the accompanying Statements of Votes as transmitted via facsimile.1. a senior career officer from any of the government agencies maintaining a post abroad and. – The Commission. one (1) of whom shall be designated as poll clerk. 18. such deputized organization/association shall be banned from participating in any manner. Department of Transportation and Communications. and make it available upon instructions of the Commission. consulates and other foreign service establishments after the prescribed period shall not be opened. shall act as the chairman. the chairman of the Special Board of Canvassers shall transmit via facsimile. c. Where the mailing system is fairly well-developed and secure to prevent the occasion of fraud. He/She shall be entitled to cast his/her ballot at any time upon his/her receipt thereof. respectively. Overseas Workers’ Welfare Administration and the Commission on Filipinos Overseas. Provided. or any career public officer posted abroad designated by the Commission.
Prohibited Acts. printing. Joint Congressional Oversight Committee. and intervene in appropriate cases. shall be imposed on any person found guilty of committing any of the prohibited acts as defined in this section: Provided. Sec. including members of the attached agencies. Sec. in all stages of the electoral exercise and to prevent any and all forms of fraud and coercion. – At all stages of the electoral process. Access to Official Records and Documents. Philippine Postal Corporation. conceal. For any deputized agent to refuse without justifiable ground. All such agencies or officers thereof shall take reasonable measures to expedite all election activities. If the offender is a public officer or a candidate. Revision of Codes and Laws. or. Overseas Workers’ Welfare Administration. 26.4. without securing the prior approval of the Commission. – The Commission shall. and with due regard to the Principle of Double Criminality. and other election laws. mutilation and manipulation thereof. four (4) should come from the majority and the remaining three (3) from the minority. and shall be deemed disqualified as provided in Section 5(c) of this Act. any person shall have the right to access and/or copy at his expense all registration records. It shall review. Department of Transportation and Communications. For any officer or employee of the Philippine government to influence or attempt to influence any person covered by this Act to vote. including those belonging to attached agencies shall be transferred. as well as improve its procedures and institute measures and safeguards. – Congress shall complete a mandatory review of this Act within two (2) years following the May. Commission on Filipinos Overseas and other government offices concerned with the welfare of the Filipinos overseas shall. all necessary and practicable measures shall be adopted to allow representation of the candidates. mutilate or alter any record. When necessary.absentee voting processes and other related concerns. for a particular candidate. – The pertinent provisions of the Omnibus Election Code. 27. amend and approve the Implementing Rules and Regulations promulgated by the Commission. the election returns. For any public officer or employee to cause the transfer. Applicability of Other Election Laws. through the said government agencies and private organizations. 24. voters lists and other official records and documents. – A Joint Congressional Oversight Committee is hereby created. 21. particularly from the Department of Foreign Affairs. 24.8. technological advances and structural political changes. recalled or otherwise moved from his current post or position one (1) year before and three (3) months after the day of elections.6. 24. to pay.5.9. and the Chairman of the House Committee on Suffrage and Electoral Reforms. except upon the approval of the Commission. For any person to tamper with the ballot. 24. to the extent compatible with their primary responsibilities. which are not in conflict with the provisions of this Act shall remain in full force and shall have suppletory application to this Act. promoted. have exclusive charge of the enforcement. or to comply with his/her sworn duties after acceptance of his/her appointment. 24. or not to vote. which the Commission shall require of them. Sec. including participation in the campaign and elections. For any person to deprive any person of any right secured in this Act. distribute or post in websites any information material without the prior approval of the Commission. to serve or continue serving. – In addition to the prohibited acts provided by law. Sec. The Committee on Absentee Voting of the Commission shall be responsible for ensuring the secrecy and sanctity of the absentee voting process. in whatever manner. That the penalty of prision mayor in its minimum period shall be imposed upon any person found guilty of Section 24. 25. address. destroy.3 hereof without the benefit of the operation of the Indeterminate Sentence Law. subject to reasonable regulations as may be imposed by the Commission. as amended. or to give false information as to his/her name. the mail containing the ballots for overseas absentee voters. Assistance from Government Agencies. or period of residence for the purposes of establishing his/her eligibility or ineligibility to register or vote under this Act. the prohibited acts described in this section are electoral offenses and punishable in the Philippines. orderly. Mandatory Review. scope and application. For any person to steal. or offer to pay. or post the same in websites without the prior approval of the Commission. 22. accredited citizens’ arms and non-government organizations to assist. by word or deed. or to conspire with another person for the purpose of encouraging the giving of false information in order to establish the eligibility or ineligibility of any individual to register or vote under this Act. and seven (7) other Members of the House of Representatives designated by the Speaker of the House of Representatives: Provided. Immigrants and permanent residents who do not resume residence in the Philippines as stipulated in their affidavit under Section 5(d) within three (3) years after approval of his/her registration under this Act and yet vote in the next elections contrary to the said section. No government agency or accredited private organizations shall prepare. composed of the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Constitutional Amendments. The provision of existing laws to the contrary notwithstanding. promotion. document or paper as required for purposes of this Act. directly or indirectly through qualified organizations/associations. Sec. shall be penalized by imprisonment of not less than one (1) year. No officer or member of the foreign service corps. For any public officer or employee who shall cause the preparation. Philippine Overseas Employment Administration. 2004 elections for the purpose of amending it to expand or restrict its coverage. consulates and other foreign service establishment concerned. Sec. Nothing in this Act shall be deemed to prohibit free discussion regarding politics or candidates for public office. administration and implementation of this Act. it shall be unlawful: 24. 23. after being deputized by the Commission to undertake activities in connection with the implementation of this Act. 28. For any person who. in any manner and at any stage of the Philippine political process abroad. 24. Department of Labor and Employment. taking into account the experience of the previous election. peaceful and free elections abroad. or to accept payment either for application to vote in absentia or for voting. the offender shall be sentenced to suffer perpetual disqualification to hold public office and deprivation of the right to vote.1. shall campaign for or assist. Enforcement and Administration by the Commission. for the purpose of ensuring honest.2. extended. Information materials shall be developed by the Commission for distribution. recall of any member of the foreign service corps. revise. print. The Joint Congressional Oversight Committee shall have the power to monitor and evaluate the implementation of this Act. accredited major political parties. as amended. distribution of information material. of the seven (7) members to be designated by each House of Congress. . The penalties imposed under Section 264 of the Omnibus Election Code. assist the Commission in carrying out the provisions of this Act. In addition. His/her passport shall be stamped "not allowed to vote". the Commission shall ensure that the secrecy and integrity of the ballots are preserved. That. 24.7. 24.3. Sec. Sec. the penalty shall be prision mayor in its maximum period. and seven (7) other Senators designated by the Senate President. For any person who is not a citizen of the Philippines to participate. In the interest of transparency. Security Measures to Safeguard the Secrecy and Sanctity of Ballots. including the destruction. the Commission may send supervisory teams headed by career officers to assist the embassies. extension. or otherwise cause the movement of any such member from his current post or position one (1) year before and three (3) months after the day of elections. – Subject to the pertinent provisions of this Act. 24. candidates in the elections. – All government officers.
of all human rights and fundamental freedoms. campaign. It exclusively caters to first time person with disability and senior citizen registrants residing outside the area of jurisdiction of the regular Election Officer conducting the satellite registration. reactivation of registration records. of persons with disabilities and senior citizens. or (3) whose conviction of a crime involving disloyalty to the duly constituted government or any crime against national security is on appeal. (c) Senior Citizens refer to qualified voters who are sixty (60) years or older. – The Commission shall keep an updated record of persons with disabilities and senior citizens who are registered as voters. Appropriations. Section 4. to assist it in determining policy directions for more inclusive and accessible electoral processes. Section Definition of Terms. change or correction of entries and validation of registration from all registrants or voters residing within the Election Officer’s territorial jurisdiction. accredited citizens’ arms. Detainees who shall be eighteen (18) years of age on the day of the election and/or committed inside the detention center for at least six (6) months immediately preceding election day may register as a voter. and (c) Guaranteeing the free expression. executive orders. the expenses for its continued implementation shall be included in the subsequent General Appropriations Act. The record shall be made accessible to concerned government offices. Sec. 10366 AN ACT AUTHORIZING THE COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS TO ESTABLISH PRECINCTS ASSIGNED TO ACCESSIBLE POLLING PLACES EXCLUSIVELY FOR PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES AND SENIOR CITIZENS Section 1. and parts thereof. Repealing Clause. – This Act shall take effect fifteen (15) days following its publication in three (3) newspapers of general circulation. (i) Special registration refers to registration conducted in established satellite offices by a special registration team designated by the Commission.Sec. On election day. Special polling places shall be established in detention centers/jail facility with at least 50 registered detainee voters which shall be manned by the Special Board of Election Inspectors (SBEI). other provisions hereof which are not affected thereby shall continue to be in full force and effect. Sec. facilitating the use of assistive and new technologies where appropriate. voter education and casting of vote. Section 2. Section 3. (g) Universal design means the design of products. mental. (j) Accessible polling place refers to the venue where the Board of Election Inspectors (BEIs) conducts election-related proceedings and where the voters cast their votes. Reasonable measures shall be undertaken to secure the safety of detainee voters. candidates shall also be allowed to campaign inside the detention centers subject to the existing rules and regulations of the BJMP and the COMELEC. other issuances. and is free of any physical barriers and provided with necessary services. in line with the concept of universal design. to the greatest extent possible. including assistive devices. It accepts application for registration. Detainees who are already registered may apply for transfer of registration record. During the campaign period. (e) Assistance refers to any support or aid that may be extended to persons with disabilities and senior citizens for them to meaningfully and effectively participate in the electoral processes. which are inconsistent with the provisions of this Act. accessible. – All laws. intellectual or sensory impairments which in interaction with various barriers may hinder their full and effective participation in the electoral processes on an equal basis with others. enjoyment. the term: (a) Commission refers to the Commission on Elections. Towards this end. (b) Persons with Disabilities refer to qualified voters who have longterm physical. Effectivity. Sec. VOTING REGISTRATION OF DETAINEES COMELEC RESOLUTION NO. the detainee voter may avail of escorted detainee voting provided that they are able to obtain court orders allowing them to vote in the polling place where they are registered and that it is logically feasible on the part of the jail/prison administration to escort the detainee voter. Separability Clause. in the exercise of the right of suffrage. Section 5. or exercise. (f) Discrimination on the basis of disability means any distinction. or (2) serving a sentence of imprisonment for less than one (1) year. presidential decrees. (d) Electoral Processes refer to election-related activities and proceedings including registration. facilities and materials are appropriate. by: (a) Ensuring that voting procedures. They can vote either through special polling place inside the jails or through escorted voting. transfer or transfer with reactivation. subject to specific . Section Duty of the Commission to Render Assistance to Persons with Disabilities and Senior Citizens. including denial of reasonable accommodation. Section Right to Participation in Electoral Processes. (h) Satellite registration refers to registration conducted by an Election Officer in established satellite offices located in a public place within his or her area of jurisdiction. 32. 31. civil society monitoring groups and other organizations which promote the rights of the persons with disabilities and senior citizens. VOTING REGISTRATION OF PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES (PWDs) REPUBLIC ACT NO. formally charged for any crime/s and awaiting/undergoing trial. Section Record of Persons with Disabilities and Senior Citizens. to be usable by all people. If there are no special polling place established in the detention center/jail or if the detainee voter is a registered voter of municipality/city other than the town/city of detention. prevent their escape and ensure public safety. rules and regulations. (b) Protecting the right of persons with disabilities and senior citizens to vote by secret ballot in elections without intimidation. candidacy. are hereby repealed or modified accordingly. environments. without the need for adaptation or specialized design but shall not exclude assistive devices for particular groups of persons with disabilities where this is needed. preferably near the entrance of the building. and easy to understand and use. on an equal basis with others. – It shall be the duty of the Commission to render appropriate assistance to persons with disabilities and senior citizens in coordination with government agencies and civil society organizations. the State shall design systems and procedures that will enable persons with disabilities and senior citizens to register and vote by themselves. allowing assistance in voting by a person of their own choice. detainees who can vote are those who are registered and whose registration record is not transferred/deactivated/cancelled or deleted. Section Declaration of Policy. – The amount necessary to carry out the provisions of this Act shall be provided in a supplemental budget or included in the General Appropriations Act of the year of its enactment into law. – The State shall guarantee the political rights of persons with disabilities and senior citizens. 29. which indicates the types of disability and the assistance they need. programs and services. 9371 Detainees refers to persons who are (1) confined in jail. exclusion or restriction on the basis of disability which has the effect of impairing or nullifying the recognition. – The State shall ensure that persons with disabilities and senior citizens are able to exercise their right to political participation without discrimination or restrictions. The accessible polling place shall he located at the ground floor. Thereafter. – If any part or provision of this Act shall be declared unconstitutional or invalid. 30. – As used in this Act.
and to indicate the type of disability as well as the form of assistance they need during election day. WHEREAS. by any person of his or her confidence who belongs to the same household. The Commission may design registration forms specifically for persons with disabilities and senior citizens. Section Effectivity Clause. beliefs. – All laws. Any violation of this provision shall constitute an election offense punishable under Section 262 of the Omnibus Election Code. no assistor can assist for more than three (3) times. consistent with its commitment in the 1987 Constitution. during the periods to file applications for registration. Section Registration and Updating of Records. and implement sensitivity trainings to persons performing electoral duties. Section Implementing Rules and Regulations. presidential decrees. rules and regulations or parts thereof which are inconsistent with the provisions of this Act are hereby repealed. or if he or she has none present. interests and institutions. the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and other international human rights instruments to which it is a Party. VOTING REGISTRATION OF INDIGENOUS PEOPLE (IPs) COMELEC RESOLUTION NO. or if he or she has none. – This Act shall take effect on July 1. WHEREAS. Section Creation of Precincts for Persons with Disabilities and Senior Citizens. in coordination with the National Council on Disability Affairs (NCDA). shall organize. the State. – Within sixty (60) days from the effectivity of this Act. and other cause-oriented groups. Section Repealing Clause. or by any member of the BEls.guidelines the Commission may promulgate to protect the privacy of the individuals concerned. the Indigenous People's Rights Act (IPRA) of 1997. Section Satellite and Special Registration. to update their registration records. For this purpose. upon the request of civil society organizations (CSOs). WHEREAS. – A person with disability or senior citizen who cannot by himself or herself accomplish an application for registration. 2013. including the Commission field officers. the Universal Declaration of Human Rights . values. Section Appropriations. Persons with disabilities and senior citizens who have previously registered but have not indicated the type of disability. the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) convened the Inter-Agency. – In designing the forms. Section 13. exclusively for persons with disabilities and senior citizens who in their registration records manifest their intent to avail of their right to a separate precinct under this section. the current year’s appropriations or from any available savings of the Commission. Section Ballot Design. Section 8. traditions. the person who usually assists the person with disability or senior citizen. in coordination with national government agencies and local government units. Article II. and provide for procedures to be followed by those who need to update their registration records. the Commission must ensure that persons with disabilities and senior citizens applying for registration. for every voting center. amended or modified accordingly. That the assistor must be of voting age. Section Information Materials. Such precincts shall be provided with assistive devices as well as the services of experts in assisting persons with disabilities. – The Commission shall ensure that information materials relating to the electoral processes are appropriate and accessible to persons with disabilities and senior citizens. Section 7. resolutions. – A person with disability or senior citizen who is illiterate or physically unable to prepare the ballot by himself or herself may be assisted in the preparation of his or her ballot by a relative by consanguinity or affinity within the fourth civil degree. and person with disability and senior citizen organizations. as well as the form(s) of assistance needed. such amount as may be necessary for the continued implementation of this Act shall he included in the annual General Appropriations Act. Section Sensitivity Training Program. protections and privileges enjoyed by the rest of the citizens. – The Commission. – The Commission is hereby authorized to establish precincts of a nonterritorial nature. members of the BEIs. the Commission shall ensure reasonable accommodation to persons with disabilities and senior citizens to enable them to accomplish the ballots by themselves. the Commission on Human Rights of the Philippines (CHRP) has identified the IPs/ICCs as one of the sectors most vulnerable to disenfranchisement. including the right of suffrage. Section 18. Section 11. the Commission on Human Rights (CHR). further. the validity or constitutionality of the other provisions shall not be affected thereby. shall be assisted by the Election Officer in the preparation of his or her application form. 9427 RULES AND REGULATIONS FOR THE REGISTRATION OF MEMBERS OF INDIGENOUS CULTURAL COMMUNITIES (ICCs)/ INDIGENOUS PEOPLES (IPs) WHEREAS. shall be allowed. the Commission shall establish at least one (1) such precinct. or correction of entry indicate the type(s) of disability. Section 1 of the 1987 Constitution provides that Suffrage may be exercised by all citizens of the Philippines not otherwise disqualified by law. after its publication in two (2) newspapers of general circulation. Thereafter. design. with due recognition of their distinct characteristics and identity. Section Assistance in the Accomplishment of Application Form. The assistor shall hind himself or herself in a formal document under oath to fill out the ballot strictly in accordance with the instructions of the voter and not to reveal the contents of the ballot prepared by him or her. shall conduct satellite and/or special registration for persons with disabilities and senior citizens in accessible places. Section 12. or by any member of an accredited citizens’ arm. – In designing the ballot. Section 17. – The initial funding of this Act shall be charged against. Section 6. accord to the members of the Indigenous Peoples (IPs)/Indigenous Cultural Communities (ICCs) the rights. reactivation. Article V. Section 22 of the 1987 Constitution provides that the State recognizes and promotes the rights of indigenous cultural communities within the framework of national unity and development. and shall prepare the ballot for the voter inside the voting booth. Section Separability Clause. by reason of illiteracy or physical disability. WHEREAS. Nevertheless. No literacy. the State recognizes and respects the indigenous political structures and commits itself to enforce and guarantee the realization of the fundamental rights and freedoms of the IPs/ICCs. the Commission shall promulgate the implementing rules and regulations. That no voter shall be allowed to have an assistor on the basis of illiteracy or physical disability unless it is so indicated in his or her registration record. taking into consideration their customs. Section 16. and accredited citizens’ arms to familiarize them with the needs of the persons with disabilities and senior citizens. Pursuant hereto. by any person of his or her confidence who belongs to the same household. – Should any provision of this Act he declared invalid or unconstitutional. or issue supplemental forms for the said purpose. NGO and PO Network on Empowering the Indigenous Peoples (IPs) in the Electoral Processes on 11 January 2012 to help . and who shall have resided in the Philippines for at least one year and in the place wherein they propose to vote for at least six months immediately preceding the election. – The Commission. executive orders. transfer. Section 14. Except for the members of the BEIs. such as a personal assistant. a caregiver or a nurse shall be considered a member of his or her household: Provided. assigned to accessible polling places. obvious. even if not stated or indicated in the registration record: Provided. person with disability and senior citizen organizations. Section Assistance in the Accomplishment of the Ballot. who are at least eighteen years of age. Section 9. or visible. Section 10. or by a relative by consanguinity or affinity within the fourth civil degree. property or other substantive requirement shall be imposed on the exercise of suffrage. if the physical inability to prepare the ballot is manifest. Section 15. or who may have developed or manifested such disability after having been registered. WHEREAS. said voter shall be allowed to be assisted in accomplishing the ballot by a qualified assistor.
or a relative within the fourth civil degree of consanguinity or affinity. Definition of Indigenous Cultural Communities (ICCs) or Indigenous Peoples (IPs). provides the basic procedures for the system of continuing registration for Non-ARMM areas and fixes the date of application for registration from 3 May 2011 to 31 October 2012. reactivation. or by any person of his confidence who belongs to the same household. The registrant belonging to the IP community shall fill-up the pertinent Supplementary Data in Annex of the Registration Form.The Information and Technology Department (ITD) shall endeavor to update the existing software application to ensure that data on IPs can be recorded. the applicant has no valid identification card as enumerated in Section 3. and shall provide for sensitization trainings to familiarize them with the application form and help prepare them for assistorial duties. The Commission shall identify and tap the accredited Citizen's arm groups to implement the provisions of these Guidelines. state his name and exact address. ― An applicant for registration who is a member of an ICC or IP.. with the signature of the employer or authorized representative. 9149. transfer. he may be identified under oath before the EO using the Affidavit of Identification by any registered voter of the precinct or any of his relatives within the fourth civil degree of consanguinity or affinity. who have continuously lived as organized community on communally bounded and defined territory. the Commission on Elections has RESOLVED. and in public places where satellite registrations are held. Coverage. The ITD shall immediately consolidate the data on the national level and submit the same to the Election Records and Statistics Division (ERSD). including the registration process. name of the street. became historically differentiated from the majority of Filipinos. traditions and other distinctive cultural traits. specifying the house number. Section 12. Section 11. NBI/PNP clearance. Proof of identity other than by identification card. plans and programs to recognize. Section 6. These Guidelines shall govern the applications for registration. sharing common bonds of language. Community Tax Certificates (cedula) or certifications/ identification cards issued by barangay officials are not honored as valid identification documents. If the applicant is also a PWD. The form shall. Updating of Records of IPs. as amended by Resolution No. The ITD shall coordinate with the EOs concerning the proper encoding of the data. The assistor shall accomplish three (3) copies of the Certification/Attestation (Annex of COMELEC Resolution No.the Commission formulate policies to afford IPs' greater access to the electoral processes. who cannot by himself accomplish an application for registration. Section 3. nonindigenous religions and cultures. purok or sitio. Generation of Data. Section 9. the Omnibus Election Code.If. district.If the registrant has no valid identification card. 3. Certificate of Confirmation issued by the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP).. The Education and Information Department shall cause the publication of this Resolution in two (2) daily newspapers of general circulation. such fact shall likewise be indicated in the Supplementary Data for PWDs in Annex of the Registration Form as provided in COMELEC Resolution No.. Section 8. The statistics generated shall be made accessible to concerned government offices. SSS/GSIS ID. signed by the school authority. 10. NOW. by virtue of the powers vested in it by the Constitution. as a means of empowering the IPs. 9.Members of the indigenous communities who have previously registered but have not indicated the name of the IP community to which he belongs shall be allowed to update his registration records. Information. Procedures if registrant has no identification document or is not properly identified.The EO shall generate data on registered IPs for the sole purpose of determining policy directions for more inclusive and accessible electoral processes for the sector. give the same the widest dissemination possible and furnish copies thereof to the Regional Directors. ICCs/IPs shall likewise include peoples who are regarded as indigenous on account of their descent from the populations which inhabited the country. area. 9220. Update on the Software. The applicant shall present any of the following identification documents that bears his photograph and signature: Current employee's identification card (ID). subject to specific guidelines to protect the privacy of the individuals concerned. Effectivity.. as much as practicable. Provincial Election Supervisors and EOs. Senior Citizen's ID. occupied. cultural and political institutions. at the time of conquest or colonization. Any other valid ID. 6.. Section 1. 9149) and in no case assist more than three (3) times. Assistance in the accomplishment of application form. 8. and who have. Republic Act No. This Resolution shall take effect immediately after its publication in two (2) daily newspapers of general circulation in the Philippines. Student's ID or library card. or is not identified pursuant to Section 4 hereof. possessed and utilized such territories. shall be assisted by the EO in the preparation of his application form. and to indicate his tribe or community using the Supplementary Data Form for IPs found in Annex of the Registration Form. Section 4.. except the EO. Section 13. . Passport. economic. 7. Section 5. 5. the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP). correction/change of entries and validation of registration records of all qualified voters. WHEREAS. 12. generated and analyzed. or who have. who are members of Indigenous Cultural Communities (ICCs) or Indigenous Peoples (IPs) as defined in Section 2 hereof. committed to support COMELEC's initiative to increase the accessibility of the electoral processes. Dissemination. or the establishment of present state boundaries. Proof of Identity. The applicant shall personally appear before the Election Officer (EO). Indigenous Cultural Communities (ICCs) or Indigenous Peoples (IPs) shall refer to a group of people or homogenous societies identified by self-ascription and ascription by others. Section 2. If the registrant is a person with disability (PWD) at the same time. he shall likewise fillup the Supplementary Data Form for PWDs found in the Annex of the Registration Form. or at the time of inroads of non-indigenous religions and cultures. be translated into the local languages and/or dialects commonly used in the area. or by any member of an accredited Citizen's arm. License issued by the Professional Regulatory Commission (PRC) . he will not be issued application form or his pre-accomplished application form shall not be acepted. customs. 1. All assistors must be of voting age. at the time of registration. to promulgate the following guidelines in the registration of qualified registrants who are members of the Indigenous Cultural Communities (ICCs) or Indigenous Peoples (IPs). under claims of ownership since time immemorial. 4. No registered voter or relative shall be allowed to identify applicants more than three (3) times. The ERSD shall generate statistics on the demographics and other pertinent information involving the IPs throughout the country. Section 7. Postal ID. 9168. and 11. transfer with reactivation. as it hereby RESOLVES. Resolution No. who retain some or all of their own social. and barangay where he resides. protect and promote the rights of ICCs/IPs. The said data shall be submitted to the ITD every three months from the start of the registration period. or a brief description of his residence. Driver's license. WHEREAS. but who may have been displaced from their traditional domains or who may have resettled outside their ancestral domains.All EOs are enjoined to post notice in their offices. Integrated Bar of the Philippine (IBP) ID. Section 10. 2. Filling-up the Registration Forms. THEREFORE. 8189 and other related election laws. as the primary government agency responsible for the formulation and implementation of policies. Procedure for Registration. through resistance to political. accredited citizen's arms and other organizations that promote the rights of the IPs. instructing IPs to fill-up the Supplementary Data Form for IPs and the manner of filling-up the same. social and cultural inroads of colonization.
since the thirteenth day of August. pursuant to the powers vested in it by the Constitution. No evidence was presented to show that prior to June 5. The judgment of conviction was based on section 2642. after failing to make sworn statement to the satisfaction of the board of inspectors at any of its two meetings for registration and revision. Republic Act No. . 5. and other pertinent election laws. It is likewise undisputed that at the general elections held on June 5. 2013 National and Local Elections. or municipal publications or broadcast entities. is beyond question. has been sentenced by final judgment to suffer not less than eighteen months of imprisonment. f.the following terms are hereby defined as follows: Media . 3.refers to those who are engaged in news reporting on a nationwide or local scale. And section 2642 provides: “Whoever at any election votes or attempts to vote knowing that he is not entitled so to do. to promulgate the following rules and regulations on local absentee voting: SECTION 1. ISSUE: WON CORALL IS DISQUALIFIED TO VOTE. Executive Order No. Positions to be voted for. VOTING REGISTRATION OF MEDIA PEOPLE RULES AND REGULATIONS ON LOCAL ABSENTEE VOTING IN CONNECTION WITH THE MAY 13.M. as well as the Comelec En Banc Resolution in E. RULING: Appellant Corral is disqualified to vote because of section 432 of the Revised Administrative Code which disqualified from voting any person who. 2. Suffrage is a privilege granted by the State to such persons or classes as are most likely to exercise it for the public good. RESOLVED. 2013 Synchronized National. NGO and PO Network on Empowering the IPs in the Electoral Processes. Print Journalists. Implementation. Local and ARMM Regional Elections. g. Said Section 432 reads as follows: “The following persons shall be disqualified from voting: (a) Any person who. The presumption is that one rendered infamous by conviction of felony. SEC. Radio Journalists. 6646.For the May 13. city. Who are entitled to avail of local absentee voting. such disability not having been removed by plenary pardon. b. CORRAL FACTS: Appellant Corral was charged having voted illegally at the general elections held on June 5. and in all cases by deprivation of the right of suffrage and disqualification from public office for a period of not more than four years. such disability not having been removed by plenary pardon.‖ . As above stated. and had not been granted a plenary pardon. (b) Any person who has violated an oath of allegiance taken by him to the United States. The modern conception of the suffrage is that voting is a function of government. government officials and employees. the appellant had been sentenced by final judgment to suffer eight years and one day of presidio mayor. c. . irrespective of whether such incapacity be real or feigned. and b) on election day. For subsequent elections. The pilot areas shall be chosen in coordination and consultation with the NCIP and the Inter-Agency.Local absentee voting may be availed of by the following: 1. 157. since the 13th day of August. they will not be able to vote due to the performance of their functions in covering and reporting the conduct of elections. ― The Office of the Executive Director is directed to cause the effective implementation of this Resolution. the positions with national constituencies shall be voted for under the local absentee voting. ―The manifest purpose of such restrictions upon this right is to preserve the purity of elections. 12-042 promulgated on October 9. in connection with section 432. or those engaged in other forms of journalism and the like. but not limited to the following: a. Province of Davao. For the May 13. Television Journalists. Definition of terms. (d) Deaf-mutes who cannot read and write.1 to suffer eight years and one day of presidio mayor. the Omnibus Election Code. members of the AFP. The right of the State to deprive persons to the right of suffrage by reason of their having been convicted of crime. d. including. COMELEC shall pilot this policy/resolution in at least sixteen (16) pilot areas with at least one (1) pilot area in every Region where there are IPs. 1910. the voted in election precinct No. 2013 SYNCHRONIZED NATIONAL. had been sentenced by final judgment to offer not less than eighteen months of imprisonment. (c) Insane of feeble-minded persons. as it hereby RESOLVES. provincial. present themselves at the hour of voting as incapacitated. SEC. he was convicted on the ground that he had voted while laboring under a legal disqualification. Online Journalists. 1934. No. LOCAL. member of the media. regional. Provided that a) they are duly registered voters. only the positions of Senators and Party-List Representative shall be voted for under the local absentee voting. … shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than one month nor more than one year and by a fine of not less than one hundred pesos nor more than one thousand pesos. 7166. in any manner or form. 1934. Case: PEOPLE V. . 2012. e. 2. media practitioners including their technical and supports staff who are actively engaged in the pursuit of information gathering and reporting or distribution. Television/Radio Production. or other base offense indicative of moral turpitude. and 4. in case of media voters. he had been granted a plenary pardon. AND ARMM REGIONAL ELECTIONS. 1934. members of the PNP. that they are incapacitated for preparing their ballots due to permanent physical disability. After due trial. eighteen hundred and ninety-eight. 1898. is unfit to exercise the privilege of suffrage or to hold office. Photo Journalists. including correspondents of national. of the Revised Administrative Code. The right to vote is not a natural right but is a right created by law. Documentary makers. AND SUBSEQUENT NATIONAL AND LOCAL ELECTIONS THEREAFTER The Commission on Elections. 18 of the municipality of Davao. (e) Electors registered under subsection (c) of the next proceeding section who. granting the Petition To Allow Early Voting For Members of the Mass Media in the May 2013 Elections. Republic Act No.” Corral was sentenced by final judgment of this court promulgated on March 3.Section 14.
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