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Lanot v.

COMELEC
G.R. No. 164858, November 16, 2006
FACTS: Petitioners filed a petition for disqualification under Sections 68 and 80 of the Omnibus Election
Code against Eusebio before the COMELEC stating that the latter engaged in an election campaign in
various forms on various occasions outside of the designated campaign period, such as (1) addressing a
large group of people during a medical mission sponsored by the Pasig City government; (2) uttering
defamatory statements against Lanot; (3) causing the publication of a press release predicting his victory;
(4) installing billboards, streamers, posters, and stickers printed with his surname across Pasig City; and
(5) distributing shoes to schoolchildren in Pasig public schools to induce their parents to vote for him.
Eusebio won the election and any other complaints was dismissed by the COMELEC.
ISSUE: Whether or not there is a pre-campaign offense committed by Eusebio.
RULING: There is no dispute that Eusebios acts of election campaigning or partisan political activities
were committed outside of the campaign period. The only question is whether Eusebio, who filed his
certificate of candidacy on 29 December 2003, was a "candidate" when he committed those acts before
the start of the campaign period on 24 March 2004. Under Section 11 of RA 8436, Eusebio became a
"candidate," for purposes of Section 80 of the Omnibus Election Code, only on 23 March 2004, the last
day for filing certificates of candidacy. Applying the facts - as found by Director Ladra and affirmed by the
COMELEC First Division - to Section 11 of RA 8436, Eusebio clearly did not violate Section 80 of the
Omnibus Election Code which requires the existence of a "candidate," one who has filed his certificate of
candidacy, during the commission of the questioned acts.