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ABAYON VS COMELEC

Abayon filed 5 pre-proclamation protests before the Provincial Board


of Canvassers contesting the election and proclamation of Daza as
Governor of Northern Samar. Of the 5 petitions 3 were denied.
COMELEC first division dismissed his election protests for being filed
out of time under Sec. 250 of the Omnibus Election Code that provides
that election protests should be filed 10 days from the date of
proclamation of the results of the election. Daza in this case was
proclaimed on May 20, 2007. Abayon had only until May 30 to file but
he ended up doing so on June 29 (40 days after).
COMELEC referred to the case of Villamor when it declared that in
order for a petition of annulment to be suspended it should be based on
a valid pre-proclamation issue. Therefore, it once again dismissed its
petition.
Issue:
Whether or not the filing the petitions filed by Abayon are considered
pre-proclamation issues and will therefore suspend the 10 day period
Held:

No. Supreme Court ruled that said 10 day period may be suspended as
provided for in Sec. 243 being (a) Illegal composition or proceedings
of the board of canvassers;(b) The canvassed election returns are
incomplete, contain material defects, appear to be tampered with or
falsified, or contain discrepancies in the same returns or in other
authentic copies thereof as mentioned in Sections 233, 234, 235 and
236 of this Code;(c) The election returns were prepared under duress,
threats, coercion, or intimidation, or they are obviously manufactured
or not authentic; and(d) When substitute or fraudulent returns in
controverted polling places were canvassed, the results of which
materially affected the standing of the aggrieved candidate or
candidates. Going back to Abayons petition, it dwells on declaration
of failure of elections, exclusion for canvass, and a petition to annul
proclamation which he asserts as pre-proclamation issues.
The Supreme Court reasoned that the enumeration in Sec. 243 is
restrictive and exclusive. That in absence of any clear proof that
election returns canvassed are incomplete, have material defects,
tampered and falsified, and contain discrepancies, petition cannot be
properly considered as a pre-proclamation issue.