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1. Soller v.

COMELEC
G.R. NO. 139853

FACTS

Petitioner and private respondent (Saulong) were both candidates for


mayor of the municipality of Bansud, Oriental Mindoro in the May 11,
1998 elections. The petitioner was proclaimed as mayor by the
municipal board of canvassers. Private respondent filed a petition with
the COMELEC to annul the proclamation. Later, private respondent
filed an election protest against petitioner with the RTC. The COMELEC
dismissed the pre-proclamation case filed by private respondent, while
the RTC denied petitioner’s motion to dismiss. Petitioner moved for
reconsideration but said motion was denied.
Petitioner then filed with the COMELEC a petition for certiorari
contending that respondent RTC acted without or in excess of
jurisdiction or with grave abuse of discretion in not dismissing private
respondent’s election protest. The COMELEC en banc dismissed
petitioner’s suit. Petitioner now questions this decision of the COMELEC
en banc.

ISSUE:

Whether or not the COMELEC has the authority to decide on the case.

HELD

The SC has ruled in previous cases that the COMELEC, sitting en banc,
does not have the requisite authority to hear and decide election cases
including pre-proclamation controversies in the first instance. This
power pertains to the divisions of the Commission. Any decision by the
Commission en banc as regards election cases decided by it in the first
instance is null and void. In the SC’s view, the authority to resolve
petition for certiorari involving incidental issues of election protest, like
the questioned order of the trial court, falls within the division of the
COMELEC and not on the COMELEC en banc.
2. AQUINO vs. COMELEC
(248 SCRA 400)
FACTS

On 20 March 1995, Agapito A. Aquino filed his Certificate of Candidacy


for the position of Representative for the new Second Legislative
District of Makati City. In his certificate of candidacy, Aquino stated
that he was a resident of the aforementioned district for 10 months.
Faced with a petition for disqualification, he amended the entry on his
residency in his certificate of candidacy to 1 year and 13 days. The
Commission on Elections dismissed the petition on 6 May and allowed
Aquino to run in the election of 8 May. Aquino won. Acting on a motion
for reconsideration of the above dismissal, the Commission on Election
later issued an order suspending the proclamation of Aquino until the
Commission resolved the issue. On 2 June, the Commission on
Elections found Aquino ineligible and disqualified for the elective office
for lack of constitutional qualification of residence.

ISSUE

Whether “residency” in the certificate of candidacy actually connotes


“domicile” to warrant the
disqualification of Aquino from the position in the electoral district.

HELD

The place “where a party actually or constructively has his permanent


home,” where he, no matter where he may be found at any given time,
eventually intends to return and remain, i.e., his domicile, is that to
which the Constitution refers when it speaks of residence for the
purposes of election law. The purpose is to exclude strangers or
newcomers unfamiliar with the conditions and needs of the community
from taking advantage of favorable circumstances existing in that
community for electoral gain. Aquino’s certificate of candidacy in a
previous (1992) election indicates that he was a resident and a
registered voter of San Jose, Concepcion, Tarlac for more than 52 years
prior to that election. Aquino’s connection to the Second District of
Makati City is an alleged lease agreement of a condominium unit in the
area. The intention not to establish a permanent home in Makati City is
evident in his leasing a condominium unit instead of buying one. The
short length of time he claims to be a resident of Makati (and the fact
of his stated domicile in Tarlac and his claims of other residences in
Metro Manila) indicate that his sole purpose in transferring his physical
residence is not to acquire a new, residence or domicile but only to
qualify as a candidate for Representative of the Second District of
Makati City. Aquino was thus rightfully disqualified by the Commission
on Elections.
3. TONY L. BENWAREN vs COMMISSION ON
ELECTIONS and EDWIN CRISOLOGO

G.R. No. 169393

Facts

Petitioner Tony L. Benwaren and private respondent Edwin Crisologo


were candidates for the position of Municipal Mayor of the Municipality
of Tineg, Abra in the May 2004 elections.

During the canvass of the election return of Precinct No. 16A, counsel
for petitioner objected to the inclusion of the election return on the
ground that the same was allegedly prepared under duress, force or
intimidation, or was prepared by persons other than the Board of
Election Inspectors (BEI) concerned.

The MBC deferred the proclamation of the winning candidate for the
position of Municipal Mayor because it contended that the contested
election return from Precinct No. 16A would affect the result of the
election for the position. To speedily settle and put an end to the
controversy reconstitution of the MBC with new members, to, among
others, determine if the identity and integrity of the said ballot box and
the ballots contained therein were not violated; and, proceed to
recount the votes of the candidates affected and prepare a new
election return for the said precinct; and then canvass the said return
and proclaim the winning candidate/s; or

During the examination of the election return, the MBC found that the
integrity of the ballot box was violated as it was left unattended and
was never delivered to its proper custodian. The ballots were not also
placed in properly sealed or placed in enveloped prepared by Comelec.

The New MBC proclaimed private respondent Crisologo as the duly


elected mayor of Tineg, Abra based on the results of the remaining
uncontested election returns.

Due to the unfavorable result, Benwaren filed a Petition to Annul


Proclamation or to Suspend the Effects Thereof and Petition to Declare
Illegal [the] Proceedings of the New Board of Canvassers of Tineg,
Abra.

In a Resolution dated February 18, 2005, the COMELEC First Division


dismissed the petition for lack of merit, declaring the New MBC was
specifically mandated by it to determine whether the identity and
integrity of the ballot box for Precinct No. 16A and its ballots were
violated. Thus, it held that the matter was left to the sound discretion
of the members of the New MBC, which complied with its order. It
added that the New MBC is presumed to have regularly performed its
official duty absent a strong proof to the contrary by petitioner.

Petitioner filed a a petition for certiorari before the Supreme Court.

Issues:

1. Whether or not COMELEC gravely abused its discretion amounting


to lack or excess of jurisdiction when it affirmed the ruling of the New
MBC that the integrity of the ballot box for Precinct No. 16A, Barangay
Lanec, Tineg, Abra, and its contents had been violated.
2. Whether or not COMELEC gravely abused its discretion amounting
to lack or excess of jurisdiction when it illegally proclaimed private
respondent Crisologo based on incomplete canvass of votes.

3. Whether or not COMELEC en banc Resolution dated August 31,


2005 was illegally promulgated since former Commissioners Virgilio O.
Garcillano and Manuel A. Barcelona, Jr. were no longer members of the
COMELEC at the time of promulgation.

Ruling:

1. No, there was no abuse of discretion on the part of Comelec. The


COMELEC First Division specifically mandated the New MBC to
determine whether the identity and integrity of the ballot box of
Precinct No. 16A and its ballots were violated. After convening
for that purpose, the New MBC found that the integrity of the
ballot box of Precinct No. 16A and its contents was violated and
it issued a Ruling accordingly. The COMELEC upheld the factual
finding of the New MBC and declared that the New MBC is
presumed to have regularly performed its official duty absent any
proof to the contrary by petitioner. The factual findings of
administrative agencies which have acquired expertise in their
field are generally binding and conclusive on the courts in the
absence of grave abuse and none has been shown in this case.

2. No, there was no abuse of discretion on the part of Comelec. The


COMELEC ruled that based on Section 20 (i) of Republic Act No.
7166, earlier cited, the proclamation of private respondent
Crisologo was proper because the contested returns would not
adversely affect the results of the election. If the votes in Precinct
No. 8A as reflected on the contested return are added to their
votes in the uncontested precincts, the result would be 918 as
against 924, in favor of private respondent Crisologo who still
emerges the winner by a margin of six (6) votes.
3. No, there was no abuse of discretion on the part of Comelec. A
decision becomes binding only after it is validly promulgated.
Consequently, if at the time of the promulgation of a decision or
resolution, a member of the collegiate court who had earlier
signed or registered his vote has vacated his office, his vote is
automatically withdrawn or cancelled. However, the Resolution,
in this case, remains valid because it is still supported by a
majority of the COMELEC en banc.

4. Trinidad vs Commission on Elections and


Sunga

G.R. No. 135716

September 23, 1999


This is a petition for certiorari questioning the Resolution of the
Commission on Elections disqualifying petitioner as a mayoralty
candidate in the May 1995 elections. Likewise, it seeks the review of a
subsequent resolution annulling petitioner’s proclamation as elected
mayor in the May 1998 elections.

Facts:
Petitioner Trinidad won the May 1995 elections. Private respondent
Sunga filed a disqualification case against petitioner and asking the
COMELEC to proclaim him as the duly elected mayor. COMELEC
promulgated it decision on June 22, 1998, disqualifying Trinidad.
Petitioner filed a Motion For Reconsideration claiming that he was
deprived of due process. Petitioner was again proclaimed winner in the
May 1998 elections. On October 13, 1998 COMELEC denied petitioner’s
MR as well as annulling his proclamation as elected mayor.

Thus this petition for certiorari.

Issues:

1. WON petitioner was deprived of due process in the proceedings


before the COMELEC insofar as his disqualification under the May 8,
1995 and May 8, 1998 elections were concerned.

2. WON petitioner’s proclamation as Mayor under the May 11, 1998


elections may be cancelled on account of the disqualification case filed
against him during the May 8, 1995 elections.

3. WON private respondent, as the candidate receiving the second


highest number of votes, may be proclaimed as Mayor in the event of
petitioner’s disqualification.

HELD

1. NO. Petitioner was able to file an Answer with Counter Petition and
Motion to Dismiss. He was also able to submit his counter-affidavit and
sworn statements of forty-eight witnesses. He was also given a chance
to explain in his Motion for Reconsideration. He was afforded an
opportunity to be heard, through his pleadings, therefore, there is no
denial of procedural due process.

2. NO. Petitioner cannot be disqualified from his reelection term of


office. Removal cannot extend beyond the term during which the
alleged misconduct was committed. If a public official is not removed
before his term of office expires, he can no longer be removed if he is
thereafter reelected for another term.
3. NO. As earlier decided by the Supreme Court, the candidate who
obtains the second highest number of votes may not be proclaimed
winner in case the winning candidate is disqualified. That would be
disenfranchising the electorate without any fault on their part and to
undermine the importance and meaning of democracy and the
people’s right to elect officials of their choice.

5. Tolentino and Mojica vs Commission on


Elections, Recto and Honasan

G.R. No. 148334

January 21, 2004


This is a petition for prohibition to set aside Resolution No. NBC 01-005
dated 5 June 2001 (“Resolution No. 01-005”) and Resolution No. NBC
01-006 dated 20 July 2001 (“Resolution No. 01-006”) of respondent
Commission on Elections (“COMELEC”). Resolution No. 01-005
proclaimed the 13 candidates elected as Senators in the 14 May 2001
elections while Resolution No. 01-006 declared “official and final” the
ranking of the 13 Senators proclaimed in Resolution No. 01-005.

Facts:

Following the appointment of Senator Teofisto Guingona as Vice-


President of the Philippines, the Senate on February 8, 2001 passed
Resolution No. 84, calling on COMELEC to fill the vacancy through a
special election to be held simultaneously with the regular elections on
May 14, 2001. Twelve senators, with 6-year term each, were due to be
elected in that election. The resolution further provides that the
“Senatorial candidate garnering the 13th highest number of votes shall
serve only for the unexpired term of former Senator Teofisto Guingona,
Jr. which ends on June 30, 2004.

On June 5, 2001, after canvassing the election results, the COMELEC


proclaimed 13 candidates as the elected Senators, with the first 12
Senators to serve the unexpired term of 6 years and the 13th Senator
to serve the full term of 3 years of Senator Teofisto Guingona, Jr.
Gregorio Honasan ranked 13th.

Petitioners Arturo Tolentino and Arturo Mojica, as voters and


taxpayers, filed the instant petition for prohibition, praying for the
nullification of Resolution No. 01-005. They contend that COMELEC
issued Resolution 01-005 without jurisdiction because: (1) it failed to
notify the electorate of the position to be filled in the special election
as required under Section 2 of RA 6645; (2) it failed to require
senatorial candidates to indicate in their certificates of candidacy
whether they seek election under the special or regular elections as
allegedly required under Section 73 of BP 881; and, consequently, (3)
it failed to specify in the Voters Information Sheet the candidates
seeking election under the special or regular senatorial elections as
purportedly required under Section 4, paragraph 4 of RA 6646.
Tolentino and Mojica add that because of these omissions, COMELEC
canvassed all the votes cast for the senatorial candidates in the 14
May 2001 elections without distinction such that “there were no two
separate Senate elections held simultaneously but just a single
election for thirteen seats, irrespective of term.” Tolentino and Mojica
sought the issuance of a temporary restraining order during the
pendency of their petition. Without issuing any restraining order, the
Supreme Court required COMELEC to Comment on the petition.
Honasan questioned Tolentino’s and Mojica’s standing to bring the
instant petition as taxpayers and voters because they do not claim that
COMELEC illegally disbursed public funds; nor claim that they
sustained personal injury because of the issuance of Resolutions 01-
005 and 01-006.

Issue:

WON the Special Election held on May 14, 2001 should be nullified:

(1) for failure to give notice by the body empowered to and

(2) for not following the procedure of filling up the vacancy pursuant to
R.A. 6645.

HELD:

(1) Where the law does not fix the time and place for holding a special
election but empowers some authority to fix the time and place after
the happening of a condition precedent, the statutory provision on the
giving of notice is considered mandatory, and failure to do so will
render the election a nullity.

The test in determining the validity of a special election in relation to


the failure to give notice of the special election is whether want of
notice has resulted in misleading a sufficient number of voters as
would change the result of special election. If the lack of official notice
misled a substantial number of voters who wrongly believed that there
was no special election to fill vacancy, a choice by small percentage of
voters would be void.

(2) There is no basis in the petitioners’ claim that the manner by which
the COMELEC conducted the special Senatorial election on May 14,
2001 is a nullity because the COMELEC failed to document separately
the candidates and to canvass separately the votes cast for the special
election. No such requirement exists in our election laws. What is
mandatory under Section 2 of R.A. 6645 is that the COMELEC “fix the
date of election,” if necessary, and state among others, the office/s to
be voted for.

Significantly, the method adopted by the COMELEC in conducting the


special election on May 14, 2001 merely implemented the procedure
specified by the Senate in Resolution No. 84. Initially, the original draft
of said resolution as introduced by Senator Francisco Tatad made no
mention of the manner by which the seat vacated by former Senator
Guingona would be filled. However, upon the suggestion of Senator
Raul Roco, the Senate agreed to amend the resolution by providing as
it now appears, that “the senatorial cabdidate garnering the 13th
highest number of votes shall serve only for the unexpired term of
former Senator Teofisto Giongona, Jr.”

6. Taule vs Santos
August 12, 1991

G. R. No. 90336
This is a petition for certiorari seeking the reversal of the resolutions of
respondent Secretary dated August 4, 1989 and September 5, 1989 for
being null and void.

Facts:

An election for the officers of the Federation of Associations of


Barangay Council (FABC) was held on June 18, 1989 despite the
absence of other members of the said council. Including Petitioner was
elected as the president.

Respondent Verceles sent a letter of protest to respondent Santos,


seeking its nullification in view of several flagrant irregularities in the
manner it was conducted.

Petitioner denied the allegations of respondent Verceles and


denouncing respondent for intervening in the said election which is a
purely non-partisan affair. And requesting for his appointment as a
member of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of the province being the
duly elected President of the FABC in Catanduanes.

Respondent Santos issued a resolution on August 4, 1989 nullifying the


election and ordering a new one to be conducted as early as possible
to be presided by the Regional Director of Region V of the Department
of Local Government. Petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration but it
was denied by respondent Santos in his resolution on September 5,
1989.

Thus this petition before the Supreme Court.

Issues:

1. WON the respondent Santos has jurisdiction to entertain an


election protest involving the election of the officers of the FABC.

2. WON the respondent Verceles has the legal personality to file an


election protest.
Held:

1. No. The Secretary of Local Government has no jurisdiction to


entertain any protest involving the election of officers of the
FABC. He is only vested with the power to promulgate rules and
regulations and to exercise general supervision over the local
government as provided in the Local Government Code and in
the Administrative Code. It is the exclusive original jurisdiction of
the inferior to hear election protest and the COMELEC have the
appellate jurisdiction over it.

2. Yes. The Governor has the personality to file the protest. Under
Section 205 of the Local Government Code, the membership of
the sangguniang panlalawigan consists of the governor, the vice-
governor, elective members of the said sanggunian, etc. He acted
as the presiding officer of the sangguniang panlalawigan. As
presiding officer, he has an interest in the election of the officers
of the FABC since its elected president becomes a member of the
assembly. If said member assumes his place under questionable
circumstances, the sanggunian may be vulnerable to attacks as
to their validity or legality. Therefore, respondent governor is a
proper party to question the regularity of the elections of the
officers of the FABC.

The election of officers of the FABC held on June 18, 1989 is null and
void for not complying with the provisions of DLG Circular No. 89-09.

DLG Circular No. 89-09 provides that “the incumbent FABC President or
the Vice-President shall preside over the reorganizational meeting,
there being a quorum.” It is admitted that neither the incumbent FABC
President nor the Vice-President presided over the meeting and
elections but Alberto P. Molina, Jr., the Chairman of the Board of
Election Supervisors/Consultants. Therefore, there was a clear violation
of the said mandatory provision.
* Pending resolution, petitioner also filed a supplemental petition
alleging that public respondent Local Government Secretary, in his
memorandum dated June 7, 1990, designated Augusto Antonio,
despite him being absent on said election. The Secretary of Local
Government has no authority to appoint anyone who does not meet
the minimum qualification to be the president of the federation of
barangay councils.

7. Sinica vs Mula and Commission on Elections

In this case, assailed was the COMELEC Resolution on Oct. 6, 1998 in


SPA No. 98-292, declaring the substitution of mayoralty candidate
Teodoro Sinaca, Jr. by petitioner Emmanuel D. Sinaca as invalid.

Facts:

In the May 1998 elections, petitioner Emmanuel Sinica was a substitute


candidate for the mayoral post of the Matugas Wing after their original
candidate, Teodoro Sinica, Jr., was disqualified for being convicted of
bigamy. He was proclaimed winner after the canvassing.

(Matugas Wing was a faction in the LAKAS-NUCD-UMPD party, as well


as the Barbers Wing. Each faction has separate candidates for the
mayoral post in the Municipality of Malimono, Surigao del Norte.)

Respondent Mula (who got Sinica, Jr. disqualified) filed a


disqualification case against Emmanuel Sinica before the COMELEC. He
alleged that said substitution was invalid because:

a) Sinica was not member of the LAKAS party when he was


nominated as a substitute; and
b) it lacks approval of Sen. Barbers as a joint signatory of the
substitution.

The COMELEC Second Division dismissed the disqualification case.


However, when respondent Mula filed a Motion for Reconsideration,
COMELEC en banc set aside the resolution of the Second Division and
disqualified EMMANUEL asserting that the substitution violated the
provisions of Sec. 77 of the Omnibus Election Code that the substitute
must belong to the same political party as the substituted candidate.
Emmanuel D. Sinaca was not valid because he was an independent
candidate for councilor prior to his nomination as substitute candidate
in place of the withdrawing candidate who was a Lakas party member.

Therefore, this case before the Supreme Court.

Issue:

WON the substitution of Emmanuel Sinica was against the provisions of


Section 77 of the Omnibus Election Code.

Held:

NO. Section 77 of the Omnibus Election Code only mandates that a


substitute candidate should be a person belonging to and certified by
the same political party as the candidate to be replaced.

Petitioner Emmanuel Sinaca, an independent candidate, had first


withdrawn his certificate of candidacy for Sangguniang Bayan Member
before he joined the LAKAS party and nominated by the LAKAS
MATUGAS Wing as the substitute candidate. He had filed his certificate
of candidacy and his certificate of nomination as LAKAS mayoralty
candidate signed by Gov. Matugas with his written acceptance of the
party’s nomination. Therefore, he is a bona fide LAKAS member.

There is nothing in the Constitution or the statute which requires as a


condition precedent that a substitute candidate must have been a
member of the party concerned for a certain period of time before he
can be nominated as such.
8. Romualdez-Marcos vs Commission on Elections

G.R. No.119976/September 18, 1995


Facts:

Petitioner Imelda Romualdez-Marcos filed her Certificate of Candidacy


for the position of Representative of the First District of Leyte. Private
respondent Cirilo Roy Montejo, a candidate for the same position, filed
a petition for cancellation and disqualification with the COMELEC
alleging that petitioner did not meet the constitutional requirement for
residency. Private respondent contended that petitioner lacked the
Constitution’s one-year residency requirement for candidates for the
House of Representatives.

Issue:

Whether or not petitioner has satisfied the residency requirement as


mandated by Art. VI, Sec. 6 of the Constitution

Held:

Yes. For election purposes, residence is used synonymously with


domicile. The Court upheld the qualification of petitioner, despite her
own declaration in her certificate of candidacy that she had resided in
the district for only 7 months, because of the following: (a) a minor
follows the domicile of her parents; Tacloban became petitioner’s
domicile of origin by operation of law when her father brought the
family to Leyte; (b) domicile of origin is lost only when there is actual
removal or change of domicile, a bona fide intention of abandoning the
former residence and establishing a new one, and acts which
correspond with the purpose; in the absence of clear and positive proof
of the concurrence of all these, the domicile of origin should be
deemed to continue; (c) the wife does not automatically gain the
husband’s domicile because the term “residence” in Civil Law does not
mean the same thing in Political Law; when petitioner married
President Marcos in 1954, she kept her domicile of origin and merely
gained a new home, not a domicilium necessarium; (d) even assuming
that she gained a new domicile after her marriage and acquired the
right to choose a new one only after her husband died, her acts
following her return to the country clearly indicate that she chose
Tacloban, her domicile of origin, as her domicile of choice

9. Gador vs Commission on Elections

G.R. No. L-52365

January 22, 1980


This petition for mandamus with a prayer for a writ of preliminary
injunction was filed on January 21, 1980 at 4:47pm asking the Supreme
Court to immediately order the respondent COMELEC to include the
name his name in the list of candidates for Mayor of the City of
Ozamiz.

Facts:

The petition alleges that the petitioner is a candidate for the Office of
Mayor of the City of Ozamiz as Independent this coming January 30,
1980 local election. He filed his certificate of candidacy with the
Election Registrar of Ozamis City on January 7, 1980 because of the
news in the Bulletin Today. The said news stated that the respondent
COMELEC issued a resolution for the extension of time for filing COC.
However, the President denied said resolution. Therefore, respondent
COMELEC informed the petitioner that his name might not be included
in the list of candidates for mayor because of the said incident. Thus,
this petition.

ISSUE:

WON the certificate of candidacy of the petitioner which was filed on


January 7, 1980 is valid.

Held:

NO. A certificate of candidacy filed beyond reglementary period is void.

Section 7, Batasang Pambansa Bilang 52, provides that “The sworn


certificate of candidacy shall be filed in triplicate not later than January
4, 1980.” It is a fact admitted by the petitioner that the President had
not extended the period within which to file the certificate of
candidacy.

This Court is powerless to grant the remedy prayed for in the petition.
Having been filed beyond January 4, 1980, the certificate of candidacy
of the petitioner is void.

10. Quinto vs Commission on Elections

December 1, 2009
This is a petition for certiorari and prohibition against the COMELEC for
issuing a resolution declaring appointive officials who filed their
certificate of candidacy as ipso facto resigned from their positions.

Facts:

In preparation for the 2010 elections, the Commission on Elections


(COMELEC) issued Resolution No. 8678 – the Guidelines on the Filing of
Certificates of Candidacy (CoC) and Nomination of Official Candidates
of Registered Political Parties in Connection with the May 10, 2010
National and Local Elections. Sec. 4 of Resolution No. 8678 provides
that “Any person holding a public appointive office or position x x x
shall be considered ipso facto resigned from his office upon the filing of
his certificate of candidacy (automatic resignation) however it exempts
those elected officials saying that “Any person holding an elective
office or position shall not be considered resigned upon the filing of his
certificate of candidacy for the same or any other elective office or
position.”

Sec.13(par. 3) of Republic Act (“R.A.”) No. 9369 provides: “x x x any


person holding a public appointive office or position x x x shall be
considered ipso facto resigned from his/her office x x x.”

Sec. 66 of BP Blg. 881, or the Omnibus Election Code, reads: “x x x Any


person holding a public appointive office or position x x x shall be
considered ipso facto resigned from his office upon the filing of his
certificate of candidacy.”

Petitioners were appointive officers of the government who were


planning to run in the 2010 elections sought the nullification of Sec.
4(a) on the ground, among others, that it is discriminatory and violates
the equal protection clause of the Constitution.

Issue:

WON COMELEC resolution is constitutional.

Held:

No. Sec. 4(a) of the COMELEC Resolution is null and void for being
violative of the equal protection clause and for being overbroad. Sec.
13(par. 3) of R.A. 9369 & Sec. 66 of the Omnibus Election Code were
also declared as UNCONSTITUTIONAL.

Sec. 66 of BP Blg. 881 & RA 8436 relating to the automatic resignation


of elective officials upon the filing of their CoCs was repealed by R.A.
9006 (Fair Election Act). “There was, thus, created a situation of
obvious discrimination against appointive officials who were deemed
ipso facto resigned from their offices upon the filing of their CoCs,
while elective officials were not.”
Four (4) requisites of valid classification must be complied with in order
that a discriminatory governmental act may pass the constitutional
norm of equal protection:

(1) It must be based upon substantial distinctions;

(2) It must be germane to the purposes of the law.

(3) It must not be limited to existing conditions only; and

(4) It must apply equally to all members of the class.

According to the Supreme Court, the differential treatment of persons


holding appointive offices as opposed to those holding elective ones is
not germane to the purposes of the law.

The obvious reason for the challenged provision is to prevent the use
of a governmental position to promote one’s candidacy, or even to
wield a dangerous or coercive influence on the electorate. and
discipline of the public service by eliminating the danger that the
discharge of official duty would be motivated by political
considerations rather than the welfare of the public. The restriction is
also justified by the proposition that the entry of civil servants to the
electoral arena, while still in office, could result in neglect or
inefficiency in the performance of duty because they would be
attending to their campaign rather than to their office work. In
considering persons holding appointive positions as ipso facto resigned
from their posts upon the filing of their CoCs, but not considering as
resigned all other civil servants, specifically the elective ones, the law
unduly discriminates against the first class. The fact alone that there is
substantial distinction between those who hold appointive positions
and those occupying elective posts, does not justify such differential
treatment. The classification simply fails to meet the test that it should
be germane to the purposes of the law.

11. Salcedo II vs Commission on Elections

Aug. 16, 1999


This is a petition for certiorari seeking to reverse the earlier Resolution
issued by its Second Division on August 12, 1998.

Facts:
Salcedo married Celiz, marriage contract issued by the Municipal Civil
Registrar of Ajuy, Iloilo. Without his first marriage having been
dissolved, Salcedo married private respondent Cacao in a civil
ceremony. Two days later, Ermelita Cacao contracted another
marriage with a certain Jesus Aguirre, marriage certificate filed with
the Office of the Civil Registrar.

Petitioner Victorino Salcedo II and private respondent Cacao Salcedo


both ran for the position of mayor of the municipality of Sara, Iloilo in
the May 11, 1998 elections, both of them having filed their respective
certificates of candidacy. However, petitioner filed with the Comelec a
petition seeking the cancellation of private respondent’s certificate of
candidacy on the ground that she had made a false representation
therein by stating that her surname was “Salcedo.” Petitioner
contended that private respondent had no right to use said surname
because she was not legally married to Neptali Salcedo. Private
respondent was proclaimed as the duly elected mayor of Sara, Iloilo.

In her answer, private respondent claimed that she had no information


or knowledge at the time she married Neptali Salcedo that he was in
fact already married; that, upon learning of his existing marriage, she
encouraged her husband to take steps to annul his marriage with
Agnes Celiz because the latter had abandoned their marital home.
Neptali Salcedo filed a petition for declaration of presumptive death
which was granted by the court that Neptali Salcedo and Jesus Aguirre
are one and the same person; and that since 1986 up to the present
she has been using the surname “Salcedo” in all her personal,
commercial and public transactions.

Comelec’s Second Division ruled that since there is an existing valid


marriage between Neptali Salcedo and Agnes Celiz, the subsequent
marriage of the former with private respondent is null and void.
Consequently, the use by private respondent of the surname “Salcedo”
constitutes material misrepresentation and is a ground for the
cancellation of her certificate of candidacy.

However, the Comelec en banc resolution, overturned its previous


resolution, ruling that private respondent’s certificate of candidacy did
not contain any material misrepresentation. A Motion for
Reconsideration filed by the petitioner was affirmed by the division
which gives rise to the petition to review such promulgation.

Issue:
Whether or not the use by respondent of the surname “Salcedo” in her
certificate of candidacy constitutes material misrepresentation under
Section 78 in relation to Section 74 of the Omnibus Election Code.

Held:

Private respondent did not commit any material misrepresentation by


the use of the surname “Salcedo” in her certificate of candidacy.

A false representation under section 78 must consist of a “deliberate


attempt to mislead, misinform, or hide a fact which would otherwise
render a candidate ineligible.” It must be made with an intention to
deceive the electorate as to one’s qualifications for public office. The
use of a surname, when not intended to mislead or deceive the public
as to one’s identity, is not within the scope of the provision. There is
absolutely no showing that the inhabitants of Sara, Iloilo were deceived
by the use of such surname by private respondent. Petitioner does not
allege that the electorate did not know who they were voting for when
they cast their ballots in favor of “Ermelita Cacao Salcedo” or that they
were fooled into voting for someone else by the use of such name.

The Court AFFIRMS the en banc Resolution of the Commission on


Elections denying the petition to cancel private respondent’s certificate
of candidacy.

12. Dumpit-Michelena vs Boado


Nov. 17, 2005
This is a petition assailing COMELEC resolution disqualifying Dumpit in
the May 2004 election.

Facts:

Dumpit-Michelena was a candidate for the position of mayor in the


municipality of Agoo, La Union during the May 10, 2004 Synchronized
National and Local Elections. Boado sought Dumpit-Michelena’s
disqualification and the denial or cancellation of her COC on the ground
of material misrepresentation under Sections 74 and 78of Batas
Pambansa Blg. 881.

Boado, et al. alleged that Dumpit-Michelena, the daughter of


Congressman Tomas Dumpit, Sr. of the Second District of La Union, is
not a resident of Agoo, La Union. Boado, et al. claimed that Dumpit-
Michelena is a resident and was a registered voter of Naguilian, La
Union and that Dumpit-Michelena only transferred her registration as
voter to San Julian West, Agoo, La Union on October 24, 2003.

Dumpit-Michelena countered that she already acquired a new domicile


in San Julian West when she purchased from her father, Congressman
Dumpit, a residential lot on April 19, 2003. She even designated a
caretaker of her residential house. Dumpit-Michelena presented the
affidavits and certifications of her neighbors in San Julian West to prove
that she actually resides in the area. COMELEC rules in favor of Boado
et al. The COMELEC En Banc denied in its ruling the motion for
reconsideration filed by Dumpit-Michelena.

Issues:

WON Dumpit-Michelena satisfied the residency requirement under the


Local Government Code of 1991.

Held:

Dumpit-Michelena failed to prove that she has complied with the


residency requirement. The concept of residence in determining a
candidate’s qualification is already a settled matter. For election
purposes, residence is used synonymously with domicile.

13. Bañaga, Jr. vs Commission on Elections


G.R. No. 134696

July 31, 2000


This special civil action for certiorari seeks to annul the en banc
resolution of public respondent Commission on Elections promulgated
on June 29, 1998, in a COMELEC special action case, SPA No. 98-383.

Facts:

Petitioner Banaga, Jr. and respondent Bernabe, Jr. were both


candidates for vice-mayor of the City of Parañaque in the May 1998
election. In said election, the city board of canvassers proclaimed
respondent Bernabe, Jr., as the winner for having garnered 71,977
votes over petitioner Banaga, Jr.’s 68,970 votes.

Dissatisfied with the result, petitioner filed with the COMELEC on May
1998, a Petition to Declare Failure of Elections and/or For Annulment of
Elections, alleging that said election was replete with election offenses,
such as vote buying and flying voters. He also alleged that numerous
Election Returns pertaining to the position of Vice-Mayor in the City of
Parañaque appear to be altered, falsified or fabricated.

In fact, there were people arrested who admitted the said election
offenses. Therefore, the incidents were sufficient to declare a failure of
elections because it cannot be considered as the true will of the
people.

Petitioner Banaga, Jr. is praying that he should be adjudged as the duly


elected Vice-Mayor in the City of Parañaque, during the May 1998 local
elections.

Respondent COMELEC dismissed petitioner’s suit and held that the


election offenses relied upon by petitioner do not fall under any of the
instances enumerated in Section 6 of the Omnibus Election Code. The
election tribunal concluded that based on the allegations of the
petition, it is clear that an election took place and that it did not result
in a failure to elect and therefore, cannot be viewed as an election
protest.

Thus, this petition for certiorari alleging that the respondent COMELEC
committed grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of
jurisdiction for dismissing his petition motu propio without any basis
whatsoever and without giving him the benefit of a hearing.

Issues:

WON petition to declare a failure of elections and/or for annulment of


election is considered as an election protest.

WON respondent COMELEC acted with grave abuse of discretion in


dismissing petitioners petition, in the light of petitioners foregoing
contentions.

Held:

No. Mr. Banaga, Jr.’s petition docketed as SPA-98-383 before the


COMELEC was a special action under the 1993 COMELEC Rules of
Procedure. An election protest is an ordinary governed by Rule 20 on
ordinary actions, while a petition to declare failure of elections is
covered by Rule 26 under special actions. Petitioner also did not
comply with the requirements for filing an election protest such as
failing to pay filing fee and cash deposits for an election protest.

No. Respondent COMELEC committed no grave abuse of discretion in


dismissing the petition to declare failure of elections and/or for
annulment of elections for being groundless. The petition to declare a
failure of election and/or to annul election results must show on its face
that the conditions necessary to declare a failure to elect are present.
Respondent COMELEC only based its decision on the provisions of the
Omnibus Election Code with regard to declaring a failure of election.
There are three instances where a failure of election may be declared,
namely:

the election in any polling place has not been held on the date fixed on
account of force majeure, violence, terrorism, fraud or other analogous
causes;

the election in any polling place has been suspended before the hour
fixed by law for the closing of the voting on account of force majeure,
violence, terrorism, fraud or other analogous causes; or

after the voting and during the preparation and transmission of the
election returns or in the custody or canvass thereof, such election
results in a failure to elect on account of force majeure, violence,
terrorism, fraud or other analogous causes.

The instances being not present in the petition of Mr. Banaga, Jr. The
respondent COMELEC have no other recourse but to dismiss the
petition.

14. Mercado vs Manzano


Facts:
Petitioner Ernesto Mercado and Private respondent Eduardo Manzano
are candidates for the position of Vice-Mayor of Makati City in the May,
1998 elections. Private respondent was the winner of the said election
but the proclamation was suspended due to the petition of Ernesto
Mamaril regarding the citizenship of private respondent. Mamaril
alleged that the private respondent is not a citizen of the Philippines
but of the United States. COMELEC granted the petition and
disqualified the private respondent for being a dual citizen, pursuant to
the Local Government code that provides that persons who possess
dual citizenship are disqualified from running any public position.
Private respondent filed a motion for reconsideration which remained
pending until after election. Petitioner sought to intervene in the case
for disqualification. COMELEC reversed the decision and declared
private respondent qualified to run for the position. Pursuant to the
ruling of the COMELEC, the board of canvassers proclaimed private
respondent as vice mayor. This petition sought the reversal of the
resolution of the COMELEC and to declare the private respondent
disqualified to hold the office of the vice mayor of Makati.

Issue:
Whether or Not private respondent is qualified to hold office as Vice-
Mayor.

Held:
Dual citizenship is different from dual allegiance. The former arises
when, as a result of the concurrent application of the different laws of
two or more states, a person is simultaneously considered a national
by the said states. For instance, such a situation may arise when a
person whose parents are citizens of a state which adheres to the
principle of jus sanguinis is born in a state which follows the doctrine of
jus soli. Private respondent is considered as a dual citizen because he
is born of Filipino parents but was born in San Francisco, USA. Such a
person, ipso facto and without any voluntary act on his part, is
concurrently considered a citizen of both states. Considering the
citizenship clause (Art. IV) of our Constitution, it is possible for the
following classes of citizens of the Philippines to posses dual
citizenship: (1) Those born of Filipino fathers and/or mothers in foreign
countries which follow the principle of jus soli; (2) Those born in the
Philippines of Filipino mothers and alien fathers if by the laws of their
fathers’ country such children are citizens of that country; (3) Those
who marry aliens if by the laws of the latter’s country the former are
considered citizens, unless by their act or omission they are deemed to
have renounced Philippine citizenship. Dual allegiance, on the other
hand, refers to the situation in which a person simultaneously owes, by
some positive act, loyalty to two or more states. While dual citizenship
is involuntary, dual allegiance is the result of an individual’s volition.

By filing a certificate of candidacy when he ran for his present post,


private respondent elected Philippine citizenship and in effect
renounced his American citizenship. The filing of such certificate of
candidacy sufficed to renounce his American citizenship, effectively
removing any disqualification he might have as a dual citizen.

By declaring in his certificate of candidacy that he is a Filipino citizen;


that he is not a permanent resident or immigrant of another country;
that he will defend and support the Constitution of the Philippines and
bear true faith and allegiance thereto and that he does so without
mental reservation, private respondent has, as far as the laws of this
country are concerned, effectively repudiated his American citizenship
and anything which he may have said before as a dual citizen. On the
other hand, private respondent’s oath of allegiance to the Philippine,
when considered with the fact that he has spent his youth and
adulthood, received his education, practiced his profession as an artist,
and taken part in past elections in this country, leaves no doubt of his
election of Philippine citizenship.
15. RAYMUNDO ADORMEO VS. COMELEC, ET AL.
G.R. No. 147927. February 4, 2002
Facts:
Respondent Talaga was elected Mayor of Lucena City in 1992, re-
elected in 1995, but lost to Tagarao in 1998 elections. Tagarao was
recalled and in the May 12, 2000 recall elections, Talaga won and
served the unexpired term of Tagarao until June 30, 2001. Talaga was
candidate for Mayor in the May 14, 2001 elections, and a petition for
cancellation of his certificate of candidacy was filed on the ground that
he has served as Mayor for three consecutive terms.

Issue: Whether or not Talaga has served as Mayor of Lucena City for
three consecutive terms.

Held:
The term limit for elective local officials must be taken to refer to the
right to be elected as well as the right to serve in the same elective
position. Consequently, it is not enough that an individual has served
three consecutive terms in an elective local office. He must also have
been elected to the same position for the same number of times before
the disqualification can apply.
In the case at bar, Talaga did not serve for 3 consecutive terms. For
nearly 2 years, he was a private citizen. The continuity of his
mayorship was disrupted by his defeat in the 1998 elections.
“If one is elected representative to serve the unexpired term of
another, that unexpired term, no matter how short, will be considered
one term for the purpose of computing the number of successive terms
allowed”—this comment of Constitutional Commissioner Fr. Bernas
applies only to members of the House of Representatives. Unlike
government officials, there is no recall election for members of
Congress.

16. RONALD ALLAN POE a.k.a. FERNANDO POE, JR.


VS. GLORIA MACAPAGAL-ARROYO
P.E.T. CASE No. 002. March 29, 2005

Facts:
In the 2004 election, Gloria Macapagal Arroyo (GMA) was
proclaimed the duly elected President of the Philippines. The
second-placer in the elections, Fernando Poe, Jr. (FPJ), filed an
election protest before the Electoral Tribunal. When the
Protestant died in the course of his medical treatment, his widow,
Mrs. Jesusa Sonora Poe a.k.a. Susan Roces filed a motion to
intervene as a substitute for deceased protestant FPJ. She claims
that there is an urgent need for her to continue and substitute for
her late husband to ascertain the true and genuine will of the
electorate in the interest of the Filipino people. The Protestee,
GMA asserts that the widow of a deceased candidate is not the
proper party to replace the deceased protestant since a public
office is personal and not a property that passes on to the heirs.
Protestee also contends that under the Rules of the Presidential
Electoral Tribunal, only the registered candidates who obtained
the 2nd and 3rd highest votes for the presidency may contest the
election of the president.

Issue:
May the widow substitute/intervene for the protestant who died
during the pendency of the latter’s protest case?

Held:
Only the registered candidate for President or for Vice-President
of the Philippines who received the second or third highest
number of votes may contest the election of the President or the
Vice-President, as the case may be, by filing a verified petition
with the Clerk of the Presidential Electoral Tribunal within thirty
(30) days after the proclamation of the winner.
An election protest is not purely personal and exclusive to the
protestant or to the protestee, hence, substitution and
intervention is allowed but only by a real party in interest. Note
that Mrs. FPJ herself denies any claim to the office of President
but rather stresses that it is with the “paramount public interest”
in mind that she desires “to pursue the process” commenced by
her late husband. However, nobility of intention is not the point of
reference in determining whether a person may intervene in an
election protest. In such intervention, the interest which allows a
person to intervene in a suit must be in the matter of litigation
and of such direct and immediate character that the intervenor
will either gain or lose by the effect of the judgment. In this
protest, Mrs. FPJ will not immediately and directly benefit from
the outcome should it be determined that the declared president
did not truly get the highest number of votes.
17. ADIONG v. COMELEC
G.R. No. 103956
March 31, 1992

FACTS:

On January 13, 1992, the COMELEC promulgated Resolution No. 2347


pursuant to its powers granted by the Constitution, the Omnibus
Election Code, Republic Acts Nos. 6646 and 7166 and other election
laws. Section 15(a) of the resolution provides:

Sec. 15. Lawful Election Propaganda. — The following are lawful


election propaganda:
(a) Pamphlets, leaflets, cards, decals… Provided, That decals and
stickers may be posted only in any of the authorized posting areas
provided in paragraph (f) of Section 21 hereof.

Section 21 (f) of the same resolution provides:

Sec. 21(f). Prohibited forms of election propaganda. —

It is unlawful:…

(f) To draw, paint, inscribe, post, display or publicly exhibit any election
propaganda in any place, whether public or private, mobile or
stationary, except in the COMELEC common posted areas and/or
billboards…

Petitioner Blo Umpar Adiong, a senatorial candidate in the May 11,


1992 elections assails the COMELEC's Resolution insofar as it prohibits
the posting of decals and stickers in "mobile" places like cars and other
moving vehicles. According to him such prohibition is violative of
Section 82 of the Omnibus Election Code and Section 11(a) of Republic
Act No. 6646.

ISSUE:
Whether or not the COMELEC may prohibit the posting of decals and
stickers on "mobile" places, public or private, and limit their location or
publication to the authorized posting areas that it fixes.

HELD:
The petition is hereby GRANTED. The portion of Section 15 (a) of
Resolution No. 2347 of the COMELEC providing that "decals and
stickers may be posted only in any of the authorized posting areas
provided in paragraph (f) of Section 21 hereof" is DECLARED NULL and
VOID. The COMELEC's prohibition on posting of decals and stickers on
"mobile" places whether public or private except in designated areas
provided for by the COMELEC itself is null and void on constitutional
grounds. The prohibition unduly infringes on the citizen's fundamental
right of free speech enshrined in the Constitution (Sec. 4, Article III).
Significantly, the freedom of expression curtailed by the questioned
prohibition is not so much that of the candidate or the political party.
The regulation strikes at the freedom of an individual to express his
preference and, by displaying it on his car, to convince others to agree
with him.

Also, the questioned prohibition premised on the statute (RA 6646) and
as couched in the resolution is void for overbreadth. The restriction as
to where the decals and stickers should be posted is so broad that it
encompasses even the citizen's private property, which in this case is a
privately-owned vehicle (The provisions allowing regulation are so
loosely worded that they include the posting of decals or stickers in the
privacy of one's living room or bedroom.) In consequence of this
prohibition, another cardinal rule prescribed by the Constitution would
be violated. Section 1, Article III of the Bill of Rights provides that no
person shall be deprived of his property without due process of law.
(The right to property may be subject to a greater degree of regulation
but when this right is joined by a "liberty" interest, the burden of
justification on the part of the Government must be exceptionally
convincing and irrefutable. The burden is not met in this case.)

Additionally, the constitutional objective to give a rich candidate and a


poor candidate equal opportunity to inform the electorate as regards
their candidacies, mandated by Article II, Section 26 and Article XIII,
section 1 in relation to Article IX (c) Section 4 of the Constitution, is not
impaired by posting decals and stickers on cars and other private
vehicles. It is to be reiterated that the posting of decals and stickers on
cars, calesas, tricycles, pedicabs and other moving vehicles needs the
consent of the owner of the vehicle. Hence, the preference of the
citizen becomes crucial in this kind of election propaganda not the
financial resources of the candidate.

In sum, the prohibition on posting of decals and stickers on "mobile"


places whether public or private except in the authorized areas
designated by the COMELEC becomes censorship which cannot be
justified by the Constitution.

18. TEODULO M. COQUILLA, PETITIONER, VS. THE


HONORABLE COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS AND
MR. NEIL ALVAREZ, RESPONDENTS.
G.R. 151914, JULY 31, 2002
FACTS:

Petitioner Coquilla was born on February 17, 1938 of Filipino parents in


Oras, Eastern Samar. In 1965, he joined the US Navy and was
naturalized as a US Citizen.
On October 15, 1998, petitioner came back to the Philippines and took
a residence certificate. Subsequently, petitioner applied for
repatriation under R.A. No. 8171 to the special committee on
naturalization. His application was approved on November 7, 2000, and
on November 10, 2000, he took oath as citizen of the Philippines.
On November 21, 2000, petitioner applied for registration as a voter of
Oras, Eastern Samar, in addition, on February 27, 2001, he filed his
certificate of candidacy stating therein that he had been a resident
thereof for 2 years. On March 5, 2001, Mr. Alvarez filed for the
cancellation of petitioner’s certificate of candidacy on the ground of
material misrepresentation by stating thereat that the latter has been
a resident of Oras, Eastern Samar for two years, when in truth and in
fact he had resided therein for only about six months since November
10, 2000, when he took his oath as a citizen of the Philippines. The
Comelec was unable to render judgment on the case before the
election. Meanwhile, petitioner was voted for and proclaimed mayor of
Oras, Eastern Samar. On July 19, 2001, the Comelec (2nd Div) ordered
the cancellation of the petitioner’s certificate of candidacy. Comelec en
banc affirmed the order, thus this petition.

ISSUE:

Whether or not the petitioner had been a resident of Oras, Eastern


Samar at least one (1) year before the elections held on May 14, 2001.

RULING:

The Supreme Court held that the term “residence” is to be understood


not in its common acceptation as referring to “dwelling” or
“habitation”, but rather to “Domicile” or legal residence, that is, the
place where a party actually or constructively has his permanent
home, where he, no matter where he may be found at any given time,
eventually intends to return and remain (animus manendi). A domicile
of origin is acquired by every person at birth. It is usually the place
where the child’s parents reside and continues until the same is
abandoned by acquisition of new domicile (domicile of choice). In the
case at bar, petitioner lost his domicile of origin by becoming a US
citizen after enlisting in the US Navy in 1965. From then on and until
November 10, 2000, when he reacquired Philippine citizenship,
petitioner was an alien without any right to reside in the Philippines.
Indeed, residence in the United States is a requirement for
naturalization as a US citizen. Wherefore, the petition is without merit
and DISMISSED.
19. Philippine Bar Association vs. COMELEC
140 SCRA 455
January 7, 1986

FACTS:
Eleven petitions were filed for prohibition against the enforcement of
BP 883 which calls for special national elections on February 7, 1986
(snap elections) for the offices of President and Vice President of the
Philippines. BP 883 in conflict with the constitution in that it allows the
President to continue holding office after the calling of the special
election.

Senator Pelaez submits that President Marcos’ letter of conditional


“resignation” did not create the actual vacancy required in Section 9,
Article 7 of the Constitution which could be the basis of the holding of a
special election for President and Vice President earlier than the
regular elections for such positions in 1987. The letter states that the
President is: “irrevocably vacat(ing) the position of President effective
only when the election is held and after the winner is proclaimed and
qualified as President by taking his oath office ten (10) days after his
proclamation.”

The unified opposition, rather than insist on strict compliance with the
cited constitutional provision that the incumbent President actually
resign, vacate his office and turn it over to the Speaker of the
Batasang Pambansa as acting President, their standard bearers have
not filed any suit or petition in intervention for the purpose nor
repudiated the scheduled election. They have not insisted that
President Marcos vacate his office, so long as the election is clean, fair
and honest.

ISSUE:
Is BP 883 unconstitutional, and should the Supreme Court therefore
stop and prohibit the holding of the elections?

HELD:

The petitions in these cases are dismissed and the prayer for the
issuance of an injunction restraining respondents from holding the
election on February 7, 1986, in as much as there are less than the
required 10 votes to declare BP 883 unconstitutional.

The events that have transpired since December 3,as the Court did not
issue any restraining order, have turned the issue into a political
question (from the purely justiciable issue of the questioned
constitutionality of the act due to the lack of the actual vacancy of the
President’s office) which can be truly decided only by the people in
their sovereign capacity at the scheduled election, since there is no
issue more political than the election. The Court cannot stand in the
way of letting the people decide through their ballot, either to give the
incumbent president a new mandate or to elect a new president.
20. Salva v. Makalintal
GR No. 132603
18 September 2000
FACTS:

Salva, et al, officials and residents of Barangay San Rafael, Calaca,


Batangas filed a class suit against the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of
Batangas, Sangguniang Pambayan of Calaca, and the COMELEC for
annulment of OrdinanceNo. 5 and Resolution No. 345, enacted by the
Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Batangas, and COMELEC Resolution No.
2987 Ordinance No. 5 declared the abolition of Barangay San Rafael
and its merger with Barangay Dacanlao, and accordingly instructed the
COMELEC to conduct the required plebiscite. Resolution No. 345
affirmed the effectivity of Ordinance No. 5, overriding the veto
exercised by the Governor of Batangas. COMELEC Resolution No. 2987,
on the other hand, provided for the rules and regulations governing the
conduct of the required plebiscite scheduled on 28 February 1998, to
decide the issue of the abolition of Barangay San Rafael and its merger
with Barangay Dacanlao. The trial court denied the motion for the
issuance of a TRO and/or preliminary injunction for lack of jurisdiction.
According to it, any petition or action questioning an act, resolution, or
decision of the COMELEC must be brought before the SC.

ISSUES:

W/N the trial court had jurisdiction to enjoin the COMELEC from
IUmplementing Resolution No. 2987.

HELD:

YES. Resolution No. 2987 which provides for the rules and regulations governing the conduct of the
required plebiscite, was not issued pursuant to the COMELEC’s quasi-judicial functions but merely
as an incident of its inherent administrative functions over the conduct of plebiscites, thus, the said
resolution may not be deemed as a final order reviewable by certiorari by this Court. Any question
pertaining to the validity of said resolution may well be taken in an ordinary civil action before the trial
courts
The powers vested by the Constitution and the law on the COMELEC
may either be classified as those pertaining to its adjudicatory or quasi-
judicial functions, or those which are inherently administrative and
sometimes ministerial in character