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QUINTO vs. COMELEC, 1 DECEMBER 2009 Congress enacted RA 8436 on December 22, 1997. On January 23, 2007.

it enacted RA 9369, amending the previous act. Pursuant to its constitutional mandate to enforce and administer election laws, COMELEC issued Resolution No. 8678,4 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. Sections 4 and 5 of Resolution No. 8678 provide: SEC. 4. Effects of Filing Certificates of Candidacy.a) Any person holding a public appointive office or position including active members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, and other officers and employees in government-owned or controlled corporations, shall be considered ipso facto resigned from his office upon the filing of his certificate of candidacy. b) 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. 5. Period for filing Certificate of Candidacy.- The certificate of candidacy shall be filed on regular days, from November 20 to 30, 2009, during office hours, except on the last day, which shall be until midnight. Alarmed that they will be deemed ipso facto resigned from their offices the moment they file their CoCs, petitioners Eleazar P. Quinto and Gerino A. Tolentino, Jr., who hold appointive positions in the government and who intend to run in the coming elections,5 filed the instant petition for prohibition and certiorari, seeking the declaration of the afore-quoted Section 4(a) of Resolution No. 8678 as null and void. ISSUES: 1. Do petitioners have locus standi? 2. Do the second proviso in paragraph 3, Section 13 of RA 9369, Section 66 of the Omnibus Election Code, and Section 4(a) of RA 8678 violate the equal protection clause? HELD: 1. The transcendental nature and paramount importance of the issues raised and the compelling state interest involved in their early resolution the period for the filing of CoCs for the 2010 elections has already started and hundreds of civil servants intending to run for elective offices are to lose their employment, thereby causing imminent and irreparable damage to their means of livelihood and, at the same time, crippling the government's manpowerfurther dictate that the Court must, for propriety, if only from a sense of obligation, entertain the petition so as to expedite the adjudication of all, especially the constitutional, issues. The Court, nevertheless, finds that, while petitioners are not yet candidates, they have the standing to raise the constitutional challenge, simply because they are qualified voters. A restriction on candidacy, such as the challenged measure herein, affects the rights of voters to choose their public officials. The Court, in this case, finds that an actual case or controversy exists between the petitioners and the COMELEC, the body charged with the enforcement and administration of all election laws. Petitioners have alleged in a precise manner that they would engage in the very acts that would trigger the enforcement of the provisionthey would file their CoCs and run in the 2010 elections. Given that the assailed provision provides for ipso facto resignation upon the filing of the CoC, it cannot be said that it presents only a speculative or hypothetical obstacle to petitioners' candidacy.

2. It is noteworthy to point out that the right to run for public office touches on two fundamental freedoms, those of expression and of association. Here, petitioners' interest in running for public office, an interest protected by Sections 4 and 8 of Article III of the Constitution, is breached by the proviso in Section 13 of R.A. No. 9369. 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. In order that there can be valid classification so that a discriminatory governmental act may pass the constitutional norm of equal protection, it is necessary that the four (4) requisites of valid classification be complied with, namely: (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. The classification, even if based on substantial distinctions, will still be invalid if it is not germane to the purpose of the law. Applying the four requisites to the instant case, the Court finds that 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 challenged provision also suffers from the infirmity of being overbroad. First, the provision pertains to all civil servants holding appointive posts without distinction as to whether they occupy high positions in government or not. Second, the provision is directed to the activity of seeking any and all public offices, whether they be partisan or nonpartisan in character, whether they be in the national, municipal or barangay level.

Quinto Vs COMELEC 22 Feb. 2010


This is a motion for reconsideration of the Decision of the Supreme Court in Quinto vs. COMELEC, 1 December 2009. ISSUES: 1. 2. HELD: 1. No. The intent of both Congress and the framers of our Constitution to limit the participation of civil service officers and employees in partisan political activities is too plain to be mistaken. The equal protection of the law clause in the Constitution is not absolute, but is subject to reasonable classification. Substantial distinctions clearly exist between elective officials and appointive officials. The former occupy their office by virtue of the mandate of the electorate. They are elected to an office for a definite term and may be removed therefrom only upon stringent conditions. On the other hand, appointive officials hold their office by virtue of their designation thereto by an appointing authority. Some appointive officials hold their office in a permanent capacity and are entitled to security of tenure while others serve at the pleasure of the appointing authority. Do the assailed provisions violate the equal protection clause? Do the assailed provisions suffer from overbreadth?

Another substantial distinction between the two sets of officials is that under Section 55, Chapter 8, Title I, Subsection A. Civil Service Commission, Book V of the Administrative Code of 1987 (Executive Order No. 292), appointive officials, as officers and employees in the civil service, are strictly prohibited from engaging in any partisan political activity or take (sic) part in any election except to vote. Under the same provision, elective officials, or officers or employees holding political offices, are obviously expressly allowed to take part in political and electoral activities. Since the classification justifying Section 14 of Rep. Act No. 9006, i.e., elected officials vis--vis appointive officials, is anchored upon material and significant distinctions and all the persons belonging under the same classification are similarly treated, the equal protection clause of the Constitution is, thus, not infringed. Considering that elected officials are put in office by their constituents for a definite term, it may justifiably be said that they were excluded from the ambit of the deemed resigned provisions in utmost respect for the mandate of the sovereign will. In other words, complete deference is accorded to the will of the electorate that they be served by such officials until the end of the term for which they were elected. In contrast, there is no such expectation insofar as appointed officials are concerned. The dichotomized treatment of appointive and elective officials is therefore germane to the purposes of the law. 2. No. The view that the assailed provisions are overly broad because they apply indiscriminately to all appointive civil servants regardless of position obviously fails to consider a different, yet equally plausible, threat to the government posed by the partisan potential of a large and growing bureaucracy: the danger of systematic abuse perpetuated by a "powerful political machine" that has amassed "the scattered powers of government workers" so as to give itself and its incumbent workers an "unbreakable grasp on the reins of power." [T]he avoidance of such a "politically active public work force" which could give an emerging political machine an "unbreakable grasp on the reins of power" is reason enough to impose a restriction on the candidacies of all appointive public officials without further distinction as to the type of positions being held by such employees or the degree of influence that may be attendant thereto. Obviously, these rules and guidelines, including the restriction in Section 4(a) of Resolution 8678, were issued specifically for purposes of the May 10, 2010 National and Local Elections, which, it must be noted, are decidedly partisan in character. Thus, it is clear that the restriction in Section 4(a) of RA 8678 applies only to the candidacies of appointive officials vying for partisan elective posts in the May 10, 2010 National and Local Elections.