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A.M. No. 74-MJ July 30, 1976 SALVADOR LACSON, JR., complainant, vs.

RAMON POSADAS, Municipal Judge, of Talisay, Negros Occidental, respondent.

FACTS:
Lacson filed a complaint against Judge Posadas for ignorance of the law, partiality and violation of Election Code of 1971. Judge Posadas was found to have failed to comply with the requirements of Section 136 of the Election Code of 1971:
Any person who has been refused registration or whose name has been stricken out from the permanent list of voters may at any time except sixty (60) days before a regular election or twenty-five (25) days before a special election, apply to the proper court for an order directing the election registration board or the board of inspectors as the case may be, to include or reinstate his name in the permanent list of voters, attaching to his application for inclusion the certificate of the Electron registration board or the board of inspectors regarding his case and proof of service of a copy of his application and of the notice of hearing thereof upon a member of the said board (Emphasis supplied.)

ISSUE:
Whether or not Judge Posadas violated the right of suffrage of Lacson, Jr.?

RULING:
Yes. In our republican system of government, the exercise by the people of their right to suffrage is the expression of their sovereign will. It is, therefore, absolutely essential that the free and voluntary use of this right be effectively protected by the law and by governmental authority.

ELECTION LAW Prepared by: MA. MAYREEN B. BERNARDO-ESPIRITU

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G.R. No. L-33541 January 20, 1972 ABDULGAFAR PUNGUTAN, petitioner, vs. BENJAMIN ABUBAKAR, COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS, and THE PROVINCIAL BOARD OF CANVASSERS OF SULU. respondents.

FACTS:
COMELEC excluded from the canvass for the election of delegates in the lone district of the province of Sulu the returns from Siasi, Tapul, Parang and Luuk for being spurious or manufactured returns and therefore considered as no returns at all. That was the effect of massive violence, terrorism and fraud. Petitioner contended that such exclusion of returns will result to the disfranchisement of a large number of legitimate voters.

ISSUE:
Whether or not the rejection of the returns in the above-mentioned place as ruled upon by the COMELEC would run counter the constitutional mandate of right of suffrage?

RULING:
No. The rejection by the COMELEC of the returns in question would result in the disfranchisement of a large number of voters, but this is merely provisional, subject to the final determination of the validity of the votes at the protest that may be filed with the Constitutional Convention. The COMELEC in this case had just determined whether an election has been made considering the massive irregularities attending the election. What is deemed outside the competence of the COMELEC is the determination of whether or not a person can exercise or is precluded from exercising the right of suffrage. The right to vote has reference to a constitutional guarantee of the utmost significance. It is a right without which the principle of sovereignty residing in the people becomes nugatory. In the traditional terminology, it is a political right enabling every citizen to participate in the process of government to assure that it derives its power from the consent of the governed.
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G.R. No. 104960 September 14, 1993 PHILIP G. ROMUALDEZ, petitioner, vs. REGIONAL TRIAL COURT, BRANCH 7, TACLOBAN CITY, DONATO ADVINCULA, BOARD OF ELECTION INSPECTORS, PRECINCT No. 9, MALBOG, TOLOSA, LEYTE, and the MUNICIPAL REGISTRAR COMELEC, TOLOSA, LEYTE, respondents.

FACTS:
Petitioner Philip Romualdez is a natural born citizen of the Philippines, the son of the former Governor of Leyte, Benjamin "Kokoy" Romualdez, and nephew of the then First Lady Imelda Marcos. Sometime in the early part of 1980, the petitioner, in consonance with his decision to establish his legal residence at Barangay Malbog, Tolosa, Leyte, caused the construction of his residential house therein. He soon thereafter also served as Barangay Captain of the place. In the 1984 Batasan Election and 1986 "snap" Presidential Election, Romualdez acted as the Campaign Manager of the Kilusang Bagong Lipunan (KBL) in Leyte where he voted. Due to the eventful days of EDSA revolution, fearing of personal safety, he and his immediate family member went to U.S. and sought asylum therein. He returned after five years and registered anew as voter in Malbog, Tolosa, Leyte because he intended to run for congressional seat. However, the same was questioned because of lack of residency requirement.

ISSUE:
Whether ROMUALDEZ voluntarily left the country and abandoned his residence in Malbog, Tolosa, Leyte?

RULING:
No, residence acquired may be lost by adopting another by choice of domicile. The following requisites must concur before somebody could be considered to have changed his domicile: 1) residence or bodily presence in the new locality; 2) intention to remain there; and 3) intention to abandon the old domicile. Considering that the sudden self-exile of the petitioner and his family was involuntary, Romualdez had never abandoned his old domicile, therefore he is still a resident or Malbog, Tolosa, Leyte. It must be emphasized that the right to vote is a most precious political right, as well as a bounden duty of every citizen, enabling and requiring him to participate in the process of government so as to ensure that the government can truly be said to derive its power solely from the consent of the governed.
ELECTION LAW Prepared by: MA. MAYREEN B. BERNARDO-ESPIRITU Page 3

G.R. No. 90336 August 12, 1991 RUPERTO TAULE, petitioner, vs. SECRETARY LUIS T. SANTOS and GOVERNOR LEANDRO VERCELES, respondents.

FACTS:
The Federation of Associations of Barangay Councils (FABC) of Catanduanes, composed of eleven members, in their capacities as Presidents of the Association of Barangay Councils in their respective municipalities, convened in Virac, Catanduanes with six members in attendance for the purpose of holding the election of its officers. The group decided to hold the election despite the absence of five of its members, Manlapaz, Jr. and Soquerata walked out. Nevertheless, the election proceeded and Taule was elected as President of FABC. Governor Verceles protested the election and sought nullification from the Secretary of Local Government who nullified the election.

ISSUE:
Whether or not the Secretary of Local Government has jurisdiction over the election protest involving the election of officers of FABC?

RULING:
The Secretary of Local Government has no power to assume jurisdiction over election protest involving officers of the katipunan ng mga barangay. It is constitutional limitation that the Secretary of Local Government being an alter ego of the President shall only have the power of general supervision over the local government. Passing upon the validity of the election conducted by FABC will result to control and will violate the local autonomy of local governments. Election is an embodiment of the popular will, the expression of the sovereign power of the people. Election contests would refer to adversary proceedings by which matters involving the title or claim of title to an elective office, made before or after proclamation of the winner, is settled whether or not the contestant is claiming the office in dispute. In the case of barangay officials, it is restricted to proceedings after the proclamation of the winners as no pre-proclamation controversies are allowed.
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G.R. No. L-29333

February 27, 1969

MARIANO LL. BADELLES, protestant-appellant, vs. CAMILO P. CABILI, protegee-appellee. -------------------------G.R. No. L-29334 February 27, 1969

BONIFACIO P. LEGASPI and CECILlO T. BARAZON protestants-appellants, vs. FELIX Z. ACTUB, PROVIDENCIO P. ABRAGAN, MANUEL F. CELDRAN, CASIMERO P. CABIGON and BENITO ONG, protestees-appellees.

FACTS:
Badelles contested the election of CABILI as Mayor in the City of Iligan. On the other hand, Legaspi and Barazon together with other five protestees were the registered candidates voted for as councilors. These protests lodged before the CFI were on grounds of flagrant violations of certain mandatory provisions of the Election Code such as irregularities and misconduct. Wherein, more than the allowed number of voters per precinct voted. However, evident that there was lack of cause of action, the protests were dismissed.

ISSUE:
1. Whether or not CFI has jurisdiction over election protests? 2. Whether or not the protests state no cause of action?

RULING:
1. Yes. CFI is the proper forum to seek annulment of an election based on terrorism, frauds and other illegal practices. The duty to cure or remedy the resulting evil lies with the proper courts and not with the COMELEC. 2. Protests before the CFI have causes of action. The cases were remanded to the lower court to proceed with the trial to determine whether irregularities or serious violations of the electoral law vitiated the conduct of elections.

ELECTION LAW Prepared by: MA. MAYREEN B. BERNARDO-ESPIRITU

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