Socrates vs. COMELEC G.R. No. 154512, 12 November 2002 CARPIO, J.

: Facts : 312 out of 528 members of the incumbent barangay officials of the Puerto Princesa convened themselves into a Preparatory Recall Assembly(PRA) at the Gymnasium of Barangay San Jose to initiate the recall of Victorino Dennis M. Socrates who assumed office as Puerto Princesa's mayor. They designated Mark David M. Hagedorn as interim chair of the PRA. On the same date, the PRA passed Resolution No. 01-02 which declared its loss of confidence in Socrates and called for his recall. The PRA requested the COMELEC to schedule the recall election for mayor within 30 days from receipt of the Recall Resolution. Socrates filed with the COMELEC a petition to nullify and deny due course to the Recall Resolution. This was dismissed by the COMELEC. Socrates now questions such decision of the COMELEC in upholding the Recall Resolution. Issue: Whether the COMELEC committed grave abuse of discretion in giving due course to the Recall Resolution and scheduling the recall election for mayor of Puerto Princesa. Held: No. In the case of Malonzo vs. Comelec, the issue on the service of notice to PRA members is factual and the determination of the same is subject to the discretion of COMELEC. As long as it is supported by gathered evidences, they are conclusive upon the court. In the present case, the COMELEC’s finding of fact is well-established that it cannot be patently erroneous. Thus, the COMELEC did not commit grave abuse of discretion in upholding the validity of the Recall Resolution. Estrella vs. COMELEC G.R. No. 160465 CARPIO MORALES, J.: Facts: Romeo M. Estrella and Rolando F. Salvador were mayoralty candidates in Baliuag, Bulacan during the May 14, 2001 Elections.The Municipal Board of Canvassers proclaimed respondent as winner. Petitioner thereafter filed before the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Bulacan an election protest. The RTC annulled respondent’s proclamation and declared petitioner as the duly elected mayor of Baliuag. Respondent appealed to the COMELEC while petitioner filed a motion for execution of decision pending appeal before the RTC. Petitioner’s motion was eventually granted. This was assailed by respondent before the COMELEC. Petitioner later moved for the inhibition of Commissioner Ralph C. Lantion, a member of the COMELEC Second Division. The COMELEC Second Division issued a Status Quo Ante Order, denying the motion for inhibition. During the pending petitions before the COMELEC, Commissioner Lantion inhibited himself. Commissioner Borra was replaced. The writ of execution was nullified by the

leaving only 3 Commissioners. A Resolution was later issued by the COMELEC where it affirmed the trial court’s decision in declaring petitioner as winner. Commissioner Lantion participated in the hearing of the an en banc case pending which also is related to petitioner and respondent. To allow him to participate in the En Banc proceedings when he previously inhibited himself in the Division is. Held: Yes. not only judicially unethical but legally improper and absurd. absent any satisfactory justification. The necessary votes in a Division was not attained when Commissioner Lantion inhibited himself. It failed to comply with the Comelec Rules of Procedure. and the concurrence of the majority Members in passing resolutions. Nothing in the COMELEC Rules allows a Commissioner to voluntarily inhibit with reservation. orders and decisions. . particularly Rule 3 Section 5 providing for the votes required. which is four.COMELEC. Lastly. alleging that his voluntary inhibition was only on the pending in the division. Later on. Issue: Whether or not the Status Quo Ante Order is null and void for want of constitutional and statutory authority of the COMELEC to issue such order.

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