TAN V COMELEC 1994 || Vitug, J. Facts:  Petitioner Tan is an incumbent City Prosecutor of Davao City.

He was designated by COMELEC as Vice Chairman of the City Board of Canvassers of Davao City for the Mayy 11 1992 Synchronized National and Local Elections.  On the basis of votes canvassed by the Board of Canvassers, Manuel Garcia was proclaimed as the winning candidate for a congressional seat to represent the Second District of Davao City in the House of Representatives.  Alterado, the losing candidate filed a number of cases questioning the validity of the proclamation of Manuel Garcia and accusing the members of the Board of Canvassers of unlawful, erroneous, incomplete and irregular canvass. HRET dismissed the complained. The criminal complaint for falsification of public documents and violation of RA 3019 before the Ombudsman was also dismissed for lack of criminal intent.  However, still pending is an administrative charge instituted in the COMELEC against the Coity Board of Canvassers including petitioner Tan for “Misconduct, Neglect of Duty, Gross Incompetence and Acts Inimical to the Service”  Petitioner Tan moved to dismiss the administrative complaint against him for lack of jurisdiction. His main argument is that since he is under the Executive Deaprtment, COMELEC has no jurisdiction over him.  Tan contends in his petition that COMELEC committed grave abuse of discretion because: (1) He is the City Prosecutor of Davao City. Thus, he is under the jurisdiction of the Department of Justice of the executive vranch and not COMELEC; (2) The Civil Service Law provides that department heads shall have jurisdiction to investigate and decide matters involving disciplinary action against officers under their jurisdiction; (3) Sectio 2, Article IX of the 1987 Constitution which authorizes COMELEC to deputize public officers belonging to the executive department is for the purpose of insuring free, orderly and honest elections. It does not include and comprehend administrative disciplinary jurisdiction over officials belonging to the executive branch of government. That jurisdiction over deputized executive officers cannot be deemed to include such powers as would allow encroachment into the domain of the executive branch under guise of administering laws relative to elections; Issue:/ Held:

Whether COMELEC has jurisdiction over the administrative complaint against Prosecutor Tan, a member of the City Board of Canvassers? YES Ratio: COMELEC’s authority under Section 2(6-8), Article IX of the Constituion is virtually all encompassing when it comes to election matters, In respect particularly to sanctions against election offenses: Sec. 2. COMELEC shall exercise the following powers and functions (6) File upon a verified complaint or on its own initiative, petitions in court for inclusion or exclusion of voters; investigate and where appropriate, prosecute cases of violations of election laws, including acts or omissions constituting election frauds, offenses and malpractices. (8) Recommend to the President the removal of any officer or employee it has deputized or the imposition of any other disciplinary action for violation or disregard of or disobedience to its directive, order, or decision. Section 52, Article VII of the Omnibus Election Code likewise provides for the powers and functions of the COMELEC: Sec. 52. Powers and functions of COMELEC.- In addition to the powers and functions conferred upon it by the Constitution, the Commission shall have exclusive charge of the enforcement and administration of all laws relative to the conduct of elections for the purpose of insuring free, orderly and honest elections and shall: a. Exercise direct and immediate supervision and control over national and local officials or employees, including members of any national or local law enforcement agency and instrumentality of the government required by law to perform duties relative to the conduct of elelctions. In addition, it may authorize CMP cadets eighteen years of age and above to act as its deputies for the purpose of enforcing tis orders. The Commission may relieve any officer or employee refered to in the preceding paragraph from the performance of his duties relating to electoral processes who violates the election law or fails to comply with its instructions, orders, decisions or rulings, and appoint his substitute. Upon recommendation of the Commission, the corresponding proper authority shall suspend or remove from office any or all of such officers or employees who may after due process, be found guilty of such violation or failure.

Unavoidably. Also. or its directives issued conformably therewith. the COMELEC prior to making its recommendation must first satisfy itself that there has been indeed an infraction of the law. COMELEC is in the best position to assess how its deputized officials and employees perform or have performed in their duties. there is no forum shopping committed by Alterado because the proceedings before the Ombudsman and the COMELEC are independent of each other. . The COMELEC’s mandate includes its authority to exercise direct and immediate supervision and control over national and local officials or employees. including members of any national or local law enforcement agency and instrumentality of the government. that should conduct the administrative inquiry. Nevertheless. TYo say that the COMELEC is without jurisdiction to look into charges of election offenses committed by officials and employees of government outside the regular employ of the COMELEC would be to deny to it the proper and sound exercise of such recommendatory power and a possible denial of due process to the official or employee concerned. orders. the law has also provided that upon the COMELEC’s recommendation. required by law to perform duties relative to the conduct of elections. An absolution from a criminal charge is not a bar to an administrative prosecution. by the person administratively charged. be found guilty of violation of electon laws or failure to comply with instructions. the COMELEC may merely issue a recommendation for disciplinary action but it its still the executive department to which the charged official or employee belongs which has the ultimate authority to impose disciplinary penalty. decisions or rulings of the COMELEC. taken cognizance of by COMELEC is in relation to the performance of his duties as an election canvasser and not as city prosecutor.The administrative case against Tan. Lastly. In roder to help ensure that such duly deputized officials and employees of government carry out their respective assigned tasks. the corresponding proper authority (DOJ in this case) shall take appropriate action either to suspend or remove from office the officer or employee who may after due process.

Section 2 of the Ordinance only empowered the COMELEC “to make minor adjustments of the reapportionment herein made. When Biliran (belonging to the third rd district) was converted into a regular province. On January 1. 2.  COMELEC denied the motion ruling that: (1) Its adjustment of municipalities involved the least disruption of the territorial composition of each district (2) Said adjustment complied with the constitutional requirement that each legislative district shall comprise as far as practicable contiguous. 067. meaning to say. Thus..226 registered voters. that we may have forgotten an intervening municipality in the enumeration . Article IX of the 1987 Consititution. COMELEC does not invoke this provision and instead invokes the Ordinance Appended to the 1987 Consititution as the source of its power of redistricting which is traditionally regarded as part of the power to make laws. for instance.” The Ordinance was made necessary because Proclamation No. 2736 redistrciting certain municipalities in Leyte on the ground that it violates the principle of equality of representation.  Montejo now argues that Section 1 of COMELEC Resolution 2736 violates the principle of equality of representation ordained in the Constitution. that there should be no change in the allocation per district. the municipality of Biliran belonging to the third district became a subprovince. Facts:  Montejo. the Local Government took effect and thus. And yet. compact and adjacent territory. “DAVIDE: The authority conferred would be on minor corrections or amendments.MONTEJO V COMELEC 1995 || Puno. Apostol. representative of the first district of Leyte seeks to annul Sec.” “DE CASTRO: Can it be possible that one municipality in a district be transferred to another district and call it a minor adjustment? DAVIDE: That cannot be done. 1992. Minor. which ought to be include in one district. The Constitutional Commission denied to the COMELEC the major power of legislative apportionment as itself exercised the power. She then exercised legislative powers under the Provisional Constitution. Palompon was also removed from the 4 rd district to be assigned to the 3 district.  Leyte initially had 5 legislative districts.” The meaning of thr phrase “minor adjustments” was again clarified in the debates of the Commission. 462 of LGC provided that existing subprovinces are converted into regular provinces upon approval by a majority of votes cast in a plebiscite to be held in the subprovinces and the original provinces directly affected. Cory Aquino ordaining the Provisional Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines abolished the Batasang Pambansa. The Ordinance is entitled “Apportioning Seats of the Hpouse of Representatives of the Congress of the Philippines to the Different Legisaltive Districts in Provicens and Cities and the Metropolitan Manila Area. 1 of COMELEC Resolution No. J. 688 registered voters while the second district has 156. meaning. Issue:/ Held: Whether COMELEC Resolution 2736 which redistricts certain municipalities in Leyte is void? YES Ratio: RE CONSTITUTIONAL POWER OF COMELEC TO TRANSFER MUNICIPALITIES FROM ONE LEGISLATIVE DISTRCIT TO ANOTHER LEGISLATIVE DISTRCIT IN THE PROVICNE OF LEYTE: The basic powers of COMELEC as enforcer and administrator of election laws are spelled out in Section 2(c). By virtue of RA 2141 enacted in 1959. One municipality (Capoocan nd was removed from the 2 district and added to the rd th 3 district. 3 of Pres. Section 2 of the Ordinance provides: Sec. Example of minor change: There may be an error in the correct . He alleged that the first district has 178. That we shall consider a minor amendment. Biliran became a province because Sec. the 3 district was reduced to 5 municipalities with a total population of 145. 462 registered voters or a difference of 22. representative of the nd 2 district opposed the inclusion of Tolosa in his district.  Montejo filed a motion for reconsideration calling the attention of COMELEC to the inequitable distribution st nd of inhabitants and voters between the 1 and 2 districts. The Commission on Elections is hereby empowered to make minor adjustments of the reapportionment herein made. Montejo seeks to transfer the municplaity of Tolosa from his district to the second district of the province.

” Consistent with the limits of its power to make minor adjustments. . the Court cannot by itself make the reapportionment and thus cannot grant the prayer of st Montejo for Tolosa to be transferred from the 1 district nd to the 2 district. The power granted by Section 3 to COMELEC is to adjust the number of members (not municipalities) apportioned to the province out of which such new province was created…” Thus. COMELEC committed grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack of jurisdiction when it promulgate Section 1 of COMELEC Resolution 2736 transferring the municipality of Cappocan of the second district and the th rd municipality of Palompon of the 4 district to the 3 district of Leyte.name of a particular municipality because of changes made by the interim Batasang Pambansa and the Regular Batasang Pambansa. The issue involves a problem of reapportionment of legislative districts and Montejo’s remedy lies with Congress. Section 5 (4) Article GI of the Constitution categorically gives Congress the power to reapportion. the Congres shall make a reapportionment of legislative districts based on the standards provided in this section. thus: “within 3 years following the return of every census.” However. Section 3 of the Ordinance did not also give COMELEC any authority to transfer municpilaties from one legislative district to another district.

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