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Garchitorena vs.

Crescini Facts: On June 6, 1916, an election was held in the Province of Ambos Camarines for governor, and other provincial and municipal officers. Andres Garchitorena, Manuel Crescini, Engracio Imperial, and Francisco Botor were candidates for the office of governor. The election was closed. The returns were made by the inspectors of the various municipalities to the provincial board of inspectors which, after an examination of said returns, reached the conclusion that Andres Garchitorena had received 2,468 votes; that Manuel Crescini had received 3,198 votes; that Engracio Imperial had received 1,954 votes and Francisco Botor had received 692 votes. Upon that result, the provincial board of inspectors decided that Manuel Crescini had received a plurality of all votes cast, made a proclamation declaring that he had been elected Governor, and issued to him a certificate to that effect. Immediately upon notice of said proclamation, Andres Garchitorena presented a protest against said election, alleging that many frauds and irregularities had been committed in various municipalities of said province, and that he had, in fact, received a majority of all legal votes cast. Two trials were conducted, and the judges (Mina and Paredes) both ruled in favor of petitioner. Issue: Whether or not petitioner won the elections. Ruling: Yes. The presumption is that an election is honestly conducted, and the burden of proof to show it otherwise is on the party assailing the return. But when the return is clearly shown to be willfully and corruptly false, the whole of it becomes worthless as proof. When the election has been conducted so irregularly and fraudulently that the true result cannot be ascertained, the whole return must be rejected. It is impossible to make a list of all the frauds which will invalidate an election. Each case must rest upon its own evidence. The record of the frauds and irregularities committed in the said municipalities in which Judges Mina and Paredes annulled the entire vote, not only shows that legal voters were prevented from voting, but in some instances, legal ballots were tampered with and destroyed after they had been cast, to such an extent that no confidence can be placed in the return. The return in no sense discloses the expressed will of the voters. Search has been made in vain for cases in jurisprudence in which the frauds and irregularities committed were more glaring and more atrocious, and in which the real will of the voters were more

effectively defeated, than is found in the records in said municipalities in the present case. The statements of fact made by Judges Mina and Paredes relating to said frauds and irregularities are fully sustained by the evidence adduced during the trial of the cause.