This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
CASE TITLE ELECTION AND SUFFRAGE
PRINCIPLES As long as popular government is an end to be achieved and safeguarded, suffrage, whatever may be the modality and form devised, must continue to be the means by which the great reservoir of power must be emptied into the receptacular agencies wrought by the people through their Constitution in the interest of good government and the common weal. Republicanism, in so far as it implies the adoption of a representative type of government, necessarily points to the enfranchised citizen as a particle of popular sovereignty and as the ultimate source of the established authority." A republic then to be true to its name requires that the government rests on the consent of the people, consent freely given, intelligently arrived at, honestly recorded, and thereafter counted. Only thus can they be really looked upon as the ultimate sources of established authority. It is their undeniable right to have officials of their unfettered choice. The election law has no justification except as a means for assuring a free, honest and orderly expression of their views. It is of the essence that corruption and irregularities should not be permitted to taint the electoral process. In resolving the motion to dismiss, the allegations contained in the complaint should be hypothetically admitted. In this case, the court obviously erred in dismissing the protest. The seriousness and gravity of the imputed failure to have election conducted freely and honestly, with such irregularities alleged, give rise to doubts, rational and honest, as to who were the duly elected officials. IMPORTANCE OF PRESERVING THE RIGHT OF SUFFRAGE If the right of suffrage would be disregarded or frittered away, popular sovereignty becomes a myth. In the case of Moya v. Del Fierro, it was declared by Justice Laurel, (check principle in Moya)
IRINEO MOYA, petitioner, vs. AGRIPINO GA. DEL FIERO, respondent.
MARIANO LL. BADELLES, protestant-appellant, vs. CAMILO P. CABILI, protegee-appellee.
COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS AMANTE P. PURISIMA, petitioner, vs. HON. ANGELINO C. SALANGA, Judge of the Court of First Instance of Ilocos Sur. THE PROVINCIAL BOARD OF CANVASSERS, THE COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS and GREGORIO CORDERO, respondents.
There is no more question now that the number of votes involved in said discrepancy is more than enough to alter the result. The record shows that the reason why Purisima was not able to submit to the board the COMELEC copies of returns was because the board declined to suspend the canvass and proclamation. He should not be prejudiced by such. It is the duty of canvassers to suspend in case of patent irregularity in the returns as in the present case. Interpretation of election laws should give effect to the expressed will of the electorate. The purpose of the Revised Election Code is to protect the integrity of elections and to suppress all evils that may violate its purity and defeat the will of the voters. The purity of the elections is one of the most fundamental requisites of popular government. The Commission on Elections, by constitutional mandate, must do everything in its power to secure a fair and honest canvass of the votes cast in the elections. In the performance of its duties, the Commission must be given a considerable latitude in adopting means and methods that will insure the accomplishment of the great objective for which it was created — to promote free, orderly, and honest elections. The choice of means taken by the Commission on Elections, unless they are clearly illegal or constitute grave abuse of discretion, should not be interfered with. Technicalities, which are not conducive to free, orderly and honest elections, but on the contrary may defeat the will of the sovereign people as expressed in their votes, should not be allowed to hamper the Commission on Elections in the performance of its duties. To sustain the petitioner in the present case is to deny the Commission on Elections the power to retrieve the copies of the election returns from the ballot boxes in order that the true number of votes cast for a candidate may be known and thus permit a canvass on the basis of election returns that are patently falsified. We cannot, and We must not, sanction the stand of petitioner. As We have adverted to, the Commission on Elections has the power to inquire whether there exist discrepancies among the various copies of the election returns. Of all the copies prepared by the board of inspectors the copy least susceptible to being tampered with is the one deposited in the ballot box. Where the three copies outside the ballot boxes appear to have been uniformly altered, there is no plausible reason why the copy deposited in the ballot box may not be used to determine whether discrepancies exist in the various copies. Inasmuch as the Commission on Elections has the right to determine whether said discrepancies exist, it must also have the right to consult said returns, which cannot be done unless the ballot boxes are opened. It is noteworthy that the Revised Election Code does not provide that it is the courts that have the power to order the opening of the ballot box in a situation like this. The Comelec is an independent constitutional body with a distinct and pivotal role in our scheme of government. In the discharge of its awesome functions as overseer of fair elections, administrator and lead implementor of laws relative to the conduct of elections, it should not be stymied with restrictions that would perhaps be justified in the case of an organization of lesser responsibility. It should be afforded ample elbow room and enough wherewithal in devising means and initiatives that would enable it to accomplish the great objective for which it was created ––to promote free, orderly, honest and peaceful elections. This is as it should be for, too often, Comelec has to make decisions under difficult conditions to address unforeseen events to preserve the integrity of the election and in the process the voice of the people. Thus, in the past, the Court has steered away from interfering with the Comelec‘s exercise of its power which, by law and by the nature of its off ice properly pertain to it. Absent, therefore, a clear showing of grave abuse of discretion on Comelec‘s part, as here, the Court should refrain from utilizing the corrective hand of certiorari to review, let 1 alone nullify, the acts of that body.
LUCAS V. CAUTON, petitioner, vs. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS and PABLO SANIDAD, respondents.
H. HARRY L. ROQUE, JR., JOEL R. BUTUYAN, ROMEL R. BAGARES, ALLAN JONES F. LARDIZABAL, GILBERT T. ANDRES, IMMACULADA D. GARCIA, ERLINDA T. MERCADO, FRANCISCO A. ALCUAZ, MA. AZUCENA P. MACEDA, and ALVIN A. PETERS, Petitioners, - versus -
the enjoyment of the franchise in the modern states has come to embrace the mass of the audit classes of persons are excluded from the franchise. vs. DEPARTMENT OF BUDGET and MANAGEMENT. is unfit to exercise the privilege of suffrage or to hold office. 132 Ky. But with the spread of democratic ideas. 201). of the authorities herein. The right of the State to deprive persons to the right of suffrage by reason of their having been convicted of crime. represented by HON.‖ It is but fair to say that if the question were strictly one of first impression in this jurisdiction. The will of the electorate should be respected. is beyo nd question. a qualified voter of the city of Louisville since he had not registered as a voter in that city. we are loath to depart from them. His eligibility was protested upon the ground that he was not.COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS. vs. It is sufficient that he possesses all the qualifications prescribed in section 431 and none of the disqualifications prescribed in section 432. when possible. TOTAL INFORMATION MANAGEMENT CORPORATION and SMARTMATIC INTERNATIONAL CORPORATION. defendant-appellant. CHAIRMAN JOSE MELO. the courts should. One of the qualifications required by law of a person who announces his candidacy is that he must be a duly qualified elector. ROLANDO ANDAYA. VOTERS The modern conception of the suffrage is that voting is a function of government. imposed for protection and not for punishment. the exercise of the right of suffrage was limited to a small portion of the inhabitants. . plaintiff-appellee. Registration regulates the exercise of the right of suffrage. Among the the generally excluded classes are minors idiots. AKBAYAN – Youth.before mentioned. and the other the executive branch responsible for its enforcement ? while not controlling on the Judiciary. It is contended that it would be an absurdity to hold o ne a qualified elector who was not eligible to vote in his municipality. MASP. The right to vote is not a natural right but is a right created by law. or other base offense indicative of moral turpitude. REGISTRATION OF VOTERS 2 . Respondents. and convicts. keep step with the other departments. The Executive Bureau has held that the term ―qualified‖ when applied to a voter does not necessarily mean that a person must be a registered voter.‖ One Wood was elected a commi ssioner of the sinking fund. SCAP. The Supreme Court of Kentucky. we would be more impressed with the potent points made by the appellant. The exclusion must for this reason be adjudged a mere disqualification. respondent-appellee. on close examination. AMADEO CORRAL. One may be a qualified voter without exercising the right to vote. and a registered qualified elector and the respondent is such although not in his home municipality. To become a qualified candidate a person does not need to register as an elector. COMELEC SPECIAL BIDS and AWARDS COMMITTEE. . is entitled to our respectful consideration. Suffrage is a privilege granted by the State to such persons or classes as are most likely to exercise it for the public good. It is not at all easy to disregard the forcible argument advanced by counsel for the appellant to the effect that when the law makes use of the phrases ―qualified elector‖ and ―qualified voter‖ the law means what it says.. Brown (. particularly as the language which goes to make up these authorities. THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS. The law of Kentucky provided t hat ―No person shall be eligible to any office who is not at time of his election a qualified voter of the city and who has not resided therein three years preceding his election. The fact that a candidate failed to register as an elector in the municipality does not deprive him of the right to become a candidate to be voted for. at the time of his election. considering the law and the facts in the case of Meffert vs. MARCOS YRA. It is not a qualification for such right. The presumption is that one rendered infamous by conviction of felony. however. ―The manifest purpose of such restrictions upon this right is to preserve the purity of elections. In the early stages of the evolution of the representative system of government. In view. At the same time. Represented by HON. Registering does not confer the right. held that under the Kentucky statutes requiring officers in certain cities to be qu alified voters. It was said that ―The act of registering is only one step towards voting. FERDINAND RAFANAN. . and it is not one of the elements that makes the citizen a qualified voter. one‘s eligibility is not affected by his failure to register. petitioner-appellant. UCSC. MAXIMO ABANO. speaking through its Chief Justice. the withholding of a privilege and not the denial of a personal right. But we are not without other authority. For the orderly and harmonious interpretation and advancement of the law. it is but a condition precedent to the exercise of the right. the contemporaneous construction of the law by two departments of the Government ? one the legislative branch responsible for its enactment. is found to rest on reason. It should not be forgotten that the people of Meycauayan have spoken and their choice to be their local chief executive is the respondent. The distinction is between a qualified elector and the respondent is such. paupers. represented by its CHAIRMAN HON.
2. provides that no registration shall be conducted 120 days before a regular election and 90 days before a special election. In the case at bar the Comelec stated the ―operational impossibility‖ of holding the additional two-day registration. respondents. We held that a conviction for violation of B.P. The Supreme Court held that Section 8 of R. thus missed their chance. vileness. in the case of a member of the sangguniang panlalawigan. EMMANUEL E. 8436. Petitioners failed to register. however. The accused knows at the time of the issuance that he or she does not have sufficient funds in. The right to suffrage is not absolute and must be exercised within the proper bounds and framework of the Constitution. court took judicial notice of the fact that the President issued a proclamation calling Congress to a Special Session to allow the conduct of special registration for new voters and that bills had been filed in Congress to amend Republic Act No. VILLABER. No.‖We further pronounced therein that: ―…in International Rice Research Institute vs. ―The disqualifications to be a candidate herein provided shall be deemed removed upon the declaration by competent authority that said insanity or incompetence had been removed or after the expiration of a period of five years from his service of sentence. TAMONDONG. 6646 and adopted verbatim in Section 28 of R. without any valid reason. clarified in Dela Torre vs. In the final analysis.P. DOUGLAS R. 8436. or depravity in the private duties which a man owes his fellow men. modesty.A. 39. draws or issues any check to apply to account or for value. or it would have been dishonored for the same reason had not the drawer. or good morals. — (a) An elective local official must be a citizen of the Philippines.‖ In In re Vinzon. or credit with. or good morals. petitioners. PATRICIA O. OMBAO. The elements of the offense under the above provision are: 1. 8189 applies for the purpose of upholding the resolution. Comelec acted within the confines of the applicable law in denying the petitioners‘ request. The act of registration is an indispensable precondition to the right of suffrage.‖ and that ―as to what crime involves moral turpitude is for the Supreme Court to determine.A. the district where he intends to be elected. However. In disqualifying petitioner Villaber from being a candidate for Congressman. shall be disqualified to be a candidate and to hold any office. ARCHIE JOHN TALAUE. rebellion. or for any offense for which he has been sentenced to a penalty of more than eighteen months. Qualifications.‖ We. The so-called ―stand-by powers‖ or ―residual‖ powers of the Comelec. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS. JOSE MARI MODESTO. as raised by the petitioners is provided under the relevant provisions of Section 29 of R. LABO. honesty. a registered voter in the barangay. paraphrasing Black‘s definition. The COMELEC believes it is.A. In the light of the foregoing the assailed resolution must be upheld. honesty. Blg. EDBEN TABUCOL. and 3. and able to read and write Filipino or any other PABLO C. RYAN DAPITAN. Section 8 of R. To begin with. unless he has been given plenary pardon or granted amnesty. ALYANSA. No. Commission on Elections that ―not every criminal act involves moral turpitude. respondents. NLRC.‖Thus. petitioner. or for a crime involving moral turpitude. whether or not a crime involves moral turpitude is ultimately a question of fact and frequently depends on the circumstances surrounding the case. and therefore Section 8 of R. ordered the bank to stop payment. presupposes the possibility of its being exercised or availed of and not otherwise. RICHARD M. CAGAS. KALIPI. the Court admitted that it canno t always be ascertained whether moral turpitude does or does not exist by merely classifying a crime as malum in se or as malum prohibitum.A. Thus. 8189 CANDIDATES The sole issue for our Resolution is whether or not violation of B. vs. JOHNNY ACOSTA. vs. 3 .A. city. PICAR. a drawer who issues an u nfunded check deliberately reneges on his private duties he owes his fellow men or society in a manner contrary to accepted and customary rule of right and duty. or province or.‖ we have consistently adopted the definition in Black‘s Law Dictionary as ―an act of baseness. the drawee bank for the payment of the check in full upon its presentment. or to society in general. Jr. The presence of the second element manifests moral turpitude. CHRISTOPHER OARDE. The Supreme Court could not compel Comelec to conduct a special registration of new voters. justice.A. sangguniang bayan. Section 28 of R. Blg. RAMON L. Disqualifications.‖ As to the meaning of ―moral turpitude. cannot be applied in this case. VALENCIA. respondents. For registration is part and parcel of the right to vote and an indispensable element in the election process. sangguniang panlungsod. unless within the same period he again becomes disqualified..the term ―moral turpitude‖ is considered as encompassing ―everything which is done contrary to justice. municipality. vs.KOMPIL II – Youth. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS. 12. 22 ―imports deceit‖ and ―certainly relates to and affects the good moral character of a person…. The check is subsequently dishonored by the drawee bank for insufficiency of funds or credit. MYLA GAIL Z. one of the qualifications of an elective official is that he must be a citizen of the Philippines. 22 involves moral turpitude. or has been sentenced by final judgment for subversion. the COMELEC applied Section 12 of the Omnibus Election Code which provides: ―Sec. contrary to the accepted and customary rule of right and duty between man and woman. 8189. – Any person who has been declared by competent authority insane or incompetent. or conduct contrary to justice. petitioner. honesty or good morals. The accused makes. the Local Government Code provides: Sec. a resident therein for at least one (1) year immediately preceding the day of the election. wherein the commission shall fix other periods and dates for the accomplishment of pre-election acts if it is no longer possible to observe the dates and periods prescribed by law. insurrection. 8436 may not apply. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS and REP. and ROBERTO ORTEGA.
THE HONORABLE COMMISSION ON ELECTION and EUFEMIO MULI. and in the honest belief that Labo was then qualified to be the person to whom they would entrust the exercise of the powers of the government. is: the ineligibility of a candidate receiving majority votes does not entitle the eligible candidate receiving the next highest number of votes to be declared elected. ―The clear intent of 4 . the petitioner cannot be considered as having been duly elected to the post in the May 1995 elections. First. *** The rule. NO. he must also have been elected to the same position for the same number of times before the disqualification can apply. Lonzanida did not serve a term as mayor of San Antonio. the term limit for elective local officials must be taken to refer to the right to be elected as well as the right to serve in the same elective position. it is not enough that an individual has served three consecutive terms in an elective local office. petitioner. 2. and second. WON petitioner‘s assumption of office as mayor of San Antonio Zambales from May 1995 to 1998 may be considered as service of one full term for the purpose of applying the three-term limit for elective local government officials. It does not appear in the record. Second. A minority or defeated candidate cannot be deemed elected to the office. the votes intended for the disqualified candidate should. ―To recapitulate. be considered null and void. lacks the fundamental qualification for the contested office. petitioner Labo turned out to be disqualified and cannot assume the office. without any intention to misapply their franchise. vs.‖ ROMEO LONZANIDA. Held: 1. Issues: 1. The respondents‘ contention that the petitioner should be deemed to have served one full term from May 1995 -1998 because he served the greater portion of that term has no legal basis to support it. that he has fully served three consecutive terms. simplified in his case because he was married to an Australian citizen. After a re-appreciation and revision of the contested ballots the COMELEC itself declared by final judgment that petitioner Lonzanida lost in the May 1995 mayoral elections and his previous proclamation as winner was declared null and void. petitioner Labo. it disregards the second requisite for the application of the disqualification. At the risk of being repetitious. This would amount to disenfranchising the electorate in whom sovereignty resides. The two requisites for the application of the three term rule are absent. in effect. the people of Baguio City opted to elect petitioner Labo bona fide. i. As mandated by law: "An elective local official must be a citizen of the Philippines. therefore. The second sentence of the constitutional provision under sc rutiny states. It is therefore incorrect to argue that since a candidate has been disqualified. There is no claim or finding that he automatically ceased to be a Filipino because of that marriage. Zambales from May 1995 to March 1998 because he was not duly elected to the post. Two conditions for the application of the disqualification must concur: 1) that the official concerned has been elected for three consecutive terms in the same local government post and 2) that he has fully served three consecutive terms. which presumption was later overturned by the COMELEC when it decided with finality that Lonzanida lost in the May 1995 mayoral elections.e. the petitioner did not fully serve the 1995-1998 mayoral term by reason of involuntary relinquishment of office. Unfortunately. He became a citizen of Australia because he was naturalized as such through a formal and positive process. repondents. he merely assumed office as presumptive winner. It has been repeatedly held by this court that a proclamation subsequently declared void is no proclamation at all and while a proclaimed candidate may assume office on the strength of the proclamation of the Board of Canvassers he is only a presumptive winner who assumes office subject to the final outcome of the election protest. he formally took the Oath of Allegiance and/or made the Affirmation of Allegiance. His assumption of office as mayor cannot be deemed to have been by reason of a valid election but by reason of a void proclamation.local language or dialect.." The petitioner‘s contention that his marriage to an Australian national in 1976 did not automatically divest him of Philippin e citizenship is irrelevant. Philippine citizenship is an indispensable requirement for holding an elective office. not being a Filipino citizen. As a condition for such naturalization. renouncing all other allegiance. nor does the petitioner claim. the petitioner cannot be deemed to have served the May 1995 to 1998 term because he was ordered to vacate his post before the expiration of the term. that he has reacquired Philippine citizenship. ―Voluntary renunciation of office for any length of time shall not be considered as an interruption in the continuity of service for the full term for which he was elected. (emphasis supplied) Undoubtedly. WON COMELEC ceased to have jurisdiction over the petition for disqualification after petitioner was proclaimed winner. Consequently.
any candidate who has been declared by final judgment to be disqualified shall not be voted for. SR. To determine the validity of a police measure.‖ The clear legislative intent is that the COMELEC should continue the trial and hearing of the disqualification case to its conclusion i. Section 6 of RA 6646 specifically mandates that: ―Sec. Obviously. The Court opted to remand the case to COMELEC to resolve and proceed with the case. MARQUEZ. his assumption of office from May 1995 to March 1998 cannot be counted as a term for purposes of computing the three term limit. two questions must be asked: (1) Does the interest of the public in general. the fact that a candidate has been proclaimed elected does not signify that his disqualification is deemed condoned and may no longer be the subject of a separate investigation. until judgment is rendered. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS. JOHN LLOYD PACETE CAMPAIGN. not by voluntary renunciation but in compliance with the legal process of writ of execution issued by the COMELEC to that effect. Fugitive from justice refers to a person who has been convicted by final judgment. PETITIONER V. vs. may during the pendency thereof order the suspension of the proclamation of such candidate whenever the evidence of his guilt is strong. Effects of disqualification Case. from serving. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS and EDUARDO T. SEE COMPLETE TEXT This Court takes a contrary view. Police power. RODRIGUEZ. and the general welfare of the people.the framers of the constitution to bar any attempt to circumvent the three-term limit by a voluntary renunciation of office and at the same time respect the people‘s choice and grant their elected official full service of a term is evident in this provision. COMELEC AND ERNESTO VEGA SEE COMPLETE TEXT The Supreme Court ruled that Article 73 of the Rules and Regulations implementing the Local Government Code of 1991 provides: ―Article 73. conversely. good order. 2. respondents. The petitioner vacated his post a few months before the next mayoral elections. represented by its Chairman. COMELEC did not make any definite finding on whether or not private respondent is a fugitive from justice when it outrightly denied the petition for quo warranto. ELECTION PROPAGANDA. The Resolution of the COMELEC finding him disqualified on this ground to run in the May 1998 mayoral elections should therefore be set aside. hence. Voluntary renuncia tion of a term does not cancel the renounced term in the computation of the three term limit. FRANCISCO I.. or safety.‖ MAYOR ABELARDO ABUNDO. and the votes cast for him shall not be counted. the petitioner did not fully serve the 1995-1998 mayoral term. Disqualifications – The following persons shall be disqualified from running for any elective local position: BIENVENIDO O. COMELEC that the proclamation or the assumption of office of a candidate against whom a petition for disqualification is pending before the COMELEC does not divest the COMELEC of jurisdiction to continue hearing the case and to resolve it on the merits. if elected.‖ It is clear from this provision that fugitives from justice refer only to persons who has been convicted by final judgment. JR. the court or commission shall continue with the trial and hearing of the action. involuntary severance from office for any length of time short of the full term provided by law amounts to an interruption of continuity of service. require the exercise of police power? 5 . The outright dismissal of the petition for disqualification filed before the election but which remained unresolved after the proclamation of the candidate sought to be disqualified will unduly reward the said candidate and may encourage him to employ delaying tactics to impede the resolution of the petition until after he has been proclaimed. It must be emphasized that the purpose of a disqualification proceeding is to prevent the candidate from running or. Such involuntary severance from office is an interruption of continuity of service and thus. CHAVEZ. petitioner. ABALOS. It was held in the case of Sunga vs. In sum. BENJAMIN S. or to prosecute him for violation of the election laws. vs. COMELEC. petitioner. as an inherent attribute of sovereignty.e. CASIMIRA DE LA CRUZ. as distinguished from those of a particular class.. PETITIONER V.. is the power to prescribe regulations to promote the health. the petitioner was not the duly elected mayor and that he did not hold office for the full term. peace. ETC. education.. ―(a) xxxx ―(e) Fugitives from justice in criminal or non-political cases here or abroad. morals. upon motion of the complainant or any intervenor. 6. However. inquiry or protest and. NO. If for any reason a candidate is not declared by final judgment before an election to be disqualified and he is voted for and receives the winning number of votes in such election.
clubs. like ours. or Directly or indirectly soliciting votes. including any government-owned or controlled corporation or its subsidiary. without a doubt. vs. for public information campaigns and forums among candidates in connection with the objective of holding free. or instrumentality thereof. media of communication or information. or other similar assemblies. respondents. to equalize the situation between popular or rich candidates. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS and EDGAR T. agency. This plain language of the law need not be construed further. Commission on Elections. with so many of our population falling below the poverty line. The latter is a valid reason for the exercise of police power as held in National Press Club v. COMELEC. and by the prevalence of poverty. Moreover. (underscoring ours) It is true that when petitioner entered into the contracts or agreements to endorse certain products. the COMELEC was acting well within its scope of powers when it required petitioner to discontinue the display of the subject billboards. peaceful. supervise or regulate the enjoyment or utilization of all franchises or permits for the operation of transportation and other public utilities. petitioner cannot claim that the subject billboards are purely product endorsements and do not announce nor solicit any support for his candidacy. he acted as a private individual and had all the right to lend his name and image to these products. pledges or support for or against a candidate. and lesser-known or poorer candidates. candidates for public office whose name and image are used to advertise commercial products would have more opportunity to make themselves known to the electorate. ANDANAR. which prohibited the sale or donation of print space and air time ―for campaigning or other political purposes. on the other.‖ So. PENERA. wherein the petitioners questioned the constitutionality of Section 11(b) of Republic Act No. Such supervision or regulation shall aim to ensure equal opportunity. and credible elections. as far as practicable. for the purpose of soliciting votes and/or undertaking any campaign or propaganda for or against a candidate. Respondents. However. she was not yet a candidate for. This. meetings. As what was decided in the Lanot Case which says that prior to the campaign ROSALINDA A. orderly. (3) (4) (5) Making speeches. 80. whether or not a voter or candidate.‖ This Court ruled therein that this objective is of special importance and urgency in a country which. Under the Omnibus Election Code. or for any party. associations.ESMERALDA AMORA-LADRA. when he filed his certificate of candidacy for Senator. is characterized by extreme disparity in income distribution between the economic elite and the rest of society. equal rates therefor. on one hand. If the subject billboards were to be allowed. Similarly. and the right to reply. special privileges. it is lawful if done before the start of the campaign period. x x x  Article IX (C) (4) of the Constitution provides: Sec. Therefore. on the day of the motorcade. parades. the billboards featuring his name and image assumed partisan political character because the same indirectly promoted his candidacy. or association of persons. to engage in an election campaign or partisan political activity except during the campaign period. 4. National Capital Judicial Region. the situations of rich and poor candidates by preventing the former from enjoying the undue advantage offered by huge campaign ―war chests. 6 . during the election period. and the SOLICITOR GENERAL. or other groups of persons for the purpose of soliciting votes and/or undertaking any campaign for or against a candidate (2) Holding political caucuses. honest. and (2) Are the means employed reasonably necessary for the accomplishment of the purpose and not unduly oppressive upon individuals? A close examination of the assailed provision reveals that its primary objectives are to prohibit premature campaigning and to level the playing field for candidates of public office. 6646. or concessions granted by the Government or any subdivision. in her capacity as Acting Director IV. The obvious intention of this provision is to equalize. rallies. Any act is lawful unless expressly declared unlawful by law. ―election campaign‖ or ―partisan political activity‖ is defined as an act designed to promot e the election or defeat of a particular candidate or candidates to a public office. would be a circumvention of the rule against premature campaigning: Sec. and space. The Commission may. conferences. Publishing or distributing campaign literature or materials designed to support or oppose the election of any candidate.‖ except to the COMELEC. announcements or commentaries. Activities included under this definition are: (1) Forming organizations. all grants. committees. an individual intending to run for public office within the next few months. It is enough that Congress stated that ―any unlawful act or omis sion applicable to a candidate shall take effect only upon the start of the campaign period. by preventing the former from enjoying undue advantage in exposure and publicity on account of their resources and popularity. Petitioner. or holding interviews for or against the election of any candidate for public office. to the disadvantage of other candidates who do not have the same chance of lending their faces and names to endorse popular commercial products as image models. time. – It shall be unlawful for any person. could pay private corporations to use him as their image model with the intention of familiarizing the public with his name and image even before the start of the campaign period. Election campaign or partisan political activity outside campaign period. including reasonable.
INCORPORATED and KAMAHALAN PUBLISHING CORPORATION. As said earlier. Article VI of the Constitution. In the exercise of its constitutional prerogative. and (3) the governmental interest sought to be promoted can be achieved by means other than suppression of freedom of expression. What she did was an exercise of her freedom of expression. (2) The party-list representatives shall constitute twenty per centum of the total number of representatives including those under the party-list. vs. women. vs. For three consecutive terms after the ratification of this Constitution. (2) it is a direct and total suppression of a category of expression even though such suppression is only for a limited period. First Issue: Whether the Twenty Percent Constitutional Allocation Is Mandatory The pertinent provision of the Constitution on the composition of the House of Representatives reads as follows: ―Sec.‖ We rule that a simple reading of Section 5.20 = No. 5. who shall be elected from legislative districts apportioned among the provinces. shall be elected by a party-list system of registered national. easily conveys the equally simple message that Congress was vested with the broad power to define and prescribe the mechanics of the party-list system of representation. Determination of the Total Number of Party-List Lawmakers Clearly. respondents. as provided by law. of party-list . and sectoral parties or organizations. even if the candidate has filed his/her certificate of candidacy. she cannot be guilty of premature campaigning for in the first place there is no candidate to talk about. petitioners. Congress enacted RA 7941. unless otherwise fixed by law. regional. organizations and coalitions participating in the system to obtain at least two percent of the total votes cast for the party-list system in order to be entitled to a party-list seat. as follows: No. Hence. cities. The Constitution explicitly sets down only the percentage of the total membership in the House of Representatives reserved for party-list representatives. no winning party. and LUZON FARMERS PARTY. but disagrees that they should all be granted additional seats.SOCIAL WEATHER STATIONS. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS. ADHIKAIN AT KILUSAN NG ORDINARYONG TAO PARA SA LUPA. Those garnering more than this percentage could have "additional seats in proportion to their total number of votes. and such other sectors as may be provided by law. The Court held that Section (5)4 is invalid because (1) it imposes a prior restraint on the freedom of expression. PARTY-LIST ORGANIZATION period. The Court agrees with petitioners that the assailed Resolutions should be nullified. PABAHAY AT KAUNLARAN. who shall comprise "twenty per centum of the total number of representatives including those under the party-list. the Constitution makes the number of district representatives the determinant in arriving at the number of seats allocated for party-list lawmakers. indigenous cultural communities.‖ F urthermore. It however deemed it necessary to require parties. ET AL.x . (1) The House of Representatives shall be composed of not more than two hundred and fifty members. ALYANSANG BAYANIHAN NG MGA MAGSASAKA. but be insufficient to justify such as diminishes the exercise of rights so vital to the maintenance of democratic institutions. youth. as provided by law.80 representatives Twenty Percent Allocation a Mere Ceiling The Constitution simply states that "[t]he party-list representatives shall constitute twenty per centum of the total number of representatives including those under the party-list. peasant. It has been held that "[mere] legislative preferences or beliefs respecting matters of public convenience may well support regulation directed at other personal activities. except the religious sector. by selection or election from the labor. Thus the relevant portion of Section 11(b) of the law provides: 7 . and on the basis of a uniform and progressive ratio.‖ VETERANS FEDERATION PARTY. POLITICAL PARTY. petitioners. and the Metropolitan Manila area in accordance with the number of their respective inhabitants. urban poor. MANGGAGAWANG BUKID AT MANGINGISDA. respondent. doing business as MANILA STANDARD. and those who. one half of the seats allocated to party-list representatives shall be filled.‖ The Court‘s Ruling The Petitions are partly meritorious. he/she is not yet considered as a candidate for purposes other than the printing of ballots. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS. Congress declared therein a policy to promote "proportional representation" in the election of party-list representatives in order to enable Filipinos belonging to the marginalized and underrepresented sectors to contribute legislation that would benefit them. organization or coalition can have more than three seats in the House of Representatives. of district representatives ---------------------------------." We thus translate this legal provision into a mathematical formula.
but is exercised by representatives chosen by them. Third Issue: Method of Allocating Additional Seats Having determined that the twenty percent seat allocation is merely a ceiling. the result might be the proliferation of small groups which are incapable of contributing significant legislation. to 3 seats. The percentage of their respective votes as against the total number of votes cast for the party-list system is then determined. organizations. to 5 seats and Party C. Congress wanted to ensure that only those parties. we need to review the parameters of the 8 .‖ Considering the foregoing statutory requirements. even legislative districts are apportioned according to "the number of their respective inhabitants. organizations and coalitions (hereafter collectively referred to as "parties") according to the votes they each obtained. 10 percent." Under a republican or representative state. and which might even pose a threat to the stability of Congress. when Party A receives 20 percent of the total votes cast. it will be shown presently that Section 5 (2). because the validity of the three-seat limit is not seriously challenged in these consolidated cases. however. In effect. and coalitions receiving at least two percent (2%) of the total votes cast for the party -list system shall be entitled to one seat each. All those that garnered at least two percent of the total votes cast have an assured or guaranteed seat in the House of Representatives. the Court discarded it. in a legislature that features the party-list system. Second Issue: The Statutory Requirement and Limitation The Two Percent Threshold In imposing a two percent threshold. But to have meaningful representation. Translated in figures. One Additional Seat Per Two Percent Increment One proposed formula is to allocate one additional seat for every additional proportion of the votes obtained equivalent to the two percent vote requirement for the first seat. The two percent threshold is consistent not only with the intent of the framers of the Constitution and the law. and on the basis of a uniform and progressive ratio" to ensure meaningful local representation." bearing in mind the three-seat limit further imposed by the law. yet getting the same number of seats as the other one with the much lesser votes. all the parties will each uniformly have three seats only. The Three-Seat-Per-Party Limit We shall not belabor this point. we hold that the statutory provision on this two percent requirement is precise and crystalline. The Legal and Logical Formula for the Philippines It is now obvious that the Philippine style party-list system is a unique paradigm which demands an equally unique formula. organizations and coalitions having a sufficient number of constituents deserving of representation are actually represented in Congress." The problem is how to distribute additional seats "proportionally.―(b) The parties. proportional representation will be contravened and the law rendered nugatory by this suggested solution. All in all. Otherwise. Thus. organizations and coalitions are entitled to. Party B. and Party C. When the law is clear. This proposal has the advantage of simplicity and ease of comprehension. Party A would be entitled to 10 seats. "those garnering more than two percent of the votes shall be entitled to additional seats in proportion to their total number of votes. the function of courts is simple application. not interpretation or circumvention. and one that gets two percent will be entitled to one seat only. organization. another party that gets four percent will be entitled to two seats. we now proceed to the method of determining how many party-list seats the qualified parties. Problems arise. That those garnering more than two percent (2%) of the votes shall be entitled to additional seats in proportion to their total number of votes. Provided. It merely provides a ceiling for party-list seats in Congress. Party B. and having upheld the constitutionality of the two percent vote threshold and the three-seat limit imposed under RA 7941.there is no dispute on this . Considering the three-seat limit imposed by law. the elected persons must have the mandate of a sufficient number of people. That each party. Under the method just described. but with the very essence of "representation.for example. finally. Hence. The very first step . or coalit ion shall be entitled to not more than three (3) seats. Article VI of the Constitution is not mandatory. 6 percent. We would then have the spectacle of a party garnering two or more times the number of votes obtained by another. Provided. In crafting a legally defensible and logical solution to determine the number of additional seats that a qualified party is entitled to.is to rank all the participating parties. a party that wins at least six percent of the total votes cast will be entitled to three seats. Thereafter. all government authority emanates from the people. when the parties get very lop-sided votes -.
we now explain such formula. after summary evidentiary hearings. is entitled to a maximum of three seats. Then the ratio for each party is computed by dividing its votes by the total votes cast for all the parties participating in the system. a. represented herein by its secretary-general. the three-seat limit . These cases should be remanded to the COMELEC which will determine.” The problem. Whether or not political parties may participate in the party-list elections Whether or not the party-list system is exclusive to ‗marginalized and underrepresented‘ sectors and organizations. the twenty percent allocation . as well as the members of this Court. Another qualified party which received 500. it merely applies it to a given set of facts. All parties with at least two percent of the total votes are guaranteed one seat each. We said further that "no party can claim more than what it is entitled to x x x.000 votes and is determined to be entitled to two additional seats. because there is no such thing as a fraction of a seat. will definitely not end up in such constitutional contravention. There is no dispute among the petitioners.only those parties garnering a minimum of two percent of the total valid votes cast for the party-list system are “qualified” to have a seat in the House of Representatives. that is.000. given the number of qualified parties and the voting percentages obtained. the public and the private respondents. Verily. that the initial step is to rank all the participating parties. since it garnered only fifty percent of the votes won by the first party. deprive another party's fractional membership. Depending on the proportion of its votes relative to that of the first party whose number of seats has already been predetermined. The Court has previously ruled in Guingona Jr. Gonzales that a fractional membership cannot be converted into a whole membership of one when it would. neither will this Court. vs.the combined number of all party-list congressmen shall not exceed twenty percent of the total membership of the House of Representatives. is to find a way to translate ―proportional representation‖ into a mathematical formula that will not contravene. the second party should be given less than that to which the first one is entitled. the decision on whether to round off the fractions is better left to the legislature. as already stated.‖ In any case.each qualified party. organizations and coalitions from the highest to the lowest based on the number of votes they each received. one “qualifying” and two additional seats. circumvent or amend the above-mentioned parameters.000 votes cannot be entitled to the same number of seats.the additional seats which a qualified party is entitled to shall be computed “in proportion to their total number of votes.Filipino party-list system. and (2) the formula does not admit of mathematical rounding off. Fourth. petitioner. Held: The Petitions are partly meritorious. in order to be able to compute that for the other parties. Since Congress did not provide for it in the present law. Third. ANG BAGONG BAYANI-OFW LABOR PARTY (under the acronym OFW). The other qualified parties will always be allotted less additional seats than the first party for two reasons: (1) the ratio between said parties and the first party will always be less than 1:1. regardless of the number of votes it actually obtained. an arbitrary rounding off could result in a violation of the twenty percent allocation. After careful deliberation. Since the distribution is based on proportional representation. Step One. Second. the first party received 1. the number of seats to be allotted to the other parties cannot possibly exceed that to which the first party is entitled by virtue of its obtaining the most number of votes. It would be a violation of the constitutional mandate of proportional representation. The party receiving the highest number of votes shall thenceforth be referred to as the ―first‖ party. the two percent threshold . The next step is to determine the number of seats the first party is entitled to. An academic mathematical demonstration of such incipient violation is not necessary because the present set of facts. step by step. whether the 154 parties and organizations enumerated in the assailed Omnibus Resolution satisfy the requirements of the Constitution and 9 . including those elected under the party list. proportional representation . As earlier mentioned in the Prologue. Only these parties shall be considered in the computation of additional seats. they are as follows: First. The Supreme Court does not make the law. v. in effect. MOHAMMAD OMAR FAJARDO. For example. Step Two. b.
may do so. CHAMBER OF REAL ESTATE BUILDERS ASSOCIATION. even the major ones. For its part. JR. OMAR SOLITARIO ALI and MARY ANNE L.ANG BAGONG BAYANI-OFW LABOR PARTY GO! GO! PHILIPPINES.. however. regional. BAGONG BAYANI ORGANIZATION and others under "Organizations/Coalitions" of Omnibus Resolution No. private respondents cannot be disqualified from the party-list elections. Section 5. Article VI of the Constitution provides that members of the House of Representatives may "be elected through a party-list system of registered national. PHILIPPINE LOCAL AUTONOMY. Under the Constitution and RA 7941. REYES. respondents. It is. Petitioners.versus COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS." Furthermore.. vs. Political parties. CONGRESSMAN JOVITO S. CITIZENS MOVEMENT FOR JUSTICE. as laid down in the Constitution and RA 7941. Yes b. Rationale: a. RENATO M. JR. and others under "Political Parties" of Omnibus Resolution No. a. merely on the ground that they are political parties.. and sectoral parties or organizations. The requisite character of these parties or organizations must be consistent with the purpose of the party-list system. ATONG PAGLAUM Petitioner. x x x. ERLINDA CADAPAN. political parties may be registered under the party-list system. CAPALLA. NATIONALIST PEOPLE'S COALITION. Article VI of the Constitution. may participate in the party-list elections. under Sections 7 and 8." Section 3 expressly states that a "party" is "either a political party or a sectoral party or a coalition of parties. AKSYON DEMOKRATIKO. Section 2 of RA 7941 also provides for "a party-list system of registered national. CRISTINA PALABAY. SEE COMPLETE TEXT SEE COMPLETE TEXT 10 . PARTIDO NG MASANG PILIPINO. No. shall remain in force until after the COMELEC have compiled and reported its compliance. Respondents. DR. Respondent. THE TRUE MARCOS LOYALIST ASSOCIATION OF THE PHILIPPINES.versus THE HONORABLE COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS. ENVIRONMENT AND PEACE. . in fact. PDP-LABAN. Article IX (C) of the Constitution. AUTOMATED ELECTIONS ROQUE V. REYNALDO LESACA.. COMELEC ARCHBISHOP FERNANDO R. regional and sectoral parties or organizations or coalitions thereof. interspersed with phrases like "in accordance with law" or "as may be provided by law". That political parties may participate in the party-list elections does not mean. RA 7941. The provision on the party-list system is not self-executory. NACIONALISTA PARTY." b. 3785. ANG LAKAS NG OVERSEAS CONTRACT WORKERS (OCW). LIBERAL PARTY. RA 7941 was enacted. it was thus up to Congress to sculpt in granite the lofty objective of the Constitution. JR. ANG BUHAY HAYAANG YUMABONG. The resolution of this Court directed the COMELEC ―to refrain proclaiming any winner‖ during the last party -list election. Section 5. SPORTS & HEALTH ADVANCEMENT FOUNDATION. ECONOMY. LABAN NG DEMOKRATIKONG PILIPINO. ANTONIO FLORES and JOSELITO USTAREZ.or any organization or group for that matter -. SUSANO. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES ELECTORAL TRIBUNAL (HRET). LAKAS NUCD-UMDP. . INC. Respondent. 3785. Petitioner. Hence. that any political party -. PALPARAN.
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
We've moved you to where you read on your other device.
Get the full title to continue listening from where you left off, or restart the preview.