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#3: Carmelinda C. Barro, petitioner vs. COMELEC and Elpedio P.

Continedas, respondents Facts: Petitioner Barro won by margin of one vote against Continedas during the October 29, 2007 Barangay Election. She was later on proclaimed by the Barangay Board of Canvassers as the duly elected Punong Barangay of Plaridel, Polompon Leyte. Respondent Continedas filed an election protest with the MTC questioning the two precincts. After revision of the ballots, MTC found that both contenders garnered 151 both each. As such, there shall be a drawing of lots for the two and a party favored by luck will be proclaimed duly elected. Petitioner filed an appeal with a Notice of Appeal with the MTC together with a statement in her petition that she paid the appeal fee of Php1,000 under Section 9 Rule 14 of Rules of Procedure in Election Contest. COMELEC First Division dismissed her appeal for failure to pay the appeal fee of Php3,200 based Section 3 and 4, Rule 40 of the COMELEC Rules of Procedure. Petitioner filed a Motion with Postal Money Order to cover the appeal fee which was denied by the COMELEC First Division. Hence, this petition for certiorari. Issue: Whether the COMELEC First Division gravely abused its discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction in dismissing petitioner’s appeal and in acting on her motion without elevating the same to the COMELEC en banc? Held: Yes. In this case, the appeal to the COMELEC was perfected when petitioner filed her Notice of Appeal and paid the appeal fee of Php1,000 two months before COMELEC issued Resolution No. 8486 clarifying payment of appeal fee of Php3,200. The First Division should have been more cautious in dismissing her appeal based on mere-technicality of non-payment of additional appeal fee. “Grave abuse of discretion implies a capricious and whimsical exercise of judgment amounting to lack of jurisdiction or an arbitrary and despotic exercise of power because of passion or personal hostility. The grave abuse of discretion must be so patent and gross as to amount an evasion or refusal to perform a duty enjoined by law.” As to the issue on Motion, Under Section 7, Article IX-A of the Consitution, decision, ruling or order of COMELEC en banc may be brought on certiorari before the Supreme Court. However, this rule should not apply when a division of COMELEC arrogates unto itself and deprives the en banc of the authority to rule on the motion. Section 3, Article IX-C of the Constitution provides that Motion for reconsideration for decision on election cases SHALL BE decided by the Commission en banc. In this case, COMELEC violated the Constitutional provision which dismissed petitioner’s appeal. By arrogating u nto itself a power constitutionally lodged in the Commission en banc, the First Division exercised judgment in excess or without jurisdiction. Petition granted.

It is clear from the foregoing that different deadlines were set for substitution by reason of death. a void judgment can never be final and executory and may be assailed at any time. 8678. respondents Facts: Edna Sanchez (Edna) and respondent Maligaya were candidates for the mayoralty of Sto. he contended that the Second COCVP was questionable and it was impossible for petitioner to be the winner as the canvassing was in the name of Edna. Several days before the election. petitioner Federico filed his COC and CONA as substitute for Edna. The en banc granted Maligaya’s motion and declared him as the duly elected mayor. Indeed. Further. Maligaya. Issue: Whether COMELC gravely abused its discretion when it annulled petitioner’s proclamation as the winning candidate on the ground that his substitution as mayoralty was void? Held: No. withdrawal is voluntary. The Court agrees with OSG that petitioner’s substitution for Edna was void as it was in contravention of the guidelines set forth under Resolution No. Federico. A petition for Annulment of petitioner’s proclamation was filed by respondent which was denied by the COMELEC First Division as this was filed out of time. With respect to Federico. The reason for the distinction can easily be divined. A First Certificate of Canvass of Votes and Proclamation (COCVP) was issued by the Municipal Board of Canvassers (MBOC) proclaimed Edna as the mayor where respondent filed a petition to annul her proclamation but was later on withdrawn. The substitute for a candidate who died or suffered permanent incapacity or disqualified by final judgment. In the case. Tomas Batangas during the May 10. Under COMELEC Resolution No. the substitute for a candidate who withdrew may file his COC not later than December 31. like the right to be voted for public office. time and same number of votes as with the First COCVP garnered by Edna being credited to petitioner. COMELEC en banc ruled that Edna and Federico were valid substitute. Five days before the election. Respondent file his opposition for the COC of Federico as the period to file for substitute candidates had lapsed already after December 31. Respondent filed with the COMELEC en banc a Verified Partial Motion that his petition was filed on time and that substitution of petitioner was null and void. Hence. Petitioner’s proclamation was not proper as his substitution was for Edna invalid. A Second COCVP was issued by the MBOC bearing the same date. Later.petitioner vs. it cannot be regarded as a valid source of any right. 2010 Automated National and Local Elections. the vacancy in the mayoralty race was due to withdrawal of Edna and not by death of Edna’s husband. 2009. Two days before the election. may file his COC up to mid-day of election. this petition. disqualification or withdrawal. COMELEC and Osmundo M. Edna’s husband who was a gubernatorial candidate for Batangas died. Two days after the death. EDNA withdrew her COC for mayoralty and filed a new COC and Certificate of Nomination and Acceptance (CONA) as a substitute for her deceased husband. Section 13.#7: Renato M. However the official ballots had already been printed retaining the name of Edna as mayor candidate. . 8678. 2009. Unlike death and disqualification.

the proclamation is no proclamation at all and the proclaimed candidate's assumption of office cannot deprive the Comelec of the power to declare such nullity and annul the proclamation. there could not be a valid proclamation. Ruling for the Motion to Intervene by the V-Mayor Silva for Petitioner’s invalid substitution – “Respondent was not a second placer but the sole and only placer in the election.” . As there was an invalid substitution. There was only one qualified candidate in the mayoralty race. it cannot be credited to petitioner as he was never a legitimate candidate. he is the duly elected mayor." As to the votes garnered by Edna."Where a proclamation is null and void. Respondent Maligaya being the only candidate.

Antique for May. petitioner insisted that votes cast in favour of Aurelio be credited in her favour. Issue: Whether COMELEC gravely abused its discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction in issuing Resolution No. Pacete. Prior to that. Respondent contended that COMELEC maintains a presumption of validity with respect to supervisory or regulatory authority in the conduct of elections. Aurelio N. Petitioner filed a petition to declare Aurelio as nuisance candidate. The En Banc issued Resolution No. Aurelio’s name was still included. 8844 that votes for disqualified candidates are considered stray votes if voted upon. Sections 211 (24) and 72 applies to all disqualification cases and not to petitions to cancel or deny due course to COC such as nuisance candidate. Here. Further. MBOC refused which resulted to winning of respondent Pacete by margin of 39 votes. respondents Facts: Petitioner filed her COC as V-Mayor of Bugasong.204 and 2007 elections. COMELEC contended that there is a substantial distinction between manual and automated election as Resolution 4116 will no longer apply. Dela Cruz (Aurelio) also filed his COC as V-Mayor. Dela Cruz. there must be a clear and unequivocal showing that there was a clear breach on the Constitution. 4116 particularly on the votes cast for nuisance candidate with the same name to a bonafide candidate. an order directing all votes cast in favour of him be credited in her favour in accordance with COMELEC Resolution No. During the May 2010 Election.petitioner vs. 8844? Held: Yes. Subsequently. as if he never filed a COC.#11: Casimira S. On the constitutionality of Resolution. 4116 dated May 07. 2001. Votes garnered by Aurelio totalled to 532 votes. Petitioner filed her protest with the RTC praying that votes cast for Aurelio be in her favour ad annulling the proclamation of respondent. COMELEC and John Loyd M. Aurelio was declared a nuisance candidate long before May 2010 elections. petitioner also filed an Urgent Motion directing the deletion of Aurelio’s name as Official Candidate. The Court held that Resolution No. During the canvassing by the MBOC. 8844 violated her constitutional right to equal protection laws as there is no substantial difference between the previous manual and automated elections for nonobservance of Resolution No. . in the event that his name cannot be deleted. COMELEC asserts that there is no violation of the right to due process for public office is not a property right and no one has vested right to any public office. The COMELEC declared Aurelio as nuisance but his name was not deleted in the Official Sample Ballot. They have different applications. 4116 where votes for nuisance candidate declared in a final judgment where he has the same surname with a bonafie candidate be not considered stray but be credited in favour of a legitimate candidate. Petitioner contended that Resolution No. petitioner was elected member of SB in 2001. A petition to cancel is different from a petition to disqualify. As such. Petitioner merely invokes a violation of the equal protection and due process without basis. 2010 Election. A person disqualified is merely prohibited to continue as a candidate and the person whose certificate is cancelled or denied due course is not treated as a candidate at all.

Dela Cruz during the elections of May 10. Dela Cruz and not considered stray votes. Indeed. Pacete who was the declared winner. is hereby declared NULL and VOID. who were declared nuisance candidates and whose certificates of candidacy have been either cancelled or set aside. 2010 should have been counted in favor of Casimira S. such infirmities and delays in the delisting of nuisance candidates from both the Certified List of Candidates and Official Ballots only made possible the very evil sought to be prevented by the exclusion of nuisance candidates during elections.Finally. upholding the former rule in Resolution No. the 532 votes cast for Aurelio N.921 as against the 6.428 votes of private respondent John Lloyd M. as our electoral experience had demonstrated. 2010 insofar as it orders that the votes cast for candidates listed therein. . 8844 dated May 1. COMELEC Resolution No. 4116 is more consistent with the rule well-ensconced in our jurisprudence that laws and statutes governing election contests especially appreciation of ballots must be liberally construed to the end that the will of the electorate in the choice of public officials may not be defeated by technical infirmities. making her total garnered votes 6. accordingly GRANTED. be considered stray. Consequently. Petition is hereby GIVEN DUE COURSE and the writ prayed for.