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COMELEC Case Digest
VILLABER vs. COMELEC 369 SCRA 126 Facts: Both petitioner Villaber and respondent Douglas R. Cagas were rival candidates for a congressional seat in the First District of Davao del Sur during the May 14, 2001 elections. Cagas filed with the COMELEC, a consolidated petition to disqualify Villaber and to cancel the latter‟s certificate of candidacy, alleging that Villaber was convicted for violation of Batas Pambansa Blg. 22. Cagas further alleged that this crime involves moral turpitude; hence, under Section 12 of the Omnibus Election Code, he is disqualified to run for any public office. COMELEC issued the resolution declaring Villaber disqualified as a candidate. The latter filed a motion for reconsideration but was denied. Hence, this petition. Issue: Whether or not violation of B.P. Blg. 22 involves moral turpitude, which would disqualify Villaber as a candidate for and from holding any public office. Held: COMELEC believed it is, applying Section 12 of the Omnibus Election Code that any person who has been sentenced by final judgment for any offense for which he has been sentenced for a crime involving moral turpitude, shall be disqualified to be a candidate and to hold any office. Moral turpitude is an act of baseness, vileness, or depravity in the private duties which a man owes his fellow men, or to society in general, contrary to the accepted and customary rule of right and duty between man and woman, or conduct contrary to justice, honesty, modesty, or good morals. In the case at bar, petitioner does not assail the facts and circumstances surrounding the commission of the crime. In effect, he admits all the elements of the crime for which he was convicted. There was no grave abuse of discretion committed by respondent COMELEC in issuing the assailed Resolutions.
LABO vs. COMELEC Case Digest
LABO vs. COMELEC 176 SCRA 1 Facts: Petitioner Ramon Labo, elected mayor of Baguio City was questioned on his citizenship. He was married in the Philippines to an Australian citizen. The marriage was declared void in the Australian Federal Court in Sydney on the ground that the marriage had been bigamous. According to Australian records, Labo is still an Australian citizen. Issue: Whether or not Petitioner Labo is a citizen of the Philippines. Held: The petitioner‟s contention that his marriage to an Australian national in 1976 did not automatically divest him of Philippine citizenship is irrelevant. There is no claim or finding that he automatically ceased to be a Filipino because of that marriage. He became a citizen of Australia because he was naturalized as such through a formal and positive process, simplified in his case because he was married to an Australian citizen. As a condition for such naturalization, he formally took the Oath of Allegiance and/or made the Affirmation of Allegiance, renouncing all other
. as null and void on the ground that there was a failure of election. because he was not the duly elected mayor of San Antonio in the May 1995 elections. should be counted as service for one full term in computing the three term limit under the Constitution and the Local Government Code. Voluntary renunciation of the office for any length of time shall not be considered as an interruption in the continuity of his service for the full term for which he was elected. although he was later unseated before the expiration of the term. His opponent timely filed a petition to disqualify him from running on the ground that he had served three consecutive terms in the same post. Voluntary renunciation of the office for any length of time shall not be considered as an interruption in the continuity of service for the full term for which the elective official concerned was elected. He assumed office and discharged the duties thereof. Hence. 7160) restates the same rule. that: “No local elective official shall serve for more than three consecutive terms in the same position.” 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.A.” Section 43 of the Local Government Code (R. X of the Constitution provides that.allegiance. except barangay officials. In the May 1995 elections Lonzanida ran for mayor of San Antonio. No. The private respondent maintains that the petitioner‟s assumption of office in 1995 should be considered as service of one full term because he discharged the duties of mayor for almost three years until March 1. Zambales prior to the May 1995 elections. Section 8. COMELEC issued a resolution granting the petition for disqualification Petitioner Lonzanida challenges the validity of the COMELEC resolutions maintaining that he was duly elected mayor for only two consecutive terms and that his assumption of office in 1995 cannot be counted as service of a term for the purpose of applying the three term limit for local government officials. Zambales and was again proclaimed winner. Disqualification: Exception to the 3 term limit rule) Facts: Petitioner Lonzanida was duly elected and served two consecutive terms as municipal mayor of San Antonio. nor does the petitioner claim. Issue: 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. which shall be determined by law shall be three years and no such officials shall serve for more than three consecutive terms. It does not appear in the record. that he has reacquired Philippine citizenship. 1998 elections Lonzanida again filed his certificate of candidacy for mayor of San Antonio and was proclaimed winner. Held: No. 2011 (Local Government. 1995. The court rendered a judgment declaring the results of the said election last May 8. 1998 or barely a few months before the next mayoral elections. Lonzanida vs COMELEC 311 SCRA 602 Posted by Pius Morados on November 6. Prior proclamation. “the term of office of elective local officials. In the May 11. Art. His proclamation in 1995 was contested by his opponent who filed an election protest. The COMELEC found that Lonzanida‟s assumption of office by virtue of his proclamation in May 1995.
The petitioner vacated his post a few months before the next mayoral elections. the court declared Abundo eligible for another term as mayor to which he was duly elected in the May 2010 elections and immediately reinstated him to such position. was occupying the mayoralty seat. 2012 to restrain the Comelec from enforcing the above-mentioned resolutions. Abundo vs COMELEC GR No. 201716 Velasco Abundo ran for the position of municipal mayor of Viga. As a result of the reversal. In the 2004 election. Catanduanes due to an actual involuntary interruption during the 2004-2007 term. 2004. Such involuntary severance from office is an interruption of continuity of service and thus. Both the 1987 Constitution and the Local Government Code provide that the three-term limit rule constitutes a disqualification to run for an elective local office when an official has been elected for three consecutive terms in the same local government post and has fully served those three consecutive terms. The court likewise lifted the temporary restraining order (TRO) it issued on July 3. Catanduanes in the years 2001. “the two -year period which his opponent. While awaiting the pendency of the election protest. respectively. respectively. Abundo protested Torres‟ election and was eventually declared the winner of the 2004 mayoralty electoral contest. Abundo ceased from exercising power or authority over the constituents of Viga and cannot be said to have retained title to the mayoralty office as he was at that time not the duly proclaimed winner. . the tribunal held that Abundo did not serve three consecutive terms as mayor of Viga. 2007. was serving as mayor should be considered as an interruption which effectively removed Abundo‟s case from the ambit of the three-term limit rule. Commission on Elections which held that “service of the unexpired portion of a term by a protestant who is declared winner in an election protest is considered as service for one full term within the contemplation of the threeterm limit rule” as the doctrine refers to a situation where the elected official is under preventive suspension and is only temporarily unable to discharge his functions yet is still entitled to the office as compared to the situation of Abundo where he did not have title to the office. This was because he assumed the mayoralty post only on May 9. 2007 and 2010. however. performing the functions of the office. He assumed office from May 9. conversely. v. as presumptive victor in the 2004 elections. Jose Torres was proclaimed the winner of the electoral race and mayor of Viga. upon receipt of this decision which is immediately executory. He was proclaimed winner of the 2001 and 2007 elections. In the Court‟s 35-page decision by Justice Presbitero Velasco Jr. The court emphasized that pending the favorable resolution of Abundo‟s election protest. 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. Thus. Catanduanes. not by voluntary renunciation but in compliance with the legal process of writ of execution issued by the COMELEC to that effect. Emeterio Tarin and Cesar Cervantes were also ordered to immediately vacate the positions of mayor and vice mayor of Viga. 2006 until the end of the 2004-2007 term on June 30. the petitioner did not fully serve the 1995-1998 mayoral term. The court further ruled that the Comelec erred in applying Aldovino Jr. Torres..Pursuant to the constitutional provision above. voluntary renunciation of a term does not cancel the renounced term in the computation of the three term limit. 2006 and served a little over one year and one month only. he was relegated to being an ordinary constituent and private citizen since his opponent. and to revert to their original positions of vice mayor and first councilor.” ruled the court.
Issue: Whether or not the law allows pre-proclamation controversy involving the election of the members of the Senate. pre-proclamation cases are not allowed in elections for President. 1992. 1992 to all regional election directors. Commission on Elections (COMELEC). et al. On May 8. nevertheless. While the Commission has exclusive jurisdiction over pre-proclamation controversies involving local elective officials (Sec. custody and appreciation of the election returns or the certificate of canvass. G. it failed to order the crediting of all “Chavez” votes in favor of petitioner as well as the cancellation of Melchor Chavez‟ name in the list of qualified candidates. 1992. The COMELEC found that Penera and her party-mates. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS 211 SCRA 315 Facts: On May 5. receipt. the six (6) accredited political parties and the general public. transmission. and (2) order said election officials to delete the name of Melchor Chavez as printed in the certified list of candidates tally sheets. boards of election inspectors.It stressed that Abundo‟s case differs from other cases involving the “effects of an election protest because while Abundo was the winning candidate. after filing their Certificates of Candidacy (CoCs). Monica. Senator and Member of the House of Representatives. he was the one deprived of his right and opportunity to serve his constitutents. 181613 11 September 2009 Facts: The COMELEC disqualified petitioner Rosalinda A. no preproclamation cases shall be allowed on matters relating to the preparation. election returns and to count all votes cast for the disqualified Melchor. Senator and Member of the House of Representatives.” Chavez vs Comelec Case Digest FRANCISCO I. aboard trucks festooned with balloons and banners bearing their names and pictures and the municipal . CHAVEZ vs. Petitioner filed an urgent motion with the Comelec praying that it (1) disseminate through the fastest available means this Court‟s Resolution dated May 5. No. for unlawfully engaging in election campaign before the start of the campaign period for the 2007 Synchronized National and Local Elections. Vice-President. private respondent therein. conducted a motorcade through Sta. Vice-President. as the case may be. from running for the Office of Senator in the May 11. 1992 elections. Sec. However. Held: A simple reading of the petition would readily show that petitioner has no cause of action. Omnibus Election Code). Penera vs. Penera (Penera) as a candidate for mayor of the Municipality of Sta. the controversy presented being one in the nature of a pre-proclamation. Surigao del Norte. However. the Comelec issued Res.R. 104704. Monica and threw candies to onlookers. city and municipal election registrars. Chavez. in violation of Section 80 of Batas Pambansa 881 (the Omnibus Election Code). provincial election supervisors. this Court issued a Resolution in GR No. 242. this does not preclude the authority of the appropriate canvassing body motu propio or upon written complaint of an interested person to correct manifest errors in the certificate of canvass or election returns before it. Chavez in favor of Francisco I. disqualifying Melchor Chavez. 92-1322 which resolved to delete the name of Melchor Chavez from the list of qualified candidates. 15 of Republic Act 7166 provides: “For purposes of the elections for President.
“(T)he conduct of a motorcade is a form of election campaign or partisan political activity. participated in a motorcade which passed through the different barangays of Sta. The Supreme Court is not a trier of facts. and threw candies to the onlookers. 9369. sufficiently established that “Penera and her partymates. parades. one is now considered a candidate only at the start of the campaign period. rallies. motorcades are undertaken for no other purpose than to promote the election of a particular candidate or candidates. and has. and even candies on hand. as amended by Republic Act No. Holding: (A) The Supreme Court En Banc dismissed Penera‟s Petition and affirmed her disqualification because: (1) Penera raised a question of fact.” Section 80 of the Omnibus Election Code prohibits any person. on „[h]olding political caucuses. one of which trucks had a sound system that broadcast their intent to run in the 2007 elections.positions for which they were seeking election. from engaging in any election campaign or partisan political activity outside the campaign period . and does not include a review of the tribunal‟s evaluation of the evidence. Monica. (2) The COMELEC did not gravely abuse its discretion. She argued that the evidence was grossly insufficient to warrant the COMELEC‟s ruling. Thus. and the sole function of a writ of certiorari is to address issues of want of jurisdiction or grave abuse of discretion. conferences. Penera filed a Petition for Certiorari before the Supreme Court to nullify the disqualification. thus. there can be no election campaign or partisan political activity because there is no candidate to speak of. including Penera‟s own evidence and admissions. balloons. and the supporters merely joined her and the other candidates. whether a voter. as amended by R. to the voting public. or to make them more visible so as to facilitate the recognition and recollection of their names in the minds of the voters come election time. after filing their COCs x x. COMELEC Commissioner Rene V. Unmistakably. Accordingly. has practically made it impossible to commit premature campaigning at any time.” Sarmiento posited that Section 15 of R.A. Sarmiento dissented. for the purpose of soliciting votes and/or undertaking any campaign or propaganda for or against a candidate[. to which they seek to be elected. 8436. a candidate or a party. meetings. 9369. before the start of the campaign period. He emphasized that under Section 15 of Republic Act 8436 (the law authorizing the COMELEC to use an automated election system for the process of voting.]‟ x x The obvious purpose of the conduct of motorcades is to introduce the candidates and the positions. falling squarely within the ambit of Section 79(b)(2) of the Omnibus Election Code. and canvassing/consolidating the results of the national and local elections). Evidence presented to the COMELEC. No. or other similar assemblies. waived their hands to the public. She maintained that the motorcade was spontaneous and unplanned. Penera can hardly persuade the Court that the motorcade was spontaneous and unplanned.” With vehicles. counting of votes. effectively repealed Section 80 of the Omnibus Election Code. Penera could not be disqualified for premature campaigning because the motorcade took place outside the campaign period – when Penera was not yet a “candidate.A. Issue: Whether or not Penera should be disqualified for engaging in election campaign or partisan political activity outside the campaign period.
When confronted with apparently conflicting statutes. a candidate declared by final decision to have engaged in premature campaigning shall be disqualified from continuing as a candidate.” is erroneous. which prohibits premature campaigning. upon the filing of his COC. as amended. give effect to both. even after the filing of his CoC. 16 November 2006) that “(w)hat Section 80 of the Omnibus Election Code prohibits is „an election campaign or partisan political activity‟ by a „candidate‟ „outside‟ of the campaign period. 8436. Thus. Accordingly. Penera. under Section 68 of the Omnibus Election Code. to wit: (a) Section 80 of the Omnibus Election Code prohibits “any person. the declaration in Lanot vs. The proclaimed Vice-Mayor was declared her rightful successor pursuant to Section 44 of the Local Government Code which provides that if the mayor fails to qualify or is removed from office. premature campaigning may be committed even by a person who is not a candidate. Thus. An express repeal may not be presumed. When the campaign period starts and he proceeds with his candidacy. 9369. Nonetheless. (b) It is true that under Section 15 of Republic Act No. COMELEC (G.R. 8436. whether or not a voter or candidate” from engaging in election campaign or partisan political activity outside the campaign period. Monica before the COMELEC rendered its decision. such person already explicitly declares his intention to run as a candidate. who had been elected Mayor of Sta. (B) The Supreme Court disagreed with COMELEC Commissioner Sarmiento. thus. No. absent a showing of repugnance clear and convincing in character. Implied repeals are disfavored. (2) There is no absolute and irreconcilable incompatibility between Section 15 of Republic Act No. 8436. as amended. a person is not yet officially considered a candidate before the start of the campaign period. . or if he has been elected. saying that Section 80 of the Omnibus Election Code remains relevant and applicable despite Section 15 of Republic Act No.(except that political parties may hold political conventions or meetings to nominate their official candidates within 30 days before the campaign period and 45 days for Presidential and VicePresidential election). Said candidate may also face criminal prosecution for an election offense under Section 262 of the same Code. the vice-mayor shall become the mayor. 8436. was disqualified from holding the said office. which amended Republic Act No. did not expressly repeal Section 80 of the Omnibus Election Code. The Court gave the following reasons: (1) Republic Act No. It is possible to harmonize and reconcile these two provisions and. and Section 80 of the Omnibus Election Code. And. courts should endeavor to reconcile the same instead of declaring outright the invalidity of one as against the other. as amended. from holding the office. 164858.
(c) While a proviso in Section 15 of Republic Act No. at the start of the campaign period. which he may have committed after filing his CoC and before the campaign period. Any unscrupulous individual with the deepest of campaign war chests could then afford to spend his/her resources to promote his/her candidacy well ahead of everyone else.).” Ponente: J. 8436. after filing his/her COC but prior to his becoming a candidate (prior to the start of the campaign period). constituting premature campaigning. and there can be no premature campaigning as there is no candidate to begin with. can already commit the acts described under Section 79(b) of the Omnibus Election Code as election campaign or partisan political activity. provides that “any unlawful act or omission applicable to a candidate shall take effect only upon the start of the campaign period. a person. thus. Our lawmakers could not have intended to cause such an absurd situation. Thus. can already be considered as the promotion of his election as a candidate.” this does not mean that the acts constituting premature campaigning can only be committed during the campaign period. making speeches. Such is the very evil that the law seeks to prevent. Minita V. his act can no longer be viewed as for the promotion of his election. However. Chico-Nazario . Only after said person officially becomes a candidate. if he withdraws his CoC before the campaign period. act/s constituting election campaign or partisan activity under Section 79(b) of the Omnibus Election Code (holding rallies or parades. Conversely. as amended. undermine the conduct of fair and credible elections. can said acts be given effect as premature campaigning under Section 80 of the Omnibus Election Code. for which he may be disqualified. If the Court were to rule otherwise.his intent turning into actuality. the significance of having a campaign period before the elections would also be negated. “not only will the prohibited act of premature campaigning be officially decriminalized. etc. Nowhere in the said proviso was it stated that campaigning before the start of the campaign period is lawful. can his/her disqualification be sought for acts constituting premature campaigning. it is only after said person officially becomes a candidate. at the beginning of the campaign period.
and (3) the governmental interest sought to be promoted can be achieved by means other than suppression of freedom of expression. It has been held that "[mere] legislative preferences or beliefs respecting matters of public convenience may well support regulation directed at other personal activities.” . (2) it is a direct and total suppression of a category of expression even though such suppression is only for a limited period.SWS vs Comelec Facts: Petitioner SWS and KPC states that it wishes to conduct an election survey throughout the period of the elections and release to the media the results of such survey as well as publish them directly. but be insufficient to justify such as diminishes the exercise of rights so vital to the maintenance of democratic institutions. Issue: Are the Comelec Resolutions prohibiting the holding of pre-polls and exit polls and the dissemination of their results through mass media. valid and constitutional? Ruling: No. Petitioners argue that the restriction on the publication of election survey results constitutes a prior restraint on the exercise of freedom of speech without any clear and present danger to justify such restraint. The Court held that Section (5)4 is invalid because (1) it imposes a prior restraint on the freedom of expression.