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MARQUEZ versus COMELEC (243 SCRA 538) Facts: Marquez, a candidate for an elective position in Quezon Province during

the 1998 elections, filed a petition praying for the cancellation of the certificate of candidacy of Rodriguez on the ground of disqualification under section 40 of the Local Government Code (Section 40. Disqualification. The following persons are disqualified from running for any local elective position (e) Fugitive from justice in criminal or non -political cases here or abroad.) Rodriguez is allegedly criminally charged with insurance fraud or grand theft of personal property in the United States and that his arrest is yet to be served because of his flight from the country. The COMELEC dismissed Marquezs Petition. Rodriguez was proclaimed the Governor-elect of Quezon. Issue: Whether or not private respondent, who at the time of the filing of his COC is said to be facing criminal charges before a foreign court and evading a warrant of arrest comes within the term fugitive from justice. Held: NO. Although it is provided in Article 73 of the Rules and Regulations implementing the Local Government Code of 1991 that for a person to be considered a fugitive from justice, he or she has to be convicted by final judgment, but such definition is an ordinate and under circumscription of the law. For the term fugitive from justice includes not only those who after conviction to avoid punishment but likewise those who, after being charged, flee to avoid prosecution. This definition truly finds support from jurisprudence, and it may be conceded as expressing the general and ordinary connotation of the term.

MARCOS versus COMELEC (208 SCRA 300) Facts: Petitioner Imelda Romualdez-Marcos filed her Certificate of Candidacy for the position of Representative of the First District of Leyte. Private respondent Cirilo Roy Montejo, a candidate for the same position, filed a petition for cancellation and disqualification with the COMELEC alleging that petitioner did not meet the constitutional requirement for residency. Private respondent contended that petitioner lacked the Constitutions one -year residency requirement for candidates for the House of Representatives. Issue: Whether or not the statement in the COC determines whether an individual satisfied the constitutions residency qualification requirement, to warrant herein petitioners disqualification. Ruling: NO. Having determined that petitioner possesses the necessary residence qualifications to run for a seat in the House of Representatives in the First District of Leyte, the COMELEC's questioned Resolutions dated April 24, May 7, May 11, and May 25, 1995 are hereby SET ASIDE. Respondent COMELEC is hereby directed to order

the Provincial Board of Canvassers to proclaim petitioner as the duly elected Representative of the First District of Leyte.

AZNAR versus COMELEC (185 SCRA 703) Facts: Emilio Lito Osmea filed his certificate of candidacy with the COMELEC for the position of Provincial Governor of Cebu in the 18 January 1988 elections. Petitioner, Jose B. Aznar, filed with the COMELEC a petition for the disqualification of Osmea on the ground that he is not a Filipino citizen since he is a citizen of the United States. COMELEC en banc decided to suspend the proclamation. Osmea maintained that he is a Filipino citizen, alleging that (1) he is the legitimate child of Dr. Emilio D. Osmea, a Filipino and son of the late President Sergio Osmea, Sr., (2) that he is a holder of a valid and subsisting Philippine Passport, (3) that he was continuously residing in the Philippines since birth and has not gone out of the country for more than six months, and (4) that he has been a registered voter in the Philippines since 1965. Issue: Whether or not respondent is no longer a Filipino citizen by acquiring dual-citizenship. Held: YES. Osmena is still a Filipino. The court held that Aznars contention was not meritorious. Aznars argument that Osmea is not a Filipino citizen and therefore, disqualified from running for and being elected to the office of Governor of Cebu, is not supported by substantial and convincing evidence. Aznar failed to provide proof that Osmea has lost the citizenship by any of the modes provided for under C.A. No. 63, these are: (1) by naturalization in a foreign country, (2) by express renunciation of citizenship, or (3) by subscribing to an oath of allegiance to support the Constitution or laws of a foreign country. Osmea did not lose his Philippine citizenship in any of the modes provided. By virtue of his being a son of a Filipino father, the presumption that Osmea is a Filipino remains. In this case, Osmea denies having taken the oath of allegiance of the United States. He is a holder of a valid and subsisting Philippine passport and has continuously participated in the electoral process in this country since 1963. The court held that the dissent of Mr. Justice Teodoro Padilla, that because Osmea obtained certificates of Alien Registration as an American citizen, the first in 1958 when he was 24 years old and the second in 1979, he should be regarded as having expressly renounced Philippine citizenship, does not hold water. The court in this case held that Osmea is still a Filipino citizen. It may also be noted he was not even declared a dual citizen.

JUANITO C. PILAR, petitioner, vs. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS, respondent. Facts: On March 22, 1992, petitioner Juanito C. Pilar filed his certificate of candidacy for the position of member of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of the Province of Isabela. Three days after, the petitioner withdrew his certificate of candidacy. In M.R. Nos. 93-2654 and 94-0065 dated November 3, 1993 and February 13, 1994 respectively, the COMELEC imposed upon petitioner the fine of Ten Thousand Pesos for failure to file his statement of contributions and expenditures. Petitioner argues that he cannot be held liable for failure to file a statement of contributions and expenditures because he was a "non-candidate," having withdrawn his certificates of candidacy three days after its filing. Petitioner speculates that "it is . . . clear from the law that candidate must have entered the political contest, and should have either won or lost". Issue: Whether or not a candidate is excused in filing his statement of contributions and expenditures after he has withdrawn his certificate of candidacy. Held: The petition is dismissed. The court ruled that the filing or withdrawal of certificate of candidacy shall not affect whatever civil, criminal or administrative liabilities which a candidate may have incurred. Petitioners withdrawal of his candidacy did not extinguish his liability for the administrative fine. It is not improbable that a candidate who withdrew his candidacy has accepted contributions and incurred expenditures, even in the short span of his campaign. The evil sought to be prevented by the law is not all too remote. Courts have also ruled that such provisions are mandatory as to the requirement of filing. LYNETTE G. GARVIDA, petitioner, vs. FLORENCIO G. SALES, JR. THE HONORABLE COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS, ELECTION OFFICER DIONISIO F. RIOS and PROVINCIAL SUPERVISOR NOLI PIPO, respondents.

Facts: On April 2, 1996, petitioner filed a "Petition for Inclusion as Registered Kabataang Member and Voter" with the Municipal Circuit Trial Court, Bangui-Pagudpud-Adams-Damalneg, Ilocos Norte. In a decision dated April 18, 1996, the said court found petitioner qualified and ordered her registration as member and voter in the Katipunan ng Kabataan. The Board of Election Tellers appealed to the Regional Trial Court, Bangui, Ilocos Norte. The presiding judge of the Regional Trial Court, however, inhibited himself from acting on the appeal due to his close association with petitioner. On April 23, 1996, petitioner filed her certificate of candidacy for the position of Chairman, Sangguniang Kabataan, Barangay San Lorenzo, Municipality of Bangui, Province of Ilocos Norte. In a letter dated April 23, 1996, respondent Election Officer Dionisio F. Rios, per advice of Provincial Election Supervisor Noli Pipo, disapproved petitioner's certificate of candidacy again due to her age. Petitioner, however, appealed to COMELEC Regional Director Filemon A. Asperin who set aside the order of respondents and allowed petitioner to run. On May 6, 1996, election day, petitioner garnered 78 votes as against private respondent's votes of 76. In accordance with the May 2, 1996 order of the COMELEC en banc, the Board of Election Tellers did not proclaim petitioner as the winner. Hence, the instant petition for certiorari was filed on May 27, 1996. On June 2, 1996, however, the Board of Election Tellers proclaimed petitioner the winner for the position of SK chairman, Barangay San Lorenzo, Bangui, Ilocos Norte. The proclamation was "without prejudice to any further action by the Commission on Elections or any other interested party." On July 5, 1996, petitioner ran in the Pambayang Pederasyon ng mga Sangguniang Kabataan for the municipality of Bangui, Ilocos Norte. She won as Auditor and was proclaimed one of the elected officials of the Pederasyon.

Issue: Whether or not the petitioner exceeded the age requirement to run as chairman in Sanggunian Kabataan? Held: The petition is dismissed and petitioner Lynette G. Garvida is declared ineligible for being over the age qualification for candidacy in the May 6, 1996 elections of the Sangguniang Kabataan, and is ordered to vacate her position as Chairman of the Sangguniang Kabataan of Barangay San Lorenzo, Bangui, Ilocos Norte. The court discuss the one-year cycle of successive years in construing Section 428 of the Local Government Code Providing that certain elective officials should not be more than 21 years of age on the day of their election, The provision that an elective official of the SK should not be more than 21 years of age on the day of his election is very clear. The Local Government Code speaks of years, not months nor days. When the law speaks of years, it is understood that years are of 365 days each. One born on the first day of the year is consequently deemed to be one year old on the 365th day after his birth -- the last day of the year. In computing years, the first year is reached after completing the first 365 days. After the first 365th day, the first day of the second 365-day cycle begins. On the 365th day of the second cycle, the person turns two years old. This cycle goes on and on in a lifetime. A person turns 21 years old on the 365th day of his 21st 365-day cycle. This means on his 21st birthday, he has completed the entire span of 21 365-day cycles. After this birthday, the 365-day cycle for his 22nd year begins. The day after the 365th day is the first day of the next 365-day cycle and he turns 22 years old on the 365th day. The phrase "not more than 21 years of age" means not over 21 years, not beyond 21 years. It means 21 365-day cycles. It does not mean 21 years and one or some days or a fraction of a year because that would be more than 21 365-day cycles. "Not more than 21 years old" is not equivalent to "less than 22 years old," contrary to petitioner's claims. The law does not state that the candidate be less than 22 years on election day. Petitioner was twenty-one (21) years and nine (9) months old. On the day of the elections, she was 21 years, 11 months and 5 days old. When she assumed office on June 1, 1996, she was 21 years, 11 months and 20 days old and was merely ten (10) days away from turning 22 years old. Petitioner may have qualified as a member of the Katipunan ng Kabataan but definitely, petitioner was over the age limit for elective SK officials set by Section 428 of the Local Government Code and Sections 3 [b] and 6 of Comelec Resolution No. 2824. She was ineligible to run as candidate for the May 6, 1996 Sangguniang Kabataan elections.

Brillantes vs Yorac0
Constitutional Law COMELECs Constitutional Independence In December 1989, a coup attempt occurred prompting the president to create a fact finding commission which would be chaired by Hilario Davide. Consequently he has to vacate his chairmanship of the COMELEC. Yorac was temporarily placed as his substitute. Brillantes then questioned such appointment urging that under Art 10-C of the Constitution in no case shall any member of the COMELEC be appointed or designated in a temporary or acting capacity:. Brillantes claimed that the choice of the acting chairman should not be appointed for such is an internal matter that should be resolved by the members themselves and that the intrusion of the president violates the independence of the COMELEC as a constitutional commission. ISSUE: Whether or not the designation made by the president violates the constitutional independence of the COMELEC. HELD: The Supreme Court ruled that although all constitutional commissions are essentially executive in nature, they are not under the control of the president in the discharge of their functions. The designation made by the president has dubious justification as it was merely grounded on the

quote administrative expediency to present the functions of the COMELEC. Aside from such justification, it found no basis on existing rules on statutes. Yoracs designation is null and unconstitutional.

ELECTION LAW Pre-proclamation controversies and manifest errors FACTS Petitioner and private respondent Fernando Cabitac were candidates for Vice-Mayor of Taytay, Rizal during the May 2004 elections. Private respondent wonthe election and was proclaimed as Vice-Mayor.P e t i t i o n e r a f t e r c o m p i l i n g a l l c o p i e s o f e l e c t i o n r e t u r n s f i l e d a p e t i t i o n f o r correction of manifest errors in the election returns and for a nullification of the proclamation of the private respondent as Vice-Mayor. The COMELEC FirstDivision dismissed the petition and was affirmed by the COMELEC En Banc. ISSUE Whether or not COMELEC is required to go beyond the face of election returnsand make the necessary correction in a petition for correction of manifest errors in the election returns. RULING The COMELEC, in a petition for correction of manifest errors, is limited to an examination of the election returns on their face and is without jurisdiction togo beyond or behind the face of the returns. WHEREFORE, the instant petition for certiorari and prohibition is DISMISSED forlack of merit, and the Resolutions dated June 30, 2006 and October 16, 2006 of the COMELEC First Division and En Banc , respectively, are AFFIRMED . Costsagainst petitioner. [ A D E L I N A T A M A Y O R E Y E S , M . D . v s . C O M M I S S I O N O N ELECTIONS and FERNANDO R. CABITAC. G.R. No. 175121. June8, 2007. Nachura,

J .] ELECTION LAW Pre-proclamation controversies and manifest errors FACTS Petitioner and private respondent Fernando Cabitac were candidates for Vice-Mayor of Taytay, Rizal during the May 2004 elections. Private respondent wonthe election and was proclaimed as Vice-Mayor.P e t i t i o n e r a f t e r c o m p i l i n g a l l c o p i e s o f e l e c t i o n r e t u r n s f i l e d a p e t i t i o n f o r correction of manifest errors in the election returns and for a nullification of the proclamation of the private respondent as Vice-Mayor. The COMELEC FirstDivision dismissed the petition and was affirmed by the COMELEC En Banc. ISSUE Whether or not COMELEC is required to go beyond the face of election returnsand make the necessary correction in a petition for correction of manifest errors in the election returns. RULING

The COMELEC, in a petition for correction of manifest errors, is limited to anexamination of the election returns on their face and is without jurisdiction togo beyond or behind the face of the returns. WHEREFORE, the instant petition for certiorari and prohibition is DISMISSED for lack of merit, and the Resolutions dated June 30, 2006 and October 16, 2006 of the COMELEC First Division andE n B a n c , respectively, are AFFIRMED. Costsagainst petitioner. [ A D E L I N A T A M A Y O R E Y E S , M . D . v s . C O M M I S S I O N O N ELECTIO NS and FERNANDO R. CABITAC. G.R. No. 175121. June8, 2007. Nachura, J .]

Ang Bagong Bayani-OFW Labor Party vs Ang Bagong Bayani- OFW Labor Party GO! GO Philippines, et al [G.R. No. 147589. G.R. No. 147613. June 26, 2001] Facts: On the registration period, the COMELEC approved the accreditation of 154 parties and organizations but denied those of several others in its assailed Omnibus Resolution No. 3785. Moreover, Akbayan Citizens Action Party filed before the COMELEC a petition to delete from the Certified List of Political Parties/ Sectoral Parties/ Organizations/ Coalitions and that said certified list be accordingly amended. Bayan Muna and Bayan Muna- Youth also filed a petition for cancellation of Registration and Nomination against some herein respondents. Ang Bagong Bayani- OFW Labor Party filed a petition assailing the COMELEC Omnibus Resolution No. 3785. Also, Bayan Muna filed a petition challenging the said resolution. Issues: 1. Whether or not the COMELEC committed grave abuse of discretion in promulgating Omnibus Resolution No. 3785 2. Whether or not political parties may participate in the party-list elections 3. Whether or not party-list system is exclusive to marginalized sectors. Ruling: 1. From its assailed Omnibus Resolution, COMELEC failed to appreciate fully the clear policy of the law and the Constitution in connection with the due process clause. Basic rudiments of due process require that the organizations or parties should first be given an opportunity to show that

they qualify under the guidelines promulgated before they can be deprived of their right to participate in and be elected under the party-list system. 2. Yes, political parties may participate in 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, regional, and sectoral parties or organizations."Furthermore, under Sections 7 and 8, Article IX (C) of the Constitution, political parties may be registered under the party-list system. For its part, Section 2of RA 7941 also provides for "a party-list system of registered national, regional and sectoral parties or organizations or coalitions thereof, x x x." Section 3 expressly states that a "party" is "either a political party or a sectoral party or a coalition of parties. 3. No, the state policy focused mainly on proportional representation by means of Filipino-style party-list system. Proportional representation here does not refer to the number of people in a particular district, because the party-list election is national in scope. Neither does it allude to numerical strength in a distressed or oppressed group. Rather, it refers to the representation of the marginalized and underrepresented as exemplified by the enumeration in Section 5 of the law; namely, labor, peasant, fisherfolk, urban poor, indigenous cultural communities, elderly, handicapped, women, youth, veterans, overseas workers, and professionals. While the enumeration of marginalized and underrepresented sectors is not exclusive, it demonstrates the clear intent of the law that not all sectors can be represented under the party-list system. It is a fundamental principle of statutory construction that words employed in a statute are interpreted in connection with, and their meaning is ascertained by reference to, the words and the phrases with which they are associated or related.
PANGKAT LAGUNA VS. COMELEC ET AL. G.R. No. 148075. February 4, 2002 Facts: On January 30, 2001 then Vice Governor Teresita Lazaro succeeded to the office of the Governor of Laguna when then Gov. Jose Lina was appointed Secretary of the DILG. Upon assumption of office as Governor, Lazaro publicly declared her intention to run for Governor in the coming May 2001 elections. Subsequently, she ordered the purchase of trophies, basketballs, volleyballs, chessboard sets, t-shirts, medals and pins, and other sports materials worth P4.5 millions. Gov. Lazaro bidded 79 public works projects on March 28, 2001. Pangkat Laguna, a registered political party, filed a petition for disqualification of Gov. Lazaro for premature campaigning. Held: 1. The act of Gov. Lazaro in ordering the purchase of various items and the consequent distribution thereof of Laguna, in line with the local government units sports and education

program is not election campaigning or partisan political activity contemplated and explicitly prescribed under the pertinent provisions of Sec 80 of the Omnibus Election Code. 2. Evidence is wanting to sufficiently establish the allegation that public funds were released, disbursed, or expended during the 45-day prohibitive period provided under the law and implementing rules. Absent such clear and convincing proof, the factual findings of the COMELEC cannot be disturbed considering that the COMELEC is the constitutional body tasked to decide, except those involving the right to vote, all questions affecting elections.

Sixto Brillantes, Jr. vs. Haydee T. Yorac, G.R. No. 93867, December 18 1990
Brillantes vs. Yorac G.R. 93867, 18 December 1990 FACTS: In December 1989, a coup attempt occurred prompting the president to create a fact finding commission which would be chaired by Hilario Davide. Consequently he has to vacate his chairmanship of the COMELEC. Yorac was temporarily placed as his substitute. Brillantes then questioned such appointment urging that under Art 10-C of the Constitution in no case shall any member of the COMELEC be appointed or designated in a temporary or acting capacity:. Brillantes claimed that the choice of the acting chairman should not be appointed for such is an internal matter that should be resolved by the members themselves and that the intrusion of the president violates the independence of the COMELEC as a constitutional commission.

ISSUE: Whether or not the designation made by the president violates the constitutional independence of the COMELEC.

HELD: The Supreme Court ruled that although all constitutional commissions are essentially executive in nature, they are not under the control of the president in the discharge of their functions. The designation made by the president has dubious justification as it was merely grounded on the quote administrative expediency to present the functions of the COMELEC. Aside from such justification, it found no basis on existing rules on statutes. Yoracs designation is null and unconstitutional. 10. LABO VS. COMELEC GR No. 86564, August 1, 1989 FACTS: Herein petitioner, claiming for recognition as a Philippine citizen is a mayor-elect who, through his marriage with an Australian national, was naturalized and took an oath of allegiance as an Australian citizen. Said marriage was found to be bigamous and therefore was annulled. Petitioner claims that his naturalization made him only a dual national and did not divest him of his Philippine citizenship.

ISSUE: Whether or not petitioner was divested of his Philippine citizenship. HELD: Yes, because Commonwealth Act No. 63 clearly stated that Philippine citizenship may be lost through naturalization in a foreign country; express renunciation of citizenship; and by oath of allegiance to a foreign country, all of which are applicable to the petitioner. 11. Caasi vs. Comelec FACTS: Mateo Caasi is seeking the disqualification of Merito Miguel as candidate for municipal mayor of Bolinao, Pangasinan on the ground that he (Miguel) is a green card holder, hence, a resident of the United States. Miguel admits possessing a green card but contends that he only uses it for convenience to freely enter US for his medical treatment and to visit his children. He also alleges that he voted in all previous elections, including the plebiscite on 2 February 1987 for the ratification of the 1987 Constitution, and the congressional elections on 18 May 1987. ISSUE: WON a green card is a proof that the holder is a US resident HELD: In Miguels Application for Immigrant Visa and Alien Registration" (Optional Form No. 230, Department of State) which he filled up in his own handwriting and submitted to the US Embassy in Manila before his departure for the United States in 1984, Miguel's answer to Question No. 21 therein regarding his "Length of intended stay (if permanently, so state)," Miguel's answer was, "Permanently." On the green card itself, it identifies Miguel as a Resident Alien. Miguels immigration to the United States in 1984 constituted an abandonment of his domicile and residence in the Philippines. To be qualified to run for elective office in the Philippines, the law requires that the candidate who is a green card holder must have waived his status as a permanent resident or immigrant of a foreign country. Also, Miguel only resided in Bolinao for 3 months after returning to the country which is in violation of the 1 year residency requirement. 12. DE LA TORRE vs COMELEC 258 SCRA 483, 1996 Facts: Petitioner Rolando P. Dela Torre was disqualified by the Commission on Elections from running for the position of Mayor of Cavinti, Laguna in the May 8, 1995 elections. The ground cited by the COMELEC was Section 40(a) of the Local Government Code of 1991. Said section provides that those sentenced by final judgement for an offense involving moral turpitude or for an offense punishable by one (1) year or more imprisonment within two (2) years after serving sentence are disqualified from running for any elective local position. It was established by the COMELEC that the petitioner was found guilty by the Municipal Trial Court for violation of the Anti-Fencing Law. It was contended by the petitioner that Section 40(a) is not applicable to him because he was granted

probation by the MTC. Issues: 1. Whether or not the crime of fencing involves moral turpitude. 2. Whether or not a grant of probation affects Section 40(a)s applicability. Held: The Supreme Court held that actual knowledge by the fence of the fact that property received is stolen displays the same degree of malicious deprivation of ones rightful property as that which animated the robbery or theft which, by their very nature, are crimes of moral turpitude. Anent the second issue, suffice it to say that the legal effect of probation is only to suspend the execution of the sentence. Petitioners conviction of fencing which already declared as a crime of moral turpitude and thus falling squarely under the disqualification found in Section 40(a), subsists and remains totally unaffected notwithstanding the grant of probation. *Miguel is disqualified to run for mayor.

Grego vs COMELEC [274 SCRA 481] Facts: Sec 40 (b) of Republic Act 7160 (the Local Government Code) which took effect on January 1, 1992, disqualifies a person for any elective position on the ground that had been removed from office as a result of an administrative case. On October 31, 1981, Basco was removed from his position as Deputy Sheriff upon a finding of serious misconduct in an administrative complaint. He ran as a candidate for Councilor, won and assumed office for three terms during the Elections of January 18, 1988; May 11, 1992 and May 8, 1995. As in the past, respondents right to office was contested. On May 13, 1995, petitioner, seeks for the respondents disqualification, pursuant to the above provision, contending that as long as a candidate was once removed from office due to an administrative case, regardless of whether it took place during or prior to the effectivity of the Code, the disqualification applies. Respondent contends that the petitioner is not entitled to said relief because Section 40 par. b of the LGC may not be validly applied to persons who were dismissed prior to its effectivity. To do so would make it ex post facto, bill of attainder, and retroactive legislation which impairs vested rights Issue: WON Section 40 (b) of Republic Act No. 7160 applies retroactively to those removed from office before it took effect on January 1, 1992. Held: No. It is a settled issue that Section 40 (b) of Republic Act No. 7160 does not have any retroactive effect. Laws operate only prospectively and not retroactively.

A statute, despite the generality in its language, must not be so construed as to overreach acts, events or matters which transpired before its passage: Lex prospicit, non respicit. The law looks forward, not backward.

REYES vs. COMELEC G.R. No. 120905, March 7, 1996

FACTS: Dr. Manalo filed with the Sangguniang Panlalawigan an administrative complaintagainst incumbent Mayor Reyes of Bongabong, Oriental Mindoro. It was alleged that Reyes exacted and collected P50,000,00 from each market stall holder in the Bongabong Public Market. Also, that certain checks issued to him by the National Reconciliation and Development Program of the DILG were never received by the Municipal Treasurer nor reflected in the books of accounts of the same officer; and that he took 27 heads of cattle from beneficiaries of a cattle dispersal program. The Sangguniang Panlalawigan found petitioner guilty of the charges and ordered his removal from office. Reyes filed a petition for certiorari, prohibition and injunction with the RTC of Oriental Mindoro. Later, the Presiding Officer of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan issued an order for Reyes to vacate the position of mayor and to turn over the office to the incumbent vice mayor but he refused to accept the service of the order. Thereafter, Reyes filed a certificate of candidacy with the Comelec but a petition for disqualification was filed against him. Thus, the Comelec canceled Reyess certificate of candidacy. However, the Municipal Board of Canvassers of Bongabong unaware of the disqualification of Reyes by the Comelec, proclaimed him the duly-elected mayor. The COMELEC en banc declared him to have been validly disqualified as candidate and, consequently, set aside his proclamation as municipal mayor. Hence the petition in G.R. No. 120905, which was filed on July 20, 1995, alleging grave abuse of discretion by the COMELEC on the ground that the decision in the administrative case against petitioner Reyes was not yet final and executory and therefore could not be used as basis for his disqualification. Invoking the

ruling inthe case of Aguinaldo v. Santos, petitioner argues that his election on May 8, 1995 is a bar to his disqualification. Garcia, who obtained the highest number of votes next to Reyes, intervened, contending that because Reyes was disqualified, he was entitled to be proclaimed mayor. The Comelec en banc denied Garcias prayer. ISSUES: 1. WON the decision of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan is not yet final because he has not been served a copy thereof. 2. WON petitioners reelection rendered the administrative charges against him moot and academic 3. WON the candidate who obtains the second highest number of votes may not be proclaimed winner in case the winning candidate is disqualified.

HELD: 1. No. The failure of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan to deliver a copy of its decision was due to the refusal of petitioner and his counsel to receive the decision. Repeated attempts had been made to serve the decision on Reyes personally and by registered mail, but Reyes refused to receive the decision. If a judgment or decision is not delivered to a party for reasons attributable to him, service is deemed completed and the judgment or decision will be considered validly served as long as it can be shown that the attempt to deliver it to him would be valid were it not for his or his counsel's refusal to receive it. Reyess refusal to receive the decision may, therefore, be construed as a waiver on his part to have a copy of the decision. Petitioner was given sufficient notice of the decision. Rather than resist the service, he should have received the decision and taken an appeal to the Office of the President in accordance with R.A. No. 7160 Section 67. But petitioner did not do so. Accordingly, the decision became final 30 days after the first service upon petitioner. Thus, when the elections were held the decision of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan had already become final and executory. The filing of a petition for certiorari with the RTC did not prevent the administrative decision from attaining finality. An original action of certiorari is an independent action and does not interrupt the course of the principal action nor the running of the reglementary period involved in the proceeding. Consequently, to arrest the course of the principal action during the pendency of the certiorari proceedings, there must be a restraining order or a writ of preliminary injunction from the appellate court directed to the lower court. In the case at bar, although a temporary restraining order was issued by the Regional Trial Court, no preliminary injunction was subsequently issued. The temporary restraining order issued expired after 20 days. From that moment on, there was no more legal barrier to the service of the decision upon petitioner.

2. No. Petitioner invokes the ruling in Aguinaldo v. COMELEC, in which it was held that a public official could not be removed for misconduct committed during a prior term and that his reelection operated as a condonation of the officers previous misconduct to the extent of cutting off the right to remove him therefor. But that was because in that case, before the petition questioning the validity of the administrative decision removing petitioner could be decided, the term of office during which the alleged misconduct was committed expired. Removal cannot extend beyond the term during which the alleged misconduct was committed. If a public official is not removed before his term of office expires, he can no longer be removed if he is thereafter reelected for another term. This is the rationale for the ruling in the two Aguinaldo cases. The case at bar is the very opposite of those cases. Here, although petitioner Reyes brought an action to question the decision in the administrative case, thetemporary restraining order issued in the action he brought lapsed, with the result that the decision was served on petitioner and it thereafter became final on April 3, 1995, because petitioner failed to appeal to the Office of the President. He was thus validly removed from office and, pursuant to 40 (b) of the Local Government Code, he was disqualified from running for reelection. It is noteworthy that at the time the Aguinaldo cases were decided there was no provision similar to 40 (b) which disqualifies any person from running for any elective position on the ground that he has been removed as a result of an administrative case. The Local Government Code of 1991 (R.A. No. 7160) could not be given retroactive effect. Indeed, it appears that petitioner was given sufficient opportunity to file his answer. He failed to do so. Nonetheless, he was told that the complainant would be presenting his evidence and that he (petitioner) would then have the opportunity to cross-examine the witnesses. But on the date set, he failed to appear. He would say later that this was because he had filed a motion for postponement and was awaiting a ruling thereon. This only betrays the patternof delay he employed to render the case against him moot by his election.

3. The candidate who obtains the second highest number of votes may not be proclaimed winner in case the winning candidate is disqualified. To simplistically assume that the second placer would have received the other votes would be to substitute our judgment for the mind of the voter. The second placer is just that, a second placer. He lost the elections. He was repudiated by either a majority or plurality of voters. He could not be considered the first among qualified candidates because in a field which excludes the disqualified candidate, the conditions would have substantially changed. We are not prepared to extrapolate the results under the circumstances. The votes cast for Reyes are presumed to have been cast in the belief that Reyes was qualified and for that reason cannot be treated as stray, void, or meaningless. The subsequent finding that he is disqualified cannot retroact to the date of the elections so as to invalidate the votes cast for him. Rule 13, 3 and 7 of the Rules of Court provide for the service of final orders and judgments either personally or by mail. Personal service is completed upon actual or constructive delivery, which may be made by delivering a copy personally to the party or his attorney, or by leaving it

in his office with a person having charge thereof, or at his residence, if his office is not known. Hence service was completed when the decision was served upon petitioners counsel in his office in Manila on March 3, 1995. In addition, as the secretary of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan certified, service by registered mail was also made on petitioner Reyes. Although the mail containing the decision was not claimed by him, service was deemed completed five days after the last notice to him on March 27, 1995. If a judgment or decision is not delivered to a party for reasons attributable to him, service is deemed completed and the judgment or decision will be considered validly served as long as it can be shown that the attempt to deliver it to him would be valid were it not for his or his counsels refusal to receive it. Indeed that petitioners counsel knew that a decision in the administrative case had been rendered is evident in his effort to bargain with the counsel for the Sangguniang Panlalawigan not to have the decision served upon him and his client while their petition for certiorari in the Regional Trial Court was pending. His refusal to receive the decision may, therefore, be construed as a waiver on his part to have a copy of the decision. The purpose of the rules on service is to make sure that the party being served with the pleading, order or judgment is duly informed of the same so that he can take steps to protect his interests, i.e., enable a party to file an appeal or apply for other appropriate reliefs before the decision becomes final. In practice, service means the delivery or communication of a pleading, notice or other papers in a case to the opposite party so as to charge him with receipt of it, and subject him to its legal effect.

In the case at bar, petitioner was given sufficient notice of the decision. Prudence required that, rather than resist the service, he should have received the decision and taken an appeal to the Office of the President in accordance with R.A. No. 7160, 67. But petitioner did not do so. Accordingly, the decision became final on April 2, 1995, 30 days after the first service upon petitioner.

M er c ad o vs . Man z a n o Facts: Petitioner Ernesto S. Mercado and private respondent Eduardo B. Manzano were candidates for vice mayor of the City of Makati in the May 11, 1998 elections. Eduardo B. Manzano won with a total of 103,853 over Ernesto S. Mercado with only 100,894 votes. The proclamation of private respondent was suspended in view of a pending petition for disqualification filed by a certain Ernesto Mamaril who alleged that private respondent was not a citizen of the Philippines but of the United States. COMELEC granted the petition of Mamaril and ordered the cancellation of the certificate of candidacy of private respondent on the ground that he is a dual citizen and, under Local Government Code, persons with dual citizenship are disqualified from running for any elective position. The petition for disqualification of Eduardo Barrios Manzano as candidate for the office of Vice-Mayor of Makati City was filed before May 11, 1998 elections. Respondent admitted that he is registered as a foreigner with the Bureau of Immigration and alleged that he is a Filipino citizen because he was born in 1955 of a Filipino father and a Filipino mother. He was born in the United States and is considered an American citizen under US Laws. But notwithstanding his registration as an American citizen, he did not lose his Filipino citizenship. Issue: Whether under our laws, he is disqualified from the position for which he filed his certificate of candidacy. Is he eligible for the office he seeks to be elected? Held:

To begin with, dual citizenship is different from dual allegiance. The former arises when, as a result of the concurrent application of the different laws of two or more states, a person is simultaneously considered a national by the said states. Considering the citizenship clause (Art. IV) of our Constitution, it is possible for the following classes of citizens of the Philippines to possess dual citizenship: (1) Those born of Filipino fathers and/or mothers in foreign countries which follow the principle of jus soli; (2) Those born in the Philippines of Filipino mothers and alien fathers if by the laws of their fathers country such children are citizens of that country; (3) Those who marry aliens if by the laws of the latters country the former are considered citizens, unless by their act or omission they are deemed to have renounced Philippine citizenship. There may be other situations in which a citizen of the Philippines may, without performing any act, be also a citizen of another state; but the above cases are clearly possible given the constitutional provisions on citizenship. Dual allegiance, on the other hand, refers to the situation in which a person simultaneously owes, by some positive act, loyalty to two or more states. While dual citizenship is involuntary, dual allegiance is the result of an individuals volition. The filing of such certificate of candidacy sufficed to renounce his American citizenship, effectively removing any disqualification he might have as a dual citizen. To recapitulate, by declaring in his certificate of candidacy that he is a Filipino citizen; that he is not a permanent resident or immigrant of another country; that he will defend and support the Constitution of the Philippines and bear true faith and allegiance thereto and that he does so without mental reservation, private respondent has, as far as the laws of this country are concerned, effectively repudiated his American citizenship and anything which he may have said before as a dual citizen. On the other hand, private respondents oath of allegiance to the Philippines, when considered with the fact that he has spent his youth and adulthood, received his education, practiced his profession as an artist, and taken part in past elections in this country, leaves no doubt of his election of Philippine citizenship.
1. Paras v. COMELEC G.R. No. 123169 (November 4, 1996)

FACTS: A petition for recall was filed against Paras, who is the incumbent Punong Barangay. The recall election was deferred due to Petitioners opposition that under Sec. 74 of RA No. 7160, no recall shall take place within one year from the date of the officials assumption to office or one year immediately preceding a regular local election. Since the Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) election was set on the first Monday of May 2006, no recall may be instituted.

ISSUE: W/N the SK election is a local election.

HELD: No. Every part of the statute must be interpreted with reference to its context, and it must be considered together and kept subservient to its general intent. The evident intent of Sec. 74 is to subject an elective local official to recall once during his term, as provided in par. (a) and par. (b). The spirit, rather than the letter of a law, determines its construction. Thus, interpreting the phrase regular local election to include SK election will unduly circumscribe the Code for there will never be a recall election rendering inutile the provision. In interpreting a statute, the Court assumed that the legislature intended to enact an effective law. An interpretation should be avoided under which a statute or provision being construed is defeated, meaningless, inoperative or nugatory.

2.

LUCERO VS. COMELEC

DAVIDE, JR., J.: After the issues had been joined in these consolidated cases, the Court resolved to give due course to the petitions therein and to decide the cases on the merits. It can no longer allow the parties to delay these cases. Their legal skirmishes, which have unduly magnified uncomplicated issues, have effectively deprived the people of the Second Legislative District of Northern Samar of representation in the House of Representatives for more than two years now. These cases are sequels to G. R. No. 105717, entitled "Jose L. Ong, Jr. vs. Commission on Elections and Wilmar P. Lucero," which we finally resolved on 22 April 1993. 1 The petitioners were two of the five candidates 2 for the Second Legislative District of Northern Samar in the synchronized national and local elections held on 11 May 1992. The canvass of the Provincial Board of Canvassers (PBC) of Northern Samar credited Jose L. Ong, Jr. with 24,272 votes and Wilmar P. Lucero with 24,068 votes, or a lead by Ong of 204 votes. However, this tally did not include the results of Precinct No. 7 of the municipality of Silvino Lobos, where the submitted election returns had not been canvassed because they were illegible; of Precinct No. 13 of Silvino Lobos, where the ballot boxes were snatched and no election was held; and of Precinct No. 16, also of Silvino Lobos, where all copies of the election returns were missing. On 22 May 1992, Lucero asked the Commission on Elections (COMELEC), in SPA No. 92-282, to: 1. Forthwith order Respondent Provincial Board of Canvassers for Northern Samar to suspend the proclamation of Private Respondent Jose L. Ong, Jr.; 2. Direct Respondent Provincial Board of Canvassers for Northern Samar to correct the Certificate of Canvass (CEF 20) for Las Navas and, accordingly, to

correct the total votes so far counted by it for Petitioner from 24,068 to 24,088, thus reducing the margin it found in favor of Private Respondent Jose L. Ong, Jr. from 204 to 184 votes only; 3. Order a special election in Precinct 13, Barangay Gusaran, Silvino Lobos, pursuant to Section 6 of the Omnibus Election Code; 4. Order a recount of the votes for Representative of the Second District of Northern Samar in Precinct 16, Barangay Tubgon, and Precinct 7, Barangay Camayaan, both of Silvino Lobos, pursuant to Section 234 of the Omnibus Election Code; 5. Order a recount of the votes for Representative in the 52 precincts herein above enumerated in order to correct "manifest errors" pursuant to Section 15 of Republic Act 7166 and for this purpose order the impounding and safekeeping of the ballot boxes of all said precincts in order to preserve the integrity of the ballots and other election paraphernalia contained therein. 3 On 2 June 1992, the COMELEC, acting on Lucero's urgent manifestation, directed the PBC to desist from reconvening until further orders. On 8 June 1992, Ong moved to lift the suspension of the proceedings by the PBC, which Lucero opposed on 10 June 1992 on the ground that the canvass could not be completed even if the PBC were to reconvene because no election was held in Precinct No. 13 (Barangay Gusaran) of Silvino Lobos and there was no canvassing of the votes in Precinct No. 7 (Barangay Camayaan) and Precinct No. 16 (Barangay Tubgon) both of Silvino Lobos. On 13 June 1993, the COMELEC en banc promulgated a resolution, the dispositive portion of which reads: Accordingly, the Commission hereby orders the Provincial Election Supervisor of Northern Samar to bring to the Commission within three (3) days from receipt hereof the ballot boxes from Precinct 7 and 16 of Silvino Lobos, to be escorted by representatives from the petitioner and the respondents as well as other parties who have an interest to protect, and to notify said parties hereof. The Municipal Treasurer of said town is directed to turn over custody of said ballot boxes to the Provincial Election Supervisor, and the keys thereof shall likewise be turned over by the appropriate officials in custody thereof to the PES, who shall in turn give one key for each ballot box to the duly authorized representatives of the petitioner and the respondent. The Commission likewise orders the Election Registrar of Silvino Lobos, Northern Samar, and the Chairman and members of the Boards of Election Inspectors of Precincts 7 and 16 of said municipality to appear before the Commission within three (3) days from receipt hereof. Below the signatures of the Chairman and the six Commissioners, however, Chairman Christian S. Monsod and Commissioners Haydee B. Yorac, Dario C. Rama and Regalado E. Maambong directed as follows:

We vote in favor of this resolution except that portion which denied the correction of the Certificate of Canvass for Las Navas. Correction of the Certificate of Canvass for Las Navas is in order in view of the testimony of the election registrar of Las Navas to the effect that Wilmar Lucero garnered 2,537 votes for Las Navas and not 2,517. Petition for correction was duly filed by Lucero with the Provincial Board of Canvassers of Northern Samar on May 19, 1992. The Provincial Board of Canvassers of Northern Samar is therefore directed to retabulate the total number of votes for Las Navas for Lucero and enter the same in the Provincial Certificate of Canvass. 4 On 15 June 1992, Lucero filed an urgent motion to constitute a Special Board of Election Inspectors (SBEI) to count the votes of Precincts Nos. 7 and 16 of Silvino Lobos. 5 On 20 June 1992, Ong, in a special civil action for certiorari filed with this Court and subsequently docketed as G. R. No. 105717, questioned the order for the recount of ballots in Precincts No. 7 and 16. Despite the pendency of this petition, the COMELEC ordered the recount of the ballots in Precinct No. 16 by a SBEI which recorded 43 votes for Lucero and 2 votes for Ong. 6 On 25 June 1992, this Court issued in G. R. No. 105717 a temporary restraining order against the implementation by the COMELEC of its Order of 2 June 1992 and its Resolution of 13 June 1992. On 23 December 1992, this Court promulgated its decision in G. R. No. 105717, 7 the dispositive portion of which reads: WHEREFORE, the petition for certiorari is GRANTED and a writ of preliminary injunction is hereby ISSUED directing the COMELEC to CEASE and DESIST from implementing its order of June 2, 1992, and its resolution dated June 13, 1992, and the same are hereby declared NULLIFIED. Consequently, the election returns based on the recounted ballots from Precinct 16 are hereby DISCARDED and in lieu thereof, authentic returns from said precinct should instead be made a basis for the canvassing. The Provincial Board of Canvassers of Northern Samar is hereby directed to PROCEED WITH DISPATCH in the canvassing of ballots until completed and to PROCLAIM the duly elected winner of the congressional seat for the Second District of Northern Samar. This decision is immediately executory. 8 Acting on the motions for reconsideration and clarification respectively filed by the COMELEC and Lucero, this Court, on 22 April 1993, modified 9 its aforesaid disposition in G. R. No. 105717 as follows; IN VIEW OF ALL THE FOREGOING, the dispositive portion of the December 23, 1992 Decision is hereby MODIFIED to read as follows; "WHEREFORE, THE PETITION IS GRANTED. THE JUNE 2, 1992 ORDER OF RESPONDENT COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS IN SPA NO. 92-282 IS HEREBY ANNULLED AND SET ASIDE. ITS JUNE 13, 1992 RESOLUTION THEREIN IS LIKEWISE ANNULLED AND SET ASIDE INSOFAR AS IT

AFFECTS PRECINCT NO. 7 OF SILVINO LOBOS, THE RECOUNT OF VOTES IN THE 52 OTHER PRECINCTS AND THE CORRECTION OF THE CERTIFICATE OF CANVASS OF LAS NAVAS, BUT IS AFFIRMED WITH RESPECT TO THE ISSUE OF HOLDING A SPECIAL ELECTION IN PRECINCT NO. 13 AND THE RECOUNT OF THE BALLOTS IN PRECINCT NO. 16. THE RESPONDENT COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS IS HEREBY DIRECTED TO ASSIGN SPA NO. 92-282 TO ANY OF ITS DIVISIONS PURSUANT TO ITS RULE ON RAFFLE OF CASES FOR IT TO RESOLVE THE PREPROCLAMATION ISSUES THEREIN, TAKING INTO ACCOUNT THE ABOVE PRONOUNCEMENTS AND THE EXCEPTIONS PROVIDED FOR IN SECTION 15 OF R. A. NO. 7166. WHENEVER WARRANTED BY THE CIRCUMSTANCES, THE COMMISSION MAY (A) CALL A SPECIAL ELECTION IN PRECINCT NO. 13 OF SILVINO LOBOS, NORTHERN SAMAR, AND (B) RECONVENE THE SPECIAL MUNICIPAL BOARD OF CANVASSERS AND THE SPECIAL PROVINCIAL BOARD OF CANVASSERS IT HAD EARLIER CONSTITUTED OR CREATE NEW ONES. ALL THE FOREGOING SHOULD BE DONE WITH PURPOSEFUL DISPATCH TO THE END THAT THE WINNING CANDIDATE FOR CONGRESSMAN REPRESENTING THE SECOND CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT OF NORTHERN SAMAR MAY BE PROCLAIMED AS SOON AS POSSIBLE." 10 As to the certificate of canvass of the municipality of Las Navas, this Court explicitly stated; The correction of the certificate of canvass of Las Navas is likewise in order. Even though a pre-proclamation issue is involved, the correction of the manifest error is allowed under Section 15 of R. A. No. 7166. 11 Conformably with the aforesaid modified judgment in G. R. No. 105717, SPA No. 92-282 was raffled to the First Division of the COMELEC which conducted hearings thereon and received the arguments and evidence of both parties who then submitted their respective memoranda on 25 June 1994. However, during the consultations on the case by the Members of the First Division, the concurrence of at least two of them could not be obtained; accordingly, pursuant to the COMELEC Rules, the case was elevated for proper disposition to the COMELEC en banc to which the parties submitted their respective memoranda on 19 November 1993. 12 On 7 January 1994, the COMELEC en banc promulgated a resolution 13 whose dispositive portion reads as follows: 1. To direct the special Provincial Board of Canvassers for Northern Samar (a) to include in the municipal certificate of canvass of Silvino Lobos the forty-three (43) votes of petitioner Lucero and the two (2) votes of private respondent Ong as reflected in the election returns of Precinct No. 16 (Barangay Tubgon) prepared by the special Board of Election Inspectors constituted by the Commission to recount the votes (ballots) in said precinct, as canvassed by the special Municipal Board of Canvassers for Silvino Lobos; (b) to include in the municipal

certificate of canvass of Silvino Lobos, the sixty-one (61) votes of private respondent Ong and 29, 30, or 31 votes of petitioner Lucero as reflected in the election returns (MBC Copy submitted as "Comelec Copy") of Precinct No. 7 (Barangay Camaya-an), as canvassed by the special Municipal Board of Canvassers for Silvino Lobos; (c) to retabulate the total number of votes of petitioner Lucero for the Municipality of Las Navas and to enter in the provincial certificate of canvass the correct total which is two thousand five hundred thirtyseven (2,537) as reflected in the Statement of Votes (C. E. Form 20-A) prepared and submitted by the Municipal Board of Canvassers for Las Navas; and (d) to submit to the Commission a computation of the votes of the contending parties including therein all the votes of petitioner Lucero (with alternative totals) and private respondent Ong, in Precinct Nos. 7 and 16 of Silvino Lobos and the total votes of petitioner Lucero in the Municipality of Las Navas as corrected. However, under no circumstances should the Board proclaim any winning candidate until instructed to do so by the Commission; 2. To issue an Order calling for a special election in the last remaining Precinct No. 13 (Barangay Gusaran) of the Municipality of Silvino Lobos if justified by the result of the canvass by the Provincial Board of Canvassers for Northern Samar, and to notify the parties of the schedule of election activities for that precinct; and 3. After including in the tabulation the results of the special election of Precinct No. 13, to decide the issue of the recount of the votes (ballots) of Precinct No. 7 of Silvino Lobos, pursuant to Section 236 of the Omnibus Election Code, to resolve the discrepancy of the votes of petitioner Lucero in the same return, if such discrepancy of votes of the candidates concerned would affect the over-all results of the election after the totality of the votes of the contending parties shall have been determined. Both Lucero and Ong have come to this Court by way of separate special civil actions for certiorari to challenge the Resolution. In G. R. No. 113107, Lucero maintains that (1) the count of the ballots in Precinct No. 7 of Silvino Lobos must be unconditional because the election returns therefrom are invalid; and (2) his chances in the special election in Precinct No. 13 of Silvino Lobos would be spoiled if the returns for Precinct No. 7 were to be included beforehand in the canvass. In G. R. No. 113509, Ong questions (1) the authority of the COMELEC to order the correction of the alleged manifest error in the Municipal Certificate of Canvass of Las Navas despite the absence of any appeal; and (2) the authority of the COMELEC to call for a special election in Precinct No. 13 almost two years after the regular election. As we see it, the core issues in these consolidated cases are: (1) Whether there should first be a count of the ballots of Precinct No. 7 of Silvino Lobos before determining the necessity of holding a special election in Precinct No. 13 of Silvino Lobos: (2) Whether the COMELEC acted with grave abuse of discretion in ordering the correction of the

alleged manifest error in the Municipal Certificate of Canvass of Las Navas; and (3) Whether the COMELEC acted with grave abuse of discretion in calling for a special election in Precinct No. 13 after almost two (2) years, or more specifically after one (1) year and ten (10) months, following the day of the synchronized elections. We shall take up these issues seriatim. I. The answer to the first issue is in the affirmative. We find the COMELEC's disposition regarding Precinct No. 7 to be unclear. In the first paragraph of the dispositive portion of the challenged resolution, it directs the Provincial Board of Canvassers "to include in the municipal certificate of canvas of Silvino Lobos the sixty-one (61) votes of private respondent Ong and 29, 30, or 31 votes of petitioner Lucero as reflected in the election returns (MBC copy submitted as "COMELEC Copy") of Precinct No. 7 (Barangay Camaya-an), as canvassed by the special Municipal Board of Canvassers for Silvino Lobos," and "to submit to the Commission a computation of the votes of the contending parties including therein all the votes of petitioner Lucero (with alternative totals) and private respondent Ong, in Precinct Nos. 7 and 16 of Silvino Lobos. . . ." On the other hand, in the fourth paragraph of the said dispositive portion, it orders the Provincial Board of Canvassers, after "including in the tabulation the results of the special election of Precinct No. 13," to "decide the issue of the recount of the votes (ballots) of Precinct No. 7 of Silvino Lobos, pursuant to Section 236 of the Omnibus Election Code [and] to resolve the discrepancy of the votes of petitioner Lucero in the same return, if such discrepancy of votes of the candidate concerned would affect the over-all results of the election after the totality of the votes of the contending parties shall have been determined." Obviously, instead of ordering an outright recount of the ballots of Precinct No. 7, the COMELEC would first give full faith and credit to the questioned election returns thereof, which it describes as the "Comelec Copy," and, accordingly, direct the PBC to include in the municipal certificate of canvass of Silvino Lobos the 61 votes for Ong and the uncertain votes for Lucero 29, 30, or 31. The recount would only be made if after a special election in Precinct No. 13 shall have been held, it shall be determined that such a recount would be necessary. We fail to grasp the logic of the proposition. First, it is clear to us that the COMELEC, which has in its possession the so-called "Comelec Copy" of the questioned election returns of Precinct No. 7 and heard the witnesses who testified thereon, doubts the authenticity of the so-called "Comelec Copy" of the election returns of Precinct No. 7;14 hence, it authorizes the PBC to decide the issue of a recount "pursuant to Section 236 of the Omnibus Election Code." Since it doubts such authenticity, it could not, without arbitrariness and abuse of discretion, order the inclusion of the "votes" of Ong and Lucero found in the doubtful "Comelec Copy" of the election returns in the municipal certificate of canvass. Second, it is an uncontroverted fact that an election was held in Precinct No. 7. None was held in Precinct No. 13 for reasons the parties fully knew. Pursuant to Section 6 of the Omnibus Election Code (B.P. Blg. 881), a special election may be held in Precinct No. 13 only if the failure of the election therein "would affect the result of the election." This "result of the election" means the net result of the election in the rest of the

precincts in a given constituency, such that if the margin of a leading candidate over that of his closest rival in the latter precincts is less than the total number of votes in the precinct where there was failure of election, then such failure would certainly affect "the result of the election"; hence, a special election must be held. Consequently, the holding of a special election in Precinct No. 13 can only be determined after the votes in Precinct No. 7 shall have been included in the canvass by the Provincial Board of Canvassers. We may further state that the so-called "Comelec Copy" of the election returns of Precinct No. 7 can by no means be validly included in the municipal canvass. The summary of the evidence in the "preparation" of the election returns of Precinct No. 7, both in the challenged Resolution and in the separate Concurring and Dissenting Opinion of Commissioners Gorospe and Claravall, leaves no room for doubt that there was actually no counting of the votes in Precinct No. 7. Quoted in the challenged Resolution is a portion of the testimony of Sabina T. Jarito, Precinct Chairman of Precinct No. 7, which clearly shows that on questions by COMELEC Chairman Christian S. Monsod and Commissioner Vicente B. de Lima, the witness candidly admitted that the election returns were prepared at the "munisipyo" or municipal building and not at the polling place of Precinct No. 7 in barangay Camaya-an. 15 This "munisipyo" is located at the poblacion of Silvino Lobos. Under the law, the board of election inspectors shall prepare the election returns simultaneously with the counting of votes in the polling place. 16There is no evidence whatsoever that the COMELEC had, for valid reasons, authorized the transfer of venue of the counting of the votes of Precinct No. 7 from the polling place in barangay Camaya-an to the municipal building and that the counting did in fact take place at the latter. Although in the Concurring and Dissenting Opinion of Commissioners Gorospe and Claravall there is a reference to Exhibit "E," the Joint Affidavit of Sabina Jarito and Mevilyn Surio wherein they declare that after the voting the Board of Election Inspectors unanimously approved to transfer the counting of votes to the Municipal Building in the Poblacion of Silvino Lobos, which was allegedly concurred in by all the watchers of political parties and the candidates present, the alleged "counting" at the municipal building was denied by no less than the Municipal Election Officer of Silvino Lobos, Antonio Tepace, and the Municipal Treasurer thereof, Mr. Gabriel Basarte, in their affidavits marked as Exhibit "F" and Exhibit "G," respectively. 17 Since there was no counting of the votes of Precinct No. 7, no valid election returns could be made and any copy of election returns purporting to come therefrom is a fabrication. A recount thereof, which presupposes a prior count, would obviously be unwarranted. Only a count then of the votes of Precinct No. 13 would heretofore be in order. Sections 234, 235, and 236 of the Omnibus Election Code are thus still inapplicable. And, in the light of what we stated before in relation to the holding of a special election, such a count of the votes of Precinct No. 7 must, perforce, precede the special election in Precinct No. 13. II. Ong's first grievance in G. R. No. 113509 is without merit. The order of the COMELEC for the correction of the manifest error in the municipal certificate of canvass of Las Navas was made pursuant to the declaration made by this Court in G. R. No. 105717 (Ong vs. COMELEC) 18 that: The correction of the certificate of canvass of Las Navas is likewise in order. Even though a pre-proclamation issue is involved, the

correction of the manifest error is allowed under Sec. 15 of R. A. No. 7166. Since no motion for reconsideration was filed in that case, the decision therein became final and entry of judgment was made on 4 August 1993. Consequently, Ong cannot now re-litigate the issue of the correction of the certificate of canvass of Las Navas. III On the authority of the COMELEC to order the holding of a special election, Section 6 of the Omnibus Election Code provides: Sec. 6. Failure of election. If, on account of force majeure, violence, terrorism, fraud, or other analogous causes the election in any polling place has not been held on the date fixed, or had been suspended before the hour fixed by law for the closing of the voting, or after the voting and during the preparation and the transmission of the election returns or in the custody or canvass thereof, such election results in a failure to elect, and if in any of such cases the failure or suspension of election would affect the result of the election, the Commission shall, on the basis of a verified petition by any interested party and after due notice and hearing, call for the holding or continuation of the election not held, suspended or which resulted in a failure to elect on a date reasonably close to the date of the election not held, suspended or which resulted in a failure to elect but not later than thirty days after the cessation of the cause of such postponement or suspension of the election or failure to elect. The first paragraph of Section 4 of R. A. No. 7166 likewise provides: Sec. 4. Postponement, Failure of Election and Special Elections. The postponement, declaration of failure of election and the calling of special elections as provided in Sections 5, 6 and 7 of the Omnibus Election Code shall be decided by the Commission sitting en banc by a majority votes of its members. The causes for the declaration of a failure of election may occur before or after the casting of votes or on the day of the election. There are, therefore, two requisites for the holding of special elections under Section 6 of the Omnibus Election Code, viz., (1) that there is a failure of election, and (2) that such failure would affect the results of the election. The parties admit that the failure of the election in Precinct No. 13 was due to ballot-box snatching and do not dispute the finding of the COMELEC as to the necessity and inevitability of the holding of a special election in said precinct, even if the result of Precinct No. 7 should be based on the questionable "Comelec Copy" of its election returns. The COMELEC held: Based on the adjudged correction of the votes in favor of petitioner Lucero in the Municipality of Las Navas, the results of the recount of votes (ballots) of Precinct No. 16 (Silvino Lobos), and the votes reflected in the available copy of the election returns for Precinct No. 7 (Silvino Lobos), it is safe to predict that when the special Provincial Board of Canvassers will reconvene to sum up the votes of the contending parties, the original lead of private respondent Ong of two hundred four (204) votes against petitioner

Lucero 24,272 as against 24,068 will be reduced to either 175 or 173 depending on whether Lucero will be credited a low of 29 or a high of 31 votes as reflected in the election returns of Precinct No. 7. Without preempting the exact figures which only the special Provincial Board of Canvassers can correctly determine, undoubtedly it is inevitable that a special election will have to be held in Precinct No. 13 (Barangay Gusaran) of the Municipality of Silvino Lobos. ... Given the established lead of private respondent Ong over petitioner Lucero, We answer in the affirmative. According to Comelec records, the number of registered voters in Precinct No. 13 istwo hundred thirteen (213). Since the lead of respondent Ong is less than the number of registered voters, the votes in that precinct could affect the existing result because of the possibility that petitioner Lucero might get a majority over Ong in that precinct and that majority might be more than the present lead of Ong. 19 On the basis of the additional votes credited so far to the parties, 20 the following computation is in order: to Ong's 24,272 votes will be added 2 more from Precinct No. 16, to make a total of 24,274, while to Lucero's 24,068 votes will be added 20 more from Las Navas and 43 from Precinct No. 16, for a total of 24,131. Ong's earlier lead will thus be reduced to 143, which is admittedly less than the 213 registered voters in Precinct No. 13. 21 The two requirements then for a special election under Section 6 of the Omnibus Election Code have indeed been met. In fixing the date of the special election, the COMELEC should see to it that: (1) it should be not later than thirty days after the cessation of the cause of the postponement or suspension of the election or the failure to elect, and (2) it should be reasonably close to the date of the election not held, suspended, or which resulted in failure to elect. The first involves questions of fact. The second must be determined in the light of the peculiar circumstances of a case. In the instant case, the delay was not attributable to the poor voters of Precinct No. 13 or to the rest of the electorate of the Second Legislative District of Northern Samar. The delay was, as stated in the opening paragraph of this ponencia, primarily caused by the legal skirmishes or maneuvers of the petitioners which muddled simple issues. The Court takes judicial notice of the fact that G. R. No. 113509 is the third case Ong has brought to this Court. 22 Considering then that the petitioners themselves must share the blame for the delay, and taking into account the fact that since the term of the office of the contested position is only three years, the holding of a special election in Precinct No. 13 within the next few months may still be considered "reasonably close to the date of the election not held." Ong's postulation should then be rejected. In the course of the deliberations on these cases, the Court considered the possible application, by analogy, of Section 10, Article VII of the 1987 Constitution providing that no special election in the event of a vacancy in the Offices of the President and Vice President "shall be called if the

vacancy occurs within eighteen months before the date of the next presidential election," and of the second paragraph of Section 4 of R. A. No. 7166 which provides: In case a permanent vacancy shall occur in the Senate or House of Representatives at least one (1) year before the expiration of the term, the Commission shall call and hold a special election to fill the vacancy not earlier than sixty (60) days nor longer than ninety (90) days after the occurrence of the vacancy. However, in case of such vacancy in the Senate, the special election shall be held simultaneously with the next succeeding regular election. A view was expressed that we should not hold the special election because the underlying philosophy for the prohibition to hold the special election if the vacancy occurred within a certain period before the next presidential election or the next regular election, as the case may be, is obviously the avoidance of the expense to be incurred in the holding of a special election when a regular election is, after all, less than a year away. The Court ultimately resolved that the aforesaid constitutional and statutory proscriptions are inapplicable to special elections which may be called under Section 6 of the Omnibus Election Code. First, the special election in the former is to fill permanent vacancies in the Office of the President, Vice President, and Members of Congress occurring after the election, while the special election under the latter is due to or by reason of a failure of election. Second, a special election under Section 6 would entail minimal costs because it is limited to only the precincts involved and to the candidates who, by the result of the election in a particular constituency, would be affected by the failure of election. On the other hand, the special election for the Offices of the President, Vice President, and Senators would be nation-wide, and that of a Representative, district-wide. Third, Section 6, when specifically applied to the instant case, presupposes that no candidate had been proclaimed and therefore the people of the Second Legislative District of Northern Samar would be unrepresented in the House of Representatives until the special election shall ultimately determine the winning candidate, such that if none is held, they would have no representation until the end of the term. under the aforesaid constitutional and statutory provisions, the elected officials have already served their constituencies for more than one-half of their terms of office. Fourth, if the law had found it fit to provide a specific and determinate time-frame for the holding of a special election under Section 6, then it could have easily done so in Section 4 of R. A. No. 7166. Another serious obstacle to Ong's proposition is that, considering the COMELEC's disposition of Precinct No. 7 in the challenged Resolution, he would then be declared and proclaimed the duly elected Representative of the Second Legislative District of Northern Samar despite the fact that as earlier observed, there was no counting of the votes of Precinct No. 7, and the results of the district elections for Representative would be affected by the failure of the election in Precinct No. 13. To accept the proposition is to allow a proclamation based on an incomplete canvass where the final result would have been affected by the uncanvassed result of Precinct No. 7 and by the failure of the election in Precinct No. 13 and to impose upon the people of the Second Legislative District of Northern Samar a Representative whose mandate is, at the very least, uncertain, and at the most, inexistent. IN VIEW OF ALL THE FOREGOING, judgment is hereby rendered: I. DISMISSING, for lack of merit, the petition in G. R. No. 113509; and

II. In G. R. No. 113107, DIRECTING the respondent Commission on Elections to: (1) Reconvene, in its main office of Manila, within five (5) days from notice hereof, the Special Board of Canvassers of the municipality of Silvino Lobos, Northern Samar, which shall then, as a special Board of Election Inspectors of Precinct No. 7 of said municipality, within forty-eight (48) hours from its reconvening, count the ballots of said Precinct No. 7, and deliver to the special Provincial Board of Canvassers of the said Province a copy of the election returns; (2) Reconvene, in its main office in Manila, within the same period as aforestated, the special Provincial Board of Canvassers of Northern Samar which shall then, within seventy-two (72) hours from its reconvening: (a) Include in the Municipal Certificate of Canvass of Silvino Lobos (1) the total number of votes for petitioner Wilmar P. Lucero and for petitioner Jose L. Ong, Jr., respectively, in Precinct No. 7 of Silvino Lobos as recorded in the election returns submitted by the aforementioned special Municipal Board of Canvassers, and (2) the forty-three (43) votes for petitioner Wilmar P. Lucero and the two (2) votes for petitioner Jose L. Ong, Jr. as reflected in the election returns of Precinct No. 16 (Barangay Tubgon) prepared, after a recount of the ballots, by the special Board of Canvassers; and after such inclusions to enter the new totals of the votes for the petitioners in the Certificate of Provincial Canvass; (b) Retabulate the total number of votes for Wilmar P. Lucero for the Municipality of Las Navas, Northern Samar, which shall be two thousand and five hundred thirty-seven (2,537) as reflected in the Statement of Votes (C.E. Form 20-A) prepared and submitted by the Municipal Board of Canvassers of Las Navas, and to enter the same in the Certificate of Provincial Canvass; (c) After the accomplishment of all the foregoing, to sum up anew in the Certificate of Provincial Canvass the canvassed municipal certificates of canvass of all the municipalities of the Second Legislative District of Northern Samar and if the same would establish that the difference in votes between petitioner Wilmar P. Lucero and petitioner Jose L. Ong, Jr. is less than two hundred and thirteen (213), hence the failure of the election in Precinct No. 13 would unavoidably and inevitably affect then the result of the election, to report to the Commission on Elections such fact and to furnish the latter with a certified photocopy of the Certificate of Provincial Canvass; (3) Within three (3) days after receipt of the aforesaid report from the special Provincial Board of Canvassers, to CALL a special election in Precinct No. 13 of Silvino Lobos, which shall be held not later than thirty (30) days from such call; a copy of the election returns of said special election shall forthwith be transmitted to the Special Provincial Board of Canvassers of Northern Samar, which shall then enter the results thereof in its canvass and make a final summation of the results in the Certificate of Provincial Canvass, and thereafter, pursuant to the Omnibus Election Code, pertinent election laws and rules and resolutions of the

Commission, proclaim the winning candidate for Representative of the Second Legislative District of Northern Samar. If for any reason whatsoever it would not be possible to immediately reconvene the Special Municipal Board of Canvassers of Silvino Lobos and the Special Provincial Board of Canvassers of Northern Samar, the COMELEC may create new ones.

3.

SUBIC BAY METROPOLITAN AUTHORITY vs. COMELEC

FACTS:

On March 13, 1992, Congress enacted RA. 7227 (The Bases Conversionand Development Act of 1992), which created the Subic EconomicZone. RA 7227 likewise created SBMA to implement the declarednational policy of converting the Subic military reservation intoalternative productive uses.

On November 24, 1992, the American navy turned over the Subicmilitary reservation to the Philippines government. Immediately,petitioner commenced the implementation of its task, particularly thepreservation of the sea-ports, airport, buildings, houses and otherinstallations left by the American navy.

On April 1993, the Sangguniang Bayan of Morong, Bataan passed Pambayang Kapasyahan Bilang 10 , Serye 1993, expressing therein itsabsolute concurrence, as required by said Sec. 12 of RA 7227, to join the Subic Special Economic Zone and submitted such to the Office of the President.

On May 24, 1993, respondents Garcia filed a petition with the Sangguniang Bayan of Morong to annul Pambayang Kapasyahan Blg.10, Serye 1993

The petition prayed for the following: a) to nullify PambayangKapasyang Blg. 10 for Morong to join the Subic Special Economi Zone,b) to allow Morong to join provided conditions are met.

The Sangguniang Bayan ng Morong acted upon the petition by promulgating Pambayang Kapasyahan Blg. 18, Serye 1993, requesting Congress of the Philippines so amend certain provisions of RA 7227.

Not satisfied, respondents resorted to their power initiative under the LGC of 1991.

On July 6, 1993, COMELEC denied the petition for local initiative on the ground that the subject thereof was merely a resolution and not an ordinance.

On February 1, 1995, the President issued Proclamation No. 532 defining the metes and bounds of the SSEZ including therein the portion of the former naval base within the territorial jurisdiction of the Municipality of Morong.

On June 18, 19956, respondent Comelec issued Resolution No. 2845and 2848, adopting a "Calendar of Activities for local referendum and providing for "the rules and guidelines to govern the conduct of the referendum

On July 10, 1996, SBMA instituted a petition for certiorari contesting the validity of Resolution No. 2848 alleging that public respondent is intent on proceeding with a local initiative that proposes an amendment of a national law

ISSUE: 1. WON Comelec committed grave abuse of discretion in promulgating Resolution No. 2848 which governs the conduct of the referendum proposing to annul or repeal Pambayang Kapasyahan Blg. 10 2. WON the questioned local initiative covers a subject within the powers of the people of Morong to enact; i.e., whether such initiative "seeks the amendment of a national law. HELD:

1. YES. COMELEC committed grave abuse of discretion. FIRST. The process started by private respondents was an INITIATIVE but respondent Comelec made preparations for a REFERENDUM only. In fact, in the body of the Resolution as reproduced in the footnote below, the word "referendum" is repeated at least 27 times, but "initiative" is not mentioned at all. The Comelec labeled the exercise as a "Referendum"; the counting of votes was entrusted to a "Referendum Committee"; the documents were called "referendum returns"; the canvassers, "Referendum Board of Canvassers" and the ballots themselves bore the description "referendum". To repeat, not once was the word "initiative" used in said body of Resolution No. 2848. And yet, this exercise is unquestionably an INITIATIVE. As defined, Initiative is the power of the people to propose bills and laws, and to enact or reject them at the polls independent of the legislative assembly. On the other hand, referendum is the right reserved to the people to adopt or reject any act or measure which has been passed by a legislative body and which in most cases would without action on the part of electors become a law. In initiative and referendum, the Comelec exercises administration and supervision of the process itself, akin to its powers over the conduct of elections.

These law-making powers belong to the people, hence the respondent Commission cannot control or change the substance or the content of legislation.

2. The local initiative is NOT ultra vires because the municipal resolution is still in the proposal stage and not yet an approved law.

The municipal resolution is still in the proposal stage. It is not yet an approved law. Should the people reject it, then there would be nothing to contest and to adjudicate. It is only when the people have voted for it and it has become an approved ordinance or resolution that rights and obligations can be enforced or implemented there under. At this point, it is merely a proposal and the writ or prohibition cannot issue upon a mere conjecture or possibility. Constitutionally speaking, courts may decide only actual controversies, not hypothetical questions or cases. In the present case, it is quite clear that the Court has authority to review Comelec Resolution No. 2848 to determine the commission of grave abuse of discretion. However, it does not have the same authority in regard to the proposed initiative since it has not been promulgated or approved, or passed upon by any "branch or instrumentality" or lower court, for that matter. The Commission on Elections itself has made no reviewable pronouncements about the issues brought by the pleadings. The Comelec simply included verbatim the proposal in its questioned Resolution No. 2848. Hence, there is really no decision or action made by a branch, instrumentality or court which this Court could take cognizance of and acquire jurisdiction over, in the exercise of its review powers.

4.

PERALTA vs. COMELEC

Facts: Section 4 of the 1978 Election Code provides that the election period shall be fixed by the Commission on Elections in accordance with Section 6, Article XII[C] of the Constitution. The period of campaign shall not be more than forty-five days immediately preceding the election, excluding the day before and the day of the election. Petitioners questioned the constitutionality of the 45-day campaign period because: (a) it was decreed by the President and not by the Commission on Elections as provided by Section 6 of Article XII-C and (b) the period should cover at least ninety days (90). They argue that Section 6 of Article XII-C of the Constitution provides that the election period shall commence ninety days before the day of election and shall end thirty days thereafter.

Issue: Whether or not the 45-day period is unconstitutional

Held: The 45-day campaign period is constitutional. Although the campaign period prescribed in the 1978 Election Code for the election of the representatives to the interim Batasang Pambansa is less than 90 days and was decreed by the President and not by the Commission on Elections as provided by Section 6 of Article XII-C of the Constitution, the same does not violate the Constitution, because under Amendment 1, the manner of election of members of the interim Batasang Pambansa shall be prescribed and regulated by law, and the incumbent President under Amendment No. 5, shall continue to exercise legislative power until martial law shall have been lifted. Moreover, the election for members in the interim Batasang Pambansa is an election in a state of emergency requiring special rules, and only the incumbent President has the authority and means of obtaining information on the peace and order condition of the country within which an electoral campaign may be adequately conducted in all regions of the nation. But even assuming that it should be the Commission on Elections that should fix the period of campaign, the constitutional mandate is complied with by the fact that the Commission has adopted and is enforcing the period fixed in Section 4, Article 1, of the 1978 Election Code.

5.

Occena vs. Commission on Elections

Facts: The challenge in these two prohibition proceedings against the validity of three Batasang Pambansa Resolutions proposing constitutional amendments, goes further than merely assailing their alleged constitutional infirmity. Samuel Occena and Ramon A. Gonzales, both members of the Philippine Bar and former delegates to the 1971 Constitutional Convention that framed the present Constitution, are suing as taxpayers. The rather unorthodox aspect of these petitions is

the assertion that the 1973 Constitution is not the fundamental law, the Javellana ruling to the contrary notwithstanding.

Issue: Whether the 1973 Constitution was valid, and in force and effect when the Batasang Pambansa resolutions and the present petitions were promulgated and filed, respectively.

Held: It is much too late in the day to deny the force and applicability of the 1973 Constitution. In the dispositive portion of Javellana v. The Executive Secretary, dismissing petitions for prohibition and mandamus to declare invalid its ratification, this Court stated that it did so by a vote of six to four. It then concluded: "This being the vote of the majority, there is no further judicial obstacle to the new Constitution being considered in force and effect." Such a statement served a useful purpose. It could even be said that there was a need for it. It served to clear the atmosphere. It made manifest that as of 17 January 1973, the present Constitution came into force and effect. With such a pronouncement by the Supreme Court and with the recognition of the cardinal postulate that what the Supreme Court says is not only entitled to respect but must also be obeyed, a factor for instability was removed. Thereafter, as a matter of law, all doubts were resolved. The 1973 Constitution is the fundamental law. It is as simple as that. What cannot be too strongly stressed is that the function of judicial review has both a positive and a negative aspect. As was so convincingly demonstrated by Professors Black and Murphy, the Supreme Court can check as well as legitimate. In declaring what the law is, it may not only nullify the acts of coordinate branches but may also sustain their validity. In the latter case, there is an affirmation that what was done cannot be stigmatized as constitutionally deficient. The mere dismissal of a suit of this character suffices. That is the meaning of the concluding statement in Javellana. Since then, this Court has invariably applied the present Constitution. The latest case in point is People v. Sola, promulgated barely two weeks ago. During the first year alone of the effectivity of the present Constitution, at least ten cases may be cited.

6.

Laban ngDemokratikong Pilipino vs COMELEC

Facts: The General Counsel of the Laban ng Demokratikong Pilipino (LDP) informed the COMELEC by way of Manifestation that only the Party Chairman, Senator Edgardo J. Angara, or his authorized representative may endorse the certificate of candidacy of the partys official candidates. The same Manifestation stated that Sen. Angara had placed the LDP Secretary General, Representative Agapito A. Aquino, on "indefinite forced leave." In the meantime, Ambassador Enrique A. Zaldivar was designated Acting Secretary General.

However, Rep. Aquino filed his comment, contending that the Party Chairman does not have the authority to impose disciplinary sanctions on the Secretary General. As the Manifestation filed by the LDP General Counsel has no basis, Rep. Aquino asked the COMELEC to disregard the same. Prior to the May 2004 elections, the Laban ngDemokratikong Pilipino (LDP) has been divided because of a struggle of authority between Party Chairman Edgardo Angara and Party Secretary General Agapito Aquino, both having endorsed two different sets of candidates under the same party, LDP. The matter was brought to the COMELEC. The Commission in its resolution has recognized the factions creating two sub-parties: LDP Angara Wing and LDP Aquino Wing.

Issue: Whether or not the COMELEC committed a grave abuse of discretion in recognizing the two sets of nominations and endorsements by the same party.

Held: Yes. The COMELEC erred in its resolution. Only those Certificates of Candidacy (COC) signed by the LDP Party Chairman Angara or his duly authorized representative/s shall be recognized.

7.

Ang Bagong Bayani vs. Comelec

Facts: Herein case involves two Petitions under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court, challenging Omnibus Resolution No. 3785 issued by the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) on March 26, 2001. This Resolution approved the participation of 154 organizations and parties, including those herein impleaded, in the 2001 party-list elections. Petitioners seek the disqualification of private respondents, arguing mainly that the party-list system was intended to benefit the marginalized and underrepresented; not the mainstream political parties, the non-marginalized or overrepresented.

Issues: 1.Whether or not political parties may participate in the party-list elections. 2.Whether or not the party-list system is exclusive to marginalized and underrepresented sectors and organizations. 3.Whether or not the Comelec committed grave abuse of discretion in promulgating Omnibus Resolution No. 3785.

Held: 1. Yes. Under the Constitution and RA 7941, private respondents cannot be disqualified from the party-list elections, merely on the ground that they are political parties. 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, regional, and sectoral parties or organizations. 2. Yes. The requisite character of these parties or organizations must be consistent with the purpose of the party-list system, as laid down in the Constitution and RA 7941. (e.g. Section 5, Article VI of the Constitution) While the enumeration of marginalized and underrepresented sectors is not exclusive, it demonstrates the clear intent of the law that not all sectors can be represented under the partylist system. It is a fundamental principle of statutory construction that words employed in a statute are interpreted in connection with, and their meaning is ascertained by reference to, the words and the phrases with which they are associated or related. Thus, the meaning of a term in a statute may be limited, qualified or specialized by those in immediate association. 8. FRIVALDO VS. COMELEC

FACTS: Private respondent questioned petitioner governors candidacy and election for being null and void ab initio due to his alienage. Petitioner governor contends that his active participation in the elections had divested him of American citizenship under the laws of the US, and restored him of his Philippine citizenship. ISSUE: Whether or not the filing of a certificate of candidacy by a naturalized American effectively recovers his Philippine citizenship. HELD: No, Philippine citizenship previously disowned is not that cheaply recovered. Citizenship once lost may be reacquired either by naturalization or repatriation or by direct grant by law (CA 63) which was not invoked by the petitioner

9.

LABO VS. COMELEC

GR No. 86564, August 1, 1989 (Constitutional Law Loss of Citizenship)

FACTS: Herein petitioner, claiming for recognition as a Philippine citizen is a mayor-elect who, through his marriage with an Australian national, was naturalized and took an oath of allegiance as an Australian citizen. Said marriage was found to be bigamous and therefore was annulled.

Petitioner claims that his naturalization made him only a dual national and did not divest him of his Philippine citizenship. ISSUE: Whether or not petitioner was divested of his Philippine citizenship. HELD: Yes, because Commonwealth Act No. 63 clearly stated that Philippine citizenship may be lost through naturalization in a foreign country; express renunciation of citizenship; and by oath of allegiance to a foreign country, all of which are applicable to the petitioner.

10.

Caasi vs. Comelec

FACTS: Mateo Caasi is seeking the disqualification of Merito Miguel as candidate for municipal mayor of Bolinao, Pangasinan on the ground that he (Miguel) is a green card holder, hence, a resident of the United States. Miguel admits possessing a green card but contends that he only uses it for convenience to freely enter US for his medical treatment and to visit his children. He also alleges that he voted in all previous elections, including the plebiscite on 2 February 1987 for the ratification of the 1987 Constitution, and the congressional elections on 18 May 1987.

ISSUE: WON a green card is a proof that the holder is a US resident

HELD: In Miguels Application for Immigrant Visa and Alien Registration" (Optional Form No. 230, Department of State) which he filled up in his own handwriting and submitted to the US Embassy in Manila before his departure for the United States in 1984, Miguel's answer to Question No. 21 therein regarding his "Length of intended stay (if permanently, so state)," Miguel's answer was, "Permanently." On the green card itself, it identifies Miguel as a Resident Alien. Miguels immigration to the United States in 1984 constituted an abandonment of his domicile and residence in the Philippines. To be qualified to run for elective office in the Philippines, the law requires that the candidate who is a green card holder must have waived his status as a

permanent resident or immigrant of a foreign country. Also, Miguel only resided in Bolinao for 3 months after returning to the country which is in violation of the 1 year residency requirement.

*Miguel is disqualified to run for mayor.

11.

Dela Torre vs COMELEC

(Municipal Corporation, Disqualification of Local Elective Officials, Moral Turpitude)

Facts: Section 40 (a) of Republic Act 7160 (Local Government Code of 1991) provides that a prior conviction of a crime becomes a ground for disqualification from running for any elective local position i.e. when the conviction is for an offense involving moral turpitude. Citing above as ground, the COMELEC in a resolution, declared petitioner disqualified from running for the position of Mayor of Cavinti, Laguna. COMELEC held that petitioner was found guilty by the MTC for violation of the Anti-Fencing Law, an offense whose nature involves moral turpitude. Petitioner claimed that Section 40 (a) of the Local Government Code does not apply to his case inasmuch as the probation granted him by the MTC which suspended the execution of the judgment of conviction and all other legal consequences flowing therefrom, rendered inapplicable Section 40 (a) as well. However, he admits all the elements of the crime of fencing. Issue: WON the petitioner applicant is disqualified for the coming elections due to a crime involving moral turpitude.

Held: Yes. Moral turpitude is defined as 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. From the definition of fencing in Sec. 2 of PD 1612, an element of the crime of fencing may be gleaned that the accused knows or should have known that the said article, item, object or anything of value has been derived from the proceeds of the crime of robbery or theft. Moral turpitude is deducible from this. Actual knowledge by the fence of the fact that property received as stolen displays the same degree of malicious deprivation of ones rightful property as that which animated the robbery or theft which, by their very nature, are crimes of moral turpitude. And although the participation of each felon in the unlawful taking differs in

point in time and in degree, both the fence and the actual perpetr ator/s of the robbery or theft invaded ones peaceful dominion for gain thus deliberately reneging the process private duties they owe their fellowmen in a manner contrary to accepted and customary rule of right and duty, justice, honesty and good m orals. Note: In determining whether a criminal act involves moral turpitude, the Court is guided by one of the general principle that crimes mala in se involve moral turpitude while crimes mala prohibita do not. However, SC admitted that it cannot always be ascertained whether moral turpitude does or does not exist by merely classifying as crime as mala in se or as mala prohibita. Whether or not a crime involves moral turpitude is ultimately a question of fact and frequently depends on all the circumstance

12.

Grego vs COMELEC [274 SCRA 481]

(Municipal Government, Disqualification, Non-Retroactive effect)

Facts: Sec 40 (b) of Republic Act 7160 (the Local Government Code) which took effect on January 1, 1992, disqualifies a person for any elective posit ion on the ground that had been removed from office as a result of an administrative case. On October 31, 1981, Basco was removed from his position as Deputy Sheriff upon a finding of serious misconduct in an administrative complaint. He ran as a candidate for Councilor, won and assumed office for three terms during the Elections of January 18, 1988; May 11, 1992 and May 8, 1995. As in the past, respondents right to office was contested. On May 13, 1995, petitioner, seeks for the respondents disqualific ation, pursuant to the above provision, contending that as long as a candidate was once removed from office due to an administrative case, regardless of whether it took place during or prior to the effectivity of the Code, the disqualification applies. Respondent contends that the petitioner is not entitled to said relief because Section 40 par. b of the LGC may not be validly applied to persons who were dismissed prior to its effectivity. To do so would make it ex post facto, bill of attainder, and retroactive legislation which impairs vested rights Issue: WON Section 40 (b) of Republic Act No. 7160 applies retroactively to those removed from office before it took effect on January 1, 1992.

Held: No. It is a settled issue that Section 40 (b) of Republic Act No. 7160 does not have any retroactive effect. Laws operate only prospectively and not retroactively. A statute, despite the generality in its language, must not be so construed as to overreach acts, events or matters which transpired before its passage: Lex prospicit, non respicit. The law looks forward, not backward.

13.

REYES vs. COMELEC

FACTS:

Dr. Manalo filed with the Sangguniang Panlalawigan an administrative complaint against incumbent Mayor Reyes of Bongabong, Oriental Mindoro. It was alleged that Reyes exacted and collected P50,000,00 from each market stall holder in the Bongabong Public Market. Also, that certain checks issued to him by the National Reconciliation and Development Program of the DILG were never received by the Municipal Treasurer nor reflected in the books of accounts of the same officer; and that he took 27 heads of cattle from beneficiaries of a cattle dispersal program. The Sangguniang Panlalawigan found petitioner guilty of the charges and ordered his removal from office.

Reyes filed a petition for certiorari, prohibition and injunction with the RTC of Oriental Mindoro. Later, the Presiding Officer of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan issued an order for Reyes to vacate the position of mayor and to turn over the office to the incumbent vice mayor but he refused to accept the service of the order.

Thereafter, Reyes filed a certificate of candidacy with the Comelec but a petitionfor disqualification was filed against him. Thus, the Comelec canceled Reyess certificate of candidacy. However, the Municipal Board of Canvassers of Bongabong unaware of the disqualification of Reyes by the Comelec, proclaimed him the duly-elected mayor.

The COMELEC en banc declared him to have been validly disqualified as candidate and, consequently, set aside his proclamation as municipal mayor. Hence thepetition in G.R. No. 120905, which was filed on July 20, 1995, alleging grave abuse of discretion by the COMELEC on the ground that the decision in the administrative case against petitioner Reyes was not yet final and executory and therefore could not be used as basis for his disqualification. Invoking the

ruling in the case of Aguinaldo v. Santos, petitioner argues that his election on May 8, 1995 is a bar to his disqualification.

Garcia, who obtained the highest number of votes next to Reyes, intervened, contending that because Reyes was disqualified, he was entitled to be proclaimed mayor. The Comelec en banc denied Garcias prayer.

ISSUES: 1. WON the decision of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan is not yet final because he has not been served a copy thereof. 2. WON petitioners reelection rendered the administrative charges against him moot and academic 3. WON the candidate who obtains the second highest number of votes may not be proclaimed winner in case the winning candidate is disqualified.

HELD: 1. No. The failure of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan to deliver a copy of its decision was due to the refusal of petitioner and his counsel to receive the decision. Repeated attempts had been made to serve the decision on Reyes personally and by registered mail, but Reyes refused to receive the decision. If a judgment or decision is not delivered to a party for reasons attributable to him, service is deemed completed and the judgment or decision will be considered validly served as long as it can be shown that the attempt to deliver it to him would be valid were it not for his or his counsel's refusal to receive it . Reyess refusal to receive the decision may, therefore, be construed as a waiver on his part to have a copy of the decision.

Petitioner was given sufficient notice of the decision. Rather than resist the service, he should have received the decision and taken an appeal to the Office of the President in accordance with R.A. No. 7160 Section 67. But petitioner did not do so. Accordingly, the decision became final 30 days after the first service upon petitioner. Thus, when the elections were held the decision of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan had already become final and executory. The filing of apetition for certiorari with the RTC did not prevent the administrative decision from attaining finality. An original action of certiorari is an independent action and does not interrupt the course of the principal action nor the running of the reglementary period involved in the proceeding.

Consequently, to arrest the course of the principal action during the pendency of the certiorari proceedings, there must be a restraining order or a writ of preliminary injunction from the appellate court directed to the lower court. In the case at bar, although a temporary restraining order was issued by the Regional Trial Court, no preliminary injunction was subsequently issued. The temporary restraining order issued expired after 20 days. From that moment on, there was no more legal barrier to the service of the decision upon petitioner.

2. No. Petitioner invokes the ruling in Aguinaldo v. COMELEC, in which it was held that a public official could not be removed for misconduct committed during a prior term and that his reelection operated as a condonation of the officers previous misconduct to the extent of cutting off the right to remove him therefor. But that was because in that case, before the petition questioning the validity of the administrative decision removing petitioner could be decided, the term of office during which the alleged misconduct was committed expired. Removal cannot extend beyond the term during which the alleged misconduct was committed. If a public official is not removed before his term of office expires, he can no longer be removed if he is thereafter reelected for another term. This is the rationale for the ruling in the two Aguinaldo cases.

The case at bar is the very opposite of those cases. Here, although petitioner Reyes brought an action to question the decision in the administrative case, the temporary restraining order issued in the action he brought lapsed, with the result that the decision was served on petitioner and it thereafter became final on April 3, 1995, because petitioner failed to appeal to the Office of the President. He was thus validly removed from office and, pursuant to 40 (b) of the Local Government Code, he was disqualified from running for reelection.

It is noteworthy that at the time the Aguinaldo cases were decided there was no provision similar to 40 (b) which disqualifies any person from running for any elective position on the ground that he has been removed as a result of an administrative case. The Local Government Code of 1991 (R.A. No. 7160) could not be given retroactive effect.

Indeed, it appears that petitioner was given sufficient opportunity to file his answer. He failed to do so. Nonetheless, he was told that the complainant would be presenting his evidence and that he (petitioner) would then have the opportunity to cross-examine the witnesses. But on the date set, he failed to appear. He would say later that this was because he had filed a motion for postponement and was awaiting a ruling thereon. This only betrays the pattern of delay he employed to render the case against him moot by his election.

3. The candidate who obtains the second highest number of votes may not be proclaimed winner in case the winning candidate is disqualified. To simplistically assume that the second placer would have received the other votes would be to substitute our judgment for the mind of the voter. The second placer is just that, a second placer. He lost the elections. He was repudiated by either a majority or plurality of voters. He could not be considered the first among qualified candidates because in a field which excludes the disqualified candidate, the conditions would have substantially changed. We are not prepared to extrapolate the results under the circumstances. The votes cast for Reyes are presumed to have been cast in the belief that Reyes was qualified and for that reason cannot be treated as stray, void, or meaningless. The subsequent finding that he is disqualified cannot retroact to the date of the elections so as to invalidate the votes cast for him.

Rule 13, 3 and 7 of the Rules of Court provide for the service of final orders and judgments either personally or by mail. Personal service is completed upon actual or constructive delivery, which may be made by delivering a copy personally to the party or his attorney, or by leaving it in his office with a person having charge thereof, or at his residence, if his office is not known. Hence service was completed when the decision was served upon petitioners counsel in his office in Manila on March 3, 1995.

In addition, as the secretary of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan certified, service by registered mail was also made on petitioner Reyes. Although the mail containing the decision was not claimed by him, service was deemed completed five days after the last notice to him on March 27, 1995. If a judgment or decision is not delivered to a party for reasons attributable to him, service is deemed completed and the judgment or decision will be considered validly served as long as it can be shown that the attempt to deliver it to him would be valid were it not for his or his counsels refusal to receive it.

Indeed that petitioners counsel knew that a decision in the administrative case had been rendered is evident in his effort to bargain with the counsel for the Sangguniang Panlalawigan not to have the decision served upon him and his client while their petition for certiorari in the Regional Trial Court was pending. His refusal to receive the decision may, therefore, be construed as a waiver on his part to have a copy of the decision.

The purpose of the rules on service is to make sure that the party being served with the pleading, order or judgment is duly informed of the same so that he can take steps to protect his interests,

i.e., enable a party to file an appeal or apply for other appropriate reliefs before the decision becomes final.

In practice, service means the delivery or communication of a pleading, notice or other papers in a case to the opposite party so as to charge him with receipt of it, and subject him to its legal effect.

In the case at bar, petitioner was given sufficient notice of the decision. Prudence required that, rather than resist the service, he should have received the decision and taken an appeal to the Office of the President in accordance with R.A. No. 7160, 67. But petitioner did not do so. Accordingly, the decision became final on April 2, 1995, 30 days after the first service upon petitioner.

14.

Mercado vs Manzano [307 SCRA 630]

(Municipal Corporation, Local Government Code)

Facts: Under Section 40(d) of the Local Government Code, those holding dual citizenship are disqualified from running for any elective local position. Petitioner Ernesto S. Mercado and private respondent Eduardo B. Manzano were candidates for vice mayor of the City of Makati. The proclamation of private respondent was suspended in view of a pending petition for disqualification. The Second Division of the COMELEC issued a resolution, dated May 7, 1998, granting the petition and ordered the cancellation of the COC of private respondent on the ground that he is a dual citizen. Private respondent filed a motion for reconsideration. The motion remained pending even until after the election held on May 11, 1998. Pursuant to Omnibus Resolution No. 3044, of the COMELEC, the board of canvassers tabulated the votes cast for vice mayor of Makati City but suspended the proclamation of the winner. Subsequently, petitioner sought to intervene in the case for disqualification. Private respondent opposed contending that at the time of the Elections, the resolution of the Second Division adopted on 7 May 1998 was not yet final so that, effectively, petitioner may not be declared the winner even assuming that Manzano is disqualified to run for and hold the elective office of Vice-Mayor of the City of Makati. Issue: WON petitioner who intervened prior proclamation will hold the elective office of the ViceMayor when respondent is disqualified.

Held: Yes. Private respondent argues that petitioner has neither legal interest in the matter in litigation nor an interest to protect because he is a defeated candidate for the vice -mayoralty post of Makati City who cannot be proclaimed as the Vice-Mayor of Makati City even if the private respondent be ultimately disqualified by final and executory judgment.

The flaw in this argument is it assumes that, at the time petitioner sought to intervene in the proceedings before the COMELEC, there had already been a proclamation of the results of the election for the vice mayoralty contest for Makati City, on the basis of which petitioner came out only second to private respondent. The fact, however, is that there had been no proclamation at that time. Certainly, petitioner had, and still has, an interest in ousting private respondent from the race at the time he sought to intervene. The rule in Labo v. COMELEC, reiterated in several cases, only applies to cases in which the election of the respondent is contested, and the question is whether one who placed second to the disqualified candidate may be declared the winner. In the present case, at the time petitioner filed a Motion for Leave to File Intervention on May 20, 1998, there had been no proclamation of the winner, and petitioners purpose was precisely to have private respondent disqualified from running for an elective local position under par 40(d) of R.A. No. 7160.

15.

Valles vs. COMELEC

Principle of jus sanguinis How Philippine citizenship is acquired Effect of filing certificate of candidacy: express renunciation of other citizenship

FACTS: Rosalind Ybasco Lopez was born on May 16, 1934 in Australia to a Filipino father and an Australian mother. In 1949, at the age of fifteen, she left Australia and came to settle in the Philippines, where she later married a Filipino and has since then participated in the electoral

process not only as a voter but as a candidate, as well. In the May 1998 elections, she ran for governor but Valles filed a petition for her disqualification as candidate on the ground that she is an Australian.

ISSUE: Whether or not Rosalind is an Australian or a Filipino

HELD: The Philippine law on citizenship adheres to the principle of jus sanguinis. There under, a child follows the nationality or citizenship of the parents regardless of the place of his/her birth, as opposed to the doctrine of jus soli which determines nationality or citizenship on the basis of place of birth.

Rosalind Ybasco Lopez was born a year before the 1935 Constitution took into effect and at that time, what served as the Constitution of the Philippines were the principal organic acts by which the United States governed the country. These were the Philippine Bill of July 1, 1902 and the Philippine Autonomy Act of Aug. 29, 1916, also known as the Jones Law.

Under both organic acts, all inhabitants of the Philippines who were Spanish subjects on April 11, 1899 and resided therein including their children are deemed to be Philippine citizens. Private respondents father, Telesforo Ybasco, was born on Jan. 5, 1879 in Daet, Camarines Norte.... Thus, under the Philippine Bill of 1902 and the Jones Law, Telesforo Ybasco was deemed to be a Philippine citizen. By virtue of the same laws, which were the laws in force at the time of her birth, Telesforos daughter, herein private respondent Rosalind Ybasco Lopez, is likewise a citizen of the Philippines.

The signing into law of the 1935 Philippine Constitution has established the principle of jus sanguinis as basis for the acquisition of Philippine citizenship, xxx

So also, the principle of jus sanguinis, which confers citizenship by virtue of blood relationship, was subsequently retained under the 1973 and 1987 Constitutions. Thus, the herein private respondent, Rosalind Ybasco Lopez, is a Filipino citizen, having been born to a Filipino father. The fact of her being born in Australia is not tantamount to her losing her Philippine citizenship. If Australia follows the principle of jus soli, then at most, private respondent can also claim Australian citizenship resulting to her possession of dual citizenship.

16.

Marquez vs COMELEC GR 112889 (April 18, 1995)

FACTS: Bienvenido Marquez, a defeated candidate in the Province of Quezon filed a petition for certiorari praying for the reversal of the COMELEC Resolution which dismissed his petition for quo warranto against Eduardo Rodriguez, for being allegedly a fugitive from justice. It is averred that at the time private respondent filed his certificate of candidacy, a criminal charge against him for ten (10) counts of insurance fraud or grand theft of personal property was still pending before the Municipal Court of Los Angeles Judicial District, County of Los Angeles, State of California, U.S.A. A warrant issued by said court for his arrest, it is claimed, has yet to be served on private respondent on account of his alleged flight from that country. Petitioners subsequent recourse (in G.R. No. 105310) from the COMELECs May 8, 1992 resolution was dismissed without prejudice, however, to the filing in due time of a possible post-election quo warranto proceeding against private respondent. Before the 11th May 1992 elections, petitioner filed a petition with the COMELEC for cancellation of respondents CoC on account of the candidates disqualification under Sec. 40 (e) of the LGC. Private respondent was proclaimed Governor-elect of Quezon on 29 May 1992. Forthwith, petitioner instituted quo warranto proceedings (EPC 92-28) against private respondent before the COMELEC. ISSUE: Whether private respondent who, at the time of the filing of his certificate of candidacy (and to date), is said to be facing a criminal charge before a foreign court and evading a warrant for his arrest comes within the term fugitive from justice contemplated by Section 40(e) of the LGC and is, therefore, disqualified from being a candidate for, and thereby ineligible from holding on to, an elective local office.

HELD: Section 40(e) of the LGC (RA 7160) provide that a Fugitive from justice in criminal cases here and abroad are disqualified from running for any elective local position. It has been held that construction placed upon law by the officials in charge of its enforcement deserves great and considerable weight (Atlas Consolidated Mining and Development Corp. vs. CA, 182 SCRA 166,181). However, when there clearly is no obscurity and ambiguity in an enabling law, it must merely be made to apply as it is so written. An administrative rule or regulation can neither expand nor constrict the law but must remain congruent to it. The confinement of the term fugitive from justice in Article 73 of the Rules and Regulations Implementing the LGC of 1991 to refer only to a person who has been convicted by final judgment is an inordinate and undue circumscription of the law. Unfortunately, the COMELEC

did not make any definite finding on whether or not private respondent is in fact a fugitive from justice as such term must be interpreted and applied in the light of the Courts opinion. The omission is understandable since the COMELEC outrightly dismissed the petition for quo warranto on the basis instead of Rule 73 of the Rules and Regulations promulgated by the Oversight Committee. The Court, not being a trier of facts, is thus constrained to remand the case to the COMELEC for a determination of this unresolved factual matter. 17. RODRIGUEZ vs. COMELEC

Facts: The petitioner Eduardo T. Rodriguez was a candidate for Governor in the Province of Quezon in the May 8, 1995 elections. His rival candidate for the said position was Bienvenido O. Marquez, Jr., herein private respondent. Private respondent filed a petition for disqualification before the COMELEC based principally on the allegation that Rodriguez is a fugitive from justice. Private respondent revealed that a charge for fraudulent insurance claims, grand theft and attempted grand theft of personal property is pending against the petitioner before the Los Angeles Municipal Court. Rodriguez is therefore a fugitive from justice which is a ground for his disqualification/ ineligibility under Section 40 (e) of the Local Government Code according to Marquez.

Rodriguez, however, submitted a certification from the Commission of Immigration showing that Rodriguez left the US on June 25, 1985- roughly five (5) months prior to the institution of the criminal complaint filed against him before the Los Angeles Court.

Issue: Whether or not Rodriguez is a fugitive from justice.

Held: No. The Supreme Court reiterated that a fugitive from justice includes not only those who flee after conviction to avoid punishment but likewise who, being charged, flee to avoid prosecution. The definition thus indicates that the intent to evade is the compelling factor that animates ones flight from a particular jurisdiction. And obviously, there can only be an intent to evade prosecution or punishment when there is knowledge by the fleeing subject of an already instituted indictment or of a promulgated judgement of conviction.

18.

PANGKAT LAGUNA vs. Comelec

BUENA, J.: In this specie of controversy which involves, to a large extent, the determination of the true will of the electorate and, which by its very nature, touches upon the ascertainment of the peoples choice as gleaned from the hallowed medium of the ballot, this Court finds cogency

to reiterate at the outset that the factual findings and determinations of the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) ought to be accorded great weight and finality, in the absence of any remarkable trace of grave abuse of discretion in the exercise of its constitutionally mandated tasks. Sought to be reversed in this special civil action for certiorari is the Resolution[1] of the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) en banc in S.P.A. 01-218 promulgated on 24 May 2001, which set aside the Resolution[2] of the COMELEC Second Division dated 11 May 2001, ordering the disqualification of herein private respondent Teresita Ningning Lazaro as candidate for Governor of the Province of Laguna in the 14 May 2001 Elections. The antecedents unfold. On 30 January 2001, respondent Lazaro, who was then Vice Governor of Laguna, assumed by succession the office of the Governor, when then Laguna Governor Jose D. Lina, Jr. was appointed Secretary of Interior and Local Government by President Gloria MacapagalArroyo. On 28 February 2001, respondent Lazaro filed her certificate of candidacy [3] for the gubernatorial position of Laguna. On 04 May 2001, herein petitioner Pangkat Laguna, a duly registered political party, filed with the COMELEC a petition[4] which sought to disqualify respondent Lazaro as candidate in the gubernatorial race. Docketed as SPA No. 01-218, the disqualification petition alleged in the main that respondent Lazaro committed acts violative of Section 80 (Election campaign or partisan political activity outside the campaign period) and Section 261(v) (Prohibition against release, disbursement or expenditure of public funds) of the Omnibus Election Code. In its petition for disqualification, petitioner Pangkat Laguna specifically alleged that private respondent Lazaro, upon assuming by succession the Office of the Governor on 30 January 2001, publicly declared her intention to run for governor in the May 2001 elections. Thus, according to petitioner, respondent Lazaro on 07 February 2001, ordered the purchase of 14,513 items such as trophies, basketballs, volleyballs, chessboard sets, and t-shirts, allegedly worth Four Million Five Hundred Fifty Six Thousand and Five Pesos (P4,556,005.00) serving no public purpose but to promote her popularity as a candidate.[5] In addition, petitioner alleged that on 08 February 2001, respondent directed the purchase and distribution of 1,760 medals and pins valued at One Hundred Ten Thousand Pesos (P110,000.00) to various schools in Laguna, serving no meaningful public purpose but to again promote her forthcoming candidacy.[6] According to petitioner, the abovementioned acts, in effect, constituted premature campaigning inasmuch as the same were done pr ior to the start of the campaign period on 30 March 2001. Petitioner adds that these acts constitute a ground for disqualification under Section 68, in relation to Section 80 of the Omnibus Election Code. Moreover, petitioner argues that respondent Lazaro violated Section 261 (v) of the Omnibus Election Code, as implemented by COMELEC Resolution No. 3479, when the latter caused the bidding of seventy nine (79) public works projects on 28 March 2001. On 08 May 2001, respondent Lazaro filed an answer denying the allegations in the petition for disqualification. In a Resolution dated 11 May 2001, the COMELEC Second Division granted the petition to disqualify respondent as candidate for the gubernatorial post of Laguna, prompting respondent Lazaro to file a motion for reconsideration before the COMELEC en banc. On May 17, 2001, petitioner filed a Motion to Suspend Proclamation Under Sec. 6, R.A. 6646.[7]

On 19 May 2001, the Provincial Board of Canvassers proclaimed respondent Lazaro as the duly elected Governor of Laguna in the 14 May 2001 Elections. On 22 May 2001, petitioner Pangkat Laguna filed a Motion to Annul Proclamation and/or to Suspend Effect of Proclamation under Sec. 6, R.A. 6646.[8] On 24 May 2001, the COMELEC en banc promulgated a resolution, the dispositive portion of which declares: WHEREFORE, premises considered, the Motion for Reconsideration filed by respondent Lazaro is hereby granted. The resolution issued by the Second Division dated 11 May 2001 is hereby correspondingly REVERSED AND SET ASIDE. SO ORDERED. Through the expediency of Rule 65 of the Rules of Court, petitioner now assails the Resolution of the COMELEC en banc dated 24 May 2001, for having been issued with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack of jurisdiction. The petition is devoid of merit. Doctrinally entrenched is the rule that in a petition for certiorari, findings of fact of administrative bodies, such as respondent COMELEC in the instant case, are final unless grave abuse of discretion has marred such factual determinations.[9] Stated differently, factual findings of the COMELEC based on its own assessments and duly supported by evidence, are conclusive upon the Court, more so, in the absence of a substantiated attack on the validity of the same. The COMELEC, as the government agency tasked with the enforcement and administration of election laws, is entitled to the presumption of regularity of official acts with respect to the elections.[10] First, as to the issue of premature campaigning, this Court holds that respondent Lazaro was not guilty of violating the provisions of Section 80 of the Omnibus Election Code, to wit: SEC. 80. Election campaign or partisan political activity outside campaign period. It shall be unlawful for any person, whether or not a voter or candidate, or for any party, or association of persons, to engage in an election campaign or partisan political activity except during the campaign period: Provided, that political parties may hold political conventions or meetings to nominate their official candidates within thirty days before the commencement of the campaign period and forty-five days for Presidential and Vice-Presidential election. On this score, it bears stressing that the act of respondent Lazaro as Chief Executive of the Province of Laguna in ordering the purchase of various items and the consequent distribution thereof to the constituents of Laguna, in line with the local government units sports and education program, is to our mind not constitutive of the act of election campaigning or partisan political activity contemplated and explicitly proscribed under the pertinent provisions of Section 80 of the Omnibus Election Code. To this end, we quote with affirmance respondent COMELECs observation on the matter: Not every act of beneficence from a candidate may be considered campaigning. The term campaigning should not be made to apply to any and every act which may influence a person to vote for a candidate, for that would be stretching too far the meaning of the term. Examining the definition and enumeration of election campaign and partisan political activity found in COMELEC Resolution 3636, the Commission is convinced that only those acts which are primarily designed to solicit votes will be covered by the definition and enumeration.

In this present case, the respondent was not in any way directly (or) indirectly solicit ing votes. Respondent Lazaro was merely performing the duties and tasks imposed upon her by law, which duties she has sworn to perform as the Governor of the Province of Laguna. Respondent has satisfactorily shown the regularity of the implementation of the questioned sports and education programs. The number of items purchased and the amount involved were within the regular purchases of the provincial government. How the funds were sourced and how the program was implemented, as correctly pointed out by respondent, (are) not for us to resolve for such issue is way beyond our constitutionally mandated jurisdiction. [11] (Emphasis ours). In Lozano vs. Yorac,[12] this Court in upholding the findings of the COMELEC negating the charge of vote-buying, in effect, affirmed the dismissal of the petition for disqualification filed against Makati mayoralty candidate Jejomar Binay, thus: We uphold the foregoing factual findings, as well as the conclusions reached by respondent COMELEC, in dismissing the petition for the disqualification of respondent Binay. No clear and convincing proof exists to show that respondent Binay was indeed engaged in vote buying. The traditional gift-giving of the Municipality of Makati during the Christmas Season is not refuted. That it was implemented by respondent Binay as OIC Mayor of Makati at that time does not sufficiently establish that respondent was trying to influence and induce his constituents to vote for him. This would be stretching the interpretation of the law too far. Petitioner deduces from this act of gift-giving that respondent was buying the votes of the Makati residents. It requires more than a mere tenuous deduction to prove the offense of vote buying. There has to be concrete and direct evidence, or, at least, strong circumstantial evidence to support the charge that respondent was indeed engaged in vote-buying. We are convinced that the evidence presented, as well as the facts obtaining in the case at bar, do not warrant such finding. (Emphasis ours.) Notably, upon a close perusal of the entirety of circumstances attendant in the instant case, this Court is of the firm view that herein petitioner failed to establish by clear and convincing evidence that the questioned purchase and distribution of the aforesaid items were, in any significant way, perpetrated for the purpose of promoting the candidacy of respondent Lazaro or were, in any manner, calculated to directly or indirectly solicit votes on behalf or in favor of respondent. Similarly, the records are bereft of any clear and convincing proof that the purchase and distribution of the items were deliberately or consciously done to influence and induce the constituents of Laguna to vote for respondent, in direct violation of the provisions of the Omnibus Election Code. To us, respondents acts do not fall within, an d are not contemplated by, the prohibition embodied in Section 80 of the Code so as to effectively disqualify her from the elections and bar her from holding office. Second, as to the charge of violation of the 45-Day Public Works Ban,[13] petitioner asserts that respondent Lazaro transgressed the provisions of Section 261 (v) of the Omnibus Election Code, as implemented by COMELEC Resolution No. 3479, when the latter caused or directed the bidding of 79 public works projects on 28 March 2001. We do not agree. Section 261 (v) of the Omnibus Election Code is explicit: Sec. 261. Prohibited Acts. The following shall be guilty of an election offense: x x x

(v) Prohibition against release, disbursement or expenditure of public funds. Any public official or employee including barangay officials and those of government-owned or controlled corporations and their subsidiaries, who, during forty-five days before a regular election and thirty days before a special election, releases, disburses or expends any public funds for: (1) Any and all kinds of public works, except the following: x x x (b) Work undertaken by contract through public bidding held, or by negotiated contract awarded, before the forty-five day period before election: Provided, that work for the purpose of this section undertaken under the so-called takay or paquiao system shall not be considered as work by contract; x x x. Beyond this, evidence is wanting to sufficiently establish and substantiate petitioners bare allegation that in furtherance of the public bidding conducted on 28 March 2001 public funds were ever released, disbursed or expended during the 45-day prohibitive period provided under the law and the implementing rules. Absent such clear and convincing proof, we find no cogent reason to disturb the factual findings and conclusions of respondent COMELEC the constitutional body tasked by no less than the fundamental law todecide, except those involving the right to vote, all questions affecting elections.[14] WHEREFORE, in view of the foregoing, the instant petition is DENIED. ACCORDINGLY, the Resolution of the Commission on Elections en banc dated 24 May 2001 is hereby AFFIRMED.

19.

PNOC vs NLRC

Constitution; Under the 1987 Constitution, the Civil Service shall include government-owned or controlled corporations only if created under a special law.

In National Service Commission (NASECO),et al. v. NLRC, et al., etc., decided on November 29, 1988, it was ruled that the 1987 Constitution starkly varies from the 1973 charterupon which the Juco doctrine rested in that unlike the latter, the present constitution qualifies the term, government owned or controlled corporations, by the phrase, with original charter; hence, the clear implication is that the Civil Service no longer includes government-owned or controlled corporations without original charters, i.e., those organized under the general corporation law. NASECO further ruled that the Juco ruling should not apply retroactively, considering that prior to its promulgation on January 17, 1985, this Court had expressly recognized the applicability of the Labor Code to government-owned or controlled corporations.

Same; Election Laws; Under the Omnibus Election Code, employees of government-owned or controlled corporations, whether with or without original charters, shall be considered ipso facto resigned from office upon the filing of their certificate of candidacy. Be this as it may, it seems obvious to the Court that a government-owned or controlled corporation does not lose its character as such because not possessed of an original charter but organized under the general law. If a corporations capital stock is owned by the Government, or it is operated and managed by officers charged with the mission of fulfilling the public objectives for which it has been organized, it is a government-owned or controlled corporation even if organized under the Corporation Code and not under a special statute; and employees thereof, even if not covered by the Civil Service but by the Labor Code, are nonetheless employees in government-owned or controlled corporations, and come within the letter of Section 66of the Omnibus Election Code, declaring them ipso facto resigned from * * office upon the filing of * *(their) certificate of candidacy.

Same; Same; Labor Laws; Termination; Filing of certificate of candidacy of employees of government-owned or controlled corporations subject to the Labor Code constitutes a just cause for termination of employment. In other words, Section 66 constitutes just cause for termination of employment in addition to those set forth in the Labor Code, as amended. SPECIAL CIVIL ACTION for certiorari of the decision and resolution of the National Labor Relations Commission. The facts are stated in the opinion of the Court. Alikpala, Gomez & Associates Law Office for petitioners

4.PERALTA vs. COMELEC Case Digest


PERALTA vs. COMELEC 82 SCRA 30 Facts: Section 4 of the 1978 Election Code provides that the election period shall be fixed by the Commission on Elections in accordance with Section 6, Article XII[C] of the Constitution. The period of campaign shall not be more than forty-five days immediately preceding the election, excluding the day before and the day of the election. Petitioners questioned the constitutionality of the 45-day campaign period because: (a) it was decreed by the President and not by the Commission on Elections as provided by Section 6 of Article XII-C and (b) the period should cover at least ninety days (90). They argue that Section 6 of Article XII-C of the Constitution provides that the election period shall commence ninety days before the day of election and shall end thirty days thereafter. Issue: Whether or not the 45-day period is unconstitutional Held: The 45-day campaign period is constitutional. Although the campaign period prescribed in the 1978 Election Code for the election of the representatives to the interim Batasang Pambansa is less than 90 days and was decreed by the President and not by the Commission on Elections as provided by Section 6 of Article XII-C of the Constitution, the same does not violate the Constitution, because under Amendment 1, the manner of election of members of the interim Batasang Pambansa shall be prescribed and regulated by law, and the

incumbent President under Amendment No. 5, shall continue to exercise legislative power until martial law shall have been lifted. Moreover, the election for members in the interim Batasang Pambansa is an election in a state of emergency requiring special rules, and only the incumbent President has the authority and means of obtaining information on the peace and order condition of the country within which an electoral campaign may be adequately conducted in all regions of the nation. But even assuming that it should be the Commission on Elections that should fix the period of campaign, the constitutional mandate is complied with by the fact that the Commission has adopted and is enforcing the period fixed in Section 4, Article 1, of the 1978 Election Code.

Ben llb4c

5. Occena vs. Commission on Elections [GR 56350, 2 April 1981]; also Gonzales vs. National Treasurer [GR 56404] En Banc, Fernando (CJ): 8 concur, 1 dissents in separate opinion, 1 on official leave Facts: The challenge in these two prohibition proceedings against the validity of three Batasang Pambansa Resolutions proposing constitutional amendments, goes further than merely assailing their alleged constitutional infirmity. Samuel Occena and Ramon A. Gonzales, both members of the Philippine Bar and former delegates to the 1971 Constitutional Convention that framed the present Constitution, are suing as taxpayers. The rather unorthodox aspect of these petitions is the assertion that the 1973 Constitution is not the fundamental law, the Javellana ruling to the contrary notwithstanding. Issue: Whether the 1973 Constitution was valid, and in force and effect when the Batasang Pambansa resolutions and the present petitions were promulgated and filed, respectively. Held: It is much too late in the day to deny the force and applicability of the 1973 Constitution. In the dispositive portion of Javellana v. The Executive Secretary, dismissing petitions for prohibition and

mandamus to declare invalid its ratification, this Court stated that it did so by a vote of six to four. It then concluded: "This being the vote of the majority, there is no further judicial obstacle to the new Constitution being considered in force and effect." Such a statement served a useful purpose. It could even be said that there was a need for it. It served to clear the atmosphere. It made manifest that as of 17 January 1973, the present Constitution came into force and effect. With such a pronouncement by the Supreme Court and with the recognition of the cardinal postulate that what the Supreme Court says is not only entitled to respect but must also be obeyed, a factor for instability was removed. Thereafter, as a matter of law, all doubts were resolved. The 1973 Constitution is the fundamental law. It is as simple as that. What cannot be too strongly stressed is that the function of judicial review has both a positive and a negative aspect. As was so convincingly demonstrated by Professors Black and Murphy, the Supreme Court can check as well as legitimate. In declaring what the law is, it may not only nullify the acts of coordinate branches but may also sustain their validity. In the latter case, there is an affirmation that what was done cannot be stigmatized as constitutionally deficient. The mere dismissal of a suit of this character suffices. That is the meaning of the concluding statement in Javellana. Since then, this Court has invariably applied the present Constitution. The latest case in point is People v. Sola, promulgated barely two weeks ago. During the first year alone of the effectivity of the present Constitution, at least ten cases may be cited.