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ELECTION LAW REVIEWER

ELECTION PERIOD: Unless otherwise fixed by the Commission in special cases, the election period shall commence ninety days before the day of election and shall end thirty days thereafter (Sec. 9, Art. IX-C, 1987 Constitution) CAMPAIGN PERIOD: shall not include the day before and the day of the election (Sec. 3, BP 881) -Presidential and Vice Presidential Election 90 days -Election of Members of Congress and Local Election 45 days -Barangay Election 15 days -Special Election [under Art. VIII, Sec. 5, Subsection (2) of Constitution] 45 days

5. The COMELEC en banc has the power to prosecute election cases, and in the exercise of such prosecutor power, it conducts preliminary investigation, decides whether or not there exists a probable cause and files the corresponding information in court. Powers and Functions: 1. Enforcement and Administration of Election Laws and Regulations 2. Power to ensure free, honest, orderly credible and peaceful elections 3. Rule-making power 4. Quasi-legislative functions 5. Quasi-judicial power 6. Contempt and subpoena 7. Auxiliary writs and processes

THE COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS Jurisdiction General Rule: The COMELEC sitting en banc does not have the requisite authority to hear and decide election cases in the first instance. This power pertains to the divisions of the Commission. Any decision by the Commission en banc as regards election cases decided by it in the first instance is null and void. (Abad v. COMELEC) Exceptions: 1. When what is involved in the case is purely administrative and not quasi-judicial in nature 2. When the required number of votes to reach a decision, resolution, order, or ruling is not obtained in the division 3. Where the petitioner invoked the jurisdiction of the COMELEC en banc, participated in its proceedings and sought relief therefrom in which instance he is estopped to subsequently question the jurisdiction of the COMELEC en banc 4. Petitions for the postponement, declaration of failure of election and the calling of special elections

8. Specific powers a. Power to declare failure of elections Two conditions must concur before the COMELEC can act on a petition seeking to declare a failure of elections: i. No voting took place in the precinct/s on the date fixed by law, or even if there was voting, the election resulted in failure to elect The votes not cast would have affected the result of the elections

ii.

b. Power to call for special elections In fixing the date for special elections, the COMELEC should see to it that: i. It should not be later than 30 days after the cessation of the cause

of the postponement or suspension of the election or failure to elect ii. It should be reasonably close to the date of the election not held, suspended, or which resulted in the failure to elect

prescribed by law for certain pre-election acts, the Commission shall fix other periods and dates in order to ensure the accomplishment of the activities so voters shall not be deprived of their suffrage. (Sec. 28, RA 8436; Sec. 29, RA 6646, adopted pursuant to Sec. 9, Art. IX-C of 1987 Constitution) *This standby power, however, does not apply to fixing the date of registration of votes because Sec. 8 of RA 8189, which provides for a continuing registration of voters, specifically states that: No registration shall, however, be conducted during the period starting 120 days before a regular election and 90 days before a special election. Powers NOT granted to the COMELEC: 1. Power to decide questions involving the right to vote 2. Power to include and exclude voters Currently, jurisdiction to decide controversies on inclusion or exclusion of voters belongs to the Municipal Trial Court

c. Power to postpone elections d. Power to correct manifest errors in election documents With the introduction of the PCOS System pursuant to RA 9369, every copy should be as good and as clear as the first one. Hence the problem of manifest errors might be a thing in the past. e. Power to reorder canvass of votes f. Power to annul or suspend proclamation of elected candidates

VOTERS AND VOTER REGISTRATION Illiterate or Disabled Voters may register with the assistance of the Election Officer or any member of an accredited citizens arms. Application for registration may be prepared by any relative within the fourth civil degree of consanguinity or affinity or by the Election Officer or any member of an accredited citizens arms using the data supplied by the applicant. (Sec. 14, RA 8189) *An illiterate or disabled person refers to one who cannot by himself prepare an application for registration because of his physical disability and/or inability to read and write. (Sec. 3, RA 8189) *No voter shall be allowed to vote as illiterate or person with disability unless such fact is indicated in the EDCL or the Voters Registration Record (Sec. 30, COMELEC Instructions to the BEI, Dec. 29, 2009)

g. Power to annul an illegal canvass h. Power to transfer polling places i. j. Power to transfer venue of canvassing of votes Power to order opening of ballot boxes

k. Power to conduct initiative and plebiscite 9. Other specific powers a. Deputization of peace officers b. Investigatory and prosecutorial power c. Deputization of or endorsement to prosecutors 10. Power of exclusive control and supervision over the Automated Election System (Sec. 26, RA 8436) Standby power of COMELEC: If it shall no longer be reasonably possible to observe the periods and dates

Election Registration Board there shall be in each city and municipality as many Election Registration Boards as there are election officers therein. No member of the Board shall be related to each other or to any incumbent city or municipal elective official within the fourth civil degree of consanguinity or affinity. (Sec. 15, RA 8189) Composition of the Election Registration Board a. Election Officer Chairman b. Members: a. Public school official most senior in rank b. Local civil registrar i. In the absence of the local civil registrar, the city or municipal treasurer

3. Able to read and write 4. Registered voter in the district in which he shall be elected 5. Resident of the same district for a period of not less than 1 year immediately preceding the day of election Sectoral Representatives: 1. Natural-born citizen 2. At least 25 years old on the day of election 3. Able to read and write 4. Resident for a period not less than one year immediately preceding the day of the election 5. Bona fide member of the sector he seeks to represent Governor, Vice-governor, Mayor, Vice-mayor, Punong barangay, Sanggunian members: 1. Citizen of the Philippines 2. Registered voter in the barangay, municipality, city, or province, or in the case of the member of the sangguniang panlalawigan, panlungsod, or bayan, the district where he intends to be elected 3. Resident therein for at least 1 year immediately preceding the election 4. Able to read and write Filipino or any other local language or dialect 5. On election day, age must at least be: a. 23 years old governor, vice governor, member of the sangguniang panlalawigan, mayor, vice mayor, or member of the sangguniang panlungsod b. 21 years old mayor or vice mayor of ICC, CC, or municipalities c. 18 years old member of the sangguniang panlungsod or sangguniang bayan, or punong barangay, or member of the sangguniang barangay

CANDIDATES Qualifications President and Vice President: 1. Natural-born citizen 2. Registered voter 3. Able to read and write 4. At least 40 years old on the day of the election 5. Resident of the Philippines for at least 10 years immediately preceding the day of the election Senators: 1. Natural-born citizen 2. At least 35 years old on the day of the election 3. Able to read and write 4. Registered voter 5. Resident of the Philippines for not less than 2 years immediately preceding the day of the election District Representatives: 1. Natural-born citizen 2. At least 25 years old on the day of the election

*Qualifications prescribed by law are continuing requirements and must be possessed for the duration of the officers active tenure. Once any of the required qualification is lost, his title to the office may be seasonably challenged *The law does not specify any particular date or time when the candidate must possess citizenship unlike that for residence and age. It must be possessed upon proclamation or on the day that the term begins. Disqualifications Under the Omnibus Election Code 1. Declared as incompetent or insane by competent authority 2. Convicted by final judgment for subversion, insurrection, rebellion or any offense for which he has been sentenced to a penalty of 18 months imprisonment 3. Convicted by final judgment for a crime involving moral turpitude 4. Any person who is a permanent resident or immigrant to a foreign country Under the Local Government Code (Sec. 40) applicable for local elective officials 1. Those sentenced by final judgment for an offense involving moral turpitude for an offense punishable by one year or more of imprisonment, within two years after serving sentence 2. Those removed from office as a result of an administrative case 3. Those convicted by final judgment for violation the oath of allegiance to the Republic 4. Those with dual citizenship 5. Fugitives from justice in criminal or non-political cases here or abroad 6. Permanent residents in a foreign country or those who have acquired the right to reside abroad and continue to avail of the same right after the effectivity of this Code 7. The insane or feeble-minded

Additional Grounds for Disqualification (Sec. 68, BP 881) 1. One who has violated provisions on: a. Campaign period b. Removal, destruction of lawful election propaganda c. Prohibited forms of propaganda d. Regulation of propaganda through mass media 2. One who has given money or other material consideration to influence voters 3. One who committed acts of terrorism 4. One who spent election campaign in excess allowed by law Automatic Resignation Officials holding appointive offices, including active members of AFP and officers of government-owned or controlled corporations shall be considered ipso facto resigned. (Sec. 66, BP 881) Nuisance Candidates COMELEC may motu propio or upon petition of an interested party, refuse to give due course to or cancel a certificate of candidacy if shown that said certificate was filed: a. To put the election process in mockery or disrepute b. To cause confusion among voters by similarity of names of registered candidates c. By other circumstances or acts which demonstrate that a candidate has no bona fide intention to run for the office for which his certificate of candidacy has been filed and thus prevent a faithful determination of the true will of the electorate

Petition to deny due course or to cancel certificate of candidacy The COMELEC, upon proper petition, may cancel a certificate of candidacy on the ground that any material misrepresentation contained therein as required under Sec. 74 of the OEC is false (Sec. 78, OEC) provided that: a. The false representation pertains to material matter affecting substantive rights of a candidate b. The false representation must consist of deliberate attempt to mislead, misinform, or hide a fact which would otherwise render a candidate ineligible The petition may be filed not later than 25 days from the time of filing of the certificate of candidacy and shall be decided after due notice and hearing not later than 15 days before the election (Sec. 78, BP 881) Jurisdiction over a petition to cancel a certificate of candidacy lies with the COMELEC in division, not with the COMELEC en banc Effect of Disqualification case Any candidate who has been declared by final judgment to be disqualified shall not be voted for, and the votes cast for him shall not be counted. If for any reason a candidate is not declared by final judgment before an election to be disqualified and he is voted for and received the winning number of votes in such election, the Court or Commission shall continue with the trial and hearing of the action, inquiry, or protest, and upon motion of the complainant or any intervenor, may during the pendency thereof order the suspension of the proclamation of such candidate whenever the evidence of his guilt is strong. (Sec. 5 RA 6646)

Prohibition against premature campaigning Partisan political parties are prohibited outside the campaign period (Sec. 80, OEC). However the following political activities are permitted outside the campaign period: 1. Those performed for the purpose of enhancing the chances of aspirants for nomination for candidacy to a public office by a political party, aggroupment, or coalition of parties 2. Public expressions or opinions or discussions of probably issues in forthcoming election or on attributes of or criticisms against probable candidates purposed to be nominated in a forthcoming political party convention Fair Elections Act Lawful Election Propaganda 1. Written/printed materials (does not exceed 8 in. width by 14in length) 2. Handwritten/printed letters 3. Posters (not exceeding 2x3ft) however, 3x8ft streamers are allowed in announcing a public meeting or rally at the site and on the occasion of a public meeting or rally may be displayed 5 days before the date of rally but shall be removed within 24 hours after said rally 4. Print ads 5. page in broadsheets and page in tabloids thrice a week per newspaper, magazine, or other publication during the campaign period 6. Broadcast media (TV/radio) a. National positions: 120mins for TV and 180mins for radio b. Local positions: 60mins for TV and 90mins for radio

CAMPAIGN, ELECTION PROPAGANDA, CONTRIBUTIONS AND EXPENDITURES Election Campaign or Partisan Political Activity Refers to an act designed to promote the election or defeat of a particular candidate/s to a public office (Sec. 79, OEC)

Prohibited forms of Election Propaganda (Sec. 85, OEC) 1. To print, publish, or post or distribute any poster, pamphlet, circular, handbill, or printed matter urging voters to vote for or against any candidate unless they bear the names and addresses of the printer and payor as required in Sec. 84 hereof. 2. To erect, put up, make use of, attach, float or display any billboard, tinplate-poster, balloons and the like, of whatever size, shape, form or kind, advertising for or against any candidate or political party 3. To purchase, manufacture, request, distribute or accept electoral propaganda gadgets such as pens, lighters, fans of whatever nature, flashlights, athletic goods or materials, wallets, shirts, hats, bandanas, matches, cigarettes and the like, except that campaign supporters accompanying a candidate shall be allowed to wear hats and/or shirts advertising a candidate 4. To show or display publicly any advertisement or propaganda for or against any candidate by means of cinematography, audio-visual units or other screen projections except telecasts which may be allowed as hereinafter provided 5. For any radio broadcasting or television station to sell or give free of charge air time for campaign and other political purposes except as authorized in this Code under the rules and regulations promulgated by the Commission pursuant thereto Any prohibited election propaganda gadget or advertisement shall be stopped, confiscated or torn down by the representative of the Commission upon specific authority of the Commission. (Section 39, 1978 EC, modified) Election Survey The Supreme Court held that Sec. 5.4 of the Fair Elections Act prohibiting publication of survey results 15 days immediately preceding a national election and 7 days before a local election violates the constitutional rights of speech, expression, and the press because: It imposes a prior restraint on the freedom of expression

It is a direct and total suppression of a category of expression even though such suppression is only for a limited period The governmental interest sought to be promoted can be achieved by means other than the suppression of freedom of expression (SWS v. COMELEC)

COMELEC Space The COMELEC shall procure the print space upon payment of just compensation from at least 3 national newspapers of general circulation wherein candidates for national office can announce their candidacies. Such space shall be allocated free of charge equally and impartially among all the candidates for national office on 3 different calendar days; the first day within the first week of the campaign period; the second day within the fifth week of the campaign period; the third day within the tenth week of the campaign period (Sec. 7.1, RA 9006) COMELEC Time The COMELEC shall also procure free airtime from at least 3 national television networks and 3 national radio networks which shall also be allocated free of charge equally and impartially among all candidates for national office. Such free time shall be allocated on 3 different calendar days; the first day within the first week of the campaign period; the second day within the fifth week of the campaign period; and the third day within the tenth week of the campaign period. (Sec. 7.2, RA 9006) Right to Reply All registered parties and bona fide candidates shall have the right to reply to charges published against them. The reply shall be given publicity by the newspaper, TV/radio station which first printed or aired the charges with the same prominence or in the same page or section or in the same time slot as the first statement. (Sec. 10, RA 9006)

Equal Access to Media Time and Space (Sec. 6, OEC) Print advertisements shall not exceed page in broadsheet and page in tabloids thrice a week per newspaper, magazine, or other publications during the campaign period Not more than 120mins of TV ad and 180mins of radio ad whether by purchase or donation Not more than 60mins of TV ad and 90mins of radio ad whether by purchase or donation

Prohibited contributions: 1. Contribution for purposes of partisan political activity shall be made directly or indirectly by any of the following: a. Public or private financial institutions; except loan made by financial institutions legally in the business of lending money and in accordance with laws and regulations and in the ordinary course of business b. Natural and juridical persons operating a public utility or in possession of or exploiting the natural resources of the nation c. Natural and juridical persons who hold contracts or sub-contracts to supply the government or any of its divisions, subdivisions or instrumentalities, with goods or services or to perform construction or other works d. Natural and juridical persons who have been granted franchises, incentives, exemptions, allocations, or similar privileges or concessions by the government or any of its divisions, subdivisions or instrumentalities, including GOCCs e. Natural and juridical persons who, within one year prior to the date of the election, have been granted loans or other accommodations in excess of 100,000php by the government or any of its divisions, subdivisions, instrumentalities including GOCCs f. Educational institutions which have received grants of public funds amounting to no less than 100,000php

Exit Polls Exit polls may only be taken subject to the following requirements: 1. Pollsters shall not conduct their surveys within 50 meters from the polling place, whether said survey is taken in a home, dwelling place, and other place 2. Pollsters shall wear distinctive clothing 3. Pollsters shall inform the voters that they may refuse to answer 4. The result of the exit polls may be announced after the closing of the polls on election day and must clearly identify the total number of respondents, and the places where they were taken. Said announcement shall state that the same is unofficial and does not represent a trend. Exit polls and the dissemination of their results through mass media constitutes part of the freedom of speech and of the press. Hence the COMELEC cannot ban them totally in the guise of promoting clean, honest, orderly, and credible elections. Contribution -includes a gift, donation, subscription, loan, advance, or deposit of money or anything of value, or a contract, promise or agreement to contribute, whether or not legally enforceable, made for the purpose of influencing the results of the elections but shall not include services rendered without compensation by individuals volunteering a portion or all of their time in behalf of a candidate or political party. It shall also include the use of facilities voluntarily donated by other persons, the money value of which can be assessed based on the rates prevailing in the area. (Sec. 94, OEC)

g. Officials or employees in the Civil Service or members of the AFP h. Foreigners and foreign corporations 2. It shall be unlawful for any person to solicit or receive any contribution from any of the persons or entities enumerated herein (Sec. 95, OEC)

3. It shall be unlawful for any person, including a political party or public or private entity to solicit or receive, directly or indirectly, any aid or contribution of whatever form or nature from any foreign national, government or entity for the purposes of influencing the results of the election. (Sec. 96, OEC) 4. It shall be unlawful for any person to hold dances, lotteries, cockfights, games, boxing bouts, bingo, beauty contests, entertainments, or cinematographic, theatrical or other performances for the purpose of raising funds for an election campaign or for the support of any candidate from the commencement of the election period up to and including election day; or for any person or organization whether civic or religious, directly or indirectly, to solicit and/or accept from any candidate for public office, or from his campaign manager, agent, or representative, or any person acting on their behalf, any gift, food, transportation, contribution, or donation in cash or in kind from the commencement of the election period up to and including election day; except normal and customary religious stipends, tithes, or collections on Sundays and/or other designated collection days, are excluded from this prohibition (Sec. 97, OEC) Expenditure -includes the payment or delivery of money of anything of value, or a contract, promise or agreement to make an expenditure, for the purpose of influencing the results of the election. It shall also include the use of facilities personally owned by the candidate, the money value of the use of which can be assessed based on the rates prevailing in the area. (Sec. 94, BP 881) Limitations on expenses (Sec. 13, Synchronized Elections and for Electoral Reforms RA 7166) 1. Candidates: 10php for Pres. And VP; 3php for other candidates for every voter currently registered in the constituency where he filed his certificate of candidacy; 5php for candidate without any political party or support from any political party

2. Political parties: 5php for every voter currently registered in the constituency/ies where it has official candidates Statement of Contributions and Expenses (Sec. 14, RA 7166) Every candidate and treasurer of the political party shall within 30 days after the day of election file in duplicate with the offices of the Commission the full, true and itemized statement of all contributions and expenditures in connection with the election Effect of Failure to File 1. Prohibited from entering upon the duties of his office 2. Administrative fines

AUTOMATED ELECTIONS ACT (RA 9369) Automated election system (AES) a system using appropriate technology which has been demonstrated in the voting, counting, consolidating, canvassing, and transmission of election result and other electoral process (Sec. 2) Electronic transmission conveying data in electronic form from one location to other Paper-based election system a type of automated election system that use paper ballots, records and counts votes, tabulates, consolidates/canvasses and transmits electronically the results of the vote count Direct recording electronic election system a type of AES that uses electronic ballots, records, votes by means of a ballot display provided with mechanical or electro-optical component that can be activated by the voter, processes data by means of a computer programs, record voting data and ballot images and transmits voting results electronically (Sec. 2) Continuity plan a list of contingency measures and the policies for activation of such, that are put in place to ensure continuous operation of the AES (Sec. 2)

The Advisory Council (Sec. 8) 8 members who must be registered Filipino voters of known independence, competence and probity o A person who is affiliated with any political party or candidate for any national position or is related to a candidate for any national position by affinity or consanguinity within the fourth civil degree shall not be eligible for appointment or designation to the Advisory Council. Should any such situation arise at any time during the incumbency of a member, the designation or appointment of that member shall be terminated ipso facto.

1. When the tampering, increase/decrease of votes perpetrated or the refusal to credit the correct votes or to deduct tampered votes is/are committed in the election of a national elective office which is voted upon nationwide and the tampering, increase/decrease of votes or refusal to credit correct votes or deduct tampered votes, shall adversely affect the results of the election to the said national office to the extent that losing candidate/s is/are made to appear the winners 2. Regardless of the elective office involved, when the tampering, increase/decrease of votes or refusal to credit correct votes or deduct tampered votes, is accomplished in a single election document or in the transposition of the figure/results from one election document to another and involved in the said tampering, increase/decrease of votes or refusal to credit correct votes or deduct tampered votes exceed 5,000 votes and that the same adversely affects the true results of the election 3. Any and all other forms of tampering increase/decrease of votes or refusal to credit correct votes or deduct tampered votes where the total votes involved exceed 10,000 votes. Provided finally that any and all other persons or individuals determined to be in conspiracy or in connivance with the members of the BEIs or BOCs involved shall be meted the same penalty of life imprisonment. (Sec. 27) Prosecution The Commission shall, through its duly authorized legal officers, have the power, concurrent with other prosecuting arms of the government, to conduct preliminary investigation of all election offenses punishable under this Code and prosecute the same. (Sec. 265)

Joint Congressional Oversight Committee (Sec. 33) Composed of 7 members each from the Senate and the House of Representatives o 4 shall come from majority; 3 from minority

To monitor and evaluate the implementation of this Act

Electoral Sabotage Any person or member of the BEI or board of canvassers who tampers, increases or decreases the votes received by candidate/s in any election or any member of the board who refuses after proper verification and hearing to credit the correct votes or deduct such tampered votes; Provided however that when the tampering, increase/decrease of votes or the refusal to credit the correct votes and/or deduct tampered votes are perpetrated on large scale or in substantial numbers, the same shall be considered not as an ordinary election offense under Sec. 261 of OEC but as a special election offense to be known as electoral sabotage and the penalty to be imposed shall be life imprisonment.

The act or offense committed shall fall under the category of electoral sabotage in any of the following instances: