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ATENEO ELECTION LAW 2008 only upon the fulfillment of certain minimum
conditions.
GENERAL PRINCIPLES
Scope of suffrage
Sources of Philippine election law
Suffrage encompasses the following:
The election laws of the Philippines are
contained in the following: (1) Election
Election is the means by which the people
• 1987 Constitution choose their officials for definite periods and to
• BP 881 (Omnibus Election Code) whom they entrust, for the time being as their
• RA 6646 (Electoral Reforms Law of representatives, the exercise of powers of
1987) government. It involves the choice of
• RA 6679 (Barangay Elections) candidates to public office by popular vote.
• RA 6735 (Law Providing for Initiative a. Regular election – refers to an election
and Referendum) participated in by those
• RA 7166 (1991 Synchronized who possess the right of
Elections Law) suffrage and not
• RA 7941 (Election of Party-List disqualified by law and
Representatives) who are registered voters
• RA 8189 (Continuing Registration)
b. Special election – when there is failure of
• RA 8436 (Automated Election System)
election on the scheduled
• RA 8524
date of regular election in
• RA 9006 (Fair Election Act of 2001)
a particular place or
which is conducted to fill
THEORY OF POPULAR SOVEREIGNTY up certain vacancies, as
provided by law (ex. To
Art. II, Sec. 1 1987 Constitution: fill in vacancy in office
before the expiration of
The Philippines is a the term for which
democratic and republican incumbent was elected)
state. Sovereignty resides in
the people and all government (2) Plebiscite
authority emanates from Plebiscite is the submission of constitutional
them. amendments or important legislative measures
to the people for ratification.
A democratic and republican
government derives all its powers, directly or (3) Referendum
indirectly, from the people at large. Its essence Referendum is the power of the electorate
is indirect rule. Actual sovereignty is exercised to approve or reject legislation through an
by the people by means of suffrage. election called for the purpose. (Sec. 2c, R.A.
6735) It may be of 2 classes, namely:
Suffrage defined
(a) Referendum on statutes, which refers
Suffrage is the right and obligation of to a petition to approve or reject an act
qualified citizens to vote: or law, or part thereof, passed by
Congress; and
(1) in the election of certain national
and local officials, and (b) Referendum on local law which refers
(2) in the decision of public questions to a petition to approve or reject a law,
submitted to the people. resolution or ordinance enacted by
regional assemblies and local legislative
It is a political right which enables bodies
every citizen to participate in the process of
government to assure that it derives it powers (4) Initiative
from the consent of the governed. It operates
on the principle of "one man (or one woman), Initiative is the power of the people to
one vote." propose amendments to the Constitution or
to propose and enact legislation through an
Suffrage is not a natural right but a election called for the purpose. (Sec. 2a,
privilege which may be given or withheld by R.A. 6735) There are 3 systems of
the lawmaking power subject to constitutional initiative, namely:
limitations. It is not necessarily an
accompaniment of citizenship; it is granted (a) Initiative on the Constitution
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which refers to a petition ballot
proposing amendments to the • Providing for the manner of
Constitution; choosing candidates and the
names to be printed on the
(b) Initiative on statutes, which ballot
refers to a petition proposing to • Regulating the manner of
enact a national legislation; conducting elections
• Suppressing whatever evils
(c) Initiative on local legislation incident to the election of
which refers to a petition public officers, pursuant to its
proposing to enact a regional, duty to secure the secrecy and
provincial, city, municipal or sanctity of the ballots under
barangay law, resolution or Art. V, Sec. 2 of the 1987
ordinance Constitution.

Note that in the case of Santiago v. What are the substantive requirements
COMELEC, the Supreme Court held for the exercise of suffrage?
that there is no law yet that is
sufficient enough for proposing The only substantive requirements to
amendments to the Constitution. exercise the right to vote are: (CARA)
R.A. 6735 was deemed sufficient for
statutory amendments but not (1) Citizenship
Constitutional amendments. (2) Age
(3) Residency
(5) Recall (4) Absence of disqualifications

Recall is the termination of official Filipino citizenship


relationship of a local elective official for
loss of confidence prior to the expiration of This may be by birth or naturalization.
his term through the will of the electorate.
Age
Who can exercise
Must be at least 18 at the time of the
Under Art. V, Sec. 1 of the 1987 election.
Constitution, the right of suffrage may be
exercised by all citizens of the Philippines who Residence
are:
For the purposes of election law,
(1) not otherwise disqualified by residence is synonymous with domicile. Art.
law, 50 of the Civil Code provides that “for the
(2) at least 18 years of age, and existence of civil rights and the fulfillment of
(3) have resided in the Philippines civil obligations, the domicile of natural
for at least 1 year, and in the persons is the place of their habitual
place wherein they propose to residence.” Domicile includes the twin
vote for at least 6 months elements of “the fact of residing or physical
immediately preceding the presence in a fixed place” and animus
election. manendi, or the intention of returning there
permanently. (Romualdez-Marcos v.
The same provision provides that no COMELEC)
literacy, property or other substantive
requirement shall be imposed on the exercise Every person is deemed to have his
of suffrage, and that Congress may not add or domicile somewhere, and when it has been
alter the qualifications of voters under Art. V, acquired, it will be deemed to continue until a
Sec. 1 of the 1987 Constitution. This new one has been acquired. Temporary
specification is an implied prohibition against absences although frequent or long continued,
interference on the part of Congress in the will not, while the person has a continuous
right of suffrage. intention to return, deprive him of his domicile
and right to vote.
Congress, however, to a limited extent can
regulate the right of suffrage by: Any person who temporarily resides in
another city, municipality or country solely by
• Defining the qualifications of reason of his occupation, profession,
voters employment in private or public service,
• Regulating elections educational activities, work in the military or
• Prescribing the form of official naval reservations within the Philippines,
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service in the AFP, the PNP, or confinement or constructively has his permanent home,
detention in government institutions in where he, no matter where he may be
accordance with law, shall not be deemed to found at nay given time, eventually intends
have lost his original residence. (Sec. 9, R.A. to return and remain, i.e., his domicile, is
8189) that to which the Constitution refers when
it speaks of residence for the purpose of
It is not necessary that a person election law. The purpose is to exclude
should have a house in order to establish his strangers or newcomers unfamiliar with
residence or domicile in a municipality. It is the conditions and needs of the community
enough that he should live there, provided that from taking advantage of favorable
his stay is accompanied by his intention to circumstances existing in that community
reside therein permanently. for electoral gain.

Literacy requirements Disqualifications

The Constitution imposes no literacy


requirements; hence illiterates have the right
(1) Persons sentenced by final
to vote. judgment to suffer imprisonment for
not less than one (1) year. (Note:
Property requirements he / she shall automatically re-
acquire the right to vote upon the
Neither does the Constitution impose expiration of 5 years after the
any property requirement since property service of sentence.)
ownership is not a test of individual capacity.
A property requirement is not only inconsistent (2) Persons adjudged by final judgment
with the concept of a republican government, of having committed any crime
but with the social justice principle of equal involving disloyalty to the duly
opportunity as well. constituted government (e.g.
rebellion, sedition, violation of the
Formal education firearms law) or any crime against
national security. (Note: he / she
Formal education is no guarantee for shall automatically re-acquire the
good citizenship or intelligent voting. right to vote upon the expiration of
5 years after the service of
Sex sentence.)

There is no adequate or justifiable (3) Insane or incompetent persons as


basis for depriving women of equal voting declared by competent authority.
rights.
THE COMELEC
Taxpaying Ability
Purpose
This is related to property requirement.
The purpose of the COMELEC is to
Romualdez-Marcos v. COMELEC (248
protect the sanctity of the ballot and to ensure
SCRA 300)
the free and honest express of the popular will.
It is the fact of residence, not a
To achieve this, the COMELEC was
statement in the certificate of candidacy
created as an independent administrative
which ought to be decisive in determining
tribunal, co-equal with the other departments
whether or not an individual has satisfied
with respect to the powers vested in it, and not
the Constitution’s residency qualification
under any of the branches of Government.
requirement.
The intention is to place it outside the influence
of political parties and the control of the
To successfully effect a change of
legislative, executive, and judicial organs of
domicile, one must demonstrate: (1) an
the government.
actual removal or an actual change of
domicile; (2) a bona fide intention of
To preserve the independence of the
abandoning the former place of residence
COMELEC, appointments or designations in
and establishing a new one; and, (3) acts
temporary or acting capacities are not allowed.
which correspond with the purpose.

Aquino v. COMELEC (248 SCRA 400) Composition

The place where a party actually or Composition:


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- chairman • Fixing of other reasonable
- 6 commissioners periods for certain pre-
election requirements (BP
Qualifications: 881, Sec. 52m)

• Natural born citizens


• At least 35 years old • Declaration of failure or
• Holders of a college degree postponement of elections, as
• Must not have been candidates well as call for special
for any elective position in the elections (Sec. 4, RA 7166)
immediately preceding
elections • Prescribe forms, as well as
• Majority of the members, use or adoption of latest
including the chairman, should technological and electronic
be members of the Bar who devices (BP 881, Sec. 52 g, i)
have been engaged in the
practice of law for at least 10 • Annulment or cancellation of
years. illegal registry lists of voters and
ordering the preparation of a
The chairman and the commissioners new one;
are to be appointed by the President with the
consent of the Commission on Appointments. • Cancellation of the canvass of
election returns and
The Commissioners serve for 7 years annulment of a proclamation
without reappointment, under staggered terms based on incomplete results.
of 2 years interval: of 3 commissioners first (Note, however, that the
appointed, 3 shall hold office for 7 years, 2 for COMELEC does not have the
5 years, and the rest for 3 years. power to annul an election
The staggering of terms makes the which may not have been
COMELEC a continuing and self-perpetuating free, orderly, and honest as
body, and consequently its members would such power is merely
have the benefit of the experience and preventive and not curative.)
expertise of the older members in the
performance of its functions. (2) Quasi-judicial powers

The COMELEC Commissioners are subject to The COMELEC has exclusive


the same disabilities imposed on the President original jurisdiction over all
and the Vice-President, including the contests relating to the
prohibition against holding any other office or election, returns and
engaging in any other profession or business. qualifications of all elective,
regional, provincial and city
Powers and functions officials.

The powers and functions of the The COMELEC has exclusive


COMELEC may be classified as follows: appellate jurisdiction over
all contests involving
(1) Enforcement and municipal officials decided by
administration of election the RTC, or involving elective
laws and regulations (Art. IX- barangay officials decided by
C, Sec. 2 (1), 1987 Constitution) the MTC. In these cases, the
decisions therein shall be
final, executory and
• Promulgation of rules and unappealable. (Art. IX-C,
regulations (Art. IX-C, Sec. 6; Sec. 2 (2), 1987 Constitution)
BP 881, Sec. 52b)
Pursuant to its quasi-judicial
• Fixing of election period powers, the COMELEC has the power:
(which shall commence 90
days before the election and • To issue subpoena;
end 30 days thereafter,
unless otherwise fixed by the • To take testimony;
COMELEC in special cases;
Art. IX-C, Sec. 6, 1987 • Of contempt (Note,
Constitution)
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however, that the member or members of the AFP,
COMELEC's power to NBI, PNP or any similar agency
punish for contempt may or instrumentality of the
be exercised ONLY in the government (except civilian
exercise of its quasi- home defense forces) during the
judicial functions. The period of the campaign and
COMELEC has no power to ending 30 days thereafter, when
hold a person in contempt in any area of the country there
in the exercise of its are persons committing acts of
administrative functions terrorism to influence people to
(e.g. reporter criticizes a vote for or against any candidate
contract with COMELEC for or political party. (Sec. 52b, BP
supplies, or a person fails 881)
to follow the procedure for
the distribution of ballot (5) Register political parties, etc. (Art.
boxes). IX-C, Sec. 2 (5), 1987 Constitution)

• To issue warrants of arrest;


(6) Accredit citizens' arms (Art. IX-C,
Sec. 2 (5), 1987 Constitution)
• Of certiorari, prohibition
and mandamus (Note: but (7) Investigation and prosecution of
only in exercise of its
cases of violation of election laws
appellate jurisdiction; (Art. IX-C, Sec. 2 (5), 1987
Relampagos v. Cumba, )
Constitution)

(3) Decide all questions affecting The COMELEC has the power of a
elections (Art. IX-C, Sec. 2 (3), 1987 public prosecutor with the
Constitution) exclusive authority to conduct the
preliminary investigation and the
The power of the COMELEC to prosecution of election offenses
decide all questions affecting punishable under the election law.
elections pertains to the following:
The power may be exercised upon
(1) determination of the complaint or motu propio.
number and location of polling places
(2) appointment of election The Ombudsman has NO
officials and inspectors jurisdiction to prosecute election
(3) registration of voters offenses. He may do so only if he
is deputized by the COMELEC.
However, the COMELEC has
NO jurisdiction over questions (8) Filing of petitions in court for
involving the right to vote (i.e. inclusion or exclusion of voters
disqualifications of voters, right of a
(Art. IX-C, Sec. 2 (6), 1987
person to be registered, etc.), as Constitution)
these rest within the exclusive
original jurisdiction of the MTC, (9) Recommendatory:
appealable to the RTC.
(a) to Congress
(4) Deputize, with the concurrence of
the President, law enforcement
• effective measures to
agencies and instrumentalities of
minimize election spending,
the Government for the exclusive
including limitation of places
purpose of ensuring free, orderly,
where propaganda materials
honest, peaceful and credible
shall be posted, and to
elections (Art. IX-C, Sec. 2(4), 1987
prevent and penalize all
Constitution)
forms of election frauds,
offenses, malpractices, and
• CMT cadets 18 yrs. of age and nuisance candidates. (Art.
above may be authorized to act IX-C, Sec. 2 (7),1987
as the COMELEC's deputies for Constitution)
the purpose of enforcing its
orders (Sec. 52a, BP 881) (b) to the President

• The COMELEC may deputize any • for removal of any officer


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or employee it has TV networks and 3 national radio
deputized (Sec. 52a, BP networks, all of which are to be
881); allocated free of charge equally
• for imposition of and impartially among all the
disciplinary action for candidates for national office on
violation or disregard of, or 3 different calendar days.
disobedience to its
directive, order, or decision Quasi-Judicial Powers
(Art. IX-C, Sec. 2 (8),
1987 Constitution); Jurisdiction

• for pardon, amnesty, The COMELEC has exclusive original


parole, suspension of jurisdiction over all contests relating to the
sentence for violation of election, returns and qualifications of all
election laws, rules and elective, regional, provincial and city officials.
regulations (Art. IX-C, Sec.
5 1987 Constitution; The COMELEC has exclusive
This is to prevent the appellate jurisdiction over all contests
possibility of the President involving municipal officials decided by the
granting executive RTC, or involving elective barangay officials
clemency for political decided by the MTC. In these cases, the
reasons.) decisions therein shall be final, executory and
unappealable. (Art. IX-C, Sec. 2 (2), 1987
(10) Supervision / Regulation, for the Constitution)
duration of the election period, of
use of all franchises or permits for Rendition of Decision
operation of:
Composition; En Banc and Division Cases
• transportation and other public
utilities; The COMELEC may sit en banc or in 2
divisions.
• media of communication or
information; As a general rule, election cases shall
be heard and decided in division.

• all grants, special privileges, or Decisions that must be rendered by the


concessions granted by the COMELEC en banc include:
Government or any instrumentality
thereof (Art. IX-C, Sec. 4, 1987
Constitution) • Decisions on motions for
reconsideration (Art. IX-
The purpose of supervision and C, Sec. 3, 1987
regulation is to guarantee or Constitution);
ensure equal opportunity for • Petitions for correction of
public service and the equitable manifest errors in the
right to reply, for public Statement of Votes (Sec.
information campaigns and fora 5, Rule 27 of the 1993
among candidates, and assure Rules of the COMELEC);
free, orderly, honest, peaceful • Questions pertaining to
and credible elections. (Sec. 2, proceedings of the Board
R.A. 9006) of Canvassers (Mastura
v. COMELEC, 285 SCRA
No franchise or permit to operate 493)
a radio or television station shall
be granted or issued, suspended • Postponement of election
or cancelled during the election (Sec. 4, R.A. 7166)
period. (Sec. 6.4, R.A. 9006) • Declaration of failure of
election (Sec. 4, R.A.
COMELEC is mandated under 7166)
Sec. 7 of R.A. 9006 to exercise • Calling of special
affirmative action in procuring elections (Sec. 4, R.A.
print space upon payment of just 7166)
compensation from at least 3
national circulation, and free Time Period and Votes Required
airtime from at least 3 national
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The COMELEC shall decide by a majority In accordance with the Constitutional
vote of all its members any case or matter policy to synchronize elections, there is a
brought before it within 60 days from the date simultaneous conduct of elections for national
of its submission for decision or resolution. and local officials once every 3 years. Under
(Art. IX-A, Sec. 7 1987 Constitution) R.A. 7166, elections shall be held on the 2nd
Monday of May.
Judicial Review
The President and Vice-President are
Unless otherwise provided by the elected on the same day every 6 years.
Constitution or by law, any decision, order or
ruling of each Commission may be brought to Senators, Elective Members of the
the Supreme Court on certiorari by the House of Representatives, and Elective
aggrieved party within 30 days from receipt of Provincial, City and Municipal Officials are
a copy thereof. (Art. IX-A, Sec. 7, 1987 elected on the same day every 3 years, except
Constitution) with respect to the Senators, only 12 of whom
shall be elected every 3 years.
What is contemplated in this provision
are decisions, orders or resolutions rendered Barangay Elections are held on the
by the COMELEC in the exercise of its same day, and every 5 years thereafter, the
adjudicatory or quasi-judicial powers not those term for elective barangay officials having
which are mere incidents of its inherent been extended from 3 years to 5 years. (R.A.
administrative functions over the conduct of 7160, Sec. 43 (c) as amended by R.A. 8524)
elections. Questions arising from the latter
may be taken in an ordinary civil action before Time and Place for Holding Elections
the RTC.
The time must be fixed by the
By certiorari, a party raises questions authoritative power (i.e. the Constitution; laws
of law in the Supreme Court. Findings of fact in the case of regular elections; the executive
made by the COMELEC are conclusive upon the or other designated power in the case of
Supreme Court. special elections). The place for holding
elections shall be fixed by general law or by a
The Supreme Court has no power of proclamation or by the notice by which the
supervision over the COMELEC except to election is called. Such designated place shall
review its decisions on petitions by certiorari. be mandatory.
The certiorari jurisdiction of the Supreme Court
is confined to instances of grave abuse of In case of emergencies which
discretion amounting to patent and substantial necessitate the changing of a polling place,
denial of due process committed by it in the adequate general notice must be given.
exercise of its quasi-judicial powers.
Manner of Holding Elections
ELECTIONS IN GENERAL
While the manner of holding elections
Kinds of elections must be regulated, it is obvious that the
manner prescribed is intended simply to secure
General election the correct result. Manner and form should not
be allowed to defeat the undoubted will of the
It is one provided for by law for the people clearly expressed. (C.J. Simpson)
election to offices throughout the State or a
certain subdivision thereof, after the expiration Regulations prescribed are merely
of the full term of former officers. directory, and a failure to observe them fully
will not invalidate the election, where an
Special election election has been held in good faith and
irregularities do not affect the result.
It is one provided for by law under
special circumstances. Where a special election is provided
for, but no method of holding it is declared, it
It is an election held to fill a vacancy in will be sufficient if it is held in the manner
an office before the expiration of the full term prescribed for the holding of general elections.
for which the incumbent was elected, or an
election at which some issue or proposition is PRE-ELECTION REQUIREMENTS
submitted to the vote of the qualified electors.
PRECINCTS AND POLLING PLACES
Date of Election Under the Law

Precincts
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Each polling place shall have at least
Precinct, defined 10 voting booths of such size, specifications
and materials as the COMELEC may provide to
- unit of territory for the purpose of enable the voters to fill out their ballots
voting (Sec. 149, BP 881) secretly. (Sec. 158, BP 881) The polling place
shall be so arranged that the booths, the table,
Establishment of Precincts the ballot boxes and the whole polling place,
except what is being written within the booths,
The COMELEC shall establish all shall be in plain view of the board of election
election precincts. Each barangay shall have inspectors, the watchers and other persons
at least 1 such precinct. (Sec. 149, BP 881) who may be within the polling place. (Sec.
159 (d), BP 881)
The COMELEC may introduce
adjustments, changes or new divisions or The COMELEC shall post inside each
abolish precincts if necessary. But no changes voting booth and elsewhere in the polling place
shall be introduced within 45 days before a on the day before the election, referendum, or
regular election and 30 days before a special plebiscite and during the voting period a list
election or referendum or plebiscite. (Sec. containing the names of all candidates or the
149, BP 881) issues or questions to be voted for. (Sec. 158;
BP 881)
Where it is not practicable to divide a
precinct by territory, the COMELEC may adjust There shall be a guard rail between the
or split the precinct by assigning the registered voting booths and the table for the Board of
voters alphabetically and equitably among the Election Inspectors. (Sec. 159; BP 881)
adjusted or split precinct. The polling places of
the said precincts must be in the same Inspection of polling places
building. (Sec. 8, R.A. 7166)
Before the day of the election,
Publication of Maps of Precincts referendum or plebiscite, the Chairman of the
COMELEC shall, through its authorized
At least 5 days before the first representatives, see to it that all polling places
registration day and until after the election, are inspected and such omissions and defects
referendum, or plebiscite, the COMELEC shall as may be found are corrected. (Sec. 163, BP
post in the city or municipal hall and in 3 other 881)
conspicuous places and on the door of each
polling place, a map of the city or municipality OFFICIAL BALLOTS, ELECTION RETURNS
showing its division into precincts. Such maps & BALLOT BOXES
shall be kept posted until after the election,
referendum or plebiscite. (Sec. 151, BP 881)
Form and Contents of ballots
Polling Places
The ballots shall:
Polling place, defined
• be uniform in size;
POLLING PLACE: Building or
• be printed in black ink on
place where the Board of Election
white security paper with
Inspectors conducts its proceedings
distinctive, clear and legible
and where the voters cast their votes
watermarks that will readily
(Sec. 152, BP 881)
distinguish it from ordinary
paper;
Designation of polling places

The COMELEC may introduce changes • be in the shape of a strip


in the location of polling places when necessary with stub and a detachable
after notice to the registered political parties coupon containing the serial
and candidates affected if any, and hearing. number of the ballot and a
No location shall be changed within 45 days space for the thumbmark of
before a regular election and 30 days before a the voter on the detachable
special election, referendum or plebiscite coupon;
except when it is destroyed or it cannot be
used. (Sec. 153, BP 881) • bear at the top middle
portion the coat-of-arms of
Arrangements and Contents of Polling the Republic, the words,
Places “Official Ballot”, the name of
the city or municipality and
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the province, the date of the
election and the following The registered political parties
notice in English, “Fill out or coalitions of parties (or their components
this ballot secretly inside the should there be any dissolution or division of
voting booth. Do not put said coalition) whose candidates obtained at
any distinctive mark on any least 10% of the total votes cast in the next
part of this ballot”; preceding senatorial election are each entitled
to have a watcher and/or representative in the
• contain the names of all the procurement and watermarking of papers to be
offices to be voted for, used in the printing of election returns and
allowing opposite the name official ballots, and in the printing, numbering,
of each office, sufficient storage and distribution thereof. (Sec. 8, R.A.
space or spaces with 6646)
horizontal lines where the
voter may write the name or Requisition and Distribution
names of the individual
candidates voted for by him; The official ballots and election returns
shall be distributed to each city and
• have nothing printed or municipality at the rate of one and one-fifth
written at the back except ballots for every voter registered in each
the signature of the chairman polling place, and for election returns, at the
of the Board of Election rate of one set for every polling place. (Sec.
Inspectors 186, BP 881)

Notwithstanding the preceding The ruling party and the dominant


provisions, COMELEC may prescribe a different opposition party shall submit the names of
form of official ballot on the same their watchers who, together with the
watermarked security paper to facilitate the representatives of the COMELEC and the
voting by illiterate voters only and to use or provincial, city, and municipal treasurers shall
adopt the latest technological and electronic verify the contents of the boxes containing the
devices in connection therewith. (Sec. 23, shipment of official ballots, election returns
R.A. 7166) and sample official ballots. (Sec. 189, BP
881)
Emergency Ballots
Publication
GR: No ballots other than the official ballots
shall be used or counted. The COMELEC shall publish at least 10
Exception: "Emergency ballots" may be used days before an election, in a newspaper of
if: general circulation, certified data on the
- failure to receive the official ballots on number of ballots and returns and the names
time and addresses of the printers and the number
- there are no sufficient ballots for all printed by each.
registered voters
- the ballots are destroyed at such time Ballot boxes
as shall render it impossible to provide
other official ballots. On the day of the voting, there shall be
In these cases, the city or municipal a ballot box one side of which shall be
treasure shall provide other ballots which shall transparent which shall be set in a manner
be as similar to the official ones as visible to the voting public. It shall contain two
circumstances will permit and which shall be compartments, one for valid ballots and the
uniform within each polling place. (Sec. 182, other for spoiled ballots.
BP 881)
REGISTRATION OF VOTERS
Printing of official ballots and election
returns
Registration defined
The official ballots and election
returns shall be printed by the Government - the act of accomplishing and filing of a sworn
Printing Office and/or the Central Bank printing application for registration by a qualified voter
facilities exclusively, under the exclusive before the election officer of the city or
supervision and control of the COMELEC which municipality wherein he resides and including
shall determine and provide the necessary the same in the book of registered voters upon
security measures in the printing, storage and approval by the Election Registration Board.
distribution thereof. (Sec. 184, BP 881) (Sec. 3a, R.A. 8189)
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degree of consanguinity or affinity. If in
Necessity of registration succeeding elections, any of the newly elected
city or municipal officials is related to a
"The act of registration is an member of the Board within the 4th civil degree
indispensable precondition to the right of of consanguinity or affinity, such member is
suffrage. For registration is part and parcel of automatically disqualified to preserve the
the right to vote and an indispensable element integrity of the Election Registration Board.
in the election process. Thus … registration
cannot and should not be denigrated to the NOTE: It is an election offense to
lowly stature of a mere statutory requirement. either:
Proceeding from the significance of registration (1) accept an appointment, to
as a necessary requisite to the right to vote, assume office and to actually
the State undoubtedly, in the exercise of its serve as a member of the
inherent police power, may then enact laws to Board although ineligible
safeguard and regulate the act of voter’s thereto (Sec. 45d, R.A.
registration for the ultimate purpose of 8189), or
conducting honest, orderly and peaceful
election, to the incidental yet generally (2) appoint such ineligible person
important end, that even pre-election activities knowing him to be ineligible
could be performed by the duly constituted (Sec. 45d, R.A. 8189)
authorities in a realistic and orderly manner –
one which is not indifferent and so far removed Function
from the pressing order of the day and the
prevalent circumstances of the times."
- Meet quarterly on the 3rd Monday of
(Akbayan, et al v. COMELEC, G.R. No.147066,
April, July, October and January of
March 26, 2001)
every calendar year (or on the next
following working day if such
Qualifications and Disqualifications designated days fall on non-working
holidays)
See previous discussion under Suffrage. - To hear and process all applications for
registration.
Election Registration Board
When registration conducted
(Sec. 15, R.A. 8189)
Registration of voters shall be
In each city and municipality, there
conducted not less than 120 days before a
shall be as many Election Registration Boards
regular election and 90 days before a special
as there are election officers therein. In thickly
election. (Sec. 8, R.A. 8189)
populated cities or municipalities, the
COMELEC may appoint additional election
However, in the case of an initiative or
officers for such duration as may be necessary.
referendum, the COMELEC is authorized to set
a special registration day at least 3 weeks
Composition
before the scheduled initiative or referendum.
(Sec. 5, R.A. 6735)
(1) Chairman: Election Officer. In
case disqualified, the COMELEC shall designate
CAN A SPECIAL REGISTRATION
an acting Election Officer.
FOR A REGULAR ELECTION BE
CONDUCTED OUTSIDE THE PERIOD
(2) Members:
PRESCRIBED IN SEC. 8, R.A. 8189
(a) Public school official most
UNDER THE RESIDUAL OR
senior in rank; and
STANDBY POWERS OF THE
COMELEC UNDER SEC. 28, R.A.
(b) Local civil registrar, or in
8436?
his absence, the city or municipal
treasurer. If neither are available, any
No. In the case of Akbayan, et
other appointive civil service official
al v. COMELEC (G.R. No.147066,
from the same locality as designated
March 26, 2001), the Supreme Court
by the COMELEC.
held that Sec. 8 of R.A. 8189 explicitly
provides that no registration shall
Disqualifications
be conducted during the period
starting 120 days before a regular
No member of the Board shall be
election. The purpose of having a
related to each other or to any incumbent city
120-day prohibitive period is to enable
or municipal elective official within the 4th civil
the COMELEC to complete all the
11
necessary pre-election activities, The list of voters refers to an
including the Project of Precincts, enumeration of names of registered voters in a
constitution of Board of Election precinct duly certified by the Election
Inspectors, Book of Voters and Registration Board for use in the election.
approved Voters Registration Records, (Sec. 3 (d), R.A. 8189)
Computerized Voters' List, and Voters
Information Sheet. Registration of The Board of Election Inspectors must
voters is not, contrary to popular post the final list of voters in each precinct 15
opinion, merely the act of going to the days before the date of the regular or special
Election Officer and writing the names election or referendum or plebiscite.
down. It is "in fact, a long process that
takes about 3 weeks to complete not Any candidate or authorized
even counting how long it would take representative of an accredited political party
to prepare for the registration in the upon formal request to an election registrar
first place." shall be entitled to a certified copy of the most
recent list of voters upon payment of a
Re-registration reasonable fee.

A voter who is registered in the Illiterate and Disabled Voters


permanent list of voters need not register
anew for subsequent elections unless: Any illiterate person may register with
the assistance of the Election Officer or any
(1) he transfers residence to member of an accredited citizen’s arm. The
another city or application for registration of a physically
municipality; or disabled person may be prepared by any
relative within the fourth civil degree of
(2) his registration has been consanguinity or affinity or by the Election
cancelled on the ground Officer or any member of an accredited
of disqualification and citizen’s arm using the data supplied by the
such disqualification has applicant [Sec. 14, RA 8189].
been lifted or removed
(Sec. 125, BP 881); Inclusion-exclusion cases

System of Continuing Registration Common rules governing judicial


proceedings in the matter of inclusion,
Under Sec. 8 of RA 8189, the COMELEC exclusion and correction of names of
has the power to conduct continuing voters (Sec. 32, R.A. 8189)
registration. Such registration shall be
conducted daily in the office of the Election (1) TIME OF FILING: During office
Officer during regular office hours, except hours
during the period starting 120 days before a
regular election and 90 days before a special (2) NOTICE: Notice of the place,
election. The filing of the application must be date and time of the hearing of the
done personally. petition shall be served upon the
members of the Board and the
Challenge of the right to register challenged voter upon filing of the
petition.
Any person applying for registration
may be challenged before the Election Modes of service:
Registration Board: (1) personal delivery, or
(2) registered mail, or
(3) posting in the bulletin board of
• by any voter, city or municipal hall and in 2 other
• by any candidate, or conspicuous places within the city or
• by any representative of a registered municipality
political party.
(3) CONTENTS: Petition shall refer only
Such challenge must be made in writing, under to 1 precinct, and shall implead the
Board as respondents
oath and must state the grounds therefor.
(Sec. 18, R.A. 8189)
(4) COSTS: Generally, no costs shall be
assessed against any party.
List of voters However, the court may order a
party to pay the costs and
12
incidental expenses of the suit Inspectors or
should it find that the application
was filed solely to harass the • any person whose name
adverse party and to cause him to has been stricken out from
incur expenses. the list

(5) INTERVENTION: Any voter, Petitioner may apply at any time except 105
candidate or political party who days prior to a regular election or 75 days prior
may be affected by the to a special election. (Sec. 34, R.A. 8189)
proceedings may intervene and
present his evidence. Petition for Exclusion of Voters from the
List
(6) EVIDENCE: Shall be based on the
evidence presented. In no case The following may petition for the
shall a decision be rendered upon a exclusion of a voter from the permanent list of
stipulation of facts. voters:

If the case involves the issue of • any registered voter;


a fictitious voter, the non-
appearance of the challenged voter • any representative of
on the day set for hearing shall be a political party;
prima facie evidence that such
voter is fictitious. • the Election Officer

(7) DECISION: Petition shall be heard Such petition may be filed at any time except
and decided within 10 days from 100 days before a regular election or 65 days
date of filing. before a special election. It shall be decided
within 10 days from filing. (Sec. 35, R.A.
Cases appealed to the RTC 8189)
shall be decided within 10 days
from receipt of the appeal. In all "The petition for exclusion is a necessary
cases, the court shall decide these component to registration since it is a safety
petitions not later than 15 days mechanism that gives a measure of protection
before the election and the against flying voters, non-qualified registrants,
decision shall become final and and the like. The prohibitive period, on the
executory. other hand serves the purpose of securing the
voter’s substantive right to be included in the
Jurisdiction and Appeal in Inclusion and list of voters." (Akbayan, et al v. COMELEC,
Exclusion Cases G.R. No.147066, March 26, 2001)

MTC: original and exclusive jurisdiction The citizenship of a person to be


stricken from the list may be decided in the
RTC: appellate jurisdiction exclusion proceedings. However, the decision
does not acquire the nature of res judicata
Appeals must be made within 5 days considering the summary character of the
from receipt of notice. Otherwise the decision case.
of the MTC becomes final and executory after
said period. Voters Excluded Through the
Inadvertence or Registered with an
The RTC shall decide the appeal within Erroneous or Misspelled Name (Sec. 37,
10 days from the time the appeal was R.A. 8189)
received, and its decision shall be final and
executory. No motion for reconsideration shall WHAT MAY BE FILED?
be entertained. (Sec. 138, BP 881; Sec. 33,
R.A. 8189) (1) Petition for reinstatement - filed by
any registered voter who has not been
Petition for Inclusion of Voters in the List included in the precinct certified list of
voters
The following may petition to be
included in the voters’ list:
(2) Petition for correction of name -
filed by any registered voter who has
been included in the precinct certified
• any person whose
list of voters with a wrong or misspelled
application by registration
name
has been disapproved by
the Board of Election
WHERE FILED? With the Election
13
Registration Board 8189)

If the petition is denied or not acted CAUSES OF DEACTIVATION:


upon, the voter may file on any date
with the proper MTC a petition for an (1) The 3 grounds for
order directing that the voter's name disqualification to vote,
be entered or corrected in the list. The namely:
following must be attached to the
petition: (a) Sentence by final
judgment to suffer
(1) Certified true copy of his registration imprisonment for not less
record, or identification card, or the than one (1) year, such
entry of his name in the list of voters disability not having been
used in the preceding election; removed by plenary
pardon or amnesty;
(2) Proof that his application was denied or
not acted upon by the Board; (b) Adjudgment by final
judgment of having
(3) Proof that the petitioner has served committed any crime
notice of his application to the Board involving disloyalty to the
duly constituted
Annulment of Book of Voters government (e.g.
rebellion, sedition,
(Sec. 39, R.A. 8189) violation of the firearms
law) or any crime against
The book of voters refers to the national security, unless
compilation of all registration records in a restored to his full civil
precinct. (Sec. 3c, R.A. 8189) and political rights in
accordance with law;
WHO MAY FILE PETITION FOR
ANNULMENT: (c) Declaration of insanity or
incompetence by
(1) Any voter; competent authority,
(2) Any election officer; unless subsequently
(3) Any duly registered political party removed;

GROUNDS: (2) Failure to vote in the 2


successive preceding regular
(1) The book of voters was not elections, as shown by the
prepared in accordance with voting records (Note: SK
the provisions of R.A. 8189; elections are NOT considered
(2) The book of voters was regular elections for this
prepared through: purpose);
• Fraud;
• Bribery; (3) Court order for exclusion of
registration; and
• Forgery;
• Impersonation;
(4) Loss of Filipino citizenship
• Intimidation;
• Force; or
Reactivation of registration (Sec. 28, R.A.
• Any similar irregularity
8189)
(3) The book of voters contains
data that are statistically PETITION FILED:
improbable Sworn application for
reactivation of registration
The book of voters shall be annulled after due in the form of an affidavit
notice and hearing by the COMELEC after the stating that the grounds for
filing of a verified petition. No order, ruling or the deactivation no longer
decision annulling a book of voters shall be exist
executed within 90 days before an election.
WHO MAY FILE:
Deactivation and reactivation of
registration Any voter whose
registration has been
Deactivation of registration (Sec. 27, R.A. deactivated
14
• To be voted upon as a party,
WHERE FILED: provided that it is registered under
With the Election Officer, the party-list system (Art. IX-C,
who shall then submit such Sec. 7, 1987 Constitution);
application to the Election
Registration Board for
appropriate action. • To have a watcher in every Election
Registration Board (Sec. 15, R.A.
WHEN FILED: 8189);
Not later than 120 days
before a regular election • To inspect and/or copy at its
and 90 days before a expense the accountable
special registration registration forms and/or the list of
registered voters in the precincts
REGISTRATION OF POLITICAL PARTIES constituting the constituency at
which the political party is fielding
candidates (Sec. 42, R.A. 8189)
Political Party defined

- an organized group of persons pursuing the • To have a watcher and/or


same ideology, political ideas or platforms of representative in the procurement
government and includes its branches and and watermarking of papers to be
divisions. (Sec. 60, BP 881) used in the printing of election
returns and official ballots and in
- an organized group of citizens advocating an the printing, numbering, storage
ideology or platform, principles and policies for and distribution thereof (Sec. 8,
the general conduct of government and which, R.A. 6646);
as the most immediate means of securing their
adoption, regularly nominates and supports • To have watchers who shall verify
certain of its leaders and members as the contents of the boxes
candidates for public office. (Sec. 3c, R.A. containing the shipment of official
7491) ballots, election returns and
sample official ballots received by
2 Kinds: the provincial, city and municipal
(1) national party, i.e. a party whose treasurers (Sec. 189, BP 881.
constituency is spread over the geographical Note that this privilege is only
territory of at least a majority of the regions; available to the ruling party and
and the dominant opposition party.);
(2) regional party, i.e. a party whose
constituency is spread over the geographical • To have one watcher in every
territory of at least a majority of the cities and polling place and canvassing center
provinces comprising the region. (Sec. 26, R.A. 7166);

Purpose of registration
• To be present and to have counsel
during the canvass of the election
The purpose of registration of political returns (Sec. 25, R.A. 6646)
parties with the COMELEC is to enable them
to:
• To receive the 4th copy (if the
(1) Acquire juridical dominant majority party) or the 5th
personality; copy (if the dominant minority
party) of the election returns
(2) Qualify for subsequent (Sec. 27, R.A. 7166 as amended
accreditation; and by R.A. 8045 and R.A. 8173)

(3) Entitle them to the rights Procedure


and privileges granted to
political parties. (Sec. 60, (1) The political party seeking
BP 881) registration may file with the
COMELEC a verified petition
Rights and privileges granted attaching thereto its constitution and
by-laws, platform or program of
government and such other relevant
A registered political party is entitled to
information as may be required by
the following rights and privileges:
the COMELEC.
15
cancellation of registration of a political party:
(2) The COMELEC shall require
publication of the petition for (1) Accepting financial contributions
registration or accreditation in at from foreign governments or their
least three newspapers of general agencies (Art. IX-C, Sec. 2 (5),
circulation. 1987 Constitution);

(3) After due notice and hearing, the (2) The party is a religious sect or
COMELEC shall resolve the petition denomination, organization or
within 10 days from the date it is association organized for religious
submitted for decision. (Sec. 61, purposes (Sec. 6 (1), R.A. 7941);
BP 881. Note however the
discrepancy with Sec. 62 which
states that resolution of the petition
(3) The party advocates violence or
unlawful means to seek its goal
for registration or accreditation shall
(Sec. 6 (2), R.A. 7941);
be 15 days from the date of
submission for decision.)
(4) The party is a foreign party or
Who may not be registered organization (Sec. 6 (3), R.A.
7941);
The following may not be registered as political
parties: (5) The party is receiving support from
any foreign government, foreign
political party, foundation,
• religious denominations and organization, whether directly or
sects (Art. IX-C, Sec. 2 (5), through any of its officers or
1987 Constitution; Sec. 61, members or indirectly through
BP 881) third parties for partisan election
purposes (Sec. 6 (4), R.A. 7941);
• those which seek to achieve
their goals through violence (6) The party violates or fails to
or unlawful means (Art. IX- comply with laws, rules or
C, Sec. 2 (5), 1987 regulations relating to elections
Constitution, Sec. 61, BP (Sec. 6 (5), R. A. 7941);
881)
(7) The party declares untruthful
• those which refuse to uphold statements in its petition for
and adhere to the registration (Sec. 6 (6), R.A.
Constitution (Art. IX-C, Sec. 7941);
2 (5), 1987 Constitution)
(8) The party has ceased to exist for at
• those supported by foreign least 1 year (Sec. 6 (7), R.A.
governments (Art. IX-C, 7941);
Sec. 2 (5), 1987
Constitution) (9) The party fails to participate in the
last 2 preceding elections (Sec. 6
Forfeiture of status and cancellation of (8), R.A. 7941);
registration
(10) If registered under the party-list
Forfeiture of status system, the party fails to obtain at
least 2% of the votes in the 2
Any registered political party that, preceding elections for the
singly or in coalition with others, fails to obtain constituency in which it has
at least 10% of the votes cast in the registered. (Sec. 6 (8), R.A. 7941)
constituency in which it nominated and
supported a candidate or candidates in the Under the party-list system, the
election next following its registration shall, COMELEC may refuse or cancel registration
after notice and hearing be deemed to have either motu propio or upon verified complaint
forfeited such status as a registered political of any interested party, after due notice and
party in such constituency. (Sec. 60, BP 881) hearing. (Sec. 6, R.A. 7941)

Cancellation of registration Nomination and selection of official


candidates
The following are grounds for
16
of citizens or coalitions of groups of
(Sec. 6, R.A. 7166) citizens who share similar physical
attributes or characteristics,
No political convention or meeting for employment, interest or concerns
the nomination or election of the official (Sec. 3e, R.A. 7941);
candidates of any political party or organization
or political groups or coalition thereof shall be (4) Coalitions, i.e. aggrupations of duly
held earlier than the following periods: registered national, regional,
sectoral parties or organizations for
Pres., VP, Senators: 165 days before the political and/or election purposes
date of the election (Sec. 3f, R.A. 7941)

Members of the House of Parties, organizations or coalitions that


Representatives 75 days before the day are already registered with the COMELEC need
of not register anew. However, should they wish
Elective Provincial, City or Municipal to participate in the party-list system, they
Officers the election must file with the COMELEC a manifestation of
such desire to participate not later than 120
REGISTRATION FOR PARTY-LIST days before the election. (Sec. 4, R.A. 7941,
as amended by Sec. 11, R.A. 8436)
Party-list system defined
Procedure for registration
- a mechanism of proportional
representation in the election of PETITION:
representatives to the House of Petition verified by the
Representatives from national, regional and party/organization/coalition's
sectoral parties or organizations or coalitions president or secretary. The
thereof registered with the COMELEC. petition must state its desire to
Component parties or organizations of a participate in the party-list
coalition may participate independently, system as a national, regional
provided the coalition of which they form part or sectoral party or organization
does not participate in the party-list system. or a coalition of such parties or
(Sec. 3, R.A. 7941) organizations.

Purpose of party-list system WHEN FILED:


Not later than 90 days before
the election
- to enable Filipino citizens belonging to
marginalized and underrepresented sectors,
ATTACHMENTS:
organizations and parties, and who lack well-
(1) Constitution;
defined political constituencies but who could
(2) By-laws;
contribute to the formulation and enactment of
(3) Platform or
appropriate legislation that will benefit the
program of
nation as a whole, to become members of the
government;
House of Representatives. (Sec. 2, R.A. 7941)
(4) List of officers;
(5) Coalition agreement
Who may be registered (as applicable);
(6) Other relevant
(1) Political
parties (See discussion in information as may
previous section); be required by the
COMELEC
(2) Sectoral parties, i.e. organized
groups of citizens belonging to the After due notice and hearing, the
labor, peasant, fisherfolk, urban COMELEC shall resolve the petition within 15
poor, indigenous cultural days from the date it was submitted for
communities, elderly, handicapped, decision, but not later than 60 days before
women, youth, veterans, overseas election. (Sec. 5, R.A. 7941)
workers, and professional sectors,
and whose principal advocacy Grounds for refusal and/or cancellation of
pertains to the special interest and registration
concerns of their sector (Sec. 3d,
R.A. 7941); The following are grounds for refusal
and/or cancellation of registration of a party,
(3) Sectoral organizations, i.e. groups organization or coalition wishing to participate
17
in the party-list system:
Each registered party, organization or
1. Accepting financial contributions coalition shall submit to the COMELEC a list of
from foreign governments or their not more than 5 names from which party-list
agencies (Art. IX-C, Sec. 2 (5), representatives shall be chosen in case it
1987 Constitution); obtains the required number of votes. This list
must be submitted not later than 45 days
before the election.
2. The party is a religious sect or
denomination, organization or
The nomination of party-list
association organized for religious
representatives is subject to the following
purposes (Sec. 6 (1), R.A. 7941);
limitations:

3. The party advocates violence or (1) The nominee must have all of
unlawful means to seek its goal the qualifications and none of
(Sec. 6 (2), R.A. 7941); the disqualifications for the
exercise of the right of
4. The party is a foreign party or suffrage. Moreover, he/she
organization (Sec. 6 (3), R.A. must be a registered voter,
7941); able to read and write, and at
least 25 years on the day of
5. The party is receiving support from the election.
any foreign government, foreign
political party, foundation, In case of youth sector
organization, whether directly or nominees, such nominees must
through any of its officers or be at least 25 but not more
members or indirectly through than 30 yrs. old on the day of
third parties for partisan election the election. (Sec. 9)
purposes (Sec. 6 (4), R.A. 7941);
(2) The nominee must be a bona
6. The party violates or fails to fide member of the party or
comply with laws, rules or organization which he/she
regulations relating to elections seeks to represent for at least
(Sec. 6 (5), R. A. 7941); 90 days preceding the day of
the election. (Sec. 9)
7. The party declares untruthful
statements in its petition for (3) An elected party-list
registration (Sec. 6 (6), R.A. representative who changes his
7941); political party or sectoral
affiliation within 6 months
before an election is not
8. The party has ceased to exist for at
eligible for nomination as
least 1 year (Sec. 6 (7), R.A.
party-list representative under
7941);
his new party or organization.
(Sec. 15)
9. The party fails to participate in the
last 2 preceding elections (Sec. 6 (4) A person may be nominated in
(8), R.A. 7941);
1 list only. (Sec. 8)

10. If registered under the party-list


(5) Only persons who have given
system, the party fails to obtain at
their consent in writing may be
least 2% of the votes in the 2
named in the list. (Sec. 8)
preceding elections for the
constituency in which it has
registered. (Sec. 6 (8), R.A. 7941) (6) The list cannot include any
candidate for any elective
The COMELEC may refuse or cancel office or any person who has
registration either motu proprio or upon lost his bid for an elective
verified complaint of any interested party, after office in the immediately
due notice and hearing. (Sec. 6, R.A. 7941) preceding election. (Sec. 8)

(7) Changes of name or alterations


Nomination of party-list representatives
in the order of nominees are
generally not allowed after the
(Sec. 8, R.A. 7941) list has been submitted to the
18
COMELEC. However, these will sit as
may be allowed when the representative.
nominee either:
Effect of Loses his seat, Does not lose
(a) Dies; or disaffiliation in which case seat if he/she
(b) Withdraws his with party he/she will be changes party
nomination in writing; substituted by or affiliation.
or another
(c) Becomes incapacitated qualified person
in the party /
in which case the substitute organization
nominee shall be placed last in based on the
the list (Sec. 8) list submitted to
the COMELEC.
Party-list and district representatives
distinguished Effect of A substitution A special
vacancy will be made election may be
Every voter is entitled to 2 votes: the within the held provided
first is a vote for candidate for member of the party, based on that the
House of Representatives in his legislative the list vacancy takes
district, and the second, a vote for the party, submitted to place at least 1
organization, or coalition he wants represented the COMELEC. year before the
in the House of Representatives. next election.

Party-list District Effect of A party-list This does not


representative representative change in representative prevent a
affiliation is prohibited district
Scope of Elected Elected within 6 from sitting as representative
electorate nationally, with according to months representative from running
party-list legislative prior to under his new under his new
organizations district by the election party or party.
garnering at constituents of organization.
least 3% of all such district
the votes cast Effect of A party-list
A district
for the party- loss during representative
representative
list system previous cannot sit if he
is not prevented
entitled to 1 election ran and lost in
from running
seat, which is the previous
again as a
increased election.
district
according to representative if
proportional he/she lost
representation, during the
but is in no way previous
to exceed 3 election.
seats per ACCREDITATION OF A CITIZENS' ARM
organization
Who may be accredited
Residence No special Must be a
requirement residency resident of his Any bona fide non-partisan group,
requirement legislative association or organization
district for at - from the civic, youth, professional,
least 1 year educational, business or labor sectors
immediately - with identifiable leadership,
before the membership and structure,
election - and with demonstrated capacity to
promote the public interest and assist
Manner of Voted upon by Elected the COMELEC in the performance of its
election party or personally, i.e. functions and activities as mandated
organization. It by name. by the Constitution and by law
is only when a
party is entitled (Rule 33, Sec. 1, COMELEC Rules of
to Procedure)
representation
that it
Procedure for accreditation
designates who
19
ideology opposed to the principles
(1) FILING OF PETITION FOR of a republican and democratic
ACCREDITATION government; and

Any group seeking accreditation may file a (i) That it undertakes to police its
petition for accreditation, duly verified by ranks and prevent infiltration by
its President, Chairman of the Board of persons or groups of persons who
Directors, or any of its duly authorized may, directly or indirectly, destroy
officers. its character of non-partisanship
and impartiality.
The petition for accreditation must state
the following: (2) SETTING OF PETITION FOR HEARING

(a) The constituency to which Upon the filing of the petition, the
petitioner seeks accreditation; COMELEC en banc shall immediately set
the petition for hearing. The COMELEC
(b) That it is not supporting any may order the publication of the petition in
candidate, political party, a newspaper of general circulation if it
organization or coalition of political deems such necessary. Publication shall
parties, in the constituency where be at the expense of the petitioner.
it seeks accreditation;
(3) HEARING OF PETITION
(c) Nature of its membership; names
of its officers or organizers, The accreditation of the petitioner may be
location of principal office or place opposed by any person, group, association,
of business, and an assurance of group or organization, political party or
its capability to undertake a coalition of political parties possessing
coordinated operation and activity relevant information or evidence against
to assist the COMELEC; the petitioner by filing a verified
opposition.
(d) That it shall submit itself to the
direct and immediate control and However, notwithstanding the absence of
supervision and comply with the any opposition, the COMELEC may motu
orders of the COMELEC in the proprio require the petitioner to present
performance of its specific evidence to support its petition for
functions and activities provided by accreditation.
law, and such other functions and
activities provided by law, and (4) DECISION
such other functions and activities
which the COMELEC may assign; The COMELEC shall then render its
decision. If the decision is for the
(e) That it shall strictly remain non- accreditation of the petition, a certificate of
partisan and impartial during the accreditation shall be issued stating the
registration and election periods; following:

(f) That it is not supported by or (a) The name of the group or


under the influence of any foreign organization;
government or any of its agencies
or instrumentalities; or of any (b) The constituency to which
foreigner, whether natural or it is accredited; and
juridical person;
(c) The political exercise for
(g) That it shall not solicit or receive, which it is accredited
directly or indirectly, any
contribution or aid of whatever Revocation and expiration of accreditation
form or nature from any foreign
government or any of its agencies REVOCATION: May be done by the
or instrumentalities, or from any COMELEC after notice and hearing for any of
foreigner, whether natural or the following acts:
juridical person; (1) The citizens' arm has showed or
acted with partiality in any political
(h) That it does not seek to achieve its issue or to any political party,
objectives, goals or programs organization or coalition of political
through violence or other unlawful parties;
means, nor aim to propagate any
20
(2) It has performed acts in excess of representative. No certificate shall be filed by
its duties and functions as provided mail, telegram or facsimile. (Sec. 7, R.A.
by law; or 7166)

(3) It has failed to comply with the Time of Filing


conditions imposed upon it in the
decision granting accreditation. Certificates of candidacy must be filed
in 12 legible copies not later than 120 days
EXPIRATION: The accreditation automatically before the elections. (Sec. 11, R.A. 8436)
lapses at the end of the election period of the
political exercise for which the petitioner was Place of Filing
accredited as citizens' arm.
The certificates of candidacy shall be
CERTIFICATES OF CANDIDACY filed in the following places:

President |
Candidate defined
Vice-Pres | COMELEC main office (Mla)
Senator |
Any person aspiring for or seeking an elective
public office, who has filed a certificate of Congressman - Provincial election supervisor
candidacy by himself or through an accredited
political party, aggroupment, or coalition of If NCR district: File with Regional Election
parties. (Sec. 79, BP 881) Director

Guest Candidacy If legislative district in cities outside NCR which


comprise one or more legislative districts: File
A political party may nominate and/or with City election registrar concerned
support candidates not belonging to it. (Sec.
70, BP 881) Note however that this is not Provincial Offices - Provincial election
applicable in cases of political parties supervisor
registered under the party-list system, as
nominees must necessarily be bona fide City / Municipal Offices - City or municipal
members of the party. election registrar

Qualifications Contents of certificate of candidacy

See the provisions of the Constitution The certificate of candidacy shall state
for the qualifications of candidates for the following:
President, Vice-President, Senator, and
Member of the House of Representatives. • That the person filing the
certificate is announcing his
See the provisions of the Local candidacy for the office stated
Government Code for the qualifications of local therein and that he or she is
elective officials. eligible for such office;

Qualifications prescribed by law are • The political party to which the


continuing requirements and must be candidate belongs;
possessed for the duration of the officer's
active tenure. Once any of the required • Civil status;
qualifications are lost, his title to the office
may be seasonably challenged. (See Frivaldo • Date of birth;
v. COMELEC, 174 SCRA 245; Labo v.
COMELEC, 176 SCRA 1) • Residence;

Filing of certificate of candidacy • Post office address for all election


purposes;
To be eligible for any elective public
office, one must file a certificate of candidacy • Profession or occupation;
within the period fixed by the Omnibus Election
Code. • That he / she will support and
defend the Constitution of the
Mode of Filing Philippines and will maintain faith
and allegiance thereto;
Certificates must be filed by the
candidate personally or by his duly authorized • That he / she will obey the laws,
21
legal orders, and decrees member was filed by his political party. 15
promulgated by the duly minutes before the deadline, he filed his
constituted authorities; certificate of candidacy for mayor. 8 days
later, he filed a petition to withdraw his
• That he / she is not a permanent certificate of candidacy for the office of the
resident or immigrant to a foreign board member and to declare subsisting his
country; certificate of candidacy for mayor, attaching
his written declaration under oath withdrawing
• That the obligation imposed by his certificate of candidacy for board member.
oath is assumed voluntarily,
without mental reservation or Since the certificate of candidacy for
purpose of evasion; the position of board member was filed by his
party and the said party had withdrawn that
• That the facts stated in the nomination, there was substantial compliance
certificate of candidacy are true to with Sec. 73 of the Omnibus Election Code.
the best of his knowledge. His filing under oath within the statutory period
of his individual candidacy for mayor was a
Effects of filing rejection of the party nomination of the other
officer.
Note: Sec. 67 of BP 881 and the
first proviso of Sec. 11 of R.A. 8436 (which Disqualifications
states that "Any elective official, running for
any officer other than one which he is holding According to Prof. Barlongay,
in a permanent capacity, except for President disqualifications may be classified into 4
and Vice-President, shall be considered ipso categories: (1) status; (2) acts; (3) nuisance
facto resigned upon the start of the campaign candidacy; and (4) falsity of material
period") have been repealed by Sec. 14 of representation in the certificate of candidacy.
R.A. 9006 (Fair Election Act of 2001).
Status
Any mass media columnist,
commentator, announcer, reporter, on-air (1) Lack of Filipino citizenship;
correspondent or personality who is a
candidate for any elective public office shall be (2) Lack of residency requirement;
deemed resigned, if so required by his/her
employer, or shall take a leave of absence (3) Insanity or incompetence, as
from his/her work as such during the campaign declared by competent authority;
period. (Sec. 6.6, R.A. 9006)
(4) Permanent residence or
Withdrawal of certificate immigrant status in a foreign
country, unless such person
A person who has filed a certificate of has waived his status as
candidacy may withdraw the same prior to the permanent resident or
election by submitting to the office concerned a immigrant in accordance
written declaration under oath. with the residence
requirement provided for in
If a candidate files a certificate of the election laws (Sec. 68,
candidacy for more than 1 office, he shall not BP 881)
be eligible for any of them. However, he may
declare under oath the office for which he Acts
desires to be eligible and cancel the certificate
of candidacy for the other office or offices (1) Sentence by final judgment
provided that this is done before the for:
expiration of the period for the filing of
certificates of candidacy. (Sec. 73, BP 881) • Subversion, insurrection,
rebellion;
The filing of the withdrawal shall not
affect whatever civil, criminal, or • Any offense for which the
administrative liabilities which a candidate may candidate has been
have incurred. (Sec. 73, BP 881) sentenced to a penalty of
more than 18 months of
RAMIREZ V. COMELEC imprisonment;

The certificate of candidacy of • Any offense involving moral


petitioner for the office of provincial board turpitude;
22
Moral turpitude is an act of a media (Sec. 68e, BP 881, cf.
baseness, vileness, or Sec. 86);
depravity in the private duties
which a man owes to his fellow • Having coerced, intimidated,
men, or to society in general, compelled, or in any manner
contrary to the accepted and influenced, directly or
customary rule of right and indirectly, any of his
duty between man and woman subordinates or members, or
or conduct contrary to justice, employees, etc. to aid,
honesty, modesty or good campaign or vote for or against
morals. The general rule is any candidate or any aspirant
that crimes mala in se involve for the nomination or selection
moral turpitude while crimes of candidates (Sec. 68e, BP
mala prohibita do not. Moral 881, cf. Sec. 261d);
turpitude implies something
immoral in itself, regardless of
the fact that it is punishable by • Having directly or indirectly
law or not. (Dela Torre v. threatened, intimidated, or
COMELEC, 191 SCRA 229) actually caused, inflicted or
produced any violence, injury,
punishment, damage, loss or
• Having given money or disadvantage upon any person
other material or that of the immediate
consideration to influence, members of his family, his
induce or corrupt the honor or property, or used any
voters or public officials fraudulent device or scheme to
performing electoral compel or induce or prevent the
functions (Sec. 68a, BP registration of any voter, or the
881); participation in any campaign,
or the casting of any vote, or
• Having committed acts of any promise of such
terrorism to enhance his registration, campaign, vote, or
candidacy (Sec. 68b, BP 881); omission therefrom (Sec. 68e,
BP 881, cf. Sec. 261e);
• Having spent in his election
campaign an amount in excess • Having engaged in unlawful
of that allowed by the Omnibus electioneering (Sec. 68e, BP
Election Code (Sec. 68c, BP 881, cf. Sec. 261k);
881);
• Having violated the prohibition
• Having solicited, received or against release, disbursement
made any contribution or expenditure of public funds
prohibited under the Omnibus 45 days before a regular
Election Code (Sec. 68d, BP election (or 30 days in the case
881; cf. Secs. 89, 95, 96, 97 of a special election) (Sec. 68e,
and 104); BP 881, cf. Sec. 261v);

• Having engaged in election • Having solicited votes or


campaign or partisan political undertaken any propaganda on
activity outside the campaign the day of election for or
period and not pursuant to a against any candidate or any
political party nomination (Sec. political party within the polling
68e, BP 881, cf. Sec. 80); place or within a radius of 30
m. thereof (Sec. 68e, BP 881,
• Having removed, destroyed, cf. Sec. 251cc)
obliterated, defaced or
tampered with or prevented the Nuisance candidacy
distribution of lawful election
propaganda (Sec. 68e, BP 881, A nuisance candidate is one who files a
cf. Sec. 83); certificate of candidacy:

(a) To put the election process in


• Having violated the rules and mockery or disrepute; or
regulations on election (b) To cause confusion among the
propaganda through mass voters by the similarity of the
23
names of the registered includes "not only those who
candidates, or flee after conviction to avoid
punishment, but likewise
(c) Clearly demonstrating that those who, after being
he/she has no bona fide charged, flee to avoid
intention to run for the office prosecution." (Marquez v.
which the certificate of COMELEC, 243 SCRA 358)
candidacy has been filed, and
thus prevents a faithful In the case of Rodriguez v.
determination of the true will COMELEC (G.R. No. 120099,
of the electorate. (Sec. 69, July 24, 1996), it was held
BP 881) that Rodriguez could not be
considered a "fugitive from
Falsity of material representation justice" because his arrival
in the Philippines from the
Falsity of a material representation in U.S. preceded the filing of
the certificate of candidacy is a ground for the the felony complaint in the
denial of due course to or cancellation of a Los Angeles Court and the
certificate of candidacy under Sec. 78 of BP issuance of the arrest
881. warrant by the same foreign
court by almost 5 months.
Disqualifications under the Local The Supreme Court held
Government Code (Sec. 40, R.A. 7160) that the intent to evade is
the compelling factor that
(1) Those sentenced by final judgment animates one’s flight from a
for an offense punishable by one particular jurisdiction. And
year or more of imprisonment and there can only be an intent
within 2 years after serving to evade prosecution or
sentence. punishment when there is
knowledge by the fleeing
(2) Those removed from office as a subject of an already
result of an administrative case. instituted indictment, or of a
promulgated judgment of
REYES V. COMELEC conviction.

Reyes, the incumbent mayor, was (6) Permanent residents in a foreign


found guilty in an administrative complaint. country or those who have acquired
Despite this, he filed a certificate of candidacy. the right to reside abroad and
Although the COMELEC disqualified him, the continue to avail of the same right
Board of Election Canvassers, unaware of after the effectivity of the Local
COMELEC’s decision to disqualify him, Government Code.
proclaimed Reyes as the mayor.
FRIVALDO V. COMELEC
The election of Reyes did not render
the administrative charges against him moot Frivaldo was previously declared as an
and academic. The decision to remove him alien. Despite this, he was able to file his
was served on Reyes and thereafter became certificate of candidacy. The election occurred
final because he failed to appeal to the Office on May 8, 1995. Frivaldo was able to re-
of the President. He was therefore validly acquire Philippine citizenship on June 30, 1995
removed from office and pursuant to the Local through repatriation by taking his oath of
Government Code, was disqualified from allegiance at 2:00 p.m.
running for re-election.
Philippine citizenship is an
(3) Those convicted by final judgment indispensable requirement for holding an
for violating the oath of allegiance to elective public office. An official begins to
the Republic of the Philippines. govern or discharge his functions only upon his
proclamation and on the day the law mandates
(4) Those with dual citizenship. his term of office to begin. Since Frivaldo re-
assumed his citizenship on the very day the
See Mercado v. Manzano (LocGov) term began, he was therefore already qualified
to be proclaimed, to hold such office and to
(5) Fugitives from justice in criminal and discharge the functions and responsibilities
non-political cases here and abroad. thereof as of the said date.

A "fugitive from justice" (7) Those who are insane or feeble-


24
minded. petition shall be filed any time not later than
25 days from the time of filing of the
Special Disqualifications under the Lone certificate, and shall be decided not later than
Candidate Law (Sec. 4, R.A. 8295) 15 days before the election. (Sec. 78, BP 881)

The following persons are Prohibition against Multiple Candidacies


disqualified from running in a special election
called to fill the vacancy in an elective office, No person shall be eligible for more
provided that evidence of their guilt is strong: than one office to be filled in the same
election, and if he files his certificate of
(1) Any elective official who candidacy for more than one office, he shall
has resigned from his not be eligible for any of them.
office by accepting an
appointive office or for However, before the expiration of the
whatever reason which period for the filing of certificates of candidacy,
he previously occupied the person who was filed more than one
but has caused to certificate of candidacy may declare under oath
become vacant due to his the office for which he desires to be eligible
resignation; and cancel the certificate of candidacy for the
other office or offices.
(2) Any person who, directly
or indirectly, coerces, The filing or withdrawal of a certificate
bribes, threatens, of candidacy shall not affect whatever civil,
harasses, intimidates, or criminal or administrative liabilities which a
actually causes, inflicts or candidate may have incurred.
produces any violence,
injury, punishment,
Certified List of Candidates
torture, damage, loss or
disadvantage to any
person or persons The COMELEC shall cause to be printed
aspiring to become a a certified list of candidates for each office to
candidate or that of the be voted for in each province, city or
immediate member of his municipality immediately followed by the
family, his honor or nickname or stage name of the candidate and
property that is meant to his political affiliation, if any. The list shall be
eliminate all other posted inside each voting booth.
potential candidate.
Whenever practicable, the Board of
Election Inspectors shall cause said list of
Effect of death, disqualification or
candidates to be written on the blackboard or
withdrawal
manila paper for posting inside the polling
place. The names of all candidates followed by
If the death, disqualification or his nickname or stage name shall also be
withdrawal occurs: printed in the election returns and tally sheets.
(Sec. 4, R.A. 6646)
- after the last day for filing of the certificates
of candidacy  ONLY a person belonging to,
ELECTION CAMPAIGN & EXPENDITURES
and certified, by the same political party, may
file a certificate of candidacy to replace him.
ELECTION CAMPAIGN
- between the day before the election and mid-
day of the election day  the certificate may Election campaign or partisan political
be filed with any Board of Election Inspectors activity
in the political subdivision where he is a
candidate or with the COMELEC if it is a It is an act designed to promote the
national position. (Sec. 77, BP 881) election or defeat of a particular candidate or
candidates to a public office.
Petition to deny due course or to cancel
certificate It does not include public expressions
of opinions or discussions of probable issues in
A verified petition to deny due course a forthcoming election or on attributes or
to or cancel a certificate of candidacy may be criticisms of probable candidates proposed to
filed by any person EXCLUSIVELY on the be nominated in a forthcoming political party
ground that a material misrepresentation convention.
contained therein as required is false. Such
Prohibitions
25
displayed 5 days before the date of
• Members of the board of the meeting or rally and shall be
election inspections are removed within 24 hours after said
prohibited from engaging in any meeting or rally.
partisan political activity or from
taking part in the election • Paid advertisements in print or
except to discharge their duties broadcast media. Such
as such and to vote. (Sec. 173, advertisements must comply
BP 881) with the following
requirements:
• Officers or employees of the
civil service are prohibited from • Any published or printed
engaging directly or indirectly in political matter and any
any electioneering or partisan broadcast of election
political campaigns. (Art. IX-B, propaganda by TV or radio
Sec. 2 (4), 1987 Constitution) for or against a candidate
or group of candidates to
any public office shall bear
• Members of the military are and be identified by the
prohibited from engaging reasonably legible or
directly or indirectly in any audible words “political
partisan political activity except advertisement paid for”
to vote. (Art. XVI, Sec. 5 (3), followed by the true and
1987 Constitution) correct name and address
of the candidate or party
Campaign period for whose benefit the
election propaganda was
It is prohibited for any person, political printed or aired. (Sec. 4.1,
party or association of persons to engage in an R.A. 9006)
election campaign or partisan political activity
except during the campaign period. Violation • If the broadcast is given
of this prohibition constitutes an election free of charge by the radio
offense. (Sec. 80, B.P. 881) or TV station, it shall be
identified by the words
Lawful election propaganda "airtime for this broadcast
was provided free of charge
(Sec. 3, R.A. 9006) by" followed by the true
and correct name and
The following are lawful election propaganda: address of the broadcast
entity. (Sec. 4.2, R.A.
• Pamphlets, leaflets, cards, 9006)
decals, stickers, or other written
or printed materials the size of • Print, broadcast or outdoor
which does not exceed 8 ½ advertisements donated to
inches in width and 14 inches in the candidate or political
length; party shall not be printed,
published, broadcast or
• Handwritten or printed letters exhibited without the written
urging voters to vote for or acceptance by the said
against any particular political candidate or political party.
party or candidate for public Such written acceptance
office; must be attached to the
advertising contract and
• Cloth, paper or cardboard submitted to the COMELEC
posters, whether framed or within 5 days after its
posted, with an area not signing. (Sec. 4.3, R.A.
exceeding 2 feet by 3 feet. 9006, cf. Sec. 6.3, R.A.
9006)
NOTE: Streamers not exceeding 3
feet by 8 feet in size are allowed at • All other forms of election
the site and on occasion of a public propaganda not prohibited by
meeting or rally or in announcing the Omnibus Election Code or
the holding of such meeting or the Fair Election Act of 2001.
rally. Such streamers may be
26
Adiong v. COMELEC (207 SCRA 712) Sanidad vs COMELEC ( 181 SCRA 529)

In this case, the Supreme Court But this evil does not obtain in a
declared as unconstitutional COMELEC plebiscite where the electorate is asked to vote
Resolution No. 2347 insofar as it prohibits the for or against issues not candidates.
posting of decals and stickers on cars and
other moving vehicles since it infringes on the Mass Media
right to freedom of expression. The restriction
is so broad as to include even a citizen's Equal access to media time and space
privately-owned vehicle, which is equivalent to
deprivation of property without due process of All registered parties and bona fide
law. candidates are guaranteed equal access to
media time and space under the Fair Election
Prohibited Acts Act. To this end, the COMELEC has the power
to supervise the use and employment of press,
It is prohibited: radio and television facilities insofar as the
placement of political advertisements is
For any foreigner: concerned to ensure that candidates are given
equal opportunities under equal circumstances
• to aid any candidate or political to make known their qualifications and their
party, directly or indirectly; stand on public issues. Of course, such
political advertisements must be within the
• to take part or influence in any limits set forth in the Omnibus Election Code
manner any election; and R.A. 7166 on election spending.
• to contribute or make any
expenditure in connection with Pursuant to such end:
any election campaign or
partisan political activity • Print advertisements shall not exceed
1/4 page, in broadsheet and 1/2 page
For any person during the campaign in tabloids thrice a week per
period: newspaper, magazine, or other
publications, during the campaign
• to remove, destroy, obliterate period;
or in any manner deface or
tamper with lawful election •Bona fide candidates and registered
propaganda; political parties running for nationally
• to prevent the distribution of elective office are entitled to not
lawful election propaganda more than 120 minutes of TV
advertisement and 180 minutes of
For any candidate, political party, radio advertisement whether by
organization or any person: purchase or by donation;

• to give or accept, directly or •Bona fide candidates and registered


indirectly, free of charge, political parties running for locally
transportation, food or drinks or elective office are entitled to not
things of value during the five more than 60 minutes of TV
hours before and after a public advertisement and 90 minutes of
meeting, on the day preceding radio advertisement whether by
the election, and on the day of purchase or by donation;
the election;
• Broadcast stations or entities are
• to give or contribute, directly or required to submit copies of their
indirectly, money or things of broadcast logs and certificates of
value for such purpose. performance to the COMELEC for the
review and verification of the
Badoy v COMELEC (35 SCRA 285) frequency, date, time and duration of
advertisement broadcast for any
The prohibition against certain forms of candidate or political party;
election propaganda was upheld as a valid
exercise of police power, “to prevent the • All mass media entities are required to
perversion and prostitution of the electoral furnish the COMELEC with a copy of
apparatus, and of the denial of due process of all contracts for advertising,
law.” promoting or opposing any political
party or the candidacy of any person
27
for public office within 5 days after its supervisor or to the COMELEC whose decision
signing; shall be made within 48 hours and which shall
be final and executory.
• No franchise or permit to operate a
radio or TV station shall be granted or Notification of election registrar (Sec. 88,
issued, suspended or cancelled during B.P. 881)
the election period.
The political party or candidate must
Media practitioners notify the election registrar of any rally. Within
7 working days, the political party or candidate
Moreover, media practitioners who are must submit to the election registrar the
officials of a political party or members of the expenses incurred during the rally.
campaign staff of a candidate or political party
prohibited from using their media time or COMELEC space, poster area, time and
space to favor any candidate or political party. information bulletin
Media practitioners or personalities who are
candidates for any elective public office or are COMELEC space
campaign volunteers for or employed or
retained in any capacity by any candidate or The COMELEC shall procure space in at
political party shall be deemed resigned, if so least one newspaper of general circulation in
required by their employer, or shall take a every province or city, or in the absence of
leave of absence from their work as such such newspaper, in any other magazine or
during the campaign period. periodical in said province or city, which shall
be known as “COMELEC Space.” COMELEC
Public exhibitions space shall be allocated to the COMELEC upon
payment of just compensation, and shall be
No movie, cinematograph, or utilized exclusively by the COMELEC for public
documentary portraying the life or biography information dissemination on election-related
of a candidate shall be publicly exhibited in a concerns. (Sec. 8, R.A. 9006)
theater, TV station or any public forum during
the campaign period. The same is true for Phil. Press Institute v. COMELEC
movies, cinematographs and documentaries
portrayed by actors or media personalities who The Supreme Court declared sec. 2 of
are themselves candidates. COMELEC Resolution 2722 compelling print
media companies to donate “COMELEC Space”
Rallies, meetings and other political as null and void. Sec. 2 does not constitute a
activity valid exercise of the power of eminent domain.
The element of necessity for the taking has not
Application for permits to hold rally (Sec. been shown by COMELEC. There is no showing
87, B.P. 881) that the members of the Philippine Press
Institute are unwilling to sell print space.
The holding of peaceful political rallies
during the campaign period is allowed. In Furthermore, it has not been
order to hold rallies, political parties must demonstrated that the COMELEC has been
follow the requirements of local ordinances on granted the power of eminent domain by the
the issuance of permits. All applications for Constitution or the Legislature. In addition,
permits to hold meetings, rallies and other sec. 2 does not constitute a valid exercise of
similar political activities must be immediately police power. First, there was no effort to
posted in a conspicuous place in the city or show that police power was constitutionally
municipal building, and the receipt thereof delegated to the COMELEC. Second, no
acknowledged in writing. Such applications attempt was made to demonstrate that a real
must be acted upon in writing by local and palpable or urgent necessity for the taking
authorities concerned within 3 days after the of print space confronted the COMELEC.
filing thereof. If the application is not acted
upon within said period, it is deemed Thus, COMELEC cannot procure print
approved. space without paying just compensation
therefor.
The only justifiable ground for denial of
the application for the permit is that a prior COMELEC time
written application by any candidate or political
party for the same purpose has been The COMELEC shall likewise air time in
approved. at least 1 major broadcasting station or entity
in every province or city, or in the absence of
Denial of any application for said such entity, in any radio or TV station in said
permit is appealable to the provincial election province or city, which shall be known as
28
"COMELEC time." Such COMELEC time shall be barangay centers and the like, wherein
allocated to the COMELEC free of charge, and candidates can post, display or exhibit
shall be utilized exclusively by the COMELEC propaganda. Such poster areas shall not
for public information dissemination on exceed 12 feet by 16 feet or its equivalent.
election-related concerns. (Sec. 8, R.A. 9006)
For independent candidates with no
Telecommunications and Broadcast political parties, the size of the common poster
Attorneys of the Philippines v. area must not exceed 4 feet by 6 feet or its
COMELEC (289 SCRA 337) equivalent.

In this case, which questioned the COMELEC's COMELEC information bulletin (Sec. 93,
power under Sec. 92, BP 881 to require TV B.P. 881)
stations to give air time for candidates free of
charge, the Supreme Court held that such The COMELEC shall cause the printing
power is valid and constitutional, being an and supervise the dissemination of bulletins
exercise of the plenary police power of the which shall contain the picture, bio-data and
State to promote the general welfare. The program of government of every candidate.
Court gave the following reasons:
Any candidate can reprint these
(1) All broadcasting, whether by radio or bulletins, provided it is an exact replica and
TV, is licensed by the government, shall bear the candidate’s name who caused
and the franchise issued to a the reprint and the printer’s name.
broadcast station is always subject to
amendment, alteration or repeal by COMELEC official sample ballot (Sec. 185,
Congress when the common good B.P. 881, as amended by R.A. 7904)
requires. There is no better measure
for the common good than one for At least 30 days before an election, the
free airtime for the benefit not only COMELEC shall furnish every registered voter
of the candidates but even more of with an unfilled official sample ballot, voter
the public, particularly the voters, so information sheet, and a list of all registered
that they will be informed of the national, provincial and city candidates to be
issues in an election, for after all, it voted in the said election.
is the right of the viewers and
listeners, not of the broadcasters, The information sheet shall include the
that is paramount. voter's name, address, the precinct and the
place where he is registered, and simplified
(2) The COMELEC does not take over the instructions as to the casting of votes. The
operation of radio and television names of the candidates shall be listed in
stations, but only the allocation of alphabetical order under their respective party
airtime to the candidates, to ensure affiliation and a one-line statement not to
equal opportunity, time and the right exceed 3 words of their occupation or
to reply, as mandated by the profession. Persons nominated under the
Constitution. party-list system shall likewise be included in
the above-mentioned list.
(3) There are substantial distinctions in
the characteristics of the broadcast Public forum
media from those of the print media
which justify the different treatment (Sec. 9, R.A. 6646)
accorded to each for purposes of free
speech, viz: the physical limitations The COMELEC shall encourage non-
of the broadcast spectrum, the political non-partisan private or civic
uniquely pervasive presence of the organization to initiate and hold in every city
broadcast media in the lives of all and municipality, public for a at which all
Filipinos, and the earlier ruling that registered candidates for the same office may
the freedom of TV and radio simultaneously and personally participate to
broadcasting is somewhat lesser than present, explain and/or debate on their
the freedom accorded to the print campaign platforms and programs and other
media. like issues.

COMELEC poster area (Sec. 9, R.A. 9006) The COMELEC shall promulgate the
rules and regulations for the holding of such to
The COMELEC may authorize political assure its non-partisan character and equality
parties and party-list groups to erect common of access thereto by all candidates.
poster areas for their candidates in not more
than 10 public places such as plazas, markets,
Election surveys
29
6, 2001, for details.)
(Sec. 5, R.A. 9006)
Exit polls
Election surveys, defined
(Sec. 5.5, R.A. 9006)
Election surveys refer to the
measurement of opinions and perceptions of Exit polls may only be taken subject to
the voters as regards a candidate's popularity, the following requirements:
qualifications, platforms or a matter of public
discussion in relation to the election, including • Pollsters shall not conduct their
voters' preference for candidates or publicly surveys within 50 meters from the
discussed issues during the campaign period. polling place, whether said survey is
taken in a home, dwelling place and
Information required to be published in other places;
the survey
• Pollsters shall wear distinctive
During the election period, any person, clothing;
natural as well as juridical, candidate or
organization who publishes a survey must
• Pollsters shall inform the voters that
likewise publish the following information:
they may refuse to answer; and
• The name of the person,
• The result of the exit polls may be
candidate, party or organization
announced after the closing of the
who commissioned or paid for the
polls on election day, and must
survey;
clearly identify the total number of
• The name of the person, polling respondents, and the places where
firm or survey organization who they were taken. Said
conducted the survey; announcement shall state that the
• The period during which the same is unofficial and does not
survey was conducted, the represent a trend.
methodology used, including the
number of individual respondents ABS-CBN v. COMELEC (January 28, 2000)
and the areas from which they
were selected, and the specific In this case, the Supreme Court held
questions asked; that exit polls are valid. They do not violate
• The margin of error of the survey; the principle of secrecy of the ballot since such
• For each question for which the polls are purely voluntary on the part of the
margin of error is greater than voter and do not require him or her to reveal
that reported above, the margin of his or her ballot.
error for that question; and
• A mailing address and telephone
ELECTION CONTRIBUTIONS &
number, indicating it as an
EXPENDITURES
address or telephone number at
which the sponsor can be
contacted to obtain a written Contributions
report regarding the survey in
accordance with Sec. 5.3 of R.A. Contributions defined
9006.
(Sec. 94a, B.P. 881)
It must be noted that Sec. 5.4 which
prohibits the publication of surveys 15 days
"Contribution” includes a gift, donation,
(for national candidates) or 7 days (for local
subscription, loan, advance or deposit of
candidates) before an election was declared
money or anything of value, or a contract,
unconstitutional by the Supreme Court upon
promise or agreement to contribute, whether
a petition filed by the Manila Standard and
or not legally enforceable, made for the
Social Weather Station, Inc. (SWS) The
purpose of influencing the results of the
decision, which was penned by Justice V.V.
elections but shall not include services
Mendoza, stated that the provision "constitutes
rendered without compensation by individuals
an unconstitutional abridgment of freedom of
volunteering a portion or all of their time in
speech, expression and the press… as it
behalf of a candidate or political party.
imposes prior restraint and therefore, a direct
and total suppression of a category of
It shall also include the use of facilities
expression even for a limited period." (Exact
voluntarily donated by other persons, the
title of case and citation not available as of this
money value of which can be assessed based
writing. See front page of Philippine Star, May
on the rates prevailing in the area.
30
It is unlawful for any person to solicit
Prohibited contributions or receive any contribution from any of the
persons or entities enumerated.
(Sec. 95, B.P. 881)
Prohibited raising of funds
No contribution for purposes of
partisan political activity shall be made directly It is unlawful for any person to hold
or indirectly by any of the following: the following for the purpose of raising funds
for an election campaign or for the support of
• Public or private financial institutions. any candidate from the commencement of the
However, they are not prohibited from election period up to and including election
making any loan to a candidate or day:
political party if:
• dances,
(a) the financial institutions are • lotteries,
legally in the business of • cockfights,
lending money, • games,
(b) the loan is made in • boxing bouts,
accordance with laws and • bingo,
regulations; AND, • beauty contests,
(c) the loan is made in the • entertainments, or
ordinary course of business. cinematographic, theatrical or
other performances
• Natural and juridical persons operating
It is unlawful for any person or
a public utility or in possession of or
organization, whether civic or religious, directly
exploiting any natural resources of the
or indirectly, to solicit and/or accept from any
nation;
candidate for public office, or from his
campaign manager, agent or representative, or
• Natural and juridical persons who hold
any person acting in their behalf, any gift,
contracts or sub-contracts to supply
food, transportation, contribution or donation
the government or any of its divisions,
in cash or in kind from the commencement of
subdivisions or instrumentalities, with
the election period up to and including election
goods or services or to perform
day.
construction or other works;
Note, however, that normal and
• Natural and juridical persons who have
customary religious stipends, tithes, or
been granted franchises, incentives,
collections on Sundays and/or other designated
exemptions, allocations or similar
collection days, are excluded from this
privileges or concessions by the
prohibition.
government or any of its divisions,
subdivisions or instrumentalities,
including GOCCs; Expenditures

• Natural and juridical persons who, Expenditures defined


within 1 year prior to the date of the
election, have been granted loans or (Sec. 94b, BP 881)
other accommodations in excess of
P100,000 by the government or any of “Expenditure" includes the payment or
its divisions, subdivisions or delivery of money of anything of value, or a
instrumentalities including GOCCs; contract, promise or agreement to make an
expenditure, for the purpose of influencing the
• Educational institutions which have results of the election. It shall also include the
received grants of public funds use of facilities personally owned by the
amounting to no less than candidate, the money value of the use of which
P100,000.00; can be assessed based on the rates prevailing
in the area.
• Officials or employees in the Civil
Service, or members of the Armed Limitations on expenditures
Forces of the Philippines;
(Sec. 13, R.A. 7166)
• Foreigners and foreign corporations,
including foreign governments. (Sec. The aggregate amount that a
96, BP 881) candidate or registered political party may
spend for an election campaign shall be as
31
follows: (j) For copying and classifying list of
voters, investigating and
For Candidates challenging the right to vote of
persons registered in the list;
• President and Vice-President: P such costs shall not be taken
10 for every voter currently into account in determining the
registered amount of expenses which a
• Other Candidates: P 3 for every candidate or political party may
have incurred;
voter current registered in the
constituency where he filed his (k) For printing sample ballots in
certificate of candidacy such color, size and maximum
number as may be authorized by
• Candidates Without a Political
the COMELEC, such costs not to
Party: P 5 for every voter
be taken into account in
determining the amount of
For Political Parties
expenses which a candidate or
political party may have
P 5 for every voter currently
incurred;
registered in the constituency or
constituencies where it has
official candidates Persons authorized to incur expenditures

Lawful expenditures (Sec. 103, B.P. 881)

Only the following persons are


(Sec. 102, B.P. 881)
permitted by law to make any expenditure in
support of or in opposition to any candidate or
No candidate or treasurer of a political
political party:
party shall, directly or indirectly, make any
expenditure except for the following purposes:
• The candidate;
• The treasurer of a political party;
(a) For traveling expenses of the • Any person authorized by such
candidates and campaign candidate or treasurer.
personnel in the course of the
campaign and for personal Expenditures duly authorized by the
expenses incident thereto; candidate or the treasurer of the political party
(b) For compensation of shall be considered as expenditures of such
campaigners, clerks, candidate or political party. The authority to
stenographers, messengers, incur expenditures must:
and other persons actually
employed in the campaign; (1) be in writing;
(c) For telegraph and telephone (2) be signed by the candidate or the
tolls, postage, freight and treasurer of the party;
express delivery charges; (3) show the expenditures so authorized;
(d) For stationery, printing and (4) state the full name and exact address
distribution of printed matters of the person so designated; and
relative to candidacy; (5) be furnished the COMELEC.
(e) For employment of watchers at
the polls;
Prohibited donations
(f) For rent, maintenance and
furnishing of campaign
headquarters, office or place of (Sec. 104, B.P. 881)
meetings;
(g) For political meetings and rallies No candidate, his or her spouse or any
and the use of sound systems, relative within the second civil degree of
lights and decorations during consanguinity or affinity, or his campaign
said meetings and rallies; manager, agent or representative shall during
(h) For newspaper, radio, TV and the campaign period, on the day before and on
other public advertisements; the day of the election, directly or indirectly,
make any donation, contribution or gift in cash
(i) For employment of counsel, the or in kind, or undertake or contribute to the
cost of which shall not be taken construction or repair of roads, bridges, school
into account in determining the buses, puericulture centers, medical clinics and
amount of expenditures which a hospitals, churches or chapels cement
candidate or political party may pavements, or any structure for public use or
have incurred; for the use of any religious or civic
32
organization. by the COMELEC or its duly authorized
representative, or upon presentation of a
The same prohibition applies to subpoena duces tecum duly issued by the
treasurers, agents or representatives of any COMELEC.
political party.
Failure of the candidate or treasurer to
Normal and customary religious dues preserve such records or documents shall be
or contributions, such as religious stipends, deemed prima facie evidence of violation of
tithes or collections on Sundays or other this provision of law. (Sec. 106c, B.P. 881)
designated collection days, as well as periodic
payments for legitimate scholarships Filing of Statement of Contributions and
established and school contributions habitually Expenditures
made before the prohibited period, are
excluded from the prohibition. Duty to file

Duties of candidates and political parties Within 30 days after election day, the
candidate and the treasurer of the political
Accounting of contributions and party must file with the COMELEC duplicate
expenditures copies of the full, true and itemized statement
of all contributions and expenditures in
(Sec. 105, B.P. 881) connection with the election. (Sec. 14, R.A.
7166)
Every person receiving contributions or
incurring expenditures by authority of the This requirement to file the statement
candidate or treasurer of the party shall, on covers even those who withdrew as candidates
demand by the candidate or treasurer of the after having filed their certificates, because
party, render to the candidate or treasurer Sec. 14 of R.A. 7166 does not make any
concerned a detailed account thereof with distinction. (Pilar v. COMELEC, 245 SCRA 759)
proper vouchers or official receipts. Such
accounting must be given within 5 days after Duty of election registrar to advise
receiving such contribution or incurring such candidates of their duty
expenditure.
It is the duty of the city or municipal
election registrar to advise in writing, either by
Keeping of detailed records of
personal delivery or by registered mail, within
contributions and expenditures
5 days from the election date, all candidates to
comply with the obligation to file their
Keeping of records statements. (Sec. 14, R.A. 7166)

Every candidate and treasurer of the Form and contents of statement


party shall keep detailed, full, and accurate
records of all contributions received and The statement shall be in writing,
expenditures incurred by him and by those subscribed and sworn to by the candidate or by
acting under his authority, setting forth therein the treasurer of the party, shall be complete as
all information required to be reported. (Sec. of the date next preceding the date of filing,
106b, B.P. 881) and shall set forth in detail the following:

Issuance of receipt (a) the amount of contribution, date


of receipt, and the full name and
Every candidate, treasurer of the exact address of the person from
political party, and person acting under the whom the contribution was
authority of such candidate or treasurer has received;
the duty to: (b) the amount of every
expenditure, the date thereof,
(1) issue a receipt for every contribution the full name and exact address
received; and of the person to whom payment
(2) keep a receipt stating the particulars was made, and the purpose of
of every expenditure made. the expenditure;
(c) any unpaid obligation, its nature
Preservation of records and amount, and to whom said
obligation is owing; and
Records of contributions and (d) such other particulars which the
expenditures must be preserved for at least 3 COMELEC may require.
years after the holding of the election to which
they pertain, for their production for inspection If the candidate or treasurer of the
33
party has received no contribution, made no (c) File with the COMELEC a report
expenditure, or has no pending obligation, the setting forth the full names and
statement shall reflect such fact. (Sec. 109, exact addresses of the candidates,
B.P. 881) treasurers of political parties and
other persons incurring such
Effect of Failure to File expenditures, the nature or
purpose of each expenditure, the
No person elected to any public office date and costs thereof, and such
shall enter upon the duties of his office until he other particulars as the COMELEC
has filed the statement of contributions and may require within 30 days
expenditures. (Sec. 14, R.A. 7166) The same after the day of the election.
prohibition also applies if the political party of The report shall be signed and
the winning candidate fails to file the sworn to by the supplier or
statement within the required period contractor, or by the president or
general manager in case of a
Failure to file the required statements business firm. (Sec. 112, B.P.
or reports constitutes an administrative 881)
offense. Offenders are liable to pay an
administrative fine ranging from P 1,000.00 to
Repeal of Sec. 105-112 of B.P. 881 as
P 30,000.00. Such fine shall be paid within 30
election offenses
days from receipt of notice of such failure;
otherwise, the COMELEC shall enforce the
same by issuing a writ of execution against the Prior to R.A. 7166, failure to comply
properties of the offender. The commission of with the duties imposed by Sec. 105-112 of
a second or subsequent offense under this B.P. 881 constituted election offenses that
section subjects the offender to an increased were punishable under Art. 262 of B.P. 881.
fine ranging from P 2,000.00 to P 60,000.00, However, Sec. 39 of R.A. 7166 repealed the
and to a perpetual disqualification to hold inclusion of said provisions as election
office. (Sec. 14, R.A. 7166) offenses, with such repeal to have retroactive
effect.
Except: Candidates for elective barangay
office THE ELECTION PROPER

Pilar vs. COMELEC (245 SCRA 759) IN GENERAL

The Supreme Court said that the


What constitutes an election
requirement to file the statement covers even
those who WITHDREW as candidates after
having filed their certificates because sec 14, An election is constituted when there is
RA 7166 does not make any distinction. a plurality of votes sufficient for a choice
conditioned on the plurality of valid votes or a
valid constituency regardless of the actually
Duties of contractors, suppliers and
number of votes cast. Otherwise, there would
business firms
be no winner.

Persons or firms to whom any electoral It is not necessary that a majority of


expenditure is made have the duty to: voters should have elected the winning
candidate. Even if a candidate wins due to a
(a) Require every agent of a candidate minority vote, if the election is lawfully held, a
or of the treasurer of a political plurality of the majority is sufficient.
party to present written authority
to incur electoral expenditures in Those who did not vote are assumed to
behalf of such candidate or assent to the action of those who voted.
treasurer.
Failure of elections
(b) Keep and preserve at its place of
business for a period of 3 years Grounds for declaration of failure of
after the date of the election copies elections
of such written authority, contracts,
vouchers, invoices and other In the case of Joseph Peter Sison v.
records and documents relative to COMELEC (G.R. No. 134096, March 3, 1999),
said expenditures, subject to the Supreme Court said that there are only 3
inspection by the COMELEC or its instances where a failure of elections may be
authorized representative. declared, namely:
34
(1) The election in any polling place The declaration of a postponement of
has not been held on the date fixed election is decided by the COMELEC en banc by
on account of force majeure, a majority vote of its members. (Sec. 4, R.A.
violence, terrorism, fraud, or other 7166)
analogous causes;
Holding of election
(2) The election in any polling place
The COMELEC shall call for the holding
had been suspended before the
of the election on a date reasonably close to
hour fixed by law for the closing of
the date of the election not held, suspended,
the voting on account of force
or which resulted in a failure to elect but not
majeure, violence, terrorism, fraud,
later than 30 days after the cessation of the
or other analogous causes; and
cause for such postponement or suspension of
the election or failure to elect. (Sec. 5, B.P.
(3) After the voting and during the 881)
preparation and transmission of the
election returns or in the custody or Special election
canvass thereof such election
results in a failure to elect on
(Sec. 4, R.A. 7166)
account of force majeure, violence,
terrorism, fraud or other analogous
In case a permanent vacancy occurs in
causes.
the Senate or House of Representatives at
least 1 year before the expiration of the term,
The causes for the declaration of a
the COMELEC shall call and hold a special
failure of election may occur before or after the
election to fill the vacancy not earlier than 60
casting of votes or on the day of the election.
days nor longer than 90 days after the
(Sec. 4, R.A. 7166)
occurrence of the vacancy.
How declared
However, in case of such vacancy in
the Senate, the special election shall be held
The declaration of a failure of election
simultaneously with the succeeding regular
is decided by the COMELEC en banc by a
election.
majority vote of its members. (Sec. 4, R.A.
7166)
CASTING OF VOTES
Procedure for declaration of failure of
elections shall be discussed in the last part of Secrecy of the Ballot
this reviewer.
The distinguishing feature of this mode
Holding or continuation of election of voting, is that every voter is thus enabled to
secure and preserve the most complete and
The COMELEC shall call for the holding violable secrecy in regard to the person for
or continuation of the election on a date whom he votes, and thus escapes the
reasonably close to the date of the election not influences which, under the system of oral
held, suspended, or which resulted in a failure suffrages, may be brought to bear upon him
to elect but not later than 30 days after the with a view to overbear and intimidate, and
cessation of the cause of such suspension or thus prevent the real expression of public
failure to elect. (Sec. 6, B.P. 881) sentiment.

Postponement of elections A legal voter will not be compelled to


disclose for whom he voted. Moreover, third
Grounds for postponement of elections persons are not permitted to testify to its
purport.
An election may be postponed by the
COMELEC either motu proprio or upon a The voter may, however, if he chooses,
verified petition by any interested party when waive his privilege of secrecy and voluntarily
there is violence, terrorism, loss or destruction disclose the contents of his ballot. Thus, it was
of election paraphernalia or records, force held in the case of ABS-CBN v. COMELEC
majeure, or other analogous cause of such a (January 28, 2000) that exit polls are valid
nature that the holding of a free, orderly and since they are voluntary and do not require a
honest election becomes impossible in any voter to reveal the contents of his or her ballot
political subdivision. (Sec. 5, B.P. 881) if he or she does not want to.

How declared Method of voting


35
Voter must vote in person.
EXCEPTION: When there are voters
The voter must personally deposit his present within 30 meters in front of the
ballot. polling place who have not yet cast their
votes, in which case the voting shall
By the principle that what is done in continue but only to allow said voters to
one’s presence and by his express direction is, cast their votes without interruption. The
in law, his act, an infirm or aged voter may poll clerk shall prepare a complete list
undoubtedly employ another to perform the containing the names of said voters
mechanical act of depositing in the voter’s consecutively numbered, and the voters
presence the ballot which the latter has himself so listed shall be called to vote by
selected. announcing each name repeatedly three
times in the order in which they are
Voter must vote but once. listed. Any voter in the list who is not
present when his name is called out shall
Each voter shall vote but once, at any not be permitted to vote.
election, for each office or measure to be voted
for. Board of Election Inspectors

Voter need not vote the whole ticket. At least 30 days before the date when
the voters list is to be prepared, in the case of
It is entirely optional with the voter a regular election or 15 days before a special
whether he will vote at all or not, and he may election, the COMELEC shall, directly or
vote for such offices as he chooses and for through its duly authorized representatives,
such of the several persons to be chosen to the constitute a board of election inspectors for
same office as he prefers. each precinct.

Composition
Absentee Voting
The Board of Election Inspectors is
Under RA 7166, absentee voting as composed of three (3) persons, namely:
provided for in EO 157 shall apply to the
elections for President, Vice-President, and • chairman
Senators ONLY and shall be limited to: • poll clerk
• member
• members of the AFP
• members of the PNP The entire Board shall be composed of
• other government officers and public school teachers, priority to be given to
employees those with permanent appointments. (Sec.
164, BP 881, as amended by Sec. 13, R.A.
who are duly registered voters and who, on 6646) However, in case there are not enough
election day, may temporarily be assigned in public school teachers, the following may be
connection with the performance of their appointed for election duty:
election duties to places where they are not
registered voters. • teachers in private schools;
• employees in the civil
Block Voting service; or
• other citizens of known
There is no longer block voting under probity and competence
current Philippine Election Laws, having been who are registered voters
expressly prohibited by Art. IX-C, Sec. 7 of the of the city or municipality
1987 Constitution.
Qualifications
However, it must be noted that under 1) public school teachers
the party-list system, votes may be counted in 2) be of good moral character and
favor of political parties, organizations or irreproachable reputation
coalitions rendered under said system. This, in 3) a registered voter of the City or
a way, may be construed as the exception to municipality
the prohibition on block voting. 4) never been convicted of any election
offense or any other crime punishable
by more than 6 months imprisonment
Voting Hours
5) able to speak and write English or the
local dialect
GENERAL RULE: The casting of votes
shall be at 7 a.m. and shall end at 3 p.m. Disqualifications
36
1) must not be related within the 4th civil Watchers
degree by consanguinity or affinity to
any member of the BEI or to any Each candidate and each political party
candidate to be voted for in the polling or coalition of political parties duly registered
places with the Commission including those
2) must not engage in any partisan participating under the party list system of
political activity representation, may appoint two watchers, to
serve alternately, in every polling place.
Powers of the Board of Election
Inspectors (Sec. 168, BP 881) However, candidates for Sangguniang
Panlalawigan, Sangguniang Lunsod and
The board of election inspectors shall Sangguniang Bayan, belonging to the same
have the following powers and functions: ticket or slate shall collectively entitled to 1
watcher.
• Conduct the voting and counting of
votes in their respective polling Duly accredited citizens’ arms of the
places; Commission, shall be entitled to appoint a
watcher in every polling place. Other civic,
• Act as deputies of the Commission religious, professional, business, service,
in the supervision and control of youth, and other similar organization, with
the election in the polling places prior authority from the Commission, shall be
wherein they are assigned, to entitled collectively, to appoint 1 watcher in
assure the holding of the same in polling place.
a free, orderly and honest
manner; Qualifications:
1) Qualified voter of the city or
• Perform such other functions municipality
prescribed by the Omnibus 2) Good reputation
Election Code or by the rules and 3) Never been convicted of any election
regulations promulgated by the offence or any crime
COMELEC 4) Knows how to read and write English,
Pilipino or any of the prevailing local
Proceedings dialects
5) Not related within the 4th civil degree
Shall be public and held only in the by consanguinity or affinity to any
polling places. member of the BEI in the polling place
where he seeks appointment as
Exception: the counting of the votes watcher.
and the preparation of the return may be done
in the nearest safe baranggay or school Rights and duties:
building within the municipality BY unanimous 1) Stay in the space reserved for then
vote of the board and concurred in by the inside the polling place
majority of the watchers present IF there is 2) Witness and inform themselves of the
imminent danger of violence, terrorism, proceedings of the BEI
disorder or similar causes. 3) Take notes, photographs of
proceedings
The BEI shall act through its 4) File protests against any irregularities
Chariman, and shall decide without delay by or violation of law
majority vote all questions which may arise in
the performance of its duties.
5) Be furnished with a certificate of the
number of votes cat for each
candidate, duly signed and thumb
Prohibitions on the Board of Election
marked by the members of the BEI.
Inspectors

No member of the Board shall, before CASTING OF VOTES


the termination of the voting, make any
announcement as to whether a certain Authentication of the ballot
registered voter has already voted or not, as to
how many have already voted or how many so In every case, before delivering an
far have failed to vote, or any other fact official ballot to the voter, the chairman of the
tending to show or showing the state of the Board of Election Inspectors shall affix his
polls, nor shall he make any statement at any signature at the back of the ballot in the
time as to how any person voted, except as presence of the voter.
witness before a court. (Sec. 205, BP 881)
Failure to authenticate shall be noted
37
in the minutes of the Board of Election
Inspectors and shall constitute an election Preparation of Ballots for Illiterates and
offense. (Sec. 24, R.A. 7166) Disabled Persons (Sec. 196, B.P. 881)

There is nothing in the law that No voter shall be allowed to vote as an


provides that a ballot which has not been illiterate or as a physically disabled
authenticated shall be deemed spurious. The unless it is so indicated in his
law merely makes the Chairman of the Board registration record.
of Election Inspectors accountable for such an
omission. (Libanan v. HRET, G.R. No. 129783, A voter who is illiterate or physically
December 22, 1997) Thus, it was held in unable to prepare the ballot by himself
Punzalan v. COMELEC (289 SCRA 702) that the may be assisted in the preparation of
ballot is valid even if it is not signed at the his ballot by the following:
back by the BEI Chairman.
(a) a relative by affinity or
Preparing the ballot and voting consanguinity within the fourth
civil degree, or
(1) The voter, upon receiving his
folded ballot, shall forthwith proceed to (b) if (a) is not available, then any
one of the empty voting booths and shall person of his confidence who
there fill his ballot by writing in the belongs to the same
proper space for each office the name of household; or
the individual candidate for whom he
desires to vote. (c) any member of the board of
election inspectors.
No voter shall be allowed:
In no case shall an assistor assist
more than 3 times.
• to enter a booth occupied
by another, nor enter the The person assisting shall:
same accompanied by
somebody, except as • prepare the ballot for the
provided for in the illiterate or disabled voter
succeeding section inside the voting booth;
hereof;
• bind himself in a formal
• to stay therein for a document under oath to fill
longer time than out the ballot strictly in
necessary accordance with the
instructions of the voter and
• to speak with anyone not to reveal the contents of
other than as herein the ballot prepared by him.
provided while inside the
polling place. A violation of these 2 duties
shall constitute an election
It shall be unlawful: offense.

Spoiled Ballots
• to prepare the ballot outside
the voting booth; If a voter should accidentally
• to exhibit its contents to any spoil or deface a ballot in
person such a way that it cannot
• to erase any printing from lawfully be used, he shall
surrender it folded to the
the ballot
chairman who shall note in
• to intentionally tear or deface the corresponding space in
the same or put thereon any the voting record that said
distinguishing mark; ballot is spoiled. The voter
• to use carbon paper, paraffin shall then be entitled to
paper, or other means for another ballot which the
making a copy of the chairman shall give him after
contents of the ballot; announcing the serial number
• to make use of any other of the second ballot and
recording the serial number
means to identify the vote of
in the corresponding spaces
the voter.
38
in the voting record. ballot, is fatal.

No voter shall change his ballot (7) The chairman, after finding
more than once. (Sec. 14, R.A. 8436) everything to be in order, shall then
detach the coupon in the presence of the
The spoiled ballot shall, board of election inspectors and of the
without being unfolded and voter and shall deposit the folded ballot in
without removing the the compartment for valid ballots, and the
detachable coupon, be detached coupon in the compartment for
distinctly marked with the spoiled ballots.
word "spoiled" and signed by
the board of election Any ballot returned to
inspectors on the the chairman whose
endorsement fold thereof and detachable coupon has
immediately placed in the been removed not in the
compartment for spoiled presence of the board of
ballots. election inspectors and of
the voter, shall be
considered as spoiled and
(2) After the voter has filled his ballot shall be so marked and
he shall fold it in the same manner as signed by the members of
when he received it and return it to the the board of election
chairman. inspectors.

(3) In the presence of all the members (8) The voter shall then depart.
of the board of election inspectors, he
shall affix his thumbmark on the Challenge of Illegal Voters
corresponding space in the coupon, and
deliver the folded ballot to the chairman. (Sec. 199, B.P. 881)
(4) The chairman, in the presence and Any voter or watcher may challenge
view of the voter and all the members of any person offering to vote for not being
the board of election inspectors, without registered, for using the name of another or
unfolding the ballot or seeing its contents, suffering from existing disqualification. In such
shall verify its number from the voting case, the board of election inspectors shall
record where it was previously entered. satisfy itself as to whether or not the ground
for the challenge is true by requiring proof of
Any ballot whose number registration or the identity of the voter.
does not coincide with the
number of the ballot No voter shall be required to present
delivered to the voter, as his voter's affidavit on election day unless his
entered in the voting record, identity is challenged. His failure or inability to
shall be considered as spoiled produce his voter's affidavit upon being
and shall be so marked and challenged, shall not preclude him from voting
signed by the members of the if his identity be shown from the photograph,
board of election inspectors. fingerprints, or specimen signatures in his
approved application in the book of voters or if
(5) The voter shall affix his he is identified under oath by a member of the
thumbmark by the side of his signature in board of election inspectors and such
the space intended for that purpose in the identification shall be reflected in the minutes
voting record and the chairman shall of the board.
apply silver nitrate and commassie blue
on the right forefinger nail or on any other Challenge Based on Certain Illegal Acts
available finger nail, if there be no (Sec. 200, B.P. 881)
forefinger nail.
Any voter or watcher may challenge any voter
(6) The chairman shall sign in the offering to vote on any of the following
proper space beside the thumbmark of the grounds:
voter.
• that the challenged person
Note that the absence of has received or expects to
the signature of the receive, has paid, offered or
chairman in the ballot promised to pay, has
given to a voter as proof contributed, offered or
of the authenticity of the promised to contribute
39
money or anything of value received;
as consideration for his vote • number of official ballots
or for the vote of another; used and the number left
unused;
• that he has made or • number of voters who
received a promise to cast their votes;
influence the giving or • number of voters
withholding of any such challenged during the
vote; or voting;
• names of the watchers
• that he has made a bet or is present;
interested directly or • time the counting of
indirectly in a bet which votes commenced and
depends upon the result of ended;
the election. • number of official ballots
found inside the
The challenged person shall take a compartment for valid
prescribed oath before the board of election ballots;
inspectors that he has not committed any of • number of valid ballots
the acts alleged in the challenge. Upon the retrieved from the
taking of such oath, the challenge shall be compartment for spoiled
dismissed and the challenged voter shall be ballots, if any;
allowed to vote, but in case of his refusal to • number of ballots found
take such oath, the challenge shall be folded together, if any;
sustained and he shall not be allowed to vote. • number of spoiled ballots
withdrawn from the
Non-conclusiveness of admission of compartment for valid
challenged vote (Sec. 201, B.P. 881) ballots;
• number of excess ballots;
It must be noted that the admission of • number of marked
the challenged vote shall not be conclusive ballots;
upon any court as to the legality of the • number of ballots read
registration of the voter challenged or his vote and counted;
in a criminal action against such person for • time the election returns
illegal registration or voting. were signed and sealed in
their respective special
Records or Statements to be Prepared and envelopes;
Kept • number and nature of
protests made by
Record of Challenges and Oaths watchers;
• such other matters that
The poll clerk shall keep a prescribed the Commission may
record of challenges and oaths taken in require.
connection therewith and the resolution of the
board of election inspectors in each case and, Copies of this statement after being duly
upon the termination of the voting, shall certify accomplished shall be sealed in separate
that it contains all the challenges made. envelopes and shall be distributed as follows:

The original of this record shall be • the original to the city or


attached to the original copy of the minutes of municipal election
the voting as provided in the succeeding registrar;
section. (Sec. 202, B.P. 881) • the second copy to be
deposited inside the
Minutes of Voting and Counting of Votes compartment for valid
ballots of the ballot box;
The board of election inspectors shall • the third and fourth
prepare and sign a statement in four copies copies to the
setting forth the following: representatives of the
accredited political
• time the voting parties. (Sec. 203, B.P.
commenced and ended; 881)
• serial numbers of the
official ballots and List of Unused Ballots
election returns, special
envelopes and seals The chairman of the board of election
40
inspectors shall prepare a list showing the election inspectors shall take
number of unused ballots together with the the ballots of the first pile one
serial numbers. by one and read the names of
candidates voted for and the
This list shall be signed by all the offices for which they were
members of the board of election inspectors, voted in the order in which they
after which all the unused ballots shall be torn appear thereon, assuming such
halfway in the presence of the members of the a position as to enable all of the
board of election inspectors. (Sec. 204, B.P. watchers to read such names.
881)
3. The chairman shall sign and
COUNTING OF VOTES affix his right hand thumbmark
at the back of the ballot
The counting of votes is conducted by immediately after it is counted.
the Board of Election Inspectors, which shall
not adjourn or postpone or delay the count 4. The poll clerk, and the third
until it has been fully completed, unless member, respectively, shall
otherwise ordered by the COMELEC. record on the election returns
and the tally board or sheet
each vote as the names voted
Counting proper
for each office are read. (The
election returns are mandated
Counting to be Public and Without by law to be prepared
Interruption simultaneously with the
counting of the votes.)
As soon as the voting is finished, the
board of election inspectors shall publicly count 5. After finishing the first pile of
in the polling place the votes cast and ballots, the board of election
ascertain the results. The Board shall not inspectors shall determine the
adjourn or postpone or delay the count until it total number of votes recorded
has been fully completed, unless otherwise for each candidate, the sum
ordered by the COMELEC. being noted on the tally board
or sheet and on the election
Venue for counting of votes returns. In case of discrepancy
such recount as may be
The COMELEC in the interest of free, necessary shall be made. The
orderly, and honest elections, may order the ballots shall then be grouped
board of election inspectors to count the votes together again as before the
and to accomplish the election returns and reading. Thereafter, the same
other forms prescribed under the Omnibus procedure shall be followed with
Election Code in any other place within a public the second pile of ballots and so
building in the same municipality or city. The on successively.
public building shall not be located within the
perimeter of or inside a military or police camp 6. After all the ballots have been
or reservation nor inside a prison compound. read, the board of election
inspectors shall sum up the
If it becomes necessary to transfer the totals recorded for each
counting of votes to a safer place on account of candidate, and the aggregate
imminent danger of violence, terrorism, sum shall be recorded both on
disorder or similar causes, the Board of the tally board or sheet and on
Election Inspectors may effect such transfer by the election returns.
unanimous approval by the Board and
concurrence by the majority of the watchers 7. It shall then place the counted
present. (Sec. 18, R.A. 6646) ballots in an envelope provided
for the purpose, which shall be
Manner of Counting Votes closed signed and deposited in
the compartment for valid
1. The board of election inspectors ballots.
shall unfold the ballots and form
separate piles of one hundred 8. The tally board or sheet as
ballots each, which shall be held accomplished and certified by
together with rubber bands, the board of election inspectors
with cardboard of the size of the shall not be changed or
ballots to serve as folders. destroyed but shall be kept in
the compartment for valid
2. The chairman of the board of
41
ballots. of evidence aliunde tending to show the
intention or purpose in the use of the
Duties of the Board of Election Inspectors contested manner or means of voting, which is
in Counting the Votes to identify the ballots. In the absence of
evidence aliunde clearly showing the intention
The board’s duties are confined to the or plan was for purposes of identification, signs
conduct of the elections and the counting of on ballots are presumed accidental.
votes. The board of election inspectors does
not decide the eligibility of candidates, and A majority vote of the board of election
therefore has no authority to ignore the votes inspectors shall be sufficient to determine
for a candidate who has filled out his certificate whether a ballot is marked or not.
of candidacy in the proper form.
All marked ballots shall be placed in an
Counting should be liberal to effectuate envelope labeled "marked ballots" which shall
the will of the electorate. Voters should not be be sealed and signed by the members of the
disenfranchised for technical causes. board of election inspectors and placed in the
compartment for valid ballots and shall not be
It is the duty of the board of election counted.
inspectors to issue a certificate of the number
of the votes received by a candidate upon Instances of Marked Ballots
request of the watchers. All the members of
the board of election inspectors shall sign the Non-official ballots which the board of
certificate. election inspectors may find, EXCEPT those
which have been used as emergency
Marked Ballots ballots, are considered as marked ballots.
Other examples of marked ballots include the
Marked ballots defined following:

Marked ballots are ballots containing a • Where 170 ballots were voted for in the
distinguishing mark which would tend to same manner and there is evidence
identify the voter who cast such ballot. aliunde to prove that such manner of
voting was planned.
Purpose of Disallowing Marked Ballots
• Where the name of 1 candidate is
Some unscrupulous persons taking clearly and markedly indented to the
advantage of their influence or political right to make the ballot easily
prestige may require voters to place a distinguishable.
distinguishing “mark” on their ballot, in
consideration of some promise, reward or • Use of two or more kinds of writing
other valuable consideration and to which the deliberately put by the voter to serve
voters would have no escape because of the as identification marks.
distinguishing marks required of them to place
on their ballots. This threatens the • Writing the name of a person who is not
independence of the voters in the exercise of a candidate 3 times on 3 spaces
their right to vote. Hence, the prohibition on provided for in different offices.
marked ballots.
• Expressions opposite the space for
Effect of Marked Ballots candidates written for the purpose of
identification.
Marked ballots are invalidated in their
entirety, and none of the votes therein are • The inclusion of the names of 2 well-
counted. known movie stars who were not
candidates.
Determination of Marked Ballots
• Writing the name of a registered voter
In discounting marked ballots, great who is not a candidate.
care should be used in rejecting them. Election
laws are designed to effectuate the will of the • The placing, without explanation of
electorate. Only in an unmistakable case where initials, after the corrected names of
the ballot appeared to be marked, should it be candidates for mayor and vice-mayor.
rejected.
• Placing a big letter “X” immediately after
The determinative factor in the the name of a candidate for councilor.
nullification of ballots for being marked as
following a design or pattern, is the existence • The capital letter “N” opposite the
42
printed words for senators.
Appreciation of Ballots
• Writing the word “sinador” in a place far
and separate from the proper spaces Guiding Principles in the Appreciation of
for candidates. Ballots

• Writing impertinent, irrelevant and DOUBTS are to be resolved in FAVOR


unnecessary expression of the validity of ballots. The purpose is of
election laws is to give effect and not to
• Placing the fingerprint of the voter frustrate the WILL of the voter.
without reason.
LIBERAL CONSTRUCTION in reading
• The presence of an arrow together with the ballots, and intendments should be in favor
the words “and party”. of a reading which render the ballot EFFECTIVE
rather than in favor of a conclusion which on
Instances when Ballot is not Considered some technical grounds would render it
Marked ineffective.

The following ballots have been considered Minor blemishes should not affect the
NOT marked: validity of the ballot where the intention of the
voter to vote for certain persons is discernible
• Writing the word “sorry” after the name in the ballot.
of a candidate as an expression of
regret for committing a mistake. Errors in spelling, honest mistakes due
to ignorance or illiteracy should not defeat the
• Canceling names and re-writing them to intention of the voter. However, if the ballot is
conform with a sample ballot. so defective as to fail to show any intention, it
must be disregarded.
• Misspelling the name of a candidate.
Sanchez vs. COMELEC ( 153 SCRA 67)
• Illegible writings, being imprints of other
names written on the ballot caused by Appreciation of ballots is a function of
the folding of the same. the BEI, not the Board of Canvassers.

• Writing crosses and circles signifying the Bautista vs. Castro ( 206 SCRA 305)
desistance of the voter to write any
other name. In appreciating a ballot, the object
should be to ascertain and carry into effect the
• Writing a word before the name of a intention of the voter if it can be determined
candidate as an appellation of affection with reasonable certainty.
or friendship.
Rules for Appreciation of Ballots (Sec.
• Affixing the nickname of a candidate. 211, BP 881)

• Innocent erasures in the spaces for the Every ballot shall be PRESUMED VALID UNLESS
candidates. there is clear and good reason to reject it.

• Corrected name written over the


HOW
canceled one on the space for councilor
C
although he is a candidate for mayor.
O
U
• Mistakes in writing names of local BALLOT
N
candidates in spaces for senators and
T
writing again the names of his
E
candidates for councilors in the proper
D
spaces.
Ballots containing the name
• Unintentional, accidental, unintelligible of a candidate affixed
Totally VOID
marks or words. thereto through any
MECHANICAL process
• Accidental placing of a stain.
Ballot clearly appears to Totally VOID
have been FILLED by 2
• Voting names of non-candidates in the
DIFFERENT PERSONS
absence of evidence that these names
before deposited in ballot
were used as identifying marks.
43
box ballot, ALL of which are the
SURNAMES of 2 MORE
Ballot written with CRAYON, CANDIDATES bearing the
LEAD PENCIL or INK, wholly Valid same surname for an
or in part OFFICE of r which the law CANDIDATES
Considered as a authorizes the election of bearing the
INITIALS only or ILLEGIBLE MORE THAN ONE and there surname
STRAY vote BUT
or does NOT sufficiently are the SAME NUMBER of
shall NOT
identify the candidate for such SURNAMES written as
invalidate the
whom it is intended there are candidates with
whole ballot
that surname
Vote for a person who has
Considered as a 1 word is written on the
not filed a certificate of
STRAY vote BUT ballot which is the FIRST Vote counted for
candidacy or in favor of a
shall NOT NAME of a candidate and the OPPONENT
candidate for an office for
invalidate the which is also the SURNAME (SURNAME)
which he did not present
whole ballot of his opponent
himself
Considered as a 2 words written on the
Vote for a candidate who STRAY vote but ballot, 1 of which is the
Vote shall NOT
has been disqualified by shall not FIRST NAME of the
be counted for
final judgment invalidate the candidate and the other is
either
whole ballot the SURNAME of his
opponent
Only candidates’ FIRST
NAME or SURNAME is Name or surname
Vote for the INCORRECTLY WRITTEN
written, and there is NO
candidate is which when READ has a Vote counted in
other candidate with the
valid SOUND SIMILAR to the favor of such a
same first name or
surname for the same office name or surname of a candidate
candidate when correctly
Only candidates’ FIRST written (Idem sonans rule)
Vote counted in
NAME is written which when
favor of the Vote shall be
read has a SOUND SIMILAR
candidate with counted for the
to the SURNAME of another
such SURNAME candidate for the
candidate
office for which
If there are 2 or more he is running
candidates with the SAME for.
FULL NAME, FIRST NAME or
Name or surname of a
SURNAME, and one of them Vote counted for
candidate appears in the Vote for the
is the INCUMBENT, and on the INCUMBENT
space of the ballot for an office for which
the ballot is written ONLY
office for which he is a he is NOT a
such full name, first name
candidate and for an office candidate shall
or surname
for which he is NOT a be considered a
A ballot bearing candidate STRAY vote
Woman candidate uses her only such EXCEPT when it
MAIDEN NAME or MARRIED surname shall be is used to
NAME or BOTH, and there is counted in favor identify the
another candidate with the of the candidate voter in which
SAME SURNAME who is an case the whole
INCUMBENT. ballot is VOID.
Vote shall NOT Name of a candidate is NOT
be counted for written in the PROPER
any of them SPACE on the ballot but is Vote counted for
2 or more words are written UNLESS one is PRECEDED by the name of the candidate
on the SAME LINE on the the surname of the OFFICE for which he is
ballot, and ALL of which are the incumbent a candidate
the SURNAMES of 2 or who has served
MORE CANDIDATES for at least 1 Words written on the Vote counted in
year – counted APPROPRIATE BLANK on favor of that
for the the ballot is the IDENTICAL candidate to
INCUMBENT NAME or SURNAME or FULL whose ticket
NAME of 2 or MORE belong all the
2 or more words are written Vote counted in candidates for the SAME other candidates
on DIFFERENT LINES on the favor of ALL OFFICE, none of whom is voted for in the
44
same ballot for the voter in
the incumbent the same which case, the
SURNAME of the candidate
constituency. whole ballot is
VOID
PREFIXES such as "Sr.",
"Mr.", "Datu", "Don", PREFIXES AND NICKNAME used is one by Vote counted for
"Ginoo", "Hon.", "Gob." or SUFFIXES are which the candidate is the candidate IF
SUFFIXES like "Hijo", "Jr.", valid generally or POPULARLY there is no other
"Segundo" KNOWN in the locality and candidate for the
UNACCOMPANIED by a first SAME OFFICE
Considered as name or surname of the with the SAME
signs of his
CIRCLES, CROSSES, LINES candidate NICKNAME
desistance from
on spaces which the voter
voting and shall Vote NOT
has not voted
NOT invalidate counted in favor
the ballot of any candidate
CORRECTLY written FIRST having such first
Space in the ballot appears NAME of the candidate with name BUT the
Vote counted for
a NAME of a candidate that
the one CLEARLY a DIFFERENT SURNAME ballot is
is ERASED and another considered valid
WRITTEN
CLEARLY WRITTEN for other
ACCIDENTAL tearing or Shall NOT annul candidates
perforation of the ballot it Vote NOT
Failure to remove the counted in favor
Shall NOT annul 2 or more candidates are
DETACHABLE COUPON from of any of them
the ballot voted for an office which
the ballot BUT the ballot is
the law authorizes election
considered valid
Erroneous initial of FIRST of only ONE
for other
NAME accompanied by Shall NOT annul candidates
CORRECT SURNAME of the the vote
candidate Valid ballot BUT
the votes
Erroneous initial of counted are
SURNAME accompanied by Shall NOT annul those names
CORRECT FIRST NAME of the vote Candidates voted for which were
the candidate EXCEED the number of FIRST WRITTEN
Shall NOT annul those to be elected by the voter
Erroneous MIDDLE INITIAL until the
the vote
authorized
The fact that there exists number is
another person who is NOT covered
Shall NOT annul
a candidate with the same
the vote VALID (to read
first name or surname of a
candidate such ballots, the
board of election
COMMAS, DOTS, HYPHENS Ballots totally written in inspectors can
between the first name and ARABIC in localities where use an
surname of the candidate it is of GENERAL USE interpreter who
or on other parts of the Shall NOT has shall taken
ballot invalidate the an oath to read
ballot UNLESS it them correctly)
clearly appears
Traces of letter “T” or “J” or that they were
similar ones deliberately put Note that a vote for the President is no
by the voter as longer considered a vote for the Vice-President
IDENTIFICATION running under the same ticket as the 1987
First letters or syllables of Constitution already prohibits block voting.
marks in which
names which the voters (Although the party-list system may be
case, the ballot
does not continue deemed as an exemption to that prohibition.)
is VOID
UNINTENTIONAL or
ACCIDENTAL flourishes, Election Returns
strokes, strains
NICKNAMES and Shall NOT annul Definition
APPELATIONS of affection the vote EXCEPT
and friendship accompanied when such is The election returns are the official
by the FIRST NAME or used to identify document containing the date of the election,
45
the province, municipality and the precinct in Issuance of the Certificate of Votes
which it is held, and the votes received by each
candidate written in figures and in words. It is Certificate of votes defined
the document on which the Certificates of
Canvass are based, and is the only document The certificate of votes is a document
that constitutes sufficient evidence of the true which contains the number of votes obtained
and genuine results of the elections. (See by each candidate written in words and figures,
Garay v. COMELEC, 261 SCRA 222) the number of the precinct, the name of the
city or municipality and province, the total
Number of Copies and Their Distribution number of voters who voted in the precinct,
and the date and time issued. It must be
(Sec. 27, R.A. 7166, as amended by R.A. 8045 signed and thumb marked by each member of
and R.A. 8173) the Board. (Sec. 16, R.A. 6646)
The board of election inspectors shall Duty of Board to issue certificate
prepare in their handwriting the returns in their
polling places, in the number of copies herein It is the duty of the board of election
provided and in the form to be prescribed and inspectors to issue a certificate of the number
provided by the COMELEC. of the votes received by a candidate upon
request of the duly-accredited watchers. (Sec.
In the election of President, Vice- 16, R.A. 6646) Refusal to do so constitutes
President, Senators, and Members of the an election offense. (Sec. 27, R.A. 6646)
House of Representatives, the copies of the
election returns shall be distributed as follows: Admissibility in evidence
1 Copy: City or municipal board of canvassers
st
The certificate of votes is admissible in
2nd Copy: Congress, directed to the Senate evidence to prove tampering, alteration,
President falsification or any anomaly committed in the
3rd Copy: COMELEC election returns concerned, when duly
4th Copy: Dominant majority party, as authenticated by testimonial or documentary
determined by the COMELEC evidence presented to the Board of Canvassers
5th Copy: Dominant minority party, as by at least 2 members of the Board of Election
determined by the COMELEC Inspectors who issued the certificate. This is
6th Copy: Citizens' arm authorized by the notwithstanding the provisions of Secs. 235
COMELEC to conduct an unofficial and 236 of BP 881.
count
7th Copy: Deposited inside the compartment of The Certificate of Votes is evidence
the ballot box for valid ballots likewise of the votes obtained by the
candidates. (Balindong v. COMELEC, 27 SCRA
In the election of local officials, the 567) However, it was held in the case of
copies of the election returns shall be Garay v. COMELEC (261 SCRA 222) that a
distributed as follows: Certificate of Votes can never be a valid basis
for canvass, and does not constitute sufficient
1st Copy: City or municipal board of canvassers evidence of the true and genuine results of the
2nd Copy: COMELEC elections; only election returns are.
3rd Copy: Provincial board of canvassers
4th Copy: Dominant majority party, as Failure to present any certificate of
determined by the COMELEC votes shall be a bar to the presentation of
5th Copy: Dominant minority party, as other evidence to impugn the authenticity of
determined by the COMELEC the election returns. (Sec. 17, R.A. 6646)
6th Copy: Citizens' arm authorized by the
COMELEC to conduct an unofficial
CANVASS
count
7th Copy: Deposited inside the compartment of
the ballot box for valid ballots Canvass and Certificate of Canvass
defined
Announcement of Results of Elections
The canvass of votes refers to the
The chairman of the Board of Election process by which the results in the election
Inspectors shall make an ORAL and PUBLIC returns are tallied and totaled.
ANNOUNCEMENT of the TOTAL number of
votes in the polling place for EACH candidate Certificates of canvass are official
by the upon the completion of the election tabulations of votes accomplished by district,
returns. municipal, city and provincial canvassers based
on the election returns, which are the results
46
of the ballot count at the precinct level. the registered voters had taken place, the
election returns can not be disregarded and
Nature of canvass proceedings excluded – with the corresponding
disenfranchisement of voters – but must be
Canvass proceedings are accorded prima facie status as bona fide
administrative and summary in nature. reports of the result of the voting for
canvassing and proclamation purposes. The
A majority vote of all the members of the summary nature of the proceedings require
board shall be necessary to render a decision. that written objections ( to the returns) be filed
(Sec 255 BP 881) only during this stage, because it is only at this
time that the inclusion or exclusion of any
Any registered political party, coalition of return is in issue; mere allegations of duress,
parties, through their representatives, and any coercion, fraud, can not invalidate the election
candidate has a right to be present and to returns which are otherwise clean on their
counsel during the canvass of election returns. face.
They shall have the right to examine the
returns being canvassed without touching Mastura vs. COMELEC (285 SCRA 493)
them, to make their observations thereon, and
file their charges in accordance with the rules The COMELEC may order the
and regulations of the COMELEC. ( sec 25, RA annulment of the certificate of canvass which it
6646) found to be tampered after examining the
copies of the election returns of the municipal
It shall be unlawful for any officer or judge and COMELEC – because all the copies of
member of the AFP, including the national the election returns are original copies
police, or any peace officer or any armed or although the copy of the Municipal Board of
unarmed persons belonging to an extra-legal Canvassers is the original copy.
police agency, special forces, reaction forces,
strike forces, home defense forces, barangay Sec 15 RA 7166, does not specify that
self defense units, etc. to enter the room the COMELEC shall use the copy of the election
where the canvassing of the election returns return of the Municipal Board of Canvassers in
are held, and within a radius of 50 meters from correcting a manifest error.
such room. ( sec 232, BP881)
Composition of the Board of Canvasser
Grand Alliance for Democracy vs.
COMELEC ( 150 SCRA 665)
(Sec. 221, BP 881, as amended by Sec. 20, RA
Where it has been determined by the 6646)
COMELEC that actual voting and election by

PROVINCIAL CITY MUNICIPAL

Chairman Provincial election City election registrar or a Election registrar or a


supervisor or lawyer in the lawyer of COMELEC; representative of COMELEC
regional office of the
COMELEC In cities with more than 1
election registrar,
COMELEC shall designate
the election registrar who
shall act as chairman

Vice Chair provincial fiscal city fiscal municipal treasurer

Member provincial superintendent city superintendent of most senior district school


of schools schools supervisor or in his
absence a principal of the
school district or the
elementary school

However, in case of non-availability, absence, members of the Board of Canvassers, the


disqualification due to relationship, or COMELEC may appoint the following as
incapacity for any cause of any of the substitutes, in the order named:

PROVINCIAL CITY MUNICIPAL


47
Chairman Ranking lawyer of the Ranking lawyer of the Ranking lawyer of the
COMELEC COMELEC COMELEC

Vice (1)Provincial auditor (1)City auditor or (1)Municipal Administrator;


Chairman (2)Registrar of Deeds equivalent; (2)Municipal Assessor;
(3)Clerk of Court (2)Registrar of Deeds; (3)Clerk of Court
nominated by the (3)Clerk of Court nominated by the
Executive Judge of the nominated by the Executive Judge of the
RTC; Executive Judge of the MTC;
(4)Any other available RTC; (4)Any other available
appointive provincial (4)Any other available appointive municipal
official appointive city official official

Member Same as for Vice-Chairman Same as for Vice-Chairman Same as for Vice-Chairman
When Ministerial

Prohibitions on the Board of Canvassers If there are no irregularities in the


election returns, the duty of the Board in
canvassing the votes on the election returns
• The chairman and the members of the submitted to it consists in the simple matter of
Board of Canvassers shall not be related arithmetic. Once the COMELEC or the board of
within the 4th civil degree of consanguinity canvassers is satisfied in the authenticity of the
or affinity to any of the candidates whose returns, it has no power to look beyond the
votes will be canvassed by said board, or face thereof, and its task of tallying is merely
to any member of the said board. (Sec. ministerial.
222, B.P. 881)
When there is an error in the
• No member or substitute member of the computation which is discovered after
different boards of canvassers shall be proclamation, the board of canvassers can
transferred, assigned or detailed outside of simply correct the error; the remedy being
his official station, nor shall he leave said purely administrative.
station without prior authority of the
COMELEC during the period beginning When Quasi-Judicial
election day until the proclamation of the
winning candidates. (Sec. 223, B.P. 881) The board of canvassers must be
satisfied that the election returns submitted to
• No member of the board of canvassers shall it are genuine and authentic. Thus, the board
feign illness in order to be substituted on of canvassers will not be compelled to canvass
the returns when they are found to be:
election day until the proclamation of the
winning candidates. Feigning of illness
constitutes an election offense. (Sec. 224, • obviously manufactured;
B.P. 881) • contrary to probabilities;
• clearly falsified; or
• not legible
Jurisdiction of COMELEC over the Board of
Canvassers
Canvass by the Board
COMELEC has direct control and
supervision over the board of canvassers. Any (Sec. 231, B.P. 881)
member of the Board may, at any time, be
relieved for cause and substituted motu propio The Board of Canvassers must meet
by the COMELEC. (Sec. 227, B.P. 881) not later than 6:00 p.m. on election day to
receive the election returns and canvass those
COMELEC has the power to investigate received. The Board of Canvassers must meet
and act on the propriety or legality of the continuously from day to day until the canvass
canvass of election returns made by the board is completed. The Board of Canvassers may
of canvassers. adjourn ONLY for the purpose of awaiting other
election returns. When it adjourns, it shall
make a total of all votes canvassed so far for
Nature of the Board of Canvassers’ Duties
each candidate for each office furnishing the
COMELEC in Manila a certified copy and to
A canvassing board's task is to compile make available copies to the media and other
and add the results as they appear in the interested parties. The Board of Canvassers
election returns transmitted to it. (Guiao v. must resume canvassing once more returns
COMELEC, 137 SCRA 366) are received.

The COMELEC shall have direct control and The canvass proceedings must be open
supervision over the board of canvassers. and in public.

During the canvass, the Board of A majority vote of all the members of
Canvassers prepares the Statement of Voters, the Board of Canvassers is needed in order to
which is tabulation per precinct of the votes render a decision.
obtain by the candidates as reflected in the
election returns. It is this Statement of Votes Period to Complete Canvass
which forces the basis of the certificate of
canvass and of the proclamation. Subject to reasonable exceptions, the
Board of Canvassers is required to complete attempts to paralyze the canvassing and
their canvass within the following periods: proclamation.

To allow a respondent to raise belated


questions before the COMELEC as to the
legislative district: 36 hours returns during the review of a case before the
COMELEC, which question has not been raised
slative district: 48 hours before the board of canvassers, would mean
undue delays in the pre-proclamation
proceedings.

Any violation of this requirement is an The Supreme Court can review the
election offense. (Sec. 231, B.P. 881) decisions of COMELEC ONLY in cases of grave
abuse of discretion in the discharge of QUASI-
Canvassing Committees (Sec. 22, R.A. JUDICIAL POWERS and not in the exercise of
6646) its administrative duties.

The Board of Canvassers may Conclusiveness of findings


constitute such number of canvassing
committees as may be necessary for the board The findings of the board of canvassers
to complete the canvass within the period and the certificate of election issued by them
prescribed. are not conclusive but are merely PRIMA FACIE
evidence of the result and title to the office of
Each committee shall be composed of those declared elected.
3 members, each member to be designated by
the chairman and members of the board. As to all other collateral matters, the
Before the election, all candidates shall be findings of the board are conclusive. However,
notified in writing of the number of committees such findings are not conclusive in a direct
to be constituted so that they can designate proceeding to try title to the office.
their watchers in each committee.
The fact of having a plurality of votes
The committees shall be under the lawfully cast is what confers title to the office
direct supervision and control of the board. UNLESS one is allowed to go behind the
certificate or returns to establish title to the
Principles governing canvass proceedings office before the appropriate tribunal.

There must be a strong prima facie


case backed up by a specific offer of evidence,
and an indication of its nature and importance
has to be made out to warrant the reception of
evidence aliunde, for the presentation of
witnesses and the delays necessarily entailed
thereby.

When COMELEC has determined after


investigation and examination of the voting
and registration records that ACTUAL VOTING
and ELECTION took place in the questioned
precincts, election returns cannot be
disregarded but are accorded prima facie
status as bona fide reports of the result of
voting for canvassing and proclamation
purposes.

COMELEC should guard against


PROCLAMATION GRABBING and against
Duties of the Provincial, City, District and Municipal Board of Canvassers (Sec. 28, R.A. 7

BOC CANVASS PREPARE CERTIFICATE OF PROCLAIM


CANVASS

Municipal  President  President  Elected Municipal Officia


 Vice-President  Vice-President
 Senators  Senators
 Congressmen  Congressmen
 Elective Provincial Officials  Elective Provincial Officials
 Elective Municipal Officials

City – cities which don’t  President  President  Elected City Officials


comprise at least legislative  Vice-President  Vice-President
district
 Senators  Senators
 Congressmen  Congressmen
 Elective Provincial Officials  Elective Provincial Officials
 Elective City Officials

City – cities comprising 1 or  President  President  Congress-men


more legislative districts  Vice-President  Vice-President  Elected City Officials
 Senators  Senators
 Congressmen
 Elective City Officials

District BOC – for each  President  President  Congress-men


municipality in Metro Manila  Vice-President  Vice-President  Elected Municipal Officia
comprising a legislative district
 Senators  Senators
 Congressmen
 Elective Municipal Officials

Municipal BOC – for each  President  President  Elected Municipal Officia


component municipality in a  Vice-President  Vice-President
legislative district in Metro
Manila  Senators  Senators
 Congressmen  Congressmen
 Elective Municipal Officials

District BOC – in each  President  President  Elected Congressmen in


legislative district comprising 2  Vice-President  Vice-President Legislative District
municipalities in Metro Manila
 Senators  Senators
 Congressmen

Provincial  President  President  Elected congressmen


 Vice-President  Vice-President  Elected Provincial Officia
 Senators  Senators  Plebiscite Results
 Congressmen
 Elective Provincial Officials
 Plebiscite Results

Preparation of the Certificate of Canvass candidates who obtained the highest number
and Statement of Votes of votes cast in the province, city, municipality
or barangay. (Sec. 231, B.P. 881)
Certificate of canvass
Failure to comply with this requirement
The respective board of canvassers shall constitute an election offense.
shall prepare a certificate of canvass duly
signed and affixed with the imprint of the Statement of votes
thumb of the right hand of each member,
supported by a statement of the votes received The statement of votes is a tabulation
by each candidate in each polling place and, on per precinct of votes garnered by candidates
the basis thereof, shall proclaim as elected the as reflected in the election
returns; its preparation is an administrative supervision.
function of the board, purely a mechanical act
over which COMELEC has direct control and The Statement of Votes supports the
certificate of canvass and is the basis of 1st copy: Congress, directed to the
proclamation. Consequently, any error in the Senate President for use in the
Statement of Votes would affect the canvass of election results for
proclamation made on the basis thereof. President and Vice-President

Failure to object to the Statement of 2nd copy: COMELEC, for use in the
Votes before the Board of Canvassers does not canvass of the election results
constitute a bar to raising the issue for the first for Senators
time before the COMELEC, as the law is silent
as to when such objection may be raised. 3rd copy: To be kept by the chairman of
the board of canvassers
Number of Copies of the Certificates of
Canvass and Their Distribution (Sec. 29, 4th copy: Citizens' arm designated by the
R.A. 7166) COMELEC to conduct media-
based unofficial count
City or Municipal Board of Canvassers:
5th to 7th copies: Representatives of any
The City or Municipal Board of 3 of 6 major political parties
Canvassers shall prepare the certificates of according to the voluntary
canvass for President, Vice-President, agreement of the parties; if
Senators, Members of the House of there is no agreement,
Representatives, and Elective Provincial COMELEC shall decide based on
Officials in 7 copies to be distributed as the criteria under sec. 26 of RA
follows: 7166

1st copy: Provincial board of canvassers Congress as the National Board of


– for canvassing of election Canvassers
results for President, Vice-
President, Senators, Members (Sec. 30, R.A. 7166)
of the House of
Representatives and Elective Congress shall determine the
Provincial Officials authenticity and due execution of the
certificate of canvass for President and Vice
2nd copy: COMELEC President as accomplished and transmitted by
the local board of canvassers, on a showing
3rd copy: To be kept by the chairman of that:
the board of canvassers

4th copy: Citizens' arm designated by the


(1) Each certificate was executed, signed
COMELEC to conduct media- and thumb marked by the chairman
based unofficial count and members of the board of
canvassers and transmitted to
5th to 7th copies: Representatives of any Congress by them;
3 of 6 major political parties
according to the voluntary (2) Each certificate contains the names of
agreement of the parties; if all the candidates for President, Vice-
there is no agreement, President, and their corresponding
COMELEC shall decide based on votes in words and in figures; and
the criteria under sec. 26 of RA
7166 (3) There exists no discrepancy in other
authentic copies of the certificate or in
City Boards of Canvassers of cities the votes both in words and figures in
comprising one or more legislative the same certificate.
districts, Provincial Boards of Canvassers,
and District Boards of Canvassers in the Completion of the Certificate of Canvass
Metro Manila area:
If the certificate of canvass appears to
The foregoing Boards of Canvassers be incomplete, the Senate President shall
shall prepare the certificates of canvass for require the board of canvassers concerned to
President, Vice-President and Senators in 7 TRANSMIT (by personal delivery within 2 days
copies to be distributed as follows: from notice) the election returns from the
polling places that were not included in the
certificate of canvass and supporting Congress may validly delegate the
statements. preliminary determination of the authenticity
and due execution of the certificates of
When there appear erasures or canvass to a Joint Congressional Committee
alterations in the certificate of canvass which constituted under the Rules adopted by the
may cast doubt as to the veracity of the Joint Session of Congress.
number of votes stated therein and may affect
the result of the election, Congress shall, for Pimentel Jr. vs. Joint Committee of
the sole purpose of verifying the actual number Congress to Canvass the Votes Cast for
of votes, COUNT the votes as they appear in President and Vice President
the copies of the election returns submitted to
it, upon request of a presidential or vice- Even after Congress had adjourned its
presidential candidate or their party. (Sec. 30, regular session, it may continue to perform the
R.A. 7166) constitutional duty of canvassing the
presidential and vice-presidential election
Canvass of Votes for the President and results without need of any call for a special
Vice-President (Sec. 24, R.A. 8436) session by the President.

The certificates of canvass for PROCLAMATION


President and Vice-President shall be duly
certified by the board of canvassers of each Duties of Board of Canvassers
province or city.
After the canvass of election returns, in
The certificates of canvass for the absence of a perfected appeal to the
President and Vice-President shall be COMELEC, the Board of Canvassers shall
transmitted to Congress, directed to the proclaim the candidates who obtained the
Senate President. Upon receipt of the highest number of votes cast in the province,
certificates of canvass, the Senate President city, municipality or barangay, on the basis of
shall not later than 30 days after the day of the certificates of canvass. Failure to comply
the election OPEN all the certificates in the with this duty constitutes an election offense.
presence of the Senate and the House of (Sec. 231, B.P. 881)
Representatives in joint public session.
The Board of Canvassers shall not
Congress upon the determination of proclaim any candidate as winner unless
the authenticity and due execution thereof, authorized by the COMELEC after the latter has
shall canvass the votes. ruled on any objections brought to it on appeal
by a losing party. Any proclamation made in
The person having the highest number violation hereof shall be void ab initio, unless
of votes shall be proclaimed elected. In case 2 the contested returns will not adversely affect
or more persons shall have an equal and the results of the election.
highest number of votes, one of them shall be
chosen by vote of MAJORITY of all the Once the Board of Canvassers has
members of BOTH the Senate and the House of completed its duty, the board cannot meet
Representatives, voting separately. again and re-canvass the votes or reverse their
prior decision and announce different results.
(To be discussed in the last part of this
reviewer.) When proclamation void
Makalintal vs. Comelec A proclamation is void when it is based
on incomplete returns (Castromayor v.
The Overseas Absentee Voting Act of COMELEC, 250 SCRA 298) or when there is
2003 insofar as it grants sweeping authority to yet no complete canvass (Jamil v. COMELEC,
the Comelec to proclaim all winning G.R. No. 123648, Dec. 15, 1997).
candidates, is unconstitutional as it is
repugnant to sec 4 art VII of the Constitution, A void proclamation is no proclamation
which vests in Congress the authority to at all, and the proclaimed candidate’s
proclaim the winning Presidential and Vice assumption into office cannot deprive the
Presidential candidates. COMELEC of its power to annul the
proclamation.
Ruy Elias Lopez vs. Senate of the
Philippines Utto vs. Comelec (Gr 150111 Jan 31, 2002)
An incomplete canvass of votes is 8295)
illegal and cannot be made the basis of a
proclamation. A canvass cannot be reflective of Upon the expiration of the deadline for
the true vote of the electorate unless all the filing of certificates of candidacy in a
returns are considered and none is omitted. special election called to fill a vacancy in
an elective position other than for President
The fact that a candidate illegally and Vice-President, when there is only one (1)
proclaimed has assumed office is not a bar to qualified candidate for such position, the lone
the exercise by the Comelec of the authority to candidate shall be proclaimed elected to the
annul any canvass and proclamation illegally position by proper proclaiming body of the
made. COMELEC without holding the special election
upon certification by the COMELEC that he is
Where a proclamation is null and void, the only candidate for the office and is
the proclaimed candidate’s assumption of office therefore deemed elected. (Sec. 2)
cannot deprive the Comelec of the power to
declare such a proclamation a nullity. In the absence of any lawful ground to
deny due course or cancel the certificate of
Partial proclamation (Sec. 21, R.A. 7166) candidacy in order to prevent such
proclamation, as provided for under Sec. 69
Notwithstanding the pendency of any and 78 of the Omnibus Election Code, the lone
pre-proclamation controversy, the COMELEC candidate shall assume office not earlier than
may summarily order the proclamation of other the scheduled election day. (Sec. 3)
winning candidates whose election will not be
affected by the outcome of the controversy. The COMELEC shall decide petitions for
disqualification not later than election day.
Election Resulting in a Tie (Sec. 240, B.P. Otherwise, such petitions shall be deemed
881) dismissed. (Sec. 3)

A tie occurs when: MODES OF CHALLENGING CANDIDACY &


ELECTION RESULTS
(a) 2 or more candidates receive an
equal and highest number of votes; or

(b) 2 or more candidates are to be


NUISANCE CANDIDATES &
elected for the same position and 2 or
CANCELLATION OF CERTIFICATE OF
more candidates received the same
CANDIDACY
number of votes for the LAST PLACE in
the number to be elected.
Declaration of Nuisance Candidacy
The board of canvassers, by resolution,
upon 5 days notice to all tied candidates, shall (Sec. 5, R.A. 6646)
hold a special PUBLIC MEETING at which the
board shall proceed to the DRAWING OF LOTS Grounds for declaration of nuisance
of the candidates who have tied and shall candidacy
proclaim as elected the candidates who may be
favored by luck. See discussion under Certificate of Candidacy.

The candidates so proclaimed shall Nature of proceedings


have the right to assume office in the same
manner as if he had been elected by plurality Proceedings to have a candidate
of vote. declared as a nuisance candidate are summary
in nature. In lieu of oral testimonies, the
The board of canvassers shall forthwith parties may be required to submit position
make a certificate stating the name of the papers together with affidavits or counter-
candidate who had been favored by luck and affidavits and other documentary evidence.
his proclamation on the basis thereof.
Procedure for declaration of candidate as
Nothing in the above shall be nuisance candidate
construed as depriving a candidate of his right
to contest the election. WHAT FILED: Verified petition

Proclamation of a Lone Candidate (R.A. WHO MAY FILE: Any registered candidate for
the same office candidacy

WHEN FILED: Within 5 days from the last day A certificate of candidacy may be
for the filing of certificates of cancelled or denied due course on either of the
candidacy following grounds:

WHERE FILED: With the COMELEC (1) False material representation in the
certificate of candidacy;
PROCEDURE:
(2) Ifthe certificate filed is a substitute
(1) The petition is filed with the COMELEC Certificate of Candidacy, when it is
personally or through duly-authorized not a proper case of substitution
representative within 5 days from the under Sec. 77 of BP 881 (Sec. 2, Rule
last day for the filing of certificates of 24, COMELEC Rules of Procedure)
candidacy. Filing by mail is not allowed.
Nature of proceedings
(2) Within 3 days from the filing of the
petition, the COMELEC shall issue Proceedings for cancellation or denial
summons to the respondent candidate, of due course of a certificate of candidacy are
together with a copy of the petition and summary in nature.
its enclosures, if any.
Procedure
(3) The respondent shall then have 3 days
from receipt of the summons to file his WHO MAY FILE: Any citizen of voting age, or
verified answer (not a motion to A duly registered political
dismiss) to the petition, serving copy party, organization, or coalition
thereof upon the petitioner. Grounds for of political parties
a motion to dismiss may be raised as an
affirmative defense. WHEN FILED: Within 5 days from the last day
for the filing of certificates of
(4) The COMELEC may then designate any of candidacy
its officials who are lawyers to hear the
case and receive evidence. In lieu of oral WHERE FILED: With the Law Department of
testimonies, the parties may be required the COMELEC
to submit position papers together with
affidavits or counter-affidavits and other PRE-PROCLAMATION CONTROVERSIES
documentary evidence. The hearing
officer shall immediately submit to the
Meaning of Pre-Proclamation Controversy
COMELEC his findings, reports, and
recommendations within 5 days from the
completion of such submission of A pre-proclamation controversy refers
evidence. to any question or matter pertaining to or
affecting the proceedings of the board of
(5) The COMELEC shall then render its canvassers, or any matter raised under Sec.
decision within 5 days from receipt of the 233-236 of BP 881 in relation to the
findings of the hearing officer. This preparation, transmission, receipt, custody and
decision shall be disseminated by the appreciation of the election returns. (Sec.
COMELEC to the city or municipal 241, BP 881)
election registrars, boards of election
inspectors, and the general public in the The institution of the pre-proclamation
political subdivision concerned within 24 controversy was intended to prevent the
hours through the fastest available nefarious practice known as “grab-the-
means. proclamation, prolong-the-protest”.

(6) After 5 days from receipt of the parties, Jurisdiction


the decision becomes final and executory
unless stayed by the Supreme Court. The COMELEC has exclusive jurisdiction
over pre-proclamation cases. It may order,
Cancellation of Certificate of Candidacy motu propio or upon written petition, the
partial or total suspension of the proclamation
Grounds for cancellation of certificate of of any candidate-elect or annul partially or
totally any proclamation, if one has been
made. (Sec. 242, BP 881) the elections on the basis of the canvass. It
may well be true that the public policy may
Olfato vs. Comelec ( 103 SCRA 741) occasionally permit the occurrence of grab the
proclamation and prolong the protest
While the Comelec has merely situations; that public policy however, balances
appellate jurisdiction over election contests the possibility of such situations against the
involving municipal offices, it cannot be shortening of the period during which no
deprived of its exclusive jurisdiction over pre- winners are proclaimed, a period commonly
proclamation contests. fraught with tension and danger for the public.
For those who disagree with the policy, the
It is immaterial if some of the grounds recourse is with the legislature.
adduced are grounds for an election contest
rather than for a pre-proclamation controversy. The mandatory requirement to comply
with the procedure for a pre-proclamation
When not allowed controversy is in view of the policy to have a
quick determination of the election results.
Pre-proclamation controversies on
matters relating to the preparation, Manifest errors
transmission, receipt, custody and appreciation
of the election returns or the certificates of The Comelec may entertain petitions for the
canvass, are not allowed for the following correction of “manifest errors” in the Certificate
positions: of Canvass or in the election returns.

• President To be “manifest”, the errors must appear on


• Vice President the face of the Certificates of Canvass or
election returns sought to be corrected, and
• Senator
objections thereto must have been made
• Member of the House of before the Board of Canvassers and specifically
Representatives (Sec. 15, R.A. 7166) noted in the minutes of their respective
proceedings (Chavez vs. Comelec 211 SCRA
However, this does not preclude the 315)
authority of the appropriate canvassing body
motu propio or upon written complaint of an A “manifest error” is one that is visible to
interested person to correct manifest errors in the eye or obvious to the understanding; that
the certificate of canvass or election returns which is open, palpable, incontrovertible,
before it. needing no evidence to make it more clear.
( O’Hara vs. Comelec GR no. 148941-42 Mar
Nature of proceedings 12, 2002)

All pre-proclamation controversies shall Bince vs. Comelec


be heard summarily by the COMELEC after due
notice and hearing. This is because canvass A petition for correction of errors in the
and proclamation should be delayed as little as Certificate of Canvass may be filed at any time
possible. Questions which require more before proclamation.
deliberate and necessarily longer consideration
are left for examination in the corresponding Torres vs. Comelec
election protest. (Sison v. COMELEC, G.R. No.
134096. March 3, 1999) Although the provision applies to a pre-
proclamation controversy, there is nothing to
Parties adversely affected by a ruling of the prevent its application to cases in which the
board of canvassers on questions affecting the validity of the proclamation is in question.
composition or proceedings of the board may
appeal the matter to the Commission with 3 Since the Statement of Votes is the
days from a ruling thereon. The Commission basis of the Certificate of Canvass and of the
shall summarily decide the case within 5 days proclamation, any error in the Statement
from the filling thereof ( Sec 19 RA 7166) affects the validity of the proclamation.

Dimaporo v. COMELEC Ramirez vs. Comelec

The policy behind limiting the issues of Corrections should be made by


the pre-proclamation controversy is to inserting the corrections in the Statement of
determine as quickly as possible the results of Votes or by preparing a new Statement of
Votes incorporating the corrections. determining that the ballot box has not been
tampered with. The failure of the Comelec to
do so, after excluding the return, will result in
Pre-proclamation Cases of Actions for the disenfranchisement of the voters in the
cases Annulment of particular precinct.
Election Results
or Declaration of Neither can the Certificate of Votes be used for
Failure of Elections the canvass because it was signed only by the
Restricted to an Comelec may Chairman.
examination of the conduct technical
lection returns on examination of (3) The election returns were:
their face. election documents
and compare and • prepared under duress, threats,
Without jurisdiction analyze voters’ coercion, intimidation or
to go beyond or signatures and • obviously manufactured or not authentic
behind elections fingerprints in order to
returns and determine whether or Lagumbay v. Comelec (16 SCRA 175),
investigate election not the elections had
irregularities indeed been free, The Supreme Court empowered the
honest and clean Commission on Elections to nullify certain
contested returns on the ground of
Lee vs. Comelec "statistical improbabilities", when WE
sustained the authority of the Commission to
Where there is a prima facie showing examine voting records, the number of ballots
that the return is not genuine, the principle and the number of votes reportedly cast and
that in pre-proclamation cases, the Comelec is tallied for each and every candidate, when the
without jurisdiction to go beyond or behind the returns are obviously false or fabricated. In
election returns and investigate irregularities, said case, WE, adopted "a practical approach
does not apply. to the Commissions mission to insure a free
and honest elections" by denying prima facie
Issues that may be Raised recognition to the election returns on the
ground that they were manifestly
manufactured or falsified.
(1) Illegal composition or proceedings of the
board of election canvassers
(4) Substituted or fraudulent returns in
controverted polling places were
Laodeno vs. Comelec ( 276 SCRA 705)
canvassed, the results of which
materially affected the standing of the
By participating in the proceedings, the
aggrieved candidate(s).
petitioner is deemed to have acquiesced in the
composition of the Board of Canvassers.
(5) Manifest errors in the Certificates of
Canvass or Election Returns (Sec. 15,
(2) Canvassed election returns are either:
R.A. 7166; Chavez v. COMELEC, 211
SCRA 315)
• incomplete
• contain material defects
It must be noted that this enumeration
• appear to be tampered with or falsified
is restrictive and exclusive. The complete
• contain discrepancies in the same
election returns whose authenticity is not
returns or in other authentic copies
questioned must be prima facie considered
valid for purposes of canvass and
Patoray vs. Comelec (249 SCRA 440)
proclamation. To allow a re-count or a re-
appreciation of the votes in every instance
It is an error for the Comelec to
would paralyze canvass and proclamation.
exclude from the canvass election returns
where the defect in the return refers only to
some incomplete data. Issues that cannot be raised

Where the Certificate of Votes shows Jurisprudence has held that the
tampering, alteration and falsification, or any following issues are not proper in a pre-
other anomaly in the preparation of the proclamation controversy:
election return, the Comelec should order a
recount of the votes cast in the precinct, after • Appreciation of ballots, as this is
performed by the Board of Election sit as such is objected to if it
Inspectors at the precinct level and is comes after the canvassing of
not part of the proceedings of the the board, or immediately at the
Board of Canvassers (Sanchez v. point where the proceedings are
COMELEC, 153 SCRA 67, reiterated in or begin to be illegal. Otherwise,
Chavez v. COMELEC, 211 SCRA 315); by participating in the
proceedings, the petitioner is
• Technical examination of the deemed to have acquiesced in
signatures and thumb marks of the composition of the Board of
voters (Balindong v. COMELEC, 260 Canvassers.
SCRA 494; Matalam v. COMELEC,
271 SCRA 733); (b) If the petition is for correction,
it must be filed not later than 5
• Prayer for re-opening of ballot boxes days following the date of
proclamation, and must implead
(Alfonso v. COMELEC, G.R. No.
all candidates who may be
107847, June 2, 1994);
adversely affected thereby.
(Sec. 5(b), Rule 27, COMELEC
• Padding of the Registry List of Voters Rules of Procedure)
of a municipality, massive fraud and
terrorism (Ututalum v. COMELEC, PROCEDURE:
181 SCRA 335);
If filed with the Board first:
• Challenges directed against the Board
of Election Inspectors (Ututalum v. (1) Petitioner submits his / her
COMELEC, supra) objection to the chairman of the
board of canvassers.
• Fraud, terrorism and other illegal
(2) The Board makes its ruling.
electoral practices. These are
properly within the office of election
(3) Within 3 days from the ruling, the
contests over which electoral
parties adversely affected may
tribunals have sole, exclusive
appeal the matter to the COMELEC.
jurisdiction. (Loong v. COMELEC)

(4) Upon appeal, the COMELEC shall


Procedure summarily decide the case within 5
days from the filing thereof. (Sec.
19, R.A. 7166)
The procedure for filing a pre-
proclamation controversy depends on the
If initiated directly with the COMELEC:
issue being raised:
(1) Petitioner files petition with the
(a) Questions involving the composition or
COMELEC.
proceedings of the board of
canvassers, or correction of manifest
(2) Upon the docketing of such
errors
petition, the Clerk of Court
concerned shall issue summons
WHERE: The controversy may be initiated
with a copy of the petition to
either in the Board of Canvassers
respondents.
or directly with the COMELEC.
(Sec. 17, R.A. 7166)
(3) The Clerk of Court concerned shall
WHEN: It depends: immediately set the petition for
hearing. The COMELEC shall hear
and decide the petition en banc.
(a) If petition involves the illegal
composition or proceedings of
The Board of Canvassers shall not
the board, it must be filed
commence, proceed or resume canvass unless
immediately when the board
otherwise ordered by the COMELEC. (Sec. 5,
begins to act as such (Laodeno
Rule 27, COMELEC Rules of Procedure)
v. COMELEC, 276 SCRA 705), or
at the time of the appointment of
(b) Matters relating to the preparation,
the member whose capacity to
transmission, receipt, custody and on the objection. The Board then
appreciation of the election returns enters its ruling on the prescribed
and certificates of canvass form and authenticates the same
by entering the signatures of all its
WHERE: Only with the Board of members.
Canvassers
(6) The parties adversely affected by
WHEN: At the time the questioned the ruling immediately inform the
return is presented for Board if they intend to appeal the
inclusion in the canvass. ruling. Such information is then
entered in the minutes of canvass.
WHO: Any candidate, political party
or coalition of political parties (7) The Board then sets aside the
returns and proceeds to consider
PROCEDURE: the other returns. The Board then
suspends the canvass after all the
(1) The contesting party makes an oral uncontested returns have been
objection to the chairman of the canvassed and the contested return
Board of Canvassers at the time the ruled upon by it.
questioned return is presented for
inclusion in the canvass. Such (8) Within 48 hours from the ruling, the
objection is recorded in the minutes party adversely affected files a
of canvass. Simultaneous with the written and verified notice of appeal
oral objection, the objecting party with the Board. The party then
enters his objection in the form for files an appeal with the COMELEC
written objections prescribed by the within a non-extendible period of 5
COMELEC. days thereafter.

(2) Upon receipt of such objection, the (9) Immediately upon receipt of the
Board automatically defers the notice of appeal, the Board makes
canvass of the contested returns an appropriate report to the
and proceeds to canvass the COMELEC, elevating therewith the
returns which are not contested by complete records and evidence
any party. submitted in the canvass, and
furnishing the parties with copies of
(3) Within 24 hours from and after the the report.
presentation of such objection, the
objecting party submits the (10) The COMELEC summarily decides
evidence in support of the the appeal within 7 days from
objection, which shall be attached receipt of the record and evidence
to the form for written objections. elevated to it by the Board.

Within the same 24-hour period, (11) The COMELEC's decision becomes
any party may file a written and executory after the lapse of 7 days
verified opposition to the objection from receipt thereof by the losing
in the prescribed COMELEC form, party.
attaching supporting evidence, if
any. The Board shall not entertain (12) The COMELEC then authorizes the
any objection or opposition unless Board of Canvassers to proceed
reduced to writing in the prescribed with the proclamation of the
forms. winner. Any proclamation made
without COMELEC authorization is
(4) The Board chairman immediately void ab initio, unless the contested
and formally admits the evidence returns do not adversely affect the
attached to the objection or results of the election. (Sec. 20,
opposition by affixing his signature R.A. 7166)
at the back of each and every page
thereof. This procedure is mandatory. Non-
compliance with any of the steps above is fatal
(5) Upon receipt of the evidence, the to the pre-proclamation petition.
Board considers the objection and
the opposition, and summarily rules
Effect of filing of pre-proclamation The dismissal of a pre-proclamation
controversy controversy does not mean that the
disqualification case is moot and academic.
The period to file an election contest The two are independent of each other. The
shall be SUSPENDED during the pendency of purpose of the pre-proclamation controversy is
the pre-proclamation contest in the COMELEC to ascertain the winners in the elections on the
or the Supreme Court. (Alangdeo v. basis of election returns duly authenticated by
COMELEC, June 1989) the board of inspectors and admitted by the
board of canvassers. The purpose of the
The right of the prevailing party in the disqualification proceeding is to prevent the
pre-proclamation contest to the execution of candidate from running, or if elected, from
COMELEC’s decision does not bar the losing serving, or to prosecute him for violation of
party from filing an election contest. election laws. The mere fact that a candidate
has been proclaimed does not signify that his
Despite the pendency of a pre- disqualification is deemed condoned and may
proclamation contest, the COMELEC may order no longer be the subject of a separate
the proclamation of other winning candidates investigation.
whose election will not be affected by the
outcome of the controversy. Agbayani v. COMELEC

The proclamation of a winning


Effect of proclamation of winning
candidate makes a pre-proclamation
candidate
controversy no longer viable. The remedy is
an election protest, but this is only true where
A pre-proclamation controversy shall there is a valid proclamation or where the
no longer be viable after the proclamation and proclamation is based on a complete canvass.
assumption into office by the candidate whose Where it is claimed that there was an
election is contested. The remedy is an incomplete canvass or that certain returns
election protest before the proper forum. should have been omitted because they were
(Mayor v. COMELEC, January 1989) manufactured and other returns cannot be
included because they have been irretrievably
The prevailing candidate may still be lost, the pre-proclamation controversy should
unseated even though he has been proclaimed still be continued despite the proclamation of
and installed in office if: the supposed winner. COMELEC may in such a
pre-proclamation controversy determine if the
1. The opponent is adjudged the true proclamation should be annulled.
winner of the election by final
judgment of court in an election The proclamation of the winner does
contest; not prevent COMELEC from continuing with the
pre-proclamation controversy against the
2. The prevailing party is declared winner and after annulling its proclamation.
ineligible or disqualified by final
judgment of a court in a QUO
PETITION TO ANNUL OR SUSPEND
WARRANTO case; or
PROCLAMATION
3. The incumbent is removed from
office for cause. The filing with the COMELEC of a
petition to annul or to suspend proclamation
Abella v. Larrazabal suspends the running of the period to file an
election protest. (Alangdeo v. COMELEC, June
Pre-proclamation controversies are 1989)
summary in nature. The policy behind election
law is that pre-proclamation controversies No law provides for a reglementary
should be summarily decided, consistent with period within which to file a petition for the
the law’s desire that the canvass and annulment of an election if there is as yet no
proclamation be delayed as little as possible. proclamation. (Loong v. COMELEC, 257 SCRA
Thus, questions as to the appreciation of 1)
ballots and the conduct of the campaign and
balloting, which require more deliberate and There is no fixed time frame within
necessarily longer consideration are proper for which to file a petition to annul a proclamation,
an election contest. the same being limited only by the standard of
reasonableness.
DECLARATION OF FAILURE OF ELECTION (1) Petitioner files verified petition with the
Law Department of the COMELEC.
Nature of petition to declare a failure of
(2) Unless a shorter period is deemed
election
necessary by circumstances, within 24
hours, the Clerk of Court concerned
A petition to declare a failure of serves notices to all interested parties,
election is neither an election protest nor a indicating therein the date of hearing,
pre-proclamation controversy. (Borja v. through the fastest means available.
COMELEC, 260 SCRA 604)
(3) Unless a shorter period is deemed
Grounds for declaration necessary by the circumstances, within
2 days from receipt of the notice of
See discussion under Election Proper. hearing, any interested party may file
an opposition with the Law Department
Jurisdiction of COMELEC of the COMELEC.

(4) The COMELEC proceeds to hear the


The COMELEC, sitting en banc, may
petition. The COMELEC may delegate
declare a failure of election by a majority vote
the hearing of the case and the
of its members. (Sec. 4, R.A. 71660
reception of evidence to any of its
officials who are members of the
The COMELEC, in the case of actions for
Philippine Bar.
annulment of election results or declaration of
failure of elections, may conduct technical
(5) The COMELEC then decides whether to
examination of election documents and
grant or deny the petition. This lies
compare and analyze voters' signatures and
within the exclusive prerogative of the
fingerprints in order to determine whether or
COMELEC.
not the elections had indeed been free, honest
and clean. (Loong v. COMELEC, supra)
DISQUALIFICATION CASES
Requisites for the declaration of failure of
election Grounds for disqualification

Before the COMELEC can act on a See discussion under Certificates of Candidacy.
verified petition seeking a declaration of failure
of election, the following conditions must Priority of disqualification cases
concur:
The COMELEC and the courts shall give
(1) No voting has taken place in the priority to cases of disqualification for violation
precincts concerned on the date of the Omnibus Election Code, to the end that
fixed by law, or even if there was a final decision shall be rendered not later than
voting, the election nonetheless 7 days before the election in which the
resulted in a failure to elect; and disqualification is sought. (Sec. 72, BP 881)

(2) The votes cast would affect the Procedure


results of the election. (Mitmug v.
COMELEC, 230 SCRA 54; Loong v. WHO MAY FILE: Any citizen of voting age, or
COMELEC, supra; Hassan v. Any duly registered political
COMELEC, 264 SCRA 125) party, organization or
coalition of political parties
The election is only to be set aside
when it is impossible from any evidence within WHERE: Law Department of the COMELEC
reach to ascertain the true result – when
neither from the returns nor from other proof WHEN: Any day after the last day for filing of
can the truth be determined (i.e. where the certificates of candidacy, but
illegality affects more than 50% of the total not later than the date of
number of votes cast and the remainder does proclamation
not constitute a valid constituency).
Effect of disqualification case
Procedure
claim of misdeclaration of stray votes
Any candidate who has been declared is made would open the floodgates to
by final judgment to be disqualified shall not such claims and paralyze canvass and
be voted for, and the votes cast for him shall proclamation proceedings, given the
not be counted. propensity for the loser to demand a
recount. The policy of the law is that a
If for any reason a candidate is not pre-proclamation controversy should
disqualified before an election and he is be summarily decided.
subsequently voted for and receives the e) The ground for recount relied upon is
winning number of votes in such election, the clearly not among the issues that may
COMELEC or the courts shall continue with the be raised in a pre-proclamation
trial and hearing of the action, inquiry, or controversy. His allegation of
protest and may order the suspension of the invalidation of “Sanchez” votes
proclamation of such candidate during the intended for him bears no relation to
pendency of the case upon motion of the the correctness and authenticity of the
complainant or any intervenor, provided that election returns canvassed.
evidence of his guilt is strong. (Sec. 6, R.A.
6646) Patoray vs Comelec (279 SCRA 470)

The fact that the candidate who Objections to the inclusion of election
obtained the highest number of votes is later returns are directed primarily at the ballots
declared to be disqualified or not eligible for reflected in the returns, this involves
the office to which he was elected, does not appreciation of ballots and cannot be raised in
necessarily entitle the candidate who obtained an election protest.
the second highest number of votes to be
declared the winner of the elective office. Balindong vs Comelec (260 SCRA 494)

Sanchez vs Comelec (153 SCRA 67) Technical examination of signatures


and thumb marks of voters runs counter to the
Supreme Court said Sanchez’ petition nature and scope of a pre-proclamation
for recount and/or re-appreciation of ballots contest; the remedy is to raise these issues in
may NOT be considered a pre-proclamation an election protest.
controversy for the ff. reasons:
Alfonso vs Comelec (June 2, 1994)
a) An election return is “incomplete” if
there is an omission in the election The prayer for re-opening of ballot
return of the name of any candidate boxes is not a proper issue in a pre-
and/or his corresponding votes, or in proclamation controversy but should be
case the number of votes for a threshed out in an election contest
candidate had been omitted. Here, the
name of Sanchez as well as the Villaroya vs Comelec (155 SCRA 633)
number of votes counted and
appreciated in his favor by the BEI. In a pre-proclamation contest, the
Errors in appreciation of ballots by the Comelec may order the correction of a clerical
BEI are proper subject for an election error in the Statement of Votes (by Board of
protest and not for a pre-proclamation Canvassers) to correspond to the figures
contest. reflected in the election returns—even if the
b) Appreciation of votes is not part of the candidate/ representative failed to file the
proceedings of the Board of timely protest during canvassing, as the error
Canvassers, it is performed by the BEI in the Statement of Votes was not apparent on
at the precinct level. its face.
c) Enumeration of issues which may be
raised in a pre-proclamation Duremdes vs Comelec (178 SCRA 746)
controversy under sec. 243 BP 881 is
restrictive and exclusive. The complete Failure to object to the Statement of
election returns whose authenticity is Votes before the Board of Canvassers is not a
not in question must be prima facie bar to raising the issue before the Comelec for
considered valid for the purpose of the first time; the law is silent as to when they
canvass and proclamation. may be raised.
d) To expand the issues beyond those
enumerated in sec. 243 and allow Castromayor vs Comelec (250 SCRA 298)
recount or re-appreciation where a
Any party dissatisfied with the ruling of
the BoC shall have the right to appeal to the Mayor vs Comelec (Jan. 1989)
Comelec. Since the Statement of Votes which
was to be corrected by the Board forms the After proclamation and assumption of
basis of the Certificate if Canvass and the office, the proper remedy is an election
proclamation, petitioner begs the question by protest, not a pre-proclamation controversy.
saying that this is not a pre-proclamation
controversy and the procedure for PPC cannot ELECTION CONTESTS
be applied to the correction of the computation
of the total number of votes obtained by the
Election contests, defined
candidates in the Statement of Votes.

Mentang vs Comelec (Feb. 4, 1994) These are adversarial proceedings by


which matters involving the title or claim to an
The SC declared it has already ruled elective office, made before or after
that the filing of a petition to annul a proclamation of the winner, is settled whether
proclamation suspends the running of the 10- or not the contestant is claiming the office in
day period within which to file an election dispute. The purpose of an election contest is
contest, provided that the allegations, which to ascertain the candidate lawfully elected to
when proved, will render the proclamation null office.
and void. Such petition may be filed directly
with the Comelec even as a pre-proclamation Nature of election contests
controversy, provided it is done within ten
days after proclamation An election contest is imbued with
public interest.
Bince vs Comelec (242 SCRA 273)
The election contest must be liberally
Comelec may annul a proclamation on account construed to favor the will of the people. An
of a mathematical error committed by the election contest may not be defeated by mere
Board of Canvassers in the computation of technical objections.
votes received. Petition for correction may be
filed at any time before proclamation and there Until and unless the election protest is
is nothing to suggest this cannot be applied decided against him, a person who has been
when validity of proclamation is precisely in proclaimed as duly elected has the lawful right
question. to assume and perform the duties and
functions of the office.
Ututalum vs Comelec (181 S 335)
Distinction between Pre-Proclamation
Padding of Registry of Voters of a Controversy and Election Contest
municipality not a listed ground for pre-
proclamation controversy
1) The Dividing line: Proclamation of
candidate
Lazatin vs Comelec (157 SCRA 337)
2) Jurisdiction
Issue of validity of proclamation and
irregularities connected therewith is a matter
A. Pre-proclamation controversy
properly addressed to the HRET.
1.The jurisdiction of COMELEC is
Darantinao vs Comelec (June 1989)
administrative/quasi-judicial
Comelec has the power to inquire
2.It is governed by the requirements
whether members of the Board of Canvassers
of administrative due process
are qualified or not, whether or not an election
had been held in a precinct, in order to
B. Election contest
determine the integrity of the election returns
1.The jurisdiction of COMELEC is
Alangdeo vs Comelec (June 1989)
judicial
The filing with the Comelec of a
2.It is governed by the
petition to annul or suspend the proclamation
requirements of judicial process
shall suspend the period to file an election
protest.
3) In some cases, even if the case (involving jurisdiction (i.e., Regional Trial Courts) or
municipal officials) began with the involving elective barangay officials decided by
COMELEC before proclamation but a trial courts of limited jurisdiction (i.e., the
proclamation is made before the Municipal Trial Courts).
controversy is resolved, it ceases to be a
pre-proclamation controversy and becomes Decisions, final orders, or rulings of the
an election contest cognizable by the RTC. COMELEC on election contests involving
elective municipal and barangay offices shall
4) However, in some cases, the SC has be final, executory and not appealable. (Sec.
recognized the jurisdiction of COMELEC 2, Art. IX-C, 1987 Constitution) Note,
over municipal cases even after however, that this does not preclude a
proclamation. recourse to the Supreme Court by way of a
special civil action for certiorari. (Galido v.
Jurisdiction over election contests COMELEC, 193 SCFA 78)

Supreme Court Regional and Municipal Trial Courts

The Supreme Court, sitting en banc, The Regional Trial Courts and Municipal
shall be the sole judge of all contests relating Trial Courts have exclusive original jurisdiction
to the election, returns, and disqualifications of over municipal and barangay officials,
the President, Vice-President, and may respectively.
promulgate its rules for such purpose. (Art.
VII, Sec. 4, 1987 Constitution) It must be noted that cases involving
qualifications of candidates for the
Electoral Tribunals of the Senate and Sangguniang Kabataan filed before the election
House of Representatives are decided by the Election Officer, while those
filed after the election are decided by the
The Senate and the House of MTCs. (Nachura, p. 389)
Representatives have their own electoral
tribunals. Each electoral tribunal has 9 Powers of the COMELEC in relation to
members: 3 Supreme Court Justices, 6 election contests
members of the Senate or House of
Representatives, as the case may be, who shall The power of COMELEC to decide
be chosen on the basis of proportional election cases includes the power to determine
representation from the political parties and the validity or nullity of votes.
the parties or organizations registered under
the party-list system represented therein. The COMELEC has the power to issue
(Art. VI, Sec. 17, 1987 Constitution) writs of certiorari, prohibition, and mandamus.
However, this power can only be exercised in
For purposes of election contests aid of its appellate jurisdiction. (Relampagos v.
cognizable by the Electoral Tribunals, the rules Cumba, 243 SCRA 690)
of procedure of such tribunals shall prevail
over the provisions of the Omnibus Election Kinds of election contests
Code. (Lazatin v. HRET, 168 SCRA 39)
There are 2 kinds of election contests
COMELEC that may be filed: an election protest, and a
quo warranto case.
The COMELEC has exclusive original
jurisdiction over all election contests relating to Election Protest
the elections, returns, and qualifications of all
elective: WHO MAY FILE:
(1) Regional Officials; Any candidate who has filed a certificate
(2) Provincial Officials; and of candidacy and has been voted upon for
(3) City Officials the same office, and who has not himself
caused or contributed to the irregularities
Decisions in these cases may be or frauds of which he complains
appealed to the Supreme Court.
GROUNDS:
The COMELEC has appellate jurisdiction
over all contests involving elective municipal Fraud, terrorism, irregularities or illegal
officials decided by trial courts of general
acts committed before, during or after the
casting and counting of votes (6) After the case has been submitted for
decision, the COMELEC shall render its
PERIOD FOR FILING: decision. If the case is being heard by a
Division, the case shall be decided within
Within 10 days from proclamation of the 10 days. If it is being heard by the
results of the election COMELEC en banc, it shall be decided
within 30 days.
Where, after 5 days from the
proclamation of the winning candidate, (7) The decision of a division becomes final
the loser files a motion for reconsideration and executory after the lapse of 15 days
in the pre-proclamation controversy, there following its promulgation. The aggrieved
are only 5 days which remain of the party may file a timely motion for
period within which to file an election reconsideration within 5 days from
protest. (Roquero v. COMELEC, 289 promulgation of the decision on the
SCRA 150) grounds that the evidence is insufficient to
justify the decision; or that the said
PROCEDURE: decision is contrary to law.

A. For protests filed with the For the COMELEC en banc, the decision
COMELEC (Rule 20 vis-à-vis becomes final and executory 30 days from
Rules 10-19, COMELEC Rules of its promulgation.
Procedure)
Veloria vs Comelec (211 SCRA 907)
(1) Protestant files a verified petition with the
COMELEC within 10 days from A motion for the reconsideration of the
proclamation and pays the required docket RTC decision is a prohibited pleading and does
fees. Failure to pay the basic docket fee not interrupt the 5-day period for appeal.
will result in the dismissal of the protest.
(Gatchalian v. COMELEC, 245 SCRA 208) Garcia vs. De Jesus (206 SCRA 779)

(2) The Clerk of Court of the COMELEC or the But the Comelec cannot deprive the
division concerned issues the RTC of its competence to order execution of its
corresponding summons to the protestee decision pending appeal, this being a judicial
within 3 days from the filing of the petition. prerogative and there being no law not
authorizing the same; besides, the Comelec
(3) Protestee must file an answer within 5 rules would deprive the prevailing party of a
days from service of summons and a copy substantial right to move for such relief.
of the petition. The protestee may
incorporate in his answer a counter-protest Relampagos vs. Cumba (243 SCRA 502)
or counterclaim.
In the exercise of its exclusive
The COMELEC may not entertain a appellate jurisdiction, the Comelec has the
counter-protest filed beyond the power to issue writs of prohibition, mandamus
reglementary period to file the same. (Kho or certiorari, because the last par. of sec. 50
v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 124033, Sept. 25, BP 697 is still in full force and effect and has
1997) not been repealed nor amended by BP 881.
(abandons Veloria and Garcia)
(4) Protestant has 5 days from receipt of the
answer or answer with counterclaim or Galido vs. Comelec (193 SCRA 78)
counter-protest to file his reply or answer
to counter-protest or counterclaim, The fact that decisions, final orders or
respectively. rulings of the Comelec in appealed cases
involving elective municipal and barangay
If no answer is filed to the protest or officials are final, executory and unappealable
counter-protest, a general denial is does not preclude a recourse to the Supreme
deemed to have been entered. Court by way of a special civil action for
certiorari. (But only when Comelec’s factual
(5) After the issues have been joined, the case determination is marred by grave abuse of
shall be set for hearing and presentation discretion = Alvarez vs. Comelec)
and reception of evidence.
Puzon vs. HRET (Feb. 1989)
case, that none of them has been legally
The Supreme Court declared the elected.
review of a decision of the Electoral Tribunal is
possible only in the exercise of supervisory or (8) The decision becomes final 5 days after its
extraordinary jurisdiction, and only upon promulgation. No motion for
showing that the Tribunal’s error results from a reconsideration shall be entertained.
whimsical, capricious, unwarranted, arbitrary Should an aggrieved party wish to appeal
or despotic exercise of power. the decision to the COMELEC, he may do
so by filing a notice of appeal within 5 days
Lazatin vs. HRET (168 SCRA 391) from promulgation of the decision.

For purposes of election contests EFFECT OF DEATH OF PROTESTANT


cognizable by the Electoral Tribunal, the HRET
rules of procedure shall prevail over the The death of the protestant does not
provisions of the Omnibus Election Code. extinguish an election protest. An election
protest is imbued with public interest which
B. For protests filed with the Regional raises it onto a plane over and above ordinary
Trial Courts (Rule 35, COMELEC civil actions, because it involves not only the
Rules of Procedure) adjudication of the private interest of the rival
candidates but also the paramount need of
(1) Protestant files a verified petition with the dispelling once and for all the uncertainty that
RTC within 10 days from proclamation. beclouds the real choice of the electorate with
respect to who shall discharge the prerogatives
(2) Protestee must file an answer within 5 of the office within their gift. (De Castro v.
days after receipt of notice of the filing of COMELEC, 267 SCRA 806)
the petition and a copy of the petition.
However, it is not the heirs of the
Should the protestee desire to impugn the deceased who shall be the successors-in-
votes received by the protestant in other interest to the suit, but the succeeding
precincts, he may file a verified counter- candidate-elect. For example, if the deceased
protest within the same period fixed for the was a candidate for governor, the real party in
filing of the answer. interest in the continuation of the proceedings
is the Vice-Governor-elect, as he or she will
(3) Protestant has 5 days from receipt of the succeed in the event that the protestant is
counter-protest to file his answer to such declared to be the person lawfully elected to
counter-protest. the office.

(4) Any other candidate for the same office Arao vs. Comelec (210 SCRA 290)
may intervene in the case within 5 days
from filing of the protest by filing a verified Failure of protestant to raise the
petition-in-intervention. The protestant or question of identical handwriting or of
protestee shall answer the protest-in- impugning the validity of the ballots on that
intervention within 5 days after notice. ground does not preclude the Comelec from
rejecting the ballots. Unlike an ordinary suit,
(5) If no answer is filed to the protest, an election protest is a public concern. The
counter-protest or protest-in-intervention rights of the contending parties must yield to
within the specified time limits, a general the far greater interest of the citizens in
denial is deemed to have been entered. upholding the sanctity of the ballot. Thus, the
Comelec simply cannot close its eyes to the
(6) After the issues have been joined, the case illegality of the ballots even if the protestant
shall be set for hearing. Presentation and omitted to raise the ground in his protest.
reception of evidence shall be completed
within 30 days from the date of the Emi vs. Comelec (243 SCRA 706)
commencement thereof.
The Court upheld the authority of the
(7) The Court shall decide the election contest Comelec to determine whether ballots had
within 30 days from the date it is been written by one or two persons, or in
submitted for decision, but in every case groups written by only one hand, without need
within 6 months after its filing. Such of calling for the services of handwriting
decision shall declare who among the experts, this investigation being more in the
parties has been elected, or in a proper nature of an internal process
Bulaong vs Comelec (220 SCRA 745) Sampayan vs. Daza (213 SCRA 807)

An order regarding the revision of Petition for prohibition filed by


ballots is an interlocutory order because it still residents of N. Samar in the Supreme Court
requires a party to perform certain acts leading against Cong. Daza dismissed:
to the final adjudication of the case
1) because case already moot and
Miriam Defensor Santiago vs. Fidel Valdez academic, Daza’s term to end in June
Ramos (253 SCRA 599) 30, 1992
2) SC without jurisdiction, HRET proper
Election protest filed by Santiago forum as sole judge of all contests
rendered moot and academic by the election of relating to the election, returns and
Santiago as a Senator in the May 1995 qualifications of House of Rep.
elections and assumption of office, thus members
effectively considered as having abandoned or 3) As a de facto officer, Daza cannot be
withdrawn her protest or at the very least, in made to reimburse funds disbursed
the language of Moraleja v Relova, abandoned during his term of office, bec. his acts
her “determination to protect and pursue the are valid.
public interest involved on who is the real
choice of the electorate.” Frivaldo vs. Comelec (174 SCRA 245)

Gatchalian vs Comelec (245 SCRA 208) Since Frivaldo’s copy of certificate of


naturalization obtained only in Sept. 1988, the
The period for filing an election protest petition for disqualification may still be
is suspended during the pendency of a pre- considered as having been seasonably filed
proclamation controversy. even if filed more than seven months from the
proclamation.
The protestant has to pay a docket fee
of P300.00 and an additional docket fee if
Award of damages
there is a claim for damages. For failure to pay
the basic docket fee, the protest should be
dismissed. Actual or compensatory damages may
be granted in all election contests or in quo
Poe vs. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (PET Case warranto proceedings in accordance with law.
No. 002, March 29, 2005) (Sec. 259, B.P. 881)

The Supreme Court said that if persons EVIDENCE ON THE ELECTION


not real parties in the action could be allowed
to intervene, proceedings will be unnecessarily The following may be used as evidence
complicated, expensive and interminable—and in contesting the results of the election:
this is not the policy of the law. Inasmuch as
no real parties such as the vice-presidential Election Returns
aspirants in the 2004 elections have come
forward to intervene, or to be substituted for Election returns are properly used as
the deceased protestant, it is far more prudent evidence in an election contest when what is
to abide by the existing and strict limitations involved is the correctness of the number of
on intervention and substitution under the law votes of each candidate, and the ballots cannot
and the rules. be produced or are not available.

Quo Warranto Ballots

WHO MAY FILE: Any registered Ballots are properly used as evidence
voter in the constituency when the election returns are not available.

GROUNDS: Ineligibility or Poll-Books and Tally Sheets


disloyalty to the Republic of the
Philippines Poll-books and tally sheets may be
used as evidence where by law, poll-books or
PERIOD FOR FILING: Within 10 days tally sheets are required to be kept.
from proclamation of the results of the
election Election Officials
Election officials may be called to warranted. (Sec. 265, B.P. 881)
testify in the absence of ballots, tally sheets or
poll-books. Preferential disposition of election
offenses
Voters
Investigation and prosecution of
Voters may testify where the illegality election offenses shall be given priority by the
consists in the casting of votes by persons COMELEC. The investigating officer shall
unqualified, unless it can be shown for whom resolve the case within 5 days from
they voted, it cannot be allowed to change the submission.
result.
The courts shall give preference to
Certificate of Votes election cases over all other cases except
petitions for writ of habeas corpus. Their trial
The provisions of Sections 235 and 236 shall be commenced without delay and shall be
of the Omnibus Election Code notwithstanding, conducted continuously until terminated, and
the certificates of votes shall be admissible in the case shall be decided within 30 days from
evidence to prove tampering, alteration, its submission for decision. (Sec. 269, B.P.
falsification or any anomaly committed in the 881)
election returns concerned, when duly
authenticated by testimonial or documentary
Election offenses
evidence presented to the board of election
inspectors who issued the certificate.
The various election offenses are
The failure to present any certificate of enumerated primarily under Sec. 261 of B.P.
votes shall be a bar to the presentation of 881. However, other election laws provide for
other evidence to impugn the authenticity of other election offenses. Some of the more
the election returns. significant offenses include the following:

ELECTION OFFENSES Registration

Jurisdiction over election offenses


• Failure of the Board of Election
Inspectors to post the list of voters
in each precinct. (Sec. 9, R.A.
The Regional Trial Courts have
7166);
exclusive original jurisdiction to try and decide
any criminal actions or proceedings for
violation of election laws. (Sec. 268, B.P. 881; • Change or alteration or transfer of a
Juan v. People, G.R. No. 132378, January 18, voter's precinct assignment in the
2000) permanent list of voters without the
express written consent of the voter
Prosecution of election offenses (Sec. 4, R.A. 8189)

Certificate of Candidacy
The COMELEC has the exclusive
power to investigate and prosecute cases
involving violations of election laws. (Sec. 2 • Continued misrepresentation or
(6), Art. IX-C, 1987 Constitution; Sec. 268, holding out as a candidate of a
B.P. 881; De Jesus v. People, 120 SCRA 760) disqualified candidate or one
However, it may validly delegate the power to declared by final and executory
the Provincial Prosecutor or to the judgment to be a nuisance candidate
Ombudsman. (Sec. 27f, R.A. 6646);

- But it is not the duty of the Comelec as • Knowingly inducing or abetting such
investigator and prosecutor to gather proof in misrepresentation of a disqualified or
support of a complaint field before it nuisance candidate (Sec. 27f, R.A.
(Kilosbayan vs. Comelec, GR No. 128054, Oct. 6646);
16, 1997)
• Coercing, bribing, threatening,
In the event that the COMELEC fails to
harassing, intimidating, terrorizing,
act on any complaint within 4 months from its
or actually causing, inflicting or
filing, the complainant may file the complaint
producing violence, injury,
with the fiscal or the Department of Justice, if
punishment, torture, damage, loss
or disadvantage to discourage any • Coercion of subordinates to vote for
other person or persons from filing a or against any candidate (Sec. 261d,
certificate of candidacy in order to B.P. 881)
eliminate all other potential
candidates from running in a special
election (Sec. 5, R.A. 8295); • Dismissal of employees, laborers, or
tenants for refusing or failing to vote
Election Campaign for any candidate (Sec. 261d(2),
B.P. 881)
• Appointment or use of special
policemen, special agents or the like • Being a flying voter (Sec. 261z (2),
during the campaign period (Sec. B.P. 881)
261m, B.P. 881)
Counting of Votes
• Use of armored land, water or
aircraft during the campaign period • Tampering, increasing, decreasing
(Sec. 261r, B.P. 881) votes, or refusal to correct
tampered votes after proper
verification and hearing by any
• Unlawful electioneering (Sec. 261k, member of the board of election
B.P. 881) inspectors (Sec. 27b, R.A. 6646)

• Acting as bodyguards or security in • Refusal to issue to duly accredited


the case of policemen and provincial watchers the certificate of votes cast
guards during the campaign period and the announcement of the
(Sec. 261t, B.P. 881) election, by any member of the
board of election inspectors (Sec.
• Removal, destruction, obliteration, 27c, R.A. 6646)
or tampering of lawful election
propaganda, or preventing the Canvassing
distribution thereof (Sec. 83, B.P.
881 vis-à-vis Sec. 262, B.P. 881) • Any chairperson of the board of
canvassers who fails to give notice of
Voting meeting to other members of the
board, candidate or political party as
• Vote-buying and vote-selling (Sec. required (Sec. 27e, R.A. 6646)
261a, B.P. 881)
Acts of government or public officers
• Conspiracy to bribe voters (Sec.
261b, B.P. 881) • Appointment of new employees,
creation of new positions, promotion,
A disputable presumption of a or giving salary increases within the
conspiracy to bribe voters is election period (Sec. 261g, B.P. 881)
created when there is proof
that at least 1 voter in different • Transfer of officers and employees in
precincts representing at least the civil service within the election
20% of the total precincts in period without the prior approval of
any municipality, city or the COMELEC (Sec. 261h, B.P. 881)
province has been offered,
promised or given money, People v. Reyes (247 SCRA 328)
valuable consideration or other
expenditure by a candidate's Transfer or detail of a government
relatives, leaders and/or officer or employee will not be penalized if
sympathizers for the purpose done to promote efficiency in the government
of promoting the election of service. To prove violation, two elements must
such candidate. (Sec. 28, R.A. concur: 1) The fact of transfer or detail within
6646) the election period as fixed by the Comelec;
and 2) The transfer or detail was made without
prior approval of the Comelec, in accordance
with its IRR. Here the transfer was made 1 day
prior to Comelec’s issuance of Res. No. 2333, • Carrying firearms outside residence
which prescribed the rules and regulations on or place of business (Sec. 261q, B.P.
how to obtain Comelec approval for such 881)
transfers.

• Organization or maintenance of
• Intervening of public officers and reaction forces, strike forces, or
employees in the civil service in any similar forces during the election
partisan political activity (Sec. 261i, period (Sec. 261u, B.P. 881)
B.P. 881)
Other prohibitions
• Use of public funds for an election
campaign (Sec. 261o, B.P. 881) • Unauthorized printing of official
ballots and election returns with
• Illegal release of prisoners before printing establishments that are not
and after election (Sec. 261n, B.P. under contract with the COMELEC
881) (Sec. 27a, R.A. 6646)

• Release, disbursement or • Wagering upon the results of


expenditure of public funds during elections (Sec. 261c, B.P. 881)
the prohibited period (Sec. 261v,
B.P. 881) • Sale, etc. of intoxicating liquor on
the day fixed by law for the
• Construction of public works, etc. registration of voters in the polling
during the prohibited period (Sec. place, or the day before the election
261w, B.P. 881) or on election day (Sec. 261dd (1),
B.P. 881)
• Suspension of elective local officials
during the election period without • Opening booths or stalls within 30
prior approval of the COMELEC (Sec. meters of any polling place (Sec,
261x, B.P. 881) 261dd (2), B.P. 881)

Coercion, intimidation, violence • Holding fairs, cockfights, etc. on


election day (Sec. 261dd (3), B.P.
• Coercion of election officials and 881)
employees
• Refusal to carry election mail during
• Threats, intimidation, terrorism, use the election period (Sec. 261dd (4),
of fraudulent devices or other forms B.P. 881). In addition to the
of coercion (Sec. 261e, B.P. 881) prescribed penalty, such refusal
constitutes a ground for cancellation
• Use of undue influence (Sec. 261j, or revocation of certificate of public
B.P. 881) convenience or franchise.

• Carrying deadly weapons within the • Discrimination in the sale of air time
prohibited area (Sec. 261p, B.P. (Sec. 261dd (5), B.P. 881) In
881) addition to the prescribed penalty,
such refusal constitutes a ground for
Mappala v. Judge Nunez (240 SCRA 200) cancellation or revocation of the
franchise.
It is not necessary that the deadly
weapon be seized from the accused while he Failure to register or vote
was in the precinct or within a radius of 100
meters therefrom; enough that the accused Art. V, Sec. 1 of the 1987 Constitution
carried the deadly weapon within the states that suffrage "may" be exercised by
prohibited radius during any of the days and qualified citizens of the Philippines, as
hours specified in the law. compared to the 1935 and 1973 Constitutions
which used the term "shall." Thus, it can be
said that under the current Constitution, failure
to register or to vote is no longer an election
offense. Corrections, provincial warden, jail keeper or
persons who are required by law to keep said
Other election offenses under RA 6646 prisoners in their custody shall, if convicted, be
sentenced to suffer prison mayor in its
 Person who violated provisions against maximum period. (Sec. 264, B.P. 881)
prohibited forms of election propaganda
Arrests in Connection with the Election
 If the chairman of the BEI fails to affix his Campaign
signature at the back of the official ballot,
in the presence of the voter, before No person shall be arrested or detained
delivering the ballot to the voter. (under at any time for any alleged offense committed
RA 7166) during and in connection with any election
through any act or language tending to support
Good faith not a defense or oppose any candidate, political party or
coalition of political parties under or pursuant
Election offenses are generally mala to any order of whatever name or nature and
prohibita. Proof of criminal intent is not by whomsoever issued except only upon a
necessary. Good faith, ignorance, or lack of warrant of arrest issued by a competent judge
malice is not a defense; the commission of the after all the requirements of the Constitution
prohibited act is sufficient. (People v. Bayona, have been strictly complied with.
61 Phil. 181; People v. Fuentes, 181 Phil.
186) Prescription

Penalties Election offenses prescribe 5 years


from the date of their commission.
For individuals
If the discovery of the offense be made
• Imprisonment of not less in an election contest proceeding, the period of
than 1 year but not more prescription shall commence on the date on
than 6 years, without which the judgment in such proceedings
probation (Sec. 264, B.P. becomes final and executory. (Sec. 267, B.P.
881) 881)

• Disqualification to hold public Special Laws


office;
RA 7941 – Party-List System Act
• Deprivation of the right of
suffrage
 Seeks to promote proportional
For a Foreigner representation

• Imprisonment of not less  Any party already registered need not


than 1 year but not more register anew. File manifestation not later
than 6 years (without than 90 days before election.
probation);
Grounds for refusing or canceling registration
• Deportation after service of
of Party-Lists groups
sentence
a. Religious sect or denomination,
For a Political Party
organization
• Payment of a fine not less
b. Advocates violence
than P10,000 after a criminal
conviction
c. Foreign party or organization
Persons Required by Law to Keep
d. Receives foreign support
Prisoners in their Custody
e. Violates election law
For prisoners illegally released from
any penitentiary or jail during the prohibited
f. Untruthful statements in its petition
period, where such prisoners commit any act
of intimidation, terrorism or interference in the
g. Ceased to exist for at least one year
election, the Director of the Bureau of
h. Failed to participate in the last two
preceding elections or fails to obtain at
least 2% of the votes cast under the party-
list system in the 2 preceding elections for
the constituency in which it has registered

Nomination of party-list reps should not


include any candidate for any elective office or
a person who has lost his bid for an elective
office in the immediately preceding election

Incumbent sectoral representatives in the


House of Representatives who are nominated
in the party-list system shall not be considered
resigned

Party List Reps constitute 20% of the total


number of the members of the House of Reps
including those under the party-list

How do we determine the number of


party list seats in the House of Reps?

Formula: (# of District Reps / 0.80) x 0.20 = #


of party list reps

• The 5 major political parties are now


entitled to participate in the party list
system

• Parties receiving at least 2% of the total


votes cast for the party-list system shall be
entitled to one seat each

• No party shall be entitled to more than 3


seats

• Currently, there are 260 (208/0.80) seats.


So 20 % of 260 are 52 seats. But this is
only a ceiling.

• A list with 5 names should be submitted to


COMELEC as to who will represent the
party in the Congress.

• Ranking in the list submitted determines


who shall represent party or organization.

Q: May political parties participate in the


party-list elections?

A: Yes, provided that the political parties


themselves represent the marginalized and
under represented sectors, parties and
organizations. (Ang Bagong Bayani-OFW Labor
Party v. COMELEC, G. R. No. 147589 26 June
2001).