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Section 78. Petition to deny due course to or cancel a certificate of candidacy.

- A verified petition seeking to deny

due course or to cancel a certificate of candidacy may be filed by the person exclusively on the ground that any
material representation contained therein as required under Section 74 hereof is false. The petition may be filed at
any time not later than twenty-five days from the time of the filing of the certificate of candidacy and shall be decided,
after due notice and hearing, not later than fifteen days before the election.


In 1996, Lynette Garvida filed her candidacy to the position of Chairman of the Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) of
a barangay in Bangui, Ilocos Norte. Her candidacy was opposed by her rival Florencio Sales, Jr. on the ground
that she is over 21 years old (21 years old, 9 months at the time of the filing). Nevertheless, the trial court
ordered that she be admitted as a candidate and the SK elections went on. Sales, in the meantiume, filed a
petition to cancel the certificate of candidacy of Garvida. When the elections results came in, Garvida won with
a vote of 78, while Sales got 76. Garvida was eventually proclaimed as winner but had to face the petition filed
by Sales.
Garvida, in her defense, averred that Section 424 of the Local Government Code (LGC) provides that
candidates for the SK must be at least 15 years of age and a maximum age of 21 years. Garvida states that the
LGC does not specify that the maximum age requirement is exactly 21 years hence said provision must be
construed as 21 years and a fraction of a year but still less than 22 years so long as she does not exceed 22
she is still eligible because she is still, technically, 21 years of age (although she exceeds it by 9 months).
ISSUE: Whether or not Garvida met the age requirement.
HELD: No. Section 424 of the Local Government Code provides that candidates for SK must be:

Filipino citizen;


an actual resident of the barangay for at least six months;


15 but not more than 21 years of age; and


duly registered in the list of the Sangguniang Kabataan or in the official barangay list.

The provision is clear. Must not be more than 21 years of age. The said phrase is not equivalent to less than
22 years old. The law does not state that the candidate be less than 22 years on election day. If such was the
intention of Congress in framing the LGC, then they should have expressly provided such.
Sales claims that he obtained the second highest number of vote, hence he should be declared as the SK
Chairman, is this a valid contention?
No. Applying the ruling in Labo vs COMELEC, a defeated candidate, though obtaining the second highest
number of vote, is not deemed to have been elected by reason of the winners eventual
disqualification/ineligibility. He cannot be declared as successor simply because he did not get the majority or
the plurality of votes the electorate did not choose him. It would have been different if Sales was able to prove
that the voters still voted for Garvida despite knowing her ineligibility, this would have rendered her votes
Under Section 435 of the LGC, the SK Chairman should be succeeded by the SK member who obtained the
highest number of votes, should the SK member obtaining such vote succeed Garvida?**
(**Not to be confused with Sales situation Sales was a candidate for SK chairmanship not SK membership.)
The above argument cant be considered in this case because Section 435 only applies when the SK Chairman
refuses to assume office, fails to qualify, is convicted of a felony, voluntarily resigns, dies, is permanently
incapacitated, is removed from office, or has been absent without leave for more than three (3) consecutive
months. Garvidas case is not what Section 435 contemplates. Her removal from office by reason of her age is
a question of eligibility. Being eligible means being legally qualified; capable of being legally chosen.
Ineligibility, on the other hand, refers to the lack of the qualifications prescribed in the Constitution or the
statutes for holding public office. Ineligibility is not one of the grounds enumerated in Section 435 for
succession of the SK Chairman.

Petitioner Banaga, Jr. and respondent Bernabe, Jr. were both candidates for vice-mayor of the
City of Paraaque in the May 1998 election. In said election, the city board of canvassers
proclaimed respondent Bernabe, Jr., as the winner for having garnered 71,977 votes over
petitioner Banaga, Jr.s 68,970 votes.
Dissatisfied with the result, petitioner filed with the COMELEC on May 1998, a Petition to
Declare Failure of Elections and/or For Annulment of Elections, alleging that said election was
replete with election offenses, such as vote buying and flying voters. He also alleged that
numerous Election Returns pertaining to the position of Vice-Mayor in the City of Paraaque
appear to be altered, falsified or fabricated.
In fact, there were people arrested who admitted the said election offenses. Therefore, the
incidents were sufficient to declare a failure of elections because it cannot be considered as the
true will of the people.
Petitioner Banaga, Jr. is praying that he should be adjudged as the duly elected Vice-Mayor in the
City of Paraaque, during the May 1998 local elections.
Respondent COMELEC dismissed petitioners suit and held that the election offenses relied
upon by petitioner do not fall under any of the instances enumerated in Section 6 of the Omnibus
Election Code. The election tribunal concluded that based on the allegations of the petition, it is
clear that an election took place and that it did not result in a failure to elect and therefore, cannot
be viewed as an election protest.
Thus, this petition for certiorari alleging that the respondent COMELEC committed grave abuse
of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction for dismissing his petition motu propio
without any basis whatsoever and without giving him the benefit of a hearing.
WON petition to declare a failure of elections and/or for annulment of election is considered as
an election protest.
Ratio Decidendi:
1) No. Mr. Banaga, Jr.s petition docketed as SPA-98-383 before the COMELEC was a special
action under the 1993 COMELEC Rules of Procedure. An election protest is an ordinary
governed by Rule 20 on ordinary actions, while a petition to declare failure of elections is
covered by Rule 26 under special actions. Petitioner also did not comply with the requirements
for filing an election protest such as failing to pay filing fee and cash deposits for an election

LOONG vs. COMELEC Case Digest

216 SCRA 760, 1992
On 15 January 1990, petitioner filed with respondent Commission his certificate of candidacy for the position
of Vice-Governor of the Mindanao Autonomous Region in the election held on 17February 1990. On 5 March
1990 (or 16 days after the election), respondent Ututalum filed before the respondent Commission a petition
seeking to disqualify petitioner for the office of Regional Vice-Governor, on the ground that the latter made a
false representation in his certificate of candidacy as to his age. Petitioner Loong sought the dismissal of the
petition on the ground that the respondent COMELEC has no jurisdiction. The motion to dismiss was denied
by the COMELEC in a resolution which is the subject of this petition. Petitioner Loong contends that SPA
No. 90-006 (a petition to cancel the certificate of candidacy of petitioner Loong) was filed out of time because
it was filed beyond the 25-day period prescribed by Section 78 of the Omnibus Election Code.
Whether or not SPA No. 90-006 was filed within the period prescribed by law.
No. The petition filed by private respondent Ututalum with the respondent COMELEC to disqualify petitioner
Loong on the ground that the latter made a false representation in his certificate of candidacy as to his age,
clearly does not fall under the grounds of disqualification as provided for in Rule 25 but is expressly covered by
Rule 23 of the Comelec Rules of Procedure governing petitions to cancel certificate of candidacy. Moreover,
Section 3, Rule 25 which allows the filing of the petition at any time after the last day for the filing of certificates
of candidacy but not later than the date of proclamation, is merely a procedural rule issued by respondent
Commission which, although a constitutional body, has no legislative powers. Thus, it can not supersede
Section 78 of the Omnibus Election Code which is a legislative enactment.

Sec. 4. Postponement, Failure of Election and Special Elections. - The postponement,

declaration of failure of election and the calling of special elections as provided in
Sections 5, 6 and 7 of the Omnibus Election Code shall be decided by the Commission sitting
en banc by a majority vote of its members. The causes for the declaration of a failure of
election may occur before or after the casting of votes or on the day of the election.
In case a permanent vacancy shall occur in the Senate or House of Representatives at least
one (1) year before the expiration of the term, the Commission shall call and hold a special
election to fill the vacancy not earlier than sixty (60) days nor longer than ninety (90) days
after the occurrence of the vacancy. However, in case of such vacancy in the Senate, the
special election shall be held simultaneously with the succeeding regular election.
Section 241. Definition. - A pre-proclamation controversy refers to any question pertaining to or affecting
the proceedings of the board of canvassers which may be raised by any candidate or by any registered
political party or coalition of political parties before the board or directly with the Commission, or any
matter raised under Sections 233, 234, 235 and 236 in relation to the preparation, transmission, receipt,
custody and appreciation of the election returns.

SEC.38. Section 15 of Republic Act No.7166 is hereby amended to read as follows:

"SEC.15. Pre - proclamation Cases in Elections for President, Vice-President, Senator, and
Member of the House of Representatives. - For purpose of the elections for president, vice president, senator, and member of the House of Representatives, no pre-proclamation cases
shall be allowed on matters relating to the preparation, transmission, receipt, custody and
appreciation of election returns or the certificates of canvass, as the case may be, expect as
provided for in Section 30 hereof. However, this does not preclude the authority of the appropriate
canvassing body motu propio or upon written complaint of an interested person to correct
manifest errors in the certificate of canvass or election before it.
"Question affecting the composition or proceedings of the board of canvassers may be initiated in
the board or directly with the Commission in accordance with Section 19 hereof.
"Any objection on the election return before the city or municipal board of canvassers, or the
municipal certificates of canvass before the provincial board of canvassers or district board of
canvassers in Metro Manila Area, shall specifically notice in the minutes of their respective

Poe vs. Macapagal-Arroyo, 454 SCRA 242, March 29, 2005

Facts: On June 24, 2004, the Congress as the representatives of the sovereign people and acting as the
National Board of Canvassers, in a near-unanimous roll-call vote, proclaimed Mrs. Gloria Macapagal
Arroyo (GMA) as the duly elected President of the Philippines. She obtained the highest votes, followed
by the second-placer, Fernando Poe, Jr. (FPJ). She then took her Oath of Office before the Chief Justice
of the Supreme Court on June 30, 2004.

Refusing to concede defeat, Mr. FPJ, filed an election protest before the Electoral Tribunal. Both parties
exchanged motions to rush the presentation of their respective positions on the controversy. Together with
the formal Notice of the Death of Protestant on December 14, 2004, his counsel has submitted to the
Tribunal, dated January 10, 2005, a "MANIFESTATION with URGENT PETITION/MOTION to
Sonora Poe. She claims that because of the untimely demise of her husband and in representation not
only of her deceased husband but more so because of the paramount interest of the Filipino people, there
is an urgent need for her to continue and substitute for her late husband in the election protest initiated by
him to ascertain the true and genuine will of the electorate in the 2004 elections.
Who between the Protestant and the Protestee was the true winner in the May 10, 2004 Presidential

Whether or not the Protestants widow could intervene and/or substitute for the deceased party.

Held: WHEREFORE, the motion of movant/intervenor JESUSA SONORA POE a.k.a. SUSAN ROCES to
intervene and substitute for the deceased protestant is DENIED for lack of merit.
Acting on the protest and considering the Notice of the Death, submitted by counsel of protestant
RONALD ALLAN POE, a.k.a. FERNANDO POE, JR., we also resolve that Presidential Electoral Tribunal
Case No. 002, entitled Ronald Allan Poe a.k.a. Fernando Poe, Jr. v. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, should be
as it is hereby DISMISSED on the ground that no real party in interest has come forward within the period
allowed by law, to intervene in this case or be substituted for the deceased protestant.
The protestant, Miriam Defensor-Santiago ran for presidency and lost in the May 1992 election. In her
Motion on the 16th day of August in the year 1995, reiterated in her comment of the 29th of August of the
same year, protestant Defensor-Santiago prayed that the revision in the remaining precincts of the pilot
areas be dispensed with and the revision process in the pilot areas be deemed computed.
The Court deferred action on the motion and required, instead, the protestant and protestee to submit
their respective memoranda. Hence, this petition.
Whether or not the election protest filed by Defensor-Santiago is moot and academic by her election as a
Senator in the May 1995 election and her assumption of office as such on the 30th of June in the year
YES. The Court held that the election protest filed by Santiago has been abandoned or considered
withdrawn as a consequence of her election and assumption of office as Senator and her discharge of the
duties and functions thereof.
The protestant abandoned her determination to protest and pursue the public interest involved in the
matter of who is the real choice of the electorate.
Moreover, the dismissal of this protest would serve public interest as it would dissipate the aura of
uncertainty as to the results of the 1992 presidential elections, thereby enhancing the all too crucial
political stability of the nation during this period of national recovery.
Also, the PET issued a resolution ordering the protestant to inform the PET within 10 days if after the
completion of the revision of the ballots from her pilot areas, she still wishes to present evidence. Since

DS has not informed the Tribunal of any such intention, such is a manifest indication that she no longer
intends to do so.