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Suspension of Local Elective Official (Governor down to

Barangay Kagawad) is prohibited during election period. It
does not matter whether it is a preventive suspension or
suspension as a penalty. Both are not allowed. (It does not
include the Congressman because the jurisdiction pertains
either to Sandiganbayan or House of Representatives.)

Legal Solutions of Disputes Related to Election Results

Elections are synchronized, meaning simultaneous. Unique

because probably we are the only country with synchronized
elections due to budgetary constraints, to save expenses.
Except for Barangay elections, it cannot be synchronized
because it is non-partisan. If barangay elections is
synchronized with all other elective positions, it becomes
These are:
1. City of Municipal Board of Canvassers. Canvassing the votes means to consolidate or
add votes of candidates from one precinct to another.
After the board has canvassed the votes, in their
level, they proclaim the winning candidates for city or
municipal positions.
They accomplish a form called the certificate of
canvass and proclamation.
They also prepare a statement of votes by
precinct for the other candidates in other positions (i.e.
Provincial, congressional, partylist and senatorial).
In the event it is a national election, they also
canvass the votes for president and vice-president.
Attys Discussion:
Board of Canvassers. If its the barangay level, it is
called the BBOC/ Barangay Board of Canvassers. In
which case, if it is the barangay elections, the election
officer or the COMELEC for that matter is without
jurisdiction to proclaim a candidate. It is only the BBOC
in the barangay level that proclaims the barangay
If City, CBOC; Municipality, MBOC; Province, PBOC;
National, NBOC.
The National Board of Canvassers canvass the results
for President and Vice-President.
It is the Commission on Election in Intramuros that
canvasses the results for Senators.

Unique Features of Philippine Elections

- Elections
nationwide take place every three years - on the
second Monday of May.
Attys Discussion:

All winners are proclaimed on the basis of plurality of votes.

Attys Discussion:
All winners are proclaim in the basis of plurality of votes
because there is no requirement under the law that you have
to acquire a 50 percent plus 1 votes; only plurality. In which

There are two exceptions to the prohibitions against

suspension. First is if you secure a written authority from the
COMELEC, you can suspend. You just have to convince the
COMELEC that theres a case and that case warrants
suspension. The other one is if it applies to Graft and Corrupt
Practices Act. So if it is an Ombudsman that suspends a Local
Elective Official, the COMELEC is divested of its jurisdiction.
Campaign is not allowed during the election day.
Campaign period vs. Election period. Election period is
longer. It starts 90 days prior to election day and ends 30
days thereafter. While campaign period is shorter. Campaign
period is part of the election period. Campaign period is 90
days for national officials and 45 days for local officials.
For 2016 election, the election period is 120 days. Is it
allowed? Yes because the Constitution states that in special
cases, the COMELEC may extend the election period.
Remember that the determination of whether it is a special
case is a question of fact. Once it is a question of fact, the
Court normally will not interfere the findings of the COMELEC,
unless it is arbitrary or rendered with grave abuse of
Commission on Elections
Republic of the Philippines

case, if you run for elective position in a general election, you

need only to get 1 vote to win because 1 vote is already
plurality over zero. But for special elections, the candidate
may be proclaimed winner without being elected provided
that the COMELEC certifies that there is only 1 candidate for
the position and that 1 candidate is qualified. Otherwise if
that candidate is disqualified, there has to be another special

jurisdictional. Thats why in the petition you must allege the

date of proclamation to show timeliness.

After the proclamation of the winning candidates, should

there be any dispute related to election results, the legal
solution is through an election protest that may be filed only
by a losing candidate for the same position being challenged
before a proper electoral tribunal.
Attys Discussion:
Who is the proper party to file an election protest? The one
who is aggrieved, the loser. In other words, you as an
ordinary citizen or a voter cannot say that you like to be a
hero and file an election protest against the mayor because
he committed fraud thats why he won. You cannot do that
unless your remedy is something else, which is a quo
warranto. But the grounds are disloyalty to the republic and
ineligibility. You cannot say fraud or misappreciation of ballot.
So remember, the one who can be a protestant in a protest
case is the person who lost the election for the same

In this case, it seeks to annul the proclamation of the winner

and for the tribunal to proclaim the protestor or protestant
the winner.
Attys Discussion:
What is a manifest error? It is an equivalent of a plain view
doctrine; visual search.
In other words, when you say
manifest error, that error is readily discernable to the naked
eye, but only in that document. When you say election
returns, probably you can see there a miscalculation; the
addition is incorrect, that is a manifest error. Other form of
manifest error is when 1 election return is tabulated twice.
Manifest error, you only limit yourself to the face of the
document. If you go beyond the document, it is no longer
manifest error.

When to file election protests:

1. For municipal positions - within 10 days AFTER
2. For city/provincial/regional positions - within 10 days
AFTER proclamation.
3. For members of the House of Representatives - within 10
days AFTER proclamation.
4. For members of the Senate - within 15 days AFTER
5. For President and Vice-President - within 30 days AFTER
Attys Discussion:
If you do not follow the timeliness. For example, if you file an
election protest the day after the deadline, it will be
dismissed right away because it is mandatory and

The election protest may include correction of manifest

errors in the election returns or a statement of votes by
precinct, city and municipality, such that if corrected the
results of the election will be altered such that the losing
candidate will have more votes than the winning candidate.

For example, in the election returns, how come 50 plus 50 is

150 which is supposed to be 100 only, that is manifest error,
for it is an error in the computation. But when you say that
150 should only be 100 because the 50 is the result of ballot
misappreciation, you now go to a document other than the
election returns, you go back to the ballots. In that case, it is
no longer the face of the document that you are trying to
examine. That is not manifest error.
The election protest may also be grounded on election
irregularities or election fraud such as misreading of ballots,
padding or shaving of votes, terrorism, violence, or vote
buying. In this case, the election protest will entail review or
rereading of ballots for the tribunals evaluation for such
precincts identified in the election protests.
Attys Discussion:
But the best ground for an election protest should only be

misreading of ballots and padding or shaving of votes.

Because these terrorism, violence and vote-buying, how do
you quantify them? Whereas if you limit your protest to
misappreciation of ballots, the ballots are still there. Theres
complete evidence and the remedy is just to recount them,
same as shaving/padding of votes.
An election protest may only be filed against a duly
proclaimed winner.
It can only be filed by a losing candidate who was voted in
the election for the same position.
An election protest complaint must comply strictly
with procedural requirements under rules:
A. It must be filed within the reglementary period; -which is
mandatory and jurisdictional
B. All fees required must be paid within the same
reglementary period; -If you filed it timely but you did not
pay the filing fee, such is tantamount to not filing on time. If
you pay but not in full is also tantamount to not filing on
C. It must contain all the allegations required by the rules to
make it sufficient in form and substance; - Number one
requirement is that allegation must be in so far as timeliness
is concerned. And the only evidence to show timeliness is the
date of proclamation. You allege the date of proclamation.
D. It must be under oath by the protestor or protestant.
E. It must contain a certification of non-forum shopping.
Answer to an election protest:
1. Protestee or the proclaimed winner shall file an answer
within the prescribed period to file it.
2. It may contain a counter-protests. For the counter protest,
payment of fees are also required.
Attys Discussion:
What if theres an election protest against your client, what
should you do as a lawyer? You file an answer within the
prescribed period to file it but it may contain a counterprotest. What is a counter-protest? If theres an election
protest, that election protest specifies the polling places

where the protestant felt that he was cheated. If it will be

proven that he was cheated, it might adverse the effect of
the result of the election. So you should also look for the
polling places that your client felt that he was cheated so in
case the result is changed theres something you can
compensate. So there has to be that counter-protest. But
that is not mandatory.
1. After the answer has been filed, the tribunal schedules a
pre-trial conference between the parties to determine
whether parties can make stipulation of facts or admissions.
2. The court aided by the parties may simplify the issues
based on the admissions.
3. Determine the number of witnesses during the pre-trial
which the parties may present.
4. Schedule the start of the review of ballots.
5. Revision of ballots is done by a committee of revisers
composed of three (3) persons, the chairman of whom is
appointed by the tribunal while the 2 members are revisers
appointed by each party.
6. During the revision of ballots objections by the revisers of
the parties may be made against any ballot. These are all
recorded so a revision report per precinct may be made and
submission to the court to enable him to know the disputed
ballots and to make a ruling there all.
7. When all the protested precincts had been reviewd or
revised by the revisers, the protestant is ordered to identify
20% of the entire protested precincts to make a preliminary
finding whether, on the basis of the 20% chosen, there is
enough proof to show that the protestant has a chance to win
the protest. If the 20% does not show this chance, the
petition is dismissed.
If the protestant can show that he has a chance to win the
protest, then the counter-protested precincts are revised.
A revision report is also prepared by the revisers committee
to be submitted to the court.
Attys Discussion:
PROBLEM: He alleged that there is a misappreciation of

ballots. But after proclamation, the BEI loses jurisdiction, the

COMELEC loses jurisdiction. It is now pertain to the RTC/MTC.
So how does the RTC/MTC or even the COMELEC recount or
reappreciate the ballots? The equivalent is revision. (This
came out in the exam, Sir said that the case is an election
protest so the RTC can revise the ballots, meaning it can
reappreciate the ballots.) If the RTC/MTC revises the ballots, it
now reviews the determination of or counting of the ballots
by the BEI. So if the RTC now says that nasayop ang BEI, it
should be counted, pwede nya isupersede ang finding sa BEI.
Thats why the results might be changed if there is a revision.
It happens normally during manual elections, especially
barangay elections.
Kaning mga BEI nga nag appreciate sa ballots but later on
superseded by the court, are they liable? Not necessarily
because ballot appreciation is a matter of discretion. And
what we say about discretion? In so far as the BEI is
concerned at the polling place level, that was the best
determination of the ballots. They cannot be imprisoned
because it is a discretionary act, for as long as they have the
legal basis for appreciating the ballots that way and the
candidate does not agree with them, okay lang, for as long
as theres that legal basis.
After the evaluation of the disputed ballots by the court, the
tribunal makes rulings and prepares the decision.
If the protestant wins, the proclamation of the protestee is
annulled and the protestant is proclaimed the winner.
So the RTC/MTC has the authority/jurisdiction to annul the
proclamation if in the revision the result is different.
After the finality of the decision, the new winner takes his
oath and assumes his position.
Attys Discussion:
But that is very difficult because although theres a writ of
execution from COMELEC, the incumbent official sought to be
unseated by that writ of execution is so stubborn, will not
step down, stays inside the city/municipal hall and the
supporters will camp outside. But once they camp out, it is
very expensive. So before the crowd thins out, the official

voluntarily vacates office to save face.