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According to the constitution, the COMELEC shall

exercise and perform the following powers and functions:

as its deputies for the purpose of enforcing its


orders; [see People vs. Basilla, 179 SCRA 87]

Enforce and administer all laws and regulations


relative to the conduct of an election,
plebiscite, initiative, referendum, and recall.
Exercise exclusive original jurisdiction over
contests relating to the elections, returns and
qualifications of elective regional, provincial
and city officials, and appellate jurisdiction
over contests involving elective municipal
officials or barangay officials decided by trial
courts.
Decide all questions affecting elections,
including determination of the number and
location of polling places, appointment of
election
officials
and
inspectors,
and
registration of voters.
Deputize law enforcement agencies and
instrumentalities of the government, including
the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), to
ensure peaceful, orderly and credible elections.
Register political parties, organizations or
coalitions, and accredit citizens arms or
watchdogs.
File petitions in court for inclusion or exclusion
of voters, and investigate and prosecute cases
of violations of election laws, including election
frauds, offenses, and malpractices.
Recommend to Congress measures to minimize
election spending, limit places for propaganda
materials, and prevent and penalize all forms
of election frauds, offenses and nuisance
candidates.
Submit to the President and Congress a
comprehensive report on the conduct of each
election, plebiscite, initiative, referendum, or
recall.
he Code provides the following, to wit:

(1) Promulgate
rules
and
regulations implementing the provisions of
the Omnibus Election Code or other laws which
the Commission is required to enforce and
administer;

(2) Fix other reasonable periods for certain


pre-election requirements in order that voters
shall not be deprived of their right of suffrage
and certain groups of rights granted them in
the Omnibus Election Code;

Unless indicated in the Omnibus Election Code,


the Commission is hereby authorized to fix the
appropriate period for the various prohibited
acts enumerated therein consistent with the
requirements of free, orderly, honest, peaceful,
and credible elections.

(3) Exercise
direct
and
immediate
supervision and control over national and
local officials or employees, including members
of any national or local law enforcement
agency and instrumentality of the government
required by law to perform duties relative to
the conduct of elections, it may authorize CMT
cadets, eighteen years of age and above to act

(4) During the period of the campaign and


ending thirty days thereafter, when in any area
of the country there are persons committing
acts of terrorism to influence people to vote for
or against any candidate or political party, the
Commission
shall
have
thepower
to
authorize any member or members of the
Armed Forces of the Philippines, the
National Bureau of Investigation, the
Integrated National Police or any similar
agency or instrumentality of the government,
except civilian home defense forces, to act as
deputies for the purpose of insuring the holding
of a free, orderly, honest, peaceful, and
credible elections;

(5) Publish at least ten (10) days before an


election in a newspaper of general circulation
certified data on the number of official ballots
and election returns and the names and
address of the printers and the number printed
by each;

The Commission may relieve any officer or


employee referred to in the preceding
paragraph from the performance of his duties
relating to electoral processes who violates the
election law or fails to comply with its
instructions, orders, decisions or rulings, and
appoint his substitute. Upon recommendation
of the Commission, the corresponding proper
authority shall suspend or remove from office
any or all of such officers or employees who
may, after due process, be found guilty of such
violation or failure.

(6) Refuse, motu


proprio or
upon
a
verified petition, to give due course to or
cancel a certificate of candidacy if it is shown
that said certificate has been filed to put the
election process in mockery or disrepute or to
cause confusion among the voters by the
similarity of the names of the registered
candidates or by other circumstances or acts
which clearly demonstrate that the office which
the certificate of candidacy has been filed and
thus prevent a faithful determination of the
true will of the electorate;

(7) Postpone, motu proprio or upon verified


petition and after due notice and hearing
whereby all interested parties are afforded
equal opportunity to be heard, the election to a
date which should be reasonably be close to
the date of the election not held, suspended or
which resulted in a failure to elect but not later
than thirty days after the cessation of the
cause for such postponement or suspension of
the election or failure to elect, when for any
serious cause such as violence, terrorism, loss
or destruction of election paraphernalia or
records, force majeure, and other analogous
causes the holding of a free, orderly, honest,
peaceful, and credible election should become
impossible in any political subdivision.

(8) Call for the holding or continuation of


election not held in any polling place where on
account of force majeure, violence, terrorism,
fraud or other analogous causes the election
has not been held on the date fixed, or had
been suspended before the hour fixed by law
for the closing of the voting, or after the voting
and
during
the
preparation
and
the
transmission of the election returns or in the
custody or canvass thereof, such election
results in a failure to elect and in any of such
cases the failure or suspension of election
would affect the result of the election. Such
call should be on the basis of a verified petition
by any interested party and after due notice
and hearing, and the new date should be
reasonably close to the date of the election not
held, suspended or which resulted in a failure
to elect but not later than thirty (30) days after
the cessation of the cause of such
postponement or suspension of the election or
failure to elect.

(10) Summons the parties to a controversy


pending before it, issue subpoena duces tecum
and take testimony in any investigation or
hearing before it, and delegate such power to
any officer of the Commission who shall be a
member of the Philippine Bar. In case of failure
of a witness to attend, the Commission, upon
proof of service of the subpoena to said
witness, may issue a warrant to arrest the
witness and bring him before the Commission
or the officer before whom his attendance is
required.

Any controversy submitted to the Commission


shall, after compliance with the requirements
of due process, be immediately heard and
decided by it within sixty (60) days from the
date of its submission for decision or
resolution. No decision or resolution shall be
rendered by the Commission either en banc or
by division unless taken up in a formal session
properly convened for the purpose.

The Commission may, when necessary, avail


itself of the assistance of any national or local
enforcement agency and/or instrumentality of
the government to execute under its direct and
immediate supervision any of its final
decisions, orders, instructions or rulings.

(11) Punish for contempt according to the


procedure and with the same penalties
provided, in the Rules of Court. Any violation of
any final and executory decision, order or
ruling of the Commission shall constitute
contempt thereof;

(17) Carry out a continuing systematic


campaign through newspapers of general
circulation, radio and other media forms to
educate the public and fully inform the
electorate about election laws, procedures,
decisions, and other matters relative to the
works and duties of the Commission and the
necessity of clean, free, orderly, honest,
peaceful and credible electoral processes;

(16) Constitute
a
pool
of
standbyteachers from which substitutes shall be
drawn in case a member/s of the Board of
Election Inspectors who, for one reason or
another, failed to report or refused to act as
such on the day of the election.

(15) Prescribe the use or adoption of the


latest
technological
and
electronic
devices, taking into account the situation
prevailing in the area and funds available for
the purpose. The Commission shall notify the
authorized
representatives
of
accredited
political parties and candidates in the areas
affected by the use or adoption of
technological and electronic devices not less
than thirty days prior to the effectivity of the
use of such devices;

(14) Procure
any supplies, equipment,
materials or services needed for the holding of
the election by public bidding; but if it finds the
requirements of public bidding impractical to
observe, then by negotiations or sealed bids,
and in both cases, the accredited parties shall
be duly notified;

(9) Call a special election to elect the


member to serve the unexpired portion in case
a vacancy arises in the Senate or in the House
of Representatives eighteen (18) months or
more before a regular election, to be held
within sixty (60) days after the vacancy occurs;

(13) Prescribe the forms to be used in the


election, plebiscite or referendum, recall or
initiative;

(12) Enforce and execute its decisions,


directives, orders and instructions which
shall have precedence over those emanating
from any other authority, except the Supreme
Court
and
those
issued
in habeas
corpus proceedings;

(18) Accredited
non-partisan
groups or
organizations of citizens from the civic, youth,
professional, education, business or labor
sectors known for their probity, impartiality and
integrity with the membership and capability to
undertake a coordinated operation and activity
to assist it in the implementation of the
provisions of the Omnibus Election Code and
the resolutions, orders and instructions of the
Commission for the purpose of ensuring free,
orderly, honest, peaceful, and credible
elections in any constituency. Such groups or
organizations shall function under the direct
and immediate control and supervision of the
Commission;

(19) Conduct
hearing on
controversies
pending before it in the cities or provinces
upon proper motion of any party, taking into
consideration the materiality and number of
witnesses to be presented, the situation

prevailing in the area and the fund available for


the purpose;

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QualificationsforPhilippineElectiveOffi
ce

(20) Have exclusive jurisdiction over all preproclamation controversies.


It may motu
proprio or upon written petition, and other due
notice and hearing, order the partial or total
suspension of the proclamation of any
candidate-elect or annul partially or totally any
proclamation, if one has been made, as the
evidence shall warrant. Notwithstanding the
pendency of any pre-proclamation controversy,
the Commission, may motu proprio or upon
filing of a verified petition and after due notice
and hearing, order the proclamation of other
winning candidates whose election will not be
affected by the outcome of the controversy.

Qualifications prescribed by law for public elective


positions in the Philippines are continuing requirements
and must be possessed for the duration of the officers
active tenure. It is the Philippine Congress which has the
power to prescribe additional qualifications and
disqualifications.

(21) Have the exclusive power, through its


duly authorized legal officers, to conduct
preliminary investigation of all election
offenses punishable under the Omnibus
Election Code and to prosecute the same. The
Commission may avail itself of the assistance
of the other prosecuting arms of the
Government: Provided, however, That in the
event that the Commission fails to act on any
complaint within four (4) months from its filing,
the complainant may file the complaint with
the office of the fiscal or with the Department
of Justice for the proper investigation and
prosecution, if warranted; and

(22) Perform such other functions as may


be provided by law.

"Initiative" is the power of the people to propose


amendments to the Constitution or to propose and
enact legislations through an election called for
the purpose.chanrobles virtual law li
There are three (3) systems of initiative, namely:
a.1 Initiative on the Constitution which refers to a
petition
proposing
amendments
to
the
Constitution; chan
a.2. Initiative on statutes which refers to a
petition proposing to enact a national legislation;
and
a.3. Initiative on local legislation which refers to a
petition proposing to enact a regional, provincial,
city, municipal, or barangay law, resolution or
ordinance.
rary
(c) "Referendum" is the power of the electorate to
approve or reject a legislation through an election
called for the purpose. It may be of two classes,
namely:
c.1. Referendum on statutes which refers to a
petition to approve or reject an act or law, or part
thereof, passed by Congress; and
c.2. Referendum on local law which refers to a
petition to approve or reject a law, resolution or
ordinance enacted by regional assemblies and
local legislative bodies.

The following is a simple list of the pertinent


qualifications required for public elective positions in the
Philippines:
Qualification for Philippine President and VicePresident:
1.
natural
born
citizen
of
the
Philippines
2.
registered
voter
3.
able
to
read
and
write
4. at least 40 years of age on the day of election
5. resident of the Philippines for at least 10 years
immediately preceding the election.
Qualifications
for
Philippine
Senators:
1.
natural
born
citizen
of
the
Philippines
2. at least 35 years old on the day of the election
3.
able
to
read
and
write
4.
registered
voter
5. resident of the Philippines for not less than 2 years
immediately preceding the day of the election
Qualification for Philippine Congressmen (District
Representative):
1.
natural
born
citizen
of
the
Philippines
2. on the day of the election at least 25 years old
3.
able
to
read
and
write
4. registered voter in the district in which he shall be
elected
5. resident thereof a period of not less than 1 year
immediately preceding the day of the election.
Qualification
for
Philippine
Party-List
Representative
(Sectoral
representative):
1.
natural
born
citizen
of
the
Philippines
2.
able
to
read
and
write
3. resident of the Philippines for a period not less than 1
year immediately preceeding the ay of the election
4. bona fide member of the sector he seeks to represent
5. on the day of the election is at least 25 years old BUT
in case of youth sectoral representative, at least 25
years and not more than 25 years old at the day of the
election
Qualifications for Philippine Local Officials:
1.
citizen
of
the
Philippines
2. on the day of election at least 23 years old for
Governor, Vice-Governor, member of sangguniang
panlalawigan,
mayor,
vice-mayor,
sangguniang
panglungsond in highly urbanized cities; while at least
21 years old for the said officials in component cities and
municipalities; at least 18 years old for members of the
sangguniang panglungsod, sangguniang bayan and
sangguniang barangay and punong barangay; at least
15 years old and not more than 21 years of age for
Sangguniang
kabataan.
3. able to read and write FIlioini or any other local
language
or
dialect
4. registered voter in the constituency in the locality
5. resident thereof for a period of not less than 1 year
immediately preceding the day of the election