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Purisima v.

Salonga L-22335 December 31, 1965

FACTS: Petitioner Purisima is a candidate for any of the three offices of Provincial
Board Member of Ilocos Sur. During the canvass, he notes that the returns from
precints (41) showed on their face that the words and figures for Gregorio Cordero
had been obviously and manifestly erased and superimposed with other words and
figures. For comparison, the Nacionalista Party copies of returns were submitted to
the board of canvassers and discrepancy was found.Purisima requested for
suspension of the canvass, which the board denied upon the ground that it was not
yet ascertainable whether the discrepancies would materially affect the result. After
the canvass, Cordero got the last spot with 1, 857 votes more than Purisima. The
petitioner again called the attention to the erasures which the board again denied and
proceeded with the proclamation of Cordero. Purisima went to the COMELEC to annul
the canvass and proclamation to whichthe Commission respinded by passing a
resolution annulling the canvass and proclamation. He filed a petition for recount with
the CFI which was dismissed. It was argued that the Nacionalista copies cannot be
made basis of a petition for recount accdg to Sec. 163 of the Revised Election Code.

ISSUE: Whether the Court is correct in dismissing the petition for recount and its
interpretation of Sec. 163 of the Revised Election Code.

HELD: The dismissal of petition for recount set aside. There is no more question now
that the number of votes involved in said discrepancy is more than enough to alter the
result. The record shows that the reason why Purisima was not able to submit to the
board the COMELEC copies of returns was because the board declined to suspend
the canvass and proclamation. He should not be prejudiced by such. It is the duty of
canvassers to suspend in case of patent irregularity in the returns as in the present
case. Interpretation of election laws should give effect to the expressed will of the
On September 18, 2012, the Court rendered the assailed Decision. It ruled that:

1. Fact- Finding Teams Initial Report dated October 20, 2011, are declared VALID.
However, the Rules of Procedure on the Conduct of Preliminary Investigation on the
G.R. No. 199082 July 23, 2013 Alleged Election Fraud in the 2004 and 2007 National Elections is declared
INEFFECTIVE for lack of publication.
vs. 2. The Joint Panel and the proceedings having been conducted in accordance with Rule
DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE; et al, Respondents. 112 of the Rules on Criminal Procedure and Rule 34 of the Comelec Rules of
Procedure, the conduct of the preliminary investigation is hereby declared VALID.

1. Whether or not the creation of the Joint Panel undermines the decisional independence
These are separate motions for reconsideration filed by movants Gloria Macapagal of the Comelec.
Arroyo in G.R. No. 199118 and Jose Miguel T. Arroyo in G.R. No. 199082 praying
that the Court take a second look at our September 18, 2012 Decision3 dismissing 2. Whether or not the DOJ should conduct preliminary investigation only when deputized
their petitions and supplemental petitions against respondents Commission on by the Comelec but not exercise concurrent jurisdiction
Elections (Comelec), the Department of Justice (DOJ), Senator Aquilino M. Pimentel
III (Senator Pimentel), Joint DOJ-Comelec Preliminary Investigation Committee (Joint
Committee) and DOJ-Comelec Fact-Finding Team (Fact-Finding Team), et al.

1. The grant of concurrent jurisdiction, the Comelec and the DOJ nevertheless included a
FACTS: provision in the assailed Joint Order whereby the resolutions of the Joint Committee
finding probable cause for election offenses shall still be approved by the Comelec in
On August 15, 2011, the Comelec and the DOJ issued a Joint Order creating and accordance with the Comelec Rules of Procedure.45 With more reason, therefore, that
constituting a Joint Committee and Fact-Finding Team on the 2004 and 2007 National we the the court cannot consider the creation of the Joint Committee as an abdication
Elections electoral fraud and manipulation cases of the Comelecs independence enshrined in the 1987 Constitution
In its Initial Report of the Fact-Finding Team concluded that manipulation of the results
in the May 14, 2007 senatorial elections in the provinces of North and South Cotabato,
and Maguindanao was indeed perpetrated. It recommended that Petitioner Benjamin 2. The creation of a Joint Committee is not repugnant to the concept of "concurrent
S. Abalos, GMA, and Mike Arroyo be subjected to preliminary investigation for jurisdiction" authorized by the amendatory law The doctrine of concurrent jurisdiction
electoral sabotage and manipulating the election results. means equal jurisdiction to deal with the same subject matter. Contrary to the
contention of the petitioners, there is no prohibition on simultaneous exercise of power
Thereafter, petitioners filed before the Court separate Petitions for Certiorari and between two coordinate bodies. What is prohibited is the
Prohibition with Prayer for the Issuance of a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO)
and/or Writ of Preliminary Injunction assailing the creation of the Joint Panel.

situation where one files a complaint against a respondent initially with one office (such as cases filed will not be allowed. Indeed, it is a settled rule that the body or agency that
the Comelec) for preliminary investigation which was immediately acted upon by said first takes cognizance of the complaint shall exercise jurisdiction to the exclusion of
office and the re-filing of substantially the same complaint with another office (such as the others.
the DOJ). The subsequent assumption of jurisdiction by the second office over the
FALLO: petition is denied

from the National Registry of Absentee Voters and his/her
permanent disqualification to vote in absentia.

G.R. No. 157013, July 10 2003

Petitioner claims that this is violative of the residency requirement in Section 1 Article
V of the Constitution which requires the voter must be a resident in the Philippines for
at least one yr, and a resident in the place where he proposes to vote for at least 6
FACTS: months immediately preceding an election.
Before the Court is a petition for certiorari and prohibition filed by Romulo B.
Macalintal, a member of the Philippine Bar, seeking a declaration that certain
provisions of Republic Act No. 9189 (The Overseas Absentee Voting Act of 2003) However, OSG held that ruling in said case does not hold water at present, and that
suffer from constitutional infirmity. Claiming that he has actual and material legal the Court may have to discard that particular ruling. Panacea of the controversy:
interest in the subject matter of this case in seeing to it that public funds are properly Affidavit for without it, the presumption of abandonment of Phil domicile shall remain.
and lawfully used and appropriated, petitioner filed the instant petition as a taxpayer The qualified Filipino abroad who executed an affidavit is deemed to have retained his
and as a lawyer. domicile in the Philippines and presumed not to have lost his domicile by his physical
absence from this country. Section 5 of RA No. 9189 does not only require the
ISSUES: promise to resume actual physical permanent residence in the Philippines not later
than 3 years after approval of registration but it also requires the Filipino abroad, WON
(1) Whether or not Section 5(d) of Republic Act No. 9189 violates the residency he is a green card holder, a temporary visitor or even on business trip, must declare
requirement in Section 1 of Article V of the Constitution. that he/she has not applied for citizenship in another country. Thus, he/she must
return to the Philippines otherwise consequences will be met according to RA No.
(2) Whether or not Section 18.5 of the same law violates the 9189.
constitutional mandate under Section 4, Article VII of the Constitution that the
winning candidates for President and the Vice-President shall be proclaimed
as winners by Congress.
Although there is a possibility that the Filipino will not return after he has exercised his
(3) Whether or not Congress may, through the Joint Congressional Oversight right to vote, the Court is not in a position to rule on the wisdom of the law or to repeal
Committee created in Section 25 of Rep. Act No. 9189, exercise the power to review, or modify it if such law is found to be impractical. However, it can be said that the
revise, amend, and approve the Implementing Rules and Regulations that the Congress itself was conscious of this probability and provided for deterrence which is
Commission on Elections, promulgate without violating the independence of the that the Filipino who fails to return as promised stands to lose his right of suffrage.
COMELEC under Section 1, Article IX-A of the Constitution. Accordingly, the votes he cast shall not be invalidated because he was qualified to
vote on the date of the elections.

(1) No. Section 5 of RA No. 9189 enumerates those who are disqualified voting under
this Act. It disqualifies an immigrant or a permanent resident who is recognized as Expressum facit cessare tacitum: where a law sets down plainly its whole meaning,
such in the host country. However, an exception is provided i.e. unless he/she the Court is prevented from making it mean what the Court pleases. In fine,
executes, upon registration, an affidavit prepared for the purpose by the Commission considering that underlying intent of the Constitution, as is evident in its statutory
declaring that he/she shall resume actual physical permanent residence in the construction and intent of the framers, which is to grant Filipino immigrants and
Philippines not later than 3 years from approval of registration. Such affidavit shall also permanent residents abroad the unquestionable right to exercise the right of suffrage
state that he/she has not applied for citizenship in another country. Failure to return (Section 1 Article V) the Court finds that Section 5 of RA No. 9189 is not
shall be cause for the removal of the name of the immigrant or permanent resident constitutionally defective.
than eighteen months of imprisonment, such disability not having been
removed by plenary pardon.
(2) Yes. Congress should not have allowed COMELEC to usurp a power that
constitutionally belongs to it. The canvassing of the votes and the proclamation of the
winning candidates for President and Vice President for the entire nation must remain (b) Any person who has violated an oath of allegiance taken by him to the
in the hands of Congress as its duty and power under Section 4 of Article VII of the United States.
Constitution. COMELEC has the authority to proclaim the winning candidates only for
Senators and Party-list Reps. (c) Insane of feeble-minded persons.

(d) Deaf-mutes who cannot read and write.

(3) No. By vesting itself with the powers to approve, review, amend and revise the
Implementing Rules & Regulations for RA No. 9189, Congress went beyond the scope (e) Electors registered under subsection (c) of the next proceeding section
of its constitutional authority. Congress trampled upon the constitutional mandate of who, after failing to make sworn statement to the satisfaction of the board of
independence of the COMELEC. Under such a situation, the Court is left with no inspectors at any of its two meetings for registration and revision, that they
option but to withdraw from its usual silence in declaring a provision of law are incapacitated for preparing their ballots due to permanent physical
unconstitutional disability, present themselves at the hour of voting as incapacitated,
irrespective of whether such incapacity be real or feigned.

And section 2642 provides:

AMADEO CORRAL, defendant-appellant. Whoever at any election votes or attempts to vote knowing that he is not
entitled so to do, ... shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than one
month nor more than one year and by a fine of not less than one hundred
Generoso, Pelayo, Castillo, Braganza, Chavez, Doromal, Diaz and Capili for
pesos nor more than one thousand pesos, and in all cases by deprivation of
the right of suffrage and disqualification from public office for a period of not
Office of the Solicitor General Hilado for appellee.
more than four years.


It is undisputed that appellant was sentenced by final judgment of this court
promulgated on March 3, 1910,1 to suffer eight years and one day of presidio mayor.
Appellant was charged having voted illegally at the general elections held on June 5, No evidence was presented to show that prior to June 5, 1934, he had been granted a
1934. After due trial, he was convicted on the ground that he had voted while laboring plenary pardon. It is likewise undisputed that at the general elections held on June 5,
under a legal disqualification. The judgment of conviction was based on section 2642, 1934, the voted in election precinct No. 18 of the municipality of Davao, Province of
in connection with section 432. of the Revised Administrative Code. Davao.

Said Section 432 reads as follows: The modern conception of the suffrage is that voting is a function of government. The
right to vote is not a natural right but is a right created by law. Suffrage is a privilege
The following persons shall be disqualified from voting: granted by the State to such persons or classes as are most likely to exercise it for the
public good. In the early stages of the evolution of the representative system of
government, the exercise of the right of suffrage was limited to a small portion of the
(a) Any person who, since the thirteenth day of August, eighteen hundred inhabitants. But with the spread of democratic ideas, the enjoyment of the franchise in
and ninety-eight, has been sentenced by final judgment to suffer not less the modern states has come to embrace the mass of the audit classes of persons are
excluded from the franchise. Among the the generally excluded classes are minors Separate Opinions
idiots, paupers, and convicts.
AVANCEA, C.J., dissenting:
The right of the State to deprive persons to the right of suffrage by reason of their
having been convicted of crime, is beyond question. "The manifest purpose of such
The appealed judgment affirmed by the majority members of this court sentences the
restrictions upon this right is to preserve the purity of elections. The presumption is
appellant for having voted in the general election held on June 5, 1934, in the
that one rendered infamous by conviction of felony, or other base offense indicative of
municipality of Davao, Province of Davao, being disqualified from voting. The
moral turpitude, is unfit to exercise the privilege of suffrage or to hold office. The
appellant, in my opinion, was not disqualified from voting.
exclusion must for this reason be adjudged a mere disqualification, imposed for
protection and not for punishment, the withholding of a privilege and not the denial of a
personal right. (9 R.C.L., 1042.) The appellant was sentenced to the penalty of eight years and one day of prision
mayor in the year 1910. This penalty carried with it, as an accessory, disqualification
from the right of suffrage during the term of the sentence. He began to serve his
Upon the facts established in this case, it seems clear that the appellant was not
sentence on April 11, 1910. He was granted a conditional pardon on July 31, 1913.
entitled to vote on June 5 1934, because of section 432 of the Revised Administrative
Inasmuch as the accessory penalty of disqualification from the right of suffrage was
Code which disqualified from voting any person who, since the 13th day of August,
not expressly remitted in this pardon, it is understood that he complied with and
1898, had been sentenced by final judgment to offer not less than eighteen months of
extinguished this part of the sentence on April 12, 1918. Therefore, under the penalty
imprisonment, such disability not having been removed by plenary pardon. As above imposed upon the appellant, he was not disqualified from voting in 1934.
stated, the appellant had been sentenced by final judgment to suffer eight years and
one day of presidio mayor, and had not been granted a plenary pardon.
The majority, however bases its decision on section 432 of the administrative Code
which reads:
Counsel for the appellant contend that inasmuch as the latter voted in 1928 his
offense had already prescribed, and he could no longer be prosecuted for illegal
voting at the general election held on June 5, 1934. This contention is clearly without The following persons shall be disqualified from voting:
merit. The disqualification for crime imposed under section 432 of the Revised
Administrative Code having once attached on the appellant and not having been (a) Any person who, since the thirteenth day of August, eighteen hundred
subsequently removed by a plenary pardon, continued and rendered it illegal for the and ninety-eight, has been sentenced by final judgment to suffer not less
appellant to vote at the general elections of 1934. than eighteen months of imprisonment, such disability not having been
removed by plenary pardon.
Neither is there any merit in the contention advanced by counsel for the appellant that
the disqualification imposed on the latter must be considered as having been removed The language of the law is not clear whether the disqualification referred to therein is
at the expiration of his sentence. This claim is based upon an erroneous theory of the only for the term of the sentence or for the entire life time of the convict. The majority
nature of the disqualification. It regards it as a punishment when, as already indicated, however, interprets this provision in the latter sense to which I do not agree, it being
the correct view is that it is imposed, "for protection and not for punishment,. the contrary to the spirit thereof.
withholding of a prvilege and not the denial of a personal right." Judicial interpretation
and long established administrative practice are against such a view.
If the interpretation of the majority were correct, section 432 of the Administrative
Code would not harmonize with the latter provisions thereof (secs. 2636, 2637, 2639,
The judgment appealed from is affirmed with costs against the appellant. So ordered. 2640, 2641, 2642, 2643, 2644, 2645, 2646, 2647, 2649, 2652, 2654, 2656, 2657,
2658 and 2659) on offenses relative to elections and elective officers, imposing the
Villa-Real, Vickers, Imperial, Butte, and Goddard, JJ., concur. penalties of imprisonment and disqualification from the right of suffrage for a period
not exceeding five and fourteen years, respectively. Supposing that in one of said
cases, for instance that of an election inspector who willfully signs a false statement of
the result of a ballot (sec. 2639), the penalty of imprisonment for more than eighteen
months is imposed upon him could be disqualified from voting during his entire
lifetime, in accordance with section 432, if the interpretation of the majority is correct,
and it would be to no purpose still to sentence him to him to the penalty of
disqualification from the right of suffrage for a period not exceeding fourteen years.

It cannot be said to harmonize these provisions, that the disqualification from the right
of suffrage should be imposed only when the penalty of imprisonment imposed therein
less than eighteen months because it is expressly required that both penalties be
imposed in all cases.

Neither can it be said that section 432 governs all cases, in general, and sections
2336 et seq. govern the specific cases referred to therein, because there would be no
justice in the law. One may be sentenced to more than eighteen months of
imprisonment for having committed the crime of serious physical injuries, for instance,
through reckless negligence or in self-defense, but without having used the means
reasonably necessary therefor, and according to the majority opinion he will be
disqualified from voting during his entire who, abusing his position, willfully commits a
falsehood in connection with a ballot entrusted to him, after serving his sentence
which does not exceed fourteen years, will again be qualified to vote. This cannot be
the result countenanced by the law. If the law in more serious cases wherein an
attempt is made directly against the cleanliness of the election, not disqualifies the
guilty party from the right of suffrage for a period not exceeding fourteen years, it
cannot be supposed that its intention is to forever disqualify therefrom the party guilty
of a crime which bears no relation to the exercise of suffrage and which does not
involve the degree of moral turpitude as in the other case.

I am of the opinion that this anomaly can be avoided only by interpreting section 432
in the sense that the disqualification referred to therein is merely during the term of the