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1. Bautista vs. COMELEC [G.R. Nos. 154796-97 October 23, 2003] En Banc, J.

Carpio FACTS: On June 10,


2002, Bautista filed his certificate of candidacy for Punong Barangay in Lumbangan for the July 15, 2002
barangay elections. Election Officer Jareo refused to accept Bautista's certificate of candidacy because
he was not a registered voter in Lumbangan. On June 11, 2002, Bautista filed an action for mandamus
against Election Officer Jareo with the Regional Trial Court of Batangas. The trial court ordered Election
Officer Jareo to accept Bautista's certificate of candidacy and to include his name in the certified list of
candidates for Punong Barangay. In compliance with the trial court's order, Election Officer Jareo
included Bautista in the certified list of candidates for Punong Barangay. At the same time, Election
Officer Jareo referred the matter of Bautista's inclusion in the certified list of candidates with the
COMELEC Law Department on 5 July 2002. Thereafter, the COMELEC Law Department recommended
the cancellation of Bautista's certificate of candidacy since he was not registered as a voter in
Lumbangan. The COMELEC en banc failed to act on the COMELEC Law Department's recommendation
before the barangay elections on 15 July 2002. During the 15 July 2002 barangay elections, Bautista and
private respondent Alcoreza, ere candidates for the position of Punong Barangay in Lumbangan.
Bautista obtained the highest number of votes (719) while Alcoreza came in second with 522 votes, or a
margin of 197 votes. Thus, the Lumbangan Board of Canvassers proclaimed Bautista as the elected
Punong Barangay. Meanwhile, COMELEC issued Resolution No. 5404 on 23 July 2002 and Resolution No.
5584 on 10 August 2002 ("COMELEC Resolutions"). In Resolution No. 5404, the COMELEC en banc
resolved to cancel Bautista's certificate of candidacy. On the other hand, Resolution No. 5584 expressed
COMELEC's policy regarding proclaimed candidates found to be ineligible for not being registered voters
in the place of their election. ISSUES: 1. Whether or not the COMELEC en banc committed grave abuse
of discretion amounting to excess or lack of jurisdiction when it issued Resolution Nos. 5404 and 5584;
2. Whether or not the COMELEC deprived Bautista of due process when the COMELEC en banc issued
Resolution Nos. 5404 and 5584 3. Whether Bautista was a registered voter of Barangay Lumbangan
when he filed his certificate of candidacy; and
4. Whether or not it was proper to proclaim Alcoreza as Punong Barangay in view of the alleged
disqualification of the winning candidate Bautista. HELD: 1. A division of the COMELEC should have first
heard this case. The COMELEC en banc can only act on the case if there is a motion for reconsideration
of the decision of the COMELEC division. Hence, the COMELEC en banc acted without jurisdiction when
it ordered the cancellation of Bautista's certificate of candidacy without first referring the case to a
division for summary hearing. The proceeding on the cancellation of a certificate of candidacy does not
merely pertain to the administrative functions of the COMELEC. Cancellation proceedings involve the
COMELEC's quasi-judicial functions. 2. The opportunity to be heard does not only refer to the right to
present verbal arguments in court during a formal hearing. There is due process when a party is able to
present evidence in the form of pleadings. However, the COMELEC did not give Bautista such
opportunity to explain his side. The COMELEC en banc issued Resolution Nos. 5404 and 5584 without
prior notice and hearing. A summary proceeding does not mean that the COMELEC could do away with
the requirements of notice and hearing. The COMELEC should have at least given notice to Bautista to
give him the chance to adduce evidence to explain his side in the cancellation proceeding. The COMELEC
en banc deprived Bautista of procedural due process of law when it approved the report and
recommendation of the Law Department without notice and hearing. 3. Bautista was aware when he
filed his certificate of candidacy for the office of Punong Barangay that he lacked one of the
qualifications - that of being a registered voter in the barangay where he ran for office. He therefore
made a misrepresentation of a material fact when he made a false statement in his certificate of
candidacy that he was a registered voter in Barangay Lumbangan. An elective office is a public trust. He
who aspires for elective office should not make a mockery of the electoral process by falsely
representing himself. The importance of a valid certificate of candidacy rests at the very core of the
electoral process.Under Section 78 of the Omnibus Election Code, false representation of a material fact
in the certificate of candidacy is a ground for the denial or cancellation of the certificate of candidacy.
The material misrepresentation contemplated by Section 78 refers to qualifications for elective office. A
candidate guilty of misrepresentation may be (1) prevented from running, or (2) if elected, from serving,
or (3) prosecuted for violation of the election laws. 4. It is a well-settled doctrine that the COMELEC
cannot proclaim as winner the candidate who obtains the second highest number of votes in case the
winning candidate is ineligible or disqualified. The exception to this well-settled rule was
mentioned in Labo, Jr. v. Commission on Elections which held that the exception is predicated on the
concurrence of two assumptions, namely: (1) the one who obtained the highest number of votes is
disqualified; and (2) the electorate is fully aware in fact and in law of a candidate's disqualification so as
to bring such awareness within the realm of notoriety but would nonetheless cast their votes in favor of
the ineligible candidate. Following Sec. 44 of the Local Government Code provides for the rule regarding
permanent vacancy in the Office of the Punong Barangay, the highest ranking sangguniang barangay
member, or in the case of his permanent disability, the second highest ranking sangguniang member,
shall become the Punong Barangay. Thus, the proclamation of the second placer Divina Alcoreza as
winner in lieu of Bautista is void. 2. LOIDA NICOLAS-LEWIS, et. al. vs. COMELEC G.R. No. 162759 August
4, 2006 En Banc, J. Garcia FACTS: Petitioners are successful applicants for recognition of Philippine
citizenship under R.A. 9225 which accords to such applicants the right of suffrage, among others. Long
before the May 2004 national and local elections, petitioners sought registration and certification as
"overseas absentee voter" only to be advised by the Philippine Embassy in the United States that, per a
COMELEC letter to the Department of Foreign Affairs dated September 23, 2003 they have yet no right
to vote in such elections owing to their lack of the one-year residence requirement prescribed by the
Constitution. The same letter, however, urged the different Philippine posts abroad not to discontinue
their campaign for voters registration, as the residence restriction adverted to would contextually affect
merely certain individuals who would likely be eligible to vote in future elections. ISSUE: Whether or not
petitioners and others who might have meanwhile retained and/or reacquired Philippine citizenship
pursuant to R.A. 9225 may vote as absentee voter under R.A. 9189. HELD: Yes. It is very likely that a
considerable number of those unmarried children below eighteen (18) years of age had never set foot in
the Philippines. Now then, if the next generation of "duals" may nonetheless avail themselves the right
to enjoy full civil and political rights under Section 5 of the Act, then there is neither no rhyme nor
reason why the petitioners and other present day "duals," provided they meet the requirements under
Section 1, Article V of the Constitution in relation to R.A. 9189, be denied the
right of suffrage as an overseas absentee voter. Congress could not have plausibly intended such absurd
situation. 3. Ozamiz vs. Zosa G.R. No. L-28228 August 31, 1970 Concepcion, C.J. FACTS:Petitioner Julio
Ozamiz is a resident of Jimenez, Misamis Occidental and a registered voter of the same municipality. On
September 30, 1967, he filed with the Court of First Instance of said province, presided over by
respondent Judge, a petition for the exclusion of respondent Eleuterio Quimbo from the list of voters of
said municipality alleging that he is a citizen of China. On October 7, 1967, Quimbo filed a motion to
dismiss upon the ground that the petition fails to allege jurisdictional facts. Respondent Judge granted
the motion and dismissed the petition for exclusion. Hence, this appeal. ISSUE:Whether or not the court
has jurisdiction to inquire into the citizenship of Quimbo. HELD:In proceedings for the exclusion of
voters, the court may pass upon any question necessary to decide the issue therein raised, including the
question of citizenship of the person sought to be stricken from the list of voters, if the determination of
said issue depends upon his political status. The authority to order the inclusion in or exclusion from the
list of voters necessarily carries with it the power to inquire into and settle all matters essential to the
exercise of said authority unless the law provides otherwise. Furthermore, a decision in an exclusive
proceeding declaring a voter a Filipino does not constitute res adjudicate, not only as regards the
nationality of the person concerned, but, even as his right to vote. In other words, whatever said
decision may be, it would neither be conclusive on his political status, nor bar subsequent proceedings
on his right to be registered as a voter in any other election. 4. DOMINO vs. COMELEC (GR.No 134015,
19 July 1999) Davide, Jr., C.J FACTS: On march 25 1998, Domino filed his certificate of candidacy for the
position of Representative of the Lone Legislative district of the province of sarangani indicating in his
certificate that he had resided in the constituency where he seeks to be elected for 1 year and 2 months
immediately preceding the election. On march 30, 1998, private respondents filed with the COMELEC a
petition to deny due course to or cancel COC . they alleged that Domino, contrary to his declaration in
the COC, is not a resident, much less a registered voter of the province of sarangani where he seeks
election.
On may 6 1998, the COMELEC 2nd division promulgated a resolution declaring Domino disqualified as a
candidate for the position for lack of the 1 year residency requirement and likewise ordered the
cancellation of his COC. On the day of the election, the COMELEC issued a Supplemental Omnibus
Resolution No. 3046 ordering that the votes cast for Domino be counted but to suspend the
proclamation if winning, considering that the resolution disqualifying him as a candidate had not yet
become final and executory. The result of the election shows that Domino garnered the highest number
of votes over his opponents for such position. Domino then filed a motion for reconsideration of the
resolution which was denied by the COMELEC en banc. Hence, this petition. ISSUE: Whether or not
COMELEC has jurisdiction over the petition a quo for the disqualification of the petitioner? HELD: As
previously mentioned, the COMELEC has jurisdiction to deny due course or to cancel COC. Such
jurisdiction continues even after election, if for any reason no final judgment of disqualification is
rendered before the election, and the candidate facing disqualification is voted for and receives the
highest number of votes provided further that the winning candidate has not been proclaimed or has
taken his oath of office. It has been repeatedly held in a number of cases, that the HRETs sole and
exclusive jurisdiction over all contests relating to all election, returns and qualifications of members of
Congress begins only after the candidate has became a member of the House of Representatives. In the
instant case, Domino was not proclaimed a Congressman-elect of the Lone Congressional District of the
Province of Sarangani by reason of a Supplemental Omnibus Resolution issued by the Comelec on the
day of the election ordering the suspension of Dominos proclamation should he obtain the winning
number of votes. This resolution was issued by COMELEC in view of the non-finality of its resolution
disqualifying Domino as a candidate for the position. Considering that Domino has not been proclaimed
as Congressman-elect he cannot be deemed a member of the House of Representatives. Hence, it is the
COMELEC and not the Electoral Tribunal which has jurisdiction over the issue of his ineligibility as a
candidate. 5. Pangandaman vs Comelec (GR No. 134340, 25 November 1999) Ynares-Santiago, J:
Facts:The cases were filed by petitioners asking the Commission to hold a special election due to a
failure of election in twelve municipalities and a partial failure of
election in eleven municipalities, which was granted. Thereafter, petitioner insist on a strict compliance
with the holding of special elections not later than thirty (30) days after failure to elect pursuant to
Section 6 of the Omnibus Election Code Issue:Whether or not the 30 day period in holding a special
election must be strictly complied with. Ruling:No. In fixing the date for special elections the Comelec
should see to it that: (1) It should not be later than thirty (30) days after the cessation of the cause of
the postponement or suspension of the election or the failure to elect; and (2) It should be reasonably
close to the date of the election not held, suspended or which resulted in the failure to elect. The first
involves a question of fact. The second must be determined in the light of the peculiar circumstances of
a case. Thus, the holding of elections within the next few months from the cessation of the cause of the
postponement, suspension or failure to elect may still be considered reasonably close to the date of the
election not held. The provision invoked can not be construed in the manner that would defeat the
purpose and spirit for which the law was enacted. 6. Cawasa vs Comelec (GR No. 150469, 3 July 2002)
Facts: Jun Rascal Cawasa and private respondent Adbulmalik M. Manamparan were among the
candidates for mayor in the Municipality of Nunungan, Lanao Del Norte. Out of the forty (40) precincts
in Nunungan, only thirty-six (36) functioned, as there was a failure of election in the remaining four (4)
precincts. Thus the proclamation was deferred as the number of registered voters would affect the
election results. A special election was set for the remaining (4) precincts. After the special election,
Cawasa was proclaimed Mayor. Manamparan filed an appeal and petition for the annulment of the
proclamation of petitioner Cawasa and for the annulment of the special election results. The Comelec en
banc promulgated a resolution annulling the results of the special elections of the 4 precincts and
annulling the proclamation of the winning candidates. Issue: Whether or not the result of the special
election was valid due to the transfer of polling places in adjacent areas. Ruling: No. The Comelec ruled
that the result of the special elections in the 4 contested precincts were declared annulled, so as the
proclamation of the winning candidates, as such election was not genuinely held and resulted in failure
to elect on account of fraud. As clearly provided by the law, the location of polling places shall be the
same as that of the preceding regular election. While the proclamation of a candidate has the effect of
terminating pre-proclamation issues, a proclamation that is a result of an illegal act is void and cannot
be ratified by such proclamation and subsequent assumption of office.
7. Chavez vs Comelec (GR No. 105323, 3 July 1992) Facts: Melchor Chavez was disqualified from running
as Senator for the 1992 elections. However, the name Chavez was not deleted from the list of
qualified voters. Confusion arose, allegedly nationwide, as the "Chavez" votes were either declared stray
or invalidated by the Boards of Election Inspectors. A directive over radio and TV ordering all "Chavez"
votes to be credited in favor of petitioner. Petitioner contends that the radio and TV announcements did
not reach the BEI at the 170,354 precincts nationwide. As a result, "Chavez" votes were not credited in
favor of petitioner. Petitioner filed an urgent petition for prohibition and mandamus, with prayer for the
issuance of a temporary restraining order, enjoining the Comelec from proclaiming the 24th highest
senatorial candidate. Subsequer Agapito Aquino filed a Motion for tly.Subsequently. Senator Agapito
Aquino intervene with Comment for the dismissal of the instant petition on the ground that the law
does not allow preproclamation controversy involving the election of members of the Senate. Issue:
Whether or not the petitioner has a cause of action. Ruling: No. A simple reading of the petition would
readily show that petitioner has no cause of action, the controversy presented being one in the nature
of a preproclamation. Sec. 15 of Republic Act 7166 provides that pre-proclamation cases are not allowed
in elections for President, Vice-President, Senator and Member of the House of Representatives. What is
allowed is the correction of "manifest errors in the certificate of canvass or election returns. In the case
at bar, however, petitioner prays not only for a restraining order enjoining the proclamation of the 24th
highest ranking senatorial candidate but also prays that judgment be rendered requiring the Comelec to
re-open the ballot boxes in 80,348 precincts in 13 provinces, scan the ballots for "Chavez" votes which
were invalidated or declared stray and credit said scanned "Chavez" votes in favor of petitioner. It is
quite obvious that petitioner's prayer does not call for the correction of "manifest errors in the
certificates of canvass or election returns. 8. Samad v COMELEC Samad and Pagayao were both
proclaimed as mayor elect by two different canvassing boards. One board, which declared samad as
mayor, was headed by Pagayao and the other was headed by Saga. Samad sought the nullification of the
proclamation made in favor of Abdula and the calling of a special election in three precincts. On the
other hand, Abdula prayed that the proclamation of Samad be nullified and that he be enjoined from
assuming as mayor of Kabuntalan. Comelec then summoned both election registrars saga and pagayao
to appear before the comelec; ordered an ivestigation to be conducted and required elec supervisor
Cabacungan to comment on the petition. Petitioner samad filed in the Regional Trial Court of Cotabato
City an
action against the private respondent for quo warranto and prohibition with preliminary injunction wc
was granted. After finding that both cert off canvass and proclamation prepared by Saga and Pagayao,
COMELEC directed the Office of the Executive Director to constitute a Special Board of Canvassers for
the purpose of verifying which of the two sets of statements of votes upon which the two different
proclamation documents were based was genuine, without prejudice to the resolution of the prayer for
special elections in Kabuntalan. In need of a temporary OIC-mayor, Abdula was appointed by pres fidel
ramos. Such designation was questioned by Samad. Issues: W/N jurisdiction over the present
controversy remained with the COMELEC or was vested in the Regional Trial Court of Cotabato City upon
the filing of the petition for quo warranto YES. Jurisdiction remained with COMELEC. Both petitions in
the COMELEC and in the Regional Trial Court of Cotabato were directed at the illegality of the
composition of the Saga board and of the proclamation of the private respondent. This matter is within
the jurisdiction of the COMELEC. Further, COMELEC Resolution No. 2489 stated that all pending
petitions for disqualification, failure of elections or analogous cases, not being pre-proclamation
controversies, shall remain active cases, the proceedings to continue beyond June 30, 1992, until the
issues therein are finally resolved by the Commission. Samads petition for the nullification of
proclamation of abdula was not only for the annulment of Abdula's proclamation but also for the
holding of special elections in three precincts since it was reported that 2 precints were not included in
the counting. In addition to that, the board of canvassers headed by Saga, which proclaimed abdula as
mayor, was illegally constituted because it was not approved by election supervisor Atty. Cabacungan,
which prompted COMELEC to also create a special board of canvassers to continue the canvassing of
votes in said province. Even assuming the petition was a purely pre-proclamation case, it could
nevertheless continue beyond June 30, 1992 because it was declared by COMELEC that the issue raised
is meritorious. Moreover the quo warranto proceedings was not a proper remedy because both the
petitioner and the private respondent claimed to have assumed the office of the mayor of Kabuntalan
whereas the purpose of such proceeding is to unseat an official on the ground of disloyalty and fraud. 9.
Ampatuan v Comelec Ampatuan and candao both ran for governor of Maguindanao. Candao filed a
petition with the Comelec for the annulment of election results and/or declaration of failure of elections
in several municipalities in Maguindanao. They claim that the elections were a sham since the ballots
were filled-up en masse the night before the elections, and in some precincts, the ballot boxes, official
ballots, and other election paraphernalia were not delivered at all. As a result, comelec suspended the
proclamation of winners. Ampatuan then filed for the lifting of said order which was granted and then
led to the proclamation of ampatuan as governor of maguindanao. Candao on the other hand
filed a petition to the SC to set aside such proclamation but was unfortunately denied. Despite the
assumption into office of the petitioners, the Comelec ordered a consolidation of the respondents
petition for declaration of failure of elections. Technical examination of 4 to 7 precincts was also
ordered. Petitioners, ampatuan, filed the present petition. They claimed that the proper remedy for the
respondents is not a declaration of failure of election, but an election protest. They argued that the
conduct of technical examination would make the summary nature of the proclamation of failure of
elections useless.

Whether the Comelec has been divested of its juridiction to hear and decide repondents petition for
declaration of failure of elections after petitioners have been proclaimed.

Petition is DISMISSED.A Pre-proclamation controversy is not the same as an action for annulment of
election results, or failure of elections. While in the former, examination of the election returns is
limited on its face, the latter, may conduct technical examination of election documents, and compare
and analyze voters signatures and thumbprints. In this case, the Comelec is not deprived of its
jurisdiction even if the petitioners have already assumed office. Their assumption into office does not
give rise to the presumption that it is legal since the respondents have put into question the conduct of
elections which led to their proclamation. The respondents exhaustive allegation of massive fraud and
terrorism should not be taken lightly since if these were proven, could warrant a failure of elections. As
provided in Sec. 6 of the OEC, the Comelec en banc has authority to annul election results and/or
declare a failure of elections. In the case at bar, the Comelec is duty bound to conduct an investigation
as to the veracity of the respondents allegations. 10. UTTO v. COMELEC, DATU ANGAS and THE NEW
MUNICIPAL BOARD OF CANVASSERS OF SULTAN SA BARONGIS [G. R. No. 150111. January 31, 2002]
Pardo, J. Petitioner Utto and respondent Datu Angas were candidates for the position of the mayor of
the municipality of Sultan sa Barongis, Maguindanao in the May 14, 2001 election. Before the start of
the canvass, chairperson Mamalinta distributed to the parties present a report on the status of
canvassing. Out of the 98 precincts, the municipal board of canvassers issued 4 separate rulings
excluding 5 election returns for reasons such as (1) the copy of the ER for local position is not original,
(2) the ER is not the Board copy and the data on the votes of the candidates are manifestly tampered by
touch and go, (3) the envelope has no outer seal and the ER contained in the envelope has no inner seal.
Despite respondents manifestation to appeal the ruling, the municipal board of canvassers proceeded
with the proclamation of the candidates for municipal offices. The board proclaimed petitioner as the
duly elected mayor of the municipality. Comelec subsequently found that the aforementioned 5 election
returns were valid and should have been included in the canvass. Comelec issued a resolution directing
the inclusion of 5 election returns excluded by the municipal board of canvassers during the canvass of
votes and a resolution finding petitioners proclamation to be illegal and void ab initio. Utto files a
petition for certiorari and prohibition to annul these resolutions. W/N Uttos proclamation was valid.
NO. An incomplete canvass of votes is illegal and cannot be made the basis of a proclamation. A canvass
cannot be reflective of the true vote of the electorate unless all returns are considered and none is
omitted. The fact that a candidate illegally proclaimed has assumed office is not a bar to the exercise by
the Comelec of the authority to annul any canvass and proclamation illegally made. Where a
proclamation is null and void, the proclaimed candidates assumption of office cannot deprive the
Comelec of the power to declare such proclamation a nullity. 11. MACABAGO v COMMISSION ON
ELECTIONS G.R. No. 152163 November 18, 2002 CALLEJO, SR. J: FACTS: Petitioner Sabdullah T.
Macabago was proclaimed by the Municipal Board of Canvassers as the winning candidate for the
position of Municipal Mayor of Saguiran, Lanao del Sur. Petitioner had a lead of 198 votes over his
adversary, private respondent Jamael M. Salacop. Private respondent filed a petition with the COMELEC
against petitioner and the proclaimed Vice-Mayor and Municipal Councilors, as well as the members of
the Municipal Board of Canvassers, docketed as SPC-01-234, to annul the elections and the
proclamation of candidates in the said Municipality alleging that there was a massive substitution of
voters, rampant and pervasive irregularities in the voting procedures in precincts no. 19,20, 28 and 29
and the failure of the BEI to comply with the COMELEC Resolution No. 3743 and Sec 193 of the OEC.
Private respondent appended thereto photocopies of random Voters Registration Records (VRRs)
evidencing the fraud and deceit that allegedly permeated the electoral process, as well as affidavits
tending to prove that serious irregularities were committed in the conduct of the elections in the subject
precincts. Petitioner averred that private respondent raised a pre-proclamation controversy and it
should be proper if he files an election protest. COMELEC declared that the petition was one for the
annulment of the election or declaration of failure of election in the municipality, a special civil action
covered by Rule 26 of the Comelec Rules of Procedure, thus the COMELEC concluded that there
was convincing proof of massive fraud and noted that the lead was only 124 votes visa-vis the 474
voters of the contested precincts and the outcome of the petition would adversely affect the results of
the election. Petitioner filed with this Court the instant special civil action for certiorari under Rule 65 of
the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure praying for the reversal of the COMELEC order. ISSUE: Whether or not
COMELEC en banc committed grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction for
issuing an order that private respondent raised a pre-proclamation controversy instead of an election
protest. HELD: YES. The grounds alleged by private respondent in his petition before the COMELEC are
those for a regular election protest and are not proper in a preproclamation controversy; nor is such
petition one for annulment of the elections or for a declaration of failure of elections in the municipality
of Saguiran, Lanao del Sur. The COMELEC should have ordered the dismissal of the petition instead of
issuing the assailed order. The COMELEC thus committed a grave abuse of its discretion amounting to
excess or lack of jurisdiction in issuing the same. The error is correctible by the special civil action for
certiorari. 12.Lee vs G.R. No. Carpio-Morales, Comelec 157004 and Leovic R. July Deonida 4, 2003 J.:

Facts:The case is a petition for certiorari with prayer for a temporary restraining order/ writ of
preliminary injunction under Rule 64 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure seeking to set aside the
February 11, 2003 En Banc Resolution1 of the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) in SPC No. 01-124.
Sally A. Lee (petitioner) and Leovic R. Dioneda (private respondent) were candidates for mayor of
Sorsogon City, Sorsogon in the May 14, 2001 elections. During the canvassing of the election returns,
counsel for private respondent objected to the inclusion of Election Return No. 41150266 for Precinct
No. 28A2 in barangay Bucalbucalan, Sorsogon City on the grounds that 1) no entries were made for the
position of congressman, and 2) Laban ng Demokratikong Pilipino (LDP) watchers were utilized to fill up
election returns. In her opposition to private respondents objection, petitioner alleged that 1) the
omitted entry in the election return pertains to the position of congressman which cannot be a subject
of pre-proclamation controversy, 2) the utilization of the watchers, who were under the direct
supervision of the Board of Election Inspectors (BEI), was limited only to the filling up of the entries
affecting the party-list and justified by the severe lack of personnel to perform the task, and 3) the
alleged defect does not affect the integrity of the election return. On May 18, 2001, the Board of
Canvassers (BOC), finding that the 1) questioned election return was clear and regular on its face, 2)
there was no pre-proclamation for
members of the House of Representatives and party list, and 3) the grounds relied upon by private
respondent are all directed against the proceedings of the BEI and not the BOC, ruled for the inclusion of
the return. Private respondent thereupon filed on the same day a notice of appeal of the BOC ruling. In
the meantime, or on May 19, 2001, the BOC proclaimed the winning candidates, including petitioner as
city mayor. Private respondent thus filed on May 23, 2001 before the COMELEC a petition,docketed as
SPC No. 01-124, assailing the ruling of the BOC and praying for the exclusion of the questioned election
return and the annulment of petitioners proclamation. Petitioner filed her answer to the COMELEC
petition, praying for its dismissal. By Resolution of January 10, 2003, the COMELEC Second Division
granted the petition of private respondent and accordingly excluded the questioned return from the
canvass and nullified the proclamation of petitioner.The petitioner file a motion for reconsideration but
it was denied, hence the present petition. Issue: 1) whether or not public respondent is without
jurisdiction to go beyond or behind election returns and investigate election irregularities in pre-
proclamation controversies. 2) Whether or not public respondent gravely abused its discretion when it
rendered the assailed resolutions despite the clear and apparent lack of factual and legal basis to
support the same 3) Whether or not public respondent committed procedural lapses in the
promulgation of the assailed resolutions which affects the fairness standard Held: As to the first issue,
the petitioners argument is bereft of merit. as the case at bar is a pre-proclamation controversy, the
COMELEC is "restricted to an examination of the election returns and is without jurisdiction to go
[beyond] or behind them and investigate election irregularities," citing the case of Loong v. Commission
on Elections. As to the second error raised by petitioner, the same is untenable. While the BOC indeed
found the questioned election return clear and regular on its face, it is not conclusive on the COMELEC
nor on this Court in light of what transpired during the proceedings before the BOC in which the
members of the BEI were examined and gave the explanations behind the omission of entries for the
position of congressman. As to the third error raised by petitioner, she argues that the January 10, 2003
Resolution of the COMELEC Second Division was promulgated without giving her notice, and that were it
not for her counsels "accidental" visit to the COMELEC on January 13, 2003, said counsel would not
have known that said resolution was already promulgated and the 5-day period from the date of
promulgation to file a motion for reconsideration, as provided under the following provision of Rule 19
of the 1993 COMELEC Rules of Procedure, would have lapsed. This argument is bereft of merit
too as the 5-day period for the filing of an appeal commences from the date of receipt of copy of the
decision. The lack of merit of petitioners arguments notwithstanding, the COMELEC, in ordering the
exclusion of the questioned return, should have determined the integrity of the ballot box, the ballot-
contents of which were tallied and reflected in the return, and if it was intact, it should have ordered its
opening for a recounting of the ballots if their integrity was similarly intact. 13. LUCMAN vs. COMELEC
(G.R. No. 166229 June 29, 2005) Austria-Martinez J,: Facts: Petitioner Bairansalam Laut Lucman and
private respondent Mosama M. Pandi were mayoralty candidates in Poona-Bayabao, Lanao del Sur,
during the May 10, 2004 elections. During the canvassing of votes, private respondent objected to the
inclusion of ten election returns. The Municipal Board of Canvassers (Board) overruled private
respondents objections on the disputed returns,2 and proclaimed petitioner as the winning candidate.
Private respondent filed with Commission on Elections (COMELEC) an appeal from the ruling of the
Board, alleging massive fraud and irregularities in the conduct of the elections, e.g., force, threat and
intimidation were employed on the voters, double voting, substitution of voters, snatching of ballots,
padding of ballots and existence of flying voters. Private respondent also contended that the contested
election returns should have been excluded from the canvass, and that the Board was precipitate in
proclaiming petitioner as the winning candidate, as private respondent has manifested on record that
he is intending to appeal the Boards ruling. Private respondent admits that the exclusion of the
contested returns is a ground for election protest, but he also argues that the COMELEC may go beyond
the face of the returns to determine whether the elections in the precincts involved are a sham. Private
respondent also filed a motion to annul proclamation and/or to suspend the effects of proclamation
pendente lite. Petitioner filed his Comment and/or Answer to the appeal, arguing that the grounds
relied upon by private respondent are not proper in a pre-proclamation controversy but in an election
protest. Issue: Whether the appeal from the Board of Canvassers to the COMELEC (First Division)
interjected by private respondent makes a case for a pre-proclamation controversy. Held: Section 241 of
the Omnibus Election Code defines a pre-proclamation controversy as "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."
In the present case, the objections initially raised by private respondent before the Municipal Board of
Canvassers were proper in a pre-proclamation controversy, i.e., the election returns is obviously
manufactured and/or falsified, it is not authentic, it contains alterations. However, in his appeal to the
COMELEC, he further alleged that the elections held in the precincts clustered in the Pooni Lomabao
Central Elementary were tainted with massive election irregularities. According to private respondent,
there were "massive substitution of voters, snatching of ballots from the voters by people identified
with the Lucman who filled them up against the will of the voters, force or coercion, threats,
intimidation, casting of votes by double registrants in the same precincts (double entry), and flying
voters " Private respondent also alleged that the counting of votes on May 11, 2004, were not
prepared simultaneously with the appreciation of the ballots/counting of votes, in violation of Section
44 of COMELEC Resolution No. 6667 (March 16, 2004). Also, private respondents watchers were
threatened by petitioners watchers, forcing them to leave the counting room, and that the Board of
Election Inspectors merely copied the entries on the tally boards and records of votes made by
petitioners watchers. Finally, private respondent alleged that the denial to his objections to the
contested election returns were not made by the Municipal Board of Canvassers in the prescribed form,
and that despite his manifestation that he will appeal the Boards ruling on the returns, it proceeded
with petitioners proclamation. Hence, as correctly argued by petitioner, private respondents cause of
action before the COMELEC is proper for an election protest and not a pre-proclamation controversy,
and the COMELEC committed grave abuse of discretion in entertaining private respondents
petition/appeal. Consequently, all subsequent actions by the COMELEC in relation to private
respondents appeal are null and void, and correctible by the present special civil action for certiorari.
14.NORODIN M. MATALAM vs. COMELEC and CANDAO G.R. No. 123230 April 18, 1997 Panganiban, J:
Facts: Petitioner Norodin M. Matalam and Private Respondent Zacaria A. Candao were both candidates
for Governor of the Province of Maguindanao in the May 8, 1995 elections. Matalam challenged before
the respective Municipal Boards of Canvassers the authenticity of the election returns. During the
pendency of the said petitions, the Provincial Board of Canvassers on June 30, 1995 proclaimed
Respondent Candao as the duly elected governor of Maguindanao. The Second Division of Respondent
Commission subsequently nullified on July 11, 1995 the said proclamation of Candao. However, the
proclamation of Candao was reinstated. The Comelec held that in the absence of a strong evidence
establishing the spuriousness of the returns, the basic rule that the election returns shall be accorded
prima facie status as bona fide reports
of the results of the count of the votes for canvassing and proclamation purposes must perforce prevail.
Petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration. Subsequently, he also filed a motion for technical
examination of the signatures and thumbmarks of the registered voters of Maganoy appearing in the
Voter's Affidavit and the List of Voters for the purpose of proving that no election was conducted
therein. the Comelec en banc denied the motions for reconsideration and technical examination. Hence,
this petition for certiorari, Issue: May the Comelec in a Pre-Proclamation Case Go Beyond the Face of
the Election Returns? Ruling: No. The petition is not meritorious. That the election returns were
obviously manufactured must be evident from the face of the said documents themselves. In a pre-
proclamation controversy, the Comelec, as a rule, is restricted to an examination of the election returns
and is without jurisdiction to go beyond or behind them and investigate election irregularities. The
petition must fail because it effectively implores the Court to disregard the statutory norm that pre-
proclamation controversies are to be resolved in a summary proceeding. He asks the Court to ignore the
fact that the election returns appear regular on their face, and instead to determine whether fraud or
irregularities attended the election process. Because what he is asking for necessarily postulates a full
reception of evidence aliunde and the meticulous examination of voluminous election documents, it is
clearly anathema to a pre-proclamation controversy which, by its very nature, is to be heard summarily
and decided on as promptly as possible. Again, a technical examination runs counter to the nature and
scope of a pre-proclamation controversy. 15. Barbers vs. Comelec G.R. No. 165691 June 22, 2005
CARPIO, J. Facts: Petitioner Barbers and private respondent Biazon were candidates for reelection to the
Senate in the May 10, 2004 Synchronized National and Local Elections. On May 24, 2004, the COMELEC
sitting en banc as the National Board of Canvassers for the election of Senators, proclaimed the first
Eleven duly elected Senators. On June 2, 2004 COMELEC proclaimed Biazon as the 12th duly elected
Senator, notwithstanding that COMELEC did not include provincial supplemental COCs in Maguindanao,
Lanao del Norte and a Baranggay in Nueva Vizcaya, with COMELEC stating that even if Barbers should
win from said places, it would not materially alter the result of the election in favor of Biazon. Barbers
filed a petition with COMELEC to nullify said proclamation for being illegal and premature having been
based on an incomplete canvass. Barbers further asserts that said COCs if counted will alter the
election results significantly. COMELEC special division denied the same, Barbers
motion for reconsideration was likewise denied by the COMELEC en banc for lack of merit. Hence, this
petition before the Court for Certiorari with Injunction against the COMELEC in the proclamation of
Biazon for Senator. Issue: Whether or not public respondent COMELEC acted with grave abuse of
discretion, amounting to lack of or in excess of jurisdiction in proclaiming Biazon, without including the
supplemental COCs.

Held: The petition must fail. Certiorari and prohibition will not lie in this case, considering that there is
an available and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law to annul the COMELECs assailed
proceeding. We take pains to emphasize that after the proclamations, Barbers should have filed an
Election protest before the Electoral Tribunal. It suffices to say that the COMELEC based its ruling in the
assailed Resolution and official records of the COMELEC. The COMELEC enjoys the presumption of good
faith and regularity in the performance of official duty. Since the election results will not materially
affect the results of the election, it will be immaterial whether COMELEC used the PCOCs and the
MCOCs in the subsequent canvass. In addition COMELEC did not commit grave abuse of discretion,
since the uncanvassed voters return would not materially affect the election re sults. 16. ABBAS v.
SENATE ELECTORAL TRIBUNAL GR NO. 83767 OCTOBER 27, 1988 GANGAYCO, J: FACTS: The petitioners
filed before the respondent Tribunal an election contest docketed as SET Case No. 002-87 against 22
candidates of the LABAN coalition who were proclaimed senators-elect in the May 11, 1987
congressional elections by the Commission on Elections. The respondent Tribunal was at the time
composed of three (3) Justices of the Supreme Court and six (6) Senators The petitioners, with the
exception of Senator Estrada but including Senator Juan Ponce Enrile filed with the respondent Tribunal
a Motion for Disqualification or Inhibition of the Senators-Members thereof from the hearing and
resolution of SET Case No. 002-87 on the ground that all of them are interested parties to said case, as
respondents therein. Before that, Sen. Rene Saguisag, one of the respondents in the said case had filed a
petition to Recuse and later a supplemental petition to recuse the same Senator-Members of the
Tribunal. Senator Juan Ponce Enrile in the meantime had voluntarily inhibited himself from participating
in the hearings and deliberations of the respondent tribunal in both SET Case No. 00287 and SET Case
No. 001-87, the latter being another contest filed by Augusto's Sanchez against him.
The petitioners argue that considerations of public policy and the norms of fair play and due process
imperatively require the mass disqualification sought and that the doctrine of necessity which they
perceive to be the foundation petition of the questioned Resolutions does not rule out a solution both
practicable and constitutionally unobjectionable, namely; the amendment of the respondent Tribunal's
Rules of procedure so as to permit the contest being decided by only three Members of the Tribunal.
The proposed amendment to the Tribunal's Rules (Section 24)requiring the concurrence of five (5)
members for the adoption of resolutions of whatever nature is a proviso that where more than four (4)
members are disqualified, the remaining members shall constitute a quorum, if not less than three (3)
including one (1) Justice, and may adopt resolutions by majority vote with no abstentions. ISSUE:
Whether or not the Senate-Member of the SET may inhibit or disqualify himself from sitting in judgment
on any case. HELD: To our mind, this is the overriding considerationthat the Tribunal be not prevented
from discharging a duty which it alone has the power to perform, the performance of which is in the
highest public interest as evidenced by its being expressly imposed by no less than the fundamental law.
No Senator-Member of the Senate Electoral Tribunal may inhibit or disqualify himself from sitting in
judgment on any case before said Tribunal. Every Member of the Tribunal may, as his conscience
dictates, refrain from participating in the resolution of a case where he sincerely feels that his personal
interests or biases would stand in the way of an objective and impartial judgment. The Senate Electoral
Tribunal cannot legally function as such, absent its entire membership of Senators and that no
amendment of its Rules can confer on the three Justices-Members alone the power of valid adjudication
of a senatorial election contest. 17. Lachica vs. Yap Facts: This is a petition for certiorari with a
preliminary injunction filed by petitioners Lachica and the Liberal Party, with Lachica as its congressional
candidate for the 2nd District of Sorsogon, against respondent judge Yap of the CFI of said province, as
well as the Election officers and the other congressional candidate Peralta of the Nacionalista Party. The
Petition was in response to the nullification of respondent Judge Yap, of the petition filed before him by
the petitioner herein and the Liberal Party. The petition was for the request of a recount in 4 precincts
during the 1965 elections. The Court in a Resolution of December 3, 1965 gave due course to the
petition to be answered within 10 days, but no injunction was issued. Thereafter in the manifestation
filed on January 14, 1966, by respondent Peralta, he stated that the petition was set forth for oral
argument for Dec. 20, 1965 at which date counsel for the opposing parties appealed and argued for
their respective sides, petition being
submitted for decision. Respondent Peralta having been proclaimed and upon assuming said office on
December 30, 1965, averred that the petition of Lachica has been rendered moot and academic. The
above manifestation was noted and not having denied said proclamation petitioners now pray that the
Court rule on the merits of the petition. Issue: Whether or not petitioner Lachicas prayer for
nullification of the proclamation of Peralta is valid. Held: The Court held no. The Constitution provides
that both the Senate and Congress shall have their Electoral Tribunal, which shall be the sole judge of all
election contests pertaining to election returns and the qualification of the candidates, This grant of
power is full, clear and complete. Prior to proclamation of respondent Peralta, this Court could very Well
pass on the validity of the action of respondent Judge Yap in an appropriate proceeding. After such
proclamation and much more so after the oath of office was taken by the candidate proclaimed, with his
exercise of the prerogative vested in such position, it would not only curtail the plenary grant of
authority to the Electoral Tribunal but likewise could result in an unseemly wrangling between such
Constitutional agency and the Court, if the matter were not left to the exclusive and sole appraisal and
judgement of the Electoral Tribunal. 18.DUMAYAS vs. COMELEC ( G.R. Nos. 141952-53, April 20,2001 )
Quisimbing, J: Facts: Petitioner Dumayas and respondent Bernal were rival candidates for the position in
Mayor of Carles, Iloilo in the May 1998 synchronized elections. During the canvassing by the MBC,
petitioner sought the exclusion of election returns for 3 precincts of Barangay Pantalan owing to alleged
acts of terrorism, intimidation and coercion committed in said precincts during the casting and counting
of votes. The MBC denied petitioners objections and proceeded with the canvass which showed
respondent Bernal garnering more votes than the petitioner. Petitioner appealed to the COMELEC
Second Division which excluded election returns from 3 precincts and directed the MBC to reconvene
and finish the canvass of the remaining or uncontested returns and then, to proclaim the winning
mayoralty candidate. Private respondent Bernal moved for reconsideration of the decision of the
Second Division with the COMELEC en banc. The MBC proclaim petitioner winner of the election. Private
respondent Bernal filed an urgent motion to declare void petitioners proclamation. The duly proclaimed
ViceMayor Betita, and private respondent Bernal filed n action for quo warranto against petitioner
before the RTC of Iloilo. Petitioner filed with COMELEC en banc a motion to cancel Bernals motion for
reconsideration and motion declare void petitioners proclamation on the ground that respondent
Bernal should be deemed to have abandoned said motion when he filed quo warranto action.
The COMELEC en banc reversed the decision of the Second Division, annulled the petitioner Dumayas
proclamation; and constituted a new MBC. Respondent Bernal was proclaimed by the newly-constituted
MBC as the duly-elected Mayor of the Municipality. Petitioner Dumayas asked the Supreme Court to set
aside the COMELEC en banc resolution. Issue: Whether the COMELEC was correct in including in the
canvass the election returns of the contested precincts? Held: The Supreme Court held in the
affirmative. The only evidence presented by the petitioner to prove the alleged irregularities were the
self-serving contracts of his watchers and inspectors. Returns cannot be excluded on mere allegations
that the returns are manufactured or fictitious when the returns on their face appear to be regular and
without any physical signs of tampering. The election irregularities cited by the petitioner would require
the presentation of evidence which cannot be done in a pre-proclamation controversy which is
summary in nature. 19.ANACLETO LUISON vs. FIDEL A. D. GARCIA, Facts: In the general elections held on
November 8, 1955, Anacleto M. Luison and Fidel A. D. Garcia were the only candidates for mayor of
Tubay, Agusan. The certificate of candidacy of Luison was filed by the Nacionalista Party of the locality
duly signed by the chairman and secretary respectively, while the certificate of candidacy of Garcia was
filed by the local branch of the Liberal Party but it was merely signed by one who was a candidate for
vice mayor. For this reason, the executive secretary of the Nationalista Party impugned the sufficiency of
the certificate of candidacy filed in behalf of Garcia, whereupon the Commission on Elections, after
making its own investigation, issued a Resolution declaring Garcia ineligible to run for the Office.
Notwithstanding the adverse ruling of the Commission on Elections, Garcia continued with his candidacy
and the question of his ineligibility became an issue in the campaign. And when the time came for the
counting and appreciation of the ballots, the board inspectors, in spite of the adverse ruling of the
Commission on Elections, counted all the votes cast for Garcia as valid and credited him with them in
the election. Consequently, the municipal board of canvassers proclaimed Garcia as the mayor elect of
Tubay, Agusan. Believing that Garcia is ineligible to hold office, Luison filed a petition of quo warranto in
the proper court of first instance for the purpose of disputing his ineligibility and securing his
consequent ouster from office, but the petition was dismissed for lack of merit on a motion filed by
respondent. Luison took one step further. He also filed a protest in the same court on the same ground
that Garcia was ineligible because the Commission declared his certificate of candidacy null and void on
Elections.
Issue:Whether the protestee being ineligible and protestant having obtained the next highest number of
votes, the latter can be declared entitled to hold the office to be vacated by the former. Ruling: Our
answer is in the negative. The general rule is that the fact a plurality or a majority of the votes are cast
for an ineligible candidate at a popular election does not entitle the candidate receiving the next highest
number of votes to be declared elected. In such case the electors have failed to make a choice and the
election is a nullity. A protest to disqualify a protestee on the ground of ineligibility is different from that
a protest based on frauds and irregularities where it may be shown that protestant was the one really
elected for having obtained a plurality of the legal votes. Considering the fundamental difference
existing between the nature of a petition for quo warranto and that of an election protest, it may be
said that a candidate who files a protest against one who has been proclaimed as having received the
highest number of votes basing his protest cannot disguise his action so as to make his protest a
justification to be seated in office. In other words, he cannot convert an action for quo warranto into an
election protest. This is because these two cases are fundamentally different in nature and in purpose.
The Court declares that neither protestee nor protestant has been validly elected and so none is entitled
to the position of mayor of Tubay, Agusan. 20. Teofilo Regatcho vs. Judge Emmanuel G. Cleto, et. al.,
G.R. No. L-61946, December 21, 1983 Aquino, J. FACTS: In the election of May 17, 1982 held at Barangay
Balaoen, Sual, Pangasinan, Isabelo Clemente obtained 97 votes, while Teofilo Regatcho obtained 70
votes for barangay captain. Clemente was proclaimed the winner and was scheduled to take his oath of
office on June 7, 1982. Nine days after the election of Clemente, Regatcho, the defeated candidate, filed
with the Municipal Circuit Court of Labrador-Sual a petition contesting the election of Clemente.
Instead of pursuing that municipal court case, Regatcho filed on June 4, 1982 with the CFI of Pangasinan
a quo warranto action against Clemente on the ground that he does not know how to read and write, as
required by Section 7 of the Barangay Election Law. On June 5, 1982, Clemente opposed the petition for
quo warranto filed in the CFI. He interposed the defenses that he can read and write a little in Ilocano,
that Regatcho had already filed a similar case in the Sual municipal court, and that the action has
prescribed because it was filed 20 days after Clementes proclamation. Then, Clemente filed a motion to
dismiss on the grounds of lack of jurisdiction, prescription and lack of personality to file the petition
since even if Clemente were declared ineligible, Regatcho could not be proclaimed barangay captain
because he
did not obtain plurality of votes. The case was dismissed on the ground that Comelec has jurisdiction
over the case. ISSUE: Whether or not the municipal trial court or the municipal circuit trial court, and not
the COMELEC nor the Regional Trial Court, has the jurisdiction over quo warranto actions regarding the
barangay captains ineligibility HELD: Yes. Jurisdiction over such cases is vested in the appropriate city or
municipal or metropolitan trial court pursuant to the 1982 Barangay Election Law, Batas Pambanse Blig.
222, which provides: Sec. 20. Inclusion and exclusion cases; and protests.__... A sworn petition
contesting the election of any barangay official shall be filed with the city or municipal or metropolitan
trial court, as the case may be, within ten days from the date of the proclamation of the winners. The
trial court shall decide the election protest within fifteen days after the filing thereof. The decision of the
municipal or city or metropolitan trial court may appealed within ten days from receipt of a copy thereof
to the Regional Trial Court (CFI) which shall decide within thirty days from submissions, and whose
decision shall be final. That second paragraph of section 20 of the Barangay Election Law is modified
reenactment of section 8 of the Revised Barangay Charter and section 7 of the Barrio Autonomy Law.
Although section 20 refers to election protests, it may be construed as embracing Regatchos quo
warranto action which is not compliance as an ordinary quo warrranto case. In the instant case,
Regatcho acted correctly in filing a case in the municipal circuit trial court of Labrador-Sual contesting
Clementes election. He was mistaken in abandoning the case and refilling it in the CFI. He acted in good
faith. Mistake upon a doubtful or difficult question of law may be the basis of good faith. (Art. 526,
Civil Code). In the interest of justice, he should be allowed to revive the said case in the municipal circuit
trial court of Labrador-Sual. 21. villamor v comelec Villamor vs. Comelec G.R. No. 169865 July 21, 2006
Ynares-Santiago, J.: Facts: Virginio Villamor was proclaimed mayor of Carmen, Cebu on May 13, 2004
over his opponent respondent Amytis Batao. On may 17, 2004, respondent filed a petition to annul the
proclamation of petitioner on the ground of illegal composition of the MBC,
and it wasraffled to the Comelec 2nd division. On May 24, 2004respondent filed an election protest with
the RTC and this petition was subsequently denied for lack of jurisdiction for it was filed one day late.
Petitioner appealed the order granting respondents motion for reconsideration. Comelec en banc
dismissed the appeal for lack of merit. Issues: 1. Whether or not the trial court can act on the motion for
reconsideration on election protest. 2. Whether or not the trial court prematurely admitted
respondents election protest pending a pre-proc controversy. Held: 1. No. section 256 of the Omnibus
Election Code provides that the trial court cannot entertain a motion for reconsideration of its decision
in an election contest affecting municipal officers filed by the aggrieved party. But may appeal to the
Comelec within five days after the receipt of a copy of decision. 2. No. respondents petition to annul
the proclamation is based on the ground of illegal composition of the Board and thus, it is a pre-proc
controversy. It should have been filed before the proclamation of the winner. But in this case, it was
filed four days after the proclamation of Villamor. The filing of the petition to annul did not suspend the
period within which to file an election protest. Thus, subsequent filing of election contest amounted to
abandonment of the pre-proc controversy filed earlier. 22. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS, Petitioner, vs.
HON. DOLORES L. ESPAOL, Presiding Judge, Regional Trial Court, Branch 90, Imus, Cavite, respondents.
G.R. No. 149164-73. December 10, 2003 CALLEJO, SR., J. FACTS: During the elections on May 11, 1998,
Florentino A. Bautista was the official candidate of the Lakas for the position of Municipal Mayor of
Kawit, Cavite. He executed an Affidavit-Complaint charging the incumbent Municipal Mayor Atty.
Federico Hit Poblete, among others, of violation of paragraphs (a) and (b) of Section 261 of the Omnibus
Election Code (vote buying) and filed the same with the Law Department of the COMELEC. The Law
Department of the petitioner conducted the requisite preliminary investigation, after which it submitted
its comments and recommendations to the COMELEC En Banc. On February 25, 1999, the COMELEC En
Banc resolved to file necessary information against respondents with the Regional Trial Court of Cavite.
In the meantime, Gerardo Macapagal and Inocencio Rodelas filed a criminal complaint for violation of
Section 261(a) of the Omnibus Election Code (vote selling) against the witnesses of Florentino A.
Bautista. The Office of the Cavite Provincial Prosecutor conducted a preliminary investigation of the
complaint, in his capacity as a deputy of the petitioner. Thereafter, it issued a resolution finding
probable cause
against the respondents for violations of Section 261(a) and (b) of the Omnibus Election Code, and filed
separate Informations against them with the RTC of Cavite. On June 23, 2000, the witnesses appealed
the resolution of the Provincial Prosecutor to the petitioner COMELC, contending under the Section 265
of the Code, it is the COMELEC which has the exclusive power to conduct (the) preliminary investigation
thereof, and to prosecute the same. As such, it is also the COMELEC which has the exclusive power to
review, motu proprio or through an appeal, the recommendation or resolution of investigating officers
in the preliminary investigation.c The COMELEC in a resolution, denied the appeal of the witnesses for
lack of jurisdiction. But on the same day, the witnesses a motion to withdraw the Law Departments
delegated authority to direct the office of the Provincial Prosecutor or to move for suspension of the
prosecution of their criminal cases. Acting on the appeal, the COMELECs Law Department,
recommended that the petitioner nullify the Resolution of the Office of the Cavite Provincial for the
reason that the witnesses are exempt, under Section 28(4) of Republic Act No. 6646, from prosecution
for violation of Section 261(a)(b) of the Omnibus Election Code. The COMELEC En Banc approved the
resolution. Thus, a motion to dismiss was filed by petitioner in the RTC of Cavite. The Public Prosecutor
opposed the COMELECs motion to dismiss on the following grounds: (a) the exemption under the last
paragraph of Section 28 of Republic Act No. 6646 applies only to the offense of vote-buying, this
exemption will not apply to the charge for vote-selling which was the crime charged (b) the resolution of
the petitioner denying the appeal of Bautistas witnesses had become final and executory; hence, it is no
longer subject to review by the petitioner; and (c) the review of the Provincial Prosecutors resolution
made by the petitioner was a re-investigation of the case, and was done without prior authority of the
Court.c The trial court denied the motion of the petitioner COMELEC, holding that the petitioner had no
absolute power to grant exemptions under Section 28 of Republic Act No. 6648. The trial court also held
that the issue of whether or not the accused are exempt from prosecution and consequent conviction
for vote-buying is a matter addressed to the Court and not to the petitioner. ISSUES: 1. Whether or not
there is still a need to revoke the authority of the provincial prosecutor from handling the cases even if
COMELEC had already directed the law department to file a motion to dismiss these cases. 2. Whether
or not the accused are exempt from criminal prosecution. HELD: 1. No. The prosecutors deputized by
the petitioner are subject to its authority, control and supervision in respect of the particular functions
covered by such deputation. The acts of such deputies within the lawful scope of their delegated
authority are, in legal contemplation, the acts of the petitioner itself. Such authority may
be revoked or withdrawn any time by the petitioner, either expressly or impliedly, when in its judgment
such revocation or withdrawal is necessary to protect the integrity of the process to promote the
common good, or where it believes that successful prosecution of the case can be done by the
petitioner. Moreover, being mere deputies or agents of the petitioner, provincial or city prosecutors
deputized by the petitioner are expected to act in accord with and not contrary to or in derogation of
the resolutions, directives or orders of the petitioner in relation to election cases such prosecutors are
deputized to investigate and prosecute. Otherwise, the only option of such provincial or city prosecutor
is to seek relief from the petitioner as its deputy. The withdrawal by the petitioner of its deputation of
the provincial or city prosecutors may not be interfered with or overruled by the trial court. The conduct
of a preliminary investigation of election offenses for the purpose of determining whether or not there
is probable cause to believe that the accused is guilty of the offense charged and, therefore, should be
subjected to trial is the function of the petitioner. The Court will not even interfere with the finding of
the petitioner absent a clear showing of grave abuse of discretion. Neither should the respondent. This
principle emanates from the COMELECs exclusive power to conduct preliminary investigation of all
election offenses and to prosecute the same except as may otherwise be provided by law. (1)Yes. Under
Section 265 of the Omnibus Election Code, the petitioner is mandated to conduct a preliminary
investigation of all election offenses and to prosecute the same. The general rule is that the petitioner
must investigate, charge and prosecute all those committing election offenses without any
discrimination to ensure a clean, orderly and speedy elections. A joint preliminary investigation thereof
must be conducted and the appropriate Information filed in court against all the offenders. To enable
the petitioner to comply with its mandate to investigate and prosecute those committing election
offenses, it has been vested with authority under the last paragraph of Section 28 of Republic Act No.
6648 to exempt those who have committed election offenses under Section 261 (a) and (b) but
volunteer to give informations and testify on any violation of said law in any official investigation or
proceeding with reference to which his information and testimony is given. The law is an immunity
statute which grants transactional immunity to volunteers from investigation and prosecution for
violation of Section 261 (a) and (b) of the Omnibus Election Code. The immunity statute seeks a rational
accommodation between the imperatives of the privilege against self-incrimination and the legitimate
demands of government to encourage citizens, including law violators themselves, to testify against law
violators. The statute operates as a complete pardon for the offenses to which the information was
given. The power to grant exemptions is vested solely on the petitioner. This power is concomitant with
its authority to enforce election laws, investigate election offenses and prosecute those committing the
same. The exercise of such power should not be
interfered with by the trial court. Neither may this Court interfere with the petitioners exercise of its
discretion in denying or granting exemptions under the law, unless the petitioner commits a grave abuse
of its discretion amounting to excess or lack of jurisdiction. 23. people v reyes G.R. No. 115022 August
14, 1995 Puno, J: FACTS: Buenaventura C. Maniego, Collector of Customs, Collection District II Bureau of
Customs , Manila International Container Port, assigned Jovencio D. Ebio, customs operation chief, as
special assistant on January 14, 1992. Jovencio D. Ebio filed with the COMELEC a complaint protesting
his transfer. He claimed that this transfer violated COMELEC resolution No. 2333 and section 261 (h) of
B.P. Blg. 881, which prohibit the transfer of any employee in the civil service 120 days before the May
11, 1992 synchronized national and local elections. Respondent Maniego was charged with a violation of
Section 261 (h) of B.P. Blg. 881. However, Respondent Maniego claimed that he has not done any
offense because the above transfer was not with in the date the act is punishable by election offense.
The trial court granted respondent Maniego motion to quash on September 23,1993 and January 25,
1995. ISSUES: 1. Is this transfer ipso facto makes respondent Maniego liable for an election offense
under Section 261(h) of B.P. Blg. 881? HELD: 1. No. The resolution was effective on the seventh day after
its publication in two newspapers of general circulation in the Philippines. Resolution No.2333 took
effect on January 15, 1992, a day after the said transfer was done, thus, it cannot be said that Section
261 of B.P. Blg. 881 was already enforceable.
24. MA. J. ANGELINA G. MATIBAG, petitioner, vs. ALFREDO L. BENIPAYO, RESURRECCION Z. BORRA,
FLORENTINO A. TUASON, JR., VELMA J. CINCO, and GIDEON C. DE GUZMAN in his capacity as Officer-
InCharge, Finance Services Department of the Commission on Elections, respondents. Carpio, J.

Nature of Petition: Petition for Prohibition with prayer for the issuance of a writ of preliminary
injunction and a temporary restraining order FACTS: COMELEC en banc appointed Matibag as Director IV
of the COMELECs Education and Information Department. Such appointment was renewed by the
succeeding COMELEC commissioners and chairpersons. The last renewal was on February 15, 2001.
Appointment On March 22, 2001, President Arroyo then appointed ad interim, Benipayo as the
COMELEC chairman and others as commissioners. Benipayo and the other appointees took their oath
and assumed their respective offices. Such appointment was not confirmed by the Commission on
Appointments. 1st Renewal On June 1, 2001, President Arroyo renewed the appointments. The
Commission of Appointments again failed to confirm the appointments since the congress adjourned
before the Commission could act on their appointments. 2nd Renewal On June 8, 2001, The
appointments were once again renewed. The President submitted the appointments for confirmation.
The appointees took their oath and assumed office. On April 2001, Benipayo removed Matibag from her
position as Director IV of COMELECs EID and replaced Cinco. Matibag was then reassigned to the
COMELEC Law department. Matibag asked for reconsideration in the light of her removal from the EID
and reassignment to the Law department. Benipayo denied her request. Matibag appealed to COMELEC
en banc, and filed and administrative complaint with the COMELEC Law department against Benipayo
alleging that her reassignment
violated Section 261 (h) of the Omnibus Election Code, and other pertinent laws. Pending the complaint
with the Law department, she also filed an instant petition questioning the appointment and the right to
remain in office of Benipayo, Borra and Tuason, as Chairman and Commissioners of the COMELEC,
respectively. Matibag claims that the ad interim appointments of Benipayo, Borra and Tuason violate
the constitutional provisions on the independence of the COMELEC, as well as on the prohibitions on
temporary appointments and reappointments of its Chairman and members. Her petition was denied.
3rd Renewal Meanwhile, President Arroyo renewed once more the appointments on September 6,
2001. They immediately took their oath and assumed office. ISSUES: Satisfaction of Requirements of
Judicial Review Temporary appointments prohibited by the Constitution 3. Invalidity of renewals
following the prohibited first ad interim appointment 4. Reassignment was done without prior approval
of the COMELEC HELD: Requirements of Judicial Review. (1)the existence of an actual and appropriate
controversy; (2)a personal and substantial interest of the party raising the constitutional issue; (3)the
exercise of the judicial review is pleaded at the earliest opportunity; and (4) the constitutional issue is
the lis mota of the case. Respondents argue that Matibag did not comply with 2, 3, and 4. The court
finds no merit on such allegations. With regards to number 2, the Supreme Court Held that Matibag
sustains substantial injury if Benipayo was indeed invalidly appointed as Chairman of the COMELEC.
Number 3 is present since Matibag questioned the constitutionality of the ad interim appointments of
Benipayo and others when she filed her petition before the Supreme Court, which is the earliest
opportunity for pleading the constitutional issue before a competent body. Furthermore, this Court may
determine, in the exercise of sound discretion, the time when a constitutional issue may be passed
upon. There is no doubt petitioner raised the constitutional issue on time.
At last, unless the constitutionality of Benipayos ad interim appointment and assumption of office is
resolved, the legality of petitioners reassignment from the EID to the Law Department cannot be
determined. This is the lis mota of the case. Temporary appointments Petitioner posits the view that an
ad interim appointment can be withdrawn or revoked by the President at her pleasure, and can even be
disapproved or simply by-passed by the Commission on Appointments. For this reason, petitioner claims
that an ad interim appointment is temporary in character and consequently prohibited by the last
sentence of Section 1 (2), Article IX-C of the Constitution. This was not accepted by the Supreme Court.
An ad interim appointment is a permanent appointment because it takes effect immediately and can no
longer be withdrawn by the President once the appointee has qualified into office. The fact that it is
subject to confirmation by the Commission on Appointments does not alter its permanent character.
The Constitution itself makes an ad interim appointment permanent in character by making it effective
until disapproved by the Commission on Appointments or until the next adjournment of Congress. While
the Constitution mandates that the COMELEC "shall be independent"36, this provision should be
harmonized with the Presidents power to extend ad interim appointments. To hold that the
independence of the COMELEC requires the Commission on Appointments to first confirm ad interim
appointees before the appointees can assume office will negate the Presidents power to make ad
interim appointments. This is contrary to the rule on statutory construction to give meaning and effect
to every provision of the law. It will also run counter to the clear intent of the framers of the
Constitution. Renewals An ad interim appointment that has lapsed by inaction of the Commission on
Appointments does not constitute a term of office. The period from the time the ad interim
appointment is made to the time it lapses is neither a fixed term nor an unexpired term. To hold
otherwise would mean that the President by his unilateral action could start and complete the running
of a term of office in the COMELEC without the consent of the Commission on Appointments. This
interpretation renders inutile the confirming power of the Commission on Appointments. The phrase
"without reappointment" applies only to one who has been appointed by the President and confirmed
by the Commission on Appointments, whether or not such person completes his term of office. There
must be a confirmation by the Commission on Appointments of the previous appointment before the
prohibition on reappointment
can apply. To hold otherwise will lead to absurdities and negate the Presidents power to make ad
interim appointments. 4. Reassignment without approval of the COMELEC Petitioners posturing will
hold water if Benipayo does not possess any color of title to the office of Chairman of the COMELEC. We
have ruled, however, that Benipayo is the de jure COMELEC Chairman, and consequently he has full
authority to exercise all the powers of that office for so long as his ad interim appointment remains
effective. The Chairman, as the Chief Executive of the COMELEC, is expressly empowered on his own
authority to transfer or reassign COMELEC personnel in accordance with the Civil Service Law. In the
exercise of this power, the Chairman is not required by law to secure the approval of the COMELEC en
banc.CASE DISMISSED. 25. Herrera vs. CA G.R. No. 140651, February 19,2002 Bellosillo,J.: Facts: During
the May 11, 1992 elections, the polling places of Mocag and Mabini were located at Mocag Elementary
School which had no electric power supply. Due to the circumstances, the parishioners of Baggao,
Cagayan had formed the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) to observe and monitor
the conduct of elections. On May 12, 1992, Arnold Alonzo, coordinator of PPCRV was informed that the
ballot boxes of precinct nos. 35, 37, 37-A, 38, 38-A, 39 and 51 were not yet submitted to the office of the
Municipal Treasurer. Also, that the spouses Bernardino and Flordelita Daquioag and Estelita Herrera
were the poll chairmen of precincts 38, 39 and 51 respectively. The PPCRV went to the houses of the
Daquioags and Herrera, and they saw the missing ballot boxes. Both the spouses Daquioags and Herrera
alleged that they brought the bozes home since it was already late and they didnt know that they
needed permission from the Comelec registrar before they could do so. They charged for violations of
Secs. 217, 261 (z) nos. 13,15,21 of the Omnibus Election Code. And all of them were subsequently
convicted of the said offenses. Their petitions for reconsiderations were denied. Only Herrera
interposed the instant petition for review on certiorari. She alleged that the information iiis nooot valid
and sufficient for it charges multiple offenses. Issue: 1. Whether or not the information is valid and
sufficient 2. Whether or not the petitioner was properly convicted of the offense of which she was
charged. Held: 1. Yes. The Information is valid and sufficient. Although the law provides that the
information should charge only one offense and in this case, she was charged with several offenses, it is
still considered valid. The remedy of the petitioner would have been to move to quash the information
but due to failure to assert this before she pleaded in the information is deemed a waiver.
2. Yes. She was charged with violating sec 217 of the Omnibus Election Code, and it provides that
offense is failure by the members of the BEI and watchers to immediately deliver the ballot box,
supplies and all pertinent papers and documents to the city or municipal treasurer. And Herrera was
charged with transferring the ballot boxes, tally sheets and other paraphernalia from the polling place to
her residence. It is clear that she failed to deliver the ballot box to the treasurer on time and that
transfer was made without authorization from the Comelec. Therefore, She was properly convicted of
the offense of which she was charged. 26. KILOSBAYAN, INC., FERNANDO A. SANTIAGO, QUINTIN S.
DOROMAL, EMILIO C. CAPULONG JR., RAFAEL G. FERNANDO, petitioners, vs. COMMISSION ON
ELECTIONS, SALVADOR ENRIQUEZ, FRANKLIN DRILON, CESAR SARINO, LEONORA V. DE JESUS, TIBURCIO
RELUCIO, RONALDO V. PUNO, BENITO R. CATINDIG, MANUEL CALUPITAN III, VICENTE CARLOS,
FRANCISCO CANCIO, JIMMY DURANTE, MELVYN MENDOZA, respondents. G.R. No. 128054 October 16,
1997 hERMOSISIMA, JR., J.: FACTS:On December 14, 1993, public respondent Commission on Elections
(Comelec) received from petitioner Kilosbayan a letter informing the former of two serious violations of
election laws and requesting that these offenses and malpractices be investigated promptly. Petitioner,
in its letter-complaint alleged that in the October 5, 1993 hearing of the Commission of Appointments,
Budget Secretary Salvador Enriquez admitted P70 million was released by his department in favour of a
private entity, the so-called "Philippine Youth, Health and Sports Development Foundation," headed by
Mr. Ronaldo Puno, who had been repeatedly identified by columnist Teodoro Benigno as a key member
of the Sulu Hotel Operation (SHO), which had reportedly engaged in dirty election tricks and practices in
said elections. Petitioner also alleged that Malacanang illegally diverted P330 from the Countryside
Development Fund to the Department of Interior and Local Government which disbursed this huge
amount shortly before the May 11, 1992 elections, as revealed by DILG Budget Officer Barata, in a
hearing of the Senate Finance Committee held on November 22, 1993. In support of the letter-
complaint, documentary evidences like copies of Teodoro Benigno's newspaper articles on the SHO's
use of PYHSDFI-obtained CDF, respondent Enriquez's testimony before the Commission on
Appointments, DILG Budget Officer Barata's testimony before the Senate Finance Committee, and
Norberto Gonzales' affidavit, were submitted by petitioner. The Comelec En Banc promulgated a
resolution dismissing the charges against the respondents all on the ground of insufficiency of evidence
to establish probable cause. The COMELEC En Banc unanimously held that newspaper clippings are
hearsay and of no evidentiary value, and that no other evidence except Mr. Benigno's articles were
submitted to prove the existence of the so-called Sulo Hotel Operations.
Moreover, petitioners contentions as to the the nature and amount of expenditure within a short
period of time are not sufficient to meet the quantum proof required to establish that said contributions
were made for partisan political activity. Hence, Kilosbayan filed a petition to the Supreme Court
ascribing grave abuse of discretion to COMELEC for refusing and/or neglecting to gather more evidence
of respondents' culpability, pursuant to its constitutional duty to prosecute election offenses.
ISSUE:Whether or not the COMELEC is duty-bound to search for evidence to prove a complaint HELD:
No. The contention of petitioner Kilosbayan that it is the Comelec that is duty-bound to search for
evidence to prove its letter-complaint is downright erroneous. The task of the Comelec as
investigator and prosecutor, acting upon any election offense complaint, is not the physical searching
and gathering of proof in support of a complaint for an alleged commission of an election offense. A
complainant, who in effect accuses another person of having committed an act constituting an election
offense, has the burden, as it is his responsibility, to follow through his accusation and prove his
complainant. If the complainant fails to proffer the necessary evidence to show probable cause,
notwithstanding the lack of denial or any evidence in controversion, of the accusation, the complaint
must be dismissed, since any person accused of a crime is presumed innocent and does not at all have
to make a response or reaction to the charges against him. The Comelec, in acting upon an election
offense complaint in the course of preliminary investigation, initially facilitates the confrontation
process between the complainant and the respondents by requiring the submission of and interfacing,
their respective evidences. Ultimately, the Comelec passes upon the contending parties' respective
submission and proofs and weighs the fact and circumstances established therefrom. Contrary to the
asseveration of petitioner Kilosbayan, the preliminary investigation is not an occasion for the Comelec
to, as a duty, spoonfeed the complainant with evidence needed to prove its case. 27. Baytan Vs.
COMELEC G.R. No. 153945, February 4, 2003 Carpio, J.: Facts: On June 15, 1997, Reynato, Reynaldo and
Adrian Baytan decided to register for the May 1998 elections. They met Brgy. Capt. Roberto Ignacio on
their way and he led them to register in Precinct no. 83A of Brgy. 18 Cavite City. This registration was
evidenced by Voters Registration Record Nos. 41762473, 41762472 and 41762470. After they
registered, they realized that their residence is situated within the jurisdiction of Brgy 28. Then they
proceeded to precinct 129-A of Brgy 28 to register as evidenced
by Voter;s Registration Record Nos. 42662969, 42662968 and 42662917. On August 21, 1997,
petitioners sent a letter to the COMELEC, requesting for advice on how to cancel their previous
registration and also stated the reason for their second registration. On September 16, 1997, the
Election Officer of Cavite City forwarded copies of petitioners voters registration records to Provincial
Election Supervisor, Juanito Ravanzo, who endorsed the matter to the Regional Director for prosecution.
Eventually, the Law Department, endorsed the case to the Provincial Election Supervisor for resolution.
On January 10-1998, Ravanzo recommended filing information for double registration against the
petitioners. The Comelec affirmed the recommendation of Ravanzo. Petitioners then moved for
reconsideration which the Comelec en banc denied. Issues: 1. Whether or not honest mistake and good
faith be taken into consideration in double registration. 2. Whether or not Comelec en banc committed
grave abuse when they took cognizance of the case in the first instance. Held: 1. No. Double registration
is malum prohibitum. The claim of lack of intent and goodfaith cannot be considered. In fact, it shown
that in the first registration, their address is 709 T. Gomez Extension st. Brgy 18-Maya, Cavite City. While
in the second registration, they registered as residents of 709 Magcawas st. Brgy. 28-Taurus, Cavite City.
There are inconsistencies between the two registrations. The letter that was sent to Comelec asking for
advice on how to cancel their second registration would not be enough to show that there is good faith.
The letter was sent after their second registration was accomplished and after the election officer of
Cavite City has already reported their act of double registration to a higer official. 2. No. under the
constitution, the Comelec has administrative powers which may be exercised en banc or in two
divisions. Therefore, the Comelec en banc can act directly on matters falling within its administrative
powers.