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Case No. 61 - Bonifacio Ysip v.

Municipal Council of Cabiao, Nueva Ecija, the Nacionalista Party has now split its forces between the
Nueva Ecija, et al GR No. L-18947 April 29, 1922 old party and a new party. Such interpretation and application of the law
would, moreover, be in accord with underlying purpose of the Election
Topic: Construction of Election Law Law, which is to provide as complete a method as possible to obtain a
clean election.
The Court held further that in municipalities where it is shown that
At the last general election in 1919, two parties, namely: The Partido Partido Nacionalista polled the largest number of votes at the last election
Democrata and the Partido Nacionalista, contested for the supremacy in and the Partido Democrata the next largest number of votes at said
the municipality of Cabiao, Nueva Ecija. The highest number of votes was election, and where in such municipalities, in addition to the Partido
cast for Partido Nacionalista, and the second highest number of votes for Nacionalista there has been duly organized a new party known as the
Partido Demcrata. Due to political changes, the Partido Nacionalista Partido Nacionalista Colectivista, one election inspector and one substitute
divided into two parties: Partido Nacionalista and Partido Nacionalista shall belong each to the Partido Nacionalista, the Partdo Nacionalista
Collectivista. Colectivista and Partido Democrata.

Section 11 of Act No. 3030 provides: DISSENTING OPINION:

“Should there be in such municipality one or more political parties or In the case at bar two political parties, the Nacionalista and the
branches or fractions thereof, or political groups, then two of said Democrata, went to the polls in the last election in the municipality of
inspectors and two substitutes for the same shall belong to the party Cabiao, Nueva Ecija, and the Nacionalista party polled more votes than
which polled the largest number of votes in said municipality at such the Democrata. In conformity with the express terms of the law there
preceding election and the other inspector and his substitute shall belong cannot be any doubt that two of the inspectors must belong to the
to the party, branch or fraction thereof, or political group which polled Nacionalista Party and one to the Democrata. The fact that there
the next largest number of votes at said election; and the inspectors so appeared in the field a new political party, called the Liberal Nacionalista
appointed shall be persons proposed by the legitimate representative or or Colectivista, though formed with Nacionalista elements but different
representatives of such political parties, branches or fractions thereof, or from the Nacionalista and Democrata parties, does not affect the matter.
political group.” The rights of the victorious political parties should never be affected
because of the future reduction of its strength, by the affiliation of its
ISSUE: members to other parties, by the withdrawal from the party or by the
formation of a new party. The law does not bother about the actual
Whether or not Partido Nacionalista and Partido Nacionalista Collectivista number of members of a political party but only with the result of the
are entitled to one inspector and one substitute each. preceding election as determined by the amount of votes polled. Until a
political party has gone to the polls, there is no means by which to give it
HELD: the right to the appointment of an election inspector. To concede to a
new political party the right to be represented in the board of election
Yes, Partido Nacionalista and Partido Nacionalista Collectivista are entitled inspectors would be tantamount to presuming its victory in an election in
to one inspector and one substitute each. which it has never taken any part (as such political party) and this is not
what the law contemplates. The fact that the component elements of the
The Court held that a liberal construction of the law will permit the new party have come from the party that polled the largest number of
Nacionalista Colectivitista Party to have representation on election boards votes in the last election is not a sound argument to uphold the opinion
in all municipalities in which the Old Nacionalista Party polled the largest of the majority, because the law does not consider the source of the
number of votes at the last elections. Such interpretation and application political element with which the new party is organized, but only the
of the law will not do violence to it, in view of the notorious fact that the result of the last election which is self-evident fact that need no
party which won the election in many municipalities, such as Cabiao, discussion.

2010. 2010 and motion pursuant to COMELEC Rules of Procedure. Bulacan. Whether or not COMELEC can lawfully deny Violago’s motion for Thereafter. the COMELEC 2nd Division issued an reconsideration on the ground that it failed to file a verified Order3 setting the preliminary conference on August 12. 2010. HELD: On August 11. (2) the COMELEC Rules of Procedure. filed an Urgent Motion to Reset protest is the latter’s failure to timely file his Preliminary Conference Brief. Commission on Elections In its assailed Order dated August 12. 2010. tribunals in connection with other cases they were handling. Preliminary Conference on the ground that he did not receive any notice However. has been terminated and the office permanently closed and transferred to Sta. (5) irregularities due to non-observance of ISSUE: the guidelines set by the COMELEC. Violago filed a Motion for Reconsideration with the FACTS: COMELEC en banc contending that it was only on August 16.Case No. elections in Meycauayan City.2 2. Violago likewise submitted an advisory issued by the Chief of the Subsequently. attesting to the fact that the Order sent by the COMELEC to Violago’s counsel informing the latter of Violago also claimed that on the date set for the preliminary conference. where Alarilla emerged as victorious. 2010. (3) election fraud. through which the COMELEC also for the dismissal of the case. 2010. Alarilla dismissed Violago’s protest on the ground that the latter belatedly filed his Brief in violation of the COMELEC rule on the filing of briefs. on July 16. supposedly sent Violago a notice through telegram. Violago. Violago. Alarilla filed her Preliminary Conference Brief. likewise. Whether or not COMELEC has legal basis to dismiss Violago’s On June 15. Topic: Construction of Election Law On August 19. 2010. 1. In its second assailed Order dated September 21. 2010. Bulacan. COMELEC has no legal basis to dismiss. filed his Brief on the day of the scheduled The COMELEC 2nd Division’s reason for dismissing Violago’s election preliminary conference. 62 – Salvador D. 2010. Bulacan . No. a perusal of the records of the instant case would show that and only came to know of it when he inquired with the COMELEC a day Violago was able to present a copy of the Certification issued by the before the scheduled conference. Insufficient in Form and Substance. on the other hand. He. Maria. intimidation and harassment. Sr v. Rule 19 of Alarilla on the following grounds: (1) massive vote-buying. the COMELEC 2nd Division and Joan V. 2010. 2010 and directing him to file his his counsel and his associate were scheduled to appear before different Preliminary Conference Brief was received only on August 16. the scheduled hearing set on August 12. Postmaster of Meycauayan City. 1. On even date. and. Alarilla’s counsel moved telegraph service in the said City. 2010 that he received a copy of the Order of the COMELEC which set the Violago and Alarilla ran for the position of mayor during the May 2010 preliminary conference on August 12. Alarilla filed her Answer with Motion to Set for Hearing election protest for failure to timely file his Preliminary Affirmative Defenses in the Nature of a Motion to Dismiss for Being Conference Brief. (4) non-appreciation by the Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) machines of valid votes cast during the said election. directing the parties to file their Preliminary Conference Briefs at least one (1) day before the scheduled conference. Violago and his counsel failed to appear during the actual Operations Division of the TELECOM Office in Meycauayan that the conference on August 12. the COMELEC en banc denied Violago’s Motion for Reconsideration on the ground that Violago filed a petition with the COMELEC questioning the proclamation of Violago failed to file a verified motion in violation of Section 3.

clearly require by mere technical objections. unlike his opponent. COMELEC cannot lawfully deny Violago’s MR for failure to file every action and proceeding brought before the Comelec. does not justify the outright dismissal of the protest based on promoting the effective and efficient implementation of the technical grounds where there is no indication of intent to violate the objectives of ensuring the holding of free. And Violago should not be penalized for belatedly filing his Preliminary the court has the corresponding duty to ascertain. through means other than the official notice sent by the COMELEC. rules on the part of Violago and the reason for the violation is justifiable. including obtaining a speedy disposition of all matters pending justifiable reason why the COMELEC 2nd Division hastily dismissed before the COMELEC. the fact remains that. unlike an ordinary action. peaceful and credible elections and for achieving just. held thus: copy of the subject Order. However. Bulacan requesting for a candidate proclaimed by the board of canvassers certification as to the date of receipt of the said Order stating therein that is the lawful choice of the people. In fact. A one-day delay. that statutes providing for election Reconsideration. 2009. The COMELEC may liberally construe or even suspend its rules of procedure in the interest of On the basis of the abovementioned documents. of April 1. Rule 20 of the COMELEC Rules contests are to be liberally construed to the end that the will of of Procedure on Disputes in an Automated Election System.18 this Court. NO. While it may be argued that Violago acquired actual means within its command. This liberality is for the purpose of case. the settled rule is that the COMELEC Rules of Procedure are subject An election contest. . is imbued with public to liberal construction.12Respondent did not question the authenticity of these Motion for Partial Reconsideration is merely a technicality that documents. the Court finds no justice. by all Conference Brief. who is the real candidate knowledge of the scheduled conference a day prior to the date set elected by the people. Commission on Elections. he was not given sufficient time to Moreover. that a motion for reconsideration should be verified. it is true that Section 3. which was the disposition" of Violago’s election protest. Rule 19 of the COMELEC Rules of Procedure. basis of proclamation of the winning candidate. the Comelec Rules of Procedure are subject to a thoroughly prepare for the said conference. unlike an ordinary civil action. a verified motion. in clarifying the department or official of Violago’s allegation that he did not receive a mandated liberal construction of election laws. x x x An election contest. There is no indication that the COMELEC 2nd Division made prior verification from the proper or concerned COMELEC In Pacanan v. and it may be stated as a general rule With respect to the COMELEC en banc’s denial of Violago’s Motion for recognized by all courts. should not defeat the will of the electorate.15 this Court held that "the uncertainty which beclouds the real choice of the electorate with respect alleged lack of verification of petitioner’s Manifestation and to who shall discharge the prerogatives of the office within their gift. as well as the people in the choice of public officers may not be defeated Section 3. public concern involved and the need of dispelling the uncertainty over the real choice of the electorate. An election contest therefore involves not only the Fairness and prudence dictate that the COMELEC 2nd Division should adjudication of private and pecuniary interests of rival have first waited for the requested certification before deciding whether candidates but paramount to their claims is the deep or not to dismiss Violago’s protest on technical grounds. What is sought is the "certification is urgently needed for the proper and appropriate the correction of the canvass of votes. as in this liberal construction. interest since it involves not only the adjudication of the private interests of rival candidates but also the paramount need of dispelling the In Quintos v. through the 2nd Division Clerk. It has been frequently decided. orderly. The purpose of an Contests Adjudication Department. expeditious and inexpensive determination and disposition of 2." Violago’s election protest. Commission on Elections . sent a election protest is to ascertain whether the letter to the Postmaster of Meycauayan City. it was only on the day following such dismissal that the Electoral is clothed with a public interest.

that they shall vote in absolute secrecy. notice sent by the COMELEC is not an excuse to dismiss his protest. Commission on Elections . support of one’s claim or defense. This is precisely persons the high prerogative of suffrage. the ISSUE: Whether or not Cueto was guilty of election offense. and is generically called by textwriters the Australian ballot law. to render precarious and uncertain the bartering of votes. 1582 was enacted. an election inspector during the June 1916 elections at In the present case. Romulo ([1914]. notwithstanding the fact that Violago’s motion for Tiaong. 521." Elias Cueto. Commission on Elections. More particularly. To accomplish these ends. x x x . Act No. fact that petitioner somehow acquired knowledge or information of the date set for the preliminary conference by means other than the official HELD: Yes. because it cannot be denied that he was not afforded reasonable notice The Philippine Bill and subsequent Acts of Congress conceded to qualified and time to adequately prepare for and submit his brief. where the Court held that in exercising its powers and Topic: Main Feature of Election Law jurisdiction. without taking into consideration the violation of his right to procedural due process. procedural due process demands prior notice and hearing. is the aim of the law. by denying petitioner’s motion for reconsideration. the COMELEC "must not be straitjacketed by procedural rules in FACTS: resolving election disputes. In its essential details. Its primal feature was to allow the citizen to vote likewise be blamed for failing to appear during the scheduled conference secretly for whom he pleased. 26 Phil. to secure a fair and honest count of the ballots cast. considered the merits of the said motion in light of petitioner’s meritorious claim that he was not given timely notice of the date set for A disable voter named Toribio Briones belonged to the Mayor group. This law requires that only qualified electors shall be admitted to the polls. where two candidates named Mayo and Magbiray vied reconsideration was not verified. the "The purity of elections is one of the most important and COMELEC en banc is also guilty of grave abuse of discretion. 550): Hence. constitutes violation of due process of law. the the reason why Violago was only able to file his Preliminary Conference Election Law was carefully drafted and enacted. because of prior commitments and for. and lastly. He the preliminary conference. and De Castro v. and that the returns shall be justly compiled and announced. Cueto was guilty of election offense. Petitioner’s counsel may not Philippine Legislature. this law is a counterpart of the ballot laws almost universally adopted within comparatively recent times in the United States. To carry out this purpose. It is the denial of this opportunity that Cueto inserted the name of Magbiray. Instead of copying the name a reasonable opportunity to be heard and to submit any evidence in of Mayo in the ballot based on the slip of paper brought by Briones.. 63 – US v.This principle was reiterated in the more recent consolidated cases Case No. fundamental requisites of popular government. the COMELEC en banc should have for the municipal president positions. As discussed above. To banish the spectre of revenge from the minds of the timid or defenseless. and then revised by the Brief on the day of the conference itself. free from improper influences. filing an Urgent Motion to Reset Preliminary Conference. instead. Elias Cueto of Tolentino v. as defined by its mandate to protect the integrity of elections. The essence of due process is to be afforded was assisted by Cueto to prepare his ballot. Tayabas. As was well said in the instructive decision in Gardiner v.

. citing numerous cases. violated this provision of the law by acting alone). or religious sect. Board v. and when he does that. S. The law made it his duty and his duty only. All the efforts to secure a free and untrammeled expression of election is properly presumed when unlawful acts. v. write. The central idea of the Australian ballot law. determines the complexion of the intent.) But when. and speak condemnation. in conjunction with another inspector (the accused. Rep. (See 15 Cyc. St. "The color of the act . of intelligent deliberation leading him to judgment. by those having charge of such The accused. of good character. p.) The election officer.. to prepare ballots for disabled persons. 21 Ont. office it was necessary for him to have certain qualifications. or knowingly permitted. S. either English. The accused took an oath. 43.. 101. Spanish. 131 Ala. however. because there is no criminal intent. Cas. The exercise of any discretion as to the selection of candidates for the voter assisted is prohibited to the marker. criminal intent exists.. the election officer is given a specific duty to perform and.) The election inspector in giving assistance to a disabled voter has but one function to perform. and the substitution of his own for the voter’s choice in such selection is a flagrant violation of an official trust. The intent to affect the result of the secrecy.. 672. He had to be who scorns the law which he is sworn to enforce. v. party. Carpenter [1889].) An inspector who fails to write upon the ballot the name or names expressly indicated by the voter is guilty of a fraud practiced against the voter and thus of a violation of the penal provisions of the Election Law. 54. which naturally or the elector’s will lead up to and depart from that point. 41 Fed. 12 Phil. with another inspector. (See sections 417-424. Ann. 330. All that the law requires of an election officer is the exercise of prudence. as in the instant case." necessarily have that effect. (U. 26 Okla. although he does not live up to the law there is no crime. namely. 344. was an election inspector." (U. notwithstanding this duty. Watkins [1901]. an election officer is not responsible for a mere mistake in judgment but only for a willful disregard of duty. L. To hold this elections. are proved to have been intentionally committed. deliberately disregards the wishes of the voter. not convicted of an edifice of democratic institutions and is deserving of the severest offense involving moral turpitude. De la Serna and Callet [1909]. as already remarked. One of his functions was. whether connected with contract or crime. as so often expressed affairs. Rep. (Patton v. In the investigation of human "..) Of course. is to shroud the marking of the ballots in absolute infer the motive from the act.. 90 Am. [1912] B. the mechanical act of preparing the ballot. 104. or the local dialect understandingly. undermines the entire a qualified elector of his precinct. . Administrative Code of 1917. Dill [1910]. 453. honestly and justly to administer his duties according to the Election Law without prejudice or favor toward any persons candidate. to ascertain the wishes of the disabled voter and to prepare the ballot of the voter in proper form according to his wishes. and able to read. society. 387. Re Prangley.. we are constrained to in the cases.

Such a restrictive construction cannot be read into the law where the same is not written. substitution. withdrawal or disqualification should occur between Court frowns upon any interpretation of the law that would hinder in any the day before the election and mid-day of election day. Laws governing election contests accredited political party dies. The substitute candidate nominated by the political party concerned may file his Election contests involve public interest. only a person belonging to. If the true will of the electorate in the choice of their elective officials. a fact that must have been subsumed by law. and certified by the same in the choice of public officials may not be defeated by mere political party may file a certificate of candidacy to replace the technical objections. San Jacinto. – If after the last day of the filing of election cases should not be made to stand in the way of the certificates of candidacy. 22. Indeed. It FACTS: is a solemn duty to uphold the clear and unmistakable mandate of the people. Tomas. the political subdivision where he is a candidate or. candidate who died. Petronilla can validly substitute her late husband. On June freely expressed through the ballot. political laws must Romeo N. Candidates in case of death. an official candidate of a registered or true will of the electorate. Commission on Elections. which states that: “There shall be no substitution of candidates for barangay and sangguniang kabataan officials. disqualification or contested election. Pangasinan. Sound policy dictates that public elective offices are filled by those who receive On the day of the election. dated 23 May 2002. Petronilla. Basis and Nature of Election from being non sequitur. Petronilla got 516 votes while Placido received the highest number of votes cast in the election for that office. republican forms of government the basic idea is that no one can be declared elected and no measure can be declared carried unless he or it COMELEC denied such request citing Section 9 of Resolution No. withdrew or was disqualified. Placido were the contending candidates be so construed as to give life and spirit to the popular mandate for Barangay Chairman of Sto. it was Petronilla who obtained the plurality of votes in the Section 77. and technicalities and procedural certificate of candidacy for the office affected in accordance with barriers must yield if they constitute an obstacle to the determination of the preceding sections not later than mid-day of the election. rather than frustrate. The winner is the candidate who has her husband’s candidacy. ignores the purpose of election laws which is to give effect to. there is more reason to allow HELD: Yes. It is well-settled that in case of doubt. Placido also argues that inasmuch as the barangay election is non- et al partisan. Technicalities and procedural niceties in withdrawal of another. 4801 receives a majority or plurality of the legal votes cast in the election.” The absence of a specific provision governing substitution of candidates in barangay elections cannot be inferred as a prohibition against said ISSUE: Whether or not Petronilla can validly substitute her late husband. in all 290 votes. the substitution of candidates where no political parties are involved than when political considerations or party affiliations COMELEC cites that substitution of candidates is not allowed in barangay reign. obtained a majority or plurality of valid votes cast in the election. An election is the embodiment of the popular will. 64 – Petronilla S. The the death.Case No. aside Topic: Definition. the will of the voters. 2002. Such an interpretation. with the Commission. For. . there can be no substitution because there is no political party from which to designate the substitute. Rulloda and Remigio L. withdraws or is disqualified for any must be liberally construed to the end that the will of the people cause. said way not only the free and intelligent casting of the votes in an election certificate may be filed with any board of election inspectors in but also the correct ascertainment of the results. the expression of the Romeo’s widow. Romeo suffered a heart attack and died. sought the COMELEC’s permission to replace sovereign power of the people. Rulloda v. elections on Section 77 of the Omnibus Elections Code: To reiterate. in the case of candidates to be voted by the entire electorate of the country.