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FEB 18

1. GMA Network vs. Comelec, G.R. 205357, Sept. 2. 2014

Facts: The five (5) petitions before the Court put in issue the alleged unconstitutionality of Section 9 (a) of COMELEC
Resolution No. 9615 limiting the broadcast and radio advertisements of candidates and political parties for national
election positions to an aggregate total of one hundred twenty (120) minutes and one hundred eighty (180) minutes,
respectively. They contend that such restrictive regulation on allowable broadcast time violates freedom of the press,
impairs the people’s right to suffrage as well as their right to information relative to the exercise of their right to choose
who to elect during the forth coming elections

Section 9 (a) provides for an “aggregate total” airtime instead of the previous “per station” airtime for political campaigns
or advertisements, and also required prior COMELEC approval for candidates’ television and radio guestings and
appearances.

Issue: Section 9 (a) of Resolution 9615, which imposed airtime limits on radio and tv political advertisement, violative of
the people’s right to suffrage?

Ruling: Yes. Section 9 (a) of Resolution 9615 is violative of the people's right to suffrage. Fundamental to the idea of a
democratic and republican state is the right of the people to determine their own destiny through the choice of leaders they
may have in government. Thus, the primordial importance of suffrage and the concomitant right of the people to be
adequately informed for the intelligent exercise of such birthright. Candidates and political parties need adequate
breathing space - including the means to disseminate their ideas. This could not be reasonably addressed by the very
restrictive manner by which the respondent implemented the time limits in regard to political advertisements in the
broadcast media.

2. 1-UTAK vs COMELEC, G.R. No. 206020, April 14, 2015

Facts: In 2013, Comelec promulgated Resolution No. 9615, which provided for the rules implementing R.A. No. 9006 in
connection with the May 13, 2013 national and local elections and subsequent elections. One of the sections enumerates
the prohibited forms of election propaganda including the posting of any election campaign or propaganda material in
public utility vehicles such as buses, jeepneys, trains, taxi cabs, ferries, pedicabs and tricycles, whether motorized or not,
and within the premises of public transport terminals, such as bus terminals, airports, seaports, docks, piers, train stations,
and the like.

Issues:

1. Is Section 7(g) items (5) and (6), in relation to Section 7(f) of Comelec Resolution No. 9615 which prohibits the
posting of any election campaign or propaganda material, inter alia, in PUVs and public transport terminals,
violative of the right of the people to suffrage?
2. Does the power of the COMELEC to regulate franchises extend to regulating the posting of campaign materials
on PUVs, private vehicles and transport terminals?
3. What is “captive-audience” doctrine?
4. Is Section 7(g) items 5 and 6, in relation to Section 7(f) of COMELEC Resolution No. 9615 which prohibits the
posting of any election campaign or propaganda material, inter alia, in PUVs and public transport terminals,
justified under the “captive-audience” doctrine?

Ruling:
1. YES. The Supreme Court held that the said provisions of Resolution No. 9615 are null and void for being
repugnant to Sections 1 and 4, Article III of the 1987 Constitution. Section 7(g) items (5) and (6), in relation to
Section 7(f), of Resolution No. 9615 violate the free speech clause; they are content-neutral regulations, which are
not within the constitutional power of the COMELEC issue and are not necessary to further the objective of
ensuring equal time, space and opportunity to the candidates. They are not only repugnant to the free speech
clause, but are also violative of the equal protection clause, as there is no substantial distinction between owners
of PUV s and transport terminals and owners of private vehicles and other properties. On a final note, it bears
stressing that the freedom to advertise one’s political candidacy is clearly a significant part of our freedom of
expression. A restriction on this freedom without rhyme or reason is a violation of the most valuable feature of the
democratic way of life.

2. No. The COMELEC may only regulate the franchise or permit to operate and not the ownership per se
of PUVs and transport terminals. In the instant case, the Court further delineates the constitutional grant
of supervisory and regulatory powers to the COMELEC during an election period. As worded, Section
4, Article IX-C of the Constitution only grants COMELEC supervisory and regulatory powers over the
enjoyment or utilization “of all franchises or permits for the operation,” inter alia, of transportation and
other public utilities. The COMELEC’s constitutionally delegated powers of supervision and regulation
do not extend to the ownership per se of PUVs and transport terminals, but only to the franchise or
permit to operate the same. Section 7(g) items (5) and (6) of Resolution No. 9615 are not within the
constitutionally delegated power of the COMELEC to supervise or regulate the franchise or permit to
operate of transportation utilities. The posting of election campaign material on vehicles used for public
transport or on transport terminals is not only a form of political expression, but also an act of ownership
– it has nothing to do with the franchise or permit to operate the PUV or transport terminal.

3. The captive-audience doctrine states that when a listener cannot, as a practical matter, escape from
intrusive speech, the speech can be restricted. The “captive-audience” doctrine recognizes that a listener
has a right not to be exposed to an unwanted message in circumstances in which the communication
cannot be avoided.

4. No. A regulation based on the captive-audience doctrine is in the guise of censorship, which undertakes
selectively to shield the public from some kinds of speech on the ground that they are more offensive
than others. Such selective restrictions have been upheld only when the speaker intrudes on the privacy
of the home or the degree of captivity makes it either impossible or impractical for the unwilling viewer
or auditor to avoid exposure. Thus, a government regulation based on the captive-audience doctrine may
not be justified if the supposed “captive audience” may avoid exposure to the otherwise intrusive
speech. The prohibition under Section 7(g) items (5) and (6) of Resolution No. 9615 is not
justified under the captive-audience doctrine; the commuters are not forced or compelled to read the
election campaign materials posted on PUVs and transport terminals. Nor are they incapable of
declining to receive the messages contained in the posted election campaign materials since they may
simply avert their eyes if they find the same unbearably intrusive.

DOCTRINE: The right to participate in electoral processes is a basic and fundamental right in any democracy. It includes
not only the right to vote, but also the right to urge others to vote for a particular candidate. The right to express one’s
preference for a candidate is likewise part of the fundamental right to free speech. Thus, any governmental restriction on
the right to convince others to vote for a candidate carries with it a heavy presumption of invalidity.
3. KABATAAN PL vs COMELEC, G.R. No. 221318, Dec. 16, 2015

FACTS: RA 10367 mandates the COMELEC to implement a mandatory biometrics registration system for new voters in
order to establish a clean, complete, permanent, and updated list of voters through the adoption of biometric technology.
RA 10367 likewise directs that “registered voters whose biometrics have not been captured shall submit themselves for
validation.” “Voters who fail to submit for validation on or before the last day of filing of application for registration for
purposes of the May 2016 elections shall be deactivated x x x.”

COMELEC issued Resolution No. 9721 as amended by Resolutions No. 9863 and 10013. Among others, the said
Resolution provides that: “the registration records of voters without biometrics data who failed to submit for validation on
or before the last day of filing of applications for registration for the purpose of the May 9, 2016 National and Local
Elections shall be deactivated.

Herein petitioners filed the instant petition with application for temporary restraining order (TRO) and/or writ of
preliminary mandatory injunction (WPI) assailing the constitutionality of the biometrics validation requirement imposed
under RA 10367, as well as COMELEC Resolution Nos. 9721, 9863, and 10013, all related thereto.

ISSUE: Is the biometrics validation and the penalty of deactivation under RA 10367, an unconstitutional substantive
requirement in the exercise of the right of suffrage?

RULING: NO. The Court held that biometrics validation is not a “qualification” to the exercise of the right of suffrage,
but a mere aspect of the registration procedure, of which the State has the right to reasonably regulate. The Court
reiterated their ruling in several cases that registration regulates the exercise of the right of suffrage. It is not a
qualification for such right. The process of registration is a procedural limitation on the right to vote. Thus, although one
is deemed to be a “qualified elector,” he must nonetheless still comply with the registration procedure in order to vote.
Thus, unless it is shown that a registration requirement rises to the level of a literacy, property or other substantive
requirement as contemplated by the Framers of the Constitution -that is, one which propagates a socio-economic standard
which is bereft of any rational basis to a person’s ability to intelligently cast his vote and to further the public good -the
same cannot be struck down as unconstitutional, as in this case.

4. Bagumbayan vs Comelec, G.R. No 222731, March 8, 2016

FACTS: Petitioners Bagumbayan-VNP, Inc and Former Senator Gordon filed a Petition for mandamus to
compel respondent Comelec to implement the Voter Verified Paper Trail Audit Trail (VVPAT) security
feature.For the 2016 National and Local Elections, the Commission on Elections has opted to use the Vote-
Counting Machine. The vote-counting machine is a “paper-based automated election system,” which is reported
to be “seven times faster and more powerful than the PCOS because of its updated processor.” Likewise, it
is reported to have more memory and security features, and is “capable of producing the Voter Verification
Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT).” This VVPAT functionality is in the form of a printed receipt and a touch screen
reflecting the votes in the vote-counting machine.Petitioners allege that under Republic Act No. 8436, as
amended by Republic Act No. 9369, there are several safeguards or Minimum System Capabilities to ensure
the sanctity of the ballot. Among these is the implementation of the VVPAT security feature.

ISSUE: Whether or not the fear of vote buying justify the Comelec to deactivate the “voter verified paper audit
trail” function of the voting counting machine?
RULING: NO. The law is clear. A “voter verified paper audit trail” requires the following: (a)
individual voters can verify whether the machines have been able to count their votes; and (b) that the
verification at minimum should be paper based. It is true that the Commission on Elections is given ample
discretion to administer the elections, but certainly, its constitutional duty is to "enforce the law." The
Commission is not given the constitutional competence to amend or modify the law it is sworn to uphold.
Section 6 (e), (t), and (n) of Republic Act No. 8436, as amended, is law. Should there be policy objections to it,
the remedy is to have Congress amend it. The Commission on Elections cannot opt to breach the requirements
of the law to assuage its fears regarding the VVPAT.

5. Bishop Pabillo vs. Comelec, G.R. Nos. 216098 and 216562, April 21, 2015

FACTS: Congress enacted Republic Act No. (RA) 8436, which authorized the COMELEC "to use AES. The
COMELEC published a Request for Proposal (RFP) for the public bidding of the lease with option to purchase of an AES.
COMELEC and Smartmatic-TIM executed the Contract for the Provision of an Automated Election System.
The COMELEC and Smartmatic-TIM entered into the Extended Warranty Contract (Program 1),whereby
Smartmatic-TIM undertook the following during a five (5)-month period: (a) accomplish a physical inventory count of all
the 81,896 PCOS machines with the authorized COMELEC representative sensuring, among others, that the serial
numbers are properly recorded and annotated in the Inventory List of the COMELEC; ( b) complete a full diagnostic of
every PCOS machine in accordance with the Diagnostic Program; ( c) examine each PCOS machine to determine the
required refurbishment to bring them back to working condition; (d) perform a full Preventive Maintenance Program of
every PCOS machine; ( e) perform all repairs and replacements of the defective components; and (j) provide replacement
units for those PCOS machines that are irreparable, up to a maximum of four percent (4%)of the total number of PCOS
machines after the inventory count by both parties. The following were, however, excluded from the scope of work: (a)
those PCOS machines that are unavailable during the five( 5) month period of the Program or those units beyond the four
percent (4%) cap; (b) those cosmetic changes or refinishing of the machines or furnishing of the machines or furnishing
supplies for such purposes, or making specification changes; and ( c) those PCOS machines, where persons or entities
other than Smartmatic TIM authorized representative, performed maintenance or repair services, as a result of which,
further repair or maintenance is required to be done by a Smartmatic-TIM authorized representative to restore the
machines to good working condition.

ISSUE: In the P 240 million diagnostics and repair of the PCOS machines, can the Comelec resort to direct
contracting with Smartmatic-TIM under Section 52 (h), BP Blg. 881?

RULING: No. The COMELEC’s exercise of its power to conduct negotiations and sealed bids based on the
standard of “impracticality” under Section 52 (h) of BP 881 should be read in conjunction with the GPRA, the
latter being the special law currently governing all matters of government procurement. It should be noted that
under the GPRA, the Procuring Entity is required to prepare bidding documents which shall include, among
others, the delivery time or completion schedule for the goods/services sought to be procured. Similarly, when
the Procuring Entity advertises/posts the invitation to bid, it should contain the contract duration for such
procurement. Thus, had the COMELEC decided to bid out the project, it would have been able to convey to all
prospective bidders the tight timeline it is supposedly working with, and may even receive a proposal with a
more efficient timeframe. The reasons for the COMELEC’s non-compliance can only be second-guessed and
may even elude these present cases, but the glaring reality it must face is that projections tracked on uncertainty
cannot be upheld, else it would be easy to efface the State’s mandate on public bidding. The timeline which the
COMELEC had submitted is therefore speculative at best. The same conclusion obtains with respect to the
COMELEC’s risk concern. In Resolution No. 9922, the COMELEC finds it too great of a risk to have the
PCOS machines serviced by a different contractor other than Smartmatic-TIM in view of their highly technical
nature. However, without the required industry survey having first been conducted, the COMELEC’s
reservation once again borders on the speculative. In fact, nothing on record convinces this Court that there is
no other service provider which is capable of servicing the PCOS machines without the need to reverse engineer
the same. Neither is this Court convinced that reverse engineering, if done properly, would impair the
machines’ integrity or put “back to zero” the know-how already accumulated. The bid guidelines may very well
qualify the COMELEC’s desired body of work, and the bidding process itself screens the capability of potential
bidders to comply with the same. As it was in its earlier asseveration, the COMELEC is quick to assume the
worst but its assumptions remain unsubstantiated.

ISSUE: Whether or not the Extended Warranty Contract (Program 1), being a part of the 2009 AES Contract,
even required public bidding?

RULING: YES. The Extended Warranty Contract (Program 1) cannot be validated by the mere expedient of
characterizing the same as a part of the 2009 AES Contract. The services of repair and refurbishment cannot be
procured from Smartmatic-TIM through an “extended warranty” mode, unless this Court assents to a blatant
circumvention of the procurement law. Under Article 8.8 of the 2009 AES Contract, Smartmatic-TIM warrants
that its parts, labor and technical support and maintenance will be available to the COMELEC, if it so decides to
purchase such parts, labor and technical support and maintenance services, within the warranty period stated,
i.e., ten (10) years for the PCOS, reckoned from May 10, 2010. Since Article 8.8 is a mere warranty on
availability, it entails a subsequent purchase contract, founded upon a new consideration, to be effectively
invoked. However, by no means does this provision dispense with the need to bid out the ensuing purchase
contract. Neither does this presuppose that the COMELEC is – for the stated period of ten (10 years) – already
beholden to Smartmatic-TIM.

6. DIOCESE OF BACOLOD vs COMELEC, G.R. 205728, January 21, 2015

FACTS: On February 2013, petitioners posted two (2) tarpaulins within the compound of San Sebastian
Cathedral of Bacolod. Each tarpaulin was approximately 6×10 in size. They were posted on the front walls of
the cathedral within public view. The first tarpaulin contains the message “IBASURA RH Law” referring to the
Reproductive Health Law of 2012 or Republic Act No. 10354. The second tarpaulin is the subject of the present
case. This tarpaulin contains the heading “Conscience Vote” and lists candidates as either “Team Buhay” or
“Team Patay”. The electoral candidates were classified according to their vote on the adoption of the RH Law.
Those who voted for the passing of the law were classified by petitioners as comprising “Team Patay,” while
those who voted against it form “Team Buhay”

Respondent Atty. Mavil V. Majarucon, as Election Officer of Bacolod City, issued a Notice to Remove
Campaign Materials addressed to petitioner Most Rev. Bishop Vicente M. Navarra, otherwise, COMELEC will
be constrained to file an election offense against the petitioners.

ISSUE: Does the COMELEC have legal and constitutional bases to regulate expressions made by private
citizens who are not candidates?
RULING: No. COMELEC cites the Constitution, laws, and jurisprudence to support their position that they had
the power to regulate the tarpaulin. However, all of these provisions pertain to candidates and political parties.
Petitioners are not candidates. Neither do they belong to any political party. COMELEC does not have the
authority to regulate the enjoyment of the preferred right to freedom of expression exercised by a non-candidate
in this case. Public expressions or opinions or discussions of probable issues in a forthcoming election or on
attributes of or criticisms against probable candidates proposed to be nominated in a forthcoming political party
convention shall not be construed as part of any election campaign or partisan political activity contemplated
under the Omnibus Election Code. True, there is no mention whether election campaign is limited only to the
candidates and political parties themselves. The focus of the definition is that the act must be "designed to
promote the election or defeat of a particular candidate or candidates to a public office." In this case, the
tarpaulin contains speech on a matter of public concern, that is, a statement of either appreciation or criticism on
votes made in the passing of the RH law. Thus, petitioners invoke their right to freedom of expression.

7. REYES vs COMELEC and TAN

FACTS: Petitioner filed her Certificate of Candidacy (COC) for the position of Representative of the lone
district of Marinduque. Respondent, a registered voter and resident of the Municipality of Torrijos, Marinduque,
filed before the COMELEC a petition for the cancellation of petitioner’s COC. On October 31, 2012, the
respondent filed the amended petition on the ground that the petitioner’s COC contained material
misrepresentations regarding the petitioner’s marital status, residency, date of birth and citizenship. Respondent
alleged that the petitioner is an American citizen and filed in February 8, 2013 a manifestation with motion to
admit newly discovered evidence and amended last exhibit.
On March 27, 2013, the COMELEC First Division issued a Resolution cancelling the petitioner’s COC on the
basis that petitioner is not a citizen of the Philippines because of her failure to comply with the requirements of
Republic Act (RA) No. 9225. The petitioner filed a Motion for Reconsideration on April 8, 2013. But on May
14, 2013 the COMELEC en banc promulgated a Resolution denying the petitioner’s Motion for
Reconsideration for lack of merit.
On May 18, 2013, petitioner was proclaimed winner of the May 13, 2013 elections and on June 5, 2013 took her
oath of office before the Speaker of House of Representatives. She has yet to assume office at noon of June 30,
2013. On June 5, 2013, the COMELEC en banc issued a Certificate of Finality declaring the May 14, 2013
Resolution of the COMELEC en banc final and executory. Petitioner then filed before the court Petition for
Certiorari with Prayer for Temporary Restraining Order and/or Status Quo Ante Order.

Issue: In view of her proclamation and oath-taking before the Speaker of the House, did the Comelec lose
jurisdiction over Reyes disqualification case?

Ruling: No. Petitioner is in error when she posits that at present it is the HRET which has exclusive jurisdiction
over her qualifications as a Member of the House of Representatives. That the HRET is the sole judge of all
contests relating to the election, returns and qualifications of the Members of the House of Representatives is a
written constitutional provision. It is, however unavailable to petitioner because she is NOT a Member of the
House at present. The COMELEC never ordered her proclamation as the rightful winner in the election for such
membership. Indeed, the action for cancellation of petitioner’s certificate of candidacy, the decision in which is
the indispensable determinant of the right of petitioner to proclamation, was correctly lodged in the COMELEC,
was completely and fully litigated in the COMELEC and was finally decided by the COMELEC. On and after
14 May 2013, there was nothing left for the COMELEC to do to decide the case. The decision sealed the
proceedings in the COMELEC regarding petitioner’s ineligibility as a candidate for Representative of
Marinduque. The decision erected the bar to petitioner’s proclamation. The bar remained when no restraining
order was obtained by petitioner from the Supreme Court within five days from 14 May 2013.

8. Grace Poe vs COMELEC, G.R. Nos. 221697, 221698 – 700 March 8, 2016

FACTS: Mary Grace Natividad S. Poe-Llamanzares (petitioner) was found abandoned as a newborn infant in
the Parish Church of Jaro, Iloilo by a certain Edgardo Militar (Edgardo) on 3 September 1968. Parental care and
custody over petitioner was passed on by Edgardo to his relatives, Emiliano Militar (Emiliano) and his wife.
Three days after, 6 September 1968, Emiliano reported and registered petitioner as a foundling with the Office
of the Civil Registrar of Iloilo City (OCR-Iloilo). In her Foundling Certificate and Certificate of Live Birth, the
petitioner was given the name “Mary Grace Natividad Contreras Militar.” When petitioner was five (5) years
old, celebrity spouses Ronald Allan Kelley Poe (a.k.a. Fernando Poe, Jr.) and Jesusa Sonora Poe (a.k.a. Susan
Roces) filed a petition for her adoption with the Municipal Trial Court (MTC) of San Juan City. On 13 May
1974, the trial court granted their petition and ordered that petitioner’s name be changed from “Mary Grace
Natividad Contreras Militar” to “Mary Grace Natividad Sonora Poe.”

Having reached the age of eighteen (18) years in 1986, petitioner registered as a voter with the local
COMELEC Office in San Juan City. On 4 April 1988, petitioner applied for and was issued Philippine Passport
No. F9272876 by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA). Subsequently, on 5 April 1993 and 19 May 1998,
she renewed her Philippine passport. Initially, the petitioner enrolled and pursued a degree in Development
Studies at the University of the Philippines but she opted to continue her studies abroad and left for the United
States of America (U.S.). On 27 July 1991, petitioner married Teodoro Misael Daniel V. Llamanzares
(Llamanzares), a citizen of both the Philippines and the U.S., at Sanctuario de San Jose Parish in San Juan
City.10 Desirous of being with her husband who was then based in the U.S., the couple flew back to the U.S.
two days after the wedding ceremony or on 29 July 1991. On 18 October 2001, petitioner became a naturalized
American citizen.14 She obtained U.S. Passport No. 017037793 on 19 December 2001. On 8 April 2004, the
petitioner came back to the Philippines together with Hanna to support her father’s candidacy for President in
the May 2004 elections. After a few months, specifically on 13 December 2004, petitioner rushed back to the
Philippines upon learning of her father’s deteriorating medical condition. Her father slipped into a coma and
eventually expired. The petitioner stayed in the country until 3 February 2005 to take care of her father’s funeral
arrangements as well as to assist in the settlement of his estate.

Finally, petitioner came home to the Philippines on 24 May 200524 and without delay, secured a Tax
Identification Number from the Bureau of Internal Revenue. On 7 July 2006, petitioner took her Oath of
Allegiance to the Republic of the Philippines pursuant to Republic Act (R.A.) No. 9225 or the Citizenship
Retention and Reacquisition Act of 2003.36 Under the same Act, she filed with the Bureau of Immigration (BI)
a sworn petition to reacquire Philippine citizenship. On 12 July 2011, the petitioner executed before the Vice
Consul of the U.S. Embassy in Manila an “Oath/Affirmation of Renunciation of Nationality of the United
States.” On 2 October 2012, the petitioner filed with the COMELEC her Certificate of Candidacy (CoC) for
Senator for the 2013 Elections wherein she answered “6 years and 6 months” to the question “Period of
residence in the Philippines before May 13, 2013.” Petitioner obtained the highest number of votes and was
proclaimed Senator on 16 May 2013. On 15 October 2015, petitioner filed her CoC for the Presidency for the
May 2016 Elections.56 In her CoC, the petitioner declared that she is a natural-born citizen and that her
residence in the Philippines up to the day before 9 May 2016 would be ten (10) years and eleven (11) months
counted from 24 May 2005.57 The petitioner attached to her CoC an “Affidavit Affirming Renunciation of
U.S.A. Citizenship” subscribed and sworn to before a notary public in Quezon City on 14 October 2015.
Petitioner’s filing of her CoC for President in the upcoming elections triggered the filing of several COMELEC
cases against her which were the subject of these consolidated cases.

ISSUE: Does the COMELEC have jurisdiction over challenges on qualification of candidates for President and
Vice-President?

RULING: No. The Commission on Elections (COMELEC) cannot itself, in the same cancellation case, decide
the qualification or lack thereof of the candidate. Not one of the enumerated powers of the COMELEC as stated
in Article IX C, Section 2 of the Constitution grants the Commission the power to determine the qualifications
of a candidate. Such powers are granted to the Electoral Tribunal as stated in Article VI Section 17 and the
Supreme Court under Article VII Section 4 of the Constitution.

The issue before the COMELEC is whether or not the CoC of petitioner should be denied due course or
cancelled “on the exclusive ground” that she made in the certificate a false material representation. The
exclusivity of the ground should hedge in the discretion of the COMELEC and restrain it from going into the
issue of the qualifications of the candidate for the position, if, as in this case, such issue is yet undecided or
undetermined by the proper authority.
As presently required, to disqualify a candidate there must be a declaration by a final judgment of a competent
court that the candidate sought to be disqualified “is guilty of or found by the Commission to be suffering from
any disqualification provided by law or the Constitution.”

Insofar as the qualification of a candidate is concerned, Rule 25 and Rule 23 are flipsides of one to the other.
Both do not allow, are not authorizations, are not vestment of jurisdiction, for the COMELEC to determine the
qualification of a candidate. The facts of qualification must beforehand be established in a prior proceeding
before an authority properly vested with jurisdiction. The prior determination of qualification may be by statute,
by executive order or by a judgment of a competent court or tribunal. If a candidate cannot be disqualified
without a prior finding that he or she is suffering from a disqualification “provided by law or the Constitution,”
neither can the certificate of candidacy be cancelled or denied due course on grounds of false representations
regarding his or her qualifications, without a prior authoritative finding that he or she is not qualified, such prior
authority being the necessary measure by which the falsity of the representation can be found. The only
exception that can be conceded are self-evident facts of unquestioned or unquestionable veracity and judicial
confessions. Such are, anyway, bases equivalent to prior decisions against which the falsity of representation
can be determined.

9. Goh vs. Bayron, G.R. No. 212584, Nov. 25, 2014

FACTS: Goh filed before the COMELEC a recall petition against Mayor Bayron due to loss of trust and
confidence brought about by “gross violation of pertinent provisions of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices
Act, gross violation of pertinent provisions of the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials,
Incompetence, and other related gross inexcusable negligence/dereliction of duty, intellectual dishonesty and
emotional immaturity as Mayor of Puerto Princesa City.” The COMELEC promulgated Resolution No. 9864.
Resolution No. 9864 found the recall petition sufficient in form and substance, but suspended the funding of
any and all recall elections until the resolution of the funding issue.

ISSUE: May the COMELEC prevent the conduct of a recall election for lack of specific budgetary allocation
therefor?

RULING: NO. The 2014 GAA provides the line item appropriation to allow the COMELEC to perform its
constitutional mandate of conducting recall elections. There is no need for supplemental legislation to authorize
the COMELEC to conduct recall elections for 2014. The 1987 Constitution expressly provides the COMELEC
with the power to “enforce and administer all laws and regulations relative to the conduct of an election,
plebiscite, initiative, referendum, and recall.” The 1987 Constitution not only guaranteed the COMELEC’s
fiscal autonomy, but also granted its head, as authorized by law, to augment items in its appropriations from its
savings. Despite Resolution No. 9882’s statement about the alleged failure of the 2014 GAA to provide for a
line item appropriation for the conduct of recall elections, we hold that the 2014 GAA actually expressly
provides for a line item appropriation for the conduct and supervision of recall elections. This is found in the
Programs category of its 2014 budget, which the COMELEC admits in its Resolution No. 9882 is a “line item
for the Conduct and supervision of elections, referenda, recall votes and plebiscites.” In addition, one of the
specific constitutional functions of the COMELEC is to conduct recall elections. When the COMELEC receives
a budgetary appropriation for its “Current Operating Expenditures”, such appropriation includes expenditures to
carry out its constitutional functions, including the conduct of recall elections. Thus, in Socrates v.
COMELEC37 (Socrates), recall elections were conducted even without a specific appropriation for recall
elections in the 2002 GAA.

10. MAMERTO vs COMELEC

FACTS: Marmeto filed in behalf of the Muntinlupa People Power (MPP) a proposed ordinance with the
Sangguniang Panlungsod of Muntinlupa. The proposal sought the creation of a sectoral council and the
appropriation of the amount of ₱200 million for the livelihood programs and projects that would benefit the
people of Muntinlupa City. For failure of the Sanggunian Panlungsod to act on the proposition within 30 days
from its filing, Marmeto filed a petition for initiative with the same body to invoke the power of initiative under
the Local Government Code. The secretary of Sanggunian Panlungsod of Muntinlupa wrote to the COMELEC
stating that the proposal could not be acted upon by the Sanggunian because the City's budget for FY 2013 had
already been enacted. Thus, the secretary claimed that a new appropriation ordinance was needed to provide
funds for the conduct of the initiative. Hence a petition for certiorari and mandamus was filed before the court
seeking to annul the Resolution No. 14-0509 of the respondent COMELEC. The assailed resolution declared
that the power of initiative could not be invoked by the petitioner, Engr. Oscar A. Marmeto, for the passage of a
proposed ordinance in Muntinlupa City, citing the lack of budgetary appropriation for the conduct of the
initiative process.

ISSUE: Can the COMELEC defeat the exercise of the people's original legislative power for lack of budgetary
allocation for its conduct?

RULING: No. Initiative and referendum are the means by which the sovereign people exercise their legislative
power, and the valid exercise thereof should not be easily defeated by claiming lack of specific budgetary
appropriation for their conduct. The Court reiterates its ruling in Goh v. Bayron, that the grant of a line item in
the FY 2014 GAA for the conduct and supervision of elections constitutes as sufficient authority for the
COMELEC to use the amount for elections and other political exercises, including initiative and recall, and to
augment this amount from the COMELECÊs existing savings

ISSUE #2: Has the COMELEC the power to review whether the propositions in an initiative petition are within
the power of the concerned Sanggunian to enact?

RULING: Yes. Inasmuch as the COMELEC also has quasi-judicial and administrative functions, it is the
COMELEC which has the power to determine whether the propositions in an initiative petition are within the
powers of a concerned sanggunian to enact. In Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority v. Commission on Elections,
the Court ruled that · while regular courts may take jurisdiction over ‘approved propositions’ per said Sec. 18 of
R.A. 6735, the Comelec in the exercise of its quasi-judicial and administrative powers may adjudicate and pass
upon such proposals insofar as their form and language are concerned x x x and it may be added, even as to
content, where the proposals or parts thereof are patently and clearly outside the ‘capacity of the local
legislative body to enact.’ The COMELEC’s power to review the substance of the propositions is also implied
in Section 12 of RA No. 6735, which gives this Court appellate power to review the COMELEC’s “findings of
the sufficiency or insufficiency of the petition for initiative or referendum x x x.”