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Basher vs COMELEC Hadji Rasul Batador Basher and Abulkain Ampatua were both candidate for the position

of Punong Barangay in Brgy. Maidan Tugaya, Lanao del Sur during the May 12, 1997 elections. The election was declared a failure and a special one was set for June 2, 1997. Again the election failed and was reset to August 30, 1997. The voting started only around 9:00 pm on August 30, 1997 because of the prevailing tension in the said locality. The holding of the election at the particular time was allegedly announced over the mosque. Abulkain was proclaimed winner. Hadji Rasul Batador Basher filed a petition before the COMELEC praying that the election be declared a failure. The COMELEC dismissed the petition. Hence. This recourse to this Court. ISSUE: Whether or not the election held on the date, at the time and in the place other than those officially designated by the law and by the COMELEC was valid. HELD: The peculiar set of facts in the present case show not merely a failure of election but the absence of a valid electoral exercise. Otherwise stated, the disputed election was illegal, irregular and void. Election situs was illegal. First, the place where the voting was conducted was illegal. The provision of Section 42 of the Omnibus Election Code was not complied with for failure of the respondents to specify the exact venue of where the voting was conducted. Second, as to the time of the voting, the election for Brgy. Maidan officials was supposed to have been held after 9 pm of August 30, 1997 until the wee hours of the following day. Certainly such schedule was not in accordance with law or the COMELEC Rules. Third, the Election date was invalid. Election Officer Diana Datu-Imam of Tugaya, Lanao del Sur practically postponed the election in Brgy. Maidan from the official original schedule of 7 am to 3 pm of August 30, 1997 to 10:00 pm of August 30, 1997 until the early morning of August 31, 1997. As an election officer, she had no authority to declare a failure of election. Indeed, only the COMELEC itself has a legal authority to exercise such awesome power. An election officer alone, or even with the agreement of the candidates cannot validly postpone or suspend the elections. Fourth, the Election Postponement was invalid. Datu Imam did not follow the procedure laid down by law for election postponement or suspension or the declaration of a failure of election. She did not conduct any proceeding, summary or otherwise, to find out whether any of the legal grounds for the

suspension or postponement or the declaration of failure of election actually existed in the barangay concerned. Finally and very significantly, the electorate was not given ample notice of the exact schedule and venue of the election. They allegedly proceeded to conduct the election, after announcing it over the mosque. Such abbreviated announcement over the mosque did not constitute sufficient notice to the electorate. In sum, the election supposedly held for officials of Brgy. Maidan cannot be clothed with any form of validity. It was clearly unauthorized and invalid. The Petition was granted and the assailed resolution was set aside. The proclamation of the respondent as punong barangay was declared void. COMELEC was ordered to conduct a special election for the said position.

Banaga, Jr. vs COMELEC Facts: Tomas T. Banaga, Jr. and Florencio M. Bernabe, Jr. were the candidates for vice-mayor of the City of Paranaque in the May 11, 1998 election. Florencio M. Bernabe, Jr. was proclaimed the winner. Tomas T. Banaga received the second highest number of votes cast. The difference between the votes received by the two is three thousand seven (3,007) votes. Banaga filed with the COMELEC an action denominated as Petition to Declare Failure of Elections and/or For Annulment of Elections, alleging that: the local elections for the office of the vicemayor amounts to denigration of the expression of the true will of the people and was also marred by massive vote buying, anomalies in the canvassing and that the results were statistically impossible. The COMELEC dismissed the petitioner s suit. It held that the ground invoked by the petitioner do not fall under the any of the instances enumerated in Section 6 of the Omnibus Election Code. The petitioner filed a petition for certiorari with the Supreme Court. Issue: Whether or not the COMELEC has authority to declare a failure of elections Whether or not there was a failure of elections during the local elections held in Paranaque, Metro Manila on May 11, 1991 Held: The COMELEC s authority to declare a failure of election is provided in our election laws. Section 4 of RA 7166 provides that the COMELEC sitting en banc, by a majority vote of its members may decide, among others , the declaration of failure of election and the calling of special election as provided in Section 6 of the Omnibus Election Code. Before the COMELEC can act on a verified petition seeking to declare a failure of election two conditions must concur, namely 1. No voting took place in the precincts on the date fixed by law, or even if there was voting, the elections resulted in a failure to elect; and 2. The votes cast would have affected the result of the election. Note that the cause of such failure of election could only be any of the following: force majeure, violence, terrorism. Fraud, or other analogous cases. The petitioner did not allege at all that the elections were either held or suspended. Neither did he aver that although there was voting, nobody was elected. To warrant the declaration of failure of election the commission of fraud must be such that it prevented or suspended the holding of an election, or marred fatally the preparation and transmission, custody and canvass of the election returns. These essential facts was not alleged by the petitioner. The instant petition was dismissed. The assailed resolution was affirmed.

SOLIVA, et. Al. VS COMELEC, GR. No. 141723. April 20, 2001 FACTS: Petitioners and private respondents vied for the local posts in RTR during the local elections of May 11, 1998. Petitioners belonged to the LAKAS-NUCD party while private respondents ran under the Laban ng Makabayan Masang Pilipino (LAMMP) banner. All LAKAS candidates were proclaimed as the winning candidates. Six days after, Alexander Bacquial filed a petition to declare a failure of election due to alleged massive fraud, terrorism, ballot switching, stuffing of ballots in the ballot boxes, delivery of ballot boxes by respondent Soliva, his wife and men from several precincts to the supposed canvassing area and other anomalies and irregularities.Petitioners denied that violence, terrorism, fraud and other similar causes attended the conduct of the election. The COMELEC rendered a resolution declaring a failure of election in the municipality of RTR. Hence, the petition for Certiorari and Prohibition.

ISSUE: Whether or not there was legitimate and lawful grounds or causes for the COMELEC to declare a failure of elections in the RTR?

Held: The Supreme Court agreed with the COMELEC that there was a failure of election in the municipality of RTR, as the counting of the votes and the canvassing of the election returns was clearly attended by fraud, intimidation, terrorism and harassment. The counting of the votes was transferred from the polling places to the multi-purpose gymnasium without the knowledge and permission of herein private respondents or their representatives and that the counting of the votes and the canvassing of the election returns were done without the latter s presence. In sum, the election held at RTR on May 11, 1998 cannot be accorded regularity and validity as the massive and pervasive acts of fraud, terrorism, intimidation and harassment were committed on such day. While it may be true that the election did take place, the irregularities that marred the counting of the votes and the canvassing of the elections returns resulted in a failure to elect. The petition was dismissed.