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BADOY vs. COMELEC (35 SCRA 285) “Campaign, A. Lawful / Prohibited Election Propaganda” Facts: Anacleto D. Badoy, Jr.

avers that he is a candidate for delegate to theConstitutional Convention for the lone district of North Cotabato. He prays thatSection 12(F) of RA 6132 be declared unconstitutional as the same deniesindividuals, who are not candidates, their freedom of speech and of the press; andcandidates the right to speak and write, discuss and debate in favor of theircandidacies or against the candidacies of others. Section 12 (F) provides that theComelec “shall endeavor to obtain free space from newspapers, magazines andperiodicals which shall be known as Comelec space, and shall allocate this spaceequally and impartially among all candidates within the areas in which thenewspapers are circulated. Outside of said Comelec space, it shall be unlawful toprint or publish, or cause to be printed or published, any advertisement, paidcomment or paid article in furtherance of or in opposition to the candidacy of anyperson for delegate, or mentioning the name of any candidate and the fact of hiscandidacy, unless all the names of all other candidates in the district in which thecandidate is running are also mentioned with equal prominence.” ComelecResolution RR-724, as amended, merely restates the ban in Section 12 (F). Issue: Whether the ban in Section 12 (F) is valid or constitutional. Held: Under Section 12 (F), the moneyed candidate or individual who can afford topay for advertisements, comments or articles in favor of his candidacy or against thecandidacy of another or which mention his name and the fact of his candidacy, isrequired to mention all the other candidates in the same district with equalprominence, to exempt him from the penal sanction of the law. The evident purposeof the limitation is to give the poor candidates a fighting chance in the election. Therestriction is only one of the measures devised by the law to preserve suffrage pureand undefiled and to achieve the desired equality of chances among all thecandidates. Considering the foregoing limitation in Section 12(F) in the light of theother provisions of RA 6132 designed to maximize, if not approximate, equality ofchances among the various candidates in the same district, the said restriction on thefreedom of expression appears too insignificant to create any appreciable dent on theindividual’s liberty of expression. It should be noted that Section 8(a) of the same law,prohibiting political parties from aiding candidates and thus was more restrictive thanSection 12(F), was previously upheld to be valid. The limitation in Section 12(F) is areasoned and reasonable judgment on the part of Congress. It is not unconstitutional. CHAVEZ vs. COMELEC Facts: Petitioner seeks to enjoin the COMELEC from enforcing Section 32 of its Resolution No. 6520, which provides: "Section 32. All propaganda materials such as posters, streamers, stickers or paintings on walls and other materials showing the picture, image, or name of a person, and all advertisements on print, in radio or on television showing the image or mentioning the name of a person, who subsequent to the placement or display thereof becomes a candidate for public office shall be immediately removed by said candidate and radio station, print media or television station within 3 days after the effectivity of these implementing rules; otherwise, he and said radio station, print media or television station shall be presumed to have conducted premature campaigning in violation of Section 80 of the Omnibus Election Code." Petitioner Chavez, on various dates, entered into formal agreements with certain establishments to endorse their products. Petitioner signed Endorsement Agreements. Pursuant to these agreements, three billboards were set up along the Balintawak

Interchang. On December 30, 2003, however, petitioner filed his certificate of candidacy for the position of Senator. Respondent COMELEC issued Resolution No. 6520, which contained Section 32, the provision assailed herein. Petitioner asked the COMELEC that he be exempted from the application of Section 32. The COMELEC answered petitioner's request by ordering him to remove or cause the removal of the billboards, or to cover them from public view pending the approval of his request. He claims that said section in the nature of an ex post facto law. He urges this Court to believe that the assailed provision makes an individual criminally liable for an election offense for not removing such advertisement, even if at the time said advertisement was exhibited, the same was clearly legal. Issue (1): Whether or not the COMELEC has the power to require petitioner to discontinue the display of his billboards. YES Held: A close examination of the assailed provision reveals that its primary objectives are to prohibit premature campaigning and to level the playing field for candidates of public office, to equalize the situation between popular or rich candidates, on one hand, and lesser-known or poorer candidates, on the other, by preventing the former from enjoying undue advantage in exposure and publicity on account of their resources and popularity. The latter is a valid reason for the exercise of police power. Moreover, petitioner cannot claim that the subject billboards are purely product endorsements and do not announce nor solicit any support for his candidacy. Under the Omnibus Election Code, "election campaign" or "partisan political activity" is defined as an act designed to promote the election or defeat of a particular candidate or candidates to a public office. It is true that when petitioner entered into the contracts or agreements to endorse certain products, he acted as a private individual and had all the right to lend his name and image to these products. However, when he filed his certificate of candidacy for Senator, the billboards featuring his name and image assumed partisan political character because the same indirectly promoted his candidacy. Therefore, the COMELEC was acting well within its scope of powers when it required petitioner to discontinue the display of the subject billboards. Under the abovementioned Constitutional provision, the COMELEC is expressly authorized to supervise or regulate the enjoyment or utilization of all media communication or information to ensure equal opportunity, time, and space. All these are aimed at the holding of free, orderly, honest, peaceful, and credible elections. Issue (2): Whether or not Sec. 32 of COMELEC Res. 6520 in the nature of an ex post facto law. NO Held: Section 32, although not penal in nature, defines an offense and prescribes a penalty for said offense. Laws of this nature must operate prospectively, except when they are favorable to the accused. It should be noted, however, that the offense defined in the assailed provision is not the putting up of "propaganda materials such as posters, streamers, stickers or paintings on walls and other materials showing the picture, image or name of a person, and all advertisements on print, in radio or on television showing the image or mentioning the name of a person, who subsequent to the placement or display thereof becomes a candidate for public office." Nor does it prohibit or consider an offense the entering of contracts for such propaganda materials by an individual who subsequently becomes a candidate for public office. One definitely does not commit an offense by entering into a contract with private parties to use his name and image to endorse certain products prior to his becoming a candidate for public office. The offense, as expressly prescribed in the assailed provision, is the non-removal of the described propaganda materials three (3) days after the effectivity of COMELEC Resolution No. 6520. If the candidate for public office fails to remove such propaganda

Conversely. saying that Section 80 of the Omnibus Election Code remains relevant and applicable despite Section 15 of Republic Act No. . even after the filing of his CoC. and has. therefore. And. Accordingly. Monica. Issue: Whether or not Penera should be disqualified for engaging in election campaign or partisan political activity outside the campaign period. thus. or if he has been elected. if he withdraws his CoC before the campaign period. 8436. such person already explicitly declares his intention to run as a candidate. from engaging in any election campaign or partisan political activity outside the campaign period (except that political parties may hold political conventions or meetings to nominate their official candidates within 30 days before the campaign period and 45 days for Presidential and Vice-Presidential election). he shall be liable under Section 80 of the Omnibus Election Code for premature campaigning. act/s constituting election campaign or partisan activity under Section 79(b) of the Omnibus Election Code (holding rallies or parades. Surigao del Norte. No. The COMELEC found that Penera and her partymates. It is possible to harmonize and reconcile these two provisions and. one of which trucks had a sound system that broadcast their intent to run in the 2007 elections. provides that “any unlawful act or omission applicable to a candidate shall take effect only upon the start of the campaign period. Said candidate may also face criminal prosecution for an election offense under Section 262 of the same Code. An express repeal may not be presumed.A. can his/her disqualification be sought for acts constituting premature campaigning. as amended. in violation of Section 80 of Batas Pambansa 881 (the Omnibus Election Code). to the voting public. 16 November 2006) that “(w)hat Section 80 of the Omnibus Election Code prohibits is ‘an election campaign or partisan political activity’ by a ‘candidate’ ‘outside’ of the campaign period. COMELEC Facts: The COMELEC disqualified petitioner Rosalinda A. can already be considered as the promotion of his election as a candidate. 9369. Thus. 8436. Holding: (A) The Supreme Court En Banc dismissed Penera’s Petition and affirmed her disqualification because: (1) Penera raised a question of fact. did not expressly repeal Section 80 of the Omnibus Election Code. (c) While a proviso in Section 15 of Republic Act No. Penera can hardly persuade the Court that the motorcade was spontaneous and unplanned. Penera. 8436. COMELEC Commissioner Rene V. and threw candies to the onlookers. constituting premature campaigning. or to make them more visible so as to facilitate the recognition and recollection of their names in the minds of the voters come election time.]’ x x The obvious purpose of the conduct of motorcades is to introduce the candidates and the positions. at the start of the campaign period. Indeed.). PENERA V. Accordingly. and even candies on hand. a candidate declared by final decision to have engaged in premature campaigning shall be disqualified from continuing as a candidate. and does not include a review of the tribunal’s evaluation of the evidence. for the purpose of soliciting votes and/or undertaking any campaign or propaganda for or against a candidate[. a person. who had been elected Mayor of Sta. There is.” Sarmiento posited that Section 15 of R. Monica. sufficiently established that “Penera and her partymates. under Section 68 of the Omnibus Election Code. 9369. including Penera’s own evidence and admissions. as amended by Republic Act No. a person is not yet officially considered a candidate before the start of the campaign period. He emphasized that under Section 15 of Republic Act 8436 (the law authorizing the COMELEC to use an automated election system for the process of voting. No. to wit: (a) Section 80 of the Omnibus Election Code prohibits “any person. 8436. waived their hands to the public. Penera (Penera) as a candidate for mayor of the Municipality of Sta. and the sole function of a writ of certiorari is to address issues of want of jurisdiction or grave abuse of discretion. to which they seek to be elected. as amended. falling squarely within the ambit of Section 79(b)(2) of the Omnibus Election Code.R. When confronted with apparently conflicting statutes. nowhere is it indicated in the assailed provision that it shall operate retroactively. give effect to both. which amended Republic Act No. She maintained that the motorcade was spontaneous and unplanned.A. effectively repealed Section 80 of the Omnibus Election Code. and Section 80 of the Omnibus Election Code. a candidate or a party. Monica and threw candies to onlookers. Thus. 9369. balloons. conducted a motorcade through Sta. has practically made it impossible to commit premature campaigning at any time. Only after said person officially becomes a candidate. on ‘[h]olding political caucuses. 8436. or other similar assemblies. making speeches. from holding the office. before the start of the campaign period. Thus. whether a voter. Thus. courts should endeavor to reconcile the same instead of declaring outright the invalidity of one as against the other. as amended by R. COMELEC (G. for which he may be disqualified.materials after the given period. after filing their Certificates of Candidacy. no ex post facto law in this case. counting of votes. The proclaimed Vice-Mayor was declared her rightful successor pursuant to Section 44 of the Local Government Code which provides that if the mayor fails to qualify or is removed from office. his intent turning into actuality. participated in a motorcade which passed through the different barangays of Sta. which he may have committed after filing his CoC and before the campaign period. as amended. Nonetheless. (2) There is no absolute and irreconcilable incompatibility between Section 15 of Republic Act No. which prohibits premature campaigning. and there can be no premature campaigning as there is no candidate to begin with. (B) The Supreme Court disagreed with COMELEC Commissioner Sarmiento. The Court gave the following reasons: (1) Republic Act No. Unmistakably. She argued that the evidence was grossly insufficient to warrant the COMELEC’s ruling.” this does not mean that the acts constituting premature campaigning can only be committed during the campaign period. the vice-mayor shall become the mayor. Penera could not be disqualified for premature campaigning because the motorcade took place outside the campaign period – when Penera was not yet a “candidate. 8436. after filing his/her COC but prior to his becoming a candidate (prior to the start of the campaign period). for unlawfully engaging in election campaign before the start of the campaign period for the 2007 Synchronized National and Local Elections. Implied repeals are disfavored. parades. The Supreme Court is not a trier of facts. Evidence presented to the COMELEC. meetings. after filing their COCs x x. Monica before the COMELEC rendered its decision. (b) It is true that under Section 15 of Republic Act No. thus. his act can no longer be viewed as for the promotion of his election. it is only after said person officially becomes a candidate. there can be no election campaign or partisan political activity because there is no candidate to speak of. upon the filing of his COC. the declaration in Lanot vs. can said acts be given effect as premature campaigning under Section 80 of the Omnibus Election Code. etc. absent a showing of repugnance clear and convincing in character. When the campaign period starts and he proceeds with his candidacy. and canvassing/consolidating the results of the national and local elections). Penera filed a Petition for Certiorari before the Supreme Court to nullify the disqualification. one is now considered a candidate only at the start of the campaign period. conferences.” With vehicles. 164858. premature campaigning may be committed even by a person who is not a candidate. and the supporters merely joined her and the other candidates.” Section 80 of the Omnibus Election Code prohibits any person. (2) The COMELEC did not gravely abuse its discretion. whether or not a voter or candidate” from engaging in election campaign or partisan political activity outside the campaign period. However. Sarmiento dissented. was disqualified from holding the said office. as amended. at the beginning of the campaign period. motorcades are undertaken for no other purpose than to promote the election of a particular candidate or candidates. “(T)he conduct of a motorcade is a form of election campaign or partisan political activity.” is erroneous. can already commit the acts described under Section 79(b) of the Omnibus Election Code as election campaign or partisan political activity. rallies. Nowhere in the said proviso was it stated that campaigning before the start of the campaign period is lawful. aboard trucks festooned with balloons and banners bearing their names and pictures and the municipal positions for which they were seeking election.

This is contrary to the clear intent and letter of Section 15 of Republic Act 8436. “not only will the prohibited act of premature campaigning be officially decriminalized. 8436 that partisan political activities before the start of the campaign period are lawful. (B) Contrary to the assailed Decision. is not the Court but the Legislature. Section 15 of R. but becomes unlawful upon the start of the campaign period.4 of RA. the provision in Section 15 of R. there is no need for Congress to declare in Section 15 of R.A. would be void for vagueness. SWS vs. which provides that: “Surveys affecting national candidates shall not be published fifteen (15) days before an election and surveys affecting local candidates shall not be published seven (7) days before an election”. which defines a criminal act and curtails freedom of expression and speech. COMELEC (G. (C) That Section 15 of R. No. as amended. The Court said – (A) The Court’s 11 September 2009 Decision (or “the assailed Decision”) considered a person who files a certificate of candidacy already a “candidate” even before the start of the campaign period. speech and the press.A. the Court has no recourse but to apply it. Petitioners argue that the restriction on the publication of election survey results constitutes a prior restraint on the exercise of freedom of speech without any clear and present danger to justify such restraint. This ground was based on the deliberations of the legislators who explained that the early deadline for filing certificates of candidacy under R. The assailed Decision.and the press. and they intended to preserve the existing election periods. Thus. In fact. the assailed Decision considered the entire Section 15 good law. Thus. did not claim that this provision is unconstitutional. are lawful.A. which states that a person who files his certificate of candidacy will only be considered a candidate at the start of the campaign period. COMELEC Facts: Petitioner SWS and KPC states that it wishes to conduct an election survey throughout the period of the elections and release to the media the results of such survey as well as publish them directly. The Court held that Section (5)4 is invalid because (1) it imposes a prior restraint on the freedom of expression. undermine the conduct of fair and credible elections. Thus. (D) The Court’s 11 September 2009 Decision also reversed Lanot vs. the Supreme Court En Banc held that Penera did not engage in premature campaigning and should. Any unscrupulous individual with the deepest of campaign war chests could then afford to spend his/her resources to promote his/her candidacy well ahead of everyone else. such election offenses cannot be so committed. expression.” Motion For Reconsideration 25 November 2009 Holding: Granting Penera’s motion for reconsideration. but may be prosecuted only upon the start of the campaign period. Held: NO. It is a basic principle of law that any act is lawful unless expressly declared unlawful by law.9006 (Fair Election Act). as amended. 8436. the restriction being limited both in duration. 8436 does not expressly state that campaigning before the start of the campaign period is lawful. It is sufficient for Congress to state that “any unlawful act or omission applicable to a candidate shall take effect only upon the start of the campaign period. The COMELEC contends that (1) the prohibition on the publication of election survey results during the period proscribed by law bears a rational connection to the objective of the law. Before the start of the campaign period. the same partisan political acts are lawful. Besides. thus. not be disqualified as a mayoralty candidate. such a law as envisioned in the Decision. Our lawmakers could not have intended to cause such an absurd situation. Issue: Whether or not the Comelec Resolutions prohibiting the holding of pre-polls and exit polls and the dissemination of their results through mass media are valid and constitutional. such that one who files his certificate of candidacy to meet the early deadline will still not be considered as a candidate. a candidate is liable for an election offense only for acts done during the campaign period. Since the law is clear. thus. does not provide that partisan political acts done by a candidate before the campaign period are unlawful. 8436. thus. as the assailed Decision asserted.” The only inescapable and logical result is that the same acts. Congress decided to expressly incorporate the Lanot doctrine into law. Petitioners brought this action for prohibition to enjoin the Commission on Elections from enforcing and Section 24(h) of COMELEC Resolution 3636 and Section 5. and unlawful acts or omissions applicable to a candidate shall take effect only upon the start of such campaign period. The mere fact that the law does not declare an act unlawful ipso facto means that the act is lawful. is of no moment. (2) it is narrowly tailored to meet the "evils" sought to be prevented. and (3) the impairment of freedom of expression is minimal. and enacting remedial measures. It constitutes an unconstitutional abridgement of freedom of expression.If the Court were to rule otherwise. the Decision was self-contradictory — reversing Lanot but maintaining the constitutionality of the said provision. and (3) the governmental interest sought to be promoted can be achieved by means other than suppression of freedom of expression. Lanot was decided on the ground that one who files a certificate of candidacy is not a candidate until the start of the campaign period.A. The forum for examining the wisdom of the law. Before the start of the campaign period.R. the significance of having a campaign period before the elections would also be negated. not before. (2) it is a direct and total suppression of a category of expression even though such suppression is only for a limited period. such a measure is vitiated by a weighty presumption of invalidity. 164858. however. 8436 that a person who files his certificate of candidacy shall be considered a candidate only at the start of the campaign period. Such is the very evil that the law seeks to prevent. Congress wanted to insure that no person filing a certificate of candidacy under the early deadline required by the automated election system would be disqualified or penalized for any partisan political act done before the start of the campaign period. election offenses can be committed by a candidate only upon the start of the campaign period. if done before the start of the campaign period. applying said law: (1) The effective date when partisan political acts become unlawful as to a candidate is when the campaign period starts. Because of tile preferred status of tile constitutional rights of speech. When Congress amended R. (2) Accordingly. Any system of prior restraints of expression comes to this Court bearing a heavy . Neither does the law state that partisan political acts done by a candidate before the campaign period are temporarily lawful. 16 November 2006).A. 8436 was set only to afford time to prepare the machine-readable ballots. This provision cannot be annulled by the Court except on the sole ground of its unconstitutionality. In other words.A. No.

but be insufficient to justify such as diminishes the exercise of rights so vital to the maintenance of democratic institutions. was sought by herein petitioner. Miguel owes temporary and local allegiance to the U.S. unless said person has waived his status as permanent resident or immigrant of a . 2. but not quite. Absent clear evidence that he made an irrevocable waiver of that status or that he surrendered his green card to the appropriate U. the law requires that the candidate who is a green card holder must have "waived his status as a permanent resident or immigrant of a foreign country. 21 therein regarding his "Length of intended stay . IX-C.A.S.S. Without such prior waiver. Pangasinan. the country in which he resides.” The petition for prohibition is GRANTED and Section 5. a permanent resident of the United States of America. Article XI of the 1987 Constitution which provides that "any public officer or employee who seeks to change his citizenship or acquire the status of an immigrant of another country during his tenure shall be dealt with by law" is not applicable to Merito Miguel for he acquired the status of an immigrant of the United States before he was elected to public office.S. COMELEC Facts: Private respondent Merito Miguel was elected as municipal mayor of Bolinao. 18. Residence in the municipality where he intends to run for elective office for at least 1 year at the time of filing his certificate of candidacy. by returning to the Philippines in November 1987 and presenting himself as a candidate for mayor of Bolinao in the January 18. despite his occasional visits to the Philippines. which gives the COMELEC supervisory power to regulate the enjoyment or utilization of franchise for the operation of media of communication. and his possession of a green card attesting to such status are conclusive proof that he is a permanent resident of the U. 1988.S. Article XI of the 1987 Constitution provides: Sec.A. Disqualifications . §4 islimited to ensuring "equal opportunity. IX-C. and any public officer or employee who seeks to change his citizenship or acquire the status of an immigrant of another country during his tenure shall be dealt with by law.4 of R. The Government thus carries a heavy burden of showing justification for in enforcement of such restraint. Miguel's answer to Question No. 1988. on the ground that under Section 68 of the Omnibus Election Code private respondent was not qualified because he is a green card holder.S. his act of filing a certificate of candidacy for elective office in the Philippines. is one of the qualifications that a candidate for CAASI vs. Section 18. Mateo Caasi. On the back of the card.1988 local elections. 1988. the upper portion. Sec. no presumption of invalidity attaches to a measure like Section 5. The reason for Section 68 of the Omnibus Election Code is not hard to find. Whether respondent Miguel had waived his status as a permanent resident of or immigrant to the U.." Despite his vigorous disclaimer. 4 of theConstitution. hold that he was disqualified to become a candidate for that office. the Court’s conclusion is that he was disqualified to run for said public office. Did Miguel. Issues: 1. We.4. the green card that was subsequently issued by the United States Department of Justice and Immigration and Registration Service to Miguel identifies him in clear bold letters as a RESIDENT ALIEN. space. not of Bolinao." Therefore. therefore. and Section 24(h) of COMELEC Resolution 3636. time. No. The waiver of such immigrant status should be as indubitable as his application for it. Based on that application of his. Miguel's immigration to the United States in 1984 constituted an abandonment of his domicile and residence in the Philippines. Pangasinan during the local elections of January 18. As a resident alien in the U. Government the requisite green card or authority to reside there permanently. hence." It has been held that "mere legislative preferences or beliefs respecting matters of public convenience may well support regulation directed at other personal activities. Section 68 of the Omnibus Election Code of the Philippines provides: SEC. hence. his election thereto was null and void. 1988. not "during his tenure" as mayor of Bolinao." Miguel's answer was. waive his status as a permanent resident or immigrant of the United States? To be "qualified to run for elective office" in the Philippines. Immigration is the removing into one place from another. Section 18. he entered the limited States with the intention to have there permanently as evidenced by his application for an immigrant's (not a visitor's or tourist's) visa.. His disqualification. Whether or not a green card is proof that the holder is a permanent resident of the United States. prior to the local elections on January 18. the Court deems it significant that in the "Application for Immigrant Visa and Alien Registration" which Miguel filled up in his own handwriting and submitted to the US Embassy in Manila before his departure for the United States in 1984. he was issued by the U. the following information is printed: Person identified by this card is entitled to reside permanently and work in the United States. "Permanently. The grant of power to the COMELEC under Art. however. authorities before he ran for mayor of Bolinao in the local election on January 18. Nor may it be argued that because of Art.S. Any person who is a permanent resident of or an immigrant to a foreign country shall not be qualified to run for any elective office under this Code. are declared unconstitutional. but the records of this case are starkly bare of proof that he had waived his status as such before he ran for election as municipal mayor of Bolinao on January 18. 9006.Presumption against itsconstitutional validity. 68. The waiver of his green card should be manifested by some act or acts independent of and done prior to filing his candidacy for elective office in this country." On its face. In the case of Merito Miguel.. For he did not go to the United States merely to visit his children or his doctor there. This is in return for the protection given to him during the period of his residence therein. foreign country in accordance with the residence requirement provided for in the election laws. In the same vein. did not of itself constitute a waiver of his status as a permanent resident or immigrant of the United States. the act of immigrating the entering into a country with the intention of residing in it. he was "disqualified to run for any elective office" Miguel admits that he holds a green card. Public officers and employees owe the State and this Constitution allegiance at all times. and the right to reply" as well as uniform andreasonable rates of charges for the use of such media facilities "public information campaignsand forums among candidates.. Held: The Supreme Court held that Miguel’s application for immigrant status and permanent residence in the U. which proves that he is a permanent resident or immigrant it of the United States.

Justice Jose C. private respondent is a "fugitive from justice" as such term must be interpreted and applied in the light of the Court's opinion.S. . In banning from elective public office Philippine citizens who are permanent residents or immigrants of a foreign country. Absent clear evidence that he made an irrevocable waiver of that status or that he surrendered his green card to the appropriate U. not being a trier of facts. despite his occasional visits to the Philippines. during the bicameral conference committee of the Senate and the House of Representatives. An administrative rule or regulation can neither expand nor constrict the law but must remain congruent to it. The Court believes and thus holds. Vitug finds the definition given to it by the Oversight BIENVENIDO MARQUEZ vs.” It is clear from this provision that fugitives from justice refer only to persons who has been convicted by final judgment. in fact. A warrant issued by said court for his arrest. The omission is understandable since the COMELEC dismissed outrightly the petition for quo warranto on the basis instead of Rule 73 of the Rules and Regulations promulgated by the Oversight Committee." is an inordinate and undue circumscription of the law. Private respondent reminds us that the construction placed upon law by the officials in charge of its enforcement deserves great and considerable weight . 42. Private respondent was proclaimed Governor-elect of Quezon. hence. who at the time of the filing of his certificate of candidacy is said to be facing a criminal charge before a foreign court and evading a warrant of arrest comes within the term “fugitive from justice. that Article 73 of the Rules and Regulations Implementing the Local Government Code of 1991.” Held: The Supreme Court ruled that Article 73 of the Rules and Regulations implementing the Local Government Code of 1991 provides: . to the extent that it confines the term "fugitive from justice" to refer only to a person (the fugitive) "who has been convicted by final judgment. the COMELEC did not make any definite finding on whether or not. 73. Before the May 1992 elections.S. it is claimed. when there clearly is no obscurity and ambiguity in an enabling law.elective public office must possess (Sec. Miguel insists that even though he applied for immigration and permanent residence in the United States. a petition for cancellation of respondent’s certificate of candidacy on the ground of the candidate’s disqualification was filed by petitioner. our conclusion is that he was disqualified to run for said public office. Davide." The assumption is that those who are resident aliens of a foreign country are incapable of such entire devotion to the interest and welfare of their homeland for with one eye on their public duties here. It provided: Art. Concurring The term "fugitive from justice" refers not only to those who flee after conviction to avoid punishment but also to those who. The law has reserved that privilege for its citizens who have cast their lot with our country "without mental reservations or purpose of evasion. USA. “Article 73. authorities before he ran for mayor of Bolinao in the local elections on January 18. he would have this Court believe that he applied for immigration to the U. this Court will not allow itself to be a party to his duplicity by permitting him to benefit from it. Unfortunately.S.S. Fugitive from justice refers to a person who has been convicted by final judgment. The Court certainly agrees. 1988. his election thereto was null and void. In his ponencia. flee to avoid prosecution. Miguel did not possess that qualification because he was a permanent resident of the United States and he resided in Bolinao for a period of only 3 months (not one year) after his return to the Philippines in Nov 1987 and before he ran for mayor of that municipality on Jan 18. it must merely be made to apply as it is so written. Disqualifications – The following persons shall be disqualified from running for any elective local position: “(a) xxxx “(e) Fugitives from justice in criminal or non-political cases here or abroad. a. V. made this reservation: . under false pretenses. Mr. The Oversight Committee evidently entertained serious apprehensions on the possible constitutional infirmity of Section 40(e) of RA 7160 if the disqualification therein meant were to be so taken as to embrace those who merely were facing criminal charges. is thus constrained to remand the case to the COMELEC for a determination of this unresolved factual matter. COMELEC did not make any definite finding on whether or not private respondent is a fugitive from justice when it outrightly denied the petition for quo warranto. Miguel's application for immigrant status and permanent residence in the U. In other words. The Court opted to remand the case to COMELEC to resolve and proceed with the case. COMELEC Facts: It is averred that at the time respondent Rodriguez filed his certificate of candidacy. Petitioner instituted quo warranto proceedings against private respondent before the COMELEC but the latter dismissed the petition. Fugitive from justice refers to a person who has been convicted by final judgment. . A similar concern was expressed by Senator R. LGC). and his possession of a green card attesting to such status are conclusive proof that he is a permanent resident of the U. Disqualifications. that all this time he only had one foot in the United States but kept his other foot in the Philippines. the scope of fugitive. de ipa-refine lang natin 'yung language especially 'yung.S. he never really intended to live there permanently. Issue: Whether private respondent. however. However. for all that he wanted was a green card to enable him to come and go to the U. a criminal charge against him for ten counts of insurance fraud or grand theft of personal property was still pending before the Municipal Court of Los Angeles. The Court itself. Even if that were true. has yet to be served on private respondent on account of his alleged “flight” from that country. The Oversight Committee finally came out with Article 73 of the Rules and Regulations Implementing the Local Government Code of 1991. Medyo bothered ako doon. albeit with some personal reservations of the ponente. The following persons shall be disqualified from running for any elective local position: (e) Fugitives from justice in criminal or non-political cases here or abroad. but COMELEC dismissed the petition. the Omnibus Election Code has laid down a clear policy of excluding from the right to hold elective public office those Philippine citizens who possess dual loyalties and allegiance. The waiver of such immigrant status should be as indubitable as his application for it. with ease. A. after being charged. they must keep another eye on their duties under the laws of the foreign country of their choice in order to preserve their status as permanent residents thereof. Saguisag who. 1988. and giving him the best of both worlds so to speak.

The disqualification then is based on his flight from justice. Thirdly. a public office is a public trust.. one is not disqualified because he is presumed guilty by the filing of an information or criminal complaint against him. I further submit that it also unreasonably expands the scope of the disqualification in the 1991 Local Government Code because it disqualifies all those who have been convicted by final judgment. Since the minimum requirement of a candidate for a public office is that he must be a qualified voter.. This new definition is unwarranted for nothing in the legislative debates has been shown to sustain it and the clear language of the law leaves no room for a reexamination of the meaning of the term. . in reality. Section 1. he has successfully evaded service of sentence because he had jumped bail or escaped. involve the issue of presumption of innocence. as inordinate and as undue circumscription of the law. Elsewise stated. it may even be truly said that it is not the challenged disqualifying provision which overcomes the presumption of innocence but rather the disqualified person himself who has proven his guilt. Justice Vitug on the constitutionality of the disqualification based on the presumption of innocence clause of the Bill of Rights. the disqualification in question does not. Secondly.e. In the face of the settled doctrine that flight is an indication of guilt. regardless of the extent of the penalty imposed and of whether they have served or are serving their sentences or have evaded service of sentence by jumping bail or leaving for another country. He is disqualified because he is a "fugitive from justice. he was not brought within the jurisdiction of the court because he had successfully evaded arrest.e. Article V of the Constitution recognizes the authority of Congress to determine who are disqualified from exercising the right of suffrage. or if he was brought within the jurisdiction of the court and was tried and convicted." i. "a person who has been convicted by final judgment. i. it logically follows that Congress has the plenary power to determine who are disqualified to seek election for a public office. The definition thus disregards the true and accepted meaning of the word fugitive." as appearing in Article 73 of the Rules and Regulations Implementing the Local Government Code of 1991. But this is only one side of the coin. I agree. There are certain fundamental considerations which do not support the applications of the presumption Firstly.Committee. I do not share the doubt of Mr.