ELECTION CONTESTS

Definition

ELECTION CONTESTS

PREPARED BY: JESSA ALVAREZ

Parties Elective Barangay Officials

Proceedings Appeal/ Certiorari/ Mandamus/ Prohibition Certiorari (from COMELEC decisions) Election Protest/ Quo Warranto Appeal/ Certiorari/ Mandamus/ Prohibition Certiorari (from COMELEC decisions)

Jurisdiction COMELEC

These are adversarial proceedings by which matters involving the title or claim to an elective office, made before or after proclamation of the winner, is settled whether or not the contestant is claiming the office in dispute. The purpose of an election contest is to ascertain the candidate lawfully elected to office.

SC

RTC COMELEC

Nature
Summary proceeding of a political character. An election contest is imbued with public interest. The election contest must be liberally construed to favor the will of the people. An election contest may not be defeated by mere technical objections. Until and unless the election protest is decided against him, a person who has been proclaimed as duly elected has the lawful right to assume and perform the duties and functions of the office. Elective Municipal Officials

SC

Purpose
To ascertain the candidate lawfully elected to office.

Elective Regional, Provincial, City Officials Members of the House of Representative Members of the Senate

Election Protest/ Quo Warranto Certiorari Election Protest/ Quo Warranto Certiorari (from HRET) Election Protest/ Quo Warranto Certiorari (from SET)

COMELEC SC HRET SC SET SC SC (PET)

Distinctions between Pre-Proclamation controversies and Election Contests
The dividing line: Proclamation of candidate Pre-proclamation The jurisdiction of COMELEC is administrative/quasi-judicial It is governed by the requirements of administrative due process Election Contests The jurisdiction of COMELEC is judicial It is governed by the requirements of judicial process

President and VP

Election Protest/ Quo Warranto

Jurisdiction
Parties Proceedings Election Protest/ Quo Warranto Elective Barangay PAGE 1 OF 4
Officials

Supreme Court
Jurisdiction MeTC/MCTC in cities/MTC/ MCTC The Supreme Court, sitting en banc, shall be the sole judge of all contests relating to the election, returns, and disqualifications of the President, Vice-President, and may promulgate its rules for such purpose. (Art. VII, Sec. 4, 1987 Constitution)

Electoral Tribunals of the Senate and House of Representatives

ELECTION CONTESTS

PREPARED BY: JESSA ALVAREZ

Election Protests Any candidate who has filed a certificate of candidacy and has been voted upon for the same office, and who has not himself caused or contributed to the irregularities or frauds of which he complains

Quo Warranto Any registered voter in the constituency

The Senate and the House of Representatives have their own electoral tribunals. Each electoral tribunal has 9 members: 3 Supreme Court Justices, 6 members of the Senate or House of Representatives, as the case may be, who shall be chosen on the basis of proportional representation from the political parties and the parties or organizations registered under the party-list system represented therein. (Art. VI, Sec. 17, 1987 Constitution) For purposes of election contests cognizable by the Electoral Tribunals, the rules of procedure of such tribunals shall prevail over the provisions of the Omnibus Election Code. (Lazatin v. HRET, 168 SCRA 39)

Who may file

COMELEC
The COMELEC has exclusive original jurisdiction over all election contests relating to the elections, returns, and qualifications of all elective: (1)Regional Officials; (2) Provincial Officials; and (3) City Officials Decisions in these cases may be appealed to the Supreme Court. The COMELEC has appellate jurisdiction over all contests involving elective municipal officials decided by trial courts of general jurisdiction (i.e., Regional Trial Courts) or involving elective barangay officials decided by trial courts of limited jurisdiction (i.e., the Municipal Trial Courts). Decisions, final orders, or rulings of the COMELEC on election contests involving elective municipal and barangay offices shall be final, executory and not appealable. (Sec. 2, Art. IX-C, 1987 Constitution) Note, however, that this does not preclude a recourse to the Supreme Court by way of a special civil action for certiorari. (Galido v. COMELEC, 193 SCFA 78) Period of Filing Grounds

Fraud, terrorism, irregularities or illegal acts committed before, during or after the casting and counting of votes

Ineligibility or disloyalty to the Republic of the Philippines

Within 10 days from proclamation of the results of the election

Within 10 days from proclamation of the results of the election

General Rule: Filing of an election protest or quo warranto

PRECLUDES the subsequent filing of a pre-proclamation controversy or amounts to an abandonment of one earlier filed, thus depriving the COMELEC of the authority to inquire into and pass upon the title of the protestee or the validity of his proclamation.

Exceptions:
•BOC was improperly constituted •QW not the proper remedy •What was filed was not really a petition for QW or an election protest but a petition to annul a proclamation •Filing of an EC was expressly made without prejudice to the pre-proclamation controversy, or was made ad cautelam •Proclamation was null and void

Regional and Municipal Trial Courts
The Regional Trial Courts and Municipal Trial Courts have exclusive original jurisdiction over municipal and barangay officials, respectively.

Kinds of Election Contests

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ELECTION CONTESTS

Procedures Municipal and Barangay (OEC Sec. 254)
•Notice served upon the protestee by means of a summons at the postal address stated in his COC except when the protestee has made the court understand that he has been notified of the protest or has filed his answer •The protestee shall answer within five days after receipt of the summons, or, in case there has been no summons from the date of his appearance and in all cases before the commencement of the hearing of the protest or contest. The answer shall deal only with the election in the polling places which are covered by the allegations of the contest •Should the protestee desire to impugn the votes received by the protestant in other polling places, he shall file a counterprotest within the same period fixed for the answer serving a copy thereof upon the protestant by registered mail or by personal delivery or through the sheriff •The protestant shall answer the counter-protest within five days after notice •Within the period of five days counted from the filing of the protest any other candidate for the same office may intervene in the case as other contestants and ask for affirmative relief in his favor by a petition in intervention, which shall be considered as another contest, except that it shall be substantiated within the same proceedings. The protestant or protestee shall answer the protest in intervention within five days after notice •If no answer shall be filed to the contest, counter-protest, or to the protest in intervention, within the time limits respectively fixed, a general denial shall be deemed to have been entered •In election contest proceedings, the permanent registry list of voters shall be conclusive in regard to the question as to who had the right to vote in said election.

running of the period to file an election protest. The Director of the Election Contest and Adjudication Department (ECAD) shall immediately docket the Protest and raffle the case to either the First or Second Division of the Commission.

PREPARED BY: JESSA ALVAREZ

Summary dismissal of election contest Ground:
a) The Commission has no jurisdiction over the subject matter; b) The protest is insufficient in form and content as required in Section 7 hereof; c) The petition is filed beyond the period prescribed in these rules; d) The filing fee is not paid within the period for the filing the election protest or petition for quo warranto; and e) In case of protest where a cash deposit is required, the cash deposit is not paid within fifteen (15) days from the filing of the protest.

Summons: Within three (3) days from the filing of the

protests, the Clerk of the Commission or the Division concerned shall issue the corresponding summons to the protestee or respondent, together with a copy of the protest, requiring the filing of an answer within a non-extendible period of five days from notice. Whenever the allegations in the protest or counter-protest so warrant and when it finds the same necessary, the Commission may order the production and custody of ballot boxes, election documents, data storage devices, and machines used in the elections.

Preliminary conference:Within three days after the filing of
the last responsive pleading allowed by these rules, or expiration of the same period without any responsive pleading having been filed, the Commission shall conduct a mandatory preliminary conference among the parties. Subpoena ad testificandum or subpoena duces tecum may be issued by the Division motu proprio, or upon request of the parties in any case.

Regional, Provincial, City (COMELEC Resolution 8804) Who may file: by any candidate who was voted for in the
same office and who received the second of third highest number of votes or, in a multi-slot position, was among the next four candidates following the last ranked winner duly proclaimed.

Recount of Ballots: The recount of ballots shall commence

on the date specified in the preliminary conference order, unless rescheduled by Order of the Division.

How initiated: An election protest or petition for quo
warranto shall be filed directly with the Commission within a non-extendible period of ten days following the date of proclamation. Each contest shall refer exclusively to one office but contents for offices of the Sangguniang Pampook, Sangguniang Panlalawigan or Sangguniang Panglungsod may be consolidated in one case. The pendency of a pre-proclamation controversy involving the validity of the proclamation as defined by law shall suspend the
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Continuous Recount: Once commenced, the recount shall
continue from day to day as far as practicable until terminated other than the Commission, the clerk of the Commission, the Recount Coordinators and the members of the recount committees, the parties and their duly authorized representatives, shall have access to the recount area.

Prohibited access: During the recount of ballots, no person

Conduct of the Recount: shall be done manually and
visually and according to the procedures under the OEC.

The committee shall prepare and submit to the Commission a recount report per precinct.

ELECTION CONTESTS

PREPARED BY: JESSA ALVAREZ

Presentation and reception of evidence: The reception

of evidence on all matters or issues raised in the protect and counter-protests shall be presented and offered in a hearing upon completion of (a) the recount of ballots, or re-tabulation of election documents, or (b) the technical examination, if warranted.

Decisions: The Commission shall decide the election contest
within 30 days from the date it is submitted for decision

Death of Protestant
The death of the protestant does not extinguish an election protest. An election protest is imbued with public interest which raises it onto a plane over and above ordinary civil actions, because it involves not only the adjudication of the private interest of the rival candidates but also the paramount need of dispelling once and for all the uncertainty that beclouds the real choice of the electorate with respect to who shall discharge the prerogatives of the office within their gift. (De Castro v. COMELEC, 267 SCRA 806) However, it is not the heirs of the deceased who shall be the successors-in-interest to the suit, but the succeeding candidateelect. For example, if the deceased was a candidate for governor, the real party in interest in the continuation of the proceedings is the Vice-Governor-elect, as he or she will succeed in the event that the protestant is declared to be the person lawfully elected to the office.

Award of damages
Actual or compensatory damages may be granted in all election contests or in quo warranto proceedings in accordance with law. (Sec. 259, B.P. 881)

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