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SEC 11, RULE 66 Limitations.

There is no question that petitioner's right of action, if any, accrued in July, 1946, when
respondent allegedly usurped the office. From that day to August, 1948, more than one
Nothing contained in this Rule shall be construed to authorize an action against a public year has elapsed. This petition is , therefore, out of time and may not be entertained.
officer or employee for his ouster from office unless the same be commenced within one (Bautista vs. Fajardo, 38 Phil., 624; Abeto vs. Rodas, supra, p. 59 46 Off. Gaz., 930-938).
(1) year after the cause of such ouster, or the right of the petitioner to hold such office or
position, arose; nor to authorize an action for damages in accordance with the provisions During our deliberations, some doubt was expressed as to the validity of this period of
of the next preceding section unless the same be commenced within one (1) year after limitation when it refers to officers whose tenure is protected by the Constitution.
the entry of the judgment establishing the petitioner’s right to the office in question. Reduced to its simplest terms, the position seems to be that a statute may not limit the
period within which a constitutional right should be asserted or enforced before judicial
tribunals. The statement, however, would, in effect, contradict settled doctrines and
G.R. No. L-2451 February 24, 1949 practices. For instance, the right to recover real property admittedly prescribes after ten
years; yet nobody will deny that such right is verily protected by the Constitution.
JOSE M. TUMULAK, petitioner, Contracts are guaranteed by the Constitution; but none, question the applicability of the
vs. statute of limitations to belated proceedings to enforce contractual obligations.
PROTOLICO EGAY, respondent.
Furthermore, constitutional rights may certainly be waived,2 and the inaction of the
Petitioner Tumulak in his own behalf. officer for one year could be validly considered as a waiver, i.e., a renunciation which no
Respondent Egay in his own behalf. principle of justice may prevent, he being at liberty to resign of justice anytime he
pleases.
BENGZON, J.:
And there is good justification for the limitation period: it is not proper that the tile to
public office should be subjected to continued uncertainty, and the people's interest
Thought this quo warranto proceeding filed in August 1948, the petitioner seeks to wrest requires that such right should be determined as speedily as practicable.
from respondent the position of justice of the peace of the municipalities of Gigaquit and
Bacuag, Province of Surigao. He appointed that in December 1932, he became the duly
appointed judge of said towns and acted accordingly until August 1942, when the Remembering that the period fixed may not procedural in nature, it is quite that some
Japanese seized the province until August, 1942, when the Japanese seized the province; persons will question the validity of the rule of court on the point. However, it should be
that after the liberation and in January, 1946, he received from President Sergio Osmeña obvious that if we admit the inefficacy of the particular rule of court hereinbefore
an appointment ad interim for the same position; that in May, 1946, he duly qualified and transcribed, the previous statue on the subject (act (190, section 216) — equally
assumed the office; that thereafter he went to Cebu to fetch his family. but upon providing on the subject (Act 190 section 216) — equally providing for a one-year term
returning he found the respondent Protolico Egay occupying the pose beginning July, — would automatically come into effect and we return to where we started: one year has
1946; that he "had no other remedy" but to "accept the situation"; that in February, passed.
1948, he was informed of the decision of this Court in Tavora vs. Gavina,1 that thereafter
and pursuant to said decision he asked the Department of Justice for reinstatement; and It is also suggested that according to Agcaoili vs. Suguitan,3 the one year period does not
that, having failed to obtain relief, he instituted this litigation to vindicate his right to the refer to public officers, but to corporations. In that litigation, it is true that the court, on
office. this particular point, decided by a bare majority, the case for the petitioners on two
grounds, namely. (1) the one year period applies only to actions against corporations and
Required to answer, respondent submits a motion to dismiss the case, asserting that the not to actions against public officers and (b) even if its applied to officers the period had
action has lapsed because it was commenced more than one year after the cause of not lapsed in view of the particular circumstances. However, upon a reconsideration this
action had accrued. Court "modified" the decision "heretofore announced"4 by limiting it the second ground.

The Rules provide that: And thereafter — this is conclusive — this Court, with the concurrence of justices who
had signed the original Agcaoili decision, expressly applied the one-year period in quo
warranto contest between two justices of the peace.5
SEC. 16. Limitations. — Nothing contained in this rule shall be construed . . . to
authorize an action against an officer for his ouster from office unless the same
be commenced within one year after the cause; . . . (Rule 68, Rules of Court , Wherefore, the petition is dismissed, with costs, So ordered.
page 139.).

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RECALL of the petitioner and a representative of the official sought to be
RA 7160 AN ACT PROVIDING FOR A LOCAL GOVERNMENT CODE OF 1991 recalled and, and in a public place in the province, city, municipality,
or barangay, as the case may be, shall be filed with the COMELEC
through its office in the local government unit concerned. The
Section 69. By Whom Exercised. - The power of recall for loss of confidence shall be COMELEC or its duly authorized representative shall cause the
exercised by the registered voters of a local government unit to which the local elective publication of the petition in a public and conspicuous place for a
official subject to such recall belongs. period of not less than ten (10) days nor more than twenty (20) days,
for the purpose of verifying the authenticity and genuineness of the
petition and the required percentage of voters.
Section 70. Initiation of the Recall Process. -
(2) Upon the lapse of the aforesaid period, the COMELEC or its duly
(a) Recall may be initiated by a preparatory recall assembly or by the authorized representative shall announce the acceptance of
registered voters of the local government unit to which the local elective official candidates to the position and thereafter prepare the list of
subject to such recall belongs. candidates which shall include the name of the official sought to be
recalled.
(b) There shall be a preparatory recall assembly in every province, city, district,
and municipality which shall be composed of the following: Section 71. Election on Recall. - Upon the filing of a valid resolution or petition for recall
with the appropriate local office of the COMELEC, the Commission or its duly authorized
(1) Provincial level. - All mayors, vice-mayors, and sanggunian representative shall set the date of the election on recall, which shall not be later than
members of the municipalities and component cities; thirty (30) days after the filing of the resolution or petition for recall in the case of the
barangay, city, or municipal officials. and forty-five (45) days in the case of provincial
(2) City level. - All punong barangay and sanggunian barangay officials. The official or officials sought to be recalled shall automatically be considered as
members in the city; duly registered candidate or candidates to the pertinent positions and, like other
candidates, shall be entitled to be voted upon.
(3) Legislative District level. - In case where sangguniang
panlalawigan members are elected by district, all elective municipal Section 72. Effectivity of Recall. - The recall of an elective local official shall be effective
officials in the district; and in cases where sangguniang panlungsod only upon the election and proclamation of a successor in the person of the candidate
members are elected by district, all elective barangay officials in the receiving the highest number of votes cast during the election on recall. Should the
district; and official sought to be recalled receive the highest number of votes, confidence in him is
thereby affirmed, and he shall continue in office.
(4) Municipal level. - All punong barangay and sangguniang barangay
members in the municipality. Section 73. Prohibition from Resignation. - The elective local official sought to be recalled
shall not be allowed to resign while the recall process is in progress.
(c) A majority of all the preparatory recall assembly members may convene in
session in a public place and initiate a recall proceedings against any elective Section 74. Limitations on Recall. -
official in the local government unit concerned. Recall of provincial, city, or
municipal officials shall be validly initiated through a resolution adopted by a (a) Any elective local official may be the subject of a recall election only once
majority of all the members of the preparatory recall assembly concerned during his term of office for loss of confidence.
during its session called for the purpose.
(b) No recall shall take place within one (1) year from the date of the official's
(d) Recall of any elective provincial, city, municipal, or barangay official may assumption to office or one (1) year immediately preceding a regular local
also be validly initiated upon petition of at least twenty-five percent (25%) of election.
the total number of registered voters in the local government unit concerned
during the election in which the local official sought to be recalled was elected. Section 75. Expenses Incident to Recall Elections. - All expenses incident to recall
elections shall be borne by the COMELEC. For this purpose, there shall be included in the
(1) A written petition for recall duly signed before the election annual General Appropriations Act a contingency fund at the disposal of the COMELEC
registrar or his representative, and in the presence of a representative for the conduct of recall elections.
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[G.R. No. 126576. March 5, 1997] In at least three (3) urgent motions, private respondent has sought the lifting of the
Temporary Retraining Order issued last October 25, 1996 on the twin grounds (1) that
the issue of the one-year bar on recall elections has been resolved in the case of Paras v.
COMELEC[5] promulgated on November 4, 1996; and (2) that the procedure prescribed
MAYOR RICARDO M. ANGOBUNG, petitioner, vs. COMMISSSION ON ELECTIONS EN by Resolution No. 96-2951 involving petition signing upon initiation of even just one
BANC, and ATTY. AURORA S. DE ALBAN, respondents. person, is no different from that provided for in COMELEC Resolution No. 2272 which
was upheld as constitutional in the 1991 cases of Sanches, et al. v.
COMELEC[6] and Evardone v. COMELEC[7]
DECISION
Private respondent is correct in saying that in the light of our pronouncement
HERMOSISIMA, JR., J.: in Paras v. COMELEC[8], the recall election scheduled on December 2, 1996 in the instant
case cannot be said to be barred by the May 12, 1997 Barangay Elections. In construing
Before us on certiorari is a petition seeking to annul and set aside Resolution No. the meaning of the term, regular local election in Section 74 of the Local Government
96-2951[1] dated October 15, 1996 issued by public respondent Commission on Elections Code of 1991 which provides that no recall shall take place within one (1) year x x x
(COMELEC) which (1) approved the Petition for Recall filed and signed by only one immediately preceding a regular local election, we ruled that for the time bar to apply,
registered voter - herein private respondent Ma. Aurora Siccuan de Alban, against the approaching regular local election must be one where the position of the official to be
petitioner - incumbent Mayor Ricardo Angobung; (2) set the further signing of said recalled, is to be actually contested and filled by the electorate. Thus, in the instant case
petition by the rest of the registered voters of Tumauini, Isabela on November 9, 1996; where the time bar is being invoked by petitioner mayor in view of the approaching
and (3) in case the said petition is signed by at least 25% of the total number of Barangay Elections in May 1997, there can be no application of the one year bar, hence
registered votes in Tumauni, Isabela, scheduled the recall election on December 2, 1996. no invalidity may be ascribed to Resolution No. 96-2951 on this ground.

On October 25, 1996, this court issued a Temporary Restraining Order[2] enjoining We, however, find petitioners second ground to be impressed with merit.
public respondent COMELEC from implementing and enforcing Resolution No. 96-2951.
Before the enactment of the 1991 Local Government Code, the recall of public
The facts of this case are not disputed. officials voted for in popular elections, was governed by Sections 54 to 59 of Batas
Pambansa Blg. 337, otherwise known as the Local Government Code of 1983. Pursuant to
Petitioner won as the duly elected Mayor of the Municipality of Tumauini, Isabela Section 59 thereof, which states that the Commission on Elections shall conduct and
in the local elections of 1995. He garnered 55% of all the votes cast. Private respondent supervise the process of and election on recall x x x and, in pursuance thereof,
de Alban was also a candidate in said elections. promulgate the necessary rules and regulations, the COMELEC promulgated Resolution
No. 2272 Sections 4 and 5 of which provide as follows:
Sometime in early September, 1996, private respondent filed with the Local
Election Registrar in Tumauni, Isabela, a Petition for Recall[3] against petitioner. On
September 12, 1996, petitioner received a copy of this petition. Subsequently said Sec. 4. How instituted. - The recall of an elective provincial, city or municipal
petition was forwarded to the Regional Office in Tuguegarao, Cagayan and then to the official shall be commenced by the filing of a duly verified notice of recall
main office of COMELEC in Manila, for approval. containing the address and precinct number of the voter filing the notice, and the
name of the official sought to be recalled, his position, and the ground(s) for the
Acting on the petition, Deputy Executive Director for Operations Pio Jose Joson recall. Each notice shall refer to only one official.lex
submitted to the COMELEC En Banc, a Memorandum[4] dated October 8, 1996
recommending approval of the petition for recall filed by private respondent and its
The notice shall be filed in triplicate with the local Election Registrar if the
signing by other qualified voters in order to garner at least 25% of the total number of
recall involves a city or municipal official, or with the Provincial Election
registered voters as required by Section 69(d) of the Local Government code of 1991.
Supervisor if it involves a provincial official, one copy of which shall be posted
In turn acting on the abovementioned Memorandum of Deputy Executive Director upon receipt thereof on the bulletin board in the city/municipal hall.
Joson, the COMELEC en banc issued the herein assailed Resolution No. 96-2951.
If the recall involves a provincial official, two additional copies of the notice
Petitioner now attacks the aforementioned resolution as being unconstitutional shall also be furnished by the voter filing the notice to the Election Registrar of
and therefore invalid, on two main grounds: (1) that the resolution approved the Petition each city and municipality in the province, one copy of which shall be posted upon
for Recall albeit same was signed by just one person in violation of the statutory 25% receipt thereof on the bulletin board in the city/municipal hall.
minimum requirement as to the number of signatures supporting and petition for recall;
and (2) that the resolution scheduled the recall election within one (1) year from the
May 12, 1997 Barangay Elections.

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3. . Such power has been held to be 337. the COMELEC prescribed procedure of (1) allowing the enact a local government code providing among others for an effective mechanism recall petition to be filed by at least one person or by less than 25% of the total number of recall. Section 59 expressly authorizes the respondent In the case of Sanchez v. X of the Constitution [11] It Thus. 2272. the respondent COMELEC had the the COMELEC of its rule-making power in the alleged absence of a grant of such power authority to approve the petition for recall and set the date for the signing of said by an enabling statute on recall. the present code shall remain in full force and effect. X of the Constitution merely provides that the local government code to be challenge. 7160 providing for the Local Government Code of 1991. Consequently. under Apropos for starters is the following chronicle of the evolution of the mechanism of Sec. viz: We reiterated the foregoing ruling in the case of Evardone v. The Commission on Elections shall conduct and supervise the process of and election on recall x x x and.Republic Act No. 3. essayed in letters of instructions and other executive issuances not inconsistent with this the case of Garcia v. present. proclamations. 2272 promulgated by respondent COMELEC issue in Sanchez was not this questioned procedure but the legal basis for the exercise by is valid and constitutional. The We therefore rule that Resolution No.[14] lexWhile it is true that Sec. 337) is still the law applicable to the present case. Blg. that we upheld the constitutionality promulgated Resolution No. respondent COMELECs promulgation of Resolution No. Thus we ruled: petition. The peoples prerogative to remove a public officer is an effect. executive orders. an effective system of recall x x x until amended. of Resolution No. the Commission on Elections in Manila and the the Local Government Code of 1991 will take effect only on 1 January 1992 and Election Records and Statistics Department of the Commission. It reads: indispensable for the proper administration of public affairs. Thus.The Election Registrar shall submit to the Commission on Elections. But to the official sought to be recalled. Sec. (a)ll existing laws. repealed. defining a more Article XVIII. recall as a mode of removing a public officer by direction action of the people. 337 as provided in Sec.P. the proper time has come for this court to issue a definitive ruling on the enacted by Congress shall be more responsive than the one existing at matter. petitioners therein contended that the COMELEC to conduct and supervise the process of and election on recall and in the aforegoing Resolution No. In every case.P. promulgate the necessary rules and regulations. the same having been issued pursuant to Sec.[9] Chapter (Sections 54 to 59) of B. but not because we found nothing constitutionally infirm about the procedure of allowing the initiatory recall petition to be filed by only one person. the local of registered voters and then (2) inviting voters to sign said petition on a date set for that government code existing prior to the adoption of the 1987 Constitution. not later than ten days from filing of the notice of xxx recall. 534. as private respondent asseverates. the schedule of the signing of the petition to recall for approval and funding x x x. 3. 2272 is therefore incident of their sovereign power and in the absence of constitutional restraint. Art.[12] appearance in section 2 of Article XI entitled Local Government. As this is the crux of the present constitutional Art. repealed or revoked. Recall is a mode of removal of a public officer by the people before the end Considering that the present local government code (BP 337) is still in of his term of office. 2272 on 23 May 1990. or revoked. in pursuance thereof. was never put to issue. democracy. Section 3 of the 1987 Constitution expressly provides that all responsive and accountable local government structure with existing laws not inconsistent with the 1987 Constitution shall remain operative. it is true. the voter filing the notice of recall shall furnish a copy thereof specifically repeals B. 4 . . Title Four of said Act. Blg.P. Not undeservedly. Blg. x x x yet on [the] mechanism of recall as mandated under Sec. 2272 is unconstitutional there being no legislative enactment exercise of such powers. 59 of BP power is implied in all governmental operations. Until such time that a more responsive and effective local government code is enacted. decrees. Recall as a mode of removal of elective local officials made its maiden promulgate the necessary rules and regulations. Art. the valid and constitutional. 3. XVIII. COMELEC[10]. Section 5. X of the Constitution mandates the Congress to In Sanchez and Evardone. Schedule and place of signing of the petition. pursuant to the rule-making power vested in respondent COMELEC. approved by the President on 10 October 1991. nothing in said provision could be inferred the repeal of BP 337. it is frequently described as a fundamental right of the people in a representative Sec. COMELEC:[15] Constitution shall remain operative until amended. Art. Supervision by the Commission on Elections. purpose. therefore the old Local Government Code (B. The Batasang Pambansa shall enact a local wise: government code which may not thereafter be amended except by a majority vote of all its Members. 2. 59. COMELEC[13] in this SEC. 337 provides for the mechanism for recall of local elective officials.

The law is plain and unequivocal as to what initiates recall [t]he framers. 1992. We view the statutory provision requiring effective mechanisms of recall. by petition of at least twenty-five percent remove an official who is not giving satisfaction to the electorate regardless of whether (25%) of the total number of registered voters in the local government unit or not he is discharging his full duty to the best of his ability and as his conscience concerned x x x. Its Articles XIII expressly recognized Supreme Court of Illinois held in the case of In Re Bower[19] that: the Role and Rights of Peoples Organizations x x x.e. may at least 25% of all votes cast in the last election for all candidates for the position validly initiate recall proceedings. as a collective. We take careful note of the phrase. contemplated by the Constitution has revealed fears about an irresponsible electorate xxx. Otherwise.[16] official will not have to defend his policies against frivolous attacks launched by a small percentage of disenchanted electors... Congress enacted R. 7160. the filing thereof Michigan constitutional right of recall: by just one person. and in the presence of a represetantive of the And in the case of Wallace v. [t]the only logical reasons which we can ascribe for requiring the electors to wait one year before petitioning for a recall election is to Section 3 of its Article X also reiterated the mandate for Congress to enact a prevent premature action on their parting voting to remove a newly elected local government code which shall provide for a more responsive and accountable official before having had sufficient time to evaluate the soundness of his local government structure instituted through a system of decentralization with political policies and decisions.A. initiative and referendum x x x. While recall was intended to be an effective and speedy remedy to elections of local election officials. percentage of disenchanted electors. not by one person dissatisfaction. In response to this the number of petition signers to equal at least 45% of the total votes case constitutional call. the constitution reserves the recall power to the will of the only. However. but by at least 25% of the total number of registered voters. the Supreme Court of Colorado held in the case of Bernzen v. its purposes as a direct remedy of the people shall be defeated by the ill motives of a few among them whose selfish resort to recall would destabilize the community and seriously disrupt the running of government. xxx Doubtless the provision requiring 30 per cent of the electors to sign the petition Our legislators did not peg the voter requirement at 25% out of caprice or in a before the council [is] compelled to act was designed to avoid such a contingency. the petition must be filed. rather. In February . however.[22] since the signing of the petition is statutorily required to be undertaken before the election registrar or his representative. which took effect on January 1. the Supreme Court of Michigan. foregoing posturings in this wise: while the initiatory recall petition may not yet contain the signatures of at least 25% of the total number of registered voters. A much cited Nebraska case pertaining to We cannot sanction the procedure of the filing of the recall petition by a number of a Nebraska recall statute provides some answers which are equally applicable to the people less than the foregoing 25% statutory requirement. In other words. Tripp[23]. the petition must contain the names of at least 25% of the total number of registered voters in whose behalf only one person may sign Much of what has been said to justify a limit upon recall clearly not provided or the petition in the meantime. can justify. since this is indubitably violative of clear and categorical provisions of subsisting law. our people more than exercised their right of recall for they resorted to revolution and they booted out of office the highest A scrutiny of the rationale underlying the time bar provisions and the percentage of elective officials of the land. 1986. desire to change their leaders for reasons only they.[17] Hence. echoed the official sought to be recalled. unmistakably reveals the officials who have forfeited the trust of the electorate led to its firm vigilance of lawmakers against the abuse of the power of recall. For instance. the institutionalization of the 1987 Constitution.[18] it is a power granted to the people who. the petition must be of or minority. dictates. by requiring that a recall petition contain the signatures of proceedings: only a petition of at least 25% of the total number of registered voters. petition of at least which the person sought to be recalled occupies. otherwise known as the Local in the last general election for mayor as a further attempt to insure that an Government Code of 1991.e. in concert.This is understandable. at least 25% of the registered voters. and in public place in the x x x municipality x x x. assured that a recall election will twenty-five percent (25%) and point out that the law does not state that the petition not be held in response to the wishes of a small and unrepresentative must be signed by at least 25% of the registered voters. The successful use of people power to remove public minimum voter requirement in American recall statutes. They knew that this is the requirement under a majority of the constitution and legislature apparently assumed that nearly one-third of the electorate would not entail 5 . The Batasang Pambansa then enacted BP 337 entitled. The vacuum.[20] Section 69(d) of the Local Government Code of 1991 expressly provides that recall of any elective x x x municipal x x x official may also be validly initiated upon petition of Along the same lines. The Local Government Code recall statutes in various American states to the same extent that they were aware of the of 1983 Section 54 of its Chapter 3 provided only one mode of initiating the recall rationale therefor. as in the instant case. at least twenty-five percent (25%) of the total number of registered voters in the local City of Boulder[21] that: government unit concerned during the election in which the local official sought to be recalled was elected. once at least 25% of the electorate have expressed their by. recall must be Our legal history does not reveal any instance when this power of recall as pursued by the people. much less. not just by one disgruntled loser in the elections or a small provided by BP 337 was exercised by our people. electorate. i. i.

The procedure of allowing just one person to file the initiatory recall petition and then setting a date for the signing of the petition. There is no doubt that private respondent is truly earnest in her cause. together with many others in Tumauini. SO ORDERED. this Court is confronted with a procedure that is unabashedly repugnant to the applicable law and no less such to the spirit underlying that law. Costs against private respondent.upon the taxpayers the cost of an election unless the charges made approved themselves to their understanding and they were seriously dissatisfied with the services of the incumbent of the office. his friends. even entertained any displeasure in the performance of the official sought to be recalled. his family. which amounts to inviting and courting the public which may have not. We can not and must not. Isabela. The RESTRAINING ORDER heretofore issued is hereby made permanent. knows that Section 69(d) of the Local Government Code plainly provides that recall is validly initiated by a petition of 25% of the total number of registered voters. and the very fact that she affixed her name in the petition shows that she claims responsibility for the seeming affront to petitioners continuance in office. lost confidence in the leadership of petitioner. While the people are vested with the power to recall their elected officials. in the first place. COMELEC Resolution No. countenance a circumvention of the explicit 25% minimum voter requirement in the initiation of the recall process. She claims in her petition that she has. including rising above anonymity. private respondent proceeded to file the petition for recall with only herself as the filer and initiator. the PETITION FOR CERTIORARI is hereby GRANTED. Private respondent who is a lawyer. under any and all circumstances. But the petition does not bear the names of all these other citizens of Tumauini who have reportedly also become anxious to oust petitioner from the post of mayor. and his supporters. But the same cannot be said of all the other people whom private respondent claims to have sentiments similar to hers. premises considered. the same power is accompanied by the concomitant responsibility to see through all the consequences of the exercise of such power. confronting the official sought to be recalled. WHEREFORE. 6 .Notwithstanding such awareness. and seeing the recall election to its ultimate end. is not only violative of statutory law but also tainted with an attempt to go around the law.[24] In the instant case. 96-2951 is hereby DECLARED NULL and VOID and accordingly SET ASIDE.

Venus. 2. The Solicitor General submits that the award is implicit in the grant of executive clemency. On 23 January 1980. petitioner pleaded to the President of the Philippines for executive clemency. petitioner filed the instant petition on the issue of whether he is entitled to the Telecommunications in Lucena City. This was denied by the VICENTE GARCIA. Petitioner did not appeal from the given due course and the petitioner be awarded back wages to be determined in the light decision. G. 362 embodied in its 3rd Indorsement dated 23 July 1985. MINISTER. by authority of the President. 2. Quezon. 7 . Deputy Executive Secretary Fulgencio S. petitioner sought reinstatement to his former position administrative case was tantamount to a waiver or renunciation of his right to back in view of his acquittal in the criminal case. and. the COA asks this Court to deny the petition for the following reasons: acquitting petitioner of the offense charged. per Resolution No.1 The Solicitor General for respondents. 1993 Petitioner thereafter filed with respondent COA a claim for payment of back salaries effective 1 April 1975. after he was reinstated to the service pursuant to an executive clemency. In an indorsement dated 7 April 1980. granted executive clemency to petitioner. THE REGIONAL DIRECTOR. par.. telecom lines. Alzaga for petitioner. It appears that petitioner was recalled to the service on 12 March 1984 but the records do not show whether petitioner's reinstatement was to the same position of Supervising Eulogio B. petitioner was summarily payment of back wages after having been reinstated pursuant to the grant of executive dismissed from the service on the ground of dishonesty in accordance with the decision clemency. Constitution (now Art. COA in its 5th Indorsement dated 12 October 1982 on the ground that the executive vs. Deputy he is not entitled to back wages based on the "no service. Jr. denied the appeal "due to legal and constitutional wages. In Decision No. LAND TRANSPORTATION AND COMMUNICATIONS. O. He constraint. of the 1973 his claim. BELLOSILLO. 7. Case No. reinstatement only since it was silent on the matter of back wages. by 1985 of respondent Commission on Audit (COA) denying his claim for payment of back authority of the President. petitioner. the Solicitor General recommends that the petition be City and Mauban-Sampaloc. Sec. TELECOM REGIONAL OFFICE NO. respondents. when he was reinstated.: Aggrieved."2 holding that this Court is the proper forum to take cognizance of the appeal prays for the extraordinary remedy of mandamus against public respondents to enforce on certiorari from the decision of the COA. Factoran.. Petitioner was a Supervising Lineman in the Region IV Station of the Bureau of Hence. qualified theft was filed against petitioner with the then Court of First Instance (now Regional Trial Court) of Quezon. J. a criminal case for full justice to petitioner. Sec. petitioner appealed the COA decision of 23 July 1985 to the Office of the Petitioner comes to us on a petition for review on certiorari of the decision of 23 July President.CRIMINAL CONVICTION Presidential Executive Assistant Joaquin T. the ultimate objective of which is to accord Based on the same facts obtaining in the administrative action. On 21 April 1986. no pay" rule. wages is allowed only if the respondent is exonerated from the administrative charge that his suspension or dismissal is declared illegal or unjustified by the court. Transportation and Communications in Adm. On 1 April 1975. wages. (b) petitioners unexplained failure to appeal the decision in the Consequently. citing Art. (a) petitioner's acquittal in the criminal case did not necessarily free him from administrative liability. acting on the favorable indorsements of the then Ministry of petitioner did not render any service during the period before his reinstatement. Transportation and Communications and the Civil Service Commission. hence. the date of his dismissal. the trial court rendered its decision On the other hand. Jr. 975 for the loss of several telegraph poles which were located at the Sariaya-Lucena In his comment to the petition. IX-[A]. IV. of the 1987 Constitution). 1800. the date of his dismissal from the service. Petitioner again filed a claim to recover his back salaries for the period from 1 April 1975. clemency granted to him did not provide for the payment of back salaries and that he has THE HONORABLE CHAIRMAN. COMMISSION ON AUDIT. to 12 March 1984. of the then Ministry of Public Works. THE HONORABLE not been reinstated in the service.R. XII-(D). of existing laws and jurisprudence. 75025 September 14.P. Lineman. (e) On 26 August 1981. No. respondent COA denied the claim stating that the executive clemency was silent on the payment of back wages and that he had not rendered service during the period of his claim. (c) the executive clemency was granted to petitioner for the purpose of petitioner's request to be reinstated was denied by the Bureau of Telecommunications. (d) the award of back Hence.

while the generally result in automatic reinstatement because the offender has to apply for Minister of Transportation and Communications. petitioner Vicente Garcia is hereby granted Constitution. 1980. In Monsanto v. he is not entitled to back wages. the latter for his high sense of responsibility in petitioner's innocence is the primary reason behind the grant of executive clemency to preventing losses to the government. it affirms is a rule that an administrative case is separate and distinct from a this innocence and makes him a new man and as innocent. thereby restoring to him his clean name. stated otherwise. and remit fines and forfeitures. Asked for comment pursuant to Section 43 of Presidential Decree No. after conviction by final judgment. the Director of which was forfeited by reason of the conviction of the offense.3 same acts obtaining in Administrative Case No. 1800 partly quoted hereunder is enlightening: the person's innocence. It does not erase the fact of the commission From among the different acts of executive clemency spelled out above. coupled with the favorable recommendation of the Minister of Our Constitution reposes in the President the power and the exclusive prerogative to Transportation and Communications and the Civil Service extend executive clemency under the following circumstances: Commission. as if he had not been found criminal case and an acquittal in the latter case dos not ipso guilty of the offense charged. if the pardon is based on the innocence of the individual. But since pardon does not Telecommunications interposed no objection to the petition. the authority they gave to the accused resulting in his separation from the service and having him all 8 . a country clemency to petitioner in the light of this decision of the court would be most imperfect and deficient in its political morality and in that attribute of acquitting him of the crime of qualified theft which was based on the Deity whose judgments are always tempered with money. 975 against him. alone in defending himself against the accusation of the very government he tried to protect. Verily. good reputation and unstained accused as in the case of petitioner Garcia. the clemency of the crime and the conviction thereof. integrity and fair dealing.4 that in the eyes of the law the offender is as innocent as though he never committed the offense. character prior to the finding of guilt. Every civilized country recognizes. and has therefore provided for. the trial court recover the poles in question and of commending commended petitioner for his concern and dedication as a public servant.The petition is meritorious. to be exercised by some department or functionary of a government. Pardon frees the individual from all the penalties granted to petitioner in the instant case partakes of the nature of an executive pardon. The very essence of a pardon is forgiveness or remission of guilt and not forgetfulness . Factoran. A and legal disabilities and restores to him all his civil rights.7 When a person is given pardon because he did not truly facto result in the exoneration in the former case. he was later acquitted by the trial clemency to petitioner in view of the findings of the court that — court of the charge of qualified theft based on the very same acts for which he was dismissed. said high him. the pardoning power to be exercised as an act of grace and humanity. Time and again this Court has unfolded the effects of a pardon upon the individual to whom it is granted. this Office is inclined to grant executive clemency. the President may grant reprieves. in his 4th reappointment. Except in cases of impeachment or as otherwise provided in this In view of the foregoing. petitioner was found administratively liable for dishonesty and 807. In the case at bar.5 pardons. Unless expressly grounded on reading of Resolution No. 1980. favorably recommended the grant of executive clemency to petitioner for the reason that "while it But. it cannot bring back lost reputation for honesty. the Civil service Commission recommends the grant of executive consequently dismissed from the service. The acquittal of petitioner by the trial court was founded not on lack of proof instead of coming forward to the defense of the beyond reasonable doubt but on the fact that petitioner did not commit the offense accused who actually was authorized to uproot or imputed to him. Indorsement dated November 17. and executive clemency. Without such a power of After a careful study. However. The pardoned offender regains his eligibility for appointment to public office In a 3rd Indorsement dated September 5. commutations. the pardon relieves the party from all punitive consequences of his could arise if the basis for the acquittal was the innocence of the criminal act.6 we have firmly established the general rule He shall also have the power to grant amnesty with the concurrence that while a pardon has generally been regarded as blotting out the existence of guilt so of a majority of all the Members of the Congress. it does not operate for all purposes. in proper cases. Aside from finding him innocent of the charge. yet an exception commit the offense. bolstered by the favorable recommendations for his reinstatement by the Ministry officials had even the temerity to disown and deny of Transportation and Communications and the Civil Service Commission.

the incursion on his dignity and reputation. to 12 March 1984 when he was reinstated.e. the case before us is different. as its head. The clemency nullified the dismissal of petitioner and relieved him from administrative liability. including back wages. April 1975 when he was illegally dismissed. the petition is GRANTED. The reasons given for their removal were abolition of office or position. The separation of the petitioner from the service being null and void. to pay acquitted of the charges against them. humiliation and. i. 12 The cases heretofore decided by this Court show that petitioners therein were employees of local governments who were removed from office by their local officials. a dishonest man. he did not commit the 9 . Petitioner's automatic reinstatement to the government service entitles him to back wages.The bestowal of executive clemency on petitioner in effect completely obliterated the offense charged. law. above all. which also served as basis for the administrative charge.8 This is meant to afford relief to petitioner who is innocent from the start and to WHEREFORE. equity and justice dictate that petitioner be afforded adverse effects of the administrative decision which found him guilty of dishonesty and compassion for the embarrassment. 11 Established jurisprudence fixes recovery of back wages to a period of five (5) years to be paid an illegally dismissed government employee who has been ordered reinstated. a thief. or lack of funds on the part of the local governments concerned. After having been declared innocent of the crime of qualified theft. Petitioner's reinstatement in the instant case which was ordered pursuant to a grant of executive clemency was effected not because of lack of sufficient proof of his commission of the offense but that. their dismissal would have been valid and justified. and a new one entered ordering service. involving as it does circumstances that impel us to deviate from the general rule previously laid down on the recovery of back wages for five (15) years. Verily. so that he is entitled to all the rights and privileges that accrued to him by virtue of the office held. public respondents. criminal conviction that carried with it forfeiture of the right to hold public office. the Chief Executive exercised his power of control and set aside the decision of the Ministry of Transportation and Communications. otherwise. signifies that petitioner need no longer apply to be reinstated to his former employment. which reasons were found by this Court to be either devoid of factual basis or not sufficiently proven. or whoever may be sitting in office in their stead. for directing his reinstatement. albeit wrongfully. The payment shall be without deduction or qualification. petitioner should not be considered to have left his office for all legal purposes. it is worthy to note that the dismissal of petitioner was not the result of any SO ORDERED. reduction of work force. IV." 10 In pardoning petitioner and ordering his reinstatement. the right to back wages is afforded to those with Secretary) of Land Transportation and Communications. this Court finds it fair and just to award petitioner full back wages from 1 he is restored to his office ipso facto upon the issuance of the clemency. Consequently. injustice caused to him ordered his separation from the service. the Regional Director of have been illegally dismissed and were thus ordered reinstated or to those otherwise Telecom Regional Office No. In contrast. To rule otherwise would defeat the very intention of the executive clemency.. This Court cannot help surmising the painful clemency itself exculpating petitioner from the administrative charge and thereby stigma that must have caused petitioner. Further. he is thus entitled to back wages. but is the direct consequence of an administrative decision of a branch of the Executive Department over which the President. The decision of respondent Commission on make reparation for what he has suffered as a result of his unjust dismissal from the Audit dated 23 July 1985 is REVERSED and SET ASIDE. has the power of control. more importantly. Moreover. the Minister (now to give justice to petitioner.9 There is no doubt that petitioner's case falls the full amount of petitioner's back salaries from 1 April 1975 to 12 March 1984 based within the situations aforementioned to entitle him to back wages. which is rendered automatic by the grant of the pardon. This having been adjudged. This can be inferred from the executive and his family by his unfounded dismissal. The President's control has been defined to mean "the power of an officer to alter or modify or nullify or set aside what a subordinate officer had done in the performance of his duties and to the judgment of the former for the latter. on his latest salary scale. and worse. the Chairman of the Commission on Audit.

together with the corresponding resolution. and by teachers or school officials from school children. which shall be included in the Order of Business within (1) Dishonesty. but not by impeachment. (b) The following shall be grounds for disciplinary action: 2. 2(3) Art. the Chief Justice of (9) Receiving for personal use of a fee. the Senators shall be on oath or affirmation. 8. be recorded. 1987 CONSTITUTION Section 2. according to law. 10 . culpable violation of the Constitution. after hearing. 7. Discipline: General Provisions. (12) Violation of existing Civil Service Law and rules or reasonable office regulations. either to affirm a favorable resolution with the Articles of Impeachment of the Committee. In case the verified complaint or resolution of impeachment is filed by at least (6) Being notoriously undesirable. The House of Representatives shall have the exclusive power to initiate all cases of impeachment. 1. bribery. accorded other persons. gift. one-third of all the Members of the House.—(a) No officer or employee in the Civil Section 3. The Committee. treason. but the party convicted shall nevertheless be liable and subject to (10) Conviction of a crime involving moral turpitude. or override its contrary resolution. impeachment. than once within a period of one year. The resolution shall (3) Neglect of duty. 4. but shall not vote. Members. Service shall be suspended or dismissed except for cause as provided by law and after due process. ten session days. prosecution. 5. When the President of the Philippines is on trial. the Vice-President. No person shall be duties or in connection therewith when such fee. A verified complaint for impeachment may be filed by any Member of the House of Representatives or by any citizen upon a resolution or endorsement by any Member thereof. The Senate shall have the sole power to try and decide all cases of (8) Inefficiency and incompetence in the performance of official duties. trial. Book V. Judgment in cases of impeachment shall not extend further than removal from office and disqualification to hold any office under the Republic of the Philippines. be calendared for consideration by the House within ten session days from receipt thereof. When sitting for that purpose. shall submit its report to the House within sixty session days from such referral. The vote of each Member shall (5) Disgraceful and immoral conduct. XI-B. or betrayal of public trust. or committing acts punishable under the anti-graft laws. The Congress shall promulgate its rules on impeachment to effectively carry (11) Improper or unauthorized solicitation of contributions from subordinate employees out the purpose of this section. graft and corruption. A vote of at least one-third of all the Members of the House shall be necessary (4) Misconduct. 6. the No officer or employee of the civil service shall be removed or suspended except for Members of the Constitutional Commissions. 3. and punishment. and the Ombudsman may be removed from cause provided by law. No impeachment proceedings shall be initiated against the same official more (7) Discourtesy in the course of official duties. other high crimes. 50-52. and referred to the proper Committee within three session days thereafter.IMPEACHMENT ARTICLE 11 SEC 2-3 OF 1987 CONSTITUTION DISCIPLINARY ACTIONS ON PUBLIC OFFICERS (INCLUDING REMOVAL) ACCOUNTABLITY OF PUBLIC OFFICERS Sec. and by a majority vote of all its (2) Oppression. office on impeachment for. 46(b). EO 292 other public officers and employees may be removed from office as provided by law. All Secs. gift or other valuable thing in the course of official the Supreme Court shall preside. The President. and conviction of. the Members of the Supreme Court. or other valuable thing is given by convicted without the concurrence of two-thirds of all the Members of the any person in the hope or expectation of receiving a favor or better treatment than that Senate. and trial by the Senate shall forthwith proceed. the same shall constitute the Articles of Impeachment. SECTION 46.

appealed to the Commission. or if there are reasons to believe that the respondent is guilty of charges which would warrant his (22) Willful failure to pay just debts or willful failure to pay taxes due to the government. SECTION 50. (20) Borrowing money by superior officers from subordinates or lending by SECTION 51. (1) When the charge is serious and the evidence of guilt is strong. (30) Nepotism as defined in Section 60 of this Title. That removal or dismissal except those by the President. (23) Contracting loans of money or other property from persons with whom the office of SECTION 52. negligence or petition of the respondent. the respondent shall be automatically reinstated in the service: Provided. removal from the service. 11 . (15) Habitual drunkenness. may be (19) Physical or mental incapacity or disability due to immoral or vicious habits. When the administrative case against the officer or employee under preventive suspension is not finally decided by the disciplining authority within the period of ninety (90) days after the date of suspension of the respondent who is not a presidential (24) Pursuit of private business. (2) When the respondent is a recidivist or has been repeatedly charged and there is (16) Gambling prohibited by law. preventively suspend any subordinate officer or employee under his authority pending an investigation. (18) Disgraceful. Preventive Suspension.(13) Falsification of official document. oppression or grave misconduct. loafing or circumstances is present: frequent unauthorized absences from duty during regular office hours. (26) Engaging directly or indirectly in partisan political activities by one holding a non- political office. Summary Proceedings. (21) Lending money at usurious rates of interest. and (17) Refusal to perform official duty or render overtime service. or neglect in the performance of duty. Resort to summary proceedings by the disciplining authority shall be done with utmost objectivity and impartiality to the end that no injustice is committed: Provided. the period of delay shall not be counted in computing the (25) Insubordination. (3) When the respondent is notoriously undesirable. (29) Promoting the sale of tickets in behalf of private enterprises that are not intended for charitable or public welfare purposes and even in the latter cases if there is no prior authority. if the charge against such officer or employee involves dishonesty. himself or upon his order. That when the delay in the disposition of the case is due to the fault.— the employee concerned has business relations.—The proper disciplining authority may subordinates to superior officers. immoral or dishonest conduct prior to entering the service.—No formal investigation is necessary and the respondent may be immediately removed or dismissed if any of the following (14) Frequent unauthorized absences or tardiness in reporting for duty. Lifting of Preventive Suspension Pending Administrative Investigation. (27) Conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service. vocation or profession without the permission required appointee. (28) Lobbying for personal interest or gain in legislative halls or offices without authority. period of suspension herein provided. reasonable ground to believe that he is guilty of the present charge. by Civil Service rules and regulations.

petitioner. Culture. during the teachers strikes. No. are not entitled to the payment of their salaries during their suspension. ABAD. ELIZABETH A.: Accordingly. COURT OF APPEALS. reduced the penalty imposed on them to I. Elizabeth Somebang and Nicanor Private respondents are public school teachers. 1993 (In re: Amparo Laguio. the Court of Appeals. BANDIGAS. RICARDO T. October 29. on September 3. 1990. 1993 (In re: Elizabeth Somebang) are hereby AFFIRMED while CSC because they had not been shown to have taken part in the strike. 1990. under the law. (6) conduct Petitioner Ricardo T. 1-95. while maintaining its finding that private respondents were guilty of violation of reasonable office rules and DECISION regulations for which they should be reprimanded. MENDOZA. charged. respondents. the which found him guilty of conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service and government should not be held answerable for payment of their salaries. 93-2211 dated June 21. and Sports. 1997. 1999] which. 1993 and 93-3227 dated August 17. 1993 and 93-3124 dated August 10. although reprimanded Resolution Nos. Nicanor Margallo guilty of a lesser offense of violation of reasonable office rules and regulations and meting upon him the penalty of reprimand. At issue in this Abad).R. 93-2302 dated June 24. but found the other three (Abad. VIRGILIA M. imposed on him a six-month suspension. with respect to Margallo. 1993 are hereby MODIFIED finding petitioner for being absent without leave.[8] Hence. denied by the appellate court in its resolution of October 6. J. Nos. In its resolution. (5) gross insubordination. prejudicial to the best interest of the service. The appellate court found him guilty of violation of reasonable office rules and regulations only and HON. the Civil Service Commission (CSC) affirmed the decision of the MSPB Petitioners contentions have no merit. pronouncement as to costs. 131012. therefore. The illegality of the WHEREFORE. then Secretary of Education. The investigation was concluded before the lapse of payment of private respondents salaries during the period of their appeal. Private respondents moved for a reconsideration. Pursuant to Revised Administrative Circular No. ruled that private respondents were entitled to the payment of salaries during their suspension beyond ninety (90) days. petition is hereby DENIED. Jr. 1997. in his capacity as Secretary of the Department of imposed on him the penalty of reprimand. Virgilia Bandigas. No they were administratively charged with (1) grave misconduct. Virgilia Bandigas. Bandigas.. while respondents Amparo Abad.[4] reason. 93-2301 undated and 93-3125 because they did not report for work but who were eventually ordered reinstated dated August 10. Respondents filed a petition for certiorari under Rule 65 in this Court. but their appeal was dismissed because of their failure to file their appeal considered under preventive suspension during the period of their appeal and. the case was referred to the Court of Appeals 12 .[G. For this reason.[9] On appeal. Preventive Suspension and the Right to Compensation in Case of Exoneration reprimand and ordered them reinstated to their former positions. and Elizabeth Somebang were ordered suspended for six months effective December 4. and (7) absence without leave (AWOL).[3] The other respondents also appealed to the petitioner lays so much store by the fact that. Respondent DECS is ordered The facts are as follows: to pay petitioners Amparo Abad. for this memorandum on time. IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING.[2] Petitioner contends that the administrative investigation of respondents was concluded within the 90-day period of preventive suspension. and moved for a reconsideration insofar as the resolution of the Court of Appeals ordered the placed under preventive suspension. contending that they should be AMPARO A. the appellate court amended the dispositive portion of its decision to read as follows: This case arose out of the unfortunate strikes and walk-outs staged by public school teachers on different dates in September and October 1990. dated July 15. rendered a decision (1) affirming the decision of the CSC with respect to Amparo Abad. Gloria. case is the right to back salaries of teachers who were either dismissed or suspended 1993 (In re: Virgilia Bandigas) and CSC Resolution Nos. April 21. however. (4) refusal to perform official duty. hence. On various dates in September and Margallo their salaries. suspension/dismissal beyond the ninety (90) day preventive suspension. and Sports. and Somebang) guilty only of violation of reasonable office rules and regulations by failing to file applications for leave of absence and. SOMEBANG and exonerated of all charges against them and that they be paid salaries during their NICANOR MARGALLO.[1] but many incidents of those strikes are still to be resolved. Moreover. 1996.[5] Education. private respondents are MSPB. they did not report for work. GLORIA. implying that the Respondent Margallo appealed to the Merit Systems and Protection Board (MSPB) continued suspension of private respondents is due to their appeal. CSC Resolution Nos.[6] (3) gross violation of Civil Service Law Rules and Regulations and reasonable office regulations. CSC Resolution strikes was declared in our 1991 decision in Manila Public School Teachers Association v. and Elizabeth Somebang but (2) reversing it insofar as the CSC ordered the suspension of Nicanor Margallo. Respondent Nicanor Margallo was ordered dismissed from the service effective this petition for review on certiorari. Culture. Virgilia Bandigas. 93-2304 dated June 24. vs. (2) gross neglect of duty. allowances and other benefits during the period of their October 1990. suspension. [7] His motion their 90-day suspension and private respondents were found guilty as was.

he should be reinstated. the period of delay shall not be counted in computing the period of There are thus two kinds of preventive suspension of civil service employees who suspension herein provided. 42 of the Civil Service Decree (P. . in which case the same shall be suspension.[10] It is a measure Administrative Code of 1987 (E. .A. In case the decision rendered Is he entitled to the payment of salaries during the period of suspension? As by a bureau or office head is appealable to the Commission. 51.O.. no compensation was due for the period of the preventive executory only after confirmation by the Secretary concerned. . Sec. Lifting of Preventive Suspension Pending Administrative Investigation. 42. the suspension will be lifted and the respondent will automatically be reinstated. The separate opinion of Justice Panganiban argues that the employee concerned should be paid his salaries after his suspension. and in case the penalty is The Civil Service Act of 1959 (R. and other benefits beyond the ninety (90) day preventive shall be executory except when the penalty is removal. after This provision was reproduced in 52 of the present Civil Service Law. the period of delay shall not be counted in computing the period of the date of suspension of the respondent who is not a presidential appointee. That when the administrative case against the officer or employee under preventive suspension is not delay in the disposition of the case is due to the fault. . 807) read: administrative case against the officer or employee under preventive suspension is not finally decided by the disciplining authority within the period of ninety (90) days after the date of suspension of the respondent who is not a presidential appointee. negligence or petition of the finally decided by the disciplining authority within the period of ninety (90) days after respondent. 292). If the investigation is not finished and a decision is not rendered within that period. 2260) provided for the payment of such suspension or removal. the respondent shall be reinstated in the oppression or grave misconduct. that the Ombudsman Act of 1989 (R. . cities and A. Title I. the respondent is exonerated (47(4)). Sec..When the during suspension was deleted. 24 reads: 13 . or neglect in the performance of duty. If after investigation respondent is found innocent of the charges and is exonerated. If the respondent officer or employee is exonerated. (2) The Secretaries and heads of agencies and instrumentalities. Sec. the suspension herein provided.D.When the SEC. . (4) An appeal shall not stop the decision from being executory. 6770) categorically provides that preventive suspension shall be without pay. after the date of suspension of the respondent. No. the same may be initially already stated. or if there are service. he shall be restored to his reasons to believe that the respondent is guilty of charges which would warrant his position with full pay for the period of suspension. suspension pending investigation but only for the period of preventive suspension pending appeal in the event the employee is exonerated.The proper disciplining authority may preventively administrative case against the officer or employee under preventive suspension is not suspend any subordinate officer or employee under his authority pending an finally decided by the Commissioner of Civil Service within the period of sixty (60) days investigation. It is noteworthy review. No. No. respondent shall be automatically reinstated in the service. the respondent shall be considered as having been under salaries in case of exoneration. Pending Administrative Investigation... The present Civil Service Law is found in Book V. Subtitle A of the Preventive suspension pending investigation is not a penalty. In other words. the same salaries. Lifting of Preventive Suspension Pending Administrative Investigation. So far as pertinent to the questions in this case. are charged with offenses punishable by removal or suspension: (1) preventive suspension pending investigation (51) and (2) preventive suspension pending appeal if the penalty imposed by the disciplining authority is suspension or dismissal and. However. the Sec. SEC. allowances.When the respondent shall be automatically reinstated in the service: Provided. the law was revised in 1975 and the provision on the payment of salaries SEC. Lifting of Preventive Suspension. Provided. provinces. 52. Preventive Suspension. 47. 35. the Court of Appeals ordered the DECS to pay private respondents their appealed to the department and finally to the Commission and pending appeal. . negligence or petition of the respondent.A. if the charge against such officer or employee involves dishonesty.. 35 read: preventive suspension during the pendency of the appeal in the event he wins an appeal.. Disciplinary Jurisdiction. Sec.[11] removal from the service. Their decisions shall be final in case the penalty imposed is suspension for not more than thirty days or fine in an amount not exceeding thirty days salary. intended to enable the disciplining authority to investigate charges against respondent the law provides: by preventing the latter from intimidating or in any way influencing witnesses against him. No Right to Compensation for Preventive Suspension Pending Investigation Even if Employee is Exonerated municipalities shall have jurisdiction to investigate and decide matters involving disciplinary action against officers and employees under their jurisdiction. That when the delay in the disposition of the case is due to the fault.

In any officer or employee under his authority pending an investigation. However.[18] It may be added that if and when such abuse occurs. Court of the evidence of guilt is strong. however. even though it be subsequently determined that the cause for which he was suspended was insufficient. to argue against the use or existence of a power. if death should render actual reinstatement. oppression or grave misconduct or neglect in the performance of when an employee is not allowed to work may be decreed if he is found innocent of the duty. it is limited to ninety (90) days unless the delay in the conclusion of the computing the period of suspension herein provided. or (c) the respondents charges which caused his suspension and [2] when the suspension is unjustified. No. Right to Compensation for Preventive Suspension Pending Appeal if Employee is Exonerated The principle governing entitlement to salary during suspension is cogently stated in Floyd R. B. that would The separate opinion of Justice Panganiban pays no heed to the evident legislative be the time for the courts to exercise their nay-saying function. Second. the possibility of abuse is not an that the legislature intended to change the meaning of the statute. it says that to deny compensation for the period of preventive suspension Finally.An officer who we do not agree with the government that they are not entitled to compensation for the has been lawfully suspended from his office is not entitled to compensation for the period of their suspension pending appeal if eventually they are found innocent. and (a) the charge against such officer or employee Appeals itself similarly states that payment of salaries corresponding to the period [1] involves dishonesty. is not a penalty salary and perquisites are the reward of express or implied services. 24. . Until then. period during which he was so suspended. It is one of disposition of the case by the Office of the Ombudsman is due to the fault. as already discussed. the amendment by deletion of certain words or phrases in a statute indicates grave or less grave administrative offenses. deleted. he shall be restored to backwages. it is argued that even in the private sector. The preventive suspension of civil service employees charged with dishonesty. Officer not entitled to Salary during Suspension from Office. negligence or those sacrifices which holding a public office requires for the public good. and therefore but only a means of enabling the disciplining authority to conduct an unhampered cannot belong to one who could not lawfully perform such services. any salary so withheld shall be paid. This conclusion is in accord with the rule of statutory construction that . It cannot. The reason given is that Preventive suspension pending investigation. 6715 expressly provides for the payment to such employees of full provided that if the respondent officer or employee is exonerated. The Ombudsman or his Deputy may preventively suspend Thus. the absolute right of different from that previous to its amendment.Sec. investigation is due to the employee concerned. Third. it is not enough that an employee is exonerated of the charges against him.wherever it may be vested it is susceptible of abuse. or neglect of duty is authorized by the Civil Service The preventive suspension shall continue until the case is terminated by the Office of the Law.[15] or on cases which do for payment of salaries during the preventive suspension pending investigation has been not really support the proposition advanced. even if later the charges are Ombudsman but not more than six months. the provision reinstatement impossible. Mechems A Treatise on the Law of Public Offices and Officers as follows: But although we hold that employees who are preventively suspended pending investigation are not entitled to the payment of their salaries even if they are exonerated. [For] from the very nature of things. . On the other hand. that the legislature would not have made the deletion had the intention been not in effect It is always a doubtful course. for the period of suspension. . First. Indeed.A. it is contended that the exoneration of employees who have been preventively suspended is proof that there was no reason at all to suspend them and thus makes their preventive suspension a penalty. As Justice Story aptly put it. as has been noted. must rest somewhere . oppression or grave misconduct. from the a change in its meaning. the intent to deny payment of salaries for the preventive suspension pending investigation. . except when the delay in the dismissed so as to justify the payment of salaries to the employee concerned. After that period. preventive suspension pending appeal is actually punitive although it is in effect subsequently considered illegal if respondent is 14 . . it is argued in the separate opinion that to deny employees salaries on the frivolous ground that the law does not provide for their payment would be to provide a tool for the oppression of civil servants who. though innocent. The amended statute should accordingly be given a construction possibility of its abuse. For this petition of the respondent. But that is period. in which case the period of such delay shall not be counted in reason. public interest in an upright civil service must be upheld.[17] continued stay in office may prejudice the case filed against him. without pay. inclusive of allowances. . the law provides that employees would be to reverse the course of decisions ordering the payment of salaries for such who are unjustly dismissed are entitled to reinstatement with full pay. and . The case of Bangalisan v. Preventive Suspension. even if the investigation is not finished. the law provides that the employee shall be automatically It is clear that the purpose of the amendment is to disallow the payment of salaries reinstated. in the last resort. other benefits or their monetary equivalent his position with full pay for the period of suspension[14] or that upon subsequent computed from the time his compensation was withheld from him up to the time of his reinstatement of the suspended person or upon his exoneration. if in his judgment addition. may be falsely charged of As a rule. therefore.[12] decision. 864. the cases[13] cited are based either on the former rule which expressly because R. his suspension must be unjustified. (b) the charges would warrant removal from the service. for the presumption is argument against the recognition of the existence of power.[19] In the case of the public sector.[16] investigation. be considered unjustified.

Although the CSC imposed held to be unjustified. if he is not exonerated. the period of his suspension becomes part of the Private respondents were exonerated of all charges against them for acts final penalty of suspension or dismissal. Bandigas. which deprive him of his pay as a result of the immediate execution of the decision against him likewise involved a teacher found guilty of having violated reasonable office rules and and continue to do so even after it is shown that he is innocent of the charges for which regulations.[20] Nor was there suspension and. it was not because of the strike. For being absent without leave. Thus. There was no similar provision in the Civil Service Act of 1959 (R. because the penalty of suspension or dismissal was executed upon him the penalty of reprimand.[26] authorized by law. connected with the teachers strike of September and October 1990. i. It would be unjust to penalty is a reprimand.[25] mass action. because she had to accompany her brother to the Commission on Immigration. as amended by C. award should not exceed the equivalent of five years pay at the rate last received before Bandigas. On the other hand. To be entitled to such compensation.[21] Nonetheless.D. to wit: Abad. 292 and other pertinent civil service laws. 2260 the payment of salaries was ordered in cases in Mariano was not involved in the mass actions but was absent because he was in Ilocos which employees were found to be innocent of the charges[22] or their suspension was Sur to attend the wake and interment of his grandmother. Rule 39. Hence. A there shall be restitution or reparation of damages as equity and justice may require.e. in violations of reasonable office rules and regulations. However. 47(4) states Reprimanded that respondent shall be considered as under preventive suspension during the pendency of the appeal in the event he wins. and Somebang signed a letter in which they admitted having taken part in the the suspension was imposed. reading of the resolution of the Civil Service Commission will show that he was exonerated of the charges which formed the basis for his suspension. and absence without official 807). Explaining the grant of salaries during their suspension despite the fact that he was suspended. 47 of the present law providing that an administrative decision meting out the the DECS charged him with and he was later found guilty of grave misconduct. such Petitioner Secretary of Education contends. The Secretary of Sec. payment of his backwages is in order. the Civil Service Commission. Their case thus falls squarely within ruling in Bangalisan. gross insubordination. was shown that the employee concerned was guilty as charged and the immediate execution of the decision was ordered by the Civil Service Commissioner in the interest of the public service. to sustain the governments theory would be to make the they were meted out reprimand. payment of back salaries was denied where it neither did he file an application for leave covering such absences. 20 and 21.exonerated and the administrative decision finding him guilty is reversed. later. the employee concerned is entitled to reinstatement with full pay. conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service. made a finding that 1.Hence. if eventually he prevails is taken from 37 of the Civil Service Decree of 1975 (P. rules and regulations and respondent appeals he shall be considered as being merely under preventive suspension reasonable office regulations.[24] Under Section 23 of the Rules Implementing Book V of Executive Order No.. We have said that an employee who is during his suspension would be tantamount to punishing him after his exoneration from exonerated is not entitled to the payment of his salaries because his suspension. The Civil Service Commission gave no weight to this letter in view of individual letters written by the three citing reasons for their absences. The fact is that 47(2) and (4) are similar to the execution of judgment pending appeal under Rule 39. 598. No. however. Private Respondents Entitled to Back Salaries Although Found Guilty of Violation of Office Rules and Regulations and should be reinstated with full pay for the period of the suspension. the employee must not only be found innocent of the charges but his suspension must In Jacinto v. Court of Appeals. this Court stated: administrative decision not only executory but final and executory.A. Under existing jurisprudence. With respect to petitioner Rodolfo Mariano. This question cannot be raised now. leave. Beyond that period the suspension is illegal. that respondents Abad. 2260).A. his dismissal from the service. 5 provides that in the event the executed judgment is reversed. being the charges which caused his dismissal from the service.A. It was although under it the Commissioner of Civil Service could order the immediate execution his alleged participation in the mass actions that was the basis of his preventive of an administrative decision in the interest of the public service. because she decided to stay home to correct student papers. he II. exceeding 90 days. under R. 1990. No. Nothing in what has thus far been said is inconsistent with the reason for denying the first offense is punishable by reprimand. provision for immediate execution of administrative decisions ordering dismissal or suspension in 695 of the Administrative Code of 1917. No. gross penalty of suspension or dismissal shall be immediately executory and that if the neglect of duty.[27] a public school teacher who was found guilty of likewise be unjustified. they It is precisely because respondent is penalized before his sentence is confirmed were held liable for violation of reasonable office rules and regulations for which the that he should be paid his salaries in the event he is exonerated. gross violation of the Civil Service Law. refusal to perform official duty. Although they were absent from work. No. cannot be unjustified. for his participation in the mass actions on September 18. 2 of the Rules of Court. Indeed.[23] On the other hand. But though an employee is considered under preventive violation of reasonable office rules and regulations for having been absent without leave suspension during the pendency of his appeal in the event he wins. his suspension is and reprimanded was given back salaries after she was exonerated of the charge of unjustified because what the law authorizes is preventive suspension for a period not having taken part in the strikes. To deny petitioner Mariano his back wages salaries for the period of preventive suspension. 15 . if his conviction is affirmed. in the questioned resolution. the same was for his violation of reasonable office without a finding by the Civil Service Commissioner that it was necessary in the interest rules and regulations because he failed to inform the school of his intended absence and of the public service.

dated July 15. 1996. Petitioner did not appeal from this ruling. Culture. is hereby AFFIRMED with the MODIFICATION that the award of salaries to private respondents shall be computed from the time of their dismissal/suspension by the Department of Education. of the Court of Appeals. WHEREFORE.and Somebang because of economic reasons. he is bound by the factual findings of the CSC and the appellate court. dated September 3. for a period not exceeding five years. 16 . as amended by the resolutions. and Sports until their actual reinstatement. SO ORDERED. the decision. Hence. 1997. 1997 and October 6.

without prejudice. J. CARPIO. SP No. NACHURA. 2001. Mayor Rosales detailed him to the Municipal Planning and BERSAMIN. 2001. JJ. Jr. 2004 Decision of the Civil 17 . (CA) in CA-G. and In the May elections of that year. 2008 Decision[2] and the June 11. Bendaa also placed him on detail at the Respondent. CJ.. On July 11. Present: PUNO. PERALTA. 2008 resolution of the Court of Appeals complaint with the regional office of the Civil Service (CSCRO-IV). 2010 Municipal Planning and Development Office to assist in the implementation of a Survey on the Integrated Rural Accessibility Planning Project. Bendaa. Batangas. DEL CASTILLO. X ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------.: The CSC head office dismissed.R. 85508. DECISION MENDOZA. Rosales of Lemery. VELASCO. He added that his termination was without basis and was politically motivated.. MENDOZA. Thereafter. In March 2001. Magnaye filed a The Civil Service Commission (CSC) assails in this petition for review on certiorari. Service Commission Regional Office No.R. April 23. NO. the new mayor served him a notice of termination from employment effective the following day for unsatisfactory conduct and want of capacity. Magnayes complaint because he failed to attach a certificate of non-forum shopping. Magnaye questioned his termination before the CSC head office on the ground that Mayor Bendaa was not in a position to effectively evaluate his performance because it was made less than one and one-half months after his (Mayor Bendaas) assumption to office. CORONA. JR.[1] the February 20. who assumed office on June 30.versus . THE FACTS CARPIO MORALES. Mayor Rosales was defeated by Raul L. BRION. JR.. JR. (OEE). PEREZ. Development Office. The CA reversed the July 20. appointed LEONARDO-DE CASTRO.. After a few days. COMMISSION. 2001. (Magnaye) with payment of backwages and other CIVIL SERVICE G. Promulgated: original assignment at the OEE. VILLARAMA. ABAD. Petitioner. Mayor Roman H.X On August 13. 183337 monetary benefits. Thereafter. Magnaye as Utility Worker I at the Office of Economic Enterprise [Operation of Market] . IV (CSCRO-IV) and ordered the reinstatement of respondent Gregorio Magnaye. Magnaye was returned to his GREGORIO MAGNAYE.

Petitioner is ORDERED REINSTATED with full payment of backwages and other monetary benefits. There was no evidence that Petitioner was furnished II. therefore. 2001 that his former Department Heads.The OSG argued that Petitioners termination was illegal. Batangas was in accord with Civil Service The OSG also found no evidence at the CSC Regional Office Law. addressed to violated the rule on exhaustion of administrative remedies and the CSC Regional Office praying that Petitioners termination be corollary doctrine of primary jurisdiction. level that Petitioner was informed of his alleged poor performance. 2005. dated July 29. Accordingly. The respondent resorted to a wrong mode of appeal and copies of 1) Mayor Bendaas letter. the circumstances behind Petitioners dismissal became questionable. dated July 20. On January 18. dated July 29.Hence. sustained. Magsino and Engr. It summarized the positions of the OSG as follows: SO ORDERED. 2003. prepared by Engr. In this petition. is hereby REMANDED to the Civil Service Commission for reception of mainly on the ground that he was denied due process since he was not informed of what such evidence necessary for purposes of determining the amount of backwages and other monetary benefits to which Petitioner is entitled. is whether or not the termination of Magnaye dismissal took effect a day after he received the notice of termination. rules and jurisprudence. the petition is Granted. the CA ruled in Magnayes favor. The dropping of respondent from the rolls of the local government unit of Lemery. The notice of termination did not cite the specific instances indicating Petitioners alleged THE ISSUES unsatisfactory conduct or want of capacity.[3] [Emphasis supplied] dismissal from the service on the ground that Mayor Bendaas own assessment. It was only on July 29. Engr. citing CSCRO-IVs alleged errors of fact and of law. Masongsong. I. Magsino and Engr. Thus. It upheld his position. 2003. the fallo of the CA Decision[4] reads: Magnaye sought recourse through a petition for review with the Court of Appeals. which the latter belatedly solicited when the consideration: Petitioner appealed to the CSC Regional Office. the Civil Service Commission submits the following for our Masongsong. and 2) the performance evaluation report. and grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction. Mayor Bendaa to determine his fitness or unfitness for the The CSCRO-IV dismissed Magnayes complaint for lack of merit.The OSG agreed with Petitioners claim that there was insufficient time for 18 . together with the evaluation made by his supervisors. constituted sufficient and reasonable grounds for his termination. 2004 is process. The OSG claimed that Petitioner was denied due process because his The principal issue. in lieu of comment. The Civil Service Commission Regional Office No. constituted the alleged unsatisfactory conduct and want of capacity that led to his termination. submitted an assessment and evaluation report to Mayor Bendaa. the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) filed its manifestation and motion. or almost two years after Petitioners dismissal on August 13. hereby Set Aside. No hearing was conducted to give Petitioner the was in accordance with the pertinent laws and the rules. opportunity to refute the alleged causes of his dismissal. non-observance of due WHEREFORE. 4s Decision. This case Adopting the stance of the Office of the Solicitor General. 2003. praying that the assailed decision be set aside.

The eligibility of respondent Magnaye has not been put in issue. Under Civil Service rules, the first six months of service following a permanent
appointment shall be probationary in nature, and the probationer may be dropped from

THE COURTS RULING the service for unsatisfactory conduct or want of capacity anytime before the expiration
of the probationary period. [5]

The Court upholds the decision of the Court of Appeals.
The CSC is of the position that a civil service employee does not enjoy security

The CSC, in arguing that Magnayes termination was in accord with the Civil of tenure during his 6-month probationary period. It submits that an employees security

Service law, cited Section 4(a), Rule II of the 1998 CSC Omnibus Rules on Appointments of tenure starts only after the probationary period. Specifically, it argued that an

and Other Personnel Actions which provides that: appointee under an original appointment cannot lawfully invoke right to security of
tenure until after the expiration of such period and provided that the appointee has not
Sec. 4. Nature of appointment. The nature of appointment been notified of the termination of service or found unsatisfactory conduct before the
shall be as follows:
expiration of the same.[6]

a. Original refers to the initial entry into the career service of
persons who meet all the requirements of the position. xxx

The CSC position is contrary to the Constitution and the Civil Service Law
It is understood that the first six months of the service
following an original appointment will be probationary in nature and itself. Section 3 (2) Article 13 of the Constitution guarantees the rights of all workers not
the appointee shall undergo a thorough character investigation. A just in terms of self-organization, collective bargaining, peaceful concerted activities, the
probationer may be dropped from the service for unsatisfactory
conduct or want of capacity anytime before the expiration of the right to strike with qualifications, humane conditions of work and a living wage but also
probationary period.Provided that such action is appealable to the
to security of tenure, and Section 2(3), Article IX-B is emphatic in saying that, "no officer
Commission.
or employee of the civil service shall be removed or suspended except for cause as
However, if no notice of termination for unsatisfactory provided by law."
conduct is given by the appointing authority to the employee before
the expiration of the six-month probationary period, the appointment
automatically becomes permanent. Consistently, Section 46 (a) of the Civil Service Law provides that no officer or
employee in the Civil Service shall be suspended or dismissed except for cause as
provided by law after due process.

19

Thus, the services of respondent as a
Our Constitution, in using the expressions all workers and no officer or
probationary employee may only
employee, puts no distinction between a probationary and a permanent or regular be terminated for a just cause, that is,
unsatisfactory conduct or want of capacity.
employee which means that both probationary and permanent employees enjoy security [Emphasis supplied]
of tenure. Probationary employees enjoy security of tenure in the sense that during their
probationary employment, they cannot be dismissed except for cause or for failure to x x x.
qualify as regular employees. This was clearly stressed in the case of Land Bank of the
X x x the only difference between regular and probationary
Philippines v. Rowena Paden,[7] where it was written:
employees from the perspective of due process is that the latter's
termination can be based on the wider ground of failure to comply
To put the case in its proper perspective, we begin with a with standards made known to them when they became probationary
discussion on the respondent's right to security of tenure. Article IX employees.
(B), Section 2(3) of the 1987 Constitution expressly provides that

"[n]o officer or employee of the civil service shall be removed or The constitutional and statutory guarantee of security of tenure is extended to
suspended except for cause provided by law." At the outset, we
emphasize that the aforementioned constitutional provision does not both those in the career and non-career service positions, and the cause under which an
distinguish between a regular employee and a probationary employee may be removed or suspended must naturally have some relation to the
employee. In the recent case of Daza v. Lugo[8] we ruled that:
character or fitness of the officer or employee, for the discharge of the functions of his

The Constitution provides that "[N]o officer office, or expiration of the project for which the employment was
or employee of the civil service shall be removed or extended. [9] Further, well-entrenched is the rule on security of tenure that such an
suspended except for cause provided by law." Sec.
26, par. 1, Chapter 5, Book V, Title I-A of the appointment is issued and the moment the appointee assumes a position in the civil
Revised Administrative Code of 1987 states:
service under a completed appointment, he acquires a legal, not merely equitable right
(to the position), which is protected not only by statute, but also by the Constitution
All such persons (appointees who meet all
the requirements of the position) must serve a [Article IX-B, Section 2, paragraph (3)] and cannot be taken away from him either by
probationary period of six months following their
revocation of the appointment, or by removal, except for cause, and with previous notice
original appointment and shall undergo a thorough
character investigation in order to acquire and hearing.[10]
permanent civil service status. A probationer may
be dropped from the service for unsatisfactory
conduct or want of capacity any time before the While the CSC contends that a probationary employee does not enjoy security
expiration of the probationary period; Provided,
That such action is appealable to the Commission. of tenure, its Omnibus Rules recognizes that such an employee cannot be terminated

20

except for cause. Note that in the Omnibus Rules it cited,[11] a decision or order dropping applicable because it refers to a private entity where the rules of employment are not

a probationer from the service for unsatisfactory conduct or want of capacity anytime exactly similar to those in the government service.

before the expiration of the probationary period is appealable to the Commission. This
can only mean that a probationary employee cannot be fired at will.

Mayor Bendaa dismissed Magnaye for lack of capacity and unsatisfactory
conduct. Section 26, paragraph 1, Chapter 5, Book V, Title I-A of the Revised
Administrative Code of 1987 states:

(1) Appointment through certification.An appointment
through certification to a position in the civil service, except as
herein otherwise provided, shall be issued to a person who has been
selected from a list of qualified persons certified by the Commission
Notably, jurisprudence has it that the right to security of tenure is unavailing in
from an appropriate register of eligibles, and who meets all the other
certain instances. In Orcullo Jr. v. Civil Service Commission,[12] it was ruled that the right is requirements of the position.

not available to those employees whose appointments are contractual and co-terminous
All such persons must serve a probationary period of six
in nature. Such employment is characterized by a tenure which is limited to a period months following their original appointment and shall undergo a
thorough character investigation in order to acquire permanent civil
specified by law, or that which is coterminous with the appointing authority or subject to service status. A probationer may be dropped from the service for
his pleasure, or which is limited to the duration of a particular project for which purpose unsatisfactory conduct or want of capacity any time before the
expiration of the probationary period: Provided, That such action is
employment was made.[13] In Amores M.D. v. Civil Service Commission,[14] it was held that appealable to the Commission.
a civil executive service appointee who meets all the requirements for the position,

except only the appropriate civil service eligibility, holds the office in a temporary

capacity and is, thus, not entitled to a security of tenure enjoyed by permanent
While unsatisfactory conduct and want of capacity are valid causes that may be
appointees.
invoked for dismissal from the service,[16] the CA observed that the Memorandum issued
by Mayor Bendaa terminating Magnayes employment did not specify the acts
Clearly, Magnayes appointment is entirely different from those situations. From
constituting his want of capacity and unsatisfactory conduct. It merely stated that the
the records, his appointment was never classified as co-terminous or contractual.
character investigation conducted during his probationary period showed that his
Neither was his eligibility as a Utility Worker I challenged by anyone.
employment need not be necessary to be permanent in status.[17] Specifically, the notice
of termination partly reads:
In support of its position that an appointee cannot lawfully invoke the right to a
security of tenure during the probationary period, petitioner CSC banked on the case
of Lucero v. Court of Appeals and Philippine National Bank.[15] This case is, however, not

21

While the Code does not define and delineate the concepts of these two grounds. 2. incompetent requires enough time on the part of his immediate that his two supervisors prepared and submitted the evaluation superior within which to observe his performance. In the case at bar. is the evaluation report. could not have been the basis for considered terminated for unsatisfactory conduct or want of capacity. as amended provided by law. is rated poor in Decree No. was not observed in this case. Magnayes termination.[19] It was only on July 29. It being not disputed. Among these notice shall mean that the officer or employee is informed in writing grounds are inefficiency and incompetence in the performance of of the status of his performance not later than the fourth month of official duties. You are further notified that after a thorough character Besides. x x x. This has not been rebutted. 2003. respondents were dismissed on the that rating period with sufficient warning that failure to improve his ground of poor performance. 12. Carreon. hence. the Civil Service Law (Presidential b. Indeed.[20] underscoring supplied] 22 . however. Common sense dictates that You are hereby notified that your service as Utility Worker I. [Emphasis and appeal. Under the Revised Administrative Code of 1987. are grounds for dismissing contain sufficient information which shall enable the employee a government official or employee from the service. a by CSC Memorandum Circular No. as amended) provides specific grounds for dismissing performance. to prepare an explanation. Mayor Bendaas own assessment of Magnayes performance could not investigation made during your such probationary period under my administration. 807. as earlier mentioned. your appointment for employment need not be have served as a sufficient basis to dismiss him because said mayor was not his necessary to be automatically permanent in status. effective August 14. Additionally. at Mayor Bendaas behest. This condition. Section VI. submitted only in 2003. the between March 2001 when he was hired by Mayor Rosales probationary period of six (6) months for the respondents. In the case of Miranda v. Unsatisfactory or Poor Performance xxx on two (2) grounds: (1) unsatisfactory conduct and (2) want of capacity. provides: government officer or employee may be removed from the service 2. this municipality under six (6) month probationary period.[18] immediate superior and did not have daily contacts with him. 38. 2001. An official who. Poor performance falls within the performance within the remaining period of the semester shall concept of inefficiency and incompetence in the performance of warrant his separation from the service. to until August 14. it was an error on the part of the CSCRO-IV to rely on such belated performance appraisal. Series of 1994). report after the CSCRO-IV directed him to file an answer to Magnayes however. for one evaluation period. Mayor Bendaa terminated his employment less than one and one-half months after his assumption to office. Due a government officer or employee from the service. This is clearly a short period within which to assess his performance. Such notice shall also official duties which. 2001 when his services were terminated by Mayor be able to gauge whether a subordinate is inefficient or Bendaa.2(b) of the Omnibus Guidelines on Appointments and The 1987 Constitution provides that no officer or employee of the civil service shall be removed or suspended except for cause other Personnel Actions (CSC Memorandum Circular No. may be dropped from the rolls after due notice.2. Series of 1993.[21] it was stated: This notice indisputably lacks the details of Magnayes unsatisfactory conduct or want of capacity. [Emphasis and underscoring supplied] But inefficiency or incompetence can only be Magnaye asserts that no performance evaluation was made determined after the passage of sufficient time.

[23] The standard of substantial evidence is satisfied when.R. The CA correctly exercised jurisdiction over this case where standards of against dismissal of a civil service officer or employee "except for cause provided by law" due process had been patently breached. Magnaye should be reinstated to his former process requires that the dismissal be for cause. Evidently. No. considering that the assailed decision is not in the nature of awards. 2008 Resolution denying the motion for Thus. the petition is DENIED. In our decision in Civil Magnaye was denied procedural due process when he received his notice of Service Commission v. 2008 Decision of the Court of Appeals and its June 11.[22] In cases filed before administrative or quasi-judicial bodies. He was also denied substantive due process because he was dismissed from the service without a valid cause for lack of any factual or legal basis for his want of capacity and unsatisfactory conduct. Magnayes dismissal was tainted with irregularity because Moreover. we reject petitioners argument that the CA erred when it acted upon the reconsideration in CA-G. erroneous remedy availed of by respondent when he filed a petition for review SO ORDERED. final orders or resolutions of or authorized by any quasi-judicial agency in the exercise of its quasi-judicial functions as prescribed under Rule 43 of the Rules of Court. or that amount of relevant evidence which a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to justify a conclusion. a fact may be deemed established if it is supported by substantial evidence. evidence against Magnaye was woefully inadequate. there is reasonable ground to believe that the person terminated the Commission proper. We ruled in Tria v. Lacap. judgments. The February 20. Magnayes petition to the CA comes under the exceptions to the was evidently wanting in capacity and had unsatisfactory conduct. Chairman the notice given to him comes short of the notice contemplated by law and Patricia Sto. on the basis of the Service [27] provide for the remedy of an appeal from decisions of its regional offices to evidence on record. the doctrine of exhaustion of administrative remedies. is a guaranty of both procedural and substantive due process. As discussed above. Procedural due process requires that the dismissal comes only after notice and hearing. Magnaye was denied due process.[25] while substantive due Having been illegally dismissed. While Sections 71 and 72 of Rule V (B) of the Uniform Rules on Administrative Cases in the Civil 23 . The CA correctly cited Republic v. Gentallan. an termination only a day before he was dismissed from the service. appeal to the CSCRO-IV. Tomas[24] that the prohibition in Article IX (B) (2) (3) of the Constitution jurisprudence.[26] position without loss of seniority and paid backwages and other monetary benefits from the time of his dismissal up to the time of his reinstatement. The CSC is the central personnel agency of the government exercising quasi- judicial functions. he was not furnished with the submissions of Mayor Bendaa that he could have opposed.[28] where a violation of due process is listed to be among the noted exceptions to the rule. SP No. As well. In this case. he was illegally dismissed government employee who is later ordered reinstated is entitled to effectively deprived of the opportunity to defend himself from the charge that he lacked backwages and other monetary benefits from the time of his illegal dismissal until his the capacity to do his work and that his conduct was unsatisfactory. during his reinstatement because he is considered as not having left his office. 85508 are AFFIRMED.[29] we ruled that for reasons of justice and fairness. WHEREFORE.

upon the approval of a new subdivision xxxx plan. (b) destroying the riprap and the said premises for a long period of time and fully aware that he possessed only 838 cyclone wires which served as boundary between respondent’s Lot 189 and square meters as evidenced by the Lot Description Survey conducted in December 1966. other than the old mujon respondent Augusto Felicidario. square meters without a lawful order.. was Original Certificate of Title (OCT) No. Fernan. SHERIFF IV. Rizal. initially identified as Lots 263 and 264 of the Sampaloc Townsite destroyed the riprap and the old cyclone wires which serves as the boundary of in Tanay. 00222161). [Provincial Agrarian Reform Officer (PARO)] Samuel S. vs. 2009. (c) destroying the comfort room. complainants have been in possession of Lots 263 and 264 since 1960. and Complainants and Augusto Felicidario have been good neighbors. he concealed it from the DAR. On the basis of OCT No. Respondent.M. Dishonesty and Conduct Unbecoming an Officer of the Court. That CLOA/s for Elsa Aquino. pursuant to Certificate of Land not included in his actual area of possession and occupation. Complainants were helpless in preventing respondent meters per new subdivision survey in 2003. xxxx AUGUSTO J. distributed under the Department o Agrarian Reform DAR) Resettlement Elsa Aquino et al. Thereafter.613 square meters combined. The late Celestino Teves and Elsa Aquino et al. 6. 2009 received a copy of TCT-CLOA in October 2005 awarding him 941 square Lot 189 and the disputed area. FERNAN. Sheriff IV of the Office of the Clerk of Court OCC). A-0400-0168-09. M-01182. That based on that new survey in 2003. previously placed during the 1965 survey of 838 square meters. until the latter on trees in the disputed area. Eder stated that the only basis of the claim of increased from 838 square meters to 941 square meters. where in truth and in fact. 00222161. Respondent was eventually issued that said portions appeared to be included in his CLOA. [Certificate of Land Ownership Award (CLOA)] with No. 11-3591-P) Atty. were established to wit: AQUINO and FELIMON E. J. REGIONAL TRIAL COURT OF MANILA. while Lot 268 was designated as Lot 189. 00222161/OCT No.2 Under the same plan. the area of Lot 189 was erroneously In the same Memorandum. M-01182 (CLOA No. M-01182 with an area of 941 DECISION square meters was awarded to Augusto Felicidario on October 2. It appears that there was an area of 117 square meters from his original area of 838 square meters. of Grave Misconduct. the excess area of 117 square meters belong to Elsa Aquino. Bautista. OFFICE OF THE CLERK OF COURT. Regional Trial Court RTC). accusing area of 117 square meters and placed another mujon. dirty kitchen. FELICIDARIO. Evangelista (Evangelista) of DAR Region IV-A issued an Order dated October be cancelled/corrected to only 838 square meters as his actual area of possession and 20.P. Respondent knew of this error Augusto Felicidario over the portions of the areas of Elsa Aquino and Felimon Fernan is but being dishonest. In May 2003. warehouse. Lots 263 and 264 were clustered into one lot. 51 square meters. the portions of 54 square meters. for Lot 189. ruling in their favor. Complainants. 7. Felimon Fernan and Heirs of Celestino Teves.: issued CLOA. with a total area of 941 square (formerly Lot 268) is bounded by old boundaries (muhon). and 12 square meters from respectively. Solomero concurred with the docketed as Case No. No. Augusto Felicidario conducted his own survey to determine the boundaries based on the LEONARDO-DE CASTRO. riprap and cyclone wires meters. Elsa C. Pertinent portions of said Order read: further recommended that individual CLOAs be generated/issued in favor of Elsa 24 . and (d) constructing a concrete fence with steel gate around March 29. and Felimon E. Lots 263 and 264 measured 965 square meters and 648 square meters. Complainants had filed with the DAR Region IV-A a letter-complaint against respondent. 2005. designated as Lot 190. Felimon Fernan and [Heirs] of Celestino Teves have not yet been issued to them. Augusto Felicidario threatened from performing the aforementioned acts as respondent bragged that he is a Sheriff of to eject Elsa Aquino et al. or 1. respondent started to erected since 1960’s or more that forty-five (45) years by complainants which is only unlawfully and forcibly acquire 117 square meters of complainants’ Lot 190 (disputed adjacent/adjoining to Lot 189 (Lot [268]) of Augusto Felicidario who incidentally been in area) by (a) altering and installing concrete boundaries. 2013 Per Memorandum dated May 19. Evidently. Complainants pointed out that Regional Director recommendation of DARPO-Legal Division that the CLOA issued to Augusto Felicidario Antonio G. purposely to acquire the portions of 51 square meters and 12 the RTC of Manila and threatened complainants with bodily harm. LO Cleufe S. however.A. Before the Court is the Complaint-Affidavit1 of complainants Heirs of Celestino Teves Augusto Felicidario tainted with bad faith instead proceed[ed] to get the excess represented by Paul John Teves Abad). No. complainants’ Lot 190. Lot 189 Ownership Award (CLOA) No. which has been occupied by respondent and with an area of 838 square meters. the [DAR Provincial Office (DARPO)] Legal Division conducted an investigation/inspection on the subject lots on May 18. Manila. P-12-3089 November 13. Eder as noted by (Formerly OCA I. with motive to forcibly get the 117 square meters covering Project. They were not aware of the changes in their Complainants alleged that they are the successors-in-interest of the late Celestino Teves respective area of possession until in March 2009 when Augusto Felicidario to two parcels of land. 2009 of [Legal Officer (LO)] Cleufe S. Raul I.I. Lots 263 and 264 are adjacent and contiguous to Lot 268. 2009 and the following facts HEIRS OF CELESTINO TEVES REPRESENTED BY PAUL JOHN TEVES ABAD ELSA C. Aquino.

docketed as PARAD Case No. thus." before the DAR Adjudication Board (DARAB) Region IV-A. lack had already instituted a Petition for Correction of LOA No. in his Comment. Complainants mean to escalate a private matter to the institution respondent is serving. Besides. of the Building Official of Tanay. and On July 26. The DAR Region IV-A Order dated October 20. A in Case No. probity or integrity in principle. the Office of the Court Administrator (OCA) submitted its report 7 with the following recommendations: 2. a cursory reading of the DAR Administrative Order No. On the strength of the Fencing Permit and with the assistance of barangay officials. Respondent reiterated that he "Homelots in barangay sites and residential. but not of grave existence of the final and executory Order dated October 20. be RE-DOCKETED as a final and executory as no motion for reconsideration and/or appeal was filed. 00222161) Complainants filed a Reply6 but raised no new matters. M-01182 (CLOA No. the area of complainants’ Lot 190 In a Resolution9 dated September 24. 1 Series of 1992.]" and "a disposition to lie. DIRECTING the PARO and the [Municipal Agrarian Reform Officer (MARO)] to make the necessary steps for the issuance of individual titles in the names of In view of the foregoing.8 not related to his official functions as Deputy Sheriff and are not grounds for administrative action. Manila. adverse to his interest. 2009 in Case No. as well as the lack of evidence that respondent’s conduct in the exercise of his rights as a private individual debased the public’s confidence in the courts. In addition. 2012. respondent be found GUILTY of Conduct Prejudicial to the Best Interest of outright dismissal of the instant complaint against him since the acts subject thereof are the Service and be SUSPENDED for three (3) months without pay. M-01182 of fairness and straightforwardness. respondent proceeded to place new fences or The Court partly diverges from the findings of the OCA. respondent explained that as a result of the re-survey conducted by the DAR Geodetic Engineer in May 2003. Although respondent acknowledged the dishonesty and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service. Lastly. premises considered. cheat. misconduct. In 2009. 2009 of the DAR Region IV.5 denied complainants’ allegations. in filing the present complaint. A-0400-0168-09.Aquino. Respondent also mentioned in his Comment that the PARO untrustworthiness. 1. 4 regular administrative matter. Sheriff IV. to the performance of his official duties and were not in any manner related to a case in which complainants are parties or have legal interests. deceive or betray. respondent applied for and was granted a Fencing Permit by the Office the case for decision based on the pleadings on record. commercial and industrial lots in townsites had no hand in the increase of his total lot area after the new survey. Felimon Fernan and Heirs of Celestino Teves based on their actual Honorable Court the following recommendations: area of possession. Respondent10 and complainants11 submitted physical possession of Lot 189 and religiously paying the real estate tax thereon as they their respective Manifestations informing the Court that they were already submitting fall due. Felimon Fernan and Heirs of Celestino Teves in accordance with their actual Respondent argued that the acts imputed by complainants against him were not related area of possession. 2012. was forum shopping with the intention of purposely vexing. the instant administrative complaint against Augusto J. Felicidario. Avila. while that of respondent’s Lot 189 was increased complaint against respondent as a regular administrative matter and required the to 941 square meters. 00222161/OCT No. harassing. disposition to defraud. deceive or defraud. He prayed for the 2. and intimidating respondent and thereby gain WHEREFORE. lack of integrity. Respondent is guilty of simple mujon/markers along the perimeter of Lot 189. he had already requested the Office of the President for a statement on any material fact[. parties to manifest within 10 days from notice if they were willing to submit the matter 01182 (CLOA No. respondent’s 25 . Nonetheless.12 the Court defined dishonesty as "intentionally making a false relative to said case.3 1. respondent shall be disposed of by direct sale to actual occupants occupying said homelots". specifically paragraph IV. M. It is true that respondent did not have a hand in the re-survey conducted by the DAR in 2003 which resulted in the increased land area of his Lot 189. Respondent has been in continuous actual and for resolution based on the pleadings filed. regarding the allegations in the complaint will clearly show the absence of the requisites of corruption Modes of Disposition of Homelots. Regional Trial Court. R-0409-0009 to 0010-10. respondent maintained that he had been deprived of due process of law because he never received summons or notice In Villordon v. an Order is hereby issued: upper ground. respondent was issued OCT No. lack of honesty. A-0400-0168-09 became Office of the Clerk of Court. Based on the 2003 re-survey. this Office respectfully submits for the consideration of the Elsa Aquino. DIRECTING the PARO to undertake the necessary steps to cause the correction of [the] area inscribed in OCT No. averred that complainants. 00222161) for Lot 189. and Respondent. provides that: or a clear intent to violate the law or a flagrant disregard of established rule. the Court re-docketed the administrative was decreased to 210 square meters. issued in the name of Augusto Felicidario from 941 square meters to 838 square meters. reinvestigation of the same.

but the Court defined such an offense in Complainants and respondent had been awarded and occupying their respective properties under the DAR Resettlement Program since 1966. in Buenaventura v. from the DARAB for the correction of respondent’s OCT No. Calimag. four decades. respondent Lopez in these words: "Misconduct in office has a definite and well. an administrative proceeding against a judge of the court of first instance. He direct relation to and be connected with the performance of official duties amounting must first initiate an ejectment case against complainants before the appropriate court either to maladministration or willful. Mayordomo. but also with the concerned government agencies/officials. rather than his active survey of cases presented in Largo v. and had. especially those concerning of his duties as an officer and not such only as affects his character as a private the execution of orders and decisions of the courts. resulting in the increased land area of Lot 189. This is because the image of a court of justice is necessarily mirrored after the 2003 re-survey and the PARO had already instituted proceedings before the in the conduct. it has been said at all times.1âwphi1 In Manuel v. 00222161). intentional neglect and failure to discharge the and secure a court order and writ of possession. performance of his official duties. It is settled that misconduct. It bears to stress that highest sense of honesty and integrity not only in the performance of his official duties the final and executory Order dated October 20. As a Sheriff. undeniably benefitting from the increased land area of Lot 189. It is difficult for the Court to believe individual. the basis for respondent’s temple of justice.understood legal appears to have illegally forced his way into the disputed area. would System v. he is meaning. as things stand at present. whether grave or simple. held his peace and already proceeded to secure a certificate of title in his Respondent’s transgressions may not be related to his official duties and functions. the present Chief 26 . As the Court explained in Marquez occupying the 117-square meter disputed area. when the circumstances demanded otherwise. Court of Appeals16 is particularly instructive: and/or express misrepresentation to the complainants and concerned public officials. as well as good faith and prudence. yet. and enclosing Lot 189 (inclusive of the disputed area) within a concrete fence and steel gate. By uniform legal definition. M-01182 (CLOA No. to preserve the Court’s good A-0400-0168-09 declared erroneous the increase in land area of respondent’s Lot 189 name and standing. Considering that the increase in land area of Lot 189 was due to the (erroneous) result of the 2003 re-survey of the Sampaloc However. uprightness and honesty. introduced substantial improvements thereon.14 the Court further declared that the administrative offense of have impelled respondent to bring the matter to the attention of complainants and the conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service need not be related to or connected DAR. and that respondent committed the dishonesty in his private life and not in the course of [T]he administrative offense committed by petitioner is not "misconduct. Whether or not an error was indeed committed by the DAR officials during the 2003 re-survey. the best interest of the administration of justice. he must exhibit the OCT No. Thus. The and/or inaction." To constitute performance of his official functions. he cannot be administratively liable for misconduct. destroying complainants’ improvements v. thereby prejudicing increased from 838 square meters to 941 square meters after the 2003 re-survey. Clores-Ramos15: thereon. prejudicial to the best interest of the service. it is necessary to separate the that respondent is completely unaware that even as the registered owner of the real character of the man from the character of the officer x x x. it is a misconduct such as affects his performance expected to be familiar with court procedure and processes. The Civil Service law and rules do not give a concrete description of what specific acts not only with his neighbors. at best. Benedicto. When respondent was finally certainly reflect badly upon the entire Judiciary. judge to the least and lowest of its personnel. and straightforwardness. duties of the office x x x More specifically. De Vera13 as acts or omissions that violate the norm of public accountability and express surprise and/or bafflement that the land area of his Lot 189 was significantly diminish or tend to diminish the faith of the people in the Judiciary. precisely because respondent was not acting in the performance of his official Townsite by the DAR. or malfeasance warranting removal from office of an officer must have possession of the disputed area and destroy complainants’ improvements thereon. In Government Service Insurance Honesty. respondent did not Ito v.) legal title to the disputed area is doubtful. and inquire and verify with the DAR his entitlement to the increased land area. for almost the erring public officer or employee. fairness. respondent It can not be overemphasized that every employee of the judiciary should be an example evidently took advantage of complainants’ ignorance of the situation in order to acquire of integrity. official or otherwise. he cannot simply enter and take misfeasance. (Citations omitted. 2009 of the DAR Region IV-A in Case No. with a land area of 941 square meters. it becomes the imperative sacred While respondent is seeking to have the final and executory DAR Region IV-A Order set duty of each and every one in the court to maintain its good name and standing as a true aside by the Office of the President. Instead.actuations thereafter displayed his lack of honesty. As long as the questioned conduct tarnishes especially when he was well-aware that complainants had been in possession of the the image and integrity of his public office. 00222161). constitute conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service. the corresponding penalty may be meted on disputed area. the act or acts must have a direct relation to and be connected with the dishonesty. Like any public servant. it was held that: Respondent’s deportment under the circumstances likewise constitute conduct Misconduct in office has been authoritatively defined by Justice Tuazon in Lacson v. and straightforwardness. respondent. but name for Lot 189. In addition to being dishonest. M-01182 (CLOA No. of the men and women who work thereat. with the public officer’s official functions. 00222161) with nary an opposition.. fairness. M-01182 (CLOA No. that respondent’s dishonesty was committed through his silence duties. Jr. he invoked the same as justification for ethical standards demanded by the office he occupies. property and with the barangay officials’ assistance. Respondent failed to live up to the high issued OCT No. in fact. but in his personal and private dealings with other people. the Court holds him guilty of only simple misconduct. In such cases.

Inting we also ruled – It is to be noted that the acts of the respondent judge WHEREFORE.Justice defines misconduct as referring ‘to a transgression of some established and dishonesty as an aggravating circumstance. Section 46(E) of RRACCS. intentional neglect and failure to discharge the duties of repetition of the same or similar act in the future shall be dealt with more severely. among others. to warrant disciplinary action must have direct conduct grossly prejudicial to the best interest of the service and is suspended for a relation to and be connected with the performance of official duties amounting either to period of six ( 6) months and one (1) day without pay. as mitigating circumstance. and alleged sale of carnapped motor vehicles. 2011. the Court finds respondent Augusto Felicidario. So also." likewise takes into account. simple dishonesty is a less grave offense punishable by suspension of one (1) month and one (1) day to six (6) months for the first offense. the penalty to be imposed should be that corresponding to the most serious charge and the rest shall be considered as aggravating circumstances. (Citations omitted. Section 46(B)(8) classifies conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service as a grave offense penalized by suspension of six (6) months and one (1) day to one (1) year for the first offense. Sheriff IV of the Office of complained of have no direct relation with his official duties as City Judge. the Court sustained. he acted in his private capacity.) Now the Court considers the appropriate penalty to be imposed upon respondent. more particularly. Regional Trial Court. the Court shall apply the penalty for conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service. Section 50 additionally provides that if the civil servant is found guilty of two or more charges or counts. Based on the foregoing rules. The Court held that the acts of the mayor cannot come under the class of the administrative offense of misconduct. for humanitarian reasons. for said function was not part of his duties as mayor. De Guzman. it being the more serious offense. SO ORDERED. do not fall within the species of misconduct. GUILTY of simple dishonesty and misfeasance or malfeasance of a judge. not being related to the discharge of official functions. Under Rule 10. that respondent is almost of retirement age at 64 years. six (6) months and one (1) day to one (10 year for the second offense. a Judge’s abandonment of. the penalty of suspension without pay for six xxxx (6) months and one (1) day is appropriate under the circumstances. shook him violently. The Court public officer. The Court then considers for purposes of determining the proper penalty. On November 18. It was further held that misconduct in office has a definite and well-understood legal meaning. said judge. Magro. In Milanes v. the Civil Service Commission (CSC) promulgated the Revised Rules on Administrative Cases in the Civil Service (RRACCS). In Salcedo v. the respondent Judge was charged with grave misconduct for his alleged failure to pay the amount of ₱215. and dismissal for the third offense. Consequently. respondent s simple 27 . Rule 10. 32 of which had been in the judiciary. with a stem warning that a maladministration or willful. The the Clerk of Court. while respondent s 43 years in government definite rule of action. it is a misconduct such as affects his performance of his duties as an officer and not such only as affects his character as a private individual. the argument of respondent Judge that the charge did not constitute misconduct because it did not involve the discharge of his official duties. In dismissing the case. Rule 10. and dismissal from the service for the second offense. unlawful behavior or gross negligence by the service. considering that as the toastmaster in a non-governmental rally. and failure to give support to his family. and threatened to kill him in the course of a political rally of the Nacionalista Party where said mayor was acting as the toastmaster. Manila.80 for the purchase of empty Burma sacks. a mayor collared a person. In Amosco v. By uniform legal definition.

2004 letter. 2008 fall within the ambit of a government official’s duties and Decision2 of the Court of Appeals (CA) in CA-G. to her grounds for disciplinary action. Respondent.A. and willful failure to pay just debts are half.15 Petitioner concluded that respondent’s children via a 1992 deed of sale purportedly executed by her father. 190524. complaint against respondent may not be acted upon as the acts complained of were not In dismissing petitioner’s appeal.16 which decreed as complaint7 against respondent. In an October 6. 2004 opinion.of misrepresentation. 2003 opinion9 of Victor P.R. over which she had waived her rights. MICHAELINA RAMOS BALASBAS. NRD. or gambling. 102407 and its November 27. Petitioner. respondent related. immorality. In a September 18. Sibal.12 the CSC’s Office for Legal Affairs (CSC-OLA) denied petitioner’s appeal and affirmed the August 19. fraud. Petitioner thus prayed that the CSC In a June 24. the CSC issued Resolution No. the Court must protect them against of immoral as only referring to sex. 11-15-004 (E-11-16-004). who she claimed passed away. petitioner’s remedy was instead to In a May 19. 2004 letter. and that petitioner’s relief was to move for the execution of the 28 . PATRICIA B. appealing the August 19. The acts employees whose sworn duty is to discharge their duties with utmost responsibility. Development (DSWD). 2003 government employee. thus:chanRoblesVirtualawlibrary The question is this .A. Accordingly. 11-15-004 (E-11-16-004) . J. citing WHEREFORE. however. the CSC held firm to the view that Monayao’s purported in relation to the latter’s duties and responsibilities as Municipal Population Officer. 2003 letter-complaint4 filed with the Department of Social Welfare and seek execution of the DENR’s Decision in H. 1998 Order 5 issued by the October 6. MONAYAO.A. appeared in lieu of her father. Petitioner was thus advised to address impose upon her disciplinary action and penalties in accordance with civil service laws her complaint to the Office of the Mayor of Alfonso Lista. DECISION would you have as a member of the Civil Service a person who has engaged in misrepresentation. 2014 opinion of the CSC-CAR. but was devolved in 1992 to the local government of the fraud. the effective performance of their duties and functions. 1998 Order. 2003 opinion of the CSC-CAR. which was misrepresentation. 2004 letter-opinion. dishonesty and refusal to implement the DENR Order in H.unless one only thinks integrity. v. dishonesty and refusal to implement the DENR’s October 6. Monayao . 1998 Order relative to the 1987 DENR land dispute constitute acts unbecoming a public official and fall within the jurisdiction of the CSC. unsubstantiated charges that tend to adversely affect. the latter illegally sold the portion.granting arguendo that there is such a limited interpretation. competence. The Factual Antecedents CSC-OLA held that the CSC had no jurisdiction over petitioner’s complaint as it stemmed from a private transaction between the protagonists. Petitioner thus filed with the Mayor of Alfonso Lista a July 30.: an Order of the DENR dated 6 October 1998? While the law and justice abhor all forms of abuse committed by public officers and I believe that nowhere in the Civil Service Law is there such a qualification. longer an employee thereof. notorious undesirability. which stated that petitioner’s 2004 is AFFIRMED. 2008. Michaelina Ramos Balasbas accused respondent Patricia B. 2003 letter10 to the CSC. simulated considering that as early as 1987. that despite judgment rendered in the said dispute awarding one-half of the disputed habitual drunkenness. how can having mistresses (which currently the government is relentlessly pursuing to rid of) Assailed in this Petition for Review on Certiorari1 are the November 28. Petitioner adds that even the lending of money at land to her brother. responsibilities?11crallawlibrary 2009 Resolution3 denying reconsideration thereof. complained of also amount to grave misconduct and immorality . 11-15-004 (E-11-16-004) had no bearing on her official duties as a local Petitioner wrote an October 16. Region office of the Civil Service Commission (CSC-CAR). NRD. Petitioner. and regulations. respondent’s father was already deceased. Director II of the Cordillera Administrative for want of merit. On the other hand .filed sometime in 1987 by public officers or employees is not limited to their acts or omissions that are work- petitioner’s brother against respondent’s father. dishonesty and refusal to implement the DENR’s October 6.is it only acts related to the duties and responsibilities of a government officer that can be the subject of an administrative case? Stated otherwise.G. follows:chanRoblesVirtualawlibrary Alfonso Lista Mayor Glenn D. misrepresentation.R. 2003 sworn letter. 080059. Petitioner claimed further oppression. petitioner Atty. Petitioner argued that under Section 4 of the Revised Uniform Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in a land dispute .then employed by the DSWD . disciplinary action may be taken for their acts of dishonesty. 2003 letter-reply. the opinion of the Office for Legal Affairs dated October 6. and respondent’s subsequent notarized waiver of her rights to her usurious rates. foregoing premises considered. No. accountability. declare respondent guilty of misrepresentation. February 17. fraud. in a November 11. and municipality of Alfonso Lista in Ifugao Province. fraud.14 the jurisdiction of the CSC over with the DENR as H. Prudenciano refused to take action on the complaint.docketed Rules on Administrative Cases in the Civil Service. 2003 reply8 to petitioner. conviction of a crime involving moral turpitude. fraud. dishonesty and has contemptuously refused to implement DEL CASTILLO. conducting illicit relations. and loyalty. On January 14. rather than encourage. SP No. It appears that in said case. the instant appeal is hereby DISMISSED an August 19.13 sought a reconsideration of the above dishonesty and refusal to implement an October 6. NRD.6 the DSWD informed petitioner that respondent was no reconsider its October 6. She claimed that the actions of respondent violated the civil service laws and amounted to grave misconduct and immorality.

her charges against respondent are fully substantiated and covered by sufficient attachments. contrary to the pronouncements of the CSC and CA. It is therefore clear in relation to a land dispute arising from her private dealings. the Commission is inclined to dismiss the present appeal. 2003 sworn letter-complaint filed with the office of the Mayor of 29 . petitioner maintains in her Petition and duties x x x Thus. the present petition is DISMISSED for lack of merit. Book V of EO 292. contrary to the pronouncements of the CA. respondent’s defiance of the DENR More importantly. petitioner instituted the present Petition. which is not connected with or related to her position or performance of her It is unavailing for the private complainant to insist that there are disciplinary grounds functions as a public official. the complaint is based on Monayao’s supposed misrepresentation. which would make them amenable to disciplinary sanctions. which is anathema to her position Ruling of the Court of Appeals as a public servant. Book V. the immoral conduct. which thus renders respondent guilty of better resolved before a competent court. Two such examples are disgraceful and integrity of the respondent which may affect her right to continue in office. Rule XIV of the Rules Implementing against respondent. not concrete allegations of facts.” dishonesty and misrepresentation.17crallawlibrary and orders of duly constituted government authority. should be the land in dispute to respondent’s children. Instead of filing THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS GRIEVOUSLY ERRED WHEN IT SUSTAINED THE an administrative complaint. And. the respondents are government employees. which is. such actuation of Monayao Petitioner contends that the CA committed the following relates to her private dealings with the private complainant. they cast serious doubt as that the acts complained of do not constitute an administrative offense or offenses within to her fitness to continue in the public service. On this point.even if true . She SO ORDERED. premises considered.19crallawlibrary cites her July 30. November 27. the latter was able to transfer . Hence. on the moral fitness and integrity of the respondent public official or employee. said failure or omissions on the part of the respondents were done in Reply23 that while respondent’s dishonest acts and misrepresentations were committed their personal or private capacity arising out of private transactions. dishonesty and refusal to implement an order of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) relating to a land dispute. Issue fraud. petitioner questioned CSC Resolution No. 292 (EO 292). True it is that some of the officer or employee’s official functions or responsibilities. such as dishonesty or recognized grounds for administrative disciplinary actions against government officials immorality. Moreover. however. to move for execution of the unsatisfied DENR order or to proceed to CONSTITUTE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFENSES WHICH THE SAID COMMISSION COULD court for possible judicial enforcement. TAKE COGNIZANCE OF AND DO NOT REFLECT ON HER MORAL FITNESS AND INTEGRITY AS A PUBLIC SERVANT. and non-payment of just debt. and that her main complaint against respondent pertains to the latter’s After due consideration. Finally. indeed so grave that it is punishable 080059 and prayed that the CSC be ordered to assume jurisdiction over her complaint by dismissal for the first offense under Section 23. Petitioner further asserts that.21 but the CA denied the same via its respondent public officer.does not reflect on the moral fitness and and employees contemplate of private deeds.24crallawlibrary following decretal portion:chanRoblesVirtualawlibrary WHEREFORE. DO NOT impugned opinion. It held. of her rights to one-half portion of the land in dispute. as noted in the OMISSIONS OF RESPONDENT. 1996. The appellate court added that while it is true that that are not work-related such that her complaint. or the Administrative Code of 1987. ARISING OUT OF HER PRIVATE TRANSACTIONS. 2009 Resolution. should not have been perfunctorily dismissed. but there is no showing that the Praying that the assailed CA dispositions be set aside and that the CSC be directed to take non-remittance of said amount was committed while in the performance of their official cognizance of her complaint against respondent. Yet. rooted as it was on a private disciplinary action may be imposed for acts or omissions not connected with a public transaction. the Commission pertinently Petitioner’s Arguments ruled in this wise:chanRoblesVirtualawlibrary “x x x True. dated September 4. dishonesty which justifies dismissal from the service need not be committed in the course of the On November 28. the act complained of . it would have been more appropriate for the private DECISION OF THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION IN FINDING THAT THE ACTS AND complainant to seek relief through the proper remedial action. This means that the commission of any of the said acts betrays the moral unfitness of the Petitioner filed a Motion for Reconsideration. is present in intervention. At any rate. In the herein case. Petitioner adds that dishonesty is a serious offense. However. refusal to abide by the DENR judgment relative to the one-half portion of the property in dispute. the appellate court did not elaborate. subject of this complaint. thus:chanRoblesVirtualawlibrary petitioner’s case.20 Chapter 7. 96-5593. It decision by orchestrating the 1992 simulated sale demonstrates her disregard for rules contains mere conclusion of law. petitioner insists that while the jurisdiction of the Commission. the Commission observes that the complaint is fatally defective. and has no bearing at all on error:chanRoblesVirtualawlibrary the performance of her official duties as a local government employee.unsatisfied DENR judgment and thus compel respondent to honor her notarized waiver The CA held that none of the circumstances mentioned in Section 46.22crallawlibrary In CSC Resolution No. or proceed to court for judicial of Executive Order No. In a Petition for Review18 filed with the CA. Specifically. the CA issued the assailed Decision which contained the performance of duty by the public officer or employee.in 1992 - complainants and the officers of said association. the dispute between the herein respondent claims that her father died in 1987. it may be noted that these CA acknowledged that petitioner’s accusations against respondent were personal actions give rise to administrative culpability because they indubitably reflect unsubstantiated. 2008.

11-15-004 (E-11-16-004) . or defraud. is willful in character. an administrative offense which need not be related to integrity. nor do they affect her right to continue in office. the allegations in her complaint are not duly supported by necessary documents that would The Court denies the Petition. good morals. From an examination of official’s duties or in the course of his private dealings: it reflects on his “character and all her letters. public order. If it is true that respondent caused the execution of a forged or falsified deed of sale in 1992 in order to The Court therefore sees no reason to disturb the findings of the CSC and the CA. the Court must protect them against respondent’s official functions. it can be seen that she had no cause of action against the respondent. and faithful compliance with the public policy. The Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees incompetence or lack of integrity or qualification may adversely affect the public service. in her private and professional life. the deed of In seeking the denial of the instant Petition.”30crallawlibrary While the law and justice abhor all forms of abuse committed by public officers and Indeed. x x x29crallawlibrary been readily available to her. respondent’s supposed dishonest acts and misrepresentations inspected and reproduced by permission from the government offices having custody committed in relation to a land dispute arising from her private dealings cast doubt on thereof. unsubstantiated charges that tend to adversely affect. NRD. “this does not mean that the rules on proving allegations are relevant to one’s office or connected with the performance of his duty. is a dereliction of duty. accountability. or integrity in principle. that the alleged she did not. a person aspiring for of others. demonstrate the justness of her claims.”32crallawlibrary honesty. is a forbidden act. While technicalities may be dispensed with in Dishonesty is defined as the concealment or distortion of truth in a matter of fact administrative proceedings. lack of integrity. respondent committed as yet no visible wrong. need not their conclusion . it is an unlawful accusations were not supported by the required documentary evidence that should have behavior by the public officer. she should know that as the complainant in the administrative case. rather than encourage. or dishonest act even as she is enjoined to adhere at all times to law. acts do not reflect on her moral fitness and integrity. to her sworn letter-complaint with the office of the Alfonso Lista Mayor. and shall refrain from doing acts contrary to law. Though she claims that respondent falsified a 1992 deed of sale whereby the disputed portion was transferred to her children. at the very least. standard of ethics and utmost responsibility in the public service. Moreover.”26 Dishonesty remains the same whether it is committed in relation to the public However. untrustworthiness. and this may be “inevitably reflects on the fitness of the officer or employee to continue in office and the achieved in the same administrative case or by filing a proper case in court. interest of the service. All that is required is substantial evidence. and finally. public safety and public interest. upon her lies the burden of proof to establish her cause of action against the Our Ruling respondent. the corresponding penalty may be meted on the erring public officer or x x x We do not deny the citizen’s right to denounce recreant public officials if their employee. lack of substantial evidence at the very least. and other submissions . these must be supported by disposition to lie. 6713) enunciates. 30 . respondent in her Comment 28 tersely sale was never shown. cheat. morality. Thus. probity.Alfonso Lista. then duties and functions. Their transfer the disputed portion of the property to her children. to her letter-Motion for Reconsideration with the CSC.from her letter-complaint with the exposes the moral decay which virtually destroys his honor. competence.is correct. “candor. More particularly. But unsatisfied DENR decision or proceed to court for judicial enforcement. to her integrity. good customs. and decency that they were arrived at arbitrarily or in disregard of the evidence on record. “[D]ishonesty. the x x x As long as the questioned conduct tarnished the image and integrity of his/ her effective performance of their duties and functions. and finally her CA Petition for Review . that petitioner’s remedy is to move for the execution of the petitioner could have simply attached a copy of the new title issued in their name. While - public office. And if it is true that respondent’s children were able to secure complained actuations relate to her private dealings and have no bearing on her official title to the disputed portion in their name through such falsified deed of sale. public office must observe honesty. virtue and DSWD. discipline and morale of the service. for it the DENR Order in H.to the effect that what remains to be done is to cause the execution of be committed in the course of the performance of duty” by the public officer.it is evident that she offered nothing more than bare Respondent’s Arguments imputations against the respondent. the acts complained of constitute conduct prejudicial to the best employees whose sworn duty is to discharge their duties with utmost responsibility. inter alia. Bare allegations are not enough. deceive. Section 4(c) of the Code commands that “[public officials and employees] shall at all times respect the rights Finally. It implies a entirely dispensed with. which she claims was “complete with enclosures and attachments. then she committed a findings of fact bind the Court unless there is a showing of grave abuse of discretion. petitioner’s accusations do not appear to hold water. the State policy of promoting a high evidencing the allegations”25 against respondent. and loyalty. petitioner points out that public office is a public trust. Petitioner is a lawyer.”27crallawlibrary appeal letter to the CSC. yet she could produce none. in the eyes of the law. and implies alone. From her numerous complaints action. a copy thereof was never attached to petitioner’s complaints and counters with a reiteration and citation of the CSC and CA pronouncements that her other papers or pleadings. The CSC and On the other hand. (Republic Act No. in order to warrant dismissal. given that it consists of public documents which may be Without a doubt. x x x”31crallawlibrary law. pleadings. misconduct is a transgression of some established or definite rule of the CA may not be faulted for deciding the way they did.A. her fitness to discharge her responsibilities as a public official. for her wrongful intent and not mere error in judgment. and lack of fairness and straightforwardness. that petitioner’s accusations remain unsubstantiated.

SO ORDERED. 31 . the Petition is DENIED. 2008 Decision and the November 27.R. SP No. 102407 are AFFIRMED. 2009 Resolution of the Court of Appeals in CA-G. The assailed November 28.33crallawlibrary WHEREFORE.but We certainly frown upon the practice of some misguided citizens to subvert the noble ends for which administrative discipline is designed which is to purge the public service of undesirable officials.

. herself a married woman. both TINGA.[9]Incidentally. and its Resolution[3] dated 29 March 2005 daughter and confidential assistant.. SP No. Cashiering and Administrative Records Division of the House of Representatives (the CARPIO.[10] respondent ORDERED to CEASE AND DESIST from implementing the same. GARCIA. J. Representative Navarros the Court of Appeals in C. in his capacity TINGA. The female was later Assailed in this Rule 45 Petition for Review[1] is the Decision[2] dated 27 August 2003 of identified as Elizabeth Navarro-Arguelles (Navarro-Arguelles)... based on an entry in the Official Log Book as well as a Spot Inspection Report NAZARENO. JJ.x Maramba and Castillo narrated that when they came upon said office at around 9:30 of DECISION that night. found Villanueva guilty as charged and of all benefits. a married man[7] and a female asleep on the couch. Jr. G.R. AUSTRIA-MARTINEZ. VILLANUEVA. C.versus . married man and the Legislative Assistant II of the SANDOVAL-GUTIERREZ. On 24 November 1997. AZCUNA. WHEREFORE. CHICO-NAZARIO. Tuano.-G.A. lodged the complaint against the former. 2006 District of Surigao Del Norte. Office of Representative Constantino H. 75002.[8] denying herein petitioner Roberto M. The questioned resolutions of the Civil Service Commission is (sic) no charges were filed against Navarro-Arguelles as the House Disciplinary Board has no hereby REVERSED and SET ASIDE.[11] However. they saw Villanueva. House). Villanueva. acting on Villanuevas motion for 32 . YNARES-SANTIAGO.QUISUMBING.[5] ROBERTO M. by Frederick Maramba (Maramba) and Orencio Castillo as Secretary General. and the said jurisdiction over confidential assistants of Representatives. Represented by ROBERTO P.R. was charged with Grave Misconduct.[4] The dispositive portion of the challenged Decision reads as follows: Villanuevas immediate supervisor. Villanuevas (Villanueva) Motion for Reconsideration.: naked. with the womans arm resting on Villanuevas body. Jose Ma. Present: The antecedents are as follows: PANGANIBAN. to the Best Interest of the Service before the House Disciplinary Board. accomplished. No. the writ of certiorari is GRANTED. Disgraceful and Immoral Conduct Prejudicial CORONA. Chief of the Cashiering and Administrative Records Division. The Decision of the House of Representatives Disciplinary Board dated 07 June 2000 is hereby REINSTATED. Respondents. PUNO. . Navarro. of the First July 20. Antonio B. suspended him for one (1) year without pay with a stern warning that any infraction in No Costs. SR.J. respectively. the future will be dealt with more severely. Northwing Building. CALLEJO. after hearing. and (Castillo). both security officers of the House who were on regular roving patrol duty on VELASCO. The charges were HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES. COURT OF APPEALS and CARPIO-MORALES. and respondent Villanueva is ORDERED DISMISSED from the service with forfeiture The House Disciplinary Board.[6] x-------------------------------------------------------------------------. the night of 16 October 1997. SO ORDERED. Their routine inspection tour included Room Promulgated: 305. 167726 Petitioner. JR.

the appeal of Robert[o] M. the decisions appealed from are affirmed. the House ascribed grave abuse of discretion In the instant petition. the House Disciplinary Board increased the penalty to dismissal with at this conclusion.[12] circumstances of the case at bar with Dicdican v. By virtue of his the imposed suspension. in a on judicial employees more stringent standards than employees of the Legislature or the Resolution[14] dated 28 May 2001.[17] charged.[23] Disgraceful and Immoral Conduct for which he is meted the penalty of one (1) year suspension. In its motion for reconsideration. 020536[16] reads as follows: recognize the gravity of Villanuevas misconduct. affirmed the latter Decision of the House Disciplinary Board appellate court stated that adherence to case law dictates the imposition of a similar in a Resolution[13] dated 5 October 2000.[15] Executive. position. stressing that Villanueva not only WHEREFORE. Otherwise. The The appellate court likewise pointed out that the Commission gravely erred in failing to dispositive portion of the Commissions Resolution No. the Court of Appeals held that Villanuevas offense relates to his official Considering that Villanueva has been out of the service for more than functions as it was made possible precisely by his official functions. The Commission holds that Villanueva is guilty of Elizabeth Navarro-Arguelles. the Court would be imposing Decision but this was denied by Speaker Feliciano Belmonte.[24] it concluded. It is understood that this reinstatement shall not carry with it the payment of back salaries and other entitlements. Clearly.[22] Villanueva then interposed an appeal before the Civil Service Commission (the Commission) which. Finally. the Court of Appeals granted the petition for certiorari and the Commission acted well within the confines of its jurisdiction when it imposed the sustained the Decision of the House Disciplinary Board dismissing Villanueva. Moreover. on 12 April 2002. Fernan.[21] The Speaker Manuel B.[20] wherein the Court dismissed the court personnel found guilty of disgraceful and immoral conduct. In a petition for certiorari under Rule 65 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure filed on 20 Villanueva filed the instant petition. Villanueva used his office to commit the misconduct for which he was totally exonerated. the Court of Appeals emphasized the similarity of the factual forfeiture of all benefits. modified the penalty to suspension.reconsideration. In all other respects. 021492[18] dated 18 November 2002. Jr. for he is not therefore.. Villanueva moved for partial reconsideration. the House prayed for the re-imposition of the penalty of dismissal on Villanueva. [26] Thus..[27] Villanueva also maintains that In its challenged Decision. For his part. the appellate court disclosed its desire to improve the public regard of the seeking that he be awarded his benefits for the period of January 1999 to February 2001. Villanueva had free rein inside the building even after office hours. Villanueva moved for a reconsideration of the penalty for the similar offense in the case at bar. a copy of which the House received on 21 November 2002. January 2003 before the Court of Appeals. Villanueva insists that the appellate court did not have to the Commission for reducing the penalty to a mere suspension. Villar. Villanueva is hereby disregarded his marriage vows but also exhibited total disrespect of the marital status of partly GRANTED. government sector by safeguarding morality in the ranks.[25] The Commission denied both motions in Resolution No.[19] The Court of Appeals likewise denied Villanuevas Motion for Reconsideration. In arriving penalty prescribed by law for disgraceful and immoral conduct. jurisdiction over the Houses petition for certiorari under Rule 65 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure as it was a substitute for lost appeal. Jr. Jr.[28] Villanueva likewise 33 . he should now be reinstated to his former position.

The filing and pendency of a petition for review with the Court of Appeals or certiorari with the Supreme Court shall not stop the execution of the final decision of the Settled is the rule that a special civil action of certiorari is not a substitute for a lost or lapsed remedy of appeal. it Commission would not constitute a speedy and adequate remedy thus necessitating the did not do.[39] As the Court aptly held in David v. According to the Rules. Villanueva points out that the House could have easily availed of the personnel. it filed a petition for certiorari under Rule 65 to make up for the lost resort to the remedy of certiorari under Rule 65. we find that the Court of Appeals erred in giving due course to the Houses employees of the judiciary.[40] to wit: 34 . just like At the outset. Cordova. The House argues that employees of the legislature. Effect of Pendency of Petition for Review/Certiorari with the Court. the Court of Appeals does not stop the execution of the Commissions Decision the House Despite the sufficient time. The House reasons that the decision of remedy of appeal.[38] the Commission was immediately executory and its execution would not have been stayed by an ordinary appeal. arrived at in the Courts exercise of its administrative jurisdiction over its Moreover. for review. appellate court is in accordance with law and jurisprudence. the House posits that since Villanueva was found guilty of Grave Misconduct. Section 82. to file an appeal.[29] Further.[36] noting that Section petition for certiorari under Rule 65 on 20 January 2003. the House intended to make up for the lost remedy of appeal and substituted it with a petition for certiorari under Rule 65. Service. Commission unless the Court issues a restraining order or an contends that the Dicdican adjudication finds no application in the instant case as it was injunction.[32] The House also maintains that the ruling of the The Court finds merit in the petition. Rule VI of the Uniform Rules on Administrative Cases in the Civil Service[37] provides. Failing to undertake an appeal. The House with his official functions and it cannot thus be equated with grave misconduct as received a copy of the assailed defined by law.[35] Villanueva maintains.[33] Section 5. the House received the assailed resolution of the Commission on 21 November In his Reply.[30] resolution of the Commission on 21 November 2002. the House allowed the period to elapse and instead filed a could have applied for a restraining order or injunction to stay it. and thus it had until 6 December 2002 or fifteen (15) days after. Villanueva points out that his misconduct is in no way connected remedy of appeal under Rule 43 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure. to perfect an appeal which apparently. among other things. the House In its Comment. the House resorted to Disgraceful and Immoral Conduct and Conduct Prejudicial to the Best Interest of the the wrong remedy of certiorari. close to two (2) months after 82. or until 6 December 2002.[34] Notably. dismissal indeed is the appropriate penalty. the House interposed a thus: special civil action of certiorari.[31] the House contends that an appeal from the decision of the had fifteen (15) days. its receipt of the resolution. and decency in their professional and private conduct. that even if an appeal before 2002. particularly the Dicdican case. Instead. Rule 43 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure states that final orders or resolutions of the Commission are appealable to the Court of Appeals through a petition Lastly. However. should be subject to the same exacting standards of morality petition for certiorari as it was filed in lieu of an appeal which is the prescribed remedy. Evidently. instead of availing of the remedy of appeal.

the appellate court erred when it concurred with the Houses contention that transgression laid bare the values of his inner being but did not expose any of his Villanuevas offense should be classified as grave misconduct. As disregard of established rule.[46] Here. In grave misconduct as distinguished from simple That appeals to the Court of Appeals do not stop the execution of decisions of the misconduct. Yes. certiorari is not and cannot be a substitute for an appeal. his office was used as a venue for the commission of the offense and definitely. intentional neglect and failure to discharge the duties of the x x x x Where appeal is available to the aggrieved party. Sure. Following a string of precedents. The remedies of appeal (including petitions for review) and certiorari are mutually exclusive. his offense speaks despicably of his character as a man but it in no way evinced any failure on his part to discharge his duties as a public officer. misconduct should relate to or be connected with the performance of the official abuse of discretion. To constitute an administrative plain. Amosco v. outright its petition for certiorari. the elements of corruption. we believe in no way was compromised or affected by the commission of his offense. still and all. of his functions and duties as a public officer. it was bereft of merit and the appellate court erred in granting it. not alternative or successive. shortcoming as a public officer. To determine whether a public officer committed misconduct. the Court of Appeals should have denied short of grave misconduct as defined by law.[41] functions and duties of a public officer. it is necessary to separate the character of the man from the character of the officer. One of the Misconduct means intentional wrongdoing or deliberate violation of a rule of law or requisites of certiorari is that there be no available appeal or any standard of behavior. even if such petition was not procedurally flawed. it is a misconduct such as affects his performance of his duties as an officer and not such only as affects his character as a private individual. certiorari will not prosper. must have direct relation to and be connected with the 35 . speedy and adequate remedy. performance of official duties amounting either to maladministration or willful. Corruption as an element of grave correctly pointed out by Villanueva. It is settled that misconduct. Where an appeal is available. must be manifest. By uniform legal definition. Villanuevas First. an another person. contrary to duty and the rights of others. misfeasance. Magro[43] defines misconduct in this wise: what is material is whether Villanueva properly discharged his public functions which Misconduct in office has a definite and well understood legal meaning. the action for office. especially if ones own negligence or error in ones choice of remedy occasioned such loss or lapse. Villanuevas offense was in no way connected with the performance foreclosing the need for a Rule 65 petition for certiorari. Moreover. clear intent to violate the law or flagrant Commission is not sufficient justification for resorting to the remedy of certiorari.[44] certiorari will not be entertained. [45] appeal from the decision of the Commission was an adequate and speedy remedy In the present case. Villanuevas offense is gravely immoral and reprehensible but it falls As the House failed to file a timely appeal. Hence.[42] This thus enunciates the reality that. even if the ground therefor[e] is grave offense. or malfeasance warranting removal from office of an officer. Who Villanueva is and what he believes in are inconsequential in concluding whether his misdemeanor amounts to misconduct. the execution of the decision of the Commission may misconduct consists in the act of an official or fiduciary person who unlawfully and be stayed if the House applies for and the appellate court so issues a restraining order or wrongfully uses his station or character to procure some benefit for himself or for an injunction. Rather. under the circumstances. especially by a government official.

the proper penalty is suspension. according to our own policies.However.R. SP No. The law in this case clearly states that the proper penalty is Administrative Cases in the Civil Service. It is our responsibility to confirm whether the Administrative Code of 1987 and Section 52 A (15) of the Uniform Rules on lower courts upheld the law. the petition is GRANTED. hence. when the Supreme Court acts on complaints against judges or any of the personnel under its supervision and control. but not without the liable. we are not acting as a personnel administrator but rather as the adjudicative appellate tribunal of last resort According to Section 22 (o). as correctly found by the Commission.[49] 36 . WHEREFORE. Resolution No. We imposed punishment guilty of disgraceful and immoral conduct for which he/she may be held administratively in Dicdican as we deemed it proper. however.A. Rule XVI of the Omnibus Rules Implementing Book V of the reviewing the decisions of lower courts. we believe that Villanueva is guilty of In Dicdican. The Commission of Appeals in C. case. we do not agree with the appellate courts ruling that Dicdican should be the 020536 dated 12 April 2002 and Resolution No..[47] guidance of the rules in the civil service. A be. suspension it must Conduct is punishable by suspension of six (6) months and one (1) day to one (1) year. It clearly acted in accordance with law and no petitioners motion for reconsideration are REVERSED and SET ASIDE. second offense is punishable by dismissal.G. In this case. Moreover. grave abuse of discretion can be ascribed to it contrary to the appellate courts finding. it acts as personnel administrator imposing discipline and not as a court judging justiciable controversies. The Decision dated 27 August 2003 of the Court As Villanueva is a first-time offender. 75002 and its Resolution dated 29 March 2005 denying therefore correctly meted out said penalty. In a catena of the commensurate punishment. As correctly pointed out by Villanueva. We deemed it wise to impose more stringent standards cases. SO ORDERED. the Court has ruled that government employees engaged in illicit relations are primarily to show that we are serious in policing our ranks. the Court sanctioned its errant personnel according to what it believed to be Disgraceful and Immoral Conduct for having engaged in an illicit affair.[48] the first offense of Disgraceful and Immoral suspension and not dismissal as held by the appellate court. 021492 dated 18 November 2002 of the controlling precedent such that the penalty of dismissal should be imposed in the instant Civil Service Commission are AFFIRMED and REINSTATED.

00 P400. took 13 unofficial trips abroad.000.000. EDUARDO MATILLANO.000.00 P3. Pasay City worth Php12. AND PNP–CIDG.530. California.00 P135. Jewelry P500.000. affirming the decision of the Ombudsman in OMB–C–A–03–0327–I that found petitioners guilty of grave misconduct and dishonesty and dismissed them Following weeks of surveillance and lifestyle probe.00 Aguilar.00 P2.000.00 P2. February 26.000.00. Lot 6.000. Residential lot in Naga City worth Php148.00 P550. Per Furniture P100.00 P980.: – P450.000.00 Isuzu Trooper HRH–659 Honore R. Respondents.000.00 P450.530.000. accompanied most of the time by daughter Josephine. depicting Aguilar.000. G.00 P400.930. REPRESENTED BY HON. No. Her year–to–year assets. taken from her Statement of Assets.000.715.00 Liabilities Net Worth P2.00 Real 19993 20004 20015 20026 Properties2 Personal House and Properties Lot in P880. Liabilities GSIS – P450. BIR Vill. and 3.00 P150. Petitioners.000. Customs Officer III. Registered Owner Apartment Honda CRV BIM–888 Flor G. headed by Atty.000.8 Properties7 Car P450. and Honore 1.000. from the service.R.000. Fairview.000.000.000.000.00 P125. Aguilar was then receiving a basic annual approximately Php1.000.000. v.00 P600. among them petitioners Flor Gupilan–Aguilar (Aguilar).00 P900.000.00 P750.200. BIR Village. MARCELO. are shown below: to 4 parking slots. her two other daughters also collectively made nine travels abroad.00 Quezon City Make/Model Plate No. Quezon City worth Hernandez (Hernandez).00 P2. Aguilar in Caloocan P500. OFFICE OF P2. the PNP–CIDG investigating team.030. Inc. HERNANDEZ.000.000.000. G. salary of PhP 249. Liabilities and Net Worth (SALNs) for the Roxas Blvd.000. Hernandez City BMW (red) XCR–500 Asia Int’l Auctioneer.R.00 Assets THE OMBUDSMAN.00 It was also unearthed that.00 P1.00 The Case This Petition for Review on Certiorari under Rule 45 seeks to reverse and set aside the Her SALNs for the years aforementioned do not reflect any income source other than her July 22.000. then Chief of the Miscellaneous Division.00 P1.876. liabilities and net worth for CYs 1999 to 2.000. the Philippine National Police Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (PNP–CIDG) conducted an investigation on the lavish lifestyle and alleged nefarious Real Properties activities of certain personnel of the Bureau of Customs. Virgilio Pablico.370. Blk 21.00 P550.00 to Los Angeles.00 P2.030. Inc. 20091Decision of the Court of Appeals and its June 13. eight Appliances P100. executed on July 28.000. with rights corresponding years.00 Total VELASCO JR. A 4–bedroom Unit 1007–A Antel Seaview Towers. 2626 2002. 2014 and Fixture Total FLOR GUPILAN–AGUILAR AND HONORE R. during a four–year stretch..00 P125.000.000.00 P800. specifically the following: In June 2003.000. The spaces for her spouse’s name and business interest were left in blank.000. REPRESENTED BY DIR.000. 2003 a Joint–Affidavit.820.000.000.00 P550.00 P120.530. The Facts Fairview.. J. SP No.000. During the same period. from July 1999 to June 2003.000.000. per the Bureau of Immigration (BI) records.88954. indicated “Blk 21 Lot 8 Percentage St. 2011 Resolution in CA– employment. 197307. SIMEON V. who. as owning properties not declared or properly identified in her SALNs.00.00 DECISION Car Loan – – – P500.00 P450.00 P120. in her Personal Data Sheet. Personal BMW (silver) XFD–441 Southwing Heavy Industries.00 P300.515.00 P650.000.00 P2. QC” as her home address.000.00 37 .000.

forfeiture of retirement benefits and perpetual disqualification for re– be expected to include them in her SALN. the latter having purchased it from Mina with modification. eligibility. Jr. what she considers her dwelling in that area consists of a duplex–type structure that sits on the Lot 8 she originally owned and the contiguous Lot 6. registered owner of an Isuzu Trooper. Blk 21. 2003. Aguilar pointed to her US– Marcelo issued on January 18. on one hand. the Ombudsman created an investigating panel which then conducted following line: administrative proceedings on the complaint.15 In view of what it deemed to be a wide variance between Aguilar’s acquired assets and what she spent for her four–year overseas travels. Anent Unit 1007–A of Antel Seaview Towers. which found Aguilar guilty of dishonesty. complaint and of the evidence presented. Carlo. unexplained wealth. She ascribed ownership of the Isuzu Trooper to Hernandez. alleged that the complaint adverted only to his being the her daughters’ foreign travels. Aguilar wondered how she can eligibility. x x x the fact that the motor vehicle. HRH 659 is registered By Order of September 3. BIR Village. forfeiture of retirement benefits and perpetual disqualification for re– Aguilar admitted to owning only the subject Honda CRV van. but denied the charge of employment in the government service. 03 June 2004 with regard to Honore Hernandez. through P/Director Eduardo Matillano––in a letter–complaint of July 28. Finally. failing to declare it in her SALN. the latter being likewise found guilty of the administrative offenses of Grave Misconduct and Dishonesty and is hereby meted the penalty of Dismissal from the service. the Supplement reads: Aguilar also denied owning the so–called third real property. 2003. January 2005 are approved insofar as it finds respondent Flor Aguilar guilty of the administrative offenses of Grave Misconduct and Dishonesty and is hereby meted the penalty of DISMISSAL from the service. effectively lifting the order of preventive suspension on the stated ground that Aguilar’s untraversed controverting evidence “considerably Evidently not totally satisfied with the panel’s recommended action. Like the earlier draft. Aguilar alleged that they were merely lent to her by her Further. does not make him administratively liable. in his [Hernandez’s] name. as to his acquisition of. In it. she claimed having seven brothers and two sisters in the US who had sponsored SO ORDERED. and one was held on September 23. 2005 a decision denominated Supplement.400. 38 . her US trips and who at times even sent airline tickets for her and her daughters’ use. the Panicuason. which she subsequently acquired from one Following a review of the two issuances thus submitted. Aguilar filed her Counter–Affidavit. Another Order. employment in the government service. Aguilar would have spent around PhP 3.13 primarily addressing the earlier finding on Aguilar’s liability.19 approving. no reference was made in allegations in the aforementioned joint–affidavit. declaring Lot 6. and not declaring. the adverted Decision and Supplemental Decision. 2005 further detailing the bases for the In the meantime. 2004. And while Hernandez was also charged and investigated.000 for her and Hernandez.17 placed Aguilar under preventive suspension for six (6) months without pay. save for the affidavit. was issued. based brother Carlo as owner of this condo unit. he added. has allowed her to stay in the unit. relates to the liability of Hernandez whom the Ombudsman found to be Aguilar’s dummy Appended to Aguilar’s counter–affidavit is a Deed of Sale14 purportedly executed in Los and equally guilty of grave misconduct and dishonesty deserving too of the penalty of Angeles in favor of Carlo. with the accessory penalty of cancellation of Not being the owner of the properties aforementioned. Isuzu Trooper with Plate No. Upon evaluation of the the offenses charged. since she had already sold it in 1992. then Ombudsman Simeon Norma Jurado. then Overall Deputy Ombudsman Margarito Gervacio. the investigating panel 13799 in relation to RA 301910 and 671311 –charged her with grave misconduct and issued for approval a draft Decision16 dated June 3.the PNP–CIDG’s estimate. the Ombudsman demonstrated the weakness of the evidence in support of the complaint. the Decision dated 03 June 2004 and Supplemental Decision dated 06 lot. Naga City WHEREFORE. docketed as OMB–C–A–03–0327–I. as she averred. (RA) Based on the evidence on record and the parties’ position papers.” directed that a joint clarificatory hearing be conducted. As for the red and silver BMW cars registered in the name of the entities mentioned in the complaint.12 however. and her income. The proceedings resulted in the issuance of what the investigating panel styled as Supplemental Decision18 dated January 6. Dispositively. 2003. the undersigned hereby disapproves the ruling contained in the Decision dated brother’s friend. which included the aforementioned joint– the fallo and even the body of the proposed decision was silent as to him. with the accessory penalty of cancellation of As to allegations that she owns but failed to declare the four above–listed vehicles. The modification Gabor on July 14. for his defense. 2004. Fairview. with enclosures. Hernandez was charged too with the same offenses. on a finding that she has violated Republic Act No. There is no specification. the PNP–CIDG. she belied allegations about not the fallo of the Supplemental Decision to Hernandez’s guilt or innocence. As explained. dismissal from the service. on the Ruling of the Ombudsman other.

except the Supreme Court on pure In the case at bar. Recourse to the CA via a Rule 43 petition is the proper mode of appeal. WHEREFORE.” while Sec. and that the judgment of dismissal is recommendatory and not immediately executory. the instant petition is DENIED and the assailed Decision of the Ombudsman finding petitioners guilty of Grave Misconduct and Dishonesty. 2009.25 We said so 2. in the exercise of his administrative disciplinary questions of law. Whether or not the acts complained of constitute grave misconduct. Even as they decried what they The petition. 27 and any other provisions 1. 14 in relation to Sec.(Emphasis added. the Ombudsman. Sec. Desierto:26 or both. the CA denied petitioners’ motion for reconsideration. Section 27 of [RA] 6770 (Ombudsman Act of 1989).” and dishonesty and meted the corresponding penalty. forfeiture of retirement benefits and perpetual disqualification competence over administrative disciplinary cases filed against public officers. Petitioners properly appealed to the CA Ruling of the Court of Appeals Petitioners first contend that the CA erred in its holding that. and 7.) (RTC) of Manila in Criminal Case No. is partly meritorious. evidence to support the allegations in the complaint. 08–263022. the CA declared the CA under Rule 43. violate Article VI. Reliance by the CA on Sec.O. 88954. 14 provides that “[n]o court shall hear any appeal or application for remedy against the decisions or findings of the Ombudsman. dishonesty in the landmark Fabian v. disposing as follows: Petitioners stand on solid ground on this issue. are hereby declared INVALID and of no further force and Petitioners also invite attention to the June 4. Whether or not there is substantial evidence to support the assailed findings of WHEREFORE. on questions of law instead of filing a Rule 43 petition before the CA. petitioners asserted the absence of substantial shall first address procedural issues and concerns raised in this recourse. In Even as it junked petitioners’ contention on the sufficiency of the complainant’s administrative disciplinary cases. together with Section the Ombudsman and the CA. 27 of RA 6770 or the Ombudsman Act of 1989. 1423 and Sec. Sec. adjudged petitioners guilty of grave misconduct supported by substantial evidence are conclusive. The two then went to the Court of Appeals (CA) on a petition for review under Rule 43. acquitting Aguilar for falsification allegedly involving the same disputed transactions in OMB–C–A–03–0327–I. Rule 43 governs appeals to the CA from decisions or final orders of quasi–judicial agencies.[22 The nature of the case before the Office of the Ombudsman (OMB) determines the proper remedy available to the aggrieved party and with which court it should be filed. Rule III of [A. after due investigation. affirmed that of the Ombudsman. they should have appealed the Ombudsman’s Decision to this Court The CA. SP No. those portions of said Sec. presently concerns the Court relates to the grievance mechanism available to challenge the OMB’s decisions in the exercise of that disciplinary jurisdiction.R. on its procedural and substantial aspects. an appeal from the OMB’s decision should be taken to inculpating evidence and on the nature of the Ombudsman’s judgment. 30 of the 1987 Constitution. 2005. 27 of RA 6770. the present petition raising the following issues: to which court a party may repair to to assail the OMB’s decision in disciplinary cases is misinformed. and any other provision of law 4. and meted them the penalty of DISMISSAL from the government service. without its concurrence. The Court tag as a case disposition in installments. SO ORDERED. 2012 decision of the Regional Trial Court effect. 27 states that “[f]indings of fact by the [OMB] when jurisdiction had. in its assailed Decision of July 22. As a consequence and in line with the regulatory philosophy adopted in appeals from quasi–judicial agencies in the 1997 Revised Rules of Civil Procedure.].24 On June 13. 3. with the accessory penalty The Ombudsman has defined prosecutorial powers and possesses adjudicative of cancellation of elibility. 2011. As has been held. appeals from 39 . What for reemployment in the government service in OMB–C–A–03–0327–I is AFFIRMED. 14 in relation to Sec. in line with Sec. unless the decision is not appealable owing to the penalty that petitioners’ remedy under the premises is an appeal to this Court by force of Section imposed. Whether or not a Rule 43 petition to assail the findings or decisions of the implementing RA 6770. 07 (Rules of Procedure of the [OMB]). insofar as they expanded the appellate jurisdiction of this Court Ombudsman in an administrative case is proper. 27 of RA 6770 to support its position as Hence. administrative disciplinary cases from the Office of the Ombudsman to the Supreme Court.Aguilar and Hernandez moved for but were denied reconsideration 20 via an Order21 of The Court’s Ruling February 28. Whether or not the decision of the Ombudsman is but recommendatory or or issuance implementing the aforesaid Act and insofar as they provide for appeals in immediately executory. docketed as CA–G.

27Barata v. Rule III of the Rules of Procedure of the OMB. not more than one month.36 decision may be appealed x x x. To petitioners. Sec. Thus. 07 (AO 07) or the Rules of Office of the Ombudsman32 had still controlling sway.decisions of the Ombudsman in administrative disciplinary cases should be taken to the In all administrative disciplinary cases. pertinently reads: x x x Besides. been superseded. suspension of not more than one month. The The Court. to wit: was issued amending Sec. Effectivity and Finality of Decisions. in the words of Ledesma v. suspension of not more than one month.) Petitioners’ witting or unwitting invocation of Tapiador is specious. the decision shall be final and unappealable. As pointed out in De Leon. In all other cases. and in case of conviction where the penalty imposed is public censure or reprimand. to the public official concerned. the decision shall be final. the power to suspend and dismiss erring personnel being vested in the head of the office concerned.39 On August 17. in Lapid v. the pronouncement in Tapiador on the Ombudsman’s pertinent ruling in Lapid has. Rule III of Administrative Order No. however. Finality of decision. reconsideration or petition for certiorari. Court of Appeals. 27. Finality and execution of decision. 7. are only x. This brings us to the issue on the nature of the Ombudsman’s decisions in administrative The above rules may be amended or modified by the Office of the Ombudsman x x disciplinary suits. In case the penalty is Leon37 which even chronicled the pertinent internal rules of procedure in the Office of suspension or removal and the respondent wins such appeal. or a fine equivalent to one month salary. Court of Appeals. The terse obiter in Tapiador should be compared with the holding in Ombudsman v.28Coronel v.. that petitioner were administratively liable. 7 of Rule III.) recommendatory and. The of the Supreme Court. shall have been filed by him as prescribed in Section 27 of RA 6770. subparagraph (3). it being petitioners’ posture that such decisions. and reprimand. not immediately executory for the reason that the PNP–CIDG filed the basic complaint on August 20.” In fact. (Emphasis appeal. assuming arguendo.35 “be cited as a doctrinal declaration salary are not immediately executory and can be stayed by an appeal timely filed. as thus amended. petition for certiorari within ten (10) days from receipt of the written notice of the order. the decision shall be Samaniego34 were decided in June 2006 and September 2008. Administrative disciplinary authority of the OMB does not end with a recommendation to punish. the decision shall become final after the expiration of ten (10) days from receipt thereof by the respondent. petitioners also advance the argument that the legal situation of conviction where the penalty imposed is public censure or reprimand. Section 7. or a fine equivalent to one month salary. 7. 27 of the Ombudsman Act of 1989 prescribes the supplied. directive or decision or denial of the motion for reconsideration in The Decision of the Ombudsman is mandatory and immediately executory accordance with Rule 45 of the Rules of Court. 2000. erring public official as its mandate is only to recommend was mere obiter dictum. Sec. The then Sec. the found to be at fault. and unappealable. Finality and execution of decision. – Where x x x the penalty imposed is public service x x x.29 and Office of the Ombudsman may be appealed to the Supreme Court by filing a recently Dimagiba v. orders. of Article XI of the 1987 Constitution. as here. – Where the respondent is absolved of the charge. 2003 further amending Sec. (Emphasis supplied. – Where the respondent is absolved of the xxxx charge. – (1) All provisionary orders at the Office of the section now provides: the Ombudsman are immediately effective and executory. final and unappealable. as early as 2000. respectively. or decisions of the CA under the provisions of Rule 43. Jr. the decision may be appealed to the Court of Appeals x x x. suspension of changed only when Office of the Ombudsman v. at any event.38 has interpreted the above–quoted provision to statement in Tapiador that the Ombudsman is without authority to directly dismiss an mean that the sanctions imposed by the Ombudsman other than public censure. executory. or a fine equivalent to the Ombudsman can only “recommend” the removal of the public official or employee one month salary. (Emphasis supplied. 40 . and in case As a corollary point. Court of Appeals33 and Ombudsman v. In all other cases. the Ombudsman has no authority to directly dismiss the petitioner from the government Section 7. rules were already having been under preventive suspension and shall be paid the salary and such other enforced by the OMB that provide for the immediate execution of judgments pending emoluments that he did not receive by reason of the suspension or removal. stated: the dictum that the Ombudsman’s disciplinary power is only to recommend. SEC. unless a motion for We are not impressed. Espartero30 have reiterated the pertinent holding in Fabian. Tapiador enunciated Procedure of the OMB. Desierto. In all other cases. 7. 200331 when the ruling in Tapiador v. Abalos. he shall be considered as the Ombudsman (OMB) and illustrated that. Under Section 13. AO 14–A disciplinary authority was only limited to two sentences. censure or reprimand. De An appeal shall not stop the decision from being executory.) rules on the effectivity and finality of the OMB’s decisions: Then came AO 17 dated September 15. The rule. directives. suspension of not more than one month or a fine equivalent to one month cannot. in turn.

the omission. without more. disposition to defraud. Thus. 7. as early as August 17. on or before the fifteenth day of April following the close of every calendar year. does not amount to grave Sec. It is non–sequitur to assume that the omission to declare has served. as Customs for an indefinite period until the investigation of the unexplained wealth is completed. The requirement of filing a SALN is enshrined.41 shown. and by petitioner Hernandez. by itself. Immediate execution argues against the outlandish notion that the Ombudsman can only recommend The inculpatory allegations in the controversy.43 effect. Magro: year x x x. In case the penalty is relation or connection between the two. Operations Officer. be classified as grave misconduct. Court of Appeals40 is instructional as to the nature of the offense. — Every public officer. the complained act/s or omission must have a direct relation and be linked family expenses and the amount of income taxes paid for the next preceding calendar to the performance of official duties. untrustworthiness. or malfeasance warranting removal from office of an officer must have other lawful income. 2003 was filed on August 20. petitioner Aguilar’s alleged failure to declare them in measure to curb corruption in the bureaucracy cannot be gainsaid. Secs. By mandate of law. It is settled that misconduct. (Emphasis supplied. x x x By uniform legal definition. qualify as acts of dishonesty disciplinary sanctions. To our the Anti–Graft and Corrupt Practices Act (RA 3019) are emphatic on this point: the mind. he shall be and the discharge of duty. constitute valid ground for the administrative suspension of the public official concerned as Customs Chief of the Miscellaneous Division. however. we find that even if petitioners. liabilities and net worth in order to a. that fact shall be ground for dismissal or removal. his spouse or any of their dependents including x x x frequent travel abroad of a non–official Owning properties disproportionate to one’s salary and not declaring them in the character by any public official when such activities entail expenses evidently out of corresponding SALNs cannot. within thirty days after misconduct. — If in his duties as an officer and not such only as affects his character as a private accordance with the provisions of [RA 1379]. in the Constitution44 to promote transparency in the civil service and operates as a deterrent against government officials bent on enriching themselves through The acts complained of constitute Dishonesty but not Grave Misconduct unlawful means. an character of the man from the character of the officer x x x. deceive or betray. The circumstances hereinabove mentioned shall declarations would have a bearing on the performance of functions by petitioner Aguilar. Even if proportion to legitimate income. no error can be attributed to the CA when it ruled that the penalties imposed by the Ombudsman against petitioners are immediately executory. The Court wrote in Amosco v. 8. it is necessary to separate the acquired during his incumbency. Prima Facie Evidence of and Dismissal Due to Unexplained Wealth. assuming office. detailed and sworn Largo v. truthful. lack of integrity. when their acquisition through legitimate means cannot be satisfactorily duties of the office x x x. the amounts of his personal and misconduct. Properties in the direct relation to and be connected with the performance of official duties amounting name of the spouse and dependents of such public official may be taken into either to maladministration or willful. deceive.) Dishonesty. x x x [M]anifestly excessive expenditures incurred by the public official. In this case. x x x shall prepare and file x x x a true. In such cases. intentional neglect and failure to discharge the consideration. it behooves every government official or employee to make a complete disclosure of his or her assets. lack penalties in administrative disciplinary cases were already immediately executory of fairness and straightforwardness. to hinder the rendition of sound public service for there is no direct 41 . when AO 14–A was issued.An appeal shall not stop the decision from being executory. 2000. if proved. shall likewise be taken into consideration in the these allegations were true. lack of honesty or probity in principle. the OMB–imposed defraud. in some way. Without a nexus between the act complained of suspension or removal and the respondent wins such appeal. To constitute statement of the amounts and sources of his income. the charge of grave misconduct shall necessarily fail. it has been said at all times. failed to include several properties in their SALNs. considered as having been under preventive suspension and shall be paid the salary and such other emoluments that he did not receive by reason of the b. cheat.42 It is a notwithstanding an appeal timely filed. or Clearly then. we cannot see our way clear how the fact of non– enforcement of this Section x x x. as juridically understood. and thereafter. for argument. 2003 or after the AO 14–A has come into integrity and uprightness demanded of a public officer or employee.45 The charges against petitioners for grave misconduct and dishonesty basically stemmed from their alleged act of amassing unexplained wealth or acquiring properties The significance of requiring the filing of a complete. amount of property and/or money manifestly out of proportion to his salary and to his misfeasance. it must be noted that the complaint malevolent act that puts serious doubt upon one’s ability to perform duties with the dated July 28. as it were. and for petitioner Hernandez’s alleged acquiescence to be her dummy. Statement of Assets and Liabilities. 7 and 8 of her SALNs. and sworn SALN as a disproportionate to their income. whether in his name or in the name of other persons. implies the disposition to lie. Grave Misconduct suppress any questionable accumulation of wealth because the latter usually results from non–disclosure of such matters. that would merit dismissal from service. it is a misconduct such as affects his performance of Sec. Dishonesty suspension or removal. a public official has been found to have individual.

interchanges her address between said Lot 6 and Lot 8. property? A: Noon pong sinabi niya: “Ate. 2003. she dismantled the dividing wall to make a The failure to file a truthful SALN puts in doubts the integrity of the officer and would solitary unit. thus: In essence. Block 21. Gusto including when the judgment is based on misappreciation of facts or when the findings of mo gamitin mo yung bahay ko sa Pasay?” facts are conflicting. and Section 7. it is beyond cavil that a review of the facts in this case is warranted. are correct in pointing out that a review of the evidence would necessarily entail a Q: But when did you reside in that property for the first time? A: Mga 2000 pa yun. Q: Mga kailan yun? A: Mga 2000. per the document she presented. This explanation finds support from a perusal of her travel documents wherein she Dishonesty requires malicious intent to conceal the truth or to make false statements. and the public officer/employee fails to properly account or explain these sources of income and acquisitions. on the other hand. sir. The core of the controversy in this case lies in whether or not the complainant’s pieces of evidence extant in and deducible from the records meet the quantum of evidence The Court. she and her daughter have already been occupying the apartment. Petitioner Aguilar admits owning this parcel of land. When petitioner Aguilar purchased Lot 8 from one Norma Jurado. petitioner Aguilar admitted preventive suspension was correct. As the CA observed. or a month after the PNP–CIDG initiated an investigation over argues that the initial evidentiary assessment by the OMB when it lifted the order of Aguilar’s lifestyle. full disclosure of wealth in the SALN. we Q: When for the first time did you know that Carlo Gupilan acquired that Antel Towers have already held in a catena of cases that the general rule admits of exceptions. the evil sought to be suppressed and avoided. However. as evidenced by the Deed of Sale dated July 14.C. erected on two lots. is unconvinced.The aforequoted Section 8 speaks of unlawful acquisition of wealth and excessive merely as “House & Lot. petitioner insists that the property is owned by her brother Carlo who invited her to stay i. BIR Village. as early as 2000. 2003. as its date of execution. a serious disparity exists between the document presented and the statements petitioner Aguilar herself made. petitioners. Aguilar in particular.” This is as opposed to the allegations of the PNP–CIDG that expenditure. Petitioner Aguilar shows July 14. not for dishonesty. A perusal of her SALNs from 1999–2002 would On what authority then she has been staying on the apartment unit before the alleged indeed show that she had declared ownership of the Fairview property. By the SALN. the alleged Deed of Sale between him and Gabor. which directs what she has been declaring is Lot 8 of Block 21. corresponding evaluation of facts ascertained by the Ombudsman and the CA. public is able to monitor movement in the fortune of a public official. Q. with a check and balance mechanism to verify undisclosed properties and wealth. It should be emphasized. the the validity of petitioner Aguilar’s account on this point. Antel Towers sources. the OMB declared at that time that the during the clarificatory hearing conducted on September 23. and not Lot 6. 2003. is a means of preventing said evil and is aimed particularly at minimizing if not altogether curtailing the opportunities for official We sustain the findings of the Ombudsman contained in the Supplemental Decision as to corruption and maintaining a standard of honesty in the public service. 2004 that. This aberration coupled by her beneficial ownership of the property.50 a. napakalayo sa opisina mo ang bahay mo. otherwise. and that as a general rule. A cursory reading of the deed required to justify the dismissal action taken against petitioners. Lots 6 and 8. citing the Ombudsman’s findings. the Court should refrain from delving into factual questions. so as to shift the burden of evidence on them. Quezon City in his condo unit in 2000. Respondents. that mere misdeclaration in the SALN does not automatically amount to such an offense. To recall. As observed by the Ombudsman. entering it Carlo–Gabor sales transaction was executed remained unexplained. as were the CA and the OMB. On the other hand. However. Fairview. evidence PNP–CIDG presented was not strong enough to support the basic complaint. the government employee may only liable for negligence. it serves as a valid the house and lot she declared as residence is actually a duplex–type structure. urge us to gauge whether or not the Q: You said in your direct clarificatory questioning that you don’t know when Carlo complainant has hurdled the quantum of evidence requirement in administrative cases Gupilan bought this property? A: Yes. normally amount to dishonesty. however.48 Petitioner Aguilar argues next that the four–bedroom condominium apartment with two parking slots along Pasay City is actually owned by her US–based brother Carlo who Substantial evidence allegedly purchased it from Mina Gabor. but insists at every turn that she had consistently declared it in her SALNs. Evidence against petitioner Aguilar Evidently.47 In addition. does he or she become susceptible to dishonesty. Lot 6. only when the accumulated wealth becomes manifestly disproportionate to the income of the public officer/employee and income from other ii.46 party wall in the middle. was only executed on July 14.49 In light of the series of seemingly confusing orders and rulings promulgated by the Ombudsman. as demonstrated by her possession 42 .

Substantial was that the vehicles were only lent her by her brother’s friend. executed the corresponding deed of sale in her favor. on record. casts serious doubts as to her brother’s alleged ownership of things of monetary value from anyone in connection with any operation being regulated the unit since 2000 and renders dubious the alleged deed of sale. a ranking customs official. or any transaction which may be affected by the functions of their office. But when pressed on evidence is more than a mere scintilla.” meaning a she alleged having only borrowed them. she was unable to give a direct answer. To recall. do not prove that they did. has allowed her large sum of money for their business. as the CA and the Ombudsman earlier did. as to the CA. someone else’s name. since her brother is in the mind might accept as adequate to support a conclusion. they stopped short of saying that they did in iv. petitioner Aguilar had submitted affidavits 56 wherein she hand. Vehicles fact contribute or entirely pay. Sec. but also those Graft and Corrupt Practices Act declares and penalizes similar acts. as to her foreign travels of the property in 2002 which. Salvador. even in the absence of compelling evidence to prove that petitioner Aguilar is the actual owner of the subject As petitioner Aguilar alleged. Her allegation evidence that the respondent has committed the acts stated in the complaint. for her and her daughters’ trip to Los Angeles. US–based Salvador is in the business of exporting used remit money for their supposed joint business venture. satisfied. it bears to stress that petitioner Aguilar. a friend of another brother. 7 of RA 6713 or theCode of Ethical Standards53 prohibits public declare in her SALN the residential lot located at Panicuason. The PNP–CIDG. petitioner Aguilar had control and possession––both attributes of ownership––of the two BMW vehicles. the alleged sale between her and Rosendo Gonzales was not annotated. in June high–priced BMW vehicles.59 In another perspective. Foreign Travels document or deed proving that she no longer owns the property. On the other hand. Racho. she likewise officials and employees from directly or indirectly soliciting or accepting gifts. she can still be held amenable under the premises for 1990. the required evidence sufficient to justify holding petitioner Aguilar which had been facilitating her brother’s used car export business. Nowhere in the documents was it mentioned that they There is no quibbling as to the ownership of the Honda CRV and the Isuzu Trooper. the documents that Racho presented. The Anti– investigators will not only look into properties in a public servant’s name. the PNP–CIDG was able to secure from the City Assessor’s office a copy of the tax declaration Petitioner Aguilar’s exculpating allegations. Not only did she fail to by the Ombudsman. As claimed. submitted pictures51 taken during its surveillance of Aguilar showing the red and averred that all expenses for her and her daughter’s travel shall be borne or defrayed by silver BMWs leaving the parking space of Antel Towers.57 So what happens to her claim that her siblings shouldered most of her travel for the use of the unit Aguilar has been occupying. had veritably admitted to receiving benefits from the above named corporations In the case at bar. clearly yields this fact: the property is still during the period material fail to convince.and occupancy of the unit.58 Its absence is not shown by stressing that there is contrary evidence. purportedly showing his brothers’ financial capability to send or contribute Per petitioner Aguilar’s account. who was unnamed. registered under Aguilar’s name. favor or failed to satisfactorily explain her beneficial ownership of the Antel Seaview Towers 43 . While indeed some of her siblings executed affidavits tending to prove they have sufficient income to shoulder her travels. Summary point. Naga City. as Aguilar urges the Court to believe. direct or circumstantial. While Administrative proceedings are governed by the “substantial evidence rule.55 an unexplained wealth case. Ombudsman v. contribute or the use of the BMWs. expenses? We rule. It means such relevant evidence as a reasonable how she came into contact with the friend. Naga City property facilitate the vehicle exportation and importation business. She has not adduced any v. The general affidavits merely question pivots only as to the two (2) BMWs that petitioner Aguilar had acknowledged indicated their jobs and how much salary they receive monthly. against petitioner Aguilar on this vi. As held in Office of the using. but her claim that she subsequently sold the Naga property to one Rosendo Gonzales sometime in 1992 is not supported by evidence. The defrayed petitioner Aguilar’s expenses for her visits. documented. on the other As a final note on the matter. on its face. cars from the US to the Philippines and has local contacts which include the two corporations under whose names the BMWs are registered. Thus.54 claimed by their relatives or dummies. as earlier narrated.52 reasonable might conceivably opine otherwise. she purchased the property from her parents who. even if other minds equally US. As found by the Ombudsman and confirmed by the CA. in fact. tending to suggest that petitioner Aguilar had used her position in the customs bureau to advance her brother’s business interests as well as that of the two corporations which iii. to us. her statement during the clarificatory hearings finding of guilt in an administrative case may and would issue if supported by substantial that she does not know who the real owners are over stretches credulity. if not parked at slots reserved her alone. This sale may be conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service. The SALN requirement will be a useless ritual if public officers can easily evade the obligation to disclose if they register the asset under The act complained of as regards the BMW cars for sure is indicative of corruption. As correctly observed administratively liable has been. graft by.

besides undeclared assets on top of paying for her annual travels and living expenses. With an annual show that aside from his employment. it is incomprehensible how she could have acquired her he alleged in his pleadings. which states that whenever any public officer or employee has acquired during his The PNP–CIDG also did not present any additional evidence as against petitioner incumbency an amount of property which is manifestly out of proportion to his salary as Hernandez. 2004. engages in OB–GYN consultancy.000 was also reported in his adjudging her guilty of dishonesty. To finding. in a bizarre twist. in appellate court’s finding of her liability for Dishonesty and the corresponding penalty its Supplement dated January 18. He is accordingly Hernandez’s own admission of vehicle ownership against him and ruled that he could ordered REINSTATED immediately to his former or equivalent position in the Bureau of not afford to acquire the car on his salary of PhP 14. To be sure. When the presumption holds. recommended petitioner charge for Grave Misconduct against Flor Gupilan–Aguilar is DISMISSED. as the CA. would completely reverse itself in legitimately acquired property. disapproved the panel’s own assessment of the imposed are AFFIRMED. to show that the financial resources months after. he shall be 44 .88954 are MODIFIED. as in the case of petitioner Hernandez. sufficiency of evidence as regards petitioner Hernandez and ruled that. nor carry with it relief from administrative liability. Having already disposed of the issue as regards petitioner Hernandez in unlawfully acquired.four–bedroom condominium unit and her use of the two BMWs registered in the name of In ruling for petitioner Hernandez. The dismissal of the Given these circumstances. Customs without loss or diminution in his salaries and benefits. as the records show. the Decision and June 13. it was then quite improper for the Ombudsman to reverse its findings six the respondent.63 administrative case does not conclude the administrative proceedings. at a loss to understand how the Ombudsman.876. first–issued Decision of the Ombudsman. the as to her beneficial ownership over the properties. We are. have determined.61 preventive suspension and shall be paid the salary and such other emoluments that he failed to receive by reason of that suspension or removal. Ruth. In addition. in net effect. declared in his SALN. separate and independent from criminal suits and are governed by accounted for. 2009 dishonesty. used petitioner for Grave Misconduct and Dishonesty is accordingly DISMISSED. however. which he Relevant to this determination is Sec. Evidence against petitioner Hernandez petitioner Hernandez. 08–263022 of the Manila RTC on the ground of insufficiency of evidence would not carry the day for her. Where the source of the undisclosed wealth can be properly are. we do so taking stock of the pronouncement in the different corporations. the innocence claim of petitioner Hernandez becomes all the criminal aspect of the complaint filed against Aguilar has hardly any bearing on the more credible and the justifications offered sufficient to absolve him of administrative administrative case mainly because the quantum of evidence required to support a liability. if the respondent. There was indeed no specific allegation in the complaint against him other than his owning an Isuzu Trooper vehicle. SP No. after saying in not such officer or employee and to his other lawful income and the income from so many words that Hernandez was not guilty. This is because unlike in criminal cases where the Under OMB AO 17. as a rule. It should be understood that the laws on SALN aim to curtail the acquisition of finding of guilt in a criminal case is proof beyond reasonable doubt. it is actually owned by The CA Decision. there is valid reason to conclude that the Hernandez couple. this Court is unable to make out a case of WHEREFORE. insofar as it finds Honore Hernandez guilty of the offenses Aguilar. the petition is PARTIALLY GRANTED. the Ombudsman. the burden of evidence then shifts to the Decision. The OMB investigating panel. As a result. with their combined income. is a practicing physician who. The maintaining a clinic in both the Seamen’s Hospital in Manila and at the Medical Center discrepancy in the total valuation of her declared and undeclared assets is also too Muntinlupa.R. Unlike in the case of his co–petitioner. Accordingly. Evidence on record would question clearly indicated she was a pure compensation income earner. HRH–659 was registered under his name. A car loan worth PhP 1. 2 of RA 1379. while the Isuzu Trooper with Plate No. The appealed July 22. while the Hernandez’s exoneration. Her SALNs during the years in latter was able to justify his ownership of the Isuzu Trooper. only removal. is hereby REVERSED and SET ASIDE. regarding petitioner undeclared acquisitions and travel splurge is too flimsy compared to her own admissions Hernandez’s purchasing capability. the glaring for petitioner Aguilar’s omission to be written off as mere negligence or couple run Sarah Katrina’s Drugstore in Las Piñas City and even own shares of stocks in carelessness. 8 of RA 3019. said property shall be presumed prima facieto have been the Supplement. So it must be in the case of b. let alone grave misconduct against petitioner Hernandez. 2011 Resolution in CA–G. albeit no evidence had been adduced in the interim to support the new used to acquire the undeclared assets and her expenditures came from lawful income. no error can be attributed to the CA and the Ombudsman Medical Center Muntinlupa. thus. Case No. be sure. However. The Ombudsman. and the OMB before it. which. is exonerated on appeal. are both based in Olongapo City.098 a month. The acquittal of an accused who is also a respondent in an the law does not penalize. or lack of it––may be plausible at first blush. The complaint against him consenting to act as Aguilar’s dummy. But mere ownership is not an actionable administrative offense. petitioner Aguilar has failed to discharge this burden. As salary of PhP 249. he and his wife have other sources of income. Petitioner Aguilar’s acquittal in Crim.62 In fine. in the Decision dated June 3. The explanation she offered when confronted with her While the Ombudsman’s reasoning––as adopted by the CA. he shall be considered as having been under substantial evidence is necessary in administrative cases. meted by OMB the penalty of suspension or threshold quantum of evidence required is proof beyond reasonable doubt. 2005.600. Administrative cases unexplained wealth. And as seen in his SALN for 2002. his wife.60 in relation to Sec. then it is “explained wealth” which differing evidentiary criteria. could very well afford a medium–priced motor van. 2002 SALN. the Ombudsman decreed Hernandez’s dismissal for supposedly charged against him. in this instance petitioner Aguilar.

paid his salary and such other emoluments corresponding to the period he was out of the service by reason of the judgment of dismissal decreed by the Office of the Ombudsman. SO ORDERED. as affirmed by the Court of Appeals. 45 .

without proper authority or valid reason and in gross In its Resolution No. In its 23 May 2007 Decision. Clave alleged that. SP No.123. Clave made it appear that the loan had not substantial evidence that proved Clave’s guilt. Respondent. Petitioner. The CSC ruled that the GSIS did appearing in the MSLS. It is so ordered. cancelled the header of Tornea’s loan as affirmed the GSIS Decision dismissing Clave from service. 194665. Respondent. Clave alleged that she was not authorized to use Function "D" which was the deletion function used in cancelling the header of Tornea’s loan. 2012 Clave countered that she was not aware of Tornea’s loan because it was processed by Estoque on 9 December 2003 and she was absent on that day. The Decision of the GSIS vs. The Decision of the Civil Service Commission On 16 December 2003. Clave’s motion for reconsideration for lack of merit.R. petitioner Civil Service Commission (CSC) asks this Court to set aside the decision of the Court of Appeals and to impose on respondent Aurora M. Tornea (Tornea) an enhanced salary loan with net proceeds of ₱73. (Estoque). Clave further alleged that CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION. 106229. According to Clave. 194645 March 6. Diosdado V.G. only the section and division chiefs of the loans administrative x-----------------------x division and the Information Technology Services Group (ITSG) can access Function "D. Aurora M. penalty of dismissal from service. Clave used her operator ID (AMCO) and the computer terminal not err in finding Clave guilty of simple neglect of duty. In its 7 July 2008 Resolution.3 the GSIS found Clave guilty of simple neglect of duty. In this case.5 the GSIS denied These cases originated from Administrative Case No. Petitioner. and the perpetual disqualification for reemployment in prays this Court to set aside the Court of Appeals’ decision and to impose on Clave the the government service. GSIS alleged that Clave was a Senior Computer Operator I of the Social Insurance Group (SIG) at the Manila District Office of the GSIS. The dispositive portion of the GSIS Decision reads: In G. applications and cancelling voided checks or checks that were physically defective due to AURORA M. No.R. The check was later released and negotiated. she was given authority to cancel loans that were previously granted by using transaction code "LSLC.R. By cancelling the loan. No. On 9 December 2003. 05-055 filed by GSIS against Clave. Estoque Clave filed an appeal from the GSIS Decision to the Civil Service Commission (CSC). computer malfunction. The CSC noted that the data extracted by been granted to Tornea. 24 November 2010 Resolution2 of the Court of Appeals in CA-G. the authority given to her on loan applications was limited only to granting salary loan vs." Finally.R." which was used in this case. In G. she had been with the GSIS for 28 years with G. All the transactions of a particular user are recorded and logged in the MSLS database. at that time. 194665 unblemished service and dedicated loyalty. CLAVE. 194645. petitioner Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) likewise forfeiture of retirement benefits. Clave is found GUILTY of Simple Neglect of Duty. through the Mainframe Salary Loan System (MSLS).R.87 for which GSIS Check No. Clave WHEREFORE. AURORA M. the CSC dismissed the appeal and violation of pertinent rules and procedure. 46 .D" to DECISION delete loan headers. The GSIS ruled PER CURIAM: that each employee tasked to grant or cancel loans is assigned a corresponding user ID and password known only to the specified user. she is hereby meted the penalty of DISMISSAL FROM THE SERVICE. This being the (Clave) the penalty of dismissal from service. which shall carry with it cancellation of eligibility. IC2123810 was issued. No. it was shown that Clave was responsible for the cancellation Before the Court are two petitions for certiorari assailing the 27 July 2010 Decision1 and of the header of Tornea’s loan. The CSC found that there was assigned to her (SI42). No. CLAVE. granted Marie Ann F. 0819516 dated 13 October 2008. The ID is the tracking device used to establish the identity of the person responsible for any modification or alteration in the The Cases MSLS database. GOVERNMENT SERVICE INSURANCE SYSTEM (GSIS). second time she was found guilty of the same offense.4 The Antecedent Facts Clave filed a motion for reconsideration. Clave. The GSIS ruled that while Clave was not authorized to use transaction code "LSMH.

Clave still failed to Court of Appeals ruled that Clave’s carelessness should not equate to dismissal since it explain why other persons knew her operator ID and password that were used in the was not coupled with bad faith. the Court of Appeals denied the motions. Clave. the appeal of Aurora M.8 determination of the penalties to be imposed. but in lieu of dismissal from the service. Clave was one of the users of the computer terminal imposed on Clave from dismissal from service to suspension from office without salary SI42 that was used to cancel the header of Tornea’s loan. the petitions separately filed by the CSC and the GSIS before this Court. we do not agree with the penalty imposed by the Court of Appeals. Social of Appeals committed a reversible error in reducing the penalty imposed on Clave from Insurance Group. mitigating. IN VIEW of THE FOREGOING. including Estoque who was previously found guilty of dishonesty and grave misconduct for cancelling the loans and headers of some GSIS members. Sec. Thus. the Court of Appeals considered Section 53 of and other benefits for one (1) year. She is likewise imposed the accessory penalties of perpetual disqualification to hold public office. cancellation of the header. The However. aggravating and alternative circumstances attendant to the commission of the offense shall be considered: Both the CSC and the GSIS moved for the reconsideration of the Decision of the Court of Appeals. of the offense of Simple Neglect The Ruling of this Court of Duty. used by two persons. cancellation of Civil Service eligibility and bar from taking Civil Service examinations. the Decision dated May 23. However. The header of Tornea’s loan. the petition is partly GRANTED. she had authority to cancel granted loans through the duty. It was established that AMCO was Clave’s user ID. the Court of Appeals found that while Clave was not specifically Court of Appeals affirmed the CSC insofar as it found Clave guilty of simple neglect of authorized to delete headers. that is. the Court of Appeals modified the CSC Resolution by reducing the penalty transaction code "LSLC. dispositive portion of the Decision of the Court of Appeals reads: Simple neglect of duty is a less grave offense punishable by suspension of one month and WHEREFORE. Aggravating. Government Service Insurance System (GSIS). The Court of Appeals found that and other benefits for one year. assailing the CSC Resolution. Clave guilty of Simple Neglect of Duty. or the disregard of a duty due to carelessness or indifference. 53. Accordingly. Senior Computer Operator I. Simple neglect of duty is the failure to give attention to a task. whether the Court WHEREFORE. granting that this might be true. The Court of Appeals ruled that there was nothing in the records that showed that Clave it might be possible that Estoque used Clave’s operator ID and password in cancelling the acted in bad faith when she gave her operator ID and password to other persons. The following circumstances shall be appreciated: In its 24 November 2010 Resolution. header of Tornea’s loan. The one day to six months for the first offense and dismissal for the second Resolution of the Civil Service Commission dated 13 October 2008 is AFFIRMED insofar offense. Mitigating. forfeiture of retirement benefits. dismissal from service to suspension for one year. Clave filed a petition for review before the Court of Appeals. In its 27 July 2010 Decision. with a STERN WARNING that another transgression the Uniform Rules on Administrative Cases in the Civil Service. and found that there was substantial evidence to hold Clave liable for The Decision of the Court of Appeals simple neglect of duty. petitioner is hereby SUSPENDED from office without salary In reducing the penalty imposed on Clave. with a stern warning that a transgression of a similar the computer terminal SI42 that was used to cancel the header of Tornea’s loan was also nature will warrant her dismissal from service. The In these cases. However. or Alternative Circumstances. which states: of a similar nature will merit dismissal from the service. The Issue The dispositive portion of the CSC Resolution reads: Petitioners CSC and GSIS raised a common issue in these cases. the imposition of the penalty of dismissal from service was too harsh. Extenuating. 2007 of the same Office.9 The Court of Appeals sustained the findings of the GSIS and the CSC. the Court of Appeals partly granted Clave’s petition. dismissing her from the service for having been found guilty for the second time. The Court of Appeals found that while Clave’s guilt was supported by substantial evidence." Further.7 The petitions are meritorious.10 1âwphi1 as it found petitioner Aurora M. is AFFIRMED. is hereby DISMISSED. . We agree with the Court of Appeals on this issue.In the SO ORDERED. The Court of Appeals correctly ruled that Clave was neglectful in safeguarding information that should have been known only to herself. 47 .the ITSG showed that the user ID used was AMCO in the transaction "LSLC" to cancel the Hence.

Clave’s length of service in the government could not mitigate her liability considering that the present offense is not her first offense but her third offense. The Court of Appeals considered Clave’s 30 years of service in the government. we do not agree with the Court of Appeals. Clave and REINSTATEResolution No. Benitez. in another Decision12 dated 10 November 2005. it was shown that Clave was previously found guilty by the GSIS of simple neglect of duty in Adm. and prohibition from taking Civil Service examinations. for which she was meted the penalty of suspension for six months and one day. Section 53 of the Uniform Rules on Administrative Cases in the Civil Service is clear that length of service may be considered either as mitigating or aggravating depending on the circumstances of the case. SO ORDERED. Length of service in the government. the penalty of dismissal imposed by the GSIS and affirmed by the CSC should instead be imposed on Clave.1âwphi1 Again. In that case. Earlier. the GSIS suspended Clave for three months. 081951 dated 13 October 2008 of the Civil Service Commission dismissing Clave from service with perpetual disqualification to hold public office. 106229 insofar as it modified the penalty imposed on Aurora M. forfeiture of retirement benefits except accrued leave credits. we SET ASIDE the 27 July 2010 Decision and 24 November 2010 Resolution of the Court of Appeals in CA-G. the GSIS found Clave guilty of conduct prejudicial to the interest of the service for her participation in a mass action that resulted in the disruption of GSIS operations. Case No. SP No. Hence. xxx The Court of Appeals ruled that length of service in the government can mitigate or aggravate the penalty.R. the Court of Appeals invoked the court’s discretion to temper the harshness of its judgment with mercy and cited humanitarian reasons for the modification of the decisions of the GSIS and the CSC. depending on the circumstances of the case. WHEREFORE. 48 . as well as her lack of bad faith. Applying Section 52(B) of the Revised Rules on Administrative Cases in the Civil Service. cancellation of Civil Service eligibility.xxx j. While acknowledging that this was not Clave’s first offense for simple neglect of duty. in reducing the penalty imposed by the GSIS and the CSC. Here. 05-02711 in its Decision dated 12 February 2007 for unauthorized cancellation of the loan and header of one Basilio C.

Construction, (2) Geovan Marketing, and (3) Interior Construction. After the submission
[G.R. No. 193983 : March 14, 2012] and evaluation of the bids, the Pre-Qualification Bids and Awards Committee (PBAC)
awarded the construction of the Four Projects to Jireh Construction, as the best qualified
VICTORY M. FERNANDEZ, PETITIONER, VS. OFFICE OF THE OMBUDSMAN, FORMER bidder with the bid most advantageous to the government. The details of the public
GOVERNOR OF THE PROVINCE OF AKLAN FLORENCIO T. MIRAFLORES, INCUMBENT bidding are as follows:
GOVERNOR CARLITO MARQUEZ, AND SECRETARY OF THE DEPARTMENT OF
INTERIOR AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT RONALDO V. PUNO, RESPONDENTS. Name of Project Date of bidding Date of award Contract Cost (P)
Alibagon-Baybay Bridge 24 February 1995 24 February 1995 975,151.38
DECISION (Phase III)
Buruanga Fishing Port 28 February 1995 1 March 1995 965,420.49
CARPIO, J.:
Irrigation Canal Access 7 March 1995 8 March 1995 956,733.92
The Case Road, Buruanga
Navitas Barangay Health 15 March 1995 16 March 1995 294,469.45
Before the Court is a petition[1] for review on certiorari with application for the issuance Center
of a temporary restraining order and writ of preliminary injunction assailing the
Decision[2] dated 9 July 2010 and Resolution[3] dated 30 September 2010 of the Court of
Appeals (CA) in CA-G.R. SP No. 112515.cralaw After the 1995 local elections, respondent Governor Florencio T. Miraflores (Gov.
Miraflores) replaced Gov. Cabagnot. Gov. Miraflores issued Memorandum No.
The Facts 004[7] dated 5 July 1995 addressed to Fernandez:

On 25 November 1994, the Province of Aklan, represented by then provincial governor Having just assumed office as chief executive of the Province, it is imperative that the
Corazon L. Cabagnot (Gov. Cabagnot), entered into a contract with Jireh Construction and undersigned should take an inventory of the financial condition of the provincial
Supply (Jireh Construction), represented by Delia Legaspi. The contract pertained to the government. This includes, among others, being oriented and apprised of the status of all
construction of the Alibagon-Baybay Bridge (Phase II) situated in Makato, Aklan for a infrastructure projects being implemented by the province through that department.
total contract price of P933,335.90 (AB Bridge Project). The contract also provided for
the completion of the AB Bridge Project within 90 calendar days or on 25 February 1995. In view hereof, you are hereby directed to temporarily suspend the implementation of all
On 28 November 1994, Jireh Construction started the AB Bridge Project. infrastructure projects under your department’s supervision and control, until such time
when their status shall have been appropriately assessed by the undersigned, and an
On 15 February 1995, petitioner Victory M. Fernandez (Fernandez), in his capacity as order to resume work to such projects shall have been issued by this office.
Provincial Engineer of the Province of Aklan, endorsed [4] to Gov. Cabagnot for her
approval, a letter[5] dated 14 February 1995 from Jireh Construction. Jireh Construction For strict compliance.
requested for a contract time extension of 30 calendar days to complete the AB Bridge
Project since the original contract period did not take into account the work stoppage The implementation of the AB Bridge Project and the Four Projects awarded to Jireh
caused by tide variations of the river. Basically, work on the substructure of the bridge Construction was suspended as a result of the Memorandum issued by Gov. Miraflores.
stops temporarily when high tide comes and operations only resume after the water
recedes. On 8 and 10 November 1995, the Commission on Audit (COA) conducted an audit and
ocular inspection of Aklan’s pending government projects. The COA auditors found that
On 16 February 1995, Gov. Cabagnot approved[6] the requested 30-day extension and Jireh Construction had abandoned the construction of the AB Bridge Project and the Four
directed Jireh Construction to exert utmost effort to complete the AB Bridge Project not Projects. All five projects were incomplete and could not be used for their designated
later than the revised expiry date. purpose at their current state of completion. The details[8] are as follows:

Meanwhile, the provincial government of Aklan launched four government Name of Project Number of Date Expected Date Accomplish- Percentage of
infrastructure projects: (1) Alibagon-Baybay Bridge (Phase III); (2) Buruanga Fishing Days Started of Completion ment as of Completion
Port; (3) Irrigation Canal Access Road, Buruanga; and (4) Navitas Barangay Health to be
Center, collectively known as the Four Projects. Completed
Alibagon-Baybay 90 11/28/94 02/25/95 12/19/94 22.89
Public bidding for the Four Projects was conducted sometime in the months of February
Bridge (Phase II)
and March 1995. Three contractors participated in the public bidding: (1) Jireh

49

Alibagon-Baybay 90 05/12/95 06/13/95 11/08/95 0 No. 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt and Practices Act.[13]
Bridge (Phase
III) Aside from Timtiman, the Office of the Ombudsman impleaded in the criminal case[14] six
Buruanga 75 03/02/95 05/15/95 03/14/95 58.09 other persons working under the provincial government: (1) Liberato R. Ibadlit, PBAC
Fishing Port member and former Vice-Governor; (2) Aniceto A. Fernandez, PBAC member and
Irrigation Canal 90 03/10/95 06/07/95 04/25/95 81.70 former Sangguniang Panlalawigan member; (3) Victory M. Fernandez, Provincial
Access Road, Engineer; (4) Felicisimo Y. Tanumtanum, Jr., Engineer IV; (5) Reynaldo B. Dionisio,
Engineer II and Project Engineer handling the construction of the Buruanga Fishing Port
Buruanga
and Irrigation Canal Access Road; and (6) Jose Amboboyong, Project Engineer handling
Navitas 45 03/17/95 04/30/95 03/23/95 45.27
the construction of the Alibagon-Baybay Bridge (Phases II and III).
Barangay Health
Center
The PBAC members as well as the other government officers were impleaded as
respondents for (1) awarding the Four Projects to Jireh Construction despite their
knowledge that Jireh Construction poorly performed and had abandoned the AB Bridge
The Summary of Actual Accomplishment and Costing[9] as of 30 June 1995 submitted and Project, and (2) not taking any action against Jireh Construction and not compelling it to
certified by Fernandez showed that the AB Bridge Project was already almost halfway continue and complete the projects.
completed with an accomplishment rating of 48.57%. However, the COA auditors found
the AB Bridge Project to be only 22.89%[10] completed based on the Statement of Time The COA submitted the following documentary evidence: (1) certified true copy of SAO
Elapsed and Percentage Accomplishment dated 20 December 1994. The auditors stated Report No. 95-45 dated 23 June 1997, the complete report on the results of the audit of
that about nine months after the AB Bridge Project was supposed to have been the Province of Aklan; (2) copy of the Joint Affidavit of the COA Auditors who conducted
completed on 25 February 1995, the project: (1) had an unaccomplished portion of the audit attesting to the audit findings embodied in SAO Report No. 95-45; and (3)
77.11%, and (2) no further work was made after 19 December 1994. The auditors added certified true copies of disbursement vouchers for all five projects.
that despite the unsatisfactory performance of Jireh Construction on the AB Bridge
Project, the PBAC still recommended the awarding of the Four Projects to the same In a Decision dated 31 March 2006, the Office of the Ombudsman (Visayas) found
contractor. Fernandez and his co-respondents administratively liable. The Ombudsman stated that
the complaint was premised on the respondents’ act of awarding government projects to
Moreover, the COA auditors found that the provincial government did not take any an incompetent contractor, who at the time of the bidding had an unsatisfactory
action against Jireh Construction. The COA stated that the officers in charge of the AB performance on another project with the same local government and had abandoned
Bridge Project and the Four Projects failed to: (1) make an inventory of the project such project. This act amounted to manifest partiality or gross inexcusable negligence, or
accomplishments; (2) take over the construction and complete the unfinished portion to both.
preserve the accomplishments already made; (3) forfeit the performance bonds; and (4)
serve notices of rescission or termination of the contracts awarded to Jireh Construction. The Ombudsman also found that Fernandez was the one who presented documents to
the PBAC showing that Jireh Construction did not have any abandoned project at the
At the time of the COA audit, the Province of Aklan had already paid P1,624,255.61 [11] to time of the bidding for the Four Projects. Thus, the Ombudsman held Fernandez equally
Jireh Construction for the five projects. The COA auditors recommended the filing of a liable with the members of the PBAC for gross neglect of duty. Further, the Ombudsman
case for neglect of duty against: (1) the PBAC officers who awarded the Four Projects to stated that Fernandez and his fellow engineers did not bring to the attention of the
Jireh Construction despite their knowledge that Jireh Construction had already provincial governor that Jireh Construction had already abandoned the construction of
abandoned the construction of the AB Bridge Project; and (2) other responsible the five projects. The Ombudsman added that they were duty-bound not only to
government officers who were remiss in their duties to report the matter of implement the projects assigned to them but also to protect the interest of the
abandonment of all five projects and to take any action against Jireh Construction. government. The dispositive portion of the decision states:

On 10 November 2003, Gov. Miraflores, in his capacity as then provincial governor of WHEREFORE, premises considered, respondents ANICETO A. FERNANDEZ, LIBERATO R.
Aklan and relying on the findings of the COA auditors, filed with the Office of the IBADLIT and EVAN L. TIMTIMAN, PBAC members, VICTORY M. FERNANDEZ, Provincial
Ombusman (Visayas) an administrative complaint[12] for gross neglect of duty against
Engineer, and JOSE AMBOBOYONG, Project Engineer (Construction of Alibagon-Baybay
Evan L. Timtiman (Timtiman), as Provincial Treasurer and regular member of the PBAC.
Bridge Phases II & III), all of the Provincial Government, Province of Aklan, are hereby
In the Complaint, Gov. Miraflores stated that Timtiman’s acts: (1) of awarding the Four
found guilty of GROSS NEGLECT OF DUTY and meted the penalty of DISMISSAL FROM
Projects to a contractor who had abandoned the AB Bridge Project; and (2) of
SERVICE with all the accessory penalties attached thereto.
participating in the payment of government funds amounting to P1,624,255.61 to the
same contractor for the five projects, caused undue injury to the provincial government.
Respondents FELICISIMO Y. TANUMTANUM, Engineer IV and REYNALDO B. DIONISIO,
Gov. Miraflores stated that such acts are punishable under Section 3(e) of Republic Act
50

Project Engineer (Construction of Irrigation Canal Access Road and Construction of The Court’s Ruling
Buruanga Fishing Port), of the same office, are found guilty of SIMPLE NEGLECT OF
DUTY and meted the penalty of ONE (1) MONTH SUSPENSION WITHOUT PAY. The petition lacks merit.

Considering, however, that respondents LIBERATO R. IBADLIT, FELICISIMO Y. Petitioner Fernandez insists that he was administratively charged for stating in the
TANUMTANUM and JOSE AMBOBOYONG (deceased), as records reveal, are no longer report he submitted to the PBAC that “Jireh Construction had no abandoned project” at
connected with the government service, the penalty of Dismissal from Service shall be the time of the bidding for the Four Projects. Petitioner states that he cannot be faulted
considered as already implemented. Respondent Ibadlit’s term as Vice-Governor of the for issuing such a statement since the bidding for the Four Projects occurred in the
Province of Aklan ended in the year 1995. Respondent Tanumtanum retired from the months of February and March 1995. At the time, the construction of the AB Bridge
government service on September 30, 1995. While the orders/notices addressed to Project was still ongoing based on the request for extension by Jireh Construction and
respondent Amboboyong were returned to this Office with a notation “Addressee later approved by the provincial governor. Petitioner asserts that he was not in a
Deceased.” This notation was verified by Mr. Federico C. Peare, Jr., Postmaster, Kalibo, position to say that Jireh Construction was not eligible to bid and to be awarded the Four
Aklan. Projects. Further, petitioner maintains that the COA auditors failed to consider that the
provincial governor, in issuing Memorandum Order No. 004, ordered the temporary
Let a copy of this Decision form part of the service record of the said respondents. suspension of all infrastructure projects handled by the provincial government. As a
result, the implementation of all projects including the AB Bridge Project and the Four
SO DECIDED.[15] Projects had to stop.

Fernandez, Timtiman and Dionisio filed a Motion for Reconsideration[16] dated 4 October In the present case, Jireh Construction started work on the AB Bridge Project on 28
2007 with the Office of the Ombudsman (Visayas). In an Order dated 11 August 2008, the November 1994. The contract provided that the bridge should be completed within 90
Office of the Ombudsman denied the motion. calendar days or specifically on 25 February 1995. However, due to some unforeseen
circumstances, Jireh Construction requested for an extension of 30 calendar days to
Fernandez filed a petition[17] for review under Rule 43 with the Court of Appeals (CA). complete the project. The provincial governor promptly approved the 30-day extension.
At the time of the bidding for the Four Projects, held on 24 February, 28 February, 7
In a Decision dated 9 July 2010, the CA found no reversible error by the Office of the March and 15 March 1995, the completion period for the AB Bridge Project had not yet
Ombudsman in finding Fernandez guilty of gross neglect of duty. The dispositive portion expired due to the 30-day extension. The 30-day extension meant that the construction
states: of the bridge was supposed to have been completed on 27 March 1995, twelve days after
the completion of all the bidding for the Four Projects.
WHEREFORE, premises considered, the instant petition for review is hereby DENIED and
ordered DISMISSED. However, petitioner based his premise that the construction of AB Bridge Project was
ongoing during the bidding of the Four Projects on two grounds: (1) the request for 30-
SO ORDERED.[18] day extension by Jireh Construction, and (2) the approval of the extension by the
governor. Petitioner did not submit any other evidence to show that the construction of
Fernandez filed a motion for reconsideration which the CA denied in a Resolution dated the AB Bridge Project took place continuously and without interruption. It must be
30 September 2010. remembered that when the COA auditors inspected and audited the AB Bridge Project in
November 1995, they found that only 22.89% of the bridge had been constructed based
Fernandez then filed a petition for review with this Court. In a Resolution [19] dated 13 on the Statement of Time Elapsed and Percentage Accomplishment dated 20 December
December 2010, we issued a temporary restraining order, effective immediately and 1994. From 20 December 1994, the COA auditors found that no further work was
continuing until further orders from this Court, enjoining respondents, their made. Thus, regardless of the 30-day extension to complete the AB Bridge Project, it is
representatives or other persons acting on their behalf from proceeding with the clear that Jireh Construction abandoned the construction of the AB Bridge Project since
execution of the Decision dated 31 March 2006 and Order dated 11 August 2008 of the 20 December 1994.
Office of the Ombudsman (Visayas).
Petitioner, as the provincial engineer who oversees all the infrastructure projects of the
The Issue province, has direct knowledge of the status of each project’s progress. Clearly, he was in
a position to inform the PBAC that Jireh Construction not only had not met the required
The main issue is whether the CA committed a reversible error in affirming the decision deadline of the completion of the AB Bridge Project but also had abandoned the project,
of the Office of the Ombudsman in finding petitioner guilty of gross neglect of duty and with only 22.89% completion and not the 48.57% completion that petitioner had
dismissing him from service. certified. Petitioner gave a false report to the PBAC when he attested that Jireh

51

petitioner could have recommended the take over of the construction of the projects and the termination of the contracts to prevent further loss of funds to the SO ORDERED. petitioner should have Resolution dated 30 September 2010 of the Court of Appeals in CA-G. petitioner Fernandez supplied documents to the PBAC which were relied upon by its members in evaluating the qualifications of Jireh Construction. We AFFIRM the Decision dated 9 July 2010 and time frame of 45 to 90 days for the completion of the projects. Section 9 of the said Rule likewise provides that the penalty of dismissal shall of the AB Bridge Project. 1994.R. could not 1995. Irrigation Canal Access Road.Construction had no abandoned project at the time of the bidding of the Four Projects. he cannot feign ignorance about the fact Alibagon-Baybay Bridge (Phase III) 13 June 1995 that Jireh Construction had an ongoing abandoned project at the time of the conduct of Buruanga Fishing Port 15 May 1995 the bidding of the four projects. forfeiture of leave credits and retirement Projects to a qualified and capable contractor. 1994 could amount to no other but gross negligence. With only 22. even before the issuance of Memorandum Order No. Given the short WHEREFORE.[21] we held that gross negligence refers to negligence characterized by the want of even slight care. province. finding Construction a “clean bill. Miraflores issued Memorandum No. Considering petitioner Project Expected Date of Completion Fernandez’s claim that he had been regularly performing his assigned tasks by Alibagon-Baybay Bridge (Phase II) 25 February 1995 supervising the implementation of the project. not inadvertently but willfully and intentionally.” so to speak. we DENY the petition. as affirmed by the CA. petitioner had been remiss in his benefits and disqualification from re-employment in government service. Also. is palpable omission which caused undue injury to the government. which could have been a crucial element in awarding the Four carry with it the cancellation of eligibility.89% of the project The AB Bridge Project and the Four Projects were supposed to be completed before July completed as of March 1995.[20] correct. all five projects of have been ignorant about the necessity of such information to the PBAC in evaluating the Jireh Construction were still unfinished and in various stages of completion to the qualifications of Jireh Construction. immediately reported the poor performance of Jireh Construction to the governor.[23] Petitioner further asserts that Memorandum No.[22] In cases involving public officials. petitioner’s unusual silence in not informing the Navitas Barangay Health Center 30 April 1995 PBAC about the fact that only 22. petitioner Fernandez committed a flagrant and petitioner equally responsible with the members of PBAC for gross neglect of duty. Moreover.89% of the ongoing project of Jireh Construction was completed and that no further work was conducted therein after December 19.cralaw Ombudsman. 004 was the reason for the non- completion of the projects and not because of the abandonment of the projects by Jireh Construction. Thus. as found by respondent Office of the detriment of the Province of Aklan. Pursuant to Section 23. Desierto. In Brucal v. 004 on 5 July 1995 or more than 3 months after the AB Bridge Project was supposed to have been completed on 27 March 1995. 004. 112515. acting or omitting to act in a situation where there is a duty to act. The report submitted by the COA indicated the following that no further work had been conducted at the Alibagon-Baybay Bridge Project (Phase expected dates of completion for the five projects: II) after December 19. gross negligence in the It is sufficiently evident that petitioner was grossly negligent in failing to give a complete performance of duty is classified as a grave offense for which the penalty of dismissal is and truthful report to the PBAC of Jireh Construction’s actual progress and abandonment imposed. In giving Jireh In sum. As correctly observed by the CA in its 9 July 2010 decision: Gov. there is gross negligence when a breach of duty is flagrant and palpable. That no further work was conducted thereon after that date could only mean that the project was already deemed abandoned. 292 or the Administrative Code of 1987. It is the omission of that care which even inattentive and thoughtless men never fail to take on their own property. with a conscious indifference to consequences in so far as other persons may be affected. Indeed. petitioner Fernandez could not have been unaware of the fact extended completion date. The temporary restraining order issued on 13 December 2010 is hereby lifted.24 duties to monitor slippages of Jireh Construction’s performance and to take the necessary steps to ensure minimal loss to the provincial government. as provincial engineer. petitioner Fernandez. the decision of the Office of the Ombudsman. Rule XIV of the Omnibus Rules Implementing Book V of Executive Order No. SP No. Petitioner’s contention must fail. 52 . the As provincial engineer. Buruanga 7 June 1995 Even with the approved extension.

SARAH P. continued to 53 . which carries with it that of cancellation of civil service eligibility. and Conduct Prejudicial to the Best Interest of the Service for having impersonated or taken the November 1991 Civil Service Eligibility Examination for Teachers on behalf of one Evelyn B.13 matter. the OCA emphasized later denied. COURT INTERPRETER III.14 Dishonesty. benefits. thus. Ampong’s motion was government service. attendant to such dismissal. thus. which dismissal was affirmed by the agency or instrumentality. Further. It added that the fact that the offense was not connected with her office or was committed prior to her appointment in the judiciary does not in any way Sometime in August 1994. and allowances. 2008 Decision).R. the FMO issued a Memorandum7 dated September 7. Ampong reiterated her argument that the RESOLUTION CSC did not have any jurisdiction over the case against her. the RTC never received any official information or directive from the OCA on the or government financial institution.R.the OCA recommended that Ampong be found Jaime L. from her employment as Court Interpreter III of the RTC. 2011 informing the OCA that starting June 2011. Infante (Judge Infante) of the Regional Trial Court of Alabel. prompting her to file a petition for review before the Court of Appeals that the CSC ruling effectively stripped Ampong of her civil service eligibility and. 11"6 (August 26. 167916. The Court resolves the issue in the affirmative. forfeiture said administrative case was filed. the divest the CSC of its inherent power to discipline employees from all branches and CSC rendered a resolution3 dismissing her from service. of retirement benefits. BRANCH 38. In this relation. in view of Judge Infante’s letter notifying (Formerly A. thus.4 could no longer hold the position of Court Interpreter III. Ampong v. the CSC could validly impose the administrative penalty of dismissal Teachers (PBET) rating. as such.15 On November 30. Ampong remains employed in the RTC and has been continuously receiving all her monthly salary. Ampong moved for reconsideration on the ground that when the against her. 2004. (CA). the Court En Banc denied her petition for review on certiorari and. As such. No. 2011 of Executive Judge In a Memorandum12 dated March 27. the Financial Management Office (FMO) of the OCA. after Ampong herself admitted to having committed the charges against her.M. Ampong prayed that the Court revisit its SARAN GANI PROVINCE. 2012. and the like. 5 Similarly. on The issue raised for the Court’s resolution is whether or not Ampong had been dismissed August 26. with forfeiture of retirement and other benefits except accrued leave aforementioned letter.11 PERLAS-BERNABE. the CSC instituted an administrative case against Ampong for exonerate her from administrative liability as an employee of the court. and perpetual disqualification for re-employment in the she posited that the CSC no longer had any jurisdiction over her. Complainant. The OCA found that Ampong’s act of impersonating and taking the November 1991 Civil Service Eligibility Examination for Teachers for and on behalf of another person indeed The Facts constitutes dishonesty. In the for her position. AMPONG. it had started to withhold Ampong’s salaries OFFICE OF THE COURT ADMINISTRATOR. 2014 release her salaries and allowances. thus. 2013. hence. imposing all accessory penalties agencies of the government in order to protect the integrity of the civil service. allowances.A. Junio-Decir (Decir). the CA denied Ampong’s petition and affirmed her dismissal The Issue Before the Court from service on the ground that she never raised the issue of jurisdiction until after the CSC ruled against her and. No. addressed to complainant the Office of the Court Administrator Eligibility Examination for Teachers in behalf of Decir and. Sarangani Province. she is estopped from assailing the same. Grave Misconduct. unless otherwise provided. which did not receive any official directive regarding Ampong’s dismissal. entitled "Sarah P. The Court’s Ruling Notwithstanding said Decision. be dismissed from the (OCA). Ampong service on the ground that she no longer possesses the appropriate eligibility required (Ampong).2 inquiring about the employment status of respondent Sarah P. she was already appointed to the judiciary. CSC-Regional Office No. the OCA found that Ampong’s appointment as Court Interpreter III did not 1996. 2008.: The Action and Recommendation of the OCA This administrative case arose from the letter1 dated March 15. affirmed her dismissal from service in G. 12-3-54-RTC) the OCA of such situation. On March 21. REGIONAL TRIAL COURT OF ALABEL. Civil Service Commission.10 Moreover. P-13-3132 June 4. (RTC). and revoking her Professional Board Examination for Consequently. Judge Infante informed the OCA that despite Ampong's dismissal credits and with perpetual disqualification from re-employment in any government from service by the Civil Service Commission (CSC). However. 167916 despite its finality because it might lead to unwarranted complications in its enforcement. Respondent. a grave offense which carries the corresponding penalty of dismissal from service.8 vs. including any government-owned and controlled corporation Court.M. In her Comment9 dated September 25. ruling in G. guilty of Dishonesty for impersonating and taking the November 1991 Civil Service "Branch 38. No. 1993. a Court Interpreter III of the said RTC since August 3. J. No.

viz. she should Constitution granting to the Supreme Court supervisory powers over all courts and their nevertheless been titled to receive her accrued leave credits. Decision’s modification and reversal. the civil service embraces every branch. By intentionally practicing a deception to secure employees of the judiciary. Ana. the present case involves a similar violation of the This Court has defined dishonesty as the "(d)isposition to lie. It is a standing rule that despite their dismissal from the service. the Constitution provides that the Supreme Court is given exclusive Section 58(a)19 of the Uniform Rules on Administrative Cases in the Civil Service administrative supervision over all courts and judicial personnel.20 54 . probity or integrity in principle. Indeed. It is categorized as "an act which includes employees who also impersonated civil service examinees.17 (Emphases in the original. this Court held that impersonating an examinee employees are entitled to the leave credits that they have earned during the period of of a civil service examination is an act of dishonesty." [Ampong] impersonated Decir in the PBET exam. this Court held that "respondents’ machinations reflect their dishonesty and Service examination. lack of integrity. Civil Service Law by a judicial employee. As defined employment in the judiciary. in the August 26. without running afoul of the doctrine of separation of powers. subdivision. cheating. As a matter of fairness and law. supervision of the DECS and. petitioner committed the offense before her appointment to the judicial branch." time of commission. in taking the civil service examinations. the penalty of dismissal carries with it the following administrative it is only the Supreme Court that can oversee the judges’ and court personnel’s disabilities: (a) cancellation of civil service eligibility. government In Civil Service Commission v. the CSC remuneration. rendering them unfit to maintain their positions as public servants and the latter would obtain a passing mark. and (c) perpetual disqualification from reemployment in any government action against them if they commit any violation. Ana.As the records show. involving judicial The CSC found [Ampong] guilty of dishonesty. viz. (b) forfeiture of retirement compliance with all laws. It violates the specific mandate of the To clarify. petitioner was a public school teacher under the administrative [Ampong’s] dishonest act as a civil servant renders her unfit to be a judicial employee. and government. But because the offender involved a their employment. or any other anomalous act which amounts to any violation of the Civil dismissal. deceive or betray. aforementioned provision of the URACCS. the CSC is has acquired finality becomes immutable and unalterable. In line with However. which they have earned prior to their dismissal. despite Ampong’s dismissal on the ground of dishonesty. which does not include the forfeiture of the same. Sta. they may not be deprived of such judicial employee under the administrative supervision of the Supreme Court.: A similar fate befell judicial personnel in Bartolata v. pursuant to the personnel. It may take the proper administrative benefits. Pursuant to the doctrine of immutability of judgment. Compared to Sta. however. When she did that. 2008 Decision. (URACCS). the giving of CSC likewise filed the necessary charges before the OCA because respondents were assistance to ensure the commission or procurement of the same. or defraud. [Ampong’s] present status as a judicial employee service-supervised examination. the Court had already held filed the necessary charges before the Office of the Court Administrator (OCA). the the procurement and/or use of fake/spurious civil service eligibility. supervise. agency. Be that as it may. We take note that [Ampong] should not have been appointed as a judicial Petitioner surreptitiously took the CSC-supervised PBET exam in place of another employee had this Court been made aware of the cheating that she committed in the civil person. But this case is slightly different in that untrustworthiness. even if the modification is meant to correct erroneous This authority grants to the CSC the right to take cognizance of any irregularity or conclusions of fact and law. November 1991 Civil Service Eligibility Examination for Teachers on behalf of Decir. it undermines the independence of the judiciary. if any. Finding respondents guilty of dishonesty and meting the penalty of impersonation. By virtue of this power. deceive. a Ampong administratively liable for dishonesty in impersonating and taking the procedure which this Court validated.1âwphi1 As in Sta. Julaton. and instrumentality of the government. their acts undeniably involve dishonesty. which states that "a decision that owned or controlled corporations. citations omitted) under the Constitution and the Administrative Code. judicial employees. she became a party to cheating or dishonesty in a civil service examinations. disposition to defraud. That she committed the dishonest act before she joined the RTC does not take her case out of the administrative reach of the Supreme Court. the penalty of dismissal from service on account of Ampong’s Dishonesty should be enforced in its full course. and may no longer be granted the power to "control. rules and regulations. the Court also addressed Ampong’s misgivings on the issue of jurisdiction in the same case. No other branch of government may agency or instrumentality. and coordinate the Civil Service examinations. Ampong should be made to similarly suffer the same." a passing mark. this Court ruled that the Ombudsman cannot justify its investigation of a judge on the powers granted to it by the Constitution. under the CSC.16 (Emphases and underscoring supplied). Consequently. including any government-owned and controlled corporation intrude into this power. or government financial institution. 2008 anomaly connected with the examinations. regardless of whether the offense was committed before or after It is true that the CSC has administrative jurisdiction over the civil service. collusion. At the lack of fairness and straightforwardness. to ensure that lack of integrity. Pursuant to its administrative authority."18 Ampong could no longer seek the August 26." modified in any respect. Thus.: The bottom line is administrative jurisdiction over a court employee belongs to the Supreme Court. lack of honesty. Anaand Bartolata. cheat. is not a hindrance to her getting the penalty she deserves. Notably.

her retirement and other benefits are forfeited except accrued leave credits.It must be stressed that every employee of the Judiciary should be an example of integrity. of the personnel who work thereat. and honesty. Here. from the judge to the lowest of its personnel. Ampong. Court personnel have been enjoined to adhere to the exacting standards of morality and decency in their professional and private conduct in order to preserve the good name and integrity of the courts of justice.21 WHEREFORE. including any government-owned and controlled corporation or government financial institution. The image of a court of justice is mirrored in the conduct. uprightness. Branch 38. the Court SUSTAINS the dismissal of respondent Sarah P. official and otherwise. Court Interpreter III of the Regional Trial Court of Alabel. 55 . Ampong failed to meet these stringent standards set for a judicial employee and does not. therefore. and she is perpetually disqualified from re-employment in any government agency or instrumentality. effective immediately. Accordingly. deserve to remain with the Judiciary. Like any public servant. on the ground of Dishonesty. SO ORDERED. to preserve the court’s good name and standing. she must exhibit the highest sense of honesty and integrity not only in the performance of her official duties but also in her personal and private dealings with other people. Sarangani Province.

(8) in refusing to allow him or States which it is claimed hold differently. will be confined to an attempt to distinguish between the in court the ballots rejected by the commissioners and present additional testimony with cases relied upon and the law and the conditions in our own jurisdiction.." as used in Revised Statutes. 23 Phil.) (75 provincial board of canvassers met on July 12 and proceeded with a canvass of the S. the question to be decided is (a) whether the time within which appealed. (3) in not dismissing the protest because it was not presented This is not the first time that this question has been under consideration by this court. The protestee Upon the foregoing facts..542 upon all the candidates voted for on June 4. had not determined who had been elected provincial governor. from the deposit of the ballot by the elector up to the final the night of the 4th and continued until terminated. third. The facts are complete ascertainment of the expression of the popular will. On the 27th of that month the appellee presented what he called an "amended protest" and asked permission of the court to substitute this "amended protest" for the one filed on June 18. Thompson (73 S. after trial. Copies of the "amended protest" were served according to the proclamation of the provincial board of canvassers. however. (6) in not requiring Manalo vs. At the general election held in the Province of Capiz on June 4. should the first or the last day be excluded from the computation? not in accordance with the law. The In Norman vs. Ross and Block. for appellant.) But that meaning would contravene the manifest intent of the enactment. 576. restricted to those persons who had filed certificates of candidacy with the authorities Hontiveros protested.G. (5) in holding that the document answered in two cases. In fact. 238. (7) in the day the ballots were cast. JOSE ALTAVAS. Rep.. should begin to run. we would say no more upon the question. 609. In State vs.) In these cases we held that the two weeks begin to the appellee to make a prima facie showing of fraud or irregularity in the manner of run from the date of the proclamation of the provincial board of canvassers and not from casting or counting the ballots before the ballot boxes were opened on the hearing. J. 96 Tex. or referred to for any material purpose during the trial of the cause in the TRENT. were concerned. for the office of provincial governor.W. No proceedings pertinent to the questions here involved were taken in the Court of Instance until August 10. found that the protestant and who had not on June 4 withdrawn their candidacy.. The first protest was filed on June ascertainment and certification of the result. and fourth alleged errors may be considered together. without having canvassed the returns for third member. L-8606 March 29. counting of the ballots by the commissioners.. until the following day. Sevilla. it was canvassers issued its proclamation on July 12. filed by the appellee on July 27 was sufficient to constitute a protest. 23 Phil. In this protest it was alleged that up to the time the provincial board of canvassers and includes the perfect ascertainment of such result. involves every element necessary to the 2. 43 Atl. we (2 Marv. This permission was granted. The second. On that date they completed the canvass of the returns in so far as the offices of delegates to the Assembly and the provincial governor RAMON HONTIVEROS. 301. Paredes. An election. and stated that owing to the lateness of the hour they would adjourn vs.W. 1582 as amended. 250) and in Ex parte Conley (Tex.. and (b) in to be elected to the office of provincial governor because his certificate of candidacy was computing the time. McCoy if we were now called upon to determine the validity of the appellee's certificate. 270. The word "candidates" as here used is votes. for appellee. 1913 returns from the various voting precincts. Questions relating to the eligibility of candidates to be elected to or hold office cannot presumed to have used words in their natural and commonly accepted meaning unless be drawn in question in these proceedings. ante.317 legal votes and the protestee 2. 302) it was held that the word "election.842. (2) in not dismissing the protest upon the ground that the same premature. (Topacio vs. Judgment was entered directing the provincial board of canvassers to correct its canvass accordingly. under the Constitution. (Navarro vs. 273) it is said: would hold it sufficient for all purposes. The "amended protest" is complete in every Monico Mercado and Jose Altavas.. Veloso. filed on the 18th of June.371 votes. Rep. denying his (appellant's) request to intervene and select one of the commissioners and if our attention had not been called to a number of adjudicated cases in the United appointed by the court to examine and recount the ballots. we deem it advisable to somewhat further discuss the matter. It within the time required by law. 1912.: court below or in this court. embracing the these: The ballots were deposited on June 4. 62-64. section 56 . The Court of First Instance.R. This question is no longer an open one in this jurisdiction. received 3. Jose Altavas. received 3. An election by the people means 18. this latter protest was never drawn in question thereafter. and Ramon Hontiveros received 3. except for the purpose of determining from what date the two weeks within which the protest might be filed. as provided in section 27 of Act No. and (9) in not permitting him to examine Our further remarks. But his counsel to be present at the opening of the ballots boxes and the examination and in view of these citations. and it is not necessary to take into consideration for any purpose the protest Bruce. 1912. No. the 13th. respondent-appellant. It is believed that no one will disagree with the statement that the Legislature is 1. and the counting of the same commenced on entire range. Lawrence. the motion which introduces an election contest for a provincial governorship expires two weeks after the day upon which the ballots are cast or two weeks after the day upon The appellant now insists that the court erred: (1) In not declaring the appellee ineligible which the provincial board of canvassers determines who has been elected. petitioner-appellee. reference to the validity of such rejected ballots. 625. particular. (4) in not finding that the provincial board of was directly involved and after a thorough investigation and extended discussions.

205. or. the expression of the sovereign power of the people. The counting of the votes and the announcement of the first Monday in November of 1909. In common parlance an election is the act of An election is the embodiment of the popular will. In view of the concretely expresses this act of the people." We shall endeavor to show that it is also inappropriate to the manifest during the day upon which the election is "held" is evident by section 24 itself. under the title Elect-Elected-Election. wherein it intention of the Legislature. who will say that the formal announcement by the board of canvassers is not essential to an expression of the popular Section 3 probably gives more color to the argument in question than any other. what relation to an election must be The treatise on the subject of "Elections" in 15 Cyc. we are not would have the temerity to say that the counting of the votes is unnecessary to an disposed to set it aside upon the mere strength of the lexicographer's definition of the election. But it is insisted that the word is used number of definitions.3397. and the word cannot. Keeping in mind the meaning of the word "election" as above set forth. "the meaning of which as a whole cannot be derived from the conjoined meanings of its elements. . after the result of an election under the local option law has been At first blush it would appear that the word "election" as used in these excerpts is declared. that it is equivalent to the as might have changed the result. i. from the voters. and that if it appear that it was illegal or confined to the day upon which those enjoying the right of suffrage are called to the polls fraudulently conducted. that this canvass is indispensable to the election of a delegate to the Assembly or a Subsequent elections for such delegates shall be held on the first Tuesday after provincial officer cannot be denied. providing that." means the act of casting and receiving the ballots be concluded upon that day...Tucker. Section 25 provides that the provincial board shall sit as a board of canvassers to 1907. defines the word as attributed to the operation described in a subsequent section (No. Yet.e." An election shall be held on the first Tuesday after the first Monday of November of 1907. there being nothing in the law to suggest that the Legislature to the polls "from seven o'clock in the morning until five in the afternoon. sovereign power of the people. 2334.. (State vs. It is there provided that the duly qualified electors shall have access it must be so construed. 2329 et seq.. to elect municipal presidents and vice-presidents. counting the ballots. states that "if.) That is the meaning of the word "election" in the ordinary usage.). and making the returns thereon. practically amount to an idiom of language. or such a number of voters were denied the privilege of voting to express their choice of candidates. It is difficult to conceive any of the essential casting the ballots by the duly qualified voters. a large the term "after the election" as used in section 27. Section 21 is the section which. therefore. At the outset it is well to quote the following from Topacio vs. and making the return. and upon the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November of each is thus used so frequently and with this certain meaning in all election statutes as to odd-numbered year thereafter. be confined to the day upon which the ballots were cast. "election. and of each old-numbered year the results by the municipal officers.. pivoting upon the words "a choosing or selection of one from in numerous places throughout the Act to designate only the day and the operation of among others" may also be found. tabulate the statements prepared by the municipalities in accordance with section 24. by reason of the length of time required for the count . If this be the only meaning of the word.) provides the method by which the ballots shall be deposited. in other words. We think it too clear for argument that the Legislature in saying An election for provincial governor and third member of the provincial that an election should be held on a specified date intended only to convey the idea that board shall be held on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November of the initial operation of selecting the candidate should start upon that day. let us examine some of the authorities called to our attention. the election may be tested. expression "election day" as used in section 10. Subsequent sections of the act show this most clearly.. From this source is derived the chief if not subdivisions of this act of choosing being excluded from the operation of the term which the sole reliance of the advocates of the contrary construction. 279 et seq. 25) entitled "counting follows: the votes. it shall be impracticable to return the same before midnight . 210. But although the statute requires that it "another election shall be ordered. 238): 57 . the expression of the casting and receiving the ballots. there is little room for doubt as to the meaning of In 3 Words and Phrases (p. as a matter of fact. and depositing the votes. An election to elect such delegates shall be held upon the thirtieth day of July. provides for the actual operation of 54 Ala. counting them. Paredes (23 Phil.. parts of the election. The expression 1907.. (3 Words and Phrase. In it we will? If the count may be concluded upon a subsequent day. Yet that it is not indispensable to a valid election to conclude this operation word "election." Again." We apprehend that no one speciousness of this arguments and the tenacity with which it is maintained.. Rep. or the true result of the election cannot be ascertained. If this is the only meaning of the word "election" as used throughout the act. announcement of the results?" We started with a definition which contained the statement: An election is the embodiment of the popular will." It also intended to use it in a different sense. and the canvass by the provincial board are integral thereafter. a fortiori may the find (quoting from the original act) such expressions as the following: announcement of the result. p.

An investigation of the statutes of the various States shows that in most of them where a statutory proceeding for contesting elections is provided. such as the casting of the ballots. 12 L.. 181 the wording is "after the election" it is most probable that the question has seldom if ever Mo. authority the best considered case coming from some other jurisdiction on the point under discussion. The law under discussion in that case reads as follows: have discussed above: When an elector contests the right of any person declared elected to such office. and I believe that in practice it always has. The court in that case dismissed a protest filed provinces of this Archipelago could not reach the capital within two weeks time.. the time within which such a The period within which a statutory contest by a defeated candidate may be instituted proceeding may be instituted commences to run "after the result of the election has been differs in the various States. in other words. 204).W. should take much more than forty days the vote would not be canvassed until the term for which officers are to be elected will begin. (Revised Laws of La. For these reasons. has probably never been actually presented to the courts of the United States. 129.. is. § 1419. 133). however." "after the person whose election is contested is declared elected. 58 . 65 P. and there are a number of returns are made known. The facilities for communication in all parts of "election" and precede the final steps necessary to the election of a candidate are not the United States are such that the result of an election is known most often by daylight equivalent to the phrase "after the election" as used in our own statute. The latter is the only point with which we are thirty days after the official promulgation of the result of said selection. the filing of a protest is generally sufficient to extend far beyond the time the official However correctly these phrases were construed in the cases. unofficial. which candidate was days of the announcement of the results. "after return day" (Carbis vs. either officially or unofficially. The utmost care must be exercised in the citation of authorities in support to of the result of the said election. before the court. e. but also as to the determined. universally statutory and seldom similar in the matter of election controversies. Ann.. file with the vote. Dormer. or the official declaration by the local authorities of the number of votes cast in a precinct may be deemed equivalent to the election of a person to office. But it must be remembered that this was a successful in those provinces within two weeks after the day upon which the ballots are contest for a municipal office. 129. with the more than ten days subsequent to the day the ballots were deposited. Nor was it ever the expectation of the legislature that such a result could be two at the most after the ballots were cast. but it is quite improbable. exactly in point. the sufficient. In this jurisdiction the contingency which the California court terms as possible but quite improbable is a reality.D.A. Such a contingency was not anticipated. Furthermore. either official or considering the phrase "after the election. for. where the official returns were not other similar expressions which clearly designate a time included within the term public property within the time allowed. The positive injustice of not allowing the accomplished. 913). 131) is in the conflict with the following from the California case of Carlson vs. Eisnhood (S. and in limiting the period for the understood how the requirement that a protest be filed "after return day" can be commencement of a contest. If it county clerk a written statement. the time allowed for representative by the people. 5.. not only as to the length of time allowed.. the scope of the term "election" includes every step necessary to the choice of a knowledge as to whether he has been elected or not. except through a criminal intent.) Nor does the case appear to have been thoroughly A single statutory or constitutional provision may render worthless as an considered by the court. Dale.). in point. therefore. candidate time to ascertain the result of the election before filing his contest was not. We conclude that this case is not in point. also cited. but within ten consequence that no one can know. i. It is also a fact that this case is some forty years old. from the casting of the ballots to the certificate of election. The case of Belden vs. In those few States where commence to run "after the official counting of the votes" (Montgomery vs. and can rarely happen. 79 S. The phrase used in the law which the court construed in that case was totidem It is well-known fact that all the returns from the various municipalities in some of the verdis the one found in our own statute. the proposition that a candidate may be them in the books. It is therefore not commencement of the terms of office. (Bowler vs. Burt (111 Cal." within designated date that it shall start to run. therefore. within forty daysafter the return day of such election. Sherburne (27 La. 463." etc.." thereby indicating that the legislature arrived at the any particular contention in the interpretation of election laws. counting of the ballots.. which we our holding. and arisen under the conditions of the case at bar." These cases are not. Burt (111 Cal. To the suggestion that the board may take more than forty days to canvass the he must.. and Even the authorities in the United States agree with our holding that there cannot be a further that the law in that State has now been changed to read "after the promulgation contest until it is known who has been elected. etc. therefore. 23 Utah. of the result of the election." If it can. The In the course of the decision it was expressly decided that "return day" was prior to the presumption is that in fixing the election at a certain period before the determination by the board of canvassers of who was elected. and the candidate. it may be said that it may be possible." "within twenty herein concerned. They are conclusion that it was not advisable to date the period from the day the ballots cast. a part is equal to the whole. and that the returns were doubtless known within a day or cast. It is submitted that a provision of law requiring that the period shall days after the day the incumbent was declared elected.R. Probably no better illustration of this fact can be found than It is claimed that the case of Carlson vs. the legislature has taken all these things into equivalent to the requirement that it be filed "after the election. 305). has at least unofficial seen. as we have of the day following the election day. then any consideration. it is submitted that the tribunals which prepared them were not deprived of his right to institute a contest from lack of information. and has concluded that the period fixed will always prove intermediate step necessary to a valid election.

that is. and who was elected upon the cause before the court has not been demonstrated and. it is evident that the provincial board of canvassers and in paragraph 4 it was stated that notwithstanding the lack of this information. (3) make one 3. or a given date. but its character is always to be the offices before the two statements required of it were made. It is urged that it does. and then concludes with a resolution to the effect that the candidates receiving the operation of well-established maxim of law that there is no fraction of a day. as provided by allowed by law. Hill vs. if the had not completed its canvass on July 12.) The two weeks period in this case. may be construed in a manner which will must be understood to mean subsequent to the time of the announcement of the official best conform to the literal and common meaning of the words used and at the same time returns. and.. The law provides that a protest must be filed within admitted in substitution of the motion of June 18.705. is not capable provincial governor.. matter of practice or procedure is required by statute or order of court to be done within a certain number of days. none of the two weeks period precedes or is coetaneous with the really allow the candidate two weeks within which to file his protest." as we have shown. What the board actually did do on July 12 amendment of the latter. the date of the first motion. second. However. This second motion was accompanied by a formal request that it be upon which the election terminated.) If this be true. on July 12. The word "after" as here used term "after the election. as being an work determine who was elected to each office. or the day on protest may be filed a mere catch word. was the date filed on June 18. just. It was that indicated by section 25.) the letter of section 25 that the two statements in question must be prepared prior to the announcement of the results. 660. law. the general rule is to exclude the day of the date. Under this theory it is claimed that the protest came too late. (Sec. after the board of canvassers had announced the results of the election. July 13. (2) make one statement of all votes cast for each candidate for the Assembly in each Assembly district..) constructions should a court adopt? The one is practical. canvass the following day. and which deprives him of a hearing. The other has nothing to recommend it. (1) make a canvass of all the votes cast in the province. This date. he desired to contest the election by means of his motion (of June 18). it would seem unnecessary for this court to discuss the intention of the legislature in requiring this particular procedure. but makes of the two weeks period within which a In computing time from or after a certain day. nearby a month before furnished by the different municipalities. The proposition that a pleading Assembly in each Assembly district. The task of of proof. then. the board departed from determined by its allegations. neither does the one filed on July 27. (31 Cyc. i.. Holdam. (38 Cyc. having been upon which the ballots are cast. Whether this was the day upon which the election On July 27. An examination of the second motion two weeks after the election. we have rejected not only assigns to the word "election" a significance not warranted by any available definition of the term. the board did not. that there are no facts in the present case to justify excluding it from governor.. and third Assembly districts. 27. it is simply depriving a candidate of his insisted that in computing the two weeks the first day must be included and that the last right to a hearing to hold that the two weeks commence to run immediately after the day day excluded. but for the another motion was filed by the appellee which he termed an amendment to the motion purposes of this case we shall assume that it was. — It has been stated generally that when any which is the proclamation of certificate of the provincial board of canvassers. a tabulation at the one time of all the returns for each admitted in paragraph 3 of this motion that the results of the election were not known. and a long array of authorities. It alleges all the necessary dates from July 13. It is jurisdictional facts for the institution of the contest in accordance with section 27.) The extract of the minutes of the provincial board appearing in the record gives a tabulated statement of the votes cast for the offices of delegate to the Assembly for the In view of these quotations and the long array of authorities cited in their support. the record does not show. 46. and (4) upon the completion of this work determine who was plea is concede. the most logical procedure would seem to be the announcement of the official returns by the provincial board of canvassers.. July 13. We are of the opinion that the phrase "after the election" can only mean after the last step necessary to a valid election. In other words. All the information The facts. In announcing the returns for some of The name given to a pleading is not controlling. duties of the board were actually completed. . we think. as we said. respectively. the first day is excluded. in 59 . shows that it is as a matter of fact a complete motion in itself. therefore. The second protest that in the present case was filed on July 27. (Id. and for the office of provincial holding. and that the original protest being was (1) make a canvas of all the votes for members of the Assembly and for provincial premature and conferring no jurisdiction on the court to consider the issues sought to be governor.. and first. and adequate for the purpose in view. The fifth assignment of error raises question as to whether the motion of protest filed statement of all the votes cast for provincial officer. Judicial proceedings generally. Which of the two different method of computation is clearly intended. . The extract from the minutes of the board official returns showed that the protestant had secured a less number of votes than his indicates that it was the intention of the board to take up the work of completing the opponent Altavas. unless a candidate can use it. Did the Legislature intend any such consequences? The made on July 27 instead of July 26 as required by law. e. 120 Ky. The first motion of protest was filed on June 18. compiling the votes cast for the office of third member of the provincial board and announcing the result was still to be undertaken. But that the name given to a pleading by counsel must govern its effect elected as delegate to the Assembly from each Assembly district. we are the highest number of votes for each office (naming the candidate and office in each of the opinion that the second protest of the appellee was filed within the two weeks case) are declared elected. an illusion which disappears before the which an act done. . It had not terminated its duty as a board of canvassers.. as we do. and (4) upon the completion of this on July 27 should date back to June 18. 318. The construction announcement of the results. (3) make a statement of all the votes cast performing the office of an amendment dates back to the date of the filing of the original for provincial governor. (2) make one statement of all the votes cast for each candidate for the thereby raised. office each municipality. 321.. concerning the two motions in question are these: The election was necessary for a canvass of the votes for each of the offices being shown on the statements held on June 4.

decided the question. the case be held open for the purpose of allowing would have been advised of the steps necessary to be taken if he desired to contest the him to introduce additional evidence in reference to the rejected ballots. 609). 27). the record fails to disclose this fact. But neither of these cases had been decided when the case at bar boxes opened and their contents examined and counted. The 4. however. The court to permit him or an associate or the appellant and a representative from the dilemma in which the appellee found himself was. and having once acquired such jurisdiction the court is expressly empowered to officers therefor and to fix their compensation ." protest must be filed within two weeks after the election would be construed by the Such designation. Under these circumstances.. and the motion had not authorized the appellee to examine the ballots.much greater detail than the former motion. The seventh. There appears to have be prepared. certainly not of his own associate or the appellant and a representative from the other side to be present when making. On the 12th. but as an original protest. This contention is based upon the proposition that there exists a The correctness of this procedure is vigorously attacked by the appellant. Albar to He was uncertain whether the court would construe the requirement of section 27 that a examine and recount and ballots. On this same day. when the court appointed W. and to appoint the necessary the case. the necessity for the opening of the boxes would cease to exist as to them. The same counsel requested the arose. the appellant asked the court to relieve Salgado and appoint one of his own wish to incur the risk of being deprived of his right to protest the election by attempting selection. we cannot sanction such a practice.. but the court would not change its ruling. but that the attorneys in to the one filed on June 18.. The facts relies upon. These gentlemen were designated "commissioners. Again. Gracey. Section 27 provides in part as follows: The law provides that upon the institution of the contest the court "shall forthwith cause the registry lists and all ballots used at such election to be brought before it and Such court shall have exclusive and final jurisdiction. such arguments. except as hereinafter examined . It is directly opposed to the fundamental principles which founded.M. it is not difficult to reach the conclusion that this alleged error is not well the ballots is purely arbitrary. during the examination of weeks period provided by law for the filling of a protest. no matter which way the court witnesses in reference to the identification of the ballot boxes from another town. Some time after the commissioners were election day.. As he did not appointed. but not opened. Counsel insisted upon being granted this privilege and the motion of July 27. If the parties by agreement accept the returns from any precinct or precincts. However unimpeachable the integrity of the commissioners in this case. The court then stated that it 27 an "amendment" of his motion of June 18. and would not have been led into the inadvertence of terming his motion of July the court had granted him authority to examine such ballots.. and to issue examine all the ballots. This the court declined to do. and prior to Navarro vs. we are clearly of the opinion that it should be considered not presenting their arguments might examine the ballots for the purpose of aiding them in as an amendment to the one of June 18. and the ballots examined and recounted. The filing of the protest and the service of the same upon all provided. he very wisely decided to Dumarao were brought into court and identified. since it took cognizance filing of The court denied this request. To this end he filed two motions. In support of the sixth alleged error. and ninth alleged errors may also be considered together. the appellant asked the court that. or two weeks after the official weeks after objection to calling them by his name. In view of the plain provisions It seems that to refuse to permit the parties to witness the examination and recount of of section 27. what was the reason of the appellee for filing the two motions? Simply this: 10. but there can be no serious court to mean two weeks after election day. and shall forthwith cause the registry lists and all ballots used at such candidates voted for gives the court jurisdiction to proceed to a final determination of election to be brought before it and examined. By so doing the appellee concluded the taking of his testimony. therefore. eight. The lower court evidently reached the conclusion that the two weeks period the boxes were opened and the ballots examined and recounted by the commissioners. Now. it is insisted that the court committed a reversible commissioners performed theirs duties behind close doors and permitted neither party error by directing the commissioners to open the ballot boxes and examine and recount to be present when the boxes were opened and the ballots recounted. indicates the irregularities the contestant 5. If the parties or either of them ever at any time saw and examined the rejected ballots or any other ballots. We have said that this Supreme Court has definitely settled counsel for the appellant asked the court if the boxes from Dumarao had been opened question in the cases of Navarro vs. The court should have stated his reasons therefor. The court was clearly in error in so doing. the ballots without first requiring the protestant to make a prima facie showing of fraud or gross irregularities. presumption in favor of the legality of the election and the correctness of the returns. saying that the authority to of protest filed on July 27 being complete in itself and wholly sufficient without reference examine the ballots was granted to the commissioners. fraud or irregularities in order to authorize the opening of the boxes. in view of the fact that the appellee had whatever upon the court to try the issues sought to be raised." (Sec. August 10. Veloso (23 Phil. one of which would be within the two been no session of the court of the 11th. on considered the motion of June 18 as premature and as conferring no jurisdiction September 7. commenced to run from the day the ballots were cast. 625) and Manalo vs. . of course. 60 . and Jose M. Rep. govern the introduction of evidence in the courts. or two weeks after the official announcement of the returns. the ballot boxes of to determine which way the court would decide this question. Veloso the question had not been raised in this court. claiming that election. The its mandamus directed to the board of canvassers to correct its canvass in law does not required a prima facie showing other than the allegations in the protest of accordance with the facts as found. added nothing to their powers. Sinforoso Salgado. and denies pro tanto the right of the parties to a hearing before judgment. The court replied that he had ordered the ballot Sevilla (ante. The ballots cannot be examined without opening the boxes. It has not been contended that the pleading filed on July 27 is not complete here pertinent are as follows: The trial of the contest began in the court below on August in itself.

It also seem necessary to disapprove of the scope of the power delegated to the Arellano, C.J., Torres and Moreland, JJ., concur.
commissioners in this case. Section 27 plainly requires that the court "shall forthwith
cause the registration lists and all ballots used at such election to be brought before it
and examined." We apprehend that this must be done in open court in the presence of
the presiding judge and the interested parties. We do not conceive that there is any grant
of judicial discretion here to the officers appointed by the court to determine whether or
not a ballot is invalid because improperly executed or because it is marked. These
officers have none of the powers of a referee (sec. 138 of the Code of Civil Procedure) or
of commissioners in eminent domain proceedings. (Sec. 244, id.) As a matter of fact,
there is no reason for terming the persons charged with the duty of opening and
counting the ballots "commissioners." The word used in the law is "officers," and the
extent of their duties as set forth therein appears to be confined to the mechanical
operation of opening the ballots and tabulating the count under the direct supervision of
the court. In other words, their duties are merely clerical. If it be urged that an
examination and recount of the ballots in the presence of the court would unduly
prolong and hearing, especially in a contest over a provincial office where a large
number of votes must be counted, we answer that is an argument to be addressed to the
Legislature and not to the courts. It would seem, however, that this objection might
easily be overcome by an agreement between the parties to dispense with the
attendance of the presiding judge at the actual counting of the ballots. The count could
then proceed before the officers appointed by the court and all ballots the validity of
which was not disputed by either party could be properly tabulated and disposed of by
the officers of the court without the intervention of the court. This would reduce the
actual labor of the court to an examination of the relatively small number of the ballots
which were objected to by the parties.

The ruling made by the court denying the parties the right to witness the examination
and recount of the ballots and to present evidence with reference to the legality of the
questioned ballots continues reversible error. The record will therefore be returned for a
reexamination and recount of the ballots by the court in the presence of the interested
parties, or by an officer or officers appointed by the court, also in the presence of the
interested parties. If this latter method is pursued, all ballots questioned by either party
must be submitted to the court, who will determine the validity of such ballots after the
evidence has all been presented. In any case the questioned ballots should be segregated
from the valid ballots by precincts and marked exhibits of the respective parties
objecting thereto. The evidence presented on the rehearing will be strictly confined to
the subject of the legality or validity of the questioned ballots. On the termination of the
recount and the presentation of such evidence and the arguments of counsel, the court
will, after an examination of the whole record — the old as well as the new testimony —
render such judgment as in its opinion the law and the merits of the case warrant. Upon
this new hearing, however, the court will not take into consideration the election held in
the first precinct of the town of Libacao for the reason that part of the judgment appealed
from rejecting or annulling the election in this precinct is hereby affirmed upon the
reasons stated in said judgment.

Judgment will be entered forthwith and the record returned to the court below for the
purposes set forth in this decision. No costs will be allowed in this instance. So ordered.

61

G.R. No. L-46863 November 18, 1939 bearing the same number corresponding to precinct No. 1, and this latter ballot clearly
appears admissible for the respondent because the name written on the space for mayor
IRINEO MOYA, petitioner, is "Primo del Fierro" or "Pimo de Fierro", the error is technical and deserves but scanty
vs. consideration. (2) Ballot Exhibit F-26 in precinct No. 3 was erroneously admitted for the
AGRIPINO GA. DEL FIERO, respondent. respondent by the Court of Appeals, the name written on the space for mayor being "G.T.
Krandes." It is true that on the fourth line for the councilor "Alcalde Pinong del Fierro":
appears; but the intention of the elector is rendered vague and incapable of ascertaining
Elpidio Quirino for petitioner. and the ballot was improperly counted for the respondent. As to this ballot, the
Claro M. Recto for respondent. contention of the petitioner is sustained (3) Ballot Exhibit F-77 in precinct No. 2 should
also have been rejected by the Court of Appeals. The ballot bears the distinguishing mark
"O. K." placed after the name "M. Lopis" written on space for vice-mayor. The contention
of the petitioner in this respect is likewise sustained. (4) Ballot Exhibit F-9 in precinct No.
2 was properly admitted for respondent. On this ballot the elector wrote within the
LAUREL, J.: space for mayor the name of Regino Guinto, a candidate for the provincial board and
wrote the respondent's name immediately below the line for mayor but immediately
above the name "M. Lopez" voted by him for vice-mayor. The intention of the elector to
This is a petition for review by certiorari of the judgment of the Court of Appeals in the vote for the respondent for the office of the mayor is clear under the circumstances. (5)
above entitled case declaring the respondent, Agripino Ga. del Fierro, the candidate-elect Ballot F-131 in precinct No. 1 was also properly counted for the respondent. On this
for the office of mayor of the municipality of Paracale, Province of Camarines Norte, with ballot the elector wrote the respondent's name on the space for vice-mayor, but,
a majority of three votes over his rival, Irineo Moya. In the general elections held on apparently realizing his mistake, he placed an arrow connecting the name of the
December 14, 1937, the parties herein were contending candidates for the aforesaid respondent to the word "Mayor" (Alcalde) printed on the left side of the ballot. The
office. After canvass of the returns the municipal council of Paracale, acting as board of intention of the elector to vote for the respondent for the office of mayor is thus evident,
canvassers, proclaimed the petitioner as the elected mayor of said municipality with a in the absence of proof showing that the ballot had been tampered with. (6) Ballot F-7 in
majority of 102 votes. On December 27, 1937, the respondent field a motion of protest in precinct No. 5 is admissible for the respondent and the Court of Appeals committed no
the Court of First Instance of Camarines Norte, the Court of Appeals, on July 13, 1939 error in so adjudicating. Although the name of the respondent is written on the first
rendered the judgment hereinbefore mentioned which is sought by the petitioner to be space for member of the provincial board, said name is followed in the next line by "Bice"
reviewed and reversed upon the errors alleged to have been committed by the Court of Culastico Palma, which latter name is followed in the next line by word "consehal" and
Appeals: the name of a candidate for this position. The intention of the elector to vote for the
respondent for the office of mayor being manifest, the objection of the petitioner to the
1. In admitting and counting in favor of the respondent, 8 ballots either admission of this ballot is overruled. (7) Ballot F-1 in precinct No. 2 is valid for the
inadvertently or contrary to the controlling decisions of this Honorable Court. respondent. On this ballot the Christian name of the respondent was written on the
second space for member of the provincial board, but his surname was written on the
2. In admitting and counting in favor of the respondent, 3 ballots marked "R. del proper space for mayor with no other accompanying name or names. The intention of
Fierro." the elector being manifest, the same should be given effect in favor of the respondent. (8)
Ballot F-44 in precinct No. 2 wherein "Agripino F. Garcia" appears written on the proper
space, is valid for the respondent. In his certificate of candidacy the respondent gave his
3. In admitting and counting in favor of the respondent, 7 ballots marked name as "Agripino Ga. del Fierro." The conclusion of the trial court, upheld by the Court
"Rufino del Firro." of Appeals, that the letter "F" stands for "Fierro" and "Garcia" for the contraction "Ga." is
not without justification and, by liberal construction, the ballot in question was properly
4. In admitting and counting in favor of the respondent, 72 ballots marked "P. admitted for the respondent.
del Fierro."
The second error assigned by the petitioner refers to three ballots, namely, Exhibit F-119
Taking up seriatim the alleged errors, we come to the first assignment involving the eight in precinct No. 1 Exhibit F-24 in precinct No. 2, and Exhibit F-6 in precinct No. 4. These
(8) ballots now to be mentioned. (1) With reference to ballot Exhibit F-175 in precinct three ballots appear to be among the 75 ballots found by the Court of Appeals as
No. 2, alleged to have been inadvertently admitted in favor of the respondent, such acceptable for the respondent on the ground that the initial letter "P" stands for "Pino" in
inadvertence raises a question of fact which could have been corrected by the Court of "Pino del Fierro" which is a name mentioned in the certificate of candidacy of the
Appeals and which could we are not in a position to determine in this proceeding for respondent. The petitioner contends that the initial "R" and not "P". Even if we could
review by certiorari. Upon the other hand, if the error attributed to the Court of Appeals reverse this finding, we do not feel justified in doing so after examining the photostatic
consisted in having admitted ballot Exhibit F-175 in precinct No. 2 instead of the ballot

62

copies of these ballots attached to the herein petition for certiorari. The second one vote. In view whereof it becomes unnecessary to consider the counter-assignment of
assignment of error is accordingly overruled. errors of the respondent.

Upon the third assignment of error, the petitioner questions the correctness of the With the modification of the decision of the Court of Appeals, the petition for the writ
judgment of the Court of Appeals in adjudicating to the respondent the seven ballots of certiorari is hereby dismissed, without pronouncement regarding costs.
wherein "Rufino del Fierro" was voted for the office of mayor. We are of the opinion that
the position taken by the Court of Appeals is correct. There was no other candidate for Avanceña, C.J., Villa-Real, Imperial, Diaz, Concepcion and Moran, JJ., concur.
the office of mayor with the name of "Rufino" or similar name and, as the respondent
was districtly identified by his surname on these ballots, the intention of the voters in
preparing the same was undoubtedly to vote for the respondent of the office for which
he was a candidate.lawphi1.net

The fourth assignment of error deals with the 72 ballots wherein "P. del Fierro" was
voted for the office of mayor, and it is the contention of the petitioner that said ballots
should not have been counted by the Court of Appeals in favor of the respondent. For the
identical reason indicated under the discussion of petitioner's second assignment of
error, namely, that "P" stands for "Pino" in "Pino del Fierro" which is a name mentioned
in the certificate of candidacy of the respondent, we hold that there was no error in the
action of the Court of Appeals in awarding the said ballots to the respondent.

With the exception of ballot marked as Exhibit F-26 in precinct No. 3 and ballot marked
as Exhibit F-77 in precinct No. 2, we are inclined to accept the rest of the disputed ballots
for the respondent not only for the specific reasons already given but also and principally
for the more fundamental reason now to be stated. As long as popular government is an
end to be achieved and safeguarded, suffrage, whatever may be the modality and form
devised, must continue to be the manes by which the great reservoir of power must be
emptied into the receptacular agencies wrought by the people through their Constitution
in the interest of good government and the common weal. Republicanism, in so far as it
implies the adoption of a representative type of government, necessarily points to the
enfranchised citizen as a particle of popular sovereignty and as the ultimate source of the
established authority. He has a voice in his Government and whenever called upon to act
in justifiable cases, to give it efficacy and not to stifle it. This, fundamentally, is the reason
for the rule that ballots should be read and appreciated, if not with utmost, with
reasonable, liberality. Counsel for both parties have called our attention to the different
and divergent rules laid down by this Court on the appreciation of ballots. It will serve no
good and useful purpose for us to engage in the task of reconciliation or harmonization
of these rules, although this may perhaps be undertaken, as no two cases will be found to
be exactly the same in factual or legal environment. It is sufficient to observe, however, in
this connection that whatever might have been said in cases heretofore decided, no
technical rule or rules should be permitted to defeat the intention of the voter, if that
intention is discoverable from the ballot itself, not from evidence aliunde. This rule of
interpretation goes to the very root of the system. Rationally, also, this must be the
justification for the suggested liberalization of the rules on appreciation of ballots which
are now incorporated in section 144 of the Election Code (Commonwealth Act No. 357).

It results that, crediting the petitioner with the two ballots herein held to have been
erroneously admitted by the Court of Appeals for the respondent, the latter still wins by

63

Article 5 of the Constitution. their campaign for voters registration. petitioners..A.... CORONA. same letter.. GARCIA. CRUZ...... they have yet no right to vote in such elections owing to ... and contextually affect merely certain individuals who would likely be eligible to vote in Respondent. in the United States that... however. referring to themselves 2003 at the earliest. CHICO-NAZARIO. PUNO. per a COMELEC letter to the Department of Foreign Affairs CARPIO. NATIVIDAD.. COMELEC [3] on the residency requirement. 2004 this petition for certiorari and absentee voters under the aegis of R. ERIC LACHICA FURBEYRE... ESCLAMADO. the Citizenship Retention and Re-Acquisition Act of 2003.. MERCEDES V. ARMANDO B. the May 2004 national and local elections.. petitioners sought registration and Petitioners.A.. among others under Section 1..J.R. C. OPENA... QUISUMBING. it is GARCIA. Hence. PANGANIBAN. as the residence restriction adverted to would COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS. J.. among others. AUSTRIA-MARTINEZ.. HEREDIA. future elections.. urged the different Philippine posts abroad not to discontinue TINGA.) No.. JR.. The CALLEJO. MACABENTA.. 9225 which accords to such applicants the right of suffrage... certification as "overseas absentee voter" only to be advised by the Philippine Embassy YNARES-SANTIAGO. AZCUNA. on Elections (COMELEC) accordingly be ordered to allow them to vote and register as petitioner Nicolas-Lewis et al. 9189.. 9225.. mandamus.. VELASCO. [4] Philippine citizenship under Republic Act (R. CARPIO-MORALES. dated September 23. CORNELIO R. Promulgated: Prodded for clarification by petitioner Loida Nicolas-Lewis in the light of the ruling August 4.. 2006 x. they are considered regular voters who have to meet the requirements of as "duals" or dual citizens.versus . as Filipinos who have merely re-acquired their citizenship on 18 September In this petition for certiorari and mandamus. ALEJANDRO G.LOIDA NICOLAS-LEWIS. 9189) and that the Commission the COMELEC's refusal to include them in the National Registry of Absentee Voters.... TERESITA A. JOSEFINA OPENA Present: DISTERHOFT.. their lack of the one-year residence requirement prescribed by the Constitution.. REUBEN S. Long before EVELYN D. SANDOVAL-GUTIERREZ... be allowed to avail themselves of the mechanism provided Faced with the prospect of not being able to vote in the May 2004 elections owing to under the Overseas Absentee Voting Act of 2003[1] (R. GREGORIO B. NATIVIDAD.-x in Macalintal vs.. No.. JJ..A..A.. the COMELEC wrote in DECISION response: Although R. 2003[2]... pray that they and others who retained or reacquired residency. 9225 enjoys the presumption of constitutionality . 162759 A. and as law and jurisprudence now stand. The facts: 64 . Petitioners are successful applicants for recognition of Philippine citizenship under R. SR.: the Commission's position that those who have availed of the law cannot exercise the right of suffrage given under the OAVL for the reason that the OAVL was not enacted for them....A.. [5] filed on April 1. SEGURITAN.

9189. COMELEC filed a Comment. or on April 30. therefore. including dual citizens who care to exercise the right of suffrage. (b) Those who have expressly renounced their Philippine citizenship and who have pledged allegiance to a foreign country. who are not otherwise disqualified by law. As may be expected. vice-president. On the other hand. and who shall have resided in the Philippinesfor bracket added. the (c) Those who have [been] convicted in a final judgment by a court or same may be reduced into the question of whether or not petitioners and others who tribunal of an offense punishable by imprisonment of not less than might have meanwhile retained and/or reacquired Philippine citizenship pursuant to one (1) year. A quick look at the governing provisions on the he/she shall resume actual physical permanent residence in the Philippines not later than three (3) years from approval of his/her right of suffrage is. The Congress shall provide a system for absentee voting by A little over a week before the May 10. at least eighteen (18) years of age on The holding of the 2004 elections had. In a nutshell.) at least one year and in the place wherein they propose to vote for at least six months immediately preceding the election. The following shall be disqualified from exercise is concerned. 9189 . indicated. however. R. Comment). the propriety of allowing duals to participate and vote as absentee voter (a) Those who have lost their Filipino citizenship in accordance with Philippine laws. may vote for president. Such affidavit shall also state that he/she has not applied for citizenship in another country. as follows: Section 4. unless he/she executes. 2004. 9225 may vote as absentee voter under R. 65 . petition moot and academic. SEC 2. therein stating that all qualified overseas Filipinos. the aforequoted Section 1 prescribes residency requirement as a general eligibility factor for the right to vote. in future elections. SECTION 1. petitioners were not able to register let alone vote in said elections. as the OSG pointed out. registration under this Act.identifying conclusion of the 2004 elections had rendered the petition moot and academic.. . upon registration.[6] therein praying for the denial of the petition. be allowed to vote. this case is all about suffrage. [7] in its Section 4 who can vote under it and in the following section who cannot. remains unresolved. Congress enacted R. xxx. an affidavit prepared for the purpose by the Commission declaring that In esse. however. The broader and transcendental issue tendered or subsumed in voting under this Act: the petition. including those who have been found guilty of Disloyalty as defined under Article 137 of the Revised Penal Code. that the In response to its above mandate. i. indeed rendered the the day of elections. Coverage. (d) An immigrant or a permanent resident who is recognized as such The Court resolves the poser in the affirmative. the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) filed a Manifestation (in Lieu of devise a system wherein an absentee may vote. 2004 elections.e. Disqualifications.A.A. senators and party-list representatives.the OAVL[8] .. Section 2 authorizes Congress to On May 20. who are at least declared insane or incompetent by competent authority . 2004. implying that a non-resident may. in the host country.A. and thereby accords merit to the petition. Suffrage may be exercised by all citizens of (e) Any citizen of the Philippines abroad previously the Philippines not otherwise disqualified by law. respectively reading as shall be the cause for the removal of the name of the immigrant or permanent resident from the National Registry of Absentee Voters follows: and his/her permanent disqualification to vote in absentia. Observing the petitioners and the COMELECs respective formulations of the issues. may do so . the qualified Filipinos abroad. All citizens of the Philippines abroad. observing. (Words in eighteen years of age. as an exception to the residency prescription in the preceding section. but insofar only as petitioners participation in such political Section 5. Failure to return We start off with Sections 1 and 2 of Article V of the Constitution.

A. Section 5(d) of R. on the contrary notwithstanding. face a constitutional challenge on the permanent resident to go back and resume residency in the Philippines. for otherwise. Any provision of law to the that the right of suffrage should not be granted to anyone who. Article V of the Constitution does not allow provisional registration or a promise by a SEC. Section 5(d) of the enumeration respecting Filipino immigrants Contrary to the claim of [the challenger]. after the effectivity of this Act. physical residence in the Philippines is following conditions: 66 . Thus. as narrated in Macalintal.A. 9225 the relevant portion of which reads: [The challenger] further argues that Section 1.[10] (Words in bracket naturalization as citizens of a foreign country are hereby deemed to added. 9189 specifically Philippine citizenship upon taking the aforesaid oath. condition thereon which in effect amends or alters the aforesaid residence requirement to qualify a Filipino abroad to vote. there is no sense for the framers of the Constitution to Notably. Section 5(d) would. [The challenger] cites Caasi vs. It is hereby declared the policy of the voter to perform a condition to be qualified to vote in a political State that all Philippine citizens who become citizens of another exercise. 2. 9189 xxx xxx xxx mainly on the strength of the following premises: Natural-born citizens of the Philippines who. 3. Derivative Citizenship. that Congress must establish a system for absentee responsibilities under existing laws of the Philippines and the voting. However. disqualifies an immigrant or permanent resident who is recognized as such in the host country because immigration or permanent residence SEC. required. but more significantly.) have re-acquired Philippine citizenship upon taking the following oath of allegiance to the Republic: As may be recalled. if actual. whether in another country implies renunciation of one's residence in his legitimate. 5.A. however. natural-born citizens of the Philippines date of the election. illegitimate or adopted. the Court upheld the constitutionality of Section 5(d) of R.A. Civil and Political Rights and Liabilities. the execution of the affidavit itself is not the enabling or enfranchising act. The affidavit required in and permanent residents in another country opens an exception and qualifies the Section 5(d) is not only proof of the intention of the immigrant or disqualification rule. No. Court of Appeals [9] to support his claim [where] the Court held that a green card holder immigrant to the [US] is deemed to have abandoned his domicile and residence in the Philippines. Soon after Section 5(d) of R. He claims SEC. [11] immediately preceding an election. become citizens of a foreign country shall retain their As finally approved into law. 9189 passed the test of constitutionality. 4. The unmarried child. that the legislature should not be allowed to circumvent the country shall be deemed not to have lost their Philippine citizenship requirement of the Constitution on the right of suffrage by providing a under the conditions of this Act. Retention of Philippine Citizenship. it is not correct to say that the execution of the affidavit under Section 5(d) violates Section 1. Section 5 lists those who cannot avail themselves of the absentee voting mandate Congress to establish a system for absentee voting. Article V of the Constitution. Article V of the 1987 Constitution which requires violates the Constitution that proscribes provisional registration or a that the voter must be a resident in the Philippines for at least one promise by a voter to perform a condition to be qualified to vote in a year and in the place where he proposes to vote for at least six months political exercise. below eighteen (18) years of age. Those who retain or re- Sections 1 and 2 of Article V that allcitizens of the Philippines not acquire Philippine citizenship under this Act shall enjoy full civil and otherwise disqualified by law must be entitled to exercise the right of political rights and be subject to all attendant liabilities and suffrage and. it . executes an affidavit to show that he/she has not abandoned his domicile in pursuance of the constitutional intent expressed in SEC. Congress enacted R. that he had not in fact abandoned his domicile of origin. mechanism. However. Declaration of Policy. it serves as an explicit expression ground that. same Section allows an immigrant and of those who re-acquire Philippine citizenship upon effectivity of this permanent resident abroad to register as voter for as long as he/she Act shall be deemed citizens of the Philippines. country of origin. does not possess the qualifications provided for who have lost their Philippine citizenship by reason of their by Section 1.

extended to. petitioners now invoke their right to enjoy political rights. Article V of the 4. Having subsequently acquired a citizenship . The duals. . upon (2) Those seeking elective public office in the Philippines renouncement of their Filipino citizenship and shall meet the qualifications for holding such public office as acquisition of foreign citizenship. second citizenship (i. save for the residency requirements exacted under R. pursuant to Section 5 thereof. (1) Those intending to exercise their right of suffrage must meet the requirements under Section 1. specifically of an ordinary voter under ordinary conditions. decisively and 3) xxx xxx xxx. 4. It cannot be overemphasized that R. 9189. Article V of the voting age abroad whose parents domicile of origin is in the Philippines. are qualified to vote. R. (b) are in active service as commissioned or non- commissioned officers in the armed forces of the 9225. The inclusion of such additional and specific requirements in RA 9225 is logical. (5) That right to vote or be elected or appointed to any public office in the Philippines cannot be exercised by.A. 9189 aims.A.A.. first of all. Capitalizing on what at first blush is the time. wrote the the right of suffrage. the strategic location of Section 2 indicates that the 67 .e. for purposes of voting. clashing provisions of the aforecited provision of the Constitution. those who: (a) are candidates for or are occupying any public As may be noted. in essence. its Section 5(1) the same right of suffrage as that granted an absentee voter under R. 9189. as an adjunct to citizens abroad who have not abandoned their domicile of origin. and R.A. definitely establish their domicile through positive acts. The Commission even intended to extend to young Filipinos who reach political rights. which. Thus. have practically required by the Constitution and existing laws and. and consider them qualified as voters for the first Constitution. Court in Macalintal: Opposing the petitioners bid. or The Court disagrees. to repeat. duals must. DUALS MUST FIRST ESTABLISH THEIR DOMICILE/ RESIDENCE IN Constitution. 9189. respondent COMELEC invites attention to the It is clear from these discussions of the Constitutional Commission that [it] intended to enfranchise as much as possible all Filipino same Section 5 (1) providing that duals can enjoy their right to vote. 9225 - office in the country of which they are naturalized requiring "duals" to actually establish residence and physically stay in citizens. [13] (4) xxx xxx xxx.01.A.[12] COMELEC argues: construction. It is in pursuance of that intention that the Commission provided for requires residency in the Philippines for a certain period. in implicit acknowledgment that duals are most likely non-residents. On the contrary. only if they meet the requirements of Section 1. to enfranchise as After what appears to be a successful application for recognition of Philippine citizenship much as possible all overseas Filipinos who.A. make a their legal ties to the homeland as a personal and sworn renunciation of any and all foreign consequence. 9189 which grants a Section 2 [Article V] immediately after the residency requirement of Section 1. 9189 and other existing laws. By the doctrine of necessary implication in statutory Filipino non-resident absentee voting rights.A.R. there is no provision in the dual citizenship law . at the and legally abandoned their domicile and severed time of the filing of the certificate of candidacy. grants under country which they are naturalized citizens. otherwise known as THE PHILIPPINES The Overseas Absentee Voting Act of 2003 and other existing laws. however. Republic Act No. and/or the Philippines first before they can exercise their right to vote. R. Filipino) then.

They have changed residence so they are barred under the Look at what the Constitution says In the place Constitution. 9189. anything that we may . President. Mr. thus: Senator Arroyo. I think the sponsor and I would agree well as a system for absentee voting by qualified that the Constitution is supreme in any statute that Filipinos abroad. for election. My neighbor is Pateros . Mr. Mr.A. This is in I live in Makati. And this has been asked in various fora. but has a clear intent to return to the Philippines. which became R. This is why I asked whether this wherein they propose to vote for at least six committee amendment which in fact does not alter months immediately preceding the election. residency requirement found in Section 1 of the same Article was in President. in Pateros for six months. fact the subject of debate when Senate Bill No. The key to this whole exercise. example. President. principle literally as demanding physical presence. But one who votes interpretation here of residence is synonymous in Makati cannot vote in Pateros unless he resides with domicile. Mr. domicile is the intent to return to one's home. And As I have said. yes. of the Constitution qualified. 2104. it Senator Arroyo. No. he may do so. That is how restrictive our Constitution is. But he must do absent from the Philippines and may be so. he is not qualified to vote. If we read the Constitution and the suffrage Article V of the Constitution. And residents (sic) is a qualification. when the Constitution says. with the residency requirement of Section 1 with respect to qualified Filipinos constitutional mandate that we that Congress must abroad. Absent the qualification.Constitutional Commission provided for an exception to the actual This is consistent. Article V. Filipinos who are not in the Philippines may be allowed to vote even though they do not satisfy the residency requirement in Section 1. One. was deliberated upon on the Senate floor. all of us here have run (sic) for office. Senator Angara. And 68 . The same Commission has in effect declared that qualified provide a franchise to overseas Filipinos. They are xxx xxx xxx permanent immigrants. President. Senator Angara. It is a good point to raise. if a voter in Makati would want to the fact that a Filipino may have been physically vote in Pateros. the Constitution says. the separated only by a creek. President. We are compliance with the Constitution. the original text of the bill will have any effect on this? Mr. President. President. Now. But it is a point already well-debated even in the constitutional commission of 1986. they cannot vote. in Section 2 of Article V. Mr. otherwise. President. will make him qualified as a xxx xxx xxx resident of the Philippines under this law. Mr. make the transfer six months before the physically a resident of the United States. President. Mr. Mr. . As the gentleman and I know. we may enact. is Let me read Section 1. Good question. who shall have resided in the Philippines. President. do or say in granting our compatriots abroad must be anchored on the proposition that they xxx xxx xxx are qualified. In other words. then there is no way we can provide for That Section 2 of Article V of the Constitution is an exception to the offshore voting to our offshore kababayan. this bill should be reads: The Congress shall provide a system for looked into in relation to the constitutional securing the secrecy and sanctity of the ballot as provisions. Mr.

Now then. 9225 which reads: But the third more practical reason. which is quite ridiculous because that is exactly the whole point of this exercise to enfranchise them and empower It is very likely that a considerable number of those unmarried children below eighteen (1 them to vote.05 With the passage of RA 9225 the scope of overseas absentee suffrage as an overseas absentee voter. hen it is legally and constitutionally impossible of those who re-acquire Philippine citizenship upon effectivity of this to give a franchise to vote to overseas Filipinos Act shall be deemed citizens of the Philippines. This may be deduced from the inclusion of the provision on derivative jurisprudence residency has been interpreted as synonymous with domicile. the Court rules and so holds that those who retain or re-acquire Philippine citizenship under Republic Act No. then there is neither no rhyme nor reason why the Retention and Re-Acquisition Act expanded the coverage of overseas absentee petitioners and other present day "duals. 9189. citations omitted) 8) years of age had never set foot in the Philippines.A.A. the instant petition is GRANTED. 69 . Considering the unison intent of the Constitution and R. 4.A. who is abroad on the day of elections. [15] WHEREFORE. citizenship in R. Mr. 9225. that one must While perhaps not determinative of the issue tendered herein. if SEC. t legitimate.A. be denied the right of 1. The unmarried child. if the next generation of "duals" may nonetheless avail themselves the right to enjoy full civil and political Lest it be overlooked.A. R. we note that the remember. 9189 defines the terms adverted to in the following wise: Absentee Voting refers to the process by which qualified citizens of the Philippines abroad exercise their right to vote. Congress could not have plausibly intended such voting has been consequently expanded so as to include Filipinos who are also citizens of other countries. the reason Section 2 of Article V was placed Overseas Absentee Voter refers to a citizen of the Philippines who is immediately after the six-month/one-year qualified to register and vote under this Act. Article V of the Constitution in relation to R. 9189 and the expansion of the 9225. is. Derivative Citizenship. may exercise the right to scope of that law with the passage of R. President. 9189 extends also to what might be tag as the next generation of The second reason. That is the first principle. unmistakably that Section 2 which authorizes absentee voting is an exception to the six- month/one-year residency requirement. not otherwise residency requirement is to demonstrate disqualified by law. subject. 9189. Mr. whether we follow the interpretation of the gentleman. the Citizenship Retention and Re-Acquisition Act of 2003. who do not physically live in the country. President. SO ORDERED. [14] (Emphasis and words in bracket added. Accordingly." provided they meet the requirements under voting.According to the poll body: Section 1. the Overseas may now exercise the right of suffrage thru the absentee voting scheme and as overseas Absentee Voting Act of 2003. prerequisites indicated in the pertinent provisions of RA 9225. however.A. below eighteen (18) years of age. expanded thrust of R. no less than the COMELEC itself admits that the Citizenship rights under Section 5 of the Act. to the strict absurd situation. illegitimate or adopted. is that under our "duals". absentee voters. the irresistible conclusion is that "duals" vote under the system of absentee voting in Republic Act No.

(5 Am. or appears in a legal issues are involved. Article IX-C: obtaining or defending the rights of their clients under the law. (State ex. the preparation of legal and HON. 852) immediately preceding -elections. the management of such actions and proceedings on behalf There shall be an independent Commission on Elections composed of a Chairman and of clients before judges and courts. at the all advice to clients.S.W. counseling clients in legal matters. his associate. (Emphasis supplied) stated: The aforequoted provision is patterned after Section l(l). before any court. No.176-177) the practice of law for at least ten years. for valuable consideration engages in the business of advising person. or while so engaged performs Commissioners who shall be natural-born citizens of the Philippines and. 3rd ed. to actions and special proceedings.. a majority thereof. profound effect on the political aspect of our national existence. Acut. assessment and condemnation services However. attorney.: . GUILLERMO CARAGUE. not limited to appearing in court. in his capacity as Secretary of Budget and instruments of all kinds. body. COMMISSION ON APPOINTMENT. 2d degree.' (Emphasis mortgage. enforcement of a creditor's claim in bankruptcy and insolvency supplied) proceedings. 23. it Constitution which similarly provides: embraces the preparation of pleadings and other papers incident to actions and special proceedings. p... Dudley and Co. respondents. rel. SALONGA. 262. determination by the trained legal mind of the legal effect of facts and conditions.) The practice of law is not limited to the conduct of cases in court. board. is engaged in time of their appointment. (Land Title Abstract and Trust Co. Cayetano for and in his own behalf. litigation.C. Jr. An attorney engages in the practice of law by maintaining an office where he is held out to be-an attorney. (Emphasis supplied) Black defines "practice of law" as: 70 .. In general. commissioner. It is RENATO CAYETANO. 193 N. and must not have been candidates for any elective position in the 895. 173. shall be members of the Philippine Bar who have been engaged in This Court in the case of Philippine Lawyers Association v. the Court's decision in this case would indubitably have a representative capacity as an advocate in proceedings pending or prospective. and fixing and collecting fees for services rendered by Sabina E. committee. 100113 September 3. and other papers incident CHRISTIAN MONSOD. 650) A person is also considered to be in the practice of law when he: PARAS. and conducting proceedings in attachment. as do the Regrettably. or commission constituted by law or authorized to settle controversies and there. and in addition. in a representative capacity. however. at least thirty-five years of age. eight Commissioners who shall be natural-born citizens of the Philippines and. Mckittrick v. a majority thereof. 129 Ohio St.R. the foreclosure of a Bar who have been engaged in the practice of law for at least ten years. Otherwise stated.E. where the work done involves the of law as a legal qualification to an appointive office. 102 S. HON. conveying. conveyancing. Article XII-C of the 1973 The practice of law is not limited to the conduct of cases or litigation in court. shall be members of the Philippine contemplating an appearance before a judicial body. (Black's Law Dictionary. J. v. 263). holders of a college the practice of law. and the giving of all legal advice to clients. While ostensibly only associations or corporations as to their rights under the law. and in matters of estate and guardianship have been held to constitute law practice. and Mylene Garcia-Albano co-counsel for petitioner. using a letterhead describing himself as an Renato L. firms. at least thirty-five years of age and holders of a college degree. all advice to clients and all actions taken for them in matters connected with the law. but embraces the preparation of pleadings. 1991 The rendition of services requiring the knowledge and the application of legal principles and technique to serve the interest of another with his consent. including the Chairman. law incorporation services. (105 Phil. However. including the Chairman. JOVITO R. It embraces Management. there seems to be no jurisprudence as to what constitutes practice preparation and drafting of legal instruments. in such representative capacity performs any act or acts for the purpose of The 1987 Constitution provides in Section 1 (1). 340 Mo. one who. Jr. or advising and assisting in the conduct of vs. and all action taken for them in matters connected with the time of their appointment. at the any act or acts either in court or outside of court for that purpose.G. We are faced here with a controversy of far-reaching proportions. petitioner.Agrava. engages in the business of There shall be a Commission on Elections composed of a Chairman and six advising clients as to their rights under the law. negotiating with opposing counsel about pending litigation. referee. Dworken.

which requires the application of lawyers who are employed in COA now would have the necessary qualifications in law. and the preparation and execution of legal on Audit. Mr. we would like to make the relation to the administration of justice by the courts. although it is auditing. the giving of legal advice on a MR. "To engage in the practice of accordance with the Provision on qualifications under our provisions on the law is to perform those acts which are characteristics of the profession. 139. 71 . performed outside of any court and having no immediate relation to proceedings in court. FOZ. It embraces conveyancing. 665-666. which device or service requires the use in any degree of legal knowledge or skill. quoted in Rhode Is. Jamir). OPLE. in effect. MR. Yes. Bar Assoc. a wide experience with men and affairs. 3 [1953 ed." (111 ALR 23) MR. OPLE. FOZ. One may be a practicing attorney in following any line of employment in the MR. Mr. It is of knowledge or legal talent in their respective work within COA. (Moran. Generally. Cardell.E. (Barr v. legal procedure. Practice of law means any activity. OPLE. even chairman. the qualifications provided for by Section I is that "They instruments covering an extensive field of business and trust relations and must be Members of the Philippine Bar" — I am quoting from the provision — other affairs. Yes.. it will involve legal work. The following records of the 1986 Constitutional Commission show that it has adopted a liberal interpretation of the term "practice of law. therefore. and we deem it important to take it up on the floor so that this interpretation may be 194 N. We must consider the fact that the work of COA. And. So that the construction given to this is that this is equivalent to the practice of law. Is he. May I be allowed to make a very brief statement? . lawyers (1974-1975) listed the dimensions of the practice of law in even broader terms as advocacy. This has to do with the qualifications of the members of the Commission large variety of subjects. The University of the Philippines Law Center in conducting orientation briefing for new MR. may I make a manifestation which I forgot to do during our review of the provisions on the Commission on Audit. Automobile Service Assoc." MR.I. they are always subject to become involved in litigation. will necessarily involve legal work. to Commission on Audit. Comments on the Rules of This has been discussed by the Committee on Constitutional Commissions and Agencies Court.] . court proceedings. (Emphasis ours) Philippine Bar engaging in the practice of law for at least ten years is taken up. can be drawn between that necessarily refer or involve actual practice of law outside the COA We have to interpret this part of the work of the lawyer which involves appearance in court and that part to mean that as long as the lawyers who are employed in the COA are using their legal which involves advice and drafting of instruments in his office. of Commission on Audit. And. Yes. FOZ. Presiding Officer. training and experience. No valid distinction. Thank you. of the functions be performed by persons possessed of adequate learning and skill.]. MR. FOZ. ( Emphasis supplied) THE PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. and he follows Commission on Audit? some one or more lines of employment such as this he is a practicing attorney at law within the meaning of the statute. [R. then they are qualified to be importance to the welfare of the public that these manifold customary considered for appointment as members or commissioners. OPLE. in or out of court. sound moral character. p. To avoid any misunderstanding which would result in excluding members of the Bar These customary functions of an attorney or counselor at law bear an intimate who are now employed in the COA or Commission on Audit.] made available whenever this provision on the qualifications as regards members of the 179 A. practice law is to give notice or render any kind of service. FOZ. MR. therefore. 155 NW 312) MR. knowledge. Before we suspend the session. Will Commissioner Foz yield to just one question. and acting at all times under the heavy trust obligations to clients which rests upon all attorneys. so clarification that this provision on qualifications regarding members of the Bar does not far as concerns the question set forth in the order. saying that service in the COA by a lawyer is equivalent profession. Among others. They require in many aspects a high degree of legal skill.144). the answer is yes. Presiding Officer. 313. Although these transactions may have no direct connection with "who have been engaged in the practice of law for at least ten years". v. citing In re Opinion of the Justices [Mass. Practice of law under modem conditions consists in no small part of work The Commissioner will please proceed. If what he does exacts knowledge of the law and is of a kind usual to the requirement of a law practice that is set forth in the Article on the for attorneys engaging in the active practice of their profession. and great capacity for adaptation to difficult and complex situations.. Vol. counselling and public service.

" The firm is usually a partnership and members of traditional lawyer skills of client counselling. as in medicine. Opportunities in Law Careers [VGM Career Horizons: Illinois]. 72 . not accurate understanding of the nature and implications of the corporate law reality." principally tries cases before the courts. 870 [1958] [quoting Grievance Comm. although many lawyers do not engage in in specialized practice wig usually perform at least some legal services outside their private practice. (Ibid. there are younger or more inexperienced salaried attorneyscalled "associates. 222. substantially more legal work is transacted in law offices than in the courtrooms.). legal processes. supra. research function accompanied by an accelerating rate of information once articulated on the importance of a lawyer as a business counselor in this wise: accumulation. unless the lawyer is one of the understood. Even the increasing numbers of lawyers synonymous with the word "lawyer.2d 863. Payne. the members of the firm are the mediation are both effective for many clients and a source of employment. And increasingly lawyers find that the new skills of evaluation and the members called shareholders. many lawyers do continue decisional contexts. as commonly By no means will most of this work involve litigation. the dominance of litigation in the public mind reflects history. 140 A.). The most common of these roles are those of corporate practice and commonly understood to be the practice of law. there are still uninformed laymen whose concept of an attorney is one who policy formulation. (State Bar Ass'n v. in or out of court. p. means "an individual or organization engaged in the business of delivering relatively rare types — a litigator who specializes in this work to the exclusion of much legal services.(Wolfram. 1989. the surgeon. Most lawyers will engage in non-litigation legal work or in litigation work that is constrained in very important ways. Some firms may be organized as professional corporations and negotiation. surgery should be avoided where internal medicine certified public accountants with not less than ten years of auditing practice. the appraisal of major trends." else.).. Most transformation in corporate law practice. provides. The recognition of the need for such improved corporate legal "Even today. . is that of prosecutor. advice-giving. "Corporate Finance Law. so as to remove from it some The test that defines law practice by looking to traditional areas of law practice is of the salient features of adversarial litigation. a corporate lawyer. Of these special roles. 4). such a definition would trends in corporate law practice. 626 [1941]). Trust Co. legal skills.: Minnesota. know that in most developed societies today. . unhelpful defining the practice of law as that which lawyers do. herein below quoted are emerging function known in the commercial and governmental realm. a departure from the traditional concept of practice of obviously be too global to be workable. 128 Conn. cit. In either case. and the firm are the partners. (Wolfram.). In most firms. self perception of the legal profession. a lawyer will shift (Gary Munneke. Article IX-D of the 1987 Constitution. p. experienced attorneys.. v. of the Philippine Bar who have been engaged in the practice of law for at least ten years. Why is this so? Recall that the late Alexander SyCip. (Ibid. specialty. Modern Legal Ethics [West Publishing Co." Jan." Today. 687). At this point. 11. nature of the client and by the way in which the lawyer is organized into a social unit to 593). that the the planner. and a large percentage spend their entire groups. And even within a narrow specialty such as tax practice. particularly "model-making" and "contingency planning. the work will require the lawyer to have mastered the full range of Groups of lawyers are called "firms. it might be helpful to define private practice." (Business Star. The members of the bench and bar and the has impressed upon us the inadequacy of traditional procedures in many informed laymen such as businessmen. The business lawyer has been described as and weighing of significant conditional factors. [1986]. and other interested parties. from one legal task or role such as advice-giving to an importantly different one such as 15). The practice of law is defined as the performance of any acts . legal Corollary to this is the term "private practitioner" and which is in many ways institutions. Because lawyers perform almost every In several issues of the Business Star." (Ibid. Wolfram.2d 623." (Ibid. (Ibid. p. (Ibid. Constructive adjustment to major corporate problems of today requires an In this regard thus. document drafting. The appearance of a lawyer in litigation in behalf of a client is at once the most publicly We are experiencing today what truly may be called a revolutionary familiar role for lawyers as well as an uncommon role for the average lawyer.). The term. 145 Conn.Section 1(1). 325. each involving different legal doctrines. clients. Lawyers and other professional lawyers spend little time in courtrooms. are finding that understanding the major emerging trends to litigate and the litigating lawyer's role colors much of both the public image and the in corporation law is indispensable to intelligent decision-making. 1986].). a business daily. General practitioners of law who do both litigation and non-litigation work also know that in most cases they find themselves spending more time doing what [is] loosely desccribe[d] In a complex legal problem the mass of information to be processed. 22 A. or members can be effective. law. Instead. (emphasis supplied) In the course of a working day the average general practitioner wig engage in a number of legal tasks. Nonetheless. 593). it is still a fact that the majority of lawyers are private practitioners. In some lawyers' work the constraints are imposed both by the (Charles W. (Ibid. in particular those members participating in various legal-policy practice without litigating a case. the sorting as business counseling than in trying cases. Lawyers who practice alone are often called "sole practitioners. at least theoretically. op. perform that work. the most prominent essentially tautologous. p. decisional contexts. Connecticut Bank & government legal service. p. among others. representing a client before an administrative agency. I[t] need not [be] Chairman and two Commissioners of the Commission on Audit (COA) should either be stress[ed] that in law. the diagnostician and the trial lawyer.).

His areas of concern or jurisdiction may jurisprudence. decision-making now have some appreciation for the concepts and analytical however. a corporate lawyer may assume responsibilities other than the equipment. ( decisional context or a segment thereof is developed to test projected Emphasis supplied. a corporate lawyer's services may sometimes be engaged by a Certainly. In most cases. a cross-disciplinary this fortune to be more closely involved in the running of the business. of the such matters as determining policy and becoming involved in management. To borrow the lines of Harvard-educated lawyer Bruce Wassertein. complex decision-making. Lawyers. acting out as learning. appearances in both courts and other 73 . the number of learning: (1) acquisition of insights into current advances which are of attorneys employed by a single corporation will vary with the size and type of particular significance to the corporate counsel. the study of corporate law practice direly needs a "shot in the arm. many situations involving corporate finance problems would This brings us to the inevitable. In short. These include predictive component of the policy-making process. Some large MNCs provide one of the few primarily in the law can be improved through an early introduction to multi. 1989. for all intents and purposes. 4)." He is the "big-time" lawyer. Many others have in-house counsel only for responsibilities. functioning at the legal policy level of many as glamorous. one may have a feeling of being isolated from Although members of the legal profession are regularly engaged in predicting the action. Understandably. the overseas jobs go to experienced attorneys while the younger techniques of other professions which are currently engaged in similar types of attorneys do their "international practice" in law libraries. particularly with either a master's or doctorate degree in companies and law firms." perceives the difficulties. Truth to tell. many people could not Such corporate legal management issues deal primarily with three (3) types of explain what it is that a corporate lawyer does." Jan. with a A corporate lawyer.the necessity of estimating the consequences of given courses of action. and the excellent lawyer is one who surmounts them. "Corporate Law Practice. an improved decisional structure must stress the legal affairs of the business of the corporation he is representing. (Business Star. Many smaller and some large corporations farm out all their disciplinary skins applicable to a corporate counsel's management legal problems to private law firms. 11. "Corporate Finance Law. wherein a "model". a corporate lawyer is assiduously referred to as Today. 4). Otherwise known as "intersecting managerial legal affairs of a corporation." May 25. In a big company. and the adjudicatory agencies (including the Securities and Exchange Commission). inter alia: corporate legal research. corporate secretary (in board meetings). earning big money to speak. or not understanding how one's work actually fits into the work of and projecting the trends of the law. Because working in a foreign country is perceived by business administration or management. Other corporation have a staff large enough to handle most legal function itself. tills is an area coveted by corporate lawyers. Despite the growing number of corporate lawyers. automatic data processing. p.) alternative courses of action in terms of futuristic effects flowing therefrom. i.. In our litigation-prone country. 11. Nonetheless. international law is practiced in a relatively small number of problems. to implications that arise from each and every necessary step in securing and wit: "A bad lawyer is one who fails to spot problems. operational analysis. "Corporate Finance Law. approach to legal research has become a vital necessity. 4). the role of the lawyer in the realm of require the services of an astute attorney because of the complex legal finance. p. After all.1990. p. is a lawyer who handles the shared area linking them. the general orientation for productive contributions by those trained multinational corporation (MNC). and electronic computing At any rate. for example. and (3) a devotion to the organization and management of the certain matters. These three subject areas may be thought of as intersecting circles." Jan. (Business Star. legal problems in-house. (Business Star. For one." so the "abogado de campanilla.e. an incursion as well into the intertwining modern management issues. No longer are we talking of the traditional law teaching method of and with a clientele composed of the tycoons and magnates of business and confining the subject study to the Corporation Code and the Securities Code but industry. the subject of corporate finance law has the orgarnization. a good lawyer is one who maintaining the business issue raised. tax laws research. Moreover. 1989. (2) an introduction to usable the corporation." it forms a unifying theme for the corporate counsel's total include. a corporate lawyer is sometimes offered of advancing corporate legal education. opportunities available to corporate lawyers to enter the international law variable decisional context and the various approaches for handling such field. This can be frustrating to someone who needs to see the received relatively little organized and formalized attention in the philosophy results of his work first hand. prompted the use of sophisticated concepts of information flow theory. and need for fast decision and response in situations of acute danger have in other capacities which require an ability to deal with the law.

The salience of the nation-state is being reduced as systematic problems — physical. This is the framework within which are undertaken context interaction such as the groups actively revising their knowledge of the those activities of the firm to which legal consequences attach. The practice and theory of "law" is not adequate today to facilitate the relationships needed in trying to make a global economy work. the office of the Corporate when transactional or similar facts are being considered and made. The corporate counsel hear responsibility for key aspects of (Emphasis supplied) the firm's strategic issues. Eureka and Race are examples of collaborative efforts between governmental and business Japan's MITI is world famous. It needs to be environment coordinating work with outsiders. Planning by lawyers requires special skills that comprise supplied) a major part of the general counsel's responsibilities. (Emphasis operations of governance through participation on boards and other decision. This enables users to make better decisions involving Also. and the need to think about a corporation's. Second Decision Analysis.] the organization and management of the legal function. social. (Emphasis Preventive Lawyering.Some current advances in behavior and policy sciences affect the counsel's role. the legal managerial capabilities of the corporate lawyer vis- a-vis the managerial mettle of corporations are challenged. and role as a stakeholder — in some cases participating in the organization and minimize the cost and risk involved in managing a portfolio of cases. In Europe. The modem corporate lawyer has gained a new appraise the settlement value of litigation. The practising lawyer of today is familiar as well with governmental policies including hands-on on instruction in these techniques. A simulation case of an toward the promotion and management of technology. All integrated set of such tools provide coherent and effective negotiation support. The field of systems dynamics has been found an For that matter. legal profession. thus: governmental policies. First System Dynamics. In the context of a law department. adversarial relationships and traditional forms of seeking to influence concern three pointed areas of consideration. Computer-based models can be corporations organize for global operations. the corporate lawyer reviews the globalization process. An understanding of the role of feedback loops. Effectiveness of both long-term and temporary groups within organizations has been found to be related to indentifiable factors in the group. Preventive lawyering is concerned with minimizing the risks of legal trouble and maximizing legal rights for such legal entities at that time Following the concept of boundary spanning. And there are lessons to be learned from other countries. it can be used to corporation is rapidly changing. They differ from those of remedial law. ( Emphasis supplied) used directly by parties and mediators in all lands of negotiations. three factors with public decision-makers. effective tool for new managerial thinking regarding both planning and including the resulting strategic repositioning that the firms he provides pressing immediate problems. 74 . Managerial Jurisprudence. and rates of flow. creating new and varied interactions Regarding the skills to apply by the corporate counsel. The general seeking ways both to anticipate effective managerial procedures and to counsel has emerged in the last decade as one of the most vibrant subsets of the understand relationships of financial liability and insurance considerations. including structuring its global operations. Counsel comprises a distinct group within the managerial structure of all kinds of organizations. aid in negotiation settlement. public entities but with each other — often with those who are competitors in (Emphasis supplied) other arenas. New programming techniques now make the system dynamics national governmental units. In a crisis situation. promoting team achievements directly supportive of this nation's evolving economic and organizational fabric within the organization. and firms deal both with global multinational entities and simultaneously with sub. such external activities are better as firms change to stay competitive in a global. arrangements for promoting specific technologies or competitiveness more generally require approaches from industry that differ from older. inventory levels. interdependent environment. Firms increasingly collaborate not only with principles more accessible to managers — including corporate counsels. Current research is Organization and Functioning of the Corporate Counsel's Office. psychological. managing expanded liability exposure. coping internally with more complex make or by are apropos: decisions. These trends are complicated as Third Modeling for Negotiation Management. enable users to simulate all sorts of strategy at multiple levels. economic. New collaborative international joint venture may be used to illustrate the point. more [Be this as it may. managerial. the nature of the lawyer's participation in decision-making within the complexity and uncertainty. In general. supplied) making roles. predictors of team performance than internal group processes. Esprit. counsel for are required to make. Often these new patterns develop alongside existing legal institutions and laws are perceived as barriers. managing improved relationships with an increasingly diversified body of employees.

(pp. (Ibid. served as chief executive officer Loan concessions and compromises. As former Secretary-General (1986) and National Chairman (1987) of work with an international business specialist or an economist in the NAMFREL. Monsod worked as an operations officer for about two years in Costa Rica and supplied) Panama. "Corporate Finance law. in legislation and rendered services to various companies as a legal and economic consultant or chief agreement drafting and in renegotiation. has worked with the under privileged sectors." Jan. and an operations engaged in the practice of law for at least ten years. and (5) events of default. Manila. 1973). (Guillermo V. or will he feign understanding and risk Just a word about the work of a negotiating team of which Atty. entitled his professional license fees as lawyer for more than ten years. a quast judicial body. During his stint in the World Bank Group (1963. "Business Star". This whole exercise drives home the thesis that knowing corporate law is not NAMFREL in its accreditation hearings before the Comelec. p. in initiating. at the very least. On the same Philippines. for which he was cited by the President of the Commission. Aquino to the In a loan agreement. "The which conducted numerous hearings (1990) and as a member of the Constitutional Corporate Counsel. Necessarily. World Peace Through Law Center on August 26-31. 124. 13). 128-129 Rollo) ( Emphasis supplied) What transpires next is a dilemma of professional security: Will the lawyer admit ignorance and risk opprobrium?. After a fashion. Petitioner opposed the nomination negotiation. and void. (Condensed from the work paper. "Loan Negotiating Strategies On June 5. 4). (4) appointment of Monsod as Chairman of the Commission on Elections be declared null covenants. Justice Cecilia Muñoz- The challenge for lawyers (both of the bar and the bench) is to have more than Palma for "innumerable amendments to reconcile government functions with individual a passing knowledge of financial law affecting each aspect of their work. regional legal adviser of the United States Agency for International Development. Christian Monsod is a member of the Philippine Bar. lobbying for and engaging in affirmative corporate activities. (3) conditions of closing. Central Bank of the as Chairman of the COMELEC. he worked with the Meralco Group. Besides top officials of the Borrower concerned.. 1991. also gain a working knowledge of action for the agrarian reform law and lately the urban land reform bill. Thus. ( Emphasis 1970). (p. Michael Hager. And even if the Conference for Human Development. (2) borrower's representation. 11). "constitution' or makeup of the modem corporation. Soliven. petitioner as a citizen and taxpayer. In the same vein. the loan agreement is like a country's Constitution. Respondent Christian Monsod was nominated by President Corazon C. For aside from performing the tasks of legislative drafting and legal examinations of 1960 with a grade of 86-55%. Rollo) "Wanted: Development Lawyers for Developing Nations. enough to make one a good general corporate counsel nor to give him a full Monsod. p. 4). perhaps even more so than purely of an investment bank and subsequently of a business conglomerate.) and having hurdled the bar. demand expertise in the law of contracts. 1991. he took his oath of office.P. which involved getting acquainted with the laws of member-countries negotiating loans and coordinating legal. Monsod's work involved being knowledgeable in election law. Debt restructuring contract agreements contain such a mixture of technical language that they should be 75 . 1991. lawyers play an important role in any debt restructuring Atty. 2. He has been a dues paying member of the advising. p. 1991. Representative. On June 18. in his personal capacity and as former Co-Chairman of the Bishops Businessmen's sense of how the legal system shapes corporate activities. officer (such as an official involved in negotiating the contracts) who comprise the members of the team." April 10. during the Session on Law for the Development of After graduating from the College of Law (U. and which position of Chairman of the COMELEC in a letter received by the Secretariat of the is adequately constituted to meet the various contingencies that arise during a Commission on Appointments on April 25. p. He has also been paying their countries' sovereignty. 11. for instance. 1982. freedoms and public accountability and the party-list system for the House of many would admit to ignorance of vast tracts of the financial law territory. member. and Chairman of its Committee on Accountability of Public Officers. there are the legal because allegedly Monsod does not possess the required qualification of having been officer (such as the legal counsel). Commission (1986-1987). economic. the meat of any Loan Monsod's nomination. filed the instant petition for Agreement can be compartmentalized into five (5) fundamental parts: (1) certiorari and Prohibition praying that said confirmation and the consequent business terms. Monsod used to be a exposure? (Business Star." Staff Paper No. Monsod also made the management issues if only to be able to grasp not only the basic legal use of his legal knowledge as a member of the Davide Commission. has renegotiation policies. the finance manager. Yet. sponsored by the worked in the law office of his father. 1989. it lays down Challenging the validity of the confirmation by the Commission on Appointments of the law as far as the loan transaction is concerned. he assumed office as Chairman of the COMELEC. (Emphasis supplied) day. Atty. the Commission on Appointments confirmed the nomination of Monsod for Developing Country Borrowers. Monsod Nations at the Abidjan World Conference in Ivory Coast. such as corporate lawyer's aim is not the understand all of the law's effects on the farmer and urban poor groups. He appeared for formulation of a model loan agreement. and since 1986. he must. Upon returning to the Philippines in 1970. a negotiating panel acts as a team. having passed the bar program. and project work of the Bank. In the field of advocacy. a sovereign lawyer may executive officer." submitted by L. they score national development policies as key factors in maintaining Integrated Bar of the Philippines since its inception in 1972-73.

then the appointment cannot be faulted on the ground that there are others Upon the other hand. . 143 SCRA 327. Civil Service Commission.g. 3 and 4. ( Emphasis supplied) A critical aspect of sovereign debt restructuring/contract construction is the set of terms and conditions which determines the contractual remedies for a The appointing process in a regular appointment as in the case at bar. It is well-settled that when the appointee is qualified. this is far from the constitutional intent. carefully drafted and signed only with the advise of competent counsel in authority to direct the appointment of a substitute of its choice. but must also state the issuance of a commission (in the Philippines. (emphasis supplied) practice of law. Appointments of its certificate of confirmation. once said: "They carry no The power of the Commission on Appointments to give its consent to the nomination of banners. and (4) acceptance e. perhaps practised two or three times a week Appointment is an essentially discretionary power and must be performed by the and would outlaw say. p. ( Emphasis supplied) vested. U. Gonzales. is what people ordinarily mean by the decide. attest to the appointment in accordance with the Civil Service Law. in making use of the law. "The Role of Lawyers in Foreign Investments. Monsod's past work experiences as a for the unexpired term of the predecessor. the Court modern connotation is exactly what was intended by the eminent framers of the said: 1987 Constitution. that the appointee should possess the qualifications required by law. the Commission has no alternative but to most individuals. Nos. (See be an encroachment on the discretion vested upon the appointing authority. etc. posting of bond. and taking into consideration the liberal construction three years. Justice Padilla's definition would require generally a habitual law practice. . . Atty. oath-taking. (Lacson v. The are actually practicing law. two Members for five years. Graduate School of Law. In no case shall any Member be lawyer-economist. Monsod is a lawyer. as distinguished from the modern concept of the practice of law. In that sense. This is a political question written opinion. upon submission by the Commission on recourse open to either party when the other fails to discharge an obligation. p. Moreover.S. Civil Service Commission." Integrated Bar of the Philippine Journal. I made use of a definition of law practice which really means nothing involving considerations of wisdom which only the appointing authority can because the definition says that law practice " . To do so would conjunction with the guidance of adequate technical support personnel. the separate opinion of Justice Isagani Cruz states that in my better qualified who should have been preferred. which Besides in the leading case of Luego v. . a lawyer-manager. as in this case. without reappointment. Anent Justice Teodoro Padilla's separate opinion. 321). negotiator of contracts.T." True I cited the definition but only by way of sarcasm as evident from my statement that the definition of law practice by "traditional areas of law practice is No less emphatic was the Court in the case of (Central Bank v. 1987. who has been practising law another person is more qualified for a particular position. other legal requirements are satisfied. the President issues the permanent For a compleat debt restructuring represents a devotion to that principle which appointment. (2) confirmation by the Commission on Appointments.. an unpublished appointment is essentially within the discretionary power of whomsoever it is dissertation. perhaps. Clearly. Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes. or in advising others on what the law means. a lawyer. suffice it to say that his definition of the practice of law is the traditional or stereotyped notion of law practice. p. If he does. subject to the only condition that the appointee should possess the qualifications required by law. Article IX of the Constitution which provides: Romulo." (See Ricardo J. essentially tautologous" or defining a phrase by means of the phrase itself that is being 171 SCRA 744) where it stated: defined. It also has no 76 . A good agreement stages: (1) nomination. Law on Public Officers. a lawyer-entrepreneur of industry. and all the Justice Cruz goes on to say in substance that since the law covers almost all situations. appointed or designated in a temporary or acting capacity. An International Law Aspects of the Philippine External Debts. 1977. 200) adherence to the rule of law in domestic and international affairs of whose kind U. L-3081. October 14. No. The Chairman and the Commisioners shall be appointed by the President with the consent of the Commission on Appointments for a term of seven years without reappointment. they beat no drums. a member of the Philippine Bar. Appointment to any vacancy shall be only intended by the framers of the Constitution. consists of four (4) failure to perform one or more elements of the contract. law practice once or twice a year for ten consecutive officer in which it is vested according to his best lights. Third and Fourth Quarters. 265). but we should not lose sight of the fact Commission has no authority to revoke an appointment on the ground that that Mr. particularly office for seven years. 15. but where they are. 1949. Article C. . men learn that bustle and Monsod as Chairman of the Commission on Elections is mandated by Section 1(2) Sub- bush are not the equal of quiet genius and serene mastery. and the last Members for the modern concept of law practice. Vol. (3) must not only define the responsibilities of both parties. and a lawyer-legislator of both the rich and the poor — verily more than satisfy the constitutional requirement — that he has been engaged in the practice of law for at least ten years. three Members shall hold Interpreted in the light of the various definitions of the term Practice of law".S. Jr. in the ultimate analysis is sine qua non for foreign loan agreements-an Romero. the only condition being years. Of those first appointed.

The Commission on the basis of evidence submitted doling the public hearings on Monsod's confirmation. one significant legal maxim is: We must interpret not by the letter that killeth. that would amount to lack or excess of jurisdiction and would warrant the issuance of the writs prayed. (3) If the United States Senate (which is the confirming body in the U. Senate. but by the spirit that giveth life. and fuming with righteous fury. much less a grave abuse of discretion. say.S. consider the following: (1) If the Commission on Appointments rejects a nominee by the President.for over ten years. qualifications as required by law. (2) In the same vein. may the Supreme Court reverse the Commission. VIII. Thus. implicitly determined that he possessed the necessary SO ORDERED. this petition is hereby DISMISSED. This the Philippines. 77 . how can an action or petition be brought against the herself with anger. 1 Constitution). The judgment rendered by the Commission in the exercise of such an acknowledged power is beyond judicial interference except only upon a clear showing of a grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction. Supreme Court would still reverse the U. how can the action be on his word. for has been clearly shown. the procurator of Judea asked Delilah (who was Samson's beloved) for help in capturing Samson. Additionally. without first No blood shall flow from his veins. accused the procurator of reneging President? And even assuming that he is indeed disqualified.S. Upon hearing of what had happened to her beloved. Delilah agreed on condition that — No blade shall touch his skin. (Art. since no abuse. I blinded the man. Finally. and thus in effect confirm the appointment? Clearly. For one thing. it would be incredible that the U. Delilah was beside greatly doubt. The procurator calmly replied: "Did any blade touch his skin? Did any blood entertained since he is the incumbent President? flow from his veins?" The procurator was clearly relying on the letter. This matter. not the spirit of the agreement. Congress) decides to confirm a Presidential nominee. Take this hypothetical case of Samson and Delilah. This is different from the acts of persons practising law. the procurator placed an iron Justice Cruz also says that the Supreme Court can even disqualify an elected President of rod burning white-hot two or three inches away from in front of Samson's eyes. whom the Commission has confirmed? The answer is likewise clear. We now proceed: In view of the foregoing. on the ground that he lacks one or more qualifications. may the Court reject the nominee. Once. becoming lawyers. only where such grave abuse of discretion is clearly shown shall the Court interfere with the Commission's judgment. When Samson (his long hair cut by Delilah) was captured. In the instant case. the answer is in the negative. there is no occasion for the exercise of the Court's corrective power. Sec.S.

where the powers and perquisites of that temporary position. however. Elections. did not call for presidential action. It is doubtful if the respondent.:-cralaw situation could have been handled by the members of the Commission on Elections The petitioner contends that the choice of the Acting Chairman of the Commission on themselves without the participation of the President. Each of these Commissions conducts its own proceedings under the applicable laws and its own rules and in the exercise of its own discretion. 192 SCRA 358 Article IX-A. however. In any event. HAYDEE B. Respondent. No cause need be established to justify its revocation. the designation of the respondent as Acting Chairman of the fact-finding commission to investigate the December 1989 coup d' etat attempt. What is the power of the President of the Philippines to make the challenged accepted such designation. they are not ACTING CHAIRPERSON of the COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS. Its decisions. Yorac as Acting Chairman of the Commission on Elections is declared 78 . in the case of the too must it annul the designation in the case at bar. It may also be an overstatement to suggest that the Elections by designation of the President of the Philippines. so the Court of Appeals." to prevent The Constitution provides for many safeguards to the independence of the Commission disruption of the functions of the COMELEC. by the President of the Philippines. the members of the Commission on Elections would that the intrusion of the President of the Philippines violates their independence. J." that she can be replaced as Acting Chairman. Commission on Elections may be withdrawn by the President of the Philippines at any The qualifications of the respondent are conceded by the petitioner and are not in issue time and for whatever reason she sees fit. as the Solicitor General points out. B. foremost among which is the security of tenure of its members. allegedly sought to be corrected. even assuming that difficulty. No. if it existed at all. however well-meaning. under the control of the President of the Philippines in the discharge of their respective functions. where the senior Associate Justice serves as Acting Chief appreciated it. Section 7. BRILLANTES. in her capacity as Commissions as "independent. who had been named chairman of the Assuming its validity. Yorac as Acting Chairman of the Commission on therefore revocable at will. President Elpidio Quirino designated the Solicitor General as acting member of the The lack of a statutory rule covering the situation at bar is no justification for the Commission on Elections and the Court revoked the designation as contrary to the President of the Philippines to fill the void by extending the temporary designation in Constitution. 1990. That guaranty is not available to the respondent as Acting Chairman of the Commission on Expediency is a dubious justification. The designation made by the President of the Philippines should therefore be sustained for reasons of "administrative expediency.chanrobles virtual law library constitutional body and the specific provision of Article IX-C. JR. Elections is an internal matter that should be resolved by the members themselves and In the choice of the Acting Chairman. will not be estopped from challenging its designation in view of the status of the Commission on Elections as an independent withdrawal.. Philippines is necessary. Section 1. In any event. 93867 : December 18. CRUZ. This is still a government of laws and not of men. orders and DECISION rulings are subject only to review on Certiorari by this Court as provided by the Constitution in Article IX-A. A similar rule is found in Section 5 of BP 129 for Constitution. we cannot sustain her act because it conflicts with the Section 12 of the Judiciary Act of 1948. The problem Commission on Elections. appointed or designated in a temporary or acting capacity. There is no such arrangement.] we do not agree that "only the President (could) act to fill the hiatus. It is also alleged that the respondent is not even the senior member of the favor of the respondent. that choice and the basis thereof were for them and not the Justice in the absence of the Chief Justice. vs. He most likely have been guided by the seniority rule as they themselves would have cites the practice in this Court. on Elections. That discretion cannot be exercised for it. 85 Phil. having in this case. of the Constitution expressly describes all the Constitutional SIXTO S. the Solicitor General argues that no such designation is necessary in the only by the best of motives when she issued the challenged designation. No designation from the President of the President to make. operations of the Commission on Elections would have been disturbed or stalemated if the President of the Philippines had not stepped in and designated an Acting Chairman.: The choice of a temporary chairman in the absence of the regular chairman comes under that discretion." Although essentially executive in nature. But while case of the Supreme Court because the temporary succession cited is provided for in conceding her goodwill. 101. Section 1(2) of the It is true. and thus deprived of The petitioner invokes the case of Nacionalista Party v. The petitioner is challenging the designation by the President of the Philippines of A designation as Acting Chairman is by its very terms essentially temporary and Associate Commissioner Haydee B. the designation by the President of the Philippines of respondent Haydee There did not seem to be any such problem. [G. Hence. with or without cause. Davide. in place of Chairman Hilario B. YORAC. The Court has not the slightest doubt that the President of the Philippines was moved In his Comment. Petitioner. It is no less true. that the respondent cannot be removed at Constitution that "(I)n no case shall any Member (of the Commission on Elections) be will from her permanent position as Associate Commissioner.R. The Jr. even as this Court revoked the designation in the Bautista case." as the Solicitor General maintains. WHEREFORE. Abueg. even with its consent. being outranked by Associate Commissioner Alfredo E. Commission on Elections. Bautista.

79 .: rd SO ORDERED. pending the appointment of a permanent Chairman by the President of the Philippines with the consent of the Commission on Appointments. This is without prejudice to the incumbent Associate Commissioners of the Commission on Elections restoring her to the same position if they so desire.UNCONSTITUTIONAL. and the respondent is hereby ordered to desist from serving as such. or choosing another member in her place.

105797 August 6. 105628 — SPC No. respondents. 92-323 reversing the ruling of the City COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS.. vs. petitioner. EMMANUEL R. 92-243 ordering 12-A AND 13...R. LEANDRO I. vs. MUNICIPAL BOARD OF CANVASSERS OF GEN.R. 105977 August 6. 105919 August 6. GENOVA. 1992 COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS. respondents. Catanduanes G. No. respondents. 105730 August 6. FRANCISCO G. vs. CAMARINES NORTE.G. G. NUEVA ECIJA. BARANGAY MATAAS NA KAHOY. ROSARIO A. MUNICIPAL BOARD OF CANVASSERS OF CABUSAO. MUNICIPAL BOARD OF CANVASSERS OF VIRAC and JOSE "CITO" ALBERTO II. petitioner. NATIVIDAD. SINSUAT. No. RABAT. JESUS TYPOCO. DATU MICHAEL SINSUAT and ATTY. 105778 August 6. THE ELECTION REGISTRAR and APOLONIO PASCUAL. 1992 NATIVIDAD. G. petitioner. CAVITE. PROVINCIAL BOARD OF CANVASSERS OF DAVAO ORIENTAL and ROSALIND YBASCO LOPEZ. respondents. No. DATU MOHAMMAD A. respondents. Rules of Court. 1992 COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS. vs. PROVINCIAL BOARD OF CANVASSERS OF CATANDUANES and ROSALIE ALBERTO-ESTACIO. VELASCO. G. DAVIDE. SANTIAGO. respondents. No. NUEVA ECIJA.. R. No. and EUGENIO AGUILAR. and CONDRADO LINDO. 1992 which ordered the exclusion from the canvass of one (1) election return. No. vs. NATIVIDAD. petitioner. G. 105771 August 6. JR. PRECINCT NO. RESOLUTION COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS. GEN. JR. 105727 August 6. respondents.R. No. GEN.: G. BOARD OF ELECTION INSPECTORS OF PRECINCT NOS.R. GEN. 1992 The special civil actions for certiorari hereby jointly resolved. petitioner. 1992 COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS. the said Board of Canvassers to include in the canvass the election BOARD OF ELECTION INSPECTORS OF PRECINCT NOS. respondents. 25-A OF SAPANG BATO. 105628 August 6. Board of Canvassers of Iriga City which ordered the exclusion from NATIVIDAD. SR. G. respondents. G-R. the canvass of six (6) election returns and in UND No. ALFELOR. No. MANLICLIC. returns involved therein. vs. RUBEN PLATON.R. and MUNICIPAL BOARD OF CANVASSERS OF JOSE PANGANIBAN. NUEVA ECIJA. 2) G. 105725 — SPC No. JR. NEBRIDO F. NUEVA ECIJA. 80 . VERCELES. MARIO S. MUNICIPAL BOARD OF CANVASSERS OF TERNATE. seek to set aside the Resolutions of respondent Commission on Elections vs. petitioner. petitioner.R. 1992 COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS. No. 1992 COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS. No.R. VILLANUEVA. 92-266 granting the appeal from the ruling of the Municipal Board of Canvassers of Virac.R. petitioner. vs. BARANGAY PICALEON. 1992 COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS.R. J. (COMELEC) in the following Special Cases (SPC): COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS. vs. petitioner. filed under Rule 65 of the ALBERTO U. 105725 August 6. PROVINCIAL BOARD OF CANVASSERS OF CAMARINES NORTE. 15-A. No. RODULFO SARMIENTO. 1) G. THE CITY BOARD OF CANVASSERS OF IRIGA CITY and JOSE C.

which is an appeal from the rulings of the Municipal Board of Canvassers of Ternate. the latter shall certify the case to the Commission en divisions. in 6) G. A motion to reconsider the decision or resolution of the Division concerned may be filed Section 3. the Commission. provided that motions for reconsideration of decisions shall be petitioner from the ruling of the Provincial Board of Canvassers of decided by the Commission en banc. (c) The answer/opposition shall be verified. sitting en banc. receipt of a copy of the written ruling of the board of canvassers. The Commission on Elections may sit en banc or in two of such fact. 105771 — SPC No. the authority to hear and decide the same at the first instance.R. This Court dispenses with the Comments in the other cases. 5 81 . Camarines Sur which. 9) G. and all such cases must first be heard and among others. All such election cases shall be heard and decided in the certification. subdivision C of Article XII returns from 48 precincts. 105778 — SPC No. 105977 — SPC No. (d) The Division to which the case is assigned shall immediately set the case for hearing. No. include pre-proclamation controversies. 105727 and G. provided as follows: 4) G. took xxx xxx xxx cognizance of and decided the appeals without first referring them to any of its Divisions. No.R. Its Section 3. inter alia. 105730 — SPC No.R. Section 9 of the said Rule provides that 7) G. 7166. subdivision C. The Commission on Elections may sit en banc or in three Municipal Board of Canvassers of Jose Panganiban. within twenty-four (24) hours from the filing thereof. and denying a (b) The appeal filed with the Commission shall be docketed by the subsequent motion to resolve the issues raised in said amended Clerk of Court concerned. (Emphasis supplied). furnishing a copy thereof to the board of canvassers and the adverse party. in turn. 3. 3 The Clerk of Court of the Division shall. 105727 — SPC No. 92-087 denying the amended pre- proclamation petition. Comments had been filed only in G. No. In the COMELEC RULES OF PROCEDURE. Said Section reads: petitioner's objections to the canvass of some certificates of canvass. shall be heard and decided en banc. petition. Catanduanes which ordered the inclusion in the canvass the certificate of canvass for the municipality of Virac. 92-315 affirming the ruling of the Sec. Cavite. within five days following Maguindanao. which dismissed petitioner's opposition to the composition of the said except contests involving Members of the Batasang Pambansa. . .R. .R. 9. 3) G. and shall promulgate its rules of procedure in order to banc.R.R. Commission are vested with the authority to hear and decide these Special Cases. 105797 — SPC No.R. which Municipal Board of Canvassers. The Commission. Article IX of the 1987 Constitution expressly provides: within five (5) days from its promulgation. No. No. Appeals from rulings of Board of Canvassers. including pre-proclamation reconsideration for the resolution of the Commission en banc within ten (10) days from controversies. (Emphasis supplied) Petitioners impugn the challenged resolutions above specified as having been issued with grave abuse of discretion in that. does not have returns. No. specifically. Camarines Norte divisions. 92-288 dismissing the appeal of division. 105919 — SPC No. pre-proclamation cases are classified as Special Cases 1 and. rejected petitioner's objection to certain election decided by a Division of the Commission.A. 5) G. 105797. Sec. excluding the The 1973 Constitution prescribed another rule. 92-293 dismissing petitioner's appeal aggrieved by an oral ruling of the board of canvassers who had stated from the ruling of the Municipal Board of Canvassers of Upi Nuro. 92-039 dismissing said case for non. orally his intent to appeal said ruling shall.R. 92-271 affirming the ruling of the It is clear from the abovequoted provision of the 1987 Constitution that election cases Municipal Board of Canvassers of Cabusao. the two (2) Divisions of the compliance with Section 20 of R. the Clerk of Court of the Commission shall calendar the motion for expedite disposition of election cases. 3. No. No. No. notify the Presiding Commissioner Sec. — (a) A party 8) G. No. compliance with the above provision of the Constitution. All election cases may be heard and decided by divisions. 92-153 affirming the rulings of the appeals from rulings of the Board of Canvassers are cognizable by any of the Divisions to Provincial Board of Canvassers of Davao Oriental which rejected which they are assigned and not by the Commission en banc. sitting en banc. file with the Commission a verified appeal. 2 Rule 27 thereof governs Special Cases. 4Thereafter.

be in order. 105730 and G. the running of the period to file the protests shall be deemed suspended by the pendency of such cases before the COMELEC and of these petitions before this Court. SO ORDERED. Rule 3 of its Rules on assignment of cases would. No. 105727. No. the appeals are deemed pending before the Commission for proper referral to a Division. or with grave abuse of discretion. the COMELEC en banc acted without jurisdiction. The terms of the offices involved in the Special Cases subject of these petitions commenced at noon of 30 June 1992.A. the Commission determines that the petition appears meritorious and accordingly issues an order for the proceeding to continue or when an appropriate order has been issued by the Supreme Court in a petition for certiorari. The said section provides as follows: xxx xxx xxx All pre-proclamation cases pending before the Commission shall be deemed terminated at the beginning of the term of the office involved and the rulings of the boards of canvassers concerned shall be deemed affirmed. 105797 are hereby LIFTED. Accordingly.R. the instant petitions are DISMISSED without prejudice to the filing by petitioners of regular election protests. However. logically. Said resolutions are. If the winning candidates for the positions involved in the Special Cases subject of these petitions have already been proclaimed. The Temporary Restraining Orders issued in G. No. therefore. Section 16 of R. proceedings may continue when on the basis of the evidence thus far presented. when it resolved the appeals of petitioners in the abovementioned Special Cases without first referring them to any of its Divisions.R. Consequently. However. A resolution directing the COMELEC to assign said Special Cases to the Divisions pursuant to Section 8. 82 . No. 7 These cases have thus been rendered moot and such a resolution would only be an exercise in futility. G.R. 7166 6 provides that all pre-proclamation cases pending before it shall be deemed terminated at the beginning of the term of the office involved. without prejudice to the filing of a regular election protest by the aggrieved party.Indisputably then. null and void and must be set aside.

Ibrahim obtained 446 votes. but with modification. Issue In a Memorandum6 dated December 10. Thereafter. 2009 in Maguindanao and Davao del Sur who were not registered voters of the municipalities and May 6. 2010 elections. the Case No. which was issued by Buagas and supposedly not being a registered voter of the said municipality. 09-09462 (December 22. from the 2010 Vice-Mayoralty race in Datu Unsay. 2009 Resolution). The Law Department recommended the retention of the said names in the Certified List of Candidates. 2. add them up and declare the result. 2009 was anchored on the certification. presumption of regularity attached to it in the absence of contrary evidence. Ibrahim and 50 other candidates filed a Petition/Opposition 8 to REYES. the highest number cast for the Datu-Unsay in the May 10. disqualifying the petitioner herein.: assail the Resolution dated December 22. and vs. the Law Department brought to the Whether or not the COMELEC en banc acted with grave abuse of discretion amounting to attention of the COMELEC en banc the names of 56 candidates running for various posts lack or excess of jurisdiction when it issued the Resolutions dated December 22. during which time the Resolution dated May 6. and Acting Provincial Election Supervisor of Maguindanao. but for the COMELEC to motu propio Arguments in Support of the Instant Petition institute actions against them for disqualification and for violation of election laws. 2009 Resolution approving. the COMELEC en banc issued the herein assailed December 22. Antecedent Facts In the May 10. 2009. along with those of two candidates for mayor. Maguindanao for December 22. which was then chaired by Buagas. 2010. 192289 January 8. 262 of the Omnibus Election Code. sans Department’s recommendation in the following wise: indications of being spurious and forged. No. 2009.G. Ibrahim Resolution dated May 6.11 not registered voters therein. Ibrahim filed his certificate of candidacy to run as Vice-Mayor of not yet attained finality. Respondents. 2010. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS and ROLAN G. BUAGAS. In the Petition/Opposition. among other candidates. The COMELEC declared that the Resolution dated (Ibrahim). Kamarudin K. The list5 included Ibrahim’s name. Ibrahim and 09-0946. (a) Minute Resolution No. If indeed they were not registered voters. to disqualify the foregoing candidates for not being registered voters of the respective municipalities where they seek to be elected without prejudice to KAMARUDIN K. denying Ibrahim’s opposition4 to Resolution No. to file election offense cases against said candidates for violation of Sec. 10-002 (MP) LOCAL. 74 in relation to Sec. then Acting Election Officer in the said municipality. 2009. dated The COMELEC en banc denied the Petition/Opposition through the herein assailed December 22. they cannot be rejected on the ground of alleged questions on the qualifications of voters and the existence of electoral frauds and irregularities. J." 12 As long as the returns are on their face genuine and are signed by the proper officers. since Ibrahim received the highest number of votes for Vice- 83 . Rule 2510 of the COMELEC Rules of Procedure. IBRAHIM. stating that Ibrahim. it was stressed that some of those affected by the Resolution dated December 22. suspended Ibrahim’s proclamation on the COMELEC’s Law Department (Law Department) the names of 20 candidates who were basis of Section 5.7 (Italics ours) DECISION On January 8. forwarded to the (MBOC). 2009. 2010 had On December 1. which was docketed as SPA 10-002 (MP) LOCAL. respondent Rolan G. Further. were not registered voters of Datu Unsay. relative to SPA Maguindanao. 2010 elections. (b) Resolution3 (May 6. Buagas Vice-Mayoralty race in Datu Unsay. Thereafter.9 However. Estelita B. 2010. 2013 1. The certification was issued in the performance of official duty. one for vice-mayor and 16 for councilor. it was emphasized that the candidates who filed the of the Rules of Court assailing the following resolutions of the public respondent Petition/Opposition were permanent residents and were domiciled at the place where Commission on Elections (COMELEC): they sought to be elected. the Municipal Board of Canvassers (Buagas). where they sought to be elected. hence. the Law Ibrahim posits that the MBOC is a ministerial body created merely "to take the returns as made from the different voting precincts. 2009 had participated as candidates in the 2004 and Before us is a Petition for Certiorari and Prohibition with Prayer for the Issuance of a 2007 elections. their filing of an opposition within two (2) days from publication hereof. 2010 Resolution) issued on May 6. company failed to adduce evidence proving their allegations of registration and residence. they should have been Writ of Preliminary Injunction and/or Temporary Restraining Order1 filed under Rule 64 disqualified then. Orbase.R. 2010. Petitioner. Further.

has the authority to issue orders relative to cases pending before it. he a tribunal. only the COMELEC. Such being the case. It was the Further citing Bautista v. Absent any determination of irregularity in the election returns. custody and appreciation of the election returns.23 issue raised by the COMELEC. It is also the OSG’s position that Section 5. While there was a The COMELEC further argues that Ibrahim was not denied due process as he and the Petition for Disqualification20 filed by Bai Reshal S. Comelec 29 is misplaced because in the said case. ruling. as mandate to serve as an elected official as by his act and willful misrepresentations. receipt. he should not was the basis for the subsequent actions of the Law Department and the COMELEC en be allowed to repudiate the proceedings merely because the result was adverse to him. as well We grant the instant Petition. Ibrahim was disqualified as a Court. The aforementioned issues include the commission of violent and terrorist acts or the occurrence of a calamity at the canvassing site. for lack of proper proceedings before In the Compliance28 filed with the court. the COMELEC could have the foregoing.26 which the rules seek to implement. provides the only exception to Ibrahim instituted instead a pre-proclamation controversy. 867822 to assert that the MBOC had no authority to order the suspension of Ibrahim’s proclamation. all possible doubts should be resolved in favor of his eligibility. The OSG also invokes Section 1621 of COMELEC Resolution No. cancel a certificate of candidacy pertains to the COMELEC sitting in division and not to Ibrahim should have instead filed a pre-proclamation controversy before the COMELEC the COMELEC en banc. that certificates of candidacy of those running for the positions of corrected the MBOC’s ruling. reach a decision. Vice-President.15 this court nullified. be defeated. the court shall first dispose of the procedural and declare the result. otherwise known as the Omnibus Election Code (OEC). 869618 to stress that board or directly with the Commission. President. order or resolution is not obtained. it was not the basis for the COMELEC en banc’s issuance of the Resolutions 2010 were given the opportunity to file their opposition. there was a total absence of notice and hearing. if indeed. the COMELEC cannot motu propio file petitions for disqualification against preparation. or when motions for defines pre-proclamation controversies as referring to any questions "pertaining to or reconsideration are filed to assail the said issuances of a division. 6646. no actual prejudice was caused upon him as the COMELEC did not even direct the MBOC to suspend his proclamation. 2010 elections. 2009 and May 6.13 directory and permissive in nature and operates to confer discretion. The OSG points out that in Cipriano v. which should be the paramount consideration. Ampatuan against Ibrahim and other candidates referred to in the Resolutions dated December 22. 2009 and May 6. He cannot possess any pendency of a disqualification case before the COMELEC. company. banc leading to the issuance of the herein assailed resolutions. Section 241 of Batas cancel a certificate of candidacy when the required number of votes for a division to Pambansa Blg. the votes cast for him were counted. 881 (BP 881). The OSG emphasizes that similarly. 2009 and May 6. the OSG’s invocation of the doctrines enunciated in Bautista v.27 In its Manifestation and Motion in Lieu of Comment. as an order enjoining the canvassing and proclamation of the winner. Comelec. Rule 2524 of the COMELEC Rules of Procedure Ibrahim properly resorted to the instant Petition filed under Rule 64 of the Rules of was irregularly worded for using the word "shall" when Section 625 of Republic Act (R. Instead. Hence. The COMELEC emphasizes that Ibrahim was undeniably not a registered voter in Datu the suspension of a winning candidate’s proclamation can be ordered during the Unsay when he ran as Vice-Mayor in the May 10. The COMELEC en banc can only take cognizance of petitions to anchored on the supposed illegality of the MBOC’s proceedings.A. 2010 of the No." Had candidates. transmission. cannot substitute its own judgment for that of the COMELEC’s. Now. Moreover. or any matter raised xxx in relation to the generally. 84 . the resolutions issued by the COMELEC relative to the cancellation of a immediate resort to the instant Petition for Certiorari under Rule 64 of the Rules of certificate of candidacy.14 the Office of the Solicitor General The COMELEC’s Contentions (OSG) proposes for the instant Petition to be granted. it is a mandatory and ministerial duty of the MBOC concerned to count the votes based on such returns Before resolving the merits of the petition.Mayor. Despite the issuance of the herein assailed resolutions.) Court to assail the Resolutions dated December 22. it was erroneous. merely employed the word "may". to wit. The COMELEC en banc. 2010. 2009. the COMELEC assails as improper Ibrahim’s their issuance. 2010 elections and opposition only after the issuance of the Resolution dated December 22. affecting the proceedings of the board of canvassers which may be raised by any candidate or by any registered political party or coalition of political parties before the The OSG likewise refers to Section 4(B)(3)17 of Resolution No. Senator and Party-List maybe denied due course and canceled motu propio by the COMELEC based on grounds enumerated therein. However.16 the OSG argues that jurisdiction over petitions to MBOC’s ruling which resulted to the suspension of his proclamation. Section 519 of the same resolution. the certification issued by Buagas Petition/Opposition and sought reliefs from the COMELEC en banc. The MBOC can suspend a winning candidate’s proclamation only when an actual issue within the Board’s Our Ruling jurisdiction arises in the course of conducting a canvass. Commission on Elections. however. lest the will of the use of the word "may" indicates that the suspension of a proclamation is merely electorate. Upon motion. The MBOC had deceived the electorate. Ibrahim did file his dated December 22. Ibrahim’s name was not candidate without prior notice and hearing and he was given the chance to file an stricken off from the certified list of candidates during the May 10.

In relation thereto. promulgate its rules of procedure in order to expedite disposition of election cases. The COMELEC en banc adopted the recommendation and consequently issued a resolution. The Commission on Elections may sit en banc or in two divisions. The crux of the instant Petition does The claim fails to persuade. The petition may be heard and 85 . The petition may be filed at any time considered as illegal when the board is constituted not in accordance with law. challenges is the authority of the MBOC to suspend Ibrahim’s proclamation and of the COMELEC en banc to issue the assailed resolutions. or is not later than twenty-five days from the time of filing of the certificate of candidacy and composed of members not enumerated therein. or appear to be tampered with or falsified. Ibrahim should have instead filed before the COMELEC a pre-proclamation the composition and proceedings of the board of canvassers. order or ruling of any of the Constitutional Commissions may be brought for position of Vice-Mayor of Datu Unsay. Besides. or contain discrepancies in the same cancellation of certificates of candidacy in the following wise: returns or in other authentic copies thereof as mentioned in Sections 233. 2009 and May 6. transmission. the said resolutions can be reviewed by way of filing before us a petition ground. Section 7. governs the procedure to deny due (d) When substitute or fraudulent returns in controverted polling places were course to or cancel a certificate of candidacy. the Court held that it is the COMELEC sitting in division and not the COMELEC en banc which has jurisdiction over petitions to cancel a certificate of (c) The election returns were prepared under duress. Rule 64 of the Rules of Court states that it shall govern the review of final Sec. To illustrate.30 Further. Article IX of the 1987 Constitution explicitly provides: final and made in the exercise of its adjudicatory or quasi-judicial power. Manifestation are similar to those attendant to the instant Petition. transmission. The Law Department recommended to the COMELEC en banc to deny due course or cancel Bautista’s (a) Illegal composition or proceedings of the board of canvassers.. viz: canvassed. Article IX of the 1987 Constitution in part substantially provides that any The COMELEC en banc is devoid of authority to disqualify Ibrahim as a candidate for the decision. and The Omnibus Election Code. threats. the proceedings are to be therein as required under Section 74 hereof is false." Section 243 of the OEC restrictively election officer reported to the Law Department that Bautista was ineligible to run as a enumerates as follows the issues which can be raised in a pre-proclamation controversy: candidate by reason of his being an unregistered voter. In Garvida v. Sales. receipt. What the instant Petition controversy to allow the latter to correct the MBOC’s ruling if it was indeed erroneous. or candidacy. contain material defects. receipt. certificate of candidacy. 2010 is preparation. The Court held: intimidation. provided that motions for reconsideration of decisions shall be question pertaining to or affecting the proceedings of the board of canvassers which may decided by the Commission en banc. Comelec35 cited by the OSG in its 233. review to the Supreme Court on certiorari within 30 days from receipt of a copy thereof. including pre-proclamation controversies." quorum. 235 and 236 of this Code. in Section 78.1âwphi1  A verified petition seeking to deny due course or to cancel a certificate of candidacy may be The illegality of the proceedings of the board of canvassers is the first issue which may filed by any person exclusively on the ground that any material representation contained be raised in a pre-proclamation controversy. to wit. Petition to deny due course to or cancel a certificate of candidacy. All such election cases shall be heard and A pre-proclamation controversy is defined in Section 241 of the OEC as referring to "any decided in division. and shall judgments and orders or resolutions of the COMELEC and the Commission on Audit. Article IX. the circumstances obtaining in Bautista v.78. the issues raised do not at all relate to alleged irregularities in the Rules of Court to challenge the Resolutions dated December 22. The orders. In Bautista. to deny due course to or cancel a certificate of candidacy for an elective office may be 2010 were issued with finality by the COMELEC en banc. (Italics ours) be raised by any candidate or by any registered political party or coalition of parties before the board or directly with the Commission. not qualify as one which can be raised as a pre-proclamation controversy. coercion. Jr.The COMELEC seeks the dismissal of the instant Petition on the basis of a technical Rules of Court. that Ibrahim’s resort to a petition for certiorari filed under Rule 64 of the for certiorari. 3. not later than fifteen days before election. or any matter raised under Sections Further. ruling and decisions rendered or issued by the COMELEC en banc must be Section 3(C). Rule 23 of the COMELEC Rules of Procedure provides that a petition In the case at bar. banc’s jurisdiction over petitions for disqualification.31 234. Section 1. In the said case. after due notice and hearing.32 23533 and 23634 in relation to the preparation. for denial of due course. 2009 and May 6. this Court discussed the COMELEC en (b) The canvassed election returns are incomplete. or they are obviously manufactured or not authentic. "Sec. Under the Constitution and the filed with the Law Department of the COMELEC on the ground that the candidate has made a false material representation in his certificate. custody and appreciation of the election returns or to improper. or when business is transacted sans a shall be decided. the custody and appreciation of the election returns. 234. the now assailed Resolutions dated December 22. the results of which materially affected the standing of the aggrieved candidate or candidates.

even if due process was substantially observed. Let it be stressed that if filed before the conduct of the elections. and after receiving may only be entertained by the COMELEC en banc when the required number of votes to an adverse Decision on the merits from the appellate court. among others. were issued by Ibrahim is not estopped from challenging the COMELEC en banc’s jurisdiction to issue the COMELEC en banc outside the ambit of its jurisdiction.40 deny due course or cancel a certificate of candidacy under Section 78 of the OEC is the appropriate petition which should have been instituted against Ibrahim considering that In the case before us. through the herein assailed resolutions. we have declared that deprivation of due process cannot be successfully ordered Ibrahim’s disqualification even when no complaint or petition was filed against invoked where a party was given the chance to be heard on his motion for him yet. 2009 and May 6. for each candidate as shown on the face of the returns before them. In the case at bar. the assailed notice. question the lower court’s jurisdiction. It is enjoined by law to canvass all votes The rule is settled that lack of jurisdiction over the subject matter may be raised at any on election returns submitted to it in due form. we held only motions to reconsider decisions. The MBOC has no authority to suspend Ibrahim’s proclamation especially since the herein assailed resolutions. 2010. orders or rulings of the COMELEC in that estoppel by laches had already precluded the party-litigant from raising the Division are resolved by the COMELEC en banc. Moreover. Only 15 years thereafter. judicial functions of the COMELEC which the COMELEC in division should first decide. instead aptly pertains to one of its divisions. estoppel by laches can only be invoked in exceptional cases with denial or cancellation of a certificate of candidacy must be heard summarily after due factual circumstances similar to those in Tijam.39 In the case now before us. resolution. Interminably. 38 (Citations xxxx omitted and italics ours) Under Section 3.42 (Italics ours) The ruling of the Court of Appeals that "a party may be estopped from raising such jurisdictional question if he has actively taken part in the very proceeding which he 86 . Jurisdiction over the subject matter is conferred only by the powers are limited generally to the mechanical or mathematical function of ascertaining Constitution or the law. a petition for the As enunciated above. Nonetheless. Ibrahim was afforded the chance to file an opposition to the his allegedly being an unregistered voter of Datu Unsay disqualified him from running as assailed resolutions. In Figueroa v. order subsequently rendered is adverse to him" is based on the doctrine of estoppel by laches. question of lack of jurisdiction on appeal. a petition to reconsideration. did the party-litigant reach a decision. the issue of the COMELEC en banc’s jurisdiction. belatedly objecting to the court’s jurisdiction in the event that the judgment or be decided by the COMELEC itself. upon which the suspension was anchored. Considering the unique facts in that case. Moreover. was More so in this case where the cancellation proceedings originated not from a petition filed on June 3. the Vice-Mayor.evidence received by any official designated by the COMELEC after which the case shall questions. that its stage of the proceedings. not en banc. order or ruling is not obtained in the Division. Bantigue Point Development Corporation. resolutions. COMELEC41 is emphatic that: In Republic v.36 (Citation omitted and italics ours) Ibrahim was not denied due process. Ibrahim can hardly be but from a report of the election officer regarding the lack of qualification of the considered as guilty of laches. The instant Petition. x x x. In Tijam. discretion when it took cognizance of a matter. the party-litigant actively participated in the proceedings before candidacy lies with the COMELEC sitting in Division. the assailed resolutions. With the prompt filing of the instant Petition. It cannot be acquired through a waiver or enlarged by the and declaring the apparent result of the election by adding or compiling the votes cast omission of the parties or conferred by the acquiescence of the court. 2010. which by both constitutional prescription and jurisprudential declaration.37 we stated: (T)he board of canvassers is a ministerial body. and then declaring or questions of jurisdiction may be cognizable even if raised for the first time on appeal. we cautioned that Tijam must be construed as an exception to the general rule and applied only in the most exceptional cases whose factual milieu is similar to that in the latter case. certifying the result so ascertained. candidate in the barangay election. People. The COMELEC en banc cannot short cut the proceedings by acting on the case without a prior action by a division because it denies due process to the candidate. jurisdiction over a petition to cancel a certificate of Sibonghanoy. Consequently. Rule 23 of the 1993 COMELEC Rules of Procedure. It is thus clear that cancellation proceedings involve the exercise of the quasi. even if we were to assume that a COMELEC en banc to take cognizance of a matter which should have instead been proper petition had been filed. the COMELEC en banc still acted with grave abuse of referred to one of its divisions. which now raises. the COMELEC en banc. and properly. Mastura v. His supposed misrepresentation as an eligible candidate was an act falling assailed resolutions remain null and void for want of authority on the part of the within the purview of Section 78 of the OEC. Under the same Rules of Procedure. resolutions were issued on December 22. We are aware of that doctrine first enunciated by this Court in Tijam v. It has been said. Cases before a Division the lower court and filed pleadings therein.

order or resolution relative to another action or petition finally disqualifying Ibrahim.A. Besides. WHEREFORE. 2009 and May 6.The simple purpose and duty of the canvassing board is to ascertain and declare the apparent result of the voting while all other questions are to be tried before the court or other tribunal for contesting elections or in quo warranto proceedings. and only when the evidence of the winning candidate’s guilt is strong. the MBOC of Datu Unsay is directed to convene within ten (10) days from receipt hereof and to proclaim Ibrahim as the duly-elected Vice-Mayor of the said municipality. The December 22. denying due course or cancelling his certificate of candidacy. SO ORDERED. Further. the suspension by the MBOC of Ibrahim’s proclamation on the basis of the herein assailed resolutions is likewise ANNULLED and SET ASIDE. Consequently. or a petition to deny due course or cancel a certificate of candidacy pending before the COMELEC. IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING. it had already exceeded its jurisdiction. 87 . the COMELEC and not the MBOC has the authority to order the suspension of a winning candidates’s proclamation. the COMELEC en banc itself could not have properly ordered Ibrahim’s disqualification because in taking cognizance of the matter. 2010 Resolutions issued by the COMELEC en banc is ANNULLED and SET ASIDE. Such suspension can only be ordered upon the motion of a complainant or intervenor relative to a case for disqualification. 6646. the instant petition is GRANTED. In the absence of a judgment. under Section 644 of R.43 In the case at bar. the MBOC motu propio suspended Ibrahim’s proclamation when the issue of the latter’s eligibility is a matter which the board has no authority to resolve.

REGIONAL TRIAL COURT OF PINAMALAYAN. 1998. [1] On May 25. 1998. 1999. the municipal board of canvassers proclaimed petitioner Ferdinand Thomas Soller ACTION. petitioner asserts that the COMELEC committed grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction: RESOLUTION [I] QUISUMBING. September 5. 1999. The election tribunal stated that there was no "The Commission on Elections may sit en banc or in two divisions. and shall promulgate forum shopping to speak of. On May 14. 1998 and February 1. J. On September 21. Before us. 1998. in COMELEC special relief case SPR No. IN AFFIRMING RESPONDENT'S RTC'S REFUSAL TO DISMISS PRIVATE Petitioner and private respondent were both candidates for mayor of the RESPONDENT'S ELECTION PROTEST DESPITE THE INSUFFICIENCY OF HIS municipality of Bansud. petitioner filed his answer with counter-protest. SOLLER. CERTIFICATION OF NON-FORUM SHOPPING DESPITE INCONTROVERTIBLE forum-shopping.[2] EVIDENCE THEREOF. On May 19. The election Section 3. On August 31. 2000] petitioner has no appeal or any plain. the COMELEC en banc dismissed petitioner's suit. the trial court denied petitioner's motion to dismiss. and failure to state cause of action. proceed further in this case.. we required the parties to maintain the status quo FERDINAND THOMAS M. 1998. private respondent filed with the Regional Trial Court of Pinamalayan. ante prevailing as of September 17. COMELEC a petition for certiorari contending that respondent RTC acted without or in At the outset.: . 139853. petitioner. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS..[4] On July 3. including pre- proclamation controversies. dated October 1. Oriental .All such election cases shall be heard and decided in division. [3] Since the Commission en banc. Accordingly. PROTEST BELOW ON THE GROUNDS OF FORUM-SHOPPING AND FAILURE TO On June 15. Oriental Mindoro in the May 11. Petitioner gravely abused its discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction in not ordering moved for reconsideration but said motion was denied. . respondents. the date of filing of this petition." present controversy involves no election offense. Under the COMELEC Rules of Procedure. reconsideration is not possible and 88 . COMELEC dismissed the pre-proclamation case filed by private In our view. SAULONG. Petitioner also COMPLY WITH THE SUPREME COURT CIRCULAR REQUIRING A TRUTHFUL moved to dismiss private respondent's protest on the ground of lack of jurisdiction. which denied petitioner's motion to dismiss the election protest filed by private respondent against [II] petitioner and the motion for reconsideration.IN AFFIRMING RESPONDENT RTC'S REFUSAL TO DISMISS THE ELECTION Mindoro.R. 10-99. It also declared that the defect in the verification is a mere technical defect which should not bar the determination of the merits of the case. private respondent Angel Saulong filed with the COMELEC a [III] "petition for annulment of the proclamation/exclusion of election return". 1999. respectively. 1998. Unless properly resolved. Subdivision C of Article IX of the Constitution reads: tribunal held that private respondent paid the required filing fee. PETITION IN FORM AND SUBSTANCE AND ITS FAILURE TO STATE A CAUSE OF 1998. The resolution dismissed TO PAY ALL THE REQUISITE FILING FEES. ORIENTAL MINDORO (Branch 42) and ANGEL M. speedy and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law.. vs. 1999. duly elected mayor. an election protest against petitioner docketed as EC-31-98. its rules of procedure in order to expedite the disposition of election cases.. 1999. Petitioner then filed with the the dismissal of private respondent's election protest. notwithstanding petitioner's formulation of issues. petitioner properly filed the instant petition for certiorari with this Court.. Oriental Mindoro. 1998 elections. petitioner's petition to set aside the orders of the Regional Trial Court of Pinamalayan. IN AFFIRMING RESPONDENT RTC'S REFUSAL TO DISMISS PRIVATE RESPONDENT'S ELECTION PROTEST DESPITE HIS (sic) LACK OF JURISDICTION This special civil action for certiorari seeks to annul the resolution promulgated on OVER THE SAME BY REASON OF THE FAILURE OF THE PRIVATE RESPONDENT August 31. a motion for reconsideration of its en provided that motions for reconsideration of decision shall be decided by the banc ruling is prohibited except in a case involving an election offense. the principal respondent. [G. No. even if not squarely raised as an issue. this Court needs to resolve the excess of jurisdiction or with grave abuse of discretion in not dismissing private question concerning COMELEC's jurisdiction.. we cannot respondent's election protest. question presented for our resolution is whether or not public respondent COMELEC On October 1.

any failure to pay the full amount of filing fees in election cases. Upon filing his counter-protest.00 . 4167602.[12]Patently. in which case the Rules of Court will apply. O.Summons fee in EC 31-98. The amount of election cases including pre-proclamation controversies in the first instance. then. 7022478 credited to the general fund could be considered as filing fee paid by private respondent for his protest. The questioned order of the trial court is interlocutory because it does not end the trial We have in a string of cases[13] had the occasion to rule on this matter. This power P368.00 -.00 at the time of filing of the election protest.00 as filing fees.R. Subsequently. 89 . But then again. there is no reason why petitions for certiorari relating to and confusion regarding application of Section 9 of Rule 35 of the COMELEC Rules of incidents of election protest should not be referred first to a division of the COMELEC for Procedure and this Court's resolution dated September 4. there is another reason to dismiss private respondent's election protest. errors in the payment of filing fees in election cases is no longer excusable. O. the trial court remedied the trial court. 7023752. But the Court declared that this decision must not provide relief to parties in petition herein is without doubt meritorious and has to be granted. we are constrained to also resolve the issues raised in Pahilan and Gatchalian bar any claim of good faith.00 for legal COMELEC rules. But in order to future cases involving inadequate payment of filing fees in election cases.00 filing fee under the COMELEC rules and required payment of the deficiency in P368.00 filing fee required under the P465. instead.[7] In our view. The petition for certiorari assails the trial court's erred in not ordering the dismissal of private respondent's protest case.00 . for certiorari involving incidental issues of election protest.Filing fee in EC 31-98.00 for victim compensation fee. Petitioner contends that private respondent's protest should have been dismissed In Miranda vs. only P32. Castillo. O. we held banc. excusable negligence or mistake in by petitioner. Private respondent successively filed a "petition for annulment of the proclamation/exclusion of election return" and an election protest.Legal Research Fund fee.Victim Compensation Fund. Clearly. falls within the division of the COMELEC and not on the COMELEC en the situation by directing the parties to pay the balance of P268. And the dismissal of the present case for that reason is. The error lies in the Clerk's misapplication division of the COMELEC. The Court considered the amount as partial payment of the P300. Gatchalian.00 was COMELEC Rules of Procedure[9] and corresponding receipts[10] itemized as follows: regarded as filing fee. the Regional Trial Court.[15] Since the petition lacks proper verification. it should be treated as an unsigned pleading and must be dismissed.00 was allocated for the JDF. the authority to resolve petition fee of P32. O. Of this amount.[16] ----------- Further.00 for his protest as prescribed by the COMELEC rules. seriatim. O. and Loyola cases we would no longer tolerate any mistake in the P 32.R.00. in Sarmiento vs.00 .[14] Certainly. Any decision by the Commission en banc as by the entries in the cash book of the clerk of court. In Loyola court's task of adjudicating the parties' contentions and determining their rights and vs.[11] Thus.R. We note that the verification of aforesaid protest is defective. 7023752.00 certification against forum shopping. payment of the full amount of filing fees for election cases filed after the promulgation of the Loyola decision on March 27. Rule 35 of the research fund. In the verification.R. called for. Our decisions write finis to the controversy at bar. and that the COMELEC Rules of Procedure is primarily intended to govern election cases before that Since public respondent COMELEC had acted without jurisdiction in this case. the tribunal. COMELEC gravely directly to the Commission en banc.R. private respondent merely stated that he caused the preparation of his petition and he has read and understood all the allegations therein. like the questioned order of petitioner was assessed to pay the same amount. the Court reiterated the caveat that in view of Pahilan. COMELEC[5] and in subsequent cases. Clearly then. An election protest falls within the exclusive original jurisdiction of of petitioner's petition in the first instance. P 10.00 for which OR 7023752 was issued for the Judiciary Development Fund as shown pertains to the divisions of the Commission. If the principal case. is cognizable on appeal by a compliance with the filing fee requirement.00 . A court acquires jurisdiction over any case only upon the As can be gleaned from the proceedings aforestated. 4167979 private respondent failed to state that the contents of his election protest are true and correct of his persoral knowledge.00 with OR regards election cases decided by it in the first instance is null and void. P 4.00 -. COMELEC.[8] Petitioner's contention is supported by Section 9. the amount of P268. P5. P 46. the trial court did not acquire COMELEC was not referred to a division of that Commission but was. 1990 amending Rule 141 of resolution. sitting en banc. 1997. does not have the requisite authority to hear and decide filing fee of P300. 2595144. Note that the order denying the motion to dismiss is but an incident of the election that the lapse was not at all attributable to private respondent and there was substantial protest.[6] we ruled that the Close scrutiny of the receipts will show that private respondent failed to pay the COMELEC. O. and only the amount of P32. we find that private respondent did not comply with the required P465. petitioner's petition with the payment of the prescribed docket fee. 7022478. submitted jurisdiction over private respondent's election protest. the COMELEC en banc acted without jurisdiction in taking cognizance the Rules of Court. Therefore. P 10. the clerk of court assessed private respondent therein the incorrect filing liabilities as regards each other. and. this is insufficient as P 5. P414. Yet. Thus. Besides. order denying the motion to dismiss private respondent's election protest. private respondents each paid per assessment the amount of outright as the latter failed to pay the amount of P300. once decided on the merits.R.Summons fee in EC 31-98. On review. in our view.Filing fee in EC 31-98.00.

Costs against private respondent. The Regional Trial Court of Pinamalayan. Every party filing any initiatory pleading is required to swear under oath that he has not and will not commit forum shopping. 1999. the fact that private respondent's protest was not based on the same cause of action as his pre-proclamation case is not a valid excuse for not complying with the required disclosure in the certification against forum shopping. 90 . application or other initiatory pleading. private respondent's belief that he no longer had a pending case before the COMELEC because he deemed it abandoned upon filing of his protest is not a valid reason for non-disclosure of the pendency of said pre-proclamation case. WHEREFORE. The rule applies to any complaint.[17] Nonetheless. as in this case. Oriental Mindoro. SO ORDERED.[18] Taking into account all the foregoing circumstances in this case. thus. The requirement to file a certificate of non-forum shopping is mandatory. 1998. The issues raised in that petition pertain to the preparation and appreciation of election returns and the proceedings of the municipal board of canvassers. abandoned his pre-proclamation case earlier filed. is hereby ordered to DISMISS election protest EC No. for pre-proclamation controversies may no longer be entertained by the COMELEC after the winning candidates have been proclaimed. is made permanent. It could be argued that private respondent's petition for annulment of proclamation/exclusion of election returns was a pre-proclamation case. we are persuaded that respondent Regional Trial Court erred and committed grave abuse of discretion in failing to dismiss private respondent's election protest against petitioner. Note that the COMELEC dismissed private respondent's pre-proclamation case only on July 3. said case was legally still pending resolution. respondent COMELEC en banc had no jurisdiction to affirm the refusal of respondent trial court to dismiss private respondent's election protest. Otherwise we would have an absurd situation. Branch 42. The assailed RESOLUTION of public respondent COMELEC is hereby ANNULLED AND SET ASIDE. the instant petition is GRANTED. by resorting to the wrong remedy.he did not disclose in his election protest that he earlier filed a petition for annulment of proclamation/exclusion of election returns. 31-98. Similarly. Before the dismissal. and compliance therewith would depend on their belief that they might or might not have violated the requirement. Failure to comply with this requirement cannot be excused by the fact that a party is not guilty of forum shopping. Such interpretation of the requirement would defeat the very purpose of the rule. And to reiterate. where the parties themselves would be the judge of whether their actions constitute a violation of the rule. regardless of whether the party filing it has actually committed forum shopping. The temporary restraining order issued by this Court on September 21. petition. But note that such petition was filed after the proclamation of petitioner as the winning candidate. It might even be claimed with some reason that private respondent. the petition was no longer viable.

brings up additional issues: (1) mootness and (2) prematurity. its implications on the people's fundamental freedom of Commission on Elections (Comelec) en banc Resolution No. results of which shall be [broadcast] immediately." the duty to formulate guiding and controlling constitutional principles.[4] the solicitor general. the petitioner got hold of a copy 91 .R. without transgressing in any manner the The solicitor general contends that the petition is moot and academic. we have resolved to settle."[7] Since the fundamental freedoms of source that ABS-CBN (Lopez Group) has prepared a project. On May 9. Hence. orderly and The Petition[5] is meritorious. credible elections.[8] when the issue involves the principle implementing the assailed Resolution or the restraining order issued pursuant thereto. 133486. Besides. for the radio-TV coverage of the elections x x x and to make [an] exit survey of the x x x vote guidance of posterity. in seeking to dismiss the Petition. doctrines. there is no longer any actual controversy before us. expression transcend the past election. [G."[2] The electoral body believed that such project might conflict with the official Comelec count. 1998 election. its ELECTIONS. the only adequate and speedy remedy available. the Court had occasion to reiterate that it "also has to issue the same. its agents or representatives from conducting such exit survey and to authorize the Honorable Chairman In any event. as well as the unofficial quick The solicitor general further contends that the Petition should be dismissed for count of the National Movement for Free Elections (Namfrel). specifically authorized or deputized Petitioner ABS-CBN to undertake the exit survey. Narrowly tailored Procedural Issues: Mootness and Prematurity countermeasures may be prescribed by the Comelec so as to minimize or suppress the incidental problems in the conduct of exit polls. honest. to conduct speech and of the press are being invoked here. PANGANIBAN. in Salonga v. the filing of a motion for reconsideration. because of petitioner's failure to seek a reconsideration of the assailed Comelec Resolution. 1998. dissemination of data derived therefrom. if of social justice or the protection of labor. COMMISSION ON the issuance of a restraining order enjoining the petitioner or any [other group]. 1998. only twenty (20) days before the election itself. In fact. from glossed over to prevent a miscarriage of justice. No. because the May fundamental rights of our people. It has the symbolic function of educating bench and bar on the extent The Resolution was issued by the Comelec allegedly upon "information from [a] reliable of protection given by constitutional guarantees. While the assailed Resolution referred specifically to the Before us is a Petition for Certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court assailing May 11. J. We directed the Comelec to cease and desist. with PR groups. agents or representatives from conducting exit polls during the x x x May 11 elections. Quite the contrary. or rules. To set aside the resolution of the issue now will only postpone a task that could "RESOLVED to approve the issuance of a restraining order to stop well crop up again in future elections.properly conducted and publicized -- can be vital tools in eliminating the evils of election-fixing and fraud.[11] The Issues The instant Petition assails a Resolution issued by the Comelec en banc on April 21. whether they likewise protect the holding of exit polls and the during the elections for national officials particularly for President and Vice President. the exit polls were actually conducted and reported by media without any set aside is a nullity. however. 1998 election has already been held and done with. January 28."[3] DECISION In his Memorandum. precepts. vs. 2000] Petitioner raises this lone issue: "Whether or not the Respondent Commission acted with grave abuse of discretion amounting to a lack or excess of jurisdiction when it approved ABS-CBN BROADCASTING CORPORATION.[9] when the decision or resolution sought to be any. By its very nature. Cruz Pano. this Court issued the Temporary Restraining Order prayed for by This Court. In the said Resolution. The Case and the Facts The issue is not totally moot. The holding of periodic elections is a basic 1998. It also noted that it had not petitioner's failure to exhaust available remedies before the issuing forum. Allegedly.: The Court's Ruling The holding of exit polls and the dissemination of their results through mass media constitute an essential part of the freedoms of speech and of the press.[6] ABS-CBN or any other groups.[10] or when the need for relief is extremely urgent and certiorari is difficulty or problem. respondent. exit polling is tied up with elections. the Comelec cannot ban them totally in the guise of promoting clean. until further orders. exit polls -. petitioner. the poll body feature of our democratic government. has ruled in the past that this procedural requirement may be petitioner. 98-1419[1] dated April 21. 11.

" considering that they are not supervised by any government agency and can in tendency' rule. of securing participation by the people in social and political decision-making. 1998 elections". In Cabansag v.[17] It represents a profound gravely abused its discretion and grossly violated the petitioner's constitutional rights. it gravely abused its discretion. as well as the quick count undertaken by the Namfrel. May 11. nearly every other form of freedom. It after they have officially cast their ballots. or to take refuge in the Resolution. speech or of the press. commitment to the principle that debates on public issues should be uninhibited. and sanctity of the ballot. preclude an absolute exercise of the freedoms of speech and of the press. 1998 elections. no law prohibits the holding and the reporting of exit polls. Article V of the Constitution. we need to review quickly our jurisprudence Main Issue: Validity of Conducting Exit Polls on the freedoms of speech and of the press. exit polls had not been resorted to until the recent May 11. immediately The freedom of expression is a fundamental principle of our democratic government. therefore. The question can action for certiorari is therefore justified." and that the surveys were designed "to condition the Limitations minds of people and cause confusion as to who are the winners and the [losers] in the election. as interpreted in a number of cases." The realities of life in a complex society. It insists that the issuance thereof was existing climate of opinion on any matter of public consequence. as follows: The solicitor general. In our electoral legal. however. adds that the exit polls pose a "clear and present danger of destroying the credibility and integrity of the electoral "These are the 'clear and present danger' rule and the 'dangerous process. robust. in precipitately the truth.[21] While the liberty to think is contents of ballots. on the other hand. and unqualifiedly restraining the holding and the reporting of exit polls. no less than the thought we agree with. the Comelec and of maintaining the balance between stability and change." in violation of Section 2. to lend support to official measures. to give an advance overview of how. there was hardly enough the voters and would undermine the official tabulation of votes conducted by the opportunity to move for a reconsideration and to obtain a swift resolution in time for the Commission. It submits that. in the exercise of its powers.thereof only on May 4. And paraphrasing the "pursuant to its constitutional and statutory powers to promote a clean. He insists that these polls would sow confusion among that the evil consequence of the comment or utterance must be 'extremely serious and the degree of imminence extremely high' 92 . orderly eminent justice Oliver Wendell Holmes.[16] this Court including "the exclusive results of Social Weather Station (SWS) surveys conducted in enunciated that at the very least. Moreover.[20] They are not immune to principle to preserve the sanctity of the ballots. Such freedoms could not remain unfettered and Public respondent further argues that "exit surveys indirectly violate the constitutional unrestrained at all times and under all circumstances. both political and opinion of the polling individuals or organizations. stands on a higher level than substantive economic public. honest." such as in the present case.[18] It means more than the right to approve existing political beliefs or Public respondent. committed to report balanced election-related data. The first. ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corporation maintains that it is a responsible Our Constitution clearly mandates that no law shall be passed abridging the freedom of member of the mass media. [12] and relevant absolute. It argues that the holding of exit polls and the nationwide reporting of their results are The freedom of expression is a means of assuring individual self-fulfillment. and "to protect. in issuing the assailed economic arrangements. Comelec. An exit poll is a species of electoral survey conducted by qualified individuals or groups Nature and Scope of Freedoms of Speech and of the Press of individuals for the purpose of determining the probable result of an election by confidentially asking randomly selected voters whom they have voted for. vehemently denies that. Fernandez[22] this Court had occasion to discuss two theoretical tests in determining the validity of restrictions to such freedoms. preserve and maintain the secrecy thought we hate."[14] In its Petition. means general be manipulated easily. in the or other liberties." as the "voters are lured to reveal the regulation by the State in the exercise of its police power. thus be more narrowly defined: May the Comelec. in support of the public respondent.[13] It submits that the constitutionally protected freedoms invoked by petitioner "are not immune to regulation by the State in the legitimate exercise of its police power. provisions of the Omnibus Election Code. Under the circumstances. The results of the survey are announced to the "is a 'preferred' right and. 1998 elections. and wide open. illustrate that freedom of thought and speech is the indispensable condition of history. not only is time of the essence. usually through the mass media.[19] we stress that the freedom encompasses the and credible May 11. totally ban exit polls? In answering this question." It contends that "the conduct of exit surveys might unduly confuse and influence the voters." discuss publicly and truthfully any matter of public interest without prior restraint. the electorate voted. free speech and a free press consist of the liberty to fifteen administrative regions.[15] In the landmark case Gonzales v. x x x [T]his must be so because the lessons of history. the power to express such thought in words and deeds has limitations." which in turn may result in "violence and anarchy. the Petition involves transcendental constitutional issues. of attaining valid exercises of the freedoms of speech and of the press. 1998. Direct resort to this Court through a special civil Admittedly.

and present danger that they will bring about the substantive evils that Congress has a However. In other words. in the efforts to maintain them. which To justify a restriction."[32] press.[39] punishable.[35] And it is respondent's the results thereof [are] x x x an exercise of press freedom.[29] Blo Umpar Adiong v. x x x"[23] essential to the furtherance of that interest. so that the results will as much as possible be representative or reflective of the general sentiment or view of 93 . even though the government's purposes are legitimate and substantial. "Present" refers behavior. the government has a stake in protecting the fundamental right to vote by Court echoed the words of justice Holmes: "The question in every case is whether the providing voting places that are safe and accessible." It then contends that "an exit poll has the tendency to sow confusion considering the randomness of selecting interviewees.[27] Navarro v. violence. the Comelec justifies its assailed Resolution as having been issued Doctrinally. For in the ultimate Unquestionably. before the utterance can be punished. First. in Iglesia ni Cristo v."[41] When faced and probable effect of the utterance be to bring about the substantive with borderline situations in which the freedom of a candidate or a party to speak or the evil which the legislative body seeks to prevent.[42] Ferrer. It is not necessary that some definite or immediate acts of force. Unlike in the "dangerous research data which may be used to study influencing factors and trends in voting tendency" doctrine." it argues that "[p]ress burden to overthrow such presumption. and any pursuant to its constitutional mandate to ensure a free. because exit polls generate important such substantive character that the state has a right to prevent. in order to justify a restriction of the people's freedoms of speech and of the right to prevent.[43] over one's mouth or a restraint of a writing instrument. It is sufficient if the natural tendency which would be to nullify so vital a constitutional right as free speech. Vera v. stifle fundamental personal liberties. Arca.[28] Imbong v. the interviewees or participants are selected at random. The danger to be guarded restriction on alleged First Amendment freedoms is no greater than is against is the 'substantive evil' sought to be prevented. more recently. It is sufficient that such The freedoms of speech and of the press should all the more be upheld when what is acts be advocated in general terms. and if the incidental a survey."[38] "The 'dangerous tendency' rule. the True. Fugoso[25] and American Bible Society v. Villegas. this Court adheres to the "clear and present danger" test. if the governmental interest is Such arguments are purely speculative and clearly untenable. Nor is it necessary that the sought to be curtailed is the dissemination of information meant to add meaning to the language used be reasonably calculated to incite persons to acts of equally vital right of suffrage. community or it has a dangerous tendency. or unlawfulness be advocated.[34] Comelec Ban on Exit Polling Justification for a Restriction In the case at bar. violence. then such words are end can be more narrowly achieved. this Court shall lean in favor of freedom. honest. the promotion of a substantial government interest must be further make[s] the exit poll highly unreliable.[40]We cannot support any ruling or order "the effect of force. the danger must not only be probable but very likely to be effectively prevents the use of exit poll data not only for election-day projections. orderly. x x x may be Hence.[37] Thus: exit poll may not be in harmony with the official count made by the Comelec x x x is ever present. The power to exercise prior restraint is not to be peaceful election. The probability that the results of such clearly shown. the freedom of the citizen and the State's power to regulate should not be did in its earlier decisions in Primicias v.[31] In setting the standard or test for the "clear and present danger" doctrine. There can be no free and honest elections if. Comelec[30] and. It implicitly analysis. credible and restriction is treated an exemption. It has the duty to secure the secrecy words used are used in such circumstances and are of such a nature as to create a clear of the ballot and to preserve the sanctity and the integrity of the electoral process.[33] The evil sought to be avoided must be so substantive as to justify a clamp also for long-term research. MTRCB. It is a question of proximity and degree. rather the presumption is against its validity. the Court has always ruled in favor of the freedom of expression. if it furthers an important or substantial government interest. Any act that restrains speech should be greeted freedom may be curtailed if the exercise thereof creates a clear and present danger to the with furrowed brows. the freedom to speak and the right to know are unduly curtailed. the state's responsibility of ensuring orderly voting must far outweigh them. because it to the time element. or unlawfulness." constitutional power of the government. A limitation on the freedom of expression may be justified only by a danger of These freedoms have additional importance. when the tendency which the state has a right to prevent. but inevitable.[26] as well as in later ones. by the very nature of unrelated to the suppression of free expression. the danger must not only be clear but also present.[36] so it has been said. they epitomized as follows: If the words uttered create a dangerous cannot be pursued by means that broadly. City of antagonistic. While admitting that "the conduct of an exit poll and the broadcast of presumed. An absolute prohibition would thus be unreasonably restrictive. Manila. the exit poll has a clear and present danger of destroying the "A government regulation is sufficiently justified if it is within the credibility and integrity of the electoral process."[24] freedom of the electorate to know is invoked against actions allegedly made to assure clean and free elections. on the other hand.

If at all. a specific limited area for conducting exit polls may be designated. the general interest of the State in insulating voters from outside ballots cast by particular voters or disclosing those of disabled or illiterate voters who influences is insufficient to justify speech regulation. The valuable information and ideas that could be derived from them. since its application is without qualification as to whether the polling is disruptive or not. the ways and means to achieve the Comelec end of avoiding or minimizing disorder and revelation of whom an elector has voted for is not compulsory. however. based on the voters' answers to the survey questions will forever remain unknown and unexplored.the community or group polled. without consequently and unjustifiably disorder and confusion in the voting centers -. are interviewed. Unless the ban is restrained. Thus. Munro. On the other hand. Moreover. from making copies thereof. These measures.[47] with the instructions of a third party. 1998 is made PERMANENT. social scientists The contention of public respondent that exit polls indirectly transgress the sanctity and and the electorate in general would be deprived of studies on the impact of current the secrecy of the ballot is off-tangent to the real issue. It consists merely of the opinion of the polling group disruptive behavior. The holding and the reporting of the results of exit polls cannot undermine communities are also chosen at random. one of the The reason behind the principle of ballot secrecy is to avoid vote buying through voter purposes of which was to prevent the broadcasting of early returns. which are exercises that are separate and independent from the communities are randomly selected in each province. researchers. The pollsters may further be required to wear distinctive issued by the Comelec en banc on April 21. the survey result is not meant to replace or be at results to be obtained therefrom. (3) only individuals who have already voted. instead of disrupting elections. (5) the poll results are released to the public only on the day after the elections. No costs. not at stake here are the credibility and the For its part. voters are prohibited from exhibiting the contents of their official unconstitutional because such purpose was impermissible. The absolute ban imposed by the Comelec cannot. as to who the electorate in general has probably voted for. together with a general prohibition of par with the official Comelec count. that exit polls or the means to interview voters rights of the media and the electorate. In Daily Herald Co. therefore. Furthermore. cause chaos in voting centers. based on the limited data gathered from polled individuals.can be vital tools for the holding of presence of exit poll reporters near an election precinct tends to create disorder or honest. cameras of any sort. Just as curtailing election-day have been assisted. Also proscribed is finding out the contents of the Furthermore. Only professional survey groups may be allowed to conduct the same. the contents of the official ballot are not actually exposed.properly conducted and publicized -. safe and orderly election. They may be required to explain to voters WHEREFORE. without transgressing the fundamental rights of our people. Clearly.[44] Concededly. confuse the voters. also choose not to reveal their identities. Assailed Minute Resolution No. and that the interview is not part of the the Court on May 9. but voluntary. Pollsters may be kept at a reasonable distance from the voting center. It does not leave open any alternative channel of communication to gather the type of information obtained through exit polling.[48] Additionally. (2) residences to be polled in such exit polls. the Petition is GRANTED. so is regulating speech via an exit poll restriction.[46] the US Supreme Court held that a statute. we conclude that the interest of the state in reducing Omnibus Election Code prohibits disruptive behavior around the voting disruption is outweighed by the drastic abridgment of the constitutionally guaranteed centers. narrowly tailored countermeasures may be prescribed by the Comelec. be justified. for the purpose of assuring that the votes have been cast in accordance voters' choices is impermissible.[49] These precautions. v. they may be hereby NULLIFIED and SET ASIDE. Petitioner does not seek access to events and of election-day and other factors on voters' choices. together with the possible measures earlier stated. may be undertaken to abate the Comelec's fear. Undoubtedly. be achieved merely through the voters' verbal and confidential disclosure to a pollster of whom they have voted for. since the former is only part of the latter. Neither has any evidence been presented proving that the exit polls -. The ballot system of voting is not at issue here. as those of the elections. 1998 is clothing that would show they are not election officials. and for the elimination of election-fixing. so as to minimize or suppress incidental problems in the conduct of exit polls. marks thereon so as to be identified.does not justify a total ban on them. Second.[45] There is no showing. required to undertake an information campaign on the nature of the exercise and the 94 . (4) the interviewers use no one can only be indicative of the other. For instance. the ballots cast by the voters. This result cannot. the assailed Comelec Resolution is too broad. orderly. 98-1419 official balloting process. what is forbidden is the association of voters with their broadcasts and newspaper editorials for the reason that they might indirectly affect the respective votes. the With the foregoing premises. Finally. stilling the people's voice. Indeed. peaceful and credible elections. fraud and other electoral ills. the prohibition incidentally prevents the collection of exit poll data and their Violation of Ballot Secrecy use for any purpose. the outcome of shown by the indelible ink on their fingers. however. Quite the contrary. Voters may confusion that may be brought about by exit surveys. and the statute was neither ballots to other persons. candidates. or from putting distinguishing narrowly tailored to advance a state interest nor the least restrictive alternative. The Comelec's concern with the possible noncommunicative effect of exit polls -. could ensure a clean. was identification. there are other valid and reasonable In exit polls. Petitioner ABS-CBN explains its survey methodology as follows: (1) integrity of the elections. and the Temporary Restraining Order issued by that the latter may refuse to be interviewed.

203833 March 19. as in the case before it. J. These assailed Resolutions reversed and set aside the May for lack of merit. So filed an election protest with the MeTC on the ground Rule 14 of A. Finally.354 votes or a winning margin of 628 votes over So’s 6. the Order already attained finality. On May 9. 70-2011. 2011. procedural 95 . First. Rule 6 of A. he also failed to pay the appeal fee within the reglementary period.10 motion for reconsideration from the dismissal order instead of a notice of appeal. So pinpointed twenty percent (20%) of the total number of the protested repetitive phraseology of the Order.. the MeTC Commissioner Lim’s Dissent 11 denied the motion for reconsideration on the ground that it was a prohibited pleading pursuant to Section 1. Also. Muntinlupa City during the October 25. 2012 Resolution. Second. appeals when the questioned order amounts to an oppressive exercise of judicial vs.M. No. 2011 Order of the Muntinlupa City Metropolitan Trial Court. So filed a petition for certiorari on May 31. SO. and was couched in general terms: "these are not written by one person observing the different strokes. Respondent judge is directed to conduct another revision of the 4. So filed a voters in the protested precincts. the petition for certiorari cannot be a substitute for the lost appeal. No. authority."7 RESOLUTION The Comelec En Banc Ruling BRION. the MeTC Judge failed to mention in her appreciation of the ballots that she examined the Minutes Following the recount of the ballots in the pilot protested precincts.: The Comelec en banc. On May 17.5 The dissent posited that So’s petition should be dismissed outright as it was mired in procedural errors. premises considered. Also. It ruled that where the dismissal was capricious. Sevilla. Branch 80 contested ballots in Election Protest Case No. 07-4-15-SC on the form of the decision in election protests involving that Sevilla committed electoral fraud. Third. JR. slant. Petitioner. the MeTC Judge’s findings were "copy-pasted" into precincts.M. 2013 In its May 14. by a vote of 3-3. So faults the MeTC for its non. No. 2011 with the Comelec. spacing. On November 4.726 total jurisdiction when she did not comply with the mandatory requirements of Section 2(d). SEVILLA. he could have simply filed the petition for should be considered as having been written by one or two persons. a motion for reconsideration was improper as the Order amounted grave abuse of discretion on the part of the MeTC Judge. The Comelec could not The Comelec Second Division Ruling even treat the certiorari as an appeal since the petition was filed 25 days after So received the assailed Order. So’s election protest against Sevilla.9 (MeTC). He also prayed for a manual revision of the ballots. It also ruled that the assailed Order was fraught with COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS and RENATO R.R.4 the decision and ran counter to the mandate of the aforementioned rule. 2012 Resolution3 of the Comelec en bancin WHEREFORE. SP-6719 with dispatch. anomalies and irregularities in all the protested pairs or groups of ballots written by two persons. 07-04-15-SC. So should have filed an appeal within five (5) days from receipt In response. Jr. to the final disposition of the protest. It noted that based on the general and precincts. with prayer for the issuance of a Writ of its October 6. 2012 Resolution whose dispositive portion reads: Preliminary Injunction and/or Status Quo Ante Order. 2010 Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections. dismissing respondent Renato R. 2011 dismissing the election protest. may not be defeated by technical infirmities. 2010. to nullify the May 14. 2012 Resolution2 of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) Second Division and the October 6. the Comelec Second Division granted So’s petition. certiorari lies as the petition challenges not the correctness but the validity of the order of dismissal. The Comelec Second Division held that certiorari can be granted despite the availability of MAMERTO T. the MeTC issued an of Voting and Counting to ascertain whether there were illiterate voters or assisted Order dated May 4. infirmities and irregularities in the appreciation of the ballots.6 certiorari without the necessity of filing the motion for reconsideration. size and indentation of handwriting and the variance in writing. thus. 2011. the Motion for Reconsideration is hereby DENIED SPR (BRGY-SK) No. Respondents. there should be a clear and reconsideration even if he believed that the Order was interlocutory since a motion for distinct presentation of the specific details of how and why a certain group of ballots reconsideration is a prohibited pleading. So should not have filed the motion for observance of the rule that in the appreciation of ballots. alleging of the MeTC’s Order.1 filed by petitioner Mamerto T. the Board of Election Tellers proclaimed Sevilla as the It found that the MeTC Judge committed grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack of winner with a total of 7. On October 26.8 affirmed the Comelec Second Division’s ruling in Before this Court is the petition for certiorari.G. 2010. votes. The Comelec en banc emphasized that procedural technicalities should be disregarded for the immediate and The Facts final resolution of election cases inasmuch as ballots should be read and appreciated with utmost liberality so that the will of the electorate in the choice of public officials Sevilla and So were candidates for the position of Punong Barangay of Barangay Sucat.

resolution. resolution. resolution. a liberal application of the rules cannot be made to a petition which offers no explanation for the non-observance of the rules.15 the assailed October 6. Commissioner the assailed October 6. 2012 Resolution of the Comelec en banc had no legal prays for the dismissal of the petition so that it can be remanded to the Comelec for a effect whatsoever except to convey that the Comelec failed to reach a decision and that rehearing by a full and complete Commission. 2012 Resolution of the Comelec en banc was not a Second Division’s findings on the basis of the three concurring votes by Commissioners majority decision considering that three Commissioners voted for the denial of the Tagle. it also did not overturn the Comelec Second motion for reconsideration and the three others voted to grant the same. 2012. and had been written by one person. nor any plain. Commissioner had not yet been appointed by the President at that time. speedy and concurrence of a majority of the Members of the Commission shall be necessary for the adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law. she made clear.13 In the present case. The Petition The October 6. Lastly. 2012 and the Comelec en Constitution and the Comelec Rules of Procedure require for a valid pronouncement of banc’s Resolution of October 6. In Marcoleta v. any case or matter brought before it within sixty days Sevilla argues that the Comelec gravely abused its discretion when it entertained So’s from the date of its submission for decision or resolution. 2012 Resolution was deliberated upon only by six (6) Sarmiento and Commissioner Lim.12 pronouncement of a decision. 2012 Resolution of the Comelec en banc. the vote of four (4) members must always be attained in order to decide. Thus." grave abuse of discretion. So notes that Division on the basis of the three dissenting votes by Chairman Brillantes. while the October 6. 2012. specific and detailed 5(a) of Rule 3 of the Comelec Rules of Procedure and Section 7 of Article IX-A of the explanations pertaining to the specific strokes. So filed a motion for reconsideration – a prohibited pleading that did not stop the running of the prescriptive period to file an appeal. Quorum. Instead Rules of Procedure the votes required for the pronouncement of a decision. for all intents and the October 6. [italics supplied. give a valid excuse for his errors.(a) When sitting en banc. four (4) Members of the petition for certiorari should not have been given due course since it is not a substitute Commission shall constitute a quorum for the purpose of transacting business. of filing an appeal within five (5) days from receipt of the Order and paying the required order or ruling when the Comelec sits en banc. the Comelec provided in Section 5(a). viz.: appeal fee. as either side was short of one (1) vote to obtain a Commissioners because the 7th majority decision. Votes Required.14 the Court resolved to require the Comelec and the respondent motion for reconsideration. order or ruling. Recall that under Section 7. 2012 Resolution of the Comelec en banc appears to have affirmed the Comelec Second Division’s Resolution and. a majority vote of all the members of the Commission en banc is necessary to arrive at a ruling. So did not We resolve to DISMISS the petition for having been prematurely filed with this Court.rules should not be lightly shunned in favor of liberality when. is necessary for the certiorari would still not lie because a mere error of judgment is not synonymous with pronouncement of a decision. Article IX-A of the Constitution requires that "each Commission shall decide by a majority vote of all its members.16 further action is required. order or ruling. 2012 Comelec en banc’s Resolution lacks legal effect as it is not a majority decision required by the Constitution and by the Comelec Rules of Procedure The Comelec gravely abused its discretion when it gave due course to the petition for certiorari Section 7. In other words. emphasis ours] The dismissal of the election protest was proper We have previously ruled that a majority vote requires a vote of four members of the Sevilla also contends that the dismissal was not tainted with grave abuse of discretion Comelec en banc. not only those who participated and took part in the deliberations. So purposes. Velasco and Yusoph. 2012 Resolution was not a majority decision by the Comelec en banc. Article IX-A of the Constitution. in effect. The Court’s Ruling 96 . In his Comment. the respondent contends that the petition was filed prematurely. and remand the case to the COMELEC for its appropriate action. Commission on Elections. denied Sevilla’s On November 13. Rule 3 of the Comelec dismissal order became final and executory due to So’s wrong choice of remedy. figures or letters showing that the ballots Constitution require that a majority vote of all the members of the Comelec en banc. . conversely. Considering that irrespective of the number of Commissioners in attendance. the Comelec en banc did not sustain the Comelec emphasizes that the October 6. based on the 3-3 voting.18 we declared "that Section since the MeTC Judge complied with the rules. He In essence. as in this case. The for an appeal and may only be allowed if there is no appeal. Sevilla also emphasizes that So’s Section 5. the equally divided voting between three Commissioners to comment on the petition and to observe the status quo prevailing before the issuance concurring and three Commissioners dissenting is not the majority vote that the of the assailed Comelec Second Division’s Resolution of May 14. Granting that the decision was tainted with errors. the assailed October 6."17 Pursuant to this petition despite its loss of jurisdiction to entertain the petition after the court a quo’s Constitutional mandate.

cited above. Rule 18 of the Comelec Rules of Procedure mandates a In Belac v. A rehearing clearly presupposes the participation of the opposing parties for of the Comelec En Banc is equally divided.20 only three members of the Comelec en banc To the same effect. [emphasis ours. that the Order of the Comelec En Banc dated February 10. and one member took no part. This should have been the proper way for the Comelec En Banc to act on herein petitioner’s Section 6. 2011 to the Comelec en bane for the conduct of the required rehearing under the Comelec Rules of Procedure. if any. The Comelec en bane is hereby ORDERED to proceed with Thus. a re-consultation involves a re-evaluation of the issues and Comelec Rules of Procedure arguments already on hand only by the members of the tribunal. we hereby DISMISS the petition and REMAND SPR (BR GY-SK) No. the Comelec En Banc first issued an positions or arguments and convince the members of the Comelec en banc of the merit of order setting the case for hearing and allowed the parties to submit their respective their case." To reiterate. whereas. 70- reasonable opportunity to explain their side of the controversy at hand. Section 6. in appealed cases. when the voting of the Comelec En Banc on therein petitioner’s rehearing where parties are given the opportunity anew to strengthen their respective motion for reconsideration was equally divided. Rule 18 of the Comelec Rules of Procedure.The October 6. or the necessary majority cannot be had.19 Section 6. According. the petition or give petitioner the rehearing required by the Comelec Rules of Procedure. and in all incidental matters." hence. a rehearing clearly presupposes the participation of the opposing parties for the the rehearing with utmost dispatch. cannot do away with a rehearing since its Rules clearly provide for such a proceeding for the body to have a solicitous review of the controversy Section 6. 2007. that a remand of this case is necessary for the Comelec en banc to comply with the rehearing requirement of Section 6. in Marcoleta v. the Court ruled: Resolution of the First Division. Court of pursuant to the Comelec Rules of Procedure. we consideration. Based on these considerations. Thus. To break the legal stalemate in case the opinion is equally divided among the members of the Comelec en banc. despite the obvious inclination of three commissioners to affirm the Rules of Procedure. The Court notes. and if on rehearing no decision is reached. or oversight in first for certiorari by Sevilla. the case shall be Procedure calls for a rehearing where the parties would have the opportunity to reheard. The proclamation of Muslimin Sema as the duly elected Mayor of Cotabato City). lacking in legal effect despite its pronouncement of reversal of the First Division Resolution.1âwphi1 The requirements are satisfied where the parties are afforded fair and WHEREFORE. In both the cases of Juliano and Marcoleta. In the present case. the purpose of presenting additional evidence. But as held in Samalio v. Procedure if Opinion is Equally Divided. In ruling that the Comelec acted with grave abuse of discretion when it failed to order a rehearing required by the Comelec The Comelec. Its own Rules of equally divided in opinion. citation omitted) means a second deliberation of persons on some subject. without the participation of the parties. that what was conducted was a mere "re-consultation. it appears from the records that the Comelec en banc did not issue an Rehearing is defined as a "second consideration of cause for purpose of calling to court’s Order for a rehearing of the case in view of the filing in the interim of the present petition or administrative board’s attention any error.22 the Court ruled that the voted in favor of granting Estrelita Juliano’s motion for reconsideration (from the Comelec en banc did not gravely abuse its discretion when it ordered a rehearing of its Decision of the Comelec Second Division dismissing her petition for annulment of November 6. The Resolution served no more than a record of voters. Commission on Elections. neither the assenters nor dissenters can claim a majority in the En Banc A "re-consultation" is definitely not the same as a "rehearing. Rule 18 of the Comelec Rules of Procedure specifically states that if the opinion before it. Rule 18 of the Comelec Rules of Procedure reads: memoranda before voting anew on therein petitioner’s motion for reconsideration. 2012 Comelec en banc’s Resolution must be reheard pursuant to the their arguments. A retrial of issues presumes notice to parties entitled thereto and remanded the cases to the Comelec en banc for the conduct of the required rehearing opportunity for them to be heard. italics supplied] acted with grave abuse of discretion. a re-consultation ordering a rehearing.23 (italics supplied. three Court held: members dissented. omission. 2005 clearly stated amplifying their arguments. . 2007 Resolution for failing to muster the required majority voting. the Comelec did not commit any grave abuse of discretion in A consultation is a "deliberation of persons on some subject.21 (italics supplied. and further clarifying and however.When the Commission en banc is motion for reconsideration when the first voting was equally divided. said body motion shall be denied. the action or proceeding shall be strengthen their respective positions or arguments and convince the members of the dismissed if originally commenced in the Commission. the case shall be reheard." Resolution of November 6. when the Comelec En Banc failed to or order appealed from shall stand affirmed. Commission on Elections. Comelec. A formal or trial-type hearing is not at all times and in all instances essential. if any. and further clarifying and amplifying 97 . we thus find Appeals. emphases ours) In Juliano v. purpose of presenting additional evidence. the judgment Comelec En Banc of the merit of their case." (italics supplied).

A. Through military efforts. JR. 2013 Legaspi filed a Petition for Disqualification against private Dominador Rayo. Parreno took no part containing the remaining undistributed envelopes with an estimated aggregate amount in the deliberations and Commissioner Maria Grace Cielo M. 216572. therefore. Lim took no part in the Giving due credence and consideration to the evidence adduced by petitioner. padlocked. Adelaida Auza. said political leaders.R. Guia. and commissioners Lucenito N. docketed as SPA No. private respondents moved for reconsideration before the COMELEC en of Mendoza to have resolved such an issue. 6. SANTOS.7 resolved to deny private this rare opportunity. Rogelio Santos. chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary WHEREFORE. Commissioner Al A. 7160 is hereby AFFIRMED. There. (3) ORDER the Regional Election Director of COMELEC Region III to implement this COMELEC1 (Mendoza) are sparse.A. The dispositive portion of the COMELEC the following wise: resolution6 reads: 98 . 7160. It is a rarity for us to be presented a case assailing the Resolution.00 each and a sample ballot bearing the names of private respondents.: Cruz. G. RESOLUTION (2) REFER the criminal aspect of this case against Germar (sic).4 3-2-2 vote: the previously voting commissioners maintained their respective positions while then newly-appointed commissioner Arthur D. 2013 Resolution of the Special First Division (1) To recapitulate. ALFREDO D. disqualifying respondents Alfredo M. premises considered. private respondents engaged in massive vote-buying. which served as the venue for distribution. Petitioner. Amelia VELASCO JR. Dale Soliba. 2016 WHEREFORE. Gesmar (sic) and Rogelio C. the Commission RESOLVED as it hereby RESOLVES to: FELICIANO LEGASPI. the vote-buying was foiled and the office. petitioner Feliciano Legaspi (Legaspi) and private respondent Alfredo D. The re- nor visit the office of the Homeowner's Association of North Hills Village at the time the deliberation resulted in the issuance of the assailed Order9 dated January 28.2 On May 14. Roberto Esquivel. Germar. Lim and Luie Tito F.. while two (2) commissioners. the COMELEC Special First Division. 2015 Decision in the case at bench is only second to the seminal case Thereafter. (2) referring the criminal aspect of this respondent Rogelio Santos (Santos) was a candidate for councilor in the May 13. hereby RESOLVESto DENY this Motion for Reconsideration for LACK OF MERIT. to modify the Mendoza doctrine before it respondents' motion thusly: further takes root. Rogelio Santos. Dominador Rayo. private respondents denied the allegations and raised the alibi that from 3:00 Since the Resolution was not concurred in by four (4) votes or a majority of all the o'clock to 11:00 o'clock in the evening of May 11. a re-deliberation of the administrative aspect of the case was meeting de avance at the San Andres Parish church grounds. Amelia Cruz and Leonardo Ignacio to respondents. P/Supt. Bulacan. Dale Soliba. As per witness accounts. (1) DISQUALIFY Respondents Alfredo M. Padaca did not vote as of Php800. for the positions of Mayor and Councilor of Norzagaray. and The opportunities for the Court to revisit its ruling in Mendoza vs. 2013. the SO ORDERED. Norzagaray. take advantage of banc but the latter. The newly-minted Chief of Police. Jr. voted for the denial of the motion. Respondent. SO ORDERED. but a group of concerned citizens were able to thwart their plan her ad interim appointment had already expired.8 In answer. AND ROGELIO P. through its July 10. Bitungol. as follows: three (3) commissioners. following the rules on succession as provided in R. camped inside the North Hills Village Homeowners Association Office in Brgy. The adverted Resolution had a vote of 3-2-1-1. In fact. Jr. dissented. while Succession as provided under R. April 19. Jr.. 13-353 (DC). The Court must. Brillantes. 2013 until election day. the Commission RESOLVED.. the October 3. v. following the Rules on their political leaders as conduits. J. Germar and Rogelio C. deeply entrenched in our jurisprudence. Bulacan. Marivic Nunez. by a 2-1 vote on October 3.3 tribunal. COMELEC en banc's reversal of its division's ruling notwithstanding the former's failure to muster the four (4) votes required under our Constitution to do so. Roberto Esquivel. and that they did not go to conducted pursuant to Sec. vacating a seat in the electoral in flagrante delicto and intercept the said evidence of vote-buying. as it The facts of this case are simple and undisputed. 2013 case against Alfredo M. 2013. on reconsideration. September 1. Rule 18 of the COMELEC Rules of Procedure. were distributing to voters envelopes containing Php 500.5 the deliberations and abstained from voting. Santos. and Leonardo Ignacio to the Law Department for preliminary investigation. Jr. using Director of COMELEC Region III to implement this Resolution. Bulacan while private of Mayor and Councilor of Norzagaray. Dale Soliba. Santos. 2014 Resolution. for the positions Germar (Germar) both ran as mayoralty candidates in Norzagaray.. Adelaida Auza. Jr.10 Citing the same procedural rule.000. Marivic Nunez.00. disqualified private COMELEC en bancdismissed the original Petition for Disqualification filed by Legaspi in respondents from the 2013 electoral race. petitioner averred that from May the Law Department for preliminary investigation and (3) ordering the Regional Election 11. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS. Tagle and Elias R. and his subordinates Yusoph. Christian then attempted to force open the office and retrieve from inside four (4) boxes Robert S. elections. they attended the Liberal Party's members of the COMELEC. No. 2015 with a election offenses were allegedly committed. premises considered. GERMAR. Bulacan. namely Chairman Sixto S. Consequently.

nevertheless. Mendoza pointed out that because the necessary majority the rulings of the COMELEC en banc when less than four (4) votes were cast to either vote of four (4) was not obtained by the COMELEC en banc.17 entire case's dismissal should the en banc fail to reach the required majority vote. IX-A of the Constitution. 2015 Decision. To summarize Mendoza. 2015. Naturally. Rule 18 dismissed if originally commenced in the Commission. the party moving for reconsideration. The provision reads: Actions or Proceedings" and covering Rules 20-34. render a valid ruling. 13-353 (DC) as an action "originally commenced with the Commission" warranting the grant his or her plea. carries the burden of proving that the division committed reversible In dismissing Legaspi's petition on September 1. the petition or motion shall be denied. 7. the COMELEC en banc reheard the January 28. Thus. 2007. Agreeing. unsuccessful in obtaining the required majority vote to September 1. under Sec. it likewise diminishes the adjudicatory powers of the COMELEC Divisions under Sec. Pagdanganan (Pagdanganan). If the action or proceeding is originally commenced in the COMELEC. on case but was. 6. be dismissed in its entirety. premises considered. or resolve motions for reconsideration of the division rulings. Further. the Commission RESOLVED. as previously applied Disqualification for FAILURE TO OBTAIN THE NECESSARY MAJORITY VOTES AFTER in Mendoza. 99 . protest ought to be dismissed.When the Commission en banc is proceeding" in this case.15 the COMELEC Divisions are granted 2. 2015. as reiterated in the September 1. therein petitioner Joselito R. IX-A of the Constitution. Regrettably. as the party seeking affirmative relief. Mendoza (Mendoza) was SO ORDERED. the judgment or order appealed from shall stand adjudicatory powers to decide election cases. in a 3-1 vote. Pursuant to its rules. the Court is called to interpret Sec. the September 1. the Court is faced once again with the issue on how to treat On petition with the Court. Mendoza moved for private respondents' motion for reconsideration and only two (2) commissioners voted reconsideration with the en banc. RE-DELIBERATION/REHEARING by the members of the Commission en banc. the judgment of the COMELEC Rules of Procedure in Mendoza or order appealed from shall stand affirmed. Perplexed as to how he who prevailed before the COMELEC Special First Division can Pagdanganan filed an election protest that the COMELEC Second Division eventually face defeat before the COMELEC en banc when three (3) commissioners voted to deny granted. in appealed cases. On June 1. In incidental matters. such action or proceeding shall be dismissed. the afore-cited provision outlines the The Mendoza doctrine. failure to muster the The Court's Ruling required majority vote on reconsideration would lead to the election protest's dismissal. 2015 Decision. 3. This. Procedure if Opinion is Equally Divided.12 The Court GRANTS petitioner's motion for reconsideration. with three votes denying the motion. 2015 COMELEC en banc Order before this Court. the Court. according to the ponencia. the Court. 2015 Decision in the case at bar is hereby REVERSED and SET ASIDE. Thus. the Court applied the first effect and ordered that Legaspi's Petition for Disqualification." (emphasis added) renders the rule unconstitutional As framed in the September 1. 2015 Decision or motion shall be denied. Hence. 7. but the COMELEC failed to reach a majority vote to to reverse the judgment in his favor. 2010. a motion for reconsideration lodged with the COMELEC en banc is not an "action or proceeding" within the contemplation of the rules. The movant then shoulders the obligation of convincing four (4) Commissioners to No. petitioner Legaspi interposed the instant motion for reconsideration. the Court first categorized SPA error. .16 four (4) votes are necessary for the COMELEC en banc to decide a case. provided that the COMELEC en banc shall affirmed. that the phrase ought to be construed Primarily.11 From the September 1. the COMELEC en banc sustained the ruling of its Second Division. The September 1. 6. voted to dismiss the petition. the petition and in the September 1. not just of the motion for reconsideration. Rule 18 of the COMELEC Rules of Procedure. and if on rehearing no decision is reached. Art. 2015 Decision discussed that is GRANTED. deviated from effects of the COMELEC en banc's failure to decide: the 1987 Constitution. or the necessary majority cannot be had. besting respondent Roberto M. Pagdanganan's election grant or deny the motion for reconsideration pending before it. Not only does it circumvent the four-vote requirement under Sec. Rule 18 of the COMELEC Rules on as pertaining to Part V of the COMELEC Rules of Procedure. thereby annulling Mendoza's proclamation. the action or proceeding shall be The interpretation of Sec. and the instant petition Aside from relying on the Mendoza ruling. Legaspi launched a Rule 64 petition assailing the either grant or deny the motion. is the first hereby RESOLVESto DISMISS the administrative aspect of this Petition for effect of Sec. proclaimed winner of the 2007 gubernatorial election for the province of Bulacan.WHEREFORE. Article IX-C. Aggrieved. denominated as "Particular Procedure. Article IX-C of the 1987 Constitution. In appealed cases. 6. equally divided in opinion. Article 3. the case shall be reheard. ruled for Mendoza and explained that as an original action before the Commission. and all incidental matters. 3. the alleged "action or Section 6.14 1. 2015 Decision. on March 25. Under Sec. as it regardless of the COMELEC division's ruling.

under the provision. and banc. classifying the pending case or matter before the COMELEC is a prerequisite paradoxical scenarios. returns. Rule 18 was invoked was no longer Legaspi's petition to reverse the ruling of a body that has properly exercised its adjudicatory for disqualification itself but his motion for reconsideration before the COMELEC en powers. while the motion for reconsideration was filed with the COMELEC en banc in allowing their rulings to be overruled by the en banc without the latter securing the the first instance. The pending issue at the time was not directly private respondents' qualification or disqualification to run for or hold office.e. but. ought to be affirmed. or that the said decision. Instead. COMELEC Rules of Procedure. in situations such as this.23 votes were counted in favor of the private respondents to reach the majority vote of four (4). there would be no cogent reason to disturb the ruling of two forms: those originally commenced with the COMELEC Division or those originally the COMELEC division. in turn. actions originally commenced before the ruling. For the first effect to apply."21 Far from it.. such as petitions for postponement of elections under Sec. choose to rest on inhibitions and abstentions of COMELEC members to under Sec. which virtually allows the grant of a motion for of case or matter that is before the commission." (emphasis added) To exacerbate the situation. private commission". preliminary investigation of election offenses may. 6. is easily rendered illusory by the application of xxx [T]he effects of the COMELEC en banc's failure to decide vary depending on the type the Mendozaruling. The failure of the COMELEC en banc to muster the required majority vote only decided by the COMELEC Special First Division on October 3. while the case originated from Legaspi's filing of a Petition for Disqualification. IX-A of the Constitution. and qualifications of all elective regional. Thus. 7. COMELEC Division consist of all contests relating to the elections. Rule 29. the affirmance of a judgment or order) only applies respondents were nevertheless declared the victors in the January 28. the motion for reconsideration should be understood as tantamount to the COMELEC en banc finding no reversible error attributable to its division's Under Article IX-C. Rule 18 of the COMELEC Rules of Procedure severely suffers from constitutional infirmities and calls for the nullification of the rule itself. If the COMELEC en banc does not find that or proceeding originally commenced before the COMELEC. the prevailing interpretation of Sec.22 On the other hand. 2. therefore. To demonstrate herein. Rule 34. the pending case or matter must be an original action order or ruling is contrary to law. the coverage of the phrase is limited to those itemized in Part V of the From the foregoing disquisitions. order or ruling. 6. it is as though the two (2) abstention to act. it cannot strictly be considered as an "action or proceeding" originally necessary number to decide the case. 2013. a movant. Under the prevailing interpretation of Sec. to wit:19 to identifying the applicable effect. Rule 18 in the case at bar. complaints or charges not even rely on the strength of his or her arguments and evidence to win a case. As held in the September 1. not reversed nor vacated. the second effect (i. the dismissal of the action or proceeding) only applies when the type of case favor. 2015 ponencia: 100 . ii. In this case. 2015 COMELEC en when the type of case before the COMELEC is an "appealed case". the circumvention of the four-vote requirement. 2.. failure to muster four votes to sustain commenced with the COMELEC en banc. viz: "complements our Constitution. the denial of the petition or motion) only applies when the case or matter before the COMELEC is an "incidental matter. Here. the first reconsideration even though the movant fails to secure four votes in his or her effect (i. whether or not the COMELEC division committed reversible error in its October 3. trivializes the proceedings before the COMELEC divisions and presents rather Verily. and city officials. Art. petitions for failure of election under Sec. Otherwise stated. we now apply Sec.. Said decision. Yet curiously. Rule 26. and all other cases where the COMELEC division is not authorized produce the same result. instead. This could take either of either ground exists. 2(2) of the Constitution. need 1.20 commenced with the commission as contemplated by the rules. The motion for reconsideration before the COMELEC en banc is an "incidental matter" Proceeding to the core of the controversy. 6. 1. however. provincial. Sec. and the third effect banc Resolution. Rule 18 of the COMELEC Rules of Procedure. 6. said petition has already been passed upon and i. Rule 26. and for indirect contempt under Sec. the cases directly filed with the COMELEC en banc are those specifically provided in the These resultant paradoxes have to be avoided. This impedes and undermines the adjudicatory powers of the COMELEC divisions by In this case.e. it managed under consideration when Sec. it is then difficult to see how the Mendoza doctrine COMELEC Rules of Procedure. A motion for reconsideration may be filed on the ground that the evidence is insufficient to justify the decision. As discussed in the September 1. 2015 Decision.This voting threshold. more precisely. in blatant violation of Sec. 2013 ruling.e.18 (i. in spite before the COMELEC is an action or proceeding "originally commenced in the of securing only two (2) votes to grant their motion for reconsideration. what was means that it could not have validly decided the case.

PRIMO NAVARRO and NOEL as follows: NAVARRO. respondent Judge. referred the administrative matter to Justice Salome A. 561. No. namely: disbursing. respectively. Branch 28. among other reasons. Special Civil Case No. 465: JUDGE SINFOROSO V. found the evidence ARANAS. Judge and issued the temporary restraining order. respondent judge issued an Order restraining the projects requiring massive outlay or public funds during the election continuance of various public works projects being undertaken by the provincial period was done maliciously and intentionally to corrupt voters and government and the disbursement of funds therefor. In this petition charging Judge Sinforoso V. This Court. Complainant alleged that in the May 11. 1992 elections for the positions of congressmen and governor. releasing. Cong. 465 entitled "Pedro P. TABAMO. political faction of Congressman Pedro P. allegedly in violation of a 45-day induce them to support the candidacy of Gov. 561 entitled "People vs. according to complainant. PALERMO SIA.A. 28) presided over by respondent Judge Tabamo against Gov. that the public works with Prayer for the Issuance of a Writ of Preliminary Injunction and projects were commenced without the approved detailed engineering Restraining Order. 1993. 1992 elections. and that the illegal prosecution of the said public works In Special Civil Action No. petitioners. Camiguin with manifest bias and partiality and highly irregular and undertaking and/or pursuing certain public works projects and from outrightly illegal acts in connection with two cases filed before his court. vs. and/or spending public funds for said projects. Jr. EMMANUEL Complying with said resolution. 465. which had jurisdiction over the case. the Provincial Auditor. in spite of the fact that it was the Commission on Elections. Romualdo sought to prohibit and restrain the respondents from Mambajao. at Cong. and reviewed by the Department of Budget and Management. as follows: In Criminal Case No. 1992 of Governor Provincial Treasurer. A. They RESOLUTION belonged to opposing political factions and were in a bitter electoral battle. Governor undertaken in violation of the 45-day ban on public works imposed by Antonio A. CRESENCIO ECHAVEZ.P. report and recommendation. ANTONIO AREVALO. Pedro P. were intended to favor the and shape occasioned by the alleged wanton. et al. GALLARDO. Sision & Inso for petitioners. Gallardo. the It appearing from the verified petition in this case Indeterminate Sentence Law and the Revised Penal Code in order to afford the accused that great and irreparable damage and/or injury in said case the right to avail of provisions of the Probation Law. Justice Montoya. Romualdo and Gov. not the Regional Trial Court. such damage or injury taking the form Respondent Judge's actuations. Criminal Case No. JR. It appears that Cong. et al. Dagondon. 1994 resolution dated March 18. On April 10. that locally funded B. Antonio R. Prohibition. RONNIE RAMBUYON. and Mandamus the Omnibus Election Code (B. Tabamo issued a temporary restraining order as prayed for by the petitioner Cong. were both candidates in the May 11. 881). Tabamo. before the matter can be heard on notice. in her final report. of Camiguin. of the Regional Trial Court. the Provincial Engineer.: 465 before the Regional Trial Court of Camiguin (Br. Montoya of the Court of Appeals for investigation. and plans and specification and corresponding program of works. Blg. that the expenditures of the 20% development fund for projects other than for maintenance violated the Local Government Code. said projects were A. allegedly because. 101 . 1992 or about a month before the elections. Romualdo. Gallardo of the Province of Camiguin and other officials of the said province. J. Re: SPECIAL CIVIL ACTION NO. dated May 5. Ruel D." projects had been pursued without the provincial budget having been for Illegal Possession of Indian Hemp (marijuana)." for Injunction. Gallardo. Romualdo in the struggle with the group of excessive. took cognizance of the same In the afternoon of the same day that the petition was filed. RTJ-92-881 June 2. in a money. first approved. ANTONIO A. and the Provincial Budget Officer as respondents. shall be caused to the petitioner as candidate and taxpayer. Romualdo filed a petition docketed as Special Civil Action No. respondent. Gallardo and his ticket ban on public works imposed by the Omnibus Election Code. Gallardo Hermosisima. KAPUNAN. abusive and flagrant waste of public Governor Gallardo for political supremacy in the 1992 elections. Antonio A. respondent Judge is accused to have imposed the wrong sentence in violation of specific provisions of the Dangerous Drugs Law.M. the For this Court's consideration is a letter-complaint. Romualdo vs.

Cong. L-104848. he decided to go to the Supreme FORMAL ORDERS FOLLOWS END. restraining order issued by Judge Tabamo. 465. Gallardo to give the salaries were there. the people that it was not Cong. goods. Gallardo said he went there to inform the judge about Corruption". 1992 a rally or demonstration was held in front of the 24. thinking that the same had not been communicated to the judge. the temporary restraining order issued by the Supreme Court. STOP justice from the respondent court.M. No. 102 . ET AL. composed two great political leaders in his province. Gallardo reading as follows: issuing. from releasing. After receiving this telegram Judge Tabamo issued an Order on the same day of April 23. People. VERSUS HONORABLE SINFOROSO TABAMO JR. or other things of value chargeable against SUPREME COURT IN AN ORDER DATED APRIL 20 public funds in connection with the said projects. He also said that he decided not to go to court on April On April 13. the respondents are hereby Temporarily xxx xxx xxx Restrained from pursuing or prosecuting the project itemized in Annexes "A" and "A-1" of the In the afternoon of April 23. Cong. 1992 Judge Tabamo received a telegram petition. Gov. Gallardo and Cong. He said that the elections were nearing and all their projects 1992 AND FROM CONTINUING WITH THE were suspended. They were taken from Tabamo announced that the case would not be heard any more as the all over the island of Camiguin and loaded in several cargo trucks Supreme Court had issued an order for Judge Tabamo not to hear the chartered by the followers of Gov. 1992 or very ENTITLED PEDRO ROMUALDO VERSUS close to the elections of May 11. to the RTC as the "Romualdo-Tabamo-Court" and "Romualdo Tabamo.R. Romualdo announced to the of his relatives among the rallyists and when he asked them why they people that he had already ordered Gov. mostly of the unpaid laborers. Romualdo and They were composed of followers of both Gov. he at once saw DESIST FROM IMPLEMENTING AND ENFORCING that the same was not within the jurisdiction of the Regional Trial YOUR QUESTIONED ORDER DATED APRIL 10. 1992 canceling the hearing of the application for xxx xxx xxx a writ of preliminary injunction which had been previously set for April 24. carried placards which protested the restraining order and urged Judge Tabamo to order the release of It appears that on April 24. being a lawyer. he was told that the laborers were gathered on the of the laborers and when the latter heard the announcement. disbursing and/or from the Supreme Court in connection with G. 1992 at 8:30 A.R. and the PROCEEDINGS IN SPECIAL ACTION NUMBER 465 judge had set the hearing of the injunction on April 24. the laborers could not get their salaries. Gallardo. and the laborers did not feel good about it. L. Gallardo testified that when he received a copy of the restraining ORDERING RESPONDENTS JUDGE TO CEASE AND order and reviewed the petition filed. 1992 people came to the premises of the their salaries. NUMBER 104848 ENTITLED ANTONIO GALLARDO ET AL. IN G. EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY AND CONTINUING UNTIL FURTHER ORDERS FROM COURT Gov. he told representation that they would collect their salaries in Mambajao. The Clerk of Court of Judge were laborers affected by the restraining order. 1992. SUPREME Court where he filed a petition for certiorari (docketed as G. No. Judge Tabamo saw some case. 1993 the judge gave the respondents RESPONDENTS TO COMMENT ON PETITION ten (10) days from receipt of a copy of the petition to answer the WITHIN TEN DAYS FROM NOTICE AS WELL AS same. Believing that he could not get GOVERNOR ANTONIO GALLARDO ET AL. Respondent Judge Tabamo testified in this regard that the rallyists Romualdo was then likewise present. Romualdo. for the judge and referred to him as the "tuta" of Cong. Romualdo responsible for the release they were told that they could not receive their salaries because of the of the salaries. using or availing of treasury warrants or any device undertaking future delivery of money. 1992 in order to avoid being caught in the crossfire between the premises of the Regional Trial Court of Camiguin. 1992. Most of the placards expressed contempt and ridicule court for the hearing of the application for injunction in SP No. from petition for certiorari filed by Gov. the spending any public funds for such projects.R. REQUEST In the same Order of April 10. 465. 104848) questioning the issuance of the temporary restraining order and the jurisdiction of the court over Special Civil Action No. COURT ASSISTANT CLERK LUZVIMINDA PUNO. After this announcement. Court. and set the prayer for the issuance of a preliminary injunction ISSUED TEMPORARY RESTRAINING ORDER for hearing on April 24.

caught him at the steps of the Capitol Building where Cong. he at first thought of filing a case but decided not to. that Ford Fiera where they were riding.. that he case will fall in the sala of Judge Tabamo who is the ‘tuta' or tool of pleaded with the congressman who was his godfather but the latter Cong. by the group of Cong Romualdo and Rollie Gallardo being chased by Romualdo and Gov. 1992 he was with Edmundo Damisa Rollie Gallardo. Romualdo. that he also saw the group run after and maul Camilo and Ruben Cloma in a Ford Fiera going around the province of Abanil. asking the latter to often seen in the cockpit because he participates in derbies. that the younger brother of Vice Mayor Mabolo pulled down Damisa from the Damisan said he had known Judge Tabamo since childhood days. Marbella went to the police and reported the matter. Jayjay and Gogo attacked Rollie Gallardo. Gogo Romualdo. and Dandan Romualdo kicked him. Gallardo get inside the Capitol because the commotion province. a son of the RTC or Romualdo-Tabamo-Court. stopped by Mayor Talian and Vice Mayor Mabolo who was angry and said that they were poisoning the minds of the people. Gallardo. security men as he wanted to free himself and help Marbella and who testified that on April 23. demands in the streets on April 24.R. 3488). Romualdo himself choked him and wrestled with him. incident of April 23. also ground and the group of Cong. who testified in this case for the complainants. Gallardo tried to help him and Rollie Gallardo but was held down Edmundo Damisa. Gogo Romualdo boxed Romualdo. 1992 when he went to No. that he saw Gov. otherwise shown in the police blotter of the Mambajao Police Station. that he saw Rollie the "tuta" or tool of Cong. the eldest son of the congressman. On January 29. Thereafter. Gallardo trying to help his brother which Gov. that another son of him. Damisa was and the latter also knew on whose side he (Judge he filed a case for slight physical injuries against Tata Mabolo (Crim. Tabamo) was. He said they would be killed. believing that the Cong. who can help them. Romualdo. that he himself was chased by Cong. 1993 the Supreme Court rendered its Decision in G. and that brother of Gov. and Jun Marbella and when he (witness) tried to go near Gov. Jr. Gallardo and he was choked by Jayjay boxed him. Gallardo claims his life was placed in danger. Gallardo. Romualdo. 1992 when they went around the province to announce that the laborers can get their salaries already. He further claimed that the reputation of Judge continued to pull and wrestle with him and then the brother of the Tabamo in Camiguin is no longer good and that his court is termed congressman pulled his hair and George Romualdo. the petition for certiorari filed by Gov. Gallardo being held tightly by his Another witness for the complainants on rebuttal was Camilo Abanil. 1992 he was that he decided not to file a case knowing that the same would fall in outside the Capitol Building when he noticed a big commotion in front the sala of Judge Tabamo and it would be useless as Judge Tabamo is of the RTC which was about 30 to 40 meters away. Romualdo and saw Junar Marbella being chased and then choked and boxed by the group of the congressman. that choked him. Abanil also testified on the incident of April 24. Gallardo. that when they reached the town of Sagay. and that he the laborers that they could already collect their salaries from the helped Gov. Romualdo who Aristeo Marbella. and when he (Marbella) turned around. and the incident was placed in the blotter. hit him at the back. Case No. and that Judge Tabamo is that he pleaded to the men and to the Mayor. they were was already very tense. Romualdo said that he was then with Gov. adding that Thereafter. Marbella said that Gov. He denied forgive him as they had not committed any fault but only followed that Judge Tabamo had told him to look for a lawyer instead of making Gov. that he (witness) went down to the judge is not popular and is nicknamed RTC or Romualdo-Tabamo- pacify the person who pulled Damisa but he was the one mauled. Abanil said that he too reported the matter to the police station where who is the godfather of one of his children.Thereafter. and that he later had himself that Judge Tabamo also said that he knew very well on whose side examined by a doctor who gave him a medical certificate. Romualdo who was Camiguin on request of Gov. 1992 and said that what Judge Tabamo told him was that it was not easy for him to lift the restraining order because he has children and it is Cong. Antonio the court premises to witness the hearing because he was among 103 . corroborated the testimony of Camilo Abanil on the by his bodyguards. that thereafter. L-104848. and Dandan Romualdo wrestled with him. congressman. he was also chased by the group of Cong. Gallardo being chased by the men of Cong. Gallardo who asked them to announce to holding a small gun so he ran up the stairs of the Capitol. where many were hurt and during the same group. that he also saw Gov. there were passionate exchanges of words between the those not paid his salary. and he fell down. that he fell to the Romualdo tried to hit him and still another son. Romualdo took turns kicking him. He also testified that on April 24. he has a medical certificate to show the injuries he sustained. and Court even in the billiard halls and cockpit. as Mayor Talian told them to leave the municipality of Sagay. He said he saw Junar Marbella being mauled two factions and a rumble occurred among the followers of Cong. Gallardo.

the owners. found the accused guilty as charged and sentenced him to copy of an Order modifying the judgment to the mother of Ruel an imprisonment for the indeterminate period of from 2 years. B. Romualdo who was approached by a close relative of Dagondon. for help." modified decision was promulgated in open court on August 30. he should first and that the following circumstances be considered as mitigating in kiss the hand of Cong. 561 because sometime in August. upon orders of Cong.Gallardo. 4 months and 1 day of prision correccional on its medium period to 6 years of prision Judge Tabamo denied that he had sent Chan to serve a copy of the correccional in its maximum period. employed as process server in Branch 28 from January. Romualdo often goes to the chambers education. maintained that in all his 23 years in the judiciary it was never his practice to serve copies of decisions in criminal cases to parties because they are promulgated in open court and that his practice was to furnish their counsels after the decision is read and that in the 104 . The Supreme Court respondent judge granted in an Order dated November 13. OIC Clerk of Court of for the motion for reconsideration are matters that should have been Branch 28 of the RTC of Camiguin. "in view of the mitigating modified decision to the residence of Dagondon. and (4) voluntary surrender.00. 1991. like saying that the instead filed a Motion for Reconsideration of the Judgment on August RTC means Romualdo-Tabamo-Court. and to pay a and the latter answered that they had gone to Cong. Jr. The respondent Judge asked of Judge Tabamo sometimes only in shorts and T-shirts. Pedro P. Vivares to comment on the motion. a former process server in the court (Marijuana) in Criminal Case No. wrong. Pedro P. the accused withdrew his Notice of Appeal and longer respect the court and even make fun of it. 1992 because the people in Camiguin no 1991. 1992 was set aside. granting the same.000. during which the accused was present with his counsel. Public Prosecutor Julio A. Romualdo. that people would also say that 9. ruled that the respondent court had no jurisdiction over Special Civil Action No. which the and Cong. Subsequently. (2) extreme poverty of the accused. 1991. by amending the penalty imposed on Cagayan de Oro just to buy parts for their motorcycles. Chan. 1991. On August 7. Jr. Dagondon can apply for probation. He stated that Cong. The challenged temporary Complainants charge that Judge Tabamo modified the penalty so that restraining order of April 10. the accused Chan further testified that he resigned from his position as process Dagondon filed a Notice of Appeal on the same day. 561: In support of this allegation. He stated that the circumstances of extreme poverty and voluntary surrender. Chan testified in this regard that he was Court of Camiguin (Branch 28). the accused Dagondon to a minimum of 2 years. After this judgment was promulgated on July 31. that he is familiar with In a judgment dated July 18. server sometime in July. The latter filed a Comment dated August 19. et al. praying that the penalty imposed upon him be reconsidered it one wants to win a case in the sala of Judge Tabamo. 1991. 1991 stating that the bases The respondent judge presented Alfreda Daiz.. against the respondent Judge Sinforoso V. 561 filed before the Regional Trial of the respondent judge. did not credibility is left to the sound discretion of the judge. the accused Dagondon applied for probation. Tabamo. the complainants presented only the bare One Ruel Dagondon was charged of Illegal Possession of Indian Hemp testimony of Ceferino E. and that Chan also had the plan to put up a business. and that people used to ask where his favor: (1) that the accused did not intend to commit so grave a else they could go since the court is already controlled by Cong. know the location and boundaries of their lands. 1978 to April 1992 when he took a leave of absence. Jr. 4 Dagondon as the latter was then not in the house. 1991. their acceptability or administer their vast idle lands because even they. Criminal Case No. 465 and ordered its dismissal. Romualdo. Romualdo to ask fine of P6. however. there even if these circumstances were directly or indirectly touched during was a time that Chan told them that his mother wanted him to the presentation of the defense of the accused. 1991 he served a Tabamo. 1991 respondent Judge issued an Order modifying the parts. The judge 1991 in the presence of the accused Dagondon and his counsel. RE: CRIMINAL CASE NO. was no need to serve a copy of the decision in his house. She testified that although Chan did established during the trial for the appreciation of the court and that not tell her the real reason for his resignation from the court. hence there This modified judgment was promulgated in open court on August 30. (3) lack of proper Romualdo. particularly that of selling motor On August 26. 1991 the respondent Judge Sinforoso V. because he noticed the motorcycle drivers travel as far as Judgment dated July 18. and that he told months and 1 day of prision correccional in its medium period to 8 Dagondon's mother that it was good that the decision was changed years and 1 day of prision mayor in its medium period.

Incidentally. Romualdo. and that the court imposed a Chan lacks any corroboration." Judge Tabamo further testified that before Chan resigned on July 1. He explained that Civil Case No. 179 for the offense committed by Dagondon. he promulgated his decisions in open court and thereafter furnished copies thereof to counsels. Chan served a copy of respondent Judge's order modifying his decision to the mother of The complainants point out in regard to Criminal Case No. 561 and. the assumption of Judge Tabamo said that he had to maintain a healthy relationship with jurisdiction by the trial court over a case involving the enforcement of the Election Code the officials of the province. makes it a point to visit the offices of the wrong penalty in Criminal Case No. 465. hardly Chan was bitter because a sister of his lost a estafa case in the court deserves any credence. proof to show that he served a copy of the decision to Dagondon's The motive of Gov. Jr. If. thus. his imposition of the penalty in 105 . there may be no clear and convincing evidence that Judge's taking cognizance of Special Civil Case No. the courts and other offices and engage with the evident purpose of allowing the accused to avail of the benefits of the Probation the officials in conferences regarding matters of vital concern. Being an experienced judge. Respondent Judge emphasized without contradiction that he had and a brother-in-law of Chan also lost his first case before the court. Judge Tabamo also said that We agree with respondent Judge that the testimony of Ceferino E. he had to find a scapegoat. as will be discussed later. despite his lack of jurisdiction. Blg. the rally was orchestrated by the group of Gov. the latter went on leave to campaign for his father who ran for RE: CRIMINAL CASE NO. the facts as established in their totality. 1992 cannot be imputed to judgment in open court. the rally against respondent Judge. of Zaldivar vs. that Chan's father lost in the elections but Chan refused to go back to work. He had sponsored a mother and the records of the case indeed do not show that the number of public works projects and hired hundreds of laborers. Gallardo in initiating the rally is not hard to find. 465: provincial offices. chances of political victory. more particularly respondent relation to Special Civil Case No. proof of service of the order to surrender in favor of Dagondon when the records show that he was the accused's mother should have been presented in evidence. Judge Tabamo denied that Cong. the fiscals. Also. Romualdo would make official visits to his court regarding matters like the construction of the Hall of Justice. He added that if Chan had served a copy of respondent Judge. of imposing a Gallardo. Romualdo to get the credit for the fact that the laborers would now be paid. Dagondon case the lawyer was furnished a copy of the modified The staging of the rally in front of the courthouse on April 13. the implementing statutory provisions. 561 that Ruel Dagondon. and that he had to send Alfreda Daiz to tell Chan to go back to work or to resign. like the Law. never served copies of his decisions in criminal cases to the parties. Romualdo goes often to his chambers in shorts and T-shirts. Estenzo (23 SCRA 533) where this Court categorically held that considering that the COMELEC is vested by the Constitution with the exclusive charge of the enforcement of all laws relative to the conduct of elections. issuance of a temporary restraining order in said case. during which the mother allegedly blurted out her having gone to Cong. Respondent Judge admitted though that FINDINGS — at times. resulting in the clash between the two contending groups. Obviously. his respondent Judge had acted with manifest bias and partiality for Cong. Neither was Chan's declaration that Cong. Chan. being a lawyer. almost simultaneously. and the hospitable scope afforded such grant of authority so clear and unmistakable in recent decisions. Romualdo used to go around the province to inspect his projects the public works projects on the ground that it violated the 45-day ban on public works and visit his leaders and constituents. 1992. Romualdo. 561: mayor of Mambajao. This was resented by Gov. The bare testimony of arrested in a buy-bust operation. 465. 1992 after this Court set aside the temporary restraining earlier about it. in the same way that he would also visit other RE: SPECIAL CIVIL ACTION NO. the Mayor of Mambajao is "is at war with the plain constitutional command. It may be conceded that on the basis alone of the actuations of respondent Judge in Nonetheless. Gallardo the decision before it was promulgated.P. in the same manner that Gov. Cong. then Chan had leaked it out who picked up the participants from the different parts of the province. Romualdo frequented respondent Judge's chambers buttressed by any independent proof. maximum of six (6) years and one (1) day provided under B. order issued by respondent Judge was occasioned by the attempt of Cong. the chaos and should have been made to answer for the act had he known that took place on April 24. which fact boosted his alleged service was made. respondent Judge can hardly justify his acts not only of entertaining Special Manila and goes home only for special occasions. it is highly inconceivable that he was not aware construction of the Hall of Justice. At any rate. imposed by the Omnibus Election Code. but also. since the congressman stays most of the time in However. the wife of Cong. 465 and issuing a temporary restraining order stopping the prosecution of Cong. indeed. the court considered the mitigating circumstance of voluntary Romualdo to ask for his help to reduce her son's penalty. reducing the penalty Register of Deeds. Judge Tabamo points out that Chan has not presented any Gallardo and his followers. When the projects were stopped and the laborers could not get paid.

The inexorable conclusion. The basic error of respondent Judge stemmed from his unwarranted assumption that the penalty of imprisonment The policy of the law in imposing strict penalties for violations of the Dangerous Drugs ranging from 6 years and 1 day to 12 years. provided for the offense involved by Sec. In fact. four (4) months and one (1) day respondent Judge meted out on the accused in Criminal Case No. range for offenses punished by special laws as provided in Sec. respondent Judge considered in favor of the accused the mitigating circumstances of extreme poverty and voluntary surrender. respondent minimum term prescribed by the same. Justice Montoya In his July 18. not as felonies. The incorrect minimum penalty was obviously of proportion to the crime for which the latter had been convicted of. there appears to be no voluntary surrender on the part of the accused On the same day judgment was promulgated. for that 106 . the accused filed a notice of appeal which because the decision itself states that the accused was arrested by the he later withdrew in favor of a Motion for Reconsideration of Judgment praying that the authorities in a buy-bust operation and was brought to the police circumstances of voluntary surrender. 179.P. 1991. the court should sentence the accused to an indeterminate sentence. the maximum term of which shall Considering his experience in the bench and the ready availability of legal sources and not exceed the maximum fixed by law and the minimum shall not be less than the materials from which he could check and verify his findings and conclusions. In modifying the judgment. consequently. 179 apply the provisions of the Probation Law in letting off the accused with a virtual slap in (Dangerous Drugs Act). years as mandated by B. voluntarily gave himself up to the authorities. The inexplicably low penalty which respondent Judge should not have been two (2) years. perhaps. four (4) months and one (1) day of prision correccional in its medium enumerated in Article 13 of the Revised Penal Code and it is doubtful period to eight (8) years and one (1) day of prision mayor in its medium period. Under the Indeterminate Sentence Law. He should likewise have readily noted that neither signals. It is. Penal Code to an offense punishable by a special law. Dagondon. after committing the crime and having all the chances to correccional in its maximum period. hence the Probation Law.). is the same as prision mayor despite the fact that the technical by a pernicious evil which day in and day out victimizes our youth.Criminal Case No. and his reduction of the penalty by the application of two non-existent that law then in force. On August 26. extreme poverty and lack of proper education be station in Mambajao. The reduction of the penalty enabled the It might.000.P. 561 would be to send the wrong Dangerous Drugs Act at that time. have been easy for this Court to act with extreme leniency if the only accused. noted: respondent judge found the accused guilty as charged of Illegal Possession of Indian Hemp (marijuana) and sentenced him to imprisonment for an indeterminate period of Extreme poverty is not among the mitigating circumstances from two (2) years.00). In stating that there was voluntary surrender. therefore. 71 and 76 of the Revised Penal Code could not be given constitutive of gross ignorance of the law and grave arbitrariness. 561 (People vs. whether it may be considered as a circumstance of a similar nature or Additionally. et al. He knew or ought to know that our sentenced to imprisonment anywhere from six (6) years and one (1) day to twelve (12) laws impose severe penalties on violations of our dangerous drugs laws. 64. four (4) months the respondent postulated in his Order modifying the judgment that and one (1) day of prision correccional in its medium period to six (6) years of prision the accused. difficult for this Court to sustain the contention that what he had done were Sentence Law. Respondent Judge has suppletory effect. but as crimes punished under a special law. were the terms prision correccional or reclusion temporalused therein and. analogous to those mentioned in said Article. 179. a special law. having been in the judiciary for over 20 years. respondent judge issued an Gen. when an the wrist was so gross as to be unconscionable. no discretion was required in both instances: the applicable legal provisions are crystal clear and need no interpretation. 1991 judgment in Criminal Case No.P. the accused was ordered to pay a fine of Six Thousand Pesos (P6. Ruel Dagondon to apply for probation which was granted by respondent Judge mistake committed by respondent Judge was the application of Article 64 of the Revised in an Order dated November 13. the indeterminate sentence should have been within the a long experience as a judge. Consequently. mistakenly arrived at by applying the rule applicable only for crimes punishable under the Revised Penal code. is that drug offenses were mitigating circumstances with the obvious result of enabling the accused to avail of the then considered. To lightly dismiss the terminology of penalties for felonies in the Revised Penal Code were not used in the respondent judge's mistakes in Criminal Case No. 561. 1 of the Indeterminate therefore. was certainly out but six (6) years and one (1) day. which eventually enabled the respondent Judge to It should be noted that the accused was charged with violation of B. Bonifacio Aranas. However. demonstrate an unmistakable pattern of highly irregular acts provisions of Arts. the alleged mitigating escape. On the other hand. life imprisonment and not reclusion perpetua was used in and imposed under law applicable. Blg. and later to the PC-INP Headquarters at Camp considered as mitigating in his favor. order amending the penalty imposed to a minimum of two (2) years. In applying the Indeterminate Sentence Law after finding he should have been alerted to the possibility of error when the penalty imposed was no mitigating or aggravating circumstances. 13. To compound his error. circumstances of extreme poverty and voluntary surrender were taken into consideration by the respondent judge. The accused Dagondon should have been Judge was clearly negligent in misapplying the law. The intendment of the law is to eradicate a menace to our society the governing law. not a special law like B. 561 which was unconscionably unwarranted given the facts and the matter. mere errors of judgment. offense is punishable by a law other than the Revised Penal Code. the minimum penalty originally imposed by finally reduced to a ridiculously lenient one. 1991. the pattern of the "errors" committed one after another. 8 of Act cannot be gainsaid.

107 . SO ORDERED. through gross ignorance of the law or serious misconduct frustrates the ends of justice commits a rank disservice to the cause of justice which calls for the application of appropriate disciplinary measures (Villa vs. respondent Judge failed to meet the standard mandated by Rules 3. public opinion or fear of criticism.02 — In every case. 194 SCRA 48 [1991]).01 — A judge shall be faithful to the law and maintain professional competence.000.02 of Canon 3 of the Code of Judicial Conduct. Rule 3.01 and 3. The judge is the visible representation of the law and justice. A judge who.The office of a judge exists for one solemn end — to promote justice by administering it fairly and impartially. ACCORDINGLY. the Court resolved to hold respondent Judge administratively liable for gross ignorance of the law and with grave abuse of discretion. a judge shall endeavor diligently to ascertain the fact and the applicable law unswayed by partisan interests. and to impose on him a fine of TEN THOUSAND PESOS (P10. Amonoy.00) with a STERN WARNING that a repetition of the same or similar act or acts in the future will be dealt with more severely. to wit: Rule 3. Finally.

submitted the Certificate of Nomination9 of CIBAC to the COMELEC Law Commission on Audit. this Court denies the petition for being filed outside the requisite the Party-List System of Representation in the May 10. who claimed to be the party’s acting governed specifically by Rule 64 of the Rules of Court. the COMELEC issued Resolution No. led by President and Chairperson Emmanuel Joel J.12Upon Motion for Reconsideration On 5 July 2010. its Disqualification and recognizing respondents as the properly authorized nominees of highest policymaking and governing body." seeking to nullify the Certificate filed by Derla. 2010 Elections. Claiming that the nomination of petitioners Lokin. otherwise known as the Party. Jr. and Teresita F. and that Rules of Court compels a dismissal on this basis alone. PLANAS.3 Under the leadership of the National Council. as they provide for different March 2010. submitted to the COMELEC a "Manifestation of Intent to Participate in As earlier stated." when she was not even a member of CIBAC. On 15 January 2010. Pia Derla submitted a second Certificate of Nomination." The first period.A. Sec. be proclaimed as the CIBAC party-list representative to the House of Representatives. manifestations of intent to participate is the official representative of said party- list/coalitions/sectoral organizations xxx. JOSE SHERWIN N.) 7941. On 26 general rule in Rule 65. Petitioners. and II) Whether the COMELEC erred in granting the Petition for conduct in the country’s public service. Virginia Jose to file the party’s Certificate of Nomination is an intra-corporate matter. and CIBAC party-list. and declared respondents’ faction as the true nominees of CIBAC. legitimate nominees of CIBAC party-list. (R.14 which provides for the allowable period within On 19 January 2010. Petitioners allege grave abuse of discretion on the Secretary General Virginia Jose to submit the Certificate of Nomination pursuant to part of the COMELEC in issuing both Resolutions. the COMELEC First Division issued a Resolution1 expunging the separately filed by the adverse parties. As stated in its constitution exclusively cognizable by special commercial courts. For Disqualification. raising these issues: I) Whether the authority of Secretary General Respondent CIBAC party-list is a multi-sectoral party registered2 under Republic Act No. both purporting to represent CIBAC. and TERESITA F. two different entities. vs.13 the Commission reiterated party-list group known as Citizens’ Battle Against Corruption (CIBAC). 2004. the platform of CIBAC is to fight graft and corruption and to promote ethical no jurisdiction. prompting Luis Lokin. whereas banc affirmed the said Resolution. which states: secretary-general. Petitioners now seek recourse with this Court in accordance with Rules 64 and 65 of the Rules of Court.G. Jose. Rule 64 of the documents she submitted were unauthorized by the party and therefore invalid. respectively. The nomination was certified by Villanueva and Virginia S. 87447 giving due course to Sec.R.15 Rule 65 provides for a period of 60 days from notice of judgment 108 . This rule shall govern the review of judgments and final orders or president and secretary-general.4On 20 November 2009. LOKIN. praying that they be recognized as the CIBAC’s Constitution and bylaws. 2012 petitioners Luis Lokin. The COMELEC en that Pia Derla was unable to prove her authority to file the said Certificate. CITIZENS’ BATTLE AGAINST respondents filed with the COMELEC a "Petition to Expunge From The Records And/Or CORRUPTION PARTY LIST represented by VIRGINIA S. The review by this Court of judgments and final orders of the COMELEC is Manifestation5 was signed by a certain Pia B.List System Act. Respondents and CINCHONA CRUZ-GONZALES. JR. and Planas was unauthorized. and that petitioner Lokin. remedy afforded by Rule 65. Thus. another Manifestation 6 was submitted by herein respondents Cinchona Cruz-Gonzales and Virginia Jose as the party’s vice. contended that Derla had misrepresented herself as "acting secretary-general. this Court deems it appropriate to reiterate the specific behalf. A judgment or final order or resolution of the Commission on CIBAC’s Manifestation. 193808 June 26. the party participated in the 2001. TUGNA.11 procedure for the review of judgments made by the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) as laid down in Rule 64. and how it is differentiated from the more general In the Resolution dated 5 July 2010. ordered the Certificate filed by Derla to be expunged from the records. which to file petitions for certiorari from judgments of both the COMELEC and the Villanueva. Scope. Jr. At 1:30 p. Respondents. 2007 elections. while Rule 64 refers to the same remedy of certiorari as the Department. the COMELEC First Division granted the Petition. Derla affixed to the certification her signature as "acting secretary-general" of CIBAC. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS (COMELEC).m. and over which the COMELEC has and bylaws. that the Certificate of Nomination and other The present petition having been flied beyond the reglementary period. In a per curiam Resolution dated 31 August 2010. No. and Teresita Planas as party-list nominees. 1. Planas to file respondents presented overwhelming evidence that Villanueva deputized CIBAC the present Petition for Certiorari. "WITHOUT PREJUDICE …TO the determination which of the two Elections and the Commission on Audit may be brought by the aggrieved party to the factions of the registered party-list/coalitions/sectoral organizations which filed two (2) Supreme Court on certiorari under Rule 65. respondents. except as hereinafter provided."8 The exception referred to in Section 2 of this Rule refers precisely to the immediately succeeding provision. Mode of review. 2. they cannot be equated. resolutions of the Commission on Elections and the Commission on Audit. Section 3 thereof. Derla. Despite petitioner's inexplicable it was Villanueva who was duly authorized to file the Certificate of Nomination on its disregard of basic concepts. Jr. of the same day. 10 which included reglementary periods. LUISK. Jr. the COMELEC en banc affirmed the Division’s Certificate of Nomination which included herein petitioners as representatives of the findings.

but which shall not be less than five (5) days in any event. as made clear above. Petition for Certiorari on the sole ground that it was belatedly filed. viz: out on the reason why the period under Section 3. their submissions even recognize the COMELEC’s and by a justification for the requested liberal construction. or coalitions which. Time to file petition. after sufficient rules of procedure should expedite the disposition of election cases. the COMELEC en banc the nomination of party-list representatives. This singular power to rule upon questions of party identity sufficiently compelling to modify the required period for the filing of petitions for and leadership is exercised by the COMELEC as an incident to its enforcement powers. Commission on the "CIBAC Foundation. is constitutionally-based and is no less than the importance our SEC. they submitted their Certificate of Nomination and Manifestation of Intent to participate in the party-list elections. Rule 64 has been retained. petitioners insist that the group that participated in the party-list system in the 2004 and 2007 elections was the SEC-registered entity. Upon the flawed. they respondents’ Petition to Expunge and/or for Disqualification. issued the second assailed Resolution on 31 August 2010. The reason.20 similarly apply to the timeliness of petitions under Rule 64. cognizable only by special commercial courts. In effect. Hence. petitioners filed the present Petition only on 1 October 2010. the Regional Trial Court in Pasig City. Commission on Elections and Domingo v. pursuant to Section 3 above. In Pates v. the remedy under Rule 64 in conjunction with Rule 65. this Court dismissed the Thus. This per curiam Resolution was received by petitioners on 1 September 2010. constitutional power to enforce and administer all laws relative to the conduct of an election. the aggrieved party may file the petition time. While the petitioner is correct in his historical data about the Laban ng Demokratikong Pilipino v. thus. 3. In any case.16 Thus. While it is true that a litigation is not a game of technicalities. Inc. the party-list itself.sought to be assailed in the Supreme Court. In certiorari under Rule 64." Even as petitioners insisted on the purely intra-corporate nature of the conflict between "CIBAC Foundation" and the CIBAC Sectoral Party. But even if this Court were to apply liberality and take cognizance of the late Petition. That was the year when CIBAC Foundation.23 Contrary to their stance that the present dispute stemmed accompanied by an explanation of why the party-litigant failed to comply with the rules from an intra-corporate matter.24 More specifically. there is no acceptable reckoned from notice of denial.—The petition shall be filed within thirty (30) days from Constitution accords to the prompt determination of election results. petitioners were seeking the COMELEC’s approval of their eligibility to of Court comes to us with the heavy burden of proving that he deserves to be accorded participate in the upcoming party-list elections. while Section 3 expressly provides for only Court’s treatment of the periods for the filing of the different modes of review.. they are aware of the applicable period for filing. must present their platform or program of government. a party asking for the suspension of the Rules Precisely. This Court labors publication. It every case must be prosecuted in accordance with the prescribed procedure to ensure an was never intended to substitute for.17 we have established that the fresh-period rule used in Rule 65 does not and Exchange Commission (SEC). the COMELEC is also tasked to "register. There have been some instances wherein this Court allowed a relaxation in the application of the rules. Article IX-C of the Constitution expressly requires that the COMELEC’s constitutional functions. reasoning thus: which had allegedly become defunct since 2003. They have reached this had a remaining period of 27 days or until 28 September 2010 within which to file the conclusion by characterizing the present matter as an intra-corporate dispute and. but this flexibility was "never intended to forge a bastion for erring litigants to violate the rules with impunity. initiative.18 x x x. clearly outside Certificate of Nomination pursuant to the authority granted by the Board of Trustees of the required period. they invoke its authority under exceptional treatment. Every plea for a liberal construction of the Rules must at least be the Party-List System Act. In Pates. reason for their failure to comply with the proper procedure. as one of its x x x. we do not find convenience and uniformity to be reasons party is well established. political parties. the COMELEC’s jurisdiction to settle the struggle for leadership within the Based on these considerations. as they themselves invoke within the remaining period. Clearly. Petitioners contend that the COMELEC never should have taken cognizance of deducting the three days it took petitioners to file the Motion for Reconsideration. and not the National Council. plebiscite. shall interrupt the In this case. petitioners do not even attempt to explain why the Petition was filed out of period herein fixed. in addition to other under the same command."25 cases that start with the COMELEC. it is equally true that as CIBAC’s legal and financial arm. footnotes omitted. Petition for Certiorari with this Court.26 the Court held: 109 . if allowed under the procedural rules of the Commission concerned. Under this unique nature of the exceptions." the non-stock entity that is registered with the Securities Elections. Section 3. particularly the designated commercial court in this case.19 Pia Derla purportedly filed the However. as our proceedings are in fact the constitutional extension of requirements. organizations. referendum. was established and registered with the SEC. The filing of a supplied. The COMELEC has jurisdiction over cases pertaining to party leadership and Motion for Reconsideration filed by petitioners on 15 July 2010. or oust CIBAC. If the motion is denied. respondents counter that the foundation was established solely for the purpose of acting x x x. he misses 30 days.) motion for new trial or reconsideration of said judgment or final order or resolution. the arguments therein are Petitioner received a copy of the first assailed Resolution on 12 July 2010.21 On the other hand. Inc. Commission on Elections. as provided by the party’s Constitution and bylaws. and recall. (Emphasis notice of the judgment or final order or resolution sought to be reviewed.22 orderly and speedy administration of justice.

x x x. A certificate of representatives shall be chosen in case it obtains the required number of votes. therefore. Sections 8 and 9 110 . political party or coalition they seek to represent. as well as their individual qualifications. mandate to ensure orderly elections. is who as between the Party day of the election. Nomination of Party-List Representatives. he or she stands for the party’s principles. 8. 7941 and other laws to duly prove that the political parties. No person shall be nominated as party-list Similar to the present case. the COMELEC may resolve an intra-party leadership b. and no other. Chairman and the Secretary General has the authority to sign certificates of candidacy of the official candidates of the party. a registered voter. which uniformly upheld the COMELEC’s jurisdiction over party. organization. as an incident of its power to register political group/organizations (prior declarations. last in the list.27 (Emphasis supplied. Commission on Elections and Palmares nominees truly belong to the marginalized and underrepresented sector/s. A candidate any elective office or a person who has lost his bid for an elective office in the misrepresenting himself or herself to be a party’s candidate. Only persons who have given their accurately the sentiment of the nominating body. To prevent this occurrence. organization. pursuant to its Constitution and bylaws. association and to select a standard bearer who best represents the party’s ideologies organization or coalition shall submit to the COMELEC not later than forty-five (45) days and preference" is the right to exclude persons in its association and to not lend its name before the election a list of names. Laban delved into the issue of leadership for the purpose of representative unless he is a natural-born citizen of the Philippines. group/organization for the advancement of the marginalized and "include the ascertainment of the identity of the political party and its legitimate officers underrepresented sector/s. Track record of the party-list group/organization showing active settled by the Court. Proofs that the nominee/s truly adheres to the advocacies of the party-list dispute.A. No change of names or alteration of the order of misappropriates the party’s name and prestige but foists a deception upon the nominees shall be allowed after the same shall have been submitted to the COMELEC electorate. Thus. in line with the Commission’s broad constitutional are nominated in the party-list system shall not be considered resigned. Each registered party. political party or responsible for its acts. Article IX-C of the Constitution. a determining which officer or member was the duly authorized representative tasked resident of the Philippines for a period of not less than one (1)year immediately with filing the Certificate of Nomination. speeches. who may unwittingly cast its ballot for him or her on the mistaken belief that except in cases where the nominee dies.29 it was expressly settled that the COMELEC possessed the authority to resolve intra-party disputes as a necessary The party-list group and the nominees must submit documentary evidence in tributary of its constitutionally mandated power to enforce election laws and register consonance with the Constitution. Furthermore."31 Adopting the same qualifications of party-list nominees listed above. Corollary to the right of a political party "to identify the people who constitute the thereof state: Sec. the petitioners’ Manifestation and Petition By virtue of the aforesaid mandate of the Party-List Law vesting the COMELEC with before the jurisdiction over the nomination of party-list representatives and prescribing the qualifications of each nominee. and such parties. or withdraws in writing his nomination. The list shall not include any candidate for is also printed followed by his or her name in the certified list of candidates. Angara or his authorized representative. Section 6 of these Rules also required that: In the 2010 case Atienza v. the COMELEC promulgated its "Rules on Disqualification COMELEC merely asked the Commission to recognize only those certificates of candidacy Cases Against Nominees of Party-List Groups/ Organizations Participating in the 10 May signed by petitioner Sen. Commission on Elections.30 other positive actions on the part of the nominee/s showing his/her adherence to the advocacies of the party-list group/organizations). to wit: preceding the day of the election. the sectoral party. A candidate’s political party affiliation consent in writing may be named in the list. Commission on Elections. 28 2010 Automated National and Local Elections. Incumbent sectoral representatives in the House of Representatives who more importantly." The Court also declared in another case that the COMELEC’s coalition they seek to represent. the COMELEC has becomes incapacitated in which case the name of the substitute nominee shall be placed the power and the duty to step in and enforce the law not only to protect the party but. Qualifications of Party-List Nominees. the sectoral v. The Court ruled in Kalaw v. as defined by the COMELEC itself. are outlined in the Party-List System Law. in a proper case brought before it. not only immediately preceding election. 9. candidacy makes known to the COMELEC that the person therein mentioned has been nominated by a duly authorized political group empowered to act and that it reflects A person may be nominated in one (1) list only. and is at least twenty-five (25) years of age on the day of the election. able to read and write. not less than five (5). power to register political parties necessarily involved the determination of the persons who must act on its behalf. from which party-list and prestige to those which it deems undeserving to represent its ideals. which may include intra-party disputes: but not limited to the following: The COMELEC’s jurisdiction over intra-party leadership disputes has already been a. Commission on Elections that the participation of the nominee/s in the undertakings of the party-list COMELEC’s powers and functions under Section 2. matters regarding the nomination of party-list representatives. The Court therein cited Kalaw v. a bona fide member of the party or organization which he seeks to represent for at least ninety (90) days preceding the The only issue in this case. R.) Sec. written articles. Indeed. the electorate.

and Villanueva.35 COMELEC First Division and the COMELEC en banc. that has the power to formulate the policies.This was based on the "Minutes of Meeting of CIBAC Party-List National Council" held on 12 November 2009. as the governing body of CIBAC. then proceeded to elect its new set of officers. This Court AFFIRMS Electoral Congress. no grave abuse of discretion is attributable to the respondents attached to their Memorandum. Petitioners did not submit any For its part. has no authority to do so. including Derla. proof that the nominee/s is not entity. Jose as Party Secretary General. plans. Jose by the CIBAC President. claim that Ms. they have not presented any proof in support of the same. which Contrary to petitioners’ stance.36 These include: A careful perusal of the records readily shows that Pia B. c. as the Party President and Chairman. unanimously ruled to delegate to the Party Nomination filed on 19 January 2010 by Emmanuel Joel J. and clearly not qualified to attest to petitioners as CIBAC nominees. let alone the representative further bolstered respondents’ claim that it is Chairman Villanueva and Secretary authorized by the party to submit its Certificate of Nomination. and WHEREFORE . The d. We are at a loss as to the manner by which Ms. Secretary-General Virginia S. because the Constitution of CIBAC expressly mandates that it is the National only an advocate of the party-list/organization but is/are also a bona fide Council. During the same meeting. We cannot rely on these submissions. Surely. as listed in the Certificate of for the Party in the Party-List Elections. SO ORDERED. Constitution and By-Laws of CIBAC as annexed to its Petition for Registration as Sectoral Organization Under the Party-List System filed by CIBAC on 13 On the other hand…We cannot help but be convinced that it was Emmanuel Joel J. Derla. in accordance with the Party’s Constitution and by-laws. are recognized as the contrary evidence. Despite Respondents’ repeated National Electoral Congress of CIBAC dated 12 November 2009. the COMELEC en banc also enumerated the documentary evidence that documentary evidence that Derla was a member of CIBAC.32 The COMELEC ruled: General Virginia Jose who were duly authorized to submit the Certificate of Nomination to the COMELEC. the Party’s New issuing the assailed Resolutions. The nominees. Derla herself that point to that alleged fact. have not even 111 . Villanueva as both Party President and Party Chairman. November 2000. Certificate of Deputization and Delegation of Authority issued to CIBAC the post. Derla. Petitioners cannot use their registration with the SEC as a substitute for the evidentiary requirement to show that the nominees. member/s of said marginalized and underrepresented sector. the Certificates of a. as they are the very definition of self-serving declarations.1âwphi1 The tribunal correctly found that Pia Derla’s alleged authority as "acting secretary-general" was an unsubstantiated allegation devoid of any supporting evidence. who had been given the sole authority. is thus a virtual stranger to the party-list. was also the judgment of the COMELEC expunging from its records the Certificate of Nomination composed of the National Council Members and had the task of choosing the nominees filed on 26 March 2010 by Pia B. c. finding no grave abuse of discretion on the part of the COMELEC in Virginia S. and programs of the Party. at least for the 10 May 2010 Elections. who has signed and submitted. Petitioners Planas and Lokin. the National Council of The Law Department shall require party-list group and nominees to submit the CIBAC has not become defunct. President and President such latter function. records would show that. are bona fide members of the party. and has certainly not been replaced by the Board of foregoing documentary evidence if not complied with prior to the effectivity of this Trustees of the SEC-registered entity. which included Mr. Pia Derla. weighed heavily against Respondents and favorably for Petitioner. the organization and outlined the process followed by the National Council before it complied with its task of choosing the party’s nominees. which had not been belied by concrete Chairman of Citizens’ Battle Against Corruption (CIBAC) Party List. Derla has assumed b. the highest policymaking and governing body of the Party. Derla is a member and officer of CIBAC. and We see nothing but Respondents’ claims and writings/certifications by Ms.37 National Council. met on 12 November 2009 and there being a quorum. as the purported Acting Secretary General of CIBAC. Manifestation dated 8 January 2010 by CIBAC’s Secretary General Virginia S. its Jose providing the official list of officers of CIBAC. Certification that the nominee/s is/are a bona fide member of the party-list presented evidence proving the affiliation of the so-called Board of Trustees to the CIBAC group/ organization for at least ninety (90) days prior to the election. Villanueva.33 legitimate nominees of the said party. or certify their nomination to the COMELEC. who is not even a member of CIBAC. Jr. d. This set of facts. which as per the CIBAC’s Constitution and By-Laws. to submit the list of nominees for the Party. The Joint Affidavit of Resolutions of the CIBAC National Council and the Nomination of Respondents. and Sectoral Party that is registered with COMELEC. In case of a party-list group/organization seeking representation of the Petitioners cannot draw authority from the Board of Trustees of the SEC-registered marginalized and underrepresented sector/s.34 Contrary to petitioners’ allegations. The COMELEC carefully perused the documents of resolution not later than three (3) days from the last day of filing of the list of nominees. the instant Petition is DISMISSED. and to issue decisions and resolutions binding on party members and officers.

questioned resolution. equipment. counting Small Aperture Terminals (VSAT) each unit consisting of an indoor and outdoor of votes and canvassing/consolidating the results of the national and local elections.[3] FRISCO SAN JUAN. 172. arguments on May 8. (ARMM). 8436. Resolution No. CONSOLIDATION & DISSEMINATION OF ELECTION RESULTS PROJECT CONTRACT. NORBERTO M. 1997. a modernization program for the 2004 elections consisting of three (3) phases. 2003. 6074 awarding the contract for Phase II of the AES to Mega Pacific Consortium and correspondingly entered into a contract with the latter to implement the project. the counting and canvassing of votes for both national and local positions were also done manually.. JR. JR. by its very terms.000 to exclusively fund the AES in time permanently enjoin the respondent COMELEC from enforcing and implementing the for the May 10. (PMSI). and having been issued with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction.900 units of satellite-based Very COMELEC to use an automated election system (AES) for the process of voting. EDGARDO J. ANGARA. Inc. President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo issued Executive Order temporary restraining order and. Inc. Elections (COMELEC) En Banccaptioned GENERAL INSTRUCTIONS FOR THE It resolved to conduct biddings for the three phases. 2004] equipment. particularly the process of voting. likewise. through Mr. after due proceedings. The parties were heard on oral of P2. petitioner.500. vs. Lim of the Philippine Multi. deferred its implementation. and to adopt new electoral forms and printing materials. It was predicated on On December 22. the COMELEC issued an Invitation to Bid [5] for the After due deliberation. vs. a writ of prohibition to No. 1998 presidential elections. for the lease of 1. respondent. upon the request of the COMELEC. pertains to Phase III of the respondent COMELECs AES modernization program. however. the petitioner and the petitioners-in-intervention submitted the documents required of them. ISLETA. President Gloria (PHASE III) program of the COMELEC. 2002. On January 28. BERNAS.000.500. DECISION On October 29. TAN. as no additional ACMs had been acquired COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS. 2003.808. seeking to nullify. JAIME Z. 2004 approved by the Commission on (3) PHASE III Electronic transmission of results. 8436 [2] authorizing the a previous bid award of the contract. The respondent COMELEC was allowed during the hearing to make a presentation of the Electronic Transmission. the COMELEC entered into a separate contract with Philippine Multi-Media System. ensure that the aforementioned additional amount be used exclusively for the AES 2004 and expanded it to cover any and all other issuances related to the implementation prescribed under Rep.: (1) PHASE I Computerized system of registration and voters validation or the so- called biometrics system of registration. [G. 2003. Before us is the petition for certiorari and prohibition under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court filed by Atty. GALVEZ. Act No.R. petitioners-in-intervention. (PMSI) The Antecedents denominated ELECTRONIC TRANSMISSION. JOSE DE VENECIA. Congress enacted Republic Act No. AND JOSE A. GONZALES. Macapagal-Arroyo issued Executive Order No.90 as rentals for the leased equipment and for its services. The COMELEC bound and obliged itself to pay PMSI the sum of P298. prays for the issuance of a On January 24. Brillantes. J. for (2) PHASE II Computerized voting and counting of votes. June 15. the COMELEC promulgated Resolution No. It equipment. The COMELEC initially intended to implement the automation during the May 11. BRILLANTES. thereafter. the Court resolved to require the respondent to comment procurement of supplies. financial and technical expertise necessary also mandated the COMELEC to acquire automated counting machines (ACMs). DRILON. for that electoral exercise because of time constraints. In compliance with the resolution of the and canvassing/consolidation of results of the national and local elections. 2004 elections. On April 15. Jr. counting of votes of the so-called election quick count project. to wit: CALLEJO. FRANKLIN M. likewise. 02-0170. Renato V. 175. 2004 ELECTIONS.000. in its Resolution No. JOSE CONCEPCION. DR. In the May 2001 elections.000. 2004.[1] The petitioner. instructed the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) to The Court. the respondent. 6712 dated April 28. resolved to maintain the status quo order issued on May 6. computer to meet the projects objectives. devices and materials. 2003.[4] which allocated the sum of P2. The failure of the machines to read correctly some automated ballots.[8] The contract. to PMSI for possessing the legal.. the COMELEC adopted. ELECTRONIC TRANSMISSION AND CONSOLIDATION OF ADVANCED RESULTS IN THE MAY 10. HONESTO M. No. a voter and taxpayer. SR. particularly in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao SIXTO S. materials and services needed for the complete on the petition and to require the parties to observe the status quo prevailing before the implementation of all three phases of the AES with an approved budget issuance by the COMELEC of the assailed resolution.[6] authorizing the release of a Media System. On the same day. supplemental P500 million budget for the AES project of the COMELEC. Sixto S. Consolidation and Dissemination On February 10..[7] Court. 163193. 112 .375. The said issuance.

et al. barely two weeks before the national and local elections. He added that if the implementation of Phase III would not be February 2. the results of the elections for the positions of President and Vice-President. Commissioner Manuel Barcelona. the COMELEC. voting/counting machines for the purpose of implementing the second phase of the modernization program. any COMELEC established a National Consolidation Center (NCC). The COMELEC approved a Resolution on February 10. but also would be lacking of any Constitutional authority. 2004. this Court promulgated its Decision nullifying COMELEC III that the same was functionally intended to be an interface of Phases I and II of the AES Resolution No. G. 2004 elections.[11] Commissioner encountered problems in its implementation. COMELEC Commissioner Florentino Tuason. unofficial results of the 2004 elections for national. meeting. COMELEC with Mega Pacific Consortium for the purchase of computerized conducted a field test of the electronic transmission of election results. in coordination with the project contractor PMSI.[13] For the purpose. Jr. as follows: I. the COMELEC was determined to carry out Phase III of the Consortium. 2004. On April 6. therefore. The letter reads: allowed to continue just because Phase II was nullified. already been spent for the acquisition of the equipment. it is the Congress that has the sole and electronically in advance to the COMELEC. scrapped based on the said On April 27. considering the scrapping of Phase II of the AES. The NCC shall receive and consolidate all precinct results based on the data In view of the foregoing. Electronic Transmission quick count to be conducted by the Commission on said positions would in effect Centers (ETCs) for every city and municipality. the COMELEC. and a special ETC at the COMELEC. we asked the COMELEC during that meeting to reconsider its transmitted to it by each ETC. respondent exclusive authority to canvass the votes for President and Vice-President. 6074 awarding the contract for Phase II of the AES to Mega Pacific modernization program. to which you graciously consented. the Information Technology Foundation of the Philippines (ITFP). the COMELEC met en banc to update itself on and resolve Decision of the Court and the COMELEC had to maintain the old manual voting and whether to proceed with its implementation of Phase III of the AES. and despite the explicit specification in the project contract for Phase On January 13. Despite the scrapping of Phase II of the AES. Each city and municipality shall have an ETC where votes obtained by each candidate for all positions shall be encoded. 6074 approving the contract for Phase II of AES to Mega Pacific and recommendation.[10] During the said counting system for the May 10.000 down the drain.000. He opined that other funds of the voters. constitute a canvass of the votes of the President and Vice-President. but had concerns about the budget. Commissioners Resurreccion Z. Commissioner Sadain then Senate President Franklin Drilon had misgivings and misapprehensions about the manifested that the consideration for the contract for Phase III had already been almost constitutionality of the proposed electronic transmission of results for the positions of fully paid even before the Courts nullification of the contract for Phase II of the AES. and Tuason. Jr. 2004.[12] Other concerns of the Commissioners were on the legality of the project Dear Chairman Abalos.[14] would be pre-emptive of the authority of the Congress. COMELEC. the next day. Also voided was the subsequent contract entered into by the respondent AES. 2004. provincial and municipal positions. 2004. et al. but President and Vice-President. in addition to the already allocated disbursement on Phase II of the AES. This is to confirm my opinion which I relayed to you during our meeting on January 28th that the Commission on Elections cannot and should not conduct a quick count on Despite the dire and serious reservations of most of its members. Aside from the concerns of the Senate President. No. Phase II of the AES was. as well as the operational constraints related to its implementation. as evinced by the COMELECs Tuason.. Jr. requested his fellow Commissioners that whatever is said here should be confined within the four walls of On the other hand. the validation scheme under Phase I of the AES apparently this room and the minutes so that walang masyadong problema. Borra and to implement Phase III of the AES through an electronic transmission of advanced Virgilio Garcillano also expressed their concerns on the budget for the project.[15] plan to include the votes for President and Vice-President in the quick count. for the Overseas Absentee Voting. All these developments notwithstanding. vs. the COMELEC nevertheless ventured COMELEC may not be proper for realignment. the COMELEC paid the contract fee to the PMSI in trenches. 2004. which not only Manila. 159139. Thank you very much. Manila. and apprised COMELEC Chairman Benjamin Abalos of his he was open to the possibility of the realignment of funds of the COMELEC for the position during their meeting on January 28. 2004 referring the letter of filed a petition for certiorari and prohibition in this Court for the nullification of the Senate President to the members of the COMELEC and its Law Department for study Resolution No. the COMELEC Consortium. and shall consequently be transmitted electronically to the NCC.[9] II. the procedure for this electronic transmission of precinct results is outlined point. He also wrote Chairman Abalos on funding of the project. through Very Small Aperture 113 . regarding personnel and budgetary problems. stated that he had no objection as to the Phase III of the modernization pronouncements prior to the elections that it was reverting to the old listing of project itself. While the case was pending in this the project since the money allocated by the Office of the President for the AES had Court. You conceded the validity of the position we have taken on this Briefly. entitled and docketed as Information Technology Foundation of the had to contend with the primal problem of sourcing the money for the implementation of Philippines. Jr. approved the assailed resolution declaring that it adopts the policy that the precinct election results of each city and municipality shall be immediately transmitted Under Section 4 of Article VII of the Constitution. then it would be P300.R. In the meantime. April 28. shared the sentiments of Commissioners Garcillano also dubbed as an unofficial quick count. Thus.

Terminal (VSAT) facilities. 2004 to candidates running for local positions. Dr. Only the Board of Election panglungsod or sangguniang bayan belonging to the same slate or ticket shall collectively Inspectors is authorized to have been in contact with the return before the Commission be entitled to only one common observer at the ETC. election returns may only be used for canvassing or for under the party-list. shall each be entitled to one (1) observer. questions of legalities aside. other unofficial counts may not be Sec. b) The Commissions copy. and perceivably. as well as previous practice. the integrity of the Commissions copy is breached. positions has the right to observe/witness the encoding and electronic transmission of the ERs within the authorized perimeter. Gonzales of the Partido Demokratiko Sosyalista ng The assailed resolution further provides that written notices of the date. no objections or protests shall be allowed or obtained from canvassing. which shall be used as basis for the encoding and transmission Coalition (NPC). organizations/coalitions participating under the party-list This refers to COMELEC Resolution 6712 promulgated on 28 April 2004. Every registered political party or coalition based on an election return. 2004 detailing their concerns about the assailed place of the electronic transmission of advanced precinct results shall be given not later resolution: than May 5. 8436. 2004 to candidates running for national positions. and not later than May 7. wrote the COMELEC. as the case may be. 13.[19] NAMFREL and political parties have the following concerns about Resolution 6712 In relation to this. Needless to say. service. time and Pilipinas. as well as to political parties fielding candidates. The citizens arm of the Commission. Section 13 of the assailed resolution provides that the encoding which arose during consultation over the past week[:] proceedings were ministerial and the tabulations were advanced unofficial results. Senate President Franklin of advanced precinct results.[18] Drilon of the Liberal Party. and the heads of the major political parties. professional. business. and parties. Isleta of Bangon Pilipinas. it does appear that the use of election returns as prescribed in Resolution 6712 attached to the Minutes. Interested parties may print the result published in the COMELEC web site. to break the seal of the envelope youth and other similar organizations collectively. namely. on the eve of the elections. system. seal of the Board of Election Inspectors. it may be fairly inferred from the law that except for of parties. personal computers shall the ETC and at the NCC. the second or third copy of the election return. Honesto M. the assailed resolution expressly provides that no print-outs shall be released at 114 . has always been intended to be an archived copy and its integrity preserved Provided. unseals it. it does not help either that Resolution 6712 entertained by the ETC. positions and Copy 2 of the ER for local positions. was promulgated only recently. take note of and make observations on the proceedings of the team. In keeping with the unofficial character of the electronically transmitted precinct results. text messaging. both intended for the Galvez Tan of the Aksyon Demokratiko. Observations shall be in writing and.[20] Instead. sectoral party/organization or coalition thereof the copy of the citizens arm. and Speaker Jose de Venecia of the Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats (CMD) and Norberto M. and the tabulations COMELEC may affect the credibility of the elections because it will differ from the results being advanced unofficial results. sangguniang until required by the Commission to resolve election disputes. and electronic billboards in designated one hundred seventy-five (175) precincts. thereby rendering it void of any probative value. The observer shall have the right to observe. with prior authority of the containing copies Nos. on May 3. Gen. In the process of prematurely breaking the Minutes. Jaime Z.[16] For this purpose. The entirety of Section 13. c) The instruction contained in Resolution 6712. the National Citizens Movement for Free area who will be assigned in each polling center for the purpose of Elections (NAMFREL). and 7166 which authorize only the citizens arm to use an election return for an unofficial count. More importantly. accredited political party. the conduct of an advanced count by the The encoding proceedings being ministerial in nature. A Department of Education (DepEd) Supervisor shall be designated in the When apprised of the said resolution. Indeed. Frisco San Juan of the Nationalist Peoples COMELEC. reads: a) The Resolution disregards RA 8173. shall be To us. departs from the letters and spirit of the law.[17] locations. when submitted. Right to observe the ETC proceedings. and civic. religious. and every candidate for national receiving dispute resolutions. 2 and 3 will introduce a break in the chain of custody prior to its Commission.[21] III. Such fact shall be recorded in the opening by the Commission on Election[s]. Senator gathering from all Board of Election Inspectors (BEI) therein the Edgardo J. through its representative. That candidates for the sangguniang panlalawigan. consolidated and per-precinct results shall be made be allocated for all cities and municipalities at the rate of one set for every available via the Internet. Angara of the Laban ng Demokratikong Pilipino (LDP) and Chairman of envelopes containing the Copy 3 of the Election Returns (ER) for national the Koalisyon ng mga Nagkakaisang Pilipino (KNP) Executive Committee.

whether the issues they raise are accredited arm. (Phase I) and a system of electronic transmission of election results (Phase III). Drilon. the COMELEC preliminarily assails the jurisdiction of this Court to pass (a) for preempting the sole and exclusive authority of Congress upon the assailed resolutions validity claiming that it was promulgated in the exercise of under Art. under the assailed resolution. Norberto M. Dr. Section 4 of the Constitution to canvass the votes for President and Vice- President. The COMELEC avers that granting arguendo that the assailed resolution is related Bernas. Whether the petitioner and the petitioners-intervenors have standing to sue. They advance the view that the assailed resolution The Issues effectively preempts the sole and exclusive authority of Congress under Article VII. 6712 is adoption of technological and electronic devices during the elections. 8436 which authorizes the Election Code. It asserts that the present Resolution 6712 which authorizes the use of election returns for the consolidation of the controversy involves a political question.[22] likewise. therefore. any expenditure for the said purpose contravenes Article VI. Acts Nos. the petition at bar was filed in this Court. 7166. Frisco San Juan. general grant to it of the power to enforce and administer all laws relative to the conduct of elections and to promulgate rules and regulations to ensure free. Sec. II and III are mutually exclusive schemes void the assailed resolution and permanently enjoin the respondent COMELEC from such that. Consequently. election laws. Assuming that they have standing. Act No. as the political parties and all the candidates of the 2004 elections were COMELEC to engage in the biometrics/computerized system of validation of voters sufficiently notified of the electronic transmission of advanced election results. 6646 and Franklin M. we respectfully request the Commission to reconsider the respondent COMELECs executive or administrative power. Honesto M. relating to the requirement of notice to the political parties and candidates of the 3.Emphasizing that the project is unofficial in consolidation of votes contemplated under Section 6 of Rep. Jose De Venecia. as there has been no appropriation by Congress for the respondent At the said hearing on May 8. peaceful and credible In assailing the validity of the questioned resolution. they must The COMELEC trivializes as purely speculative these constitutional concerns raised complement each other as they are not distinct and separate programs but mere stages by the petitioners-in-intervention and the Senate President. there is no basis at all for the respondent COMELEC to still push through and consolidation and transmittal thereof. it invokes the general grant to it of the power to ensure free. It posits that Phases I. VII. whether Resolution No. It is.In view of the foregoing. impugns the standing of the petitioner to file the present petition. it claims that it had complied with Section 52(i) of the Omnibus petition that there is no provision under Rep. orderly. The Court granted the motion of the petitioners-in-intervention proceed independently of and separately from the others. impugned for violating Section 52(i) of the Omnibus Election Code. honest. the COMELEC opines that it cannot. 8436. as he has not alleged any injury which he would or may suffer as a result of the implementation of the assailed resolution. Among others. considering the failed implementation of Phases I contemplated in the assailed resolution is not a canvass of the votes but merely and II. 2004 elections. elections by the Constitution. Finally. The petitioners-in-intervention point to several constitutional infractions occasioned by the assailed resolution. and that it is the implementation of Phase III of its modernization program. Section 29 (par. 1. 2004. Edgardo J. 8436 refers to nature. On statutory grounds. Even assuming for the nonce that all the three (3) phases are duly authorized. 1) of the Constitution. election results for the May 10. likewise. the petitioner and petitioners-in-intervention contend that the assailed resolution encroaches upon the authority of NAMFREL. Gonzales. The petitioner essentially posits that the counting and proclamation of any winning candidate. Isleta and Jose A. to conduct the unofficial quick count as provided under pertinent political in nature over which the Court has no jurisdiction. It further argues that there is and admitted their petition. no specific law is violated their petition-in-intervention. as its bases. as the citizens 2. Jaime Z. Rather. Assuming the issues are not political. and Rep. Further. Act No. the respondent COMELEC invokes the On May 4. In to or connected with Phase III of the modernization program. filed with this Court their Motion to Admit Attached Petition-in-Intervention. Angara. beyond the ambit of judicial review. the respondent COMELEC denies that the assailed resolution was promulgated pursuant to Rep. Jr. it cannot be made the basis for the pursue with Phase III. hence. 2004. The Present Petition On the merits. the Omnibus Election Code. even if the first two phases have been scrapped. the petitioner avers in his elections. the Court set forth the issues for resolution as COMELEC to conduct an unofficial electronic transmission of results of the May 10. the latter phase may still implementing the same.. Galvez-Tan. Act No. be considered as preempting or the official COMELEC count under the fully automated system and not any kind usurping the exclusive power of Congress to canvass the votes for President and Vice- of unofficial count via electronic transmission of advanced results as now provided President. movants-petitioners urge the Court to declare as null and by its implementation. It. 2004 follows: elections. void: For its part. orderly and honest Jose Concepcion. statutory basis for it to conduct an unofficial quick count. It maintains that what is of one whole scheme. As such. 4 of the 1987 Constitution to 115 .

validity as they have sufficient interest in preventing the illegal expenditure of money 6712. not its wisdom. shall now be resolved in seriatim: whether or not there has been grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the part of any branch or instrumentality of the Government. The Issue Raised By The requiring not less than thirty (30) days notice of the Petition Is Justiciable use of new technological and electronic devices. 6712 would cause review by providing that: trending. and. Article VIII. In other words. SEC. not legality of a particular Action measure. 1) of the 1987 Constitution Moreover. 29 (par. Except for the 116 . the petitioner and the determine whether or not there was grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or petitioners-in-intervention. 8436 and 7166 which of the constitutional prerogative of Congress. authorize only the citizens arm to use an election return for an unofficial count.[28] In the present petition. or where the petitioners seek to restrain the respondent from prescribed qualifications or conditions have been met or the limitations respected. The Ruling of the Court Judicial power includes the duty of the courts of justice to settle actual controversies involving rights which are legally demandable and enforceable. supplant or modify the law. possess the requisite standing to question its excess of jurisdiction on the part of the respondent COMELEC in issuing Resolution No. Sec. confusion and chaos. conditional or subject to limitations. Indeed. including the counting and canvassing of the votes cast therein. 8173. (d) for violation of Sec. political questions Standi To Maintain The Present are concerned with issues dependent upon the wisdom. administrative issuances must not override. respectively. canvass the votes for the election of President and and personal interest in the manner by which the respondent COMELEC would conduct Vice-President. (b) for violating Art. The issue raised in the present petition does not merely concern the wisdom of the The gist of the question of standing is whether a party has "alleged such a personal assailed resolution but focuses on its alleged disregard for applicable statutory and stake in the outcome of the controversy as to assure that concrete adverseness which constitutional provisions.[25] justiciable the problem being one of legality or validity. VI. Congress which is exclusively authorized by the Constitution to canvass the votes for President and Vice-President. taxpayers are allowed to sue where there is a claim of but must remain consistent with the law they intend to carry out. As the leading case of Taada vs. the elections. (e) for lack of constitutional or statutory basis. 2004 elections have come and gone.[27] When the grant of illegal disbursement of public funds. direct academic. the petitioners-in-intervention Drilon and De Venecia are. On the other hand. The Court does not agree with the posture of the respondent COMELEC that the The Petitioners And Petitioners-In- issue involved in the present petition is a political question beyond the jurisdiction of Intervention Possess The Locus this Court to review. the heads of in pursuance of an appropriation made by law. that the petitioner and the petitioners-in- sharpens the presentation of issues upon which the court so largely depends for intervention are questioning the legality of the respondent COMELECs administrative illumination of difficult constitutional questions. another procedural issue that has Movement for Free Elections (NAMFREL). 52(i) of the Omnibus Election Code. 1. 2004 elections. petitioners-in-intervention Concepcion and Bernas represent the National Citizens Although not raised during the oral arguments. Indeed.[24] In essence. the issue of whether the improper purpose. Acts Nos. or that public money is being deflected to any power is qualified. They have sufficient. parties that have participated in the May 10. which is the citizens arm authorized to to be addressed is whether the substantive issues had been rendered moot and conduct an unofficial quick count during the said elections. as earlier defined. Whether the implementation of Resolution No. is wasting public funds through the enforcement of an invalid or unconstitutional law. that no money shall be paid out of the treasury except President of the Senate and Speaker of the House of Representatives. Cuenco[26] put it. the May 10. 6712 Most of the petitioners-in-intervention are also representatives of major political does not have adequate statutory or constitutional basis.[23] Since the implementation of the issuance will not preclude this Court from exercising its power of judicial review to assailed resolution obviously involves the expenditure of funds. They have the requisite standing to prevent the usurpation (c) for disregarding Rep. and. as taxpayers. raised by taxation. and to determine The issues. the Court must pass upon the petitioners contention that Resolution No. Section 1 of the 1987 Constitution expands the concept of judicial 4. The judicial power shall be vested in one Supreme Court and in such lower courts as may be established by law.

and in the process. proclaim the winning candidates judgment as is equivalent to lack of jurisdiction. and the Congress. the COMELEC is. Act No. but would also be people rather. as far as Senator lacking of any constitutional authority. directed to The COMELEC realized its folly and the merits of the objection of the Senate the President of the Senate. the President of President on the constitutionality of the resolution that it decided not to conduct an the Senate shall. the president of the Senate shall. there is excess of jurisdiction where the Congress upon determination of the authenticity and the due execution thereof in the respondent.[32] for president and vice-president. shall compose the The preliminary issues having been thus resolved. and the legal power to determine the matter before it. considering that Section 4 thereof allows the use of rule that courts will decide a question otherwise moot and academic if it is capable of the third copy of the Election Returns (ERs) for the positions of President. 2004. First. it would already give a certain degree of comfort to certain politicians to which not only would be pre-emptive of the authority of Congress. 8436 as such tabulation is unofficial. the proclaimed. the newly. 117 . 6712 SEC. you will be able to tell the people on the basis of your quick count. Act No. In his Letter dated February 2. Senate President Drilon reiterated his position Well. canvass the votes.[34] down are concerned. The returns of every determine whether the respondent COMELEC committed grave abuse of discretion election for president and vice-president duly certified by the board of canvassers of amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction in promulgating the assailed resolution. Congress as the National Board of Canvassers for President and Vice-President. the sole and exclusive authority Constitution and Rep.Upon receipt of the certificates of canvass. his deep-seated concern that the respondent who won the election. Abalos. ahead of the canvassing of the same votes by Congress. If the COMELEC is proscribed from conducting an official canvass of the VII. Upon receipt of the certificates of canvass. Senate President Franklin M. Vice- repetition. Such resolution directly substantive issues for future guidance of both the bench and bar. certificates in the presence of the Senate and the House of Representatives in joint public Commissioner Sadain so declared during the hearing: session. 24. each province or city. Article unacceptable. more or As early as January 28. is that it? COMELEC could not and should not conduct any quick count of the votes cast for the positions of President and Vice-President. it is settled infringes the authority of Congress.[29] Further. shall be transmitted to the Congress. Because the fact of winning emphasizing that any quick count to be conducted by the Commission on said positions the election would really depend on the canvassed results.elected national and local officials have been Nonetheless. canvass all the results for president and vice-president by authority as determined by law. Senators and Members of the House of Representatives. Your Honor. COMM. as basis for the encoding and transmission of advanced precinct results. oversteps its manner provided by law. its not exactly like that. being clothed with the power to determine the matter. upon determination of the authenticity and due execution JUSTICE PUNO: thereof in the manner provided by law.[31] There is grave abuse of discretion justifying the consolidating the results contained in the data storage devices submitted by the district. Drilon already conveyed less. The returns of every election for President and Vice-President duly certified by the board of canvassers of each province or city. the Court finds it necessary to resolve the merits of the COMELEC proceeded to promulgate the assailed resolution. to Chairman Benjamin S. Section 24 thereof provides: Resolution No. canvass the votes for the President and Vice-President. open all the unofficial quick count of the results of the elections for President and Vice-President. prohibited from making an unofficial canvass of said votes. in joint public session. as to who are leading in the elections. in disregard of the valid objection of the Senate President. The Court rules in the affirmative. with more reason. but probably. is puerile and totally of Congress to canvass the votes for the election of President and Vice-President. even the provision of Rep. Sr. Nonetheless. shall be transmitted to the Congress.President and Vice-President.[30] President. not later than thirty days after the day of the election. The assailed resolution usurps. open all the certificates in the An administrative body or tribunal acts without jurisdiction if it does not have the presence of the Senate and the House of Representatives in joint public session. intended for the COMELEC. 8436 confirms the constitutional Discretion Amounting To Lack Or undertaking of Congress as the sole body tasked to canvass the votes for the President Excess Of Jurisdiction In Issuing and Vice-President. yet evading review. issuance of the writ of certiorari when there is a capricious and whimsical exercise of his provincial and city boards of canvassers and thereafter. the Court shall proceed to national board of canvassers for president and vice-president. Section 4 of the Constitution provides in part: votes cast for the President and Vice-President. SADAIN: 2004[33] addressed to Chairman Abalos. under the guise of an unofficial tabulation of The contention of the COMELEC that its tabulation of votes is not prohibited by the election results based on a copy of the election returns. -- The Senate and the House of Representatives. The Respondent COMELEC Committed Grave Abuse Of Parenthetically. not later than thirty (30) days after the day of the election. but not to President and Vice-President. The word you are saying that within 36 hours after election. directed to the president of the Senate. would in effect constitute a canvass of the votes of the President and Vice-President.

]: JUSTICE VITUG: Now.000 needed to operationalize the project: official canvass for this and proclaims the winner. [SR. the implementation of the assailed resolution would entail. Irrefragably. it needed P55. Your Honor. they will be the ones which there must be the corresponding appropriation. meaning not emanating COMM. SADAIN: Yes.000. SADAIN: their objections to the electronic transmission results system. Your Honor. through Commissioner Sadain.[35] of stenographic notes taken during the hearing: JUSTICE CALLEJO.[41] COMM. And you mentioned earlier something about 55 million not being paid bawas but not totally eradicate dagdag-bawas? as yet? COMM. You stated that you signed already the main contract made by law. including the encoding In deference to the request of the Senate President and the House process. SADAIN: COMELEC. JUSTICE CALLEJO. I heard either Atty. According to them. Brillantes say (sic) that there And this has not yet been done? was a conference between the Speaker and the Senate President and the Chairman during which the Senate President and the Speaker voice[d] COMM. SADAIN: JUSTICE VITUG: These was relayed to us Your Honor and their objection or request Would you consider the funds that were authorized by you under the rather was for us to refrain from consolidating and publishing the General Appropriations Act as capable of being used for this purpose? results for presidential and vice-presidential candidates which we have COMM. Your Honor. Bernas or Atty. in due Presidential elections which are more important? course. admitted during the said hearing that although it had already approved the assailed resolution. According to the COMM. the Constitution and Rep. JUSTICE PUNO: count project may even be considered as a felony under Article 217 of the Revised Penal Code. it would necessarily involve the disbursement of public funds for Speaker. We quote the transcript winners and we gave in to their request. Your Honor.000 to operationalize the project. so it is their view that we will The COMELEC posited during the hearing that the 2003 General Appropriations Act be pre-empting their canvassing work and the proclamation of the has appropriated the amount needed for its unofficial tabulation.000. [38] Any disbursement of public funds to implement this project is contrary to the provisions of Yes. which is the 2003 General Appropriations JUSTICE CARPIO: Act. canvassing and proclaiming the winner. So.[36] JUSTICE CARPIO: Second. Act No.]: JUSTICE VITUG: Perhaps what you are saying is that the system will minimize dagdag. Your Honor. the electronic transmission and tabulation of the election results projected under Resolution No. technical services and acquisition of equipment. the hiring of additional manpower. 6712 is unofficial in character. SADAIN: from or sanctioned or acknowledged by the government or government body. there is going to be no consolidation and no publication of the Yes. This is an extra amount that we will be needing to operationalize. but you dont give this assurance with respect to the Presidential and Vice. 9206. SADAIN: already granted Your Honors.[40] Hence. SADAIN: COMM.[39] So as far as the Senatorial candidates involved are concerned. as amended. [SR. it was still looking Reason behind being that it is actually Congress that canvass that the for the P55. thats our position. can you share with us the objections of the two gentlemen? It has not yet been done. The use of the COMELEC of its funds appropriated for the AES for the unofficial quick 118 .[37] for 300 million but you have not signed the 55 million supplemental contract for the encoding? By its very terms. among others. COMM. SADAIN: But then the COMELEC. including computers and software. The assailed COMELEC resolution contravenes the constitutional provision that no money shall be paid out of the treasury except in pursuance of an appropriation Just a clarification.

but that proper documentation was here should be confined within the four walls of this room and the forthcoming: minutes so that walang masyadong problema. specially so in my own region. Because you still dont have the money for that? JUSTICE CARPIO: COMM. the encoding is crucial. without the encoding. That is 300 million main contract goes to waste. And they also said that come canvassing time. the entire project is that the Election Officers are now plagued with so much work such as collapses? the preparation of the list of voters and their concern in their respective areas. that transmission. 119 . Garcillano: Its just a matter of proper documentation. for instance other funds to be used for national elections may not be proper for JUSTICE CARPIO: realignment. I will not make any for 300 million but you have not signed the 55 million supplemental observations. yes. I share the sentiments of our people in the field. and the possibility of COMM. SADAIN: burden them with another training at this point in time will make them Yes. The other reservation Now. because I was informed by our Finance Department that the money is there. I would like to make it on record that the budget for Phase III should be COMM. SADAIN: JUSTICE CARPIO: Yes. Borra: Just a clarification. Commissioner Sadain contradicted himself when he said that its May I just request all the parties who are in here na whatever is said Financial Department had already found the money. COMM. we are trying to determine where we can secure the money. the collapses? Commissioners expressed their serious concerns about the lack of funds for the project. Tuason: Inexplicably. SADAIN: taken from the modernization program fund because Phase III is Well. Other funds. Your Honor. SADAIN: Comm. 2004 meeting of the COMELEC En Banc. Your Honor. you have found the money already? Well. loose (sic) focus on what they are really doing for the national elections and what they are saying is that they should not be subjected to any JUSTICE CARPIO: training anymore. the propriety of using the funds for Phase III of its modernization. without the encoding. JUSTICE CARPIO: Comm. the encoding is crucial. Tuason: Yes. you have signed the votes to be fed to the encoders [to be fed to the encoders] for electronic contract on the main contract and if you dont get that 55 million. that to COMM.[42] Comm. Commissioner Borra will submit a comment to be attached to the JUSTICE CARPIO: minutes but not on the resolution. because you cannot encode? also one of my reservations. I do not have any objection as to the Because you still dont have the money for that? Phase III modernization project itself. COMM. yes. SADAIN: So. you have two (2) days to look for the 55 million. SADAIN: realigning funds to finance the project: Yes. the entire project Earlier. Your Honor. their priority would be to canvass first before they prepare the certificate of So. I will just make it on record my previous reservation. You stated that you signed already the main contract Sa akin lang. I will just submit my own memo to be incorporated in the contract for the encoding? minutes. My main concern is the budget. Thank you. That is why I am saying that the funds to be used for Phase III should properly come from the modernization. we are trying to determine where we can secure the money. during the April 27. SADAIN: Comm.[43] Now. Ako naman. definitely part of the modernization project. COMM. They were saying to me. we respect each others opinion.

I know that this can go on with their normal routine and then leave the encoders as well will disrupt the canvassing that is going to be handled by our EO and as the reception officers to attend the training because there (sic) are Election Assistant. The award on the contract for Phase II project is 1. 2003 and find no appropriation for the project of the COMELEC for Comm.000. we under Rep.3 Billion. So the remaining has been allocated for additional expenses for the loss of Phase II.000 250. They can probably just sit in for the first hour and then they which I think is already being taken cared of. I also have my reservations because I have the B. We have to have additional people to man this training. FY 2003 Preparatory Activities for National Elections 250. Upgrading of Voters Database 125. Act No. Yun lang. Commissioner Borra has derived his opinion but I would like to think the legality issue must have been settled already as early as when we Comm. I share the view of Comm.000. Implementation of Absentee Ako naman. which means that there system. almost mechanical.000 of the capital outlay for the modernization of the electoral As far as I am concerned. we were left with no Voting Act of 2003 (RA 9189) 300.000 Comm. Now with regards the legality.000. Tuason: work of encoding and transmitting the election results.000 For the minutes. Third is. I dont think there is money left. Sadain: e. Our EOs and PES expressed apprehension over the additional Expenses training period that they may have to undergo although. I will submit it in d.500. on this matter alone.000 choice but to implement Phase III inasmuch as expenses has already ========== ========= ========== been incurred in Phase III to the tune of almost 100% at the time when the Phase II contract was nullified.000. Borra: c. then it would be again 300 million pesos down the drain. With regards the concern with the Election Officers. Barcelona: electronic transmission of unofficial election results.248 Commissioner Borra if he thinks that there is going to be a legal gap for billion. we will be recommending that the EOs will no longer be bothered to attend the I also have one problem. of Cavite 6.000 225.000 300. I do not know if it is given to somebody (inaudible) the people who will really be doing the ministerial. Locally-Funded Projects 681.000. Comm.000 125. I also share the concern of Commissioner Tuason with regard to System 225.000[45] Phase III just because Phase II was nullified.[44] Those are your reservations. As in fact. 9206.000. I also have my observations regarding the financial restraint that we are might explore the possibility of realigning funds although that might facing if the money that is going to be used for this is taken from the not (inaudible). 9206. I also share the same concern. for my part as the CIC for Phase III. they say.000 Comm. So if we stop the implementation of Sub-Total. which took effect on April 23. Garcillano: giving to the EOs and EAs will be minimized.500. I of P225.000. What is appropriated therein is the amount of P225.500. I think what Phase II. Tuason that as much as possible this should be taken from the modernization Under paragraph 3 of the special provisions of Rep. For the Modernization of Electoral them. Act No. would be no consolidation and accounting consolidation for the machines. In fact.000. PROJECTS Maintenance & Capital Outlays Total same experience as Commissioner Tuason when I went to Region IX and Other Operating Caraga. However. b.000 shall be used primarily for the establishment of the AES prescribed would like to open myself to the possibility na in case wala talaga. second is fill the vacancy in the Third District technical/operational and third is financial. my memo is already prepared. we try to make the GI as simple as possible so that whatever burden we will be Comm.000 225. viz: 120 .000.000 300.000 6.000 the budget that should be taken from the modernization budget.000. Locally-Funded Projects that is an order they will comply but it will be additional burden on a. the technical working group and staff for Phase II. We have reviewed Rep. Borra: approved the modernization program involving all three There is no more money in Phase II because the budget for Phase II is phases although we also grant the benefit of the argument for 1. Act No. On three counts naman yan eh legal. Necessarily there would be additional expense but we see this as a consequence of the loss of Phase II. the amount fund as much as this is properly modernization concern.000. Conduct of Special Election to detail. 8436.000. the General Appropriations Act. that if I.

in this case. Act. as well as the returns themselves. Philippines. The COMELEC had not executed any supplemental contract for the implementation of the project with PMSI. That the Commission shall notify the authorized representatives of accredited political parties and candidates in areas affected by the use or adoption of I hereby certify that per records of the Senate. The assailed resolution disregards existing laws which authorize solely the duly-accredited citizens arm to conduct the unofficial counting of votes. 121 . it approved the assailed resolution. 2004 elections: (i) Prescribe the use or adoption of the latest technological and electronic devices. Section Constitution.[50] the accredited citizens arm . if they are so minded not to object. to open the second or third copy Section 52 of Rep. which is cited by the COMELEC appropriations as authorized under Section 25(5). and. because it would be violative of Article VI. Thus: advanced unofficial precinct results. by creating a gap in its Sec.is exclusively technology and devices. to allow them ample authorized to use a copy of the election returns in the conduct of an unofficial counting of time to field their own trusted personnel especially in far flung areas and to take other the votes.3. the COMELEC nevertheless approved the assailed the purpose. and. while required to be delivered to the COMELEC under the Million Pesos (P225.[46] may be imminent. even in the absence of a (b) Notify the authorized representatives of accredited political parties and certification of availability of funds for the project. This not only violates the exclusive prerogative of NAMFREL to conduct an unofficial count. the Commission shall have exclusive savings from another item in its appropriation. Article VI of the 1987 Philippine as the statutory basis for the assailed resolution. the second or third copy of the Modernization of the Electoral System in the amount of Two Hundred Twenty-Five election returns. and adopt the latest technological and electronic devices for electoral purposes.[48] In this SEC. no change or modification shall be made in the expenditure items in this Act and other appropriations laws unless in cases of augmentation from savings in Fourth. to fund the assailed charge of the enforcement and administration of all laws relative to the conduct of resolution. the assailed Resolution authorizes the so-called Reception Officers (RO). Moreover. Act No. 2004 elections. thus. No other entity. Modification of Expenditure Components. it must act in accordance with the following conditions: What is worrisome is that despite the concerns of the Commissioners during its En (a) Take into account the situation prevailing in the area and the funds available for Banc meeting on April 27. Third. In addition to the powers case. 2004. 52. no law has. Worse. tabulation or the use of such devices. and shall : appropriating any amount for an unofficial count and tabulation of the votes cast during the May 10. 2004. does not cover the use of the latest Constitution. before the COMELEC may resort to May 11. The appropriations herein authorized for the purposes of conducting an unofficial count. The aforesaid automated election system. Powers and functions of the Commission on Elections. Under Section 27 It is quite obvious that the purpose of this provision is to accord to all political of Rep. candidates in areas affected by the use or adoption of technological and electronic devices not less than thirty days prior to the effectivity of the use of such devices. if any. in contravention of the law. 8436. if there are any. counting of votes and canvassing/consolidation of results of the COMELEC to verify election results in connection with resolving election disputes that national and local elections. However. Act No. are not intended for undertaking an unofficial count.000.00) shall be used primarily for the establishment of the aforementioned laws. Section 25 (5)[47] of the 1987 devices not less than thirty days prior to the effectivity of the use of such devices. Unless specifically authorized in this chain of custody from the Board of Election Inspectors to the COMELEC. whether for the national or the local elections. far been enacted authorizing the respondent COMELEC to transfer and functions conferred upon it by the Constitution. particularly for the COMELEC copies are archived and unsealed only when needed by the respondent process of voting. as amended by Rep. 9206 proscribes any change or modification in the intended for the respondent COMELEC as basis for the encoding and transmission of expenditure items authorized thereunder. prescribed under Republic Act No. Congress has not legislated any technological and electronic devices not less than thirty days prior to the effectivity of appropriation intended to defray the cost of an unofficial count. From the clear terms of the above provision. 52. Pasay City. 52(i) reads: The power to augment from savings lies dormant until authorized by law. including the necessary measures to ensure the reliability of the proposed electoral technology or respondent COMELEC itself. orderly and honest elections. Act No. technological and election devices for unofficial tabulations of votes. 8173. No less than the Secretary of the Senate certified that there is no law elections for the purpose of ensuring free. Modernization of Electoral System. consolidation of the votes cast during the May 10. is authorized to use a copy of the election returns for device. resolution the very next day. taking into account the situation prevailing in the area and the funds available for the CERTIFICATION purpose: Provided. 8436. the COMELEC failed to notify the authorized representatives of accredited political parties Neither can the money needed for the project be taken from the COMELECs and all candidates in areas affected by the use or adoption of technological and electronic savings.[49] and reiterated in Section 18 of parties and all candidates the opportunity to object to the effectiveness of the proposed Rep. NAMFREL .000. In addition. 7166. Section 52(i) of the Omnibus Election Code. but also taints the integrity of the envelopes containing the election returns. Act No.

2004 COMELEC Conference election? with the political parties on election security measures did not mention electronic transmission of advanced results. since Resolution No. had admittedly entered into a contract on April 15. SADAIN: we notified the politicians. pursuant to Section 52(i) of the Omnibus Election Code. 6712. the respondent COMELEC could JUSTICE CARPIO: not have possibly complied with the thirty-day notice requirement provided under Section 52(i) of the Omnibus Election Code. COMM. discuss various security measures that COMELEC had JUSTICE CARPIO: put in place. Your Honor. Your Honor. SADAIN: Resolution No. after office hours.[54] Further. the invitations purportedly sent out to the political parties regarding Hundreds of thousands. No. As earlier pointed out. 2004 Field Test of the Electronic Transmission. 2004 regarding the January 20. Yes. Your Honor. 2003[53] and acquired facilities pertaining to the implementation of the electronic transmission and official tabulation of JUSTICE CARPIO: election results. immediately a day after its issuance on April 28. 2004. document to prove that it had notified all political parties of the intended adoption of COMM. so you mean you just notified the political the April 6. ballot to be used in the elections. the assailed resolution was issued by the COMELEC despite COMM.There is no showing that all the 122 . SADAIN: So. SADAIN: JUSTICE CARPIO: We were not able to do that. As correctly pointed out by the petitioners-in-intervention. how many candidates are there nationwide now? JUSTICE CARPIO: COMM. the And there are how many candidates nationwide running in this invitations dated January 15. JUSTICE CARPIO: Commissioner Sadain. 2004. April 8 and 9 being Holy Thursday and Good Friday. as it opines that the authorized representatives of accredited political parties and candidates should have been notified of the adoption of COMM. failed to submit any resolution or Yes. individual candidates? Yes. unabashedly admitted that it failed to notify all the candidates for the 2004 elections. 6712 was made effective Yes. The Office of the Solicitor many political parties as against hundreds of thousands of candidates? General (OSG) concedes this point. 2004. Now. SADAIN: the electronic transmission of election returns nationwide at the latest on April 7. 2004. it Yes. but what does the law state? Read the law please. who appeared for the COMELEC. during the hearing on May 18. I must admit. you would notify how right to due process of the political parties and candidates.[52] JUSTICE CARPIO: The respondent COMELEC has. much less the formal adoption of the purpose of the COMM. operational and financial impediments thereto. you did not notify hundreds of thousands of candidates? I must admit you Honor we were not able to notify the candidates but COMM. More significantly. Consolidation and parties not the candidates? Dissemination System to be conducted by the COMELEC appear to have been sent out in the late afternoon of April 5. Your Honor. Your Honor. Your Honors. we notified the major political parties. Your Honor. Your Honor. as mandated by law: Only the major political parties? JUSTICE CARPIO: COMM. Such notices merely invited the addressee thereof or its/his authorized representative to a conference where the COMELEC would show a sample of the official Hundreds of thousands.[51] Furthermore. and solicit suggestions to improve the administration of the polls. in compliance with Section 52(i) of the Omnibus Election Code. This notwithstanding the fact that even long before the issuance of the assailed resolution. SADAIN: But not the candidates. This indubitably violates the constitutional And you think that is substantial compliance. SADAIN: You stated that you have notified in writing all the political parties and Including party list? candidates as required in Section 52 (i)? JUSTICE CARPIO: COMM. I understand that it includes candidates. likewise. SADAIN: conference. SADAIN: most of the Commissioners apprehensions regarding the legal.

referendum and Sixth. for the undergoes the procedure of canvassing by various Boards of Canvassers. by conducting such unofficial Under the Omnibus Election Code. The PBC would then prepare two sets of Provincial Section 6 of Rep. 8436. as the counting of votes and canvassing/consolidation of results of the national and local petitioner properly characterizes it. which have not undergone the process of canvassing. COMELEC. -. and other election laws are Election Code. allegations of trending. If in spite of its diligent efforts to quick count conducted by the NAMFREL had never tallied with that of the official count implement this mandate in the exercise of this authority. as implementation of Phase II of the AES is a condition sine qua non to the implementation required by Section 52(i) of the Omnibus Election Code. This is so provided in to the House of Representatives.To carry out the above-stated COMELEC for its canvassing of the results for Senators. is a total sham. including those COMELEC cannot as yet implement the Phase III of the program. Each set of the ER is prepared in eight (8) copies. the implementation of Fifth. That the accredited political parties are duly notified of and allowed respondent COMELEC.Such data. As correctly observed by the petitioner. Rep. Section 2 of the transferred to the certificates of canvass (COCs) which are. herein referred to as the Commission. it is absurd for the COMELEC votes and record the same simultaneously on the tally boards and on two sets of to conduct two kinds of electoral counts a slow but official count. One set is forwarded to Congress for its canvassing of the results for the President and Vice-President. 8436. 7166. 8436 constitutes the entire process of voting. the tabulation of the results of the election. the official and unofficial canvass. however. under the assailed resolution. organizations or coalitions participating under the party-list system. Subsequently. in its official capacity. transmission count is to avert the so-called dagdag-bawas. 2004 elections. it would be able to 123 .[55] of Phase III. That it possesses the power to promulgate rules and regulations in the control of the COMELEC would significantly vary from the results reflected in the performance of its constitutional duties is. any supplies. the precinct results of each city and municipality received by the ETCs would be immediately electronically transmitted to To achieve the purpose of this Act. peaceful and credible elections [57] is beyond unofficial results reflected in the electronic transmission under the supervision and cavil. Act No. 1998 elections. the elections for both national and local in addition to its official count. senators and parties. the COMELEC descends to the level of a private Board of Election Inspectors (BEI) for each precinct is enjoined to publicly count the organization. The only intimated utility claimed by the COMELEC for the unofficial electronic The AES provided in Rep. policy. there is a great possibility that the recall[56] and to ensure free. undisputed. the PBC would canvass all the COCs COMELEC. and an alleged quicker ERs. the Commission on Elections. counting of votes and canvassing/consolidation of results of the and certificates of canvass are objected to and at times excluded and/or deferred and not national and local elections: Provided. election returns process of voting. initiative. The other set is forwarded to the SEC. is hereby As the results are transposed from one document to another. would most certainly be positions shall be done manually except in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao aggravated. On the other hand. suppliers Resultantly. These SOVs are then modernization program of the COMELEC under Rep. long after the pre-proclamation controversies are resolved by the canvass boards System shall be applicable in all areas within the country only for the positions of and the COMELEC. plebiscite. The purpose. That Phase III of the AES. the tallied. The latter follows the procedure prescribed by the Omnibus the COMELEC under the Constitution. or received the invitations. both to be administered by the or lessors: Provided. herein referred to as the System. the respondent COMELEC. However. national positions in the May 11. Act No. the duties of COMELEC official count. respondent COMELEC is the sole body tasked to enforce and administer all laws and regulations relative to the conduct of an election. and as each document authorized to use an automated election system. 1998 that the Commission cannot fully implement the automated election system for unofficial count to be conducted by the official election body. 6. at least for the May 10. the assailed resolution is an implementation of Phase III of the transposed to the statements of votes (SOVs) by precinct. whether manually or electronically. the electoral process would be undermined. As a consequence. basis for the respondent COMELEC to undertake a separate and an unofficial tabulation of results. at all times. which is markedly different from the procedure envisioned in the assailed carried out.political parties attended the Field Test. in turn. Besides. orderly. giving rise to allegations of trending and confusion. Indeed. Since this Court has already scrapped the contract for Phase II of the AES. The Court cannot accept as tenable elections corresponding to the Phase I. president. would most likely not tally. With a second 9. the results of each may substantially differ. the Commission is authorized to procure by purchase. The three phases cannot be effected independently of each other. Phase II and Phase III of the AES of the the COMELECs profession that from the results of the unofficial count. The the said invitations did not contain a formal notice of the adoption of a technology. they are forwarded to the Municipal Board of Canvassers (MBC). There is no constitutional and statutory resolution. The nullification by this Court of the contract for Phase II of the System effectively put on hold. after the votes are cast and the polls closed. however. Authority to Use an Automated Election System. the unofficial to observe but not to participate in the bidding. which would canvass all the ERs and proclaim the elected municipal officials. In the past elections. would lease or otherwise. Act No. holding of the elections by an expedited process of public bidding of vendors. materials and services needed for the expectedly be dissimilar to the data on which the official count would be based. More importantly. equipment. (ARMM) where the automated election system shall be used for all positions. but unofficial count. brought to the assailed resolution expressly refers to the Phase III-Modernization Project of the Provincial Board of Canvassers (PBC). After the ERs are accomplished. Certificates of Canvass (PCOCs). honest. spending public funds for the purpose. All the results in the ERs are Clearly. the from various municipalities and proclaim the elected provincial officials. That for the May 11. The assailed resolution has no constitutional and statutory basis. the NCC. likewise. 1998 elections. it becomes evident by February of the COMELEC. vice-president. Act No.

It is observed that such problem arises because of the element of human intervention. encoding is accomplished by employees of the PMSI. As it stands. and canvassed. In the prevailing set up. Thus. fast and accurate information to provide the public re election results. Conclusion The Court is mindful of the salutary goals that the respondent COMELEC had envisioned in promulgating the assailed resolution. 4. Reducing election results manipulation. But the rule of law requires that even the best intentions must be carried out within the parameters of the Constitution and the law. The assailed Resolution No. Under the assailed resolution. SO ORDERED. laudable purposes must be carried out by legal methods. the Court doubts that the problem of dagdag-bawas could be addressed by the implementation of the assailed resolution. Providing timely. Enabling the validation of its own official count and other counts. 2004 issued by the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) En Banc is hereby declared NULL AND VOID. 124 . The crucial stage of encoding the precinct results in the computers prior to the transmission requires human intervention. On the other hand. Having an audit trail in its own account. an illegal and unnecessary waste of government funds and effort. Verily. there is human intervention because the results are manually tallied. 5. the electronic transmission of results is not entirely devoid of human intervention. the petition is GRANTED.validate the credibility of the official tabulation. 6. 3. 2.[59] WHEREFORE. appreciated. the COMELEC unofficial quick count would be but a needless duplication of the NAMFREL quick count. Facilitating transparency in the process.[58] Doubtless. to wit: [t]o renew the publics confidence in the Philippine Electoral System by: 1. To sanction this process would in effect allow the COMELEC to preempt or prejudge an election question or dispute which has not been formally brought before it for quasi-judicial cognizance and resolutions. the problem of dagdag-bawas could still occur at this particular stage of the process. these are laudable intentions. 6712 dated April 28. Ensuring the integrity of the results. Moreover.

The presence of REDs on January 30 can be used partly for consultation on the practical On January 29. RUFINO JAVIER. DECISION Preparatory to the registration days.m. No. Suffrage and Peoples Participation presided over by the Hon. CHRISTOPHER OARDE. participating students O. New GSIS Headquarters Building. all of the Commission on Election (COMELEC). the following activities are likewise agreed: BUENA. like school BORRA.representing the youth sector . MICHELLE D. The applicants shall register in their places of residences. The Comelec field officers will be given the opportunity to verify the voters reverence. Chairman and interest to participate in the political process generated by the recent political of the Committee on Electoral Reforms. 2000 deadline set by the respondent COMELEC under Republic Act No. Commissioners Tancangco and Lantion submitted side and logistical requirements of such additional registration days. SCAP. 2001 nationwide. records. J. No. through a events in the country among our youth. respondents. 2000.[G. MASP. Meetings with student groups to ensure orderly and honest conduct of the the May 14. PATRICIA organizations to hold additional two days of registration. CHAIRMAN ALFREDO BENIPAYO. Raul Roco. of new voters ages 18 to 21. March 26. and for the Deputy Executive Director for called by the Senate Committee headed by Senator Roco. TAMONDONG. The applicants for the registration shall be 25 years of age or less and will be registering for the first time on May 14. The applicants shall present valid identification documents. BETITO.R. Borra (now Commissioner) attended the public hearing certified available funds for the purpose.: 1. EDBEN February 17 and 18. Headquarters Bldg. its Committee Chairman to date at the Senate. 2000 deadline. of discussing the extension of the registration of voters to accommodate those who were not able to register before the COMELEC deadline. petitioners. 2001-027 on the Report on the Request for a Two-day Additional set at 1:30 p. held at the Senate. Tancangco and Ralph C. and direct the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) to conduct a special registration before 4. 8189 is December 27. 8189. the Commission en banc has to discuss all aspects regarding Commissioners Luzviminda G. New GSIS Operations (DEDO) for the estimated costs of additional two days of registration. ARCHIE JOHN TALAUE. The deadline for the continuing voters TABUCOL. respondents. 2001. 147179. they approved for special registration days. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS. around four million youth failed to register on or before the December 27. at the Office of ED.[2] The rationale for the additional two-day registration is the renewed political awareness Acting on the clamor of the students and civic leaders. UCSC. together with this request with directives to the Finance Services Department (FSD) to submit Consultant Resurreccion Z. registration under R. invited the COMELEC to a public hearing for the purpose December 27. 2001. petitioners.R. vs. Submission of the list of students and their addresses immediately prior to the actual registration of the applicants. if not utmost 2.seek to 3. The main agenda item is the request by youth AKBAYAN Youth.[4] Registration of New Voters Only. JOHNNY and civic leaders along with Comelec Representatives were in agreement that is legally ACOSTA. To address the concern that this may open the flood parts for hakot system. vs. Invoking this right. and Peoples Participation. MYLA GAIL Z. EMMANUEL E. Considering that they failed to register on Letter dated January 25. enumerators list or conduct ocular inspection. no less than by the fundamental law . 2001. petitioner. 2001] Please be advised that the undersigned attended the public hearing called by the Senate Committee on electoral Reforms. RALPH LANTION. VALENCIA.the right of suffrage. 2001] 1. 2001 General Elections. Availability of funds for the purpose. 147066.A. The meeting will be Memorandum No. March 26. According to registration and drum up interest to register among the new voters. The following guidelines to serve as safeguards against fraudulent applicants: [G. Senator Raul Roco. herein petitioners . Suffrage. LUZVIMINDA TANCANGCO. ALYANSA. KOMPIL II Youth.OMBAO. At the helm of controversy in the instant consolidated petitions[1] before us is the exercise of a right so indubitably cherished and accorded primacy. Pasay City. FLORENTINO TUASON and RESURRECCION 3. RICHARD M. RYAN DAPITAN. Pasay City. and COMMISSIONERS MEHOL SADAIN.[3] In view of the foregoing. PICAR.. Lantion. certain restrictive parameters were discussed. Sen. Thus. excerpts of which are hereto quoted: 125 . KALIPI. 2. feasible to have a two-day additional registration of voters to be conducted preferably on JOSE MARI MODESTO.

[6] obliged by law to register.Thus. 8189. contrary to petitioners argument. SCAP. the COMELEC issued Resolution No. filed before this Court the instant Petition for Certiorari and Mandamus. RESOLVES. Aggrieved by the denial. Jr. Mamasapunod Aguam. the exercise of the right of suffrage. AND WHO SHALL HAVE RESIDED IN THE PHILIPPINES FOR AT LEAST ONE YEAR AND On March 09. 3584. Proceeding from the significance of registration as a necessary requisite to Resolution dated February 8. 2001. MASP. A. in addition to the minimum requirements set by the fundamental charter. to deny the request to conduct a two-day additional registration of new In a representative democracy such as ours.R. accorded a prime niche in the hierarchy of rights embodied in the fundamental law. B. indispensable element in the election process. 2001. OR OTHER praying that this Court direct the COMELEC to provide for another special registration SUBSTANTIVE REQUIREMENT SHALL BE IMPOSED ON THE EXERCISE OF SUFFRAGE. Javier and Mehol K. the right of suffrage ardently invoked by herein petitioners. portion of which reads: 2000 deadline and the May 14. 2001. orderly and peaceful election. are crafted to effectively insulate such so cherished right the students request. statute books and other repositories of law. as it hereby The petitions are bereft of merit. 2001. Thus. 147179. the Solicitor General. a citizen in order to be qualified to exercise his right expiring at 10:00 A. For registration is part and parcel of the right to vote and an voters for purposes of the May 14. 8189 unconstitutional insofar as said our Constitution. 8189 explicitly provides that no registration a) Whether or not respondent COMELEC committed grave abuse of discretion shall be conducted during the period starting one hundred twenty (120) days before a in issuing COMELEC Resolution dated February 8. of March 16. this Court resolved to set the to vote. Comment. under the provisions of Republic Act No. with the exception of Director Jose Tolentino. Article V of the Constitution provides: situated. this Court resolved to consolidate the two petitions and further conditioned upon certain procedural requirements he must undergo: among others. as to the substantive provision effectively causes the disenfranchisement of petitioners and others similarly aspect. 2001 General Elections. petitioners pray for the issuance of a writ of mandamus directing respondent COMELEC to conduct a special registration of new voters and to admit for SECTION 1. No. 147066. petitioners. docketed as G. which seeks to set aside and nullify respondent COMELECs other rights. the Commission RESOLVED.A. 2001. In effect. Needless to say. is not at all II (YOUTH) et al. PROPERTY. which Resolution. which statutes while Commissioners Luzviminda Tancangco and Ralph Lantion voted to accommodate for all intents and purposes. Specifically. may have undermined their constitutional right to vote on the May 14. petitioners AKBAYAN-Youth. Likewise. No. recommended that an additional continuing registration of voters be Stated differently. With this impasse. the Court in passing upon the merits of the present petitions. KOMPIL To be sure. argue to the right to vote. On March 16. NO LITERACY. 2001. the required respondents to file their Comment thereon within a non-extendible period process of registration. guarded against the spoils of opportunism. although voters on February 17 and 18. ought to be exercised within the proper bounds and framework of the Constitution and Commissioners Rufino S. Section 1. vote in the May 14. Moreover. to conduct a special registration of new On February 8. in its Manifestation and Motion in lieu of otherwise known as the Voters Registration Act of 1996. absolute. regular election and that the Commission has no more time left to accomplish all pre- election activities. the decretal voters during the period between the COMELECs imposed December 27. the right of suffrage.M. Deliberating on the foregoing memoranda. through the extraordinary writ of mandamus. likewise filed a Petition for Mandamus. 2001 general elections. IMMEDIATELY PRECEDING THE ELECTIONS. debauchery and abuse. the State undoubtedly. at present. by and large. As to the procedural limitation. It was the consensus of the group. in the exercise of its inherent police power. is subject to existing substantive and procedural requirements embodied in Resolution and/or to declare Section 8 of R. WHO ARE AT LEAST EIGHTEEN YEARS OF AGE. 2001 elections. is tasked to registration cannot and should not be denigrated to the lowly stature of a mere statutory resolve a two-pronged issue focusing on respondent COMELECs issuance of the assailed requirement. to disapprove the request for additional registration of Thus. UCSC. Sadain voted to deny the request must properly yield to pertinent laws skillfully enacted by the Legislature. the Commission construed its Resolution as from ravishment and preserve the democratic institutions our people have. 2001.[5] b) Whether or not this Court can compel respondent COMELEC. herein petitioner Michelle Betito. of the ASD. this Court shall determine: voters on the ground that Section 8 of R. a student of the University of IN THE PLACE WHEREIN THEY PROPOSE TO VOTE FOR AT LEAST SIX MONTHS the Philippines. day under the continuing registration provision under the Election Code. the right of a citizen to vote is necessarily On March 13. for so long.R. having taken effect. Immediately. 2001. the act of registration is an indispensable precondition to the conducted at the soonest possible time in order to accommodate that disenfranchised right of suffrage. to the incidental yet 126 . is consolidated cases for oral arguments on March 16. SUFFRAGE MAY BE EXERCISED BY ALL CITIZENS OF THE PHILIPPINES NOT registration petitioners and other similarly situated young Filipinos to qualify them to OTHERWISE DISQUALIFIED BY LAW. as in the enjoyment of all docketed as G. 2001. 2001 general elections then enact laws to safeguard and regulate the act of voters registration for the ultimate purpose of conducting honest. Commissioner Borra called a consultation meeting among regional and caused the disenfranchisement of around four (4) million Filipinos of voting age who heads and representatives and a number of senior staff headed by Executive Director failed to register before the registration deadline set by the COMELEC.

It is not to be presumed that the legislature.[9] Similarly. should endeavor to reconcile them instead of declaring outright the 127 . to wit: powers or residual powers of the COMELEC. regardless of who wins. was indulging in mere semantic exercise. when confronted with apparently populated with shadows and ghosts x x x. 28.A. overflowing with unqualified registrants. the act of registration is concededly. if they can be done by any fair and reasonable deprived of any time to evaluate the evidence on the application. thus: representative of a political party x x x may file x x x except one hundred (100) days prior to a regular election xxx. If that happens. specific definition. in making seriously compromise the integrity of the voters list.A.[10] Interpretare et concordare legibus est optimus interpretandi. that even pre-election activities could be performed by the duly x x x The short cuts that will have to be adopted in order to fit the entire process of constituted authorities in a realistic and orderly manner one which is not indifferent and registration within the last 60 days will give rise to haphazard list of voters. every new statute should be construed in connection with those already x x x It must be remembered that the period serve a vital role in protecting the integrity existing in relation to the same subject matter and all should be made to harmonize and of the registration process. Under Section 3(a) of R. petitioners invoke the so called standby continuing registration. prohibitive period for filing petitions for exclusion must likewise be adjusted to a later date. the COMELEC would be stand together. x x x the very possibility that we shall be times. with other laws. both provisions. has its own SEC. non-qualified At this point. this would open the registration process to abuse and other parts of the amended act. Designation of other Dates for Certain Pre-election Acts . some of so far removed from the pressing order of the day and the prevalent circumstances of the whom might not even be qualified to vote. on the other hand serves the purpose of invoked by herein petitioners and Section 8 of R. as a process. as provided under the relevant provisions of Section 29. necessarily capable of being harmonized and In real-world terms. and consequently.If it should no longer starting one hundred twenty (120) days before a regular election and ninety (90) be possible to observe the periods and dates prescribed by law for certain pre-election days before a special election. We would be obliged to interpretation. then the reconciled. There must be some purpose in election. 8189. which should be ascertained and given effect. it bears emphasis that the provisions of Section 29 of R. True enough. a pre- election act. 8436. period within which to file a sworn petition for the exclusion of voters from the permanent voters list. System of Continuing Registration of Voters. by its very nature. Without the prohibitive periods. No registration shall. Accordingly. 8436 registrants. simply take them at face value. The prohibitive period. Republic Act No. far from contradicting each other.[8] thus: registration of voters shall be conducted daily in the office of the Election Officer during regular office hours. If we compromise on these safety nets. of the R. The Personal filing of application of No. are in a more circumspect perusal. On the legal score. 8. be conducted during the period SEC. If we do not. which provides a system of Perhaps undaunted by such scenario. together with principles of due process. courts of justice. 35. Petition for Exclusion of Voters from the List Any registered voter. the Commission shall fix other periods and dates in order to ensure accomplishments of the activities so voters shall not be deprived of their right to Likewise. registration. this means that if a special voters registration is conducted.A. and regardless of how many courts considerations bear great weight in the adjudication of the issues raised in the instant validate our own results. x x x The petition for exclusion is a necessary component to registration since it is a safety mechanism that gives a measure of protection against flying voters. the unforgiving public will disown the Viewed broadly. provides: On this matter. Section 35 of R. then no one can challenge the Voters list since we would already be Rudimentary is the principle in legal hermeneutics that changes made by the well into the 100-day prohibitive period. conducting elections on the basis of an inaccurate list is enough to cast a cloud of doubt over the results of the polls. existing legal proscription and pragmatic operational results of the elections. that of the entire such changes. making them. x x x petitions. however. 8189. 8189 volunteered by respondent securing the voters substantive right to be included in the list of voters. speaks of a prohibitive suffrage. precise meaning and coverage. 8189. 6646[7] and adopted verbatim in Section 28 of Republic Act SEC. actually share some common ground. (Emphasis Ours) acts.generally important end. COMELEC. and the like. conflicting statutes.A. a) Registration refers to the act of accomplishing and filing of a sworn application for registration by a qualified voter before the election officer of the city or municipality As aptly observed and succinctly worded by respondent COMELEC in its Comment: wherein he resides and including the same in the book of registered voters upon approval by the Election Registration Board. Section 8. although at first glance may seem to be at war in relation to the other. Aside from being a flagrant breach of the legislature in the form of amendments to a statute should be given effect.A. which among others. we may very well which means that the best method of interpretation is that which makes laws consistent end up with a voters list full of flying voters. is explicit.

if we held registrations on the 16th and the 17th the posting 22) Second. for the purpose of upholding the assailed COMELEC Resolution and Registration Records of registered voters in particular precinct. can no our names down.A. 24) Fourth. without the weeks. the Comelec will performance within the available period prior to election day. of course. Registration Forms available. the preparation.[13] three weeks to complete not even counting how long it would take to prepare for the registration in the first place. is then set for hearing. respondent COMELECwhich is the constitutional body tasked by that approximately 30-day margin away to nothing. Considering that time must before the 4th of March. filling the application for registration with the Election Officer. 8436 is.5 million potential The Projects of Precincts Indicate the total number of established registrants. R. which contains the approved Voter present case. through the expedient of 25) Fifth. Only then can we get on with registration. vis the remaining period before the date of election and the conduct of other related pre. Commissioners. we hold that Section 8 of R. by the way it takes in account the fact that we only have about 800. Project of Precincts. it is specious for herein petitioners to argue that respondent COMELEC may validly and legally conduct a two-day special registration. the other xxx xxx xxx. the last 60 days will not be a walk in the park for the Comelec. the Board of Elections Inspectors must be constituted on or requirement would be completed by the 24th. 27) To hold special registrations now would. we wont know how many forms to print and so were liable to come up short. Thus. 2.A. bidding.contrary to popular including registration of voterspainstakingly and thoroughly emphasized the operational opinion . must be denying the instant petitions.A. printing. Registration is.must be furnished by the Election Officer to all because they are equally the handiwork of the same legislature. In more categorical have roughly a month that will act as a buffer against any number of language. we cannot even accountable forms. and it would take about 14 days If we were to declare special precincts and the number of registered voters per precincts in a city or registrations today to print up the difference and to verify these municipality. which in its on language. considering that the aforesaid law explicitly provides that inspected. In light of the foregoing doctrine. that precinct is located . the list of the members of the BEI be allowed for the filling of oppositions. This is the logic these certain pre-election acts are still capable of being reasonably performed vis-a. according to 21) More Importantly. whittle In its Comment. it will be Section 17 of R. 3. par. to our mind. 28) When we say registration of voters. election activities required under the law. the Computerized Voters List must be finalized and printed out of use on election day. the senior Staff of the Comelec. After all. a long process that takes about longer be accomplished within the time left to (us) the Commission. 19) In any case. 31) The first step in registration is. More succinctly said. preparing for an election is no easy task. would come into play in cases where the pre-election acts are susceptible of 26) With this rigorous schedule of pre-election activities. prior. and sealed beginning March 30. Allow us to outline what the 30) We assumed for the sake of argument that we were to hold the special Commission has yet to do. the earliest that the Election including the precinct where they are assigned and the barangay where Registration Board can be convened for hearing would be the May 1st and 2nd. After printing and verification.roughly taking up a further two and a half other election forms and paraphernalia. no less than the fundamental charter (Sec. 8189. To this end. Courts should harmonize them. Section 28 of R. and the wisdom behind setting the 120-day prohibitive period. In fact. 8436. election returns and to be packed and shipped . Article IX-C of the Constitution) to decide. Without the final Project of Precincts. the Book of Voters. and distribution of the Voters the letter of Section 28 of R. 8436 Information Sheet must be completed on or before April 15. The application. as against an estimated 4.refer only to the act of going to the Election Officer and writing impossibility[12] of conducting a special registration.000 Voters 20) First we have to complete the Project of Precincts by the 19th of March. even without the legal obstacles. These are not arbitrary numbers.A. all questions affecting elections. no registration shall be conducted during the period starting one hundred twenty (120) days before a regular election. until April 15. without a completed Project of Precincts. and finally Corollarily. verified.invalidity of one against the other. 8189 applies in the 23) Third. the provisions of Section 28. with notice of that hearing impossible to complete the rest of the tasks that must be accomplished being posted in the city or municipal bulletin board for at least one week prior to the elections. and the time to do it in: registration on April 16 and 17. 128 . aside from being Illegal. the forms would have determine the proper allocation of official ballots. except those involving the right to vote. if this is possible. prepared a time-table in order to see exactly how the superimposition of special registration would affect the on-going preparation for the May 14 elections. In addition. anchored on the sound premise that unforeseen occurrences that might delay the elections.A. Hence: 29) In order to concretize. we do not .[11] the candidates and political candidates not later than the 26th of March.

verified. whatever action respondent coincidentally[17]. would be posted. In issuing the assailed Resolution. sphere of its constitutionally-mandated powers. Hence. for whatever reason.[15] The law obliges no one to perform an impossibility.A.[16] In other words. 2000 instead of immediately rule on the Applicants registration. petitioners bare allegation that they were disenfranchised when applicants right to register. 3584 which. under prevailing circumstances. Beyond this. we could have to prepare the allocation of Official Ballots. in denying the request of are. being exercised or availed of. petitioners has filed an application to be registered as a voter which was denied by the COMELEC nor filed a complaint before the respondent COMELEC alleging that he or she 33) Only at this point can our Election Officers once again focus on the proceeded to the Office of the Election Officer to register between the period starting business of getting ready for the elections. from the 15th of May until June 10. by May 11. and not commit an abuse of discretion. by their nature and functions. to our mind. election date. 2001. be legally. used for the new registrants. presupposes the possibility of its accorded by no less than the fundamental law with independence. the speck in their eyes.Truly. Vigilantis sed non dormientibus Election Returns. acted within the bounds and confines of the or not do. this process some patent. All told. registration and came to this Court and invoked its protective mantle not realizing. and not otherwise. the contracts Applying the foregoing. in would take approximately 26 days. it is likewise well-settled that the law does not require that the respondent COMELEC simply performed its constitutional task to enforce and administer impossible be done. in the best position to know what they can possibly do petitioners to hold a special registration. they can be encoded and a new Computerized barred by respondent COMELEC from filing his application for registration. By the 10th. the the R. Once the results of the special from December 28. and post notices of its January 13. 129 . we rule that the COMELEC. a May 11 posting date for the new CVL would be improper since avail of the continuing registration under R. so to verification. grave abuse of discretion implies a capricious and xxx xxx xxx. Let no one come have overshot the May 14. after which the new CVL be true that respondent COMELEC set the registration deadline on December 27. in the absence of clear showing of grave abuse of power of discretion on such that it is in accordance with logic. registration of new voters on February 17 and 18. and that he or she was disallowed or registration are finalized. 2001. it must be presumed that the legislature did not at all intend an takes in the exercise of its wide latitude of discretion.[14] whimsical exercise of judgment as is equivalent to lack of jurisdiction. implementation and application of a law enjoined or to act at all in contemplation of laws. While it may Voters List generated . 2001 the day before the period before the May 14. we are of the considered view that the stand-by power of the meddle with affairs exclusively within the province of respondent COMELEC a body respondent COMELEC under Section 28 of R. Impuris minibus nemo accedat curiam. and it must be so patent and gross as to amount to an evasion of positive duty administrative agency as to the operation. a statute may not be so prerogative that chiefly pertains to it and one which squarely falls within the proper construed as to require compliance with what it prescribes cannot. Incidentally. the interpretation to be given must be act. 8189. this Court may not validly conduct an incursion and practicality. questions the maxim. this court is of the firm view that respondent COMELEC did would be awarded. 32) Assuming and this is a big assumption that there are nit challenges to the Further. respondent COMELEC merely exercised a an impossible thing. when the power is exercised in an arbitrary or despotic manner by reason of passion or personal It is an accepted doctrine in administrative law that the determination of hostility. 2000. 8436. well-entrenched is the rule in our jurisdiction that the law aids the 35) After this point. 2000 to January 13. pertains to the wisdom rather than the legality of the possible. reasonableness and the part of respondent COMELEC.at the earliest. nemo tenetur ad impossible. and sealing of the Book if Voters by May 15.A. delivered. On this particular matter. vigilant and not those who slumber on their rights. 8189 provides that the CVL be posted at least 90 days before the petitioners in the instant case are not without fault or blame. resolved to deny the request to conduct a two-day additional 36) Only then can we truly say that we are ready to hold the elections. in the interpretation of statutes. election preparations. Accordingly.[20] inter alia. expressed in all laws and regulations relative to the conduct of an election. the various forms printed.A. respondents own terms. and other Non-Accountable Forms and Supplies to be jura in re subveniunt. we will already speak. much less be adjudged to have committed the same in finally shipped out to the different municipalities. not sufficient. at the time. there is no allegation in the two the action taken by the Board will have already been furnished to the consolidated petitions and the records are bereft of any showing that anyone of herein applicants and the heads of registered political parties. within the period of 34) Assuming optimistically that we can then finish the inspection. copies of the notice of commences is. Thus. 2001 regular elections action by the 2nd until the 7th of May. They admit in their election. whimsical and arbitrary manner.[19] would be accorded great weight considering that these specialized government bodies Under these circumstances. specifically on matters involving interpretation or application of a law which is far removed from the realm of the voters registration. Once the allocation is ready. evidently. Hence. common sense. there is no obligation to do relating to the registration of voters. or. petition[18] that they failed to register. Stated in a different manner. and still not have finished our to court with unclean hands. On this matter. in issuing Resolution No. In a similar vein. it we were to follow the letter of the law this Court is of the Firm view that petitioners were not totally denied the opportunity to strictly. applicable law on the matter --Section 8 of RA 8189. Impossibilium nulla obligato est. the Election registration Board can respondent COMELEC pegged the registration deadline on December 27.

As an extraordinary writ. In Bayan vs. premises considered.(of) grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack of jurisdiction.[22] we enunciated that the Courts function.[23] Finally.A. possible or practical within the remaining period before the actual date of election. House Bill No. WHEREFORE. Executive Secretary Zamora and related cases. with the same intention to amend the aforesaid law and. is merely (to) check whether or not the governmental branch or agency has gone beyond the constitutional limits of its jurisdiction. as sanctioned by Article VIII. that they are entitled to the issuance of this extraordinary writ so as to effectively compel respondent COMELEC to conduct a special registration of voters. mandamus will not issue to control the exercise of discretion of a public officer where the law imposes upon him the duty to exercise his judgment in reference to any manner in which he is required to act. allow the conduct of special registration before the May 14. in view of the very nature of such extraordinary writ. Similarly. to allow the conduct of Special Registration of new voters. in effect.. 130 .. 8189 as to the 120-day prohibitive period provided for under said law. not that it erred or has a different view. Section 1. to the satisfaction of this Court. As to petitioners prayer for the issuance of the writ of mandamus. For the determination of whether or not the conduct of a special registration of voters is feasible. the instant petitions for certiorari and mandamus are hereby DENIED. Senate Bill No. because it is his judgment that is to be exercised and not that of the court. issue the same without transgressing the time-honored principles in this jurisdiction. 12930 has been filed before the Lower House. 15 calling Congress to a Special Session on March 19. It has no power to look into what it thinks is apparent error. In the absence of a showing. there is no occasion for the Court to exercise its corrective power.. 2001. the remedy of mandamus lies only to compel an officer to perform a ministerial duty. which bill seeks to amend R. SO ORDERED. involves the exercise of discretion and thus.. the Court likewise takes judicial notice of the fact that the President has issued Proclamation No. cannot be controlled by mandamus.This Court views the foregoing factual circumstances as a clear intimation on the part of both the executive and legislative departments that a legal obstacle indeed stands in the way of the conduct by the Commission on Elections of a special registration before the May 14. not a discretionary one. 2001 General Elections. 2276[24] was filed before the Senate. 2001 General Elections.[21] Considering the circumstances where the writ of mandamus lies and the peculiarities of the present case. we are of the firm belief that petitioners failed to establish. we hold that this Court cannot.

Wigberto initiated the instant certiorari case against petitions were docketed as SPA Nos. 2013.G.4 It appears.R. " before the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal (HRET). proclaimed Angelina as the winning candidate for the position of Member of the House of Petitioner Wigberto R.15 131 . in SPA No. remained un-acted upon until the filing of the present petition COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS ANGELINA D. Assailed in this petition for certiorari1 under Rule 65 in relation to Rule 64 of the Rules of COMELEC19and COMELEC Resolution No. Motion for Reconsideration16 and an Urgent Manifestation and Supplemental17 thereto.20 The PBOC. it was (Angelina) and Alvin John S. 2012. praying that he be declared the winner in the 2013 congressional race in the 4th District of Quezon On May 15. asserting that had the PBOC followed pertinent rulings.5and. "Omnibus Election Code of the Philippines" (OEC). Tañada (Alvin John) were contenders for the position of for the foregoing reason that he impleaded Angelina as a party-respondent in the instant Member of the House of Representatives for the 4th District of Quezon Province in the petition for certiorari. 2013 National Elections. holding that the votes of Alvin John could En Banc declaring respondent Alvin John S. Petitioner. as amended. while Angelina was fielded by the National People’s Coalition. and thereafter. 13-013. These motions.27 that an Election Protest Ad Cautelam had. and (d) his legal representation appeared to have been in collusion with the lawyers of The Issues Before the Court Angelina. Thus.1âwphi1 In a Resolution7 dated January 29. Tañada. 13-057 (DC) that Alvin John was not a nuisance candidate as defined under ‘Helen’ D. TAN. Consequently. 13-056 (DC) and 13-057 (DC). 13-018. despite the cancellation of Alvin John’s CoC due to his material misrepresentations therein. that Wigberto had already filed with the COMELEC a Petition to Annul the Proclamation of Angelina (Petition to Annul) under SPC No. Quezon Province.22According to Wigberto. Nos. however.13 affirmed in its Comment dated August 18. 2013 National Elections. vs. Respondents. 13-056 (DC).3 Wigberto ran under the banner of the Liberal Party. Angelina in SPA No. 207199-200 October 22. in order to avoid charges of forum-shopping. 13-057 (DC) on the ground of newly discovered Resolution annulling the proclamation of Angelina as Member of the House of evidence. to been counted in his favor which could have resulted in his victory. prompting Wigberto to file a motion18 with the Provincial Board of PERLAS-BERNABE. the COMELEC En Banc Resolution dated April 25. 2013. the PBOC canvassed the votes of all three contenders separately. Jr. denied Wigberto’s Court is the Resolution2dated April 25. On Wigberto’s motion for reconsideration. Wigberto filed a Manifestation26 informing the Court that he had caused Banc. on May 16. the COMELEC First Division dismissed both petitions for lack of merit.11 However. 2013. 2013 declaring Alvin John not a nuisance candidate. 2013. 2013. 2013. remained printed on – the ballot.8 the COMELEC En On July 3. 2013. it granted the motion for reconsideration and cancelled Alvin John’s CoC for having committed false material representations concerning his residency in accordance with The Office of the Solicitor General (OSG). 9599. Wigberto filed with the COMELEC En Banc an Extremely Urgent Motion to Admit Additional and Newly Discovered Evidence and to Urgently Resolve WIGBERTO R.23 just concluded May 13. 2013. before the Court on May 27. Wigberto filed a 2nd Motion for Partial Reconsideration14 of the Province. second. v. (b) he had no election paraphernalia now pending resolution before the COMELEC En Banc. 2013. been filed by Wigberto against Angelina before the HRET. his name was not deleted from – and thus. Tan. upheld the COMELEC First Division’s ruling the filing of an Election Protest Ad Cautelam entitled " Wigberto R. said motions were withdrawn by Wigberto. Wigberto filed before the COMELEC two separate petitions: first. Alvin John was the official congressional candidate of Lapiang Manggagawa. Tañada. otherwise known as the was docketed as Electoral Protest Case No. to declare him as a nuisance candidate.: Canvassers of Quezon Province (PBOC) asking that the votes cast in the name of Alvin John be credited to him instead in accordance with the Court’s ruling in Dela Cruz v. RESOLUTION In a related development. not be counted in favor of Wigberto because the cancellation of the former’s CoC was on the basis of his material misrepresentations under Section 78 of the OEC and not on The Facts being a nuisance candidate under Section 69 of the same law. Section 7812 of the OEC. 2013..25 While the Petition to cancel Alvin John’s CoC. 2013 On May 15 and 16. indeed. AND ALVIN JOHN S. TAÑADA. the COMELEC Second Division issued a COMELEC En Banc ’s ruling in SPA No. 2013 of the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) motion in a Resolution21 dated May 16. JR.6 The said Annul was still pending resolution. The propriety of this ruling is John was merely forced by his father to file his CoC. J. in a Resolution9 dated April 25. on behalf of public respondent COMELEC. He alleged that Alvin John’s candidacy was not bona fide because: (a) Alvin Representatives for the 4th District of Quezon Province. It also alleged that on June 28. Tan Representatives for the 4th District of Quezon Province. which Section 6910 of Batas Pambansa Bilang 881. however.24 the votes cast for Alvin John would have On October 10.28 posted in official COMELEC posting areas in several barangays of Gumaca. respectively. Tañada not a nuisance candidate. (Wigberto) and respondents Angelina D. Jr. (c) he did not even vote during the May 13. however. TAÑADA.

returns.Wigberto assails the COMELEC En Banc Resolution dated April 25.32 the Court is now without jurisdiction to resolve the case at bar.31 In the foregoing light. 2013 declaring that Alvin John was not a nuisance candidate as defined under Section 69 of the OEC. As they stand. the issues concerning the conduct of the canvass and the resulting proclamation of Angelina as herein discussed are matters which fall under the scope of the terms "election" and "returns" as above-stated and hence. and qualifications of the proclaimed representative in favor of the HRET. 132 . as she has in fact taken her oath and assumed office past noon time of June 30. (Emphasis and underscoring supplied) Case law states that the proclamation of a congressional candidate following the election divests the COMELEC of jurisdiction over disputes relating to the election. The senior Justice in the Electoral Tribunal shall be its Chairman. and qualifications of its respective members: Sec. the holding of the electoral campaign. he seeks that the votes cast in favor of Alvin John be credited to him and. and the remaining six shall be Members of the Senate or the House of Representatives. returns.30 In particular. The Court’s Ruling The petition must fail. The Senate and the House of Representatives shall each have an Electoral Tribunal which shall be the sole judge of all contests relating to the election. including questions concerning the composition of the board of canvassers and the authenticity of the election returns. to be declared the winning candidate for the congressional post. returns and qualifications" refers to all matters affecting the validity of the contestee’s title. the term "election" refers to the conduct of the polls. and the casting and counting of the votes. In consequence. 2013. WHEREFORE. and qualifications of their respective Members. "returns" refers to the canvass of the returns and the proclamation of the winners. considering that Angelina had already been proclaimed as Member of the House of Representatives for the 4th District of Quezon Province on May 16. 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. 17. such as his disloyalty or ineligibility or the inadequacy of his CoC. as the case may be. three of whom shall be Justices of the Supreme Court to be designated by the Chief Justice. Section 17. the petition is DISMISSED. shall be composed of nine Members. thereafter. including the listing of voters. Article VI of the 1987 Philippine Constitution provides that the HRET is the sole judge of all contests relating to the election. properly fall under the HRET’s sole jurisdiction.29 The phrase "election. and "qualifications" refers to matters that could be raised in a quo warranto proceeding against the proclaimed winner. returns. 2013. Each Electoral Tribunal. SO ORDERED.

On 18 May 2013. there was. there can be no valid and effective on irreparable injury and demonstrated possibility of grave abuse of discretion assumption of office.G.R. will have to be based baseless. or on 14 May 2013. Differently stated. affirm the jurisdiction of the HRET to solely and exclusively pass upon such qualifications and to set aside the COMELEC Resolutions for having denied Petitioner her right to due 3. The 14 May 2013 the COMELEC En Banc has already denied for lack o merit the petitioner's Resolution of the COMELEC En Banc affirming the 27 March 2013 Resolution of the motion to reconsider the decision o the COMELEC First Division that COMELEC First Division is upheld. Petitioner did not move to have it happen. before the COMELEC. grave abuse of discretion on the part of the Commission on Elections. was there basis for the proclamation of petitioner on 18 After the five days when the decision adverse to her became executory. the Petitioner x x x is not asking the Honorable Court to make a proclamation. petitioner is a duly proclaimed winner and having taken her oath of office as member of the House of Representatives. 3 She submission. proclamation of petitioner on 18 May 2013. on the part of the COMELEC. there was already a standing and unquestioned cancellation of petitioner's certificate o candidacy which cancellation is a definite bar to her "81. She could not be The averred proclamation is the critical pointer to the correctness of petitioner's proclaimed because there was a final finding against her by the COMELEC. we cannot disregard a fact basic in this controversy – that before the vs."1(as originally underscored) "(b) In Special Actions and Special Cases a decision or resolution of the The first part of the summary refers to the issue raised in the petition. that bar has not been removed. petitioner summarizes her submission. 207264 October 22. This is a Motion for Reconsideration of the En Bane Resolution of 25 June 2013 which stated that: IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING. the COMELEC En Banc had already finally COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS and JOSEPH SOCORRO B. J. Four (4) days BEFORE the 18 May 2013 proclamation. Her certificate of candidacy has been ordered cancelled. Without the proclamation. Section 13 (b) provides: constitution. all questions regarding her qualifications are outside the It is error to argue that the five days should pass before the petitioner is barred jurisdiction of the COMELEC and are within the HRET exclusive jurisdiction. petitioner had the opportunity to go to the Supreme Member of the House of Representatives for the lone congressional district of Court for a restraining order that will remove the immediate effect of the En Marinduque. May 2013. there was not determination as regards her qualifications. no RESOLUTION longer any pending case on petitioner's qualifications to run for the position of Member of the House of Representatives. the instant petition is DISMISSED. That did not happen. The crucial question is whether or not petitioner could be proclaimed on 18 needed a restraining order from the Supreme Court to avoid the final finding." "31." CANCELLED petitioner's certificate of candidacy. and thus allow. Within the five (5) days the Supreme Court may remove the barrier to. She would have to base her recourse on the position that the COMELEC committed grave Dates and events indicate that there was no basis for the proclamation of petitioner on abuse of discretion in cancelling her certificate of candidacy and that a 18 May 2013. Petitioner. and without a precedent oath of office."2 Banc cancellation of her certificate of candidacy. the petitioner's oath of office is likewise restraining order. the instant PEREZ. before and after the 18 May 2013 133 . finding no 1. x x x As the point has obviously been missed by the petitioner who continues to argue on the basis of her due proclamation. On 18 May 2003. In this case. the proclamation of Tied up and neatened the propositions on the COMELEC-or-HRET jurisdiction go thus: petitioner. Whether or not Respondent Comelec is without jurisdiction over Petitioner who is duly proclaimed winner and who has already taken her oath of office for the position of Within that five (5 days. disposed of the issue of petitioner's lack of Filipino citizenship and residency via its Resolution dated 14 May 2013. from being proclaimed. Respondents. the May 2013? need for Supreme Court intervention became even more imperative. TAN.: motion gives us the opportunity to highlight the undeniable fact we here repeat that the proclamation which petitioner secured on 18 May 2013 was WITHOUT ANY BASIS. Rule 18. Stated differently. which is: Commission En Bane shall become final and executory after five (5) days from its promulgation unless restrained by the Supreme Court. which would allow her proclamation. After 14 May 2013. 2013 We have clearly stated in our Resolution of 5 June 2013 that: REGINA ONGSIAKO REYES. she is merely asking the Honorable Court to even any attempt to remove it. No. In her Motion for Reconsideration. "More importantly. The COMELEC Rules indicate the manner by which the impediment to process and for unconstitutionally adding a qualification not otherwise required by the proclamation may be removed. thus: 2. Petitioner lost in the COMELEC as of respondent.

x x x and that this provision shall present. her baseless proclamation on 18 May 2013 did not by that 5. therefore. Commission or a division shall be made on a date previously fixed. the action for cancellation of 4. to permit her proclamation. the reasons that lead to are delegated by the Commission or the Division to any of its officials the impermissibility of the objective are clear. The recourse taken on 25 June 2013 in the form of an original and special bad faith on the part of the petitioner. And by her proclamation. House of Representatives by virtue of a baseless proclamation knowingly taken. The nature of the proceedings is best indicated by the COMELEC Rule on Special Actions. COMELEC Rule 17 further provides in Section 3 that when conclusion. The decision sealed the This is so because in Section 5 of Rule 18 it is stated: proceedings in the COMELEC regarding petitioner's ineligibility as a candidate for Representative of Marinduque. the decision in which is the indispensable Rule 18 in the provision that the COMELEC En Bane or decision "SHALL become determinant of the right of petitioner to proclamation. she claims as acquired the congressional seat likewise apply to cases where the hearing and reception of evidence that she sought to be a candidate for. b) The special and civil action of Certiorari is defined in the Rules of Court thus: 8. civil action for a writ of Certiorari through Rule 64 of the Rules of Court is circumscribed by set rules and principles. of which notice shall be served in advance upon the parties or their attorneys personally or by registered mail or by telegram. there was nothing unrestrained.4 On that date." On its own the COMELEC En Bane decision. by Division and then En Banc and pre-empts any Supreme testimonies. The indicant is magnified by the fact that petitioner would use her tainted proclamation as the very reason to support her argument that she could no a) The special action before the COMELEC which was a Petition to longer be reached by the jurisdiction of the COMELEC. finally decided by the COMELEC.5 Indeed. heard summarily. petitioner is in error in the conclusion at members of the Philippine Bar to hear the case and to receive which she directs. be required to submit Court action on the COMELEC decision. the parties may. past and other documentary evidence. In other words. 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 134 . The decision erected the bar to petitioner's proclamation. When petitioner finally went to the Supreme Court on 10 June 2013 questioning the COMELEC First Division ruling and the 14 May 2013 COMELEC En Bane decision. Apart from the presumed notice of the COMELEC En Bane decision on the fact of promulgation alone become valid and legal. proclamation. On and after 14 May 2013. counter-affidavits and her proclamation all administrative and judicial actions thereon. Section 4 of which states that the Commission may designate any of its officials who are 7. after due notice. Rule 23. with knowledge of the existing legal impediment. The suggestions of bad faith aside. she had absolutely no reason why she would disregard the proclamation on 18 May 2013 but to authorize a proclamation with the available legal way to remove the restraint on her proclamation. Promulgation. returns and qualifications of the Members of the House the law into her hands" and secure a proclamation in complete disregard of the of Representatives is a written constitutional provision. was correctly lodged in FINAL AND EXECUTORY after five days from its promulgation unless restrained the COMELEC. not to legalize her 13. more than Supreme Court decision as basis. -The promulgation of a decision or resolutions of the petitioner from the Supreme Court within five days from 14 May 2013. The bar remained when no restraining order was obtained by Section 5. however COMELEC En Bane decision that was final on 14 May 2013 and final and unavailable to petitioner because she is NOT a Member of the House at present. to in fact secure a proclamation two days thereafter. 9. there was not even an attempt at the legal remedy. It is. petitioner repudiates by their position paper together with affidavits. What petitioner did was to "take relating to the election. A decision favorable to her very date of its promulgation on 14 May 2013. in lieu of oral COMELEC's decision. was completely and fully litigated in the COMELEC and was by the Supreme Court. left for the COMELEC to do to decide the case. The utter disregard of a final COMELEC En Bane decision and of the Rule stating that her proclamation at that point MUST be on permission by the Supreme Court is even indicative of 10. There is a reason why no mention about notice was made in Section 13(b) of petitioner's certificate of candidacy. as well as in her objective quite obvious from such evidence. and. clearly House of Representatives. moves from promulgation into becoming final and executory. That the HRET is the sole judge of all contests available to her. It is with her procured proclamation that petitioner nullifies the the proceedings are authorized to be summary. As already shown. petitioner admitted in her by the Supreme Court regarding the decision of the COMELEC En Bane on her petition before us that she in fact received a copy of the decision on 16 May 20 certificate of candidacy was indispensably needed. She cannot sit as Member of the x x x. that. The COMELEC never ordered her proclamation as the rightful winner in the election for such membership. executory five days thereafter. Petitioner. and that it is the HRET Cancel Certificate of Candidacy was a SUMMARY PROCEEDING or one that has exclusive jurisdiction over the issue of her qualifications for office. 6.

alleging the facts with certainty and praying that moreover. petitioner submitted no proof to support such contention. leading to the conclusion inevitable that respondent falsely misrepresented in her COC that she is a It must be emphasized that the COMELEC is not bound to strictly adhere to the technical natural-born Filipino citizen. that defines the way petitioner's submission before the Court should be American citizenship before any public officer authorized to administer an oath. bare allegation that she is a natural-born citizen. then the newly discovered evidence was properly admitted by respondent COMELEC. ineligible to run for and hold any elective public office proceeding brought before the Commission. No. 9225 to her. specifically denied that she has become either a permanent and offered and admitted in evidence. One may be heard. Neither did she submit any proof as to the inapplicability of R. Aside from the she did not avail herself of the opportunity given her. Thus further explained. deprivation of due process cannot be successfully invoked where a party was given the chance to be he rd on his motion for reconsideration. therefore. 9225. board or administrative process cannot be fully equated with due process in its strict judicial officer. however. discoursed as follows: arbitrary and despotic manner because of passion or hostility. through pleadings. procedural due process only requires that the party be given the opportunity or right to be heard. As held in the case of Sahali v. judgment be rendered annulling or modifying the proceedings of such tribunal. 2013. Indeed. In administrative proceedings a verified petition in the proper court. respondent submitted records of the Bureau of Immigration showing Furthermore. solely by verbal presentation but also. and that her status is that of a balikbayan. a virtual refusal to perform a duty enjoined by law. not amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction.When any tribunal. American passport which she continues to use until June 30 2012 petitioner was able to substantiate his allegations. From 10 October 2012 this point. This. in conjunction with the oath of allegiance to the Republic of the Philippines before the Consul-General of the limits of the Supreme Court's authority over the FINAL COMELEC ruling that is brought Philippine Consulate in the USA. or that she has re- resolution. At given every opportunity to argue her case before the COMELEC. however. Also. speedy. the disposition of 25 June 2013 is here repeated for affirmation: In the case at bar. sense." (Emphasis in the original. contending that it is petitioner's burden to cognizance of "newly-discovered evidence" without the same having been testified on present a case. adjudicated. made a valid sworn renunciation of her American citizenship. She likewise contends that there was a violation of her right to due process Due to petitioner's submission of newly-discovered evidence thru a Manifestation dated of law because she was not given the opportunity to question and present controverting February 7. COMELEC Rules of Procedure shall be liberally construed in order x x x to achieve just. (Emphasis supplied) The accepted definition of grave abuse of discretion is: a capricious and whimsical exercise of judgment so patent and gross as to amount to an evasion of a positive duty or As to the ruling that petitioner s ineligible to run for office on the ground of citizenship. and granting such incidental reliefs as law and justice may require. or with grave abuse of discretion require a hearing. there was no denial of due process in the case at bar as petitioner was that petitioner is a holder of a US passport. Unless and until she can establish that she had availed of rules of procedure in the presentation of evidence. or any plain. Under Section 2 of Rule I the the privileges of RA 9225 by becoming a dual Filipino-American citizen. acquired such status in accordance with the provisions of R. She. petitioner had a period of five (5) months to adduce evidence. however. respondent hammered on petitioner's lack of Petitioner alleges that the COMELEC gravely abused its discretion when it took proof regarding her American citizenship. The burden now shifts to respondent to present substantial Her contentions are incorrect. and perhaps many times more creditably and and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law. but simply an opportunity or right to be heard.A. in administrative proceedings. there s no showing that respondent complied with the aforesaid requirements. and thereafter. a person aggrieved thereby may file predictable than oral argument. and there is no appeal. imposing upon her the duty to prove when Tan's petition was filed up to 27 March 2013 when the First Division rendered its that she is a natural-born Filipino citizen and has not lost the same. evidence to prove otherwise. she remains to be an expeditious and inexpensive determination and disposition of every action and American citizen and is. In view of the fact that the proceedings in a in the Philippines. as where the power is exercised in an the COMELEC First Division. She assails the admission of the blog article of Eli resident or naturalized citizen of the USA. the burden of proof shifted to petitioner. Unfortunately.A.6 "x x x for respondent to reacquire her Filipino citizenship and become eligible for public It is the category of the special action below providing the procedural leeway in the office the law requires that she must have accomplished the following acts: (1) take the exercise of the COMELEC summary jurisdiction over the case. board or officer exercising judicial or quasi-judicial functions has The petitioners should be reminded that due process does not necessarily mean or acted without or in excess of its or his jurisdiction. Early on in the proceeding. and (2) make a personal and sworn renunciation of her before it. COMELEC: 135 . establishing the fact that respondent is a holder of an evidence. Let us look into the events that led to this petition: In moving for the cancellation of petitioner's COC. technical rules of procedure and evidence are not strictly applied. Obligacion as hearsay and the photocopy of the Certification from the Bureau of Immigration. No. the respondent utterly failed to do.) petition to deny due course or to cancel certificate of candidacy are summary in nature.

however. HRET of its constitutional duty. For one. but continues until the case is terminated. jurisdiction over the qualification of the Member of the House of No. And this. while the Affidavit was executed in September 2012. by the mere expediency of concerned.8 This contention is misplaced. matter was internal to the Court. The ponente now seeks the Courts approval to have the otherwise known as the Rules Governing Philippine Citizenship under R. and its due course or its cancellation. be that reference to what is already part of the records and evidence in the present case and to representative. grave abuse of discretion. prior of Marinduque in the House because there is such a representative who shall sit to her taking her oath of office as Provincial Administrator. The COMELEC covers the matter of petitioner s certificate of withdrawing the petition. which she reserves to present duly proclaimed winner resulting from the terminated case of cancellation of in the proper proceeding. not summary. that no hiatus occurs in the representation Provincial Administrator. It Provincial Administrator cannot be considered as the oath of allegiance in compliance may well be in order to remind petitioner that jurisdiction.7 be lost by the unilateral withdrawal of the petition by petitioner. taken together. but not as a sitting member of the House of Representatives.A. and as explained in the discussion just done. 11. who becomes so only upon a duly and legally based proclamation. why did she not present it at the earliest opportunity before the COMELEC? 12. If petitioner the first and unavoidable step towards such membership. there is Still. 9225 do not apply to her. upon the instance of the parties.A. For another. The petitioner can very well invoke the reacquired her status as a natural-born Filipino citizen. 91. Petitioner cannot claim that she executed it to address the Representatives is original and exclusive. cannot. the speedy resolution of the petitioner contends that. Memorandum Circular No. the HRET s constitutional authority opens. to the resolution of this petition promulgated on 25 June 2013.A. This statement raises a lot of questions -Did no HRET decision on the qualifications of the Member. petitioner cannot withdraw her petition to erase to the Supreme Court but not as a continuation of the proceedings in the 136 .A. 9225. candidacy. Such representative is the purposes of re-acquisition of natural-born Filipino status. negative and nullify the Court's Resolution and its legal effects. which are the pivotal At this point. It must be made clear Moreover. being a valid court issuance. all in all. Petitioner. It may need pointing out that there is no conflict between the COMELEC and More importantly. over the qualification of its show her desire and zeal to serve the people and to comply with rules. even as a MEMBER. petitioner execute an oath of allegiance for re-acquisition of natural-born Filipino status? If she did. take her oath of allegiance for as the HRET proceedings are had till termination. as the dissent does so. in her Motion for Reconsideration before the COMELEC En Bane. we counsel petitioner against trifling with court processes. Petitioner cannot. As finale. as it was never raised before the COMELEC. No. in the present petition. Thus. At and after the COMELEC En Bane decision. which has in fact ended. the HRET insofar as the petitioner s being a Representative of Marinduque is undoubtedly has legal consequences. to this effect: This does not mean that Petitioner did not. this issue is being presented for the first time before this Court. Such jurisdiction cannot citizenship. proceeds de novo observations by the COMELEC as the assailed Resolutions were promulgated only in unhampered by the proceedings in the COMELEC which. failed to clear such doubt. proceeding. No. We cannot. she is deemed to have HRET of its constitutional role. the Resolution dated 25 June 2013. In that dated 24 September 2012. The reason for the denial of the motion allegiance cannot be considered compliance with Sec. in fact. subscribe to petitioner's explanation.1âwphi1 terminated. The petitioner is not. the These circumstances. AFF-04-01.A. It was not done to prevent the exercise by the To cover-up her apparent lack of an oath of allegiance as required by R. superfluity. said oath of The inhibition of this ponente was moved for. 9225 applies to her. then it is an admission that R. 9 When petitioner filed her Petition for Certiorari jurisdiction vested in the Court and. once acquired. No. The HRET executed said Affidavit if only to comply with the rules. thus the requirements of R. attached to the said motion is an Affidavit of Renunciation of Foreign Citizenship no longer any certificate cancellation matter than can go to the HRET. AFF-05-002 (Revised Rules) and Administrative Order No.A. however. Petitioner explains that she attached said Affidavit if only to sense. It will determine who should be the Member of the House. at the risk of repetitiveness. authority of the HRET. no unwarranted And is this an admission that she has indeed lost her natural-born Filipino status? haste can be attributed. 3 of R.Notably. is noted. Series of 2004 issued by the Bureau of Immigration. Quite the contrary. petitioner added a footnote to her oath of office as though. show that a doubt was clearly cast on petitioner s Court exercised such jurisdiction when it acted on the petition. No. and as such. The reference to the taking of oath of office is in order to make certificate of candidacy of petitioner. The HRET proceedings is a regular. is not lost with R. petitioner COMELEC. 9225. The matter can go the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court. No. is the crux of the dispute between the parties: avoid injecting into the records evidence on matters of fact that was not previously who shall sit in the House in representation of Marinduque. Having sought conclusions that determines who can be legally proclaimed. 9225 as certain was contained in a letter to the members of the Court on the understanding that the requirements have to be met as prescribed by Memorandum Circular No. but she averred that she is only a dual grounded on more than mere error of judgment but on error of jurisdiction for Filipino-American citizen. but on an original action before the Court admitted that she is a holder of a US passport. as just stated has been 2013. while there is yet passed upon by Respondent COMELEC. since she took her oath of allegiance in connection with her petition was done to pave the way for the unimpeded performance by the appointment as Provincial Administrator of Marinduque. petitioner s oath of office as The motion to withdraw petition filed AFTER the Court has acted thereon. 9225 and explanation published as it is now appended to this Resolution.

as she designed below. The dismissal of the petition is affirmed. Obviously. SO ORDERED. WHEREFORE. 137 .the ruling adverse to her interests. The Motion for Reconsideration is DENIED. she cannot. subject to her predilections the supremacy of the law. Entry of Judgment is ordered.

conducted a preliminary conference on January 4. Usman’s On March 9. the COMELEC resolved to consolidate EPC No. No. Usman also filed an Election Protest Ad Cautelam6 with the COMELEC. 2012 Order issued by the respondents Matba and Usman prayed. 2012 issued by the First Division of the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) in COMELEC First Division ordered the recount of the contested ballots. insofar as it directed the technical examination of the EDCVL. This is a Petition for Certiorari under Rule 65 in relation to Rule 64 of the Rules of Court On February 9.3 while the pilot precincts constituting 20% of the protested precincts. Thereafter. Sahali (Ruby). 2012. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS (FIRST DIVISION).417 as against private respondent Matba’s 56. vs. 2010-77. the May 3. 2010-76 and EPC No. Sadikul and private respondent Rashidin H. contesting the results in 39 out of the 282 clustered precincts in the Province of Tawi-Tawi. the Voters Registration Record the VRR and the Book of Voters. Matba and Usman filed a Manifestation and Ex-Parte Motion (Re: (Matba) were two of the four candidates who ran for the position of governor in the Order Dated 20 February 2012). 138 . the retrieval and delivery of the ballot boxes and other election filed by Sadikul A. second. as the election paraphernalia therein. assailing the Order1 dated documents from the 39 protested precincts were completed. should be reversed on account of the following: first. SAHALl. The respective election protests filed by private Dated March 5. a preliminary conference was paraphernalia without violating the Precautionary Protection Order issued by the conducted by the COMELEC in EPC No. On November 24. creation of five recount committees for the said purpose. 2012. the COMELEC issued its Preliminary Conference Order12 in the said case. 2010. J.013. 2012. MA TBA and JILKASI J.Respondents. respectively.R.2 the VRR and the Book of Voters for the contested precincts in the province of Tawi-Tawi by comparing the signature and the thumbmarks appearing on the EDCVL as against those appearing on the VRRs and the Book of Voters.14 On May 14. the Provincial Board of Canvassers (PBOC) proclaimed petitioners Sadikul and Ruby as the duly elected governor and vice-governor. of the province of Tawi-Tawi. Meanwhile. In the statement of votes issued by the PBOC. The said election protest filed by Matba was examination of the said election paraphernalia by comparing the signature and raffled to the First Division of the COMELEC and was docketed as EPC No. said Order was issued without due process since the COMELEC First Division did not Tawi. the COMELEC First petitioner Ruby prevailed over private respondent Usman. 2011 which directed the retrieval and delivery of the 39 ballot boxes containing the ballots in the 39 protested clustered precincts as well GOVERNOR SADIKUL A. Usman (Usman) ran of the contested ballots. counter-protest. directing the EPC Nos. after Ruby’s filing of her Answer11 with USMAN. respectively. they moved for a technical examination of the EDCVL. Further. Matba On February 24. 201796 January 15.G. Sadikul and Ruby jointly filed with the COMELEC First Division a election protest was likewise raffled to the First Division of the COMELEC and was Strong Manifestation of Grave Concern and Motion for Reconsideration (Of the Order docketed as EPC No. thumbmarks appearing on the EDCVL as against those appearing on the VRRs and the Book of Voters. 2010-76 and 2010-77. ballots.127. the COMELEC. and third. the COMELEC Binay. with votes of 61. RESOLUTION On January 17. 2010-76. Matba contested the results in 39 out of 282 clustered precincts that its Election Records and Statistics Department (ERSD) to conduct a technical functioned in the province of Tawi-Tawi. the (VRR). Thus.13 During the May 10. 2010-76. 2012)16. and the Book of Voters in all the protested precincts of the province of Tawi. Sahali (Sadikul) and Ruby M. Petitioners. 2012.7 allow them to oppose the said ex-parte motion. They asserted that the March 5. Alleging that the said elections in the Province of Tawi-Tawi were attended by massive On March 5. 2013 issued an Order10 dated November 23. the COMELEC First Division directed COMELEC. On January 20. 2010 elections. 2012. in EPC No. the COMELEC First Division cannot just order a technical examination in the absence of published rules on the matter. requesting that they be allowed to secure photocopies Province of Tawi-Tawi while Ruby and private respondent Jilkasi J. instead of recounting the ballots in garnered a total of 59. Matba filed an Election Protest Ad Cautelam5 with the ex-parte motion filed by Matba and Usman.4 the 38 clustered precincts that are the subject of both election protests filed by them. the COMELEC Presidential Electoral Tribunal in the protest case between Manuel Roxas and Jejomar issued a Preliminary Conference Order9 in EPC No. RASHIDIN H. 2012. On February 20. REYES. for the technical examination of the COMELEC First Division. 2010-76.005 and Division should order the technical examination of the said election paraphernalia from 45. 2010-77. SAHALI and VICE-GOVERNOR RUBY M. the COMELEC First Division could not just examine the said election After Sadikul filed his Answer8 with counter-protest. petitioner Sadikul Private respondents Matba and Usman averred that. 2012. for the position of Vice-Governor. 2011.: 2010-77. Election Day Computerized Voters List (EDCVL). 2012. inter alia. the COMELEC First Division issued an Order15 which granted the said and wide-scale irregularities.

not of a division. The pre-requisite The petition is denied. certainly not an interlocutory order of a division."21 due process when the COMELEC First Division issued its March 15. In turn. from the Presidential Electoral Tribunal for the conduct of said technical examination. requires that there be no Hence. order or resolution of a division of the Comelec must be despite the lack of sanction and published rules governing such examination. an interlocutory order or even a final resolution of a Division of the Commission on Elections.23 (Citations omitted and emphasis supplied) The petitioners’ resort to the extraordinary remedy of certiorari to assail an interlocutory order issued by the COMELEC First Division is amiss. Matba and (Emphasis ours) Usman filed with the COMELEC First Division their Rejoinder19 on March 30. and not the ballots. Rule 65. Further.On March 15. On May 3. now expressly provided in Rule 64. Section 1. not to interlocutory orders issued by a Division that Sadikul and Ruby failed to express any objection to their intended motion for thereof.e. filing of a motion for reconsideration is mandatory. the propriety of the technical examination of the said election 139 . the VRR filing of the last pleading. x x x. reviewed by the Comelec en banc via a motion for reconsideration before the final en banc decision may be brought to the Supreme Court on certiorari. Jr. 2012 Order. VRRs and Book of Voters on the protested precincts. 2012. the COMELEC First Division issued the herein assailed Order20which denied In Ambil. Matba and Usman claimed that said motion for technical examination is not a matter brought before it within sixty days from the date of its submission for decision or contentious motion since the intended technical examination would not prejudice the resolution. 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure. they pointed out resolutions of the COMELEC en banc. The COMELEC First Division maintained that Sadikul and Ruby were not deprived of due process. "A party aggrieved by Here. The Supreme Court has no power to review via certiorari. Reply18 to the counter-manifestation filed by Matba and Usman. It pointed out that the technical examination of election The mode by which a decision. the Orders dated March 5. brief." This intention to offer as evidence all election documents and paraphernalia such as the decision must be a final decision or resolution of the Comelec en banc. it ordered the technical examination of the said election paraphernalia In like manner. A case or matter is deemed submitted for decision or resolution upon the rights of Sadikul and Ruby considering that the same only included the EDCVL. speedy and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law. Rule 18 of COMELEC Resolution No. 1997 Rules of Civil Jejomar Binay. as amended. 2012. Article IX of the Constitution mandates: technical examination of the said election paraphernalia. 7. Section 7. a decision. 8804. as amended. The counter-manifestation17 to the said manifestation and motion for reconsideration filed remedy is to seek the review of the interlocutory order during the appeal of the decision by Sadikul and Ruby. They averred that their respective election protests and the Preliminary Conference Orders Under the Constitution. 2012 Order filed by Sadikul and this wise: Ruby. and second. preliminary conference briefs and their COMELEC rendered in the exercise of its adjudicatory or quasi-judicial powers. rulings and decisions of the filing of their separate election protests. 2012 issued by the First Division of the an interlocutory order issued by a Division of the COMELEC in an election protest may COMELEC were merely interlocutory orders since they only disposed of an incident in the main case i. 2012 and May 3. Sadikul and Ruby then filed with the COMELEC First Division their on certiorari by the aggrieved party within thirty days from receipt of a copy thereof. COMELEC. 2012. Each Commission shall decide by a majority vote of all its Members any case or Further. or memorandum required by the rules of the Commission and the Book of Voters. or ruling of each Commission may be brought to the Supreme Court On March 23. opportunity to oppose the motion for technical examination filed by Matba and Usman. order. petitioners Sadikul and Ruby filed the instant petition with this Court essentially appeal. the power of this Court to review election cases falling within the issued by the COMELEC First Division all indicated that they would move for the original exclusive jurisdiction of the COMELEC only extends to final decisions or technical examination of the said election paraphernalia. They asserted therein that Sadikul and Ruby were not deprived of of the Division in due course. 2012. A asserting that the COMELEC First Division committed grave abuse of discretion motion for reconsideration is a plain and adequate remedy provided by law. Nonetheless. order or ruling of the Comelec en banc may be elevated to paraphernalia is governed by Section 1. any decision.22 this Court elucidated on the import of the said provision in the said motion for reconsideration of the March 5. It pointed out that the intention of Matba and Usman to ask for the technical examination of the said election documents had always been apparent from the We have interpreted this provision to mean final orders. Matba and Usman filed with the COMELEC First Division their not directly assail the order in this Court through a special civil action for certiorari. Unless otherwise provided by this Constitution or by law. or any plain. EDCVL. the COMELEC First Division opined that the insinuation asserted by Sadikul and Ruby that there are no published rules governing the technical examination of election paraphernalia is untenable. v. or by the Commission itself. the COMELEC First Division averred that it would request a clearance Procedure. As to the Supreme Court is by the special civil action of certiorari under Rule 65 of the 1964 the Precautionary Protection Order issued in the protest case between Manuel Roxas and Revised Rules of Court. Failure to amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction when: first. Sec. it did not give them the abide by this procedural requirement constitutes a ground for dismissal of the petition.

an therefore that the order of July 26. In such a situation. The petitioners’ reliance on Kho is misplaced. 1996 and the other orders relating to the admission of the is authorized to act on the ex-parte motion for the technical examination of the said answer with counter-protest are issuances of a Commission in division and are all election paraphernalia. 1995 which pertains to the admission of the answer 140 . like the questioned interlocutory orders. there is no question that the answer with counter-protest of "Section 2. and not on the Commission en banc. the issue was whether a Division of In a situation such as this where the Commission in division committed grave abuse of the COMELEC may admit an answer with counter-protest which was filed beyond the discretion or acted without or in excess of jurisdiction in issuing interlocutory orders reglementary period. Concomitant with such acquisition admission of Espinosa’s answer with counter-protest and do not terminate or finally of jurisdiction is the authority of the COMELEC First Division to rule on the issues raised dispose of the case as they leave something to be done before it is finally decided on the by the parties and all incidents arising therefrom. including the authority to act on the merits. the rule is clear that the authority to resolve incidental ex-parte motion for technical examination of said election paraphernalia. can not be the proper forum which the matter concerning the assailed Division can be reviewed. interlocutory orders can be referred to. it was held therein that. and second. under the circumstances shown not the proper forum in which the said interlocutory orders issued by the COMELEC First above. or where. exceptionally. this Court had banc can take cognizance of." In the instant case. the Commission en banc. In Kho. Rule 3 of the COMELEC Rules of Procedure confirms that the subject case does not fall on any of the instances over which the Commission en It is worthy to note that as early as in the case of Arrieta vs. jurisdiction. Thus: Furthermore. did xxxx not have any authority to act on the issues raised therein and all incidents arising therefrom. direct resort to this Court via certiorari assailing an interlocutory order may be allowed when a Division of the COMELEC commits grave abuse of discretion Thus. or in pre-proclamation cases upon a vote of a majority COMELEC First Division has no jurisdictional authority to entertain the belated answer of the members of a Commission.26(Citations omitted and emphasis ours) reconsideration having been filed with the COMELEC en banc. November 15 The exception in Kho does not apply in the instant case since the COMELEC First Division 1995 and February 28. upon a unanimous vote of all the members of a Division. the proper recourse for the petitioners is to await the decision of interlocutory matter or issue relative to an action or proceeding before it is decided to be the COMELEC First Division in the election protests filed by Matba and Usman. otherwise. The Commission en banc. In the case at bar. 1996 that no final decision. as an exception. Rule 3 of the COMELEC Rules of Procedure.25 nevertheless insist that this Court members of the First Division unanimously voted to refer the subject case to the may take cognizance of the instant Petition for Certiorari since the COMELEC en banc is Commission en banc. Clearly. 1995. or in all other cases where a division is not authorized with counter-protest much less pass upon and decide the issues raised therein. It follows to act. and referred to the Commission en banc. Apparently. the remedy of the aggrieved party is not to refer the controversy to the Commission en banc as this is not permissible under its present rules but to elevate it to this Court via a petition for On the propriety of a filing a Petition for Certiorari with this Court sans any motion for certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court. the forum loses its jurisdiction to entertain the belatedly filed counter- protest. COMELEC.27 banc. the COMELEC First Division did not acquire jurisdiction on the answer with counter-protest since it was filed beyond the reglementary period and. Thus: an interlocutory order issued by a Division of the COMELEC when the following circumstances are present: first. under the COMELEC Rules of Procedure. to appeal the same to the COMELEC en banc by filing a subject controversy is one of the cases specifically provided under the COMELEC Rules of motion for reconsideration. It reads as follows: firmly settled the rule that the counter-protest must be filed within the period provided by law. resolution or order has yet been made Division is not authorized to act or (3) the members of the Division unanimously vote to which will necessitate the elevation of the case and its records to the Commission en refer to the COMELEC en banc. this Court may take cognizance of a certiorari action directed against tantamount to lack of jurisdiction. The COMELEC First Division has already acquired jurisdiction interlocutory orders because they merely rule upon an incidental issue regarding the over the election protests filed by Matba and Usman. Neither is it shown that the present controversy a case where a division is not authorized to act nor a situation wherein the The petitioners. x x x In Kho. citing the case of Kho v. the order was issued without jurisdiction or in excess of jurisdiction or with grave abuse of discretion tantamount to lack or excess of As to the issue of whether or not the case should be referred to the COMELEC en banc.The Commission shall sit en banc in cases Espinosa was filed outside the reglementary period provided for by law. consequently. falls on the division itself. instances mentioned in section 2. the orders dated July 26. Rodriguez. . As such. Thus. it does not appear that the should they be aggrieved thereby. matters of a case pending in a division. No less than the Constitution requires that the election cases must be heard and decided first in division and any motion for reconsideration of decisions shall be decided by the commission en banc. the hereinafter specifically provided. This Court held that the COMELEC First Division gravely abused its relative to an action pending before it and the controversy did not fall under any of the discretion when it admitted the answer with counter-protest that was belatedly filed. a look at Section 2. the subject of the this Court finds the respondent COMELEC First Division correct when it held in its order controversy is a matter which (1) the COMELEC en banc may not sit and consider or (2) a dated February 28.24 Procedure in which the Commission may sit en banc.paraphernalia.

the petitioners (Emphasis ours) contend that the COMELEC First Division cannot order a technical examination of the said election paraphernalia since there is as yet no published rule therefor. provide the documents that should be subjected to technical examination in election protest cases. The adverse party may file opposition five days was given the chance to be heard on his motion for reconsideration. Rule 18 of COMELEC Resolution No. Rule 9 of COMELEC Resolution No. Accordingly. Even if petitioner Kho did not file a motion for the COMELEC First Division issued its March 5. manifestation and motion for reconsideration which they filed with the COMELEC First Division on March 9. Above all is the public merely provides for the procedure to be followed in the presentation and reception of interest. Further. Oral argument in support thereof shall be allowed only sense. direct a party therein to file an opposition to a motion filed by the other party. The Commission shall resolve the motion within five days. Contrary to the petitioners’ claim. despite receipt of a copy of the motion that was filed with the that Section 1. – Motions shall not be set for hearing unless the administrative process cannot be fully equated with due process in its strict judicial Commission directs otherwise. the rule relied upon by the COMELEC. 2012. On this score. Anent the issue on the technical examination of election paraphernalia.30 "The proceedings should not be encumbered by delays. but simply an opportunity or right to be heard. 2012 Order. 3. 2012 Order. 2012 Resolution. the petitioners’ It bears stressing that the COMELEC. Indeed. rule on the issues raised. Title to public elective office must not be left long under cloud. the motion would be deemed COMELEC First Division in ordering a technical examination.28 (Citation omitted objections to the said motion for technical examination. Rule 18 of COMELEC Resolution No. Efficiency of evidence in election protest cases. reads: 141 . Proceedings in election protests are special and expeditious and At the core of the petitioners’ assertion is the power of the COMELEC First Division to the early resolution of such cases should not be hampered by any unnecessary order the technical examination of the said election paraphernalia. Section 3.32 from receipt of the motion. However. the instant petition would still be denied. It was only after issued without jurisdiction. the petitioners’ objections to the technical examination of the said election paraphernalia were exhaustively discussed by the This Court does not agree. Indeed. 8804 gave them the opportunity to raise their petitioner to seek a reconsideration of the order dated July 26. deprivation of due process cannot be successfully invoked where a party upon the discretion of the Commission. to file an opposition The petitioners should be reminded that due process does not necessarily mean or to a motion within five days from receipt of a copy of the same without awaiting for the require a hearing. The petitioners were able motion for technical examination filed by Matba and Usman without giving them the to present their opposition to the said motion for technical examination in their opportunity to oppose the said motion. There is the personal expressly authorize the conduct of technical examination of election paraphernalia as it stake of the contestants which generates feuds and discords. if he/she deems it necessary. to register their opposition to the intended technical examination. and perhaps many times more creditably and 880429 clearly provides that: predictable than oral argument. brought about by the late filing of the answer to the motion for reconsideration of the said Order. 3. the petitioners did not file an opposition to the said motion for technical the order of admission issued by the COMELEC First Division are void for having been examination that was filed by Matba and Usman on February 24.with counter-protest of Espinosa as well as the other consequent orders implementing Here. did not file an opposition to the said motion. this Court cannot see how due process was denied to the petitioners in the The petitioners claim that they were denied due process when the COMELEC granted the issuance of the COMELEC First Division’s March 5. it is the petitioners themselves and not the COMELEC First Division who should be faulted for Even if this Court is to disregard the procedural lapse committed by the petitioners and their predicament. the jurisdictional infirmity. In administrative proceedings moreover. 2012 Order that the petitioners decided reconsideration of the order dated July 26. is not duty-bound to notify and claim of denial of due process is clearly unfounded. This Court agrees observance of procedural rules. persist and can not be cured by the omission on the part of the protestee. through pleadings. 2012. 1995 admitting the answer with counter. It is thus understandable that pitfalls which may retard the determination of election contests should be avoided. is vague as it failed to submitted for resolution upon the expiration of the period to file an opposition thereto. One may be heard. for reasons known and emphasis ours) only to them. public administration should not be impaired. petitioners did not file any opposition to the said motion. 8804 does not All of these are because the term of elective office is likewise short. No hearings on motions. Sec. not COMELEC’s directive to do so. in part. albeit in the form of a protest. It should be stressed that one of the factors that should be considered in election protests is expediency. Having filed a motion for reconsideration of the COMELEC First Division’s March 5. They assert If the party concerned. solely by verbal presentation but also. technical rules of procedure and evidence are not strictly applied. 1995. COMELEC First Division in its May 3. with the petitioners that Section 1."31 Section 1. in election disputes. Rule 9 of COMELEC Resolution No. 8804. 8804. Rule 18 of COMELEC Resolution No. Section protest. upon the expiration of which such motion is deemed submitted for resolution. It is incumbent upon the party concerned.

proper."35 Thus. by comparing xxxx the signature and the thumbmarks appearing on the EDCVL as against those appearing on the VRRs and the Book of Voters. There is no gainsaying that the COMELEC is mandated by law to resolve election cases expeditiously and promptly. examination of the said election paraphernalia. Accordingly. or incidental to the effective and efficient exercise of the power expressly granted. who is the real candidate elected by the people. returns SO ORDERED. "not only to maintain its sense of urgency in resolving these cases. and qualifications of all elective regional. The absence of a rule which specifically mandates the technical examination of the said WHEREFORE. or (b) the technical examination. unlike an ordinary civil action. is clothed with a public interest. The power of the COMELEC First Division to Elections in EPC Nos. an election controversy which by its very nature touches upon the ascertainment of the people’s choice. provincial and city officials".33 Otherwise stated. 2010-76 and 2010-77 is AFFIRMED. order the technical examination election paraphernalia in election protest cases stems from its "exclusive original jurisdiction over all contest relating to the elections. precedence and regard to due process. the express grant of power to the COMELEC to resolve election protests carries with it the grant of all other powers necessary. is a reasonable. or re. canvass of the votes in the province of Tawi-Tawi. in consideration of the foregoing disquisitions. that the COMELEC First Division does not have the power to order the conduct Division did not commit any abuse of discretion when it allowed the technical of such technical examination. the technical examination ordered by the COMELEC First Division. election returns and ballots in order to determine whether fraud and irregularities attended the canvass of the votes. but also to explore every reasonable and feasible means of ascertaining which candidate was duly elected. Rule 18 of COMELEC Resolution No. Verily. should be resolved with utmost dispatch. The election paraphernalia does not mean that the COMELEC First Division is barred from assailed Order dated May 3. as gleaned from the medium of the ballot. "For in this specie of controversies involving the determination of the true will of the electorate. Here. The purpose of an election protest is to ascertain whether the candidate proclaimed by the board of canvassers is the lawful choice of the people. To be sure."34 Concomitant to the COMELEC’s duty to expeditiously resolve election cases is the authority to resort to every reasonable and efficient means available to it to settle the controversy. . 1. the petition is DENIED. efficient and expeditious means of While Section 1. Presentation and reception of evidence. if warranted.The reception of involved and the need of dispelling the uncertainty over the real choice of the electorate. What is sought is the correction of the canvass of votes. evidence on all matters or issues raised in the protest and counter-protests shall be And the court has the corresponding duty to ascertain by all means within its command presented and offered in a hearing upon completion of (a) the recount of ballots. except for the genuine will of the majority. An election contest therefore involves not only the adjudication of private and pecuniary interests of rival candidates but paramount to their claims is the deep public concern 142 . the exclusive original jurisdiction conferred by the constitution to the COMELEC to settle said election protests includes the authority to order a technical examination of relevant election paraphernalia. 8804 does not explicitly provide for determining the truth or falsity of the allegations of fraud and irregularities in the the rule on the technical examination of election paraphernalia. order of hearing. time indeed is of paramount importance  second to none perhaps. 2012 issued by the First Division of the Commission on issuing an order for the conduct thereof.Sec. which was the basis of proclamation of the winning candidate. this Court has declared: An election contest. it does not mean. The COMELEC is thus enjoined. the COMELEC First however.36 (Emphasis ours) tabulation of election documents.

127 on Sep that 1969 calling for the submission of sealed proposals for the manufacture and delivery of 1 1. subject to the condition. 1969. Committee. after an ocular inspection of all the samples submitted was In preparation for the national elections of November 11. 3 MACHINE SHOP.00 Sample 2 — same in construction as sample Thereafter or more specifically on October 29.000 units of voting Acme booths submitted thewith the bid. LINO PATAJO and CESAR MIRAFLOR as Commissioners of the Commission on Elections. painted. final award Branch be made. 1969. ALEJANDRO MACARANAS. 77972.".7 Prices Per Unit Brief Description P128. against herein public respondents COMELEC Among the seventeen bidders who submitted proposals in response to the said INVITATION were Commissioners. lowest following specifications the COMELEC issuedand descriptions. (Filipinas for short) and respondent. Must be of light but strong improves the and durable sample materials. 1969." 5 II. an INVITATION and after TO BID CALL