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PENERA V. COMELEC G.R. 181613 11 September 2009 FACTS: The COMELEC disqualified petitioner Rosalinda A.

Penera (Penera) as a candidate for mayor of the Municipality of Sta. Monica, Surigao del Norte, for unlawfully engaging in election campaign before the start of the campaign period for the 2007 Synchronized National and Local Elections, in violation of Section 80 of Batas Pambansa 881 (the Omnibus Election Code). The COMELEC found that Penera and her party-mates, after filing their Certificates of Candidacy, conducted a motorcade through Sta. Monica and threw candies to onlookers, aboard trucks festooned with balloons and banners bearing their names and pictures and the municipal positions for which they were seeking election, one of which trucks had a sound system that broadcast their intent to run in the 2007 elections. COMELEC Commissioner Rene V. Sarmiento dissented. He emphasized that under Section 15 of Republic Act 8436 (the law authorizing the COMELEC to use an automated election system for the process of voting, counting of votes, and canvassing/consolidating the results of the national and local elections), as amended by Republic Act No. 9369, one is now considered a candidate only at the start of the campaign period. Thus, before the start of the campaign period, there can be no election campaign or partisan political activity because there is no candidate to speak of. Accordingly, Penera could not be disqualified for premature campaigning because the motorcade took place outside the campaign period ? when Penera was not yet a? candidate.? Sarmiento posited that Section 15 of R.A. No. 8436, as amended by R.A. 9369, has practically made it impossible to commit premature campaigning at any time, and has, thus, effectively repealed Section 80 of the Omnibus Election Code. Penera filed a Petition for Certiorari before the Supreme Court to nullify the disqualification. She argued that the evidence was grossly insufficient to warrant the COMELEC? ruling. She maintained that s the motorcade was spontaneous and unplanned, and the supporters merely joined her and the other candidates. ISSUE: Whether or not Penera should be disqualified for engaging in election campaign or partisan political activity outside the campaign period. HELD: Granting Penera? motion for reconsideration, the s Supreme Court En Banc held that Penera did not engage in premature campaigning and should, thus, not be disqualified as a mayoralty candidate. The Court said ?

(A) The Court? 11 September 2009 Decision (or ? s the assailed Decision? considered a person who files a ) certificate of candidacy already a ? candidate? even before the start of the campaign period. This is contrary to the clear intent and letter of Section 15 of Republic Act 8436, as amended, which states that a person who files his certificate of candidacy will only be considered a candidate at the start of the campaign period, and unlawful acts or omissions applicable to a candidate shall take effect only upon the start of such campaign period. Thus, applying said law: (1) The effective date when partisan political acts become unlawful as to a candidate is when the campaign period starts. Before the start of the campaign period, the same partisan political acts are lawful. (2) Accordingly, a candidate is liable for an election offense only for acts done during the campaign period, not before. In other words, election offenses can be committed by a candidate only upon the start of the campaign period. Before the start of the campaign period, such election offenses cannot be so committed. Since the law is clear, the Court has no recourse but to apply it. The forum for examining the wisdom of the law, and enacting remedial measures, is not the Court but the Legislature. (B) Contrary to the assailed Decision, Section 15 of R.A. 8436, as amended, does not provide that partisan political acts done by a candidate before the campaign period are unlawful, but may be prosecuted only upon the start of the campaign period. Neither does the law state that partisan political acts done by a candidate before the campaign period are temporarily lawful, but becomes unlawful upon the start of the campaign period. Besides, such a law as envisioned in the Decision, which defines a criminal act and curtails freedom of expression and speech, would be void for vagueness. (C) That Section 15 of R.A. 8436 does not expressly state that campaigning before the start of the campaign period is lawful, as the assailed Decision asserted, is of no moment. It is a basic principle of law that any act is lawful unless expressly declared unlawful by law. The mere fact that the law does not declare an act unlawful ipso facto means that the act is lawful. Thus, there is no need for Congress to declare in Section 15 of R.A. 8436 that partisan political activities before the start of the campaign period are lawful. It is sufficient for Congress to state that ? any unlawful act or omission applicable to a candidate shall take effect only upon the start of the campaign period.? The only inescapable and logical result is that the same acts, if done before the start of the campaign period, are lawful.

(D) The Court? 11 September 2009 Decision also s reversed Lanot vs. COMELEC (G.R. No. 164858; 16 November 2006). Lanot was decided on the ground that one who files a certificate of candidacy is not a candidate until the start of the campaign period. This ground was based on the deliberations of the legislators who explained that the early deadline for filing certificates of candidacy under R.A. 8436 was set only to afford time to prepare the machinereadable ballots, and they intended to preserve the existing election periods, such that one who files his certificate of candidacy to meet the early deadline will still not be considered as a candidate. When Congress amended R.A. 8436, Congress decided to expressly incorporate the Lanot doctrine into law, thus, the provision in Section 15 of R.A. 8436 that a person who files his certificate of candidacy shall be considered a candidate only at the start of the campaign period. Congress wanted to insure that no person filing a certificate of candidacy under the early deadline required by the automated election system would be disqualified or penalized for any partisan political act done before the start of the campaign period. This provision cannot be annulled by the Court except on the sole ground of its unconstitutionality. The assailed Decision, however, did not claim that this provision is unconstitutional. In fact, the assailed Decision considered the entire Section 15 good law. Thus, the Decision was self-contradictory ? reversing Lanot but maintaining the constitutionality of the said provision. CANICOSA V. COMELEC GR No. 120318 5 December 1997 FACTS: Ricardo Boy Canicosa and Severino Lajara were candidates for Mayor in Calamba, Laguna during the 8 May 1995 elections. Lajara was proclaimed winner by the Municipal Board of Canvassers. On 15 May Canicosa filed with the COMELEC a Petition to Declare Failure of Election and to Declare Null and Void the Canvass and Proclamation because of alleged widespread frauds and anomalies. However, the COMELEC en bancdismissed the petition on the ground that the allegations therein did not justify a declaration of failure of election. ISSUE: W/N a COMELEC division should have first heard the petition before deciding on it en banc on a motion for reconsideration. HELD: NO. Section 3, Article IX-C applies only when the COMELEC acts in the exercise of its adjudicatory or quasi-judicial functions and not when it merely

exercises purely administrative functions. Moreover, it is expressly provided in Rule 27, Section 7 of the COMELEC Rules of Procedure that any party dissatisfied with the ruling of the board of canvassers shall have a right to appeal to the COMELEC en banc. Questions as to whether elections have been held or whether certain returns were falsified or manufactured and therefore should be excluded from the canvass do not involve the right to vote. Such questions are properly within the administrative jurisdiction of COMELEC, hence, may be acted upon directly by the COMELEC en banc without having to pass through any of its divisions. DOCTRINE: There are only three instances where a failure of election may be declared: namely: (a) The election in any polling place has not been held on the date fixed on account of force majeure, violence, terrorism, fraud, or other analogous causes; (b) The election in any polling place has been suspended before the hour fixed by law for the closing of the voting on account of force majeure, violence, terrorism, fraud, or other analogous causes; or (c) After the voting and during the preparation and transmission of the election returns or in the custody or canvass thereof, such election results in a failure to elect on account of force majeure, violence, terrorism, fraud, or other analogous causes. The question of inclusion or exclusion from the list of voters involves the right to vote which is not within the power and authority of COMELEC to rule upon. The determination of whether one has the right to vote is a justiciable issue properly cognizable by our regular courts. It is only in the exercise of its adjudicatory or quasijudicial powers that the COMELEC is mandated to hear and decide cases first by Division and then, upon motion for reconsideration, by the COMELEC en banc. This is when it is jurisdictional. The COMELEC exercises direct and immediate supervision and control over national and local officials or employees, including members of any national or local law enforcement agency and instrumentality of the government required by law to perform duties relative to the conduct of elections. Its power to direct supervision and control includes the power to review, modify, or set aside any act of such national and local officials. It exercises immediate supervision over the members of the boards of election inspectors and canvassers. Its statutory power of supervision and control includes the power to revise, reverse, or set aside the action of the boards, as well as to do what the boards should have done, even if questions relative thereto have not been elevated to it by an aggrieved party, for such power

includes the authority to initiate motu proprio or by itself such steps or actions as may be required pursuant to law. ONG v ALEGRE (Pre Election Remedies)

terms 4. Ongs contention that he was only a presumptive winner in the 1998 mayoralty derby as his proclamation was under protest did not make him less than a duly elected mayor. There was no interruption or break in the continuity of Ongs service respecting the 1998-2001 term.

1. Ong and Alegre were candidates who filed COC for mayor of San Vicente in the 2004 elections. Ong was then the incumbent mayor. 2. Alegre filed with the COMELEC Provincial Office a Petition to Disqualify, Deny Due Course and Cancel the COC of Francis Ong. 3. The petition to disqualify was predicated on the three-consecutive term rule. Francis having, according to Alegre, ran in the May 1995, 1998, and May 2001 mayoralty elections and have assumed office as Mayor and discharged the duties thereof for three consecutive full terms corresponding to those elections. Hence, Ong must be disqualified from running in the 2004 elections. 4. First Division of COMELEC rendered in 2004 a resolution dismissing the said petition of Alegre, rationalizing that Francis might have indeed fully served the mayoral terms but the mayoral term however, from 1998 to 2001 cannot be considered his because he was not duly elected thereto. 5. But the RTC of Daet, Camarines Norte Branch 41 has voided Ongs election for the 1998 term when it held that Alegre was the "legally elected Mayor in the 1998 mayoralty election in San Vicente, Camarines Norte." ISSUE: W/N Ongs assumption of office as Mayor of San Vicente, Camarines Norte for the mayoralty term 1998 to 2001 be considered as full service for the purpose of the three-term limit rule even though the legally elected mayor was supposed to be Alegre.

SWS v COMELEC (Election Propaganda)

1. Petitioner SWS and Kamahalan Publishing Corp. (publisher of Manila Standard) states that it wishes to conduct an election survey throughout the period of the elections and release to the media the results of such survey as well as publish them directly. KPC also intends to publish election survey results up to the last day of elections on May 14, 2001. 2. RA 3636 Section 5.4 dated Mar 1, 2001 states: a. Surveys affecting national candidates shall not be published 15 days before an election b. Surveys affecting local candidates shall not be published 7 days before an election 3. Petitioners argue that the restriction on the publication of election survey results constitutes a prior restraint on the exercise of freedom of speech without any clear and present danger to justify such restraint. Issue: Are the Comelec Resolutions prohibiting the holding of pre-polls and exit polls and the dissemination of their results through mass media, valid and constitutional?

HELD: Ruling: NO 1. Affirmative. Ong is disqualified as even if the COMELEC had declared Alegre to be the legally elected mayor in the 1998 elections, it was without effect as the declaration only took place AFTER the expiration of the contested office. 2. Ongs assumption of office from 1998 to 2001 constitutes the full term served in contemplation of the 3-term limit rule. 3. Requisites for 3 Term Limit Rule to apply: a. Official concerned has been elected for 3 consecutive terms in the SAME local post b. He has fully served 3 consecutive 1. The Court held that Section 5.4 is invalid because a. It imposes a prior restraint on the freedom of expression b. It is a direct and total suppression of a category of expression even though such suppression is only for a limited period c. The governmental interest sought to be promoted can be achieved by means other than suppression of freedom of expression. 2. The prohibition in 5.4 cannot be justified

merely on the ground that is only for a limited period and it is only incidental. The prohibition may only be for a limited time but the curtailment of the right of expression is direct, absolute, and substantial. 3. Section 5.4 also fails to meet the criterion of the OBrien test, namely, that the restriction be not greater than is necessary to further the governmental interest. 4. Praiseworthy the aims of Section 5.4 may be (e.g. prevention of Dagdag-bawas cheating or junking of weak candidates) they cannot be attained at the sacrifice of the fundamental right of expression. 5. It has been held that "[mere] legislative preferences or beliefs respecting matters of public convenience may well support regulation directed at other personal activities, but be insufficient to justify such as diminishes the exercise of rights so vital to the maintenance of democratic institutions.

FPJ v GMA (Post Election Remedies)

1. In the 2004 election, GMA was proclaimed the duly elected President. The second-placer in the elections, FPJ, filed an election protest before the Electoral Tribunal in July 2004. 2. When the Protestant died in Dec 2004, his widow, Susan Roces filed a motion to intervene as a substitute for deceased protestant FPJ. She claims that there is an urgent need for her to continue and substitute for her late husband to ascertain the true and genuine will of the electorate in the interest of the Filipino people. 3. GMA asserts that the widow of a deceased candidate is not the proper party to replace the deceased protestant since a public office is personal and not a property that passes on to the heirs. GMA also contends that under the Rules of the Presidential Electoral Tribunal, only the registered candidates who obtained the 2nd and 3rd highest votes for the presidency may contest the election of the president. Issue: May the widow substitute/intervene for the protestant who died during the pendency of the latters protest case?

Protest): Only the registered candidate for President or for Vice-President of the Philippines who received the second or third highest number of votes may contest the election of the President or the Vice-President, as the case may be, by filing a verified petition with the Clerk of the Presidential Electoral Tribunal within thirty (30) days after the proclamation of the winner. 2. Court has ruled that a Public Office is personal to the public officer and not a property transmissible to heirs upon death. Here, court has denied substitution by wife/heirs. BUT while the right to public office is personal and exclusive, an Election Protest is not. 3. An election protest is not purely personal and exclusive to the protestant or to the protestee, hence, substitution and intervention is allowed but only by a real party in interest. A real party in interest is the party who would be benefited or injured by the judgment. The protestants widow is not a real party in interest to this election protest. Since in this case, no real parties such as the vice-presidential aspirants in the 2004 elections, have come forward to intervene, or to be substituted for the deceased protestant, the petition must be dismissed. 4. Note that Mrs. FPJ herself denies any claim to the office of President but rather stresses that it is with the paramount public interest in mind that she desires to pursue the process commenced by her late husband. However, nobility of intention is not the point of reference in determining whether a person may intervene in an election protest. 5. In such intervention, the interest which allows a person to intervene in a suit must be in the matter of litigation and of such direct and immediate character that the intervenor will either gain or lose by the effect of the judgment. In this protest, Mrs. FPJ will not immediately and directly benefit from the outcome should it be determined that the declared president did not truly get the highest number of votes.

FAELNAR v PEOPLE (Election Offenses)

Held: NO

1.

Only 2 persons (2nd and 3rd highest placers) may contest the election. Rule 14 (Election

1. Eugenio Faelnar filed his certificate of candidacy for the position of barangay chairman during the 1997-barangay elections in Cebu. 2. One day after filing such certificate (April 9), a basketball tourney was slated 2nd Jing- Jing Faelnars Cup which lasted until April 30, 1997. This gave rise to a complaint for electioneering against petitioner and Gillamac filed by Antonio Luy. It was alleged that is was a form of electioneering (campaign outside campaign

period) as there were streamers bearing the name of the petitioner in the venue, name was repeatedly mentioned in the microphone, it was widely published in the local newspaper, and a raffle sponsored by Gillamac was held with home appliances as prize. It constituted an election offense. 3. Initially, COMELEC en banc in a Resolution (973040) resolved to dismiss the filing of the case in the RTC. Antonio Luy moved for reconsideration prompting COMELEC to proceed with the filing of the case against petitioner. Petitioner moved to quash on the basis that previous dismissal of COMELEC en banc was immediately final and executory and that Luys Motion for Reconsideration of the Resolution (973040) was prohibited pleading under Commissions rules of procedure. Issue: W/N the MR of Luy is allowed in Election Offenses

MR was filed more than a year after Resolution (973040) was promulgated. The Resolution is now final and binding upon parties.

Lucman v. COMELEC

FACTS: Petitioner Bairansalam Laut Lucman and private respondent Mosama M. Pandi were mayoralty candidates in Poona-Bayabao, Lanao del Sur, during the May 10, 2004 elections.

HELD: YES (Petition DENIED) 1. A Motion for Reconsideration is allowed in election offense cases and there is no question that what is involved is a resolution of COMELEC en banc in an election offense. Hence, MR of such is allowed under Rules of Procedure. 2. Rule 13 Section 1 (COMELECs Rules of Procedure): The following pleadings are not allowed. (d) MR of en banc ruling, resolution, orders, or decision EXCEPT in election offense cases. 3. COMELEC en banc is the one that determines the existence of probable cause in an election offense. But it may also be delegated to the State Prosecutor of to the Provincial/City Fiscal but may still be reviewed by the COMELEC. 4. Rule 64 (Rules of Court): a. Section 2: A judgment or final order or resolution by the COMELEC and COA may be brought by the aggrieved party to SC except as provided. b. Section 3: Petition shall be filed within 30 days from notice of resolution sought to be reviewed. 5. The grounds relied upon by petitioner are directed at the validity of Resolution (973040). The petitioner prays that such is null and void. The petition is nothing but an attempt to circumvent a final resolution of COMELEC. The petitioners remedy was to seek its annulment by way of a special civil action of certiorari under Rule 64 Sec 2. In the case, no such petition was ever filed. The present petition to set aside the orders of RTC denying its motion to quash and

Private respondent objected to the inclusion of ten election returns, although only six of these are subjects of the present controversy, to wit

Municipal Board of Canvassers proclaimed petitioner as the winning candidate, as shown in the Certificate of Canvass of Votes and Proclamation of the Winning Candidates for Municipal Offices, signed on May 19, 2004.[3] Petitioner won over private respondent by a margin of 16 votes.

Private respondent filed with Commission on Elections (COMELEC) an appeal from the ruling of the Board, docketed as SPC 04-184, alleging massive fraud and irregularities in the conduct of the elections, e.g., force, threat and intimidation were employed on the voters, double voting, substitution of voters, snatching of ballots, padding of ballots and existence of flying voters.[4] Private respondent also contended that the contested election returns should have been excluded from the canvass, and that the Board was precipitate in proclaiming petitioner as the winning candidate, as private respondent has manifested on record that he is intending to appeal the Boards ruling.[5] Private respondent admits that the exclusion of the contested returns is a ground for election protest, but he also argues that the COMELEC may go beyond the face of the returns to determine whether the elections in the precincts involved are a sham.

Petitioner filed his Comment and/or Answer to the appeal, arguing that the grounds relied upon by private respondent are not proper in a preproclamation controversy but in an election protest.

pertaining to or 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 board or directly with the Commission, or any matter raised under Sections 233, 234, 235 and 236 in relation to the preparation, transmission, receipt, custody and appreciation of the election returns

ISSUE: Whether the appeal from the Board of Canvassers to the COMELEC (First Division) interjected by private respondent makes a case for a pre-proclamation controversy SEC. 243. Issues that may be raised in preproclamation controversy. - The following shall be proper issues that may be raised in a preproclamation controversy: (a) Illegal composition or proceedings of the board of canvassers; (b) The canvassed election returns are incomplete, contain material defects, appear to be tampered with or falsified, or contain discrepancies in the same returns or in other authentic copies thereof as mentioned in Sections 233, 234, 235, and 236 of this Code; (c) The election returns were prepared under duress, threats, coercion, or intimidation, or they are obviously manufactured or not authentic; and (d) When substitute or fraudulent returns in controverted polling places were canvassed, the results of which materially affected the standing of the aggrieved candidate or candidates. The foregoing enumeration is restrictive and exclusive Cipriano vs Comelec Facts: Petitioner filed with the COMELEC her certificate of candidacy as Chairman of the SK for the SK elections. And on the date of the elections, the COMELEC issued Resolution No. 5363 cancelling the certificates of candidacy of several candidates for the SK elections, including petitioners. Also, alleging that they are not registered voters in the barangay where they intended to run. But, petitioner, nonetheless, was allowed to vote and her name was not deleted from the official list of candidates. Petitioner won and took her oath of office. The petitioner, after learning of Resolution No. 5363, filed with the COMELEC a motion for reconsideration of said resolution. She argued that a

HELD: NO, The proceedings in a pre-proclamation controversy are summary in nature .[23] Issues such as fraud or terrorism attendant to the election process, the resolution of which would compel or necessitate the COMELEC to pierce the veil of election returns which appear to be prima facie regular, on their face, are anathema to a pre-proclamation controversy. Such issues should be posed and resolved in a regular election protest, which is within the original jurisdiction of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) The padding of the List of Voters may constitute fraud, or that the Board of Election Inspectors may have fraudulently conspired in its preparation, would not be a valid basis for a pre-proclamation controversy either. For, whenever irregularities, such as fraud, are asserted, the proper course of action is an election protest. Such irregularities as fraud, vote-buying and terrorism are proper grounds in an election contest but may not as a rule be invoked to declare a failure of election and to disenfranchise the greater number of the electorate through the misdeeds, precisely, of only a relative few. Otherwise, elections will never be carried out with the resultant disenfranchisement of the innocent voters, for the losers will always cry fraud and terrorism

DOCTRINE: Section 241 of the Omnibus Election Code defines a pre-proclamation controversy as any question

certificate of candidacy may only be denied due course or cancelled via an appropriate petition filed by any registered candidate for the same position Petitioner argues that she was deprived of due process when the COMELEC issued Resolution No. 5363 canceling her certificate of candidacy. She claims that the resolution was intended to oust her from her position as SK Chairman without any appropriate action and proceedings. The COMELEC, on the other hand, defends its resolution by invoking its administrative power to enforce and administer election laws. Thus, in the exercise of such power, it may motu proprio deny or cancel the certificates of candidacy of candidates who are found to be unqualified for the position they are seeking. The Commission further contends that the publication of COMELEC Resolution No. 4801 governing the conduct of the Barangay and SK elections in two newspapers of general circulation is sufficient notice to the candidates regarding the Commissions administrative inquiry into their certificates of candidacy. Issue: May the Commission on Elections (COMELEC), on its own, in the exercise of its power to enforce and administer election laws, look into the qualifications of a candidate and cancel his certificate of candidacy on the ground that he lacks the qualifications prescribed by law? Ruling: No. The Commission may not, by itself, without the proper proceedings, deny due course to or cancel a certificate of candidacy filed in due form. When a candidate files his certificate of candidacy, the COMELEC has a ministerial duty to receive and acknowledge its receipt. This is provided in Sec. 76 of the Omnibus Election Code, thus: Sec. 76. Ministerial duty of receiving and acknowledging receipt. - The Commission, provincial election supervisor, election registrar or officer designated by the Commission or the board of election inspectors under the succeeding section shall have the ministerial duty to receive and acknowledge receipt of the certificate of candidacy. The duty of the COMELEC to give due course to certificates of candidacy filed in due form is ministerial in character. While the Commission may

look into patent defects in the certificates, it may not go into matters not appearing on their face. The question of eligibility or ineligibility of a candidate is thus beyond the usual and proper cognizance of said body Nonetheless, Section 78 of the Omnibus Election Code allows any person to file before the COMELEC a petition to deny due course to or cancel a certificate of candidacy on the ground that any material representation therein is false. It states: Sec. 78. Petition to deny due course to or cancel a certificate of candidacy. - A verified petition seeking to deny due course or to cancel a certificate of candidacy may be filed by any person exclusively on the ground that any material representation contained therein as required under Section 74 hereof is false. The petition may be filed at any time not later than twenty-five days from the time of the filing of the certificate of candidacy and shall be decided, after notice and hearing, not later than fifteen days before the election. Further, the denial of due course or cancellation of ones certificate of candidacy is not within the administrative powers of the Commission, but rather calls for the exercise of its quasi-judicial functions. Benito vs Comelec Facts: Petitioner and private respondent were two (2) of eight (8) candidates vying for the position of municipal mayor in Calanogas, lanao del Sur during the May 11, 1998 elections. The election in the first three (3), namely precincts 15A, 6A/6A1 and 17A are the subject of BENITO's petition to declare failure of elections filed before the respondent COMELEC.1wphi1.nt On the day of the election, voting started peacefully at the polling place. Shortly before noon, however, it was interrupted when some thirty(30) armed men appeared at the school premises and fired shots into the air. Petitioner alleged that the ballot boxes and other election materials were taken to the municipal hall by the military forces providing security. From then on, the voting allegedly never resumed, even when voters who had not yet cast their ballots returned to their respective polling places after the lawless elements had left.

However, private respondent avers that voting in fact resumed when the armed men left at about 1:00 o'clock in the afternoon. There were no further untoward incidents until voting closed at 3:00 o'clock. As proof, private respondent submitted a "Final Incident Report. After counting, these results emerged:

On the other hand, the total votes cast for the three (3) excluded precincts numbered forty-one (41) only, w which is broken down as follows: Petitioner filed petition to declare failure of election and to call a special elections in precincts 15A, 6A/6A1 and 17A He also filed a separate petition for the annulment of the proclamation of private respondent.

CANDIDATE

Comelec denied Benitos petition and confirmed the proclamation of the private respondent. NO. OF VOTES Issue: W/N the Comelec erred in denying Benitos petition to declare a failure of election?

Ibrahim Pagayawan

927

Ruling: No, there are two (2) pre-conditions must exist before a failure of election may be declared, thus: (1) no voting has been held in any precinct or precincts due to force majeure, violence or terrorism; and (2) the votes not cast therein are sufficient to affect the results of the election. The cause of such failure may arise before or after the casting of votes or on the day of the election.

Zaipal Benito

879

Amoran Macaborod

524

Jabbar Maruhom

Of all the five precincts whose elections were held in Disimban Elementary School, petitioner Benito (no data available) only three precincts failed to function therein. claimed SC held that the COMELEC did not gravely abuse its discretion in denying BENITO's petition to declare a failure to election and to call a special election. It is indeed odd that petitioner singles out only precincts 15A, 6A/6A1 and 17A as the subjects of his petition when there were two (2) other precincts VOTES CAST

Private respondent won over petitioner by forty-eight (48) votes and was proclaimed as Mayor of Calanogas PRECINCT NO. OF REGISTERED VOTES

15A

177

6A/6A1

225

19

17A

188

21

TOTAL

590

41

in the same school. Likewise, he never objected to the inclusion of the two (2) other precincts during the canvassing and counting of votes. In a sense, petitioner equates failure of elections to the low percentage of votes cast vis--vis the number of registered voters in the subject election precincts. However, There is failure of elections only when the will of the electorate has been muted and cannot be ascertained. If the will of the people is determinable, the same must as far as possible be respected. SEMA vs COMELEC

Comelec questioning the exclusion of the thirty (30) election returns which he claimed to be illegal and petition for annulment of the proclamation of Sema. On June 29, 1998, COMELEC issued an order that Certificate of Canvass of Votes and Proclamation dated May 31, 1998 issued by the City Board of Canvassers of Cotabato City is HEREBY SUSPENDED. Sema is directed to cease and desist from taking his oath of office as City Mayor and/or from discharging the functions of said office. Despite the above order of the COMELEC, Sema assumed the office of the city mayor of Cotabato and commenced to discharge the functions of said office. Sema filed a petition for certiorari and prohibition with prayer for the issuance of a temporary restraining order and/or writ of preliminary injunction directing the COMELEC to desist from enforcing the questioned order. Sema allege that the evidence submitted by the private respondent before the Comelec proved beyond doubt that his appeal was filed out of time and that he failed to comply with the requirements of a pre-proclamation controversy. Issue: Whether or not the proclamation of Sema is null and void? Ruling: The party adversely affected by a ruling of the board must take an appeal within three (3) days from the date of the ruling. In this case, the facts would suggest that the CBC adjourned its proceedings on May 30 and 31, 1998 without making any ruling on Maaras objections to the CBCs proceedings. When Maara filed his appeal in it cannot be correctly argued that the 3-day period set by law for its submission had expired because the CBC never ruled on his objections to the boards proceedings. The failure or refusal of the CBC to rule on Maaras objections should not prevent his right to elevate the matter to the COMELEC for proper review. The failure of the Board to discharge this obligation should not in any way prejudice Maaras right to elevate the matter to this Commission on appeal. It is clear that the CBC acted without authority when it issued its May 29, 1998 ruling. Consequently, the COMELEC acted without or in excess of its jurisdiction and with grave abuse of discretion when it rendered the questioned resolution of October 18,

Facts: Muslimin Sema and Rodel Maara were two (2) of the eleven (11) candidates for city mayor of Cotabato City during the May 11, 1998 elections. During the canvassing of the election returns from the three hundred sixty-two (362) precincts of Cotabato City by the City Board of Canvassers (CBC), numerous petitions for exclusion of election returns were filed. Sema objected to thirty (30) election returns and filed a petition for exclusion of such returns on the ground that the same contained material defects, were allegedly tampered with or falsified, prepared under duress, threat, coercion, and intimidation, or substituted with fraudulent ones. On May 22, 1998, the CBC issued an order dismissing 13 of the 30 petitions for exclusion filed including that of Sema. Sema did not appeal from these orders within the reglementary period, consequently, the same already became final. However, the CBC issued another order on May 29, 1998, this time granting Semas petitions for exclusion of 30 election returns, among which were the 28 election returns already ordered included for canvass. Manara questioned the order, the composition of the CBC, the legality of its proceedings and the capacity of the board to act fairly and judiciously. On May 31, 1998, Sema and the other winning candidates for the City of Cotabato were proclaimed by the CBC. On June 2, 1998, Maara filed his written notice of appeal with the CBC and subsequently to

1999 denying due course for allegedly having been filed out of time and affirming the proclamation of Sema as Mayor of Cotabato City and the resolution of January 2, 2000 denying Maaras motion for reconsideration of the October 18, 1999 resolution. Accordingly, the proclamation of Sema is null and void as it was based on an incomplete canvass. An incomplete canvass is illegal and cannot be the basis of a valid proclamation. A proclamation made where the contested returns set aside will affect the result of the election and the board of canvassers proceeded to proclaim without the authority from the COMELEC is null and void. Tan v. COMELEC November 20, 2006

on the same day that the COMELEC First Division issued the said Order, private respondent Benjamin Loong was proclaimed the winning governor of Sulu and he assumed office. This prompted petitioner Tan to file a Petition for Annulment of the Proclamation with the COMELEC First Division

COMELEC First Division issued an Order which granted the petition and annulled the proclamation of respondent Loong as governor of Sulu Province

FACTS Abdusakur M. Tan and Basaron Burahan were the gubernatorial and vice-gubernatorial candidates, respectively, of Sulu Province in the May 10, 2004 national and local elections. On May 17, 2004, petitioners, together with other local candidates for congressman, mayor, and vice-mayor, filed with the COMELEC four (4) Petitions for Declaration of Failure of Elections in the towns of Maimbung, Luuk, Tongkil, and Panamao, all of Sulu Province

on July 19, 2004, respondent Yusop H. Jikiri filed before the COMELEC a Petition of ProtestAd Cautelam, docketed as EPC No. 2004-66 praying, inter alia, for the recount or revision of the ballots cast and the examination of election returns in four (4) municipalities of Sulu, namely, Luuk, Tongkil, Maimbung, and Parang

OMELEC en banc, through its October 18, 2004 Joint Resolution, dismissed all five (5) petitions filed on May 17, 2004 to declare a failure of elections. This prompted respondent Jikiri to immediately convert his petition ad cautelam into a regular election protest which was granted by the COMELEC First Division in an Order

Tan and Burahan alleged systematic fraud, terrorism, illegal schemes, and machinations allegedly perpetrated by private respondents and their supporters resulting in massive disenfranchisement of voters. Petitioners submitted various affidavits and photographs to substantiate their allegations

COMELEC Second Division, acting on the Petitions for Declaration of Failure of Elections, issued its May 17, 2004 Order suspending the proclamation of the winning gubernatorial candidate of Sulu, but lifted the suspension three (3) days later

COMELEC en banc ruled that there was no failure of election in the subject municipalities of Sulu. It reasoned that it could only exercise the extraordinary remedy of declaring a failure of election in the three instances mentioned in Carlos v. Angeles, in relation to Section 6 of the Omnibus Election Code. and Section 4 of RA 7166, which in gist are: (1) the election is not held, (2) the election is suspended, or (3) the election results in a failure to elect. COMELEC held that none of the grounds relied upon by petitioners fall under any of the three instances justifying a declaration of failure of election

On May 24, 2004, COMELEC directed the concerned boards of canvassers to suspend their proceedings and to refrain from proclaiming any winning candidate.

While the authenticity and integrity of the election returns from the municipalities of Luuk and Panamao were questioned by petitioner Tan, those of Maimbung and Tongkil were left undisturbed

throughout the preparation, transmission, custody, and canvass of the returns. Petitioners alleged that fraud and terrorism took place in Luuk and Panamao because voters were forced to affix their signatures and thumbprints; and the ballots in Luuk and Panamao were filled out by respondents poll watchers and supporters. Citing Grand Alliance for Democracy v. COMELEC, the COMELEC en banc ruled that the grounds raised by petitioners were best ventilated in an election protest. The COMELEC did not give credence to petitioners evidence in support of their allegations of fraud and terrorism since their evidence consisted mainly of affidavits executed by their own poll watchers. The Commission considered the affidavits self-serving and insufficient to annul the results of the election. Besides, it pointed out that petitioners presented only a single affidavit of an alleged disenfranchised voter. Thus, on October 18, 2004, the COMELEC, through a Joint Resolution, dismissed the petitions for lack of merit.

and 53 days after they received a copy of the October 18, 2004 Joint Resolution. After the dismissal of the petitions to declare failure of elections on October 18, 2004 and the conversion of respondent Jikiris protest ad cautelam to a regular election protest on October 28, 2004, petitioner Benjamin T. Loong filed on November 8, 2004 his Answer with Motion to Dismiss and/or with Counter Protest. Petitioner Loong anchored his motion to dismiss on the ground that the COMELEC had no jurisdiction to take cognizance of an election protest filed out of time. On December 14, 2004, the COMELEC First Division issued the first assailed Order denying petitioner Loongs motion to dismiss, ruling that the protest was not filed out of time as there were still pending preproclamation cases before it, the result of which could affect Loongs motion. It further held that it did not matter that these pre-proclamation cases were not filed by respondent Jikiri but by another candidate, Abdusakur M. Tan, as Section 248 of the Omnibus Election Code does not require that the petition to annul or suspend the proclamation be filed by the protestant. Thus, the COMELEC First Division concluded that these pending pre-proclamation cases would not prevent respondent Jikiri from converting his protest ad cautelam into a regular one, and which fact would not preclude the Commission from deciding the election protest case. After all, the COMELEC First Division noted that pre-proclamation controversies and election protest cases have different causes of action, and thus, could proceed independently. Finally, the COMELEC First Division directed the concerned parties to take the appropriate steps to address the financial and personnel requirements for the protest and counter-protest proceedings. Subsequently, petitioner Loongs Motion for Reconsideration was denied through the second assailed February 7, 2005 Order which directed COMELEC field personnel to comply with the directives of the December 14, 2004 Order. However, in a subsequent order, the COMELEC First Division stayed the implementation of these directives pending resolution of the instant petition in G.R. No. 166891. Meanwhile, on March 18, 2005, the COMELEC First Divisions dismissal of the appeal filed by petitioner Abdusakur M. Tan in SPA Nos. 04-163, 04-164, and 04-165 for the exclusion of certificates of canvass, rendered moot and academic the issue on the annulment of the proclamation of Benjamin Loong as governor of Sulu. ISSUES

However, the Joint Resolution was not concurred in by COMELEC Commissioner Mehol K. Sadain who signed it with a note: "DISSENTING. DISSENTING OPINION TO FOLLOW." Subsequently, Commissioner Sadain submitted his Dissenting Opinion on November 23, 2004 or 36 days after the joint resolution was issued. The Commissioner opined that there was failure of elections as the voters were allegedly not sufficiently informed about the change and transfer of polling places (clustering of precincts) approved by the COMELEC en banc on May 9, 2004 or on the eve of the May 10, 2004 elections. Commissioner Sadain citedHassan v. COMELEC and Basher v. COMELEC which held that insufficient notice of the change of date and venue deprived voters of the opportunity to participate in the elections. This basis of Commissioner Sadains Dissenting Opinion, however, was not raised by the petitioners in their May 17, 2004 petitions (for declaration of failure of elections) before the COMELEC. The Sadain Dissenting Opinion was released on November 23, 2004, and a copy of the opinion was served on petitioners counsel on November 24, 2004. Petitioners filed the instant petition in G.R. Nos. 166143-47 on December 13, 2004, 19 days after they received a copy of the Sadain Dissenting Opinion,

1. Whether [or not] the respondent COMELEC committed grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction, in dismissing the consolidated petitions despite the evident massive disenfranchisement of the voters. 2. Whether [or not] the proclamation of the respondents, albeit patently null and void, bars the filing of the instant petitions for declaration of failure of elections. HELD 1. No. There is no evidence of massive disenfranchisement. Factual findings of the COMELEC which has the expertise in the enforcement and administration of all election laws and regulations are binding on the Court

Luis Malaluan and Joseph Evangelista were both mayoralty candidates in the Municipality of Kidapawan, North Cotabato, in the Synchronized National and Local Elections held on May 11, 1992. Evangelista was proclaimed by the Municipal Board of Canvassers as the duly elected Mayor. But Malaluan filed an election protest with the RTC contesting 64 out of the total 181 precincts of the said municipality. The trial court declared Malaluan as the duly elected municipal mayor of Kidapawan, North Cotabato. The lower court found Evangelista liable not only for Malaluans protest expenses but also for moral and exemplary damages and attorneys fees. Except for moral damages, the decision was affirmed by the Comelec when it found Malaluan liable for attorneys fees, actual expenses for xerox copies, and unearned salary and other emoluments from March, 1994 to April, 1995. Is Evangelista entitled, in particular, to unearned salary and other emoluments appurtenant to the position of mayor during the above period? HELD: As a general rule, notwithstanding his subsequent ouster as a result of an election protest, an elective official who has been proclaimed by the Comelec as winner in an electoral contest and who assumed office and entered into the performance of the duties of that office, is entitled to the compensation, emoluments and allowances legally provided for the position. Nevertheless, if the defendant, directly or indirectly, had committed unlawful or tortious acts which led to and resulted in his proclamation as senator-elect, when in truth and in fact he was not so elected, he would be answerable for damages. In that event the salary, fees and emoluments received by or paid to him during his illegal incumbency would be a proper item of recoverable damage. In this case, the award of salaries and other emoluments to Evangelista is improper. Malaluan was not a usurper because, while a usurper is one who undertakes to act officially without any color of right, Malaluan exercised the duties of an elective office under color of election thereto. Malaluan is a de facto officer who, in good faith, has had possession of the office and had discharged the duties pertaining thereto and is thus legally entitled to the emoluments of the office. PRE-PROCLAMATION CONTROVERSY PRE-PROCLAMATION CONTROVERSY; THE FACT THAT A CANDIDATE PROCLAIMED HAS ASSUMED OFFICE DOES NOT DEPRIVE THE COMELEC OF ITS AUTHORITY TO ANNUL ANY CANVASS AND ILLEGAL PROCLAMATION. AMPATUAN, et al. vs. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS, et al. [G.R. No. 149803, January 31, 2002]

2. No. There is no failure of elections.

Doctrine: Instances to justify failure of elections gives (3) instances; 1. The election in any polling place has not been held on the date fixed on account of force majeure, violence, terrorism, fraud, or other analogous cases 2. The election in any polling place has been suspended before the hour fixed by law for the closing of the voting on account of force majeure, violence, terrorism, fraud or other analogous causes. 3. after the voting and during the preparation and transmission of the election returns or in the custody or canvass thereof, such election results in a failure to elect on account of force majeure, violence, terrorism, fraud, or other analogous causes

Finally, there is failure of election only if the will of the electorate is muted and cannot be ascertained. If the will of the people is determinable, the same must be respected as much as possible Malaluan v. Comelec G.R. No. 120193 March 6, 1996 Hermosisima, Jr., J. FACTS:

PARDO, J: FACTS: Petitioners and respondents were candidates for the provincial elective positions in the province of Maguindanao in the May 14, 2001 election. Petitioner Ampatuan and respondent Candao contended for the position of governor. The slate of Ampatuan emerged as winners as per election returns. On May 23, 2001, respondents filed a petition with the Comelec for the annulment of election results and/or declaration of failure of elections in several municipalities in the province of Maguindanao. They claimed that the ballots were filled-up en masse by a few persons the night before election day, and in some precincts, the ballot boxes, official ballots and other election paraphernalia were not delivered at all. On May 25, 2001, the Comelec issued an order suspending the proclamation of the winning candidates for congressman of the second district, governor, vice-governor and board members of Maguindanao. It was however lifted by Comelec on June 14, 2001 in response to the petition filed by the petitioners on May 30, 2001.Consequently, the Provincial Board of Canvassers proclaimed petitioners winners. On June 16, 2001, respondents filed with the Supreme Court a petition to set aside the Comelec order dated June 14, 2001, and preliminary injunction to suspend the effects of the proclamation of the petitioners. Meantime, petitioners assumed their respective offices on June 30, 2001. On July 17, 2001, the Court resolved to deny respondents' petition. Petitioners' assumption into office notwithstanding, on July 26, 2001, the Comelec ordered the consolidation of respondents' petition for declaration of failure of elections with SPA Nos. 01244, 01-332, 01-360, 01-388 and 01-390. The COMELEC further ordered a random technical examination on four to seven precincts per municipality on the thumb-marks and signatures of the voters who voted and affixed in their voter's registration records, and forthwith directed the production of relevant election documents in these municipalities. On August 28, 2001, the Comelec issued another order directing the continuation of the hearing and disposition of the consolidated SPAs on the

failure of elections and other incidents related thereto. It likewise ordered the continuation of the technical examination of election documents as authorized in the July 26, 2001 order. On September 26, 2001, petitioners filed the present petition. They claimed that by virtue of their proclamation pursuant to the June 14, 2001 order issued by the Comelec, the proper remedy available to respondents was not a petition for declaration of failure of elections but an election protest. The former is heard summarily while the latter involves a fullblown trial. Petitioners argued that the manner by which the technical examination is to be conducted would defeat the summary nature of a petition for declaration of failure of elections. On October 22, 2001, the Comelec issued an order suspending the implementation of the two (2) assailed orders. However, on November 13, 2001, the Comelec issued another order lifting the suspension. On November 20, 2001, the Supreme Court issued a temporary restraining order. ISSUE: Whether the Commission on Elections was divested of its jurisdiction to hear and decide respondents' petition for declaration of failure of elections after petitioners had been proclaimed.

HELD: NO. Petitioners submit that by virtue of their proclamation as winners, the only remedy left for private respondents is to file an election protest, in which case, original jurisdiction lies with the regular courts. In Loong v. Commission on Elections, the court ruled that "a pre-proclamation controversy is not the same as an action for annulment of election results, or failure of elections." These two remedies were more specifically distinguished in this wise: "While, however, the Comelec is restricted, in pre-proclamation cases, to an examination of the election returns on their face and is without jurisdiction to go beyond or behind them and investigate election irregularities, the Comelec is duty bound to investigate allegations of fraud, terrorism, violence, and other analogous causes in actions for annulment of election results or for declaration of failure of elections, as the Omnibus Election Code denominates the same. Thus, the Comelec, in the case of actions for annulment of election results or declaration of failure of elections, may conduct technical examination of election documents and compare and analyze voters' signatures and thumbprints in order to determine whether or not the elections had indeed been free, honest and clean."

The fact that a candidate proclaimed has assumed office does not deprive the Comelec of its authority to annul any canvass and illegal proclamation. Respondents' allegation of massive fraud and terrorism that attended the May 14, 2001 election in the affected municipalities cannot be taken lightly as to warrant the dismissal of their petition by the Comelec on the simple pretext that petitioners had been proclaimed winners. Elucidating on the concept of failure of election, the Court held that: " . . . before Comelec can act on a verified petition seeking to declare a failure of election, two (2) conditions must concur: first, no voting has taken place in the precincts concerned on the date fixed by law or, even if there was voting, the election nevertheless resulted in a failure to elect; and second, the votes cast would affect the result of the election. In Loong vs. Commission on Elections, this Court added that the cause of such failure of election should have been any of the following: force majeure, violence, terrorism, fraud or other analogous cases."

Petitioners: Emilio M.R. Osmea, candidate for Pres. of the Phil. and Pablo P. Garcia, running governor of Cebu Province.

wage a campaign outside of mass media. Their financial ability to sustain a long drawn-out campaign, using means other than the mass media to communicate with voters, cannot be doubted. 11(b) mandates the COMELEC to procure and itself allocate to the candidates space and time in the media. There is no suppression of political ads but only a regulation of the time and manner of advertising. Comelec Space- space procured by the commission in atleast one newspaper of general circulation, in the absence of which shall be done in any other magazine or periodical in the said province or city where candidates can announce their candidacy allocated equally and impartially, free of charge. Comelec Time- radio and television time procured by the commission to be allocated equally and impartially, free of charge amongst the candidates within the are of coverage of all radio and television stations. In Justice Felicianos opinion of the court in NPC, he stated that the laws concern is not with the message or content of the ad but with ensuring media equality between the candidates with deep pockets and those with less resources. This law was part of a package of electoral reforms adopted in 1987. In this law, there was no total ban on political ads, much less restriction on the content of the speech. Given the fact that print space and air time can be controlled or dominated by rich candidates to the disadvantage of poor candidates, there is a substantial or legitimate governmental interest justifying exercise of the regulatory power of the COMELEC under Art. IX-C, 4 of the Constitution.

This is a petition for prohibition, seeking a reexamination of the validity of 11(b) of R.A. No. 6646, The Electoral Reforms Law of 1987, which prohibits mass media from selling or giving free of charge print space or air time for the campaign or other political purposes except to COMELEC. In a previous case, National Press Club v. COMELEC, it has been held that 11(b) of R.A. No. 6646 is valid against claims that it abridged freedom of speech and of the press. The petitioners are claiming that since the ruling on NPC v. COMELEC, the ban on political advertising has not only failed to level the playing field, [but] actually worked to the grave disadvantage of the poor candidate[s] by depriving them of a medium which they can afford to pay for while their more affluent rivals can always resort to other means of reaching voters like airplanes, boats, rallies, parades and handbills. Petitioners contention is that, contrary to the holding in NPC, 11(b) works to the disadvantage of candidates who do not have enough resources to

4. The Commission may, during the election period, supervise or regulate the enjoyment or utilization of all franchises or permits for the operation of transportation and other public utilities, media of communication or information, all grants, special privileges, or concessions granted by the Government or any subdivision, agency, or instrumentality thereof, including any government-owned or controlled corporation or its subsidiary. Such supervision or regulation shall aim to ensure equal opportunity, equal rates therefor, for public information campaigns and forums among candidates in connection with the objective of holding free, orderly, honest, peaceful, and credible elections. The provision in question does not suppress political ads. It only prohibits the sale or donation of print space and air time to candidates but require the COMELEC to procure space and time in the

Section

mass media for allocation, free of charge, to the candidates. Instead of leaving candidates to advertise freely in the mass media, the law provides for allocation, by the COMELEC, of print space and air time to give all candidates equal time and space for the purpose of ensuring free, orderly, honest, peaceful, and credible elections. ISSUE: does 11(b) of R.A. No. 6646 prohibit freedom of speech and of the press as indicated in Art. III sec. 4 and 7 of the Constitution?

DEFENSOR-SANTIAGO V. RAMOS

This is an original action filed before the SC acting as a Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET). Miriam Defensor-Santiago (DS) ran for presidency in the 1992 National Elections. She lost, but filed this present protest against the winner, Pres. FV Ramos. Subsequently however, she ran for Senator in the 1995 Senatorial elections where she won. She assumed office as Senator in 1995. ISSUE:

HELD: NO. It does not prohibit freedom of speech and of the press, as its main purpose is to regulate. Any restriction on speech is only incidental, and is no more than what is necessary to achieve its purpose of promoting equality of opportunity in the use of mass media for political advertising. Democratic reforms should be seen for what they are: genuine efforts to enhance the political process rather than infringements on freedom of expression. The statutory provision involved in this case is part of the reform measures adopted in 197 in the aftermath of EDSA. A reform-minded Congress passed bills, which were consolidated, into what is now R.A. No. 6646 with near unanimity.

1. W/N the electoral protest was abandoned by the protestant when she got elected as Senator? HELD: Yes. Her actions with filing her certificate of candidacy without any qualification, condition or reservation, her inability to comply with conditions set by PET, and upon her acceptance of the senatorial seat, it affirmed her withdrawal from the said protest.

In accordance to the constitution doctrine that a public office is a public trust, when she filed her certificate of candidacy, she already entered into a political contract with the electorate that if elected, she would assume the office of Senator, discharge its functions and serve her constituency as such for the term for which she was elected.

MARUHOM V. COMELEC Petitioner: Jamela Salic Maruhom (Maruhom) Respondent: Mohammadali Mericano A. Abinal (Abinal)

Maruhom and Abinal are both mayoralty candidates in the Municipality of Marantao, Lanao del Sur, for the the 14 May 2007 national and local elections. On April 1, 2007, Abinal filed a Petition for Disqualification and to Cancel the Certifiate of Candidacy (COC) of Maruhom under Sec. 78 of BP blg. 881 or the Omnibus Election Code (OEC) Abinal alleged that Maruhom o Is a double registrant. Maruhom supposedly registered first in Marawi and only after 3 days, she registered in Marantao, without canceling her Marawi registration; o Made false representations on both of her registrations.; and She supposedly indicated that 1) she was registered in 2 different cities, 2) that she

placed different birth dates, and 3) she indicated different names on her COCs o Made false material representation in her COC. Maruhom answered that she was qualified to run as municipal mayor of Marantao. She further added that a candidate could only be disqualified for a ground provided by law, and there was no law declaring double registration as a ground for disqualification. ISSUES: 1. W/N COMELEC committed a grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack of jurisdiction when they declared petitioner a double registrant? 2. W/N COMELECs decision to declare petitioner a double registrant valid?

HELD: 1. NO. the case is well within the jurisdiction of COMELEC as provided for under Sec. 78 of the OEC. The Constitution also extends to COMELEC all the necessary and incidental powers for it to achieve the holding of free, orderly, honest, peaceful, and credible elections. Under Sec. 78 of the OEC, a false representation of material fact in the COC is a ground for the denial or cancellation of the COC. The false representation must pertain to a material fact that affects the right of the candidate to run for the election for which he filed his COC. It is within the competence of COMELEC to determine whether false representation as to material facts was made in the COC. If the candidate states a material representation in the COC that is false, COMELEC is empowered to deny due course to or cancel the COC. Upon cancellation of his/her COC, the person is not treated as a candidate, as if such person never filed a COC.

2. YES. Given that when she filed in Marantao without cancelling her prior registration to
Marawi, she cannot be considered a registered voter in Marantao. Since she claimed to be one in her COC, she made a false representation. Material facts with regards to under Sec. 78 of the OEC: Candidates eligibility or qualification for elective office like citizenship, residence or status as a registered voter. An elective office is a public trust. He who aspires for elective office should not make a mockery of the electoral process by falsely representing himself.