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G.R. No. 195229 October 9, 2012 EFREN RACEL ARA TEA, Petitioner, vs.

COMMISSiON ON ELECTIONS and ESTELA . ANT!"OLO, Respondents. DECISION CAR"IO, J.: T#e Ca$e This is a special civil action for certiorari1 seeking to review and n llif! the Resol tion" dated 2 #e$r ar! "%&& and the Order' dated &" (an ar! "%&& of the Co))ission on Elections *CO+E,EC- En .anc in Dra. Sigrid S. Rodolfo v. Romeo D. Lonzanida, docketed as SP/ No. %01&23 *DC-. The petition asserts that the CO+E,EC iss ed the Resol tion and Order with grave a$ se of discretion a)o nting to lack or e4cess of 5 risdiction. T#e Fact$ Ro)eo D. ,on6anida *,on6anida- and Estela D. /ntipolo */ntipolo- were candidates for +a!or of San /ntonio, 7a)$ales in the +a! "%&% National and ,ocal Elections. ,on6anida filed his certificate of candidac! on & Dece)$er "%%0.8 On 3 Dece)$er "%%0, Dra. Sigrid S. Rodolfo *Rodolfo- filed a petition nder Section 93 of the O)ni$ s Election Code to dis: alif! ,on6anida and to den! d e co rse or to cancel ,on6anida;s certificate of candidac! on the gro nd that ,on6anida was elected, and had served, as )a!or of San /ntonio, 7a)$ales for fo r *8- consec tive ter)s i))ediatel! prior to the ter) for the +a! "%&% elections. Rodolfo asserted that ,on6anida )ade a false )aterial representation in his certificate of candidac! when ,on6anida certified nder oath that he was eligi$le for the office he so ght election. Section 3, /rticle < of the &039 Constit tion2 and Section 8'*$- of the ,ocal =overn)ent Code> $oth prohi$it a local elective official fro) $eing elected and serving for )ore than three consec tive ter)s for the sa)e position. The CO+E,EC Second Division rendered a Resol tion 9 on &3 #e$r ar! "%&% cancelling ,on6anida;s certificate of candidac!. Pertinent portions of the &3 #e$r ar! "%&% Resol tion read? Respondent ,on6anida never denied having held the office of )a!or of San /ntonio, 7a)$ales for )ore than nine consec tive !ears. Instead he raised arg )ents to forestall or dis)iss the petition on the gro nds other than the )ain iss e itself. @e find s ch arg )ents as wanting. Respondent ,on6anida, for holding the office of )a!or for )ore than three consec tive ter)s, went against the three1 ter) li)it r leA therefore, he co ld not $e allowed to r n anew in the "%&% elections. It is ti)e to inf se new $lood in the political arena of San /ntonio. @BERE#ORE, pre)ises considered, the instant petition is here$! =R/NTED. The Certificate of Candidac! of Respondent Ro)eo D. ,on6anida for the position of )a!or in the ) nicipalit! of San /ntonio, 7a)$ales is here$! C/NCE,,ED. Bis na)e is here$! ordered STRICCEN O## the list of Official Candidates for the position of +a!or of San /ntonio, 7a)$ales in +a! &%, "%&% elections.SO ORDERED.3 ,on6anida;s )otion for reconsideration $efore the CO+E,EC En .anc re)ained pending d ring the +a! "%&% elections. ,on6anida and Efren Racel /ratea */rateagarnered the highest n )$er of votes and were respectivel! proclai)ed +a!or and Dice1+a!or. /ratea took his oath of office as /cting +a!or $efore Regional Trial Co rt *RTC- ( dge Ra!)ond C. Dira! of

.ranch 92, Olongapo Cit! on 2 ( l! "%&%.0 On the sa)e date, /ratea wrote the Depart)ent of Interior and ,ocal =overn)ent *DI,=- and re: ested for an opinion on whether, as Dice1+a!or, he was legall! re: ired to ass )e the Office of the +a!or in view of ,on6anida;s dis: alification. DI,= ,egal Opinion No. &&9, S. "%&% &% stated that ,on6anida was dis: alified to hold office $! reason of his cri)inal conviction. /s a conse: ence of ,on6anida;s dis: alification, the Office of the +a!or was dee)ed per)anentl! vacant. Th s, /ratea sho ld ass )e the Office of the +a!or in an acting capacit! witho t pre5 dice to the CO+E,EC;s resol tion of ,on6anida;s )otion for reconsideration. In another letter dated > / g st "%&%, /ratea re: ested the DI,= to allow hi) to take the oath of office as +a!or of San /ntonio, 7a)$ales. In his response dated "8 / g st "%&%, then Secretar! (esse +. Ro$redo allowed /ratea to take an oath of office as Ethe per)anent + nicipal +a!or of San /ntonio, 7a)$ales witho t pre5 dice however to the o tco)e of the cases pending $efore the FCO+E,ECG.E&& On && / g st "%&%, the CO+E,EC En .anc iss ed a Resol tion&" dis: alif!ing ,on6anida fro) r nning for +a!or in the +a! "%&% elections. The CO+E,EC En .anc;s resol tion was $ased on two gro nds? first, ,on6anida had $een elected and had served as +a!or for )ore than three consec tive ter)s witho t interr ptionA and second, ,on6anida had $een convicted $! final 5 dg)ent of ten *&%co nts of falsification nder the Revised Penal Code. ,on6anida was sentenced for each co nt of falsification to i)prison)ent of fo r *8- !ears and one *&- da! of prisin correccional as )ini) ), to eight *3- !ears and one *&- da! of prisin mayor as )a4i) ). The 5 dg)ent of conviction $eca)e final on "' Octo$er "%%0 in the Decision of this Co rt in Lonzanida v. People,&'$efore ,on6anida filed his certificate of candidac! on & Dece)$er "%%0. Pertinent portions of the && / g st "%&% Resol tion read? Prescinding fro) the foregoing pre)ises, ,on6anida, for having served as +a!or of San /ntonio, 7a)$ales for )ore than three *'- consec tive ter)s and for having $een convicted $! a final 5 dg)ent of a cri)e p nisha$le $! )ore than one *&- !ear of i)prison)ent, is clearl! dis: alified to r n for the sa)e position in the +a! "%&% Elections. @BERE#ORE, in view of the foregoing, the +otion for Reconsideration is here$! DENIED. SO ORDERED. &8 On "2 / g st "%&%, /ntipolo filed a +otion for ,eave to Intervene and to /d)it /ttached Petition1in1 Intervention.&2She clai)ed her right to $e proclai)ed as +a!or of San /ntonio, 7a)$ales $eca se ,on6anida ceased to $e a candidate when the CO+E,EC Second Division, thro gh its &3 #e$r ar! "%&% Resol tion, ordered the cancellation of his certificate of candidac! and the striking o t of his na)e fro) the list of official candidates for the position of +a!or of San /ntonio, 7a)$ales in the +a! "%&% elections. In his Co))ent filed on "> (an ar! "%&&, /ratea asserted that /ntipolo, as the candidate who received the second highest n )$er of votes, co ld not $e proclai)ed as the winning candidate. Since ,on6anida;s dis: alification was not !et final d ring election da!, the votes cast in his favor co ld not $e declared stra!. ,on6anida;s s $se: ent dis: alification res lted in a per)anent vacanc! in the Office of +a!or, and /ratea, as the d l!1elected Dice1 +a!or, was )andated $! Section 88 &> of the ,ocal =overn)ent Code to s cceed as +a!or.

T#e COMELEC%$ R&!in'$ The CO+E,EC En .anc iss ed an Order dated &" (an ar! "%&&, stating? /cting on the E+otion for ,eave to Intervene and to /d)it /ttached Petition1in1InterventionE filed $! Estela D. /ntipolo */ntipolo- and p rs ant to the power of this Co))ission to s spend its R les or an! portion thereof in the interest of 5 stice, this Co))ission here$! RESO,DES to? &. =R/NT the aforesaid +otionA ". /D+IT the Petition1in1Intervention filed $! /ntipoloA '. REHIIRE the Respondent, RO+EO DI+,/O ,ON7/NID/, as well as E#REN R/CE, /R/TE/, proclai)ed Dice1+a!or of San /ntonio, 7a)$ales, to file their respective Co))ents on the Petition1in1 Intervention within a non1e4tendi$le period of five *2- da!s fro) receipt thereofA 8. SET the a$ove1)entioned Petition1in1Intervention for hearing on (an ar! ">, "%&& at &%?%% a.). CO+E,EC Session Ball, 3th #loor, Palacio del =o$ernador, Intra) ros, +anila. @BERE#ORE, f rnish copies hereof the parties for their infor)ation and co)pliance.SO ORDERED.&9 In its Resol tion dated " #e$r ar! "%&&, the CO+E,EC En .anc no longer considered ,on6anida;s : alification as an iss e? EIt is $e!ond cavil that ,on6anida is not eligi$le to hold and discharge the f nctions of the Office of the +a!or of San /ntonio, 7a)$ales. The sole iss e to $e resolved at this 5 nct re is how to fill the vacanc! res lting fro) ,on6anida;s dis: alification.E&3 The Resol tion f rther stated? @e cannot s stain the s $)ission of Oppositor /ratea that Intervenor /ntipolo co ld never $e proclai)ed as the d l! elected +a!or of /ntipolo FsicG for $eing a second placer in the elections. The teachings in the cases of Codilla vs. De Denecia and Na6areno and Do)ino vs. CO+E,EC, et al., while the! re)ain so nd 5 rispr dence find no application in the case at $ar. @hat sets this case apart fro) the cited 5 rispr dence is that the notoriet! of ,on6anida;s dis: alification and ineligi$ilit! to hold p $lic office is esta$lished $oth in fact and in law on election da! itself. Bence, ,on6anida;s na)e, as alread! ordered $! the Co))ission on #e$r ar! &3, "%&% sho ld have $een stricken off fro) the list of official candidates for +a!or of San /ntonio, 7a)$ales. @BERE#ORE, in view of the foregoing, the Co))ission here$!? &. Declares NI,, and DOID the procla)ation of respondent RO+EO D. ,ON7/NID/A ". =R/NTS the Petition for Intervention of Estela D. /ntipoloA '. Orders the i))ediate CONSTITITION of a Special + nicipal .oard of Canvassers to PROC,/I+ Intervenor Estela D. /ntipolo as the d l! elected +a!or of San /ntonio, 7a)$alesA 8. Orders Dice1+a!or Efren Racel /ratea to cease and desist fro) discharging the f nctions of the Office of the +a!or, and to ca se a peacef l t rn1over of the said office to /ntipolo pon her procla)ationA and 2. Orders the Office of the E4ec tive Director as well as the Regional Election Director of Region III to ca se the i)ple)entation of this Resol tion and disse)inate it to the Depart)ent of Interior and ,ocal =overn)ent. SO ORDERED.&0 /ratea filed the present petition on 0 #e$r ar! "%&&. T#e I$$&e$

The )anner of filling p the per)anent vacanc! in the Office of the +a!or of San /ntonio, 7a)$ales is dependent pon the deter)ination of ,on6anida;s re)oval. @hether ,on6anida was dis: alified nder Section >3 of the O)ni$ s Election Code, or )ade a false )aterial representation nder Section 93 of the sa)e Code t#at re$&!ted in #i$ certi(icate o( candidac) bein' *oid ab initio, is deter)inative of whether /ratea or /ntipolo is the rightf l occ pant to the Office of the +a!or of San /ntonio, 7a)$ales. The dissenting opinions reverse the CO+E,EC;s " #e$r ar! "%&& Resol tion and &" (an ar! "%&& Order. The! hold that /ratea, the d l! elected Dice1+a!or of San /ntonio, 7a)$ales, sho ld $e declared +a!or p rs ant to the ,ocal =overn)ent Code;s r le on s ccession. The dissenting opinions )ake three grave errors? first, the! ignore prevailing 5 rispr dence that a false representation in the certificate of candidac! as to eligi$ilit! in the n )$er of ter)s elected and served is a )aterial fact that is a gro nd for a petition to cancel a certificate of candidac! nder Section 93A second, the! ignore that a false representation as to eligi$ilit! to r n for p $lic office d e to the fact that the candidate s ffers fro) perpet al special disqualification is a )aterial fact that is a gro nd for a petition to cancel a certificate of candidac! nder Section 93A and t ird, the! resort to a strained stat tor! constr ction to concl de that the violation of the three1ter) li)it r le cannot $e a gro nd for cancellation of a certificate of candidac! nder Section 93, even when it is clear and plain that violation of the three1ter) li)it r le is an ineligi$ilit! affecting the : alification of a candidate to elective office. The dissenting opinions tread on dangero s gro nd when the! assert that a candidate;s eligi$ilit! to the office he seeks election ) st $e strictl! constr ed to refer on!) to the details, i.e., age, citi6enship, or residenc!, a)ong others, which the law re: ires hi) to state in his COC, and which he ) st swear nder oath to possess. The dissenting opinions choose to view a false certification of a candidate;s eligi$ilit! on the three1ter) li)it r le not as a gro nd for false )aterial representation nder Section 93 $ t as a gro nd for dis: alification nder Section >3 of the sa)e Code. This is clearl! contrar! to well1esta$lished 5 rispr dence. T#e Co&rt%$ R&!in' @e hold that /ntipolo, the alleged Esecond placer,E sho ld $e proclai)ed +a!or $eca se ,on6anida;s certificate of candidac! was void a! initio. In short, ,on6anida was never a candidate at all. /ll votes for ,on6anida were stra! votes. Th s, /ntipolo, the onl! : alified candidate, act all! garnered the highest n )$er of votes for the position of +a!or. "ualifications and Disqualifications Section >2 of the O)ni$ s Election Code points to the ,ocal =overn)ent Code for the : alifications of elective local officials. Paragraphs *a- and *c- of Section '0 and Section 8% of the ,ocal =overn)ent Code provide in pertinent part? Sec. '0. "ualifications. *a- /n elective local official ) st $e a citi6en of the PhilippinesA a registered voter in the $aranga!, ) nicipalit!, cit! or province 4 4 4A a resident therein for at least one *&- !ear i))ediatel! preceding the da! of the electionA and a$le to read and write #ilipino or an! other local lang age or dialect. 4444 *c- Candidates for the position of )a!or or vice1)a!or of

independent co)ponent cities, co)ponent cities, or ) nicipalities ) st $e at least twent!1one *"&- !ears of age on election da!. 4444 Sec. 8%. Disqualifications. 1 The following persons are dis: alified fro) r nning for an! elective local position? *a- T#o$e $entenced b) (ina! +&d',ent (or an o((en$e in*o!*in' ,ora! t&r-it&de or (or an o((en$e -&ni$#ab!e b) one .1/ )ear or ,ore o( i,-ri$on,ent, 0it#in t0o .2/ )ear$ a(ter $er*in' $entenceA *$- Those re)oved fro) office as a res lt of an ad)inistrative caseA *c- Those convicted $! final 5 dg)ent for violating the oath of allegiance to the Rep $licA *d- Those with d al citi6enshipA *e- # gitives fro) 5 stice in cri)inal or non1political cases here or a$roadA *f- Per)anent residents in a foreign co ntr! or those who have ac: ired the right to reside a$road and contin e to avail of the sa)e right after the effectivit! of this CodeA and *g- The insane or fee$le1)inded. *E)phasis s ppliedSection &" of the O)ni$ s Election Code provides? Sec. &". Disqualification. J /n! person who has $een declared $! co)petent a thorit! insane or inco)petent, or has $een $entenced b) (ina! +&d',ent for s $version, ins rrection, re$ellion or (or an) o((en$e (or 0#ic# #e 0a$ $entenced to a -ena!t) o( ,ore t#an ei'#teen ,ont#$ or (or a cri,e in*o!*in' ,ora! t&r-it&de , shall $e dis: alified to $e a candidate and to hold an! office, nless he has $een given plenar! pardon or granted a)nest!. The dis: alifications to $e a candidate herein provided shall $e dee)ed re)oved pon the declaration $! co)petent a thorit! that said insanit! or inco)petence had $een re)oved or after the e4piration of a period of five !ears fro) his service of sentence, nless within the sa)e period he again $eco)es dis: alified. *E)phasis s ppliedThe gro nds for dis: alification for a petition nder Section >3 of the O)ni$ s Election Code are specificall! en )erated? Sec. >3. Disqualifications. /n! candidate who, in an action or protest in which he is a part! is declared $! final decision $! a co)petent co rt g ilt! of, or fo nd $! the Co))ission of having .a/ 'i*en ,one) or ot#er ,ateria! con$ideration to in(!&ence, ind&ce or corr&-t t#e *oter$ or -&b!ic o((icia!$ -er(or,in' e!ectora! (&nction$1 .b/ co,,itted act$ o( terrori$, to en#ance #i$ candidac)1 .c/ s-ent in #i$ e!ection ca,-ai'n an a,o&nt in e2ce$$ o( t#at a!!o0ed b) t#i$ Code1 .d/ $o!icited, recei*ed or ,ade an) contrib&tion -ro#ibited &nder Section$ 39, 95, 94, 95 and 1061 .e/ *io!ated an) o( Section$ 30, 37, 35, 34 and 241, -ara'ra-#$ d, e, 8, *, and cc, $&b-ara'ra-# 4, shall $e dis: alified fro) contin ing as a candidate, or if he has $een elected, fro) holding the office. /n! person who is a per)anent resident of or an i))igrant to a foreign co ntr! shall not $e : alified to r n for an! elective office nder this Code, nless said person has waived his stat s as per)anent resident or i))igrant of a foreign co ntr! in accordance with the residence re: ire)ent provided for in the election laws. *E)phasis s pplied/ petition for dis: alification nder Section >3 clearl! refers to Ethe co))ission of prohi$ited acts and possession of a per)anent resident stat s in a foreign co ntr!.E "% A!! t#e o((en$e$ ,entioned in Section 43 re(er to e!ection o((en$e$ &nder t#e O,nib&$ E!ection Code, not to

*io!ation$ o( ot#er -ena! !a0$. There is a$sol tel! nothing in the lang age of Section >3 that wo ld 5 stif! incl ding violation of the three1ter) li)it r le, or conviction $! final 5 dg)ent of the cri)e of falsification nder the Revised Penal Code, as one of the gro nds or offenses covered nder Section >3. In #odilla, Sr. v. de $enecia,"& this Co rt r led? FTGhe 5 risdiction of the CO+E,EC to dis: alif! candidates is li)ited to those en )erated in Section >3 of the O)ni$ s Election Code. /ll other election offenses are $e!ond the a)$it of CO+E,EC 5 risdiction. The! are cri)inal and not ad)inistrative in nat re. 4 4 4 Clearl!, the violation $! ,on6anida of the three1ter) li)it r le, or his conviction $! final 5 dg)ent of the cri)e of falsification nder the Revised Penal Code, does not constit te a gro nd for a petition nder Section >3. %alse &aterial Representation Section 93 of the O)ni$ s Election Code states that a certificate of candidac! )a! $e denied or cancelled when there is (a!$e ,ateria! re-re$entation o( t#e content$ o( t#e certi(icate o( candidac)? Sec. 93. Petition to deny due course to or cancel a certificate of candidacy. / verified petition seeking to den! d e co rse or to cancel a certificate of candidac! )a! $e filed $! the person e2c!&$i*e!) on t#e 'ro&nd t#at an) ,ateria! re-re$entation contained t#erein a$ re9&ired &nder Section 56 #ereo( i$ (a!$e . The petition )a! $e filed at an! ti)e not later than twent!1five da!s fro) the ti)e of the filing of the certificate of candidac! and shall $e decided, after d e notice and hearing, not later than fifteen da!s $efore the election. *E)phasis s ppliedSection 98 of the O)ni$ s Election Code details t#e content$ o( t#e certi(icate o( candidac)? Sec. 98. #ontents of certificate of candidacy. T#e certi(icate o( candidac) $#a!! $tate t#at t#e -er$on (i!in' it is anno ncing his candidac! for the office stated therein and that he i$ e!i'ib!e (or $aid o((ice A if for +e)$er of the .atasang Pa)$ansa, the province, incl ding its co)ponent cities, highl! r$ani6ed cit! or district or sector which he seeks to representA the political part! to which he $elongsA civil stat sA his date of $irthA residenceA his post office address for all election p rposesA his profession or occ pationA that he will s pport and defend the Constit tion of the Philippines and will )aintain tr e faith and allegiance theretoA that he will o$e! the laws, legal orders, and decrees pro) lgated $! the d l! constit ted a thoritiesA that he is not a per)anent resident or i))igrant to a foreign co ntr!A that the o$ligation i)posed $! his oath is ass )ed vol ntaril!, witho t )ental reservation or p rpose of evasionA and that the facts stated in the certificate of candidac! are tr e to the $est of his knowledge. 4 4 4 4 *E)phasis s pplied/ candidate for )a!or in the "%&% local elections was th s re: ired to provide &" ite)s of infor)ation in the certificate of candidac!?"" na)eA nickna)e or stage na)eA genderA ageA place of $irthA political part! that no)inated the candidateA civil stat sA residenceKaddressA profession or occ pationA post office address for election p rposesA localit! of which the candidate is a registered voterA and period of residence in the Philippines $efore &% +a! "%&%. The candidate also certifies fo r state)ents? a state)ent that the candidate is a nat ral $orn or nat rali6ed #ilipino citi6enA a state)ent that the candidate is not a per)anent resident of, or i))igrant to, a foreign co ntr!A a $tate,ent t#at t#e candidate i$ e!i'ib!e (or t#e o((ice #e $ee8$

e!ectionA and a state)ent of the candidate;s allegiance to the Constit tion of the Rep $lic of the Philippines. "' The certificate of candidac! sho ld also $e &nder oat#, and filed within the period prescri$ed $! law. The conviction of ,on6anida $! final 5 dg)ent, with the penalt! of prisin mayor, di$9&a!i(ie$ #i, -er-et&a!!) (ro, #o!din' an) -&b!ic o((ice, or (ro, bein' e!ected to an) -&b!ic o((ice. T#i$ -er-et&a! di$9&a!i(ication too8 e((ect &-on t#e (ina!it) o( t#e +&d',ent o( con*iction, be(ore Lon:anida (i!ed #i$ certi(icate o( candidac) . The pertinent provisions of the Revised Penal Code are as follows? /rt. "9. Reclusion perpetua. J 4 4 4 Prisin mayor and temporary disqualification . J T#e d&ration o( t#e -ena!tie$ o( prisin mayor and te,-orar) di$9&a!i(ication $#a!! be (ro, $i2 )ear$ and one da) to t0e!*e )ear$, e2ce-t 0#en t#e -ena!t) o( di$9&a!i(ication i$ i,-o$ed a$ an acce$$or) -ena!t), in 0#ic# ca$e, it $#a!! be t#at o( t#e -rinci-a! -ena!t). 4444 /rt. '%. 'ffects of t e penalties of perpetual or temporary a!solute disqualification. J The penalties of -er-et&a! or te,-orar) ab$o!&te di$9&a!i(ication for p $lic office shall prod ce the following effects? &. T#e de-ri*ation o( t#e -&b!ic o((ice$ and e,-!o),ent$ 0#ic# t#e o((ender ,a) #a*e #e!d, e*en i( con(erred b) -o-&!ar e!ection. ". T#e de-ri*ation o( t#e ri'#t to *ote in an) e!ection (or an) -o-&!ar e!ecti*e o((ice or to be e!ected to $&c# o((ice. '. T#e di$9&a!i(ication (or t#e o((ice$ or -&b!ic e,-!o),ent$ and (or t#e e2erci$e o( an) o( t#e ri'#t$ ,entioned. In case of te)porar! dis: alification, s ch dis: alification as is co)prised in paragraphs " and ' of this article shall last d ring the ter) of the sentence. 8. The loss of all rights to retire)ent pa! or other pension for an! office for)erl! held. /rt. '&. 'ffects of t e penalties of perpetual or temporary special disqualification. J The penalties of -er-et&a! or te,-orar) $-ecia! di$9&a!i(ication (or -&b!ic o((ice , profession or calling shall prod ce the following effects? &. T#e de-ri*ation o( t#e o((ice , e)plo!)ent, profession or calling affected. ". The dis: alification for holding si)ilar offices or e)plo!)ents either perpet all! or d ring the ter) of the sentence, according to the e4tent of s ch dis: alification. /rt. '". 'ffects of t e penalties of perpetual or temporary special disqualification for t e e(ercise of t e rig t of suffrage. J The -er-et&a! or te,-orar) $-ecia! di$9&a!i(ication (or t#e e2erci$e o( t#e ri'#t o( $&((ra'e $#a!! de-ri*e t#e o((ender -er-et&a!!) or d&rin' t#e ter, o( t#e $entence, according to the nat re of said penalt!, of the right to vote in an! pop lar election for an! p $lic office or to be e!ected to $&c# o((ice .Moreo*er, t#e o((ender $#a!! not be -er,itted to #o!d an) -&b!ic o((ice d&rin' t#e -eriod o( #i$ di$9&a!i(ication. /rt. 8". Prisin mayor ) *ts accessory penalties. J The penalt! of prision )a!or shall carr! with it that of te,-orar) ab$o!&te di$9&a!i(ication and that of -er-et&a! $-ecia! di$9&a!i(ication fro) the right of s ffrage which the offender shall s ffer altho gh pardoned as to the principal penalt!, nless the sa)e shall have $een e4pressl! re)itted in the pardon. *E)phasis s ppliedThe penalt! of prisin mayor a to)aticall! carries with it, $!

operation of law,"8 the accessor! penalties of te)porar! a$sol te dis: alification and -er-et&a! $-ecia! di$9&a!i(ication. Inder /rticle '% of the Revised Penal Code, te)porar! a$sol te dis: alification prod ces the effect of Edeprivation of the right to vote in an! election for an! pop lar elective office or to !e elected to suc office. L The d ration of te)porar! a$sol te dis: alification is the sa)e as that of the principal penalt! of prisin mayor. On the other hand, nder /rticle '" of the Revised Penal Code, -er-et&a! $-ecia! di$9&a!i(ication )eans that Et#e o((ender $#a!! not be -er,itted to #o!d an) -&b!ic o((ice d&rin' t#e -eriod o( #i$ di$9&a!i(ication, L which is perpetually. .oth te)porar! a$sol te dis: alification and perpet al special dis: alification constit te ineligi$ilities to hold elective p $lic office. A -er$on $&((erin' (ro, t#e$e ine!i'ibi!itie$ i$ ine!i'ib!e to r&n (or e!ecti*e -&b!ic o((ice, and co,,it$ a (a!$e ,ateria! re-re$entation i( #e $tate$ in #i$ certi(icate o( candidac) t#at #e i$ e!i'ib!e to $o r&n. In Lacuna v. +!es *Lacuna-,"2 the Co rt, speaking thro gh ( stice (...,. Re!es, e4plained the i)port of the accessor! penalt! of -er-et&a! $-ecia! di$9&a!i(ication; On the first defense of respondent1appellee /$es, it ) st $e re)e)$ered that appellee;s conviction of a cri)e penali6ed with prision )a!or which carried the accessor! penalties of te)porar! a$sol te dis: alification and perpet al special dis: alification fro) the right of s ffrage */rticle 8", Revised Penal Code-A and Section 00 of the Revised Election Code dis: alifies a person fro) voting if he had $een sentenced $! final 5 dg)ent to s ffer one !ear or )ore of i)prison)ent. The accessor! penalt! of te)porar! a$sol te dis: alification dis: alifies the convict for p $lic office and for the right to vote, s ch dis: alification to last onl! d ring the ter) of the sentence */rticle "9, paragraph ', M /rticle '%, Revised Penal Code- that, in the case of /$es, wo ld have e4pired on &' Octo$er &0>&. . t this does not hold tr e with respect to the other accessor! penalt! of perpet al special dis: alification for the e4ercise of the right of s ffrage. This accessor! penalt! deprives the convict of the right to vote or to !e elected to or old pu!lic office perpetually , as disting ished fro) te)porar! special dis: alification, which lasts d ring the ter) of the sentence. /rticle '", Revised Penal Code, provides? /rt. '". 'ffects of t e penalties of perpetual or temporary special disqualification for t e e(ercise of t e rig t of suffrage. J The perpet al or te)porar! special dis: alification for the e4ercise of the right of s ffrage shall deprive the offender perpet all! or d ring the ter) of the sentence, according to the nat re of said penalt!, of the right to vote in an! pop lar election for an! p $lic office or to $e elected to s ch office. +oreover, the offender shall not $e per)itted to hold an! p $lic office d ring the period of dis: alification. The word Eperpet all!E and the phrase Ed ring the ter) of the sentenceE sho ld $e applied distri$ tivel! to their respective antecedentsA th s, the word Eperpet all!E refers to the perpet al kind of special dis: alification, while the phrase Ed ring the ter) of the sentenceE refers to the te)porar! special dis: alification. The d ration $etween the perpet al and the te)porar! *$oth special- are necessaril! different $eca se the provision, instead of )erging their d rations into one period, states that s ch d ration is Eaccording to the nat re of said penalt!E J

which )eans according to whether the penalt! is the perpet al or the te)porar! special dis: alification. *E)phasis s ppliedClearl!, Lacuna instr cts that the accessor! penalt! of perpet al special dis: alification Ede-ri*e$ t#e con*ict o( t#e ri'#t to *ote or to be elected to or hold public office perpetually.L T#e acce$$or) -ena!t) o( -er-et&a! $-ecia! di$9&a!i(ication ta8e$ e((ect i,,ediate!) once t#e +&d',ent o( con*iction beco,e$ (ina!. The effectivit! of this accessor! penalt! does not depend on the d ration of the principal penalt!, or on whether the convict serves his 5ail sentence or not. The last sentence of /rticle '" states that Ethe offender shall not $e per)itted to hold an! p $lic office d ring the period of his Fperpet al specialG dis: alification.E Once the 5 dg)ent of conviction $eco)es final, it is i))ediatel! e4ec tor!. /n! p $lic office that the convict )a! $e holding at the ti)e of his conviction $eco)es vacant pon finalit! of the 5 dg)ent, and t#e con*ict beco,e$ ine!i'ib!e to r&n (or an) e!ecti*e -&b!ic o((ice -er-et&a!!). In the case of Lonzanida, he became ineligible perpetually to hold, or to run for, any elective public office from the time the judgment of conviction against him became final. he judgment of conviction was promulgated on !" July !""# and became final on !$ %ctober !""#, before Lonzanida filed his certificate of candidacy on & 'ecember !""# .
!(

"er-et&a! $-ecia! di$9&a!i(ication is a gro nd for a petition nder Section 93 of the O)ni$ s Election Code $eca se this accessor! penalt! is an ine!i'ibi!it), which )eans that the convict is not eligi$le to r n for p $lic office, contrar! to the state)ent that Section 98 re: ires hi) to state nder oath in his certificate of candidac!. /s this Co rt held in %ermin v. #ommission on 'lections ,"9 the false )aterial representation )a! refer to E 9&a!i(ication$ or e!i'ibi!it).L One who s ffers fro) perpet al special dis: alification is ineligi$le to r n for p $lic office. If a person s ffering fro) perpet al special dis: alification files a certificate of candidac! stating nder oath that Ehe is eligi$le to r n for *p $lic- office,E a$ e2-re$$!) re9&ired &nder Section 56, then he clearl! )akes a(a!$e ,ateria! re-re$entation that is a gro nd for a petition nder Section 93. /s this Co rt e4plained in%ermin? ,est it $e )is nderstood, the denial of d e co rse to or the cancellation of the CoC is not $ased on the lack of : alifications $ t on a finding that the candidate )ade a )aterial representation that is false, 0#ic# ,a) re!ate to t#e 9&a!i(ication$ re9&ired o( t#e -&b!ic o((ice #e<$#e i$ r&nnin' (or. It i$ noted t#at t#e candidate $tate$ in #i$<#er CoC t#at #e<$#e i$ e!i'ib!e (or t#e o((ice #e<$#e $ee8$. Section 53 o( t#e OEC, t#ere(ore, i$ to be read in re!ation to t#e con$tit&tiona! and $tat&tor) -ro*i$ion$ on )ualifications or eligibility (or -&b!ic o((ice. I( t#e candidate $&b$e9&ent!) $tate$ a ,ateria! re-re$entation in t#e CoC t#at i$ (a!$e, t#e COMELEC, (o!!o0in' t#e !a0, i$ e,-o0ered to den) d&e co&r$e to or cance! $&c# certi(icate . Indeed, the Co rt has alread! likened a proceeding nder Section 93 to a : o warranto proceeding nder Section "2' of the OEC since the! $oth deal with the eligi$ilit! or : alification of a candidate, with the distinction )ainl! in the fact that a ESection 93E petition is filed $efore procla)ation, while a petition for : o warranto is filed after procla)ation of the winning candidate."3 *E)phasis s pplied-

Latasa, Rivera and ,ng. e . ree/.erm Limit Rule as a 0round for *neligi!ility Section 98 re: ires the candidate to certif! that he is e!i'ib!e (or t#e -&b!ic o((ice he seeks election. Th s, Section 98 states that E t#e certi(icate o( candidac) $#a!! $tate t#at t#e -er$on (i!in' 2 2 2 i$ e!i'ib!e (or $aid o((ice.L The three1ter) li)it r le, enacted to prevent the esta$lish)ent of political d!nasties and to enhance the electorate;s freedo) of choice,"0 is fo nd $oth in the Constit tion'% and the law.'& /fter $eing elected and serving for three consec tive ter)s, an elective local official cannot seek i))ediate reelection for the sa)e office in the ne4t reg lar election'" $eca se he is ine!i'ib!e. One who has an ineligi$ilit! to r n for elective p $lic office is not Eeligi$le for FtheG office.E /s sed in Section 98, the word Eeligi$leE '' )eans having the right to r n for elective p $lic office, that is, having all the : alifications and none of the ineligi$ilities to r n for the p $lic office. In Latasa v. #ommission on 'lections,'8 petitioner /rsenio ,atasa was elected )a!or of the + nicipalit! of Digos, Davao del S r in &00", &002, and &003. The + nicipalit! of Digos was converted into the Cit! of Digos d ring ,atasa;s third ter). ,atasa filed his certificate of candidac! for cit! )a!or for the "%%& elections. Ro)eo S nga, ,atasa;s opponent, filed $efore the CO+E,EC a Epetition to den! d e co rse, cancel certificate of candidac! andKor dis: alificationE nder Section 93 on the gro nd that ,atasa falsel! represented in his certificate of candidac! that he is eligi$le to r n as )a!or of Digos Cit!. ,atasa arg ed that he did not )ake an! false representation. In his certificate of candidac!, ,atasa inserted a footnote after the phrase EI a) eligi$leE and indicated ENBaving served three *'- ter)FsG as ) nicipal )a!or and now r nning for the first ti)e as cit! )a!or.E The CO+E,EC #irst Division cancelled ,atasa;s certificate of candidac! for violation of the three1ter) li)it r le $ t not for false )aterial representation. This Co rt affir)ed the CO+E,EC En .anc;s denial of ,atasa;s )otion for reconsideration. @e cancelled +arino +orales; certificate of candidac! in Rivera *** v. #ommission on 'lections *Rivera-.'2 @e held that +orales e4ceeded the )a4i) ) three1ter) li)it, having $een elected and served as +a!or of +a$alacat for fo r consec tive ter)s *&002 to &003, &003 to "%%&, "%%& to "%%8, and "%%8 to "%%9-. @e declared hi) ineligi$le as a candidate for the sa)e position for the "%%9 to "%&% ter). /ltho gh we did not e4plicitl! r le that +orales; violation of the three1ter) li)it r le constit ted false )aterial representation, we nonetheless granted the petition to cancel +orales; certificate of candidac! nder Section 93. @e also affir)ed the cancellation of #rancis Ong;s certificate of candidac! in ,ng v. +legre,'> where the Epetition to dis: alif!, den! d e co rse and cancelE Ong;s certificate of candidac! nder Section 93 was predicated on the violation of the three1ter) li)it r le. Loong, %ermin and &under1 en Possession of a Disqualifying #ondition is 2ot a 0round for a Petition for Disqualification It is o$vio s fro) a reading of the laws and 5 rispr dence that there is an overlap in the gro nds for eligi$ilit! and ineligi$ilit! vis/3/vis : alifications and dis: alifications. #or e4a)ple, a candidate )a! represent that he is a resident of a partic lar Philippine localit!'9 when he is act all! a per)anent resident of another co ntr!. '3 In cases of s ch overlap, the petitioner sho ld not $e constrained in his choice of re)ed! when the O)ni$ s Election Code

e4plicitl! )akes availa$le ) ltiple re)edies.'0 Section 93 allows the filing of a petition to den! d e co rse or to cancel a certificate of candidac! $efore the election, while Section "2' allows the filing of a petition for : o warranto after the election. Despite the overlap of the gro nds, one sho ld not conf se a petition for dis: alification sing gro nds en )erated in Section >3 with a petition to den! d e co rse or to cancel a certificate of candidac! nder Section 93. The distinction $etween a petition nder Section >3 and a petition nder Section 93 was disc ssed in Loong v. #ommission on 'lections8% with respect to the applica$le prescriptive period. Respondent N r B ssein It tal ) filed a petition nder Section 93 to dis: alif! petitioner .en5a)in ,oong for the office of Regional Dice1=overnor of the / tono)o s =overn)ent of + sli) +indanao for false representation as to his age. The petition was filed &> da!s after the election, and clearl! $e!ond the prescri$ed "2 da! period fro) the last da! of filing certificates of candidac!. This Co rt r led that It tal );s petition was one $ased on false representation nder Section 93, and not for dis: alification nder Section >3. Bence, the "21da! prescriptive period provided in Section 93 sho ld $e strictl! applied. @e recogni6ed the possi$le gap in the law? It is tr e that the discover! of false representation as to )aterial facts re: ired to $e stated in a certificate of candidac!, nder Section 98 of the Code, )a! $e )ade onl! after the lapse of the "21da! period prescri$ed $! Section 93 of the Code, thro gh no fa lt of the person who discovers s ch )isrepresentations and who wo ld want the dis: alification of the candidate co))itting the )isrepresentations. It wo ld see), therefore, that there co ld indeed $e a gap $etween the ti)e of the discover! of the )isrepresentation, *when the discover! is )ade after the "21da! period nder Sec. 93 of the Code has lapsedand the ti)e when the procla)ation of the res lts of the election is )ade. D ring this so1called EgapE the wo ld1$e petitioner *who wo ld seek the dis: alification of the candidate- is left with nothing to do e4cept to wait for the procla)ation of the res lts, so that he co ld avail of a re)ed! against the )isrepresenting candidate, that is, $! filing a petition for : o warranto against hi). Respondent Co))ission sees this EgapE in what it calls a proced ral gap which, according to it, is nnecessar! and sho ld $e re)edied. /t the sa)e ti)e, it can not $e denied that it is the p rpose and intent of the legislative $ranch of the govern)ent to fi4 a definite ti)e within which petitions of protests related to eligi$ilit! of candidates for elective offices ) st $e filed, as seen in Sections 93 and "2' of the Code. Respondent Co))ission )a! have seen the need to re)ed! this so1 called Oproced ral gapE, $ t it is not for it to prescri$e what the law does not provide, its f nction not $eing legislative. The : estion of whether the ti)e to file these petitions or protests is too short or ineffective is one for the ,egislat re to decide and re)ed!.8& In %ermin v. #ommission on 'lections,8" the iss e of a candidate;s possession of the re: ired one1!ear residenc! re: ire)ent was raised in a petition for dis: alification nder Section >3 instead of a petition to den! d e co rse or to cancel a certificate of candidac! nder Section 93. Despite the : estion of the one1!ear residenc! $eing a proper gro nd nder Section 93, Dilangalen, the petitioner $efore the CO+E,EC in %ermin, relied on Section 2*C-*&and 2*C-*'-*a-*8- of CO+E,EC Resol tion No. 93%% 8' and

filed the petition nder Section >3. In %ermin, we r led that Ea CO+E,EC r le or resol tion cannot s pplant or var! legislative enact)ents that di$tin'&i$# t#e 'ro&nd$ (or di$9&a!i(ication (ro, t#o$e o( ine!i'ibi!it), and the appropriate proceedings to raise the said gro nds.E 88 / petition for dis: alification can onl! $e pre)ised on a gro nd specified in Section &" or >3 of the O)ni$ s Election Code or Section 8% of the ,ocal =overn)ent Code. Th s, a petition : estioning a candidate;s possession of the re: ired one1!ear residenc! re: ire)ent, as disting ished fro) per)anent residenc! or i))igrant stat s in a foreign co ntr!, sho ld $e filed nder Section 93, and a petition nder Section >3 is the wrong re)ed!. In &under v. #ommission on 'lections,82 petitioner /lfais + nder filed a certificate of candidac! for +a!or of . $ong, ,anao del S r on "> Nove)$er "%%0. Respondent /tt!. Tago Sarip filed a petition for + nder;s dis: alification on &' /pril "%&%. Sarip clai)ed that + nder )isrepresented that he was a registered voter of . $ong, ,anao del S r, and that he was eligi$le to register as a voter in "%%' even tho gh he was not !et &3 !ears of age at the ti)e of the voter;s registration. +oreover, + nder;s certificate of candidac! was not acco)plished in f ll as he failed to indicate his precinct and did not affi4 his th )$1)ark. The CO+E,EC Second Division dis)issed Sarip;s petition and declared that his gro nds are not gro nds for dis: alification nder Section >3 $ t for denial or cancellation of + nder;s certificate of candidac! nder Section 93. Sarip;s petition was filed o t of ti)e as he had onl! "2 da!s after the filing of + nder;s certificate of candidac!, or ntil "& Dece)$er "%%0, within which to file his petition. The CO+E,EC En .anc, however, dis: alified + nder. In reversing the CO+E,EC Second Division, the CO+E,EC En .anc did not r le on the propriet! of Sarip;s re)ed! $ t foc sed on the : estion of whether + nder was a registered voter of . $ong, ,anao del S r. This Co rt reinstated the CO+E,EC Second Division;s resol tion. This Co rt r led that the gro nd raised in the petition, lack of registration as voter in the localit! where he was r nning as a candidate, is inappropriate for a petition for dis: alification. @e f rther declared that with o r r ling in %ermin, we had alread! re5ected the clai) that lack of s $stantive : alifications of a candidate is a gro nd for a petition for dis: alification nder Section >3. The onl! s $stantive : alification the a$sence of which is a gro nd for a petition nder Section >3 is the candidate;s per)anent residenc! or i))igrant stat s in a foreign co ntr!. The dissenting opinions place the violation of the three1ter) li)it r le as a dis: alification nder Section >3 as the violation allegedl! is Ea stat s, circ )stance or condition which $ars hi) fro) r nning for p $lic office despite the possession of all the : alifications nder Section '0 of the F,ocal =overn)ent CodeG.E In so holding the dissenting opinions write in the law what is not fo nd in the law. Section >3 is e4plicit as to the proper gro nds for dis: alification nder said Section. The gro nds for filing a petition for dis: alification nder Section >3 are specificall! en )erated in said Section. Bowever, contrar! to the specific en )eration in Section >3 and contrar! to prevailing 5 rispr dence, the dissenting opinions add to the en )erated gro nds the violation of the three1ter) li)it r le and falsification nder the Revised Penal Code, which are o$vio sl! not fo nd in the en )eration in Section >3. The dissenting opinions e: ate ,on6anida;s possession of

a dis: alif!ing condition *violation of the three1ter) li)it r le- with the gro nds for dis: alification nder Section >3. Section >3 is e4plicit as to the proper gro nds for dis: alification? the co))ission of specific prohi$ited acts nder the O)ni$ s Election Code and possession of a per)anent residenc! or i))igrant stat s in a foreign co ntr!. /n! other false representation regarding a )aterial fact sho ld $e filed nder Section 93, specificall! nder the candidate;s certification of his eligi$ilit!. In re5ecting a violation of the three1ter) li)it as a condition for eligi$ilit!, the dissenting opinions resort to 5 dicial legislation, ignoring the ver!a legis doctrine and well1esta$lished 5 rispr dence on this ver! iss e. In a certificate of candidac!, the candidate is asked to certif! nder oath his eligi$ilit!, and th s : alification, to the office he seeks election. Even tho gh the certificate of candidac! does not specificall! ask the candidate for the n )$er of ter)s elected and served in an elective position, s ch fact is )aterial in deter)ining a candidate;s eligi$ilit!, and th s : alification for the office. Election to and service of the sa)e local elective position for three consec tive ter)s renders a candidate ineligi$le fro) r nning for the sa)e position in the s cceeding elections. ,on6anida )isrepresented his eligi$ilit! $eca se he knew f ll well that he had $een elected, and had served, as )a!or of San /ntonio, 7a)$ales for )ore than three consec tive ter)s !et he still certified that he was eligi$le to r n for )a!or for the ne4t s cceeding ter). Th s, ,on6anida;s representation that he was eligi$le for the office that he so ght election constit tes false )aterial representation as to his : alification or eligi$ilit! for the office. Legal Duty of #,&'L'# to 'nforce Perpetual Special Disqualification Even witho t a petition nder Section 93 of the O)ni$ s Election Code, the CO+E,EC is nder a legal d t! to cancel the certificate of candidac! of an!one s ffering fro) perpet al special dis: alification to r n for p $lic office $! virt e of a final 5 dg)ent of conviction. The final 5 dg)ent of conviction is 5 dicial notice to the CO+E,EC of the dis: alification of the convict fro) r nning for p $lic office. The law itself $ars the convict fro) r nning for p $lic office, and the dis: alification is part of the final 5 dg)ent of conviction. The final 5 dg)ent of the co rt is addressed not onl! to the E4ec tive $ranch, $ t also to other govern)ent agencies tasked to i)ple)ent the final 5 dg)ent nder the law. @hether or not the CO+E,EC is e4pressl! )entioned in the 5 dg)ent to i)ple)ent the dis: alification, it is ass )ed that the portion of the final 5 dg)ent on dis: alification to r n for elective p $lic office is addressed to the CO+E,EC $eca se nder the Constit tion the CO+E,EC is d t! $o nd to Een(orce and ad)inister a!! laws and reg lations relative to the cond ct of an election.E8> The dis: alification of a convict to r n for elective p $lic office nder the Revised Penal Code, as affir)ed $! final 5 dg)ent of a co)petent co rt, is part of theen(orce,ent and ad,ini$tration of Eall the lawsE relating to the cond ct of elections. 'ffect of a $oid #ertificate of #andidacy / cancelled certificate of candidac! void a! initio cannot give rise to a valid candidac!, and ) ch less to valid votes.89 @e : ote fro) the CO+E,EC;s " #e$r ar! "%&& Resol tion with approval? /s earl! as #e$r ar! &3, "%&%, the Co))ission speaking thro gh the Second Division had alread! ordered the

cancellation of ,on6anida;s certificate of candidac!, and had stricken off his na)e in the list of official candidates for the )a!oralt! post of San /ntonio, 7a)$ales. Thereafter, the Co))ission En .anc in its resol tion dated / g st &&, "%&% nani)o sl! affir)ed the resol tion dis: alif!ing ,on6anida. O r findings were likewise s stained $! the S pre)e Co rt no less. The dis: alification of ,on6anida is not si)pl! anchored on one gro nd. On the contrar!, it was e)phasi6ed in o r En .anc resol tion that ,on6anida;s dis: alification is two1pronged? first, he violated the constit tional fiat on the three1ter) li)itA and second , as earl! as Dece)$er &, "%%0, he is known to have $een convicted $! final 5 dg)ent for ten *&%- co nts of #alsification nder /rticle &9& of the Revised Penal Code. In other words, on election da!, respondent ,on6anida;s dis: alification is notorio sl! known in fact and in law. 'rgo, since respondent Lonzanida 4as never a candidate for t e position of &ayor 5of6 San +ntonio, 7am!ales, t e votes cast for im s ould !e considered stray votes . Conse: entl!, Intervenor /ntipolo, who re)ains as the sole : alified candidate for the )a!oralt! post and o$tained the highest n )$er of votes, sho ld now $e proclai)ed as the d l! elected +a!or of San /ntonio, 7a)$ales. 83 *.oldfacing and nderscoring in the originalA italici6ation s pplied,on6anidaPs certificate of candidac! was cancelled $eca se he was ineligi$le or not : alified to r n for +a!or.184p i1@hether his certificate of candidac! is cancelled $efore or after the elections is i))aterial $eca se the cancellation on s ch gro nd )eans he was never a candidate fro) the ver! $eginning, his certificate of candidac! $eing void a! initio. There was onl! one : alified candidate for +a!or in the +a! "%& % elections 1 /nti polo, who therefore received the highest n )$er of votes. =>EREFORE, the petition is ISMISSE . The Resol tion dated " #e$r ar! "%&& and the Order dated &" (an ar! "%&& of the CO+E,EC En .ane in SP/ No. %01&23 *DCare AFFIRME . The CO+E,EC En .ane is IRECTE to constit te a Special + nicipal .oard of Canvassers to proclai) Estela D. /ntipolo as the d l! elected +a!or of San /ntonio, 7a)$ales. Petitioner Efren Racel /ratea is OR ERE to cease and desist fro) discharging the f nctions of the Office of the +a!or of San /ntonio, 7a)$ales. SO ORDERED. ISSENTING O"INION ?RION, J.: I dissent fro) the )a5orit!Ps *i- r ling that the violation of the threeter) li)it r le is a gro nd for cancellation of a certificate of candidac! *Co C- and *ii- concl sion that private respondent Estela D. /nti polo, the Esecond placerE in the "%&% elections for the )a!oralt! post in San /ntonio, 7a)$ales, sho ld $e seated as +a!or. Ro)eo D. ,on6anida and /ntipolo were a)ong the fo r * 8candidates for the )a!oralt! position in San /ntonio, 7a)$ales in the +a! &%, "%&% elections. On Dece)$er 3, "%%0, Dr. Sigfrid S. Rodolfo filed a Petition to Disqualify9Deny Due #ourse or to #ancel #o# against ,on6anida with the Co))ission on Elections :#,&'L'#;.The core of the petition against ,on6anida was his p rported )isrepresentation in his CoC $! stating that he was eligi$le to r n as )a!or of San /ntonio, 7a)$ales, when in fact, he had alread! served for three consec tive ter)s. & On #e$r ar! &3, "%&%, the CO+E,EC "nd Division iss ed a Resol tion cance!!in' Lon:anida@$ CoC and $tri8in'

o&t #i$ na,e (ro, t#e o((icia! !i$t o( candidate$ (or ,a)or on the gro nd that he had alread! served for three consec tive ter)s. " ,on6anida )oved for the reconsideration of the r ling, which )otion nder the R les of the CO+E,EC was elevated to the CO+E,EC en !anc. The )otion was not resolved $efore elections and on +a! &%, "%&%, ,on6anida received the highest n )$er of votes for the )a!oralt! post, while petitioner Efren Racel /ratea won the vice )a!oralt! positionA the! were d l! proclai)ed winners. ' D e to the CO+E,EC Resol tion canceling ,on6anida;s CoC, /ratea wrote to the Depart)ent of the Interior and ,ocal =overn)ent *D*L0- to in: ire whether, $! law, he sho ld ass )e the position of )a!or, in view of the per)anent vacanc! created $! the CO+E,EC "nd Division;s r ling. The DI,= favora$l! acted on /ratea;s re: est, and on ( l! 2, "%&%, he took his oath of office as )a!or of San /ntonio, 7a)$ales.8 On / g st &&, "%&%, the CO+E,EC en !anc affir)ed ,on6anida;s dis: alification to r n for another ter). /part fro) this gro nd, the CO+E,EC en !anc also noted that ,on6anida was dis: alified to r n nder Section 8% of the ,ocal =overn)ent Code for having $een convicted $! final 5 dg)ent for ten co nts of falsification.2 On / g st "2, "%&%, /ntipolo filed a )otion for leave to intervene, on the clai) that she had a legal interest in the case as she was the onl! re)aining : alified candidate for the position. She arg ed that she had the right to $e proclai)ed as the )a!or considering that ,on6anida ceased to $e a candidate when the CO+E,EC "nd Division ordered the cancellation of his CoC and the striking o t of his na)e fro) the official list of candidates for the +a! &%, "%&% elections.> On (an ar! &", "%&&, the CO+E,EC en !anc iss ed an Order granting /ntipolo;s )otion for leave to intervene. In its #e$r ar! ", "%&" Resol tion, the CO+E,EC en !anc granted /ntipolo;s petition in interventionA declared n ll and void ,on6anida;s procla)ationA ordered the constit tion of a special + nicipal .oard of Canvassers to proclai) /ntipolo as the d l! elected +a!orA and ordered /ratea to cease and desist fro) discharging the f nctions of +a!or of San /ntonio, 7a)$ales. This gave rise to the present petition. T#e I$$&e$ The iss es for the Co rt;s resol tion are as follows? *&- @hat is the nat re of the petition filed $! Dr. Rodolfo $efore the CO+E,ECA *"- Did the CO+E,EC correctl! dispose the case in accordance with the nat re of the petition filedA *'- @ho sho ld $e proclai)ed as +a!or of San /ntonio, 7a)$ales Q the Esecond placerE or the d l! elected Dice1 +a!orR I s $)it that the violation of the three1ter) li)it r le cannot $e a gro nd for the cancellation of a CoC. It is an appropriate gro nd for dis: alificationA th s, Dr. Rodolfo sho ld $e dee)ed to have filed a petition for dis: alification, not a petition for the cancellation of ,on6anida;s CoC. The CO+E,EC;s cancellation of ,on6anida;s CoC was therefore erroneo s. I reach this concl sion $! sing an approach that starts fro) a consideration of the nat re of the CoC 1 the doc )ent that creates the stat s of a candidate 1 and )oves on to relevant concepts, specificall!, dis: alifications and its effects, re)edies, effects of s ccessf l s its, and lti)atel! the three1ter) li)it r le. I disc ssed this f ll! at length in the case of .alaga v. #,&'L'#.9 I here$!

reiterate )! .alaga disc ssions for ease of presentation. he *o* and the +ualifications for its ,iling. / $asic r le and one that cannot $e repeated often eno gh is that the CoC is the doc )ent that creates the stat s of a candidate. In Sinaca v. &ula,3 the Co rt descri$ed the nat re of a CoC as follows Q / certificate of candidac! is in the nat re of a for)al )anifestation to the whole world of the candidatePs political creed or lack of political creed. It is a state)ent of a person seeking to r n for a p $lic office certif!ing that he anno nces his candidac! for the office )entioned and that he is eligi$le for the office, the na)e of the political part! to which he $elongs, if he $elongs to an!, and his post1office address for all election p rposes $eing as well stated. .oth the &09' and &039 Constit tions left to Congress the task of providing the : alifications of local elective officials. Congress ndertook this task $! enacting .atas Pa)$asa .ilang *<.P. <lg.- ''9 *Local 0overnment #ode or L0#-, ..P. .lg. 33& *,mni!us 'lection #ode or ,'# and, later, Rep $lic /ct * R.+.- No. 9&>% *Local 0overnment #ode of 1==1 or L0# 1==1-.0 Inder Section 90 of the OEC, a political aspirant legall! $eco)es a EcandidateE onl! pon the d e filing of his sworn CoC.&% In fact, Section 9' of the OEC )akes the filing of the CoC a condition sine qua non for a person to E$e eligi$le for an! elective p $lic officeE&& Q i.e., to $e validl! voted for in the elections. Section 9> of the OEC )akes it a E)inisterial d t!E for a CO+E,EC official Eto receive and acknowledge receipt of the certificate of candidac!E&" filed. C,&'L'# Resol tion No. 3>93 provides what a CoC ) st contain or state?&' Section ". #ontents of certificate of candidacy. 1 The certificate of candidac! shall $e nder oath and shall state that the person filing it is anno ncing his candidac! for the office and constit enc! stated thereinA that he is eligi$le for said office, his age, se4, civil stat s, place and date of $irth, his citi6enship, whether nat ral1$orn or nat rali6edA the registered political part! to which he $elongsA if )arried, the f ll na)e of the spo seA his legal residence, giving the e4act address, the precinct n )$er, $aranga!, cit! or ) nicipalit! and province where he is registered voterA his post office address for election p rposesA his profession or occ pation or e)plo!)entA that he is not a per)anent resident or an i))igrant to a foreign co ntr!A that he will s pport and defend the Constit tion of the Rep $lic of the Philippines and will )aintain tr e faith and allegiance theretoA that he will o$e! the laws, legal orders, decrees, resol tion, r les and reg lations pro) lgated and iss ed $! the d l!1constit ted a thoritiesA that he ass )es the foregoing o$ligations vol ntaril! witho t )ental reservation or p rpose of evasionA and that the facts stated in the certificate are tr e and correct to the $est of his own knowledge. Fitalics s ppliedG #ro) the point of view of the co))on citi6en who wants to r n for a local elective office, the a$ove recital contains all the re: ire)ents that he ) st satisf!A it contains the $asic and essential re: ire)ents applica$le to a!! citi:en$ to 9&a!i() (or candidac) for a local elective office. These are their for)al ter)s of entr! to local politics. / citi6en ) st not onl! possess all these re: ire)entsA he ) st positivel! represent in his CoC that he possesses the). /n! falsit! on these re: ire)ents constit tes a )aterial )isrepresentation that can lead to the cancellation of the CoC. On this point, Section 93 of the OEC provides? Sec. 93. Petition to deny due course to or cancel a

certificate of candidacy. Q / verified petition seeking to den! d e co rse or to cancel a certificate of candidac! )a! $e filed $! Fan!G person e2c!&$i*e!) on the gro nd that an! ,ateria! re-re$entation contained t#erein a$ re9&ired &nder Section 56 hereof is false. The petition )a! $e filed at an! ti)e not later than twent!1five da!s fro) the ti)e of the filing of the certificate of candidac! and shall $e decided, after d e notice and hearing, not later than fifteen da!s $efore the election. Fitalics, e)phases and nderscores o rsG / necessaril! related provision is Section '0 of ,=C &00& which states? Sec. '0. "ualifications. Q *a- /n elective local official ) st $e a citi6en of the PhilippinesA a registered voter in the!arangay, ) nicipalit!, cit!, or province or, in the case of a )e)$er of the sangguniang panlala4igan,sangguniang panlungsod, or sanggunian !ayan, the district where he intends to $e electedA a resident therein for at least one *&!ear i))ediatel! preceding the da! of the electionA and a$le to read and write #ilipino or an! other local lang age or dialect. 4444 *c- Candidates for the position of +a!or or vice1)a!or of independent co)ponent cities, co)ponent cities, or ) nicipalities ) st $e at least twent!1one *"&- !ears of age on election da!. Fitalics o rsG Nota$l!, Section 98 of the OEC does not re: ire an! negative : alification e4cept onl! as e4pressl! re: ired therein. / specific negative re: ire)ent refers to the representation that the wo ld1$e candidate is not a per)anent resident nor an i))igrant in another co ntr!. This re: ire)ent, however, is in fact si)pl! part of the positive re: ire)ent of residenc! in the localit! for which the CoC is filed and, in this sense, is not strictl! a negative re: ire)ent. Neit#er doe$ Section 56 re9&ire an) $tate,ent t#at t#e 0o&!dAbe candidate doe$ not -o$$e$$ an) 'ro&nd (or di$9&a!i(ication $-eci(ica!!) en&,erated b) !a0, a$ di$9&a!i(ication i$ a ,atter t#at t#e OEC and LGC 1991 $e-arate!) dea! 0it#, a$ di$c&$$ed be!o0. Notab!), Section 56 doe$ not re)uire a 0o&!dAbe candidate to $tate t#at #e #a$ not $er*ed (or t#ree con$ec&ti*e ter,$ in t#e $a,e e!ecti*e -o$ition i,,ediate!) -rior to t#e -re$ent e!ection$. @ith the acco)plish)ent of the CoC and its filing, a political aspirant officiall! ac: ires the stat s of a candidate and, at the ver! least, the prospect of holding p $lic officeA he, too, for)all! opens hi)self p to the co)ple4 political environ)ent and processes. The Co rt cannot $e )ore e)phatic in holding Ethat t#e i,-ortance o( a *a!id certi(icate o( candidac) re$t$ at t#e *er) core o( t#e e!ectora! -roce$$.E&8 Pertinent laws&2 provide the specific periods when a CoC )a! $e filedA when a petition for its cancellation )a! $e $ro ghtA and the effect of its filing. These )eas res, a)ong others, are in line with the State polic! or o$5ective of ens ring Ee: al access to opport nities for p $lic service,E &> $earing in )ind that the li)itations on the privilege to seek p $lic office are within the plenar! power of Congress to provide.&9 he *oncept of 'is)ualification vis-.-vis/emedy of *ancellation0 and 1ffects of'is)ualification. To dis: alif!, in its si)plest sense, is *&- to deprive a person of a power, right or privilegeA or *"- to )ake hi) or her ineligi$le for f rther co)petition $eca se of violation of the r les.&3 It is in these senses that the ter) is nderstood

in o r election laws. Th s, an!one who )a! : alif! or )a! have : alified nder the general r les of eligi$ilit! applica$le to all citi6ens *Section 98 of the OEC- )a! $e de-ri*ed o( t#e ri'#t to be a candidate or ,a) !o$e t#e ri'#t to be a candidate *if he has filed his CoC- $eca se of a trait or characteristic that applies to hi) or an act that can $e i)p ted to hi) as an individual, separately from the general )ualifications that must e2ist for a citizen to run for a local public office. Nota$l!, t#e breac# o( t#e t#reeAter, !i,it is a trait or condition that can possi$l! appl! only to those who have previo sl! served for three consec tive ter)s in the sa)e position so ght i))ediatel! prior to the present elections. In a dis: alification sit ation, the gro nds are the individ al traits or conditions of, or the individ al acts of dis: alification co))itted $!, a candidate as provided nder Sections >3 and &" of the OEC and Section 8% of ,=C &00&, and which generall! have nothing to do with the eligi$ilit! re: ire)ents for the filing of a CoC.&0 Sections >3 and &" of the OEC *together with Section 8% of ,=C &00&, o tlined $elow- cover the following as traits, characteristics or acts of dis: alification? *i- corr pting voters or election officialsA *ii- co))itting acts of terroris) to enhance candidac!A *iii- overspendingA *iv- soliciting, receiving or )aking prohi$ited contri$ tions 1 *vca)paigning o tside the ca)paign periodA *vi- re)oval, destr ction or deface)ent of lawf l election propagandaA *vii- co))itting prohi$ited for)s of election propagandaA *viii- violating r les and reg lations on election propaganda thro gh )ass )ediaA *i4- coercion of s $ordinatesA *4threats, inti)idation, terroris), se of fra d lent device or other for)s of coercionA *4i- nlawf l electioneeringA *4iirelease, dis$ rse)ent or e4pendit re of p $lic f ndsA *4iiisolicitation of votes or ndertaking an! propaganda on the da! of the electionA *4iv- declaration as an insaneA and *4vco))itting s $version, ins rrection, re$ellion or an! offense for which he has $een sentenced to a penalt! of )ore than eighteen )onths or for a cri)e involving )oral t rpit de. Section 8% of ,=C &00&, on the other hand, essentiall! repeats those alread! in the OEC nder the following dis: alifications? a. Those sentenced $! final 5 dg)ent for an offense involving )oral t rpit de or for an offense p nisha$le $! one *&- !ear or )ore of i)prison)ent, within two *"- !ears after serving sentenceA $. Those re)oved fro) office as a res lt of an ad)inistrative caseA c. Those convicted $! final 5 dg)ent for violating the oath of allegiance to the Rep $licA d. Those with d al citi6enshipA e. # gitives fro) 5 stice in cri)inal or non1political cases here or a$roadA f. Per)anent residents in a foreign co ntr! or those who have ac: ired the right to reside a$road and contin e to avail of the sa)e right after the effectivit! of this CodeA and g. The insane or fee$le1)inded. Together, these provisions e)$od! the dis: alifications that, $! stat te, can $e i)p ted against a candidate or a local elected official to den! hi) of the chance to r n for office or of the chance to serve if he has $een elected. / ni: e feat re of Edis: alificationE is that nder Section >3 of the OEC, it re(er$ on!) to a Bcandidate,B not to one who is not !et a candidate. Th s, the gro nds for

dis: alification do not appl! to a wo ld1$e candidate who is still at the point of filing his CoC. T#i$ i$ t#e rea$on 0#) no re-re$entation i$ re9&ired in t#e CoC t#at t#e 0o&!dA be candidate doe$ not -o$$e$$ an) 'ro&nd (or di$9&a!i(ication. T#e ti,e to #o!d a -er$on acco&ntab!e (or t#e 'ro&nd$ (or di$9&a!i(ication i$ a(ter attainin' t#e $tat&$ o( a candidate, 0it# t#e (i!in' o( t#e CoC. To s ) p and reiterate the essential differences $etween the eligi$ilit! re: ire)ents and dis: alifications, the for)er are the re: ire)ents that appl! to, and ) st $e co)plied $!, all citi6ens who wish to r n for local elective officeA these ) st $e positivel! asserted in the CoC. The latter refer to individ al traits, conditions or acts applica$le to specific individ als that serve as gro nds against one who has : alified as a candidate to lose this stat s or privilegeA essentiall!, the! have nothing to do with a candidate;s CoC. @hen the law allows the cance!!ation o( a candidate%$ CoC, the law considers the cancellation (ro, t#e -oint o( *ie0 o( t#o$e -o$iti*e re9&ire,ent$ t#at e*er) citi:en 0#o 0i$#e$ to r&n (or o((ice ,&$t co,,on!) $ati$() . Since the ele)ents of Eeligi$ilit!E are co))on, the vice of ineligi$ilit! attaches to and affects $oth the candidate and his CoC. In contrast, when the law allows the dis: alification of a candidate, the law looks onl! at the dis: alif!ing trait or condition specific to the individ alA if the Eeligi$ilit!E re: ire)ents have $een satisfied, the dis: alification applies onl! to the person of the candidate, leaving the CoC valid. / previo s conviction of s $version is the $est e4a)ple as it applies not to the citi6enr! at large, $ t onl! to the convicted individ alsA a convict )a! have a valid CoC pon satisf!ing the eligi$ilit! re: ire)ents nder Section 98 of the OEC, $ t shall nevertheless $e dis: alified. @hile the violation of the three1ter) r le is properl! a gro nd for dis: alification, it is a ni: e gro nd, constit tionall! anchored at that, that sets it apart fro) and creates a distinction even fro) the ordinar! gro nds of dis: alification. The s cceeding disc ssions incorporate these intradis: alification distinctions on the gro nds for dis: alification, which in s ) refer to *i- the period to file a petition and *ii- capa$ilit! of s $stit tion and *iii- on the application of the doctrine of re5ection of second placer and the doctrine;s e4ceptions. 'istinctions among 3i4 denying due course to or cancellation of a *o*, 3ii4 dis)ualification, and 3iii4 )uo warranto The nat re of the eligi$ilit! re: ire)ents for a local elective office and the dis: alifications that )a! appl! to candidates necessaril! create distinctions on the re)edies availa$le, on the effects of lack of eligi$ilit! and on the application of dis: alification. The re)edies availa$le are essentiall!? the cance!!ation o( a CoC,di$9&a!i(ication (ro, candidac) or (ro, #o!din' o((ice, and 9&o 0arranto, which are distinct re)edies with var!ing applica$ilit! and effects. #or ease of presentation and nderstanding, their availa$ilit!, gro nds and effects are topicall! disc ssed $elow. 5s to the grounds? In the denia! o( d&e co&r$e to or cance!!ation o( a CoC , the gro nd is essentiall! lack of eligi$ilit! nder the pertinent constit tional and stat tor! provisions on : alifications or eligi$ilit! for p $lic officeA "% the governing provisions are Sections >? and @= of t e ,'#."& In a di$9&a!i(ication ca$e, as )entioned a$ove, the gro nds are traits, conditions, characteristics or acts of dis: alification,"" individ all! applica$le to a candidate, as

provided nder Sections >3 and &" of ..P. .lg. 33&A Section 8% of ,=C &00&A and, as disc ssed $elow, Section 3, /rticle < of the Constit tion. /s previo sl! disc ssed, the gro nds for dis: alification are different fro), and have nothing to do with, a candidate;s CoC altho gh the! )a! res lt in dis: alification fro) candidac! whose i))ediate effect &-on (ina!it) be(ore t#e e!ection$ is the sa)e as a cancellation. If the! are cited in a petition filed $efore the elections, the! re)ain as dis: alification gro nds and carr! effects that are distinctl! pec liar to dis: alification. In a quo 4arranto petition, the gro nds to o st an elected official fro) his office are ineligi$ilit! and dislo!alt! to the Rep $lic of the Philippines. This is provided nder Section "2' of the OEC and governed $! the R les of Co rt as to proced res. @hile quo 4arranto and cancellation share the sa)e ineligi$ilit! gro nds, t#e) di((er a$ to t#e ti,e t#e$e 'ro&nd$ are cited. / cancellation case is $ro ght $efore the elections, while a quo 4arranto is filed after and )a! still $e filed even if a CoC cancellation case was not filed $efore elections. The onl! difference $etween the two proceedings is that, nder section 93, the : alifications for elective office are )isrepresented in the certificate of candidac! and the proceedings ) st $e initiated $efore the elections, whereas a petition for quo 4arranto nder section "2' )a! $e $ro ght on the $asis of two gro nds 1 *&- ineligi$ilit! or *"dislo!alt! to the Rep $lic of the Philippines, and ) st $e initiated within ten da!s after the procla)ation of the election res lts. Inder section "2', a candidate is ineligi$le if he is dis: alified to $e elected to office, and he is dis: alified if he lacks an! of the : alifications for elective office."' Note that the : estion of what wo ld constit te acts of dis: alification Q nder Sections >3 and &" of the OEC and Section 8% of ,=C &00& Q is $est resolved $! directl! referring to the provisions involved. On the other hand, what constit tes a violation of the three1ter) li)it r le nder the Constit tion has $een clarified in o r case law."8 The approach is not as straight forward in a petition to den! d e co rse to or cancel a CoC and also to a quo 4arrantopetition, which si)ilarl! covers the ineligi$ilit! of a candidateKelected official. In Salcedo ** v. #,&'L'#,"2 we r led that Q FIGn order to 5 stif! the cancellation of the certificate of candidac! nder Section 93, it is essential that the (a!$e re-re$entation )entioned therein pertain to a ,ateria! ,atter for the sanction i)posed $! this provision wo ld affect the s $stantive rights of a candidate J the right to r n for the elective post for which he filed the certificate of candidac!. /ltho gh the law does not specif! what wo ld $e considered as a E)aterial representation,E the Co rt has interpreted this phrase in a line of decisions appl!ing Section 93 of the Code. 4444 Therefore, it )a! $e concl ded that the )aterial )isrepresentation conte)plated $! Section 93 of the Code refer to 9&a!i(ication$ (or e!ecti*e o((ice. This concl sion is strengthened $! the fact that the conse: ences i)posed pon a candidate g ilt! of having )ade a false representation in his certificate of candidac! are grave J to prevent the candidate fro) r nning or, if elected, fro) serving, or to prosec te hi) for violation of the election laws. It co ld not have $een the intention of the law to deprive a person of s ch a $asic and s $stantive political right to $e voted for a p $lic office pon 5 st an! innoc o s

)istake. Fe)phases o rs, citation o)ittedG Th s, in addition to the fail re to satisf! or co)pl! with the eligi$ilit! re: ire)ents, a )aterial )isrepresentation ) st $e present in a cancellation of CoC sit ation. The law apparentl! does not allow )aterial divergence fro) the listed re: ire)ents to : alif! for candidac! and enforces its edict $! re: iring positive representation of co)pliance nder oath. Significantl!, where dis: alification is involved, the )ere e4istence of a gro nd appears s fficient and a )aterial representation ass )es no relevance. 5s to the period for filing: The period to file a petition to den! d e co rse to or cancel a CoC depends on the provision of law invoked. If the petition is filed nder Section 53 o( t#e OEC, the petition ) st $e filed within twent!1five *"2- da!s fro) the filing of the CoC."> Bowever, if the petition is $ro ght nder Section 49 of the sa)e law, the petition ) st $e filed within five *2da!s fro) the last da! of filing the CoC."9 On the other hand, the period to file a di$9&a!i(ication ca$e is at an! ti)e $efore the procla)ation of a winning candidate, as provided in CO+E,EC Resol tion No. 3>0>."3 T#e t#reeAter, !i,it di$9&a!i(ication, beca&$e o( it$ &ni9&e c#aracteri$tic$, doe$ not $trict!) (o!!o0 t#i$ ti,e !i,itation and i$ di$c&$$ed at !en't# be!o0 . /t the ver! least, it sho ld follow the te)poral li)itations of a quo 4arranto petition which ) st $e filed within ten *&%- da!s fro) procla)ation."0 The constit tional nat re of the violation, however, arg es against the application of this ti)e re: ire)entA the rationale for the r le and the role of the Constit tion in the co ntr!;s legal order dictate that a petition sho ld $e allowed while a consec tive fo rth1ter)er is in office. 5s to the effects of a successful suit? / candidate whose CoC was denied d&e co&r$e or cance!!ed is not considered a candidate at all. Note that the law fi4es the period within which a CoC )a! $e filed. '% /fter this period, generall! no other person )a! 5oin the election contest. / nota$le e4ception to this general r le is the r le on s $stit tion. The application of the e4ception, however, pres pposes a valid CoC. Inavoida$l!, a EcandidateE 0#o$e CoC #a$ been cance!!ed or denied d&e co&r$e cannot be $&b$tit&ted (or !ac8 o( a CoC , to all intents and p rposes.'& Si)ilarl!, a s ccessf l quo 4arranto s it res lts in the o ster of an alread! elected official fro) officeA s $stit tion, for o$vio s reasons, can no longer appl!. On the other hand, a candidate who was $i,-!) di$9&a!i(ied is )erel! prohi$ited fro) contin ing as a candidate or fro) ass )ing or contin ing to ass )e the f nctions of the officeA s $stit tion can th s take place nder the ter)s of Section 99 of the OEC. '" >o0e*er, a t#reeAter, candidate 0it# a *a!id and $&b$i$tin' CoC cannot be $&b$tit&ted if t#e ba$i$ o( t#e $&b$tit&tion i$ #i$ di$9&a!i(ication on acco&nt o( #i$ t#reeAter, !i,itation. i$9&a!i(ication t#at i$ ba$ed on a breac# o( t#e t#reeAter, !i,it r&!e cannot be in*o8ed a$ t#i$ di$9&a!i(ication can on!) ta8e -!ace a(ter e!ection 0#ere t#e t#reeAter, o((icia! e,er'ed a$ 0inner. /s in a quo 4arranto, an! s $stit tion is too late at this point. 5s to the effects of a successful suit on the right of the second placer in the elections: In an! of these three re)edies, the doctrine of re5ection of the second placer applies for the si)ple reason that Q To si)plisticall! ass )e that the second placer wo ld have received the other votes wo ld $e to s $stit te o r 5 dg)ent for the )ind of the voter. The second placer is 5 st

that, a second placer. Be lost the elections. Be was rep diated $! either a )a5orit! or pl ralit! of voters. Be co ld not $e considered the first a)ong : alified candidates $eca se in a field which e4cl des the dis: alified candidate, the conditions wo ld have s $stantiall! changed. @e are not prepared to e4trapolate the res lts nder s ch circ )stances.'' @ith the dis: alification of the winning candidate and the application of the doctrine of re5ection of the second placer, the r&!e$ on $&cce$$ion nder the law accordingl! appl!. /s an e2ce-tiona! $it&ation, however, the candidate with the second highest n )$er of votes *second placer- )a! $e validl! proclai)ed as the winner in the elections sho ld the winning candidate $e di$9&a!i(ied $! final 5 dg)ent before t#e e!ection$, as clearl! provided in Section > of R./. No. >>8>.'8 The sa)e effect o$tains when the electorate is f ll! aware, in fact and in law and within the real) of notoriet!, of the dis: alification, !et the! still voted for the dis: alified candidate. In this sit ation, the electorate that cast the pl ralit! of votes in favor of the notorio sl! dis: alified candidate is si)pl! dee)ed to have waived their right to vote.'2 In a CoC cance!!ation proceeding, the law is silent on the legal effect of a 5 dg)ent cancelling the CoC and does not also provide an! te)poral distinction. =iven, however, the for)al initiator! role a CoC pla!s and the standing it gives to a political aspirant, the cancellation of the CoC $ased on a finding of its invalidit! effectivel! res lts in a vote for an ine(istent EcandidateE or for one who is dee)ed not to $e in the $allot. /ltho gh legall! a )isno)er, the Esecond placerE sho ld $e proclai)ed the winner as the candidate with the highest n )$er of votes for the contested position. This sa)e conse: ence sho ld res lt if the cancellation case $eco)es final after elections, as the cancellation signifies non1candidac! fro) the ver! start, i.e., fro) $efore the elections. 6iolation of the three-term limit rule a. T#e T#reeATer, Li,it R&!e. The three1ter) li)it r le is a creation of Section 3, /rticle < of the Constit tion. This provision fi4es the )a4i) ) li)it an elective local official can consec tivel! serve in office, and at the sa)e ti)e gives the co))and, in no ncertain ter)s, that no suc official s all serve for more t an t ree consecutive terms. Th s, a three1ter) local official is barred (ro, $er*in' a (o&rt# and $&b$e9&ent con$ec&ti*e ter,$. This $ar, as a constit tional provision, ) st necessaril! $e read into and interpreted as a co)ponent part of the OEC nder the legal realit! that neit#er t#i$ Code nor t#e Loca! Go*ern,ent Code -ro*ide$ (or t#e t#reeAter, !i,it r&!e%$ o-erationa! detai!$1 it i$ not re(erred to a$ a 'ro&nd (or t#e cance!!ation o( a CoC nor (or t#e di$9&a!i(ication o( a candidate, ,&c# !e$$ are it$ e((ect$ -ro*ided (or. Th s, the need to f ll! consider, reconcile and har)oni6e the ter)s and effects of this r le with o r election and other laws. b. I$ t#e R&!e an E!i'ibi!it) Re9&ire,ent or a i$9&a!i(icationC In practical ter)s, the : estion Q of whether the three1ter) li)it r le is a )atter of Eeligi$ilit!E that ) st $e considered in the filing of a CoC Q translates to the need to state in a wo ld1$e candidate;s CoC application that he is eligi$le for candidac! $eca se he has not served three consec tive ter)s i))ediatel! $efore filing his application. The wording of Section 3, /rticle < of the Constit tion,

however, does not 5 stif! this re: ire)ent as Section 3 si)pl! sets a li)it on the n )$er of consec tive ter)s an official can serve. It does not refer to elections, ) ch less does it $ar a three1ter)er;s candidac!. /s previo sl! disc ssed, Section 98 of the OEC does not e4pressl! re: ire a candidate to assert the non/possession of an! dis: alif!ing trait or condition, ) ch less of a candidate;s o$servance of the three1ter) li)it r le. In (act, t#e a$$ertion o( a 0o&!dAbe candidate%$ e!i'ibi!it), a$ re9&ired b) t#e OEC, co&!d not #a*e conte,-!ated ,a8in' a t#reeAter, candidate ine!i'ib!e for candidacy $ince t#at di$9&a!i()in' trait be'an to e2i$t on!) !ater &nder t#e 1935 Con$tit&tion. @hat Section 3, /rticle < of the Constit tion indisp ta$l! )andates is solel! a $ar against serving for a fo rth consec tive ter), not a $ar against candidac!. O( co&r$e, bet0een t#e (i!in' o( a CoC .t#at 'i*e$ an a--!icant t#e $tat&$ o( a candidate/ and a$$&,-tion to o((ice a$ an e!ection 0inner i$ a 0ide e2-an$e o( e!ection acti*itie$ 0#o$e *ario&$ $ta'e$ o&r e!ection !a0$ treat in *ario&$ di((erent 0a)$. T#&$, i( candidac) 0i!! be aborted (ro, t#e *er) $tart .i.e., at t#e initia! CoC(i!in' $ta'e/, 0#at e((ecti*e!) ta8e$ -!ace D 'rantin' t#at t#e t#irdter,er -o$$e$$e$ a!! t#e e!i'ibi!it) e!e,ent$ re9&ired b) !a0 D i$ a $#ortc&t t#at i$ &nderta8en on t#e t#eor) t#at t#e candidate cannot $er*e in an) 0a) if #e 0in$ a (o&rt# ter,. I s $)it that while si)ple and efficient, e$$entia! !e'a! con$ideration$ $#o&!d di$$&ade t#e Co&rt (ro, &$in' t#i$ a--roac#. To ,a8e t#i$ $#ortc&t i$ to incor-orate into t#e !a0, b) +&dicia! (iat, a re9&ire,ent t#at i$ not e2-re$$!) t#ere. In other words, s ch shortc t )a! go $e!ond allowa$le interpretation that the Co rt can ndertake, and cross over into prohi$ited 5 dicial legislation. Not to so hold, on the other hand, does not violate the three1ter) li)it r le even in spirit, since its clear and ndisp ted )andate is to disallow serving for a fo rth consec tive ter)A this o$5ective is achieved when the local official does not win and can alwa!s $e attained $! the direct application of the law if he does win. /nother reason, and an e: all! weight! one, is that a shortc t wo ld r n co nter to t#e conce-t o( co,,ona!it) t#at c#aracteri:e$ t#e e!i'ibi!it) re9&ire,ent$A it wo ld allow the introd ction of an ele)ent that does not appl! to all citi6ens as an entr! : alification. Diewed fro) the pris) of the general distinctions $etween eligi$ilit! and dis: alification disc ssed a$ove, the three1ter) li)it is navoida$l! a restriction that applies onl! to local officials who have served for three consec tive ter)s, not to all wo ld1$e candidates at largeA it applies onl! to specific individuals who )a! have otherwise $een eligi$le if not for the three1ter) li)it r le and is th s a defect that attaches onl! to the candidate. In this sense, it cannot $ t $e a dis: alification and at that, a ver! specific one. That the prohi$ited fo rth consec tive ter) can onl! take place after a three1ter) local official wins his fo rth ter) signifies too that the prohi$ition *and the res lting dis: alification- onl! takes place after elections. This circ )stance, to )! )ind, s pports the view that the threeter) li)it r le does not at all involve itself with the )atter of candidac!A it onl! reg lates service $e!ond the li)its the Constit tion has set. Indeed, it i$ a bi' e2tra-o!ati*e !ea- (or a -ro#ibition t#at a--!ie$ a(ter e!ection, to #ar8 bac8 and a((ect t#e initia! e!ection -roce$$ (or t#e (i!in' o( CoC$.

Th s, on the whole, I s $)it that the legall! so nd view is not to $ar a three1ter)er;s candidac! for a fo rth ter) if the three1ter) li)it r le is the onl! reason for the $ar. In these lights, the three1ter) li)it r le Q as a $ar against a fo rth consec tive ter) Q is effectivel! a dis: alification against s ch service rather than an eligi$ilit! re: ire)ent. '> c. Fi!in' o( "etition and E((ect$. /s a dis: alification that can onl! $e triggered after the elections, it is not one that can $e i)ple)ented or given effect $efore s ch ti)e. The reason is o$vio sA $efore that ti)e, the gatewa! to the 8th consec tive ter) has not $een opened $eca se the fo r1ter) re1electionist has not won. This realit! $rings into sharp foc s the ti)ing of the filing of a petition for dis: alification for $reach of the three1ter) li)it r le. Sho ld a petition nder the three1ter) li)it r le $e allowed onl! after the fo r1ter) official has won on the theor! that it is at that point that the Constit tion de)ands a $arR The ti)ing of the filing of the petition for dis: alification is a )atter of proced re that pri)aril! rests with the CO+E,EC. Of co rse, a petition for dis: alification cannot $e filed against one who is not !et a candidate as onl! candidates *and winners- can $e dis: alified. Bence, the filing sho ld $e done after the filing of the CoC. On the )atter of the ti)e li)itations of its filing, I $elieve that the petition does not need to $e ho$$led $! the ter)s of CO+E,EC Resol tion No. 3>0>'9 $eca se of the $-ecia! nat&re and c#aracteri$tic$ o( t#e t#reeAter, !i,it r&!e Q i.e., the constit tional $reach involvedA the fact that it can $e effective onl! after a candidate has won the electionA and the lack of specific provision of the election laws covering it. To $e s re, a constit tional $reach cannot $e allowed to re)ain nattended $eca se of the proced res laid down $! ad)inistrative $odies. @hile Salcedo considers the re)ed! of quo 4arranto as al)ost the sa)e as the re)ed! of cancellation on the : estion of eligi$ilit!, the fact that the re)edies can $e availed of onl! at partic lar periods of the election process signifies )ore than the te)poral distinction. #ro) the point of view of eligi$ilit!, one who )erel! seeks to hold p $lic office thro gh a valid candidac! cannot wholl! $e treated in the sa)e )anner as one who has won and is at the point of ass )ing or serving the office to which he was electedA the re: ire)ents to be e!i'ib!e a$ a candidate are defined $! the election laws and $! the local govern)ent code, $ t $e!ond these are con$tit&tiona! re$triction$ on e!i'ibi!it) to $er*e . The three1ter) li)it r le serves as the $est e4a)ple of this fine distinctionA a local official who is allowed to $e a candidate nder o r stat tes $ t who is effectivel! in his fo rth ter) sho ld $e considered ineligi!le to serve if the Co rt were to give life to the constit tional provision, co ched in a strong prohi$itor! lang age, that Eno s ch official shall serve for )ore than three consec tive ter)s.E / possi$le legal st )$ling $lock in allowing the filing of the petition $efore the election is the e4istence of a ca se of action or pre)at rit! at that point. If dis: alification is triggered onl! after a three1ter)er has won, then it )a! $e arg ed with so)e strength that a petition, filed against a respondent three1ter) local official $efore he has won a fo rth ti)e, has not violated an! law and does not give the petitioner the right to file a petition for lack of ca se of action or pre)at rit!. I take the view, however, that the petition does not need to $e i))ediatel! acted pon and can )erel! $e docketed as

a ca tionar! petition reserved for f t re action if and when the three1ter) local official wins a fo rth consec tive ter). If the parties proceed to litigate witho t raising the pre)at rit! or lack of ca se of action as o$5ection, a r ling can $e deferred ntil after ca se of action accr esA if a r ling is entered, then an! decreed dis: alification cannot $e given effect and i)ple)ented ntil a violation of the three1ter) li)it r le occ rs. Inlike in an ordinar! dis: alification case *where a dis: alification $! final 5 dg)ent $efore the elections against the victorio s $ t dis: alified candidate can catap lt the second placer into office- and in a cancellation case *where the 5 dg)ent, regardless of when it $eca)e final, against the victorio s candidate with an invalid CoC si)ilarl! gives the Esecond placerE a right to ass )e office-, a dis: alification $ased on a violation of the threeter) li)it r le sets p a ver! high $ar against the second placer nless he can clearl! and convincingl! show that the electorate had deli$eratel! and knowingl! )isapplied their votes. /odolfo7s petition is properly one for dis)ualification On the $asis of the a$ove disc ssions, I vote to grant the present petition. Notwithstanding the caption of Dr. Rodolfo;s petition, his petition is properl! one for dis: alification, since he onl! alleged a violation of the three1ter) li)it r le Q a dis: alification, not a cancellation iss e. Th s, the nat re and conse: ences of a dis: alification petition are what we ) st recogni6e and give effect to in this case. This concl sion i))ediatel! i)pacts on /ntipolo who, as second placer and in the a$sence of an! of the e4ceptions, ) st $ow o t of the pict re nder the doctrine of re5ection of the second placer.'3 %irst, as disc ssed a$ove, a res lting dis: alification $ased on a violation of the three1ter) li)it r le cannot $egin to operate ntil after the elections, where the three1ter) official e)erged as victorio s.'0 There is no wa! that /ntipolo, the second placer in the election, co ld ass )e the office of +a!or $eca se no dis: alification took effect before the elections against ,on6anida despite the decision rendered then. To reiterate, the prohi$ition against ,on6anida onl! took place after his election for his fo rth consec tive ter). /t that point, the election was over and the people had chosen. @ith ,on6anida ineligi$le to ass )e office, the Dice1+a!or takes over $! s ccession. Second, likewise, it has not $een shown that the electorate deli$eratel! and knowingl! )isapplied their votes in favor of ,on6anida, res lting in their disenfranchise)ent. Since a dis: alification $ased on a violation of the three1ter) li)it r le does not affect a CoC that is otherwise valid, then ,on6anida re)ained a candidate who co ld $e validl! voted for in the elections.8% It was onl! when his dis: alification was triggered that a per)anent vacanc! occ rred in the office of the +a!or of San /ntonio, 7a)$ales. Inder the ,=C,8& it is /ratea, the d l! elected Dice +a!or, who sho ld serve as +a!or in place of the elected $ t dis: alified ,on6anida.