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POLITICAL LAW REVIEWER

ELECTION LAWS

Election

Embodiment of the popular will, the expression of the sovereign power of the people.

Components:

Choice or selection of candidates to public office by popular vote

Conduct of the polls

Listing of votes

Holding of Electoral campaign

Act of casting and receiving the ballots from the voters

Counting the ballots

Making the election returns

Proclaiming the winning candidates


Regular election refers to an election participated in by those who possess the right of suffrage
and not disqualified by law and who are registered voters.
Special election is when there is failure of election on the scheduled date of regular election in
a particular place or which is conducted to fill up certain vacancies, as provided by law.

Political Parties

Definition (Omnibus Election Code)


An organized group of persons pursuing the same ideology, political ideas or platforms of
government including its branches and divisions.
Types of Political Parties
1) Registered Parties:
1.
Dominant Majority Party usually the administration party; entitled to a copy of election
return
2.
Dominant Minority Party entitled to a copy of election return
3.
Majority Political Party
4.
Top 3 Political Parties entitled to appoint principal watcher and a copy of the certificate of
canvass
5.
Bottom 3 political parties entitled to appoint principal watcher
2) Non-registered parties
Criteria to Determine the Type of Political Party
1.
Established Record of the said parties, showing in past elections
2.
Number of Incumbent Elective Officials
3.
Identifiable political organizations and strengths
4.
Ability to fill a complete slate of candidates
5.
Other analogous circumstances
Grounds for Challenging the Voter
1.
Illegal voters ( Not Registered / Using the name of another / disqualified )

2.

Based on certain illegal acts (Vote buying)

Acquisition of Juridical Personality


It is acquired upon registration with the COMELEC.
Forfeiture of Status as a Registered Political Party
The status shall be deemed forfeited if the political party, singly or in coalition with others, fails
to obtain at least 10% of the votes cast in the constituency in which it nominated and supported a
candidate/s in the election next following its registration. There shall be notice and hearing.

Candidates
Rules on Filing of Certificates of Candidacy
1.
No person shall be elected into public office unless he files his certificate of candidacy within
the prescribed period
2.
No person shall be eligible for more than one office. If he/she files for more than one position,
he shall not be eligible for all unless he cancels all and retains one
3.
The certificate of candidacy shall be filed by the candidate personally or by his duly authorized
representative.
4.
Upon filing, an individual becomes a candidate, he is already covered by rules, restrictions and
processes involving candidates.
Grounds for Disqualification
1.
Election offenses under Sec 68 of the Omnibus Election Code (OEC)
2.
Not possessing qualifications and possessing disqualifications under the Local Government Code
2.1 Sentenced by final judgment for an offense involving moral turpitude or for an offense
punishable by one year or more of imprisonment within two years after serving sentence
2.2 Removed from office as a result of an administrative case
2.3 Convicted by final judgment for violating the oath of allegiance to the Republic
2.4 Dual citizenship ( more specifically, dual allegiance)
2.5 Fugitives from justice in criminal or non-political cases here or abroad
2.6 Permanent residents in a foreign country or those who have acquired the right to reside
abroad and continue to avail of the same right
2.7 Insane or feeble-minded
1.
2.
3.

Nuisance candidate
Violation of sec 73 of OEC with regard to certificate of candidacy
Violation of sec 78 which is material misrepresentation of reqts under sec. 74.

* Disqualifications (from continuing as a candidate or from holding the office if already elected):

Any candidate, who in an action or protest in which he is a party is declared by final decision of a
competent court guilty of, or is found by the Commission of having:
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.

Given money or other material consideration to influence, induce or corrupt the voters or
public officials performing electoral functions.
Committed acts of terrorism to enhance his candidacy
Spent in his election campaign an amount in excess of that allowed by the Omnibus Election
Code )
Solicited, received or made any contribution prohibited under this Code
Violated any of the following sections: Section 80, 83, 85,86,261
Permanent resident of or an immigrant to a foreign country shall not be qualified to run for any
elective office UNLESS he/she has waived his/her status as a permanent resident/immigrant of a
foreign country in accordance with the residence requirement provided for under election laws.

Effect of a Disqualification case (under RA 6646)


1.
Any candidate who has been declared by final judgment to be disqualified shall NOT be voted
for. The votes cast in his favor shall not be counted.
2.
If the candidate is not disqualified by final judgment before the election and receives the
highest number of votes in the election, the court or COMELEC will continue with the trial and
hearing of the action, inquiry or protest. Upon motion of the complainant or intervenor, the
court or COMELEC may order the suspension of the proclamation of the candidate whenever the
evidence of his guilt is strong.

Nuisance Candidates
A. The term refers to candidates who have no bona fide intention to run for the office for which
the certificate of candidacy has been filed and would thus prevent a faithful determination of the
true will of the people.
B. Power of COMELEC
1.

May refuse to give due course to or cancel a certificate of candidacy of a nuisance candidate.
This can be done motu proprio or upon verified petition of an interested party.

2.There should be a showing that:


1.
2.

Certificate of candidacy has been filed to put the election process in mockery/disrepute or
To cause confusion among the voters by the similarity of the names of the registered
candidates
3.
Other circumstances which clearly demonstrate that the candidate has no bona fide intention
to run for the office

Petition to deny due course to or to cancel a Certificate of Candidacy

A. Exclusive ground: A material representation in the certificate of candidacy is false.


B. The petition should be filed not later than 25 days from the filing of the certificate of
candidacy.
C. It should be decided not later than 15 days before the election, after due notice and hearing.
Election Campaign/Partisan Political Activity
Definition

1) It refers to an act designed to promote the election or defeat of a particular candidate/s to a


public office
2) It includes:
A. Forming organizations, associations, clubs, committees or other groups of persons for the
purpose of soliciting votes and/or undertaking any campaign for or against a candidate.
B. Holding political caucuses, conferences, meetings, rallies, parades or other similar assemblies
for the purpose of soliciting votes and/or undertaking any campaign or propaganda for or against a
candidate.
C. Making speeches, announcements or commentaries or holding interviews for or against the
election of any candidate for public office.
D. Publishing or distributing campaign literature or materials designed to support or oppose the
election of any candidate.
E. Directly or indirectly soliciting votes, pledges or support for or against a candidate.
3) When the acts enumerated above are NOT considered an election campaign/partisan political
activity.
If the acts are performed for the purpose of enhancing the chances of aspirants for nomination for
candidacy to a public office by a political party, aggroupment, or coalition of parties.
RA 9006 FAIR ELECTION ACT
Important Features:
1) Repeal of Sec. 67 of the OEC Now, any ELECTIVE official, whether national or local, running
for any office other than the one which he is holding in a permanent capacity shall not be
considered ipso facto resigned from his office upon the filing of his certificate of candidacy.
2) Lifting of the Political Ad Ban Written and Printed Materials (8.5 W x 14L)

Letters
Posters (2 x 3) in common-private poster areas ( not more than 10 public places per political
party or independent candidate, 12 16), private places and public places
Rally streamers (3 x 8) NOT MORE THAN 2
Paid Advertisements at Discounted Rates
Print : 1/4th page in broadsheet and page in tabloid 3x a week
Television: 120 minutes for candidate for nationally elective office and 60 for local
Radio: 180 minutes for candidate for nationally elective office and 90 for local
COMELEC free space (3 national newspaper for nationally elective officials and 1 national
newspaper for local) and airtime
(3 national television networks for nationally elective officials and 1 station for local ) : equal
allocation for all candidates for 3 calendar days
Authorized Expenses ( multiplied with the total number of registered voters )

P 10 for president / vice president

P 3 for other candidates for every voter currently registered in the constituency

P 5 for independent candidates and political parties

Voters
Qualifications

1.
2.

Age: 18 years old and over.


Residence
He /she should have resided in the Philippines for one year and
Resided in the city/municipality wherein he proposes to vote for at least 6 months immediately
preceding the election.

Residence Requirement

If the transfer of residence is due to any of the following reasons, the person concerned will be
deemed NOT to have lost his original residence:
A. Transfer solely because of occupation, profession, employment in private or public service
B. Educational activities
C. Work in military or naval reservations
D. Service in the army, navy or air force, national police force

E. Confinement/detention in government institutions in accordance with law.

RA 8189 VOTERS REGISTRATION ACT OF 1996


Q: Can there still be general registration of voters?
A: No more, because 8189 (7) provides for such only for the May 98 elections
Q: What kind of registration system do we have?
A: Continuing, Computerized and Permanent
Disqualifications

A. If sentenced by final judgment to suffer imprisonment for not less than 1 year and such
disability was not removed by plenary pardon or has not been granted amnesty. However, any
person disqualified to vote shall automatically reacquire the right to vote upon expiration of 5
years after service of sentence.
B. Any person who has been adjudged by final judgment by competent court or tribunal of having
committed any crime involving disloyalty to the duly constituted government such as rebellion or
any crime against national security:
1. UNLESS restored to his full civil and political rights in accordance with law.
2. However, he shall regain his right to vote automatically upon expiration of 5 years after service
of sentence.
C. Insane or incompetent persons as declared by competent authority.
Jurisdiction in Inclusion/Exclusion cases

A. The municipal and metropolitan trial courts shall have original and exclusive jurisdiction over
all matters of inclusion and exclusion of voters from the list in their respective municipalities or
cities. Petition filed at any time except 105 days before regular election or 75 days before special
election
B. Decisions may be appealed to the RTC within 5 days from receipt of notice of decision.
C. RTC will decide the appeal within 10 days. Decision is final and executory.
D. Note: Relate this to Article IX of the Constitution which provides that the COMELEC has no
jurisdiction over questions involving the right to vote.
E. Exclusion is through sworn petition and not later than 100 days before regular election; 65 days
before special election

Grounds when the List of Voters will be altered:

Deactivation/ Reactivation

Exclusion/ Inclusion

Cancellation of Registration in case of Death

New voters

Annulment of Book of Voters

Transfer of Residence
How is challenge to right to register effected?
Who any voter, candidate, political party representative
How in writing, stating grnds, under oath, proof of notice of hearing

Deactivation means removing the registration records of persons from the precinct book of voters
and place the same, properly marked and dated in indelible ink, in the inactive file after entering
the cause of deactivation.
How is reactivation of registration effected ?
Sworn application for reactivation
Affidavit
Not later than 120 days before regular election and 90 days before special election
Annulment of Book of Voters is through verified petition; notice and hearing; not prepared in
accordance with law or prepared through fraud, bribery, forgery, impersonation, intimidation,
force, any similar irregularity or which contains data that are statistically improbable
Cannot be done within 90 days before election

Postponement of Election
Causes

Violence
Terrorism
Loss or destruction of election paraphernalia/records
Force majeure
Other analogous causes

Effect

It is impossible to hold a free, orderly and honest election in any political subdivision

COMELEC can postpone the election (when decided by a majority vote of the COMELEC sitting en
banc, RA 7166):
A. Motu proprio
B. Upon a verified petition by any interested party, after due notice and hearing
Date of new election

The date of the postponed election should be reasonably close to the date of the election not
held, suspended, or which resulted in a failure to elect. It should not be later than 30 days after
the cessation of the cause for such postponement or suspension of the election or failure to elect.

Failure of Election
Causes

Force majeure
Violence
Terrorism
Fraud
Other analogous causes

Under RA 7166, the causes for the declaration of the failure of election may occur before or after
the casting of votes or on the day of the election.
Effects of above causes

A. Election in any polling place was not held on the date fixed;
B. Election was suspended before the hour fixed by law for the closing of the voting
C. Elections results in a failure to elect (after the voting and during the preparation and
transmission of the election returns or in the custody or canvass thereof)
AND the failure or suspension of the election would affect the result of the election
Remedy

COMELEC can call for the holding or continuation of the election not held, suspended, or which
resulted in a failure to elect. The election should be held not later than 30 days after the
cessation of the cause of the postponement or suspension of the election or failure to elect. This
is decided by the COMELEC, by a majority vote of its members, sitting en banc.

RA 7941 Party-List System Act


Seeks to promote proportional representation

Any party already registered need not register anew. File manifestation not later than 90 days
before election.

Grounds for refusing or canceling registration of Party-Lists groups

1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.

Religious sect or denomination, organization


Advocates violence
Foreign party or organization
Receives foreign support
Violates election law
Untruthful statements in its petition
Ceased to exist for at least one year
Failed to participate in the last two preceding elections or fails to obtain at least 2% of the
votes cast under the party-list system in the 2 preceding elections for the constituency in which
it has registered

Nomination of party-list reps should not include any candidate for any elective office or a person
who has lost his bid for an elective office in the immediately preceding election
Incumbent sectoral representatives in the House of Representatives who are nominated in the
party-list system shall not be considered resigned
Party List Reps constitute 20% of the total number of the members of the House of Reps including
those under the party-list
How do we determine the number of party list seats in the House of Reps?
(# of District Reps / 0.80) x 0.20 = # of party list reps

There are presently 208 legislative districts, according to the Veterans Federation Case
The 5 major political parties are now entitled to participate in the party list system
Parties receiving at least 2% of the total votes cast for the party-list system shall be entitled to
one seat each
No party shall be entitled to more than 3 seats
Currently, there are 260 seats. So 20 % of 260 is 52 seats. But this is only a ceiling.
A list with 5 names should be submitted to COMELEC as to who will represent the party in the
Congress. Ranking in the list submitted determines who shall represent party or organization.

Rules for Appreciation of Ballots

Liberal Construction in favor of the validity of the ballot


Look at the ticket slate, consider locality or literacy rate
Rule 211 of the OEC
Incumbency / Surname
Cannot ascertain STRAY VOTE

Pre-Proclamation Controversies
Definition

1.

A pre-proclamation controversy refers to any question 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
COMELEC.
1.
It would also refer to any matter raised under Sections 233, 234, 235, and 236 of the Omnibus
Election Code in relation to the preparation, transmission, receipt, custody, and appreciation of
the election returns. (Board of canvassers have original jurisdiction while COMELEC have
appellate jurisdiction)
1.
When election returns are delayed, lost or destroyed (Sec.233)
2.
Material defects in the election returns (Sec. 234)
3.
When election returns appear to be tampered with or falsified. (Sec. 235)
4.
Discrepancies in election returns (Sec. 236)

C. Those that can be filed with COMELEC directly are the ff:

Issue involves the illegal composition or proceedings of the board of canvassers, as when a
majority or all of the members do not hold legal appointments or are in fact usurpers
Issue involves the correction of manifest errors in the tabulation or tallying

of the results during the canvassing

Recount
There can be a recount under the grounds of 234-236. The returns involved will affect the results
and the integrity of the ballot box has been preserved
Issues that may be raised in a pre-proclamation controversy

1.
2.

Illegal composition or proceedings of the board of canvassers


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 authentic
copies thereof.
3.
The election returns were prepared under duress, threats, coercion, or intimidation, or they
are obviously manufactured, or not authentic.
4.
When substitute or fraudulent returns in controverted polling places were canvassed, the
results of which materially affected the standing of the aggrieved candidate/s.

Procedure
A. Contested composition or proceedings of the board (under RA 7166)
It may be initiated in the board or directly with COMELEC.
B. Contested election returns (under RA 7166)

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Matters relating to the preparation, transmission, receipt, custody and appreciation of the
election returns, and certificate of canvass, should be brought in the first instance before the
board of canvassers only.
Summary nature of pre-proclamation controversy

1.
2.

Pre-proclamation controversies shall be heard summarily by the COMELEC.


Its decision shall be executory after the lapse of 5 days from receipt by the losing party of the
decision, unless restrained by the SC.

Effect of filing petition to annul or suspend proclamation

It suspends the running of the period within which to file an election protest or quo warranto
proceedings.
When not allowed

Pre-proclamation cases on matters relating to the preparation, transmission, receipt, custody and
appreciation of the election returns or the certificates of canvass NOT allowed in elections for:
(under RA 7166)

President
Vice-President
Senator
Member of the House of Representatives

BUT: The appropriate canvassing body motu propio or upon written complaint of an interested
person can correct manifest errors in the certificate of canvass or election returns before it.
BUT: Questions affecting the composition or proceedings of the board of canvassers may be
initiated in the board or directly with COMELEC.

When pre-proclamation cases are deemed TERMINATED (RA 7166)


1.
All pre-proclamation cases pending before the COMELEC shall be deemed terminated at the
beginning of the term of the office involved and the rulings of the boards of canvassers
concerned deemed affirmed.
B. This is without prejudice to the filing of a regular election protest by the aggrieved party.
C. HOWEVER: Proceedings MAY CONTINUE if:
1.

The COMELEC determines that the petition is meritorious and issues an order for the
proceedings to continue or
2.
The Supreme Court issues an order for the proceedings to continue in a petition for certiorari.

Election Contest
Original Jurisdiction

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COMELEC has ORIGINAL jurisdiction over contests relating to the elections, returns, qualifications
of all elective:

Regional
Provincial
City officials

Appellate Jurisdiction

COMELEC has APPELLATE jurisdiction over all contests involving:


A. Elective MUNICIPAL officials decided by trial courts of GENERAL jurisdiction
B. Elective BARANGAY officials decided by trial courts of LIMITED jurisdiction
Who can file a petition contesting the election

Any candidate who has duly filed a certificate of candidacy and has been voted for the same
office
Purpose of an election contest

The defeated candidate seeks to outs the proclaimed winner and claims the seat.
Final COMELEC Decisions

Provision that decisions, final orders, rulings of the Commission on election contests involving
municipal and barangay offices are final, executory and not appealable:
A. This only applies to questions of FACT. ( Flores v. COMELEC, 184 SCRA 484)
B. It does NOT preclude a special civil action of certiorari. (Galido v. COMELEC, Jan. 18,1991)
Distinctions between Pre-Proclamation Controversy and Election Contest

1) Dividing line: Proclamation of a candidate


2) Jurisdiction
A. Pre-proclamation controversy
1.The jurisdiction of COMELEC is administrative/quasi-judicial
2.It is governed by the requirements of administrative due process
B. Election contest
1.The jurisdiction of COMELEC is judicial

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2.It is governed by the requirements of judicial process


3)
In some cases, even if the case (involving municipal officials) began with the COMELEC
before proclamation but a proclamation is made before the controversy is resolved, it ceases to
be a pre-proclamation controversy and becomes an election contest cognizable by the RTC.
4)

However, in some cases, the SC has recognized the jurisdiction of COMELEC over municipal

cases even after proclamation. Relate to the provision in RA 7166 allowing pre-proclamation
controversy proceedings to continue even after a proclamation has been made.

Election Offenses ( Selected Offenses)


Vote buying and vote-selling

A. Covered acts
1.Give, offer or promise money or anything of value
2. Making or offer to make any expenditure, directly or indirectly, or cause an expenditure to be
made to any person, association, corporation, entity or community
3.Soliciting or receiving, directly or indirectly, any expenditure or promise of any office or
employment, public or private
B. Purpose of acts
1. To induce anyone or the public in general to vote for or against any candidate or withhold his
vote in the election or
2. To vote for or against any aspirant for the nomination or choice of a candidate in a convention
or similar selection
C. Under RA 6646 (Prosecution of vote-buying/selling)
1. Presentation of a complaint supported by affidavits of complaining witnesses attesting to the
offer or promise by or the voters acceptance of money or other consideration from the relatives,
leaders or sympathizers of a candidate is sufficient basis for an investigation by the
COMELEC,directly or through its duly authorized legal officers.
2. Disputable presumption of conspiracy:
Proof that at least one voter in different precincts representing at least 20% of the total precincts
in any municipality, city or province has been offered, promised or given money, valuable

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consideration or other expenditure by a candidate relatives, leaders and/or sympathizsrs for the
purpose of promoting the election of such candidate.
3. Disputable presumption of involvement
Proof affects at least 20% of the precincts of the municipality, city or province to which the public
office aspired for by the favored candidate relates. This will constitute a disputable presumption
of the involvement of such candidate and of his principal campaign managers in each of the
municipalities concerned in the conspiracy
Coercion of a subordinate

A. Who can be held liable


1. public officer
2. officer of a public/private corporation/association
3. heads/superior/administrator of any religious org.
4. employer/landowner
B. Prohibited acts
1.
Coercing, intimidating or compelling or influencing, in any manner, any subordinates, members,
parishioners or employees or house helpers, tenants, overseers, farm helpers, tillers or lease
holders to aid, campaign or vote for or against a candidate or aspirant for the nomination or
selection of candidates.
2.
Dismissing or threatening to dismiss, punishing or threatening to punish by reducing salary,
wage or compensation or by demotion, transfer, suspension etc.

Appointment of new employees, creation of new position, promotion or giving salary


increases:
A. Who can be held liable: Any head/official/appointing officer of a government office, agency or
instrumentality, whether national or local, including GOCCs.
B. Prohibited acts
1.Appointing or hiring a new employee (provisional, temporary or casual)
2.Creating or filling any new position
3.Promoting/giving an increase in salary, remuneration or privilege to any government official or
employee.

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C. Period when acts are prohibited


1. 45 days before a regular election
2. 30 days before a special election
D. Exceptions
1.
Upon prior authority of COMELEC if it is satisfied that the position to be filled is essential to
the proper functioning of the office/agency concerned AND that the position is not filled in a
manner that may influence the election
2.
In case of urgent need, a new employee may be appointed. Notice of appointment should be
given to COMELEC within 3 days from appointment.
Prohibition against release, disbursement or expenditure of public funds

A. Who can be held liable: Any public official or employee including barangay officials and those
of GOCCs/subsidiaries
B. Prohibited acts:
The release, disbursement or expenditure of public funds for any and other kinds
works

of public

C. Period when acts are prohibited:


1. 45 days before a regular election
2. 30 days before a special election
D. Exception
1.
maintenance of existing/completed public works project.
2.
work undertaken by contract through public bidding, or by negotiated contract awarded before
the 45 day period before election
3.
payment for the usual cooperation for working drawings, specfications and other procedures
preparatory to actual construction including the purchase of material and equipment and
incidental expenses for wages.
4.
Emergency work necessitated by the occurrence of a public calamity but such work shall be
limited to the restoration of the damaged facility.
5.
Ongoing public work projects commenced before the campaign period or similar projects under
foreign agreements.
Suspension of elective, provincial, city, municipal or barangay officer

A. General rule: public official CANNOT suspend any of the officers enumerated above during the
election period.
B. Exceptions
1.
With prior approval of COMELEC
2.
Suspension is for the purpose of applying the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act

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In relation to registration of voters/voting

Unjustifiable refusal to register and vote

Voting more than once in the same election/voting when not a registered voter

Voting in substitution for another with or without the latters knowledge and/or consent etc.

Other election offenses under RA 6646


1.
Causing the printing of official ballots and election returns by printing establishments not on
contract with COMELEC and printing establishments which undertakes unauthorized printing
2.
Tampering, increasing or decreasing the votes received by a candidate or refusing after proper
verification and hearing to credit the correct votes or deduct the tampered votes (committed by
a member of the board of election inspectors)
3.
Refusing to issue the certificate of voters to the duly accredited watchers (committed by a
member of the BEI)
4.
Person who violated provisions against prohibited forms of election propaganda
5.
Failure to give notice of meetings to other members of the board, candidate or political party
(committed by the Chairman of the board of canvassers)
6.
A person who has been declared a nuisance candidate or is otherwise disqualified who
continues to misrepresent himself as a candidate (Ex. by continuing to campaign) and any public
officer or private individual who knowingly induces or abets such misrepresentation by
commission or omission.
7.
If the chairman of the BEI fails to affix his signature at the back of the official ballot, in the
presence of the voter, before delivering the ballot to the voter. (under RA 7166)
Prescription of Election Offenses

1.
2.

Election offenses shall prescribe after 5 years from the date of their commission
If the discovery of the offense is made in an election contest proceeding, the period of
prescription shall commence on the date on which the judgment in such proceedings becomes
final and executory

Jurisdiction of courts

1.

RTC has exclusive original jurisdiction to try and decide any criminal action or proceedings for
violation of the Code.
2.
MTC/MCTC have jurisdiction over offenses relating to failure to register or vote.

Source:
Election Law Reviewer and Memory Aid
Ateneo

Election Laws Reviewer


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Definition:
Suffrage the right and obligation of qualified citizens to vote in the election of certain national and
local of the government and in the decisions of public questions submitted to the people. It includes
within its scope: election, plebiscite, initiative, referendum and recall.
Election the means by which the people choose their officials for a definite and fixed period and to
whom they entrust for the time being as their representatives the exercise of the powers of the
government, It involves the choice of selection of candidates to public office by popular vote.
Plebiscite a vote of the people expressing their choice for against a proposed law or enactment
submitted to them. An election at which any proposed amendment to or revision of the Constitution
is submitted to the people for their ratification. A constitutional requirement o secure the approval of
the people directly affected, before certain proposed changes affecting local governments units may
be implemented.
Initiative it is the process by which the registered voters directly propose, amend laws, national or
local, though an election called for the propose. Amendments to the Constitution may likewise be
directly proposed by the people though initiative.
Referendum- it is at he submission of a law pass by the national or local legislative body to the
registered voters of an election called for the purpose for their ratification or rejection.
Recall- it is a method by which a public officer may be removed from office during his tenure or
before the expiration of his term by a vote of the people after registration of a petition singed by a
required percentage of the qualified voters.
Since the right of suffrage is a political and not a natural right, it is within the power of the state
prescribe the manner in which such right shall be exercised. Congress is mandated by the
Constitution (Sec.2, Art. V):
To provide a system for securing the secrecy and sanctity of the ballot, and for absentee voting by
qualified Filipinos abroad, and
To design a procedure for the disabled and the illiterate to vote without the assistance of other
persons.

THE COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS


Composition, Qualifications, Appointment,
Term of Office
The COMELEC is composed of a chairman and six (6) Commission, The Chairman and the Members
of the Commission shall be:
natural -born citizens of the Philippines

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at least thirty-five years of age


holders of a college degree
must not have been candidates for any elective position in the immediately preceding election
majority thereof, including the Chairman shall be members of the Philippines Bar who have been
engaged in the practice of law for at least 10 years (reason: COMELEC exercises quasi-judicial
powers)
The Chairman and Members are appointed by the president with the consent of the commission on
Appointment for the term seven (7) years without reappointment on a staggered basis to make the
COMELEC a continuing and self-perpetuating body. Consequently, its members would have the
benefit of the experience and expertise of the order members of the performance of its functions, and
makes for greater responsibility for its policies and decisions and serve as guarantee against arbitrary
action which is likely to occur in a body handling partisans questions.
A member appointment and designations in temporary or acting capacity are not allowed to preserve
its independence.
Disabilities, inhibitions\disqualifications
1. Shall not, during tenure, hold any other office or employment
2. Shall not engage in the practice of profession

3. Shall not engage in active management or control of any business which in any ay may be affected
by the functions of his office
4. Shall not be financially interested, directly or indirectly, in any contract with, or in any franchise or
privilege granted by the Government, any of its subdivisions, agencies or instrumentalities, including
GOCC s or their subsidiaries.
Safeguards to insure the independence of the COMELEC
It is constitutionally created; may not be abolished by statute
It is expressly described as independent
It is conferred with certain powers and functions which cannot be reduced by statute.
The chairman and members cannot be removed except by impeachment.
The chairman and members are given fairly long term of office of seven years.

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The chairman and members may not be reappointed or appointed in an acting capacity.
The salaries of the chairman and members are relatively high and may not be decreased during
continuance in office.
The COMELEC enjoy fiscal autonomy.
The COMELEC may promulgate its own procedural rules, provided they do not diminish, increase or
modify substantive rights (though subject to disapproval by the Supreme Court)
The Chairman and Members are subject to certain disqualifications calculated to strengthen their
integrity.
The COMELEC may appoint their own officials and employees in accordance with Civil Service Laws.
En Banc & Division Cases
SEC 3, ART IX-C The COMELEC may sit en banc or in two divisions, and shall promulgate its rules
of procedure in order to expedite disposition of election cases, including pre-proclamation
controversies. All such election cases shall be heard and decided in division, provided that motions
for reconsideration of decision shall be decided by COMELEC en banc
The Supreme Court set aside the resolutions/decisions of the COMELEC because dthe COMELEC en
banc tokk original cognizance of the cases without referring them first to the appropriate Division
(Sarmiento vs. COMELEC 212 SCRA 307; Zarate vs COMELEC, 318 SCRA 608)
Interlocutory orders issued by a division of the COMELEC cannot be elevated to the COMELEC en
banc. (Kho vs. COMELEC, 279 SCRA 463)
The following cases must be decided in Division before they may be heard en bnc on motion for
reconsideration:
Petition to cancel a certificate of candidacy. (Garvida vs. Sales, 271 SCRA 764)
Cases appealed from the RTC or MTC (Zarate vs. COMELEC,318 SCRA 608)
Petition for certiorari involving incidental issues of election protest.(Soller vs. COMELEC,339
SCRA 685)

The COMELEC en banc, however, may directly assume jurisdiction over petitions for correction of
manifest errors in the tabulation or tallying of results (Ststement of votes) by the Board of
Canvassers, notwithstanding that the same is a pre-proclamation comtroversy. Section 5, Rule 27 of
the 1993 Rules of the COMELEC expressly provides that pre-proclamation controversies involving
correction of manifest errors in the tabulation of results may be filed directly with the COMELELEC
cen banc. (Torres vs. COMELEC,270 SCRA 583; Ramirez vs. COMELEC,270 SCRA 590)

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The COMELEC en banc determines the existence of probable cause.(Faelnar vs. COMELEC,331
SCRA 429)

DECISIONS
ART IX-A, Section 7 Each commission(COMELEC) shall decide by a majority vote of all its
Members any case or matter brought before it within sixty days from date of its submission for
decision or resolution. A case or matter is deemed submitted for decision or resolution upon the
filing of the last pleading, brief, or memorandum required by the rules of the Commission or by the
Commission itself. Unless otherwise provided by the Commission or by law; any decision, order, or
ruling of each Commission may be brought to the Supreme Court on certiorari by the aggrieved party
within 30 days from receipt of a copy thereof.
The COMELEC shall decide by a majority vote of all its members in any case or matter brought
before it within 60 days from date of its submission for decision or resolution. Two members shall
constitute a quorum for the transaction of the official business of the Division. A case being heard by
it shaa be decided with the unanimous concurrence ofc all three Commissioners and its decision
shall be considered a decision of the commission. If this required number is not obtained, as when
there is a dissenting opinion, the case may be appealed to the Commission en banc, in which case the
vote of the majority shall be the decision of the Commisssion.
The court holds that 2-1 decision rendered by the First Division was a valid decision under ART IXA ,Section 7 of the Constitution. Furthermore, the three members who voted to affirm the First
Division constituted a majority of the five members who deliberated and voted thereon en banc and
their decision is also valid under the aforecited constitutional provisions. (Cua vs. COMELEC, 156
SCRA 587)
One who is no longer a member of the COMELEC at the time the final decision or resolution is
promulgated cannot validly take part in that resolution or decision,much more could he be the
ponente of the resolution or decision.(Ambil vs. COMELEC, 344 SCRA 358)
RULES OF PROCEDURE
The COMELEC en banc may promulgate its own rules concerning pleadinga and practice before it or
before any of its offices. Such rules, however, shall not diminish,increase or modify substantive
rights. The Rules of Court applies suppletorily to proceedings before the COMELEC. (Paangarungan
vs. COOMELEC,216 SCRA 522)
CONSTITUTIONAL POWERS AND FUNCTIONS
Enforce and administer laws relative to conduct of elections
The regular courts have no jurisdiction to entertain a petition to enjoin the construction of public
works projects within 45 days before an election.(Gallardo vs. Tabamo,218 SCRA 253)

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Decide election contests involving regional, provincial and city officials


ELECTION CONTEST refers to the adversary proceedings before which matters involving the title or
claim to an elective office made before or after proclamation of the winner,is settled whether or not
the contestant is claiming the office in dispute. It is neither a civilk action nor crimianal proceeding;it
is a summary proceeding of a political character. Its purpose is to ascertain the candidate lawfully
elected to office.(Javier vs. COMELEC,144 SCRA 194)
The COMELEC has exclusive appellate jurisdiction over,inter alia, contest involving elective
barangay officials decided by trial courts of limited jurisdiction.(Beso vs. abolla,327 SCRA 100)
The provision of RA 6679 granting appellate jurisdiction to the RTC over decisions of MTCs in
electoral cases involving elective barangay officials is unconstitutional. (Flores vs. COMELEC,184
SCRA 484)
The COMELEC is the proper appellate court clothed with jurisdiction to hear the appeal, which must
first be filed wiyhin 5 days after the promulgation of the MTCs decision(Antonio vs. COMELEC,315
SCRA 62)
The election of SK are goverened by the Omnibus Election Code. Any contest relating to the election
of the SK (including the chairman whether pertaining to their eligibility or the manner of their
election is cognizable by MTCs,MTCCs, and MeTCs. It is the proclamation which marks off the
jurisdiction of the courts from the jurisdiction of election officials. (Marquez vs. COMELEC, 313
SCRA 103)
The COMELEC has appellate jurisdiction over election protest cases involving elective municipal
officials decided by courts of general jurisdiction. (Carlos vs. Angeles,346 SCRA 671)
Decide all questions affecting elections
The COMELEC has no jurisdiction over questions involving the right to vote which includes
qualifications and disqualifications of voters, the right of a person to be registered as voter, the right
to cast his vote, and other allied questions. Such questions shall be decided by the courts.
( Naciionalista Party vs. COMELEC, 84 Phil 49)
Election contests involving elections of SK officials do not fall within section 252 of the OEC and
paragraph 2,section ART.IX-C of the Constitution and no law in effect prioir tom the ratification of
the constitution has made the SK Chairman an elective barangay official. SK elections are under the
direct control and supervision of the DILG. (Ahman vs. Mirasol,276 SCRA 501)
Decisions/determinations made by the COMELEC in the exercise of this power, being merely
administrative(not quasi judicial) in character, may be questioned in an ordinary civil action before
the trial courts.(Filipinas Engineering vs. Ferrer,135 SCRA 25)
Deputize law enforcement agencies with the concurrence of the President
Register political parties and accredit its citizens arms

21

File petitions, investigate and prosecute


Recommend measures to improve election laws
Recommend the imposition of disciplinary action upon an employee it has deputized for violation
of its order.
Since the COMELEC can recommend that disciplinary action be taken against an officer it had
deputized, idt can investigate an administrative charge against such an officer to determine whether
or not it should recommend that disciplinary action can be taken against him (Tan vs.
COMELEC,237 SCRA 353)
Regulation of public entities and mediaSection 4, IX-C 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, time, and space and the right to reply, including reasonable 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 authority given to the COMELEC is to be exercised ofr the purpose of ensuring free, orderly,
honest, peaceful and credible elections and only during the election period. Note that GOCCs are
among those that may be supervised and regulated by the COMELEC.
The SC upheld the validity of Section 11(b), RA 6646, prohibiting the sale odr donation of print space
or airtime for political advertisements, and the authority of the COMELEC to procure print space
(upon payment of just compensation) and free airtime for allocation to candidates.
(Telecommunication and Broadcast Attorneys of the Philippines vs. COMELEC,289 SCRA 33)
An exit poll is a species of electoral survey conducted by qualified individuals or groups of individuals
for the purpose of determining the probable result of an election by confidentially asking randomly
selected voters whom they have voted for, immediately after they have officially cast their ballot.
(ABS-CBN Broadcasting corporation vs. COMELEC,323 SCRA 811)
An absolute prohibition would be unreasonably restrictive,because it effectively prevents the use of
exit poll data not only for election-day projections,but also for long term research. The COMELEC
concern with the possible non communicative effect of exit polls-disorder and confusion in the voting
centers- does not justify a total ban on them. The holding of exit polls and the dissemination of their
results through mass media constitute an essential part of freedom of speech and of the press. The
reason behind the principle of ballot secrecy is to avoid vote buying through voter identification
(ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corporation vs. COMELEC)
The SC held that SEC 5.4 of the Fair Election Act prohibiting publication of survey results 15 days

22

immediately preceding a national election and 7 days before a local election violates the
constitutional rights of speech,expression,and the press because:
a. It imposes prior restraint on the freedom of expression;
b. It is a direct and total suppression of the category of expression even though such suppression is
only for a limited period; and
c. The governmental interest sought to be promoted can be achieved by means other than the
suppression of freedom of expression. (Social Weather Station vs. Comelec, GR No. 147571, May
5,2001)
Make minor adjustments of the apportionment of legislative districts.
This refers mainly to the power to correct an error because of the omission of a municipality or an
error in the name of a municipality and does not include the power to make a reappointment of
legislative districts. (Montejo vs. COMELEC,242 SCRA 415)
Adjust the apportionment in a case of creation of new provinces or cities.
The COMELEC is merely authorized to adjust the number of congressmen apportioned to an old
province if a new province is created out of it and does not authorize the COMELEC to transfer
municipalities from one legislative district to another. (Montejo,supra)
Pardon violators of election laws.
Promulgate rules of procedure concerning pleadings and practice before it or any of its offices.
Submit report on how a previous elections was conducted.
STATUTORY POWERS
1. Power to declare failure of election and call for special election.
2. Exclusive original jurisdiction over all pre-proclamation controversies.
3. Issue writs of certiorari, prohibition
The COMELEC has the authority to issue extraordinary writs of certiorari, prohibition and
mandamus in aid of its exclusive appellate jurisdiction.
Both the SC and the COMELEC have concurrent jurisdiction to issue writs of certiorari, prohibition,
and mandamus over decisions of trial courts of general jurisdiction in election cases involving
elective municipal officials. The court takes jurisdiction first shall exercise exclusive jurisdiction over
the case. (Carlos vs. Angeles, 346 SCRA 571)
4. Summons parties to a controversy pending before it
5. Enforce and execute its decisions and orders
6. Punish contempts provided for in the Rules of Courts.

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The COMELEC has the power to cite for contempt, but this power may be exercised only while the
COMELEC is engaged in the performance of quasi-judicial functions and not administrative
functions.(Guevarra vs. COMELEC, 104 PHIL 269 and Masangcay vs. COMELEC, 6 SCRA 270)
7. Promulgate rules and regulations implementing the Election Code
8. Exercise direct and immediate supervision and control over officials required to perform duties
relative to the conduct of election.
9. Prescribe forms to be used in the election
10. Procure any supplies, equjipment, materials or services needed for the holding of election
11. Prescribe the use or adoption of the latest technological and electronic devices
12. Carry out continuing and systematic campaign to educate the public about elections
13. Fix other reasonable periods for certain pre-election requirements.
14. Enlist non-partisan groups to assist.

JUDICIAL REVIEW OF DECISIONS


Any decision, order or ruling of the COMELEC en banc may be brought to the SC on certiorari by the
aggrieved party within 30m days from receipt of the copy thereof. When the Supreme Court reviews
a decision of the COMELEC, the court exercises extraordinary jurisdiction, thus the proceeding is
limited to issues involving grave abuse of discretion resulting in lack or excess of jurisdiction and
does not ordinarily empower the court to review the factual findings of the COMELEC. (Aratuc vs.
COMELEC,88 SCRA 251)
The mode by which a decision, order or ruling en banc may be elevated to the SC is the civil action of
certiorari under Rule 65 of the 1964 Revised Rules of Court, now expressly provided in Rule 64, 1997
Rules of Civil Procedure, as amended. (Ambil vs. COMELEC,344 SCRA358)
A special civil action for certiorari is the proper remedy to question any final order, ruling and
decision of the COMELEC rendered in the exercise of its adjudicatory or quasi-judicial powers.
(Guerero vs. COMELEC,336 SCRA 458)
What is contemplated by the term final orders, rulings and decisions of the COMELEC reviewable
by certiorari by the Suprerme Court as provided by law are those rendered in actions or proceedings
before the COMELEC and taken cognizance of by the said body in the exercise of its adjudicatory (or
quasi-judicial) powers. (Salva vs. Makalintal, 340 SRA 506)
COMELEC Resolution No. 2987 which provides for the rules and regulations governing the conduct
of plebiscite, is not issued pursuant to the COMELECs quasi-judicial functions but merely as an
incident of its inherent administrative functions over the conduct of plebiscites, and any question
pertaining to the validity of said resolution may be well taken in an ordinary civil action before the
trial courts.(Salva ,supra)
The alleged nature or the COMELEC to implement its resolution ordering the deletion of a
candidates name in the list of qualified candidates does not call for the exercise of the SCs function

24

of judicial review as it is undoubtedly administrative in nature, beyond judicial interference.(Chavez


vs. COMELEC, 211 SCRA 315)
A resolution of the COMELEC awarding a contract for the supply of voting booths to a private party,
as a result of its choice among various proposals submitted in response to its invitation to bid, is not
reviewable by certiorari as it is not order rendered in the legal controversy before it but merely as
incident to its inherent administration functions over the conduct of elections. Any question arising
from said order may be taken in an ordinary civil action. (Filipinas Engineering vs. COMELEC, 344
SCRA 358)
The Supreme Court has no power to review via certiorari, an interlocutory order or even a final
resolution of a Division of the COMELEC. (Ambil vs. COMELEC, 244 SCRA 358)
A decision, order or resolution of a division of the COMELEC must be reviewed by the COMELEC en
banc decision may be brought to the supreme Court on certiorari. (Ambil vs. COMEL, 358)

VOTERS: QUALIFICATION AND REGISTRATION


Qualification for Suffrage
Filipino citizenship- it may be by birth or naturalization.
Age- a person may be registered as a voter although he is less than 18 years at the time of registration
if he will be at least 18 on the day of election.
Residence- at least 1 year in the Philippines, and at least 6 months where he proposes to vote
immediately preceding the election. Any person who, on the days of registration may not have been
reached the required period of residence but who, on the day of election shall possess such
qualification, may register as voter.
No literacy, property or other substantive requirement shall be imposed on the exercise of suffrage.
Any person who temporarily resides in another city municipality or country solely by reason of
occupation, profession, employment in public or private service, educational activities, work in the
military or naval reservations within the Philippines, service in the AFP, PNP or confinement or
detention in government institutions, shall not deemed to have lost his original residence. (Sec. 9, RA
8189)
In election cases, the Supreme Court treats domicile and residence and residence as synonymous
terms. In order to acquire a new domicile by choice, there must concur (1) residence or bodily
presence in the new locality;(2) an intention to remain there; and (3) an intention to abandon the old
domicile. The residence at the place chosen for the new domicile must be actual. (Romualdez vs.
RTC,226 SCRA 406)

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Disqualifications
1. Any person sentenced by the final judgment to suffer imprisonment for not less than one year.
2. Any person adjudged by the final judgment of having committed
(a) any crime involving disloyalty to the government or
(b) any crime against national security
(c) firearms laws.
3. Insane or incompetent persons as declared by competent authority.
Removal of disqualification for conviction
Plenary pardon
Amnesty
Lapse of 5yaers after service of sentence (Sec.111, RA 8189)
System of Continuing Registration
The personal filing o application of registration of voters shall be conducted daily in the office of the
Election Office during regular office hours. No registration shall, however, be conducted during the
period starting 120 days before a regular election and 90 days before a special election. (Sec. 8, RA
8189)
The Supreme Court upheld the validity of the COMELEC resolution denying the petition of certain
youth sectors to conduct a special registration: Petitioners were not denied the opportunity to avail
of the continuing registration under RA 8189..the law aids the vigilant and not those who slumber on
their rights
In a representative democracy the right of suffrage, although afforded a prime niche in the
hierarchy of right embodied in the fundamental law., ought to be exercised within the proper bounds
frames and framework of the Constitution and must properly yield to pertinent laws skillfully
enacted by the Legislature
The right of suffrage ardently invoked by herein petitioners is not at all absolutethe exercise of
suffrage, as the enjoyment of all other rights subject to existing substantive and procedural
requirement embodied in our Constitution, statute books and other repositories of law. (AKBAYAN
Youth et al. vs. COMELEC GR No. 147066, March 26, 2001)
Inclusion and Exclution Cases
1. Jurisdiction
i. Municipal or Metropolitan Trial Court original and exclusive Jurisdiction\

26

ii. Regional Trial Court appellate jurisdiction (5 days) (Sec. 33, RA 8189)
iii. Supreme Court appellate jurisdiction over RTC on question of law (15 days) [Sec. 5(2)(e), Art.
VIII, PC; Sec. 2, Rule 45 of the Rules of Court.]
2. Petitioners
a. Inclusion
Private person whose application was disapprove by the Election Registration Board or whose name
was stricken out from the list of waters (Sec. 34, RA 8189)
COMELEC [Sec. 2(6), Art. IX-C, PC]

b. Exclusion
i. Any registered voter in city or municipality
ii. Representative of political party
iii. Election Officer (Sec. 39, RA 8189)
iv. COMELEC [Sec. 2(6), Art. IX C, PC]
3. Period for Filing
a. Inclusion Any day except 105 days before regular election or 75 days before a special election.
(Sec. 24, RA 8189)
b. Exclusion Any time except 100 days before a regular election or 65 days before special election.
(Sec. 35 RA 8189)
4. Procedure
a. Petition for exclusion shall be sworn (Sec. 35 , RA 8189)
b. Each petition shall refer only to only one precinct. (Sec. 35, RA 8189)
c. Notice
i. Parties to be notified
5. Inclusion Election Registration Board
i. ii Exclusion
6. Election Registration Board
7. Challenged voters [Sec. 32(b), RA 8189]
8. Manner
Notice stating the place day and hour of hearing shall be served through any of the following means:
Registered mail
Personal delivery
Leaving copy in possession of sufficient discretion in residence.
Posting in city hall or municipal hall and two other conspicuous places in the city or municipality at
least 10 days before the hearing (Sec. 32(b), RA 8189)

27

Any voter, candidate or political party affected may intervene. (Sec. 32c, RA 8189)
Non-appearance is prima facie evidence the registered voter is fictitious (Sec. 32 (f), RA 8189)
Decision cannot be rendered on stipulation of facts (Sec. 32 (f), RA 8189)
No motion for reconsideration is allowed, (Sec. 33, RA 8189)
Annulment of List of Voters
1. Upon verified complaint of any voter, election officer or registered political party or motu propio,
the COMELEC may annul a list of votes which was not prepared in accordance with RA 8189 or
whose preparation was affected with fraud, bribery, forgery, impersonation, intimidation, force or
other similar irregularity or statistically improbable.
2. No list of voters shall be annulled within 60 days before an election (See. 33, RA 8189)
The annulment of the list of voters shall not constitute a ground for a pre-proclamation controversy.
(Ututalum vs. COMELEC, 181 SCRA 335)
When an assailed order had been issued pursuant to COMELECs administrative powers in the
absence of any finding of grave abuse of discretion in declaring a precinct as non existent, said
order shall stand, judicial interference being unnecessary and uncalled for The sacred right of
suffrage guaranteed by the Constitution is not tampered when a list of fictitious voters is excluded
from an electoral exercise. (Sarangani vs. COMELEC, 334 SCRA 379)
Election precinct is the basic unit of territory established by the COMELEC for the purpose of voting.
A polling place refers to the building or place where the board of election inspectors conduct
proceedings and where the voters cast their votes.
Voting center refers to the building or place where the polling place is located.
List of voters refers to an enumeration of names of registered voters in a precinct duly certified by
the Election Registration Board for use in the election.
Book of voters refers to the compilation of all registration records in a precinct.
Signature of Chairman at back of every ballot
In every case before delivering an official ballot to the voter, the Chairman of the BEI shall, in the
presence of the voter, affix his signature at the back thereof. Failure to so authenticate shall be noted
in the minutes of the BEI and shall constitute an election offense punishable under Sections 263 and
264 of the OEC.
IV. POLITICAL PARTIES AND PARTY LIST SYSTEM

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Political party or party when used in the OEC means an organized group of persons pursuing the
same ideology, political ideas or platforms of government and includes its branches or divisions. A
political party may refer to a local regional or national party existing and duly registered and
accredited by the COMELEC. To acquire juridical personality, qualify for accreditation, and to be
entitled to the rights of political parties, a political party must be registered with the COMELEC. The
following political parties cannot be registered.
1. Religious sects
2. Those which seeks to achieve their goals through unlawful means
3. Those which refuse to adhere to the Constitution
4. Those that are supported by any foreign government
GROUNDS FOR CANCELLATION OF REGISTRATION
1. Accepting financial contributions from foreign governments or their agencies (for partisan election
purposes.) (Sec.2(5), Art IX C, PC)
2. It is a religious sect or denomination, organization or association organized for religious purposes.
3. It advocates violence or unlawful means to seek its goal
4. It is a foreign party or organization
5. It violates or fails to comply with laws, rules and regulations relating to elections
6. It declares untruthful statements in its petition
7. It has ceased to exist for at least one year , and
8. Fails to participate in the last two preceding elections, or fails to obtain at least 2% of the votes
cast under the party list system in the two preceding elections for the constituency in which it was
registered.
A party which fails to obtain at least 10% of the votes cast in the constituency in which it nominated
candidates in the election next following its registration shall forfeit its registration.
Party System. A free and open party system shall be allowed to evolve according to the free choice of
the people. [Sec 2(5) Art. IX C, PC]
The PartyList System, is a mechanism of proportional representation in the election of
representatives to the House of Representatives, from national, regional and sectoral parties,
organizations and coalitions thereof registered with the COMELEC. The Partylist system was
devised to replace the reserve seat system the very essence of the party list system is
representation by election. (Veterans Federation Party vs. COMELEC, 342 SCRA 244)
GUIDELINES FOR SCREENING PARTY LIST PARTICIPANTS
1. The political party, sector, organization must represent the marginalized and underrepresented
groups identified in Sec. 5 of RA 7941. majority of its membership should belong to the marginalized
and underrepresented;
Proportional representation refers to the representation of the marginalized and underrepresented
as exemplified by the enumeration in Sec/ 5 of the law, namely; labor peasant, fisherfolk, urban
poor, indigenous cultural communities, elderly, handicapped, women youth, veterans, overseas

29

workers and professionals. The party list organization or party must factually and truly represent
the marginalized and underrepresented constituencies mentioned in Sec. 5 .(Ang Bagong Bayani
OFW Labor Party, et al vs. COMELEC et al GR No. 147589. June 26, 2001)
2. While even major political parties are expressly allowed by RA 7941 and the Constitution, they
must comply with the declared statutory policy of Filipino citizens belonging to marginalized and
underrepresented sectors to be elected to the House of Representatives. Thus, they must show that
they represent the interest of the marginalized and underrepresented;
Political parties, even the major ones, may participate in the party list elections, except for
purposes of May 11, 1998 elections. The requisite character of these organizations must be consistent
with the purpose of the party list system, as laid down in the Constitution and RA 7941 . . .
Under the Constitution and RA 7941, provide respondents cannot be disqualified from the party list
elections, merely on the ground that they are political parties. Sec. 5 Art. VI of the Constitution
provides that members of the House of Representatives may be elected through a party list system
of registered national, regional and sectoral parties or organizations. Furthermore, under Secs. 7 and
8, Art IX C of the Constitution, political parties may be registered under the party list system.
(Ang Bagong Bayani OFW Labor Party, et al vs. COMELEC, et al. GR No. 147589, June 26, 2001)
3. That religious sector may not be represented in the party list system, except that priest, imam or
pastors may be elected should they represent not heir religious sect but the indigenous community
sector.
4. A party or an organization must not be disqualified under Sec. 6, RA 7941;
5. The party organized must not be adjunct of, or a project organized or an entity funded or assisted
by, the government;
6. The party, including its nominees must comply with the qualification requirements of Sec. 9, RA
7941 as follows: No person shall be nominated as party list representative unless he is:
a. natural born citizen of the Philippines
b. a registered voter,
c. a resident of the Philippines for a period not of no less than one year immediately preceding the
day of the election;
d. able to read and write;
e. a bonafide member of the party or organization which he seeks to represent for at least 90 days
preceding the day of the election; and
f. At least 25 years of age on the day of the election. In case of a nominee of the youth sector, at least
be 25 but not more than 30 years of age on the day of the election. Any youth sectoral representative
who attains the age of 30 during his term shall be allowed to continue in office until the expiration of
his term.
7. Not only the candidate party or organization must represent marginalized and underrepresented
sectors, so also must its nominees;

30

8. While lacking a well defined political constituency, the nominee must likewise be able to
contribute to the formation and enactment of appropriate legislation that will benefit the nation as a
whole.
The parameters of the Filipino Party List System are:
(1) the twenty percent allocation,
(2) the two percent threshold;
(3) the three seat limit; and
(4) proportional representation.
The Constitution makes the number of district representatives the determinant in arriving at the
number of seats allocated for party list lawmakers, a formulation which means that any increase in
the number of district representatives, an as may be provided by law, will necessarily result in a
corresponding increase in the number of party list seats . . . ..
Sections 5 (2), Art. VI of the Constitution is not mandatory, it merely provides a ceiling for party
list seats in Congress . . Obtaining absolute proportional representation is restricted by the threeseat-per-party limit to a maximum of two additional slots . .
Under the Niemeyer formula, the number of additional seats to which a qualified party would be
entitled is determined by multiplying the remaining number of seats to be allocated by the total
number of votes obtained by that party and dividing the product by the total number of votes
garnered by all the qualified parties.
The Niemeyer formula, while no doubt suitable for Germany, finds no application in the Philippine
setting because of our three seat limit and the non mandatory character of the twenty percent
allocation. (Ang Bagong Bayani OFW Labor Party, et al vs. COMELEC, et al. GR No.147589, June
26, 2001)
V. CANDIDATES AND CERTIFICATES OF CANDIDACY
QUALIFICATIONS OF CANDIDATES
A. National Arts. VI and VII, PC
1. President and Vice President
2. Senators
3. Congressmen District and PartyList Representatives
B. Local Sec.39, Local Government Code
Qualifications prescribed by law are continuing requirements and must be possessed for the duration
of the officers active tenure. Once any of the required qualifications is lost, his title to the office may
be seasonably challenged. (Frivaldo vs. COMELEC, 174 SCRA 245 and Labor vs. COMELEC, 176
SCRA 1)
Residence

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In Marcos vs. COMELEC, 248 SCRA 300, the Supreme Court upheld the qualification of IRMarcos
despite her own declarations in her certificate of candidacy that she had resided in the district for
only seven months because of the following:
1. A minor follows the domicile of his parents; Tacloban became IRMs domicile of origin by
operation of law when her father brought the family to Leyte;
2. Domicile of origin is lost only when there is actual removal or change of domicile, a bonafide
intention of abandoning the former residence and establishing a new one, and acts which correspond
with the purpose; in the absence of clear and positive proof of the concurrence of all these, these
domicile of origin should continue;
3. The wife does not automatically gain the husbands domicile because the term residence in Civil
Law does not mean the same thing in Political Law, when IRM married Marcos in 1954, she kept her
domicile or origin and merely gained a new home, not a domicilium necessarium;
4. Even assuming that she gained a new domicile after her marriage and acquired the right to choose
a new one only after her husband died, her acts following her return to the country clearly indicate
that she chose Tacloban, her domicile of origin, as her domicile of choice.
In Aquino vs. COMELEC, 248 SCRA 400, the Supreme Court held that Agapito Aquino failed to
prove that he had established not just residence but domicile of choice in Makati. In his certificate of
candidacy, he indicated that he was a resident of San Jose Concepcion, Tarlac for 52 years, he was a
registered voter of the same district, his birth of certificate places Conception, Tarlac as birthplace.
Thus, his domicile of origin was Conception, Tarlac, and his bare assertion of transfer of domicile
from tarlac to Makati is hardly supported by the facts of the case.
When the Constitution speaks of residence the word should be understood, consistent with
Webster, to mean actual, physical and personal presence in the district that a candidate seeks to
represent
The original concept of domicile, which arose from American jurisprudence was not intended to
govern political rights, it was designed to resolve the conflict of laws between or among state where a
decedent may have lived for various reasons, for the purpose of determining which law was
applicable as regards his estate . . .
Applying the concept of domicile in determining residence as a qualification for an elective office
would negate the objective behind the residence requirement set forth under the law . . . (Domino vs.
COMELEC 310 SCRA 546)
The place where the party actually or constructively has his permanent home, where he, no matter
where he may found at any given time, eventually intends to return and remain, i.e., his domicile, is
that to which the Constitution refers when it speaks of residence for the purposes of election law . . .
The registration of a voter in a place other than his residence of origin is not sufficient to consider
him to have abandoned or lost his residence. (Perez vs. COMELEC, 317 SCRA 641)
The rationale of requiring candidates to have a minimum period of residence in the area in which
they seek to be elected is to prevent the possibility of a stranger or newcomer unacquainted with the
conditions and needs of a community and not identified with the latter from seeking an elective
office to serve that community . . .

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The classification of an area as a highly urbanized or independent component city, for that matter,
does not completely isolate its residents, politics, commerce and other businesses from the entire
province, and vice versa, especially when the city is located at the very heart of the province itself . .
The residence requirement is rooted in the desire that officials of districts or localities are acquainted
not only with the metes and bounds of their constituencies but, more important, with the
constituents themselves, and a very legalistic, academic and technical approach to the resident
requirement does not satisfy this simple, practical and common sense national for the residence
requirement. (Torayna vs. COMELEC 337 SCRA 574)

Philippine citizenship
The lost citizenship may be reacquired under Sec. 1 of RA 2630, which provides that any person who
had lost his Philippine citizenship by rendering service to, or accepting commission in, the Armed
Forces of the United States, or after separation from the Armed Forces of the United States, acquired
United States citizenship by taking an oath to the Republic of the Philippines and registering the
same with Local Civil Registry in the place where he resides or last reside in the Philippines. The said
oath of allegiance shall contain a renunciation of any other citizenship. (Bengson III vs. HRET, et al.
GR No. 142840, May 7, 2001)
Repatriation results in the recovery of the original nationality. This means that a naturalized Filipino
who lost his citizenship will be restored to his prior status as a naturalized Filipino citizen. On the
other hand, if he was originally a natural-born citizen before he lost his Philippine citizenship, he will
be restored to his former status as a natural born Filipino. (Bengson, supra)
Disqualifications
Grounds Under the Omnibus Election Code
A. Any person declared by competent authority insane or Incompetent
B. Any person sentenced by final judgment for any of the Following offenses:
1. Insurrection or rebellion
2. Offense for which he was sentenced to penalty of More than 18 months
3. Crime involving morale turpitude (Sec. 12, BP 881)
C. A permanent resident to or immigrant to foreign country Unless he waives such status (Sec. 68,
BP 881)
D. Removal; Insanity or incompetence declaration of removal by competent authority

33

E. Conviction; unless granted plenary pardon, amnesty; or Lapse of 5 years after service of sentence
(Sec. 12, BP 881)
Grounds under the Local Government Code Sec. 40
A. Those sentenced by final judgment for an offense involving moral turpitude or an offense
punishable by imprisonment for at least one year, within two years after service of sentence.
B. Those removed from office as a result of an administrative case.
An elective local official who was removed from office prior to January 1, 1992 is not disqualified
from running for elective local office (Grego vs. COMELEC, 274 SCRA 481)
C. Those convicted by final judgment for violating his oath of allegiance to the Republic.
D. Those with dual citizenship--The phrase dual citizenship in RA 7160, Sec. 40 (d) and RA 7854,
Sec. 20 must be understood as referring to dual allegiance. Consequently, persons with mere dual
citizenship do not fall under this disqualification. For candidates with dual citizenship, it should
suffice if, upon the filing of their certificates of candidacy, they elect Philippine citizenship to
terminate their status as persons with dual citizenship considering that their condition is the
unavoidable consequence of conflicting laws of different states. (Mercado vs. Manzano, 307 SCRA
630)
E. Fugitives from justice in criminal or non political cases.
F. The term includes not only those who flee after conviction to avoid punishment, but likewise who,
after being changed, flee to avoid prosecution. (Marquez vs. COMELEC, 243 SCRA 538)
G. Permanent residents in foreign country or those who have the right to reside abroad and continue
to avail of it. (Caasi vs. CA, 191 SCRA 229)
H. The insane or feeble minded.
Three consecutive terms limit
The term limit for elective local officials must be taken to refer to the right to be elected as well as the
right to serve in the same elective position. Consequently, it is not enough that an individual has
served three consecutive in an elective local office, he must also have been elected to the same
position for the same number of times before the disqualification can apply: (Borja vs. COMELEC,
GR No. 133495, September 3, 1998)
Conditions for the application of the disqualification: (1) the official concerned has been elected for
three consecutive terms in the same local government post and (2) that he has fully served three
consecutive terms . . .
A proclamation subsequently declared void is no proclamation at all and while a proclaimed
candidate may assume office on the strength of the proclamation of the Board of Canvassers he is
only a presumptive winner who assumes office subject to the final outcome of the election protest . .

34

Voluntary renunciation of a term of office does not cancel the renounced term in the computation of
the three term limit; conversely involuntary severance from the office for any length of time short of
the full term provided by law amounts to an interruption of continuity of service. (Lonzanida vs.
COMELEC, 311 SACRA 602)
1. Under the Revised Administrative Code Municipal Office
Ecclesiastics (Pamil vs. Teleron, 56 SCRA 413)
Persons receiving compensation from provincial or municipal funds
Contractors for public works of the municipality
2. Under the Lone candidate Law RA 8295
Any elective official who has resigned from his office by accepting an appointive office to become
vacant due to his resignation; and
Any person who, directly or indirectly coerces, bribes, threatens, harasses, intimidates or actually
causes, inflicts or produces any violence, injury, punishment, torture, damage, loss or disadvantages
to any person or persons aspiring to become a candidate or that of the immediate member of his
family, his honor or property that is meant to eliminate all other potential candidates.
Certificates of Candidacy
No person shall be eligible for any elective public unless he files a sworn certificate of candidacy
within the period fixed by the Omnibus Election Code.
Deadline
Certificate of candidacy must be filed not later than the day before the date for the beginning of the
campaign period. (Sec. 7, RA 7166)
A certificate filed beyond the deadline is not valid. (Gador vs. COMELEC, 95 SCRA 431)
Prohibition against multiple candidacies
A person who files a certificate of candidacy for more than one office should be eligible for any of
them. (Sec 73, BP 881)
Before the deadline for filing certificates he may withdraw all expect one, declaring under oath the
office for which he desires to be eligible and cancel the certificate of candidacy for other office or
offices. (Go vs. COMELEC, GR No. 147741, May 10, 2001)
Forms
Oath

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The certificate must be sworn. (Sec. 73, BP 881)


The election of a candidate cannot be annulled because of formal defects in his certificate, such as
held of oath (Guzman vs. Board of Canvassers, 48 Phil 211)
Name
A candidate shall use his baptismal name or full name, the name registered with the civil registrar or
any other name allowed by law.
He may include one nickname or stage name by which he is generally known.
When two or more candidates for the same office have the same name or surname, each shall state
his paternal and maternal surnames, except the incumbent (See. 71, BP 881)
Place and Period of Filling
For President, Vice President and Senators: main office of the COMELEC in Manila, 5 copies, not
later than 90 days before date of election.
For Members of the House of Representatives:
Provincial legislative districts Provincial Election Supervisor of the Province concerned
NCR legislative districts Regional COMELEC Directors
Legislative districts in cities outside NCR City Election registrar concerned
For provincial offices Provincial Election Supervisor of the province concerned.
City and Municipal offices City or Municipal Election Registrar concerned.
The certificates of candidacy of Members of the House of Representatives, Provincial, city or
municipal officials shall be filed in 5 copies not later than 45 days before the election.
The certificate of candidacy shall be filed by the candidate personally or his duly authorized
representative. No certificate of candidacy shall be filed or accepted by mail, telegram or facsimile.
The evident purpose of the law in requiring the filing of certificate of candidacy and in fixing the time
limit therefore are; (1) to enable the voters to know, at least sixty days before the regular election, the
candidates among whom they are to make the choice, and (2) to avoid confusion and inconvenience
in the tabulation of the votes to the duly registered candidates, there might be as many persons voted
for as there are voters, and votes might be cast even for unknown or fictitious persons, as mark to
identify the votes in favor of a candidate for another office in the same election. (Miranda vs. Abaya,
311 SCRA 617)

36

Duty of COMELEC
Subject to its authority over nuisance candidates and its power to deny due course or cancel a
certificate of candidacy, the rule is that the COMELEC shall have only the ministerial duty to receive
and acknowledge receipt of the certificates of candidacy. (Sec. 78, BP 881)
Effect Filing
An appointive public official is considered resigned upon filing of his certificate. (Sec. 66, BP
881;Sanciangco vs. Rono, 137, SCRA 671).This includes an employs of a GOCC organized under the
Corporation Code (Without original charter), since the law makes no distinction. (PNOC EDC vs.
NLRC, 222 SCRA 831)
Any elective official, whether national or local who has filed a certificate of candidacy for the same or
any other office shall not be considered resigned from office. (sec. 26, COMELEC Resolution No.
3636, Rules and Regulations Implementing RA 9006)
Withdrawal of Certificate of Candidacy
Form written declaration under oath. There was no withdrawal of candidacy for the position of
mayor where the candidate, before the deadline for filing certificates of candidacy, personally
appeared in the COMELEC office, asked for his certificate of candidacy and intercalated the word
vice before the word mayor and the following day wrote the election registrar saying that his name
be included in the list of official candidates for mayor. (Vivero vs. COMELEC, L 81059, Jan 12,
1989)
Since his certificate of candidacy for the office of board member was filed by his party, and the said
party had withdrawn the nomination which withdrawal was confirmed by the candidate under oath,
there was substantial compliance with Sec. 73. His filing under oath within the statutory period of his
individual certificate for candidacy for the separate office of mayor was, in effect, a rejection of the
party nomination on his behalf for the office of board member. (Ramirez vs. COMELEC, L-81150,
Jan 12, 1992)
Substitution of Candidacy Sec. 77 BP 881; Sec. 12, RA 9006
If after the last day for filing certificates, a candidate dies, withdraws or is disqualified, he may be
substituted by a person belonging to his party not later than the mid day of election. Said
certificate may be filled with any board of election inspectors in the political subdivision where he is
an electorate of the country, with the COMELEC. (Domingo vs. City Board of Canvassers, GR No.
105365, June 2, 1992)
Even if the withdrawal was not under oath, the certificate of the substitute cannot be annulled after
the election. Such technicality of the original candidates withdrawal of his certificate of candidacy
cannot be used to override the peoples will in favor to the substitute candidate. The legal
requirement that the withdrawal be under oath will be held to be merely directory and the
candidates failure to observe the requirement is considered a harmless error. Hence the bona fide
certificate of the substitute candidate cannot be assailed. The votes in his favor should be counted.

37

(Villanueva vs. COMELEC, 140 SCRA 352)


In case of valid substitutions after the official ballot have been printed, the votes cast for the
substituted candidates shall be considered as many votes but shall not invalidate the whole ballot.
For this purpose, the official ballots shall provide spaces where the voters may write the name of
substitute candidates if they are voting for the latter. (See. 12, RA 9006)
There is nothing in the Constitution or statute which requires as condition precedent that a
substitute candidate must have been a member of the party concerned for a certain period of time
before he can be nominated as such. (Sinaca vs. Mula, 315 SCRA 266)

A valid certificate of candidacy is likewise an indispensable requisite in the case of a substitution of a


disqualified candidate under the provisions of Sec. 77 of the Election Code . . . The concept of a
substitute presupposes the existence of the person to be substituted, for how can a person take the
place of somebody who does not exist or who never was...
A disqualified candidate may only be substituted if he had a valid certificate of candidacy in the first
place because, if the disqualified candidate did not have a valid and seasonably filed certificate of
candidacy, he is and was not a candidate at all. If a person was not a candidate, he cannot be
substituted under Sec. 77 of the Code . . . .
While Sec. 78 of the Election Code enumerated the occasion where a candidate may validly substitute
there is no mention of the case where a candidate is excluded not only by disqualification but also by
denial and cancellation of his certificate of candidacy (Miranda vs. Abaya, 311 SCRA 617)
In case of valid substitutions after the official ballots have been printed, the votes cast for the
substituted candidates shall be considered as stray votes but shall not invalidate the whole ballot.
Sec. 12, RA 9006. amending Sec. 12 of RA 8436)
DISQUALIFICATION OF CANDIDATES
1. Grounds
Violation of Omnibus Election Code Sec. 68
Giving money or other material consideration to influence voters or public officials performing
electoral functions
Committing acts of terrorism to enhance his candidacy
Spending in his election campaign in excess of the amount allowed by the Code
Soliciting, receiving or making any prohibited contribution
Violations of Secs. 80, 83, 85, 86 and 261, paragraphs d, e, k, v and cc, sub-paragraph 6.
Nuisance candidate Sec. 69
A petition to disqualify a candidate for councilor for failure to indicate in his certificate of candidacy
the precinct number and the barangay as a registered voter cannot be considered a petition to

38

disqualify him for being a nuisance candidate, since his certificate was not filed to make mockery of
the election or to confuse the voters. (Jurilla vs. COMELEC, 232 SCRA 758)
Falsity of material representation in certificate of candidacy. Sec. 78
The COMELEC has jurisdiction over a petition to disqualify a candidate for congressman for
ineligibility before he has been proclaimed and has assumed office (Marcos vs. COMELEC, 248
SCRA 300; Aquino vs. COMELEC, 248 SCRA 400)
2. Procedure for disqualification of candidates
The petition shall be filed by any registered candidate for the same Office within 5 days from the last
day of filing of certificates of Candidacy. (Secs. 5a and 7, RA 6646)
Under the election laws and the COMELEC Rules of Procedure, any voter may file a petition to
disqualify a candidate on grounds provided by law. (Torayno vs.COMELEC, 337 SCRA 574)
The fact that no docket fee was initially paid is not fatal. The Procedural defect as cured by the
subsequent payment of the docket fee. (Sunga vs. COMELEC, 228 SCRA 76)
A petition filed after the election is filed out of time. (Loong vs.COMELEC, 216 SCRA 769)
Since the filing by facsimile transmission is not sanctioned and a facsimile copy is not an original
pleading, a petition for disqualification should be deemed filed upon the filing of the original
petition. (Garvida vs. Sales, 271 SCRA 764)
Where a qualified candidate was replaced on the day before the election, a petition to disqualify the
replacement filed on election day should be entertained, as it was impossible to file the petition
earlier. (Abella vs. Larrazabal, 180 SCRA 509)
The COMELEC may motu propio refuse to give due course or cancel a certificate of candidacy. (Sec.
69, BP 881)
The proceeding shall be summary. (Nolasco vs. COMELEC, 275 SCRA
762)
The COMELEC can decide a disqualification case directly without referring it to its legal officers for
investigation. (Nolasco, supra)
The decision shall be final and executory after 5 days from receipt unless stayed by the Supreme
Court [Secs. 5(e) and 7, RA 6646]
EFFECTS OF DISQUALIFICATION CASE
After final judgment -Any candidate who has been declared by final judgment to be disqualified shall
not be voted for, and the votes cast for him shall not be counted.
Before final judgment If for any reason a candidate is not declared by final judgment before an

39

election to be disqualified and he is voted for and receives the winning number of votes in such
election the Court or Commission shall continue with the trial and hearing of the action, inquiry or
protest and, upon motion of the complainant or any intervenor, may, during the tendency thereof,
order the suspension of the proclamation of such candidate whenever the evidence of guilt is strong.
(Sec. 6, RA 6646)
The purpose of a disqualification proceeding is to prevent the candidate from running or, if elected,
from serving, or to prosecute him for violation of election laws. The fact that a candidate has been
proclaimed and had assumed the position to which he was elected does not divest the COMELEC of
authority and jurisdiction to continue the hearing and eventually decide the disqualification. The
COMELEC should not dismiss the case simply because the respondent has been proclaimed. (Sunga
vs. COMELEC, 288 SCRA 76 and Lonzanida vs. COMELEC, 311 SCRA 617)
Sec. 6 of RA 6616 authorizes the continuation of proceedings for disqualification even after the
elections if the respondent has not been proclaimed. (Perez vs. COMELEC, 317 SCRA 641)
A disqualification case may have two aspects, the administrative, which required only a
preponderance of evidence to prove disqualification, and the criminal, which necessitates proof
beyond reasonable doubt to convict.
There is no provision in RA 6646 that treats of a situation where the complaint for disqualification is
filed after the election. . . .
Second paragraph of paragraph 2 of Res. No. 2050 provides that where a complaint is filed after the
election but before proclamation, as in this case, the complaint must be dismissed as a
disqualification case but shall be referred to the Law Department for preliminary investigation.
Why there is a difference between a petition for disqualifications before and after the election
proceeds from the fact that before the electorate and those who vote for the candidate assume the
risk that should said candidate be disqualified after the election, their votes would be declared stray
or invalid votes and that would not be true in the case of one filed after the electorate has already
voted . . . (Bagatsing vs. COMELEC, 320 SCRA 817)
The COMELEC can legally suspend the proclamation of the winning candidate although he received
the winning number of votes.(Labo vs. COMELEC, 211 SCRA 297).
The use of the word may, indicates that the suspension of the proclamation is merely directory and
permissive in nature and operates to confer discretion. What is made mandatory is the continuation
of the trial and hearing of the action, inquiry or protest. Since the suspension of the proclamation is
merely permissive, the proclamation of a candidate is valid, if the COMELEC did not suspend his
proclamation. (Grego vs. COMELEC, 274 SCRA 481)
Under the same provision, intervention may be allowed in proceedings for disqualification even after
election if there has yet no final judgment rendered. (Mercado vs. Mazano, 307 SCRA 630)
Where the votes cast for a nuisance candidate whose disqualification had not yet become final on
election day were tallied separately, they should be counted in favor of the petitioner. (Bautista vs.

40

COMELEC, 298, SCRA 480)


THE LONE CANDIDATE LAW
The Lone Candidate Law is RA 8295, enacted June 6, 1997. Section 2 thereof provides the upon the
expiration of the deadline for the filing of certificate of candidacy in a special election called to fill a
vacancy in an elective position other than for President and Vice-President, when there is only one
(1) qualified candidate for such position, the lone candidate shall be proclaimed elected to the
position by proper proclaiming body of the COMELEC that he is the only candidate for the office and
is thereby deemed elected.
Section 3 thereof also provides that the lone candidate so proclaimed shall assume office not earlier
than the scheduled election day, in the absence of any lawful ground to deny due course or cancel the
certificate of candidacy in order to prevent such proclamation.
VI. CAMPAIGN; ELECTION PROPAGANDA; CONTRIBUTIONS AND EXPENDITURES
Election campaign or partisan political activity refers to an act designed to promote the election or
defeat of a particular candidate or candidates for public office. (Sec. 79, BP 881)
a. If done for the purpose of enhancing the chances of aspirants for nomination for candidacy to a
public office by a political party, etc, it shall not be considered as election campaign or partisan
political activity.
b. It shall be unlawful for any person or any party to engage in election campaign or partisan political
activity except during the campaign period.
c. Members of the Civil Service to engage, directly or indirectly, in any electioneering or partisan
political campaign.
A. Nomination of candidates
1. President, Vice-President and Senators not earlier than 165 before election date
2. Congressmen, provincial, city or municipal officials not earlier than 75 days before election day
B. Campaign period
1. President, Vice-President and Senators 90 days before election day
2. Congressmen, provincial, city and municipal officials 45 days before election day.
C. Lawful propaganda
1. Forms
2. Pamphlets, leaflets, cards, decals, stickers and written or printed materials not more than 8
inches by 14 inches

41

3. Handwritten/printed letters
4. Cloth, paper or cardboard, posters measuring, not more than 2 feet by 3 feet 3 by 8 ft. allowed in
announcing at the site on the occasion of a public meeting or rally, may be displayed 5 days before
the date of rally but shall be removed within 24 hours after said rally.
5. Paid print advertisements: page in broadsheets and pages in tabloids thrice a week per
newspaper, magazine or other publication during the campaign period. (Sec. 4, RA 9006)
6. Broadcast Media(i.e., TV and radio) National Positions: 120 minutes for TV, 180 minutes for radio
/ Local Positions: 60 minutes for TV, 90 minutes for radio
7. Other forms of election propaganda not prohibited by the Omnibus Election Code and RA 9006,
and authorized by the COMELEC.
Requirement
1. Any published or printed political matter or broadcast of election propaganda by television or
radio for or against a candidate or group of candidates to any public office shall bear and be
reasonably legible or audible words political advertisement paid for, followed by the true and
correct name and address of the candidate or party for whose benefit the election propaganda was
printed or aired.
2. If the broadcast is given free or charge by the radio or television station, it shall be identified by
the word airtime for this broadcast was provided free of charge by followed by the true and correct
name and address of the broadcast entity.
3. Print, broadcast or outdoor advertisements donated to the candidate or political party shall be
printed, published, broadcast or exhibited without the written acceptance by the said candidate or
political party. Such written acceptance shall be attached to the advertising contract and shall be
submitted to the COMELEC. (Sec. 4, RA 9006)
D. Prohibited Campaign
1. Public exhibition of a movie, cinematograph or documentary portraying the life or biography of a
candidate during campaign period.\
2. Public exhibition of a movie, cinematograph or documentary portrayed by an actor or media
personality who is himself a candidate;
3. Use of airtime for campaign of a media practitioner who is an official of a party or a member of the
campaign staff of a candidate or political party.

42

e
1. Prohibiting the posting of decals and stickers except in the common posting area authorized by the
COMELEC is not valid (Adiong vs. COMELEC, 244 SCRA 272)
2. Mass media may report news relating to candidates, and mass media practitioners may give their
opinion regarding candidates. (National Press Club vs. COMELEC, 207 SCRA 1)
E. Rallies
1. An application for permit for a rally shall not be denied except on the
ground that a prior written application for the same purpose has been approved. A denial is
appealable to the provincial election supervisor or COMELEC. (Sec. 87, BP 881)
2. It is unlawful to give or accept transportation, food, drinks or things of
value within 5 hours before and after a public rally, before election day and on election day. (Sec. 89
BP 881)
F. Prohibited donations
It is prohibited for any candidate, his spouse, relative within second degree of consanguinity or
affinity, or representative to make any contribution for any structure for public use or for use of any
religious or civic organization except the normal religious dues and payment for scholarships
established and school contributions habitually made before the campaign period. (Sec. 104, BP 881)
G. Prohibited contributions
No political contribution shall be made by the following:
1. Public or private financial institutions
2. Public utilities and those who exploit natural resources
Thus, where an operator of a public utility disguised a contribution to a candidate for governor as
loan, the promissory note is void: (halili vs. Court of Appeals, 83 SCRA 633)
3. Persons who hold contracts or sub-contracts to supply the government
with goods and services.
4. Persons granted franchises, incentives, exemptions or similar privileges by
the government
5. Persons granted loans in excess of P25, 000 by the government or any of
its subdivisions or instrumentalities
6. Schools which received grants of public funds of at least P100,000
7. Employees in the Civil Service or members of the Armed Forces.
8. Foreigners (Sec. 95 , Bp 881)
9. Corporations (sec. 36 (9), Corp. Code)
H. Equal Access to Media Time and Space
All registered parties and bonafide candidates shall have equal access to media time and space . The
following guidelines may be amplified on by the COMELEC.

43

1. No franchise or permit to operate a radio or television shall be granted or


issued, suspended or cancelled during the election period.
2. Any mass media columnist, commentator, announcer, reporter, on-air
correspondent or personality who is a candidate for any elective public office or is a campaign
volunteer for or employed or retained in any capacity by any candidate or political party shall be
deemed resigned, if so required by their employers, or shall take a leave of absence from his work as
such during the campaign. And that any media practitioner who is an official candidate of a political
party or member of the campaign staff of a candidate or political party shall not use his media time
and space to favor any candidate or political party.
I. Limitation on expenses Sec. 13, RA 7166
1. Candidates
a. President and vice president P10 per voter
b. Other candidates P3 per voter in his constituency
c Candidate without political party P5 per voter
d. Party/organization and coalition participating in the party list system P5 per voter
2. Political party and coalition P5 per voter in the constituency where it has candidates. (sec. 13, RA
7166)
J. Statement of contributions and expenditures
1. Filing
a. every candidate and treasurer of political party shall file within 30 days after election day a
statement of contributions and expenditures.
b. No persons elected shall assume office until he and his political party has filed the required
statements
2. Penalties
a. First Offense administrative fine from P 1,000 to P30, 000
b. Subsequent offense
i. Administrative fine from P2,000 to P60, 000
ii. Perpetual disqualification to hold public office (Sec. 14,
RA 7166)
3. Effect of withdrawal
A candidate who withdraws his certificate of candidacy must still file a statement of contributions
and expenditures, for the law makes no distinction. (Pilar vs. COMELEC, 245 SCRA 759)
VII. ELECTION; BOARD OF ELECTION INSPECTORS (BEI); WATCHERS
KINDS OF ELECTION
1. General election is one provided for by law for the election to offices throughout the State, or

44

certain subdivisions thereof, after the expiration of the full term of former officers.
2. Special Election is one provided for by law to fill vacancy in office before the expiration of the full
term for which the incumbent was elected or one fixed by the COMELEC due to postponement or
suspension of the election or the failure to elect.
3. Recall election is an election by means of which voters decide whether they should retain their
local official or elect his replacement. (Claudio vs. COMELEC, 331 SCRA 388)
ELECTION PERIOD
Unless otherwise fixed by the COMELEC in special cases, the election period shall commence 90
days before the day of the day of the election and shall end 30 days thereafter.[Sec. 9, Art. IX C,
PC]
DATE OF ELECTION
The regular election of the President, Vice-President, Senators and Members of the House of
Representatives and local officials, except barangay officials, shall be on the second Monday of May
once every three years. In accordance with the constitutional policy to synchronize elections, the
regular election for national and local officials is now held simultaneously. (RA 7166) Under 6679,
regular elections for barangay officials shall be held once every five years.

ELECTION OF SANGGUNIANG MEMBERS


1. For provinces with two or more legislative district the elective members of Sangguniang
Panlalawigan (Spn) shall be elected by legislative districts.
2. For provinces with only one legislative district the COMELEC shall divide them into districts for
purposes of electing the members of the SPn;
3. For cities in Metro Manila Area, Cebu City, Davao City or any other city with two or more
legislative district governed by Secs. 2 and 3 of RA 6686.
4. For municipalities in Metro Manila the COMELEC shall divide them into two districts by
baranggay for purposes of electing members of the SB.
POSEPONEMENT OF ELECTION
When for any serious cause such as violence, terrorism, loss or destruction of election paraphernalia
or records, force majeure, and other analogous cases of such nature that the holding of a free, orderly
and honest election should become impossible in any political subdivision, the COMELEC, motu
propio or upon a verified petition by any interested party, and after due notice and hearing, whereby
all interested parties are afforded equal opportunity to be heard, shall postpone the election therein.
(Sec. 5, BP 881)
An election officer alone, or even with the agreement of the candidates, cannot validly postpone or
suspend the election. (Basher vs. COMELEC, 330 SCRA 736). . . It is essential to the validity of the
election that the voters have notice in some form, either actual or constructive, of the time, place and
purpose thereof (Basher vs. COMELEC, supra)
A petition to postpone elections should be addressed to the COMELEC, subject to the remedy of

45

review provided for in Art IX A Section 7.


In fixing the date of special elections the COMELEC should see to it that:
1. It should not be later than thirty (30) days after the secession of the cause of the postponement of
suspension of the election or a failure to elect; and
2. It should be reasonably close to the date of the election not held, suspended or which resulted in
the failure to elect.(Pangandaman vs. COMELEC, 319 SCRA 283)
A special election is not valid if notice of its date and of the transfer of the precincts was given less
than a day before, since the voters were deprived of the opportunity to vote. (hassan vs. COMELEC,
264 SCRA 125)
FAILURE OF ELECTION
1. Sec.6 the OEC contemplates three instances when the COMELEC may declare a failure of election
and call for the holding of a special election: (1) when thee election in any polling place has not been
held on the date fixed on account of force majeure, violence, terrorism, fraud and other analogous
cases, (2) when the election in any polling place has been suspended before the hour fixed by law for
the closure of the voting; and (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. (Soliva
et al vs. COMELEC, GR No. 141723, April 20,2001)
2. The power to throw out or annul an election should be exercised with the utmost care and only
under circumstances which demonstrate beyond doubt either that the disregard of the law had been
so fundamental or so pertinent and continuous that it is impossible to distinguish what votes are
lawful and what are unlawful, or to arrive at any certain result whatsoever, or that the great body of
voters have been prevented by viiolence, intimidation and threats from exercising their franchise
There is failure of elections only when the will of the electorate has been muted and cannot be
ascertained. (Benito vs. COMELEC, GR No. 134913,January 19,2001)
3. A special election should be held if the ballot box in the precinct was burned.(Hassan vs.
COMELLEC,264 SCRA 125)
4. The destruction of the copies of the election returns intended for the board of canvassers is not a
ground for the declaration of failure of election as other copies of the returns can be used (Sardea vs.
COMELEC,225 SCRA 374)
5. The fact that less than 25% of the registered voters voted does not constitute failure of election,
since voting took place. (Mitmug vs. COMELEC,230 SCRA 54)
6. Lack of notice of the date and time of the canvass, fraud, violence, terrorism, and analogous
causes, such as disenfranchisement of voters, presence of flying voters, and lack of qualifications of
the members of the Board of Inspectors are not grounds for declaration of failure of election but for
an election protest. (Borja vs. COMELEC,260 SCRA 604)
7. The fact that the names of some registered voters were omitted from the list of voters, strangers

46

voted for some of the registered voters, a candidate was credited with less votes than he received, the
control data of some election returns were filled up, the ballot boxes were brought to the municipal
hall without padlock and seals, and that there was a delay in the delivery of election returns are not
grounds for the declaration of failure of election. (Canicosa vs. COMELEC, 282 SCRA 512)
8. An election cannot be annulled because of the illegal transfer of a precinct less than 45 days before
the election if the votes of those who were not able to vote will not alter the result. (Balindong vs.
COMELEC, 260 SCRA 494)
9. There is no reglementary period for filing a petition for annulment of an election if there has as yet
been no proclamation. (Loong vs. COMELEC, 257 SCRA 1)
10. The COMELEC may decide a petition to declare a failure of election en banc at the first instance,
since it is not a pre-proclamation case or an election protest. (Borja vs. COMELEC, 260 SCRA 604)
In petitions to declare a failure of election on the ground of fraud, theCOMELEC may conduct a
technical examination of election documents and compare and analyze the signatures and
fingerprints of the voters. (Loong vss. COMELEC,257 SCRA 1)
SPECIAL ELECTION TO FILL UP VACANCY
1. In case of permanent vacancy in Congress at least one year before the expiration of the term, the
COMELEC shall hold a special election not earlier than 90 days after the occurrence of the vacancy.
2. A vacancy in the Senate will be filled up at the next regular election.(Section 4,RA 7166)
BOARD OF ELECTION INSPECTORS (BEI)
The Board of Election Inspectors shall be composed of a chairman and two members, all of whom
are public school teachers.
If there are not enough public school teachers, teachers in private schools, employees in the civil
service, or other citizens of known probity and competence may be appointed. (Section 13, RA 6646)
WATCHERS
Number
1. Official watchers
Every registered party or coalition of parties and every candidate is entitled to one watcher per
precinct and canvassing counter.
Candidates for the local legislature belonging to the same party are entitled collectively to one
watcher.
Six principal watchers from 6 accredited major political parties shall be recognized. (Section 26,
7166)

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2. Other watchers
The accredited citizens arm is entitled to a watcher in every precinct.
Other civic organizations may be authorized to appoint one watcher in every precinct. (Section 180,
BP 881)
Important rights of watchers
1. All watchers
a. To stay inside the precinct
b. To inform themselves of the proceedings
c. To file a protest against any irregularity
d. To obtain a certificate of the number of votes cast for each candidate (Section 179, BP881)
2. Citizens Arm
To be given a copy of the election return to be used for the conduct of an unofficial count. (Section 1,
RA 8045)
VIII. CASTING OF VOTES
1. The chairman of the Board of Election Inspectors should sign each ballot at the back. The omission
of such signature does not affect the validity of the ballot.(Libanan vs HRET,283 SCRA 520) Under
the rules prevailing during the 1997 Barangay Elections, the failure to authenticate the ballots shall
no longer be cause for the invalidation thereof. (Malabaguio vs. COMELEC,346 SCRA 699)
2. A voter who was challenged on the ground that he has been paid for the vote or made a bet on the
result of the election will be allowed to vote if he takes an oath that he did not commit the act alleged
in the challenge. (Section 200,BP881)
3. An illiterate or physically disabled voter may be assisted by a relative by affinity or consanguinity
within the fourth degree or any person of his confidence who belongs to the same household or any
member of the Board of Election Inspectors. (Section 196, BP881)
4. It is unlawful to use carbon paper, paraffin paper or other means for making a copy of the contents
of the ballot or to use any means to identify the ballot.(Sec. 195,BP881). A ballot prepared under such
circumstances should not be counted. (Gutierrez vs. Aquino, Feb,26,1959)
ABSENTEE VOTING
1. Members of the Board of Election Inspectors and their substitutes may vote in the precinct where
they are assigned. (Section 169, BP 881)
2. Absentee voting for President, V-president and Senators are allowed for members of the AFP,
PNP, and other government employees assigned in connection with the performance of election
duties to places where they are not registered. (Section 12, RA 7166)
RA NO. 9189 AN ACT PROVIDING FOR A SYSTEM OF OVERSEAS ABSENTEE VOTING BY
QUALIFIED CITIZENS OF THE PHILIPPINES ABROAD
Sec. 5. Disqualification. The following shall be disqualified from voting under this Act:
a) Those who have lost their Filipino citizenship in accordance with Philippine laws;

48

b) Those who have expressly renounced their Philippine citizenship and who have pledge allegiance
to a foreign country;
c) Those who have committed and are convicted in a final judgment by a court or tribunal of an
offense punishable by imprisonment of not less than one (1) year, including those who have
committed and been found guilty of Disloyalty as define under Article 137 of the Revised Penal Code,
such disability not having been removed by plenary pardon or amnesty: Provided, however, That any
person disqualified to vote under this subsection shall automatically acquire the right to vote upon
expiration of five(5) years after service of sentence; Provided further, That the Commission may take
cognizance of final judgments issued by foreign courts or tribunals only on the basis or reciprocity
and subject to the formalities and processes prescribed by the Rules of court on execution of
judgments;
d) An immigrant or a permanent resident who is recognized as such in the host country, unless
he/she execute, upon registration, an affidavit prepared for the purpose by the Commission
declaring that he/ she shall resume actual physical permanent residence in the Philippine not later
than three(3) years from approval of his/her registration under this Act. Such affidavit shall also
state that she/ he has no applied for citizenship in another country. Failure to return shall be cause
for the removal of the name of immigrant or permanent resident from the National Registry of
Absentee Voters and his/her permanent disqualification to vote in absentia.
e) Any citizen of the Philippines abroad previously declared insane or incompetent by competent
authority in the Philippines or abroad, as verified by the Philippine embassies, consulates or foreign
service establishments concerned, unless such competent authority subsequently certifies that such
person is no longer insane or incompetent.
SEC. 6 Personal Overseas Absentee Registration. Registration as an overseas absentee voter shall
be done in person.
Qualified citizens of the Philippines abroad who failed to register under Republic Act No. 8189,
otherwise known as The Voters Registration Act of 1996, may personally apply for registration with
the Election Registration Board of the city or municipality where they were domiciled immediately
prior to their departure from the Philippines, or with the representative of the Commission of the
Philippine embassies, consulates and other foreign service establishments that have jurisdiction over
the locality where they temporarily reside. Subject to guidelines herein provided, the Commission is
hereby authorized to prescribe procedures for overseas absentee registration pursuant to the
provisions of Republic Act No. 8189, whenever applicable, taking into strict consideration the time
zones and the various periods and processes herein provided for the proper implementation of this
Act. The embassies, consulates and other foreign service establishments shall transmit within five (5)
days from receipt the accomplished registration forms to the Commission after which the
Commission shall coordinate with the Election Officer of the city or municipality of the applicants
stated residence for verification, hearing and annotation in the permanent list of voters.
All applications for the May 2004 elections shall be filed with the Commission not later than two
hundred eighty (280) calendar days before the day of elections. For succeeding elections, the
Commission shall provide for the period within which applications to register must be filed.

49

In the case of seafarers, the Commission shall provide a special mechanism for the time and manner
of personal registration taking into consideration the nature of their work.
6.1 Upon receipt of the application for registration, the Election Officer shall immediately set the
application for hearing, the notice of which shall be posted in a conspicuous place in the premises of
the city or municipal building of the applicants stated residence for at least one (1) week before the
date of the hearing. The Election Officer shall immediately furnish a copy of the application to the
designated representatives of political parties and other accredited groups.
6.2 If no verified objection to the application is filed, the Election Officer shall immediately forward
the application to the Election Registration Board, which shall decide on the application within one
(1) week from the date of hearing without waiting for the quarterly meeting of the Board. The
applicant shall be notified of the approval or disapproval of his/her application by registered mail.
6.3 In the event that an objection to the application is filed prior to or on the date of hearing, the
Election Officer shall notify the applicant of said objection by registered mail, and closing therein
copies of affidavits or documents submitted in support of the objection filed with the said Election
Officer, if any. The applicant shall have the right to file his counter-affidavit by registered mail,
clearly stating therein facts and defenses sworn before any officer in the host country authorized to
administer oaths.
6.4 The application shall be approved or disapproved based on the merits of the objection, counteraffidavit and documents submitted by the party objecting and those of the applicant.
6.5 A Certificate of Registration as an overseas absentee voter shall be issued by the Commission to
all applicants whose applications have been approved, including those certified as registered voters.
The Commission shall include the approved applications in the National Registry of Absentee Voters.
6.6 If the application has been approved, any interested party may file a petition for exclusion not
later than two hundred ten (210) days before the day of elections with the proper municipal or
metropolitan trial court. The petition shall be decided within fifteen (15) days after its filing on the
basis of the documents submitted in connection therewith. Should the court fail to render a decision
within the prescribed period, the ruling of the Election Registration Board shall be considered
affirmed.
6.7 If the application has been approved, the applicant or his authorized representative shall, within
a period of five (5) days from receipt of the notice of this approval, have the right to file a petition for
inclusion with the proper municipal or metropolitan trial court. The petition shall be decided within
five (5) days after its filing on the basis of documents submitted in connection therewith.
Qualified citizens of the Philippines abroad, who have previously registered as voters pursuant to
Republic Act No. 8189 shall apply for certification as absentee voters and for inclusion in the
National Registry of Overseas Absentee Voters, with a corresponding annotation in the Certified
Voters List.
Sec. 7. System of Continuing Registration. The Commission shall ensure that the benefits of the

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system of continuing registration are extended to qualified overseas absentee voters. Towards this
end, the Commission shall optimize the use of existing facilities, personnel and mechanisms of the
various government agencies for purposes of data gathering, data validation, information
dissemination and facilitation of the registration process.
Pre-departure programs, services and mechanisms offered and administered by the Department of
Foreign Affairs, Department of Labor and Employment, Philippine Overseas Employment
Administration, Overseas Workers Welfare Administration, Commission on Filipinos Overseas and
other appropriate agencies of the government shall be utilized for purposes of supporting the
overseas absentee registration and voting processes, subject to limitations imposed by law.
Sec.8 Requirements for Registration. Every Filipino registrant shall be required to furnish the
following documents:
a) A valid Philippine passport. In the absence of a valid passport, a certification of the Department of
Foreign Affairs that it has reviewed the appropriate documents submitted by the applicant and found
them sufficient to warrant the issuance of a passport, or that the applicant is a holder of a valid
passport but is unable to produce the same for a valid reason;
b) accomplished registration from prescribed by the commission containing the mandatory
information:
Last know residence of the applicant in the Philippines before leaving for abroad;
Address of applicant abroad, or forwarding address in the case of seafarers;
Where voting by mail is allowed, the applicants mailing address outside the Philippines where the
ballot for absentee voters will be sent, in proper cases; and
Name and address of applicants authorized representative in the Philippines for purposes of
Section 6.7 and Section 12 hereof.
In the case of immigrants and permanent residents not otherwise disqualified to vote under this Act,
an affidavit declaring the intention to resume actual physical permanent residence in the Philippines
not later than three (3) years after approval of his/her registration as an overseas absentee voter
under this Act. Such affidavit shall also state that he/she has not applied for citizenship in another
country.
The Commission may also require additional data to facilitate registration and recording. NO
information other than those necessary to establish the identity and qualification of the applicant
shall be required.
Sec. 11 Procedure for Application to Vote in Absentia.11.1 Every qualified citizen to the Philippines abroad whose application for registration has been
approved, including those previously registered under Republic Act No. 8189, shall, in every national
election, file with the officer of the embassy, consulate or other foreign service establishment
authorized by the Commission, a sworn written application to vote in a form prescribed by the
Commission. The authorized officer of such embassy, consulate or other foreign service
establishment shall transmit to the Commission the said application to vote within five (5) days from
receipt thereof. The application form shall be accomplished in triplicate and submitted together with
the photocopy of his/her overseas absentee voter certificate of registration.

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11.2 Every application to vote in absentia may be done personally at, or by mail to the embassy,
consulate or foreign service establishment, which has jurisdiction over the country where he/she has
indicated his/her address for purposes of th elections.
11.3 Consular and diplomatic services rendered in connection with the overseas absentee voting
processes shall be made available at no cost to the overseas absentee voter.
Sec. 12 . Verification and Approval of Application to Vote.All applications shall be acted upon by the Commission upon receipt thereof, but in no case later
than one hundred fifty (150) days before the day of elections. In the event of disapproval of the
application, the voter or his authorized representative may file a Motion for Reconsideration with the
Commission personally, or by registered mail, within ten (10) days from receipt of the notice of
disapproval. The Commission shall act within five (5) days from receipt of such Motion for
Reconsideration and shall immediately notify the voter of its decision. The decision of the
Commission shall be final and executory.
Sec. 16. casting and Submission of Ballot.16.1 Upon receipt by7 the designated officer of the embassy, consulate and other foreign service
establishments of the ballots for overseas absentee voters, voting instruction, election forms and
other paraphernalia, he/she shall make them available on the premises to the qualified overseas
absentee voters in their respective jurisdiction during the thirty (30 ) days before the day of elections
when overseas absentee voters may cast their vote. Immediately upon receiving it, the overseas voter
must fill-out his/her ballot personally, in secret, without leaving the premises of the embassies,
consulates and other Foreign Service establishments concerned.
16.2 The overseas absentee voter shall personally accomplish his/her ballot at the embassy, consulate
or other foreign service establishment that has jurisdiction over the country where he/she
temporarily resides or at any polling place designated and accredited by the Commission.
16.3 The overseas absentee voter shall cast his ballot, upon presentation of the absentee voter
identification card issued by the Commission, within thirty (30) days before the day of elections. In
the case of seafarers, they shall cast their ballots anytime within sixty (60) days before the day of
elections. In the case of seafarers, they shall cast their ballots anytime within sixty (60) days before
the day of elections as prescribed in the Implementing Rules and Guidelines.
16.4 All accomplished ballots received shall be placed unopened inside sealed containers and kept in
a secure place designated by the Commission.
16.5 The embassies, consulates and other foreign service establishments concerned shall keep a
complete record of the ballots for overseas absentee voters, specifically indicating the number of
ballots they actually received, and in cases where voting by mail is allowed under Section 17 hereof,
the names and addresses of the voters to whom these ballots were sent, including proof of receipt
thereof. In addition, the embassies, consulates and other foreign service establishments shall submit
a formal report to the Commission and the Joint Congressional Oversight Committee created under

52

this Act within thirty (30) days from the day of elections. Such report shall contain data on the
number of ballots cast and received by the officers the number of invalid and unclaimed ballots and
other pertinent data.
16.6 The overseas absentee shall be instructed that his/her ballot shall not be counted if it is not
inside the special envelope furnished him/her when it is cast.
16.7 Ballots not claimed by the overseas absentee voters at the embassies, consulates and other
foreign service establishments, in case of personal voting, and ballots returned to the embassies,
consulates and other foreign service establishments concerned, in the case of voting by mail. Shall be
cancelled and shipped to the Commission by the least costly method within six (6) months from the
day of elections.
16.8 Only ballots cast, and mailed ballots received by the Philippine embassies, consulates and other
foreign service establishments concerned in accordance with Section 17 hereof before the close of
voting open the day of elections shall be counted in accordance with Section 18 hereof. All envelopes
containing the ballots received by the embassies, consulates and other foreign service establishments
after the prescribed period shall not b opened, and shall be cancelled and shipped to the Commission
by the least costly method within six (6) months from the day of elections.
16.9 A special Ballot Reception and Custody Group composed of three (3) members shall be
constituted by the Commission from among the staff of the embassies, consulates and other foreign
service establishments concerned including their attached agencies, and citizens of the Philippines
abroad, who will be deputized to receive ballots and take custody of the same preparatory to their
transmittal to the Special Boards of Election Inspectors.
16.10 During this phase of the election process, the authorized representatives of political parties,
candidates, and accredited citizens arms of the Commission shall be notified in writing thereof and
shall have the right to witness the proceedings.
16.11 The Commission shall study the use of electronic mail, internet, or other secured networks in
the casting of votes, and submit a report thereon to the Joint Congressional Oversight Committee.
Sec. 17. Voting by Mail.
17.1 For the May 2004 elections, the Commission shall authorize by voting mail in not more than
three (3) countries, subject to the approval of the Congressional Oversight Committee. Voting by
mail may be allowed in countries that satisfy the following conditions:
a.) Where the mailing system is fairly well-developed and secure to prevent occasion for fraud;
b.) Where there exists a technically established identification system that would preclude multiple or
proxy voting; and
c.) Where the system of reception and custody of mailed ballots in the embassies, consulates and
other foreign service establishments concerned are adequate and well-secured.
Thereafter, voting by mail in any country shall be allowed only upon review and approval of the Joint
Congressional Oversight Committee.

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17..2 The overseas absentee voter shall send his/her accomplished ballot to the corresponding
embassy, consular or foreign service establishment that has jurisdiction over the country where
he/she temporarily resides. He/she shall be entitled to cast his/her ballot at any time upon his/her
receipt thereof, provided that the same is received before the close of voting on the day of elections.
The overseas absentee voter shall be instructed that his/her ballots shall not be counted if not
transmitted in the special envelope furnished him/her.
17.3 Only mailed ballots received by the Philippine embassy, consulate and other foreign service
establishments before the close of voting on the day of elections shall be counted in accordance with
Section 18 hereof. All envelopes containing the ballots received by the embassies, consulates and
other foreign service establishments after the prescribed period shall not be opened, and shall be
cancelled and disposed of appropriately, with a corresponding report thereon submitted to the
Commission not later than thirty (30) days from the day of elections.
Sec. 23. Security Measures to Safeguard the Secrecy and Sanctity of Ballots.- At all stages of the
electoral process, the Commission shall ensure that the secrecy and integrity of the ballots are
preserved. The Committees on Absentee Voting of the Commission shall be responsible for ensuring
the secrecy and sanctity of the absentee voting process. In the interest of transparency, all necessary
and practicable measures shall be adopted to allow representation of the candidates, accredited
major political parties, accredited citizens arms and non-government organizations to assist, and
intervene in appropriate cases, in all stages of the electoral exercise and to prevent any and all forms
of fraud and correction.
Sec. 24. Prohibited Acts. In addition to the prohibited acts provided by law, it shall be unlawful:
24.1 For any officer or employee of the Philippine government to influence or attempt to influence
any person covered by this act to vote, or not to vote, for a particular candidate. Nothing in this Act
shall be deemed to prohibit free discussion regarding politics or candidates for public office.
24.2 For any person to deprive any person of any right secured in this act or to give false information
as to his/her name, address, or period of residence for the purposes of establishing his/her eligibility
or ineligibility to register or vote under this act; or to conspire with another person for the purpose of
encouraging the giving of false information in order to establish the eligibility or ineligibility of any
individual to register or vote under this Act; or, to pay, or offer to pa, or to accept payment either fro
application to vote in absentia or for voting.
24. 3 For any person to tamper with the ballot, the mail containing the ballots for overseas absentee
voters, the election returns including the destruction, mutilation and manipulation thereof.
24.4 For any person to steal, destroy, conceal, mutilate or alter any record, document or paper as
required for purposes of this Act.

24.5 For any deputized agent to refuse without justifiable ground, to serve or continue serving, or to
comply with his/her sworn duties after acceptance of his/her appointments;
24.6 For any public officer or employee who shall cause the preparations, printing, distribution of

54

information material, or post the same in website without the prior approval of the Commission.
24.7 For any public employee to cause the transfer, promotion, extension, recall of any member of
the foreign service corps, including members of the attached agencies, or otherwise cause movement
of any such member from his current post or position one (1) year before and three (3) months after
the days of elections, without securing the prior approval of the Commission.
24.8 For any person who, after being deputized by the Commission to undertake activities in
connection with the implementation of this Act, shall campaign for or assist, in whatsoever manner,
candidates in the elections.
For any person who is not citizen of the Philippines to participate by word or deed, directly or
indirectly through qualified organizations/associations, in any manner and at any stage of the
Philippine political process abroad, including participation in the campaign and elections.
The Provision of existing laws to the contrary notwithstanding, and with due regard to the Principle
of Double Criminality, the prohibited acts described in this section are electoral offenses and
punishable in the Philippines.
The penalties imposed under Section 264 of the Omnibus Election Code, as amended, shall be
imposed on any person found guilty of committing any set of the prohibited acts as defined I this
section. Provided, that the penalty or prision mayor in its minimum period shall be imposed upon
any person found guilty of Section 24.3 hereof without the benefit of the operation of the
Indeterminate Sentence Law. If the offender is a public officer or a candidate, the penalty shall be
prision mayor in its minimum period. In addition, the offender shall be sentenced to suffer perpetual
disqualification to hold public office and deprivation of the right to vote.
Immigrants and permanent residents who do not resume residence in the Philippines as stipulated
in their affidavit under Section 5 (d) within three (3) years after approval of his/her registration
under this Act and yet vote in the next elections contrary to the said section, shall be penalized by
imprisonment of not less than one (1) year, and shall be deemed disqualified as provided in Section 5
(c) of this Act. His/her passport shall be stamped not allowed to vote.
IX COUNTING OF VOTES
MANNER
1. The Board of Election Inspectors shall read the ballots publicly and shall not postpone the count
until it is completed. (Section 206, BP 881)
2. The Board of Election Inspectors shall assume such positions as to provide the watchers and the
public unimpeded view of the ballot being read. (Section 25, RA 7166)
3. If on account of violence or similar causes it becomes necessary to transfer the counting of the
votes to a safer place, the BEI may effect the transfer by unanimous approval of the board and
concurrence of a majority of the watchers present. (Section 18, RA6646)
4. Where a commotion resulted in suspension of the counting, the BEI may recount the ballots.
(Dayag vs. Alonzo)
SPECIAL PROBLEMS

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1. Excess Ballots
If there are excess ballots, the poll clerk shall draw out as many ballots equal to the excess without
seeing them, and the excess ballots shall not be counted. (Section 207, BP881)
2. Spoiled ballots
Ballots in the compartment for spoiled ballots are presumed to be spoiled ballots.
If the BEI finds that a valid ballot was erroneously deposited in the compartment for spoiled ballots.
It shall be counted. (Section 209, BP881)
3. Marked Ballot
a) Marked ballots shall not be counted (Section 208, BP881)
b) A ballot is considered marked in any of the following cases:
The voter signed the ballot. (Ferrer vs De Alban, 101 phil 10)
There were variations in the style of writing
The name of a a candidate was written more than twice
The voter wrote the names of well-known public figures who are not candidates such as actors,
actresses and national political figures. (Protacto vs. De Leon, 9 SCRA 472)
The ballot contains irrelevant expression.(Bautista vs. Castro,206 SCRA 305). However, the use of
nicknames and appellations of affection and friendship, if accompanied by the name of the candidate
does not annul the ballot except when it is used to identify the voter. (Section 211 (13), BP811)
c) Evidence aliunde is not necessary to prove a ballot as marked. (Bacobo vs. COMELEC,191 SCRA
576)
d) A ballot in which a sticker was stuck by another person to invalidate it should not be rejected.
(Lerias vs. HRET,202 SCRA 808)
RULES FOR APPRECIATION OF BALLOTS
1. A ballot in which the first name or surname of a candidate is written should be counted for him, if
there is no other candidate with the same name. (Lerias vs. HRET,202 SCRA 808)
2. If only the first name of a candidate is written and it sounds like the surname of another
candidate, the vote shall be counted in favor of the latter.
3. If there are two or more candidates with the same name and one of them is incumbent, the vote
shall be counted in favor of the incumbent.
4. When two or more words are written on different lines which are the surnames of two or more
candidates with the same surname of an office for which the law authorizes the election of more than
one, the vote shall be counted in favor of all the candidates. With the same surname.
5. When the word written is the first name of one candidate and the surname of another candidate,
the vote shall be counted for the latter.

6. If the ballot contains the first name of one candidate and the surname of another, the vote shall

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not be counted for either.


7. An incorrectly written name which sounds like the correctly written name of a candidate shall be
counted in his favor(Bautista vs Castro,206 SCRA 606)
8. If the word written is the incidental name of two or more candidates for the same office none of
whom is incumbent, the vote shall be counted in favor of the candidate who belongs to the same
ticket as all other candidates voted for in the ballot for the same constituency.
9. The erroneous initial of the first name accompanied by the correct surname of a candidate or the
erroneous initial of the same accompanied by the correct first name of a candidate shall not annul
the vote in his favor.
10. A ballot in which the correct first name but wrong surname of a candidate is written or the
correct surname but wrong first name of a candidate is written ,shall not be counted in his favor.
11. Where a candidate named Pedro Alfonso died on the eve of the election and his daughter Irma
Alfonso substituted him, ballots in which the name Pedro alfonso was written cannot be counted in
her favor. (Afonso vs. COMELEC,232 SCRA 777)
12. If two or more candidates were voted for in an office for which the law authorizes the election for
only one, the vote shall not be counted in favor of any of them.
13. If the candidate voted for exceed the number of those to be elected, the votes for the candidates
whose names were firstly written equal to the number of candidates to be elected shall be counted.
14. Even if the name of a candidate was written on the wrong space, it should be counted if the
intention to vote for him can be determined, as when there is a complete list of names of other offices
written below his name or the voter wrote the office for which he was electing the candidate.
(Cordero vs.Moscardon,132 SCRA 414)
STRAY BALLOT
Rule 14 of section 211 of the Omnibus Election Code considers three kinds of votes as stray: (1) a vote
containing initials only,(2) a vote which is illegible, and ( 3) a vote which does not sufficiently
identify the candidate for whom it is intended. (Villarosa vs. HRET,340 SCRA 396)
The rule is in favor of the validity of the ballot, not otherwise The appearance of print and script
writings in a single ballot does not necessarily imply that two persons wrote the ballot
Paragraph 18,section 149 of the REC, provides that unless it should clearly appear that it has been
deliberately put by the voter to serve as identification mark, the use of two or more kinds of writing
shall be considered innocent and shall not invalidate a ballot..
Under Section 211(19 ) of the OEC, any vote in favor of a person who has not filed a certificate of
candidacy or in favor of a candidate for an office for which he did not present himself shall be
considered as an astray vote, but it shall not invalidate the whole ballot The unexplained presence

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of prominent letters and words written with remarkably good hand marked the ballots and must be
considered invalid
When in a space in the ballot there appears a name of candidate that is erased and another clearly
written, the vote is valid for the latter incorrect spelling of a candidates name does not invalidate
the ballotfor even the most literate person is bound to commit a mistake in spelling. (Ong vs.
COMELEC, 347 SCRA 681)

CORRECTION OF RETURNS
1. Before the announcement of the results of the election in a precinct, any correction or alteration in
the election returns must be initialed by all members of the BEI.
2. After the announcement of the results in a precinct, the authorization of the COMELEC is needed
to make any correction or alteration.
If the petition is by all members of the BEI, the results of the election will not be affected, and none
of the candidate affected objects, the COMELEC, upon being satisfied of the veracity of the petition,
shall order the correction.
If a candidate affected by the petition objects and the correction will affect the results of the
election, the COMELEC shall order a recount of the votes, if it finds the petition meritorious and the
integrity of the ballot box has not been violated (section 216, BP 881)

WHAT CONSTITUTE AN ELECTION


Plurality of votes sufficient for choice
Not necessary that a majority of voters should vote
CERTIFICATE OF VOTES
The BEI shall issue a certificate of the number of votes received by a candidate upon request of a
watcher. (Section 16, RA6646)
The certificate of votes is admissible in evidence to prove anomaly in the election return when
authenticated by testimony or documentary evidence of at least two members of the BEI.

X. CANVASSING AND PROCLAMATION


CANVASSING BODIES

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1. Congress
a. President
b. vice president
2. COMELEC
a. Senators
b. Regional Officials
3. Provincial board of canvassers
a. Congressman
b. Provincial officials
4. District Board of Canvassers in each legislative district in Metro Manila
a. Congressman
b. Municipal official
5. City and Municipal Board of Canvassers
a. Congressmen
b. City and municipal officials
6. Barangay Board of Canvassers
a. Barangay officials
SUPERVISORY POWER OVER THE BOARD
The COMELEC exercises direct supervision and control over the proceedings before the board of
canvassers (Mastura vs. COMELEC, 285 SCRA 493)
NATURE OF DUTY OF BOARD OF CANVASSERS
1. Ministerial- it has only the ministerial task of tallying the votes as reported in the election returns
and declare the results, and cannot exercise the judicial power of deciding an election contest. The
correction of the manifest mistake in the mathematical addition calls for a mere clerical task on the
part of the board. The remedy is purely administrative. (Tatlonghari vs. COMELEC,199 SCRA 199)
2. Quasi-Judicial- The Comelec exercises judgment or discretion to determine whether any given
return before it is genuine in connection with the canvass of votes.
PROCEDURE
1. The COMELEC has direct control and supervision over the board of canvassers except congress. It
may motu proprio relieve at any time and substitute any member of the board of canvassers. (section
227, BP 881)
A municipal court has no jurisdiction to restrain the municipal board of canvasser. (Librados vs.
Casar,234 SCRA 13)
2. Manner of delivery of election Return
a. The BEI shall personally deliver to the city or municipal board of canvassers the copy of the
election returns intended for them sealed in an envelop, signed and thumbmarked by the members
of the BEI.
The fact that an election return was not locked in the ballot box when it was delivered to the board of

59

canvassers is not ground for excluding it in the absence of proof that it was tampered with (Pimentel
vs. Comelec,140 SCRA 126)
b. The BEI shall personally deliver to the provincial and district board of canvassers the copy of the
election returns intended for them to the election registrar.
c. Watchers have the right to accompany the members of the BEI and the election registrar during
the delivery of the election returns to the board of canvassers. (section 229, BP 881)
RIGHTS OF CANDIDATES
1. Every registered political party and candidate is entitled to one watcher in the canvassing center,
but candidates for the local legislative bodies belonging to the same party are entitled collectively to
one watcher. The fact that the watcher of a candidate was not present when the canvassing was
resumed because he was notified is not a ground to annul the canvass. (Quilala vs. COMELEC,188
SCRA 902)
2. Any registered political party and candidate has the right to be present and to counsel
a. only one counsel may argue for each party of candidate; no dilatory action shall be allowed
3. Problem areas
a. Lost return
If any election return has been lost, upon prior authority of the COMELEC, the board of canvassers
may use authentic copy of it or a certified copy of it issued by the COMELEC(Section 233,BP 881). It
is not necessary that all the other copies shall be considered.
If an election return is missing a recount should not be ordered if there is any authentic copy
available(Ong vs. COMELEC, 216 SCRA 866)
If all copies of the Election returns were lost, a recount of the ballots should be made.
The certificate of votes signed by the BEI and tally board cannot be used for the canvass, because
only election returns are evidence of the results of the election. (Garay vs COMELEC, 262 SCRA 222)
b. Omission in the return
in case of an omission in the election return of the names of a candidate or his votes, the board of
canvassers shall require the BEI to complete it.
If the votes omitted cannot be ascertained except by recounting the ballots, after ascertaining the
integrity of the ballot has not been violated, the COMELEC shall order the BEI to count the votes for
the candidate whose votes were omitted and to complete the return. Since the omission of the
election return on the number of votes certain candidates received is not a discrepancy, a recount of
the vote should be ordered instead of excluding the election return in the canvassing. (Patoray vs.
COMELEC,249 SCRA 490)
c. Tampered or falsified return
If the election return submitted to the board of canvassers was tampered with or falsified or
prepared under duress or by persons other than the BEI, the board shall use the other copies of the
election return.
If the other copies of the election returns were also tampered with or falsified or prepared under
duress or by persons other than the BEI, the COMELEC after ascertaining that the integrity of the

60

ballot box has not been violated,shall order the BEI to recount the votes and prepare a new return.
If the certificate of canvass was tampered with, the COMELEC may order that any of the copies of
the election returns be used in making a new canvass.(Mastura vs. COMELEC,265 SCRA 493)
Since an election return prepared without counting the ballots is a fabrication, it should not be
counted and a count of the ballot should be ordered.( Lucero vss. COMELEC,234 SCRA 280)
d. Discrepancies in returns
If there are discrepancies in the other authentic copies of the return or in the words or figures in the
same return and it will affect the result of the election, the COMELEC, after ascertaining that the
integrity of the ballot box has not been violated, shall order the recount of the ballots.
If there is discrepancy between the tally and the written figures in the election return, it should be
excluded from the canvassing and a recount of the ballots should be made or the certificate of votes
cast in the precinct should be used. (Patoray vs. COMELEC,249 SCRA 440)
PROCLAMATION
1. An incomplete canvass of votes is illegal cannot be a basis of a valid proclamation (Samad vs.
COMELEC,224 SCRA631,Loong vs. COMELEC,257 SCRA 1) a canvass cannot be reflective of the true
vote of the electorate unless all returns are considered and none is omitted (Caruncho III vs.
COMELEC,315 SCRA 693)
2. If the questioned election returns will not affect the result of the election, a proclamation may be
made upon the order to the COMELEC after notice and hearing.
3. 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. (Sema vs. COMELEC,347 SCRA 633)
4. The mere filing of a petition for disqualification is not a ground to suspend the proclamation of the
winning candidate-in the absence of an order suspending proclamation, the winning candidate who
is sought to be disqualified is entitled to be proclaimed as a matter of law. (Bagatsing vs
CCOMELEC,320 SCRA 817)
5. Filing of pre-proclamation controversy under 2448 of BP881 is not the only grounds for the
suspension of proclamation.
6. The proclamation of a winning candidate cannot be annulled if he has not been notified of the
motion to set aside his proclamation. (Caruncho vs. COMELEC,315 SCRA 693)
7. The fact that the candidate who obtained the highest number of votes is later declared to be
disqualified or nor eligible for the office to which he was elected does not necessarily entitle the
candidate who obtained the second highest number of votes to be declared the winner of the elective
office To allow the defeated and repudiated to take over the mayoralty despite the rejection by the
electorate is to disenfranchise the electorate without any fault of their part and to determine the
importance and meaning of democracy and the peoples right to elect officials of their choice Court
a quo correctly held that the second placer lost the elections and was repudiated by either a majority
or plurality of voters. (Loreto vs. Brion,311 SCRA 694)
TIE
1. A tie among two or more candidates for president or vice president shall be broken by majority
vote of both houses of congress voting separately (Section 4. ART VII, PHIL CONTN)
2. In the case of other positions, the ties shall be broken by the drawing of lots.

61

FAILURE TO ASSUME OFFICE If a candidate fails to take his oath of office within 6 months from
his proclamation, unless for a cause beyond the control of the elected official, his office will be
considered vacant. (section 12, BP 881)
XI PRE-PROCLAMATION CASES
A. Definition; coverage
Pre-proclamation controversy refers to any question 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. (Chu vs. COMELEC,319 SCRA 482)
In pre-proclamation controversy, the board of canvassers and the COMELEC are not to look beyond
or behind election returns which are on their face regular and authentic returns.(CHU,supra)
A pre-proclamation controversy is limited to an examination of the election returns on their faceThe COMELEC as a general rule need not go beyond the face of the returns and investigate alleged
election irregularities.
To require the COMELEC to examine the circumstances surrounding the preparation of the returns
would run counter to the rule that a pre-proclamation controversy should be summarily decided.
Where the resolution of the issues raised would require the COMELEC to pierce the veil of election
returns that appear prima facie regular, the remedy is a regular election protest.
The office of pre-proclamation controversy is limited to incomplete, falsified or materially defective
returns which appear as such on the face. (Sebastian VS COMELEC, 327 SCRA 406)
B. JURISDICTION
1. Questions involving the legality of the composition or proceeding of the board of canvassers,
except congress, may be raised initially in the board of canvassers or the COMELEC.(SEC 15 and 17,
RA 7166)
2. Questions involving the election returns and certificate of canvass should be brought in the first
instance before the board of canvassers only (Section 17, RA 7166)
C. SCOPE OF PRE-PROCLAMATION CONTROVERSY
ISSUES
1. Provincial, city and municipal officials
d. The composition of the proceeding of the board of canvassers is illegal
e. The 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;
f. The returns were prepared under duress or are obviously manufactured or not authentic;
g. Substitute or fraudulent returns were canvassed, the result of which materially affect the standing
of the aggrieved candidate.

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3. President, vice president, senators, congressmen and barangay officials


No pre-proclamation case is allowed regarding the preparation, transmission, receipt, custody and
appreciation of the election return or certificate of canvass.(Chaves vs COMELEC,211 SCRA 315)
ERRORS IN THE CERTIFICATE OF CANVASS
Correction of manifest errors has reference to errors in the election returns, in the entries of the
statement of votes by precinct/per municipality, or in the certificate of canvass a manifest clerical
error is one that is visible to the eye or obvious to the understanding, and is apparent from the
papers to the eye appraiser and the collector, and does not include an error which may, by evidence
dehors the record to be shown to have been committed. (Trinidad vs. COMELEC,320 SCRA 836)
1. While the first sentence of section 15 of RA 7166 prohibits candidates in the presidential, Vice
presidential, senatorial and congressional elections from filing pre-proclamation case, the second
sentence allows the filing of petitions for correction of manifest errors in the certificate of canvass or
election returns even in elections for president, vice-president, senators and members of the House
of Representatives for the simple reason that the correction of manifest error will not prolong the
process of canvassing nor delay the proclamation of the winner in the election. (Sandoval vs.
COMELEC,323 SCRA 403)
2. The canvassing body may motu proprio or upon petition of an interested party correct manifest
errors in the certificate of canvass or election return. (Sec 15, RA7166)
i. A copy of an election return or certificate of canvass was tabulated more than once.
ii. Two or more copies of the same election return or certificate of canvass were tabulated separately.
iii. There was a mistake in copying the figures into the statement of votes or certificate of canvass.
Errors in addition in the certificate of canvass may be corrected. (Ong vs COMELEC,221 SCRA 75)
iv. Returns from non-existent precincts were included in the canvass
The statement of votes cannot be corrected on the basis of a certification given to a watcher, since
election returns are what are supposed to be the basis of the canvass. (Ramirez vs. COMELEC,270
SCRA 390)
STATISTICAL IMPROBABILITIES
An election return which is statistically improbable is obviously fabricated and should not be
counted.
i. Where the votes cast in 50 precincts for the candidates for senators of one party equalled the
number of registered voters, all the candidates for senators of that party received the same number
of votes, and all the candidates for senators of the opposing party got no votes, the election returns
are statistically improbable and are obviously fabricated.(Lagumbay vs. Climaco, 16 SCRA 175)
ii. Where only one candidate of a party got all the votes in some precincts and his opponent got zero,
the other candidates for the other party for other positions received votes, the number of votes cast
were less than the number of registered voters, the election returns are not statistically improbable.
(Sangki vs COMELEC, 21 SCRA 1391)sss
iii. The mere fact that a candidate receive overwhelming majorities over another candidate in
numerous precinct does not make the election return statistically improbable. (Ilarde vs. 31 SCRA71)

63

iv. The mere fact that the percentage of turnout of voters was high and that a candidate received high
percentage of the votes does not make the election returns statistically improbable.(Doruelo vs.
COMELEC ,133 SCRA 376)
v. The bare fact that candidate for public office had received zero vote is not enough to make returns
statistically improbable (Ocampo vs.COKELRC,325SCRA 636)
v. Standing alone without more, the bare fact that a candidate for public office had receive zero votes
in one or two precincts can not adequately support a finding that the subject election returns are
statistically improbable- the doctrine of statistical improbability must be viewed restrictively, the
utmost care being taken lest in penalizing the fraudulent and corrupt practices, innocent voters
become disenfranchisedThe doctrine of statistical improbability involves a question of fact and
more prudential approach prohibits its determination ex parte.(Velayo vs. COMELEC,327 SCRA713)
ISSUES NOT RESOLVABLE IN PRE-PROCLAMATION CONTROVERSY
1. Issues involving the casting or the counting of the ballots are not proper in pre- proclamation
cases.
a) The use of illegal election propaganda, vote-buying and terrorism of the voters are not proper
issues in a pre-proclamation case. (Villegas vs. COMELEC, 99 SCRA 5892)
b) Questions on the appreciation of the ballots can not be raised in pre-proclamation case. (Alfonso
vs.COMELEC, 232 SCRA 777)Thus, the claim that a candidate was not credited with votes cast for
him because his name was similar to that of another disqualified candidate cannot be raised in a preproclamation case.(Chavez vs. COMELEC, 211 SCRA 315) Likewise, the claim that some ballots were
spurious, marked or invalid cannot be raised in a pre- proclamation case. (Pataray vs.
COMELEC,274 SCRA 470)
c) Terrorism of voters, voting by flying voters, deprivation of the right to vote of registered voters and
vote buying cannot be raised in a pre-proclamation case (Allarde vs. COMELEC,159 SCRA 623)
d) Vote buying and secrecy in the preparation of ballots are not proper grounds for pre-proclamation
case (Salazar vs. COMELEC,184 SCRA 433)
e) The claim that the voters were allowed to vote without verifying their identities, that there were
discrepancies between the signatures in the voter\s affidavits and the voting record, and third
persons falsely voted for voters who did not vote are not proper issues in a pre-proclamation case
(Dipatuan vs. COMELEC,185 SCRA 86)
f) Technical examination of the signatures and thumbprints of the voters to prove substitute voting is
not allowed in a pre-proclamation case. (Balindong vs. COMELLEC,260 SCRA 294)
g) The padding of the list of voters cannot be raised in a pre-proclamation case, since it does not
involve the election return. (Ututahan vs. COOOMELEC,189 SCRA 335)
h) The fact that the voting was sham or minimal is not a ground for filing a pre-proclamation case,
since this is properly cognizable in an election protest.(Salih vs. COMELEC,279 SCRA 19)
i) To look beyond or behind election returns is not a proper issue in pre-proclamation controversy
(Ocampo vs. COMELEC, 325 SCRA 636)
j) The fact that the counting of the votes was not completed because of the explosion of grenade and
that no election was held cannot be raised in a pre-proclamation case, as these are irregularities that
do not appear on the face of the election returns. (Matalam vs. COMELEC,271 SCRA 733)
2. Administrative lapses which do not affect the authenticity of an election return cannot serve as
basis for annulling the election return.

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a) The failure to close the entries in the election returns with the signature of the BEI, lack of seals,
absence of time and date of receipt of election return by the board of canvassers, lack of signature of
watchers of the petitioner, and the lack of authority of the person who received the election returns
do not affect the authenticity of the returns. (Baterina vs. COMELEC,205 SCRA 1)
b) The absence of the signature of the claimant of the BEI on the voters affidavits, list of voters and
voting records, absence or excess of detachable coupons, discrepancies between the member of
detachable coupons and the number of ballots, missing voters lists are mere administrative
omissions and cannot be used as basis to annul an election return. (Arroyo vs. HRET, 246 SCRA
384)
3. Where the threats of the followers of a candidate did not affect the genuineness of an election
return, it should not be excluded (Salvacion vs. COMELEC,170 SCRA 513)
SUMMARY DISPOSITION OF PRE-PROCLAMATION CONTROVERSY
1. Summary proceedings cannot be stretched to mean ex parte proceeding- summary simply means
with dispatch, with the least possible delay, signifying that the power may be exercised without trial
in the ordinary manner prescribed by law for regular judicial proceedings.(Velayo vs.Comelec,372
SCRA 713)
2. RA 7166 explicitly provides that it is only on the basis of the official records that the COMELEC
can decide the pre-proclamation controversy in a summary manner. (Velayo vs. COMELEC,327
SCRA 713)
3. All pre-proclamation controversies on election returns or certificates of canvass shall be disposed
of summarily-first by the record of canvassers and then. By the COMELEC. (Chu vs. COMELEC, 319
SCRA 482)
A. Procedure in contested composition or proceeding of the Board of Canvassers
The illegality of the composition of the board of canvassers cannot be questioned after the
proclamation of the winner, since it must be raised immediately. (Laodenio vs. COMELEC,276 SCRA
705)
The ruling of the board of canvassers on question affecting its composition or
proceeding may be appealed to the COOMELEC

3 days.(Section 19 RA 7166)
B. Procedure in case of contested returns
1. Objections to an election return shall be submitted orally to the chairman of the board of
canvassers at the time the return is presented for inclusion in the canvass and shall
be entered in the form for written objection(Sec 20 (a) and (c),RA 7166)
a. An objection made after the canvass is late.(Guiao vs /comelec,137 SCRA 356,Navarro vs
COMELEC,228 SCRA 596)
b. a petition for correction of the statement of votes may be filed after the proclamation of the
winner, although no objection was made during the canvass, as error was discovered only after the
petitioner got a copy of the statement of votes. (Duremdes vs. COMELEC,178 SCRA 746). It must be

65

filed not later than 5 days after the proclamation.(Section 5(b), Rule 27 of COMELEC rules of
procedure)
However, the five-day deadline is not applicable to a petition for the annulment of proclamation of a
candidate when it was his opponent who obtained the majority for what was corrected was not the
entries but the computation of the votes. (Mentang vs. COMELEC,229 SCRA 666)
Under the COMELEC Rules of procedure, a petition for correction of the certificate of canvass may
be filed even before the proclamation of the winner. (Bince vs. Comelec,242 SCRA273) A petition for
correction of manifest errors in the statement of votes can be decided by the COMELEC en banc at
the first instance, since it does not involve an election protest or a pre-proclamation case (Ramirez
vs. COMELEC,270 SCRA 590)
The COMELEC has the power to order the correction of the statement of votes to make it conform to
the election returns. (Castromayor vs. COMELEC,250 SCRA 298)
2. The canvass of any contested return shall be deferred and the board of canvasser shall proceed to
canvass the uncontested return (Section 20(b),RA 7166)
3. Within 24 hours, the objecting party shall submit evidence in support of the objections.
4. Within 24 hours after presentation of the objection, a party may file a written opposition and
attach the supporting evidence.(Section 20c, RA 7166)
5. The board of canvassers shall summarily rule in the contested returns (Section 20(d),RA 7166)
6. A party who intends to appeal should immediately inform the board of canvassers. Within 24
hours he must file a written and verified notice of appeal with the board of canvassers and take his
appeal to the COMELEC within 5 days. (section 20(f),RA 7166)
a. Appellate jurisdiction
The RTC has NO jurisdiction to review the decision of the municipal board of canvassers to correct a
certificate of canvass.(Cabanero vs CA)
The RTC has no jurisdiction to compel the municipal board of canvassers, which suspended the
proclamation because of a possible discrepancy in the election return, to make a proclamation. (In re
COMELEC Resolution no.2521,234 SCRA 1)
b. Period of appeal
Since the proclamation of a candidate who finished second made after the candidate who got the
highest number of votes was killed is patently void, a late appeal should be allowed. (Benito vs.
CCOMELLEC,235 SCRAS 436)
The COMELEC cannot by regulation shorten the period to question its decision before the SC for
under the Constitution the period of 30 days can be shortened by law only.(Sardea vs.
COMELLEC,225 SCRA 374)
7. The COMELEC shall decide the appeal within 7 days from receipt of the records, and the decision
shall be executory after 7 days from receipt by the losing party. (Sections 18 and 20(f), RA 7166)
TERMINATION OF PRE-PROCLAMATION CASE

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Once a proclamation has been made, the pre-proclamation case is no longer viable and should be
dismissed (Sardea vs. COMELEC). However this rule presupposes the proclamation is valid. It does
not apply if the proclamation is void, because it was based on incomplete returns.(Matalam vs.
COMELEC 271 SCRA 733). The same holds true if the returns were manufactured. (Agbayani vs.
COMELEC,186 SCRA 464). The same hols true where the computation of votes was erroneous.
(Mentang vs. COMELEC,229 SCRA 669)
All pre-proclamation cases pending before the COMELEC shall be terminated at the beginning of the
term of the office (noon of June 30) involved, and the rulings of the board of canvassers shall be
deemed affirmed, without prejudice to the filing of an election protest by the aggrieved party.
(Penaflorida vs. COMELEC,282 SCRA 241 And Barroso vs Ampig,328 SCRA 530)
The pre-proclamation case should no longer be decided if exclusion of the questioned election return
will not change the result of the election. (Matalam vss. COMELEC,271 SCRA 733)
EFFECT OF FILING AN ELECTION PROTEST,QUO WARRANTO
1. As a general rule, the filing of an election protest or a petition for quo warranto precludes the
subsequent filing of a pre-proclamation controversy, or amounts to the abandonment of one earlier
filed. (Maruhom vs. COMELEC,331 SCRA 473)
2. The filing of an election protest results in abandonment of a pre-proclamation case even if the
protest alleged it was filed as a precautionary measure, if he did not explain why.(Laodenio vs.
COMELEC,276 SCRA 405)
3. The rule that the filing of a protest implies abandonment of the pre-proclamation case does not
apply if:
i. The protest was filed as a precautionary measure (Mitmug vs. COMELEC,230 SCRA 54)
ii. The board of canvassers was improperly constituted, as when the Municipal Treasurer took over
the canvassing without having been designated. (Saman vs. COMELEC,224 SCRA 631)
CONTINUANCE OF THE CASE
If the petition appears meritorious on the basis of the evidence presented so far, the COMELEC or
the SC may order the case to continue. (Section 16, RA 7166)

PROCLAMATION
1. The Board of Canvassers shall not make any proclamation without any authorization from the
COMELEC (Jamil vs COMELEC,283 SCRA 349)
2. Proclamation may be made if the contested returns will not adversely affect the results of the
elections. (Section 20 (i), RA 7166)
3. The COMELEC may order the proclamation of other winning candidates whose election will not be
affected by the pre-proclamation case. (Section 21, RA 7166)
4. A candidate for mayor who finished second cannot be proclaimed simply because the candidate

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who received the highest number of votes died, since he was not the choice of the people. (Benito vs.
COMELEC, 23335 SCRA 436)
5. The wreath of victory cannot be transferred from the disqualified winner to the repudiated loser
because the law then as now only authorizes a declaration of election in favor of the person who has
obtained a plurality of votes to be declared elected. (Sunga vs. COMELEC,288 SCRA 76)

ANNULMENT OF PROCLAMATION
1. The COMELEC can annul a proclamation because of an error in the computation of the votes in
the statement of votes since the proclamation is void.(Torres vs. COMELEC,270 SCRA 583)
2. Where the COMELEC, without prior notice and hearing, annulled the proclamation of a winning
party and directed the Municipal Board of Canvassers to reconvene and effect corrections in the total
number of votes received by the candidates and thereafter proclaim the winner, the expedient action
to take is to direct the Municipal Board of Canvassers to reconvene and. after notice and hearing in
accordance with rule 27, section 7 of the COMELEC Rules of Procedure, to effect the necessary
correction, if any, in the election returns and, on the basis thereof, proclaim the winning candidate or
candidates as members of the Sangguniang Bayan( Angelia vs. COMELEC,332 SCRA 757)
3. It is improper for the COMELEC to annul the proclamation of a winning candidate on the basis of
new and additional evidence which were not presented before the Board of Canvasssers and which
were not furnished to the said candidate Reliance should not be placed on mere affidavits for the
purpose of annulling a winning candidates proclamation. (Velayo vs. COMELEC, 327 SCRA 713)
4. A proclamation subsequently declared void is no proclamation at all and while a proclaimed
candidate may assume office on the strength of the proclamation of the Board of Canvassers he is
only a presumptive winner who assumes office subject to the final outcome of the election protest.
(Lonzanida vs. COMELEC, 311 SRA 602)
ELECTION CONTESTS
A. Jurisdiction
1) Supreme Court (Presidential Electoral Tribunal)
1.
President
Vice-President ( Sec. 4, Art VII, Phil. Const)
2) Senate Electoral tribunal
Senators (Sec 17, Art VI, PC)
3) House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal
Congressmen ( Sec 17, Art VI, PC; Sampayan vs. Daza, 213 SCRA 807)

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4) Commission on Elections
Regional Officials
Provincial Officials
City Officials ( Sec 2(2). Art IX-C, PC; Sec 249 BP 881)
5) Regional Trial Court
Municipal Officials ( Sec 2(2), Art IX-C, PC; Sec 251, BP 881, Papandayan vs. COMELEC , 230
SCRA 469)
6) Metropolitan Trial Court, Municipal Circuit Trial Court, and Municipal Trial Court
Barangay Officials [ Sec 2(2), Art IX-C, PC; Sec 252 BP 881; Regatcho vs. Cleto, 126 SCRA 342]
Sangguniang Kabataan ( Sec 1, RA 7166)
B. Action which may be filed
i. Election Protest
Requisites:
i. Must be filed by any candidate who has filed a certificate of candidacy and has been voted upon for
the same office.
ii. On ground of fraud, terrorism, irregularities or illegal acts committed before, during or after the
casting and counting of votes
iii. Within 10 days from the proclamation of the results of the election.
ii. Quo Warranto
Requisites:
i. Filed by any registered voter in the constituency
ii. On grounds of ineligibility or disloyalty to the Republic of the Philippines
iii. Within 10 days from the proclamation of the results of the election
C Procedure
1. Period of filing contest
a. Periods
i. President and Vice-President
1) Protest- 30 days ( Rule 14, Rules of Presidential Electoral Tribunal)
2) Quo Warranto- 10 days ( Rule 15, Rules of Presidential Electoral Tribunal)
ii. Senators
1) Protest 15 days ( Rule 14, Revised Rules of Senate Electoral Tribunal)
2) Quo Warranto 10 days ( Rule 15, Revised Rules of Senate Electoral Tribunal)
iii. Congressmen- 10 days ( Rule 16 and 17.1998 Rules of House of Representatives Electoral
Tribunal)
iv. Regional, provincial and city officials-10 days ( Sec 250 and 253, BP 881; Republic vs. Dela Rosa,
232 SCRA 78)
v. Municipal Officials- 10 days ( Secs 251 and 253, BP 881)
vi. Barangay Officials 10 days ( Sec 252 and 253, BP 881)
vii. Sangguniang Kabataan- 10 days ( Sec 1, RA 7808)
b. Exceptions
i. The period to file an election protest or quo warranto case is suspended from the filing of a pre-

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proclamation case until receipt of the order dismissing the case. (Sec 248, BP 881; Gatchalian vs CA ,
SCRA 208)
ii. If the dismissal was elevated to the Supreme Court , the period does not run until receipt of the
dismissal by the Supreme Court, because review by the Supreme Court is part of the proceeding.
(Gallardo vs Rimando, 187 SCRA 463)
iii. The running of the reglementary period to file an election protest is tolled by a partys elevation to
the Supreme Court of a COMELEC decision resolution of proclamation case. ( Roquero vs COMELEC
, 289 SCRA 120)
iv. The period to file an election protest is suspended by the filing of the petition to annul the
proclamation of the winner (Manahan vs Bernardo, 283 SCRA 505)
v. Since the filing of a pre-proclamation case merely suspends the running of the period to file an
election protest, only the balance of the period is in case of dismissal. ( Roquero vs COMELEC , 289
SCRA 150)
vi. Where the evidence of the lack of Filipino citizenship of a provincial official was discovered only
18 months after his proclamation, the quo warranto case should be allowed even if it filed more than
10 days after his proclamation. ( Frivaldo vs COMELEC , 174 SCRA 245)
2. Protestant or Petitioner
President and Vice-President
i. protest- Candidate with second or third highest number of votes ( Rule 14, Rules of Presidential
Electoral Tribunal)
ii. Quo Warranto- any voter ( Rule 15, Rules of Presidential Electoral Tribunal)
Senator
i. Protest- any candidate ( Rule 14, Revised Rules of Senate Electoral Tribunal)
ii. Quo Warranto- any voter ( Rule 15, 1998 Rules of Senate Electoral Tribunal)
Congressmen
i. Protest- any candidate
ii. Quo Warranto- Any voter ( Rule 17, 1998 Rules of House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal)
Regional, provincial, City Officials
i. Protest- any candidate ( Sec 250, BP 881)
ii. Quo Warranto- any voter ( Sec 253, BP 881)
Municipal Officials
i. Protest- any candidate- ( Sec 251 , BP 881)
ii. Quo Warranto- any voter ( Sec 253, BP 881)
Barangay Officials
i. Protest- any candidate- ( Sec 252, BP 881)
ii. Quo Warranto- any voter ( Sec 253, Bp 881)

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Payment of Docket Fee


When the protestant included a claim for attorneys fees in his protest and paid the docket fee for his
claim for attorneys fees but did not pay the basic docket fee for the election protest , the election
protest should be dismissed. ( Gatchalian vs CA, 245 SCRA 208)
Allegations in Protest
An election protest should contain the following jurisdictional allegations:
The protestant is a candidate who duly filed a certificate of candidacy and was voted for in the
election
The protestee has been proclaimed elected
The date of proclamation ( Miro vs COMELEC, 121 SCRA 466)
An election protest which does not specify the precinct where the alleged irregularities occurred is
fatally defective . (Pena vs HRET , 270 SCRA 340)
Substantial compliance is sufficient . Thus the following allegations sufficiently comply with the
first requirement.
The protestant received a certain number of votes ( Anis vs Contreras, 55 Phil 929)
The protestant finished second in the election ( Ali vs CFI of Lanao, 80 Phil 506)
The protestant was a candidate voted for in the election with a valid certificate of candidacy for
mayor ( Pamania vs Pilapil, 81 Phil 212)
The protestant was one of the registered candidates voted for and he received a certain number of
votes ( Jalandoni vs Sarcon, 94 Phil 266)
The protestant was the official candidate of a [particular political party and received a certain
number of votes ( Maquinay vs Bleza, 100 SCRA 702)
The protestant was a candidate for governor and was voted for. ( Macias vs COMELEC, 182 SCRA
137)
Even if the protest did not allege the date of the proclamation, it can be determined from the
records of the case that it was filed on time, as when the protest was filed on the tenth from the date
the casting of votes was held, the protest should not be dismissed. (Miro vs COMELEC, 121 SCRA
466)
Verification/Certificate of Absence of Forum Shopping
When the petioner failed to state in his verification that the contents of the election protest are true
and correct of his own personal knowledge , said petition lacks proper verification and should be
treated an unsigned pleading and must be dismissed. ( Soller vs COMELEC, 339 SCRA 685)
Forum Shopping exists when the petitioner files multiple petitions or complaints involving the
same issues in two or more tribunal or agencies. ( Domingo vs COMELEC, 313 SCRA 311)
The requirement that every initial pleading should contain certification of absence of forum
shopping applies to election cases for Circular No. 04-94 does not distinguish ( Loyola vs CA 245
SCRA 477, Tamarong vs Lubguban, 269 SCRA 624)
SC Adm. Circular No 04-94 requiring a certification of non-forum shopping is applicable to election
cases as it is mandatory . It is, however not jurisdictional.. The filing of a certification of absence of
forum shopping after the filing of the protest but within the period for filing a protest is substantial

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compliance. ( Tumarong, supra)


The strict application of the non-forum shopping rule in election contests would not work to the
best interest of the parties and the electorate . An election contest, unlike an ordinary civil action , is
clothed with public interest--- it involves not only the adjudication of private and pecuniary interest
of rival candidates but paramount to their claims is the deep public concern involved and the need of
dispelling the uncertainty over the real choice of the electorate. ( Barroso vs Ampig Jr, 328 SCRA
530)
Joinder of Election Protest and Quo Warranto Cases
An election protest and quo warranto case cannot be filed jointly in the same proceeding. However,
they can be filed separately. ( Luisaon vs Garcia , GR No L-10916, May 10, 1957). If they were joined
in an action , they should be ordered separated. ( Pacal vs Ramos, 81 Phil 20)
Composition of Board of Canvassers
The illegality of the composition of the board of canvassers cannot be raised in a quo warranto case,
as only the ineligibility or disloyalty of the winner can be raised in such case ( Samad vs COMELEC,
224 SCRA 631)
Change Theory
Substantial Amendments to the election protest cannot be made after the expiration of the period
for filing an election protest. ( Arroyo vs HRET, 224 SCRA 384)
Preliminary Motions
A motion to dismiss and a motion for a bill of particulars may be filed in an election protest pending
before the regular courts, since the COMELEC Rules of Procedure are not applicable to the regular
courts because of the exclusive rule-making power of the Supreme Court. ( Aruelo vs CA, 227 SCRA
311)
Answer
An answer file out of time cannot be admitted ( Kho vs COMELEC 279 SCRA 463)
Where the answer of the protestee was filed out of time and a general denial was entered in favor of
the protestee, the rule in civil cases that general denials operates as an admission is not applicable
( Loyola vs HRET, 229 SCRA 90)
A counter protest cannot be allowed if the answer was filed out of time ( Lim vs COMELEC, 282
SCRA 53)
Cash Deposit
A protestee who filed a counterclaim for attorneys fees cannot be required to file a cash deposit since
a cash deposit is required only for a counter-protest ( Roa vs Inting, 231 SCRA 57)

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Injunction
A protestee cannot be enjoined from assuming office because of the pendency of an election protest.
Until the case is decided against him, he has the right to assume office. ( Careno vs Dictado, 160
SCRA 759)
Substitution
a. Even if the protestee has resigned , the protest should continue , as a favorable judgement will be
entitled the protestant to assume the office ( Delos Angeles vs Rodriguez, 46 Phil 599) The same
holds true if the protestee accepted another position ( Calvo vs Maramba, GR No 13206, January 7,
1918)
b. If the protestee died, he should be substituted by his successor such as the vice-mayor ( Dela
Victoria vs COMELEC, 199 SCRA 561) He cannot be substituted by his heirs, since public office
cannot be inherited. ( Abeja vs Tanada, 236 SCRA 60)
c. If it is the protestant who died, he should be substituted by the public official who would have
succeeded him, such as the vice-mayor. ( De Castro vs COMELEC 267 SCRA 806)
14. Abandonment
A defeated candidate for president who filed an election protest and ran for senator should be
deemed to have abandoned the protest (Santiago vs Ramos, 253 SCRA 559)
15. Summary Judgment
An election protest cannot be decided summarly, as summary judgment applies only to ordinary civil
action for recovery of money (199 SCRA 449)
16. Opening of Ballots
When an election protest is filed. The ballot boxes should be opened without requiring proof of
irregularities, and misappreciation of ballots ( Manahan vs Bernardo, 283 SCRA 505)
The revision of ballots in an election protest filed with COMELEC should be held in Manila
( Cabagnot vs COMELEC, 260 SCRA 503)
17. Deferment of Counter Protest
A protestee cannot ask that before making the revision of the ballots involved in his counter-protest,
the court first determine that the protestant would win on the basis of the revisions of the ballots
involved in the protest (Abeja vs Tanada, 236 SCRA 60)
18. Certiorari
Under Sec 50 of BP 697, the COMELEC has jurisdiction over petitions for certiorari, prohibition and
mandamus involving election cases pending before the courts whose decisions are appealabe to it
( Relampagos vs CUmba, 243 SCRA 690;Edding vs COMELEC 246 SCRA 502)

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Where a petition for certiorari merely questioned the denial of the motion of the protestee for
extension of the time to answer, the COMELEC cannot affirm the decision of the merits in the
election protest. ( Acosta vs COMELEC, 293 SCRA 578)
19. Evidence
The genuineness of the handwriting in the ballots can be determined without calling handwriting
experts. ( Erni vs COMELEC, 243 SCRA 578)
Unless the original documents or certified true copies of them cannot be produced or photo-copies
cannot be used as evidence ( Arroyo vs HRET, 246 SCRA 384)
Ballots cannot be excluded on the ground that they were written by any person or were marked on
the basis of mere photo-copies, as they are not the best evidence ( Nazareno vs COMELEC 279 SCRA
89)
20. Demurrer
A motion to dismiss for insufficiency of the evidence of the protestant has rested is a demurrer to the
evidence. If it was granted but reversed on appeal , the protestee is deemed to have the right to
present evidence ( Enojas vs COMELEC, 283 SCRA 229)
21. Decision
a. authentic election return cannot be annulled because the ballots were lost or destroyed (Arroyo vs
HRET 246 SCRA 384)
b. If the winner is ineligible, the candidate who got the highest number of votes cannot be
proclaimed elected as he did not get the majority or plurality of the votes (Sunga vs COMELEC, 288
SCRA 76)
c. Actual damages may be awarded in accordance with the law (Sec 259, BP 881)
The loser cannot be ordered to reimburse the winner for the expenses incurred in the election protest
for no law provides for it ( Atienza vs COMELEC 239 SCRA 298)
d. The mere fact that the decision in favor of the protestant was reversed on appeal is not sufficient
basis for the ruling that the protestant should be awarded attorneys fees because the protest was
filed for harassment (Malaluan vs COMELEC 254 SCRA 397)
e. Under Sec 264, par 1 of BP 881, as amended , the award of damages is no among the imposable
penalties for the commission of any of the election offenses thereunder by any individual (Regalado
vs CA 325 SCRA 516)
22. Execution of Judgment Pending Appeal
BP 881 and other election laws do not specifically provide for the execution pending appeal for
judgment in election cases, unlike the Election Code of 1971. The failure of the extant election laws
to reproduce Sec 218 of the Election Code of 1971 does not mean that the execution of judgment

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pending appeal is no longer available in election cases.


The Supreme Court has explicitly recognized and given approval to execution of judgment pending
appeal in election cases filed under existing laws. The rationale why execution pending appeal is
allowed in election cases is to give much recognition to the worth of a trial judges decision as that
which is initially ascribed by the law to the proclamation by the board of canvassers.
Governed by Sec 2, Rule 39 of the 1997 Rules of Civil procedure. Execution pending appeal should be
based upon good reasons and a combination of two or more of them will suffice to grant execution
pending appeal:
i. Public interest involved or will of the electorate
ii. The shortness of the remaining portion of the term of the contested office
iii. Length of time that the election contest has been pending ( Ferno vs COMELEC 328 SCRA 52)
iv. Filing of bond as a condition for the issuance of a corresponding writ of execution to answer for
the payment of damages which the aggrieved party may suffer by reason of the execution pending
appeal (Ramos vs COMELEC 286 SCRA 189)
Execution pending appeal cannot be ordered on the basis of gratuitous allegations that public
interest is involved and that the appeal is dilatory. (Camlian vs COMELEC 271 , 271 SCRA 757)
A motion for execution pending appeal filed after the expiration of the period of appeal can no longer
be granted ( Relampagos vs Cumba 243 SCRA 690)
23. Motion for Reconsideration
a. One motion for reconsideration is allowed in the contest involving the following:
i. President- 10 days
ii. Vice-President- 10 days ( Rule 65, Rules of Presidential Electoral Tribunal)
iii. Senator- 10 days ( Rule 64, Rules of Senate Electoral Tribunal)
iv. Congressmen- 10 days ( Rule 74, 1998 Rules of HRET)
v. Regional, Provincial and City Officials 5 days ( Sec 2, Rule 19 COMELEC Rules of Procedure)
b. No motion for reconsideration is allowed in election contests involving the following:
i. Municipal officials (Sec 256, BP 881; Veloria vs COMELEC, 211 SCRA 907) However this rule
should not be applied to the dismissal of an election protest for failure of the counsel of the
protestant to appear at the pre-trial, since the pre-trial is not applicable to the election protest.
(Pangilinan vs De Ocampo, 232 SCRA )
ii. Barangay Officials ( Sec 19, Rule 37 and Sec 12, Rule 38 COMELEC Rules of Procedure)
iii. Sangguniang Kabataan ( Sec 19, Rule 37 and Sec 12 Rule 38, COMELEC Rules of Procedure)
c. Since only decisions of the COMELEC en banc may be elevated to the Supreme Court , a party who
did not file for a motion for reconsideration of a decision of a division of the COMELEC cannot
elevate the case to the Supreme Court (Reyes vs RTC of Oriental Mindoro, 244 SCRA 41)

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d. A resolution of the COMELEC en banc is not subject to reconsideration, therefore any party who
disagrees with it is to file a petition for certiorariunder Rule 65 of the Rules of Civil procedure a
motion for reconsideration of an en banc ruling, resolution, order, or decision except in election
offense cases is a prohibited pleading under the COMELEC Rules of Procedure. For a party to wait
until the COMELEC en banc denies his motion for reconsideration would be to allow the
reglementary period for filing a petition for certiorari with the SC to run and expire. (Angela vs
COMELEC , 322 SCRA 757)
24. Review
a. Jurisdiction
i. Senator- Supreme Court within 60 days ( Sec 4, Rule 65 Rules of Court)
ii. Congressmen- Supreme Court within 60 days ( Lerias vs HRET; Sec 4, Rule 65 Rules of Court)
iii. Regional, provincial, and City officials Supreme Court within 30 days ( Sec 7, Art IX-A Phil
Const)
iv. Municipal Officials
COMELEC within 5 days ( Sec 22 RA 7166; Sec 3 Rule 22 of COMELEC Rules of Procedure, Lindo
vs COMELEC, 194 SCRA 25)
Supreme Court - within 30 days ( Rivera vs COMELEC 199 SCRA 178)
v. Barangay Officials
COMELEC within 5 days (Sec 2(2) ,Art IX-C, Phil Const; Sec 3, Rule 22 COMELEC Rules of
Procedure; Calucag vs COMELEC 274 SCRA 405)
Supreme Court within 30 days ( Flores vs COMELEC 184 SCRA 484)
b. Form
Where the appellant filed an appeal brief instead of a notice of appeal to the COMELEC, the appeal
should not be dismissed, since the determination of the will of the people should not be thwarted of
technicalities (Pahilan vs Tabalba, 230 SCRA 205)
c. Failure to Pay Appellate Docket Fee
i. An appeal may be dismissed for failure of the appellant to pay the appellate docket fee (Reyes vs
RTC of Oriental Mindoro, 244 SCRA 41)
ii. An appeal may be dismissed if the full appellate docket fee was not paid , as payment of the full
amount is indispensable for perfection of the appeal (Rodillas vs COMELEC, 245 SCRA 702)
d. Scope of Authority
Errors committed by the trial court may be considered even if they were not assigned as errors (Arao
vs COMELEC 210 SCRA 290)
XIII. CRIMINAL OFFENSES
A,. Criminal and Electorate Aspects of An Election Offense
An election offense has criminal as well as electoral aspects ( Sunga vs COMELEC 288 SCRA 76)

76

1) Its criminal aspect involves the ascertainment of the guilt or innocence of the accused candidate
like in any other criminal case, it usually entails a full-blown hearing and the quantum of proof
required to secure a conviction beyond reasonable doubt.
2) Its electoral aspect is a determination of whether the offender should be qualified from office. This
is done through administrative proceeding which is summary in character and requires only a clear
preponderance of evidence.
B. Jurisdiction to try the case
The expanded jurisdiction of the Municipal Trail Court ( RA 7691) does not include criminal cases
involving election offenses, because by special provision of Sec 268 of BP 881 they fall within the
jurisdiction of the Regional Trial Court (COMELEC vs Noynay 292 SCRA 354)
Under Sec 268 of BP 881, regional trial courts have exclusive jurisdiction to try and decide any
criminal action or proceeding for violation of the Code including those penalized by imprisonment
not exceeding 6 years, but except those relating to the offense of failure to vote ( Juan vs People 322
SCRA 125)
C. Offenses
1. Vote-buying
a. The fact that at least one voter in at least 20% of the precincts in a municipality , city or province
was offered money by the relatives, leaders or sympathizers of a candidate to promote his election
shall create a presumption of conspiracy to bribe voters.
b. The fact that at least 20% of the precincts of the municipality, city or province to which the office
aspired for by the candidate is affected by the offer creates the presumption that the candidate and
his campaign managers are involved in the conspiracy.
c. Any person who is guilty and willingly testifies shall be exempt from prosecution ( Sec 28, RA
6646)
d. The traditional gift-giving by the municipality during Christmas which was done to induce voters
for the mayor does not constitute vote-buying ( Lozano vs Martinez, 285 SCRA 256)
2. Appointment of New Employees
The prohibition against appointment of a government employee within 45 days before regular
election refers to positions covered by the civil service and does not apply to the replacement of a
councilor who died ( Ong vd Martinez, 188 SCRA 830)
3. Unauthorized Entry into Polling Place
Mere presence of unauthorized person inside a polling place is an offense ( COMELEC vs Romillo,
158 SCRA 716)
4. Transfers of Government Employees

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Since the Omnibus Election Code does not per se prohibit the transfer of government employees
during the election period but only penalizes such transfers made without the prior approval of the
COMELEC in accordance with the implementing regulations, the transfer of government employees
before the publication of the implementing regulations is not an election offense. ( People vs Reyes,
247 SCRA 328)
Two elements of the offense prescribed under Sec 261 (h) of BP 881, as amended are:
(1) a public officer or employee is transferred or detailed within the election period as fixed by the
COMELEC, and
(2) the transfer or detail was effected without prior approval of the COMELEC in accordance with its
implementing rules and regulations (Regalado vs CA 325 SCRA 516)
5. Carrying Deadly Weapon in Precinct
To support a conviction carrying a deadly weapon inside a precinct, it is necessary that the deadly
weapon be seized from the accused while he was in precinct (Mappala vs Munoz 240 SCRA 600)
6. Failure to make Proclamation
Proclaiming a losing candidate instead of the winner also constitutes failure to make a proclamation
(Agujetas vs CA 261 SCRA 17)
7. Refusing to credit candidate with vote
Under section 27(b) of RA 6646, two act not one, are penalized i.e, first, the tampering, increasing or
decreasing of votes received by a candidate in any election, and second, the refusal, after proper
verification and hearing to credit the correct votes or deduct such tampered votes.(Pimentel vs.
COMELEC,289 SCRA 586)
D. Prosecution
1. Section 2(6),Art IX-C File, upon a verified complaint, or on its own initiative, petitions in court for
inclusion or exclusion of voters; investigate and, where appropriate, prosecute cases of violations of
election laws, including acts or omissions constituting election frauds, offenses, and malpractices.
The COMELEC has exclusive jurisdiction to conduct preliminary investigation of and prosecute
election offenses (Naldaza vs. Lavilles,254 SCRA 286)
2. This holds true even if the offense is committed by a public officer in relation to his office.(Corpuz
vs. Tanodbayan, 149 SCRA 2281)
3. Whatever initiated motu propio or filed with the COMELEC by any other party, the complaint
shall be referred to the COMELEC Law Department for investigation.. The COMELEC Chairman, in
his personal capacity may file directly with the COMELEC Law Department pursuant to Section 4,
Rule 34 of the COMELEC Rules of Procedure. No requirement in section 5 that only the COMELEC
en banc may refer a complaint to the Law Department for investigation nor is there a rule against the
COMELEC Chairman directing the conduct of a preliminary investigation, even if he himself were

78

the complainant in his private capacity Where the complaint was directly filed with the Law
Department under Section 4 of Rule 32 of the COMELEC RULES of Procedure obviously there is no
need to refer such complaint to the same Law Department Under Section 5 of Rule 34 of the
COMELEC Rules of Procedure, the preliminary investigation may be delegated to any of those
officials specified in the rule upon the direction of the COMELEC Chairman (Laurel vs. Presiding
Judge, RTC Manila Br 10, 323 SCRA 778)
4. A provincial election supervisor authorized to conduct a preliminary investigation may file a case
without need of approval of the provincial prosecutor. (Pp. Vs. Inting,187 SCRA 788)
The COMELEC can deputize prosecutors to investigate and prosecute offenses even after election.
(Pp. Vs. Basilla,179 SCRA 87)
Since it is a preliminary investigation, it is the COMELEC who will determine the existence of
probable cause, the complainant cannot ask it to gather evidence in support of the complaint.
(Kilosbayan Inc vs. COMELEC,280 SCRA 8920
The court in which a criminal case was filed may order the COMELEC to order a reinvestigation. (Pp.
Vs. Delgado, 189 SCRA 715)
A prosecutor who was deputized by the COMELEC cannot oppose the appeal filed by the COMELEC
from the dismissal of a case, since the power to prosecute election offenses is vested in the
COMELEC.(COMELEC vs. Ssilva,286 SCRA 177)

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