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CASE: Jaramilla v.

COMELEC AUTHOR: PULHIN


GR NO: 155717 DATE: 23 October 2003 NOTES:
TOPIC: comelec # OF PAGES 7
PONENTE:

FACTS: Antonio Suyat and Alberto J. Jaramilla both ran for the position of Member of the Sangguniang Bayan in the Municipality
in the 14 May 2001 elections. On 16 May 2001, the Municipal Board of Canvassers of Sta. Cruz, proclaimed the winning candidat
Mayor, V i c e M a y o r a n d 8 m e m b e r s o f t h e S a n g g u n i a n g B a y a n . T h e C e r t i f i c a t e o f C a n v a s s o f V o t e s a
shows the following results and ranking with respect to the members of the Sangguniang Bayan, to wit: (1) RAGUCOS, Ma. Luisa
ABAYA, Juan Jr., Andaquig (6,013); (3) GINES, Fidel Cudiamat (5,789); (4) QUILOP, Renato Avila (5,227); (5) BILIGAN, Osias Depde
( 5 , 1 3 0 ) ; ( 6 ) R U I Z , A g u s t i n T u r g a n o ( 4 , 9 7 2 ) ; ( 7 ) J A R A M I L L A , A l b e r t o J i m e n o ( 4 , 8 1 5 ) ; a n d ( 8 ) CORTEZ,
In the tabulated results issued by the Election Officer and Chairperson of the Municipal Board of Canvassers of Sta. Cruz, it is sho
obtained 4,779 votes and was ranked 9. Upon review by Suyat, he discovered that Jaramilla was credited with only
per Election Return from Precinct 34A1. However, when the figures were forwarded to the Statement of Votes
was credited with 73 votes for Precinct 34A1 or 50 votes more than what he actually obtained. If the entry were to be corrected
candidates would be ranked as follows:(7) CORTEZ, Ireneo Habon (4,807); (8) SUYAT, Antonio (4,779); and (9)
JARAMILLA, Alberto(4,765). On 13 June 2001, Suyat filed before the COMELEC en banc an Urgent Motion for Issuance of Ord
which the latter treated as a Petition for Correction of Manifest Error. Jaramilla countered in his Answer that said p
dismissed for having been filed out of time and for lack of the required certification of non-forum shopping. On 24 October 2002
issued a resolution, annulling the proclamation of Jaramilla and creating a new Municipal Board of Canvassers Jaramilla filed t
certiorari with prayer for temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction ascribing grave abuse of discretion.

ISSUE(S): Whether the Commission on Elections en banc properly assumed original jurisdiction over the Petition for Correction o
HELD: yes
DISPOSITIVE PORTION: WHEREFORE, finding no grave abuse of discretion committed by public respondent COMELEC, its Resolu
October 24, 2002 is AFFIRMED. The petition is DISMISSED.

RATIO: Article IX-C of the Constitution states in part that "The Commission on Elections may sit en banc or in two divisions, and s
rules of procedure in order to expedite disposition of election cases, including pre-proclamation controversies. All suc
cases shall be heard and decided in division, provided that motions for reconsideration of decisions shall be de
Commission en banc." As stated in the provision, and in line with the Courts recent pronouncement in Milla v. Balmores - Laxa,
pre-proclamation controversies should first be heard and
decided by a division of the COMELEC, and then by the commission en banc if a motion
of the division is filed. It must be noted however that this provision applies only cases
where the COMELEC exercises its adjudicatory or quasi-judicial powers, and not when it merely e
administrative functions. This doctrine was laid out in Castromayor v. COMELEC, and reiterated in subsequent cases. Accordingly
demands only the exercise by the COMELEC of its administrative functions, such as the correction of a manifest mistake in the ad
an erroneous tabulation in the statement of votes, the COMELEC en banc can directly act on it in the exercise o
function to decide questions affecting elections. Herein, the Petition for Correction of Manifest Errors alleges
copying of figures from the election return to the Statement of Votes by Precinct. Such an error in the tabulat
which merely requires a clerical correction without the necessity of opening ballot boxes or examining ballots, demands only
exercise of the administrative power of the COMELEC. Hence, the Commission en banc properly a
jurisdiction over the aforesaid petition.

CASE LAW/ DOCTRINE:

DISSENTING/CONCURRING OPINION(S):