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Cayetano vs. Monsod Sarmiento vs.

COMELEC
212 SCRA 307, August 6, 1992
201 SCRA 210

September 1991 Facts: This special civil action for certiorari seek to set aside the Resolutions of
Respondent Commission on Elections (COMELEC) in the following Special Cases:
Facts: Respondent Christian Monsod was nominated by President Corazon C. Aquino to 1) G.R. No. 105628 — SPC No. 92-266
the position of chairman of the COMELEC. Petitioner opposed the nomination because 2) G.R. No. 105725 — SPC No. 92-323
allegedly Monsod does not posses required qualification of having been engaged in the 3) G.R. No. 105727 — SPC No. 92-288
practice of law for at least ten years. The 1987 constitution provides in Section 1, Article 4) G.R. No. 105730 — SPC No. 92-315
IX-C: There shall be a Commission on Elections composed of a Chairman and six 5) G.R. No. 105771 — SPC No. 92-271
Commissioners who shall be natural-born citizens of the Philippines and, at the time of 6) G.R. No. 105778 — SPC No. 92-039
their appointment, at least thirty-five years of age, holders of a college degree, and must 7) G.R. No. 105797 — SPC No. 92-153
not have been candidates for any elective position in the immediately preceding elections. 8) G.R. No. 105919 — SPC No. 92-293
However, a majority thereof, including the Chairman, shall be members of the Philippine 9) G.R. No. 105977 — SPC No. 92-087
Bar who have been engaged in the practice of law for at least ten years.
Issue: Whether the challenged Resolutions above specified (the SPC) as having been
Issue: Whether the respondent does not posses the required qualification of having engaged issued with grave abuse of discretion in that, inter alia, the Commission, sitting en banc,
in the practice of law for at least ten years. took cognizance of and decided the appeals without first referring them to any of it
Divisions.
Held: In the case of Philippine Lawyers Association vs. Agrava, stated: The practice of law
is not limited to the conduct of cases or litigation in court; it embraces the preparation of Held: The COMELEC en banc acted without jurisdiction, or with grave abuse of
pleadings and other papers incident to actions and special proceeding, the management of discretion, when it resolved the appeals of petitioners in the above mentioned Special
such actions and proceedings on behalf of clients before judges and courts, and in addition, Cases without first referring them to any of its Divisions. Section 3, subdivision C, Article
conveying. In general, all advice to clients, and all action taken for them in matters IX of the 1987 Constitution expressly provides:
connected with the law incorporation services, assessment and condemnation services, Sec. 3. The Commission on Elections may sit en banc or in two divisions, and shall
contemplating an appearance before judicial body, the foreclosure of mortgage, promulgate its rules of procedure in order to expedite disposition of election cases,
enforcement of a creditor’s claim in bankruptcy and insolvency proceedings, and including pre-proclamation controversies. All such election cases shall be heard and
conducting proceedings in attachment, and in matters of estate and guardianship have been decided in division, provided that motions for reconsideration of decisions shall be decided
held to constitute law practice. Practice of law means any activity, in or out court, which by the Commission en banc.
requires the application of law, legal procedure, knowledge, training and experience.
Said Resolutions are therefore, null and void and must be set aside. Consequently, the
The contention that Atty. Monsod does not posses the required qualification of having appeals are deemed pending before the Commission for proper referral to a Division.
engaged in the practice of law for at least ten years is incorrect since Atty. Monsod’s past
work experience as a lawyer-economist, a lawyer-manager, a lawyer-entrepreneur of A resolution directing the COMELEC to assign said Special Cases to the Divisions
industry, a lawyer-negotiator of contracts, and a lawyer-legislator of both rich and the poor pursuant to Section 8, Rule 3 of its Rules on assignment of cases would, logically, be in
– verily more than satisfy the constitutional requirement for the position of COMELEC order. However, Section 16 of R.A. No. 7166 6 provides that all pre-proclamation cases
chairman, The respondent has been engaged in the practice of law for at least ten years pending before it shall be deemed terminated at the beginning of the term of the office
does In the view of the foregoing, the petition is DISMISSED. involved. The terms of the offices involved in the Special Cases subject of these petitions
commenced at noon of June 30 1992. These cases have thus been rendered moot and such a
resolution would only be an exercise in futility.

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utility worker in the government will also be considered as ipso facto resigned once he files
Therefore, the instant petitions are DISMISSED but without prejudice to the filing by his certificate of candidacy for the election. This scenario is absurd for, indeed, it is
petitioners of regular elections protests. If the winning candidates for the positions involved unimaginable how he can use his position in the government to wield influence in the
in the Special Cases subject of these petitions have already been proclaimed, the running of political world.
the period to file the protests shall be deemed suspended by the pendency of such cases
before the COMELEC and of these petitions before this Court. The provision s directed to the activity any and all public offices, whether they be partisan
or non partisan in character, whether they be in the national, municipal or barangay level.
Quinto vs Comelec Congress has not shown a compelling state interest to restrict the fundamental right
G. R. No. 189698 involved on such a sweeping scale.

MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION


FACTS: Petitioners Eleazar P. Quinto and Gerino A. Tolentino, Jr. filed a petition for
certiorari and prohibition against the COMELEC for issuing a resolution declaring
appointive officials who filed their certificate of candidacy as ipso facto resigned from their FACTS: This is a motion for reconsideration filed by the Commission on Elections. The
positions. In this defense, the COMELEC avers that it only copied the provision from Sec. latter moved to question an earlier decision of the Supreme Court declaring Section 4 (a) of
13 of R.A. 9369. COMELEC Resolution No. 8678 unconstitutional. Section 4 (a) of COMELEC Resolution
No. 8678 provides that, "Any person holding a public appointive office or position
ISSUE: Whether or not the said COMELEC resolution was valid. including active members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, and other officers and
employees in government-owned or controlled corporations, shall be considered ipso facto
HELD: NO. In the Fariñas case, the petitioners challenged Sec. 14 of RA. 9006 repealing resigned from his office upon the filing of his certificate of candidacy." Be it noted that
Sec. 66 of the Omnibus Election Code (OEC) for giving undue benefit to elective officials petitioners of the above-entitled case are appointive officials who intend to be elected in
in comparison with appointive officials. Incidentally, the Court upheld the substantial the previously held 2010 elections and who felt aggrieved by the issuance of the questioned
distinctions between the two and pronounced that there was no violation of the equal resolution.
protection clause. However in the present case, the Court held that the discussion on the
equal protection clause was an obiter dictum since the issue raised therein was against the ISSUE: Whether or not Section 4 (a) of COMELEC Resolution No. 8678 is constitutional.
repealing clause. It didn’t squarely challenge Sec. 66.
RULING: The Supreme Court overruled its previous decision declaring the assailed
Sec. 13 of RA. 9369 unduly discriminated appointive and elective officials. Applying the 4 resolution unconstitutional. Here, it strongly upholds the constitutionality of the resolution
requisites of a valid classification, the proviso does not comply with the second saying that it does not violate the equal protection clause. It is settled that the equal
requirement – that it must be germane to the purpose of the law. protection clause does not demand absolute equality; it merely requires that all persons
shall be treated alike, under like circumstances and conditions both as to privileges
The obvious reason for the challenged provision is to prevent the use of a governmental conferred and liabilities enforced. The test used is reasonableness which requires that:
position to promote one’s candidacy, or even to wield a dangerous or coercive influence of 1. The classification rests on substantial distinctions;
the electorate. The measure is further aimed at promoting the efficiency, integrity, and 2. It is germane to the purposes of the law;
discipline of the public service by eliminating the danger that the discharge of official duty 3. It is not limited to existing conditions only; and
would be motivated by political considerations rather than the welfare of the public. The 4. It applies equally to all members of the same class.
restriction is also justified by the proposition that the entry of civil servants to the electorate
arena, while still in office, could result in neglect or inefficiency in the performance of duty In the case under consideration, there is a substantial distinction between public and
because they would be attending to their campaign rather than to their office work. elective officials which has been rendered moot and academic by the ruling made in the
case of Farinas, etl. al. vs. Executive Secretary, et. al.
Sec. 13 of RA. 9369 pertains to all civil servants holding appointive posts without
distinction as to whether they occupy high positions in government or not. Certainly, a Section 4 (a) of COMELEC Resolution No. 8678 is constitutional.

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(f) To draw, paint, inscribe, post, display or publicly exhibit any election propaganda in any
place, whether public or private, mobile or stationary, except in the COMELEC common
Case Digest on Soller v. Comelec G.R. No. 139853 (Sept.5, 2000) posted areas and/or billboards…

November 10, 2010 Petitioner Blo Umpar Adiong, a senatorial candidate in the May 11, 1992 elections assails
the COMELEC's Resolution insofar as it prohibits the posting of decals and stickers in
"mobile" places like cars and other moving vehicles. According to him such prohibition is
violative of Section 82 of the Omnibus Election Code and Section 11(a) of Republic Act
No. 6646.
FACTS: Petitioner and respondent were opposing candidates for mayor. Petitioner was
proclaimed elected. Respondent filed with Comelec a petition for annulment of ISSUE: Whether or not the COMELEC may prohibit the posting of decals and stickers on
proclamation. A week later, he filed an election protest in the RTC. Petitioner moved to "mobile" places, public or private, and limit their location or publication to the authorized
dismiss the protest on the ground of lack of jurisdiction, forum shopping, and failure to posting areas that it fixes.
state a cause of action. The RTC denied motion. Respondent also filed certiorari with
Comelec en banc which was later denied. HELD: The petition is hereby GRANTED. The portion of Section 15 (a) of Resolution
No. 2347 of the COMELEC providing that "decals and stickers may be posted only in any
HELD: The authority to resolve petitions for certiorari involving incidental issues of of the authorized posting areas provided in paragraph (f) of Section 21 hereof" is
election protests falls within the jurisdiction of the Division of the Comelec and not with DECLARED NULL and VOID. The COMELEC's prohibition on posting of decals and
the Comelec en banc. If the principal case is cognizable on appeal by a Division, there is stickers on "mobile" places whether public or private except in designated areas provided
no reason why petitions for certiorari relating to incidents of election protest should not be for by the COMELEC itself is null and void on constitutional grounds. The prohibition
referred first to a Division of the Comelec for resolution. unduly infringes on the citizen's fundamental right of free speech enshrined in the
Constitution (Sec. 4, Article III). Significantly, the freedom of expression curtailed by the
ADIONG v. COMELEC questioned prohibition is not so much that of the candidate or the political party. The
G.R. No. 103956 regulation strikes at the freedom of an individual to express his preference and, by
March 31, 1992 displaying it on his car, to convince others to agree with him.

Also, the questioned prohibition premised on the statute (RA 6646) and as couched in the
FACTS: On January 13, 1992, the COMELEC promulgated Resolution No. 2347 pursuant resolution is void for overbreadth. The restriction as to where the decals and stickers should
to its powers granted by the Constitution, the Omnibus Election Code, Republic Acts Nos. be posted is so broad that it encompasses even the citizen's private property, which in this
6646 and 7166 and other election laws. Section 15(a) of the resolution provides: case is a privately-owned vehicle (The provisions allowing regulation are so loosely
worded that they include the posting of decals or stickers in the privacy of one's living
Sec. 15. Lawful Election Propaganda. — The following are lawful election propaganda: room or bedroom.) In consequence of this prohibition, another cardinal rule prescribed by
the Constitution would be violated. Section 1, Article III of the Bill of Rights provides that
(a) Pamphlets, leaflets, cards, decals… Provided, That decals and stickers may be posted no person shall be deprived of his property without due process of law. (The right to
only in any of the authorized posting areas provided in paragraph (f) of Section 21 hereof. property may be subject to a greater degree of regulation but when this right is joined by a
"liberty" interest, the burden of justification on the part of the Government must be
Section 21 (f) of the same resolution provides: exceptionally convincing and irrefutable. The burden is not met in this case.)

Sec. 21(f). Prohibited forms of election propaganda. — Additionally, the constitutional objective to give a rich candidate and a poor candidate
equal opportunity to inform the electorate as regards their candidacies, mandated by Article
It is unlawful:… II, Section 26 and Article XIII, section 1 in relation to Article IX (c) Section 4 of the
Constitution, is not impaired by posting decals and stickers on cars and other private

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vehicles. It is to be reiterated that the posting of decals and stickers on cars, calesas, rule expressio unius est exclusio alterius, Section 67, Article IX of B.P. Blg. 881 is
tricycles, pedicabs and other moving vehicles needs the consent of the owner of the repugnant to these constitutional provisions in that it provides for the shortening of a
vehicle. Hence, the preference of the citizen becomes crucial in this kind of election congressman's term of office on a ground not provided for in the Constitution.
propaganda not the financial resources of the candidate.
Moreover, he claims that he cannot be said to have forfeited his seat as it is only when a
In sum, the prohibition on posting of decals and stickers on "mobile" places whether public congressman holds another office or employment that forfeiture is decreed. Filing a
or private except in the authorized areas designated by the COMELEC becomes censorship certificate of candidacy is not equivalent to holding another office or employment.
which cannot be justified by the Constitution.
ISSUES:
Dimaporo v. Mitra 1. IS SECTION 67, ARTICLE IX, OF B.P. BLG. 881 OPERATIVE UNDER THE
202 SCRA 779 / G.R. No. 96859 PRESENT CONSTITUTION?
October 15, 1991 2. COULD THE RESPONDENT SPEAKER AND/OR THE RESPONDENT
SECRETARY, 'BY ADMINISTRATIVE ACT', EXCLUDE THE PETITIONER FROM
THE ROLLS OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, THEREBY PREVENTING
FACTS: Petitioner Mohamad Ali Dimaporo was elected Representative for the Second HIM FROM EXERCISING HIS FUNCTIONS AS CONGRESSMAN, AND DEPRIVING
Legislative District of Lanao del Sur during the 1987 congressional elections. On 15 HIM OF HIS RIGHTS AND PRIVILEGES AS SUCH?
January 1990, petitioner filed with the COMELEC a Certificate of Candidacy for the
position of Regional Governor of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao in the HELD:
immediately following elections. Upon being informed of this development by the
COMELEC, respondents Speaker and Secretary of the House of Representatives excluded The petition is DISMISSED for lack of merit.
petitioner's name from the Roll of Members of the House of Representatives pursuant to
Section 67, Article IX of the Omnibus Election Code which states: 1. The officials running for office other than the ones they are holding will be considered
Any elective official whether national or local running for any office other than the one resigned not because of abuse of facilities of power or the use of office facilities but
which he is holding in a permanent capacity except for President and Vice-President shall primarily because under our Constitution, we have this …chapter on accountability of
be considered ipso facto resigned from his office upon the filing of his certificate of public officers (both in the 1973 and 1987 constitution). Section 1 of Article XI (1987) on
candidacy. "Accountability of Public Officers" states that:

Having lost in the autonomous region elections, petitioner, in a letter addressed to Sec. 1. Public office is a public trust. Public officers and employees must at all times be
respondent Speaker, expressed his intention "to resume performing my duties and functions accountable to the people, serve them with utmost responsibility, integrity, loyalty, and
as elected Member of Congress. He maintains that he did not thereby lose his seat as efficiency, act with patriotism and justice, and lead modest lives.
congressman because Section 67, Article IX of B.P. Blg. 881 is not operative under the
present Constitution, being contrary thereto, and therefore not applicable to the present Under this commentary on accountability of public officers, the elective public officers
members of Congress. must serve their principal, the people, not their own personal ambition. Petitioner failed to
discern that rather than cut short the term of office of elective public officials, this statutory
In support of his contention, petitioner points out that the term of office of members of the provision (Section 67, Article IX of B.P. Blg. 881) seeks to ensure that such officials serve
House of Representatives, as well as the grounds by which the incumbency of said out their entire term of office by discouraging them from running for another public office
members may be shortened, are provided for in the Constitution. Section 2, Article XVIII and thereby cutting short their tenure by making it clear that should they fail in their
thereof provides that "the Senators, Members of the House of Representatives and the local candidacy, they cannot go back to their former position. This is consonant with the
officials first elected under this Constitution shall serve until noon of June 30, 1992," while constitutional edict that all public officials must serve the people with utmost loyalty and
Section 7, Article VI states: "The Members of the House of Representatives shall be not trifle with the mandate which they have received from their constituents.
elected for a term of three years which shall begin, unless otherwise provided by law, at
noon on the thirtieth day of June next following their election. He asserts that under the Under the questioned provision, when an elective official covered thereby files a certificate

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of candidacy for another office, an overt, concrete act of voluntary renunciation of the such regulations and conditions as the law may impose and he cannot complain of any
elective office presently being held, he is deemed to have voluntarily cut short his tenure, restrictions which public policy may dictate on his office.
not his term. Forfeiture (is) automatic and permanently effective upon the filing of the
certificate of candidacy for another office. Only the moment and act of filing are
considered. Once the certificate is filed, the seat is forever forfeited and nothing save a new Marquez v. COMELEC
election or appointment can restore the ousted official. The law does not make the
forfeiture dependent upon future contingencies, unforeseen and unforeseeable.
Facts: Marquez, a candidate for an elective position in Quezon Province during the 1998
That the ground cited in Section 67, Article IX of B.P. Blg. 881 is not mentioned in the elections, filed a petition praying for the cancellation of the certificate of candidacy of
Constitution itself as a mode of shortening the tenure of office of members of Congress, Rodriguez on the ground of disqualification under section 40 of the Local Government
does not preclude its application to present members of Congress. Section 2 of Article XI Code (Section 40. Disqualification. The following persons are disqualified from running
provides that "(t)he President, the Vice-President, the Members of the Supreme Court, the for any local elective position... (e) Fugitive from justice in criminal or non-political cases
Members of the Constitutional Commissions, and the Ombudsman may be removed from here or abroad.) Rodriguez is allegedly criminally charged with insurance fraud in the
office, on impeachment … All other public officers and employees may be removed from United States and that his arrest is yet to be served because of his flight from the country.
office as provided by law, but not by impeachment. Such constitutional expression clearly The COMELEC dismissed Marquez’s Petition. Rodriguez was proclaimed the Governor-
recognizes that the four (4) grounds found in Article VI of the Constitution by which the elect of Quezon.
tenure of a Congressman may be shortened are not exclusive. The expression in the
constitution of the circumstances which shall bring about a vacancy does not preclude the Issues: WON Rodriguez, at the time of filing his certificate of candidacy, is said to be a
legislature from prescribing other grounds fugitive from justice as provided for in section 40 of the Local Government Code.

Additionally, this Court has enunciated the presumption in favor of constitutionality of Held: “Fugitive from justice” does not mean a person convicted by final judgment. It
legislative enactment. To justify the nullification of a law, there must be a clear and includes those who after being charged flee to avoid prosecution. The COMELEC is
unequivocal breach of the Constitution, not a doubtful and argumentative implication. A directed to proceed and settle the case in conformity of the given clarification with the term
doubt, even if well-founded, does not suffice. “fugitive from justice”.

2. As administrative officers, both the Speaker and House Secretary-General perform


ministerial functions; It was their duty to remove petitioner's name from the Roll
considering the unequivocal tenor of Section 67, Article IX, B.P. Blg. 881. When the
COMELEC communicated to the House of Representatives that petitioner had filed his
certificate of candidacy for regional governor of Muslim Mindanao, respondents had no
choice but to abide by the clear and unmistakable legal effect of Section 67, Article IX of
B.P. Blg. 881. These officers cannot refuse to perform their duty on the ground of an
alleged invalidity of the statute imposing the duty. The reason for this is obvious. It might
seriously hinder the transaction of public business if these officers were to be permitted in
all cases to question the constitutionality of statutes and ordinances imposing duties upon
them and which have not judicially been declared unconstitutional. Officers of the
government from the highest to the lowest are creatures of the law and are bound to obey
it.

In conclusion, We reiterate the basic concept that a public office is a public trust. It is
created for the interest and benefit of the people. As such, the holder thereof is subject to