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CONSTITUTIONAL COMMISSIONS

1.)[G.R. No. 173268, August 23, 2012]


ERNESTO A. FAJARDO, PETITIONER, VS. OFFICE OF THE OMBUDSMAN,
NATIONAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION AND BUREAU OF CUSTOMS,
RESPONDENTS.
FACTS:
Petitioner Ernesto Fajardo, an employee of Bureau of Customs (BOC) designated
as a Special Collecting Officer at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA)
Customs House, Collection Division, failed to remit the total amount of
P53,214,258.00 unremitted collection from sales of accountable forms with
money value and stamp. This findings were result of the audit made by the
Commission on Audit State Auditor. Customs Commissioner Antonio M.
Bernardo requested respondent National Bureau of Investigation-National
Capital Region (NBI-NCR) to conduct an investigation on the reported
misappropriation of public funds committed by petitioner. A case of plunder
was filed against the petitioner. When the petitioner failed to return the said
money and duly account for the same, an administrative investigation
commenced. The Office of the Ombudsman rendered a Decision finding
petitioner guilty of dishonesty and grave misconduct, ordering the dismissal of
the petitioner. Petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration but was
subsequently denied. When petitioner elevated the case to the CA, the CA
affirmed the decision of the Ombudsman.
ISSUES:
1) Whether competent evidence was presented before the Office of the
Ombudsman to establish dishonesty and grave misconduct on the part of
petitioner -There is substantial evidence to support
the finding that petitioner is guilty of dishonesty and grave misconduct
2) Whether the Ombudsman can directly dismiss petitioner from government
service -The Ombudsman has the power to dismiss erring public officials or
employees
HELD:
1) There is substantial evidence to support the finding that petitioner is guilty of
dishonesty and grave misconduct. The result of the audit was not the sole basis
for his dismissal. Affidavits and testimonies of witnesses taken during the ball
hearing in the criminal case were also submitted as evidence. The discrepancy
between the "audit sales' and the actual amount remitted by petitioner is
sufficient evidence of dishonesty and grave misconduct warranting his dismissal
from public service.
2) It is already well-settled that "the power of the Ombudsman to determine and
impose administrative liability is not merely recommendatory but actually
mandatory." As we have explained in Atty. Ledesma v. Court of Appeals, the fact
"[t]hat the refusal, without just cause, of any officer to comply with [the] order
of the Ombudsman to penalize an erring officer or employee is a ground for
discipilinary action [under Section 15(3) of RA No. 6770]; is a strong indication
that the Ombudsman's 'recommendation' is not merely advisory in nature but is
actually mandatory within the bounds of law."
The petition was hereby DENIED. the Decision of CA hereby AFFIRMED.
2.) CHREA vs. CHR
[G.R. NO. 155336. November 25, 2004]
Chico-Nazario, J.
DOCTRINE:
The constitutional commissions shall include only the Civil Service Commission,
the Commission on Elections, and the Commission on Audit, which are granted
independence and fiscal autonomy.
FACTS:
The Congress passed RA 8522 (General Appropriations Act of 1998) providing
for special provisions that are applicable to all Constitutional Offices that are
enjoying fiscal autonomy. These constitutional offices were authorized to
formulate and implement the organizational structures of their respective
offices, to fix and determine the salaries, allowances, and other benefits of their
personnel, and whenever public interest so requires, make adjustments in their
personal services itemization, including, but not limited to, the transfer of item
or creation of new positions in their respective constitutional offices.
Relying on the strength of these special provisions of the GAA, the Commission
on Human Rights (CHR) adopted an upgrading and reclassification scheme,
whereby it stated that:
NOW THEREFORE, the Commission by virtue of its fiscal autonomy hereby
approves and authorizes the upgrading and augmentation of the commensurate
amount generated from savings under Personal Services to support the
implementation of this resolution effective Calendar Year 1998
Consequently, the CHR issued Resolution No. A98-055 providing for the
upgrading or raising salary grades of certain positions in the CHR, and
authorizing the augmentation of a commensurate amount generated from
savings under Personnel Services.
CHR forwarded said staffing modification and upgrading scheme to the DBM
with a request for its approval, but the then Department of Budget and
Management (DBM) Secretary Benjamin Diokno denied the request on the
following justification:
Being a member of the fiscal autonomy group does not vest the agency with the
authority to reclassify, upgrade, and create positions without approval of the
DBM. While the members of the Group are authorized to formulate and
implement the organizational structures of their respective offices and
determine the compensation of their personnel, such authority is not absolute
and must be exercised within the parameters of the Unified Position
Classification and Compensation System established under RA 6758 more
popularly known as the Compensation Standardization Law.
The CSC-Central Office denied CHREAs request to reject the subject
appointments or planitlla reclassification of the CHR.
1. Whether or not the Commission on Human Rights is a constitutional
commission.
NO. Palpably, the Court of Appeals' Decision was based on the mistaken premise
that the CHR belongs to the species of constitutional commissions. But, Article IX
of the Constitution states in no uncertain terms that only the CSC, the
Commission on Elections, and the Commission on Audit shall be tagged as
Constitutional Commissions with the appurtenant right to fiscal autonomy.
Thus:
Sec. 1. The Constitutional Commissions, which shall be independent, are the
Civil Service Commission, the Commission on Elections, and the Commission on
Audit.
Sec. 5. The Commission shall enjoy fiscal autonomy. Their approved annual
appropriations shall be automatically and regularly released.
Along the same vein, the Administrative Code, in Chapter 5, Sections 24 and 26
of Book II on Distribution of Powers of Government, the constitutional
commissions shall include only the Civil Service Commission, the Commission
on Elections, and the Commission on Audit, which are granted independence
and fiscal autonomy. In contrast, Chapter 5, Section 29 thereof, is silent on the
grant of similar powers to the other bodies including the CHR. Thus:
SEC. 24.Constitutional Commissions. - The Constitutional Commissions, which
shall be independent, are the Civil Service Commission, the Commission on
Elections, and the Commission on Audit.
SEC. 26.Fiscal Autonomy. - The Constitutional Commissions shall enjoy fiscal
autonomy. The approved annual appropriations shall be automatically and
regularly released.
SEC. 29.Other Bodies. - There shall be in accordance with the Constitution, an
Office of the Ombudsman, a Commission on Human Rights, and independent
central monetary authority, and a national police commission. Likewise, as
provided in the Constitution, Congress may establish an independent economic
and planning agency.
From the 1987 Constitution and the Administrative Code, it is abundantly clear
that the CHR is not among the class of Constitutional Commissions. As expressed
in the oft-repeated maxim expressio unius est exclusio alterius, the express
mention of one person, thing, act or consequence excludes all others. Stated
otherwise, expressium facit cessare tacitum - what is expressed puts an end to
what is implied.
2. Whether or not the Commission on Human Rights enjoys fiscal autonomy.
NO. Considering that the CHR is not a constitutional commission, it cannot as a
consequence, enjoy fiscal autonomy. In essence, fiscal autonomy entails freedom
from outside control and limitations, other than those provided by law. It is the
freedom to allocate and utilize funds granted by law, in accordance with law,
and pursuant to the wisdom and dispatch its needs may require from time to
time. In Blaquera v. Alcala and Bengzon v. Drilon, it is understood that it is only
the Judiciary, the Civil Service Commission, the Commission on Audit, the
Commission on Elections, and the Office of the Ombudsman, which enjoy fiscal
autonomy.
Thus, in Bengzon case, the Supreme Court explained that:
As envisioned in the Constitution, the fiscal autonomy enjoyed by the Judiciary,
the Civil Service Commission, the Commission on Audit, the Commission on
Elections, and the Office of the Ombudsman contemplates a guarantee of full
flexibility to allocate and utilize their resources with the wisdom and dispatch
that their needs require. It recognizes the power and authority to levy, assess
and collect fees, fix rates of compensation not exceeding the highest rates
authorized by law for compensation and pay plans of the government and
allocate and disburse such sums as may be provided by law or prescribed by
them in the course of the discharge of their functions.
The Judiciary, the Constitutional Commissions, and the Ombudsman must have
the independence and flexibility needed in the discharge of their constitutional
duties. The imposition of restrictions and constraints on the manner the
independent constitutional offices allocate and utilize the funds appropriated for
their operations is anathema to fiscal autonomy and violative not only of the
express mandate of the Constitution but especially as regards the Supreme
Court, of the independence and separation of powers upon which the entire
fabric of our constitutional system is based. In the interest of comity and
cooperation, the Supreme Court, the Constitutional Commissions, and the
Ombudsman have so far limited their objections to constant reminders. We now
agree with the petitioners that this grant of autonomy should cease to be a
meaningless provision.
Neither does the fact that the CHR was admitted as a member by the
Constitutional Fiscal Autonomy Group (CFAG) ipso facto clothed it with fiscal
autonomy. Fiscal autonomy is a constitutional grant, not a tag obtainable by
membership.
All told, the CHR, although admittedly a constitutional creation is, nonetheless,
not included in the genus of offices accorded fiscal autonomy by constitutional
or legislative fiat.
3) GAMINDE VS COA
3. THELMA P. GAMINDE, petitioner, vs. COMMISSION ON AUDIT and/or Hon.
CELSO D. GANGAN, Hon. RAUL C. FLORES and EMMANUEL M.
DALMAN, respondents.
[G. R. No. 140335. December 13, 2000]
PARDO, J.:
FACTS: On June 11, 1993, the President of the Philippines appointed petitioner
Thelma P. Gaminde,
ad interim, Commissioner, Civil Service Commission. She assumed office on
June 22, 1993, after taking an oath of office. On September 07, 1993, the
Commission on Appointment, Congress of the Philippines confirmed the
appointment. However, on February 24, 1998, petitioner sought clarification
from the Office of the President as to the expiry date of her term of office. In
reply to her request, the Chief Presidential Legal Counsel, in a letter dated April
07, 1998 opined that petitioners term of office would expire on February 02,
2000, not on February 02, 1999.Relying on said advisory opinion, petitioner
remained in Leon, wrote office after February 02, 1999.
On February 04,1999, Chairman Corazon Alma G. de the Commission on Audit
requesting opinion on whether or not Commissioner Thelma P. Gaminde and
her co-terminous staff may be paid their salaries notwithstanding the expiration
of their appointments on February 02, 1999. On February 18, 1999, the
General Counsel, Commission on Audit, issued an opinion that the term of
Commissioner Gaminde has expired on February 02, 1999 as stated in her
appointment conformably with the constitutional intent. Consequently, on
March 24, 1999, CSC Resident Auditor Flovitas U. Felipe issued notice of
disallowance No. 99-002-101 (99), disallowing in audit the salaries and
emoluments pertaining to petitioner and her co-terminous staff,effective
February 02, 1999. On April 5, 1999, petitioner appealed the disallowance to
the Commission on Audit enbanc.
On June 15, 1999, the Commission on Audit issued Decision dismissing
petitioners appeal.
The Commission on Audit affirmed the propriety of the disallowance, holding
that the issue of petitioners term of office may be properly addressed by mere
reference to her appointment paper which set the expiration date on February
02,1999, and that the Commission is bereft of power to recognize an extension
of her term, not even with the implied acquiescence of the Office of the
President.
In time, petitioner moved for reconsideration; however, on August 17, 1999, the
Commission on Audit denied the motion. Hence, this petition.
ISSUE: The basic issue raised is whether the term of office of Atty. Thelma P.
Gaminde, as Commissioner, Civil Service Commission, to which she was
appointed on June 11, 1993, expired on February 02, 1999, as stated in the
appointment paper, or on February 02, 2000, as claimed by her.
HELD: The term of office of Ms. Thelma P. Gaminde as Commissioner, Civil
Service Commission, under an appointment extended to her by President Fidel
V. Ramos on June 11, 1993, expired on February 02, 1999.However, she served
as de facto officer in good faith until February 02, 2000, and thus entitled to
receive her salary and other emoluments for actual service rendered.
Consequently, the Commission on Audit erred in disallowing in audit such
salary and other emoluments, including that of her co-terminous staff.
Consequently, the terms of the first Chairmen and Commissioners of the
Constitutional Commissions under the
1987 Constitution must start on a common date, irrespective of the variations in
the dates of appointments and qualifications of the appointees, in order that the
expiration of the first terms of seven, five and three years should lead to the
regular recurrence of the two-year interval between the expiration of the terms.
Applying the foregoing conditions to the case at bar, we rule that the
appropriate starting point of the terms of office of the first appointees to the
Constitutional Commissions under the 1987 Constitution must be on February
02, 1987, the date of the adoption of the 1987 Constitution.
In case of a belated appointment or qualification, the interval between the start
of the term and the actual qualification of the appointee must be counted
against the latter. In the law of public officers, there is a settled distinction
between term and tenure. [T]he term of an office must be distinguished
from the tenure of the incumbent. The term means the time during which the
officer may claim to hold office as of right, and fixes the interval after which the
several incumbents shall succeed one another. The tenure represents the term
during which the incumbent actually holds the office. The term of office is not
affected by the hold-over. The tenure may be shorter than the term for reasons
within or beyond the power of the incumbent. Clearly, the transitory
provisions mean that the incumbent members of the Constitutional
Commissions shall continue in office for one year after the ratification of this
Constitution under their existing appointments at the discretion of the
appointing power, who may cut short their tenure by: (1) their removal from
office for cause; (2) their becoming incapacitated to discharge the duties of their
office, or (3) their appointment to a new term thereunder, all of which events
may occur before the end of the one year period after the effectivity of the
Constitution.
However, the transitory provisions do not affect the term of office fixed in
Article IX, providing for a seven-five-three year rotational interval for the first
appointees under this Constitution.
_______________________________________________
4.)Evalyn FETALINO vs. COMELEC
G.R. NO. 191890; December 4, 2012
BRION, J.
DOCTRINE:
An ad interim appointment that has lapsed by inaction of the Commission on
Appointments does not constitute a term of office. Petitioners can never be
considered to haveretired from the service not only because they did not
complete the full term, but, more importantly, because they did not serve a
"term of office" as required by Section 1 of R.A. No. 1568, as amended. Hence,
they are not entitled to the retirement benefits.
FACTS:
On February 10, 1998, President Fidel V. Ramos extended an interim
appointment to the petitioners, FETALINO, BARCELONA, and CALDERON, as
Comelec Commissioners, each for a term of seven (7) years, pursuant to Section
2, Article IX-D of the 1987 Constitution. Eleven days later (or on February 21,
1998), Pres. Ramos renewed the petitioners' ad interim appointments for the
same position. Congress, however, adjourned in May 1998 before the CA could
act on their appointments. The constitutional ban on presidential appointments
later took effect and the petitioners were no longer re-appointed as Comelec
Commissioners. Thus, the petitioners merely served as Comelec Commissioners
for more than four months, or from February 16, 1998 to June 30, 1998.
3/15/05 - petitioners applied for their retirement benefits and monthly pension
with the Comelec, pursuant to R.A. No. 1568. The Comelec initially approved
the petitioners' claims, granted pro rated gratuity and pension, but petitioners
asked for re computation on the principal ground that R.A. No. 1568, 13 does
not cover a pro-rated computation of retirement pay.
Presently, in the questioned COMELEC RESO 8808 the Comelec,completely
disapproved the petitioners' claim for a lump sum benefit under R.A. No. 1568.
The question rather is: Can it be considered as retirement from service for
havingcompleted one's term of office? Petitioners contend that non-renewal of
their ad interim appointments by the CA until Congress already adjourned
qualifies as retirement under the law and entitles them to the full five-year lump
sum gratuity.

The petitioners argues that the non-renewal of their ad interim appointments by
the CA until Congress already adjourned qualifies as retirement under the law
and entitles them to the full five-year lump sum gratuity. However, the
Respondents argues that petitioners are not entitled to the lump sum gratuity,
considering that they cannot be considered as officials who retired after
completing their term of office. It emphasizes that R.A. No. 1568 refers to the
completion of the term of office, not to partial service or to a variable tenure
that does not reach its end, as in the case of the petitioners. The Comelec also
draws the Court's attention to the case of Matibag v. Benipayo where the Court
categorically ruled that an ad interim appointment that lapsed by inaction of the
Commission on Appointments does not constitute a term of office.
ISSUE:Whether the petitioners rendered full term of office thus, are entitled to
retirement benefits.
HELD:
NO. As stated by the COMELEC,
When the law, in this case, RA 1568 refers to completion of term of office, it
can only mean finishing up to the end of the seven year term. By completion of
term, the law could not have meant partial service or a variable tenure that does
not reach the end. It could not have meant, the "expiration of term" of the
Commissioner whose appointment lapses by reason of non-confirmation of
appointment by the Commission on Appointments and non-renewal thereof by
the President. It is rightly called expiration of term but note: it is not completion
of term. RA 1568 requires 'having completed his term of office' for the
Commissioner to be entitled to the benefits.
Therefore, one whose ad interim appointment expires cannot be said to have
completed his term of office so as to fall under the provisions of Section 1 of RA
1568 that would entitle him to a lump sum benefit of five (5) years salary.
*R.A. No. 1568 provides two types of retirement benefits for a Comelec
Chairperson or Member: a gratuity or five-year lump sum, and an annuity or a
lifetime monthly pension. Our review of the petitions, in particular, Barcelona's
petition for intervention, indicates that he merely questions the discontinuance
of his monthly pension on the basis of Comelec Resolution No. 8808. 28 As the
assailed resolution, by its plain terms (cited above), only pertains to the lump
sum benefit afforded by R.A. No. 1568, it appears that Barcelona's petition for
intervention is misdirected. We note, too, that Barcelona has not substantiated
his bare claim that the Comelec discontinued the payment of his monthly
pension on the basis of the assailed Resolution.
The petitioners are not entitled to the lump sum gratuity under Section 1 of R.A.
No. 1568, as amended.
Sec. 1 of RA 1658 reads as ff: When xxxx any Member of the COMELEC retires
from the service for having completed his term of office or by reason of his
incapacity to discharge the duties of his office, or dies while in the service, or
resigns at any time after reaching the age of sixty years but before the expiration
of his term of office, he or his heirs shall be paid in lump sum his salary for one
year, not exceeding five years, for every year of service based upon the last
annual salary that he was receiving at the time of retirement, incapacity, death
or resignation, as the case may be: Provided, That in case of resignation, he has
rendered not less than twenty years of service in the government; And, provided,
further, That he shall receive an annuity payable monthly during the residue of
his natural life equivalent to the amount of monthly salary he was receiving on
the date of retirement, incapacity or resignation.
The right to retirement benefits accrues only when two conditions are met: first,
when the conditions imposed by the applicablelaw in this case, R.A. No. 1568
are fulfilled; and second, when an actualretirement takes place, which they
did not meet. To be entitled to the five-year lump sum gratuity under Section 1
of R.A. No. 1568, any of the following events must transpire:
(1)Retirement from the service for having completed the term of office;
(2)Incapacity to discharge the duties of their office;
(3)Death while in the service; and
(4)Resignation after reaching the age of sixty (60) years but before the
expiration of the term of office. In addition, the officer should have rendered not
less than twenty years of service in the government at the time of retirement.
The petitioners obviously did not retire under R.A. No. 1568, as amended, since
they never completed the full seven-year term of office prescribed by Section 2,
Article IX-D of the 1987 Constitution; they served as Comelec Commissioners
for barely four months, i.e., from February 16, 1998 to June 30, 1998. In the
recent case of Re: Application for Retirement of Judge Moslemen T.
Macarambon under Republic Act No. 910, as amended by Republic Act No.
9946, 33 where the Court did not allow Judge Macarambon to retire under R.A.
No. 910 because he did not comply with the age and service requirements of the
law, the Court emphasized: Strict compliance with the age and service
requirements under the law is the rule and the grant of exception remains to be
on a case to case basis. We have ruled that the Court allows seeming exceptions
to these fixed rules for certain judges and justices only and whenever there are
ample reasons to grant such exception.
While we characterized an ad interim appointment in Matibag v. Benipayo "as a
permanent appointment that takes effect immediately and can no longer be
withdrawn by the President once the appointee has qualified into office," we
have also positively ruled in that case that "an ad interim appointment that has
lapsed by inaction of the Commission on Appointments does not constitute a
term of office." The period from the time the ad interim appointment is made to
the time it lapses is neither a fixed term nor an unexpired term. To hold
otherwise would mean that the President by his unilateral action could start and
complete the running of a term of office in the COMELEC without the consent of
the Commission on Appointments. This interpretation renders inutile the
confirming power of the Commission on Appointments.
Based on these considerations, we conclude that the petitioners can never be
considered to have retired from the service not only because they did not
complete the full term, but, more importantly, because they did not serve a
"term of office" as required by Section 1 of R.A. No. 1568, as amended.
* The word "term" in a legal sense means a fixed and definite period of time
which the law describes that an officer may hold an office.
5) ARSENIO ALVAREZ, vs. COMELEC and LA RAINNE ABAD-SARMIENTO, G.R.
No. 142527, March 1, 2001
QUISUMBING, J.:
DOCTRINES:
Overly strict adherence to deadlines might induce the Commission to resolve
election contests hurriedly by reason of lack of material time. In our view this is
not what the framers of the Code had intended since a very strict construction
might allow procedural flaws to subvert the will of the electorate and would
amount to disenfranchisement of voters in numerous cases.; The "preferential
disposition" applies to cases before the courts and not those before the
COMELEC, as a faithful reading of the section will readily show.
Election cases pertaining to barangay elections may be appealed by way of a
special civil action for certiorari. However, this recourse is available only when
the COMELEC's factual determinations are marred by grave abuse of discretion.
FACTS:
On 5/12/1997, petitioner was proclaimed duly elected Punong Barangay of
Doa Aurora, Quezon City. He received 590 votes while his opponent, private
respondent Abad-Sarmiento, obtained 585 votes. Private respondent filed an
election protest claiming irregularities, i.e. misreading and misappreciation of
ballots by the Board of Election Inspectors.
MeTC ordered the reopening and recounting of the ballots in ten contested
precincts, and declared private respondent as winner She garnered 596 votes
while petitioner got 550 votes after the recount.
2
nd
Division of COMELEC, on appeal, declared private respondent won over
petitioner. Private respondent, meanwhile, filed a Motion for Execution pending
appeal. Petition sough an MR.
COMELEC EN BANC, denied the Motion for Reconsideration and affirmed the
decision of the Second Division. It granted the Motion for Execution pending
appeal.
Hence, this petition for Certiorari alleging grave abuse of discretion on the part
of the COMELEC.
ISSUE:
1) Whether or not the Commission violated its mandate on "preferential
disposition of election contests" as mandated by Section 3, Article IX-C, 1987
Constitution as well as Section 257, Omnibus Election Code that the COMELEC
shall decide all election cases brought before it within ninety days from the date
of submission.
2) Whether or not COMELEC En Banc granted the Motion for Execution
pending appeal of private respondents on April 2, 2000 when the appeal was no
longer pending.
3) Whether or not COMELEC misinterpreted Section 2 (2), second paragraph,
Article IX-C of the 1987 Constitution: That decisions, final orders, or rulings of
the Commission on Election contests involving municipal and barangay officials
shall be final, executory and not appealable".
HELD:
1)NO. The COMELEC has numerous cases before it where attention to minutiae
is critical.HOWEVER considering further the tribunal's manpower and logistic
limitations, it is sensible to treat the procedural requirements on deadlines
realistically.Overly strict adherence to deadlines might induce the Commission
to resolve election contests hurriedly by reason of lack of material time. In our
view this is not what the framers of the Code had intended since a very strict
construction might allow procedural flaws to subvert the will of the electorate
and would amount to disenfranchisement of voters in numerous cases.
Further, petitioner misreads the provision in Section 258 of the Omnibus
Election Code. The "preferential disposition" applies to cases before the courts
and not those before the COMELEC, as a faithful reading of the section will
readily show.
Lastly, we note that petitioner raises the alleged delay of the COMELEC for the
first time. In fact, private respondent points out that it was she who filed a
Motion for Early Resolution of the case when it was before the COMELEC. The
active participation of a party coupled with his failure to object to the
jurisdiction of the court or quasi-judicial body where the action is pending, is
tantamount to an invocation of that jurisdiction and a willingness to abide by
the resolution of the case and will bar said party from later impugning the court
or the body's jurisdiction. Thus no grave abuse of discretion was committed by
the COMELEC.
2) NO. When the motion for execution pending appeal was filed, petitioner had
a MR before the Second Division. This pending MR suspended the execution of
the resolution of the Second Division. Appropriately then, the division must act
on the MR. Thus, when the Second Division resolved both petitioner's motion for
reconsideration and private respondent's motion for execution pending appeal,
it did so in the exercise of its exclusive appellate jurisdiction.
The requisites for the grant of execution pending appeal are: (a) there must be a
motion by the prevailing party with notice to the adverse party; (b) there must
be a good reason for the execution pending appeal; and (c) the good reason
must be stated in a special order.
In our view, these three requisites were present. In its motion for execution,
private respondent cites that their case had been pending for almost three years
and the remaining portion of the contested term was just two more years. In a
number of similar cases and for the same good reasons, we upheld the
COMELEC's decision to grant execution pending appeal in the best interest of
the electorate. Again, no grave abuse of discretion on this matter.
3) NO, although we agree with petitioner that election cases pertaining to
barangay elections may be appealed by way of a special civil action for
certiorari. However, this recourse is available only when the COMELEC's factual
determinations are marred by grave abuse of discretion.
HERE, find no such abuse in the instant case. From the pleadings and the
records, we observed that the lower court and the COMELEC meticulously pored
over the ballots reviewed. Because of its fact-finding facilities and its knowledge
derived from actual experience, the COMELEC is in a peculiarly advantageous
position to evaluate, appreciate and decide on factual questions before it. There
is no basis for the allegation that abuse of discretion or arbitrariness marred the
factual findings of the COMELEC. As previously held, factual findings of the
COMELEC based on its own assessments and duly supported by evidence, are
conclusive on this Court, more so in the absence of a grave abuse of discretion,
arbitrariness, fraud, or error of law in the questioned resolutions.14 Unless any
of these causes are clearly substantiated, the Court will not interfere with the
COMELEC's findings of fact.
6) CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION, vs. COURT OF APPEALS, DR. DANTE G. GUEV
ARRA and ATTY. AUGUSTUS F. CEZAR, G.R. No. 176162, October 9, 2012 ,
MENDOZA, J.:
ATTY. HONESTO L. CUEVA, vs. COURT OF APPEALS, DR. DANTE G. GUEV ARRA
and ATTY. AUGUSTUS F. CEZAR, G.R. No. 178845
DOCTRINE: CSC has jurisdiction over cases filed directly with it, regardless of
who initiated the complaint. CSC has concurrent original jurisdiction with the
Board of Regents over administrative cases
FACTS:On September 27, 2005, petitioner Honesto L. Cueva (Cueva), then PUP
Chief Legal Counsel, filed an administrative case against Guevarra and Cezar for
gross dishonesty, grave misconduct, falsification of official documents, conduct
prejudicial to the best interest of the service, being notoriously undesirable, and
for violating Section 4 of Republic Act (R.A.) No. 6713. Cueva charged Guevarra
with falsification of a public document, specifically the Application for Bond of
Accountable Officials and Employees of the Republic of the Philippines, in which
the latter denied the existence of his pending criminal and administrative cases.
On March 24, 2006, the Civil Service Commission (CSC) issued Resolution No.
060521
10
formally charging Guevarra with Dishonesty and Cezar with Conduct
Prejudicial to the Best Interest of the Service after a prima facie finding that they
had committed acts punishable under the Civil Service Law and Rules.
Aggrieved, Guevarra and Cezar filed a petition for certiorari and prohibition
before the CA essentially questioning the jurisdiction of the CSC over the
administrative complaint filed against them by Cueva.
ISSUE:Whether or not the Civil Service Commission has original concurrent
jurisdiction over administrative cases falling under the jurisdiction of heads of
agencies.
HELD: The CSC, as the central personnel agency of the government, has the
power to appoint and discipline its officials and employees and to hear and
decide administrative cases instituted by or brought before it directly or on
appeal.CSC has concurrent original jurisdiction with the Board of Regents over
administrative cases
To begin with, there is no incongruity between R.A. No. 8292 and E.O. No. 292,
as previously explained in Sojor. Moreover, the Court fails to see how a
complaint filed by a private citizen is any different from one filed by a
government employee. If the grant to the CSC of concurrent original jurisdiction
over administrative cases filed by private citizens against public officials would
not deprive the governing bodies of the power to discipline their own officials
and employees and would not be violative of R.A. No. 8292, it is inconceivable
that a similar case filed by a government employee would do so. Such a
distinction between cases filed by private citizens and those by civil servants is
simply illogical and unreasonable. To accede to such a mistaken interpretation
of the Administrative Code would be a great disservice to our developing
jurisprudence.1wphi1
It is therefore apparent that despite the enactment of R.A. No. 8292 giving the
board of regents or board of trustees of a state school the authority to discipline
its employees, the CSC still retains jurisdiction over the school and its employees
and has concurrent original jurisdiction, together with the board of regents of a
state university, over administrative cases against state university officials and
employees.
Finally, with regard to the concern that the CSC may be overwhelmed by the
increase in number of cases filed before it which would result from our
ruling,
51
it behooves us to allay such worries by highlighting two important
facts. Firstly, it should be emphasized that the CSC has original concurrent
jurisdiction shared with the governing body in question, in this case, the Board
of Regents of PUP. This means that if the Board of Regents first takes cognizance
of the complaint, then it shall exercise jurisdiction to the exclusion of the
CSC.
52
Thus, not all administrative cases will fall directly under the CSC.
7.)Del Castillo vs. Civil Service Commission, G.R. No. 112513 August 21, 1997
Kapunan, J.:
Facts:
On August 1, 1990, petitioner, an employee of the Professional Regulation
Commission (PRC), was placed under preventive suspension by the PRC for
grave misconduct and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the
service.After due investigation, petitioner was found guilty of grave misconduct
and was dismissed from the service with forfeiture of all benefits.
Petitioner appealed the PRCs decision to the Merit Systems Protection Board
(MSPB) which exonerated him of said charge.
On appeal by the PRC, however, the Civil Service Commission (CSC) found
petitioner guilty of grave misconduct, and imposed upon him the penalty of
dismissal. Petitioners motion for reconsideration was denied.
Petitioner filed before the SC a petition for certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules
of Court alleging that the CSC committed grave abuse of discretion in
entertaining the PRCs appeal, among other grounds.
The Court granted the petition and reinstated the decision of the MSPB which
ordered the reinstatement of petitioner to his former position and was silent on
the award of back salaries.
Nevertheless petitioner, through counsel, wrote to PRC Chairman Hermogenes
Pobre requesting not only reinstatement but payment of back salaries as well.
Petitioner was eventually reinstated, but his claim backwages was denied.
Issue:
Whether or not petitioner is entitled to backwages.
Held:
YES. The Solicitor General recommends that petitioners prayer for payment of
backwages be granted.In support of said recommendation, the Solicitor General
cites the following authorities:
This Honorable Court in the case of Tan, Jr. vs. Office of the President, 229 SCRA
677, stated:
Section 42 of P.D. No. 807, however, is really not in point.The provision refers
to preventive suspension[s] during the pendency of administrative
investigation[s], and it does not cover dismissed civil servants who are ultimately
exonerated and ordered reinstated to their former or equivalent positions. The
rule in the latter instance, just as we have said starting with the case of Cristobal
v. Melchor (101 SCRA 857), is that when []a government official or employee
in the classified civil service had been illegally dismissed, and his reinstatement
had later been ordered, for all legal [purposes he is considered as not having left
his office, so]that he is entitled to all the rights and privileges that accrue to him
by virtue of the office that he held.]Such award of backwages, however, has
since been limited to a maximum period of five (5) years (San [Luis] vs. CA, 174
SCRA 258).
Having been exonerated of the charges against him, petitioner should clearly be
awarded back salaries, the silence of the MSPBs decision notwithstanding.
8.)PNB v GARCIA
[G.R. No. 141246. September 9, 2002]
PANGANIBAN, J.:
DOCTRINE:
There is nothing in the law that bars an appeal of a decision exonerating a
government official or an employee from an administrative charge. If a statute
is clear, plain and free form ambiguity, it must be given its literal meaning and
applied without attempted interpretation. Indeed, the campaign against
corruption, malfeasance and misfeasance in government will be undermined if
the government or the private offended party is prevented from appealing
erroneous administrative decisions.
FACTS:
Private respondent Ricardo V. Garcia, Jr., a check processor and cash
representative at the Buendia Branch of petitioner PNB was charged by the latter
with Gross Neglect of Duty in connection with the funds it had lost in the
amount of P7,000,000.00.Theereafter PNB-Administrative Adjudication Office
(AAO) then imposed upon him the penalty of Forced Resignation with Benefits.
Garcia appealed the AAOs decision and his appeal was granted after finding
that the evidence on record failed to establish neglect of duty on the part of
private respondent, reinstating his position with back salaries.
Petitioner moved for reconsideration, but public respondent, denied the same.
The CA Ruling
In dismissing PNBs appeal, the CA cited Mendez v. Civil Service Commission,
which had ruled that only the party adversely affected by the decision --
namely, the government employee -- may appeal an administrative case. The
CA held that a decision exonerating a respondent in an administrative case is
final and unappealable.
ISSUE:
Whether or not the Court of Appeals is correct in so holding that petitioner
cannot anymore elevate on appeal the resolution of the Civil Service
Commission reversing petitioners finding of guilt for gross neglect of duty on
Respondent Garcia.
HELD:
NO. Herein Petitioner PNB has the standing to appeal to the CA the exoneration
of Respondent Garcia. It should be allowed to appeal a decision that in its view
hampers its right to select honest and trustworthy employees, so that it can
protect and preserve its name as a premier banking institution in our country.
The interpretation of party adversely affected in the case of Mendez v. Civil
Service Commission, has been overturned in Civil Service Commission v.
Dacoycoy.
In his Concurring Opinion, Justice Reynato S. Puno explained that the Civil
Service Law did not categorically sanction the old doctrine barring appeals by
parties other than the respondent employee. What the law declared as final
were only those decisions of heads of agencies involving suspensions of not
more than thirty days or fines not exceeding thirty days salary.
Neither can the old doctrine barring appeal be justified by the provision limiting
the jurisdiction of the Civil Service Commission. According to that provision,
the CSC was limited to the review of decisions involving: (1) suspension for
more than thirty days; (2) fine in an amount exceeding (30) days salary; (3)
demotion in rank or salary; and (4) transfer, removal or dismissal from office.
Nothing in the provision, however, indicates a legislative intent to bar appeals
from decisions exonerating a government official or an employee from a
administrative charge.
It is a well-entrenched rule that if a statute is clear, plain and free from
ambiguity, it must be given its literal meaning and applied without attempted
interpretation.
Indeed, the battles against corruption, malfeasance and misfeasance will be
seriously undermined if we bar appeals of exoneration. After all, administrative
cases do not partake of the nature of criminal actions, in which acquittals are
final and unappealable based on the constitutional proscription of double
jeopardy.
Furthermore, our new Constitution expressly expanded the range and scope of
judicial review. Thus, to prevent appeals of administrative decisions except
those initiated by employees will effectively and pervertedly erode this
constitutional grant.
9.) BANTAY REPUBLIC ACT OR BA-RA 7941, represented by MR. AMEURFINO
E. CINCO, Chairman, AND URBAN POOR FOR LEGAL REFORMS (UP-LR),
represented by MRS. MYRNA P. PORCARE, Secretary-General, Petitioners,
vs.COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS, ET.Al. G.R. No. 177271 May 4, 2007
REP. LORETTA ANN P. ROSALES, KILOSBAYAN FOUNDATION, BANTAY
KATARUNGAN FOUNDATION,Petitioners, vs.THE COMMISSION ON
ELECTIONS, G.R. No. 177314 May 4, 2007
D E C I S I O N
GARCIA, J.:
DOCTRINE:
While the vote cast in a party-list elections is a vote for a party, such vote, in the
end, would be a vote for its nominees, who, in appropriate cases, would
eventually sit in the House of Representatives.
FACTS:
On January 12, 2007, the Comelec issued Resolution No. 7804 prescribing rules
and regulations to govern the filing of manifestation of intent to participate and
submission of names of nominees under the party-list system of representation
in connection with the May 14, 2007 elections. Pursuant thereto, a number of
organized groups filed the necessary manifestations. Among these and
ostensibly subsequently accredited by the Comelec to participate in the 2007
elections - are 14 party-list groups.

BA-RA 7941 and UP-LR filed with the Comelec an Urgent Petition to Disqualify,
seeking to disqualify the nominees of certain party-list organizations. Both
petitioners appear not to have the names of the nominees sought to be
disqualified since they still asked for a copy of the list of nominees.
Meanwhile, reacting to the emerging public perception that the individuals
behind the aforementioned 14 party-list groups do not, as they should, actually
represent the poor and marginalized sectors, petitioner Rosales, in G.R. No.
177314, addressed a letter to Director Alioden Dalaig of the Comelecs Law
Department requesting a list of that groups nominees.
Neither the Comelec Proper nor its Law Department officially responded to
petitioner Rosales requests. The April 13, 2007 issue of the Manila
Bulletin, however, carried the front-page banner headline "COMELEC WONT
BARE PARTY-LIST NOMINEES", with the following sub-heading: "Abalos says
party-list polls not personality oriented."
The Comelec issued a Resolution declaring the nominees names confidential
and that the Commission will disclose/publicize the names of party-list
nominees in connection with the May 14, 2007 Elections only after 3:00 p.m.
on election day.
Petitioners BA-RA 7941 and UP-LR would have the Court cancel the
accreditation accorded by the Comelec to the respondent party-list groups
named in their petition on the ground that these groups and their respective
nominees do not appear to be qualified.
ISSUE 1:
Whether or not the nominees likewise belong to the marginalized and
underrepresented sector their respective party list claim to represent in
Congress.
HELD 1:
The Court is unable to grant the desired plea of petitioners BA-RA 7941 and UP-
LR for cancellation of accreditation on the grounds thus advanced in their
petition. For, such course of action would entail going over and evaluating the
qualities of the sectoral groups or parties in question, particularly whether or
not they indeed represent marginalized/underrepresented groups. The exercise
would require the Court to make a factual determination, a matter which is
outside the office of judicial review by way of special civil action for certiorari.
In certiorari proceedings, the Court is not called upon to decide factual issues
and the case must be decided on the undisputed facts on record.
ISSUE 2:
Whether respondent Comelec, by refusing to reveal the names of the nominees
of the various party-list groups, has violated the right to information and free
access to documents as guaranteed by the Constitution; AND Whether
respondent Comelec is mandated by the Constitution to disclose to the public the
names of said nominees.
HELD 2:
The Comelec based its refusal to disclose the names of the nominees of subject
party-list groups on Section 7 of R.A. 7941. This provision, while commanding
the publication and the posting in polling places of a certified list of party-list
system participating groups, nonetheless tells the Comelec not to show or
include the names of the party-list nominees in said certified list.
The right to information is a public right where the real parties in interest are
the public, or the citizens to be precise. And for every right of the people
recognized as fundamental lies a corresponding duty on the part of those who
govern to respect and protect that right.
Like all constitutional guarantees, however, the right to information and its
companion right of access to official records are not absolute. As articulated in
the case of Legaspi (WON persons employed as sanitarians are civil service
eligibles), the peoples right to know is limited to "matters of public concern"
and is further subject to such limitation as may be provided by law. Similarly,
the policy of full disclosure is confined to transactions involving "public
interest" and is subject to reasonable conditions prescribed by law.
The terms "public concerns" and "public interest" embrace a broad spectrum of
subjects which the public may want to know, either because these directly affect
their lives, or simply because such matters naturally whet the interest of an
ordinary citizen.
The Comelecs reasoning that a party-list election is not an election of
personalities is valid to a point. It cannot be taken, however, to justify its assailed
non-disclosure stance which comes with a weighty presumption of invalidity,
impinging on a fundamental right to information. While the vote cast in a
party-list elections is a vote for a party, such vote, in the end, would be a vote
for its nominees, who, in appropriate cases, would eventually sit in the House of
Representatives.
10.)EN BANC G.R. No. 139792 November 22, 2000 DAVIDE, JR., C.J.:
ANTONIO P. SANTOS, petitioner, vs. THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS,
METROPOLITAN AUTHORITY, now known as METROPOLITAN MANILA
DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY, and THE CIVIL SERVICE
COMMISSION, respondents.
Doctrine: See Bold
Facts:
Petitioner optionally retired as MeTC Judge from the Judiciary under R.A. No.
910,
2
as amended, and received his retirement gratuity under the law for his
entire years in the government service; and five years thereafter he has been
regularly receiving a monthly pension. On 2 December 1993, petitioner re-
entered the government service. He was appointed Director III of the Traffic
Operation Center of the MMA. His appointment was approved by the Civil
Service Commission (CSC).
On 1 March 1995, Congress enacted R.A. No. 7924, which reorganized the
MMA and renamed it as Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA).
On 30 August 1996, the MMDA issued a Memorandum to petitioner informing
him that in view of his "voluntary option to be separated from the service" his
services would automatically cease effective at the close of office hours on 15
September 1996, and that he would be entitled to "separation benefits
equivalent to one and one-fourth (1) monthly salary for every year of service
as provided under Section 11 of the MMDA Law."
Petitioner asserted that all the years of his government service, including those
years in the Judiciary, should be credited in the computation of his separation
benefits under R.A. No. 7924. Director IV Nelson Acebedo of the CSC-NCR,
CSC, and the Court of Appeals all denied the position of petitioner. Respondent
believes that petitioner has only the option either to refund his
separation/retirement benefits and claim his gross retirement/separation pay
without any deduction corresponding to his separation pay received, or not [to]
refund his separation/retirement pay but suffer a deduction of his
retirement/separation gratuity for the total amount representing his previous
separation/retirement pay received.
ISSUE:
WON Petitioner is entitled to have his years in the judiciary credited in the
computation of his separation pay under the RA 7924.
HELD:
No, petitioner already received and is continually receiving gratuity for his years
of service as a Metropolitan Trial Court Judge. Equity dictates that he should no
longer be allowed to receive further gratuity for said years of service in the guise
of separation pay.
"The common-sense consideration stated by Mr. Justice J.B.L. Reyes for the
Court in Espejo, that if a retiree is being credited with his years of service under
his first retirement in computing his gratuity under his second retirement, it is
but just that the retirement gratuity received by him under his first retirement
should also be charged to his account, manifestly govern the case at
bar.1vvph!1 It is but in accordance with the rule consistently enunciated by the
Court as in Anciano v. Otadoy, affirming Borromeo, that claims for double
retirement or pension such as petitioners, would run roughshod over the well-
settled rule that in the absence of an express legal exception, pension and
gratuity laws should be so construed as to preclude any person from receiving
double pension.
The case at bench is not, strictly speaking, about double pension. It is, however,
about the interpretation of a gratuity law, viz., Section 11 of Republic Act No.
7924 which awards separation pay to those government employees who were
displaced by the reorganization of the MMA into the MMDA, which should be
construed to preclude a government employee from receiving double gratuity
for the same years of service.
We agree with the Court of Appeals and the Civil Service Commission that for
the purpose of computing or determining petitioners separation pay under
Section 11 of R.A. No. 7924, his years of service in the Judiciary should be
excluded and that his separation pay should be solely confined to his services in
the MMA.
The petitioner cannot take refuge under the second paragraph of Section 8 of
Article IX-B of the Constitution, which provides: Pensions or gratuities shall not
be considered as additional, double, or indirect compensation. This provision
simply means that a retiree receiving pension or gratuity can continue to receive
such pension or gratuity even if he accepts another government position to
which another compensation is attached.
However, to credit his years of service in the Judiciary in the computation of his
separation pay under R.A. No. 7924 notwithstanding the fact that he had
received or has been receiving the retirement benefits under R.A. No. 910, as
amended, would be to countenance double compensation for exactly the same
services, i.e., his services as MeTC Judge. Such would run counter to the policy
of this Court against double compensation for exactly the same services.
7
More
important, it would be in violation of the first paragraph of Section 8 of Article
IX-B of the Constitution, which proscribes additional, double, or indirect
compensation. Said provision reads:
No elective or appointive public officer or employee shall receive additional,
double, or indirect compensation, unless specifically authorized by law.
Section 11 of R.A. No. 7924 does not specifically authorize payment of
additional compensation for years of government service outside of the MMA.
11.) CSC v. Yu
Facts:
In 1992, the national government implemented a devolution program pursuant
to Republic Act (R.A.) No. 7160, which affected the Department of Health
(DOH) along with other government agencies. Prior to the devolution, Dr.
Fortunata Castillo held the position of Provincial Health Officer II (PHO II) of the
Department of Health (DOH) Regional Office No. IX in Zamboanga City and
was the head of both the Basilan Provincial Health Hospital and Public Health
Services. Respondent Dr. Agnes Ouida P. Yu, on the other hand, held the
position of Provincial Health Officer I (PHO I). She was assigned, however, at
the Integrated Provincial Health Office in Isabela, Basilan. Upon the
implementation of the devolution program, then Basilan Governor Gerry
Salapuddin (Governor Salapuddin) refused to accept Dr. Castillo as the
incumbent of the PHO II position. two years after the implementation of the
devolution program, Governor Salapuddin appointed Dr. Yu to the PHO II
position. While Dr. Yu was among the personnel reverted to the DOH with the
re-nationalization of the Basilan General Hospital, she was made to retain her
original item of PHO II instead of being given the re-classified position of Chief
of Hospital II. Subsequently, on August 1, 2003, then DOH Secretary Manuel M.
Dayrit (Secretary Dayrit) appointed Dr. Domingo Remus A. Dayrit (Dr. Dayrit)
to the position of Chief of Hospital II. Aggrieved, Dr. Yu filed a letter of protest
dated September 30, 2003 before the CSC claiming that she has a vested right to
the position of Chief of Hospital II. CSC issued Resolution 4No. 040655 granting
Dr. Yu's protest and revoking the appointment of Dr. Dayrit as Chief of Hospital
II of Basilan General Hospital. Further, Secretary Dayrit was directed to appoint
Dr. Yu to said position. Upon motion for reconsideration, however, the CSC
reversed itself and issued Resolution 5No. 040967 dated September 1, 2004
declaring that the position of PHO II was never devolved to the Provincial
Government of Basilan but was retained by the DOH; that the PHO II position
held by Dr. Yu was a newly-created position; and that, therefore, she did not
have a vested right to the Chief of Hospital II position that was created by virtue
of R.A No. 8543. Dr. Yu then filed a motion for reconsideration which was
denied by the CSC. Ca rendered a decision in favor of Yu.
Issue: MISSING ISSUE hehe
Held:
It was mandatory for Governor Salapuddin to absorb the position of PHO II, as
well as its incumbent, Dr. Fortunata Castillo. Highlighting the absence of
discretion is the use of the word shall both in Section 17 (i) of R.A. No. 7160
and in Section 2(a)(2) of E.O. No. 503, which connotes a mandatory order. Its
use in a statute denotes an imperative obligation and is inconsistent with the
idea of discretion. The only instance that the LGU concerned may choose not to
absorb the NGA personnel is when absorption is not administratively viable,
meaning, it would result to duplication of functions, in which case, the NGA
personnel shall be retained by the national government. However, in the
absence of the recognized exception, devolved permanent personnel shall be
automatically reappointed [Section 2(a)(12)] by the local chief executive
concerned immediately upon their transfer which shall not go beyond June 30,
1992. Webster's Third New International Dictionary defines automatic as
involuntary either wholly or to a major extent so that any activity of the will is
largely negligible. Being automatic, thus, connotes something mechanical,
spontaneous and perfunctory. Note: Detail. A detail is the movement of an
employee from one agency to another without the issuance of an appointment
and shall be allowed, only for a limited period in the case of employees
occupying professional, technical and scientific positions. If the employee
believes that there is no justification for the detail, he may appeal his case to the
Commission. Pending appeal, the decision to detail the employee shall be
executory unless otherwise ordered by the Commission. (Emphasis added) Had
Dr. Castillo felt aggrieved by her detail to the DOH Regional Office, she was not
without recourse. The law afforded her the right to appeal her case to the CSC,
but she had not seen fit to question the justification for her detail. We could only
surmise that, since Dr. Castillo was looking at only three more years from the
time of her detail until her retirement in 1996, and considering that she
obviously would not suffer any diminution in salary and rank, she found it
pointless to pursue the matter.
12.) PENERA v. COMELEC
G.R. No. 181613 November 25, 2009
CARPIO, J.:
DOCTRINE: to be liable for premature campaigning one must first be a
candidate, a person who files a COC is a candidate only upon the
commencement of the campaign period, his acts prior to the start of the
campaign period becomes unlawful only upon the periods commencement.
FACTS:
Penera was disqualified from running for Mayor as he allegedly held a
motorcade on the day that he filed his certificate of candidacy on 29 December
2003. Section 11 of Republic Act No. 8436 ("RA 8436") moved the deadline for
the filing of certificates of candidacy to 120 days before election day. Thus, the
original deadline was moved from 23 March 2004 to 2 January 2004, or 81
days earlier. Under the Decision, a candidate may already be liable for
premature campaigning after the filing of the certificate of candidacy but even
before the start of the campaign period. From the filing of the certificate of
candidacy, even long before the start of the campaign period, the Decision
considers the partisan political acts of a person so filing a certificate of
candidacy "as the promotion of his/her election as a candidate." Thus, such
person can be disqualified for premature campaigning for acts done before the
start of the campaign period. In short, the Decision considers a person who files
a certificate of candidacy already a "candidate" even before the start of the
campaign period. This thus reverses the LIGOT v. COMELEC case which held
that a person who files a certificate of candidacy is not a candidate until the
start of the campaign period.
ISSUE:
WON Penera is already a candidate when he filed his COC and committed
premature campaigning for holding a motorcade?\
HELD:
The essential elements for violation of Section 80 of the Omnibus Election Code
are: (1) a person engages in an election campaign or partisan political activity;
(2) the act is designed to promote the election or defeat of a particular candidate
or candidates; (3) the act is done outside the campaign period. The second
element requires the existence of a "candidate." Under Section 79(a), a
candidate is one who "has filed a certificate of candidacy" to an elective public
office. Unless one has filed his certificate of candidacy, he is not a "candidate."
The third element requires that the campaign period has not started when the
election campaign or partisan political activity is committed.
Under Section 11 of RA 8436, the only purpose for the early filing of certificates
of candidacy is to give ample time for the printing of official ballots. Thus,
because of the early deadline of 2 January 2004 for purposes of printing of
official ballots, Eusebio filed his certificate of candidacy on 29 December 2003.
Congress, however, never intended the filing of a certificate of candidacy before
2 January 2004 to make the person filing to become immediately a "candidate"
for purposes other than the printing of ballots. This legislative intent prevents
the immediate application of Section 80 of the Omnibus Election Code to those
filing to meet the early deadline. The clear intention of Congress was to preserve
the "election periods as x x x fixed by existing law" prior to RA 8436 and that
one who files to meet the early deadline "will still not be considered as a
candidate." When Congress amended RA 8436, Congress decided to expressly
incorporate the Lanot doctrine into law under the second sentence, third
paragraph of the amended Section 15 of RA 8436, thus: For this purpose, the
Commission shall set the deadline for the filing of certificate of
candidacy/petition for registration/manifestation to participate in the election.
Any person who files his certificate of candidacy within this period shall only be
considered as a candidate at the start of the campaign period for which he filed
his certificate of candidacy: Provided, That, unlawful acts or omissions
applicable to a candidate shall take effect only upon the start of the aforesaid
campaign period: Congress elevated the Lanot doctrine into a statute by
specifically inserting it as the second sentence of the third paragraph of the
amended Section 15 of RA 8436, which cannot be annulled by this Court except
on the sole ground of its unconstitutionality. On 29 March 2007, the law still
did not consider Penera a candidate for purposes other than the printing of
ballots. Acts committed by Penera prior to 30 March 2007, the date when she
became a "candidate," even if constituting election campaigning or partisan
political activities, are not punishable under Section 80 of the Omnibus Election
Code.
After filing his/her COC but prior to his/her becoming a candidate (thus, prior
to the start of the campaign period), can already commit the acts described
under Section 79(b) of the Omnibus Election Code as election campaign or
partisan political activity, However, only after said person officially becomes a
candidate, at the beginning of the campaign period, can said acts be given effect
as premature campaigning under Section 80 of the Omnibus Election Code.
Only after said person officially becomes a candidate, at the start of the
campaign period, can his/her disqualification be sought for acts constituting
premature campaigning. Obviously, it is only at the start of the campaign
period, when the person officially becomes a candidate, that the undue and
iniquitous advantages of his/her prior acts, constituting premature
campaigning, shall accrue to his/her benefit. Compared to the other candidates
who are only about to begin their election campaign, a candidate who had
previously engaged in premature campaigning already enjoys an unfair
headstart in promoting his/her candidacy.
Penera is still liable under the Omnibus Election Code for premature
campaigning which only takes effect after he is considered a candidate (after the
start of the campaign period) not before. Acts committed prior to the start of the
campaign period could only be prosecuted during the campaign period as he is
thus not yet a candidate prior to the start of the campaign period. As an
illustration a person may hold rallies and motorcades or have advertisements
prior to the start of the election campaign period as an exercise of ones freedom
of speech and doesnt run for office thus is not liable for premature
campaigning compared to one who does file his COC who then becomes liable
at the start of the campaign period for such acts as he is already considered a
candidate. The laws involve only punishes Candidates so this is the keyword
here. It is only upon the start of the campaign period when such acts committed
prior to the campaign period becomes unlawful.
Dissenting Opinion of Justice Antonio T. Carpio:
The definition of a "candidate" in Section 79(a) of the Omnibus Election Code
should be read together with the amended Section 15 of RA 8436. A "candidate
refers to any person aspiring for or seeking an elective public office, who has
filed a certificate of candidacy by himself or through an accredited political
party, aggroupment or coalition of parties." However, it is no longer enough to
merely file a certificate of candidacy for a person to be considered a candidate
because "any person who files his certificate of candidacy within [the filing]
period shall only be considered a candidate at the start of the campaign period
for which he filed his certificate of candidacy." Any person may thus file a
certificate of candidacy on any day within the prescribed period for filing a
certificate of candidacy yet that person shall be considered a candidate, for
purposes of determining ones possible violations of election laws, only during
the campaign period. Indeed, there is no "election campaign" or "partisan
political activity" designed to promote the election or defeat of a particular
candidate or candidates to public office simply because there is no "candidate" to
speak of prior to the start of the campaign period. Therefore, despite the filing of
her certificate of candidacy, the law does not consider Penera a candidate at the
time of the questioned motorcade which was conducted a day before the start of
the campaign period.
13.) Quinto vs. Commission on Elections
G.R. No. 189698
1 December 2009
Facts:
In this Petition for Certiorari and Prohibition, petitioners, who held appointive
positions in government and who intended to run in the 2010 elections, assailed
Section 4(a) of COMELECs Resolution No. 8678, which deemed appointed
officials automatically (ipso facto) resigned from office upon the filing of their
Certificate of Candidacy (CoC). Section 4(a) of COMELEC Resolution No. 8678
is a reproduction of the second proviso in the third paragraph of Section 13 of
Republic Act No. 9369.** The proviso was lifted from Section 66 of Batas
Pambansa Blg. 881.
Petitioners averred that they should not be deemed ipso facto resigned from
their government offices when they file their CoCs, because at such time they
are not yet treated by law as candidates. They should be considered resigned
from their respective offices only at the start of the campaign period when they
are, by law, already considered as candidates. (Section 11 of R.A. No. 8436, as
amended by Section 13 of R.A. No. 9369 provides that any person filing his
certificate of candidacy within the period set by COMELEC shall only be
considered as a candidate at the start of the campaign period for which he filed
his certificate of candidacy.) Petitioners further averred that the assailed
provision is discriminatory and violates the equal protection clause in the
Constitution.
Representing the COMELEC, the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) argued
that the petition was premature and petitioners had no legal standing since they
were not yet affected by the assailed provision, not having as yet filed their
CoCs. The OSG also argued that petitioners could not avail the remedy of
certiorari since what they were questioning was an issuance of the COMELEC
made in the exercise of its rule-making power. The OSG further averred that the
COMELEC did not gravely abuse its discretion in phrasing Section 4(a) of its
Resolution No. 8678 since it merely copied what was in the law. The OSG,
however, agreed that there is no basis to consider appointive officials as ipso
facto resigned upon filing their CoCs because they are not yet considered as
candidates at that time.
Issue:
Whether Section 4(a) of COMELECs Resolution No. 8678 and the laws upon
which it was based (second proviso in the third paragraph of Section 13 of
Republic Act No. 9369 and Section 66 of Batas Pambansa Blg. 881) are
unconstitutional
Held:
The second provision in the third paragraph of Section 13 of Republic Act No.
9369, Section 66 of Batas Pambansa Blg. 881 and Section 4(a) of COMELEC
Resolution No. 8678 were declared as UNCONSTITUTIONAL for being violative
of the equal protection clause and for being overbroad.
In considering persons holding appointive positions as ipso facto resigned
from their posts upon the filing of their CoCs, but not considering as resigned all
other civil servants, specifically the elective ones, the law unduly discriminates
against the first class. The fact alone that there is substantial distinction between
those who hold appointive positions and those occupying elective posts, does not
justify such differential treatment.
There are 4 requisites for a valid classification that will justify differential
treatment between classes: (a) It must be based upon substantial distinctions; (b)
It must be germane to the purposes of the law; (c) It must not be limited to
existing conditions only; and (d) It must apply equally to all members of the
class. The differential treatment of persons holding appointive offices as opposed
to those holding elective ones is not germane to the purposes of the law.
(W)hether one holds an appointive office or an elective one, the evils sought to
be prevented by the measure remain. An appointive official could wield the
same dangerous and coercive influence on the electorate as the elective official.
Both may be motivated by political considerations rather than the publics
welfare, use their governmental positions to promote their candidacies, or
neglect their duties to attend to their campaign. There is thus no valid
justification to treat appointive officials differently from the elective ones.
The challenged provision is also overbroad because: (a) It pertains to all civil
servants holding appointive posts without distinction as to whether they occupy
high positions in government or not (It would be absurd to consider a utility
worker in the government as ipso facto resigned once he files his CoC; it is
unimaginable how he can use his position in the government to wield influence
in the political world.); and (b) It is directed to the activity of seeking any and all
public offices, whether they be partisan or nonpartisan in character, whether
they be in the national, municipal or barangay level. Congress has not shown a
compelling state interest to restrict the fundamental right involved on such a
sweeping scale.
__________________________________________________________________
14.)JOSELITO R. MENDOZA,-versus-COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS AND
ROBERTO M. PAGDANGANAN, G.R. No. 191084, March 25, 2010, PEREZ, J.:
DOCTRINE:
However the jurisdiction of the COMELEC is involved, either in the exercise of
exclusive original jurisdiction or an appellate jurisdiction, the COMELEC
will act on the case in one whole and single process: to repeat, in division, and
if impelled by a motion for reconsideration, en banc.
There is a difference in the result of the exercise of jurisdiction by the
COMELEC over election contests. The difference inheres in the kind of
jurisdiction invoked, which in turn, is determined by the case brought before
the COMELEC. When a decision of a trial court is brought before the COMELEC
for it to exercise appellate jurisdiction, the division decides the appeal but, if
there is a motion for reconsideration, the appeal proceeds to the banc where a
majority is needed for a decision. If the process ends without the required
majority at the banc, the appealed decision stands affirmed.
Upon the other hand, and this is what happened in the instant case, if what is
brought before the COMELEC is an original protest invoking the original
jurisdiction of the Commission, the protest, as one whole process, is first decided
by the division, which process is continued in the banc if there is a motion for
reconsideration of the division ruling. If no majority decision is reached in
the banc, the protest, which is an original action, shall be dismissed. There is no
first instance decision that can be deemed affirmed.
FACTS:
Petitioner Joselito R. Mendoza was proclaimed the winner of the 2007
gubernatorial election for the province of Bulacan, besting respondent Roberto
M. Pagdanganan by a margin of 15,732 votes. On 1 June 2007, respondent
filed the Election Protest which, anchored on the massive electoral fraud
allegedly perpetrated by petitioner, was raffled to the Second Division of the
Commission on Elections (COMELEC). With petitioners filing of his Answer
with Counter-Protest on 18 June 2007, the COMELEC proceeded to conduct the
preliminary conference and to order a revision of the ballots from the contested
precincts indicated in said pleadings.
Upon the evidence adduced and the memoranda subsequently filed by the
parties, the COMELEC Second Division went on to render the 1 December 2009
Resolution, which annulled and set aside petitioners proclamation as governor
of Bulacan and proclaimed respondent duly elected to said position by a
winning margin of 4,321 votes. Coupled with a directive to the Department of
Interior and Local Government to implement the same, the resolution ordered
petitioner to immediately vacate said office, to cease and desist from discharging
the functions pertaining thereto and to cause a peaceful turn-over thereof to
respondent.
Petitioner filed a Motion for Reconsideration with the COMELEC En Banc and an
Opposition to the Motion for Execution Against respondents Motion for
Execution of Judgment Pending Motion for Reconsideration before the
COMELEC Second Division.
On 8 February 2010, however, the COMELEC En Banc issued a Resolution
DENIES the Motion for Reconsideration for lack of merit and affirmed the
proclamation of ROBERTO M. PAGDANGANAN as the duly elected Governor of
Bulacan.
On 11 February 2010, petitioner filed before the COMELEC an Urgent Motion
to Recall the Resolution Promulgated on February 8, 2010.
On 12 February 2010, petitioner filed the instant Petition for Certiorari with an
Urgent Prayer for the Issuance of a Temporary Restraining Order and/or a
Status Quo Order and Writ of Preliminary Injunction directed against the 8
February 2010 Resolution of the COMELEC En Banc.
In the meantime, the COMELEC En Banc issued a 10 February 2010 Order,
scheduling the case for re-hearing on 15 February 2010, on the ground that
there was no majority vote of the members obtained in the Resolution of the
Commission En Banc promulgated on February 8, 2010. At said scheduled re-
hearing, it further appears that the parties agreed to submit the matter for
resolution by the COMELEC En Banc upon submission of their respective
memoranda, without further argument. As it turned out, the deliberations
which ensued again failed to muster the required majority vote since, with three
(3) Commissioners not taking part in the voting, and only one dissent therefrom,
the assailed 1 December 2009 Resolution of the COMELEC Second Division only
garnered three concurrences.
ISSUE:
Whether or not respondents protest should have been dismissed when no
majority vote was obtained after the re-hearing in the case
HELD:
YES. The failure of the COMELEC En Banc to muster the required majority vote
even after the 15 February 2010 re-hearing should have caused the dismissal of
respondents Election Protest. Section 6, Rule 18 of the COMELEC Rules of
Procedure categorically provides as follows:
Sec. 6. Procedure if Opinion is Equally Divided. When the Commission en
banc is equally divided in opinion, or the necessary majority cannot be had, the
case shall be reheard, and if on rehearing no decision is reached, the action or
proceeding shall be dismissed if originally commenced in the Commission; in
appealed cases, the judgment or order appealed from shall stand affirmed; and
in all incidental matters, the petition or motion shall be denied.
As one pertaining to the election of the provincial governor of Bulacan,
respondents Election Protest was originally commenced in the COMELEC,
pursuant to its exclusive original jurisdiction over the case. Although initially
raffled to the COMELEC Second Division, the elevation of said election protest
on motion for reconsideration before the Commission En Banc cannot, by any
stretch of the imagination, be considered an appeal. Tersely put, there is no
appeal within the COMELEC itself. As aptly observed in the lone dissent penned
by COMELEC Commissioner Rene V. Sarmiento, respondents Election
Protest was filed with the Commission at the first instance and should be,
accordingly, considered an action or proceeding originally commenced in the
Commission.
The dissent reads Section 6 of COMELEC Rule 18 to mean exactly the opposite
of what it expressly states. Thus was made the conclusion to the effect that since
no decision was reached by the COMELEC En Banc, then the decision of the
Second Division should stand, which is squarely in the face of the Rule that
when the Commission En Banc is equally divided in opinion, or the necessary
majority cannot be had, the case shall be re-heard, and if on re-hearing, no
decision is reached, the action or proceeding shall be dismissed if originally
commenced in the Commission. The reliance is on Section 3, Article IX(C) of
the Constitution which provides:
Section 3. The Commission on Elections 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 decisions shall be decided by the Commission En Banc.
The dissent reasons that it would be absurd that for a lack of the necessary
majority in the motion for reconsideration before the COMELEC En Banc, the
original protest action should be dismissed as this would render nugatory the
constitutional mandate to authorize and empower a division of the COMELEC to
decide election cases.
We cannot, in this case, get out of the square cover of Section 6, Rule 18 of the
COMELEC Rules. The provision is not violative of the Constitution.
The Rule, in fact, was promulgated obviously pursuant to the Constitutional
mandate in the first sentence of Section 3 of Article IX(C). Clearly too, the Rule
was issued in order to expedite disposition of election cases such that even the
absence of a majority in a Commission En Banc opinion on a case under
reconsideration does not result in a non-decision. Either the judgment or order
appealed from shall stand affirmed or the action originally commenced in the
Commission shall be dismissed.
It is easily evident in the second sentence of Section 3 of Article IX(C) that all
election cases before the COMELEC are passed upon in one integrated procedure
that consists of a hearing and a decision in division and when necessitated by
a motion for reconsideration, a decision by the Commission En Banc.
However the jurisdiction of the COMELEC is involved, either in the exercise of
exclusive original jurisdiction or an appellate jurisdiction, the COMELEC
will act on the case in one whole and single process: to repeat, in division, and
if impelled by a motion for reconsideration, en banc.
There is a difference in the result of the exercise of jurisdiction by the
COMELEC over election contests. The difference inheres in the kind of
jurisdiction invoked, which in turn, is determined by the case brought before
the COMELEC. When a decision of a trial court is brought before the COMELEC
for it to exercise appellate jurisdiction, the division decides the appeal but, if
there is a motion for reconsideration, the appeal proceeds to the banc where a
majority is needed for a decision. If the process ends without the required
majority at the banc, the appealed decision stands affirmed.
Upon the other hand, and this is what happened in the instant case, if what is
brought before the COMELEC is an original protest invoking the original
jurisdiction of the Commission, the protest, as one whole process, is first decided
by the division, which process is continued in the banc if there is a motion for
reconsideration of the division ruling. If no majority decision is reached in
the banc, the protest, which is an original action, shall be dismissed. There is no
first instance decision that can be deemed affirmed.
In a protest originally brought before the COMELEC, no completed process
comes to the banc. It is the banc which will complete the process. If, at that
completion, no conclusive result in the form of a majority vote is reached, the
COMELEC has no other choice except to dismiss the protest. In a protest placed
before the Commission as an appeal, there has been a completed proceeding
that has resulted in a decision. So that when the COMELEC, as an appellate
body, and after the appellate process is completed, reaches an inconclusive
result, the appeal is in effect dismissed and resultingly, the decision appealed
from is affirmed.
15.) Talaga vs. COMELEC
DOCTRINES:
(1) Jurisdiction over a petition to cancel a certificate of candidacy rests with the
COMELEC in division, not the COMELEC En Banc.
(2) COMELEC has the power to deny due course, or to cancel a candidates
Certificate of Candidacy based on apparent ineligibility of a candidate.
(3) A decision or resolution of a Division becomes final and executory after the
lapse of five days following its promulgation unless a motion for reconsideration
is seasonably filed.
FACTS:
The case involves the disqualification of a substitute who was proclaimed the
winner of a mayoralty election. Ramon Talaga, Jr. and Philip Castillo
respectively filed their certificates of candidacy for the position of Mayor of
Lucena City in the scheduled 2010 national and local elections. Castillo filed
with the COMELEC 1
st
Division, a petition denominated In the Matter of the
Petition to Deny Due Course or to Cancel Certificate of Candidacy of Ramon
Talaga, Jr. as Mayor for Having Already Served 3 Consecutive Terms as a City
Mayor of Lucena, docketed as SPA 09-029 (DC). Castillo alleged that Talaga was
successively elected mayor of Lucena City in 2001, 2004, and 2007 local
elections based on the records of the COMELEC of Lucena City and had fully
served the aforesaid 3 terms without any voluntary and involuntary
interruption.
In the meantime, the SC promulgated the ruling in Aldovino, Jr. vs. COMELEC,
holding that preventive suspension, being a mere temporary incapacity, was not
a valid ground for avoiding the effect of the 3-term limit rule. Talaga filed with
the COMELEC aManifestation with Motion to Resolve, taking into account the
intervening ruling in Aldovino, acknowledging that he is now disqualified to
run for the position of Mayor of Lucena City having served 3 terms as Mayor of
Lucena City prior to the filing of his certificate of candidacy for the 2010
elections. Notwithstanding his express recognition of his disqualification to run
as Mayor of Lucena City in the May 10, 2010 national and local elections,
Talaga did not withdraw his Certificate of Candidacy.
Consequently, on the 19
th
day of April 2010, the COMELEC 1
st
Division declared
Talaga disqualified to run for Mayor of Lucena City for the 2010 elections.
Initially, Talaga filed his Verified Motion for Reconsideration against the April
19, 2010 Resolution of the COMELEC 1
st
Division. Later on, however, he filed at
9:00 a.m. of May 4, 2010 an Ex-parte Manifestation of Withdrawal of the
Pending Motion for Reconsideration. On the same day (4 May 2010), Barbara
Ruby filed her own certificate of candidacy for Mayor of Lucena City in
substitution of Talaga, attaching thereto the Certificate of Nomination and
Acceptance issued by Lakas-Kampi-CMD, the party that had nominated Talaga.
On May 5, 2010, the COMELEC En Banc, acting on Ramon Talagas Ex parte
Manifestation of Withdrawal, declared the COMELEC 1
st
Divisions Resolution
dated April 19, 2010 final and executory. NOTE: It is important to determine
when exactly did the April 19, 2010 COMELEC 1
st
Division became final and
executory. Should it be reckoned (a) from the time said Resolution was
promulgated; (b) from the time Talaga withdrew his Motion for
Reconsideration; or (c) on May 5, 2010, from the time COMELEC En Banc
declared that COMELEC 1
st
Divisions Resolution became final and executory.
Important to determine to know whether Talaga was a candidate on the May
10, 2010 elections.
On election day (May 10, 2010), the name of Talaga remained printed on the
ballots but the votes cast in his were counted in favor of Barbara Ruby as his
substitute candidate, resulting in Barbara Ruby being ultimately credited with
the majority votes as against Castillo. Castillo promptly filed a petition in the
City Board of Canvassers seeking the suspension of Barbara Rubys
proclamation.
On May 13, 2010, three days after the election day, through Resolution No.
8917, the COMELEC En Banc gave due course to Barbara Rubys Certificate of
Candidacy and Certificate of Nomination and Acceptance, thereby including her
in the certified list of candidates. Consequently, the City Board of Canvassers
proclaimed Barbara Ruby as the newly-elected Mayor of Lucena City.
Castillo filed a Petition for Annulment of Proclamation with the COMELEC 2
nd

Division, alleging that Barbara Ruby could not substitute Talaga because his
Certificate of Candidacy had been cancelled and denied due course; and that
Barbara Ruby could not be considered a candidate because the COMELEC En
Banc had approved her substitution 3 days after the elections; hence, the votes
cast for Talaga should be considered stray.
The COMELEC 2
nd
Division held that Castillo was notified of Resolution No.
8917 on May 13, 2010, as it was the basis for the proclamation of Ruby on that
date. Castillo failed to file any action within the prescribed period either in the
COMELEC or the SC assailing the said resolution. Thus, the said resolution has
become final and executory. The COMELEC 2
nd
Division further held that:
There is no provision in the Omnibus Election Code or any election laws for
that matter which requires that the substitution and the Certificate of Candidacy
of the substitute should be approved and given due course first by the
Commission or the Law Department before it can be considered as effective.
There being no irregularity in the substitution by Ruby of Ramon Talaga as
candidate for mayor of Lucena City, the counting of the votes of Talaga in favor
of Ruby is proper. The proclamation, thus, of Ruby as mayor elect of Lucena City
is in order. Hence, we find no cogent reason to annul the proclamation of
respondent Barbara Ruby C. Talaga as the duly elected Mayor of the City of
Lucena after the elections conducted on May 10, 2010.
1. Whether or not the COMELEC 1
st
Division erred in cancelling the Certificate
of Candidacy of Talaga.
NO. The Supreme Court has held in Fermin vs. COMELEC that:
The denial of due course to or the cancellation of the Certificate of Candidacy
is not based on the lack of qualifications but on a finding that the candidate
made a material representation that is false, which may relateto the
qualifications required of the public office he is running for. It is noted that the
candidate states in his Certificate of Candidacy that he is eligible for the office
he seeks. Sec. 78 of the OEC, therefore, is to be read in relation to the
constitutional and statutory provisions on qualifications or eligibility for public
office. If the candidate subsequently states a material representation in the
Certificate of Candidacy that is false, the COMELEC, following the law, is
empowered to deny due course to or cancel such certificate. The denial of due
course to or the cancellation of the CoC under Section 78 involves a finding not
only that a person lacks a qualification but also that he made a material
representation that is false.
The Court has already likened a proceeding under Sec. 78 to a quo warranto
proceeding under Sec. 253 of the OEC since they both deal with the eligibility or
qualification of a candidate, with the distinction mainly in fact that a Sec.78-
related petition is filed before proclamation, while a petition for quo warranto is
filed after proclamation of the winning candidate.
Castillos petition contained essential allegations pertaining to a Section 78
petition, namely: (a) Talaga made a false representation in his CoC; (b) the false
representation referred to a material matter that would affect the substantive
right of Talaga as candidate (that is, the right to run for the election for which
he filed his certificate); and (c) Talaga made the false representation with the
intention to deceive the electorate as to his qualification for public office or
deliberately attempted to mislead, misinform, or hide a fact that would
otherwise render him ineligible. The petition expressly challenged Ramon
Talagas eligibility for public office based on the prohibition stated in the
Constitution and the Local Government Code against any person serving three
consecutive terms, and specifically prayed that "the Certificate of Candidacy
filed by the respondent Ramon Talaga be denied due course to or cancel the
same and that he be declared as a disqualified candidate."
The denial of due course to or the cancellation of the CoC under Section 78
involves a finding not only that a person lacks a qualification but also that he
made a material representation that is false. A petition for the denial of due
course to or cancellation of CoC that is short of the requirements will not be
granted.
In Mitra vs. COMELEC, the Supreme Court ruled that:
The false representation under Section 78 must likewise be a "deliberate
attempt to mislead, misinform, or hide a fact that would otherwise render a
candidate ineligible." Given the purpose of the requirement, it must be made
with the intention to deceive the electorate as to the would-be candidates
qualifications for public office. Thus, the misrepresentation that Section 78
addresses cannot be the result of a mere innocuous mistake, and cannot exist in
a situation where the intent to deceive is patently absent, or where no deception
on the electorate results. The deliberate character of the misrepresentation
necessarily follows from a consideration of the consequences of any material
falsity: a candidate who falsifies a material fact cannot run; if he runs and is
elected, he cannot serve; in both cases, he can be prosecuted for violation of the
election laws.
Talaga himself specifically admitted his ineligibility when he filed his
Manifestation with Motion to Resolve on December 30, 2009 in the COMELEC.
That sufficed to render his CoC invalid, considering that for all intents and
purposes the COMELECs declaration of his disqualification had the effect of
announcing that he was no candidate at all.
2. Whether or not the COMELEC erred in making no express finding that Talaga
committed any deliberate misrepresentation in his Certificate of Candidacy.
NO. Although Castillos petition in SPA No. 09-029 (DC), whereby Castillo filed
with the COMELEC 1
st
Division, a petition denominated In the Matter of the
Petition to Deny Due Course or to Cancel Certificate of Candidacy of Ramon
Talaga, Jr. as Mayor for Having Already Served 3 Consecutive Terms as a City
Mayor of Lucena, specifically sought both the disqualification of Ramon and the
denial of due course to or cancellation of his Certificate of Candidacy, the
COMELEC categorically stated in the Resolution dated April 19, 2010 that it was
granting the petition. Despite the COMELEC making no finding of material
misrepresentation on the part of Ramon, its granting of Castillos petition
without express qualifications manifested that the COMELEC had cancelled
Ramons Certificate of Candidacy based on his apparent ineligibility. The
Resolution dated April 19, 2010 became final and executory because Castillo
did not move for its reconsideration, and because Ramon later withdrew his
motion for reconsideration filed in relation to it.
3. Whether or not the COMELEC 1
st
Division Resolution disqualifying Talaga,
became final and executory before the 2010 elections.
It would seem, then, that the date of the finality of the COMELEC resolution
declaring Talaga disqualified is decisive. According to Section 10, Rule 19 of the
COMELECs Resolution No. 8804, a decision or resolution of a Division becomes
final and executory after the lapse of five days following its promulgation unless
a motion for reconsideration is seasonably filed. Under Section 8, Rule 20 of
Resolution No. 8804, the decision of the COMELEC En Banc becomes final and
executory five days after its promulgation and receipt of notice by the parties.
The COMELEC First Division declared Talaga disqualified through its Resolution
dated April 19, 2010, the copy of which Talaga received on the same date.
Talaga filed a motion for reconsideration on April 21, 2010 in accordance with
Section 7 of COMELEC Resolution No. 8696, but withdrew the motion on May
4, 2010, ostensibly to allow his substitution by Barbara Ruby. On his part,
Castillo did not file any motion for reconsideration. Such circumstances
indicated that there was no more pending matter that could have effectively
suspended the finality of the ruling in due course. Hence, the Resolution dated
April 19, 2010 could be said to have attained finality upon the lapse of five days
from its promulgation and receipt of it by the parties. This happened probably
on April 24, 2010. Despite such finality, the COMELEC En Banc continued to act
on the withdrawal by Talaga of his motion for reconsideration through the May
5, 2010 Resolution declaring the April 19, 2010 Resolution of the COMELEC
First Division final and executory.
The COMELEC En Banc properly disqualified Barbara Ruby from assuming the
position of Mayor of Lucena City. To begin with, there was no valid candidate
for her to substitute due to Talagas ineligibility. Also, Talaga did not voluntarily
withdraw his Certificate of Candidacy before the elections in accordance with
Sec. 73 of the OEC. Lastly, she was not an additional candidate for the position
of Mayor of Lucena City because her filing of her Certificate of Candidacy on
May 4, 2010 was beyond the period fixed by law. Indeed, she was not, in law
and in fact, a candidate.
4. Considering that the COMELEC Resolution disqualifying Talaga has become
final and executory, whether or not the Ruling in Cayat vs. COMELEC would be
applicable in this case.
Cayat Ruling: The COMELEC Resolution disqualifying Cayat became final on 17
April 2004, way before the 10 May 2004 elections. Therefore, all the 8,164
votes cast in Cayats favor are stray. Cayat was never a candidate in the 10 May
2004 elections. Palilengs proclamation is proper because he was the sole and
only candidate, second to none.
Yet, the Supreme Court cannot agree with Castillos assertion that with Talagas
disqualification becoming final prior to the May 10, 2010 elections, the ruling
in Cayat was applicable in his favor. Barbara Rubys filing of her Certificate of
Candidacy in substitution of Ramon significantly differentiated this case from
the factual circumstances obtaining in Cayat ruling. Rev. Fr. Nardo B. Cayat, the
petitioner in Cayat, was disqualified on April 17, 2004, and his disqualification
became final before the May 10, 2004 elections. Considering that no
substitution of Cayat was made, Thomas R. Palileng, Sr., his rival, remained the
only candidate for the mayoralty post in Buguias, Benguet. In contrast, after
Barbara Ruby substituted Ramon, the May 10, 2010 elections proceeded with
her being regarded by the electorate of Lucena City as a bona fide candidate. To
the electorate, she became a contender for the same position vied for by Castillo,
such that she stood on the same footing as Castillo. Such standing as a candidate
negated Castillos claim of being the candidate who obtained the highest number
of votes, and of being consequently entitled to assume the office of Mayor.
Indeed, Castillo could not assume the office for he was only a second placer.
Labo, Jr. ruling should be applied. There, the Court emphasized that the
candidate obtaining the second highest number of votes for the contested office
could not assume the office despite the disqualification of the first placer
because the second placer was "not the choice of the sovereign will."
On the other hand, the COMELEC En Banc properly disqualified Barbara Ruby
from assuming the position of Mayor of Lucena City. To begin with, there was
no valid candidate for her to substitute due to Talagas ineligibility. Also, Ramon
did not voluntarily withdraw his CoC before the elections in accordance with
Section 73 of the Omnibus Election Code. Lastly, she was not an additional
candidate for the position of Mayor of Lucena City because her filing of her CoC
on May 4, 2010 was beyond the period fixed by law.
A permanent vacancy in the office of Mayor of Lucena City thus resulted, and
such vacancy should be filled pursuant to the law on succession defined in
Section 44 of the LGC, to wit: If a permanent vacancy occurs in the office of the
governor or mayor, the vice-governor or vice-mayor concerned shall become
the governor or mayor.
Velasco, Jr. J.: Notably, the finality of the judgment of the Comelec is reckoned
from the date of the promulgation and not from the date of receipt of the
resolution, decision or order which is the standard rule in non-election related
cases. To my mind, the rationale for such requirement would manifest by
relating the aforementioned provision with Section 5 of Rule 18 of the same
Rules, which provides:
The promulgation of a decision or resolution of the Commission or a Division
shall be made on a date previously fixed, of which notice shall be served in
advance upon the parties or their attorneys personally or by registered mail or
by telegram.
Abad, J.: But Ramons withdrawal of his motion for reconsideration in the
morning of May 4, 2010 rendered the COMELEC First Divisions April 19, 2010
resolution final and executory, even without the En Bancs formal action. The
Court held in Rodriguez, Jr. v. Aguilar, Sr. that a motion for reconsideration,
once withdrawn, has the effect of canceling such motion as if it were never
filed. The consequence of this is that the decision subject of the withdrawn
motion for reconsideration ipso facto lapses into finality upon the expiration of
period for appeal. Thus, in accordance with COMELEC Rules, the April 19, 2010
resolution became final and executory five days from its promulgation or on
April 24, 2010.
The May 5, 2010 COMELEC En Banc resolution merely confirmed the final and
executory nature of the First Divisions April 19, 2010 resolution. As correctly
observed by Chairman Brillantes in his dissent, the withdrawals effectivity
cannot be made to depend on COMELEC approval because, if such were the
case, substitution of candidates may be frustrated by either the commissions
delay or inaction.
16) ABUNDO VS COMELEC

16. ABUNDO, SR. vs. COMELEC
G.R. No. 201716
January 8, 2013
Velasco, Jr., J.

DOCTRINE:
To summarize, hereunder are the prevailing jurisprudence on issues affecting
consecutiveness of terms and/or involuntary interruption, viz:
1. When a permanent vacancy occurs in an elective position and the official
merely assumed the position pursuant to the rules on succession under the LGC,
then his service for the unexpired portion of the term of the replaced official
cannot be treated as one full term as contemplated under the subject
constitutional and statutory provision that service cannot be counted in the
application of any term limit (Borja, Jr.). If the official runs again for the same
position he held prior to his assumption of the higher office, then his succession
to said position is by operation of law and is considered an involuntary
severance or interruption (Montebon).
2. An elective official, who has served for three consecutive terms and who did
not seek the elective position for what could be his fourth term, but later won in
a recall election, had an interruption in the continuity of the officials service.
For, he had become in the interim, i.e., from the end of the 3rd term up to the
recall election, a private citizen (Adormeo and Socrates).
3. The abolition of an elective local office due to the conversion of a
municipality to a city does not, by itself, work to interrupt the incumbent
officials continuity of service (Latasa).
4. Preventive suspension is not a term-interrupting event as the elective officers
continued stay and entitlement to the office remain unaffected during the period
of suspension, although he is barred from exercising the functions of his office
during this period (Aldovino, Jr.).
5. When a candidate is proclaimed as winner for an elective position and
assumes office, his term is interrupted when he loses in an election protest and
is ousted from office, thus disenabling him from serving what would otherwise
be the unexpired portion of his term of office had the protest been dismissed
(Lonzanida and Dizon). The break or interruption need not be for a full term of
three years or for the major part of the 3-year term; an interruption for any
length of time, provided the cause is involuntary, is sufficient to break the
continuity of service (Socrates, citing Lonzanida).
6. When an official is defeated in an election protest and said decision becomes
final after said official had served the full term for said office, then his loss in the
election contest does not constitute an interruption since he has managed to
serve the term from start to finish. His full service, despite the defeat, should be
counted in the application of term limits because the nullification of his
proclamation came after the expiration of the term (Ong and Rivera).
FACTS:
For four (4) successive regular elections, namely, the 2001, 2004, 2007 and
2010 national and local elections, Abundo vied for the position of municipal
mayor of Viga, Catanduanes. In both the 2001 and 2007 runs, he emerged and
was proclaimed as the winning mayoralty candidate and accordingly served the
corresponding terms as mayor. In the 2004 electoral derby, however, the Viga
municipal board of canvassers initially proclaimed as winner one Jose Torres
(Torres), who, in due time, performed the functions of the office of mayor.
Abundo protested Torres election and proclamation. Abundo was eventually
declared the winner of the 2004 mayoralty electoral contest, paving the way for
his assumption of office starting May 9, 2006 until the end of the 2004-2007
term on June 30, 2007, or for a period of a little over one year and one month.
Then came the May 10, 2010 elections where Abundo and Torres again
opposed each other. When Abundo filed his certificate of candidacy for the
mayoralty seat relative to this electoral contest, Torres lost no time in seeking the
formers disqualification to run, the corresponding petition, docketed as SPA
Case No. 10-128 (DC), predicated on the three-consecutive term limit rule. On
June 16, 2010, the COMELEC First Division issued a Resolution(per curiam by
Commissioners Rene V. Sarmiento (Presiding Commissioner), Armando C.
Velasco and Gregorio Y. Larrazabal) finding for Abundo, who in the meantime
bested Torres by 219 votes and was accordingly proclaimed 2010 mayor-elect
of Viga, Catanduanes.
Meanwhile, on May 21, 2010, or before the COMELEC could resolve the
adverted disqualification case Torres initiated against Abundo, herein private
respondent Ernesto R. Vega (Vega) commenced a quo warranto action before
the RTC-Br. 43 in Virac, Catanduanes, docketed as Election Case No. 55, to
unseat Abundo on essentially the same grounds Torres raised in his petition to
disqualify.
By Decision of August 9, 2010 in Election Case No. 55, the RTC declared
Abundo ineligible to serve as municipal mayor. Just like the RTC, the
COMELECs Second Division ruled against Abundo on the strength of Aldovino,
Jr. and held that service of the unexpired portion of a term by a protestant who
is declared winner in an election protest is considered as service for one full
term within the contemplation of the three-term limit rule.
In affirming the Resolution of its Second Division, the COMELEC en banc (per
Commissioner Elias R. Yusoph and concurred in by Chairman Sixto S. Brillantes,
Jr., Commissioners Rene V. Sarmiento, Lucenito N. Tagle, Armando C. Velasco
and Christian Robert S. Lim) held in essence the following: first, there was no
involuntary interruption of Abundos 2004-2007 term service which would be
an exception to the three-term limit rule as he is considered never to have lost
title to the disputed office after he won in his election protest; and second, what
the Constitution prohibits is for an elective official to be in office for the same
position for more than three consecutive terms and not to the service of the
term.
ISSUE:
Whether the service of a term less than the full three years by an elected official
arising from his being declared as the duly elected official upon an election
protest is considered as full service of the term for purposes of the application of
the three consecutive term limit for elective local officials

HELD:
NO. In the present case, the Court finds Abundos case meritorious and declares
that the two-year period during which his opponent, Torres, was serving as
mayor should be considered as an interruption, which effectively removed
Abundos case from the ambit of the three-term limit rule.
It bears to stress at this juncture that Abundo, for the 2004 election for the term
starting July 1, 2004 to June 30, 2007, was the duly elected mayor. Otherwise
how explain his victory in his election protest against Torres and his consequent
proclamation as duly elected mayor. Accordingly, the first requisite for the
application of the disqualification rule based on the three-term limit that the
official has been elected is satisfied.
This thus brings us to the second requisite of whether or not Abundo had served
for "three consecutive terms," as the phrase is juridically understood, as mayor
of Viga, Catanduanes immediately before the 2010 national and local elections.
Subsumed to this issue is of course the question of whether or not there was an
effective involuntary interruption during the three three-year periods, resulting
in the disruption of the continuity of Abundos mayoralty.
The facts of the case clearly point to an involuntary interruption during the July
2004-June 2007 term.
There can be no quibbling that, during the term 2004-2007, and with the
enforcement of the decision of the election protest in his favor, Abundo assumed
the mayoralty post only on May 9, 2006 and served the term until June 30,
2007 or for a period of a little over one year and one month. Consequently,
unlike Mayor Ong in Ong and Mayor Morales in Rivera, it cannot be said that
Mayor Abundo was able to serve fully the entire 2004-2007 term to which he
was otherwise entitled.
A "term," as defined in Appari v. Court of Appeals, means, in a legal sense, "a
fixed and definite period of time which the law describes that an officer may
hold an office." It also means the "time during which the officer may claim to
hold office as a matter of right, and fixes the interval after which the several
incumbents shall succeed one another." It is the period of time during which a
duly elected official has title to and can serve the functions of an elective office.
From paragraph (a) of Sec. 43, RA 7160, the term for local elected officials is
three (3) years starting from noon of June 30 of the first year of said term.
In the present case, during the period of one year and ten months, or from June
30, 2004 until May 8, 2006, Abundo cannot plausibly claim, even if he wanted
to, that he could hold office of the mayor as a matter of right. Neither can he
assert title to the same nor serve the functions of the said elective office. The
reason is simple: during that period, title to hold such office and the
corresponding right to assume the functions thereof still belonged to his
opponent, as proclaimed election winner. Accordingly, Abundo actually held the
office and exercised the functions as mayor only upon his declaration, following
the resolution of the protest, as duly elected candidate in the May 2004 elections
or for only a little over one year and one month. Consequently, since the legally
contemplated full term for local elected officials is three (3) years, it cannot be
said that Abundo fully served the term 2004-2007. The reality on the ground is
that Abundo actually served less.
Needless to stress, the almost two-year period during which Abundos opponent
actually served as Mayor is and ought to be considered an involuntary
interruption of Abundos continuity of service. An involuntary interrupted term,
cannot, in the context of the disqualification rule, be considered as one term for
purposes of counting the three-term threshold.
This is what happened in the instant case. It cannot be overemphasized that
pending the favorable resolution of his election protest, Abundo was relegated to
being an ordinary constituent since his opponent, as presumptive victor in the
2004 elections, was occupying the mayoralty seat. In other words, for almost
two years or from July 1, 2004the start of the termuntil May 9, 2006 or
during which his opponent actually assumed the mayoralty office, Abundo was
a private citizen warming his heels while awaiting the outcome of his protest.
Hence, even if declared later as having the right to serve the elective position
from July 1, 2004, such declaration would not erase the fact that prior to the
finality of the election protest, Abundo did not serve in the mayors office and, in
fact, had no legal right to said position.
As a final note, We reiterate that Abundos case differs from other cases
involving the effects of an election protest because while Abundo was, in the
final reckoning, the winning candidate, he was the one deprived of his right and
opportunity to serve his constituents. To a certain extent, Abundo was a victim
of an imperfect election system. While admittedly the Court does not possess the
mandate to remedy such imperfections, the Constitution has clothed it with
enough authority to establish a fortress against the injustices it may bring.
In this regard, We find that a contrary ruling would work damage and cause
grave injustice to Abundoan elected official who was belatedly declared as the
winner and assumed office for only a short period of the term. If in the cases of
Lonzanida and Dizon, this Court ruled in favor of a losing candidateor the
person who was adjudged not legally entitled to hold the contested public office
but held it anywayWe find more reason to rule in favor of a winning
candidate-protestant who, by popular vote, deserves title to the public office but
whose opportunity to hold the same was halted by an invalid proclamation.
Also, more than the injustice that may be committed against Abundo is the
injustice that may likewise be committed against the people of Viga,
Catanduanes by depriving them of their right to choose their leaders. Like the
framers of the Constitution, We bear in mind that We "cannot arrogate unto
ourselves the right to decide what the people want" and hence, should, as much
as possible, "allow the people to exercise their own sense of proportion and rely
on their own strength to curtail the power when it overreaches itself." For
democracy draws strength from the choice the people make which is the same
choice We are likewise bound to protect.
Petitioner Abelardo Abundo, Sr. is DECLARED ELIGIBLE for the position of
Mayor of Viga, Catanduanes to which he was duly elected in the May 2010
elections and is accordingly ordered IMMEDIATELY REINSTATED to said
position. Withal, Emeterio M. Tarin and Cesar O. Cervantes are ordered to
immediately vacate the positions of Mayor and Vice-Mayor of Viga,
Catanduanes, respectively, and shall revert to their original positions of Vice-
Mayor and First Councilor, respectively, upon receipt of this Decision.
_________________________________________________________________
17.) JALOSJOS vs. COMELEC and ERASMO
G.R. NO. 192474; June 26, 2012
Abad, J.:
DOCTRINE:
The proclamation of a congressional candidate following the election divests
COMELEC of jurisdiction over disputes relating to the election, returns, and
qualifications of the proclaimed Representative in favor of the HRET.
FACTS:
In May 2007, Romeo Jalosjos Jr. Ran for Mayor of Tampilisan, Zamboangadel
Norte and won. While serving as mayor, he bought a residential house and lot
in Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay. In September 2008 he beganoccupying the house.
After 8 months he applied with the Election Registration Board (ERB) of Ipil,
Zamboanga Sibugay, for the transfer of his voters registration record to Precint
0051F. Erasmo opposed the said application. After due proceedings, the ERB
approved Jalosjos application.
Erasmo filed a petition to exclude Jalosjos from the list of registered voters of
Precint 0051F before the 1
st
MCTC of Ipil-Tungawan who granted the same. The
MCTC found the Jalosjos did not abandon his domicile in Tampilisan since he
continued even then to serve as its Mayor. Jalosjos appeal to RTC which affirmed
MTC.
Jalosjos then elevated the matter to CA which granted his application and
enjoined the courts below from enforcing their decisions with the result that his
name was reinstated in the Barangay Veterans Villages Voters list pending the
resolution of petition.
On November 28, 2009 Jalosjos filed his COC for the position of Representative
of the 2nd District of Zamboanga Sibugay for the May 2010 National Elections.
Erasmo filed a petition to deny due course to or cancel his COC before the
COMELEC claiming that Jalosjos made material misrepresentations in the COC
when he indicated that he resided in Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay. The Second
Division of the COMELEC issued a joint resolution dismissingErasmospetitions.
While Erasmos Motion for Reconsideration was pending before the COMELEC,
Jalosjos won in the 2010 elections and was proclaimed.
Meantime, on June 2, 2010 the CA rendered judgment in the voters exclusion
case before it, holding that the lower courts erred in excluding Jalosjos from the
voters list of Barangay Veterans Village in Ipil since he was qualified under the
Constitution and Republic Act 8189 to vote in that place. Erasmo filed a petition
for review of the CA decision before the SC.
Back to the COMELEC, on June 3, 2010 the En Banc granted Erasmos motion
for reconsideration and declared Jalosjos ineligible to seek election as
Representative of the Second District of Zamboanga Sibugay. It held that Jalosjos
did not satisfy the residency requirement since, by continuing to hold the
position of Mayor of Tampilisan, Zamboanga Del Norte, he should be deemed
not to have transferred his residence from that place to Barangay Veterans
Village in Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay.
Jalosjos challenges the COMELECs finding that he did not meet the residency
requirement and denial of due process. Erasmo assails the COMELEC En Bancs
failure to annul Jalosjos proclamation as elected representative despite his
declared ineligibility.
ISSUE:
Whether SC has jurisdiction to pass upon the question of Jalosjos residency
qualification considering that he has been proclaimed winner in the election
and has assumed the discharge of that office.
HELD:
NO. While the Constitution vests in the COMELEC the power to decide all
questions affecting elections, such power is not without limitation. It does not
extend to contests relating to the election, returns, and qualifications of
members of the House of Representatives and the Senate. The Constitution vests
the resolution of these contests solely upon the appropriate Electoral Tribunal of
the Senate or the House of Representatives (SET/HRET).
The Court has already settled the question of when the jurisdiction of the
COMELEC ends and when that of the HRET begins. The proclamation of a
congressional candidate following the election divests COMELEC of jurisdiction
over disputes relating to the election, returns, and qualifications of the
proclaimed Representative in favor of the HRET.
Here, when the COMELEC En Banc issued its order dated June 3, 2010, Jalosjos
had already beenproclaimed on May 2010 as winner in the election. Thus, the
COMELEC acted without jurisdiction when it still passed upon the issue of his
qualification and declared him ineligible for the office of Representative of the
Second District of Zamboanga Sibugay.
It is of course argued, as the COMELEC law department insisted, that the
proclamation of Jalosjos was an exception to the above-stated rule. Since the
COMELEC declared him ineligible to run for that office, necessarily, his
proclamation was void following the ruling in Codilla, Sr. v. De Venecia. For
Erasmo, the COMELEC still has jurisdiction to issue its June 3, 2010 order.
Here, however, the fact is that on election day of 2010 the COMELEC En Banc
had as yet to resolve Erasmos appeal from the Second Divisions dismissal of the
disqualification case against Jalosjos. Thus, there then existed no final judgment
deleting Jalosjos name from the list of candidates for the congressional seat he
sought. The last standing official action in his case before election day was the
ruling of the COMELECs Second Division that allowed his name to stay on that
list. Meantime, the COMELEC En Banc did not issue any order suspending his
proclamation pending its final resolution of his case. With the fact of his
proclamation and assumption of office, any issue regarding his qualification for
the same, like his alleged lack of the required residence, was solely for the HRET
to consider and decide.
The COMELEC En Banc exceeded its jurisdiction in declaring Jalosjos ineligible
for the position of representative for the Second District of Zamboanga Sibugay,
which he won in the elections, since it had ceased to have jurisdiction over his
case. Necessarily, Erasmos petitions (G.R. 192704 and G.R. 193566)
questioning the validity of the registration of Jalosjos as a voter and the
COMELECs failure to annul his proclamation also fail. The Court cannot usurp
the power vested by the Constitution solely on the HRET.
18) TEODORA SOBEJANA-CONDON vs. COMELEC, LUIS M. BAUTISTA,
ROBELITO V. PICAR and WILMA P. PAGADUAN, G.R. No. 198742 August 10,
2012.
REYES, J.:
DOCTRINE:
An appeal may be simultaneously reinstated and definitively resolved by the
COMELEC en banc in a resolution disposing of a motion for reconsideration.;
A person qualified to file a petition to disqualify a certain candidate fails to file
the petition within the twenty-five (25)-day period prescribed by Section 78 of
the Omnibus Election Code for whatever reasons, the elections laws provides
another chance to raise the disqualification of the candidate by filing a petition
for quo warranto within ten (10) days from the proclamation of the results of
the election, as provided under Section 253 of the Omnibus Election Code;
Judgments in election cases which may be executed pending appeal includes
those decided by trial courts and those rendered by the COMELEC whether in
the exercise of its original or appellate jurisdiction.
FACTS:
The petitioner, natural-born Filipino citizen, became a naturalized Australian
citizen, owing to her marriage to a certain Kevin Thomas Condon. Later, she
filed an application and was approved to re-acquire her Philippine citizenship
pursuant to Section 3 of RA 9225, Citizenship Retention and Re-Acquisition Act
of 2003. She took her oath of allegiance to the RP on 12/5/2005. Petitioner
then filed an unsworn Declaration of Renunciation of Australian Citizenship
which in turn issued the Order certifying that she has ceased to be an Australian
citizen.
Thereafter, petitioner ran for Mayor in her hometown of Caba, La Union in the
2007 elections but lost. She again ran during the 5/10/2010 elections for the
Vice-Mayor which she won this time around. She took her oath of office on
5/13/ 2010.
Private respondents Picar, Pagaduan, and Bautista, registered voters of Caba,
filed separate petitions for quo warranto questioning the petitioners eligibility
and also sought the petitioners disqualification from holding her elective post
on the ground that she is a dual citizen and that she failed to execute a "personal
and sworn renunciation of any and all foreign citizenship before any public
officer authorized to administer an oath" as imposed by Section 5(2) of R.A. No.
9225.
RTC held that the petitioners failure to comply with Section 5(2) of R.A. No.
9225 rendered her ineligible to run and hold public officeThe law clearly
mandates that the document containing the renunciation of foreign citizenship
must be sworn before any public officer authorized to administer oath. Hence,
she was disqualified and ineligible to hold vice-mayorship, that her
proclamation be nullified, and declaring the position of vice-mayor as vacant.
2
nd
Division COMELEC, upon appeal, dismissed the same, for failure to pay the
docket fees within the prescribed period.
On MR, appeal was reinstated by the COMELEC en banc however It concurred
with the RTC; it also granted the Motion for Execution Pending Appeal filed by
the private respondents.
Hence, the present petition ascribing grave abuse of discretion to the COMELEC
en banc.
ISSUES:
I) Whether the COMELEC en banc may resolve the merits of an appeal after
ruling on its reinstatement;
II) Whether the COMELEC en banc may order the execution of a judgment
rendered by a trial court in an election case;
III) Whether the private respondents are barred from questioning the
qualifications of the petitioner
HELD:
1) An appeal may be simultaneously reinstated and definitively resolved by the
COMELEC en banc in a resolution disposing of a motion for reconsideration.
The power of COMELEC EN BANC to decide MR in election cases is found
Section 3, Article IX-C of the Constitution, :
Sec. 3. The Commission on Elections 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 decisions shall be decided by the
Commission en banc.
Relate this with Section 5(c), Rule 3 of the COMELEC Rules of Procedure, to wit:
Any motion to reconsider a decision, resolution, order or ruling of a
Division shall be resolved by the Commission en banc except motions on
interlocutory orders of the division which shall be resolved by the division
which issued the order.
The said provisions do not set any limits to the COMELEC en bancs prerogative
in resolving a motion for reconsideration, there is nothing to prevent the body
from directly adjudicating the substantive merits of an appeal after ruling for its
reinstatement instead of remanding the same to the division that initially
dismissed it. Thus no impropriety much more grave abuse of discretion on the
part of the COMELEC en banc when it proceeded to decide the substantive
merits of the petitioners appeal after ruling for its reinstatement.
Further, petitioner, after obtaining an unfavorable decision, cannot be permitted
to disavow the en bancs exercise of discretion on the substantial merits of her
appeal when she herself invoked the same in the first place.
2) The COMELEC en banc has the power to order discretionary execution of
judgment.
Due to the suppletory application of the Rules of Court is expressly sanctioned
by Section 1, Rule 41 of the COMELEC Rules of Procedure COMELECs authority
to order discretionary execution of judgment cannot be questioned.
Under Section 2, Rule 39 of the ROC, execution pending appeal may be issued
by an appellate court after the trial court has lost jurisdiction. In Batul v.
Bayron, we stressed the import of the provision vis--vis election cases when we
held that judgments in election cases which may be executed pending appeal
includes those decided by trial courts and those rendered by the COMELEC
whether in the exercise of its original or appellate jurisdiction.
3) Private respondents are not estopped from questioning petitioners eligibility
to hold public office.
The fact that petitioners qualifications were not questioned when she filed
certificates of candidacy for 2007 and 2010 elections does not operate as an
estoppel to the petition for quo warranto before the RTC.
Under the BP 881 (Omnibus Election Code), there are two instances where a
petition questioning the qualifications of a registered candidate to run for the
office for which his certificate of candidacy was filed can be raised, to wit:
(1) Before election, Sec. 78 provides a Petition to deny due course or to cancel a
certificate of candidacy. ; and
(2) After election, Sec. 253. A Petition for quo warranto.
Hence, if a person qualified to file a petition to disqualify a certain candidate
fails to file the petition within the twenty-five (25)-day period prescribed by
Section 78 of the Omnibus Election Code for whatever reasons, the elections
laws provides another chance to raise the disqualification of the candidate by
filing a petition for quo warranto within ten (10) days from the proclamation of
the results of the election, as provided under Section 253 of the Omnibus
Election Code.
The above remedies were both available to the private respondents and their
failure to utilize Section 78 of the Omnibus Election Code cannot serve to bar
them should they opt to file, as they did so file, a quo warranto petition under
Section 253.
xx..x
19.) EFREN ARATEA v.COMELEC AND ESTELA ANTIPOLO
G.R. No. 195229, October 9, 2012, Carpio, J.
DOCTRINE:
One who suffers from perpetual special disqualification is ineligible to run for
public office.
FACTS:
Romeo D. Lonzanida (Lonzanida) and Estela D. Antipolo (Antipolo) were
candidates for Mayor of San Antonio, Zambales in the May 2010 National and
Local Elections. Dra. Sigrid S. Rodolfo (Rodolfo) filed a petition under Section 78
of the Omnibus Election Code to disqualify Lonzanida and to deny due course or
to cancel Lonzanidas certificate of candidacy on the ground that Lonzanida was
elected, and had served, as mayor of San Antonio, Zambales for four (4)
consecutive terms immediately prior to the term for the May 2010 elections.
Rodolfo asserted that Lonzanida made a false material representation in his
certificate of candidacy when Lonzanida certified under oath that he was
eligible for the office he sought election. Section 8, Article X of the1987
Constitution and Section 43(b) of the Local Government Code both prohibit a
local elective official from being elected and serving for more than three
consecutive terms for the same position.
The COMELEC Second Division rendered a Resolution on 18 February 2010
cancelling Lonzanidas certificate of candidacy.
Lonzanidas motion for reconsideration before the COMELEC En Banc remained
pending during the May 2010 elections. Lonzanida and Efren Racel Aratea
(Aratea) garnered the highest number of votes and were respectively proclaimed
Mayor and Vice-Mayor. Aratea took his oath of office as Acting Mayor before
Regional Trial Court (RTC) Judge of Olongapo. On the same date, Aratea wrote
the DILG and requested for an opinion on whether, as Vice-Mayor, he was
legally required to assume the Office of the Mayor in view of Lonzanidas
disqualification. DILG stated that Lonzanida was disqualified to hold office by
reason of his criminal conviction, and as a consequence, his office was deemed
permanently vacant, and thus, Aratea should assume the Office of the Mayor in
an acting capacity without prejudice to the COMELECs resolution of
Lonzanidas motion for reconsideration. In another letter dated 6 August 2010,
Aratea requested the DILG to allow him to take the oath of office as Mayor of
San Antonio, Zambales. In his response, then Secretary Jesse M. Robredo allowed
Aratea to take an oath of office as "the permanent Municipal Mayor of San
Antonio, Zambales without prejudice however to the outcome of the cases
pending before the COMELEC. On 11 August 2010, the COMELEC En Banc
issued a Resolution disqualifying Lonzanida from running for Mayor in the May
2010 elections. The COMELEC En Bancs resolution was based on two grounds:
first Lonzanida had been elected and had served as Mayor for more than three
consecutive terms without interruption; and second , Lonzanida had been
convicted by final judgment of 10 counts of falsification under the Revised Penal
Code.
ISSUE:
Whether Aratea or Antipolo is the rightful occupant to the Office of the Mayor
of San Antonio, Zambales.
HELD:
Antipolo, the alleged "second placer," should be proclaimed Mayor because
Lonzanidas certificate of candidacy was void ab initio. In short, Lonzanida was
never a candidate at all. All votes for Lonzanida were stray votes. Thus, Antipolo,
the only qualified candidate, actually garnered the highest number of votes for
the position of Mayor.
A candidate for mayor in the 2010 local elections was thus required to provide
12 items of information in the certificate of candidacy xxx a statement that the
candidate is eligible for the office he seeks election xxx. The conviction of
Lonzanida by final judgment, with the penalty of prisin mayor, disqualifies him
perpetually from holding any public office, or from being elected to any public
office. This perpetual disqualification took effect upon the finality of the
judgment of conviction, before Lonzanida filed his certificate of candidacy. A
person suffering from these ineligibilities is ineligible to run for elective public
office, and commits a false material representation if he states in his certificate
of candidacy that he is eligible to so run.
The accessory penalty of perpetual special disqualification takes effect
immediately once the judgment of conviction becomes final. The effectivity of
this accessory penalty does not depend on the duration of the principal penalty,
or on whether the convict serves his jail sentence or not. The last sentence of
Article 32 states that the offender shall not be permitted to hold any public
office during the period of his [perpetual special] disqualification. Once the
judgment of conviction becomes final, it is immediately executory. Any public
office that the convict may be holding at the time of his conviction becomes
vacant upon finality of the judgment, and the convict becomes ineligible to run
for any elective public office perpetually. In the case of Lonzanida, he became
ineligible perpetually to hold, or to run for, any elective public office from the
time the judgment of conviction against him became final. The judgment of
conviction waspromulgated on 20 July 2009 and became final on 23 October
2009,before Lonzanida filed his certificate of candidacy on 1 December 2009.
20.) Dela Cruz vs. COMELEC
G.R. No. 192221 November 13, 2012
Villarama, Jr., J.:
Facts:
On November 28, 2009, petitioner filed her certificate of candidacyfor
theposition of Vice-Mayor of the Municipality of Bugasong, Province ofAntique
under the ticket of the National Peoples Coalition (NPC).Subsequently, Aurelio
N. Dela Cruz (Aurelio) also filed a certificate ofcandidacyfor the same position.
Petitioner filed a petition to declare Aurelio anuisance candidate on the ground
that he filed his certificate of candidacyfor the vice-mayoralty position to put the
election process in mockery and to cause confusion among voters due to the
similarity of his surname with petitioners surname.
On January 29, 2010, the COMELEC First Division issued aResolution declaring
Aurelio as a nuisance candidate and cancelling his certificate of candidacy for
the vice-mayoralty position in Bugasong.
Despite the declaration of Aurelio as a nuisance candidate, however, his name
was not deleted in the Certified List of Candidates and Official Sample Ballot
issued by the COMELEC.
Petitioner filed an Urgent Ex-Parte Omnibus Motion praying, among other
things, that COMELEC issue an order directing the deletion of Aurelios name
from the Official List of Candidates for the position of Vice-Mayor, the Official
Ballots, and other election paraphernalia to be used in Bugasong for the May
2010 elections. She also prayed that in the event Aurelios name can no longer
be deleted in time for the May 10, 2010 elections, the COMELEC issue an order
directing that all votes cast in favor of Aurelio be credited in her favor, in
accordance with COMELEC Resolution No. 4116 dated May 7, 2001.
The COMELEC decided to consider stray the votes of the disqualified candidates,
if voted upon.
In the elections, petitioner lost by 39 votes. Aurelio garnered 532 votes. She
insisted that the Aurelios votes be tallied in her favor.
Issue:
Whether or not the 532 votes for Aurelio should be tallied in petitioners favor.
Held:
YES. The COMELEC argues that it did not commit grave abuse of discretion
because it simply followed the Omnibus Election Code with regard to the rule on
votes for disqualified candidates. The Supreme Court disagrees.
It bears to stress that Sections 211 (24) and 72 applies to all disqualification
cases and not to petitions to cancel or deny due course to a certificate of
candidacy such as Sections 69(nuisance candidates) and 78 (material
representation shown to be false).
Clearly, a petition to cancel or deny due course to a COC under Section 69 as in
Section 78 cannot be treated in the same manner as a petition to disqualify
under Section 68 as what COMELEC did when it applied the rule provided in
Section 72 that the votes cast for a disqualified candidate be considered stray, to
those registered candidates whose COCs had been cancelled or denied due
course. Strictly speaking, a cancelled certificate cannot give rise to a valid
candidacy, and much less to valid votes. Said votes cannot be counted in favor of
the candidate whose COC was cancelled as he/she is not treated as a candidate
at all, as if he/she neverfiled a COC.
COMELEC Resolution No. 4116 issued in relation to the finality of resolutions or
decisions in special action cases, provides:
(5) the decision or resolution of a DIVISION on nuisance candidate, particularly
where the nuisance candidate has the same name as the bona fide candidate
shall be immediately executory after the lapse of five (5) days unless a motion
for reconsideration is seasonably filed. In which case, the votes cast shall not be
considered stray but shall becounted and tallied for the bona fide candidate.
Aurelio was declared a nuisance candidate long before the May 10, 2010
elections. On the basis of Resolution No. 4116, the votes cast for him should not
have been considered stray but counted in favor of petitioner. COMELECs
changing of the rule on votes cast for nuisance candidates resulted in the
invalidation of significant number of votes and the loss of petitioner to private
respondent by a slim margin.
The votes for Aurelio is to be tallied in favor of petitioner. Petitioner is hereby
declared the duly elected Vice Mayor of the Municipality of Bugasong, Province
of Antique in the May 2010 elections.
21.)DELOS SANTOS v.COMMISSION ON AUDIT
G.R. No. 198457, August 13, 2013
PERLAS-BERNABE, J.:
FACTS:
Sometime in October 2001, then Congressman Antonio V. Cuenco of the
Second District of Cebu City entered into a MOA with the Vicente Sotto
Memorial Medical Center (VSMMC or hospital), represented by Dr. Eusebio M.
Alquizalas (Dr. Alquizalas), Medical Center Chief, appropriating to the hospital
the amount of P1,500,000.00 from his PDAF to cover the medical assistance of
indigent patients under the Tony N' Tommy (TNT) Health Program (TNT
Program).
Several years after the enforcement of the MOA, allegations of forgery and
falsification of prescriptions and referrals for the availment of medicines under
the TNT Program surfaced. On December 14, 2004, petitioner Filomena G.
Delos Santos (Delos Santos), who succeeded Dr. Alquizalas, created, a fact-
finding committee to investigate the matter.
The fact-finding committee submitted its Report essentially affirming the
unseen and unnoticeable irregularities attendant to the availment of the TNT
Program but pointing out, among others, that: (a) VSMMC was made an
unwilling tool to perpetuate a scandal involving government funds; (b) the
VSMMC management was completely blinded as its participation involved
merely a routinary ministerial duty in issuing the checks upon receipt of the
referral slips, prescriptions, and delivery receipts that appeared on their faces to
be regular and complete. Delos Santos alleged that Cuenco put up the TNT
Office in VSMMC, which was run by his own staff who took all pro forma
referral slips bearing the names of the social worker and the Medical Center
Chief, as well as the logbook. From then on, the hospital had no more
participation in the said program and was relegated to a mere bag keeper.
Consequently, a special audit team (SAT), led Team Leader Atty. Federico E.
Dinapo, Jr., to conduct a special audit investigation. Examination by the SAT of
the records and interviews with the personnel involved showed that the
purported patients-beneficiaries of the TNT Program were mostly non-existent
and there was no actual procedure followed except for the mere preparation of
payment documents which were found to be falsified.
Subsequently, or on September 8, 2008, the SAT Team Supervisor, Boado,
disallowed the amount of P3,386,697.10 for the payment of drugs and
medicines for anti-rabies with falsified prescription and documents, and
holding petitioners, together with other VSMMC officials, solidarily liable
therefor.
ISSUE:
The essential issue in this case is whether or not the CoA committed grave abuse
of discretion in holding petitioners solidarily liable for the disallowed amount of
P3,386,697.10.
HELD:
NO. At the outset, it must be emphasized that the CoA is endowed with enough
latitude to determine, prevent, and disallow irregular, unnecessary, excessive,
extravagant or unconscionable expenditures of government funds. It is tasked to
be vigilant and conscientious in safeguarding the proper use of the
government's, and ultimately the people's, property. The exercise of its general
audit power is among the constitutional mechanisms that gives life to the check
and balance system inherentin our form of government.
Corollary thereto, it is the general policy of the Court to sustain the decisions of
administrative authorities, especially one which is constitutionally-created, such
as the CoA, not only on the basis of the doctrine of separation of powers but also
for their presumed expertise in the laws they are entrusted to enforce. Findings
of administrative agencies are accorded not only respect but also finality when
the decision and order are not tainted with unfairness or arbitrariness that
would amount to grave abuse of discretion. It is only when the CoA has acted
without or in excess of jurisdiction, or with grave abuse of discretion amounting
to lack or excess of jurisdiction, that this Court entertains a petition questioning
its rulings. There is grave abuse of discretion when there is an evasion of a
positive duty or a virtual refusal to perform a duty enjoined by law or to act in
contemplation of law as when the judgment rendered is not based on law and
evidence but on caprice, whim, and despotism. In this case, the Court finds no
grave abuse of discretion on the part of the CoA in issuing the assailed Decisions
as will be discussed below.

The CoA correctly pointed out that VSMMC, through its officials, should have
been deeply involved in the implementation of the TNT Program as the hospital
is a party to the MOA and, as such, has acted as custodian and disbursing
agency of Cuencos PDAF. Further, under the MOA VSMMC undertook to
ascertain that [a]ll payments and releases under [the] program x x x shall be
made in accordance with existing government accounting and auditing rules
and regulations.

In particular, the TNT Program was not implemented by the appropriate
implementing agency, i.e., the Department of Health, but by the office set up by
Cuenco. Clearly, by allowing the TNT Office and the staff of Cuenco to take over
the entire process of availing of the benefits of the TNT Program without proper
monitoring and observance of internal control safeguards, the hospital and its
accountable officers reneged on their undertaking under the MOA to
cooperate/coordinate and monitor the implementation of the said health
program. They likewise violated paragraph 5 of NBC 476 which requires a
regular monitoring activity of all programs and projects funded by the PDAF,
as well as Sections 123 and 124 of Presidential Decree No. 1445, otherwise
known as the Government Auditing Code of the Philippines (Auditing Code),
which mandates the installation, implementation, and monitoring of a sound
system of internal control to safeguard assets and check the accuracy and
reliability of the accounting data