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QUO WARRANTO (ELECTION CONTEST)

A petition for quo warranto under the Omnibus Election Code raises in issue the
disloyalty or ineligibility of the winning candidate. It is a proceeding to unseat the
respondent from office but not necessarily to install the petitioner in his place. In a
quo warranto proceeding, the petitioner is not occupying the position in dispute.
[Samad v Comelec (1993)]

WHO MAY FILE: Any voter.


GROUNDS: Disloyalty or ineligibility of the winning candidate.
WHEN TO FILE: Within ten days after the proclamation of the results of the
election.

WHO HAS JURISDICTION:


(1) Comelec - over petitions for quo warranto involving regional, provincial and
city officials [Sec. 253. BP 881]
(2) RTC - over petitions for quo warranto involving municipal officials [Sec. 253.
BP 881]
(3) MeTC or MTC - over petitions for quo warranto involving barangay officials
[Sec. 253. BP 881]

EFFECT ON PRE-PROCLAMATION CONTROVERSY:


As a general rule, the filing of an election protest or a petition for quo warranto
precludes the subsequent filing of a pre-proclamation controversy, or amounts to
the abandonment of one earlier filed, thus depriving the COMELEC of the
authority to inquire into and pass upon the title of the protestee or the validity of
his proclamation. The reason is that once the competent tribunal has acquired

jurisdiction of an election protest or a petition for quo warranto, all questions


relative thereto will have to be decided in the case itself and not in another
proceeding. This procedure will prevent confusion and conflict of authority.
Conformably, we have ruled in a number of cases that after a proclamation has
been made, a pre-proclamation case before the COMELEC is no longer viable.
[Samad v. Comelec, (1993)]

EXCEPTIONS: The rule admits of exceptions, however, as where:


(1) the board of canvassers was improperly constituted;
(2) quo warranto was not the proper remedy;
(3) what was filed was not really a petition for quo warranto or an election protest
but a petition to annul a proclamation;
(4) the filing of a quo warranto petition or an election protest was expressly made
without prejudice to the pre-proclamation controversy or was made ad cautelam;
and
(5) the proclamation was null and void. [Samad v. Comelec, (1993)]

QUO WARRANTO (SPECIAL CIVIL ACTION)

refers to an action for the usurpation of a public office, position or franchise


brought in the name of the Republic of the Philippines against:
(a) A person who usurps, intrudes into, or unlawfully holds or exercises a public
office, position or franchise;
(b) A public officer who does or suffers an act which, by the provision of law,
constitutes a ground for the forfeiture of his office; or
(c) An association which acts as a corporation within the Philippines without being
legally incorporated or without lawful authority so to act. It is commenced by a

verified petition within one (1) year from the cause of such ouster, or from the time
the right of the petitioner to hold such office or position arose.
Quo warranto is generally commenced by the Government as the proper party
plaintiff. However, under Section 5, Rule 66 of the Rules of Court, an individual
may commence such an action if he claims to be entitled to the public office
allegedly usurped by another, in which case he can bring the action in his own
name. The person instituting quo warranto proceedings in his own behalf must
claim and be able to show that he is entitled to the office in dispute, otherwise the
action may be dismissed at any stage. The action can be brought only in the
Supreme Court, the Court of Appeals, or in the Regional Trial Court exercising
jurisdiction over the territorial area where the respondent or any of the respondents
resides, but when the Solicitor General commences the action, it may be brought in
a Regional Trial Court in the City of Manila, in the Court of Appeals, or in the
Supreme Court. [Rule 66, Rules of Court]

QUO WARRANTO - Rules of Court


RULE 66 QUO WARRANTO
SECTION 1. Action by Government against individuals.-An action for the
usurpation of a public office, position or franchise may be commenced by a
verified petition brought in the name of the Republic of the Philippines against:
(a) A person who usurps, intrudes into, or unlawfully holds or exercises a public
office, position or franchise;
(b) A public officer who does or suffers an act which, by the provision of law,
constitutes a ground for the forfeiture of his office; or
(c) An association which acts as a corporation within the Philippines without being
legally incorporated or without lawful authority so to act. (1a)
SEC. 2. When Solicitor General or public prosecutor must commence action.-The
Solicitor General or a public prosecutor, when directed by the President of the
Philippines, or when upon complaint or otherwise he has good reason to believe

that any case specified in the preceding section can be established by proof, must
commence such action. (3a)
SEC. 3. When Solicitor General or public prosecutor may commence action with
permission of court.-The Solicitor General or a public prosecutor may, with the
permission of the court in which the action is to be commenced, bring such an
action at the request and upon the relation of another person; but in such case the
officer bringing it may first require an indemnity for the expenses and costs of the
action in an amount approved by and to be deposited in the court by the person at
whose request and upon whose relation the same is brought. (4a)
SEC. 4. When hearing had on application for permission to commence action.Upon application for permission to commence such action in accordance with the
next preceding section, the court shall direct that notice be given to the respondent
so that he may be heard in opposition thereto; and if permission is granted, the
court shall issue an order to that effect, copies of which shall be served on all
interested parties, and the petition shall then be filed within the period ordered by
the court. (5a)
SEC. 5. When an individual may commence such an action.-A person claiming to
be entitled to a public office or position usurped or unlawfully held or exercised by
another may bring an action therefor in his own name. (6)
SEC. 6. Parties and contents of petition against usurpation.-When the action is
against a person for usurping a public office, position or franchise, the petition
shall set forth the name of the person who claims to be entitled thereto, if any, with
an averment of his right to the same and that the respondent is unlawfully in
possession thereof. All persons who claim to be entitled to the public office,
position or franchise may be made parties, and their respective rights to such
public office, position or franchise determined, in the same action. (7a)

SEC. 7. Venue.-An action under the preceding six sections can be brought only in
the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeals, or in the Regional Trial Court exercising
jurisdiction over the territorial area where the respondent or any of the respondents
resides, but when the Solicitor General commences the action, it may be brought in

a Regional Trial Court in the City of Manila, in the Court of Appeals, or in the
Supreme Court. (8a)
SEC. 8. Period for pleadings and proceedings may be reduced; action given
precedence .-The court may reduce the period provided by these Rules for filing
pleadings and for all other proceedings in the action in order to secure the most
expeditious determination of the matters involved therein consistent with the rights
of the parties. Such action may be given precedence over any other civil matter
pending in the court. (9a)
SEC. 9. Judgment where usurpation found.-When the respondent is found guilty of
usurping, intruding into, or unlawfully holding or exercising a public office,
position or franchise, judgment shall be rendered that such respondent be ousted
and altogether excluded therefrom, and that the petitioner or relator, as the case
may be, recover his costs. Such further judgment may be rendered determining the
respective rights in and to the public office, position or franchise of all the parties
to the action as justice requires. (10a)
SEC. 10. Rights of persons adjudged entitled to public office; delivery of books
and papers; damages.-If judgment be rendered in favor of the person averred in the
complaint to be entitled to the public office he may, after taking the oath of office
and executing any official bond required by law, take upon himself the execution
of the office, and may immediately thereafter demand of the respondent all the
books and papers in the respondents custody or control appertaining to the office
to which the judgment relates. If the respondent refuses or neglects to deliver any
book or paper pursuant to such demand, he may be punished for contempt as
having disobeyed a lawful order of the court. The person adjudged entitled to the
office may also bring action against the respondent to recover the damages
sustained by such person by reason of the usurpation. (15a)
SEC. 11. Limitations.-Nothing contained in this Rule shall be construed to
authorize an action against a public officer or employee for his ouster from office
unless the same be commenced within one (1) year after the cause of such ouster,
or the right of the petitioner to hold such office or position, arose; nor to authorize
an action for damages in accordance with the provisions of the next preceding

section unless the same be commenced within one (1) year after the entry of the
judgment establishing the petitioners right to the office in question. (16a)
SEC. 12. Judgment for costs.-In an action brought in accordance with the
provisions of this Rule, the court may render judgment for costs against either the
petitioner, the relator, or the respondent, or the person or persons claiming to be a
corporation, or may apportion the costs, as justice requires. (17a)

ELECTION CONTESTS

SECTION 1. Jurisdiction of regional trial courts. - Regional trial courts shall have
exclusive original jurisdiction over all election contests involving elective
municipal officials.

SEC. 2. Jurisdiction of municipal trial courts. - Municipal trial courts shall have
exclusive original jurisdiction over all election contests involving elective
barangay officials.

SEC. 3. How initiated. - An election contest is initiated by the filing of an election


protest or a petition for quo warranto against an elective municipal or barangay
official. An election protest or a petition for quo warranto shall be filed directly
with the proper court in three legible copies plus such number of copies
corresponding to the number of protestees or respondents. An election protest shall
not include a petition for quo warranto, nor shall a petition for quo warranto
include an election protest.

SEC. 4. Modes of service and filing. - Service and filing of pleadings, including
the initiatory petition and other papers, shall be done personally. Except with
respect to papers emanating from the court, a resort to other modes of service must
be accompanied by a written explanation why the service or filing was not done

personally. A violation of this Rule shall be cause to consider the pleading or paper
as not filed.

SEC. 5. Election protest. - A petition contesting the election or returns of an


elective municipal or barangay official shall be filed with the proper regional trial
court or municipal trial court by any candidate who was voted for the same office
and who received the second or third highest number of votes or, in a multi-slot
position, was among the next four candidates following the last-ranked winner
duly proclaimed, as reflected in the official results of the election contained in the
Statement of Votes By Precinct. The party filing the protest shall be designated as
the protestant; the adverse party shall be known as the protestee. Each contest shall
refer exclusively to one office; however, contests for offices of Sangguniang Bayan
or Sangguniang Barangay may be consolidated in one case.
SEC. 6. Quo Warranto. - A petition for quo warranto against an elective municipal
or barangay official shall be filed with the proper regional trial court or municipal
trial court by any registered voter who has voted in the election concerned. The
party filing the petition shall be designated as the petitioner; the adverse party shall
be known as the respondent.

SEC. 7. Petition must be verified and accompanied by a certificate of non-forum


shopping. - An election protest or a petition for quo warranto shall be verified by
an affidavit stating that the affiant has read the petition and that the allegations
therein are true and correct of affiant's own knowledge or based on authentic
records. A verification based on "information and belief" or upon the "knowledge,
information and belief" is not a sufficient verification. The protestant or petitioner
shall sign personally the certificate of non-forum shopping which must be annexed
to the election protest or petition for quo warranto. An unverified petition or one
with insufficient verification or unaccompanied by a certificate of non-forum
shopping shall be dismissed outright and shall not suspend the running of the
reglementary period to file an election protest or petition for quo warranto.

SEC. 8. Period to file protest or petition; non-extendible. - The election protest or


petition for quo warranto shall be filed within the non-extendible period of ten days
following the date of proclamation.

SEC. 9. Pendency of pre-proclamation controversy. - The pendency of a preproclamation controversy involving the validity of the proclamation as defined by
law shall suspend the running of the period to file an election protest or petition for
quo warranto.

SEC. 10. COMELEC judgment in disqualification case. - A decision of the


Commission on Elections, either in division or en banc, in a disqualification case
shall not bar the filing of a petition for quo warranto based on the same ground,
except when the Supreme Court has affirmed the COMELEC decision.

SEC. 11. Contents of the protest or petition. - An election protest or petition for
quo warranto shall specifically state the following facts:
the position involved;

the date of proclamation; and

the number of votes credited to the parties per proclamation. An election protest
shall also state:

the total number of precincts of the municipality or the barangay concerned;

the protested precincts and votes of the parties in the protested precincts per the
Statement of Votes By Precinct or, if the votes of the parties are not specified, an
explanation why the votes are not specified; and

a detailed specification of the acts or omissions complained of showing the


electoral frauds, anomalies or irregularities in the protested precincts.
SEC. 12. Raffle of cases. - The Supreme Court shall designate the courts which
shall take cognizance of election protests and petitions for quo warranto.
Assignment of cases to such courts shall be done exclusively through raffle
conducted by the executive judge or by the judges designated by the Supreme
Court. No court may assume jurisdiction over an election contest unless assigned
to it by raffle. Twenty-four hours before the raffle, the clerk of court must serve
notice personally on the parties, stating its date and time. Proof of service shall be
submitted. The raffle shall be open to the public. The Supreme Court shall issue the
necessary circular implementing this proviso. The Court may order a change of
venue or place of trial for compelling reasons to avoid a miscarriage of justice.

SEC. 13. Summary dismissal of election contest. - The court shall summarily
dismiss, motu proprio, an election protest, counter-protest or petition for quo
warranto on any of the following grounds:

1. The court has no jurisdiction over the subject matter;


2. The petition is insufficient in form and content as required in Section 11
hereof;
3. The petition is filed beyond the period prescribed in these Rules;

4. The filing fee is not paid within the period for filing the election protest or
petition for quo warranto; and
5. In case of protest where a cash deposit is required, the cash deposit is not
paid within five days from the filing of the protest.
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

Mandated Functions of Comelec


Enforce and administer all laws and regulations relative to the conduct of and
elections, plebiscite, initiative, referendum, and recall.
Exercise exclusive original jurisdiction over all contests relating to the elections,
returns, and qualifications of all elective regional, provincial, and city officials, and
appellate jurisdiction over all contests involving elective municipal officials
decided by trial courts of general jurisdiction, or involving elective barangay
official decided by trial courts of limited jurisdiction.
Decide, except those involving the right to vote, all questions affecting elections,
including determination of the number and location of polling places, appointment
of election officials and inspectors, and registration of voters.
Deputize, with the concurrence of the President, law enforcement agencies and
instrumentalities of the Government, including the Armed Forces of the
Philippines, for the exclusive purposes of ensuring free, orderly, honest, peaceful
credible elections.
Register, after sufficient publication, political parties, organizations, of coalitions
which, in addition to other requirements, must present their platform or program of
government; and accredit citizens arms of the Commission on Elections.

File, upon a verified complaint, or on its own initiative, petitions in court for
inclusion or exclusion of voters; investigate and, where appropriate, prosecute
cases of violations of elections laws, including acts or omissions constituting
election frauds, offenses, and malpractices.
Recommend to the Congress effective measures to minimize election spending,
including limitation of places where propaganda materials shall be posted, and to
prevent and penalize all forms of election frauds, offenses, malpractices, and
nuisance candidates.
Recommed to the President the removal of any officer of employee it has
deputized, or the imposition of any other disciplinary action, for violation or
disregard of, or disobedience to its directive, order, or decision.
Submit to the President and the Congress a comprehensive report on the conduct of
each election, plebiscite, initiative, referendum, or recall.
Related Reference(s)

Engr. Ranulfo C. Feliciano Vs. Nestor P. Villasin

G.R. No. 174929 | 2008-06-27

Dante Liban vs. Richard J. Gordon

G.R. No. 175352 | 2009-07-15

Dante Liban, et al. Vs. Richard J. Gordon [DISSENTING OPINION


NACHURA]
G.R. No. 175352 | 2009-07-15

Hon. Luis Mario M. General, Commissioner National Police Commission


vs. Hon. Alejandro S. Urro, et al.
G.R. No. 191560 | 2011-03-29

Liban vs. Gordon (Resolution)

G.R. No. 175352 | 2011-01-18

CASES AND DIGESTS:


BENGSON VS. HRET AND CRUZ
MARCH 28, 2013 ~ VBDIAZ
BENGSON vs. HRET and CRUZ
G.R. No. 142840
May 7, 2001
FACTS: The citizenship of respondent Cruz is at issue in this case, in view of the
constitutional requirement that no person shall be a Member of the House of
Representatives unless he is a natural-born citizen.
Cruz was a natural-born citizen of the Philippines. He was born in Tarlac in 1960
of Filipino parents. In 1985, however, Cruz enlisted in the US Marine Corps and
without the consent of the Republic of the Philippines, took an oath of allegiance to
the USA. As a Consequence, he lost his Filipino citizenship for under CA No. 63
[(An Act Providing for the Ways in Which Philippine Citizenship May Be Lost or
Reacquired (1936)] section 1(4), a Filipino citizen may lose his citizenship by,
among other, rendering service to or accepting commission in the armed forces of
a foreign country.
Whatever doubt that remained regarding his loss of Philippine citizenship was
erased by his naturalization as a U.S. citizen in 1990, in connection with his service
in the U.S. Marine Corps.

In 1994, Cruz reacquired his Philippine citizenship through repatriation under RA


2630 [(An Act Providing for Reacquisition of Philippine Citizenship by Persons
Who Lost Such Citizenship by Rendering Service To, or Accepting Commission
In, the Armed Forces of the United States (1960)]. He ran for and was elected as
the Representative of the 2nd District of Pangasinan in the 1998 elections. He won
over petitioner Bengson who was then running for reelection.
Subsequently, petitioner filed a case for Quo Warranto Ad Cautelam with
respondent HRET claiming that Cruz was not qualified to become a member of the
HOR since he is not a natural-born citizen as required under Article VI, section 6
of the Constitution.
HRET rendered its decision dismissing the petition for quo warranto and declaring
Cruz the duly elected Representative in the said election.
ISSUE: WON Cruz, a natural-born Filipino who became an American citizen, can
still be considered a natural-born Filipino upon his reacquisition of Philippine
citizenship.
HELD: petition dismissed
YES
Filipino citizens who have lost their citizenship may however reacquire the same in
the manner provided by law. C.A. No. 63 enumerates the 3 modes by which
Philippine citizenship may be reacquired by a former citizen:
1. by naturalization,
2. by repatriation, and
3. by direct act of Congress.
**
Repatriation may be had under various statutes by those who lost their citizenship
due to:
1. desertion of the armed forces;
2. services in the armed forces of the allied forces in World War II;

3. service in the Armed Forces of the United States at any other time,
4. marriage of a Filipino woman to an alien; and
5. political economic necessity
Repatriation results in the recovery of the original nationality This means that a
naturalized Filipino who lost his citizenship will be restored to his prior status as a
naturalized Filipino citizen. On the other hand, if he was originally a natural-born
citizen before he lost his Philippine citizenship, he will be restored to his former
status as a natural-born Filipino.
R.A. No. 2630 provides:
Sec 1. Any person who had lost his Philippine citizenship by rendering service to,
or accepting commission in, the Armed Forces of the United States, or after
separation from the Armed Forces of the United States, acquired United States
citizenship, may reacquire Philippine citizenship by taking an oath of allegiance to
the Republic of the Philippines and registering the same with Local Civil Registry
in the place where he resides or last resided in the Philippines. The said oath of
allegiance shall contain a renunciation of any other citizenship.
Having thus taken the required oath of allegiance to the Republic and having
registered the same in the Civil Registry of Magantarem, Pangasinan in accordance
with the aforecited provision, Cruz is deemed to have recovered his original status
as a natural-born citizen, a status which he acquired at birth as the son of a Filipino
father. It bears stressing that the act of repatriation allows him to recover, or return
to, his original status before he lost his Philippine citizenship.