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COMELEC

Section 1
1. RENATO CAYETANO vs. CHRISTIAN MONSOD
G.R. No. 100113. September 3, 1991.

FACTS: Monsod was nominated by President Aquino as Chairman of the Comelec. The Commission on
Appointments confirmed the appointment despite Cayetano's objection, based on Monsod's alleged lack of
the required qualification of 10 year law practice. Cayetano filed this certiorari and prohibition. The 1987
constitution provides in Section 1, Article IX-C: There shall be a Commission on Elections composed of a
Chairman and six Commissioners who shall be natural-born citizens of the Philippines and, at the time of
their appointment, at least thirty-five years of age, holders of a college degree, and must not have been
candidates for any elective position in the immediately preceding elections.However, a majority thereof,
including the Chairman, shall be members of the Philippine Bar who have been engaged in the practice of
law for at least ten years.

ISSUE:
1. Whether or not Monsod has been engaged in the practice of law for 10 years.

2. Whether or not the Commission on Appointments committed grave abuse of discretion in confirming
Monsod’s appointment.

HELD:
1. YES. The practice of law is not limited to the conduct of cases or litigation in court. It embraces the
preparation of pleadings and other papers incident to actions and special proceedings, the management of
such actions and proceedings on behalf of clients, and other works where the work done involves the
determination of the trained legal mind of the legal effect of facts and conditions (PLA vs. Agrava.) The
records of the 1986 constitutional commission show that the interpretation of the term practice of law was
liberal as to consider lawyers employed in the Commission of Audit as engaged in the practice of law
provided that they use their legal knowledge or talent in their respective work. The court also cited an article
in the January 11, 1989 issue of the Business Star, that lawyers nowadays have their own specialized fields
such as tax lawyers, prosecutors, etc., that because of the demands of their specialization, lawyers engage
in other works or functions to meet them. These days, for example, most corporation lawyers are involved
in management policy formulation. Therefore, Monsod, who passed the bar in 1960, worked with the World
Bank Group from 1963-1970, then worked for an investment bank till 1986, became member of the
CONCOM in 1986, and also became a member of the Davide Commission in 1990, can be considered to
have been engaged in the practice of law as lawyer-economist, lawyer-manager, lawyer-entrepreneur, etc.

2. NO. The power of the COA to give consent to the nomination of the Comelec Chairman by the president
is mandated by the constitution. The power of appointment is essentially within the discretion of whom it is
so vested subject to the only condition that the appointee should possess the qualification required by law.
From the evidence, there is no occasion for the SC to exercise its corrective power since there is no such
grave abuse of discretion on the part of the CA.

2. Brillantes v. Yorac
G.R. No. 93867 December 18, 1990
Cruz, J.

Facts: The petitioner is challenging the designation by the President of the Philippines of Associate
Commissioner Haydee B. Yorac as Acting Chairman of the Commission on Elections, in place of Chairman
Hilario B. Davide, who had been named chairman of the fact-finding commission to investigate the
December 1989 coup d’ etat attempt.

The petitioner contends that the choice of the Acting Chairman of the Commission on Elections is an internal
matter that should be resolved by the members themselves and that the intrusion of the President of the
Philippines violates their independence. He cites the practice in the Supreme Court, where the senior
Associate Justice serves as Acting Chief Justice in the absence of the Chief Justice. No designation from
the President of the Philippines is necessary.

Issue: Whether the designation of an Acting Chairman of COMELEC is unconstitutional

Held: Yes. Article IX-A, Section 1, of the Constitution expressly describes all the Constitutional
Commissions as “independent.” Although essentially executive in nature, they are not under the control of
the President of the Philippines in the discharge of their respective functions. Each of these Commissions
conducts its own proceedings under the applicable laws and its own rules and in the exercise of its own
discretion. Its decisions, orders and rulings are subject only to review on Certiorari by the Supreme Court
as provided by the Constitution in Article IX-A, Section 7.
The choice of a temporary chairman in the absence of the regular chairman comes under that discretion.
That discretion cannot be exercised for it, even with its consent, by the President of the Philippines.

In the choice of the Acting Chairman, the members of the Commission on Elections would most likely have
been guided by the seniority rule as they themselves would have appreciated it. In any event, that choice
and the basis thereof were for them and not the President to make.

3. CONRADO LINDO, petitioner, vs. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS

FACTS: Lindo was declared as duly elected mayor of Tenate, Cavite. Incumbent mayor Velasco filed an
election protest contesting results from 19 precincts. Revision showed substantial variance between the
number of votes stated in the election returns and as per physical count of the ballots in 5 precincts. Thus,
private respondent was later declared duly elected mayor.

Lindo filed a notice of appeal with the trial court while Velasco filed a motion for execution pending appeal.
The Court granted the motion for execution pending appeal upon private respondent's filing of cash bond
and issued the writ of execution

Petitioner filed a petition for certiorari and prohibition with the COMELEC, with prayer for the issuance of a
preliminary injunction to prevent the implementation of the Order and writ of execution. COMELEC issued
a Resolution, which denied the petition for certiorari and lifted the preliminary injunction.

ISSUE: WON COMELEC acted with grave abuse of discretion in applying Rule 39 of the Rules of Court.

RULING: No. Section 2, Rule 39 of the Rules of Court applies suppletorily to election cases. As long as the
motion for execution pending appeal is filed before the perfection of appeal, the writ of execution may issue
after the period of appeal.

It may be argued that the trial court should dispose of the motion for execution within the reglementary 15-
day period. Such a rule would be difficult, if not impossible, to follow. It would not be pragmatic and
expedient and could cause injustice.

The motion for execution has to be set for hearing. The good reasons for execution pending appeal have
to be scrutinized. These things cannot be done within the short period of 15 days. The trial court may be
confronted with other matters more pressing that would demand its immediate attention.

Section 2
4. ANTONIO GALLARDO, et. al vs. HON. SINFOROSO V. TABAMO, JR

FACTS: Private respondent filed Petition 1 (Special Civil Action No. 465) before the court a quo against
petitioners to prohibit and restrain them from pursuing or prosecuting certain public works projects; from
releasing, disbursing and/or spending any public funds for such projects; and from issuing, using or availing
of treasury warrants or any device for the future delivery of money, goods and other things of value
chargeable against public funds in connection with the said projects. Public respondent Judge issued the
questioned TRO but instead of filing the Answer, the petitioners filed the instant special civil action for
certiorari and prohibition, with a prayer for a writ of preliminary injunction and/or temporary restraining order.

ISSUE: WON the RTC has jurisdiction over Special Civil Action 465 being a suit intended to enjoin an
alleged violation of the Omnibus Election Code.

RULING: No. Section 2 of Article IX-C of the Constitution implicitly grants the Commission the power to
promulgate such rules and regulations. The judiciary cannot be a co-participant in this particular instance
of enforcing the Election Code because of the literal language of the Constitution which empowers
COMELEC to "have exclusive charge of the enforcement and administration of all laws relative to the
conduct of the elections."

The 1987 Constitution has granted the Commission on Elections broader powers than its predecessors. It
implicitly grants the Commission the power to promulgate rules and regulations in the enforcement of laws
relative to elections. Accordingly, where the subject of the action is the enforcement of provisions of the
Omnibus Election Code, the case is within the exclusive jurisdiction of the Comelec, not of the regular
courts.

There is nothing in the law to prevent any citizen from exposing the commission of an election offense and
from filing a complaint in connection therewith. Under the COMELEC Rules of Procedure, initiation of
complaints for election offenses may be done motu propio by the COMELEC or upon written complaint by
any citizen, candidate or registered political party or organization under the party-list system or any of the
accredited citizens arms of the Commission. However, such written complaints should be filed with the "Law
Department of the Commission; or with the offices of the Election Registrars, Provincial Election
Supervisors or Regional Election Directors, or the State Prosecutor, Provincial Fiscal or City Fiscal."

1. ELECTION LAW; COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS; EXCLUSIVELY CHARGED OF THE


ENFORCEMENT AND ADMINISTRATION OF ALL LAWS RELATIVE TO THE CONDUCT OF THE
ELECTION. — The Commission on Elections is vested by the Constitution with exclusive charge of the
enforcement and administration of all laws relative to the conduct of elections; hence, the assumption of
jurisdiction by the trial court over a case involving the enforcement of the election code "is at war with the
plain constitutional command, the implementing statutory provisions and the hospitable scope afforded
such grant of authority so clear and unmistakable in recent decisions. (Zaldivar v. Estenzo [23 SCRA 533])

2. ID.; ID.; ID.; BROADER POWERS PROVIDED UNDER THE 1987 CONSTITUTION. — The
present Constitution and extant election laws have further strengthened the foundation for the above
doctrine; there can be no doubt that the present COMELEC has broader powers than its predecessors.
While under the 1935 Constitution it had "exclusive charge of the enforcement and administration of all
laws relative to the conduct of elections," exercised "all other functions . . . conferred upon it by law" and
had the power to deputize all law enforcement agencies and instrumentalities of the Government for the
purpose of insuring free, orderly and honest elections, and under the 1973 Constitution it had, inter alia, the
power to (a)" [E]nforce and administer all laws relative to the conduct of elections" (b)" [D]eputize, with the
consent or at the instance of the Prime Minister, law enforcement agencies and instrumentalities of the
Government, including the Armed Forces of the Philippines, for the purpose of ensuring free, orderly, and
honest elections," and (c)" [P]erform such other functions as may be provided by law," it was not expressly
vested with the power to promulgate regulations relative to the conduct of an election. That power could
only originate from a special law enacted by Congress; this is the necessary implication of the above
constitutional provision authorizing the Commission to" [P]erform such other functions as may be provided
by law." The present Constitution, however, implicitly grants the Commission the power to promulgate such
rules and regulations. The word regulations is not found in either the 1935 or 1973 Constitutions. It is thus
clear that its incorporation into the present Constitution took into account the Commission’s power under
the Omnibus Election Code (Batas Pambansa Blg. 881), which was already in force when the said
Constitution was drafted and ratified.

3. ID.; ID.; ID.; ID.; PURPOSE THEREOF. — The present Constitution upgraded to a constitutional
status the aforesaid statutory authority to grant the Commission broader and more flexible powers to
effectively perform its duties and to insulate it further from legislative intrusions. Doubtless, if its rule-making
power is made to depend on statutes, Congress may withdraw the same at any time. Indeed, the present
Constitution envisions a truly independent Commission on Elections committed to ensure free, orderly,
honest peaceful and credible elections, and to serve as the guardian of the people’s sacred right of suffrage
— the citizentry’s vital weapon in effecting a peaceful change of government and in achieving and promoting
political stability.

4. ID.; ID.; SCOPE OF POWER TO ENFORCE AND ADMINISTER LAWS RELATIVE TO THE
CONDUCT OF ELECTION; ZALDIVAR VS. ESTENZO (23 SCRA 533) CITED. — In Zaldivar v. Estenzo
(23 SCRA 533), no specific provision of the Revised Election Code then in force was alleged to have been
violated. What was sought to be enjoined was the alleged wielding by Zaldivar, then a municipal mayor, of
the power, by virtue of his office, to appoint special policemen or agents to terrorize voters into supporting
the congressional candidate of his choice. In holding that the then Court of First Instance did not have
jurisdiction over the case, this Court considered the constitutional power of the Commission on Elections
to have exclusive charge of the enforcement and administration of all laws relative to the conduct of
elections and to exercise all other functions which may be conferred by law. We likewise relied on the
provisions of the Revised Election Code vesting upon the COMELEC (a) direct and immediate supervision
over municipal, city and provincial officials designated by law to perform duties relative to the conduct of
elections and (b) authority to suspend them from the performance of such duties for failure to comply with
its instructions, orders, decisions or rulings and recommend to the President their removal if found guilty of
non-feasance, malfeasance or misfeasance in connection with the performance of their duties relative to
the conduct of elections.

5. ID.; ELECTION OFFENSES; PROHIBITION AGAINST APPOINTMENT OR HIRING OF NEW


EMPLOYEES OR THE CREATION OR FILLING UP OF NEW POSITION IN ANY GOVERNMENT OFFICE,
AGENCY OR INSTRUMENTALITY; RULE. — Under the present law, however, except in case of urgent
need, the appointment or hiring of new employees or the creation or filing up of new positions in any
government office, agency or instrumentality, whether national or local, including government-owned or
controlled corporations, is banned during the period of forty-five (45) days before a regular election and
thirty (30) days before a special election if made without the prior authority of the Commission on Elections.
A violation thereof constitutes an election offense. Then too, no less than the present Constitution — and
not just the Election Law as was the case at the time of Zaldivar — expressly provided that the Commission
may" [R]ecommend to the President the removal of any officer or 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." Moreover, the present Constitution also invests the Commission with the power to "investigate
and, where appropriate, prosecute cases of violations of election laws, including acts or omissions
constituting election frauds, offenses, and malpractices."cralaw virtua1aw library

6. ID.; ID.; RIGHT OF ANY CITIZEN TO FILE A COMPLAINT IN CONNECTION THEREWITH. —


There is as well no merit in the petitioners’ claim that the private respondent has no legal standing to initiate
the filing of a complaint for a violation of the Omnibus Election Code. There is nothing in the law to prevent
any citizen from exposing the commission of an election offense and from filing a complaint in connection
therewith. On the contrary, under the COMELEC Rules and Procedure, initiation of complaints for election
offenses may be done motu proprio by the Commission on Elections or upon written complaint by any
citizen, candidate or registered political party or organization under the party-list system or any of the
accredited citizens arms of the Commission. However, such written complaints should be filed with the "Law
Department of the Commission; or with the offices of the Election Registrars, Provincial Election
Supervisors or Regional Election Directors or the State Prosecutor, Provincial Fiscal or City Fiscal." As
earlier intimated, the private respondent was not seriously concerned with the criminal aspect of his alleged
grievances. He merely sought a stoppage of the public works projects because of their alleged adverse
effect on his candidacy. Indeed, while he may have had reason to fear and may have even done the right
thing, he committed a serious procedural misstep and invoked the wrong authority.

5. EMMANUEL M. RELAMPAGOS, petitioner, vs. ROSITA C. CUMBA and the COMMISSION ON


ELECTIONS, respondents.
G.R. No. 118861 April 27, 1995

FACTS: Relampagos and Cumba were candidates for the position of Mayor in the municipality of
Magallanes, Agusan del Norte. Cumba was proclaimed the winning candidate. Petitioner filed an election
protest with the RTC of Agusan del Norte where the trial court, Judge Rosario F. Dabalos, found the
petitioner to have won with a margin of 6votes over respondent and rendered judgement in favor of the
petitioner.

Cumba appealed the decision to the COMELEC which was later on given a due course by the trial court.
Petitioner filed with the trial court a motion for execution pending appeal which the trial court granted. Writ
of execution was forthwith issued. Thereafter, the private respondent filed a motion for a reconsideration
which was later on denied. The private respondent then filed with the respondent COMELEC a petition for
certiorari to annul the aforesaid order of the trial court granting the motion for execution pending appeal and
the writ of execution. The COMELEC granted the petition ordering Cumba restored to her position as
Municipality Mayor.

ISSUE: WON COMELEC has jurisdiction over petitions for, certiorari, prohibition, and mandamus in election
cases where it has exclusive appellate jurisdiction

RULING: Yes. Since the COMELEC, in discharging its appellate jurisdiction pursuant to Sec. 2 (2), Art. IX-
C, acts as a court of justice performing judicial power and said power includes the determination of whether
or not there has been grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction, it necessarily
follows that the COMELEC, by constitutional mandate, is vested with jurisdiction to issue writs of certiorari
in aid of its appellate jurisdiction.
There is a special law granting COMELEC such jurisdiction, viz., Section 50 of B.P. Blg. 697, which remains
in full force as it was not expressly repealed by the Omnibus Election Code (B.P. Blg. 881). In the
performance of its judicial functions, the COMELEC, is the most logical body to issue the extraordinary writs
of certiorari, prohibition and mandamus in election cases where it has appellate jurisdiction.

POLITICAL LAW; COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS; JURISDICTION OVER PETITION FOR CERTIORARI,


PROHIBITION AND MANDAMUS IN ELECTION CASES WHERE IT HAS EXCLUSIVE APPELLATE
JURISDICTION; DOCTRINE UNDER THE CONSOLIDATED CASES OF GARCIA v. COMELEC. — This
special civil action of certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court revives the issue of whether or not the
Commission on Elections (COMELEC) has jurisdiction over petitions for certiorari, prohibition, and
mandamus in election cases where it has exclusive appellate jurisdiction. In the split decision of 4 March
1992 in the consolidated cases of Garcia v. De Jesus (G.R. No. 88158) and Uy v. Commission on Elections,
(G.R. Nos. 97108-09) this Court ruled in the negative because of the absence of any specific conferment
upon the COMELEC, either by the Constitution or by legislative fiat, of jurisdiction to issue such
extraordinary writs. It held that jurisdiction, or the legal power to hear and determine a cause or causes of
action, must exist as a matter of law, whether the jurisdiction is original or appellate, and since these two
classes of jurisdiction are exclusive of each other, each must be expressly conferred by law. One does not
flow, nor is inferred, from the other. This Court proceeded to state that in the Philippine setting, the authority
to issue the aforesaid writs involves the exercise of original jurisdiction which has always been expressly
conferred either by the Constitution or by law. It is never derived by implication. Although the Constitution
grants the COMELEC appellate jurisdiction, it does not grant it any power to exercise original jurisdiction
over petitions for certiorari, prohibition, and mandamus, unlike in the case of this Court which is specifically
conferred with such authority in Section 5(1) of Article VIII. It also pointed out that the doctrine laid down in
Pimentel v. COMELEC (101 SCRA 769 [1980]) — that neither the Constitution nor any law has conferred
jurisdiction on the COMELEC to issue such writs — still finds application under the 1987 Constitution. In
the decision of 29 July 1992 in Veloria v. Commission on Elections, (211 SCRA 907 [1992]) this Court
reiterated the Garcia and Uy doctrine.

2. ID.; ID.; ID.; ID.; RULING REVERSED IN CASE AT BAR, CONSIDERING SECTION 50 OF B.P.
697. — The respondent COMELEC, points out that Section 50 of B.P. Blg. 697 expressly, granted it
jurisdiction over the extraordinary writs of certiorari, prohibition, and mandamus. Indeed, it did. And the
Court agrees with the respondent COMELEC that there are provisions in B.P. Blg. 697 whose lifetime go
beyond the 14 May 1984 election or the subsequent selection of sectoral representatives. In fact, by the
very wording of the last paragraph of its Section 50, it is quite clear that the exercise of the power was not
restricted within a specific period of time. Taken in the context of the conspicuous absence of such
jurisdiction as ruled in Pimentel v. Commission on Elections, (supra) it seems quite obvious that the grant
was intended as a remedial legislation to eliminate the seeming incongruity or irrationality resulting in a
splitting of jurisdiction pointed out in the dissenting opinion of Justice De Castro in the said case. But did
not the Omnibus Election Code (B.P. Blg. 881) repeal B.P. Blg. 697? This Court is not unaware of the
equally settled rule in statutory construction that in the revision or codification of laws, all parts and
provisions of the old laws that are omitted in the revised statute or code are deemed repealed, unless the
statute or code provides otherwise expressly or impliedly. By the tenor of B.P. Blg. 697 Repealing Clause,
it does not evidently appear that the Batasang Pambansa had intended to codify all prior election statutes
and to replace them with the new Code. It made, in fact, by the second sentence, a reservation that all prior
election statutes or parts thereof not inconsistent with any provisions of the Code shall remain in force. This
being the case, the Court painstakingly examined the aforesaid last paragraph of Section 50 of the Omnibus
Election Code to determine if the former is inconsistent with any of the provisions of the latter. It found none.
In the face of the foregoing disquisitions, the Court must, as it now does, abandon the ruling in the Garcia
and Uy and Veloria cases. We now hold that the last paragraph of Section 50 of B.P. Blg. 697 providing as
follows: "The Commission is hereby vested with exclusive authority to hear and decide petitions for certiorari,
prohibition and mandamus involving election cases." remains in full force and effect but only in such cases
where, under paragraph (2), Section 1, Article IX-C of the Constitution, it has exclusive appellate jurisdiction.
Simply put, the COMELEC has the authority to issue the extraordinary writs for certiorari, prohibition and
mandamus only in aid of its appellate jurisdiction.

6. NORBI H. EDDING, petitioner, vs. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS


G.R. No. 112060, July 17, 1995

FACTS: Edding filed an election protest after Bernardo was declared winner on the elections for municipal
mayor of Sibuco, Zamboanga del Norte. Upon termination of the protest proceedings and recounting of
ballots, RTC rendered judgment proclaiming Edding as winner. Bernardo filed a Notice of Appeal while
Edding moved for immediate execution. Bernardo opposed Edding's motion. RTC Approved Bernardo's
Notice of Appeal but granted Edding's Motion for Immediate Execution. Edding assumed office and
Bernardo filed with the COMELEC a Petition for Certiorari with Application for Preliminary Injunction and
for Issuance of a TRO seeking to enjoin the Order of the RTC granting execution pending appeal which the
COMELEC granted.

ISSUE: WON COMELEC has jurisdiction to issue Writs of Certiorari against the interlocutory order of the
RTC in election cases.

RULING: Sections 2(2) and 3 of Article IX of the 1987 Constitution, provides in part:
Sec. 2. The COMELEC shall exercise the following powers and functions:
(2)… Appelate jurisdiction over all contests involving elective municipal officials decided by trial courts of
general jurisdiction, or involving elective barangay officials decided by trial courts of limited jurisdiction.
(3) COMELEC may sit en banc or in 2 divisions, and shall promulgate its rule of procedure in order to
expedite disposition of election case including pre-proclamation controversies…
In Relampagos vs. Cumba, the court upheld the jurisdiction of the COMELEC to issue writs of certiorari,
prohibition and mandamus over election cases where it has appellate jurisdiction by virtue of Section 50 of
Batas Pambansa Blg. 697 which on its last paragraph provides that “the Commission is hereby vested with
exclusive authority to hear and decide petitions for certiorari, prohibition and mandamus involving election
cases”. Thus, the COMELEC has the authority to issue the extraordinary writs of certiorari, prohibition and
mandamus only in aid of its appellate jurisdiction.

CONSTITUTIONAL LAW; COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS; POWER TO ISSUE WRITS OF CERTIORARI,


PROHIBITION AND MANDAMUS; PREVIOUS CASES DENYING THE SAME, ABANDONED. —
Previously, the rule in our jurisdiction is that the COMELEC is not empowered to issue writs of certiorari,
prohibition and mandamus in the absence of any constitutional or statutory grant. Recently, however, this
court decided to abandon the said rule.

2. ID.; ID.; ID.; UPHELD IN THE CASE OF RELAMPAGOS BY VIRTUE OF SECTION 50 OF BATAS
PAMBANSA BLG. 697. — In Relampagos v. Cumba and the COMELEC, this court upheld the jurisdiction
of the COMELEC to issue writs of certiorari, prohibition and mandamus over election cases where it has
appellate jurisdiction by virtue of Section 50 of Batas Pambansa Blg. 697.

3. ID.; ELECTION LAWS; B.P. BLG. 697; SECTION 50 REMAIN EFFECTIVE EVEN AFTER THE
1984 ELECTIONS AND DESPITE PASSAGE OF THE OMNIBUS ELECTION CODE. — Although B.P. Blg.
697 was originally intended to govern the election of the members of the Batasang Pambansa that was
held on May 14, 1988 and the selection of sectoral representatives thereafter as provided by the
Constitution, the same was not rendered functus officio after the 1984 elections. Some of its provisions
remained effective and among which is Section 50. Neither was B.P. Blg. 397 totally repealed upon the
passage of the Omnibus Election Code considering that the second sentence of the repealing clause in the
latter was found to be in the nature of a general repealing clause which in legal contemplation is a nullity.

4. REMEDIAL LAW; SPECIAL CIVIL ACTIONS; CERTIORARI; GRAVE ABUSE OF DISCRETION


COMMITTED BY COMELEC WHEN IT ENJOINED ORDER OF THE RTC GRANTING MOTION FOR
IMMEDIATE EXECUTION WHICH WAS FILED WITHIN THE REGLEMENTARY PERIOD ALTHOUGH
SIMULTANEOUS TO A NOTICE OF APPEAL. — The COMELEC committed grave abuse of discretion in
the instant case when it enjoined the order of the RTC granting petitioner’s motion for immediate execution.
The mere filing of a notice of appeal does not divest the trial court of its jurisdiction over a case and resolve
pending incidents. Where the motion for execution pending appeal was filed within the reglementary period
for perfecting an appeal, as in the case at bench, the filing of a notice of appeal by the opposing party is of
no moment and does not divest the trial court of its jurisdiction to resolve the motion for immediate execution
of the judgment pending appeal because the court must hear and resolve it for it would become part of the
records to be elevated on appeal. Since the court has jurisdiction to act on the motion at the time it was
filed, that jurisdiction continued until the matter was resolved and was not lost by the subsequent action of
the opposing party.

7. Regina Ongsiako Reyes vs. Comelec GR No. 207264, Jun 25, 2013

Facts: Respondent Soccoro Tan filed before the COMELEC a Petition to Deny Due Course or to Cancel
the Certificate of Candidacy (COC) of petitioner on the ground that it contained material misrepresentations
that she is a Filipino citizen when she is, in fact, an American citizen. During the course of the proceedings
respondentdprovides a database record of the Bureau of Immigration indicating that showed that petitioner
is an American citizen and a holder of a U.S. passport. COMELEC First Division issued a Resolution
cancelling petitioner's COC

The COMELEC First Division found that, contrary to the declarations that she made in her COC, petitioner
is not a citizen of the Philippines because of her failure to comply with the requirements of Republic Act
(R.A.) No. 9225

Four days thereafter... petitioner was proclaimed winner of the 13 May 2013 Elections.

COMELEC En Banc issued a Certificate of Finality... declaring

Resolution of the COMELEC En Banc final and executory

On same day, petitioner took her oath of office... before Feliciano R. Belmonte Jr., Speaker of the House
of Representatives.

Petitioner has yet to assume office, the term of which officially starts at noon of 30 June 2013.

According to petitioner, the COMELEC was ousted of its jurisdiction when she was duly proclaimed...
because pursuant to Section 17, Article VI of the 1987 Constitution, the HRET has the exclusive jurisdiction
to be the "sole judge of all contests... relating to the election, returns and qualifications" of the Members of
the House of Representatives.

Issues: Whether or not Respondent Comelec is without jurisdiction over Petitioner who is a duly proclaimed
winner and who has already taken her oath of office for the position of Member of the House of
Representatives for the lone congressional district of Marinduque when is a candidate considered a
Member of the House of Representatives?
Ruling: It is observed that the issue of jurisdiction of respondent COMELEC vis-a-vis that of House of
Representatives Electoral Tribunal (HRET) appears to be a non-issue. Contrary to petitioner's claim,
however, the COMELEC retains jurisdiction for the following reasons:

First, the HRET does not acquire jurisdiction over the issue of petitioner's qualifications, as well as over the
assailed COMELEC Resolutions, unless a petition is duly filed with said tribunal. Petitioner has not averred
that she has filed such action.

Second, the jurisdiction of the HRET begins only after the candidate is considered a Member of the House
of Representatives,... the HRET does not have jurisdiction over a candidate who is not a member of the
House of Representatives... only after a candidate has become a member of the House of Representatives.
Petitioner not being a member of the House of Representatives, it is obvious that the HRET at this point
has no jurisdiction over... the question.

Once a winning candidate has been proclaimed, taken his oath, and assumed office as a Member of the
House of Representatives, the COMELEC's jurisdiction over election contests relating to his election,
returns, and... qualifications ends, and the HRET's own jurisdiction begins.From the foregoing, it is then
clear that to be considered a Member of the House of Representatives, there must be a concurrence of the
following requisites: (1) a valid proclamation, (2) a proper oath, and (3) assumption of office.
Here, the petitioner cannot be considered a Member of the House of Representatives because, primarily,
she has not yet assumed office.

To repeat what has earlier been said, the term of office of a Member of the House of Representatives
begins only "at noon on the... thirtieth day of June next following their election."
Thus, until such time, the COMELEC retains jurisdiction.

In her attempt to comply with the second requirement, petitioner attached a purported Oath Of Office taken
before Hon. Feliciano Belmonte Jr. on 5 June 2013. However, this is not the oath of office which confers
membership to the House of Representatives.
Section 6, Rule II (Membership) of the Rules of the House of Representatives provides:
Section 6. Oath or Affirmation of Members. Members shall take their oath or affirmation either collectively
or individually before the Speaker in open session.
Consequently, before there is a valid or official taking of the oath it must be made (1) before the Speaker
of the House of Representatives, and (2) in open session. Here, although she made the oath before
Speaker Belmonte, there is no indication that it was made during... plenary or in open session and, thus, it
remains unclear whether the required oath of office was indeed complied with.

8. JOSE MIGUEL T. ARROYO vs. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE


G.R. No. 199082 July 23, 2013
JOSE MIGUEL T. ARROYO, Petitioner,
vs.
DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE; et al, Respondents.
PERALTA, J.:

NATURE:
These are separate motions for reconsideration filed by movants Gloria Macapagal Arroyo in G.R. No.
199118 and Jose Miguel T. Arroyo in G.R. No. 199082 praying that the Court take a second look at our
September 18, 2012 Decision3 dismissing their petitions and supplemental petitions against respondents
Commission on Elections (Comelec), the Department of Justice (DOJ), Senator Aquilino M. Pimentel III
(Senator Pimentel), Joint DOJ-Comelec Preliminary Investigation Committee (Joint Committee) and DOJ-
Comelec Fact-Finding Team (Fact-Finding Team), et al.

FACTS: On August 15, 2011, the Comelec and the DOJ issued a Joint Order creating and constituting a
Joint Committee and Fact-Finding Team on the 2004 and 2007 National Elections electoral fraud and
manipulation cases.

In its Initial Report of the Fact-Finding Team concluded that manipulation of the results in the May 14, 2007
senatorial elections in the provinces of North and South Cotabato, and Maguindanao was indeed
perpetrated. It recommended that Petitioner Benjamin S. Abalos, GMA, and Mike Arroyo be subjected to
preliminary investigation for electoral sabotage and manipulating the election results.

Thereafter, petitioners filed before the Court separate Petitions for Certiorari and Prohibition with Prayer for
the Issuance of a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) and/or Writ of Preliminary Injunction assailing the
creation of the Joint Panel.

On September 18, 2012, the Court rendered the assailed Decision. It ruled that:
1. Fact- Finding Team’s Initial Report dated October 20, 2011, are declared VALID. However, the Rules
of Procedure on the Conduct of Preliminary Investigation on the Alleged Election Fraud in the 2004 and
2007 National Elections is declared INEFFECTIVE for lack of publication.
2. The Joint Panel and the proceedings having been conducted in accordance with Rule 112 of the Rules
on Criminal Procedure and Rule 34 of the Comelec Rules of Procedure, the conduct of the preliminary
investigation is hereby declared VALID.

ISSUES:
1. Whether or not the creation of the Joint Panel undermines the decisional independence of the Comelec.
2. Whether or not the DOJ should conduct preliminary investigation only when deputized by the Comelec
but not exercise concurrent jurisdiction

HELD:
1. The grant of concurrent jurisdiction, the Comelec and the DOJ nevertheless included a provision in the
assailed Joint Order whereby the resolutions of the Joint Committee finding probable cause for election
offenses shall still be approved by the Comelec in accordance with the Comelec Rules of Procedure.45
With more reason, therefore, that we the the court cannot consider the creation of the Joint Committee as
an abdication of the Comelec’s independence enshrined in the 1987 Constitution

2. The creation of a Joint Committee is not repugnant to the concept of "concurrent jurisdiction" authorized
by the amendatory law The doctrine of concurrent jurisdiction means equal jurisdiction to deal with the same
subject matter. Contrary to the contention of the petitioners, there is no prohibition on simultaneous exercise
of power between two coordinate bodies. What is prohibited is the situation where one files a complaint
against a respondent initially with one office (such as the Comelec) for preliminary investigation which was
immediately acted upon by said office and the re-filing of substantially the same complaint with another
office (such as the DOJ). The subsequent assumption of jurisdiction by the second office over the cases
filed will not be allowed. Indeed, it is a settled rule that the body or agency that first takes cognizance of the
complaint shall exercise jurisdiction to the exclusion of the others.

9. Salic Dumarpa vs. Comelec, October 25, 2013

In a special elections, Dumarpa filed an instant petition alleging that sections 4 and 24 of Resolution 8965
(clustering of precincts and Constituting of Special Board of Election Inspectors) as illegal or void, and
contrary to law.

Ruling: COMELEC issued Resolution No. 8965, in the exercise of its plenary powers in the conduct of
elections enshrined in the Constitution10 and statute.11chanroblesvirtualawlibrary

Thus, it brooks no argument that the COMELEC's broad power to "enforce and administer all laws and
regulations relative to the conduct of an election, plebiscite, initiative, referendum and recall,"12 carries with
it all necessary and incidental powers for it to achieve the objective of holding free, orderly, honest, peaceful
and credible elections.13chanroblesvirtualawlibrary

As stated in Sumulong v. COMELEC:chanroblesvirtualawlibrary

Politics is a practical matter, and political questions must be dealt with realistically - not from the standpoint
of pure theory. The Commission on Elections, because of its fact-finding facilities, its contacts with political
strategists, and its knowledge derived from actual experience in dealing with political controversies, is in a
peculiarly advantageous position to decide complex political questions.
xxx

There are no ready-made formulas for solving public problems. Time and experience are necessary to
evolve patterns that will serve the ends of good government. In the matter of the administration of the laws
relative to the conduct of elections x x x, we must not by any excessive zeal take away from the Commission
on Elections that initiative which by constitutional and legal mandates properly belongs to
it.14chanroblesvirtualawlibrary

10. Marc Douglas Cagas vs. Comelec, October 25, 2013

Marc Douglas Cagas vs. Comelec G.R. No. 209185, October 25, 2013 FACTS: This Resolution resolves
the Petition for Prohibition filed by petitioner in his capacity as taxpayer, to prohibit the Commission on
Elections (COMELEC) from conducting a plebiscite for the creation of the province of Davao Occidental
simultaneously with the 28 October 2013 Barangay Elections within the whole province of Davao del Sur,
except in Davao City. On 9 October 2013, petitioner filed the present petition for prohibition citing three (3)
causes of action to wit: 1. COMELEC is without authority or legal basis to AMEND or MODIFY Section 46
of Republic Act No. 10360 by mere MINUTE RESOLUTION because it is only CONGRESS who can validly
amend, repel or modify existing laws, thus COMELEC act in suspending the holding of a plebiscite is
unconstitutional; 2. COMELEC is without authority or legal basis to hold a plebiscite this coming October
28, 2013 for the creation of the Province of Davao Occidental because Section 46 of Republic Act No.
10360 has already lapsed; and 3. Petitioner has no other adequate remedy to prevent the COMELEC from
holding the Plebiscite on October 28, 2013 for the creation of the Province of Davao Occidental except
through the issuance of Temporary Restraining Order and Preliminary Injunction because COMELEC had
already commenced the preparation for holding of the Plebiscite for the creation of the Province of Davao
Occidental synchronizing it with that of the Barangay and SK elections this coming October 28, 2013.

ISSUE: Whether or not the COMELEC act without or in excess of its jurisdiction or with grave abuse of
discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction when it resolved to hold the plebiscite for the creation
of the Province of Davao simultaneous with the Barangay Elections?

RULING: The COMELEC’s power to administer elections includes the power to conduct a plebiscite
beyond the schedule prescribed by law. The conduct of a plebiscite is necessary for the creation of a
province in reference to Sections 10 and 11 of Article X of the Constitution provide that: Sec. 10. No province,
city, municipality, or barangay may be created, divided, merged, abolished, or its boundary substantially
altered, except in accordance with the criteria established in the local government code and subject to
approval by a majority of the votes cast in a plebiscite in the political units directly affected. Sec. 11. The
Congress may, by law, create special metropolitan political subdivisions, subject to a plebiscite as set forth
in Section 10 hereof. The component cities and municipalities shall retain their basic autonomy and shall
be entitled to their own local executive and legislative assemblies. The jurisdiction of the metropolitan
authority that will thereby be created shall be limited to basic services requiring coordination. The
Constitution does not specify a date as to when plebiscites should be held. The Constitution recognizes
that the power to fix the date of elections is legislative in nature, which is shown by the exceptions in
previously mentioned Constitutional provisions, as well as in the election of local government officials. To
demand now that the COMELEC desist from holding the plebiscite would be an utter waste of time, effort
and resources, not to mention its detriment to public interest given that public funds are involved.
In election law, the right of suffrage should prevail over mere scheduling mishaps in holding elections or
plebiscites. Indeed, Cagas insistence that only Congress can cure the alleged legal infirmity in the date of
holding the plebiscite for the creation of the Province of Davao Occidental fails in light of the absence of
abuse of discretion of the COMELEC. Finally, this Court finds it unacceptable to utilize more of our
taxpayers time and money by preventing the COMELEC from holding the plebiscite as now scheduled

11. COMELEC vs. SILVA


G.R. No. 129417
February 10, 1998

FACTS: The Private Respondents, who were charged of having tampered some certificates of canvass,
moved for the Dismissal of the Cases filed against them. The Chief State Prosecutor,who had been
designated by the Commission on Elections to prosecute the cases, filed acomment joining in private
respondents' request. Eventually, the cases were dismissed.The COMELEC sought to appeal the dismissal
of the cases to the Court of Appeals. When he Chief State Prosecutor was required to comment, he stated
that he cannot give his conformity to the Notice of Appeal filed by the Comelec as it would not be consistent
with his position that he would abide by whatever finding the court may come up with on the existence of
probable cause as against the Private Respondents. Thus, the judges denied due course to the appeal.
The sole basis for the denial was the fact that the prosecutor, whom the COMELEC had deputized to
prosecute the cases, had earlier taken a contrary stand against the COMELEC.

ISSUE: Who has the authority to decide whether or not to appeal from the orders of dismissal, the
COMELEC or its designated prosecutor?

RULING: Whether the orders of dismissal should be appealed is for the COMELEC to decide, not for Chief
State Prosecutor whom it has merely deputized to represent in it court. The 1987 Constitution mandates
the COMELEC not only to investigate but also to prosecute cases of violation of election laws. This means
that the COMELEC is empowered to conduct preliminary investigations in cases involving election offenses
for the purpose of helping the Judge determine probable cause and for filing an information in court. This
power is exclusive with COMELEC.

Prosecutors designated by the COMELEC to prosecute the cases act as its deputies. They derive their
authority from it and not from their offices.

Consequently, it was beyond the power of Chief State Prosecutor to oppose the appeal of the COMELEC.
For that matter, it was beyond his power, as COMELEC-designated prosecutor, to leave to the trial courts
the determination of whether there was probable cause for the filing of the cases and, if it found none,
whether the cases should be dismissed.

12. TORRES vs. COMELEC


Facts: This case involves the power of the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) to annul the proclamation
of a winning candidate for Municipal Councilor in view of an error in the computation of totals in the
Statement of Votes which was made the basis of the proclamation, and to direct the Municipal Board of
Canvassers to reconvene and proclaim the rightful winner.

Municipal Board of Canvassers of Tanza, Cavite, issued a Certicate of Canvass of Votes and Proclamation
of the Winning Candidates for Municipal Councilors. Petitioner was proclaimed as the fifth winning
candidate for councilor with 12, 055 votes.

The same Municipal Board of Canvassers requested the COMELEC for correction of the number of votes
garnered by the petetitioner. The letter request from the former stated that the votes intended for Mr
Dimaala in the subtotal as reflected in the statement of Votes by the precinct was erroneously added to Mr
Torres for a total of 934 votes. Mr. Torres should have been number 10 in the winning column with 11, 121
votes while Mr. de Peralta should have been number 5 with 11, 610 votes.

In en banc resolution, Comelec granted the letter request for the correction. It ordered the Municipal Board
pf Canvassers to convene and proclaim de Peralta as the eight winning councilor.

Petitioner’s contention:

The subject matter which was the correction of votes garnered by him properly falls within the jurisdiction
of the Regional Trial Court pursuant to Section 51 of the Omnibus election Code.
The Municipal Board of Canvassers had no legal personality to file an action motu proprio before the
COMELEC for correction
Corrections are allowed only when there has been no proclamation yet. Once the Municipal Board of
Canvassers has declared and proclaimed the winners in an election its functions are finished and its
existence is terminated.

Comelec’s contention:

The proclamation of petitioner was flawed from the beginning for being tainted with clerical error or
mathematical mistake in the addition of votes.
When what is involved is purely mathematical and/or mechanical error in the operation of the adding
machine committed by the BoC but does not involve any opening of ballot boxes, examination and
appreciation of ballots and/or election returns, all that is required is to reconvene the board of canvassers
to rectify the error.
It has original jurisdiction on all matters relating to election returns.
It has the direct control and supervision over the municipal board of canvassers, hence, it has authority to
direct the latter to reconveneand continue the proclamation of the rightful winner.

Issue: Whether or not COMELEC En Banc has the poWer to order the correction.

Ruling: Petitioner's contentions must fail. The position of COMELEC is well-taken. Sec. 7, Rule 27, of the
COMELEC Rules of Procedure provides

Sec. 7. Correction of Errors in Tabulation or Tallying of Results by the Board of Canvassers. (a) where it is
clearly shown before proclamation that manifest errors were committed in the tabulation or tallying of
election returns, or certificates of canvass, during the canvassing as where (1) a copy of the election returns
of one precinct or two or more copies of a certificate of canvass were tabulated more than once, (2) two
copies of the election returns or certificate of canvass were tabulated separately, (3) there was a mistake
in the adding or copying of the figures into the certificate of canvass or into the statement of votes by
precinct, or (4) so-called election returns from non-existent precincts were included in the canvass, the
board may motu proprio or upon verified petition by any candidate, political party, organization or coalition
of political parties, after due notice and hearing, correct the errors committed.

In Castromayor v. Comelec we held that although the above provision applies to pre-proclamation
controversies, and even if the proclamation of a winning candidate has already been made, there is nothing
to prevent its application to cases like the one at bar in which the validity of the proclamation is precisely in
question. In Duremdes v. COMELEC,[8] this Court sustained the power of the COMELEC En Banc to order
a correction of the Statement of Votes to make it conform to the election returns in accordance with a
procedure similar to the procedure now embodied in Sec. 7, Rule 27, of the COMELEC Rules of Procedure.
Since the Statement of Votes forms the basis of the Certificate of Canvass and of the proclamation, any
error in the statement ultimately affects the validity of the proclamation.
The Statement of Votes is merely a tabulation per precinct of the votes obtained by the candidates as
reflected in the election returns. What is involved in the instant case is simple arithmetic. In making the
correction in the computation the Municipal Board of Canvassers acted in an administrative capacity under
the control and supervision of the COMELEC. Pursuant to its constitutional function to decide questions
affecting elections, the COMELEC En Banc has authority to resolve any question pertaining to the
proceedings of the Municipal Board of Canvassers.

Section 3

13. Sarmiento vs. COMELEC 212 SCRA 307

Facts: This special civil action for certiorari seek to set aside the Resolutions of Respondent Commission
on Elections (COMELEC) in the following Special Cases:

1) G.R. No. 105628 — SPC No. 92-266


2) G.R. No. 105725 — SPC No. 92-323
3) G.R. No. 105727 — SPC No. 92-288
4) G.R. No. 105730 — SPC No. 92-315
5) G.R. No. 105771 — SPC No. 92-271
6) G.R. No. 105778 — SPC No. 92-039
7) G.R. No. 105797 — SPC No. 92-153
8) G.R. No. 105919 — SPC No. 92-293
9) G.R. No. 105977 — SPC No. 92-087

Issue: Whether the challenged Resolutions above specified (the SPC) as having been issued with grave
abuse of discretion in that, inter alia, the Commission, sitting en banc, took cognizance of and decided the
appeals without first referring them to any of it Divisions.

Held: The COMELEC en banc acted without jurisdiction, or with grave abuse of discretion, when it resolved
the appeals of petitioners in the above mentioned Special Cases without first referring them to any of its
Divisions. Section 3, subdivision C, Article IX of the 1987 Constitution expressly provides:
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.
Said Resolutions are therefore, null and void and must be set aside. Consequently, the appeals are deemed
pending before the Commission for proper referral to a Division.

A resolution directing the COMELEC to assign said Special Cases to the Divisions pursuant to Section 8,
Rule 3 of its Rules on assignment of cases would, logically, be in order. However, Section 16 of R.A. No.
7166 provides that all pre-proclamation cases pending before it shall be deemed terminated at the
beginning of the term of the office involved. The terms of the offices involved in the Special Cases subject
of these petitions commenced at noon of June 30 1992. These cases have thus been rendered moot and
such a resolution would only be an exercise in futility.

Therefore, the instant petitions are DISMISSED but without prejudice to the filing by petitioners of regular
elections protests. If the winning candidates for the positions involved in the Special Cases subject of these
petitions have already been proclaimed, the running of the period to file the protests shall be deemed
suspended by the pendency of such cases before the COMELEC and of these petitions before this Court.

Notes:

1) G.R. No. 105628 — SPC No. 92-266 granting the appeal from the ruling of the Municipal Board of
Canvassers of Virac, Catanduanes which ordered the exclusion from the canvass of one (1) election return;

2) G.R. No. 105725 — SPC No. 92-323 reversing the ruling of the City Board of Canvassers of Iriga City
which ordered the exclusion from the canvass of six (6) election returns and in UND No. 92-243 ordering
the said Board of Canvassers to include in the canvass the election returns involved therein;

3) G.R. No. 105727 — SPC No. 92-288 dismissing the appeal of petitioner from the ruling of the Provincial
Board of Canvassers of Catanduanes which ordered the inclusion in the canvass the certificate of canvass
for the municipality of Virac, excluding the returns from 48 precincts;

4) G.R. No. 105730 — SPC No. 92-315 affirming the ruling of the Municipal Board of Canvassers of Jose
Panganiban, Camarines Norte which dismissed petitioner's opposition to the composition of the said
Municipal Board of Canvassers;

5) G.R. No. 105771 — SPC No. 92-271 affirming the ruling of the Municipal Board of Canvassers of
Cabusao, Camarines Sur which, among others, rejected petitioner's objection to certain election returns;

6) G.R. No. 105778 — SPC No. 92-039 dismissing said case for non-compliance with Section 20 of R.A.
No. 7166;
7) G.R. No. 105797 — SPC No. 92-153 affirming the rulings of the Provincial Board of Canvassers of Davao
Oriental which rejected petitioner's objections to the canvass of some certificates of canvass;
8) G.R. No. 105919 — SPC No. 92-293 dismissing petitioner's appeal from the ruling of the Municipal Board
of Canvassers of Upi Nuro, Maguindanao;

9) G.R. No. 105977 — SPC No. 92-087 denying the amended pre-proclamation petition, which is an appeal
from the rulings of the Municipal Board of Canvassers of Ternate, Cavite, and denying a subsequent motion
to resolve the issues raised in said amended petition.

14. Reyes v RTC of Oriental Mindoro ; 244 SCRA 41

FACTS: Petitioner Aquiles Reyes and private respondent Adolfo Comia were candidates for the position of
Sanggunian Bayan of Naujan, Oriental Mindoro in the May 11, 1992 elections. On May 13, 1992, during
the proceedings of the Municipal Board of Canvassers, private respondent moved for the exclusion of
certain election returns, on the ground of serious irregularity in the counting in favor of petitioner Aquiles
Reyes votes for “Reyes” only, considering that there was another candidate (Epitacio Reyes) bearing the
same surname. Without resolving his petition, the Municipal Board of Canvassers proclaimed on the same
day petitioner as the eight winning candidate. On June 1, 1992, private respondent filed an election protest
before the trial court. Municipal Board of Canvassers file its answer in which it admitted that it had made a
mistake in crediting private respondent with only 858 votes when he was entitled to 915 votes in the
Statement of Votes. On June 23, 1992, trial court rendered its decision annulling the proclamation of
petitioner and declaring private respondent as the eight winning candidate for the position of councilor.
Petitioner filed a notice of appeal to the COMELEC and in addition filed a petition for mandamus and
prohibition in the CA. The CA dismissed the petition because of the petitioner's pending appeal in the
COMELEC. On the other hand, the COMELEC's First Division dismissed the petitioner's appeal on
theground that he had failed to pay the appeal fee within the prescribed period. Hence this instant petition,
petitioner contends that the COMELEC's First Division committed grave abuse of discretion.

ISSUE: Whether or not this petition for certiorari would prosper?

HELD: NO. The filing of the present petition, without petitioner first filing a motion for reconsideration before
the COMELEC en banc, violates Art. IX, A, Sec 7 of the Constitution because under this provision only
decisions of the COMELEC en banc may be brought to the Supreme Court on certiorari.

SECTION 4

15. NATIONAL PRESS CLUB VS. COMELEC

Facts: Petitioners in these cases consist of representatives of the mass media which are prevented from
selling or donating space and time for political advertisements; two (2) individuals who are candidates for
office (one for national and the other for provincial office) in the coming May 1992 elections; and taxpayers
and voters who claim that their right to be informed of election Issue and of credentials of the candidates is
being curtailed. It is principally argued by petitioners that Section 11 (b) of Republic Act No. 66461 invades
and violates the constitutional guarantees comprising freedom of expression. Petitioners maintain that the
prohibition imposed by Section 11 (b) amounts to censorship, because it selects and singles out for
suppression and repression with criminal sanctions, only publications of a particular content, namely,
media-based election or political propaganda during the election period of 1992. It is asserted that the
prohibition is in derogation of media's role, function and duty to provide adequate channels of public
information and public opinion relevant to election Issue. Further, petitioners contend that Section 11 (b)
abridges the freedom of speech of candidates, and that the suppression of media-based campaign or
political propaganda except those appearing in the Comelec space of the newspapers and on Comelec
time of radio and television broadcasts, would bring about a substantial reduction in the quantity or volume
of information concerning candidates and Issue in the election thereby curtailing and limiting the right of
voters to information and opinion.

Issue: Whether or Not Section 11 (b) of Republic Act No. 6646 constitutional.

Held: Yes. It seems a modest proposition that the provision of the Bill of Rights which enshrines freedom
of speech, freedom of expression and freedom of the press has to be taken in conjunction with Article IX
(C) (4) which may be seen to be a special provision applicable during a specific limited period — i.e., "during
the election period." In our own society, equality of opportunity to proffer oneself for public office, without
regard to the level of financial resources that one may have at one's disposal, is clearly an important value.
One of the basic state policies given constitutional rank by Article II, Section 26 of the Constitution is the
egalitarian demand that "the State shall guarantee equal access to opportunities for public service and
prohibit political dynasties as may be defined by law." The essential question is whether or not the assailed
legislative or administrative provisions constitute a permissible exercise of the power of supervision or
regulation of the operations of communication and information enterprises during an election period, or
whether such act has gone beyond permissible supervision or regulation of media operations so as to
constitute unconstitutional repression of freedom of speech and freedom of the press. The Court considers
that Section 11 (b) has not gone outside the permissible bounds of supervision or regulation of media
operations during election periods.

Section 11 (b) is limited in the duration of its applicability and enforceability. By virtue of the operation of
Article IX (C) (4) of the Constitution, Section 11 (b) is limited in its applicability in time to election periods.
Section 11 (b) does not purport in any way to restrict the reporting by newspapers or radio or television
stations of news or news-worthy events relating to candidates, their qualifications, political parties and
programs of government. Moreover, Section 11 (b) does not reach commentaries and expressions of belief
or opinion by reporter’s or broadcasters or editors or commentators or columnists in respect of candidates,
their qualifications, and programs and so forth, so long at least as such comments, opinions and beliefs are
not in fact advertisements for particular candidates covertly paid for. In sum, Section 11 (b) is not to be read
as reaching any report or commentary other coverage that, in responsible media, is not paid for by
candidates for political office. Section 11 (b) as designed to cover only paid political advertisements of
particular candidates.

The limiting impact of Section 11 (b) upon the right to free speech of the candidates themselves is not
unduly repressive or unreasonable.

16. (EQUAL PROTECTION CLAUSE)


TELECOMMUNICATIONS AND BROADCAST ATTORNEYS OF THE PHILIPPINES, INC. and GMA
NETWORK, INC., petitioners, vs. THE COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS, respondent.

FACTS: Petitioner Telecommunications and Broadcast Attorneys of the Philippines, Inc. (TELEBAP) is an
organization of lawyers of radio and television broadcasting companies. They are suing as citizens,
taxpayers and registered voters. It was declared to be without legal standing to sue in this case as, among
other reasons, it was not able to show that it was to suffer from actual or threatened injury as a result of the
subject law. Other petitioner, GMA Network, Inc., appears to have the requisite standing to bring this
constitutional challenge. Petitioner operates radio and television broadcast stations in the Philippines
affected by the enforcement of Sec. 92 of B.P Blg. 881 requiring radio and television broadcast companies
to provide free air time to the COMELEC for the use of candidates for campaign and other political purposes.
Petitioners challenge the validity of Sec. 92 on the ground (1) that it takes property without due process of
law and without just compensation; (2) that it denies radio and television broadcast companies the equal
protection of the laws; and (3) that it is in excess of the power given to the COMELEC to supervise or
regulate the operation of media of communication or information during the period of election. Petitioner
claims that it suffered losses running to several million pesos in providing COMELEC Time in connection
with the 1992 presidential election and 1995 senatorial election and that it stands to suffer even more should
it be required to do so again this year. Petitioners claim that the primary source of revenue of the radio and
television stations is the sale of air time to advertisers and to require these stations to provide free air time
is to authorize unjust taking of private property. According to petitioners, in 1992 it lost P22,498,560.00 in
providing free air time for one hour each day and, in this year’s elections, it stands to lost P58,980,850.00
in view of COMELEC’s requirement that it provide at least 30 minutes of prime time daily for COMELEC
Time.

ISSUES:

(1) Whether or not Section 92 of B.P. No. 881 denies radio and television broadcast companies the equal
protection of the laws.
(2) Whether or not Section 92 of B.P. No. 881 constitutes taking of property without due process of law and
without just compensation.

HELD: Petitioner’s argument is without merit. All broadcasting, whether radio or by television stations, is
licensed by the government. Airwave frequencies have to be allocated as there are more individuals who
want to broadcast that there are frequencies to assign. Radio and television broadcasting companies, which
are given franchises, do not own the airwaves and frequencies through which they transmit broadcast
signals and images. They are merely given the temporary privilege to use them. Thus, such exercise of the
privilege may reasonably be burdened with the performance by the grantee of some form of public service.
In granting the privilege to operate broadcast stations and supervising radio and television stations, the
state spends considerable public funds in licensing and supervising them.
The argument that the subject law singles out radio and television stations to provide free air time as against
newspapers and magazines which require payment of just compensation for the print space they may
provide is likewise without merit. Regulation of the broadcast industry requires spending of public funds
which it does not do in the case of print media. To require the broadcast industry to provide free air time for
COMELEC is a fair exchange for what the industry gets.
As radio and television broadcast stations do not own the airwaves, no private property is taken by the
requirement that they provide air time to the COMELEC. The use of property bears a social function and is
subject to the state’s duty to intervene for the common good. Broadcast media can find their just and highest
reward in the fact that whatever altruistic service they may render in connection with the holding of elections
is for that common good.
For the foregoing reasons, the petition is dismissed.

17. ADIONG v. COMELEC

FACTS: On January 13, 1992, the COMELEC promulgated Resolution No. 2347 pursuant to its powers
granted by the Constitution, the Omnibus Election Code, Republic Acts Nos. 6646 and 7166 and other
election laws. Section 15(a) of the resolution provides:
Sec. 15. Lawful Election Propaganda. ” The following are lawful election propaganda:
(a) Pamphlets, leaflets, cards, decals. Provided, that decals and stickers may be posted only in any of the
authorized posting areas provided in paragraph (f) of Section 21 hereof.
Section 21 (f) of the same resolution provides:
Sec. 21(f). Prohibited forms of election propaganda.
It is unlawful:
(f) To draw, paint, inscribe, post, display or publicly exhibit any election propaganda in any place, whether
public or private, mobile or stationary, except in the COMELEC common posted areas and/or billboards.
Petitioner Blo Umpar Adiong, a senatorial candidate in the May 11, 1992 elections assails the COMELEC’s
Resolution insofar as it prohibits the posting of decals and stickers in “mobile” places like cars and other
moving vehicles. According to him such prohibition is violative of Section 82 of the Omnibus Election Code
and Section 11(a) of Republic Act No. 6646.

ISSUE: Whether or not the COMELEC may prohibit the posting of decals and stickers on “mobile” places,
public or private, and limit their location or publication to the authorized posting areas that it fixes.

HELD: The petition is hereby GRANTED. The portion of Section 15 (a) of Resolution No. 2347 of the
COMELEC providing that “decals and stickers may be posted only in any of the authorized posting areas
provided in paragraph (f) of Section 21 hereof” is DECLARED NULL and VOID. The COMELEC’s
prohibition on posting of decals and stickers on “mobile” places whether public or private except in
designated areas provided for by the COMELEC itself is null and void on constitutional grounds. The
prohibition unduly infringes on the citizen’s fundamental right of free speech enshrined in the Constitution
(Sec. 4, Article III). Significantly, the freedom of expression curtailed by the questioned prohibition is not so
much that of the candidate or the political party. The regulation strikes at the freedom of an individual to
express his preference and, by displaying it on his car, to convince others to agree with him.

Also, the questioned prohibition premised on the statute (RA 6646) and as couched in the resolution is void
for over breadth. The restriction as to where the decals and stickers should be posted is so broad that it
encompasses even the citizen’s private property, which in this case is a privately-owned vehicle (The
provisions allowing regulation are so loosely worded that they include the posting of decals or stickers in
the privacy of one’s living room or bedroom.) In consequence of this prohibition, another cardinal rule
prescribed by the Constitution would be violated. Section 1, Article III of the Bill of Rights provides that no
person shall be deprived of his property without due process of law. (The right to property may be subject
to a greater degree of regulation but when this right is joined by a “liberty” interest, the burden of justification
on the part of the Government must be exceptionally convincing and irrefutable. The burden is not met in
this case.)

Additionally, the constitutional objective to give a rich candidate and a poor candidate equal opportunity to
inform the electorate as regards their candidacies, mandated by Article II, Section 26 and Article XIII,
section 1 in relation to Article IX (c) Section 4 of the Constitution, is not impaired by posting decals and
stickers on cars and other private vehicles. It is to be reiterated that the posting of decals and stickers on
cars, calesas, tricycles, pedicabs and other moving vehicles needs the consent of the owner of the vehicle.
Hence, the preference of the citizen becomes crucial in this kind of election propaganda not the financial
resources of the candidate.
In sum, the prohibition on posting of decals and stickers on “mobile” places whether public or private except
in the authorized areas designated by the COMELEC becomes censorship which cannot be justified by the
Constitution.

18. Pablito Sanidad vs Commission on Elections 181 SCRA 529

Facts: On 23 October 1989, RA 6766 (Act providing for an organic act for the Cordillera Autonomous
Region) was enacted into law. The plebiscite was scheduled 30 January 1990. The Comelec, by virtue of
the power vested by the 1987 Constitution, the Omnibus Election Code (BP 881), RA 6766 and other
pertinent election laws, promulgated Resolution 2167, to govern the conduct of the plebiscite on the said
Organic Act for the Cordillera Autonomous Region. Pablito V. Sanidad, a newspaper columnist of “Overview”
for the “Baguio Midland Courier” assailed the constitutionality of Section 19 (Prohibition on columnists,
commentators or announcers) of the said resolution, which provides “During the plebiscite campaign period,
on the day before and on plebiscite day, no mass media columnist, commentator, announcer or personality
shall use his column or radio or television time to campaign for or against the plebiscite issues.”

Issue: Whether columnists are prohibited from expressing their opinions, or should be under Comelec
regulation, during plebiscite periods.

Held: Article IX-C of the 1987 Constitution that what was granted to the Comelec was the power to
supervise and regulate the use and enjoyment of franchises, permits or other grants issued for the operation
of transportation or other public utilities, media of communication or information to the end that equal
opportunity, time and space, and the right to reply, including reasonable, equal rates therefor, for public
information campaigns and forums among candidates are ensured. Neither Article IX-C of the Constitution
nor Section 11-b, 2nd paragraph of RA 6646 (“a columnist, commentator, announcer or personality, who is
a candidate for any elective office is required to take a leave of absence from his work during the campaign
period”) can be construed to mean that the Comelec has also been granted the right to supervise and
regulate the exercise by media practitioners themselves of their right to expression during plebiscite periods.
Media practitioners exercising their freedom of expression during plebiscite periods are neither the
franchise holders nor the candidates. In fact, there are no candidates involved in a plebiscite. Therefore,
Section 19 of Comelec Resolution 2167 has no statutory basis.

19. SOCIAL WEATHER STATIONS, INCORPORATED and KAMAHALAN PUBLISHING


CORPORATION, doing business as MANILA STANDARD, petitioners, vs. COMMISSION ON
ELECTIONS, respondent.
G.R. No. 147571

Facts: Petitioner, Social Weather Stations, Inc. (SWS), is a private non-stock, non-profit social research
institution conducting surveys in various fields, including economics, politics, demography, and social
development, and thereafter processing, analyzing, and publicly reporting the results thereof. On the other
hand, petitioner Kamahalan Publishing Corporation publishes the Manila Standard, a newspaper of general
circulation, which features news- worthy items of information including election surveys Petitioners brought
this action for prohibition to enjoin the Commission on Elections from enforcing §5.4 of RA. No.9006 (Fair
Election Act), which provides: Surveys affecting national candidates shall not be published fifteen (15) days
before an election and surveys affecting local candidates shall not be published seven (7) days be- fore an
election. Petitioner SWS states that it wishes to conduct an election survey throughout the period of the
elections both at the national and local levels and release to the media the results of such survey as well
as publish them directly. Petitioner Kamahalan Publishing Corporation, on the other hand, states that it
intends to publish election survey results up to the last day of the elections on May 14,2001

Issue : WON §5.4 of R.A. No. 9006 constitutes an unconstitutional abridgment of freedom of speech,
expression, and the press.

Held : What test should then be employed to determine the constitutional validity of §5.4? The United States
Supreme Court, through Chief Justice Warren, held in United States v. O 'Brien: [A] Government regulation
is sufficiently justified [1] if it is within the constitutional power of the Government; [2] if it furthers an
important or substantial governmental interest; [3] if the governmental interest is unrelated to the
suppression of free expression; and [4] if the incidental restriction on alleged First Amendment freedoms
[of speech, expression and press] is no greater than is essential to the furtherance of that interest. This is
so far the most influential test for distinguishing content-based from content neutral regulations and is said
to have "become canonical in the review of such laws." is noteworthy that the O 'Brien test has been applied
by this Court in at least two cases First. Sec. 5.4 fails to meet criterion [3] of the O 'Brien test because the
causal connection of expression to the asserted governmental interest makes such interest "not related to
the suppression of free expression." By prohibiting the publication of election survey results because of the
possibility that such publication might undermine the integrity of the election, §5.4 actually suppresses a
whole class of expression, while allowing the expression of opinion concerning the same subject matter by
newspaper columnists, radio and TV commentators, armchair theorists, and other opinion takers Even if
the governmental interest sought to be promoted is unrelated to the suppression of speech and the resulting
restriction of free expression is only incidental, §5.4 nonetheless fails to meet criterion [4] of the O'Brien
test, namely, that the restriction be not greater than is necessary to further the governmental interest. As
already stated, §5.4 aims at the prevention of last-minute pressure on voters, the creation of bandwagon
effect, "junking" of weak or "losing" candidates, and resort to the form of election cheating called "dagdag-
bawas." Praiseworthy as these aims of the regulation might be, they cannot be attained at the sacrifice of
the fundamental right of expression, when such aim can be more narrowly pursued by punishing unlawful
acts, rather than speech because of apprehension that such speech creates the danger of such evils To
summarize then, we hold that §5.4 is invalid because (1) it imposes a prior restraint on the freedom of
expression, (2) it is a direct and total suppression of a category of expression even though such suppression
is only for a limited period, and (3) the governmental interest sought to be promoted can be achieved by
means other than suppression of freedom of expression.

20. MITMUG vs. COMELEC

Sultan Mitmug and Datu Dagalangit were among the candidates for the mayoralty position of Lumba-
Bayabao during the 11 May 1992 election. Other candidates for the said position also included Datu Elias
Abdusalam and Datu Bagtao Khalid. There were sixty-seven (67) precincts in the said municipality.

Voter turnout was rather low, particularly in forty-nine (49) precincts where the average voter turnout was
22.26%, i.e., only 2,330 out of 9,830registered voters therein cast their votes. Five (5) of these precincts
did not conduct actual voting at all.

Consequently, COMELEC ordered the holding of a special election on 30 May 1992 in the five (5) precincts
which failed to function during Election Day. On 30 July 1992, another special election was held for a sixth
precinct.

In the interim, Sultan Mitmug filed a petition seeking the annulment of the special election conducted on
30May 1992 alleging various irregularities such as the alteration, tampering and substitution of ballots.

But on 13 July 1992, COMELEC considered the petition moot since the votes in the subject precincts were
already counted.

Other petitions seeking the declaration of failure of election in some or all precincts of Lumba-Bayabao
were also filed with COMELEC by other mayoralty candidates, to wit:1.

On 6 June 1992, Datu Gamba Dagalangit filed an urgent petition praying for the holding of a special election
in Precinct No. 22-A alleging therein that when the ballot box was opened, ballots were already torn to
pieces.

On 14 July 1992, the petition was granted and a special election for Precinct No. 22-A wasset for 25 July
1992.2.

On 16 June 19992, Datu Elias Abdusalam, another mayoralty candidate, filed a petition to declare failure
of election in twenty-nine (29) more precincts as a result of alleged tampering of ballots and clustering of
precincts.

On 16 July 1992, the petition was dismissed. COMELEC ruled that there must be a situation where there
is absolute inability to vote before a failure of election can be declared.

Since voting was actually conducted in the contested precincts, there was no basis for the petition.3.

On 20 June 1992, private respondent filed another petition, this time seeking to exclude from the counting
the ballots cast in six (6) precincts on the ground that the integrity of the ballot boxes there in was violated.

Again, on 14 July 1992, COMELEC considered the petition moot, as the issue raised there in was related
to that of SPA No. 92-311 whichon 9 July 1992 was already set aside as moot.4.

On 1 July 1992, Datu Bagato Khalid Lonta, a fourth mayoralty candidate, filed a petition which in the main
sought the declaration of failure of election in all sixty-seven (67) precincts of Lumba-Bayabao, Lanao del
Sur, on the ground of massive disenfranchisement of voters.

On 9 July 1992, COMELEC dismissed the petition, ruling that the allegations therein didnot support a case
of failure of election.

8 July 1992
Sultan Mitmug filed a motion to intervene in these four (4) petitions.

But COMELEC treated the same as a motion for reconsideration and promptly denied it considering that
under the COMELEC Rules of Procedure such motion was a prohibited pleading.

Thereafter, a new board of Election Inspectors was formed to conduct the special election set for 25
July1992.

Sultan Mitmug impugned the creation of this Board.

Nevertheless, on 30 July 1992, the new Board convened and began the canvassing of votes.
Finally, on 31 July 1992, Datu Dagalangit was proclaimed the duly elected Mayor of Lumba-Bayabao,Lanao
del Sur.

3 August 1992- Sultan Mitmug filed this petition for certiorari seeking the declaration of failure of election in
forty-nine (49) precincts where less than a quarter of the electorate was able to cast their votes. He also
prayed for the issuance of a temporary restraining order to enjoin Datu Dagalangit from assuming office.

10 August 1992- Sultan Mitmug lodged an election protest with the Regional trial Court of Lanao del Sur
disputing the result not only of some but all the precincts of Lumba-Bayabao, del Sur.

COMELEC et al. assert that with the filing of an election protest, petitioner is already deemed to have
abandoned the instant petition.

Issue: WON the COMELEC acted with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack of jurisdiction in denying
motu proprio and without due notice and hearing the petitions seeking to declare failure of election in some
or all of the precincts in Lumba-Bayabao, Lanao del Sur.

Held: NO. Sultan Mitmug did not abandon this petition for certiorari when he filed an election protest

When Sultan Mitmug filed his election protest with the Regional Trial Court of Lanao del Sur, he informed
the trial court of the pendency of these proceedings. Paragraph 3 of his protest states "That on August 3,
1992, your protestant filed a Petition for Certiorari with the Supreme Court docketed as G.R. No.
106270assailing the validity of the proclamation of the herein protestee."
Evidently, Sultan Mitmug did not intend to abandon his recourse with this Court. On the contrary, where
only an election protest ex abundane ad cautela is filed, the Court retains jurisdiction to hear the petition
seeking to annul an election. COMELEC did not commit grave abuse of discretion in dismissing the petitions
outright