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BINCE vs.

COMELEC

FACTS:
Alfonso Bince&EmilianoMicuwere among the candidates in 11 May ’92 elections for
seat in SangguiniangPanlalawigan of Pangasinan allotted to 6thDist, comprising 10
municipalities.
During canvassing of COCs for 10 municipaities, Micu objected to inclusion of COC
for San Quintin on ground that it contained false statements. COCs for remaining 9
municipalities were included. However, PBC ruled against objection of Micu.
Micu appealed to COMELEC re said ruling. COMELEC en banc promulgated
resolution, stating that the actual no. of votes obtained by Bince is 1,055 while that of Micu
is 1,535.
21 days after canvass for 9 muni was completed, Micu with MBC of Tayug& San
Manuel filed with PBC petitions for correction of SOVs earlier prepared for alleged
manifest errors committed in computation thereof.
18 Jun: PBC credited in favor of Bince and Micu that votes for each as indicated in
COMELEC resolution. Based on COCs, Bince had 27,370 votes while Micu had 27,369
votes. Bince was not proclaimed as winner because of absence of authority from
COMELEC.
Bince filed formal motion for such authority.
29 Jun: COMELEC en banc promulgated supplemental order, directing PBC to
reconvene, continue with provincial canvass & proclaim winning candidates.
25 Jun: Bince appealed the above ruling allowing correction alleging that PBC had no
jurisdiction to entertain the petition.
21 Jul: PBC proclaimed Bince as elected member of SP. Micu filed urgent motion for
contempt & to annul proclamation of Bince. COMELEC resolved & annulled
proclamation of Bince, directing PBC to reconvene & proclaim winning candidate.
Bince filed special civil action contening that it was promulgated without prior notice
& hearing.
9 Feb ’93: Court en banc granted, ruling that Bince has been proclaimed & this
proclamation enjoys presumption of regularity & validity, that he cannot be deprived of
his office without due process.
15 Jul: COMELEC 1stDiv promulgated resolution, stating that Bince is entitled to sit as
member of SP. Micu filed Motion for Reconsideration. COMELEC en banc granted Micu’s
motion & annulled Bince’s proclamation.

ISSUE: WON COMELEC acted with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or
excess of jurisdiction when it annulled Bince’s proclamation

HELD:
Negative. No error was committed by COMELEC when it resolved the "pending
incidents" of the case pursuant to the decision of SC in the aforesaid case of Bincev.
COMELEC on 9 Feb ‘93. In Bince, we nullified the proclamation of Micu because the same
was done without the requisite due notice and hearing, thereby depriving the Bince of
his right to due process. In so doing, however, we did not affirm nor confirm the
proclamation of Bince, hence, our directive to COMELEC to resolve the pending incidents
of the case so as to ascertain the true and lawful winner of the said elections. In effect,
petitioner's proclamation only enjoyed the presumption of regularity and validity of an
official act. It was not categorically declared valid.
Neither can COMELEC be faulted for subsequently annulling the proclamation of
Bince on account of a mathematical error in addition committed by MBCs in the
computation of the votes received by both Micu&Bince.
The petitions to correct manifest errors were filed on time, that is, before the Bince's
proclamation on 21 Jul ‘92.Assuming for the sake of argument that the petition was filed
out of time, this incident alone will not thwart the proper determination and resolution
of the instant case on substantial grounds. Adherence to a technicality that would put a
stamp of validity on a palpably void proclamation, with the inevitable result of
frustrating the people's will cannot be countenanced.
Undoubtedly therefore, the only issue that remains unresolved is the allowance of the
correction of what are purely mathematical and/or mechanical errors in the addition of
the votes received by both candidates. It does not involve the opening of ballot boxes;
neither does it involve the examination and/or appreciation of ballots. The correction
sought by Micu and MBCs of Tayug and San Manuel is correction of manifest mistakes
in mathematical addition. Certainly, this only calls for a mere clerical act of reflecting the
true and correct votes received by the candidates by the MBCs involved. In this case, the
manifest errors sought to be corrected involve the proper and diligent addition of the
votes in the municipalities of Tayug and San Manuel, Pangasinan.
Consequently, by margin of 72 votes, Micu won.