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16. MATEO CAASI vs. THE HON. COURT OF 17. TOMAS DE GUZMAN VS.

PROVINCIAL
APPEALS and MERITO C. MIGUEL BOARD OF CANVASSERS OF LA UNION and
G.R. No. 88831 November 8, 1990 JUAN T. LUCERO
G.R. No. L-24721 November 3, 1925
FACTS: These two cases were consolidated
because they have the same objective; the Facts: Petitioner alleges that the respondent
disqualification under Section 68 of the Omnibus provincial board of canvassers met on June 22,
Election Code of the private respondent, Merito 1925, for the purpose of counting the votes cast in
Miguel for the position of municipal mayor of the election for provincial officers and certifying the
Bolinao, Pangasinan, to which he was elected in the result of the count, and after gathering all the
local elections of January 18, 1988, on the ground election returns, it found that the petitioner had
that he is a green card holder, hence, a permanent obtained 7,662 votes and the respondent Juan T.
resident of the United States of America, not of Lucero, 8,771 votes; that the original of the
Bolinao. Miguel admits possessing a green card $ut certificate of candidacy of the respondent Juan T.
contends that he only uses it for convenience to Lucero, a certified copy of which is Exhibit A, was
freely enter the US for his medical treatment and to not duly sworn to, as required by law, while the
visit his children. He also alleges that he voted in all certificate of candidacy of the petitioner Tomas de
previous elections, including the plebiscite on Guzman, the original of which is Exhibit B, was
February 2 1987 for the ratification of the 1987 prepared and filed in accordance with the
Constitution, and the congressional elections on requirements of the law; that notwithstanding that
May 18,1987. Juan T. Lucero did not file a certificate of candidacy
duly sworn to, as provided in section 404 of the
COMELEC with the exception of Commissioner Election Law, the respondent provincial board of
Anacleto Badoy, Jr., dismissed the petition. canvassers willfully and illegally adjudicated the
8,771 votes to the respondent, and afterwards
ISSUE: Whether a green card is proof that the illegally proclaimed and certified him as governor-
holder is a permanent resident of the United States elect of the Province of La Union; that in view of
these facts the respondent Juan T. Lucero has not,
and could not have, been a legal candidate for the
HELD: Yes. In the case of Merito Miguel, the Court
office in question, and could not have been certified
deems it significant that in the "Application
elected for the office of provincial governor.
for Immigrant Visa and Alien Registration" (Optional
Form No. 230, Department of State) which Miguel
Issue: Whether the failure of Lucero in filing his
filled up in his own handwriting and submitted to the
certificate of candidacy under oath was fatal to his
US Embassy in Manila before his departure for the
proclamation as the duly elected governor of La
United States in 1984, Miguel's answer to Question
Union
No. 21 therein regarding his "Length of intended
stay (if permanently, so state)," Miguel's answer
Held: No. Although Section 41 of Act No. 3030,
was, "Permanently."
amending section 471 of the Election Law, provides
that the provincial board of canvassers or the
On its face, the green card that was subsequently
Governor-General, as the case may be, shall certify
issued by the United States Department of Justice
elected for the offices of senator or member of the
and Immigration and Registration Service to the
House of Representatives and for provincial officers
respondent Merito C. Miguel identifies him in clear
only those who shall have obtained the highest
bold letters as a RESIDENT ALIEN. Despite his
number of votes, and filed their certificates of
vigorous disclaimer, Miguel's immigration to the
candidacy in accordance with the provisions of
United States in 1984 constituted an abandonment
section 404 of this law.
of his domicile and residence in the Philippines. For
he did not go to the United States merely to visit his
In the case before us the certificate of the
children or his doctor there; he entered the limited
respondent Juan T. Lucero was defective, lacking
States with the intention to have there permanently
the formality of the oath. This irregularity might have
as evidenced by his application for an immigrant's
justified the elimination of the name of Juan T.
(not a visitor's or tourist's) visa. Based on that
Lucero as a legal candidate for the office of
application of his, he was issued by the U.S.
provincial governor, if an objection on the part of the
Government the requisite green card or authority to
petitioner Tomas de Guzman had been made in due
reside there permanently.
time. Yet we are of the opinion that this irregularity
Respondent Merito Miguel admits that he holds a does not invalidate the election for the fundamental
green card, which proves that he is a permanent reason that after it was proven by the count of the
resident or immigrant it of the United States, but the votes that Juan T. Lucero had obtained the majority
records of this case are starkly bare of proof that he of the legal votes, the will of the people cannot be
had waived his status as such before he ran for frustrated by a technicality consisting in that his
election as municipal mayor of Bolinao on January certificate of candidacy had not been properly
18, 1988. We, therefore, hold that he was sworn to.
disqualified to become a candidate for that office.
When the Election Law does not provide that a
departure from a prescribed form will be fatal and
such departure has been due to an honest mistake
or misinterpretation of the Election Law on the part require that the candidate must state in his
of him who was obligated to observe it, and such certificate of candidacy his Precinct Number and the
departure has not been used as a means for Barangay where he is registered. Apparently, it is
fraudulent practices or for the intimidation of voters, enough that he is actually registered as a voter in
and it is clear that there has been a free and honest the precinct where he intends to vote, which should
expression of the popular will, the law will be held be within the district where he is running for office.
directory and such departure will be considered a
harmless irregularity. In the case at bench, his failure to so state in his
certificate of candidacy his Precinct Number is
We hold that the legal provision here in question is satisfactorily explained by him in that at the time he
mandatory and non-compliance therewith before filed his certificate he was not yet assigned a
the election would have been fatal to the recognition particular Precinct Number in the Second District of
of the status of Juan T. Lucero as candidate. But Quezon City.
after the people have expressed their will honestly,
the result of the election cannot be defeated by the In his Petition for Inclusion in the Registry of
fact that the respondent who was certified by the Registered Voters of Second District, Quezon City,
provincial secretary to be a legal candidate for the private respondent explained that —
office of provincial governor, has not sworn to his
certificate of candidacy. . . . since 1990, he is a resident of Block 26, Lot 1,
New Capitol Estates (formerly Capitol Bliss),
Barangay Batasan Hills, Quezon City; that he failed
18. EUGENIO JURILLA vs. COMMISSION ON to register as a voter during the general registration
ELECTIONS held at Quezon City on March 14 and 15, 1992
G.R. No. 105436 June 2, 1994 because he was sick of Acute Gastroenteritis as
evidenced by the Medical Certificate duly issued by
Facts: On 23 March 1992, respondent Antonio V. Dr. Angelito S. Regala, M.D., of the Family Clinic,
Hernandez filed with the Commission on Elections Inc.; that he was a previous registered voter of
his certificate of candidacy for one of the contested Manila . . . that he would like to transfer and to
seats. In Item No. 6 of his certificate he gave as his register as voter in Quezon City, particularly at
address "B 26, L 1 New Capitol Estates, Quezon Precinct 233-B, New Capitol Estates, Quezon City
City." However, he did not indicate on the space because he is now a resident of Quezon City. 6
provided in Item No. 12 therein his Precinct Number
and the particular Barangay where he was a Confirming the explanation of private respondent,
registered voter. Barangay Captain Manuel Laxina testified that he
In other words, his certificate of candidacy and his was the Barangay Captain of New Capitol Estates
biodata filed with COMELEC did not expressly state (formerly Capitol Bliss), Barangay Batasan, Quezon
that he was a registered voter of Quezon City or City, since 8 October 1986; that petitioner (private
that he was a resident of the Second District respondent herein) was a resident of New Capitol
thereof. Estates for two (2) years as of the time he testified.

In view of the seeming deficiency in the certificate of Consequently, as a registered voter of Precinct
candidacy of private respondent, petitioners herein Number 233-B, New Capitol Estates, Quezon City,
challenged his qualification before public as judicially confirmed, the COMELEC had no other
respondent COMELEC explaining however that recourse but to declare that he was eligible, hence
since they became aware of the grounds for private qualified, to run for the position in question.
respondent’s qualification only after the elections,
they chose to file their petition under Rule 25 of the
COMELEC Rules of Procedure authorizing the filing
of such petition at any day after the last day for filing
certificates of candidacy but not later than the date
of proclamation.

COMELEC promulgated its questioned resolution


denying the petition for disqualification for being
filed outside the reglementary period. Hence, the
instant petition for certiorari

Issue: Whether or not the failure of a candidate to


indicate his Precinct Number and the particular
Barangay where he was a registered voter
invalidates his certificate of candidacy.

Held: No.

It may be gleaned from the provisions of Sec. 39,


par. (a), of the Local Government Code of 1991,
earlier quoted, that the law does not specifically