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ELECTION LAW CHAPTER 1 GENERAL PRINCIPLES

2. To determine their will upon such questions submitted to them Election laws: regulate how the right of suffrage is to be exercised

Meaning of Suffrage the right as well as obligation of qualified citizens to vote in a. election of certain national and local officers of the government, and b. decision of public questions submitted to it

Power of Congress to Regulate Suffrage and Elections It is within the power of the State to prescribe the manner in which such right shall be exercised Congress has unlimited power, subject only to constitutional restrictions, to enact laws relative to right of suffrage including the power to: a. Define the qualifications of voters b. Regulate elections c. Prescribe the form of official ballot d. Provide for the manner in which candidates shall be chosen and the names that shall be printed upon the ballot e. Regulate the manner of conducting elections f. Suppress whatever evils may be incident to the election of public officers pursuant to the exercise of police power

Nature of Suffrage Privilege it is not a natural right, hence, it can be given or withheld by the lawmaking power subject to constitutional limitations o Granted only upon the fulfillment of certain minimum conditions deemed essential for the welfare of society

Scope of Suffrage a. Election means by which people choose, through the use of ballot, their officials for definite and fixed periods and to whom they entrust, for the time being as their representatives, the exercise of powers of government o The term may refer to the conduct of polls including the list of voters, the holding of electoral campaign, and the casting and counting of votes b. Plebiscite a vote of the people expressing their choice for or against a proposed law or enactment submitted to them c. Referendum submission of a law passed by the national or local legislative body to the registered voters at an election called for the purpose for their ratification or rejection d. Initiative the process whereby the registered voters directly pro[pose, enact, or amend laws, national or local, through an election called for the purpose o Amendments of the Constitution may be directly proposed by the people through initiative e. Recall a method by which a public officer may be removed from office during his tenure or before the expiration of his term by a vote of the people after registration of a petition signed by a required percentage of the qualified voters

Constitutional Provisions on Suffrage


Art. 5, Sec. 1 of the Constitution: Suffrage may be exercised by all citizens of the Philippines not otherwise disqualified by law, who are at least eighteen years of age, and who shall have resided in the Philippines for at least one year, and in the place wherein they propose to vote, for at least six months immediately preceding the election. No literacy, property, or other substantive requirement shall be imposed on the exercise of suffrage.

This prescribes the qualifications of voters and Congress cannot add or alter such qualifications The responsibility of determining who may be disqualified by law, and, therefore, may be precluded from exercising the right of suffrage, is left by the Constitution to Congress
Art. 5, Sec. 2 of the Constitution: The Congress shall provide a system for securing the secrecy and sanctity of the ballot as well as a system for absentee voting by qualified Filipinos abroad. The Congress shall also design a procedure for the disabled and the illiterates to vote without the assistance of other persons. Until then, they shall be allowed to vote under existing laws and such rules as the Commission on Elections may promulgate to protect the secrecy of the ballot.

Object of Suffrage and Election Laws Main object: continuity of government and the preservation and perpetuation of its benefits 2-fold object: Enable the people 1. To choose their representatives to discharge sovereign functions THE Bonakids

The secrecy of the electoral process requires the secrecy of the vote

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Prohibited Substantive requirements for Exercise of Suffrage a. Literacy requirement the requirement that a voter must know how to read and write confuses literacy with intelligence, and learning with wisdom b. Property requirement this is inconsistent with the concept of republican government and with social justice principles c. Education because this is no guarantee of good citizenship or of intelligence voting d. Sex e. Taxpaying ability CHAPTER 2 COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS

Disabilities of Members
Art. 9-A, Sec. 1(2) of the Constitution: No member of a Constitutional Commission shall, during his tenure, hold any other office or employment. Neither shall he engage in the practice of any profession or in the active management or control of any business which, in any way, may be affected by the functions of his office, nor shall he be financially interested, directly or indirectly, in any contract with, or in any franchise or privilege granted by the Government, any of its subdivisions, agencies, or instrumentalities, including government-owned or controlled corporations or their subsidiaries.

Purpose of Commission To protect the sanctity of the ballot and the free and honest expression of popular will An independent administrative tribunal, co-equal with the other departments in respect to the powers vested in it Composition Chairman and 6 Commissioners Qualifications of Members 1. Natural-born citizens of the Philippines 2. At least 35 years of age at the time of appointment 3. Holders of a College degree 4. Must not have been candidates for any elective position immediately preceding elections 5. Members of the Philippine Bar who have been engaged in the practice of law for at least 10 years Appointment and Terms of Office of Members They are appointed by the President with the consent of the Commission on Appointments for 7 years with reappointment 3 Commissioners 7 years 2 Commissioners 5 years Last member 3 years without reappointment Staggered term for 2 years interval A member appointed to fill a vacancy shall serve only for the unexpired term to preserve the staggered terms of office Appointments or designation in temporary or acting capacity is not allowed

Constitutional Powers and Functions of the Commission a. Executive or Administrative to enforce and administer election laws b. Quasi-legislative to promulgate rules on all questions affecting elections and its rules of procedure c. Quasi-judicial to exercise original and appellate jurisdiction over certain election contests The COMELEC shall exercise the following powers and functions: 1. Enforce and administer laws relative to conduct of elections, etc. o This includes the conduct of plebiscites, initiatives, referenda and recalls o The intent of the Constitution is to give the Commission all necessary and incidental powers for it to achieve the holding of free, orderly, honest, peaceful and credible elections o The choice of means taken by the Commission, unless they are clearly illegal or arbitrary, should not be interfered with o The Omnibus Elections Code grants the Commission investigatory and prosecution power over election offenses o The power to annul an election is not within the powers of the Commission o Specific powers included: a. Annul or cancel illegal registry lists of voters and order a new one b. Cancel the canvas of election returns and annul an illegal proclamation as when they are based on incomplete returns and order a new canvass to be made by the board of canvassers c. Suspend the proclamation of winning candidates pending an inquiry into irregularities brought to its intention d. Direct the board of canvasser to include in the canvass returns from questioned precincts e. Review the actuations of a board of canvassers even to the extent of inquiring beyond the election records of the voting centers in questions o Once proclamation has been made, any alteration or amendment in any statements of election, or in any contradiction or discrepancy appearing therein, whether due to clerical error or otherwise, cannot be made without the intervention of a competent court

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Decide election contests o This refers to the adversary proceedings by which matters involving the title or claim to an elective office, made before or after proclamation of the winner, is settled o For barangay officials, it is restricted to proceedings after the proclamation of the winner o It is neither a civil nor a criminal action, but an ordinary action governed by Rule 20 of the COMELEC Rules of Procedure o Purpose: to ascertain the candidate lawfully elected to office o Election contests involving regional, provincial, and city officials within the exclusive jurisdiction of COMELEC o Election contests for municipal and barangay officials under the jurisdiction of RTC and MTC, respectively, subject to appeal to COMELEC o Election contests involving SK officials under the direct control and supervision of DILG o Specific powers included: a. Determine the validity and nullity of votes b. Exclusive authority to conduct preliminary investigation and the prosecution of election offenses punishable under election laws before a competent court c. Concurrent jurisdiction with SC to issue writs of certiorari, prohibition and mandamus over decisions of trial courts of general jurisdiction o All contests relating to the election returns, and qualifications of member of Congress within exclusive jurisdiction of Senate or House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal once a winding candidate has been proclaimed, taken his oath and assumed office o All contests relating to the election, returns, and qualifications of the President or Vice President within the exclusive jurisdiction of SC en banc as Presidential Electoral Tribunal Decide all questions affecting elections o The Commission has no jurisdiction over questions involving the a. right to vote which includes qualifications and disqualifications of voters b. right of a person to be registered as voter c. right to cast his vote Deputize law enforcement agencies o This must be done with the concurrence of the President o The acts of such deputies within the lawful scope of their delegated authority are, in legal contemplation, the acts of the COMELEC itself o The removal or suspension of such deputies may be recommended by the COMELEC to the President rather than directly imposed by the COMELEC

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Register political parties, etc. and accredit its citizens arms o Political parties which are refused registration are those which: a. Have no platform or program of government b. Seek to achieve their goals through violence or unlawful means c. Refuse to uphold and adhere to the Constitution d. Supported by any foreign government and their agencies o Religious denominations and sects are not allowed to be registered o Citizens arms are supposed to be completely neutral and non-partisan in assisting the COMELEC in the conduct of elections, etc. File petitions, investigate and prosecute o This can be exercised on its own initiative even in the absence of any complaint o This includes the power to prosecute cases in violation of election laws Recommend measures o Recommend measures as would effect more improvements on the election laws such as those that would curb overspending, ensure enforcement of fair and equal exposure rule for political parties and their candidates, and prevent a strong party or candidate from taking undue advantage of the weakness of the others Recommend removal or disciplinary action o The President may or may not follow the recommendation of the COMELEC on deputization o Under the Omnibus Election Code, COMELEC may relieve any officer or employee deputized by it, and, upon its recommendation, the corresponding authority shall suspend or remove from office any or all such officers or employees who may, after due process, be found guilty of such violation or failure Submit report o The report should contain a description on how a previous election, plebiscite, initiative, referendum, or recall was conducted and what laws or regulations, if any, were violated

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Power to punish for contempt This is exclusive only for those cases provided for in Rule 64 of the Rules of Court: In the exercise of its administrative functions, COMELEC has no power to hold a person for contempt

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Finality of decisions No judicial or quasi-judicial act or order including interlocutory orders issued by COMELEC, or by any judicial or quasi-judicial body for that matter, is beyond the reach of SCs power to correct through the writ of certiorari for grave abuse of discretion, amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction Hearing and Deciding Election Cases
Art. 9-C, Sec. 3 of the Constitution: 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.

Election and Campaign Periods


Art. 9-C, Sec. 9 of the Constitution: Unless otherwise fixed by the Commission in special cases, the election period shall commence ninety days before the day of election and shall end thirty days thereafter.

This does not fix an unalterable period of 90 days for an election campaign The election period is not the same as campaign period; the latter is fixed by law and covers only the period before the day of the election It is unlawful to engage in an election campaign or partisan political activity outside the campaign period

2-tiered organizational and functional structure of COMELEC: 1. Election cases including pre-proclamation controversies and appeals from trial court must first be heard and decided by a Division of COMELEC this is mandatory and jurisdictional 2. Upon motion for reconsideration can it decide decisions, order, or resolution of a division en banc the filing of motion for reconsideration is mandatory Factual findings of COMELEC are conclusive upon the courts in the absence of a substantial attack on the validity of the same Technical rules of evidence are not rigorously applied Congress may, by legislation, fix a period for the rendition of decisions for election cases Omnibus Election Code: cases brought before COMELEC shall be decided within 90 days from the date of submission for decision The preferential disposition of election contests applies only to cases before the courts and not those before COMELEC

Rendition of Decision and Judicial Review


Art. 9-A, Sec. 7 of the Constitution: Each Commission shall decide by a majority vote of all its Members, any case or matter brought before it within sixty days from the date of its submission for decision or resolution. A case or matter is deemed submitted for decision or resolution upon the filing of the last pleading, brief, or memorandum required by the rules of the Commission or by the Commission itself. Unless otherwise provided by this Constitution or by law, any decision, order, or ruling of each Commission may be brought to the Supreme Court on certiorari by the aggrieved party within thirty days from receipt of a copy thereof.

Decisions, etc. of the Commission, en banc, may be brought to SC by means of the special civil action of certiorari under Rule 65 The case or matter must be something within the jurisdiction of the Commission; it must pertain to an election dispute The period of 60 days within which a case or matter shall be decided begins to run from the filing of the last pleading, brief, or memorandum A motion for reconsideration when not pro forma, suspends the running of the period to elevate the matter to SC The review is limited to questions involving abuse of discretion GR: only final judgments may be executed Exception: execution pending appeal can only be allowed a. On the basis of good reasons to be stated in a special order b. The reasons must be of such urgency as to outweigh the injury or damage of the losing party should the latter secure a reversal of the judgment on appeal, and c. There must be a motion by the prevailing party with notice to the adverse party

Regulation of Public Entities and Media


Art. 9-C, Sec. 4 of the Constitution: The Commission may, during the election period, supervise or regulate the enjoyment or utilization of all franchises or permits for the operation of transportation and other public utilities, media of communication or information, all grants, special privileges, or concessions granted by the Government or any subdivision, agency, or instrumentality thereof, including any government-owned or controlled corporation or its subsidiary. Such supervision or regulation shall aim to ensure equal opportunity, and equal rates therefor, for public information campaigns and forums among candidates in connection with the objective of holding free, orderly, honest, peaceful, and credible elections.

Pardon, etc. of Violators of Election Laws


Art. 9-C, Sec. 5 of the Constitution: No pardon, amnesty, parole, or suspension of sentence for violation of election laws, rules, and regulations shall be granted by the President without the favorable recommendation of the Commission.

Rules of Procedure
Art. 9-A, Sec. 6 of the Constitution: Each Commission en banc may promulgate its own rules concerning pleadings and practice before it or before any of its offices. Such rules, however, shall not diminish, increase, or modify substantive rights.

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Procedural rights remedies or means by which an aggrieved party, may bring his case to suit, trial, and judgment The Rules of Court applies suppletorily to proceedings before the Commission

Votes Required for Rendition of Decision


Sec. 5 of COMELEC Resolution No. 1660: Quorum: votes required; substitution. Two members shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of the official business of the Division. A case being heard by it shall be decided with the unanimous concurrence of all three Commissioners and its decision shall be considered a decision of the Commission. If this required number is not obtained, as when there is a dissenting opinion, the case may be appealed to the Commission en banc, in which case the vote of the majority thereof shall be the decision of the Commission.

12. Carry out a continuing and systematic campaign through any forms of media to educate the public and fully inform the electorate about all matters concerning the election 13. Enlist non-partisan groups or organizations 14. Conduct hearings on controversies pending before it 15. Fix other reasonable periods for certain pre-election requirements

CHAPTER 3

REQUIREMENTS BEFORE ELECTION REGISTRATION (RA 8189)

Registration of Voters
Section 3. Definition of Terms. As used in this Act: a) Registration refers to the act of accomplishing and filing of a sworn application for registration by a qualified voter before the election officer of the city or municipality wherein he resides and including the same in the book of registered voters upon approval by the Election Registration Board; b) Registration Record refers to an application for registration duly approved by the Election Registration Board;

A decision or resolution becomes binding only after it is promulgated and not before If at the time of the promulgation, a member of the Commission has already vacated his office, his vote is automatically withdrawn or cancelled

Powers and Functions of the COMELEC under Omnibus Election Code 1. Exercise direct and immediate supervision and control over national and local officials or employees required by law to perform duties relative to the conduct of election 2. It may authorize CMT cadets, 18 years of age and above, to act as its deputies for the purpose of enforcing its orders 3. Require payment of legal fees and collect the same in payment of any business done in the Commission, at rates that it may prove and fix in its rules and regulations 4. Summons the parties to a controversy pending before it, issue subpoena and subpoena duces tecum 5. Issue warrant to arrest the witness and bring him before the Commission in case of failure to attend 6. When necessary, avail of the assistance of any national or local law enforcement to execute its final decisions, orders, instructions or rulings 7. Punish contempts any violation of any final and executory decision, order or ruling of the Commission shall constitute contempt 8. Enforce and execute its decisions, etc. 9. Prescribe the forms to be used in the election plebiscite or referendum 10. Procure any supplies, etc. needed for the holding of the election by public bidding 11. Prescribe the use or adoption of the latest technological and electronic devises THE Bonakids Election Law

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Section 9. Who may Register. All citizens of the Philippines not otherwise disqualified by law who are at least eighteen (18) years of age, and who shall have resided in the Philippines for at least one (1) year, and in the place wherein they propose to vote, for at least six (6) months immediately preceding the election, may register as a voter. Any person who temporarily resides in another city, municipality or country solely by reason of his occupation, profession, employment in private or public service, educational activities, work in the military or naval reservations within the Philippines, service in the Armed Forces of the Philippines, the National Police Forces, or confinement or detention in government institutions in accordance with law, shall not be deemed to have lost his original residence. Any person, who, on the day of registration may not have reached the required age or period of residence but, who, on the day of the election shall possess such qualifications, may register as a voter. Section 10. Registration of Voters. A qualified voter shall be registered in the permanent list of voters in a precinct of the city or municipality wherein he resides to be able to vote in any election. To register as a voter, he shall personally accomplish an application form for registration as prescribed by the Commission in three (3) copies before the Election Officer on any date during office hours after having acquired the qualifications of a voter. The application shall contain the following data: a) Name, surname, middle name, and/or maternal surname; b) Sex; c) Date, and place of birth; d) Citizenship; e) Civil status, if married, name of spouse; f) Profession, occupation or work; g) Periods of residence in the Philippines and in the place of registration; h) Exact address with the name of the street and house number for location in the precinct maps maintained by the local office of the Commission, or in case there is none, a brief description of his residence, sitio, and barangay; i) A statement that the applicant possesses all the qualifications of a voter; j) A statement that the applicant is not a registered voter of any precinct; k) Such information or data as may be required by the Commission. The application for registration shall contain three (3) specimen signatures of the applicant, clear and legible rolled prints of his left and right thumbprints, with four (4) identification size copies of his latest photograph, attached thereto, to be taken at the expense of the Commission. Before the applicant accomplishes his application for registration, the Election Officer shall inform him of the qualifications and disqualifications prescribed by law for a voter, and thereafter, see to it that the accomplished application contains all the data therein required and that the applicants specimen signatures, fingerprints, and photographs are properly affixed in all copies of the voters application.

Necessity of Registration Registration is essential to the exercise of the right of suffrage, not the possession thereof Election Registration Board
Section 3. Definition of Terms. As used in this Act: g) Election Registration Board refers to the body constituted herein to act on all applications for registration; n) Election Officer refers to the highest official or authorized representative of the Commission in a city or municipality; and Section 15. Election Registration Board. There shall be in each city and municipality as many as Election Registration Boards as there are election officers therein. In thickly populated cities/municipalities, the Commission may appoint additional election officers for such duration as may be necessary. The Board shall be composed of the Election Officer as chairman and as members, the public school official most senior in rank and the local civil registrar, or in his absence, the city or municipal treasurer. In case of disqualification of the Election Officer, the Commission shall designate an acting Election Officer who shall serve as Chairman of the Election Registration Board. In case of disqualification or non-availability of the Local Registrar or the Municipal Treasurer, the Commission shall designate any other appointive civil service official from the same locality as substitute. No member of the Board shall be related to each other or to any incumbent city or municipal elective official within the fourth civil degree of consanguinity or affinity. If in succeeding elections, any of the newly elected city or municipal officials is related to a member of the board within the fourth civil degree of consanguinity or affinity, such member is automatically disqualified to preserve the integrity of the Election Registration Board. Every registered party and such organizations as may be authorized by the Commission shall be entitled to a watcher in every registration board.

Composition of the Election Registration Board a. Chairman Election Officer b. Members i. Public school official most senior in rank ii. Local civil registrar, or in his absence, City or Municipal treasurer

Who may Register? a. A citizen of the Philippines not otherwise disqualified by law b. At least 18 years of age on the day of the election c. Have resided in the Philippines for at least 1 year d. Have resided for at least 6 months, in the place wherein he/she proposes to vote, immediately preceding the election Election Law P a g e |6

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Illiterate or Disable Applicants


Section 3. Definition of Terms. As used in this Act: e) Illiterate or Disabled person refers to one who cannot by himself prepare an application for registration because of his physical disability and/or inability to read and write; Section 14. Illiterate or Disabled Applicants. Any illiterate person may register with the assistance of the Election Officer or any member of an accredited citizens arms. The Election Officer shall place such illiterate person under oath, ask him the questions, and record the answers given in order to accomplish the application form in the presence of the majority of the members of the Board. The Election Officer or any member of an accredited citizens arm shall read the accomplished form aloud to the person assisted and ask him if the information given is true and correct The accomplished form shall be subscribed by the applicant in the presence of the Board by means of thumbmark or some other customary mark and it shall be subscribed and attested by the majority of the members of the Board. The attestation shall state the name of the person assisted, the name of the Election Officer or the member of the accredited citizens arm who assisted the applicant, the fact that the Election Officer placed the applicant under oath, that the Election Officer or the member of the accredited citizens arm who assisted the applicant read the accomplished form to the person assisted, and that the person assisted affirmed its truth and accuracy, by placing his thumbmark or some other customary mark on the application in the presence of the Board. The application for registration of a physically disabled person may be prepared by any relative within the fourth civil degree of consanguinity or affinity or by the Election Officer or any member of an accredited citizens arm using the data supplied by the applicant. The fact of illiteracy or disability shall be so indicated in the application.

Change of Residence or Address


Section 12. Change of Residence to Another City or Municipality. Any registered voter who has transferred residence to another city or municipality may apply with the Election Officer of his new residence for the transfer of his registration records. The application for transfer of registration shall be subject to the requirements of notice and hearing and the approval of the Election Registration Board, in accordance with this Act. Upon approval of the application for transfer, and after notice of such approval to the Election Officer of the former residence of the voter, said Election Officer shall transmit by registered mail the voters registration record to the Election Officer of the voters new residence. Section 13. Change of Address in the Same City or Municipality. Any voter who has changed his address in the same city or municipality shall immediately notify the Election Officer in writing. If the change of address involves a change in precinct, the Board shall transfer his registration record to the precinct book of voters of his new precinct and notify the voter of his new precinct All changes of address shall be reported to the office of the provincial election supervisor and the Commission in Manila.

The application for transfer of registration shall be subject to the a. Requirements of notice and hearing, and b. Approval of the Election Registration Board

Notice and Hearing of Applicants


Section 17. Notice and Hearing of Applications. Upon receipt of applications for registration, the Election Officer shall set them for hearing, notice of which shall be posted in the city or municipal bulletin board and in his office for at least one (1) week before the hearing, and furnish copies thereof to the applicant concerned, the heads or representatives of political parties, and other accredited groups or organizations which actively participate in the electoral process in the city or municipality. On the date of the hearing, the Election Officer shall receive such evidence for or against the applicant. A registrant whose application is not seasonably objected to shall be notified in writing stating therein that no objection was raised against his application and that he need not appear on the date set for the hearing of his application. Physical presence of the applicant concerned shall, however, be mandatory in all cases where objections against his application have been seasonably filed with the proper Election Registration Board for him to rebut or refute evidence presented in opposition thereto. All applications for registration shall be heard and processed on a quarterly basis. For this purpose, the Election Registration Board shall meet and convene on the third Monday of April, July, October, and January of every calendar year, or on the next following working day if the designated days fail on a non-working holiday, except in an election year to conform with the one hundred twenty (120) days prohibitive period before election day. Should one day be sufficient for the processing of all accepted applications, the Board shall adjourn from day to day until all the applications shall have been processed.

Election officer or any member of an accredited citizens arm shall assist any illiterate person when registering Duties of an election officer when assisting an illiterate person: a. Place such person under oath b. Ask such person questions and record the answers given c. Accomplish the application form in the presence of the majority of the members of the Board d. Read the accomplished form to the person assisted e. The person assisted shall affirm its truthfulness and accuracy by placing his thumbmark on the application form in the presence of the Board

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Duties of the Election Officer upon receipt of applications for registration: a. Set a hearing b. Notice of which shall be posted in the bulletin board and his office for at least 1 week before hearing c. Furnish copies to the applicants, heads or representatives of political parties and other accredited groups d. Receive such as evidence on the date of hearing

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If disapproved furnish the application with the certificate of disapproval and stating the grounds therefor

Publication
Section 21. Publication of Action on Application for Registration. Within five (5) days from approval or disapproval of application, the Board shall post a notice in the bulletin board of the city or municipal hall and in the office of the Election Officer, stating the name and address of the applicant, the date of the application, and the action taken thereon. The Election Officer shall furnish a copy of such notice personally, or by registered mail or special delivery to the applicant and heads or representatives of registered political parties in the city or municipality.

Challenges to Right to Register


Section 18. Challenges to Right to Register. Any voter, candidate or representative of a registered political party may challenge in writing any application for registration, stating the grounds therefor. The challenge shall be under oath and be attached to the application, together with the proof of notice of hearing to the challenger and the applicant. Oppositions to contest a registrants application for inclusion in the voters list must, in all cases, be filed not later than the second Monday of the month in which the same is scheduled to be heard or processed by the Election Registration Board. Should the second Monday of the month fall on a non-working holiday, oppositions may be filed on the next following working day. The hearing on the challenge shall be heard on the third Monday of the month and the decision shall be rendered before the end of the month.

Preservation of Voters Registration Records


Section 22. Preservation of Voters Registration Records. The Election Officer shall compile the original copies of the approved applications for registration per precinct and arrange the same alphabetically according to surname. He shall preserve the book of voters and ensure its integrity. The second and third copies of the registration records shall be sent to the provincial and national central files within three (3) days after the approval of the Board. Section 23. Provincial File. There shall be a provincial file consisting of the duplicate copies of all registration records in each precinct of every city and municipality in the province. It shall be in the custody of the Provincial Election Supervisor and shall be compiled and arranged by precinct, by municipality and alphabetically by surnames of voters. Should the book of voters in the custody of the Election Officer be lost or destroyed at a time so close to election day that there is no time to reconstitute the same, the corresponding book of voters in the provincial file shall be used during the voting. Section 24. National Central File. There shall be a national central file under the custody of the Commission in Manila consisting of the third copies of all approved voter registration records in each city or municipality. It shall be compiled by precinct in each city/municipality and arranged alphabetically by surname so as to make the file a replica of the book of voters in the possession of the Election Officer. Thereafter a national list shall be prepared following the alphabetical arrangements of surnames of voters. There shall be a national file consisting of the computerized voters list (CVL), both in print and in diskette, submitted by the Election Officers in each city and municipality concerned, under the custody of the Commission in Manila. The computerized voters list shall make use of a single and uniform computer program that will have a detailed sorting capability to list voters alphabetically by the precincts where they vote, original copies of the approved applications for registration per Compile the by the barangays, municipalities, cities or provinces where they reside and by their and arrange the same alphabetically according to surname precinct voters identification number (VIN).

Form of Challenge: a. In writing b. Stating the grounds c. Under oath d. Attached to the application e. With proof of notice of hearing

Approval and Disapproval of Application


Section 20. Approval and Disapproval of Application. The Election Officer shall submit to the Board all applications for registration filed, together with the evidence received in connection therewith. The Board shall, by majority vote, approve or disapprove the applications. Upon approval, the Election Officer shall assign a voters identification number and issue the corresponding identification card to the registered voter. If the Board disapproves the application, the applicant shall be furnished with a certificate of disapproval stating the ground therefor. In cases of approval or disapproval, any aggrieved party may file a petition for exclusion or inclusion, as the case may be, with the proper Municipal or Metropolitan Trial Court as provided for in this Act.

This is done by majority vote of the Board Duties of Election Officer upon approval or disapproval of application: a. If approved assign a voters identification number and issue identification card

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Identification of Voters
Section 25. Voters Identification Card. The voters identification card issued to the registered voter shall serve as a document for his identification. In case of loss or destruction, no copy thereof may be issued except to the registered voter himself and only upon the authority of the Commission. The Commission shall adopt a design for the voters identification card which shall be, as much as possible, tamper proof. It shall provide the following: the name and address of the voter, his date of birth, sex, photograph, thumbmark, and the number of precinct where he is registered, the signature of the voter and the chairman of the Election Registration Board and the voters identification number (VIN). Section 26. Voters Identification Number (VIN). The Commission shall assign every registered voter a voters identification number (V1N) consisting of three parts, each separated by a dash. For example: 7501 -00191 -C145BCD. a) Part 1: Current Address of the Voter 1) the first two digits 75 stand for the province; and 2) The last two digits, 01, stand for the city, municipality, or a district, particularly in Manila. The code assignment for provinces, cities and municipalities shall follow the Urban Code devised by the National Census and Statistics Office (NCSO). b) Part II: Current Precinct Assignment of the Voter 1) The first four digits, 0019, stand for the permanent number of the precinct where the voter is currently assigned: and 2) The letter indicates whether it is a mother or a daughter precinct. The number assigned to the precinct in every city or municipality shall be permanent but the voter may transfer his precinct number. The VIN reflects the current precinct assignment of the voter. c) Part III: Permanent Birth and Name Code Unique to the Voter 1) The letter, C, stands for the month, i.e., A for January, B for February, and so forth; 2) The next two digits, 14, stand for the date of birth; 3) The next two digits, 51, stand for the year of birth; and 4) The last three letters, BCD, stand for the name code, i.e., Bayani Cruz Davide.

The last three letters shall stand for the first letter of the first name, the middle name, and the last name in that order. The Commission shall ensure that Part III hereof of the voters identification number (VIN) shall be permanent and unique to each voter. If necessary, the Commission may expand and modify the same. d) The combined birth and name code is assigned during the lifetime of every voter. Upon transfer of the voter to another precinct, the first two parts of the VIN shall change.

Deactivation of Registration
Section 27. Deactivation of Registration. The board shall deactivate the registration and remove the registration records of the following persons from the corresponding precinct book of voters and place the same, properly marked and dated in indelible ink, in the inactive file after entering the cause or causes of deactivation: a) Any person who has been sentenced by final judgment to suffer imprisonment for not less than one (1) year, such disability not having been removed by plenary pardon or amnesty: Provided, however, That any person disqualified to vote under this paragraph shall automatically reacquire the right to vote upon expiration of five (5) years after service of sentence as certified by the clerks of courts of the Municipal/Municipal Circuit/Metropolitan/Regional Trial Courts and the Sandiganbayan; b) Any person who has been adjudged by final judgment by a competent court or tribunal of having caused/committed any crime involving disloyalty to the duly constituted government such as rebellion, sedition, violation of the anti-subversion and firearms laws, or any crime against national security, unless restored to his full civil and political rights in accordance with law; Provided, That he shall regain his right to vote automatically upon expiration of five (5) years after service of sentence; c) Any person declared by competent authority to be insane or incompetent unless such disqualification has been subsequently removed by a declaration of a proper authority that such person is no longer insane or incompetent; d) Any person who did not vote in the two (2) successive preceding regular elections as shown by their voting records. For this purpose, regular elections do not include the Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections; e) Any person whose registration has been ordered excluded by the Court; and f) Any person who has lost his Filipino citizenship.

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For this purpose, the clerks of court for the Municipal/Municipal Circuit/Metropolitan/Regional Trial Courts and the Sandiganbayan shall furnish the Election Officer of the city or municipality concerned at the end of each month a certified list of persons who are disqualified under paragraph (a) hereof, with their addresses. The Commission may request a certified list of persons who have lost their Filipino Citizenship or declared as insane or incompetent with their addresses from other government agencies. The Election Officer shall post in the bulletin board of his office a certified list of those persons whose registration were deactivated and the reasons therefor, and furnish copies thereof to the local heads of political parties, the national central file, provincial file, and the voter concerned.

List of Voters per Precinct


Section 3. Definition of Terms. As used in this Act: d) List of Voters refers to an enumeration of names of registered voters in a precinct duly certified by the Election Registration Board for use in the election; Section 4. Permanent List of Voters. There shall be a permanent list of voters per precinct in each city or municipality consisting of all registered voters residing within the territorial jurisdiction of every precinct indicated by the precinct maps. Such precinct-level list of voters shall be accompanied by an addition deletion list of the purpose of updating the list. For the purpose of the 1997 general registration, the Commission shall cause the preparation and posting of all precinct maps in every barangay nationwide. Five days before the 1997 general registration, individual precinct maps shall be posted at the door of each polling place. Subsequently, the Election Officer shall be responsible for the display, throughout the year, of precinct maps in his office and in the bulletin board of the city or municipal hall. The precinct assignment of a voter in the permanent list of voters shall not be changed or altered or transferred to another precinct without the express written consent of the voter: Provided, however, That the voter shall not unreasonably withhold such consent. Any violation thereof shall constitute an election offense which shall be punished in accordance with law. Section 43. Computerization at Permanent List of Voters. - A permanent and computerized list arranged by precinct, city or municipality, province and region shall be prepared by the Commission. Thereafter, another list shall be prepared consisting of the names of the voters, arranged alphabetically according to surnames. The computer print-outs of the list of voters duly certified by the Board are official documents and shall be used for voting and other election related purposes as well as for legitimate research needs. The total number of voters in the permanent list shall be the basis for the printing of the official ballots by the Commission. Section 30. Preparation and Posting of the Certified List of Voters. The Board shall prepare and post certified list of voters ninety (90) days before a regular election and sixty (60) days before a special election and furnish copies thereof to the provincial, regional and national central files. Copies of the certified list, along with a certified list of deactivated voters categorized by precinct per barangay, within the same period shall likewise be posted in the office of the Election Officer and in the bulletin board of each city/municipal hall. Upon payment of the fees as fixed by the Commission, the candidates and heads of registered political parties shall also be furnished copies thereof. The Board shall also furnish two (2) certified copies for said certified list of voters, along with a certified list of deactivated voters to the Board of Election Inspectors for

Reactivation of Registration
Section 28. Reactivation of Registration. Any voter whose registration has been deactivated pursuant to the preceding Section may file with the Election Officer a sworn application for reactivation of his registration in the form of an affidavit stating that the grounds for the deactivation no longer exist any time but not later than one hundred twenty (120) days before a regular election and ninety (90) days before a special election. The Election Officer shall submit said application to the Election Registration Board for appropriate action. In case the application is approved, the Election Officer shall retrieve the registration record from the inactive file and include the same in the corresponding precinct book of voters. Local heads or representatives of political parties shall be properly notified on approved applications.

Cancellation of Registration
Section 29. Cancellation of Registration. The Board shall cancel the registration records of those who have died as certified by the Local Civil Registrar. The Local Civil Registrar shall submit each month a certified list of persons who died during the previous month to the Election Officer of the place where the deceased are registered. In the absence of information concerning the place where the deceased is registered, the list shall be sent to the Election Officer of the city or municipality of the deceaseds residence as appearing in his death certificate. In any case, the Local Civil Registrar shall furnish a copy of this list to the national central file and the proper provincial file. The Election Officer shall post in the bulletin board of his office a list of those persons who died whose registrations were cancelled, and furnish copies thereof to the local heads of the political parties, the national central file, and the provincial file.

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Section 3. Definition of Terms. As used in this Act: c) Book of Voters refers to the compilation of all registration records in a precinct; Section 31. Sealing of Precinct Book of Voters. The Board shall notify within fifteen (15) days before the start of the campaign period of all registered political parties and members of the Board of Election Inspectors to inspect and verify the completeness of the voters registration records for each precinct compiled in the book of voters. After verification and certification by the Board of Election Inspectors and party representatives as to the completeness of the voters registration records in the precinct book of voters, the Board shall seal the book of voters in the presence of the former at the start of the campaign period and take custody of the same until their distribution to the Board of Election Inspectors on election day. The Election Officer shall deliver the sealed precinct book of voters to the chairman of the Board of Election Inspectors when the latter secures its official ballots and other paraphernalia for election day. Section 39. Annulment at Book of Voters. The Commission shall, upon verified petition of any voter or election officer or duly registered political party, and after notice and hearing, annul any book of voters that is not prepared in accordance with the provisions of this Act or was prepared through fraud, bribery, forgery, impersonation, intimidation, force or any similar irregularity, or which contains data that are statistically improbable. No order, ruling or decision annulling a book of voters shall be executed within ninety (90) days before an election.

f) The decision shall be based on the evidence presented and in no case rendered upon a stipulation of facts. If the question is whether or not the voter is real or fictitious, his nonappearance on the day set for hearing shall be prima facie evidence that the challenged voter is fictitious; and g) The petition shall be heard and decided within ten (10) days from the date of its filing. Cases appealed to the Regional Trial Court shall be decided within ten (10) days from receipt of the appeal. In all cases, the court shall decide these petitions not later than fifteen (15) days before the election and the decision shall become final and executory. Section 33. Jurisdiction in Inclusion and Exclusion Case. The Municipal and Metropolitan Trial Courts shall have original and exclusive jurisdiction over all cases of inclusion and exclusion of voters in their respective cities or municipalities. Decisions of the Municipal or Metropolitan Trial Courts may be appealed by the aggrieved party to the Regional Trial Court within five (5) days from receipt of notice thereof. Otherwise, said decision shall become final and executory. The regional trial court shall decide the appeal within ten (10) days from the time it is received and the decision shall immediately become final and executory. No motion for reconsideration shall be entertained.

Petition for Inclusion or Exclusion of Voters in the List


Section 34. Petition for Inclusion of Voters in the List. Any person whose application for registration has been disapproved by the Board or whose name has been stricken out from the list may file with the court a petition to include his name in the permanent list of voters in his precinct at any time except one hundred five (105) days prior to a regular election or seventy-five (75) days prior to a special election. It shall be supported by a certificate of disapproval of his application and proof of service of notice of his petition upon the Board. The petition shall be decided within fifteen (15) days after its filing. If the decision is for the inclusion of voters in the permanent list of voters, the Board shall place the application for registration previously disapproved in the corresponding book of voters and indicate in the application for registration the date of the order of inclusion and the court which issued the same. Section 35. Petition for Exclusion of Voters from the List. Any registered voters, representative of a political party or the Election Officer, may file with the court a sworn petition for the exclusion of a voter from the permanent list of voters giving the name, address and the precinct of the challenged voter at any time except one hundred (100) days prior to a regular election or sixty-five (65) days before a special election. The petition shall be accompanied by proof of notice to the Board and to the challenged voter and shall be decided within ten (10) days from its filing. If the decision is for the exclusion of the voter from the list, the Board shall, upon receipt of the final decision, remove the voters registration record from the corresponding book of voters, enter the order of exclusion therein, and thereafter place the record in the inactive file.

Inclusion, Exclusion and Correction of Name of Voters


Section 32. Common Rules Governing Judicial, Proceedings in the Matter of Inclusion, Exclusion, and Correction of Names of Voters. a) Petition for inclusion, exclusion or correction of names of voters shall be filed during office hours; b) Notice of the place, date and time of the hearing of the petition shall be served upon the members of the Board and the challenged voter upon filing of the petition. Service of such notice may be made by sending a copy thereof by personal delivery, by leaving it in the possession of a person of sufficient discretion in the residence of the challenged voter, or by registered mail. Should the foregoing procedures not be practicable, the notice shall be posted in the bulletin board of the city or municipal hall and in two (2) other conspicuous places within the city or municipality; c) A petition shall refer only to one (1) precinct and implead the Board as respondents; d) No costs shall be assessed against any party in these proceedings. However, if the court should find that the application has been filed solely to harass the adverse party and cause him to incur expenses, it shall order the culpable party to pay the costs and incidental expenses; e) Any voter, candidate or political party who may be affected by the proceedings may intervene and present his evidence;

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Verification of List of Registered Voters


Section 36. Verification of Registered Voters. The Election officer shall, in order to preserve the integrity of the permanent list of voters, file exclusion proceedings when necessary, and verify the list of the registered voters of any precinct by regular mail or house to house canvass. The Commission may enlist the help of representatives of political parties and deputize non-government organizations (NGOs), civic organizations and barangay officials to assist in the verification and house to house canvass of registered voters in every precinct.

5.

Jurisdiction of lower court is limited only to determining the right of voter to remain in the list of voters or to declare that the challenged voter is not qualified to vote in the precinct in which he is registered

Qualification of a Voter 1. Citizenship

2. Age

3. Residence

Voters Exclusion
Section 37. Voter Excluded Through Inadvertence or Registered with an Erroneous or Misspelled name. - Any registered voter who has not been included in the precinct certified list of voters or who has been included therein with a wrong or misspelled name may file with the Board an application for reinstatement or correction of name. If it is denied or not acted upon, he may file on any date with the proper Municipal Circuit, Municipal or Metropolitan Trial Court a petition for an order directing that his name be entered or corrected in the list. He shall attach to the petition a certified copy of his registration record or identification card or the entry of his name in the certified list of voters used in the preceding election, together with the proof that his application was denied or not acted upon by the Board and that he has served notice to the Board. Section 38. Voters Excluded through Inadvertence or Registered with an Erroneous or Mispelled Name. - Any registered voter whose registration record has not been included in the precinct book of voters, or whose name has been omitted in the list of voters or who has been included therein with a wrong or mispelled name may file with the Board an application for inclusion of his record, or reinstatement or correction of his name as the case may be. If it is denied or not acted upon, the voter may file on any date with the proper Municipal or Metropolitan Trial Court a petition for an order directing that the voters name be entered or corrected in the list. The voters shall attach to the petition a certified true copy of his registration record or identification card or the entry of his name in the list of voters used in the preceding election, together with proof that his application was denied or not acted upon by the Board and that he has served notice thereof to the Board.

Residence Qualification of Voter or Candidate Residence is a matter of intention which may be inferred from acts, activities and utterances In election cases, SC treats domicile and residence as synonymous terms Elements in acquiring a new domicile by choice: a. Actual residence or bodily presence in the new locality b. A bona fide intention to remain there and to abandon the old domicile c. Acts which correspond with that purpose The mere absence of an individual from his permanent address without the intention to abandon it does not result in a loss or change of domicile

Disqualifications from Voting


Section 11. Disqualification. The following shall be disqualified from registering: a) Any person who has been sentenced by final judgment to suffer imprisonment of not less than one (1) year, such disability not having been removed by plenary pardon or amnesty: Provided, however, That any person disqualified to vote under this paragraph shall automatically reacquire the right to vote upon expiration of five (5) years after service of sentence; b) Any person who has been adjudged by final judgment by a competent court or tribunal of having committed any crime involving disloyalty to the duly constituted government such as rebellion, sedition, violation of the firearms laws or any crime against national security, unless restored to his full civil and political rights in accordance with law: Provided, That he shall automatically reacquire the right to vote upon expiration of five (5) years after service of sentence; and c) Insane or incompetent persons declared as such by competent authority unless subsequently declared by proper authority that such person is no longer insane or incompetent.

Inclusion and Exclusion Proceedings Summary in Character 1. Factual tradings and conclusions of trial court not conclusive on COMELEC 2. Courts authority include the power to inquire into and settle all matters essential to the exercise of said authority 3. Decision, not res judicata 4. Issue of compliance with residency requirement is not within the competence of the trial court in an exclusion proceeding

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B. PRECINCTS AND POLLING PLACES Election Precincts basic unit of territory established by COMELEC for the purpose of voting
Section 5. Precincts and their Establishment. In preparation for the general registration in 1997, the Commission shall draw updated maps of all the precincts nationwide. Upon completion of the new precinct maps, all the precincts established in the preceding elections shall be deemed abolished. For the purpose of the general registration, the Commission shall create original precincts only. Spin-off precinct may be created after the regular elections of 1998 to accommodate additional voters residing within the territorial jurisdiction of the original precincts. The Commission shall introduce a permanent numbering of all precincts which shall be indicated by Arabic numerals and a letter of the English alphabet. Original or mother precincts shall be indicated by the Arabic numeral and letter "A of the English alphabet. Spin-off or daughter precincts shall be indicated by the Arabic numeral and letter of the English alphabet starting with letter B and so on. No territory comprising an election precinct shall be altered or a new precinct be established at the start of the election period. Splitting of an original precinct or merger of two or more original precincts shall not be allowed without redrawing the precinct map/s one hundred twenty (120) days before election day. Section 6. Arrangement of Precincts. Every barangay shall have at least one (1) precinct. Each precinct, shall have no more than two hundred (200) voters and shall comprise contiguous and compact territories. a) A precinct shall be allowed to have less than 200 registered voters under the following conditions: 1) As soon as the 200-limit for every precinct has been reached, a spin-off or daughter precinct shall be created automatically by the Commission to accommodate voters residing within the territorial jurisdiction of the original precinct. Thereafter, a separate list of new voters shall be prepared by the Election Officer; and 2) An island or group of islands with less than two hundred (200) voters may comprise one (1) original precinct. b) Every case of alteration of precincts shall be duly announced by posting a notice thereof in a conspicuous place in the precinct, in the office of the election officer and in the city or municipal hall and by providing political parties and candidates a list of all the precincts at the start of the campaign period; and c) Consolidation or merger of at most three (3) precincts may be allowed: Provided, That the computerized counting shall be implemented: Provided, further, That the merger of such precincts shall be effected ninety (90) days before election day.

Splitting or merger of precincts shall not be allowed without a. Redrawing the precinct maps b. Done 120 days before election day Determination whether a certain election precinct exists is a factual matter 1 barangay = 1 precinct = no more than 200 voters and shall comprise contiguous and compact territories When allowed to have less than 200 voters: a. Creation of a spin-off or daughter precinct once the 200-limit has been reached b. Island or group of islands comprise 1 original precinct Any alteration of precincts shall be duly announced by posting of notice Consolidation or merger of at most 3 precincts shall be effected 90 days before election day

Publication of Maps of Precincts


Section 151. Publication of maps or precincts. - At least five days before the first registration day preceding a regular election or special election or a referendum or a plebiscite, the Commission shall, through its duly authorized representative, post in the city hall or municipal building and in three other conspicuous places in the city or municipality and on the door of each polling place, a map of the city or municipality showing its division into precincts with their respective boundaries and indicating therein all streets and alleys in populous areas and the location of each polling place. These maps shall be kept posted until after the election, referendum or plebiscite.

Polling Places and their Designation


Section 152. Polling place. - A polling place is the building or place where the board of election inspectors conducts its proceedings and where the voters shall cast their votes. Section 153. Designation of polling places. - The location of polling places designated in the preceding regular election shall continue with such changes as the Commission may find necessary, after notice to registered political parties and candidates in the political unit affected, if any, and hearing: Provided, That no location shall be changed within forty-five days before a regular election and thirty days before a special election or a referendum or plebiscite, except in case it is destroyed or it cannot be used.

Precinct maps a sketch or drawing of a geographical area stated in terms of streets or blocks or sitios the residence of which belong to a particular precinct No new precinct be established at the start of the election Election Law P a g e | 13

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Section 154. Requirements for polling places. - Each polling place shall be, as far as practicable, a ground floor and shall be of sufficient size to admit and comfortably accommodate forty voters at one time outside the guard rail for the board of election inspectors. The polling place shall be located within the territory of the precinct as centrally as possible with respect to the residence of the voters therein and whenever possible, such location shall be along a public road. No designation of polling places shall be changed except upon written petition of the majority of the voters of the precinct or agreement of all the political parties or by resolution of the Commission upon prior notice and hearing. A public building having the requirements prescribed in the preceding paragraph shall be preferred as polling place.

Section 159. Guard rails. (a) In every polling place there shall be a guard rail between the voting booths and the table for the board of election inspectors which shall have separate entrance and exit. The booths shall be so arranged that they can be accessible only by passing through the guard rail and by entering through its open side facing the table of the board of election inspectors. (b) There shall also be a guard rail for the watchers between the place reserved for them and the table for the board of election inspectors and at a distance of not more than fifty centimeters from the latter so that the watchers may see and read clearly during the counting of the contents of the ballots and see and count the votes recorded by the board of election inspectors member on the corresponding tally sheets.

Voting center the building or place where the polling place is located Size is sufficient to accommodate 40 voters at one time No location shall be changed within 45 days before a regular election and 30 days before a special election except in case it is destroyed or cannot be used No designation of polling places shall be changed except upon a. Written petition of majority voters of the precinct b. Agreement of all political parties c. Resolution by COMELEC upon prior notice and hearing

1 guard rail for a. Board of inspectors

b. Watchers

Ballot Boxes
Section 160. Ballot boxes. (a) There shall be in each polling place on the day of the voting a ballot box one side of which shall be transparent which shall be set in a manner visible to the voting public containing two compartments, namely, the compartment for valid ballots which is indicated by an interior cover painted white and the compartment for spoiled ballots which is indicated by an interior cover painted red. The boxes shall be uniform throughout the Philippines and shall be solidly constructed and shall be closed with three different locks as well as three numbered security locks and such other safety devices as the Commission may prescribe in such a way that they can not be opened except by means of three distinct keys and by destroying such safety devices. (b) In case of the destruction or disappearance of any ballot box on election day, the board of election inspectors shall immediately report it to the city or municipal treasurer who shall furnish another box or receptacle as equally adequate as possible. The election registrar shall report the incident and the delivery of a new ballot box by the fastest means of communication on the same day to the Commission and to the provincial election supervisor.

Arrangements and Contents of Polling Places


Section 157. Arrangement and contents of polling places. - Each polling place shall conform as much as possible to the sketch on the following page. Section 158. Voting booth. - During the voting, there shall be in each polling place a booth for every twenty voters registered in the precinct. Each booth shall be open on the side fronting the table for the board of election inspectors and its three sides shall be closed with walls at least seventy centimeters wide and two meters high. The upper part shall be covered, if necessary, to preserve the secrecy of the ballot. Each booth shall have in the background a shelf so placed that voters can write therein while standing and shall be kept clearly lighted, by artificial lights, if necessary, during the voting. The Commission shall post inside each voting booth and elsewhere in the polling place on the day before the election, referendum and plebiscite a list containing the names of all the candidates or the issues or questions to be voted for, and shall at all times during the voting period keep such list posted in said places. Section 11. Voting Booth. - Any provision of law to the contrary notwithstanding, there shall be in each polling place at least ten (10) voting booths of such size, specifications and materials as the Commission may provide to enable the voters to fill out their ballots secretly.

1 ballot box = 1 polling place Box shall be closed with 3 different locks and 3 numbered security locks

Furnishing of Ballot Boxes, Forms, Stationeries and Materials for Election


Section 162. Furnishing of ballot boxes, forms, stationeries and materials for election. The Commission shall prepare and furnish the ballot boxes, forms, stationeries and materials necessary for the registration of voters and the holding of the election. The provincial, city and municipal treasurer shall have custody of such election paraphernalia, supplies and materials as are entrusted to him under the law or rules of the Commission and shall be responsible for their preservation and storage, and for any loss, destruction, impairment or damage of any election equipment, material or document in their possession furnished under this Code.

1 voting booth = 20 voters = list of the names of all the candidates or issues to be voted for, be posted

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Who shall have the custody of such materials? Provincial, City or Municipal Treasuer

Section 186. Distribution of official ballots and election returns. - The official ballots and the election returns shall be distributed by the Commission to each city and municipality at the rate of one and one-fifth ballots for every voter registered in each polling place; and for election returns, at the rate of one set each for every polling place. The provincial, city or municipal treasurer shall respectively keep a record of the quantity and serial numbers of official ballots and election returns furnished the various provinces, cities, municipalities and polling places, as the case may be, legible copies of which record shall be furnished the duly authorized provincial, city or municipal representatives of the ruling party and the dominant opposition party, and the Commission immediately after the distribution is made of such official ballots and election returns. The Commission shall prescribe the use of official delivery receipts to be signed by the election registrar and the chairman of the board of canvassers upon receipt of the election returns. No official ballots or election returns shall be delivered to the board of election inspectors earlier than the first hour of election day: Provided, however, That the Commission, after written notice to the registered political parties and the candidates, may, for justifiable reasons, authorize the delivery of said official ballots and election returns to the board of election inspectors of any particular polling place at an earlier date.

Requisition, Printing and Distribution of Official Ballots and Election Returns


Section 183. Requisition of official ballots and election returns. - Official ballots and election returns shall be printed upon orders of the Commission. Requisition of official ballots shall be for each city and municipality, at the rate of one and one-fifth ballots for every registered voter in the next preceding election; and for election returns, at one set thereof for every polling place. Section 184. Printing of official ballots and elections returns. - The official ballots and election returns shall be printed by the Government Printing Office and/or the Central Bank printing facilities exclusively, under the exclusive supervision and control of the Commission which shall determine and provide the necessary security measures in the printing, storage and distribution thereof. Each ballot shall be joined by a perforated line to a stub numbered consecutively, beginning with number "1" in each city and municipality. Each ballot shall also have at the bottom a detachable coupon bearing the same number of the stub. Each pad of ballots shall bear on its cover the name of the city or municipality in which the ballots are to be used and the inclusive serial numbers of the ballots contained therein. The official ballots shall be bound in separate pads of fifty or one hundred ballots each as may be required. The election returns shall be prepared in sets of six copies per set and shall be numbered consecutively, beginning with number "1" in each city and municipality. Each set of the election returns shall be printed in such a manner that will ensure that the entries on the original of the returns are clearly reproduced on the other copies thereof and shall bear the name of the city or municipality in which the returns are to be used. For this purposes, the Commission shall acquire, if necessary, a special kind of carbon paper or chemically treated paper. Section 185. Sample official ballots. - The Commission shall provide the board of election inspectors with sample official ballots at the rate of thirty ballots per polling place. The sample official ballots shall be printed on colored paper, in all respects like the official ballots but bearing instead the words "Sample Official Ballot", to be shown to the public and used in demonstrating how to fill out and fold the official ballots properly. No name of any actual candidate shall be written on the spaces for voting on the sample official ballots provided by the Commission, nor shall they be used for voting.

Official ballots and election returns be printed upon orders of COMELEC Requisition and Distribution of official ballots = rate of 1 1/5 ballots = every registered voter Requisition and Distribution of election returns = rate of 1 set = 1 polling place

Name of Watchers
Section 189. Representatives of the registered political parties in the verification and distribution of official ballots and election returns. - The ruling party and the dominant opposition party or their respective duly authorized representatives in the different provinces, cities and municipalities, shall submit the names of their respective watchers who, together with the representatives of the Commission and the provincial, city and municipal treasurer shall verify the contents of the boxes containing the shipment of official ballots, election returns and sample official ballots received by the said treasurers. The provincial treasurers shall keep a record of their receipt and distribution to each municipal treasurer, while the city and municipal treasurer shall each keep a record of their distribution to the board of election inspectors.

The parties or their respective duly authorized representatives shall submit the names of their respective watchers

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Form and Contents of Ballots


Section 23. Officials Ballots. (a) Ballots for national and local elections, regular or special, plebiscites and referenda, shall be of uniform size and shall be prescribed by the Commission. They shall be printed in black ink on which security paper with distinctive, clear and legible watermarks that will readily distinguish it from ordinary paper. Each ballot shall be in the shape of a strip with stub and detachable coupon containing the serial number of the ballot, and a space for the thumbmark of the voter on the detachable coupon. It shall bear at the top of the voter on the detachable coupon. It shall bear at the top of the middle portion thereof the coat-of-arms of the Republic of the Philippines, the word "Official Ballot," the name of the city or the municipality and province in which the election is to be held, the date of the election, and the following notice in English: "Fill out this ballot secretly inside the voting booth. Do not put any distinct mark on any part of this ballot." (b) The official ballot shall also contain the names of all the officer to be voted for in the election, allowing opposite the name of each office, sufficient space of spaces with horizontal lines where the voter may write the name or names of individual candidates voted for by him. (c) There shall not be anything printed or written on the back of the ballot except as provided in Section 24 of this Act. (d) Official ballot for cities and municipalities where Arabic is of general use shall have each of the titles of the offices to be voted for printed in Arabic in addition to and immediately below the English title. (e) Notwithstanding the preceding provisions, the Commission is hereby authorized to prescribe a different form of official ballot on the same watermarked security paper to facilitate voting by illiterate voter only and to use or adopt the latest technological and electronic devices in connection therewith as provided under Section 52(i) of the Omnibus Election Code.

Publication of Official Ballots, etc.


Section 59. Publication of official ballots and election returns and printing thereof. - The Commission shall publish at least ten days before an election in a newspaper of general circulation certified data on the number of official ballots and election returns and the names and addresses of the printers and the number printed by each.

At least 10 days before the election

C. Certificates of Candidacy Candidate refers to any person aspiring for or seeking an elective public office, who has filed a certificate of candidacy by himself or through an accredited political party, aggroupment, or coalition of parties. Certificate of Candidacy (COC) a statement of a person seeking to run for public office certifying that he announces his candidacy for the office mentioned and that he is eligible for the office, the name of the political party to which he belongs, if he belongs to any, and his post-office address for all election purposes being as well stated. Filing of certificate of candidacy No person shall be eligible for any elective public office unless he files a sworn COC within the period fixed by the Omnibus Election Code. Certificate for more than 1 office o No person shall be eligible for more than 1 office to be filled in the same election and if he files his COC for more than one office, he shall not be eligible for any of them. o But, before the expiration for filing the COC, the person may declare under oath the office which he desires to be eligible and cancel the certificate for the other office. Stray Vote o Any vote in favor of a person who has not filed a COC or in favor of a candidate for any office for which he did not present himself is void and counted as a stray vote but it does not invalidate the whole ballot. Ministerial duty/jurisdiction of Commission o Ministerial duty to receive and acknowledge receipt of the COC but has jurisdiction over a petition to deny due course to or to cancel COC provided due process is observed.

Printed in black ink on white security paper with distinctive watermarks COMELEC is authorized to prescribe a different form of official ballot In May 2010 automated elections, voters shaded the oval indicated in the ballot next to the name of the candidate

Signature of Chairman at the Back of Every Ballot


Section 24. Signature of Chairman at the Back of Every Ballot. - In every case before delivering an official ballot to the voter, the chairman of the board of election inspectors shall, in the presence of the voter, affix his signature at the back thereof. Failure to so authenticate shall be noted in the minutes of the board of election inspectors and shall constitute an election offense punishable under Section 263 and 264 of the Omnibus Election Code.

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It is within the competence of the commission to determine whether false representation as to material facts was made in the COC that will include, among others, residence. The determination of the MTC in exclusion proceedings as to the right of the person to be excluded form the list of voters in the precinct does not preclude the commission in the determination of his qualification as a candidate, to pass upon the issue of compliance with the residency requirement.

o o o o

No amount of votes will catapult him into office If filed beyond the period required by law, it is void. If cancelled, that person is also not a candidate. The provisions of the law requiring the signing, swearing, as well as the information required to be stated are considered mandatory prior to elections. Thereafter, they are regarded as merely directory to give effect to the will of the people.

Time, place and manner of filing Under RA 7166, any person running for the office of the president, vice-president, senator, member of the house of representatives or any elective provincial, city or municipal office shall be: o Filed in 5 legible copies o With the offices of the Commission o Not later than the day before the date legally fixed for the beginning of his campaign period. o Filed personally by the candidate or his duly authorized representative (not accepted if by mail, telegram or facsimile) Elective office President, Vice-President, Senators Members of the House of Representatives (provincial) Members of the House of Representatives (districts in NCR) Members of the House of Representatives (districts outside NCR) Provincial offices City and municipal offices Place of filing COC Main office of the commission in Manila Provincial election supervisor of the province concerned Regional election director City election registrar Provincial election supervisor City or municipal election registrar

Purpose of the law o To enable the voters to know at least 60 days before the regular election, the candidates among whom they are to make a choice o To avoid confusion and inconvenience in the tabulation of the votes. o To avoid anarchy and chaos Withdrawal of COC Time and form o Prior to election o By submitting to the office concerned a written declaration under oath o The filing will not affect whatever civil, criminal or administrative liabilities, which a candidate may have incurred. Place of filing o there is nothing in the law which requires that the withdrawal must be in the same office where the COC was filed. o It can be filed directly with the main office of the COMELEC, the office of the regional election director concerned, the office of the provincial election supervisor of the province to which municipality involved belongs or the office of the municipal election officer of the said municipality. o The requirement in the COMELEC resolution which requires that it be filed in the place where the COC was filed was merely directory and intended for convenience. It is not mandatory or jurisdictional. Effect of withdrawal o The permanent legal effects remain even if the certificate itself be subsequently withdrawn. o It does not render the filing void ab initio. The candidate is still subject to civil, criminal or administrative sanctions incurred.

Printing of names in election returns Whenever practicable, the names of the registered candidates for local position shall be printed in the election returns. If disqualified or declared a nuisance, it shall be the duty of the Commission to instruct the appropriate election officials to delete the name of the candidate in the election return.

Importance of a valid certificate of candidacy Requirement absolutely mandatory o Without it, the person cannot be considered a candidate. THE Bonakids Election Law

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Automatic resignation Any person holding a public appointing office or position including active members of the AFP and officers and employees in GOCCs shall be considered ipso facto resigned form the filing of his COC. Forfeiture is automatic and permanently effective upon the filing of a COC for another office. Only the moment and the act of filing are considered. Once filed, the seat is forfeited forever and nothing, save an election or appointment can restor an ousted official. This also includes suspended officials.

Whenever practicable, the names shall be written clearly and legibly on the blackboard or on manila paper for posting at a conspicuous place inside the polling place. The names shall be followed by the nickname or stage name printed in the election returns. Candidates in case of death , disqualification or withdrawal In such cases (after the last day of the filing of the COCs), only a person belonging to and certified by the same political party may file a COC to replace the candidate who died, disqualified, or withdrew. o This may be filed not later than the mid-day of the election If such should occur between the day before the election and mid-day of election day, the COC may be filed with any board of election inspectors in the political subdivision which he is a candidate or in the case of national officials, with the COMELEC. The substitute candidate need not even be a member of the political party concerned prior to his nomination as its official candidate. Where COC cancelled The existence of a valid COC seasonable filed is a requisite sine qua non for substitution There can be no valid substitution when the COC is cancelled much in the same was that a nuisance candidate whose COC is denied due course and/or cancelled may not be substituted. Cancelled COC does not give use to a valid candidacy. Votes cast for substituted candidates In case of a valid substitution after the ballots have been printed, the votes for the substituted candidates shall be considered stray votes but shall not invalidate the whole ballot. Official ballots shall provide open spaces where the voters may write the name of the substituted candidate if they are voting for the latter. If the substituted candidate has the same family name, the above rule shall not apply. Petition to deny due course to or cancel a COC Filed by any person exclusively on the ground that any material representation contained in a COC is false. At any time not later than 25 days form the time of the filing of the COC and shall be decided after due process and hearing not later than 15 days before the election Where the COC was duly sworn to before a notary public but whose authority has prescribed, such notary public whose authority the candidate relied in good faith was held for all legal intents and purposes a de facto notary public and the COC cannot be faulted. P a g e | 18

Case 1: Flores v. COMELEC RF (Flores) was proclaimed by the board of canvassers as having received the highest number of votes for kagawad in the barangay election and thus became the punong barangay by operation of law. However, this was contested by R who placed second in the election. He contends that the votes cast for "Flores" (since there were 2 Flores' in the said election) should not be credited to RF since he was not an incumbent punong barangay at the time the votes were cast (there is a rule that in case there are 2 candidates with the same name and one of them is incumbent, the vote shall be counted in favor of the incumbent if, on the ballot, what is written is only the full name, first name or surname). Stated otherwise, it is contended that RF, at the time of filing his COC for the position of kagawad, forfeited his seat as punong barangay. The court held that, indeed, RF was considered resigned when he filed his COC for kagawad. It is to be noted that at the time RF filed his COC, he was sitting as the punong barangay by virtue of the law in the previous elections where the seat of punong barangay was still voted upon. At present, the kagawad with the highest number of votes is deemed punong barangay by operation of law. The court held that the position of punong barangay is different from that of a kagawad since the former is an executive office and the latter, a legislative one. That of punong barangay being conferred only by operation of law, the petitioner had to forfeit his position of punong barangay which he was holding at the time he presented his COC for kagawad. Consequently, the votes cannot be counted in his favor since he is not considered an incumbent. Certified list of candidates in cities with more than 1 election registrar, the COMELEC shall designate the election registrar who shall receive the COC. The commission shall cause to be printed certified lists of candidates containing the names of all registered candidates for each office to be voted for in each PCM immediately followed by the nickname or stage name of each candidate.

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Petition distinguished from petition for inclusion/exclusion Petition Application to be a candidate Involves the issue whether there is false representation of a material fact which must necessarily pertain to not a mere innocuous mistake but a material fact that refer to a candidate's qualifications for elective office. It must be a deliberate attempt to mislead, misinform or hide a fact which would otherwise render a candidate ineligible or otherwise stated, with the intent to deceive the electorate. Inclusion/exclusion of voters Application to be a registered voter Involves the issue of whether the petitioner shall be included or excluded form the list of voters based on the qualifications required by law and the facts presented to show possession of these qualifications.

Votes for candidates with disqualification case Disqualified candidates shall not be voted for and votes cast for them shall not be counted. Where there is no final judgment, the candidate may be voted for or proclaimed unless on motion of the complainant, the COMELEC suspends their proclamation because the grounds are strong. the proceedings which have begun before elections should continue even after such elections and proclamations of the winners. The jurisdiction of the COMELEC continues if no final judgment or disqualification is rendered before elections and the candidate facing the disqualification is voted for and receives the highest number of votes. Material and false representation in the certificate If there is a material misrepresentation, the COMELEC is authorized to deny due course or to cancel such certificate upon filing of a petition by any person. The false misrepresentation must be a material matter for the sanction imposed would affect substantive rights of a candidate. The misrepresentation must be made with the intention to deceive the electorate as to the would-be candidate's qualifications for public office.

Cancellation of certificate by Commission The commission may motu proprio or upon a verified petition refuse to give due course to or cancel a COC for the ff. grounds: Filed to put the election process in mockery or disrepute 2. cause confusion among voters by the similarity of names of the registered candidate 3. other circumstances which demonstrate that the candidate has no bona fide intention to run for office and thus prevent a faithful determination of the true will of the electorate. After the lapse of 5 days from the promulgation unless retrained by the Supreme Court. It cannot give rise to a valid candidacy or valid votes. But if not yet final and executory, the duty of the court is to ascertain the will of the electorate under the factual circumstances of the case. 1.

Grounds

When final and executory Validity of votes where the COC is cancelled

Residence requirement of a candidate A statement that one is a resident of a place when this is not so constitutes a false statement concerning qualification for an office. It is a misrepresentation of a material fact justifying the cancellation of COC. To state that one is a natural born citizen when he is not, possession of citizenship being an indispensable requirement for holding public office, may not be dispensed with by the fact of having won the elections for it strikes the very core of the qualification to assume the contested office. o Repatriation qualifies a person to hold office. A candidate who uses her husband's family name when their marriage was void was held NOT to be material misrepresentation as there was no intention to deceive the electorate of her identity. o The use of a name other than the name in the birth certificate is not a material misrepresentation. Similarity/difference of proceeding with quo warranto Disqualification Deals with qualifications of a candidate When to file: 1. Before election Quo Warranto Deals with qualifications of a candidate When to file: Within 10 days after the proclamation of P a g e | 19

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2. After election Qualifications for elective office are misrepresented

the results of the election Ineligibility or disloyalty to the Republic of the Philippines.

Petition for quo warranto is not batted by failure to file a petition to disqualify. He has another chance to raise disqualification of the candidate by filing a petition for quo warranto within the time prescribed by law.

any offense for which he has been sentence to a penalty of more than 18 months or a crime involving moral turpitude shall be disqualified unless given the plenary pardon or granted amnesty. o Disqualificaton is deemed removed upon declaration by competent authority that insanity is removed or after the expiration of 5 days from his service of sentence Any candidate who is found guilty of having: o given money or other material consideration to influence, induce or corrupt the voters or public officials performing electoral functions it must be proven that the candidate, personally or through his instructions, gave money or material consideration for purpose of influencing, inducing or corrupting the voters o committed acts of terrorism to enhance his candidacy o spent in his election an amount excess of that allowed in the code o solicited, received or made contributions under sections 89, 95, 96, 97 of the Omnibus Election Code. o Violated sections 80, 83, 85, 86 and 261 of the Code Permanent resident or immigrant to a foreign country unless such person waived his status as permanent resident or immigrant to a foreign country o Those who re-acquire Filipino citizenship may run for public office if such person at the time of filing of his COC made a personal and sworn renunciation of all foreign citizenship before any public officer Rules governing cases of disqualifications before the election Complaint before election o Any complaint filed before election shall be inquired into by the COMELEC for purposes of determining whether the acts complained of have in fact been committed. o If it results in a finding, before election, that respondent did in fact commit the acts, COMELEC shall order his disqualification. Complaint not resolved before election o If this is the case, the COMELEC may motu proprio or on motion of any of the parties refer the complaint to the law department of the COMELEC as its power to conduct preliminary investigation of all cases involving infractions of election laws o This may be availed of even if the candidate lost or has been elected.

Material misrepresentation - refers to qualifications for elective office and prevents one from running or, if elected, from serving, or to prosecute him for violation of election laws. it must consist of a deliberate attempt to mislead, misinform, or hide a fact which would otherwise render a candidate ineligible (made with intention to deceive the public). Remedy where candidate has been proclaimed The remedy is to contest his election after he has been duly proclaimed. Certain steps required before election construed as directory after elections o While provisions relating to COC are mandatory in terms, it is an established rule that mandatory provisions requiring certain steps before elections will be construed as directory after the elections to give effect to the will of the electorate. Rationale for principle o To assist the voters in their participation in the affaist of the government and not to defeat that object. o When votes are cast, it should not be nullified simply because the officers tasked under the law to direct the elections and guard the purity of the ballot did not do their duty. o The amendment of the COC made at the date after the deadline for filing is substantial compliance with the law and cures the defect of the COC o Even if the COC was not duly signed.

Doubts resolved in favor of candidate's eligibility o If he received the popular mandate, doubts are resolved in his favor for to rule otherwise is to defeat the will of the people. Disqualifications Any person declared by authority insane or incompetent or has been sentenced by final judgment for subversion, insurrection, rebellion or for THE Bonakids

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Complaint filed after election and proclamation of the winner o it shall be dismissed as a disqualification case but shall be referred for preliminary investigation to the Law department. Complaint filed after election but before proclamation of winner o It shall be dismissed as a disqualification case but shall be referred to for preliminary investigation to the Law department. o if before proclamation, the law department makes a prima facie finding of guilt and the complaint is filed with the trial court, the complainant may file a petition for suspension of the proclamation of the respondent and said court may order the suspension of the proclamation if the evidence of guilt is strong. Submission of recommendation to COMELEC o The law department shall terminate the preliminary investigation within 30 days from the receipt of the referral and shall submit its study, report, and recommendation to the commission en banc within 5 days from the conclusion of the preliminary investigation. o If there is prima facie finding of guilt, it shall submit with such study, information with the appropriate court. Case 2: Bagatsing v. COMELEC A was a candidate for the Mayor of Manila. 7 days after the elections, petitioners in this case filed a complaint for disqualification against A on the ground that the latter allegedly caused the disbursement of public funds in the amount of more than 3 million pesos within the prohibited 45 day period in the code. On motion for reconsideration, A was proclaimed as mayor of the City of Manila despite the pending disqualification case against him. The court held that there is no grave abuse of discretion in allowing A to be proclaimed as City Mayor. In this case, the petition for disqualification was filed after elections. That being so, the complaint shall be dismissed as a disqualification case and shall be referred to the Law Department of the COMELEC. If before proclamation, there is a prima facie finding of guilt and the information has been filed with the appropriate court, the complainant may file a petition for suspension of proclamation of the respondent and said court may order such if evidence of guilt is strong. The referral to the law department is discretionary on the part of the COMELEC where they find that the acts which are grounds for disqualification also constitute a criminal offense. The mere filing of a petition for disqualification is not a ground to suspend proclamation. In the absence of order suspending proclamation, the winning candidate is entitled to be proclaimed as a matter of law. Here, there was no order suspending proclamation. It appearing that none of the foregoing circumstances THE Bonakids

obtain herein as there is no prima facie evidence of guilt yet, a suspension of proclamation is not warranted.

Effect of disqualification case After final judgment o Shall not be voted for and votes case for him shall not be counted Before final judgment o if at such time he is voted upon and receives the winning number of votes, the COMELEC shall continue with the trial and hearing of the action and upon motion of the complainant or any intervenor may, during the pendency, order the suspension of the proclamation whenever evidence of guilt is strong. o COMELEC can legally suspend the proclamation. But such is merely directory and permissive in nature. o What is mandatory is the continuation of trial and hearing o The fact that he is elected does not signify that his disqualification is deemed condoned and may no longer be subject of investigation. o Intervention may be allowed in proceedings for disqualification even after election if there has been no final judgment yet. Candidate who obtained second highest number of votes o The disqualification of the candidate with the highest does not entitle the second one to be declared winner of the elective office. o He is obviously not the choice of the people. no one can be declared elected unless he or she receives a majority or plurality of the legal votes cast in the election o Possible exception: the one who obtained the highest number is disqualified and the electorate is fully aware of the candidate's disqualification so as to bring such awareness within the realm of notoriety but would nonetheless case their votes in favor of the ineligible candidate. If votes were cast in the sincere belief that the candidate was disqualified, they should not be treated as stray, void or meaningless. The duly elected vice mayor succeeds the position as provided by law since in effect, there is a permanent vacancy.

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Chapter 4 Election Campaign and Expenditures A. Campaign and Election Propaganda Election campaign or partisan political activity refers to an act designed to promote the election or defeat of a particular candidate or candidates to a public office. It does not include public expressions of opinions or discussions of probable issues in a forthcoming election or on attributes or criticisms of probable candidates proposed to be nominated in a forthcoming political party convention. Prohibited acts 1. Unlawful for any person or association of persons to engage in an election campaign or partisan political activity except during the campaign period. 2. Unlawful for any foreigner to aid any candidate or political party directly or indirectly or take part in or influence in any manner any election, or to contribute or make any expenditure in connection with any election campaign or partisan political activity. 3. Unlawful for any person during the campaign to remove or tamper with the distribution of lawful election propaganda. 4. Unlawful for any candidate, political party, organization or any person to give or accept free of charge, directly or indirectly, food or drinks or things of value during 5 hours before and after a public meeting on the day preceding the election and on the dat of the election; or to give or contribute directly or indirectly or things of value for such purpose. Lawful election propaganda Election propaganda whether TV, CATV, radio, newspaper, or any other medium is allowed for all registered political parties and for all bonafide candidates subject to the limitation on authorized expenses of candidates and political parties, observance of truth in advertising and to the supervision and regulation by the COMELEC. o Pamphlets, leaflets, etc not more than 8.5 inches in width and 14 inches in length o Handwritten printed letters urging to vote o Cloth, paper or cardboard o Paid advertisements in print or broadcast media provided it complies with the requirements of the Fair Election Act o All other forms of election propaganda not prohibited by the Omnibus Election Code and the Fair Election Act. Requirements for published or printed election propaganda Any newspaper, pamphlets, and other materials likewise, shall bear and be identified by the reasonably legible or audible words "political THE Bonakids

advertisement paid for" followed by the true and correct name of the candidate or party whose benefit the election propaganda was printed or aimed. if it is given free of charge, it shall be identified by the words "airtime for this broadcast was provided free of charge by" followed by the true and correct name and address of the broadcast entity. If donated, it shall not be printed, published, broadcasted, or exhibited without the written acceptance by the candidate or political party. Election surveys refer to the measurement of opinions and perceptions of the voters as regards a candidate's popularity, qualifications, platforms or a matter of public discussion in relation to the election, including voter's preference for candidates or publicly discussed issued during the campaign period. It must o o o likewise publish the following: Name of the one who commissioned or paid for the survey Name of the one who conducted the survey The period it was conducted and the methodology used and the number of respondents o Margin of error o Margin of error for a specific question o Mailing address and telephone number to contact

The survey and the raw data shall be available for inspection, copying, verification by COMELEC or by a registered political party or a bonafide candidate or by the COMELEC's accredited citizen's arm. Those surveys affecting national candidates shall not be published 15 days before an election and surveys affecting local candidates shall not be published 7 days before an election. Exit polls may only be taken subject to the following requirements 1. Pollsters shall not conduct it within 50 meters from the polling place 2. Pollsters shall wear distinctive clothing 3. Pollsters shall inform the voters that they may refuse to answer 4. The result shall be announced after the closing of the polls on election day and must clearly identify the total number of respondents and the places where they were taken. Equal access to media time, and space All registered parties and bona fide candidates shall have equal access to media time and space. o Print advertisements (broadsheets/tabloids) P a g e | 22

Election Law

o o

National official - Not more than 120 minutes of television advertisement and 180 minutes of radio advertisement whether by purchase or donation Local official not more than 60 minutes of TV advertisement and 90 minutes of radio advertisement whether by purchase or donation Broadcast logs are to be submitted to the COMELEC All mass media shall furnish the COMELEC with contracts of advertising, promoting, or opposing any political party or candidacy of any person for public office within 5 days after its signing signed by the donor, the candidate concerned or by the duly authorized representative of the political party. No franchise or permit to operate a radio or TV station shall be granted or issued, suspended or cancelled during the election period.

COMELEC shall procure the print space upon payment of just compensation from at least 3 national newspapers of general circulation wherein candidates for national office can announce their candidates. Such shall be allocated equally and impartially among all the candidates for national office on 3 different calendar days. COMELEC shall procure free airtime from at least 3 national television networks and 3 national radio networks which shall also be allocated free of charge equally and impartially among all the candidates for national office. COMELEC space, poster area, time and information bulletin The COMELEC shall procure space in at least 1 newspaper of general circulation and air time in at least 1 major broadcasting station or entity in every province or city. o In the absence of a newspaper, a magazine or periodical in said province or city which shall be known as the COMELEC SPACE (personal to the candidate and cannot be delegated or assigned to other persons) o In the absence of broadcasting station or entity, it shall be done in any radio or television stations in said province or city which shall be known as COMELEC TIME (utilized exclusively for public information dissemination on election-related concerns) The commission shall designate common poster areas in strategic public places such as markets, barangay center and the like wherein candidates can post, display, or exhibit election propaganda to announce or further their candidacy. The commission shall cause the printing and supervise the dissemination of bulletins to be known as COMELEC BULLETIN which shall be of such size as to adequately contain the picture, bio-data and program of government of every candidate. o Placed in such places as to give due prominence thereto o Any candidate may reprint at his expense, any COMELEC Bulletin upon prior authority of the Commission. Mass media advertising for candidates The requirement that the person take a leave of absence or resign if required by his employer was meant to prevent well-funded candidates from unfairly dominating the use of mass media through paid advertisements at the expense of candidates from less affluent strata of society.

COMELEC shall supervise the use and employment to ensure the candidates are given equal opportunities under equal circumstances to make their known their qualifications and their stand on public issues within the limits set forth in the Omnibus Election Code and the law on Election Spending. o Ensure that there are no radio or tv stations manifestly favoring or opposing any candidate or political party by unduly or repeatedly referring to or including said candidate and/or political party in such program. o All members of media shall scrupulously report and interpret the news, taking care not so suppress essential facts nor to distort the truth by omission or improper emphasis. o Any mass media columnist, commentator, announcer, etc. who is a candidate for any elective public office or is a campaign volunteer for or employed or retained in any capacity by any candidate or political party shall be deemed resigned if so required by employer or shall take a leave of absence from his/her work during the campaign period. o Any media practitioner shall not use his/her time or space to favor any candidate or political party. o No movie or any documentary portraying the life or biography of any candidate shall be publicly exhibited on a theater, TV or any public forum during the campaign period. o The same is applicable for an actor or movie personality who is himself a candidate.

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Case 3: National Press Club v. Commission on Elections Members of the mass media were prevented from selling or donating space and time for political advertisements They claim that their right to be informed of election issues and of credentials are being curtailed. The court held that the law preventing them form doing should be sustained. The objective of the law is the equalizing as far as practicable, the situations of rich and poor candidates by preventing the former from enjoying the undue advantage offered by huge campaign war chests. The COMELEC was expressly authorized by the constitution to supervise or regulate the employment or utilization of the franchises or permits of the operation of media of communication and information to ensure the equal opportunity time and space and the right to reply. There is no presumption of invalidity in respect of the exercises of supervisory or regulatory authority on the part of the OCMELEC for such purpose although such supervision may result in some limitation of the rights of free speech and free press. COMELEC is entitled to the benefit of the presumption that official duty will be or is being regularly carried out. It neither constitutes proscribed abridgement of the freedom of expression not prohibits free speech; it merely provides the rules as to the manner, time and place for its exercise during a very limited period. It is even encouraged to be done during the COMELEC TIME and within the COMELEC SPACE. To allow the rich to have free reign over the use of media for their campaign would result in an unfair advantage over the poor candidates who have no finds or have meager funds to secure print space and air time and yet, they may be equally qualified and deserving candidates. The electorate is given the opportunity to be informed of their qualifications, there are other for a provided for by the law afforded to candidates.

election campaign activity may not pass the test of validity if it is too general in its terms or not limited in time and scope in its application, if it restricts one's expression of belief in a candidate or one's opinion of his or her qualifications, if it cuts off the flow of media reporting and if the regulatory measure bears no clear and reasonable nexus with the constitutionally sanctioned objective. In this case the posting of such decals does not endanger any substantial government interest. There is no clear public interest threatened y such activity as to justify the curtailment of the cherished citizen's right of free speech and expression. 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. A sticker may be furnished by a candidate but once the car owner agrees to have it placed on his private vehicle, the expression becomes a statement of the owner primarily his own and not of anybody else. The prohibition on posting of decals and stickers on mobile places whether public or private except in the authorized areas designated becomes censorship which cannot be justified under the Constitution.

Case 5: Osmena v. COMELEC The provisions which prohibits mass media from selling or giving free of charge print space or air time for campaign political purposes, except to the COMELEC in the Electoral Reforms Law is being contested. The law does not ban such activity completely. It prohibits the sale or donation of print space and air time to political candidates and mandates the COMELEC to procure and itself allocate to the candidates space and time in the media. There is no total ban on political ads much less restriction on the content of the speech. There is a substantial or legitimate governmental interest justifying the exercise of the regulatory power of the COMELEC. Instead of leaving the candidates to advertise freely in the mass media, the law provides for the allocation by the COMELEC of print space and air time to give all candidates equal time and space for the purpose of ensuring orderly elections. Any restriction on speech is only incidental and it is no more than is necessary to achieve its purpose of promoting equality of opportunity in the use of mass media for political advertising. The regulation is unrelated to the suppression of speech and any restriction on freedom of expression is only incidental and no more than is necessary to achieve the purpose of promoting equality.

Case 4: Adiong v. COMELEC COMELEC issued a resolution prohibiting the posting of decals and stickers on "mobile places", public or private and limiting their location or publication to authorized posting areas that it fixes. Such resolution was challenged on the ground that it is violative of the Omnibus Election Code and the petitioner stands to suffer grave and irreparable injury with this prohibition since it is his last medium to inform the electorate of his senatorial candidacy. The court held that the resolution is void on the ground that it infringes on the right of free speech. The balancing of interests was used in this case and is even made more difficult since it is an election campaign (the constitution also gives the authority to supervise the conduct of elections to COMELEC). The regulation of THE Bonakids

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Posting of campaign materials COMELEC may authorize political parties and party-list groups to erect common poster areas for their candidates in not more than 10 public places. Those with no political parties may likewise be authorized to erect common poster areas in not more than 10 public places Candidates may post any lawful propaganda material in private places with the consent of the owner thereof, and in public places or property which shall be allocated equitably and impartially among the candidates. Public forum COMELEC shall encourage such public for a at which all registered candidates for the same office may simultaneously and personally participate to present, explain and/or debate on their campaign platforms and programs and other like issues. Electoral Contributions and Expenditures Contribution anything of value given or made for the purpose of influencing the results of the election but shall not include services rendered without compensation by individuals volunteering a portion or all of their time in behalf of a candidate or political party. Expenditure includes the payment or delivery of money or anything of value or a contract, promise or agreement to make an expenditure for the purpose of influencing the results to the election. Prohibited contributions (indirectly or directly by the following) 1. Public or private financial institutions a. But not if they are legally in the business of lending money and the loan is made in accordance with the laws and regulations and in the ordinary course of business 2. Natural and juridical persons operating a public utility or in possession of or exploiting any natural resources of the nation 3. Natural and juridical persons who hold contract or subcontracts to supply the government or any of its divisions with goods and services or to perform construction or other works. 4. Those granted franchises, incentives, exemptions, allocations or similar privileges, concessions by the government or any divisions 5. Those who within 1 year prior to the date of the election have been granted loans in exess of P25,000 by the government 6. Educational institutions which have received grants of public funds amounting to no less than P100,000 7. Officials or employees of the CSC or members of the AFP. 8. Foreigners and foreign corporations THE Bonakids

Prohibited soliciting of contributions 1. Unlawful to solicit or receive any contribution from any of the person or entities enumerated above 2. Unlawful to solicit or receive directly or indirectly form any foreign national government entity for the purpose of influencing the results of the election. Prohibited raising of funds 1. Unlawful for any person to hold dances, lotteries, cockfights, boxing bouts, etc. for the purpose of raising funds for an election campaign or for the support of any candidate from the commencement of the election period up to and including election day 2. Accept any gift, food, transportation, contribution or donation in cash or in kind from the commencement of the election period up to and including election day. 3. Normal and customary religious stipends, titles or collection on Sundays and/or other designated collection days are excluded from the prohibition. Limitations upon expenses Candidates P10 pesos (President and Vice President) P30 (for other candidates) for every voter currently registered in the constituency where he filed his COC. Those without political parties may be allowed to spend P5 for every such voter. P5 for every voter registered in the constituency where it has official candidates

Political parties

Any contribution in cash or in kind to any candidate or political party duly reported to the Commission shall not be subject to the payment of any gift tax. Prohibited donations by candidates No candidate, his or her spouse or any relative within the 2nd civil degree shall during campaign period, on the day before and on the day of the election, directly or indirectly, make any donation, contribution or gift in cash or in kind or undertake or contribute to the construction or repair of roads, bridges, schoolhouses, etc.

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Statement of contributions and expenditures Within 30 days after the day of the election (file in duplicate with the offices of the Commission an itemized statement of all contributions and expenditures in connection with the election) It is the duty of every city or municipal election registrar to advise in writing by personal delivery or by registered mail within 5 days from the date of election all candidates to comply with their obligation to file their statements No person elected shall enter upon the duties of his office until he has filed the statements. The same prohibition will apply if the political party which nominated the winning candidate fails to file the statement Administrative fine (P1,000-30,000) except barangay offices For a subsequent offense, the fine shall be from P2000 to 60,000 + perpetual disqualification to hold office. C. Political Parties Political party organized group of persons pursuing the same ideology, political ideas or platforms of government and includes its branches and divisions. It may refer to a local regional or national party duly registered by the COMELEC. Registration of political parties It shall be first duly registered with the COMELEC. A registered party who fails to obtain 10% of the votes in the constituency, its registration shall, after notice and hearing be deemed to have been forfeited. Registration file a verified petition with the COMELEC after due notice and hearing and resolve it within 10 days form the date it is submitted form decision. No religious sect or those which seek to achieve ends through violence shall be registered as such. THE Bonakids Election Law

COMELEC shall require publication of the petition in at least 3 newspapers of general circulation and shall, after due notice and hearing, resolve the petition within 15 days from the date it is submitted for decision. Nomination and selection of official candidates President, Vice-President and Senators Members of the House of Representatives and local elective officials 165 days before the day of election 75 days before the day of the election

Time of filing

Effect of failure to comply

Disputes as to party nominations Conduct of party's internal affairs o A political party has the right to identify the people who constitute the association and to select a standard bearer who best represents the party ideologies and preference Determination of factional/nomination controversies o The court will not assume jurisdiction to determine factional controversies within a political party but will leave the matter for determination by the proper tribunals of the party itself or by the electors at the polls. Irregularity in nomination of successful candidate o The will of the electorate, even though an improper method is followed in the nomination of candidates will not be invalidated. o In the absence of a law, an election may not even be invalidated by the fact that the nomination of the successful candidate was brought about by fraud, and not in the manner prescribed by the statute, provided it appears that noncompliance with the law did not prevent a fair and free vote. Intra-party leadership and membership disputes The COMELEC may intervene in disputes to a party only when necessary to discharge its power and functions. Questions of party leadership o It is the power of COMELEC to include the ascertainment of the identity of the political party and its legitimate officers responsible for its acts. Its power to register political parties necessarily involves the determination of the person who must act on its behalf.

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Issue of party membership and discipline o The expulsion of a member is an issue of party membership and discipline in which it cannot intervene given the limited scope of its power over political parties. The party-list system Constitutional provision o not more than 250 members o elected from legislative districts and on the basis of a uniform and progressive ratio o and those elected through a party-list system of registered national, regional and sectoral parties or organizations Implementing law o RA 7941 Definition of terms o Party-list system is a mechanism of proportional representation in the election of representatives to the House of Representatives from national, regional, and sectoral parties, organizations and coalitions thereof registered with the COMELEC. o Party political party or sectoral party or coalition of parties o Political party National Regional o Sectoral party organized group belonging to sectors enumerated in Section 2 of RA 7941. o Sectoral organization refers to a group of citizens or a coalition of groups of citizens who share similar physical attributes or characteristics, employment, interests or concerns. o Coalition refers to an aggrupation of duly registered national, regional, or sectoral parties or organizations for political and/or election purposes. Registration o Register o Sectors THE Bonakids

Peasant Fisherfolk Urban poor Indigenous Cultural communities Elderly Handicapped Women Youth Veterans Overseas workers Professionals

Petition and manifestation; filing fee o Filed by any authorized representative of the political or sectoral party with: The law department if national constituency Office of the regional election director if regional constituency Filing fee (1000) and research fee (20) Procedure o upon receipt, the law department or regional election director shall determine whether the petition is in due form and substance o verify the existence of petitioner in the constituency and all other matters o within 7 days after, submit the petition and documents, filing fee, with recommendations to the COMELEC. o 7 days before hearing, publish petition in at least 2 national newspapers of general circulation at the expense of the petitioner o resolve the petition after due notice and hearing within 15 days form the date it was submitted for decision but not later than 90 days before the election day.

not later than 180 days before the election by A verified petition by its president or secretary Constitution, by-laws or program of government List of officers Coalition agreement Other relevant information Labor Election Law

Manifestation to participate in the party-list system o Any registered party need not register anew. o But shall file a manifestation not later than 90 days before the election of its desire to participate in the party-list system

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Removal and/or cancellation of registration o Motu proprio or upon verified complaint, remove or cancel after due notice and hearing, the registration of any party on the following grounds: 1. It is a religious sect 2. Advocates violence 3. Foreign party or organization 4. Receiving support form a foreign government 5. Violates or fails to comply with the laws, rules or regulations relating to elections 6. Declares untruthful statements in its petition 7. Ceased to exist for at least 1 year 8. Fails to participate in the last 2 preceding elections or fails to obtain at least 2% of the votes under the partylist system in the 2 preceding elections Certified list of registered parties o COMELEC shall prepare a certified list of all which have applied or manifested their desire to participate and distribute copies to all precincts for posting in polling places on election day. o Names of nominees shall not be shown Nomination of party-list representatives o Submit to the COMELEC, not later than 90 days before the election, a list of names not less than 5. Limitations on party-list nominations o A person may be nominated only in 1 list if he gives consent to other nominations, he is disqualified o Give consent in writing o Not include any candidate for elective office in the same election or a person who has lost his bid for an elective office in the immediately preceding elections o No change of name or alteration of the order of nominees shall be allowed after submission except in cases of death, withdrawn in writing under oath, incapacitated. o Incumbent sectoral representatives shall be considered resigned if nominated. Qualifications of party-list nominees o Natural born citizen o Registered voter o Resident of the Philippines of not less tan 1 year immediately THE Bonakids

o o o

Able to read and write Bonafide member of the party At least 25 years of age

Note: Youth sector: must be at least 25-30 on the day of election. Manner of voting o each voter shall be entitled to 2 votes (1 for house representative and the second, for the party) number of party-list representatives o 20% of the total number of the house of representatives to determine allocation of seats o rank the parties from highest to lowers on the number of votes garnered during elections o those with at least 2% are entitled to one seat. o Those with more than 2% shall be entitled to additional seats in proportion to their total number of vote o In no case shall seats exceed 3. How party-list representatives are chosen o According to the ranking in the list of nominees. Term of office o 3 years for not more than 3 consecutive terms Change of affiliation; effect o Forfeiture of seat o If he changes within 6 months before an election, he shall not be eligible for nomination as party-list representatives under the new party Vacancy o Shall be automatically filled by the next representative from the list of nominees in the order submitted to the Commission by the same party, organization, or coalition, such representative shall serve for the unexpired term. o If exhausted, the party shall submit additional nominees.

Election Law

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Rights of party-list representatives o Same salaries and emoluments as regular members of the House of Representatives

b. c.

An election at which some issue or proposition is submitted to the vote of the qualified electors An election held when there is failure of election

Case 6: Bayani-OFW v. COMELEC Petitioners in this case seek the disqualification of political parties from participation in the 2001 party-list elections contending that the party-list system is exclusive to marginalized and underrepresented sectors or organizations The court held that the private respondents cannot be disqualified from the partylist elections merely on the ground that they are political parties. Even the constitution provides that political parties may be registered under the party-list system. The purpose of the system is to give a chance to parties that consistently place third or fourth in congressional district elections to win a seat in Congress. This does not mean that any party may join. The requisite character of these parties or organization must be consistent with the purpose of the party-list system as laid down in the constitution, that is, marginalized and underrepresented, lack well-defined constituencies, and would contribute to the formulation and enactment of appropriate legislation that will benefit the nation as a whole. The case was remanded to the COMELEC for the latter to determine whether the parties allowed to participate in the system comply with the requirements of the law. CHAPTER 5 THE ELECTION A. PRELIMINARY CONSIDERATIONS

Purpose of Election To give the people through the qualified voters a direct participation in the affairs of this government

Construction of Election Laws When they are mandatory: a. Laws for the conduct of elections, including the rules and regulations promulgated pursuant thereto b. Election laws declare that a certain irregularity in an election procedure is fatal to the validity of the ballot or of the returns c. When the purpose and spirit of the law would be plainly defeated by a substantial departure from the prescribed procedure When they may be directory: a. If sought to enforce them after the election b. When mandatory character is not provided c. When departure to the purpose and spirit is due to an honest mistake or misinterpretation

Authority for Holding Election a. Authority to so hold it must be found conferred by the people b. Either directly through the Constitution, or indirectly through the enactments of their legal representatives

Election embodiment of the popular will, the expression of the sovereign will of the people in the choice or selection of candidates to public office for definite and fixed periods or in deciding some question of public interest Kinds of Election 1. General one provided for by law for the election to offices after the expiration of the full term of former officers 2. Regular an election, national or local, held at regular intervals on such dates provided by law 3. Special one provided for by law under special circumstances a. An election not regularly held to fill vacancy in office before expiration of the full term THE Bonakids

Time of Holding Election a. It must be fixed by authoritative power o Constitution or laws for regular elections o Executive or other designated power for special elections b. There must be substantial observance with the time fixed and slight variations will not invalidate the election

Notice of the Election In some form, either actual or constructive, of the time, place and purpose of the election P a g e | 29

Election Law

a. b.

Requirement of notice becomes stricter in cases of special election Sufficiency of notice is determined on whether the voters generally have knowledge of the time, place and purpose of the elections so as to give the voters full opportunity to attend the polls and express their will

Date of Election under the Law Simultaneous regular elections for national and local officials = once every 3 years Regular election for barangay officials = once every 5 years o The last barangay election was held on October 25, 2010 Sanggunian Panlungsod and Bayan Members shall be elected by district

Election of Members of Sangguniang Panlalawigan For provinces with 2 or more legislative districts elected by legislative districts o The number of seats shall be apportioned equitable o If equal division is not possible remaining members shall be elected in the district/s with the greater number of population or, if they are the same, with the greater number of voters For provinces with only 1 legislative district COMELEC shall divide them into 2 districts for purposes of electing the members of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan

3 instances when failure of election may be declared under the Omnibus Election Code: 1. Election protest 2. Election is not set aside 3. There is only a revision or recount of the ballots to determine the real winner Grounds: failure or suspension would affect the result of election a. Violence b. Terrorism c. Force majeure d. Fraud e. Other analogous causes How failure of election is made: a. By the COMELEC en banc b. Upon a verified petition of any interested party c. After due notice and hearing Concurrence of Conditions: 1. No voting has taken place in any precinct or, even if there was a voting, the election nevertheless results in failure to elect 2. Votes not cast would affect the result of the election 3. The cause of such failure is among the grounds provided

Postponement of Election Grounds: for any serious case of such a nature that the holding of a free, orderly and honest election should be impossible a. Violence b. Terrorism c. Force majeure d. Loss or destruction of election paraphernalia or records e. Other analogous causes How postponement is made: a. By the COMELEC en banc b. Upon a verified petition by any interested party or motu propio c. After due notice and hearing

Fixing Date for Special Elections Result of Election = net result of the election in the rest of the precincts in a given constituency The constitutional proscriptions against the holding of special elections within certain periods prior to the next regulars election are not applicable to special elections called for failure of election Requirements in fixing the date for special elections: a. It should not be later than 30 days from the cessation of the cause b. It should be reasonably close to the date of the election not held, suspended or which resulted in the failure to elect

Failure of Election A petition to declare a failure of elections is a special action THE Bonakids

Place of Holding Election It shall be fixed, either by the general law or by the proclamation or notice by which the election is called Enactments fixing the place are properly to be regarded as mandatory Any substantial variation must invalidate the election o Except when necessity arises, such as emergencies, and the removal to some other appropriate place is promoted by proper motives P a g e | 30

Election Law

Holding of Election by Proper Officers Board of Election Inspectors the body which conducts the election in the polling place of the precinct usually composed of 3 public school teachers appointed by COMELEC

Voting Hours Will start at 7am and shall end at 3pm or until such time to allow all the voters present at the precinct to cast their votes In May 10, 2010 elections, it was held from 6am-7pm

Manner of Holding Elections The manner prescribed is intended simply to secure the correct result, and the manner is clearly subservient to the result The machinery provided should be observed, but in so far as it is not necessary to determine the result, it is directory Where a special election is provided for, but no method of holding it is declared, it will be sufficient if held in the method prescribed for holding general elections

Preparation of Ballots for Illiterates and Disabled Persons Who may assist? a. Relative by affinity or consanguinity within the 4th civil degree b. If he has none i. by any person of his confidence who belongs to the same household ii. by any member of the Board of Election Inspectors Person assisting shall bind himself in a formal document under oath to fill out the ballot strictly in accordance with the instructions of the voter and not to reveal the contents of the ballots prepared by him o Violation of this requirement shall constitute an election offense

Official Watchers Every candidate or political party shall be entitled to 1 watcher in every polling place and canvassing center Dominant majority and minority party shall be entitled to 1 official watcher who should be paid a fixed per diem of P400

B.

CASTING OF VOTES

Spoiled Ballots All spoiled ballots (accidentally spoiled or defaced in such a way that it cannot lawfully be used) shall be folded and surrendered to the Chairman who shall note in the corresponding space that it is spoiled The voter shall then be entitled to another ballot, however, no voters shall change his ballot more than twice

Methods of Voting a. Voter must vote in person personally deposit his ballot b. Voter must vote once only if the voter has voted but in the wrong precinct, he has no right to vote again c. Voter need not vote the whole ticket d. Absentee voting applies to the elections of President, Vice-President, and Senators only and shall be allowed to members of the AFP and PNP and other government officers and employees who are registered voters o For Overseas Absentee Voters, they can vote for President, VicePresident, Senators and Party-list Representatives o Requirements: 1. Philippine citizen abroad 2. Not otherwise disqualified by law 3. at least 18 years of age on the day of the election

Ballot implies Secrecy A legal voter will not be compelled to disclose for whom he voted, but, unless he has himself made the contents of his ballots public at the time of voting it, third persons will not be permitted to testify as to its purport This privilege is waivable ABS-CBN v. COMELEC Held: Exit poll is a species of electoral survey conducted by qualified individuals or groups of individuals for the purpose of determining the probable result of an election by confidentially asking randomly selected voters whom they have voted for, immediately after they have officially case their ballots. In exit polls, the contents of the official ballot are not actually exposed. The revelation of whom an elector has voted for is not compulsory, but voluntary.

THE Bonakids

Election Law

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Voters in Cities Registered voters of a highly urbanized city o Not vote for provincial officials of the province in which it is located Registered voters of a component city o Entitled to vote in the election of provincial officials of the province to which it is a part, unless its charter provides otherwise

Counting to be Public and without Interruption Start of counting shall be publicly made in the polling place the votes cast and ascertain the result as soon as the voting is finished The BEI shall not adjourn or postpone or delay the count until it has been fully completed, unless otherwise ordered by COMELEC

Challenge of Illegal Voters Grounds for challenging the registration or identity of a voter: a. Not being registered b. Using anothers name c. Not suffering from existing disqualification No voter shall be required to present his voters affidavit on election day unless his identity is challenged Challenge based on certain Illegal Acts Grounds for challenging a voter: a. Such voter has received or expects to receive, has paid, offered or promised to pay, has contributed, offered or promise to contribute money or anything of value as a consideration for his vote b. Such voter has made or received a promise to influence the giving or withholding of any such voter c. Such voter has made a bet or is interested directly or indirectly in a bet which depends upon the result of the election Admission of the challenged voter shall not be conclusive upon any court

Determination of Marked Ballots Marks which shall be considered sufficient to invalidate the ballot are those which the voter himself deliberately placed on his ballot for the purpose of identifying it thereafter In the absence of evidence aliunde clearly showing that the intention or plan was for purposes of identification, signs on ballots are presumed accidental

Number of Copies of Election Returns and their Distribution BEI shall prepare in handwriting the election returns in their respective polling place, in the number of copies provided and in the form prescribed and provided by COMELEC

Duties of Board of Election Inspectors in Counting the Votes BEI should not concern themselves with the eligibility of the candidates Counting of votes should be liberal in order that the will of the electorate may be effectuated

C.

COUNTING OF VOTES

Board of Election Inspectors Composition: a. Chairman b. 2 members all of whom must be public school teachers

Rules for Appreciation of Ballots Liberally construed to the end that the will of the electorate will not be defeated by technical infirmities

Powers of the Board a. Conduct the voting and counting of votes in their respective polling places b. Acts as deputies of COMELEC c. Perform such other functions prescribed by the Code or by COMELEC THE Bonakids

Announcement of Results of Elections and Issuance of Certificate of Votes Upon completion of the election returns Chairman of BEI shall orally and publicly announce the total number of votes received by each and every one of the candidates, stating their corresponding office After announcement, BEI shall issue a certificate, signed by all the members of the BEI, stating the number of the votes received by a candidate upon request of the duly accredited watchers What Constitutes an Election Plurality of votes lawfully cast P a g e | 32

Election Law

D. CANVASS AND PROCLAMATION Board of Canvassers Provincial BoC Chairman Provincial Election Supervisor or Lawyer in the regional office of COMELEC City Election Registrar or Lawyer of COMELEC Election Registrar or a Member of COMELEC Vice-Chairman Provincial Fiscal Member Provincial School Superintendent

Canvassing Committees BoC may constitue such number of canvassing committee as may be necessary which shall be under its direct supervision and control Composition of Canvassing Committee: 3 members

Recount of Votes Cast City Fiscal City School Superintendent Most Senior School Supervisor or in his absence, Principal of the school district or elementary school Ground: o Where a discrepancy exists between the votes written in word or in figures Merely consists in the mathematical counting and does not involve any appreciation of ballots or determination of their validity

City BoC

Municipal BoC

Municipal Treasurer

Control and Supervision of COMELEC over the Board COMELEC has the power to investigate and act on the proprietary or legality of the canvass of election returns made by the board of canvassers This includes the power to revise, reverse and set aside the action of the boards o It is within COMELECs power to annul a canvass or proclamation based on a. Incomplete returns or incorrect or tampered returns b. Made in an unauthorized meeting of the BoC either because it i. Lacked a quorum ii. Did not meet at all

Canvass of the Board a. Proceedings of BoC shall be open and public b. Majority vote of all members of BoC shall be necessary to render a decision c. BoC shall meet continuously from day to day until the canvass is completed d. Subject to reasonable exceptions, the BoC must complete their canvass within (violation of this = election offense) i. 36 hours Municipalities ii. 48 hours Cities iii. 72 hours Provinces e. Prepare a certificate of canvass duly signed and affixed with the imprint of the right thumb of each member THE Bonakids

Proclamation by BoC The proclamation of a candidate as the winner is a ministerial duty of the BoC, hence, it enjoys the presumption of regularity The winning candidate must have the highest number of votes cast When proclamation null and void: a. Based on a faulty or erroneous tabulation b. Statement of votes which contain erroneous entities c. Incomplete canvass d. Canvass that should have been suspended with respect to the contested election retains e. Canvass that included unsigned election returns or outrightly excluded election returns Effect of a proclamation which is null and void: o Proclaimed candidate may assume office on the strength of the proclamation of Boc but he is only a presumptive winner who assumes office subject to the final outcome of the election protest o When partially or totally annulling a proclamation or suspending the effects of a proclamation, to be valid, it must be made with notice and hearing Suspension of proclamation pending determination of a petition for disqualification against a winning candidate is provisional in nature and can be lifted when the evidence so warrants o This can be issued ex parte

Principles governing Canvass Proceedings Administrative and summary in nature Election returns cannot be disregarded and excluded with the resulting disenfranchisement of the voters but be accorded prima facie status as bona P a g e | 33

Election Law

fide reports of the result of the voting for canvassing and proclamation purposes To allow a respondent to raise belated questions concerning the returns would mean undue delays in the pre-proclamation proceedings Alleged irregularities involving the discharge of its administrative duties do not come under the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court except in cases of grave abuse of discretion committed by it in the discharge of its quasi-judicial powers Incomplete canvass = illegal o Cannot be the basis of a subsequent proclamation o This is true only where the election returns missing or not counted will affect the results of the election AGUJETAS v. CA Facts: Petitioners, Agujetas and Bijis, are former Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the Provincial BoC. In 1988, the Provincial BoC proclaimed the winners for Governor, Vice- Governor and for the position of Provincial Board Members. A complaint was filed in COMELEC by Francisco Rabat (a losing gubernatorial candidate) against petitioners for violation of the OEC and RA 6646 (The Electoral Reform Law of 1987). After preliminary investigation, a Criminal Case was filed against petitioners for violation of the 2nd par. of Sec. 231 in relation to Sec. 262 of the OEC which alleges that petitioners willfully and unlawfully fail to proclaim Erlinda Irigo as elected Sangguniang Panlalawigan Member candidate who obtained 31,129 votes, the eighth highest number of votes cast in said province but instead proclaimed candidate Pedro Pena who obtained only 30,699 votes. According to petitioners, the OEC does not punish the preparation of an incorrect certificate of canvass, nor an erroneous proclamation made by the Board; what it does punish is that, having thus prepared the corresponding certificate, the board for some reason fails to make the corresponding proclamation on the basis thereof. Issue: W/N the failure to make a proclamation on the basis of the Certificate of Canvass or the mere erroneous proclamations is punishable under Sec. 262 in relation to Sec. 231 (2) of the OEC Held: The 2nd paragraph of Section 231 of the OEC reads: The respective BoC shall prepare a certificate of canvass duly signed and affixed with the imprint of the thumb of the right hand of each member, supported by a statement of the votes and received by each candidate in each polling place and, on the basis thereof, shall proclaim as elected the THE Bonakids

candidates who obtained the highest number of votes cast in the province, city, municipality or barangay. Failure to comply with this requirement shall constitute an election offense. To go by the explanation as proposed by the petitioner would be tantamount to tolerating and licensing BoC to "make an erroneous proclamation" and still be exculpated by just putting up the inexcusable defense that the "foul-up resulted from the erroneous arrangement of the names of candidates" in one municipality or that "the basis of their proclamation was the erroneous ranking made by the tabulation committee".

Number of Copies of Certificate of Canvass and their Distribution 7 copies President, Vice-President, Senators, Members of HR, and elective Provincial officials o Prepared by the city or municipal canvassers and together with the 30 certified copies for national positions

Congress as the National BoC for President and Vice-President Congress and the SC en banc shall determine the authenticity and due execution of the certificate of canvass on a showing that: a. Each certificate of canvass was executed, signed and thumbmarked by the chairman and members of the BoC b. Each contains the names of all the candidates and their corresponding votes in words and figures c. There exists no discrepancy in other authentic copies of the document d. There exists no discrepancy in the votes of any candidate in words and figures Incomplete certificate Senate President or the Chairman of COMELEC shall require the BoC to transmit by personal delivery those which were not included Presence of erasures and alterations in the certificate when casting doubt, upon request of the candidate, Congress of COMELEC en banc shall count the votes as they appear in the copies of the election returns submitted to it

Canvass of Votes for President and Vice President Shall be transmitted to the Congress and directed to the President of the Senate who shall, not later than 30 days after the day of election, open all the certificates in the presence of the Senate and HoR in joint public session, and the Congress, upon determination of the authenticity and due execution, canvass the votes P a g e | 34

Election Law

Election Resulting in a Tie The BoC shall, after recording this fact in its minutes, by resolution, upon 5 days notice to all the tied candidates, hold a special public meeting at which the BoC shall proceed to the drawing of lots of the candidates who may be favored by luck This shall not be construed as depriving a candidate of his right to contest the election Failure to Assume Office Failure or refusal to take his oath of office within 6 months from proclamation = considered vacant unless such is for cause beyond his control

automatically generates a tally of votes and then electronically transmits the counted votes to the municipal/city/district/provincial canvassing centers up to the national level e. he BEIs have identification cards and passwords that the canvassing computer validate when the ERs are received by the BOC f. he ERs are tallied by the BOC at the municipality, provincial and national levels Human intervention which has been blamed for cheating is reduced to the minimum Padding and shading of votes = dagdag-bawas

Nature of Boards Duties Ministerial: when canvassing the votes Quasi-judicial: when it satisfies that the returns are genuine or authentic o They have the power to suspend the canvass they deemed to be improbable and clearly incredible

Board of Election Inspectors At least 1 BEI shall be an information technology capable person, who is trained by the DOST to use the AES

Weight accorded to Boards Findings Prima facie evidence of the result and of the title to the office of those declared elected o Conclusive in all collateral inquiries but not in a direct proceeding Evidence aliunde is admissible to disprove findings

Official Ballot 1. The COMELEC shall prescribe the size and form of the official ballot 2. Under each position, the names of the candidates shall be arranged alphabetically by surname and uniformly printed using the same type size 3. There shall be a fixed space where the Chairman of the BEI shall affix his/her signature to authenticate the official ballot 4. The official ballot shall be printed and distributed to each city/municipality at the rate of 1 ballot for every registered voter with a provision of additional 4 ballots per precinct

Filing of Certificate of Candidacy CHAPTER 6 Automated May 10,2010 Elections The first nationwide fully Automated Election System Automated Electronic System: a. he voter using a special pen, fully shade the blank oval beside the name of the candidate of his choice, listed in the ballot b. he ballots are precinct specific c. allots with erasures and extra markings are not accepted by the counting machines d. fter the PCOS operator presses the close voting option, the PCOS Any person who files his COC within the specified period shall only be considered as a candidate at the start of the campaign period for which he filed his COC Unlawful acts or omissions applicable to a candidate shall only effect upon that start of the aforesaid campaign period T Election Returns TEach copy shall be signed and thumbmarked by all the members of the BEI and the watchers present BIf there is a BEI member who refuses to sign, the Chairman shall note it in each copy of the printed election returns and such member shall be compelled to explain his/her refusal to do so AFailure to explain an unjustifiable refusal to sign each copy of the printed election returns shall be punishable Election Law P a g e | 35

THE Bonakids

The Chairman shall then publicly read and announce the total numbers of a. registered voters, b. voters who actually voted c. votes obtained by each candidate Within 1 hour after printing of the ER, the Chairman shall, in the presence of watchers and representatives, electronically transmit the precinct results to the respective levels of BOC

CHAPTER 7 CONTESTED ELECTIONS Pre-Proclamation Controversy 1. Any question or matter pertaining to or affecting the a. Proceedings of the BoC o Who may raise the issue? i. Any candidate ii. Any registered political party iii. Any registered coalition of political parties o Where to raise the issue? i. before the board ii. directly with COMELEC Division Except for petitions for correction of manifest error in the Statement of Votes, or in the tabulation or tallying of the results COMELEC en banc b. Preparation, transmission, receipt, custody and appreciation of the election returns and election and certificate of canvass (Secs. 233, 234, 235 and 236) An election controversy raised before proclamation o If done after proclamation, it becomes an election contest How raised? a. Motu propio b. Written petition

Canvassing by Provincial, City, District and Municipal BOC Upon completion of the canvass, it shall print the certificate of canvass of votes for president, vice-president, senators, and members of HR and elective provincial officials and thereafter, proclaim the elected city or municipal officials Each certificate of canvass shall be supported by a statement of votes Within 1 hour after the canvassing, the Chairman shall electronically transmit the certificate of canvass to the COMELEC or Congress sitting as the National BOC The Certificate of Canvass transmitted electronically and digitally signed shall be considered as official election results and shall be used as basis for the proclamation of a winning candidate

COMELEC as National BOC Chairman and members of the COMELEC sitting en banc shall compose the National BOC for Senators and Party-list Representatives It shall canvass the results and shall proclaim the winning candidates for Senators and Party-List Representatives Congress as National BOC Senate and HR in joint public session shall compose the National BOC for President and Vice-President Random Manual Audit There shall be a RMA in 1 precinct per congressional district randomly chosen by the COMELEC in each province and city Any difference between the automated and manual count will result in the determination of root cause and initiate a manual count for those precincts affected Effects of Discrepancy between AES and RMA: a. In the event the results of the AES exceeds the allowable margin of variance, there will be an initiation of a manual count for those precincts b. In no way shall the results of the RMA delay the proclamation of the winning candidates based on the results reached by the AES

Exclusive Jurisdiction of COMELEC GR: All Pre-Proclamation Controversies involving Local Elective Officials o Exception: pre-proclamation cases involving National Elective Officials (President, Vice-President, Senator, and Member of House) on matters relation to (b) [one enumerated above] Exception to the Exception: correction of manifest errors in the certificate of canvass or election returns Pre-proclamation cases involving the authenticity and due execution of certificates of canvass for President, Vice-President and Senators are now with the Congress Upon due notice and hearing it may order the a. partial or total suspension of the proclamation of any candidate-elect, or b. annul partially or totally any proclamation

THE Bonakids

Election Law

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Proclamation of other winning candidates who are not affected by the outcome of the controversy may done by the COMELEC upon filing of a verified petition or motu propio, and after due notice and hearing

Summary Hearing of Pre-Proclamation Controversies Heard summarily, and after due notice and hearing, promulgate its decision and it shall be executory after the lapse of 5 days from receipt by the losing party of the decision, unless restrained by SC Presentation of evidence by the parties before the COMELEC is not indispensable in order to satisfy the demands of due process o What is only required is that COMELEC shall dispose of pre-proclamation controversies on the basis of the records and evidence elevated to it by the BoC

Where Election Returns found to be Spurious or Falsified Outright exclusion of election returns on the ground that they were fraudulently prepared by some members or non-members of BEI disenfranchises the voters If the integrity and identity of the ballot box has not been violated, COMELEC shall order the BEI to recount the votes and prepare a new canvass which the BoC will use Where the integrity of the ballots has been violated, COMELEC need not recount the ballots but should seal the ballot box and order its safekeeping

Issues that may be Raised (Grounds for Pre-Proclamation Controversy): a. Illegal composition or proceeding of the BoC b. Incomplete, defective (material), or tampered or falsified canvassed election returns, or contain discrepancies in the same or in other authentic copies of the returns c. Election returns were prepared under duress, threats, coercion, or intimidation d. Election returns were obviously manufactured (genuine or authentic in character but are reflective of fraudulent acts done before or carried out by the BEI) or not authentic e. Substitute or fraudulent returns were canvassed, the results of which materially affected the standing of the aggrieved candidate/s The issues provided for (grounds) are restrictive and exclusive

Questions properly cognizable in an Election Protest a. Questions involving the appreciation of votes and the conduct of balloting b. Reopening of the ballot boxes c. Sham voting or minimal voting which was made to appear as normal through the falsification of election returns The powers of COMELEC are essentially executive and administrative in nature, and the question of whether or not there had been terrorism, vote buying and other irregularities in the elections should be ventilated in a regular election protest Ututalum v. COMELEC Facts: During the canvass of votes, candidate U filed a written objections to the returns from Municipality of Siasi on the ground that they appear to be tampered with or falsified owing to the great excess of votes appearing in said returns. The Provincial BoC dismissed such objection on the ground that it was not one of those enumerated in the Omnibus Election Code. While Us petition for the annulment of As proclamation was pending, a petition by a candidate for Governor of Sulu was filed with COMELEC to annul the List of Voters of Siasi for purposes of election of local government officials. The COMELEC in a resolution annulled the List of Voters which resolution was affirmed by SC. From the COMELECs resolution, denying Us petition asking that such annulment be considered and applied by the COMELEC in resolving his petition against A, U filed a petition for certiorari in the Supreme Court. Issues and Held: 1. w/n the ground of obviously manufactured returns and padding of the list of voters are proper grounds for a pre-proclamation controversy Given the factual setting, it cannot justifiably be contended that the Siasi returns, per se, were obviously manufactured and, thereby, a legitimate issue in a preproclamation controversy. P a g e | 37

Where Election Returns on their Face Regular and Authentic GR: COMELEC is not to look beyond the election returns which on their face regular and authentic returns and investigate alleged election irregularities o Exception: when there is prima facie showing that the return is not genuine

Where Election Returns Obviously Manufactured This fact must be obvious on the face of the returns Doctrine of Statistical Improbability applied only where unique uniformity of tally of all the votes cast in favor of all the candidates belonging to one party and the systematic blanking of all the opposing parties appear in the election returns THE Bonakids

Election Law

The Siasi returns do not show prima faci that on the basis of the old List of Voters, there is actually a great excess of votes over what could have been legally cast (36k people actually voted out of almost 40k). Basically, therefore, Us cause of action is the padding of the Siasi List of Voters, which, indeed, is not a listed ground for a pre-proclamation controversy. Moreover, the preparation of a voters list is not a proceeding before the BoC. A pre-proclamation controversy is limited to challenges directed against the BoC, not the BEI, and such challenges should relate to specific verbal objections. 2. w/n the new Registry List should be considered and applied as legal basis in determining the number of votes

Held: The matter is not cognizable in a pre-proclamation controversy. The purpose of a pre-proclamation controversy is to ascertain the winners in the elections on the basis of the election returns duly authenticated by the BEI and admitted by the BoC. The purpose of a disqualification proceeding is to prevent the candidate from running or, if elected, from serving, or to prosecute him for violation of the election law. Agbayani v. COMELEC Facts: Petitioner is questioning the Order issued by COMELEC dismissing his preproclamation cases against Colet. The grounds for the dismissal were: a. Petitioner had abandoned the said cases with his filing of an election protest b. The pre-proclamation controversy was no longer viable because the private respondent had already been proclaimed Governor of Pangasinan Issue: w/n the election protest filed, although predominated as ad cautelam, was a regular protest that made the pre-proclamation controversy moot and academic Held: Petitioner's real intention in filing the election protest ad cautelam was merely to insure the preservation of all the ballot boxes used in the local elections in the province of Pangasinan. It was not the fault of the petitioner if the COMELEC decided to give due course to the protest right away even if it was ad cautelam. The protest was at that time only tentative, awaiting the disposition of the pre-proclamation controversy. The petitioner did file a reply to the private respondent's answer with counter-protest, but it was only to prevent any declaration that he had by his inaction waived, the right to file responsive pleadings. Such a reply did not make the pre-proclamation controversy moot and academic. The rule is indeed that the proclamation of the winning candidate makes the preproclamation controversy no longer viable, as the issues raised therein may be more closely examined and better resolved in an election protest. However, this is true only where the proclamation is based on a complete canvass. Where it is claimed that certain returns should have been omitted because they were manufactured and other returns cannot be included because they have been irretrievably lost, the pre-proclamation controversy should still be continued despite the proclamation of the supposed winner. Indeed, the COMELEC may in such pre-proclamation proceedings determine if the proclamation should be annulled.

To allow the COMELEC to do so retroactively would be to empower it to annul a previous election because of the subsequent annulment of a questioned registry in a proceeding where petitioner himself was not a party. There was no prior petition to set it aside for having been effected with fraud, intimidation, force or any other similar irregularity in consonance with the Omnibus Election Code. 3. w/n the Siasi returns should be excluded since the List of Voters on which it was based has been conclusively annulled

Where winning candidates had already been proclaimed as the elected representative of the contested congressional district, and has long assumed office and has been exercising the powers, functions, and duties appurtenant to said office, the remedy of the petitioner is an election protest before the proper forum. The pre-proclamation controversy becomes moot and academic.

Abella v. Larrazabal Facts: The wife of EL substituted him for gubernatorial post. BA, the official candidate of another party, challenged the dismissal of his pre-proclamation and disqualification cases filed against the wife of EL. Issue: w/n the inclusion/exclusion in the canvass of certain election returns where votes allegedly cast for EL were counted for his wife and issue appropriate in an election contest and not in a pre-proclamation controversy

THE Bonakids

Election Law

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Dimaporo v. COMELEC Facts: The COMELEC en banc, in ordering the exclusion from the canvass of election returns from certain precincts in certain municipalities in the Province of Sulu for being statistically improbable and obviously manufactured, the fraud being so palpable from the return itself and that consequently, evidence aliunde to show fraud was entirely unnecessary. Issue: w/n the refusal to order technical examination of the voters affidavits and the lists of voters amounts to grave abuse of discretion Held: The defects alleged are not pre-proclamation matters but fall under the jurisdiction of the electoral tribunals as sole judges of all contests relating to the elections, returns and qualifications of the candidates. The policy behind limiting the issues of the pre-proclamation controversy is to determine as quickly as possible the results of the elections on the basis of the canvass. It may well be true that the public policy may occasionally permit the occurrence of grab the proclamation and prolong the protest situations; that public policy however, balances the possibility of such situations against the shortening of the period during which no winners are proclaimed, a period commonly fraught with tension and danger for the public. For those who disagree with the policy, the recourse is with the legislature. The mandatory requirement to comply with the procedure for a pre-proclamation controversy is in view of the policy to have a quick determination of the election results. Borja Jr. v. COMELEC Facts: Alleging lack of notice of the date and time of canvass, fraud, violence, terrorism and analogous causes, such as disenfranchisement of voters, presence of flying voters, and unqualified members of BEI, Borja (losing candidate in mayoral post) filed before COMELEC en banc a petition to declare a failure of election and to nullify the canvass and proclamation made by the Pateros BoC. Issue: w/n the petition to declare a failure of election qualifies as an election case or a pre-proclamation controversy Held: The COMELEC en banc is only empowered to resolve motions for reconsideration of cases decided by a Division. THE Bonakids

A petition to declare a failure of election is neither a pre-proclamation controversy nor an election case. Such ground is proper only in an election contest but not in a petition to declare a failure of election and to nullify a proclamation. In reality, Borjas petition was nothing but a simple election protest involving an elective municipal position which falls within the exclusive jurisdiction of the RTC. The COMELEC, therefore, had no choice but to dismiss Borjas petition. Laodenio v. COMELEC Facts: FL filed a petition with COMELEC to annul RLs proclamation and to declare illegal the constitution of the Municipal BoC as well as its proceedings. 5 days later, he filed an election protest before RTC. Issues and Held: 1. w/n a petition to contest the illegal conduct of BoC can be directly filed with COMELEC Sec. 17 of Rule 27 of the COMELEC Rules of Procedure allows the filing of a petition directly with COMELEC when the issue involves the illegal composition of the Board, but Sec. 5 thereof requires that it must be filed immediately when the Board begins to act as such, or at the time of appointment of the member whose capacity is objected to. In the present case, the petition was filed 5 days after proclamation. 2. w/n the pre-proclamation controversy was rendered moot and academic by filing of an ordinary election protest

As a general rule, the filing of an election protest or a petition for quo warranto precludes the subsequent filing of a pre-proclamation controversy or amounts to the abandonment of one earlier filed, thus depriving the COMELEC of the authority to inquire into and pass upon the title of the protestee or validity of his proclamation. One exception to such rule is where the Court finds that the real intention in filing the election protest ad cautelam is to ensure the preservation of all the ballot boxes used in the local elections. Here, petitioner alleges that he filed such election protest as a precautionary measure to preserve his own rights without bothering to elaborate thereon.

Election Law

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Salih v. COMELEC Facts: The Municipal BoC ruled to canvass the contested election returns for mayor on the ground that no sufficient proof was proferred to warrant their exclusion as defective or fraudulent returns. A proclamation was made but the COMELEC en banc nullified such which ordered the board to reconvene, complete the canvass by including the 2 returns earlier excluded by the Division and accordingly, proclaim the winning candidate. Issue: w/n COMELEC en banc correctly reversed the Division and ordered the inclusion of the 2 returns the latter excluded Held: The COMELEC Division excluded the returns on the ground that no actual voting in the said precincts had taken place, or if there was, it was with minimal attendance of voters only, and that there was a missing pad of official ballots. However, the Division did not make any findings of actual physical alterations or other forms of defects on the face of the questioned election returns. On the basis of the election returns which, on their face, appear regular and wanting of any physical signs of tampering, alteration, or other similar vice, the Division could not justifiably exclude said returns on the occasion of a preproclamation controversy whose office is limited to incomplete, falsified or materially defective returns which appear as such on their face. If there had been sham voting or minimal voting which was made to appear as normal through the falsification of the election returns, such grounds are properly cognizable in an election protest and not in a pre-proclamation controversy.

Petitioner J insists that his proclamation was based on a complete canvass, all election returns having been included therein, while the proclamation of B was based on incomplete canvass, as the 3 election returns were excluded from canvass. Issue: w/n the 2 proclamations are valid Held: The issuances made by the Municipal BoC cannot be considered as ruling withing the contemplation of the law. They are not definitive rulings of exclusion because they merely deferred the inclusion of the election returns pending further investigation. There being no ruling on the inclusion or exclusion of the disputed returns, there could have been no complete and valid canvass which is a prerequisite to a valid proclamation. Another fatal infirmity that vitiated both petitioners proclamations was the violation of Sec. 245 of the OEC which prohibits the proclamation by the BoC of a candidate as winner where returns are contested, unless authorized by the COMELEC.

Velayo v. COMELEC Facts: Petitioner AV, who was proclaimed the duly elected mayor, was not furnished any notice of the pre-proclamation proceedings against him instituted by EN, from beginning to end. All that AV received from COMELEC was its en banc resolution annulling his proclamation. COMELEC annulled AVs proclamation on the basis of new and additional evidence submitted by EN which was not presented before the Municipal BoC and which was furnished AV. Issues and Held: 1. w/n the COMELEC proceedings were properly conducted It is true that RA 7166 provides for summary proceedings in pre-proclamation cases and does not require a trial-type hearing. Nevertheless, summary proceedings cannot be stretched to mean ex parte proceedings. Summary simply means with dispatch, with the least possible delay. But although the proceedings are summary, the adverse party must at the very least be notified so that he can be apprised of the nature and the purpose of the proceeding. P a g e | 40

Jamil v. COMELEC Facts: During the canvassing of the election returns by the Municipal BoC, B, a candidate for mayoralty objected to the inclusion of 4 election returns on the grounds that these were prepared under duress, it was spurious and that it was not an authentic copy as the original was missing. The Municipal BoC issued its rulings on the 3 election returns setting them aside for further investigation. They then proclaimed J as the winner. COMELEC Division, affirmed by COMELEC en banc, annulled the proclamation of J proceeding from the premise that the election returns were excluded.

THE Bonakids

Election Law

In this case, all the proceedings were conducted without the participation of AV. These ex parte proceedings offend fundamental fairness and are null and void. 2. w/n COMELECs resort to doctrine of statistical improbability is flawed

Standing alone and without more, the bare fact that a candidate received zero votes in one or two precincts cannot adequately support a finding that the subject election returns are statistically improbable. A no-vote for a particular candidate in election returns is but one strand in the web of circumstantial evidence that those election returns were prepared under duress, force and intimidation. J. Vitug, Dissenting Opinion: Under Sec. 45 of the OEC, the BoC shall not proclaim any candidate as winner unless authorized by COMELEC after the latter has ruled on the objections bought to it on appeal by the losing party and thay any proclamation made in violation thereof shall be void ab initio. When COMELEC directed the exclusion of the election returns, based on the doctrine of statistical improbability, it could only mean that it did act on the basis of the records elevated to it, and would preclude the idea of any further need of evidence aliunde to show palpability of fraud.

R.A. NO. 6646, The Electoral Reforms Law of 1987 Section 6. Effect of Disqualification Case. - Any candidate who has been declared by final judgment to be disqualified shall not be voted for, and the votes cast for him shall not be counted. If for any reason a candidate is not declared by final judgment before an election to be disqualified and he is voted for and receives the winning number of votes in such election, the Court or Commission shall continue with the trial and hearing of the action, inquiry, or protest and, upon motion of the complainant or any intervenor, may during the pendency thereof order the suspension of the proclamation of such candidate whenever the evidence of his guilt is strong. Section 7. Petition to Deny Due Course To or Cancel a Certificate of Candidacy. - The procedure hereinabove provided shall apply to petitions to deny due course to or cancel a certificate of candidacy as provided in Section 78 of Batas Pambansa Blg. 881

B.P. 881, Omnibus Election Code Section 78. Petition to deny due course to or cancel a certificate of candidacy. - A verified petition seeking to deny due course or to cancel a certificate of candidacy may be filed by the person exclusively on the ground that any material representation contained therein as required under Section 74 hereof is false. The petition may be filed at any time not later than twenty-five days from the time of the filing of the certificate of candidacy and shall be decided, after due notice and hearing, not later than fifteen days before the election.

SUSPENSION OF PROCLAMATION AND PERIOD FOR FILING OF ELECTION PROTEST GROUNDS FOR THE SUSPENSION OF PROCLAMATION:
Sec. 248. Effect of filing petition to annual or to suspend the proclamation. - The filing with the Commission of a petition to annual or to suspend the proclamation of any candidate shall suspend the running of the period within which to file an election protest or quo warranto proceedings. (should be read in relation to): Sec. 242. Commission's exclusive jurisdiction of all pre-proclamation controversies. The Commission shall have exclusive jurisdiction of all pre-proclamation controversies. It may motu proprio or upon written petition, and after due notice and hearing, order the partial or total suspension of the proclamation of any candidate-elect or annual partially or totally any proclamation, if one has been made, as the evidence shall warrant in accordance with the succeeding sections.

In the nature of pre-proclamation controversiestheir filing is a ground for the suspension of proclamation and, consequently, of the period for filing either an election protest or petition for quo warranto; Order of COMELEC suspending proclamation is merely provisional in nature and can be lifted when evidence so warrantsakin to a temporary restraining order

DISTINCTION BETWEEN ACTION FOR DECLARATION OF FAILURE OF ELECTION AND PRE-PROCLAMATION CONTROVERSY ACTION FOR DECLARATION OF FAILURE PRE-PROCLAMATION CONTROVERSY OF ELECTION Not in the nature of a pre-proclamation controversy COMELEC is duty bound to investigate COMELEC is restricted to an allegations of fraud, terrorism, violence examination of the election returns and other analogous causes in actions for on their face and is w/o jurisdiction annulment of election results or for to go beyond or behind them and declaration of failure of election investigate election irregularities COMELEC may conduct technical examination of election documents and compare and analyze voters signatures and fingerprints in order to determine whether or not the elections was Free, Honest, and Clean. Election Law P a g e | 41

THE Bonakids

REMEDY AFTER WINNING CANDIDATE HAS BEEN PROCLAIMED (1) Electoral protest before the proper foruma. After proclamation and assumption of office - a pre-proclamation controversy is no longer viable and should be dismissed. PROPER REMEDY = electoral protest before the proper forum (presentation of witnesses subject to the right of confrontation) b. Elected official had been duly proclaimed and had taken his oath of office he is entitled to all the right of his office until his election is annulled. THEREFORE, exercise of his rights as such official cannot cause an irreparable injury or violate the right of the losing candidate (2) When proclaimed candidate may still be unseateda. When his opponent is adjudged the true winner of the election by a final judgment of a court in the election contest; (sec. 251, BP 881) b. When the prevailing party is declared illegible or disqualified by final judgment of a court in a quo warranto case; (sec. 253, BP 881) c. When the incumbent is removed from office for cause; d. When the proclamation is null and void for in such case the proclamation is no proclamation at all- cannot deprive the COMELEC of the power to make such declaration of nullity (sec. 264, BP 881)

(c) Simultaneous with the oral objection, the objecting party shall also enter his objection in the form for written objections to be prescribed by the Commission. Within twenty-four (24) hours from and after the presentation of such an objection, the objecting party shall submit the evidence in support of the objection, which shall be attached to the form for written objections. Within the same period of twenty-four (24) hours after presentation of the objection, any party may file a written and verified opposition to the objection in the form also to be prescribed by the Commission, attaching thereto supporting evidence, if any. The board shall not entertain any objection or opposition unless reduced to writing in the prescribed forms. The evidence attached to the objection or opposition, submitted by the parties, shall be immediately and formally admitted into the records of the board by the chairman affixing his signature at the back of each every page thereof. (d) Upon receipt of the evidence, the board shall keep up the contested returns, consider the written objections thereto and opposition, if any, and summarily and immediately rules thereon. The board shall enter its ruling on the prescribed form and authenticate the same by the signatures of its members. (e) Any part adversely affected by the ruling of the board shall immediately inform the board if he intends to appeal said ruling. The board shall enter said information in the minutes of the canvass, set aside the returns and proceed to consider the other returns. (f) After all the uncontested returns have been canvassed and the contested return ruled upon by it, the board shall suspend the canvass. Within forty-eight (48) hours, therefrom, any party adversely affected by the ruling may file with the board a written and verified notice of appeal; and within an unextendible period of five (5) days thereafter an appeal may be taken to the Commission. (g) Immediately upon receipt of the notice of appeal, the board shall make an appropriate report to the Commission, elevating therewith the complete records and evidence submitted in the canvass, and furnishing the parties with copies of the report. (h) On the basis of the record and evidence elevate to it by the board, the Commission shall decide summarily the appeal within seven (7) days from receipt of said record and evidence. Any appeal brought before the Commission on the ruling of the board, without the accomplished forms and the evidence appended thereto, shall be summarily dismissed. The decision of the Commission shall be executory after the lapse of seven (7) days from receipts thereof by the losing party. (i) The board of canvassers shall not proclaim any candidate as winner unless authorized by the Commission after the latter has ruled on the object brought to it on appeal by the losing party. Any proclamation made in violation hereof shall be void ab initio, unless the contested returns will not adversely affect the results of the election.

CONTESTED COMPOSITION OR PROCEEDINGS OF THE BOARD OF CANVASSERS May appeal the matter to the Commission within 3 days from a ruling thereon Commission shall summarily decide the case within 5 days from filing

PROCEDURE IN DISPOSITION OF CONTESTED ELECTION RETURNS Rules on presenting evidence and appealing the rulings of the board of canvassers are MANDATORY;
Section 20. Procedure in Disposition of Contested Election Returns. (a) Any candidate, political party or coalition of political parties contesting the inclusion or exclusion in the canvass of any election returns on any of the grounds authorized under Article XX or Sections 234, 235 and 236 of Article XIX of the Omnibus Election Code shall submit their oral objection to the chairman of the board of canvassers at the time the questioned return is presented for inclusion in the canvass. Such objection shall be recorded in the minutes of the canvass. (b) Upon receipts of any such objection, the board of canvassers shall automatically defer the canvass of the contested returns and shall proceed to canvass the returns which are not contested by any party.

THE Bonakids

Election Law

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REQUIREMENTS WITH RESPECT TO OBJECTIONS (1) In written form with supporting evidence attached thretoo Present evidence within 24-hours o Non-compliance with the mandatory procedure shall result in SUMMARY DISMISSAL of the appeal o In the petitioner lies the burden of proving prima facie case of presenting, at the same time, evidence that the exclusion he seeks will change the results of the election o Partys mere allegation that an election return is spurious, altered or manufactured does not automatically operate to exclude it from the canvassing (2) Evidence substantiating objections must be clear and convinving- Because of the summary nature of a pre-proclamation controversy allows it to be resolved on the basis of the arguments as well as evidence submitted o Absent any clear and convincing evidence, the election returns and the canvassing proceedings must be upheld; o Mere affidavits cannot be relied on; (3) Reason for requirementso Reducing the objections to writing and submitting them with the supporting evidence is crucial to the delivery of speedy and equitable relief; o Unless requirement is meticulously observed, COMELEC will not be able to determine the prima facie merit of the appeal- and the controversy will be unduly prolonged RULING BY THE BOARD ON OBJECTIONS (1) Written ruling necessaryo Board of Canvassers is under the onbligation to make a written ruling on the formal objections; o Failure or refusal of the board of canvassers to discharge this obligation should not in any way prejudice the objecting partys right to elevate the matter to the COMELEC for proper review (2) When ruling not necessary or propero No ruling is necessary, or even proper, where the matter is beyond the competence of the Board of Canvassers; o Accepted Rule: as long as the returns appear to be authentic and duly accomplished, the BOC cannot look beyond them to verify the allegations or irregularities in the casting or the counting of the votes. o BOC has only ministerial task of tallying the votes as reported in the elections returns and cannot exercise the judicial power of deciding an election contest (3) When exclusion of election returns justifiedo Alleged threats, etc. which attended the preparation of said returns must have affected the regularity or the genuineness of the contested returns

PRE-PROCLAMATION CASES (1) Not allowed in elections for President, V.President, Senator, and Member of the House of Representativeso No pre-proclamation cases shall be allowed on matter, relating to the preparation, transmission, receipt, custody and appreciation of the election returns or the certificates of canvass; (only to correct manifest errors) o Appeal of the decision of the BOC is directed to the Commission en banc o Questions affecting the composition or proceedings of the BOC may be initiated in the board or directly with the Commission ( Sec. 17, R.A. No. 7166) (2) Those involving provincial, city and municipal offices- shall be governed by:
Section 17. Pre-proclamation Controversies: How Commenced. - Questions affecting the composition or proceedings of the board of canvassers may be initiated in the board or directly with the Commission. However, matters raised under Sections 233, 234, 235 and 236 of the Omnibus Election Code in relation to the preparation, transmission, receipt, custody and appreciation of the election returns, and the certificates of canvass shall be brought in the first instance before the board of canvassers only. Section 18. Summary Disposition of Pre-proclamation Controversies. - All preproclamation controversies on election returns or certificates of canvass shall, on the basis of the records and evidence elevated to it by the board of canvassers, be disposed of summarily by the Commission within seven (7) days from receipt thereof. Its decisions shall be executory after the lapse of seven (7) days for receipts by the losing party of the decision of the Commission. Section 19. Consented Composition or Proceedings of the Board: Period to Appeal: Decision by the Commission. - Parties adversely affected by a ruling of the board of canvassers on questions affecting the composition or proceedings of the board may appeal the matter to the Commission within three (3) days from a ruling thereon. The Commission shall summarily decided the case within five (5) days from the filing thereof. Section 20. Procedure in Disposition of Contested Election Returns. already posted above

THE Bonakids

Election Law

P a g e | 43

ELECTION PROTEST PURPOSE: ascertain whether the candidate proclaimed elected by the BOC is the true and lawful choice of the electorate Contest between the defeated and winning candidates on the ground of frauds or irregularities in the casting and counting of the ballots, or in the preparation of the returns Raises the questions of who actually obtained the plurality of the legal votes, and therefore, entitled to hold the office Can only be filed by a candidate who has duly filed a certificate of candidacy and has been voted for in the preceding elections

PETITION FOR QUO WARRANTO

o o

Special civil ction under the Omnibus Election Code

On the basis of records and evidence elevated to by the BOC, be disposed of summarily by the Commission within 7 days from the receipt thereof; Decision shall be executor after the lapse of 7 days from receipt by the losing party of the decision of the Commission JURISDICTION of the Commission over a pre-proclamation controversy has reference more to the exercise of its broad administrative powers and functions relative to the conduct of elections governed by the less rigid standards of administrative due process

Raises in the issue the disloyalty or ineligibility of the winning candidate; Proceeding to unseat the respondent from office but not necessarily to install the petitioner in his place Any voter may initiate the action

EFFECT OF FILING AN ELECTION PROTEST OR A PETITION FOR QUO WARRANTO (1) Distinction/ issues involved(2) GR: the filing of an election protest or a petition for quo warranto precludes the subsequent filing of a pre-proclamation controversy, or amounts to the abandonment of one earlier filed; o Depriving the COMELEC of the authority to inquire into and pass upon the title of the protestee or the validity of his proclamation o REASON: once the competent tribunal has acquired jurisdiction of an election protest or a petition for quo warranto, all questions relative thereto will have to be decided in the case itself and not in another proceeding; will preven confusion and conflict of authority (3) Exceptions: o the BOC was improperly constituted; o quo warranto was not the proper remedy; o what was filed was not really a petition for quo warranto or an election protest but a petition to annul a proclamation as where a party alleges the existence of manifest errors in the preparation of election returns; o filing of a quo warranto petition or an election protest was expressly made without prejudice to the pre-proclamation controversy or was made ad cautelam; o proclamation was null and void actual or compensatory damages may be granted in all election contests or in quo warranto proceedings in accordance with the law INSTITUTION OF ELECTION CONTEST consists of either an election protest or a quo warranto one objective: dislodge the winning candidate from office (1) By a defeated candidate- competent for a defeated candidate who has not himself caused or contributed to the irregularities or frauds of which he complains

Section 21. Partial Proclamation. - Notwithstanding the pendency of any pre-proclamation controversy, the Commission may summarily order the proclamation of other winning candidates whose election will not be affected by the outcome of the controversy. Section 22. Election Contests for Municipal Offices. - All election contests involving municipal offices filed with the Regional Trial Court shall be decided expeditiously. The decision may be appealed to the Commission within five (5) days from promulgation or receipt of a copy thereof by the aggrieved party. The Commission shall decide the appeal within sixty (60) days after it is submitted for decision, but not later than six (6) months after the filing of the appeal, which decision shall be final, unappealable and executory.

(3) Effect when term of contested office beginso All pre-proclamation cases pending before the Commission shall be deemed terminated at the beginning of the term of office involved and the rulings of the BOC, without prejudice to the filing of a regular election protest; o Running of the period to file an election protest shall be deemed suspended by the pendency of such cases before the Commission or the petition for certiorari in the SC (4) Pre-proclamation controversies; how commencedo Questions affecting the composition or proceedings of the BOC may be initiated in the board or directly with the Commission; o Matter under 233- 236 of the Omnibus Election Code- in relation to the preparation, transmission, receipt, custody and appreciation of the election returns; certificates of canvass shall be brought in the first instance before the BOC ONLY (5) Summary disposition or pre-proclamation controversies THE Bonakids

Election Law

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Section 250. Election contests for Batasang Pambansa, regional, provincial and city offices. - A sworn petition contesting the election of any Member of the Batasang Pambansa or any regional, provincial or city official shall be filed with the Commission by any candidate who has duly filed a certificate of candidacy and has been voted for the same office, within ten days after the proclamation of the results of the election.

(2) Against a proclaimed candidate- may be lodged only against a proclaimed candidate and which must be filed within the period prescribed. PURPOSE: ascertain whether the candidate proclaimed elected by the BOC is the true and lawful choice of the electorate (3) Validity of proclamation where the private respondent has already been proclaimed as duly elected, taken hi oath, and assumed the duties of his office, the remedy of the defeated candidate is not pre-proclamation contest but an ELECTORAL PROTEST. (on the assumption of a valid proclamation). If proclamation itself is null and void, COMELEC has authority to annul the canvass and the proclamation (4) Nullification of proclamation- may be challenged even after the irregularity proclaimed candidate has assumed office; once o proclamation is nullified, the case REVERTS to a pre-proclamation controversy ELECTION CONTEST IMBUED WITH PUBLIC INTEREST (1) Deep public interest to determine true choice of people. paramount need of dispelling with the least delay the uncertainty which beclouds the real choice of the electorate (2) Effect of death of either party thereto/voluntary cessation in office of protestee. right to public office is personal and exclusive to the public officer; an election protest is not purely personal and exclusive to the protestant or to the protestee because it is imbued with paramount public interest (3) Election laws liberally construed. technicalities and procedural barriers should not be allowed to stand if they constitute and obstacle to the determination of the true will of the electorate o RULE: laws governing election contest must be liberally construed to the end that the will of the people in the choice of public officers may not be defeated by mere technical objections Failure to raise a ground in the protest. failure or omission of the protestant to raise the question of identical handwriting or of impugning the validity of the ballots on that ground DOES NOT preclude the Commission from rejecting them on that ground Failure to perfect an appeal. JURISDICTIONAL; failure to perfect an appeal as required by the rule has the effect of defeating the right of appeal of a party and precluding the appellate court from acquiring jurisdiction BUT, SC in certain instances disregarded such lapses- so as to give due course to appeals (STRONG and COMPELLING REASONS) Annulment of an election. the power to annul or nullify an election should be exercised with the greatest care as it involves the free and fair expression of the popular will; annulment on the ground of fraud, THE Bonakids

irregularities and violations of election laws may be raised as an incident to an election contest (such may be invoked in an election protest case) Annulment of proclamation. relief sought is the correction of mathematical errors which are not contributable to incorrect entries in any election returns, statement of votes and cert of canvass, it is a petition for annulment/ declaration of nullity of proclamation, not a petition to correct manifest errors Execution pending appeal. a motion for execution pending appeal may be filed at any time before the period for the perfection of the appeal; when appeal is made, it is deemed perfected on the last day for any of the parties to appeal Pleading and practice. Rules on Civil Procedure GENERALLY do not apply to election cases; apply only by analogy or in a suppletory character and whenever practicable and convenient; subject to COMELEC Sales of Procedure (liberally applied) Winning candidates qualifications. in any actions involving the possibility of a reversal of the popular electoral choice, the court must exert utmost effort to resolve the issues in a manner that would give effect to the will of the majority

EFFECTS OF DEMURER TO EVIDENCE An objection by a party to an action to the effect that the evidence which his adversary produced is sufficient in point of law to make out a case or sustain the issue in the case; EQUIVALENT to a motion to dismiss (1) Rules not applicable to election cases by analogy or in a suppletory character. Sec. 4 Rule 1 (RoC) These Rules shall not apply to election cases, land registration, cadastral, naturalization and insolvency proceedings, and other cases not herein provided for, except by analogy or in a suppletory character and whenever practicable and convenient.; Sec. 1 Rule 41 (COMELEC Rules of Procedure) In the absence of any applicable provisions in these Rules, the pertinent provisions of the Rules of Court in the Philippines shall be applicable by analogy or in suppletory character and effect. (2) Nature of election case different from ordinary civil action. Rules of Civil Procedure on demurer to evidence cannot apply to election cases even by analogy or in a suppletory character because the application would not be practicable and convenient a. Estrada v. Domingo: election cases enjoy preferential status. The proceedings should not be encumbered by delays.xxx obstacles and technicalities which fetter the peoples will should not stand in the way of a prompt termination of election contests. b. Demetrio v. Lopez: in election protests, therefore, the protestee should not be permitted to present a motion for dismissal or a demurer to the evidence of the protestant, unless he waives the introduction of his own evidence xxx P a g e | 45

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c. Jardiel v. COMELEC: motion to dismiss filed by the protestee, after the protestant had submitted a written offer of evidence, was considered as a demurer to the evidence presented

Sc sitting en banc shall be the sole judge of all contests relating to the election, returns, and disqualifications of the President or V. Pres.

JURISDICTION OVER ELECTION CONTESTS (1) Local Officials. EXCLUSIVE jurisdiction over all contests relating to the elections, returns and qualification of all elective regional, provincial, and city officials; APPELLATE jurisdiction over all contests involving elective municipal officials decided by trial courts of general jurisdiction, or involving barangay officials decided by trial courts of limited jurisdiction ORIGINAL SPECIAL CIVIL ACTION for certiorari, prohibition, or mandamus against an RTC in an election contest may be filed only in the CA or SC (2) Municipal and Barangay Officials.- RTC and MTC exercise exclusive original jurisdiction over election contests
Section 22. Election Contests for Municipal Offices. - All election contests involving municipal offices filed with the Regional Trial Court shall be decided expeditiously. The decision may be appealed to the Commission within five (5) days from promulgation or receipt of a copy thereof by the aggrieved party. The Commission shall decide the appeal within sixty (60) days after it is submitted for decision, but not later than six (6) months after the filing of the appeal, which decision shall be final, unappealable and executory. Section 258. Preferential disposition of contests in courts. - The courts, in their respective cases, shall give preference to election contests over all other cases, except those of habeas corpus, and shall without delay, hear and, within thirty days from the date of their submission for decision, but in every case within six months after filing, decide the same.

ASSUMPTION OF OFFICE DURING PENDENCY OF ELECTION PROTEST Pendency of an election protest is not a sufficient basis to enjoin one who has been proclaimed as duly elected from assuming office Until and unless the election protest is decided against him, he has a lawful right to assume and perform the duties and functions of the office EXECUTION PENDING APPEAL IN PROTEST CASES (1) Requisites.a. There must be a motion by the prevailing party with notice to the adverse party; b. There must be a good reasons for the execution pending appeal; c. The order granting execution pending appeal must state good reasons (2) Good reasons for execution. combination of two or more will suffice a. Public interest involved or the will of the electorate; b. Shortness of the remaining portion of the term of the contested office; c. Length of time that the election contest has been pending (3) Pertinent provisions of RoC applicable in suppletory character.Sec. 2. Discretionary execution. (a) Execution of a judgment or final order pending appeal. On motion of the prevailing party will notice to the adverse party filed in the trial court while it has jurisdiction over the case and is in possession of either the original record or the record on appeal, as the case may be, at the time of the filing of such motion, said court may, in its discretion, order execution of a judgment or final order even before the expiration of the period to appeal. After the trial court has lost jurisdiction, the motion for execution pending appeal may be filed in the appellate court. Discretionary execution may only issue upon good reasons to be stated in a special order after due hearing. (b) Execution of several, separate or partial judgments. A several separate or partial judgment may be executed under the same terms and conditions as execution of a judgment or final order pending appeal.

(3) Members of Congress. COMELEC does not lose jurisdiction to hear and decide a pending disqualification case against a congressional candidate under Sec. 78 even after election (BP 881); jurisdiction of Election Tribunal begins only after a candidate has become a member of the Senate or the HR, once he has been proclaimed, taken his oath and assumed office Senate and the HR shall each have an ET which shall be the sole judge of all contests relating to the election, returns, and qualifications of their respective members. Each ET shall be composed of 9 members, 3 shall be Justices of the SC(designated by the CJ), 6 shall be members of the Senate of HR (chosen on the basis of proportional representation) GR: the proclamation of a senatorial or congressional candidate divests the Commission of jurisdiction in favour of the ET. (on the assumption that there was a valid proclamation) (4) President or Vice-President.THE Bonakids

Allows execution pending appeal in the discretion of the court.

DISTINCTIONS BETWEEN DEFECTIVE ELECTIONS AND DEFECTIVE RETURNS DEFECTIVE ELECTIONS DEFCTIVE RETURNS Only to be set aside when it is Duty still remains to let the lection P a g e | 46

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impossible from any evidence within reach, to ascertain the true result, when neither from the returns nor from other proof, nor from all together can truth be determined Can be justified where as a result of the irregularity, many voters, w/o any qualification whatsoever succeeded in having their names inscribed in the official list and that it was impossible to segregate the legal from the illegal votes.

stand and to ascertain from other evidence the true state of the vote;

A.

Irregularities of such nature and incapable of correction, or illegal or unauthorized votes of such number, as to materially alter or affect the results. Non-observance of mandatory provisions, the nature of which is determined by the particular statute. o Some mandatory provisions are regarded as merely directory after the elections such as those pertaining to the the CoCs. The will of the people cant be frustrated by a technicality that the CoC had not been properly sworn to. o In election laws, mandatory provisions requiring certain steps before election will be construed as directory after the elections to give effect to the will of the electorate. Evidence must be convincing, otherwise the election returns and canvassing proceedings will be upheld. o Reliance should not be place on mere affidavits when they are selfserving. o Mere alphabetical and chronological voting does not, of itself, constitute sufficient evidence of fraud. o The fact alone that a candidate received a disproportionately low number of votes or that s/he received 0 votes is insufficient. To vacate an election on the ground of intimidation or violence, despite the fact that the elections were not arrested, it must clearly appear that there was such display of force as ought to have intimidated men of ordinary firmness. o It must also be shown that the number of voters prevented from voting was sufficient to change the result. To justify the exclusion of election returns, the alleged threats, intimidation or violence that attended its preparation must have affected the regularity or genuineness of such returns. The question of existence of election irregularities must be ventilated in regular election protests, not in the COMELEC.

B. Return is only to be set aside when it is so tainted with fraud, or with the misconduct of the election officers, hat the truth cannot be deduced from it

May be excluded and set aside at the cost of disenfranchising the voters only Where the illegality affect more than on the clearest and compelling showing 50% of the total numbers of votes cast, of their nullity, otherwise they shall be the annulment of the election is included and considered prima facie justified- because the remainder does evidence valid for the purpose of not constitute a valid constituency canvassing and proclaiming the winning candidate Distinctions between defective elections and defective returns 1. Defective Returns o Duty remains to let the election stand, and to ascertain from other evidence the true state of the vote. o Only when so tainted with fraud, or misconduct of election officers that the truth cant be deduced from it. o There must be clear and compelling showing of their nullity. Otherwise, they will be included and considered prima facie valid. 2. Defective Election o Only when it is impossible from any evidence within reach, to ascertain the true result. o Where, as the result of the irregularity, many unqualified voters were inscribed in the official list such that it is impossible to segregate the legal from the illegal votes, or o Beyond reasonable doubt, the great body of voters have been prevented by violence, intimidation and threats from exercising their franchise (illegality affects more than 50% of total number of votes cast).

C.

D.

E.

F.

Irregularities affecting election If election is in fact held, irregularities not proceeding from wrongful intent, in the manner of calling, holding or certifying the election, do not affect the result. Exceptions: THE Bonakids

Evidence on the election 1. General Rule o The protestant or counter protestant must stand or fall upon the issues he had raised in his original or amended pleading filed prior to the lapse of the statutory period for filing of protest or counter protest. o The court can only consider evidence presented prior to submission of the case for decision or resolution, unless with leave of court. P a g e | 47

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2.

Election returns o Used in the canvass of votes. o Where the issue is the correctness of the number of votes of each candidate, the best and most conclusive evidence are the ballots. o But, if the ballots cant be produced or are unavailable, recourse may be made to untampered and unaltered election returns or other election documents. a. Upon proof of actual voting, election returns must be accorded prima facie status as bona fide reports of the results of the count of the votes for canvassing and proclamation. It is the party alleging that the returns had been tampered with or are fake that has the burden of proof. b. Only when the returns are palpably irregular that they may be dejected. Formal defects are insufficient. c. There is a presumption that the election officials have done their duty and that the returns are the full and fair statement of the true result. Upon the principle falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus, when the returns are shown to be fraudulent and false in part, they must be rejected entirely. Return may also be corrected where possible to conform to the actual state of the case, either by parol or written evidence. COMELEC Res. 2962 states that incase of discrepancy between the tally, and the votes obtained in words or figures in the returns or certificates, the tally shall prevail. In case of election returns with varying serial numbers, Sec. 235 of the Omnibus Election Code may apply.

has the ministerial duty to order the opening of the ballot boxes and the examination and counting the the ballots. b.) The appreciation of contested ballots and election documents involves a question of fact best determined by COMELEC. c.) The right of recourse to the ballots presupposes that they have been kept in the manner required by law and they still exist in the same integrity as when cast. Poll-books and tally sheets o If they are required by law to be kept to show who has voted and who is legally entitled to vote, resort may be had to them if they were property kept and identified to ascertain the number of votes cast and persons who have voted. Election Officials o If neither ballots nor poll-books may be resorted to, evidence of the election officers may be received to show the result as counted and declared by them. Voters o When the illegality consists of votes cast by unqualified voters, it cant be allowed to change the result unless it can be shown for whom they voted. o While a legal voter cannot be compelled to state how he voted, and illegal voter may be compelled to disclose how he voted except where it might incriminate him. Certificate of votes o Issued by the BEI to watchers pursuant to OEC, Sec. 215. o It is admissible in evidence to prove tampering, alteration, falsification, or any other anomaly committed in the election returns when duly authenticated by testimonial or documentary evidence presented to the BEI who issued the certificate. o Failure to present the certificate shall be a bar to the presentation of other evidence to impugn the authenticity of the returns. o It is also evidence of the votes obtained by candidates but it is useless unless it is the integrity of the returns which is in question. o They do not constitute sufficient evidence of the true and genuine results of the election, only election returns are. Thumbprints of voters o SC has sanctioned the method of technical examination of such over revision of ballots where a recount or revision will not be reflective of P a g e | 48

4.

5.

d.

6.

e.

f.

7.

3.

Ballots o Best evidence of the voters action. o If the election returns are rejected, resort may be had to the ballots if they are still in existence and have been preserved in the manner prescribed by law. o The general rule that ballots are the best evidence of the election results is not overturned by the mere allegation that the ballots were substituted or altered after the election. The fact of tampering must still be proven. o Not even photocopies of the impugned ballots can be considered the best evidence. a.) Where the allegation requires the perusal, examination or counting of ballots in evidence, either COMELEC or the trial court Election Law

8.

THE Bonakids

the sovereign will due to irregularities committed during the elections. It shall be based on the voters affidavits and the computerized voters list.

2.) The certificate of votes can never be a valid basis of canvass as it pertains only to the authenticity of the returns. Further, the Certificate was rejected by MBC due to Gatas failure to comply with the procedure for its identification and offer. 3.) The tally board was also insufficient evidence of the results of election. Also, the fact that it was attached only upon appeal made it highly suspect and unreliable. Since the OEC require the tally board to be placed inside the ballot box, which in this case was forcibly taken and have never been recovered, it is assumed that the tally board must have likewise been lost. 4.) COMELEC had lost its jurisdiction to revoke the decision to hold the special election, after it was held and a winner proclaimed. Its subsequent resolution would have the effect of declaring, without adequate basis, that the special election was not reflective of the popular mandate. In reverse, if the annulment is sustained, they COMELEC acted without or in excess of jurisdiction in conducting a special election, which was not raised as an issue in the case. 5.) Though COMELEC has the power to annul special elections or declare its failure, it must be shown that no voting had taken place or the election resulted in a failure to elect and the votes not cast would affect the results of the election. Here, voting had taken place and it did not result in a failure to elect. Thus, COMELECs duty is to give effect to the will of the majority. 2.) Manahan v. Bernardo (1997)

Rules on the use of ballots vs. election returns as evidence in the proclamation of a winning candidate 1. Ballots cannot be used to overturn the election returns unless it is first shown that the ballots have been preserved with care which precludes the opportunity of tampering and all suspicion of change, abstraction or substitution. 2. 3. The burden of proving the integrity of the ballots is upon the protestant. If a mode of preservation is enjoined by law, proof of substantial compliance with the same must be shown. Only upon the successful showing by the protestant of the integrity of the ballots will the burden of proving actual tampering or the likelihood thereof shift to the protestee.

4.

Cases 1.) Garay v. COMELEC (1996) Facts: The Municipal Board of Canvassers failed to proclaim a winning vice-mayor due to exclusion of results from precinct 30-A where armed men took the ballot box, election returns, and other election documents. Candidate Gata failed to convince said board to proclaim him by virtue of a certificate of votes issue by the BEI. In his appeal, he included a copy of the Tally board, duly authenticated by the BEI with the same count as the certificate, showing that he won by a 28-vote margin. While the appeal was pending, COMELEC conducted a special election in precinct 30-A where Garay won. However, COMELEC en banc subsequently issued a resolution annulling the special elections and directing the MBC to include in the canvass, the votes reflected in the tally board. Thus, Gata was declared the winner. Issue: W/N COMELEC committed grave abuse of discretion Held: 1.) Yes. The certificate of votes and the tally board were already in possession of COMELEC when they decided to call the special election. Thus, they were obviously unconvinced of the authenticity and sufficiency of such documents. Furthermore, no objection was raised to the holding of the special election. Gatas participation in the same rendered his appeal moot and placed him in estoppel from relying again on his certificate of votes and tally board. THE Bonakids Facts: Petitioner M and respondent G were candidates for mayor. G filed a petition with COMELEC to suspend the canvass due to alleged irregularities committed by M during the elections such as snatching and burning of ballot boxes and preventing Gs watchers from taking close watch of the proceedings. M was declared the winner. G subsequently filed another petition with COMELEC to annul proclamation. the

G filed an appeal to COMELEC praying for the exclusion of the returns from 18 precincts and for declarations of nullity of the proclamation. COMELEC dismissed Gs appeal, stating that the grounds were proper for an election protest and not a pre-proclamation controversy. G then filed a petition ad cautelum before the RTC of Gapan. Issues: 1.) W/N the election case was filed within the 10-day reglementary period for filing election protests P a g e | 49

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2.) W/N G is entitled to judicial recount of votes withou requiring proof as to the truth or falsity of allegations or irregularities Held: 1.) Yes. The 10-day period was suspended by the filing with COMELEC of a petition to annul or to suspend the proclamation of any candidate. In fact, G filed 3 petitions with COMELEC all aims at stopping the proclamation of the winner in the elections. 2.) Yes. Parol evidence to prove allegations is not required before allowing examination of ballots. According to the OEC, where allegations in a protest or counter-protest so warrant or whenever in the opinion of the court the interests of justice so require, the court may order a recount of the ballots. Obviously, the simplest and most expeditious means to determine the truth or falsity of this allegation is to open the ballot box and examine its contents. To require evidence thereon is to allow the protestee to delay the settlement of the controversy through lengthy cross-examination. 3.) Trinidad v. COMELEC (1999) Facts: Petitioner T and respondent C both ran for mayor of Pasay City. C was proclaimed winner by the Board of Canvassers. T filed with COMELEC a petition for correction of manifest errors and annulment of proclamation on the grounds of double canvassing of 5 election returns and the inclusion of a bogus election returns in the canvass. He also filed a supplemental petition averring an error in the Summary of Statement of Votes. Issue: W/N COMELEC en banc committed a grave abuse of discretion in dismissing the petition for annulment of the proclamation of C and the supplemental petition for correction of statement of votes Held: 1.) No. The general rule is that in an election protest, only issues and evidence presented prior to submission of cases for decision may be considered. The issue on incomplete canvassing was raised for the first time in the SC, 34 days after the case was submitted for resolution. 2.) The supplemental petition was in fact not a petition for declaration of nullity by a petition for correction of manifest errors (those evident to the eye and understanding) since it prayed for the correction of the erroneous copying of figures into the summary statement of votes. As such, it should have been filed no later than 5 days after proclamation. In this case, it was filed 21 days after proclamation and beyond the reglementary period. Also, the filing of a supplemental petition in special actions and cases is prohibited by the 1993 COMELEC Rules of Procedure.

Effect of ineligibility or death of a candidate receiving majority of votes 1. English rule o If the ineligibility of the winning candidate was known to the voters or is the fact is so notorious, votes cast for him shall not be counted. o The eligible candidate having the next highest number of votes will be deemed elected. 2. US rule o Though the ineligible candidate receiving the highest number of votes will not be proclaimed winner, the votes case for him are so far effectual as to prevent the election of other candidates, and there is not election at all. o The voters knowledge of his ineligibility indicates an intention to throw away their votes. Philippines o A candidate disqualified by final judgment before an election cannot be voted for and votes cast for him shall not be counted. o Ineligibility of the candidate with the highest number of votes does not entitle the candidate with the 2nd highest number to be declared the winner. A permanent vacancy in the contested office is created which should be filled by succession. o In every election, the peoples choice is the paramount consideration. To allow the defeated candidate to be declared the winner is to disenfranchise the electorate without any fault on their part and to undermine democracy. o The election becomes a nullity. The electorate cannot amend or waive the qualifications prescribed by law for elective office. o General rule: votes cast for a candidate are presumed to have been cast in the belief that the candidate is qualified and for that reason cannot be treated as stray. A subsequent finding that he is disqualified does not retroact to the date of the elections as to invalidate the votes cast for him. o Exception: In the Labo case, an obiter pointed out that if the electorate was fully aware in fact and in law of the candidates qualification, the electorate may be said to have waived the validity and efficiency of their votes. Thus, the next highest eligible candidate shall be deemed elected.

3.

Right of winner in an election contest to recover damages 1. Under the OEC and COMELEC Rules of Procedure, actual or compensatory damages may be granted in accordance with law. o Judicial award of damages must be just and borne out by the pleadings and evidence. P a g e | 50

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2.

Civil Code a. Proper award of damages must be in accordance with law. a.) Actual or compensatory damages o Art. 2199: Except as provided by law or stipulation, one is entitled to adequate compensation only for such pecuniary loss suffered by hum, duly proven. b. Determination of amount of damages o Art. 2201: In contracts and quasi-contracts, breach in good faith creates liability for natural and probable consequences of the breach which the parties have foreseen or could have reasonably foreseen. In case of fraud, bad faith, malice or wanton attitude, liability is for all damages which may be reasonably attributed to the non-performance. o Art. 2202: In crimes and quasi-delicts, all damages natural and probable consequences of the act or omission. It is not necessary that they be foreseen. c. Claim for damages based on contract, quasi-contract, crime or quasidelict d. In the absence of the aforementioned, the claimant must be able to point out a specific provision of law authorizing a money claim for election protest expenses against the losing party o Art. 19: In exercise of right and performance of duties, act with justice, give everyone his due, and observe honesty and good faith. o Art. 20: Any person who contrary to law, willfully or negligently causes damage to another. o Art. 32: Any public officer or employee or person who directly or indirectly obstructs, defeats, violates or in any manner impedes or impairs any of the rights and liberties of another (freedom of suffrage). o Aggrieved party has the right to commence a separate civil action for damages. Generally, an elective official who has been proclaimed by the COMELEC as winner and who assumed office and entered into the performance of his duties is entitled to the compensation, emoluments, and allowances of that position. An ousted official is not obliged to reimburse the emoluments received. o Exception: He is liable for damages if found responsible for any unlawful or tortious acts in relation to his proclamation. The victorious party in an election case cant be indemnified for expenses which he incurred in an electoral contest in the absence of a wrongful act or omission or breach of obligation clearly attributable to the losing party.

ELECTION OFFENSES Jurisdiction to investigate and prosecute election offenses 1. The grant to the COMELEC of power to enforce and administer all laws relative to the conduct of election and the concomitant authority to investigate and prosecute elections offenses is to ensure the free, orderly and honest conduct of election. o To divest COMELEC of the authority to investigate and prosecute offenses committed by public officials in relation to their office would impair its effectiveness in achieving its constitutional mandate. 2. Under the Constitution and the OEC, COMELEC has the exclusive jurisdiction to investigate and prosecute election offenses committed by any person. It is the nature of the offense and not the personality of the offender that matters. The power to prosecute involves the power to determine who shall and shall not be prosecuted, and under which laws prosecution will be pursued. In election offenses, COMELEC is the public prosecutor with the exclusive authority to conduct preliminary investigation and the prosecution before the competent court.

3.

4.

Criminal and electoral aspects of an election offenses 1. Criminal aspect o Ascertainment of guilt or innocence of the accused o Entails a full-blown hearing and proof beyond reasonable doubt 2. Electoral aspect o Determination of whether the offender should be disqualified from office o Administrative proceeding which is summary and requires only a clear preponderance of evidence. o Petition for disqualification

3.

4.

Prohibited acts and election offenses under the OEC 1. vote-buying and vote-selling o Any person who gives, offers or promises money or anything of value (employment, franchise, etc.) to induce anyone or the general public to vote for or against any candidate or aspirant for nomination. P a g e | 51

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Any person, association, corporation, group or community who receives or solicits, directly or indirectly, anything of value for any of the foregoing consideration. Under the Electoral Reform Law of 1987, COMELEC has the sole authority to grant transactional immunity (without prejudice to his liability for perjury and false testimony) to any person guilty of votebuying or vote-selling who voluntarily gives information and willingly testifies on violations of Sec. 261 of the OEC. The exercise of such power shall not be interfered with by the courts, except by the SC if committed with grave abuse of discretion.

If the returns reflect the true results at precinct level, any coercion or intimidation may give rise legal liability though not to the exclusion of the returns.

6.

coercion of election officials and employees o Any person (directly or indirectly) threatens, intimidates, terrorizes, or coerces any election official or employee in the performance of his election functions or duties. appointment of new employees, creation of new positions, promotion, or giving salary increases within the election period o 45 days before a regular election and 30 days before a special election o Any head, official or appointing officer of a government office, agency, instrumentality, GOCC who appoints or hires a new employee (provisional, temporary, casual) or creates and fills a new position. o Any government official who promotes or gives any increase in salary or privilege to any government official or employee, including GOCCs. o Allowable if: a) with prior authority from the COMELEC and b) position to be filled is essential to the proper functioning of the office concerned, and c) position is not filled in a manner that may influence the election o Exception: In case of urgent need, so long as there is notice to the COMELEC within 3 days from date of appointment. transfer of officers and employees in the civil service within the election period o Any public official who makes or cause any transfer or detail whatever of any officer or employee in the civil service (including public school teachers) within the election period o Exception: prior approval of COMELEC o Transfer or detail is a prerogative of the appointing authority and will not be penalized if done to promote efficiency in the government service. However, the COMELEC must pass upon the reason for the proposed act due to the possibility of using it for electioneering or to harass subordinates of different political persuasion. o 2 elements must concur to be an offense: a) fact of transfer or detail is within the election period fixed by COMELEC b) act was effected without prior approval of COMELEC intervening of public officers and employees in the civil service in any partisan political activity

7.

2.

conspiracy to bribe voters o 2 or more persons, candidates or not, who come to an agreement concerning vote-buying and vote-selling and decide to commit it. wagering upon results of elections o Any person who bets on the outcome or any contingency connected with an election. o Whatever is wagered, situated in the Phils., shall be forfeited to the government. coercion of subordinates to vote for or against any candidate o Any public officer or officer of any juridical entity, head, superior, administrator of religious organization, employer or landowner who coerces, intimidates, compels or in any manny influences any of his subordinates to aid, campaign or vote for or against any candidate or aspirant for nomination. o Any of the aforementioned persons who dismiss, punish or threaten the same by reduction of salary, demotion, transfer, suspension, ejectment, etc. any subordinate member for disobeying or not complying with any acts ordered to aid, campaign, or vote for any candidate or aspirant nominee. threats, intimidation, terrorism, use of fraudulent device or other forms of coercion o Any person who (directly or indirectly) threatens, intimidates or actually causes violence, injury, loss, etc. upon any person/s, his immediate family, his honor or property, or o Any person who uses any fraudulent device or scheme; o To compel or induce the registration or refraining from registration of any voter, or from participation or refraining therefrom from any campaign, or from voting, or any promise of such registration, vote or omission therefrom. o To justify the exclusion of returns, it must have affected the regularity or genuineness of the contested returns. Election Law

3.

4.

8.

5.

9.

THE Bonakids

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Any officer or employee in the civil service (except those holding political offices) AFP, police force, special force, home defense forces, barangay self-defense units and other paramilitary units who directly or indirectly intervene in any election campaign or engage in any partisan political activity Such person is allowed to vote and, if he is a peace officer, to preserve public order

10. use of undue influence o Any person who promises any office or employment (public or private) or to make or offer to make an expenditure to induce anyone or the general public either to vote or withhold his vote for any candidate or aspirant nominee. o Any person, association, corporation, community who solicits or receives (directly or indirectly) any expenditure or promise of such for the same considerations. 11. unlawful electioneering o Any person who solicits votes or undertakes any propaganda for or against any candidate or any political party: a.) on the day of registration before the BEI b.) on the day of election within the polling place and within the radius of 30 m thereof 12. prohibition against dismissal of employees, laborers, or tenants o No such persons will be dismissed or ejected for refusing or failing to vote for any candidate of his employer or landowner. o Such person shall be reinstated and salary or wage, or share of harvest, shall be restored upon application to proper court. 13. appointment or use of special policemen, special agents, confidential agents or the like o During the campaign period, on the day before and on the election day: o Any appointing authority who appoints or utilizes the services of such agents or persons with similar functions; o Persons previously appointed as such who continue acting in that capacity; o Those who fail to turn over their firearms, uniforms, insignias, and other badges of authority to the proper officer who issued the same. o At the start of such period, the LGU executive or any appointing authority must submit to COMELEC a complete list of all such agents in their employ, with such particulars as COMELEC may require. 14. illegal release of prisoners before and after election THE Bonakids Election Law

By illegally allowing or ordering any prisoner detained in the national penitentiary, or provincial, city, or municipal jail to leave the premises thereof 60 days before election and 30 days after election Committed by: a) the Director of the Bureau of Corrections b) Any provincial warden c) Keeper of the jail d) Any person/s required by law to keep prisoners in their custody Such persons must post in 3 conspicuous public places a list of prisoners and detention prisoners under their case.

15. Use of public finds, money deposited in trust, etc. o Any person who uses, under any guise whatsoever, directly or indirectly: a. public finds or money deposited with or held in trust by public financing institutions or by government offices, banks, or agencies b. any printing press, radio, tv station, audio-visual equipment operated by the government or any of its subdivisions, instrumentalities, agencies (including GOCCs and AFP) c. any equipment, vehicle, facility, apparatus, paraphernalia owned by the government for any election campaign of partisan political activity

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