Digest Election Law

In preparation for the national elections of November 11, 1969, then respondent Commissioners of the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) issued an INVITATION TO BID CALL No. 127 on September 16, 1969 calling for the submission of sealed proposals for the manufacture and delivery of 1 1,000 units of voting booths.

Among the seventeen bidders who submitted proposals in response to the said INVITATION were the herein petitioner, Filipinos Engineering and Machine Shop, (Filipinas for short) and the private respondent, Acme Steel Manufacturing Company, (Acme for short).the COMELEC issued a Resolution awarding the contract (for voting booths) to Acme, subject to the condition, among others, that “(Acme) improves the sample submitted in such manner as it would be rust proof or rust resistant. On October 11, 1969, the COMELEC issued Purchase Order No. 682 for the manufacture and supply of the 11,000 Units of voting booths in favor of Acme.

Acme accepted the terms of the purchase. chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library On October 16, 1969, Filipinas filed an Injunction suit with the then Court of First Instance of Manila, docketed as Civil Case No.

77972, against herein public respondents COMELEC Commissioners, chairman and members of the Comelec Bidding Committee, and private respondent Acme. chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library Filipinas also applied for a writ of preliminary injunction. After hearing petitioner’s said application, the respondent Judge in an order dated October 20, 1969 denied the writ prayed for. Acting on the motion (to dismiss), the respondent Judge issued the questioned Order dismissing Civil Case No. 77972.

Filipinas’ motion for reconsideration was denied for lack of merit. chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library Hence, the instant appeal. chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library Issues: Whether or not the lower court has jurisdiction to take cognizance of a suit involving an order of the COMELEC dealing with an award of contract arising from its invitation to bid; Whether or not Filipinas, the losing bidder, has a cause of action under the premises against the COMELEC and Acme, the winning bidder, to enjoin them from complying with their contract. chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library s virtual law library Held:

The Supreme Court resolved the first issue in the affirmative. By constitutional mandate- chanrobles virtual law library The Commission on Elections shall have exclusive charge of the enforcement and administration of all laws relative to the conduct of elections and shall exercise all other functions which may be conferred upon it by law Hence it has been consistently held 9 that it is the Supreme Court, not the Court of First Instance, which has exclusive jurisdiction to review on certiorari final decisions, orders or rulings of the COMELEC relative to the conduct of elections and enforcement of election laws.

chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library We are however, far from convince that an order of the COMELEC awarding a contract to a private party, as a result of its choice among various proposals submitted in response to its invitation to bid comes within the purview of a “final order” which is exclusively and directly appealable to this court on certiorari.

What is contemplated by the term “final orders, rulings and decisions” of the COMELEC reviewable by certiorari by the Supreme Court as provided by law are those rendered in actions or proceedings before the COMELEC and taken cognizance of by the said body in the exercise of its adjudicatory or quasi-judicial powers. chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual On the second issue, We rule that Filipinas, the losing bidder, has no cause of action under the premises to enjoin the COMELEC from pursuing its contract with.

Acme, the winning bidder. chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library While it may be true that the lower court has the jurisdiction over controversies dealing with the COMELEC’s award of contracts, the same being purely administrative and civil in nature, nevertheless, herein petitioner has no cause of action on the basis of the allegations of its complaint. chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library Indeed, while the law requires the exercise of sound discretion on the part of procurement authorities.

10 and that the reservation to reject any or all bids may not be used as a shield to a fraudulent award, 11 petitioner has miserably failed to prove or substantiate the existence of malice or fraud on the part of the public respondents in the challenged award. chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library In issuing the resolution awarding the contract for voting booths in Acme’s favor, the Commissioners of the COMELEC had taken into account that Acme’s bid was the lowest; that Acme was a responsible manufacturer; and that upon an ocular inspection of the samples submitted by the bidders, Acme’s sample was favorable chosen subject to certain conditions cited in the resolution.

In fine, the public respondents properly exercised its sound discretion in making the award. chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library WHEREFORE, finding the instant petition to be without merit aside from being moot and academic, the same is hereby DISMISSED. G. R. No. 108399 July 31, 1997 RAFAEL M. ALUNAN III et. al vs ROBERT MIRASOL, et. al FACTS: August 27, 1992, the Commission on Elections issued Resolution No.

2499, providing guidelines for the holding of the general elections for the SK on September 30, 1992 The guidelines placed the SK elections under the direct control and supervision of the DILG, with the technical assistance of the COMELEC. 2 After two postponements, the elections were finally scheduled on December 4, 1992. Accordingly, registration in the six districts of Manila was conducted. A total of 152,363 youngsters, aged 15 to 21 years old, registered, 15,749 of them filing certificates of candidacies. The City Council passed the necessary appropriations for the elections.

On September 18, 1992, however, the DILG, through then Secretary Rafael M. Alunan III, issued a letter-resolution “exemption” the City of Manila from holding elections for the SK on the ground that the elections previously held on May 26, 1990 were to be considered the first under the newly-enacted Local Government Code. On November 27, 1992 private respondents, claiming to represent the 24,000 members of the Katipunan ng Kabataan, filed a petition for certiorari and mandamus in the RTC of Manila to set aside the resolution of the DILG.

They argued that petitioner Secretary of Interior and Local Government had no power to amend the resolutions of the COMELEC calling for general elections for SKs and that the DILG resolution in question denied them the equal protection of the laws. On November 27, 1992, the trial court, through Executive Judge, now COMELEC Chairman, Bernardo P. Pardo, issued an injunction, ordering petitioners “to desist from implementing the order of the respondent Secretary dated September 18, 1992, . . . until further orders of the Court.

” On the same day, he ordered petitioners “to perform the specified pre-election activities in order to implement Resolution No. 2499 dated August 27, 1992 of the Commission on Elections providing for the holding of a general election of the Sangguniang Kabataan on December 4, 1992 simultaneously in every barangay throughout the country. ” The case was subsequently reraffled to Branch 36 of the same court. On January 19, 1993, the new judge, Hon. Wilfredo D. Reyes, rendered a decision, holding that (1) the DILG had no power to “exempt” the City of Manila from holding SK elections on December 4, 1992 because under Art.

IX, C, §2(1) of the Constitution the power to enforce and administer “all laws and regulations relative to the conduct of an election, plebiscite, initiative, referendum, and recall” is vested solely in the COMELEC; (2) the COMELEC had already in effect determined that there had been no previous elections for KB by calling for general elections for SK officers in every barangay without exception; and (3) the “exemption” of the City of Manila was violative of the equal protection clause of the Constitution because, according to the DILG’s records, in 5,000 barangays KB elections were held between January 1, 1988 and January 1, 1992 but only in the City of Manila, where there were 897 barangays, was there no elections held on December 4, 1992. Petitioners sought this review on certiorari. ISSUE:

There are two questions raised in this case. The first is whether the Secretary of Interior and Local Government can “exempt” a local government unit from holding elections for SK officers on December 4, 1992 and the second is whether the COMELEC can provide that “the Department of Interior and Local Government shall have direct control and supervision over the election of sangguniang kabataan with the technical assistance by the Commission on Elections. ” HELD: First. As already stated, by §4 of Resolution No. 2499, the COMELEC placed the SK elections under the direct control and supervision of the DILG. Contrary to respondents’ contention, this did not contravene Art.

IX, C, §2(1) of the Constitution which provides that the COMELEC shall have the power to “enforce and administer all laws and regulations relative to the conduct of an election, plebiscite, initiative, referendum, and recall. ” Elections for SK officers are not subject to the supervision of the COMELEC in the same way that, as we have recently held, contests involving elections of SK officials do not fall within the jurisdiction of the COMELEC Second. It is contended that, in its resolution in question, the COMELEC did not name the barangays which, because they had conducted kabataang barangay elections between January 1, 1988 and January 1, 1992, were not included in the SK elections to be held on December 4, 1992.

That these barangays were precisely to be determined by the DILG is, however, fairly inferable from the authority given to the DILG to supervise the conduct of the elections. Since §532(d) provided for kabataang barangay officials whose term of office was extended beyond 1992, the authority to supervise the conduct of elections in that year must necessarily be deemed to include the authority to determine which kabataang barangay would not be included in the 1992 elections. The decision of the Regional Trial Court of Manila, Branch 36 is REVERSED and the case filed against petitioner by private respondents is DISMISSED. G. R. No. 103956 March 31, 1992 BLO UMPAR ADIONG, Petitioner, vs.

COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS, Respondent GUTIERREZ, JR. , J. : FACTS: Petitioner Blo Umpar Adiong, a senatorial candidate in the May 11, 1992 elections assailed the COMELEC’s Resolution insofar as it prohibits the posting of decals and stickers in “mobile” places like cars and other moving vehicles. According to him such prohibition is violative of Section 82 of the Omnibus Election Code and Section 11(a) of Republic Act No. 6646. In addition, the petitioner believes that with the ban on radio, television and print political advertisements, he, being a neophyte in the field of politics stands to suffer grave and irreparable injury with this prohibition.

The posting of decals and stickers on cars and other moving vehicles would be his last medium to inform the electorate that he is a senatorial candidate in the May 11, 1992 elections. Finally, the petitioner states that as of February 22, 1992 (the date of the petition) he has not received any notice from any of the Election Registrars in the entire country as to the location of the supposed “Comelec Poster Areas. ” chanrobles virtual law library ISSUE Whether or not the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) may prohibit the posting of decals and stickers on “mobile” places, public or private, and limit their location or publication to the authorized posting areas that it fixes. HELD: The petition is impressed with merit.

The COMELEC’s prohibition on posting of decals and stickers on “mobile” places whether public or private except in designated areas provided for by the COMELEC itself is null and void on constitutional grounds. First – the prohibition unduly infringes on the citizen’s fundamental right of free speech enshrined in the Constitution (Sec. 4, Article III). There is no public interest substantial enough to warrant the kind of restriction involved in this case. The posting of decals and stickers in mobile places like cars and other moving vehicles does not endanger any substantial government interest. There is no clear public interest threatened by such activity so as to justify the curtailment of the cherished citizen’s right of free speech and expression.

Under the clear and present danger rule not only must the danger be patently clear and pressingly present but the evil sought to be avoided must be so substantive as to justify a clamp over one’s mouth or a writing instrument to be stilled: Second – the questioned prohibition premised on the statute and as couched in the resolution is void for overbreadth. library A statute is considered void for overbreadth when “it offends the constitutional principle that a governmental purpose to control or prevent activities constitutionally subject to state regulations may not be achieved by means which sweep unnecessarily broadly and thereby invade the area of protected freedoms. ” (Zwickler v.

Koota, 19 L ed 2d 444 [1967]). In sum, the prohibition on posting of decals and stickers on “mobile” places whether public or private except in the authorized areas designated by the COMELEC becomes censorship which cannot be justified by the Constitution: The petition was GRANTED. The portion of Section 15 (a) of Resolution No. 2347 of the Commission on Elections providing that “decals and stickers may be posted only in any of the authorized posting areas provided in paragraph (f) of Section 21 hereof” is DECLARED NULL and VOID. G. R. No. 135691 September 27, 1999 EMMANUEL SINACA, petitioner, vs. MIGUEL MULA and COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS, respondents. DAVIDE, JR. , C. J. :

In the 11 May 1998 elections, the two opposing factions of the ruling party LAKAS-NUCD-UMPD (hereafter LAKAS) filled in separate candidates for the position of mayor of the Municipality of Malimano, Surigao del Norte. One faction headed by Robert Z. Barbers (hereafter “BARBERS Wing”) nominated Grachil G. Canoy (hereafter CANOY), while the other group lead by Francisco T. MATUGAS (hereafter “MATUGAS Wing”) endorsed the candidacy of Teodoro F. Sinaca, Jr. (hereafter TEODORO). Miguel H. Mula (hereafter MULA), a candidate for vice-mayor and belonging to the “BARBERS Wing,” filed before the COMELEC a petition for disqualification against TEODORO which was docketed as SPA 98-021.

On 8 May 1998, the Second Division of the COMELEC issued a resolution disqualifying TEODORO as candidate for mayor of the Municipality of Malimono, Surigao del Norte and ordering the cancellation of his certificate of candidacy because of prior conviction of bigamy, a crime involving moral turpitude. 2 On 10 May 1998, TEODORO filed a motion for reconsideration of the aforesaid resolution.

On even date, herein petitioner Emmanuel D. Sinaca, (hereafter EMMANUEL), an independent candidate, withdrew his certificate of candidacy for Sangguniang Bayan Member, joined and became a member of the LAKAS party and was nominated by the LAKAS “MATUGAS Wing” as the substitute mayoralty candidate for the Municipality of Malimono, Surigao del Norte. On the basis of said nomination, EMMANUEL filed his certificate of candidacy 3 attached thereto is his certificate of nomination as LAKAS mayoralty candidate signed by Governor Francisco T.

MATUGAS (hereafter MATUGAS), as party provincial chairman together with EMMANUEL’s written acceptance of the party’s nomination. 4 On 11 May 1998, MULA filed through mail another petition for disqualification, this time against EMMANUEL, which was received by the COMELEC on 14 May 1998 and was docketed as SPA No. 98-292. In his petition MULA contended that the nomination of EMMANUEL as substitute candidate is illegal on the following grounds: a) The substitute, before he filed his Certificate of Candidacy as LAKAS candidate, was an independent candidate. Being so, he cannot rightfully substitute the disqualified one; On 28 May 1998, the COMELEC Second Division dismissed the petition for disqualification and upheld the candidacy for mayor of EMMANUEL.

MULA filed a motion for reconsideration raising in the main that the signature alone of MATUGAS in the nomination was not sufficient because the party’s authority to nominate was given to both MATUGAS and Senator Robert S. Barbers (hereafter BARBERS), in their joint capacity, and that the nomination of EMMANUEL is void since he was an independent candidate prior to his nomination.

8 On 6 October 1998, the COMELEC en banc issued a Resolution 9 which set aside the resolution dated 28 May 1998 of the Second Division and disqualified EMMANUEL. Emmanuel filed a Special Civil Action in the Supreme Court for Certiorari, Mandamus and Prohibition. ISSUE: Whether or not Emmanuel’s nomination as a substitute candidate was regular and valid. HELD: In the instant case, there was substantial compliance with the substitution of candidate.

Emmanuel was properly nominated as substitute candidate by the LAKAS Party to which Teodoro, the disqualified candidate belongs as evidence by the Certificate of Nomination and Acceptance signed by Matugas, the Party’s provincial chairman.

The fact that EMMANUEL was an independent candidate prior to his nomination is immaterial. What is more significant is that he had previously withdrawn his certificate of candidacy as independent candidate for Sangguniang member before he filed his certificate of candidacy as a substitute for TEODORO at which time he was, for all intents and purposes, already deemed a member of the LAKAS party “MATUGAS wing. ” Even the fact that EMMANUEL only became a member of the LAKAS party after the disqualification of TEODORO, will not affect the validity of the substitution.

There is nothing in the Constitution or the statute which requires as a condition precedent that a substitute candidate must have been a member of the party concerned for a certain period of time before he can be nominated as such. Section 77 of the Omnibus Election Code only mandates that a substitute candidate should be a person belonging to and certified by the same political party as the candidate to be replaced. We cannot provide for an additional requirement or condition not provided under the said provision without encroaching into the domain of the legislative department. Where a candidate has received popular mandate, overwhelmingly and clearly expressed, all possible doubts should be resolved in favor of the candidate’s eligibility for to rule otherwise is to defeat the will of the people.

33 Above and beyond all, the determination of the true will of the electorate should be paramount. It is their voice, not ours or of anyone else, that must prevail. This, in essence, is the democracy we continue to hold sacred. The petition was GRANTED. The assailed resolution of 6 October 1998 of the COMELEC en banc is hereby REVERSED and SET ASIDE and another one rendered declaring EMMANUEL SINACA as having been duly elected mayor of the Municipality of Malimono, Surigao del Norte. G. R. No. L-54718 December 4, 1985 CRISOLOGO VILLANUEVA Y PARDES, petitioner, vs. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS, MUNICIPAL BOARD OF CANVASSERS OF DOLORES, QUEZON, VIVENCIO G. LIRIO respondents. TEEHANKEE, J. :

The undisputed facts show that one Narciso Mendoza, Jr.had filed on January 4, 1980, the last day for filing of certificates of candidacy in the January 30, 1980 local elections, his sworn certificate of candidacy as independent for the office of vice-mayor of the municipality of Dolores, Quezon. But later on the very same day, Mendoza filed an unsworn letter in his own handwriting withdrawing his said certificate of candidacy “for personal reasons. ” Later on January 25, 1980, petitioner Crisologo Villanueva, upon learning of his companion Mendoza’s withdrawal, filed his own sworn “Certificate of Candidacy in substitution” of Mendoza’s for the said office of vice mayor as a one-man independent ticket. …

The results showed petitioner to be the clear winner over respondent with a margin of 452 votes (3,112 votes as against his opponent respondent Lirio’s 2,660 votes). But the Municipal Board of Canvassers disregarded all votes cast in favor of petitioner as stray votes on the basis of the Provincial Election Officer’s erroneous opinion that since petitioner’s name does not appear in the Comelec’s certified list of candidates for that municipality, it could be presumed that his candidacy was not duly approved by the Comelec so that his votes could not be “legally counted. ” … The canvassers accordingly proclaimed respondent Vivencio G. Lirio as the only unopposed candidate and as the duly elected vice mayor of the municipality of Dolores.

Villanueva filed a petition for annulment of the proclamation of Lirio. Respondent Comelec issued its questioned resolution on February 21, 1980 denying the petition on the ground that Villanueva’s withdrawal of certificate is not under oath. And that the withdrawal was made not after the last dy but on that very same day. ISSUE: Upon a restudy of the case, the Court finds merit in the reconsideration prayed for, which would respect the will of the electorate instead of defeating the same through the invocation of formal or technical defects.

The Court holds that the Comelec’s first ground for denying due course to petitioner’s substitute certificate of candidacy, i. e.that Mendoza’s withdrawal of his certificate of candidacy was not “under oath,” should be rejected. It is not seriously contended by respondent nor by the Comelec that Mendoza’s withdrawal was not an actual fact and a reality, so much so that no votes were cast for him at all, In fact, Mendoza’s name, even though his candidacy was filed on the last day within the deadline, was not in the Comelec’s certified list of candidates.

His unsworn withdrawal filed later on the same day had been accepted by the election registrar without protest nor objection The fact that Mendoza’s withdrawal was not sworn is but a technicality which should not be used to frustrate the people’s will in favor of petitioner as the substitute candidate. As to the second ground, Mendoza’s withdrawal of his certificate of candidacy right on the very same day that he filed his certificate of candidacy on January 4, 1980 which was the very last day for filing of certificates of candidacy shows that he was not serious about his certificate of candidacy.

But this could not be done to would be bonafide candidates, like petitioner who had not filed his candidacy in deference to Mendoza’s candidacy who was one of his ” co-planners ” with “some concerned citizens … (who) held causes to put up a slate that will run against the erstwhile unopposed KBL slate.

ACCORDINGLY, the Court SETS ASIDE the questioned Resolutions of respondent Comelec and annuls the proclamation of respondent Lirio as elected vice-mayor of Dolores, Quezon and instead declares petitioner as the duly elected vice-mayor of said municipality and entitled forthwith to assume said office, take the oath of office and discharge its functions [G. R. No. 136351. July 28, 1999] JOEL G. MIRANDA, Petitioner, vs. ANTONIO M. ABAYA and the COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS, Respondents. MELO, J. : FACTS: On March 24, 1998, Jose Pempe Miranda, then incumbent mayor of Santiago City, Isabela, filed his certificate of candidacy for the same mayoralty post for the synchronized May 11, 1998 elections. On March 27, 1998, private respondent Antonio M. Abaya filed a Petition to Deny Due Course to and/or Cancel Certificate of Candidacy (pp. 26-33, Rollo), which was docketed as SPA No. 98-019. The petition was GRANTED by the Comelec in its resolution dated May 5, 1998 (pp. 36-43, Rollo).

The Comelec further ruled to DISQUALIFY Jose Pempe Miranda. On May 6, 1998, way beyond the deadline for filing a certificate of candidacy, petitioner Joel G. Miranda filed his certificate of candidacy for the mayoralty post, supposedly as a substitute for his father, Jose Pempe During the May 11, 1998 elections, petitioner and private respondent vied for the mayoralty seat, with petitioner garnering 22,002 votes, 1,666 more votes than private respondent who got only 20, 336 votes. On May 13, 1998, private respondent filed a Petition to Declare Null and Void Substitution with Prayer for Issuance of Writ of Preliminary Injunction and/or Temporary Restraining Order, which was docketed as SPA No. 98-288.

He prayed for the nullification of petitioners certificate of candidacy for being void ab initio because the certificate of candidacy of Jose Pempe Miranda, whom petitioner was supposed to substitute, had already been cancelled and denied due course. On May 16, 1998, Comelecs First Division dismissed SPA No. 98-288 motu proprio (pp. 57-61, Rollo). Private respondent moved for reconsideration (pp. 62-72, Rollo). On December 8, 1998, the Comelec En Banc rendered the assailed decision aforequoted, resolving to GRANT the motion for reconsideration, thus nullifying the substitution by petitioner Joel G. Miranda of his father as candidate for the mayoralty post of Santiago City. On December 9, 1998, petitioner sought this Courts intercession via a petition for certiorari, with prayer for the issuance of a temporary restraining order and/or writ of preliminary injunction. ISSUES: 1.

Whether the annulment of petitioners substitution and proclamation was issued without jurisdiction and/or with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack of jurisdiction; and 2. Whether the order of the Comelec directing the proclamation of the private respondent was issued with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack of jurisdiction. HELD: The Court finds neither lack of jurisdiction nor grave abuse of discretion attended the annulment of the substitution and proclamation of petitioner. On the matter of jurisdiction, there is no question that the case at hand is within the exclusive original jurisdiction of the Comelec. On the issue of soundness of the disposition in SPA No.

98-288, the Court finds that the Comelecs action nullifying the substitution by and proclamation of petitioner for the mayoralty post of Santiago City, Isabela is proper and legally sound. All told, a disqualified candidate may only be substituted if he had a valid certificate of candidacy in the first place because, if the disqualified candidate did not have a valid and seasonably filed certificate of candidacy, he is and was not a candidate at all. If a person was not a candidate, he cannot be substituted under Section 77 of the Code. Besides, if we were to allow the so-called substitute to file a new and original certificate of candidacy beyond the period for the filing thereof, it would be a crystalline case of unequal protection of the law, an act abhorred by our Constitution.

The question to settle next is whether or not aside from Joel Pempe Miranda being disqualified by the Comelec in its May 5, 1998 resolution, his certificate of candidacy had likewise been denied due course and cancelled. The Court rules that it was. Comelec committed no grave abuse of discretion in resolving SPA No. 98-288 in favor of private respondent. As earlier pointed out, the result in the dispositive portion of the December 8, 1998 resolution pertaining to the issues involved in SPA No. 98-288 is correct insofar as it annulled the election and proclamation of Joel G. Miranda. But even assuming for the sake of argument that it is not, still, this supposed error does not constitute grave abuse of discretion which may be annulled and reversed in the present petition for certiorari.