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Chapter 12: Election Protest/ Contest

Requisites:

i. Must be filed by any candidate who has filed a certificate of candidacy and has been voted
upon for the same office.

ii. On grounds of fraud, terrorism, irregularities or illegal acts committed before, during or after the
casting and counting of votes.

iii. Except for President, Vice President and Senators, within 10 days from the proclamation of the
results of the election.

89. Arao v. COMELEC G.R. No. 103877 June 23, 1992 (210 SCRA 290)

FACTS:
Benjamin Arao and Warlito Pulmones were candidates for mayor of Pagadian City in the 1988 local
elections. After canvass, Arao was shown to have garnered 12,447 votes while Pulmones got only
12,030 or a margin of 417 votes in favor of Arao. Pulmones filed his protest alleging fraud and
anomalies in the voting centers which were glaring and notably perpetrated in specified districts. A
resolution was issued denying Pulmones’ amended protest and finally, after revision of ballots and
hearing ruled that Arao is the winner with a margin of 378 votes in lieu of the 417 votes formerly
proclaimed by the Board of Canvassers. Upon Pulmones’ motion for reconsideration, the COMELEC,
en banc, declared Pulmones as the duly elected mayor with a margin of 516 votes against arao and
ordered Arao to vacate the office.

ISSUE:
Did the COMELEC commit grave abuse of discretion when it examined ballots not included in the
original protest but only in the amended protest which was submitted beyond the required period?

HELD:
The Supreme Court ruled that the extraordinary power of the Supreme Court to pass upon an order or
decision of the COMELEC should be exercised restrictively, with care and caution while giving it the
regard and respect due to a constitutional body. The abuse of discretion must be grave. Unlike an
ordinary suit, an election protest is of utmost public concern. The rights of the contending parties must
yield to the far greater interest of the citizens for the sanctity of the electoral process. This being the
case, the choice of the people to represent them may not be bargained away by sheer negligence of a
party to raise the question of identical handwriting in the ballots. There is no showing of grave abuse of
discretion on the part of the COMELEC.

90. Gatchalian v. COMELEC G.R. No. 107979 June 19, 1995 (245 SCRA 208)

FACTS: Danilo Gatchalian and Gregorio Aruelo were rivals for the office of the Vice-Mayor of Balagtas,
Bulacan in the May 11, 1992 Elections. Gatchalian was proclaimed Vice-Mayor by a margin of four
votes on May 13, 1992.On May 22, 1992, Aruelo filed with the COMELEC a petition seeking to annul
the proclamation of Gatchalian. He also filed on June 2, 1992 with the RTC of Malolos, Bulacan an
election protest. When Gatchalian received the summons, instead of filing an answer, he filed a motion
to dismiss on the following grounds: (a) the petition was filed out of time; (b)there was a pending pre-
proclamation case before the COMELEC, hence the protest was premature; and (c) Aruelo failed to pay
the prescribed fees.The pre-proclamation case was denied by COMELEC, but the Motion to Dismiss
was denied by the trial court, hence this petition.

ISSUE: Should the proclamation contest be denied? Also, should the election contest be dismissed for
failure to pay the filing fees?

HELD:
On the first issue, the Court held that Aruelo filed with the COMELEC pre-proclamation case against
Gatchalian nine days after May 13, 1992, the latter’s proclamation date. The filing of the pre-
proclamation case suspended the running of the period within which to file the election protest which
was one day after June 22,1992. He filed the election protest on June 2, 1992 with the trial court ex
abudante cautela. On second the issue, the Court held that, indeed, respondent failed to pay the
required filing fee of P300,00 for the election protest prescribed by the COMELEC Rules of Procedure.
Hence, the petition should be dismissed for it is the payment of the filing fee that vests jurisdiction of the
court over the election protest.

91. Soller v. Commission on Elections, G.R. No. 139853, 5 September 2000, 339 SCRA 685

FACTS:
Petitioner Ferdinand Soller and respondent Angel Saulong were both candidates for mayor of the
municipality of Bansud, Oriental Mindoro in the May 11, 1998 elections. On May 14, 1998, the
municipal board of canvassers proclaimed petitioner Ferdinand Thomas Soller duly elected mayor.
Saulong filed a petition with the COMELEC to annul the proclamation. Later, private respondent filed an
election protest against petitioner with the RTC. The COMELEC dismissed the pre-proclamation case
filed by private respondent, while the RTC denied petitioner’s motion to dismiss. Petitioner moved for
reconsideration but said motion was denied. Petitioner then filed with the COMELEC a petition for
certiorari contending that respondent RTC acted without or in excess of jurisdiction or with grave abuse
of discretion in not dismissing private respondent’s election protest. The COMELEC en banc dismissed
petitioner’s suit. Petitioner now questions this decision of the COMELEC en banc.

ISSUE: Did the COMELEC gravely abuse its discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction in not
ordering the dismissal of private respondent's election protest?

HELD:
NO. Section 3, Subdivision C of Article IX of the Constitution reads: "The Commission on Elections may
sit en banc or in two divisions, and shall promulgate its rules of procedure in order to expedite the
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 decision shall be decided by
the Commission en banc."

Thus, in previous cases we ruled that the COMELEC, sitting en banc, does not have the requisite
authority to hear and decide election cases including pre-proclamation controversies in the first
instance. This power pertains to the divisions of the Commission. Any decision by the Commission en
banc as regards election cases decided by it in the first instance is null and void.
The petition with the COMELEC was not referred to a division of that Commission but was, instead,
submitted directly to the Commission en banc. The petition for certiorari assails the trial court's order
denying the motion to dismiss private respondent's election protest. The questioned order of the trial
court is interlocutory because it does not end the trial court's task of adjudicating the parties'
contentions and determining their rights and liabilities as regards each other. In our view, the authority
to resolve petition for certiorari involving incidental issues of election protest, like the questioned order
of the trial court, falls within the division of the COMELEC and not on the COMELEC en banc.

Quo Warranto proceedings - Refers to questions of disloyalty or ineligibility of the winning candidate;
a proceeding to unseat the ineligible person from office but not to install the protestant in his place; may
be filed by any voter
Requisites:
i. Filed by any registered voter in the constituency
ii. On grounds of ineligibility or disloyalty to the Republic of the Philippines
iii. Within 10 days from the proclamation of the results of the election

Cases:

92. Tan v. COMELEC G.R. Nos. 166143-47, November 20, 2006, 507 SCRA 352

Effect of Filing Petition to Annul or Suspend Proclamation. The filing of petition to annul or suspend the
proclamation shall suspend the running of the period in which to file an election protest or quo warranto
proceedings. The party seeking annulment must file the petition before the expiration of the 10-day
period.

FACTS:
Petitioners Abdusakur M. Tan and Basaron Burahan were the gubernatorial and vice-gubernatorial
candidates, respectively, of Sulu Province in the May 10, 2004 national and local elections. On May 17,
2004, petitioners, together with other local candidates for congressman, mayor, and vice-mayor, filed
with the COMELEC four (4) Petitions for Declaration of Failure of Elections in the towns of Maimbung,
Luuk, Tongkil, and Panamao, all of Sulu Province, alleging systematic fraud, terrorism, illegal schemes,
and machinations allegedly perpetrated by private respondents, Benjamin Loong and Nur Sahidulla,
and their supporters resulting in massive disenfranchisement of voters. COMELEC granted the petition
and annulled the proclamation of respondent Loong as governor of Sulu Province. On October 18,
2004, the COMELEC en banc, through a Joint Resolution, 29 dismissed the five (5) Petitions to Declare
Failure of Elections. Loong contends that the contest was filed after the reglementary period. He said
that since the PBOC of Sulu proclaimed the results of the gubernatorial election or declared him as the
duly elected governor of Sulu, on May 24, 2004, the protest contesting his election ought to have been
filed on or before June 3, 2004 or ten (10) days from May 24, 2004.

ISSUE: Was the election protest filed timely?

HELD:
Yes. Under Section 248 of the Election Code, the filing of certain petitions works to stop the running of
the reglementary period to file an election protest. As may be noted, the aforequoted Section 248
contemplates two (2) points of reference, that is, pre- and post-proclamation, under which either of the
petitions referred to therein is filed. Before the proclamation, what ought to be filed is a petition to
suspend or stop an impending proclamation. After the proclamation, an adverse party should file a
petition to annul or undo a proclamation made. Pre-proclamation controversies partake of the nature of
petitions to suspend. The purpose for allowing pre-proclamation controversies, the filing of which is
covered by the aforequoted Section 248 of the Omnibus Election Code, is to nip in the bud the
occurrence of what, in election practice, is referred to as grab the proclamation and prolong the protest
situation.

Correlating the petitions mentioned in Section 248 with the 10-day period set forth in the succeeding
Section 250, a petition to suspend tolls the 10-day period for filing an election protest from running,
while a petition to annul interrupts the running of the period. In other words, in a Section 248 petition to
suspend where the 10-day period did not start to run at all, the filing of a Section 250 election contest
after the tenth (10th) day from proclamation is not late. On the other hand, in a Section 248 petition to
annul, the party seeking annulment must file the petition before the expiration of the 10-day period.

93. Ocampo v. COMELEC G.R. NO. 158466, 15 June 2004

FACTS:
On 23 May 2001, the Manila City Board of Canvassers proclaimed Mario B. Crespo, a.k.a. Mark
Jimenez, the duly elected Congressman of the 6th District of Manila pursuant to the 14 May 2001
elections. He was credited with 32,097 votes or a margin of 768 votes over Pablo V. Ocampo who
obtained 31,329 votes. On 31 May 2001, Ocampo filed with the House of Representatives Electoral
Tribunal (HRET) an electoral protest against Crespo, impugning the election in 807 precincts in the 6th
District of Manila on the following grounds: (1) misreading of votes garnered by Ocampo; (2)
falsification of election returns; (3) substitution of election returns; (4) use of marked, spurious, fake and
stray ballots; and (5) presence of ballots written by one person or two persons (HRET Case 01-024).
Ocampo prayed that a revision and appreciation of the ballots in the 807 contested precincts be
conducted; and that, thereafter, he be proclaimed the duly elected Congressman of the 6th District of
Manila. Meanwhile, HRET issued Resolutions declaring that Crespo is "ineligible for the Office of
Representative of Sixth District of Manila for lack of residence in the district" and ordering "him to
vacate his office." Crespo filed a motion for reconsideration therein but was denied. On 27 March 2003,
the HRET issued a Resolution holding that Crespo was guilty of vote-buying and disqualifying him as
Congressman of the 6th District of Manila. Anent the second issue of whether Ocampo can be
proclaimed the duly elected Congressman, the HRET held that a second placer cannot be proclaimed
the first among the remaining qualified candidates, hence this petition.

ISSUE: Whether Ocampo may be proclaimed the winner after Crespo was disqualified by the HRET.

HELD:
Section 6 of RA 6646 and section 72 of the Omnibus Election Code require a final judgment before the
election for the votes of a disqualified candidate to be considered "stray."
Hence, when a candidate has not yet been disqualified by final judgment during the Election Day and
was voted for, the votes cast in his favor cannot be declared stray. To do so would amount to
disenfranchising the electorate in whom sovereignty resides. The obvious rationale behind the
foregoing ruling is that in voting for a candidate who has not been disqualified by final judgment during
the election day, the people voted for him bona fide, without any intention to misapply their franchise,
and in the honest belief that the candidate was then qualified to be the person to whom they would
entrust the exercise of the powers of government. Herein, Crespo was declared disqualified almost 22
months after the 14 May 2001 elections. Obviously, the requirement of "final judgment before election"
is absent. On the other hand, subsequent disqualification of a candidate who obtained the highest
number of votes does not entitle the candidate who garnered the second highest number of votes to be
declared the winner. To rule otherwise is to misconstrue the nature of the democratic electroral process
and the sociological and psychological underpinnings behind voters’ preferences. At any rate, the
petition has become moot and academic. The Twelfth Congress formally adjourned on 11 June 2004.
And on 17 May 2004, the City Board of Canvassers proclaimed Bienvenido Abante the duly elected
Congressman of the Sixth District of Manila pursuant to the 10 May 2004 elections.

94. Gatchalian v. COMELEC G.R. No. 107979 June 19, 1995 (245 SCRA 208) – refer to number 90

Chapter 13: Election Offenses

Aspects:
1) Criminal - involves the ascertainment of the guilt or innocence of the accused candidate like in any
other criminal case, it usually entails a full-blown hearing and the quantum of proof required to secure a
conviction beyond reasonable doubt.
2) Electoral –
- A determination of whether the offender should be disqualified from office.
- Done through an administrative proceeding which is summary in character and requires only a
clear preponderance of evidence (prior criminal conviction is not required)

95. Sunga v. COMELEC G.R. No. 125629. March 25, 1998 (288 SCRA 76)

Doctrine: In a disqualification case, it is the electoral aspect that is involved under which an erring
candidate may be disqualified even without prior criminal conviction.

FACTS:
Petitioner Manuel C. Sunga was one of the candidates for the position of Mayor in the Municipality of
Iguig, province of Cagayan, in the 8 May 1995 elections. Private respondent Ferdinand B. Trinidad,
then incumbent mayor, was a candidate for re-election in the same municipality. Sunga filed with the
COMELEC a complaint for disqualification against Trinidad for using three (3) local government
vehicles in his campaign, violation of the gun ban, using threats or other forms of coercion, and vote
buying. Meanwhile Trinidad garnered the highest number of votes, while Sunga trailed second. Sunga
moved for the suspension of the proclamation of Trinidad. However Trinidad was still proclaimed the
elected mayor, prompting Sunga to file another motion to suspend the effects of the proclamation,
which was not acted upon.

On June 28, 1995, the COMELEC Law Department recommended that Trinidad be charged in court for
violation of the law. Four informations for various elections offenses were filed in the Regional Trial
Court of Tuguegarao, Cagayan and the disqualification case was referred to the COMELEC 2nd
Division for hearing. On 2 May 1996 Sunga filed a Second Urgent Motion to Suspend the Effects and
Annul the Proclamation with Urgent Motion for Early Resolution of the Petition. The COMELEC 2nd
Division dismissed the petition for disqualification, hence this petition. The COMELEC insisted that the
outright dismissal of a disqualification case was warranted under any of the following circumstances: (a)
the disqualification case was filed before the election but was still pending (unresolved) after the
election; (b) the disqualification case was filed after the election but before the proclamation of the
winner; and, (c) the disqualification case was filed after the election and after the proclamation of the
winner.

ISSUE:
Did COMELEC commit grave abuse of discretion for dismissing the disqualification case?

HELD:

Yes. Sec. 6 of RA 6646 provides that “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 guilt is strong.” The
implication is that the COMELEC is left with no discretion but to proceed with the disqualification case
even after the election. The fact that Trinidad was already proclaimed and had assumed the position of
mayor did not divest the COMELEC of authority and jurisdiction to continue the hearing and eventually
decide the disqualification case. Otherwise, a candidate guilty of election offenses would be
undeservedly rewarded, instead of punished, by the dismissal of the disqualification case against him
simply because the investigating body was unable to determine before the election if the offenses were
indeed committed by the candidate sought to be disqualified.

It is worth to note that an election offense has criminal as well as electoral aspects. Its criminal aspect
involves the ascertainment of the guilt or innocence of the accused candidate. Like in any other criminal
case, it usually entails a full-blown hearing and the quantum of proof required to secure a conviction is
beyond reasonable doubt. Its electoral aspect, on the other hand, is a determination of whether the
offender should be disqualified from office. This is done through an administrative proceeding which is
summary in character and requires only a clear preponderance of evidence. Thus, under Sec. 4 of the
COMELEC Rules of Procedure, petitions for disqualification "shall be heard summarily after due
notice." It is the electoral aspect that we are more concerned with, under which an erring candidate may
be disqualified even without prior criminal conviction.

96. People v. Ferrer 54 OG 1348, Gr. No. L-8957, April 29, 1957

FACTS:
An information was filed before the Provincial Fiscal of Pangasinan charging Andres Ferrer for election
offenses. It was alleged that on Nov. 10, 1953 elections, Ferrer, as a Foreign Affairs Officer, induced
and influenced the electors to vote in favour of the candidates of the Liberal Party. Specifically, it was
alleged that he delivered a speech during the a political rally of the Liberal Party in Barrio Caloocan
Norte, caused to be distributed cigarettes and pamphlets concerning the party, and went from house to
house to distribute sample ballots of the LP, contrary to RA 180. Ferrer moved to quash the information
on the ground that it charges more than one offense. The trial court held that causing cigarettes or
pamphlets concerning the Liberal Party to be distributed to the people who attended a political meeting,
charged against the defendant, does not constitute a violation of section 51 of the Revised Election
Code, because it is not giving "food" for tobacco is not food; nor does it constitute a violation of that part
of section 51 which makes unlawfully the contributing or giving, directly or indirectly, of money or things
of value, because the information merely charges the defendant with-having caused cigarettes, etc. to
be distributed, and it does not state that the cigarette belonged to the defendant. The trial court is also
of the opinion that the defendant is not a classified civil service officer or employee, because to be such
it is necessary that he be assigned in the Department of Foreign Affairs under section 6, Republic Act.
No. 708 and if and when thus assigned he will for purposes of civil service law and regulations, be
considered as first grade civil service eligible. Hence, this petition.

ISSUE: Is the information defective?

HELD:
YES. It charges the two violations of the Revised Election Code, Sec. 51 and 54. Causing cigarettes
which are things of value to be distributed, made unlawful by section 51 and punished by section 183,
cannot be deemed a necessary means to commit the lesser violation of section 54 were the penalty
attached to it taken into consideration. The rule in the case of People vs. Buenviaje, 47 Phil., 536, cited
and invoked by the State, has no application to the case, because there the defendant, who was not a
duly licensed physician, gave medical assistance and treatment to a certain person and advertised
himself and offered services as a physician by means of cards or letterheads and advertisement in the
newspapers, latter being a means to commit the former, and both violations are punishable with the
same penalty, whereas in the present case causing cigarettes or things of value to be distributed by the
defendant to the people who attended a political meeting is a violation distinct from that of
electioneering committed by a classified civil service officer or employee. The former has no connection
with the latter.

If the penalty provided for violation of section 51 and 54 were the same as in the case of the violation of
the Medical Law, the rule in the case of People vs. Buenviaje supra, might be invoked and applied.

That a violation of section 51 is distinct from that of section 54 is further shown by the fact that a
violation of the former may be committed by any candidate, political committee, voter or any other
person, whereas a violation of the latter may only be committed by a justice, judge, fiscal, treasurer or
assessor of any province, officer or employee of the Army, member of the national, provincial, city,
municipal or rural police force, and classified civil service officer or employee.

97. Mappala v. Judge Nunez A.M. No. RTJ-94-1208 January 26, 1995 (240 SCRA 600)

FACTS: This is an administrative complaint filed by Jacinto Mappala against Judge Crispulo A. Nuñez,
the presiding judge of the Regional Trial Court, Branch 22, Cabangan, Isabela for gross inefficiency,
serious misconduct and violation of the Code of Judicial Ethics. In his decision, respondent found that
Alejandro shot complainant inside Precinct No. 2, located at the elementary school building in Sto.
Tomas, Isabela, during the barangay elections. Respondent also found that Alejandro was the one who
surrendered the gun. To respondent, the surrender of the weapon was an implied admission that it was
the one used by Alejandro in shooting complainant. Inspite of all these findings, respondent acquitted
Alejandro of illegally carrying a deadly weapon inside a precinct on the theory that the gun was not
seized from him while he was inside the precinct.
ISSUE: Whether or not respondent Judge erred in ruling that Alejandro was not in violation of illegal
possession of firearms.

HELD: To support a conviction under Sec. 261 (p) of the Omnibus Election Code, is not necessary that
the deadly weapon should have been seized from the accused while he was in the precinct or within a
radius of 100 meters therefrom, as it is enough that he carried the deadly weapon “in the polling place
or within 100 meters thereof” during any of the specified days and hours.

98. People v. Reyes G.R. No. 115022 August 14, 1995 ( 247 SCRA 328)

FACTS:
Respondent Buenaventura C. Maniego, Collector of Customs, Collection District II, Manila International
Container Port (MICP) Customs Personnel Order assigned Jovencio D. Ebio, Customs Operation
Chief, MICP to the Office of the Deputy Collector of Customs for Operations as Special Assistant. Ebio
filed with the Comelec a letter – complaint protesting his transfer. Ebio claimed that his new assignment
violated Comelec Resolution No. 2333 and Section 261 (h) of B.P. Blg.881, the Omnibus Election
Code, which prohibit the transfer of any employee in the civil service 120 days before the May 11, 1992
synchronized national and local elections. Before the arraignment, respondent Maniego moved to
quash the information on the ground that the facts alleged do not constitute an offense. He contended
that the transfer of Ebio on January 14, 1992 did not violate B.P. Blg. 881because on that date the act
was not yet punishable as an election offense. It purportedly became punishable only on January 15,
1992, the date of effectivity of Comelec Resolution No. 2333 implementing Section 261 (h) of B.P. Blg.
881. The trial court granted private respondent’s motion to quash and dismissed the criminal case.

ISSUE: Whether or not transfer is violative of section 261 (h) of B.P. Blg. 881.

HELD: Section 261 (h) of B.P. Blg. 881 does not per se outlaw the transfer of a government officer or
employee during the election period. If done to promote efficiency in the government service. Hence,
Section 2 of Resolution No. 2333provides that the Comelec has to pass upon the reason for the
proposed transfer or detail. Prescinding from this predicate, two elements must be established to prove
a violation of Section 261 (h) of B.P. Blg. 881, viz:(1) The fact of transfer or detail of a public officer or
employee within the election period as fixed by the Comelec; and(2) The transfer or detail was effected
without prior approval of the Comelec in accordance with its implementing rules and regulations. An
officer cannot be held liable for violation of Section 261 (h) of B.P. Blg. 881, apenal provision, before
the effectivity of Comelec Resolution No. 2333 promulgating the necessary implementing rules

Characteristics of election offenses


99. De Jesus v. People (No. L-61998, February 28, 1983, 120 SCRA 760)

FACTS:
After the local elections of January 18, 1980, Ananias Hibo, defeated candidate of the Nacionalista
Party for the office of mayor of the Municipality of Casiguran, Sorsogon filed with the COMELEC a
complaint charging petitioner Rogelio de Jesus, then COMELEC registrar of Casiguran, with violation of
the 1978Election Code. Asst. Fiscals Manuel Genova and Delfin Tarog, in their capacity as deputized
Tanodbayan prosecutors, conducted an investigation. A prima facie case against petitioner for violation
of section 89 and sub-sections [x] and [mm] of Section178 of the Election Code of 1978 was found to
exist. The following information was filed before the Sandiganbayan. Petitioner filed a motion to quash
the information, contending that neither the Tanodbayan nor the Sandiganbayan has the authority to
investigate, prosecute and try the offense. In its opposition, the prosecution maintained the
Tanodbayan’s exclusive authority to investigate and prosecute offenses committed by public officers
and employees in relation to their office, and consequently, the Sandiganbayan’s jurisdiction to try and
decide the charges against petitioner

.ISSUE: Whether or not the Tanodbayan and the Sandiganbayan have the power to investigate,
prosecute, and try election offenses committed by a public officer in relation to his office

HELD: The evident constitutional intendment in bestowing the power to enforce and administer all laws
relative to the conduct of election and the concomitant authority to investigate and prosecute election
offenses to the COMELEC is to insure the free, orderly and honest conduct of elections, failure of which
would result in the frustration of the true will of the people and make a mere idle ceremony of the
sacred right and duty of every qualified citizen to vote. To divest the COMELEC of the authority to
investigate and prosecute offenses committed by public officials in relation to their office would thus
seriously impair its effectiveness in achieving this clear constitutional mandate. From a careful scrutiny
of the constitutional provisions relied upon by the Sandiganbayan, We perceive neither explicit nor
implicit grant to it and its prosecuting arm, the Tanodbayan, of the authority to investigate, prosecute
and hear election offenses committed by public officers in relation to their office, as contradistinguished
from the clear and categorical bestowal of said authority and jurisdiction upon the COMELEC and the
courts of first instance under Sections 182and 184, respectively, of the Election Code of 1978.

100. People v. Bayona 61 Phil 181 G.R. No. L-42288, February 16, 1935

The defendant, who was a special agent of the Philippine Constabulary, contends that he stopped his
automobile in front of the municipal building of Pilar for the purpose of delivering to Major Agdamag a
revolver that the defendant had taken that day from one Tomas de Martin, who had no license therefor;
that he did not know there was a polling place near where he parked his motor car; that he was sixty-
three meters from the electoral college when the revolver was taken from him by Jose E. Desiderio, a
representative of the Secretary of the Interior. The evidence shows, however, that the defendant was
only ten or twelve meters from the polling place when he was found standing near his automobile with a
revolver in his belt, and that the municipal building could not be seen from the polling place; that the
defendant was at the time employed as a chauffeur by a senator for that district, and that he had been
sent to Pontevedra, a municipality adjoining Pilar. The defendant did not arrest Tomas de Martin, nor
does it appear that he caused him to be prosecuted. Tomas de Martin was not called as a witness in
this case.
Furthermore there is one other fact of record which completely discredits the testimony of the
defendant. Major Agdamag, to whom the defendant claims he intended to deliver the revolver, was not
the provincial commander of Capiz, but an officer sent from Cebu to Capiz for the purpose of
supervising the elections in that province; and taking into consideration the intelligence of the defendant
and the nature of his employment.

ISSUE: Whether or not appellant’s intent should be taken into consideration in the instant case.

HELD:
No. Appeal is denied.
The court does not believe that appellant did not know the location of the polling place in question.
The law which the defendant violated is a statutory provision, and the intent with which he violated it is
immaterial. The act prohibited by the Election Law was complete. The intention to intimidate the voters
or to interfere otherwise with the election is not made an essential element of the offense. The rule is
that in acts mala in se there must be a criminal intent, but in those mala prohibita it is sufficient if the
prohibited act was intentionally done. “Care must be exercised in distinguishing the difference between
the intent to commit the crime and the intent to perpetrate the act. …” (U.S. vs. Go Chico, 14 Phil. 128.