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MSU College of Law Iligan Extension Tubod, Iligan City

DIGESTED CASES FOR ELECTION LAW

Submitted to: Atty. Samsodin M. Bedar

Submitted by: Michelle Aban

October 15, 2011

MIRIAM DEFENSOR SANTIAGO versus FIDEL RAMOS (253 SCRA 559) Facts: The protestant, Miriam Defensor-Santiago ran for presidency and lost in the May 1992 election. In her Motion on the 16th day of August in the year 1995, reiterated in her comment of the 29th of August of the same year, protestant DefensorSantiago prayed that the revision in the remaining precincts of the pilot areas be dispensed with and the revision process in the pilot areas be deemed computed. The Court deferred action on the motion and required, instead, the protestant and protestee to submit their respective memoranda. Hence, this petition. Issue: Whether or not the election protest filed by Defensor-Santiago is moot and academic by her election as a Senator in the May 1995 election and her assumption of office as such on the 30th of June in the year 1995. Held: YES. The Court held that the election protest filed by Santiago has been abandoned or considered withdrawn as a consequence of her election and assumption of office as Senator and her discharge of the duties and functions thereof. The protestant abandoned her determination to protest and pursue the public interest involved in the matter of who is the real choice of the electorate. Moreover, the dismissal of this protest would serve public interest as it would dissipate the aura of uncertainty as to the results of the 1992 presidential elections, thereby enhancing the all too crucial political stability of the nation during this period of national recovery. Also, the PET issued a resolution ordering the protestant to inform the PET within 10 days if after the completion of the revision of the ballots from her pilot areas, she still wishes to present evidence. Since DS has not informed the Tribunal of any such intention, such is a manifest indication that she no longer intends to do so.

MERCADO versus MANZANO (307 SCRA 630) Facts: Respondent Eduardo Manzano won as vice mayor of Makati City in the May 1998 elections. However, upon petition of a certain Ernesto Mamaril, the COC of Manzano was cancelled by COMELEC on the ground that he is a dual citizen. Issue: Whether or Not private respondent is qualified to hold office as Vice-Mayor. Held: YES. Private respondent Manzano was qualified to run for the position of vice mayor of Makati. The COMELEC en banc held that Manzano acquired US citizenship by operation of the United States Constitution and laws under the principle of jus soli. He was issued an alien certificate of registration. This, however, did not result in the loss of his Philippine citizenship since he did not take an oath of allegiance to the United States. It is an undisputed fact that when Manzano attained the age of majority, he registered himself as a voter, and voted in the elections of 1992, 1995 and 1998, which effectively renounced his US citizenship under American law. According to Article IV Section 5 of the 1987 Philippine Constitution provides that dual allegiance of citizens is inimical to the national interest and shall be dealt with by law. Dual citizenship is not dual allegiance; as such dual allegiance and not dual citizenship shall be dealt with by the law.

MARQUEZ versus COMELEC (243 SCRA 538) Facts: Marquez, a candidate for an elective position in Quezon Province during the 1998 elections, filed a petition praying for the cancellation of the certificate of candidacy of Rodriguez on the ground of disqualification under section 40 of the Local Government Code (Section 40. Disqualification. The following persons are disqualified from running for any local elective position (e) Fugitive from justice in criminal or non-political cases here or abroad.) Rodriguez is allegedly criminally charged with insurance fraud or grand theft of personal property in the United States and that his arrest is yet to be served because of his flight from the country. The COMELEC dismissed Marquezs Petition. Rodriguez was proclaimed the Governor-elect of Quezon. Issue: Whether or not private respondent, who at the time of the filing of his COC is said to be facing a criminal charge before a foreign court and evading a warrant of arrest comes within the term fugitive from justice. Held: NO. Although it is provided in Article 73 of the Rules and Regulations implementing the Local Government Code of 1991 that for a person to be considered a fugitive from justice, he or she has to be convicted by final judgment, but such definition is an ordinate and under circumscription of the law. For the term fugitive from justice includes not only those who after conviction to avoid punishment but likewise those who, after being charged, flee to avoid prosecution. This definition truly finds support from jurisprudence, and it may be conceded as expressing the general and ordinary connotation of the term.

VETERANS FEDERATION PARTY versus COMELEC (G.R. No. 136781) Facts: COMELEC proclaimed 14 party list representatives from 13 parties which obtained at least 2% of the total number of votes cast as member of the House of Rep. Upon petition by other party-list organization, it proclaimed another 38 additional party representatives although they received less than 2% of the votes on the ground that under the Constitution it is mandatory that at least 20% of the members of House of Representatives must come from the party list representatives. Issue: Whether or not Section 5(2), Article VI of the Constitution is mandatory where at least 20% of the members of the House of Representatives must come from the said party list system or representatives. Held: NO. It merely provides a ceiling for party list seats in the House of Representatives. The Congress is vested with power to define and prescribe the mechanics of the party-list system of representation. In the exercise of their Constitutional prerogative, Congress deemed it necessary that parties participating in the system to obtain at least 2% of the total votes cast to be entitled to a party-list seat. This is to ensure that only parties with sufficient number of constituents are actually represented in Congress.

BORJA versus COMELEC Facts: Private respondent Jose T. Carpo, Jr. was elected vice-mayor of Pateros on January 18, 1988 for a term ending June 30, 1992. On September 2, 1989, he became mayor, by operation of law, upon the death of the incumbent, Cesar Borja. For the next two succeeding elections in 1992 and 1995, he was again reelected as Mayor. On March 27, 1998, private respondent Carpo filed a certificate of candidacy for mayor of Pateros relative to the May 11, 1998 elections. Petitioner Benjamin U. Borja, Jr., who was also a candidate for mayor, sought Carpos disqualification on the theory that the latter would have already served as mayor for three consecutive terms by June 30, 1998 and would therefore be ineligible to serve for another term after that. COMELEC ruled in favor of petitioner and declared private respondent Carpo saying that In both the Constitution and the Local Government Code, the threeterm limitation refers to the term of office for which the local official was elected. It made no reference to succession to an office to which he was not elected. Carpo won the election case against Borja. Hence, this petition. Issue: Whether or not a person who served in a position by operation of law could be considered as having served the term for the purpose of the three-term limit under the Constitution. Held: NO. The court held that when Carpo occupied the post of the Mayor upon the incumbents death and served for remainder of the term, he cannot be construed as having served a full term as contemplated under the three term limit. The term he served must be one for which he was elected. Furthermore, before assuming the position of Mayor, he served first as a Vice Mayor and the duties and responsibilities of the two positions are wholly different from each other.

ADORMEO versus COMELEC (G.R. No. 147927) Facts: Respondent Talaga was elected Mayor of Lucena City in 1992, re-elected in 1995, but lost to Tagarao in 1998 elections. Tagarao was recalled and in the May 12, 2000 recall elections, Talaga won and served the unexpired term of Tagarao until June 30, 2001. Talaga was candidate for Mayor in the May 14, 2001 elections, and a petition for cancellation of his certificate of candidacy was filed on the ground that he has served as Mayor for three consecutive terms. Issue: Whether or not Talaga has served as Mayor of Lucena City for three consecutive terms. Held: NO. In the case at bar, Talaga did not serve for 3 consecutive terms. For nearly 2 years, he was a private citizen. The continuity of his mayorship was disrupted by his defeat in the 1998 elections. If one is elected representative to serve the unexpired term of another, that unexpired term, no matter how short, will be considered one term for the purpose of computing the number of successive terms allowed this comment of Constitutional Commissioner Fr. Bernas applies only to members of the House of Representatives. Unlike government officials, there is no recall election for members of Congress. Neither can Talagas victory in the said recall election can be deemed as a voluntary renunciation under the Constitution. It was only by virtue of the recall that he served Tagaraos unexpired term. This did not amount to a third full term.

VALLES versus COMELEC (337 SCRA 543) Facts: This is a petition for certiorari under Rule 65, pursuant to Section 2, Rule 64 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure, assailing Resolutions dated July 17, 1998 and January 15, 1999, respectively, of the Commission on Elections in SPA No. 98336, dismissing the petition for disqualification filed by the herein petitioner, Cirilo R. Valles, against private respondent Rosalind Ybasco Lopez on citizenship grounds, in May 1998 elections for governor of Davao Oriental. Respondent was born on May 16, 1934 in Australia to a Filipino father and an Australian mother, who ran for governor of Davao Oriental. In 1998, she applied for an Alien Certificate of Registration (ACR) and Immigrant Certificate of Residence (ICR) and was issued an Australian passport. Issues: 1. Whether or not respondent is a Filipino. 2. Whether or not, if proven that she is a Filipino, did she, in anyway renounced her citizenship by applying for ACR and ICR and being issued an Australian passport. Held: YES. Respondent is a Filipino since her father is a Filipino. In 1934, the controlling laws of the Philippines were the Philippine Bill of July 1, 1902 and the Philippine Autonomy Act of August 29, 1916 (Jones Law). Under both organic acts, all inhabitants of the Philippines who were Spanish subjects on April 11, 1899 and resided therein, including their children, are considered Philippine citizens. Respondents father was therefore a Filipino, and consequently, her. As for issue number two, respondent did not lose her citizenship. Renunciation of citizenship must be express. Applying for ACR, ICR, and Australian passport are not enough to renounce citizenship. They are merely acts of assertion of her Australian citizenship before she effectively renounced the same. Holding of an Australian passport and an alien certificate of registration does not constitute an effective renunciation of citizenship and does not militate against her claim of Filipino citizenship. At most, she has dual citizenship.

MARCOS versus COMELEC (208 SCRA 300) Facts: Petitioner Imelda Romualdez-Marcos filed her Certificate of Candidacy for the position of Representative of the First District of Leyte. Private respondent Cirilo Roy Montejo, a candidate for the same position, filed a petition for cancellation and disqualification with the COMELEC alleging that petitioner did not meet the constitutional requirement for residency. Private respondent contended that petitioner lacked the Constitutions one-year residency requirement for candidates for the House of Representatives. Issue: Whether or not the statement in the COC determines whether an individual satisfied the constitutions residency qualification requirement, to warrant herein petitioners disqualification. Ruling: NO. Having determined that petitioner possesses the necessary residence qualifications to run for a seat in the House of Representatives in the First District of Leyte, the COMELEC's questioned Resolutions dated April 24, May 7, May 11, and May 25, 1995 are hereby SET ASIDE. Respondent COMELEC is hereby directed to order the Provincial Board of Canvassers to proclaim petitioner as the duly elected Representative of the First District of Leyte.

QUINTO versus COMELEC (G.R. No. 189698) Facts: Petitioners Eleazar P. Quinto and Gerino A. Tolentino, Jr. filed a petition for certiorari and prohibition against the COMELEC for issuing a resolution declaring appointive officials who filed their certificate of candidacy as ipso facto resigned from their government offices because at such time they are not yet treated by the law as candidates. They should be considered resigned from their respective offices only at the start of the campaign period when they are, by law, already considered candidates. In this defense, the COMELEC avers that it only copied the provision from Sec. 13 of R.A. 9369. Issue: Whether or not the said COMELEC resolution was valid. Held: NO. In the Farias case, the petitioners challenged Sec. 14 of RA. 9006 repealing Sec. 66 of the Omnibus Election Code (OEC) for giving undue benefit to elective officials in comparison with appointive officials. Incidentally, the Court upheld the substantial distinctions between the two and pronounced that there was no violation of the equal protection clause. However in the present case, the Court held that the discussion on the equal protection clause was an obiter dictum since the issue raised therein was against the repealing clause. It didnt squarely challenge Sec. 66. Sec. 13 of RA. 9369 unduly discriminated appointive and elective officials. Applying the 4 requisites of a valid classification, the proviso does not comply with the second requirement that it must be germane to the purpose of the law. The obvious reason for the challenged provision is to prevent the use of a governmental position to promote ones candidacy, or even to wield a dangerous or coercive influence of the electorate. The measure is further aimed at promoting the efficiency, integrity, and discipline of the public service by eliminating the danger that the discharge of official duty would be motivated by political considerations rather than the welfare of the public. The restriction is also justified by the proposition that the entry of civil servants to the electorate arena, while still in office, could result in neglect or inefficiency in the performance of duty because they would be attending to their campaign rather than to their office work.

LONZANIDA versus COMELEC (G.R. No. 135150) Facts: Petitioner Romeo Lonzanida duly elected and served two consecutive terms as municipal mayor of San Antonio, Zambales prior to the May 8 1995 elections where he ran for the mayoralty position of San Antonio, Zambales and was again proclaimed the winner. He then assumed office and discharged said duties therof. His proclamation in the year 1995 was however contested by his then opponent Juan Alvez who later on filed an election protest. In the year 1997, the RTC of Zambales declared a failure of elections. After a revision and re-appreciation of the contested ballot, COMELEC declared Alvarez the duly elected mayor of San Antonio, Zambales and ordered petitioner to vacate the post. On the 11th of May in the year 1998 elections again, Lonzanida ran for mayor wherein his contender Eufemio Muli filed a petition to disqualify the former from running for mayor of San Antonio in the 1998 elections on the ground that he had served three consecutive terms in the same post. Lonzanidas assumption of office by virtue of his proclamation in May 1995, although he was later unseated before the expiration of the term, should be counted as service for one full term in computing the three term limit under the Constitution and the Local Government Code. Issue: Whether or not tit may be considered that the petitioner had served three consecutive terms, granting that he did not finish his term in 1995. Held: NO. By reason of his involuntary relinquishment of office, petitioner did not fully serve the 1995 to 1998 mayoral term and became a private citizen. The said disqualification was primarily intended to forestall the accumulation of massive political power by an elective local government official in a given locality in order to perpetuate his tenure in office. The court set two conditions which must concur in order to disqualify an elective local official from serving more than three consecutive terms such as that 1.) the official concerned has been elected for three consecutive terms in the same local government post and that 2.) he has fully served three consecutive terms.

AZNAR versus COMELEC (185 SCRA 703) Facts: Emilio Lito Osmea filed his certificate of candidacy with the COMELEC for the position of Provincial Governor of Cebu in the 18 January 1988 elections. Petitioner, Jose B. Aznar, filed with the COMELEC a petition for the disqualification of Osmea on the ground that he is not a Filipino citizen since he is a citizen of the United States. COMELEC en banc decided to suspend the proclamation. Osmea maintained that he is a Filipino citizen, alleging that (1) he is the legitimate child of Dr. Emilio D. Osmea, a Filipino and son of the late President Sergio Osmea, Sr., (2) that he is a holder of a valid and subsisting Philippine Passport, (3) that he was continuously residing in the Philippines since birth and has not gone out of the country for more than six months, and (4) that he has been a registered voter in the Philippines since 1965. Issue: Whether or not respondent is no longer a Filipino citizen by acquiring dualcitizenship. Held: YES. Osmena is still a Filipino. The court held that Aznars contention was not meritorious. Aznars argument that Osmea is not a Filipino citizen and therefore, disqualified from running for and being elected to the office of Governor of Cebu, is not supported by substantial and convincing evidence. Aznar failed to provide proof that Osmea has lost the citizenship by any of the modes provided for under C.A. No. 63, these are: (1) by naturalization in a foreign country, (2) by express renunciation of citizenship, or (3) by subscribing to an oath of allegiance to support the Constitution or laws of a foreign country. Osmea did not lose his Philippine citizenship in any of the modes provided. By virtue of his being a son of a Filipino father, the presumption that Osmea is a Filipino remains. In this case, Osmea denies having taken the oath of allegiance of the United States. He is a holder of a valid and subsisting Philippine passport and has continuously participated in the electoral process in this country since 1963. The court held that the dissent of Mr. Justice Teodoro Padilla, that because Osmea obtained certificates of Alien Registration as an American citizen, the first in 1958 when he was 24 years old and the second in 1979, he should be regarded as having expressly renounced Philippine citizenship, does not hold water. The court in this case held that Osmea is still a Filipino citizen. It may also be noted he was not even declared a dual citizen.

RIVERA III versus COMELEC (G.R. No. 167591) Facts: A petition for cancellation of the COC of Marino Morales as mayoralty candidate in Mabalacat, Pampanga for the May 2004 mayoralty was filed on the ground that he had already served three consecutive terms in the office that he seeks to run for. However, Morales argues that this is not so because although he really served in 1995 1998 in his first term and 2004 2007 for his third term, he was merely a caretaker or de facto mayor in the year 1998 2001 for his said to be second term that is because his election was declared void by the RTC due to an election protest. COMELEC ruled that Morales already served his third term and after an MR was filed, declared it final and executory on May 14, 2004. Issue: Whether or not Morales had already served his three consecutive terms and if so, who should take his position. Held: For the three term limit for elective government officials to apply, two conditions must concur to wit: 1.) that the official concerned has been elected for three consecutive terms in the same local government post and 2.) that he has fully served three consecutive terms. As the issue whether a caretaker or de facto officer, he exercises the powers and enjoys the prerequisites of the office which enables him to stay on indefinitely. With regard to the person who will replace Morales, it is a rule that the ineligibility of a candidate receiving majority votes does not entitle the eligible candidate receiving the next highest number of votes to be declared elected. A minority or defeated candidate cannot be deemed elected to the office. Since his disqualification became final and executory after the elections, the candidate having the second highest number of votes cannot assume the position. Hence, it is the petitioner, the elected Vice Mayor Anthony Dee who should be declared as the mayor.

AQUILINO Q. PIMENTEL, JR. versus JOINT COMMITTEE OF CONGRESS TO CANVASS THE VOTES FOR PRESIDENT & VICE PRESIDENT IN THE MAY 10 2004 ELECTIONS Facts: By a petition for prohibition, Senator Aquilino Q. Pimentel, Jr. seeks a judgment declaring null and void the continued existence of the Joint Committee of Congress to determine the authenticity and due execution of the certificates of canvass and preliminarily canvass the votes cast for Presidential and Vice Presidential candidates in the May 10 2004 elections following the adjournment of Congress on June 11 2004. The petition corollarily prays for the issuance of a writ of prohibition directing the Joint Committee to cease and desist from conducting any further proceedings pursuant to the Rules of the Joint Public Session of Congress on Canvassing. Issue: Whether or not legislative procedure, precedent or practice as borne out by the rules of both Houses of Congress supports Pimentels arguments against the existence and proceedings of the Joint Committee of Congress after the adjournment of Congress. Held: NO. Pimentels claim that his arguments are buttressed by legislative procedure, precedent or practice as borne out by the rules of both Houses of Congress is directly contradicted by Section 42 of Rule XIV of the Rules adopted by the Senate, of which he is an incumbent member. Moreover, the precedents set by the 1992 and 1998 Presidential Elections do not support the move to stop the ongoing canvassing by the Joint Committee. Thus, during the 1992 Presidential elections, both Houses of Congress adjourned on 25 May 1992. Thereafter, on 22 June 1992, the Eight Congress convened in joint public session as the National Board of Canvassers, and on even date proclaimed Fidel V. Ramos and Joseph Ejercito Estrada as President and Vice President, respectively.

MITRA versus COMELEC (G.R. No. 191938) Facts: When his COC for the position of Governor of Palawan was declared cancelled, Mitra was the incumbent Representative of the Second District of Palawan. This district then included, among other territories, the Municipality of Aborlan and Puerto Princesa City. He was elected Representative as a domiciliary of Puerto Princesa City, and represented the legislative district for three (3) terms immediately before the elections of 2010. On March 26, 2007 (or before the end of Mitras second term as Representative), Puerto Princesa City was reclassified as a "highly urbanized city" and thus ceased to be a component city of the Province of Palawan. The direct legal consequence of this new status was the ineligibility of Puerto Princesa City residents from voting for candidates for elective provincial officials. On March 20, 2009, with the intention of running for the position of Governor, Mitra applied for the transfer of his Voters Registration Record from Precinct No. 03720 of Brgy. Sta. Monica, Puerto Princesa City, to Sitio Maligaya,Brgy. Isaub, Municipality of Aborlan, Province of Palawan. He subsequently filed his COC for the position of Governor of Palawan as a resident of Aborlan. Soon thereafter, respondents Antonio V. Gonzales and Orlando R. Balbon, Jr. (the respondents) filed a petition to deny due course or to cancel Mitras COC. Issue: Whether or not Mitra is qualified to run for Governor of Palawan. Held: YES. Mitra is qualified to rum for the position as Governor of Palawan. The Supreme Court ruled that Mitra did not misrepresent himself and that he met the residency requirement as mandated by the Constitution. The election of Abraham Kahlil Mitra as governor of Palawan in the May 10, 2010 elections was upheld in a vote of 11-3. The respondents were not able to present a convincing case sufficient to overcome Mitras evidence of effective transfer to and residence in Aborlan and the validity of his representation on this point in his COC. Likewise, the "COMELEC could not present any legally acceptable basis to conclude that Mitras statement in his COC regarding his residence was a misrepresentation."

SOCRATES versus COMELEC Facts: Edward Hagedorn has already served for three consecutive terms as mayor from 1992 to 2001. He did not run in the immediately following regular elections. One July 2, 2002, the incumbent mayor, Socrates, faced a recall proceeding and was asked to step down from office. On August 23 of the same year, Hagedorn filed his COC for mayor in recall election. A petition for his disqualification was filed by Socrates on the ground that he cannot run for the said post for his 4th consecutive term. Issue: Whether or not Hagedorn was qualified to run for the 2003 recall election. Held: YES. The court ruled that the rationale behind the three term rule was to prevent consecutiveness in holding office. In the case of Edward Hagedorn, there was a break after the end of his third term and before the recall election.

FORNIER versus COMELEC Facts: Victorino X. Fornier, petitioner initiated a petition before the COMELEC to disqualify FPJ and to deny due course or to cancel his certificate of candidacy upon the thesis that FPJ made a material misrepresentation in his certificate of candidacy by claiming to be a natural-born Filipino citizen when in truth, according to Fornier, his parents were foreigners; his mother, Bessie Kelley Poe, was an American, and his father, Allan Poe, was a Spanish national, being the son of Lorenzo Pou, a Spanish subject. Granting, petitioner asseverated, that Allan F. Poe was a Filipino citizen, he could not have transmitted his Filipino citizenship to FPJ, the latter being an illegitimate child of an alien mother. Petitioner based the allegation of the illegitimate birth of respondent on two assertions - first, Allan F. Poe contracted a prior marriage to a certain Paulita Gomez before his marriage to Bessie Kelley and, second, even if no such prior marriage had existed, Allan F. Poe, married Bessie Kelly only a year after the birth of the respondent. Issue: Whether or Not FPJ is a natural born Filipino citizen. Held: It is necessary to take on the matter of whether or not respondent FPJ is a natural-born citizen, which, in turn, depended on whether or not the father of respondent, Allan F. Poe, would have himself been a Filipino citizen and, in the affirmative, whether or not the alleged illegitimacy of respondent prevents him from taking after the Filipino citizenship of his putative father. Any conclusion on the Filipino citizenship of Lorenzo Pou could only be drawn from the presumption that having died in 1954 at 84 years old, Lorenzo would have been born sometime in the year 1870, when the Philippines was under Spanish rule, and that San Carlos, Pangasinan, his place of residence upon his death in 1954, in the absence of any other evidence, could have well been his place of residence before death, such that Lorenzo Pou would have benefited from the "en masse Filipinization" that the Philippine Bill had effected in 1902. That citizenship (of Lorenzo Pou), if acquired, would thereby extend to his son, Allan F. Poe, father of respondent FPJ. The 1935 Constitution, during which regime respondent FPJ has seen first light, confers citizenship to all persons whose fathers are Filipino citizens regardless of whether such children are legitimate or illegitimate. But while the totality of the evidence may not establish conclusively that respondent FPJ is a natural-born citizen of the Philippines, the evidence on hand still would preponderate in his favor enough to hold that he cannot be held guilty of having made a material misrepresentation in his certificate of candidacy in violation of Section 78, in relation to Section 74, of the Omnibus Election Code.