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Case Hontiveros v.

Altavas

Cayetano v. Monsod

Facts Plaintiff and the defendant herein were each candidates for governor of the Province of Capiz. It was found that the defendant, Jose Altavas, had been elected governor by a majority of votes, and the plaintiff, Ramon Hontiveros, presented a protest and asked that the election returns from the various municipalities be revised. In accordance with section 27 of Act No. 1582, he presented a bond guaranteeing the payment of all of the costs which might be incurred by reason of his protest. The said returns were recanvassed. The votes were recounted and it was that Ramon Hontiveros had received a majority of the votes. An appeal was taken to the Supreme Court where all of the questions were considered and the decision of the lower court was revoked "without costs to either party in this court." The cause was returned to the lower court, and later the motion in the present case was presented. Respondent Christian Monsod was nominated by President Corazon C. Aquino to the position of Chairman of the COMELEC. Petitioner opposed the nomination because allegedly Monsod does not possess the required qualification of having been engaged in the practice of law for at least ten years. The Commission on Appointments confirmed the nomination of Monsod as Chairman of the COMELEC. On June 18, 1991, he took his oath of office. On the same day, he assumed office as Chairman. Petitioner Cayetano filed the instant petition for certiorari and Prohibition praying that said confirmation and appointment of Monsod as Chairman be declared null and void.

Issue W/N the plaintiff is obliged to pay the costs by reason of his protest.

Ruling Yes. It appears from the admission of the appellant, Hontiveros, that the lower court had rendered a judgment against him for costs. That part of the judgment of the lower court was not modified in the slightest degree by the decision of this court. Considering the provisions of section 27 of Act No. 1582, in relation with section 2 of Act No. 2170, we are of the opinion that the plaintiff is under obligation to pay the costs incurred by reason of his protest. The judgment of the lower court, refusing to modify the judgment theretofore rendered against the plaintiff for costs, is hereby affirmed, with costs. An election is the act of casting and receiving the ballots, counting them, and making the return. Section 1 (1), Article IX-C 1987 Constitution provides that there shall be a Commission on Elections composed of a Chairman and six Commissionersa majority thereof, including the Chairman, shall be members of the Philippine Bar who have been engaged in the practice of law for at least ten years. Atty. Christian Monsod: member of the Philippine Bar, passed the Bar of 1960 with a grade of 86-55% dues-paying member of the IBP. He has also been paying his professional license fees as lawyer for more than 10 years. The Commission submitted that Monsod possessed the necessary qualifications as required by law and that the judgment rendered by the Commission is beyond judicial interference except only upon a clear showing of a grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction. (Art. VIII, Sec. 1 Constitution) In the instant case, there is no grave abuse of discretion that would amount to lack or excess of jurisdiction. Appointment is an essentially discretionary power and must be performed by the officer in which it is vested according to his best lights, the only condition being that the appointee should possess the qualifications required by law. (Luego v. Comission on Appointments) Atty. Monsods past work experiences as a lawyer-economist, lawter-manager, lawyerentrepreneur of industry, lawyer-negotitiator of contract and a lawyer-legislator more than satisfy the constitutional requirement that he has been engaged in the practice of law for at least 10 years.

W/N the appointment of Chairman Monsod of Comelec violates Section 1 (1), Article IX-C of the 1987 Constitution?

Brillantes v. Yorac

Pres. Corazon Aquino designated Assoc. Commissioner Haydee B. Yorac as Acting Chairman of the COMELEC, in place of Chairman Hilario B. Davide, who had been named chairman of the fact-finding commission to investigate the Dec. 1989 coup detat attempt. Brillantes challenged the designation contending that the President has no power to make such designation in view of the following reasons:

W/N the designation of Associate Commissioner Yorac as Acting Chairman of the COMELEC is unconstitutional.

Yes, the designation is unconstitutional. The choice of a temporary chairman of the COMELEC is within the discretion of the Commission itself, and such discretion cannot be exercised for it, even with its consent, by the President of the Philippines. Art IX-A Sec 1 of the Constitution expressly describes all the Constitutional Commissions

1. 2.

The status of the COMELEC as an independent constitutional body, and The specific provision of Art IX-C Section 1 (2) of the Constitution that (1) no case shall any member of the COMELEC be appointed or designated in a temporary or acting capacity.

as independent. Although essentially executive in nature, they are not under the control of the President in the discharge of their respective functions. Each of these Commissions conducts in own proceedings under the applicable laws and its own rules and the exercise of its discretion. The choice of a temporary chairman in the absence of the regular chairman comes under that discretion. That discretion cannot be exercised for it, even with its consent, by the President of the Philippines. A designation as Acting Chairman is by its very terms essentially temporary and therefore revocable at will. No cause need be established to justify its revocation. Assuming its validity, the designation of the respondent as Acting Chairman of the COMELEC may be withdrawn by the President at any time and for whatever reason she sees fit and the respondent, having accepted such designation, will be stopped from challenging its withdrawal. In the choice of the Acting Commissioner, the members of the COMELEC would most likely have been guided by the seniority rule as they themselves would have appreciated it. In any event, that choice and the basis thereof were for them and not the President to make. W/N the finding of new evidences is a sufficient subject for motion for reconsideration Any question on the sufficiency of the evidence supporting the assailed ruling of a Division is also a proper subject for a motion for reconsideration.

Petitioner invokes Nacionalista Party v. Bautista, where President Quirino designated the Solicitor General as acting member of the COMELEC and the Court revoked the designation as contrary to the Constitution. It is also alleged that the respondent is not even the senior member of the COMELEC, being outranked by Associate Commissioner Alfredo E. Abueg Jr. The Solicitor General counters that the designation should be sustained for reasons of administrative expediency, to prevent disruption of the functions of the COMELEC in the absence of legal provisions for temporary succession similar to the Supreme Courts (Sec 12 Judiciary Act of 1948) as well as the CA (Sec 5 BP 129). Petitioner filed an election protest against respondent who was proclaimed as mayor. The RTC decided in favor of petitioner, but the decision was reversed by the 2nd Division of the COMELEC in an appeal filed by respondent. Petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration questioning the decision of the division to validate the marked ballots cast in favor of the respondent. The Motion for Reconsideration was denied by the COMELEC en banc which declared that findings of fact cannot be a subject of an MR. Petitioner and private respondent were both candidates for mayor of the municipality of Bansud, Oriental Mindoro. Petitioner Ferdinand Thomas Soller was proclaimed duly elected mayor. Private respondent Angel Saulong filed with the COMELEC a "petition for annulment of the proclamation/exclusion of election return" and with the RTC of Pinamalayan, Oriental Mindoro, an election protest against petitioner. Petitioner filed his answer with counterprotest and also moved to dismiss private respondent's protest on the ground of lack of jurisdiction, forum-shopping, and failure to state cause of action. COMELEC dismissed the pre-proclamation case filed by private respondent. Furthermore, the RTC denied petitioner's motion to dismiss. Petitioner a petition for certiorari with COMELEC after the denial of his motion for reconsideration 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. COMELEC en banc dismissed petitioner's suit. It declared that the defect is a mere technicality which should not bar the determination of the merits of the case. Under the COMELEC Rules of Procedure, a motion for reconsideration of an en banc ruling is prohibited except in a case involving an election offense. The present controversy

Columbres v. Comelec

Soller v. Comelec

Whether or not public COMELEC gravely abused its discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction in not ordering the dismissal of private respondent's election protest.

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." 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. Petitioner's petition with the COMELEC was not referred to a division of that Commission but was, instead, submitted directly to the Commission en banc. 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

involves no election offense, thus reconsideration is not possible.

and not on the COMELEC en banc. The order denying the motion to dismiss is but an incident of the election protest. COMELEC en banc acted without jurisdiction in taking cognizance of petitioner's petition in the first instance. Private respondent failed to pay the filing fee of P300.00 as prescribed by the COMELEC rules. A court acquires jurisdiction only upon the payment of the prescribed docket fee. RTC did not acquire jurisdiction. Therefore, COMELEC gravely erred in not ordering the dismissal of the protest case. The SC has no power to review an interlocutory order or a final resolution of a division of COMELEC. Said order or resolution must be reviewed by the COMELEC en banc through a motion for reconsideration. The SC dismissed the case for prematurity. It ruled that it has no power to review via certiorari, an interlocutory order or even a final resolution of a Division of the Commission on Elections. The instant case does not fall under any of the recognized exceptions to the rule in certiorari cases dispensing with a motion for reconsideration prior to the filing of a petition. In truth, the exceptions do not apply to election cases where a motion for reconsideration is mandatory by Constitutional fiat to elevate the case to the COMELEC en banc, whose final decision is what is reviewable via certiorari before the Supreme Court. The SC declared the resolution signed by Commissioner X as void for various reasons. First, one who is no longer a member of the Commission at the time the final decision or resolution is promulgated cannot validly take part in that resolution or decision. Second, the Clerk of the 1st Division denied the release or promulgation of the resolution on 2/14/00 resolution. Third, the 1st Division even later said that the parties should ignore the resolution since it was not yet promulgated. Lastly, Commissioner Z could not have affixed her signature on the resolution, since on the same date an order was issued where she said that she still wanted to see both positions before making her decision. No. When there is no opportunity to move for reconsideration and to obtain a swift resolution in time for the elections and the petition involves transcendental constitutional issues, direct resort to the SC is justified.

Ambil v. Comelec

Petitioner and private respondent were candidates for the position of Governor, Eastern Samar during the May 11, 1998 elections. The Provincial Board of Canvassers proclaimed petitioner as the duly elected Governor. Private respondent filed an election protest with the COMELEC, which was assigned to the First Division. Commissioner X prepared and signed a proposed resolution in the case. Commissioner Y dissented, while Commissioner Z wanted to see both positions first before giving her decision. On 2/15/00, Commissioner X retired and was replaced. On 2/24/00, petitioner and respondent received a purported resolution in favor of private respondent promulgated on 2/14/00 and signed by Commissioners X, Y, and Z. The First Division later declared that the parties should ignore the resolution since it was not yet promulgated. The Division later set a date for promulgation of a resolution of the case, and said that the aggrieved party could then challenge it through a Motion for Reconsideration before the Commission en banc or through a certiorari case before the SC. The petitioner filed this case to annul the order for the promulgation of the resolution and to direct the First Division to deliberate anew on the case.

ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corporation v. Comelec

The COMELEC approved Resolution 98-1419 on April 21, 1998 which prohibited the conduct of exit polls. Petitioners questioned the validity of the resolution by filing a petition for certiorari in the SC. Solicitor General argued that case should be dismissed for failure to exhaust all available remedies by failure to file a motion for reconsideration before the COMELEC Antonio Tan, as incumbent city Prosecutor of Davao City, was designated as Vice-Chairman of the City Board of Canvassers of Davao City for the 1992 national and local elections. Manuel Garcia was proclaimed the winning candidate for a congressional seat to represent the 2nd District of Davao City in the House of Representatives. Senforiano Alterado, another candidate for the position, filed cases questioning the validity of the proclamation and accusing the members of the City Board of Canvassers of "unlawful, erroneous, incomplete and irregular canvass."

Tan v. Comelec

W/N the petition is premature for petitioners failure to seek a reconsideration of the assailed COMELEC resolution. Whether the COMELEC gravely abused its discretion in denying the motion to dismiss.

No. The COMELEC's authority under Section 2(6-8), Article IX, of the Constitution is all encompassing when it comes to election matters. The administrative case against Tan is in relation to the performance of his duties as an election canvasser and not as a city prosecutor. The COMELEC's mandate includes its authority to exercise direct and immediate supervision and control over national and local officials or employees, including members of any national or local law enforcement agency and instrumentality of the government, required by law to perform duties relative to the conduct of elections. The law has also provided than upon the COMELEC's recommendation, the corresponding proper authority (the Secretary of the Department of Justice in the case at bar) shall take appropriate action, either to suspend or remove from office the officer or

Makalintal v. Comelec

Meanwhile, the electoral protest of Alterado was dismissed by the HRET. The criminal complaint for" Falsification of Public Documents and Violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act" before the Office of the Ombudsman was likewise. An administrative charge was instituted in the COMELEC against the City Board of Canvassers, including Antonio Tan, for "Misconduct, Neglect of Duty, Gross Incompetence and Acts Inimical to the Service." Tan moved to dismiss the administrative complaint against him for alleged lack of jurisdiction of the COMELEC, he being under the Executive Department of the government and that COMELECs power to deputize public officers belonging to the executive department is for the purpose of insuring free, orderly and honest elections. It does not include and comprehend administrative disciplinary jurisdiction over officials belonging to the executive branch of government. Motion to dismiss was denied. Hence, this petition. RA No. 9189 is the Overseas Absentee Voting Act of 200. Atty. Makalintal a member of a Philippine Bar challenged the constitutionality of several provisions, claiming that he has actual and material legal interest in the subject matter of this case in seeing to it that public funds are properly and lawfully used and appropriated. Petitioner filed an instant petition as a taxpayer and as a lawyer.

employee who may, after due process, be found guilty of violation of election laws or failure to comply with instructions. It is the COMELEC that should conduct the administrative inquiry. To say that the COMELEC is without jurisdiction would be to unduly deny the proper and sound exercise of such recommendatory power and even a possible denial of due process to the official or employee concerned. The COMELEC merely may issue a recommendation for disciplinary action but that it is the executive department to which the charged official or employee belongs which has the ultimate authority to impose the disciplinary penalty. The law then does not detract from, but is congruent with, the general administrative authority of the department of government concerned over its own personnel. W/N Sec. 5 (d) RA 9189 allowing the registration of voters who are immigrants or permanent residents in other countries by their mere act of executing an affidavit expressing their intention to return in the Philippines, violate the residency requirement in Section 1 of the Art V in the 1987 Constitution? W/N Sec. 18.5 empowering the COMELEC to proclaim the winning candidates for National offices and party list representatives violate the constitutional mandate under Sec. 4, Art VII of the Constitution that the winning candidates for President and Vice President shall be proclaimed as winners by Congress. May Congress, through the Joint Congressional Oversight Committee exercise the power to review, revise, amend, and Sec 5 (d) states that: An immigrant or a permanent resident who is recognized as such in the host country, unless he/ she executes, upon registration, an affidavit prepared for the purpose by the COMELEC declaring that he/ she shall resume actual physical permanent resident in the Philippines not later than three (3) years from approval of his/ her registration under this Act. Failure to return shall be cause for the removal of the name of the immigrant or permanent resident from the National Registry of Absentee Voters and his/ her permanent disqualification to vote in absentia. Sec. 5 (d) RA 9189 specifically disqualifies an immigrant or permanent resident who is recognized as such in the host country because immigration in or permanent residence in another country implies renunciation of ones residence in his country of origin. However, same Section allows an immigrant and permanent resident abroad to register as voter as long as he/ she executes an affidavit to show that he/ she has not abandoned his domicile in pursuance of the Constitutional intent express in Secs 1 and 2 of Art 5 that all citizens of the Philippines not otherwise disqualified by law must entitled to exercise the right of suffrage and that Congress must establish a system for absentee voting. Section 18.5 of the same Act provides: The canvass of votes shall not cause the delay of the proclamation of a winning candidate if the outcome of the election will not be affected by the results thereof. Notwithstanding the foregoing [the Commission is empowered to order the proclamation of winning candidates] despite the fact that the scheduled election has not taken place in a particular country or countries, if the holding elections therein has been rendered impossible by events, factors and circumstances peculiar to such country or countries, in which events, factors and circumstances beyond the control of the Commission. Congress could not have allowed the COMELEC to usurp a power that constitutionally

approve the Implementing Rules and Regulations that the Commission on Elections shall promulgate without violating the independence of the COMELEC under Section 1, Article IX-A of the Constitution?

belongs to it or to encroach "on the power of Congress to canvass the votes for president and vice-president and the power to proclaim the winners for the said positions." The provisions of the Constitution should be read as part of The Overseas Absentee Voting Act of 2003 and hence, the canvassing of the votes and the proclamation of the winning candidates for president and vice-president for the entire nation must remain in the hands of Congress. The phrase, "subject to the approval of the Congressional Oversight Committee" in the first sentence of Section 17.1 which empowers the Commission to authorize voting by mail in not more than three countries for the May, 2004 elections; and the phrase, "only upon review and approval of the Joint Congressional Oversight Committee" found in the second paragraph of the same section are unconstitutional as they require review and approval of voting by mail in any country after the 2004 elections. Congress may not confer upon itself the authority to approve or disapprove the countries wherein voting by mail shall be allowed, as determined by the COMELEC pursuant to the conditions provided for in Section 17.1 of R.A. No. 9189.48 Otherwise, Congress would overstep the bounds of its constitutional mandate and intrude into the independence of the COMELEC. For violating the Constitutional mandate of independence of the COMELEC, Sec 17. 1, 19 and 25 of R.A. 9189 are unconstitutional, insofar as they relate to the creation of the Joint Congressional Oversight Committee, and the grant to it of the power to review, revise, amend and approve the Implementing Rules and Regulations promulgated by the COMELEC. 1. Yes. Bedol was found guilty of contempt on four (4) grounds. First, he repeatedly failed to attend, despite notice of the scheduled canvassing of the Provincial Certificates of Canvass, the hearing of the Task Force Maguindanao; and refused to submit his explanation for such absences, in violation of paragraphs (b) and (f) of Section 2, Rule 29 of the COMELEC Rules of Procedure. Second, he unlawfully assumed custody of accountable election documents, which were lost while in his possession, and consequently failed to deliver the same, in violation of paragraphs (a), (c) and (d) Section 2, Rule 29 of same Rules. Third and fourth, he publicly displayed disrespect for the authority of the COMELEC through the media by flaunting an armory of long firearms and side arms in public, and posing for the front page of a national broadsheet, with a shiny pistol tucked in a holster, in violation of paragraphs (a) and (d), Section 2, Rule 29 of same Rules. 2. Yes. COMELEC properly acquired jurisdiction over the indirect contempt proceedings, which were initiated by its own Task Force Maguindanao, notwithstanding the absence of any complaint filed by a private party. The resolutions, which the Commission tried to enforce and for whose violation the charge for contempt was filed against Masangcay, merely called for the exercise of an administrative or ministerial function for they merely concern the procedure to be followed in the distribution of ballots and other election paraphernalia. Masangcay was charged for he ordered the opening and distribution of ballot boxes not in

Lintang Bedol v. Comelec

Masangcay v. Comelec

During the May 14, 2007 national elections, Bedol failed to attend the scheduled canvassing of the Provincial Certificates of Canvass (PCOC) of Maguindanao of which he is the Provincial Election Supervisor. He appeared before the COMELEC en banc sitting as the National Board of Canvassers (NBOC) for the election of senators to submit the provincial certificate of canvass for Maguindanao. Due to certain observations on the provincial certificates of canvass, it was held in abeyance and queried on the alleged fraud. Bedol was informed of the resetting of the canvassing but failed to appear. The Commission created Task Force Maguindanao where Bedol appeared responded to the queries from the chair. He explained that, while in his custody and possession, the election paraphernalia were stolen. Bedol was duly informed to be present in the next scheduled investigative proceedings but failed to appear. Bedol came out on national newspapers, with a gleaming 45caliber pistol strapped to his side. The COMELEC through Task Force Maguindanao issued a Contempt Charge and Show Cause Order against petitioner citing various violations of the COMELEC Rules of Procedure. Benjamin Masangcay, with several others, was charged before the COMELEC with contempt for having opened three ballot boxes for the municipalities of the province of Aklan, in violation of the instructions of COMELEC. He opened said boxes in the absence of the division superintendent of schools of Aklan, provincial auditor, and the authorized representatives of the Nacionalista Party, the Liberal Party and the Citizens' Party. Masangcay, then provincial treasurer

1. W/N Lintang Bedol is guilty of contempt. 2. W/N COMELEC properly acquired jurisdiction.

W/N the COMELEC has the power to give disciplinary penalty to those who violate the Revised Election Code.

Montejo v. Comelec

of Aklan, was designated by COMELEC to take charge of the receipt and custody of the official ballots, election forms and supplies, as well as of their distribution. Masangcay and his co-respondent Molo were found guilty. He filed a petition for review constitutionality of Section 5 of the Revised Election Code, which grants the COMELEC and its members the power to punish acts of contempt. The province of Leyte is composed of 5 legislative districts. Biliran was made its sub-province, then was converted into a regular province. As a consequence, the composition of the 3rd district was reduced to 5 municipalities. To remedy the resulting inequality in the distribution of inhabitants, COMELEC promulgated Resolution No. 2736 where it transferred the municipality of Capoocan of the 2nd district and Palompon of the 4th district to the 3rd district of Leyte. Petitioner Cirilo Montejo, representing the 1st District of Leyte, pleads the annulment of Sec 1 of Resolution No. 2736, redistricting certain municipalities in Leyte as a violation of the principle of equal representation. Petitioner now seeks to transfer the municipality of Tolosa from the 1st District to the 2nd District of the province.

accordance with the manner and procedure laid down in said resolutions. Because of such violation he was dealt with for contempt and was sentenced accordingly. The Commission has exceeded its jurisdiction in punishing him for contempt because the power to punish contempt can be exercised only in connection with judicial functions and not administrative of ministerial functions. Whether or not the COMELEC has the power to transfer municipalities from one legislative district to another legislative district. No. The basic powers of COMELEC are spelled out in Section 2(c), Article IX of the Constitution, which states: Sec. 2. The Commission on Elections is hereby empowered to make minor adjustments of the reapportionment herein made. The meaning of minor adjustments is found in the debates of the Commission wherein it was stated that the transfer of one municipality in a district to another district is not a minor adjustment; rather it is a substantive one. Minor adjustment does not allow the change in allocations per district. The conversion of Biliran from a sub-province to a regular province brought about an imbalance in the distribution of voters and inhabitants. But the issue involves reapportionment of legislative districts and petitioners remedy lies with Congress. Section 5(4), Art. VI of the Constitution gives Congress the power to reapportion. COMELEC committed grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack of jurisdiction by transferring Capoocan and Palompon to the 3rd district of Leyte. Petition cannot be granted as to the transfer of Tolosa to another district. COMELEC did not gravely abuse its discretion. The petition is dismissed. The municipalities belonging to each district are compact, contiguous and adjacent. Contiguous and adjacent means adjoining, nearby, abutting, having a common border, connected, and/or touching along boundaries often for considerable distances. On its face, the map of Guimaras shows that the municipalities grouped together are contiguous or adjacent. There were two consultative meetings held by the Office of the Provincial Election Supervisor. As required by COMELEC Resoluiton No. 2313, all interested parties were duly notified and represented. Under Republic Act 6636, a 4th class province shall have 8 Sangguniang Panlalawigan members. Also, under Republic Act 7166, provinces with 1 legislative district shall be divided into 2 districts for purposes of electing the members of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan. The province of Guimaras, being a 4th class province and having only 1 legislative district, shall have 8 Sangguniang Panlalawigan members and 2 districts. Under Republic Act 7166 and COMELEC Resolution No. 2313, the basis for division shall be the number of inhabitants of the province concerned not the number of listed or registered voters. The districting of the Province of Guimaras was based on the official 1995 Census of Population as certified by the National Statistics Office. The basis of the division of local government units is the number of inhabitants and not the number of registered voters.

Herrera v. Comelec

In its Resolution no. 68, the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Guimaras requested the COMELEC to have the province subdivided into two provincial districts. Acting upon the request, the Provincial Election Supervisor conducted two consultative meetings with the provincial and municipal officials, barangay captains, barangay kagawads, representatives of all political parties, and other interested parties. A consensus was reached in favor of the division. The PES then issued a memo recommending the division of the province. Guimaras was then reclassified from 5th class to 4th class province under the Memo Circular No. 97-1 issued by the Bureau of Local Government Finance of the Department of Finance. The COMELEC issued Resolution No. 2950 which allotted 8 Sangguniang Panlalawigan seats to Guimaras1st district (Buenavista and San Lorenzo)= 3 seats and 2nd district (Jordan, Nueva Valencia, and Sibunag)= 5 seats. The petitioners questioned Resolution No. 2950, pointing out that: 1. the districts do not comprise a compact, contiguous and adjacent area. 2. the consultative meetings did not express the true sentiment of the voters of the province. 3. the apportionment of the two districts are not equitable. 4. there is disparity in the ratio of the number of voters that a Board Member

Whether or not the COMELEC committed a grave abuse of discretion in issuing Resolution No. 2950?

represents. Atienza, et al. v. Comelec, et al. Respondent Franklin M. Drilon president of the Liberal Party (LP), announced his partys withdrawal of support for the administration of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. But petitioner Jose L. Atienza, Jr., LP Chairman, and a number of party members denounced Drilons move. On March 2, 2006 Atienza hosted a party conference to supposedly discuss local autonomy and party matters but the assembly proceeded to declare all positions in the LPs ruling body vacant and elected new officers, with Atienza as LP president. Respondent Drilon immediately filed a petition with the COMELEC to nullify the elections. He claimed that it was illegal considering that the partys electing bodies, the National Executive Council (NECO) and the National Political Council (NAPOLCO), were not properly convened. Drilon also claimed that under the amended LP Constitution party officers were elected to a fixed three-year term that was yet to end on November 30, 2007. Atienza claimed that the majority of the LPs NECO and NAPOLCO attended the March 2, 2006 assembly. The election of new officers could be likened to people power, wherein the LP majority removed respondent Drilon as president by direct action. Atienza also said that the amendments to the original LP Constitution had not been properly ratified. Consequently, the term of Drilon and the other officers already ended on July 24, 2006. COMELEC issued a resolution partially granting Drilons petition. It annulled the March 2, 2006 elections and ordered the holding of a new election under COMELEC supervision. It held that the election of petitioner Atienza and the others with him was invalid since the electing assembly did not convene in accordance with the Salonga Constitution. But, since the amendments to the Salonga Constitution had not been properly ratified, Drilons term may be deemed to have ended. The Court held in a petition filed by both parties against COMELEC that the latter had jurisdiction over the intra-party leadership dispute; that the Salonga Constitution had been validly amended; and that Drilons term as LP president was to end only on November 30, 2007. The LP held a NECO meeting to elect new party leaders before respondent Drilons term expired. Fifty-nine NECO members out of the 87 attended. Before the election several persons sought to clarify their membership status and raised issues regarding the composition of the NECO. Eventually, that meeting installed respondent Manuel A. Roxas II as the new LP president. Atienza et al questioned the existence of a quorum and claimed that the NECO 1. W/N the COMELEC gravely abused its discretion when it upheld the NECO membership that elected respondent Roxas as LP president; 2. W/N the COMELEC gravely abused its discretion when it resolved the issue concerning the validity of the NECO meeting without first resolving the issue concerning the expulsion of Atienza, et al. from the party. 1. No. The NECO was validly convened in accordance with the amended LP Constitution. Respondents Roxas, et al. explained in details how they arrived at the NECO composition for the purpose of electing the party leaders.[12] The explanation is logical and consistent with party rules. Consequently, the COMELEC did not gravely abuse its discretion when it upheld the composition of the NECO that elected Roxas as LP president. 2. No. The COMELECs jurisdiction over intra-party disputes is limited. Political parties are generally free to conduct their activities without interference from the state. The COMELEC may intervene only when necessary to the discharge of its functions. COMELEC did not gravely abuse its discretion when it upheld Roxas election as LP president but refused to rule on the validity of Atienza, et als expulsion from the party. The question of party leadership has implications on the COMELECs performance of its functions, but the same cannot be said of the issue pertaining to Atienza, et als expulsion from the LP. Such expulsion is an issue of party membership and discipline, in which the COMELEC cannot intervene.

composition ought to have been based on a list appearing in the partys 60th Anniversary Souvenir Program. They also complained that Atienza, the incumbent party chairman, was not invited to the NECO meeting and that some members were given the status of guests during the meeting. Roxas, et al. claimed that Roxas election as LP president faithfully complied with the provisions of the amended LP Constitution. The partys 60th Anniversary Souvenir Program could not be used for determining the NECO members because supervening events changed the bodys number and composition. COMELEC issued the assailed resolution denying petitioners Atienza, et al.s petition. It noted that the May 2007 elections necessarily changed the composition of the NECO. Petitioners failed to prove that the NECO, which elected Roxas as LP president, was not properly convened. As for the validity of petitioners Atienza, et al.s expulsion as LP members, the COMELEC observed that this was a membership issue that related to disciplinary action within the political party. The COMELEC treated it as an internal party matter that was beyond its jurisdiction. Petitioner Vito Beso and private respondent Rita Aballe (hereafter ABALLE) were candidates for the position of Barangay Captain of Barangay Carayman, Calbayog City, in the barangay elections of 12 May 1997. In the canvass of the returns of the four precincts of Barangay Carayman, BESO was credited with four hundred ninety-five (495) votes, while ABALLE obtained four hundred ninety-six (496) votes. The latter was thus proclaimed the winning candidate. BESO seasonably filed a protest with the Municipal Trial Court of Calbayog City (hereafter MTCC). The case was docketed as Election Protest No. 130. marie After due proceedings, the MTCC, per Judge Filemon A. Tandico, Jr., promulgated on 20 January 1998 a decision dated 13 January 1998, in favor of BESO. On 20 January 1998 ABALLE filed a Notice of Appeal manifesting therein that she is appealing from the decision "to the Regional Trial Court, Calbayog City." It likewise appears that on 22 January 1998, ABALLE filed a Notice of Appeal. indicating therein that she was appealing from the decision "to the

Besso v. Aballe

WON COMELEC has jurisdiction over petition for certiorari in election contests pending in inferior courts.

COMELEC has jurisdiction over petitions for certiorari in election protests pending before inferior courts. In Relampagos that the last paragraph of Section 50 of B.P. Blg. 697 remains in full force and effect in such cases where, under paragraph (2), Section 1 (should be Section 2) Article IX-C of the Constitution, the COMELEC has exclusive appellate jurisdiction over the election contest in question. In such cases the COMELEC has the authority to issue the extraordinary writs ofcertiorari, prohibition and mandamus in aid of its appellate jurisdiction. The last paragraph of Section 50 reads: The Commission is hereby vested with exclusive authority to hear and decide petitions for certiorari, prohibition and mandamus involving election cases. Under the second paragraph of Section 2 of Article IX-C of the Constitution, the Commission on Elections has exclusive appellate jurisdiction over, inter alia, contests involving elective barangay officials decided by trial courts of limited jurisdiction.

COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS, MANILA." On 24 April 1998, ABALLE filed with the Regional Trial Court of Calbayog City (hereafter RTC) a special civil action for certiorari and prohibition, with an urgent prayer for the issuance of a temporary restraining order or writ of preliminary injunction (id., 91) against MTCC Judge Tandinco, Jr. to set aside and annul the latters order of 2 March 1998 denying the motion for inhibition; resolution of 5 March 1998 granting the motion for execution pending appeal; and the resolution of 21 April 1998 denying the motion to reconsider the resolution of 5 March 1998. BESO was impleaded as co-respondent. The case was assigned to Branch 31 of the RTC, presided over by public respondent Judge Roberto A. Navidad, and was docketed as Special Civil Action No. 98040. On 28 April 1998, Judge Navidad issued a Temporary Restraining Order (id., 104) restraining respondent Judge Tandinco, Jr. and all persons acting in his behalf "from enforcing the Writ of Execution Pending Appeal." The temporary restraining order was "effective within 72 hours only from its issuance." Parties in this case were rival candidates in Brgy. Ilaya, Las Pinas City. Protestee Rustico Antonio was proclaimed as the winner. Protestant Vicente Miranda, Jr. then filed an election protest before the Las Pinas MeTC, which declared Miranda as the duly elected Barangay Chairman. Antonio appealed from this judgment. Meanwhile, Miranda moved to execute the courts decision but such was denied and records were forwarded t the COMELEC Seconds division. The COMELEC dismissed the appeal for lack of jurisdiction. It was stated therein that petitioner failed to perfect his appeal within the prescribed period. The period aforestated is jurisdictional and failure of the protestee to perfect his appeal within the said period deprives the Commission of its appellate jurisdiction

Antonio v. Comelec

W/N COMELEC committed a grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction in dismissing the appeal.

No. COMELEC relied on Section 21, Rule 35 of the COMELEC Rules of Procedure which reads: SEC. 21. Appeal From any decision rendered by the court, the aggrieved party may appeal to the Commission on Elections within five (5) days after the promulgation of the decision. The 1987 Constitution (Article IX-A, Section 6 and Article IX-C, Section 3) grants and authorizes COMELEC to promulgate its own rules of procedure as long as such rules concerning pleading and practice do not diminish, increase or modify substantive rights. In case at bar, Antonio filed his notice of appeal before the trial court 4 days after the fiveday prescribed period to appeal lapsed. Therefore, the present appeal must be dismissed. COMELEC, not the RTC, has appellate jurisdiction over decisions of the MTC concerning election protests involving barangay officials. Yes. Judge Real, Sr. usurped a power exclusively vested by law in the COMELEC. Real, Sr. in transgressing the jurisdictional demarcation lines between his court and the COMELEC clearly failed to realize the position that his court occupied the interrelation and operation of the countrys justice system. He displayed a marked ignorance of basic laws and principles. By annulling Gustilos proclamation despite being aware of the fact that his court had no power to do so, not only is respondent guilty of grave abuse of authority, he also manifests unfaithfulness to a basic legal rule as well as injudicious conduct.

Gustilo v. Real

Rimeo S. Gustilo was proclaimed duly elected punong barangay of Punta Mesa, Manapla. His opponent, Weddy Libo-on filed an election protest case and sought the recounting of ballots. Judge Ricardo S. Real, Sr. issued a TRO and annulled the proclamation of Gustilo. Complainant declares that no copy of this order was served to him. Gustilo took his oath of office and that same day, he filed a petition for certiorari before RTC. RTC lifted the TRO and declared as null and void the order nullifying complainants proclamation. Gustilo moved for Reals inhibition believing that he could not decide the case impartially. Real

W/N Judge Real, Sr. transgressed the jurisdiction between his court and COMELEC.

Comelec v. Datu-Iman

denied the motion for inhibition and after hearing the case issued a second TRO to maintain the status quo between the contending parties. Gustilo argued that the second TRO reversed the order of the RTC. On March 29 and 31, 1994, COMELEC sent telegrams to election officials in Lanao del Sur ordering them to delete Brgy. Sumbago from the list of barangays in the Municipality of Bayang on the ground that it had not been legally created. Accordingly, the officials refused to accept the certificates of candidacy of those seeking office in Brgy. Sumbago. Brgy. officials seeking reelection brought suit in the MCTC of Bayang to stop implementation of the COMELEC directive. Respondent, acting judge of that court, issued a TRO and, after hearing, rendered a decision granting injunction. He held that a mere telegram order of the COMELEC cannot prevail over EO No. 108 of then President Corazon C. Aquino which listed Sumbago among the barangays duly created in Region XII.

W/N respondent judge is liable for gross ignorance of the law for issuing an injunction against the COMELEC.

Yes. Lower courts cannot issue writs of injunction enforceable against the COMELEC. Respondent ought to have known that the COMELEC has been accorded full discretion given its constitutional mandate to enforce and administer all laws relative to the conduct of election, plebiscite, initiative, referendum, and recall. Respondent judge acted on the basis of the documentary evidence presented before him, which he considered valid justification. These are EO No. 108 retaining Sumbago as a barangay, and records showing that Brgy. Sumbago is an existing barangay. In fact, it has been funded by the DBM since 1993. However respondent was presumed to know the constitutional limits of his authority, parties too have a responsibility to bring before him arguments and evidence for his consideration in the decision. For the failure of the COMELEC to do so, respondent judge was deprived of the benefit of an adversary proceeding. Yes. Section 7, Article IX-A of the 1987 Constitution provides in part that: SEC. 7. xxx. 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. 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. After issuance of the ordinance and resolution declaring the abolition of barangay San Rafael, it issued COMELEC Resolution No. 2987 calling for a plebiscite to be held in the affected barangays. The issuance of Resolution No. 2987 is thus a ministerial duty of the COMELEC that is enjoined by law and is part and parcel of its administrative functions. It involves no exercise of discretionary authority on the part of respondent COMELEC or an exercise of its adjudicatory or quasi-judicial power to hear and resolve controversies. COMELEC Resolution No. 2987 which provides for the rules and regulations governing the conduct of the required plebiscite, was not issued pursuant to the COMELECs quasi-judicial functions but merely as an incident of its inherent administrative functions over the conduct of plebiscites, thus, the said resolution may not be deemed as a final order reviewable by certiorari by this Court. Any question pertaining to the validity of said resolution may be well taken in an ordinary civil action before the trial courts.

Salva v. Makalintal

Petitioners, officials and residents of barangay San Rafael, Calaca, Batangas, filed a class suit against the Sangguniang Panglalawigan of Batangas, Sangguniang Pambayan of Calaca, Batangas, and COMELEC for annulment of Ordinance No. 05 and Resolution No. 345, enacted by the Sangguniang Panglalawigan of Batangas, and COMELEC Resolution No. 2987 with prayer for preliminary injunction/TRO. Ordinance No. 05 declared the abolition of barangay San Rafael and its merger with barangay Dacanlao, Calaca, Batangas and instructed COMELEC to conduct the required plebiscite. Resolution No. 345 affirmed the effectivity of Ordinance No. 05. COMELEC Resolution No. 2987 provided for the rules and regulations governing the conduct of the required plebiscite. Petitioners also filed an ex parte motion for the issuance of a TRO to enjoin respondents from enforcing Ordinance No. 05, Resolution No. 345 and COMELEC Resolution No. 2987. Trial court denied the ex parte motion. According to the trial court, the TRO sought is directed only to COMELEC Resolution No. 2987 and any petition or action questioning an act, resolution or decision of the COMELEC must be brought before the Supreme Court. Petitioners filed the instant petition with prayer for a TRO contending that the Order of the RTC of Balayan, Batangas, Branch XI, encourages multiplicity of suit[s] and splitting a single cause of action. Petitioners maintain that since COMELEC Resolution No. 2987 was only issued pursuant to Ordinance No. 05 and Resolution No. 345, the propriety of the issuance of COMELEC Resolution No. 2987 is dependent upon the validity of the Ordinance No. 05 and Resolution No. 345. Petitioners assert that when the COMELEC exercises its quasi-judicial functions under Section 52 of the Omnibus Election Code, its acts are subject

Whether or not the RTC has jurisdiction to enjoin the COMELEC from implementing its Resolution No. 2987, which provided for the rules and regulation for the conduct of the plebiscite pending the decision for the annulment of Ordinance No. 05 and Resolution No. 345 and Resolution No. 2987.

to the exclusive review by this Court; but when the COMELEC performs a purely ministerial duty, such act is subject to scrutiny by the RTC. Petitioners submit that the conduct of a plebiscite, pursuant to Ordinance No. 05 and Resolution No. 345, is not adjudicatory or quasi-judicial but simply ministerial or administrative in nature. COMELEC submits that the power to review or reverse COMELEC Resolution No. 2987 solely belongs to this Court and that if the RTC does not have jurisdiction to issue writs against statutory agencies of government it can not have any such jurisdiction over COMELEC, a constitutional independent body expressly clothed by the 1987 Constitution with quasi-judicial functions. Petitioners in this case represent the youth sector and they seek to seek to direct COMELEC to conduct a special registration before the May 14, 2001 General Elections, of new voters ages 18 to 21. According to them, around four million youth failed to register on or before the December 27, 2000 deadline set by the respondent COMELEC. COMELEC issued Resolution No. 3584 disapproving the request for additional registration of voters on the ground that Section 8 of R.A. 8189 explicitly provides that no registration shall be conducted during the period starting one hundred twenty (120) days before a regular election and that the Commission has no more time left to accomplish all pre-election activities. Aggrieved by the denial, petitioners filed before the SC seeking to set aside and nullify respondent COMELECs Resolution and/or to declare Section 8 of R. A. 8189 unconstitutional insofar as said provision effectively causes the disenfranchisement of petitioners and others similarly situated. Likewise, petitioners pray for the issuance of a writ of mandamus directing respondent COMELEC to conduct a special registration of new voters and to admit for registration petitioners and other similarly situated young Filipinos to qualify them to vote in the May 14, 2001 General Elections. COMELEC Resolution No. 8514 (issued 12 November 2008) set December 2, 2008 to December 15, 2009 as the period of continuing voter registration in all areas nationwide, except in ARMM. COMELEC Resolution No. 8585 (issued 12 February 2009) adjusted the deadline to 31 October 2009, instead of 15 December 2009. Petitioners (a member of Congress and concerned citizens) asked the SC to declare COMELEC Resolution No. 8585 null and void, and to require COMELEC to extend the voter registration until 9 January 2010, the day before the 120-day period prior to the 10 May 2010 regular elections. COMELEC argued that it is authorized to fix other dates for pre-election acts which include voter registration; the 31 October 2009 deadline was impelled by operational and pragmatic considerations; and in Akbayan-Youth vs. COMELEC, the SC denied a similar prayer for extension of the 27 December 2000 deadline for voter registration for the 14 May 2001

Akbayan-Youth v. Comelec

W/N the SC can compel COMELEC, through the extraordinary writ of mandamus, to conduct a special registration of new voters during the period between the COMELEC's imposed December 27, 2000 deadline and the May 14, 2001 general elections.

No special registration can be conducted by the COMELEC within said periods under Sec. 8, R.A. 8189. COMELEC did not commit an abuse of discretion, much less be adjudged to have committed the same in some patent, whimsical and arbitrary manner, in issuing Resolution No, 3584 which, in respondent's own terms, resolved "to deny the request to conduct a two-day additional registration of new voters on February 17 and 18, 2001." SC believes that petitioners failed to establish that they are entitled to the issuance of this extraordinary writ so as to effectively compel respondent COMELEC to conduct a special registration of voters.

Kabataan Party-List, et al. v. Comelec

Whether or not COMELEC Resolution No. 8585 should be declared void insofar as it set the deadline for voter registration for the 2010 elections on 31 October 2009.

Yes. COMELEC Resolution No. 8585 is null and void insofar as it set the deadline of voter registration for the 10 May 2010 elections on 31 October 2009. Voter registration for the 2010 elections is extended until 9 January 2010. The clear text of Section 8 of Republic Act No. 8189 decrees that voters be allowed to register daily during regular offices hours, except during the period starting 120 days before a regular election and 90 days before a special election. By this provision, Congress itself has determined that the period of 120 days before a regular election and 90 days before a special election is enough time for the COMELEC to make ALL the necessary preparations with respect to the coming elections. And the COMELECs rulemaking power should be exercised in accordance with the prevailing law. Both Section 29 of Republic Act No. 6646 and Section 28 of Republic Act No. 8436 grant the COMELEC the power to fix other periods and dates for pre-election activities only if

elections.

the same cannot be reasonably held within the period provided by law. There is no ground to hold that the mandate of continuing voter registration cannot be reasonably held within the period provided by Section 8 of Republic Act 8189. There is, thus, no occasion for the COMELEC to exercise its power to fix other dates or deadlines. The present case is different from Akbayan-Youth vs. COMELEC. Petitioners in Akbayan filed their petition with the Court within the 120-day prohibitive period for the conduct of voter registration under Section 8 of R.A. 8189, and sought the conduct of a two-day registration on 17 and 18 February 2001, also within the 120-day prohibitive period. In the present case, both the dates of filing of the petition (30 October 2009) and the extension sought (until 9 January 2010) are prior to the 120-day prohibitive period. 1. The term residence means the same thing as domicile, which imports not only an intention to reside in a fixed place but also personal presence in that place, coupled with conduct indicative of such intention. Domicile denotes a fixed permanent residence to which, whenever absent for business, pleasure, or some other reasons, one intends to return. On the record, it stated that petitioners domicile of origin was Candon, Ilocos Sur and that sometime in 1991, he acquired a new domicile of choice in Quezon City, as shown by his COC for the position of representative of the Third District of Quezon City in the May 1995 election. Domino claims that he had effectively abandoned his residence in Quezon City and has established a new domicile of choice in the Province of Sarangani. A persons domicile, once established, is considered to continue and will not be deemed lost until a new one is established. To successfully effect a change of domicile, one must demonstrate an actual removal or an actual change of domicile; a bona fide intention of abandoning the former place of residence and establishing a new one and definite acts which correspond with the purpose. The contract of lease of a house and lot entered into sometime in January 1997 does not adequately support a change of domicile. The lease contract may be indicative of Dominos intention to reside in Sarangani, but it does not engender the kind of permanency required to prove abandonment of ones original domicile. The mere absence of individual from his permanent residence, no matter how long, without the intention to abandon it does not result in loss or change of domicile. Thus, the date of the contract of lease of a house and lot in Sarangani cannot be used, in the absence of other circumstances, as the reckoning period of the one-year residence requirement. Further, Dominos lack of intention to abandon his residence in Quezon City is strengthened by his act of registering as voter in Quezon City. While voting is not conclusive of residence, it does give rise to a strong presumption of residence especially in this case where Domino registered in his former barangay. 2. Except for the right to remain or for being excluded in the list of voters, a decision in a petition for inclusion does not acquire the nature of res judicata and is not conclusive on the COMELEC.

Domino v. Comelec

Domino filed his COC for the position of Representative of the lone legislative district of the Province of Sarangani indicating that he has resided therein for 1 year and 2 months. Private respondents filed a petition seeking to cancel the COC of Domino, alleging that the latter, contrary to his declaration in the certificate of candidacy, is not a resident, much less a registered voter, of the province of Sarangani where he seeks election. Thereafter, the COMELEC promulgated a resolution declaring Domino disqualified as candidate for the position of representative of the lone district of Sarangani in the May 11, 1998 polls for lack of the one-year residency requirement and likewise ordered the cancellation of his COC based on his own Voters Registration Record and his address indicated as 24 Bonifacio St., Ayala Hts., Old Balara, Quezon City.

W/N Domino has resided in Sarangani Province for at least 1 year immediately preceding the May 11, 1998 elections. W/N a decision in a petition for inclusion acquires the nature of res judicata and therefore conclusive on the COMELEC.

Siawan v. Inopiquez

Complainant Siawan alleged that respondent Judge is guilty of grossly abusing his authority. In the first controversy, a criminal case was pending in the sale of respondent. Despite motions of complainant for the judge to inhibit himself, respondent did not do so notwithstanding that his (respondents) father-in-law was directly participating in the case. However, respondent was forced to inhibit himself when several other relatives became involved in the case. In the second controversy, respondent judge tried election cases while his relatives were candidates for various positions in the municipality.

Sarangani v. Comelec

The COMELEC telegrams to the respective Board of Election Inspectors (BEI) of the questioned precincts in Madalum, Lanao Del Sur and Padian Torogan, to file their answer to the petition for abolition of precincts and annulment of book of voters. The incumbent mayor of Madalum, Lanao Del Sur, Usman T. Sarangani together with other oppositors who were allegedly barangay chairmen of 23 barangays which were sought to be annulled and abolished filed an "Answer in Opposition which included the affidavits of the barangay chairmen of the affected precincts attesting to the fact that the move to annul the book of voters and abolish the questioned election precincts were for the purpose of diminishing the bailiwicks of the incumbent mayor of Madalum, Lanao del Sur The COMELEC issued an Order referring the case to its Law Department for appropriate investigation. The COMELEC - Law Department issued a memorandum "to conduct a rigorous incisive investigation on the alleged ghost precincts and thereafter submit a report on the investigation. Consequently, Atty. Tahir created a TASK FORCE INVESTIGATION TEAM. In their investigation, they found out that in this area there are only two structures: One is a concrete house with no roof, and the other is a wooden structure without walls and roof. This obviously means that no single human being could possibly reside in these two structures. Also, it came out that the name Padian-Torogan means a cemetery not a residential place. So this contradicts the records being brought by the COMELEC Team from the Census saying that the area has 45 households with a total population of 285. Besides, no less than the Chairman of the COMELEC Investigating Team asked the people around who among them is a resident or a registered voter in the so-called Barangay Padian-Torogan, and no one answered affirmatively. Madalum Municipal Chief of Police Mahdi Mindalano, armed with UZI pistolized Machine Gun, arrived at the scene with four armed bodyguards and confronted

W/N the respondent COMELEC committed grave abuse of discretion in declaring Padian-Torogan as ghost precinct.

Athough the disqualification of judges is limited only to cases where the judge is related to counsel within the fourth degree of consanguinity or affinity, the Rules nonetheless provide that a judge may, in the exercise of his discretion, disqualify himself from sitting in a case for other just and valid reasons. A judge should not handle a case where he might be perceived, rightly or wrongly, to be susceptible to bias and impartiality, which axiom is intended to preserve and promote public confidence in the integrity and respect for the judiciary. In this case, the refusal of respondent to inhibit himself from the conduct of the case and his doing so only after being threatened with an administrative case could not but create the impression that he had ulterior motives in wanting to try the case. The purpose of the prohibition is to prevent not only a conflict of interest but also the appearance of impropriety on the part of a judge. A judge should take no part in a proceeding where his impartiality might reasonably be questioned and he should administer justice impartially and without delay. The failure of respondent judge to inhibit himself constitutes an abuse of his authority and undermines public confidence in the impartiality of judges. No. Factual findings of the COMELEC based on its own assessments and duly supported by evidence, are conclusive upon this Court, more so, in the absence of a substantiated attack on the validity of the same. The Court finds that the COMELEC had exerted efforts to investigate the facts and verified that there were no public or private buildings in the said place, hence its conclusion that there were no inhabitants. If there were no inhabitants, a fortiori, there can be no registered voters, or the registered voters may have left the place. The findings of the administrative agency cannot be reversed on appeal or certiorari particularly when no significant facts and circumstances are shown to have been overlooked or disregarded which when considered would have substantially affected the outcome of the case. The COMELEC has broad powers to ascertain the true results of an election by means available to it. The assailed order having been issued pursuant to COMELECs administrative powers and in the absence of any finding of grave abuse of discretion in declaring a precinct as non-existent, said order should stand.

the Team Leader of the COMELEC Investigating Group, angrily insisting to stop the ocular inspection. In warning a photographer not to take a shot on him, he pointed his pistolized Rifle to this man when the photographer positioned his camera to take a picture of him while he is arguing with the investigating leader. Election Officer Casan Macadato submitted to the Provincial Election Supervisor of COMELEC the results of the ocular inspection that Padian Torogan and Rakutan were uninhabited. Then COMELEC issued the assailed Order finding "Padian Torogan as ghost precinct. Sultan Usman Sarangani, Soraida M. Sarangani and Hadji Nor Hassan, in their respective capacity as former Municipal Mayor, incumbent Mayor and ViceMayor of Madalum filed the instant petition for certiorari and mandamus urging us to nullify the Order issued by the COMELEC, for having been issued with grave abuse of discretion.