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Garchitorena v.

Crescini (December 18, 1918)

De Facto Officers
Physical possession of the Office


On the 6th of June 1916 an election was held in the province of Amobos, Camarines,for the electoral
position of governor and other provincial and municipal officers. The said governor position was being
vied by the names of Andres Garchitorena, Manuel Crescini, Engracio Imperial and Francisco Botor. After
the elections were closed and the returns of the ballots were made by the inspectors of the various
municipalities to the provincial board of inspectors, the following are the results of the said election,
Andres Garchitorena had received 2,468 votes; that Manuel Crescini had received 3,198 votes; that
Engracio Imperial had received 1,954 votes and Francisco Botor had received 692 votes. After the final
examination and tallying of votes by the Board of Inspectors, they declared Manuel Crescini as the newly
elected Governor, for he received the plurality of votes cast. They issued a certificate to him as he was
proclaimed the winner. Upon notice of said proclamation, immediately the runner up, Andres Garchitorena
presented a protest against said election, contending that there were many frauds and irregularities
committed in various municipalities of the said province, also he alleged that he received a majority of all
the legal votes cast. Two trials were conducted, and the judges (Mina and Paredes) both found in favor of


Whether or not petitioner won the elections.



Petitioner, in this case is the winner in the elections. The presumption is that an election is honestly
conducted, and the burden of proof to show it otherwise is on the party assailing the return. But when the
return is clearly shown to be willfully and corruptly false, the whole of it becomes worthless as proof.
When the election has been conducted so irregularly and fraudulently that the true result cannot be
ascertained, the whole return must be rejected. It is impossible to make a list of all the frauds which will
invalidate an election. Each case must rest upon its own evidence.

The record of the frauds and irregularities committed in the said municipalities in which Judges Mina and
Paredes annulled the entire vote, not only shows that legal voters were prevented from voting, but in
some instances, legal ballots were tampered with and destroyed after they had been cast, to such an
extent that no confidence can be placed in the return. The return in no sense discloses the expressed will
of the voters. Search has been made in vain for cases in jurisprudence in which the frauds and
irregularities committed were more glaring and more atrocious, and in which the real will of the voters
were more effectively defeated, than is found in the records in said municipalities in the present case. The
statements of fact made by Judges Mina and Paredes relating to said frauds and irregularities are fully
sustained by the evidence adduced during the trial of the cause.