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Law on Elections  Reason: ensure continuity in the expertise and work of the

Chapter 1 Introduction  1st Commissioners
1.01 Omnibus Election Code( PB 881)- basic law on elections o 3 shall hold office for 7 years
- COMELEC is tasked w/ enforcing election laws o 3 for 5 years
o 3 for 3 years
1.02 Elections, generally  2 conditions (both indispensable)
- The embodiment of the popular will, the expression of the sovereign 1. That the terms of the first commissioner (including the
power of the people chairman) should start on a common date
- The choice of candidates to public office by popular vote 2. That any vacancy due to death, resignation or disability before
- From depositing of ballots to certification of results the expiration of the term should only be filled for the
- “any election” used in Consti includes all election in the country unexpired balance of the term
o REGULAR election- election participated in by those who possess
the right of suffrage, not disqualified by law and are registered 2.05 Measures designed to make the Commission independent
voters 1. The chairman and commissioner are given fixed terms, without
o SPECIAL election- held when there is a failure of election on the reappointment
scheduled date of regular election in a particular place or which is 2. Their salaries shall not be decreased during their continuance
conducted to fill up certain vacancies, as provided by law in office
3. They shall not, during their tenure in office, engage in practice
1.03 Purpose of election: prevent / minimize election frauds of any profession or in the management of any business, or be
- To enable the electorate direct participation to choose the persons who financially interested directly or indirectly in any contract with,
would run their gov’t or in any franchise or privilege granted by, the Government, or
- Primal feature of the law is to allow people to vote freely for whom he any subdivision, agency or instrumentality thereof, including
pleases GOCC
- Pangandaman v Comelec – the purpose of statutes governing election is 4. They can only be removed from office on impeachment for and
to protect the integrity of elections to suppress all evils that may violate conviction of, culpable violation of the Constitution, treason,
its purity & defeat the will of the voters. bribery, other high crimes, or graft and corruption

CHAPTER II 2.06 Powers, generally

- Chairman
2.04 Commission on Elections as independent body - 6 commissioners
COMELEC o Requirements:
 Constitutional agency with the task of insuring free, orderly and  Natural born citizen
honest elections  At least 35 years old
Rotational plan in the appointment to the Commission  Holders of a college degree

Kim Raisa O. Uy
Ateneo Law School 2012

Must not have been candidates for any elective o Original: Exercise exclusive original jurisdiction over all
position in the immediately preceding elections contests relating to the elections, returns and qualification
 Members of the Philippines who have been of all elective regional, provincial, and city officials, and
engaged in the practice of law for at least 10 years appellate jurisdiction over all contests involving elective
**check your codal Article IX-C!!! or check page 604 municipal officials decided by trial courts of general
jurisdiction, or involving elective barangay officials decided
2.07 To enforce and administer election laws by trial courts of limited jurisdiction
 The commission’s general power of administration, enforcement, o Appellate: COMELEC may issue the extraordinary writs of
and supervision of all laws relative to conduct of elections is the certiorari, prohibition and mandamus in aid of its appellate
well spring that provides the necessary safeguards and remedies jurisdiction over all contests involving elective municipal
against election frauds that the election laws failed to provide officials decided by trial courts of general jurisdiction, or
 The commission has no competence to act outside the statues and involving elective barangay officials decided by trial courts
administrative orders issued of limited jurisdiction
 Scope of activities is circumscribed by the election laws and the Administrative power of COMELEC
Constitution - Includes all administrative matter
- Administrative
2.08 To adopt means to insure free, honest and orderly elections o Administration, especially management, as by managing or
 Purity of the elections is one of the most fundamental requisites of conducting, directing or superintendent, the execution,
popular government application or conduct of persons or things, which does not
 COMELEC must have a considerable latitude in adopting means and entail an opportunity to beard, the production and
methods that will insure the accomplishment of promoting a free, weighting of evidence, and a decision or resolution
orderly, and honest elections
 The choice of means taken by the COMELEC, unless they are clearly 2.10 Jurisdiction of COMELEC in division; en banc
illegal or constitute grave abuse of discretion, should not be Constitution
interfered by the SC - COMELEC may sit en banc or in 2 divisions
 Court should accord the greatest measure of presumption of - All election cases shall be heard and decided in division
regularity to its course of action and choice of means in performing - MR of said decisions shall be decided by Commission en banc
its duties COMELEC division
- Authority to hear and decide election cases in the first instance
2.09 To exercise adjudicatory and administrative power - Exceptions to the rule that election cases be first heard and decided
 COMELEC has adjudicatory or quasi-judicial power as well as by COMELEC in division:
administrative duty o Purely administrative case
 Quasi-judicial  Corrections of errors in the tabulation or tally of
o Investigation of facts, or the ascertainment of the existence results by the board of canvassers
of facts, holding hearing and drawing conclusions from the,  Correction of manifest errors by the board of
as basis for official action and to exercise discretion canvassers
 Registration of voters
 Original and appellate jurisdiction
Kim Raisa O. Uy
Ateneo Law School 2012
o Required number of votes to reach a decision, resolution, - Appealed cases – judgment or order appealed from shall stand
order or ruling is not obtained in the division affirmed
COMELEC En Banc - Incidental matters – petition or motion shall be denied
- have exercise exclusive jurisdiction only on MR or decision of the
COMELEC in division 2.13 Petition for review to SC
- Does not have the authority to hear and decide election cases in the GR: any decision, order or ruling of the COMELEC en banc in the exercise of
first instance (or else, such decision is null and void) its quasi-judicial functions may be brought to the SC on certiorari (Rule 64
- Postponement, declaration of failure of election and the calling of and 65) within 30 days from receipt of copy
special elections
- Has the power to prosecute election cases (can conduct preliminary COMELEC Division
2.11 Jurisdiction over petition for disqualification
 Petitions for disqualification and election protest of barangay COMELEC En Banc
o Original: MTC MR
o Appellate: COMELEC
- Petitions for DISQUALIFICATION of municipal, provincial, city, SC
congressional, senatorial, VP and presidential officials
o Filed before the election and not finally decided before the - Where the COMELEC division has committed grave abuse of
election: COMELEC has to continue to hear and resolve after discretion in issuing an interlocutory order relative to an action
the election pending before it – aggrieved party may file a relief to the SC under
o Filed after the election: COMELEC no longer has jurisdiction, Rule 65
but it may refer the case to its Law Department for
preliminary investigation 2.14 To exercise appellate jurisdiction and to issue writs
N.B. mere filing of a petition of disqualification before the election is not a - COMELEC has exclusive appellate jurisdiction over all contests
ground to suspend the proclamation of the winning candidate involving elective municpal officials decided by trial courts of
general jurisdiction (RTC) as well as those involving elective
2.12 Votes required in adjudication of election cases barangay officials decided by trial courts of limited jurisdiction
 Division: 2-1 decision is valid (MTC)
 En banc: where there are only 5 members of the Commission, the
vote of 3 members to affirm the 2-12 decision is valid 2.15 To exercise limited authority regarding barangay elections
Where the COMELEC en banc is equally divided in opinion or the necessary - COMELEC has no jurisdiction over protests involving Katipunan ng
majority vote cannot be had, the case will be reheard mga barangay (composed of popularly elected punong branagay)
- Still no decision is reached – the action originally commenced in the o COMELEC’s authority is limited by law to supervision of the
COMELEC is dismissed election

Kim Raisa O. Uy
Ateneo Law School 2012
- COMELEC exercises only appellate jurisdiction over election o Those expressly mentioned by law
contests involving elective barangay officials decided by MTC o If not available, Commission can appoint those outside of
what the law enumerates
2.16 To decide all questions affecting elections - Includes the power to relieve any member for cause and to appoint
- COMELEC’s power to decide, except those involving the right to a substitute
vote, all questions affecting elections, including determination of
the number and location of polling places, appointment of election 2.20 To suspend or annul canvass and proclamation
officials and inspectors, and registration of voters - Commission has the power to annul an illegal canvass and an illegal
- Has the power to see to it that the elections are held in a clean and proclamation, as well as authority to suspend the canvass, or the
orderly manner and it may decide all questions affecting the proclamation of winning candidates
elections and had original jurisdiction on all matters relating to - Commission is without power to annul or suspend the effects of
election returns, including the verification of the number of votes proclamation without notice or hearing
received by opposing candidates in the election returns
2.21 To annul registry list of voters; determination of right to vote
2.17 To exercise supervision and control over election officials - Commission has the power to decide administrative questions
- COMELEC exercises direct and immediate supervision and control concerning the registration of voters, which includes the power to
over national and local officials or employees including members of annul illegal registry lists of voters
any national or local law enforcement agency and instrumentality of - Determination of the right to vote is outside the Commission’s
the government required by law to perform duties relative to the jurisdiction
conduct of elections - Questions concerning the right to vote, which are within the
- Also has the power to review, modify, or set aside any act of such competence of the courts, refers to the administration of whether
national and local officials which the Commission may find fit to do or not a person can exercise or is precluded from exercising the
so right of suffrage
- Has the power to see to it that officers performing administrative
functions connected with elections shall comply with the duties 2.22 To register political parties; decide leadership
assigned to them - Commission has the exclusive power to register political parties
- Can suspend or remove officials or employees from office - Also the power to require candidates to specify in their certificates
of candidacy their political party affiliation, allow political parties to
2.18 To supervise and control bards of election inspectors and canvassers appoint watchers, limit their expenditures, and determine whether
- COMELEC exercises immediate supervision and control over the their registrations should be cancelled in appropriate proceedings
boards of election inspectors and canvassers, and can require that - Include the jurisdiction to resolve issues of political leadership in a
the latter perform their functions political party, and to ascertain the identity of political party and its
legitimate officers
2.19 To relieve election inspectors and canvassers and substitute them
- Members of the boards of election inspectors and canvassers are 2.23 To investigate and prosecute election offenses
election officials, hence, any vacancy, temporary or permanent, can
be filled only by the Commission, from:
Kim Raisa O. Uy
Ateneo Law School 2012
 The Commission has the exclusive authority to investigate and, if correspondingly adjusted by the COMELEC but such adjustment
warranted, prosecute before the regular courts election offenses, shall not be made within 120 days before the election
whether committed by public officers or private persons  Limitation: cannot transfer a municipality from one congressional
 Reason: to divest the COMELEC of the authority to investigate and district to another
prosecute offenses committed by public officials in relation to their
office would seriously impair its effectiveness in achieving this clear 2.27 To recommend administrative disciplinary sanctions
constitutional mandate  The COMELEC may recommend disciplinary action against any
 Election offenses committed by election officials in relation to their officer deputized by it to help in the enforcement of election laws,
office can only be investigated and prosecuted by the Commission, who fails to comply with its instructions or violates any election law
not by the Ombudsman, and the same can be tried only before the  Before making such recommendation, it must first satisfy itself that
regular courts, not the Sandiganbayan there is indeed infraction of law or of its directives, and may thus
 Power of the Commission to conduct preliminary investigation in conduct an administrative inquiry for such purpose
cases involving election offenses for the purpose of helping the
Judge determine probable cause and for filing an information in 2.28 To act as board of canvassers for senators
court is exclusive with the Commission  Chairman and members of COMELEC sitting en banc shall be the
National Board of Canvassers for the election of senators
2.24 To subpoena and to grant immunity from suit  This power is only ministerial
 In the exercise of its powers, the Commission has the authority to  The canvassers are to be satisfied of the genuineness of the returns
issue subpoena and grant immunity from criminal prosecution
o Limitation: right against self-incrimination 2.29 To issue rules and regulations
 1987 Constitution empowers COMELEC to issue rules and
2.25 To punish for contempt regulations
 The Commission has the power to cite for contempt a person for  Omnibus Election Code also empowers the COMELEC to issue rules
contemptuous act as provided in the Rules of Court and impose the and orders to implement the said code
appropriate penalties as prescribed o Effectivity: 7th day after publication in the OG or in at least 2
 Commission can have the authority to punish for contempt only daily newspapers of general circulation in the Philippines
when it is exercising judicial or quasi-judicial functions and does not o Orders and directives issued by the Commission shall be
have that power when it is discharging its administrative or furnished by personal delivery to all parties concerned
ministerial functions within 48hours from date of issuance and shall take effect
immediately upon receipt unless a later date is specified
2.26 To make adjustments in reapportionment of districts
 COMELEC is empowered to make minor adjustments of the
 The number of members apportioned to the province out of which
such new province was created or where the city, whose
population has so increased, is geographically located shall be

Kim Raisa O. Uy
Ateneo Law School 2012