E. Judicial review of final orders, resolutions, and decisions of Constitutional Commissions

Atty. Jericho Del Puerto

Atty. Jericho Del Puerto

Lawyer, Author, Mentor

Frequency: ★☆☆☆☆

Subject to judicial review by the Supreme Court. Each Commission shall decide by a majority vote of all its Members any case or matter brought before it within sixty days from the date of its submission for decision or resolution. A case or matter is deemed submitted for decision or resolution upon the filing of the last pleading, brief, or memorandum required by the rules of the Commission or by the Commission itself. 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. (Section 7, Article IX-A of the 1987 Constitution)

Requisites for Judicial Review:
1) There must be an actual case or justiciable controversy before this Court;
2) The question before this Court must be ripe for adjudication;
3) The person challenging the act must be a proper party; and
4) The issue of constitutionality must be raised at the earliest opportunity and must be the very litis mota of the case. (Kilusang Mayo Uno v. Aquino III, G.R. No. 210500, 02 April 2019)
Flores v. COMELEC (1990)
Obviously, the provision of Article IX-C, Section 2(2) of the Constitution that “decisions, final orders, or rulings of the Commission on election contests involving elective municipal and barangay offices shall be final, executory, and not appealable” applies only to questions of fact and not of law. That provision was not intended to divest the Supreme Court of its authority to resolve questions of law as inherent in the judicial power conferred upon it by the Constitution. We eschew a literal reading of that provision that would contradict such authority.
Rivera v. COMELEC, En Banc (1991)
Actually, the main thrust of the present petition for certiorari is that the respondent COMELEC en banc committed grave abuse of discretion when it affirmed the decision of its First Division, promulgated on 2 May 1990, annulling the proclamation of the petitioner as the duly elected Mayor of Guinobatan, Albay and when it did not exclude from the total votes of Garcia at least ten (10) votes which were allegedly misappreciated in Garcia’s favor.
We have closely scrutinized the challenged COMELEC decision and find that the said decision was not arrived at capriciously or whimsically by respondent COMELEC. A painstaking re-evaluation of the questioned 67 ballots was made by the COMELEC en banc. In fact, fourteen (14) ballots originally adjudicated in Garcia’s favor were overruled by the Commission en banc, thus reducing the number of votes in his favor to 894 votes out of the 2,445 contested ballots. On the other hand, 16 ballots were added in Rivera’s favor, thus increasing the votes in his favor to 1,087 votes.
Moreover, the appreciation and re-evaluation of ballots are factual determinations. It is settled that in a petition for certiorari, findings of fact of administrative bodies are final unless grave abuse of discretion has marred such factual determinations. We find none in this case.
Marquez v. COMELEC (2019)
Given that the COMELEC appears to be applying the same rule with respect to other aspiring candidates, there is reason to believe that the same issue would likely arise in future elections. Thus, the Court deems it proper to exercise its power of judicial review to rule with finality on whether lack of proof of financial capacity is a valid ground to declare an aspirant a nuisance candidate.

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Subjects

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