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F. Remedies

1. Petition to deny due course to or cancel certificate of candidacy

a. PROCEDURE

A verified petition seeking to deny due course or to cancel a certificate of candidacy may be filed by the person exclusively on the ground that any material representation contained therein as required under Section 74 hereof is false. (Section 78, B.P. Blg. 881, Omnibus Election Code of the Philippines)

The petition may be filed at any time not later than twenty-five days from the time of the filing of the certificate of candidacy and shall be decided, after due notice and hearing, not later than fifteen days before the election. (Ibid.)

1) Grounds for Denial of Certificate of Candidacy

A petition to deny due course to or cancel a certificate of candidacy for any elective office may be filed with the Law Department of the Commission by any citizen of voting age or a duly registered political party, organization, or coalition or political parties on the exclusive ground that any material representation contained therein as required by law is false. (Section 1, Rule 23, COMELEC Rules of Procedure)

2) Period to File Petition

The petition must be filed within five (5) days following the last day for the filing of certificate of candidacy. (Section 2, Ibid.)

3) Summary Proceeding

The petition shall be heard summarily after due notice. (Section 3, Ibid.)

4) Delegation of Reception of Evidence

The Commission may designate any of its officials who are members of the Philippine Bar to hear the case and to receive evidence. (Section 4, Ibid.)

2. Petition for disqualification

a. PROCEDURE

1) Grounds for Disqualification

Any candidate who does not possess all the qualifications of a candidate as provided for by the Constitution or by existing law or who commits any act declared by law to be grounds for disqualification may be disqualified from continuing as a candidate. (Section 1, Rule 25, COMELEC Rules of Procedure)

2) Who May File Petition for Disqualification

Any citizen of voting age, or duly registered political party, organization or coalition of political parties may file with the Law Department of the Commission a petition to disqualify a candidate on grounds provided by law. (Section 2, Ibid.)

3) Period to File Petition

The petition shall be filed any day after the last day for filing of certificates of candidacy but not later than the date of proclamation. (Section 3, Ibid.)

4) Summary Proceeding

The petition shall be heard summarily after due notice. (Section 4, Ibid.)

5) Effect of Petition if Unresolved Before Completion of Canvass

If the petition, for reasons beyond the control of the Commission, cannot be decided before the completion of the canvass, the votes cast for the respondent may be included in the counting and in the canvassing; however, if the evidence of guilt is strong, his proclamation shall be suspended notwithstanding the fact that he received the winning number of votes in such election. (Section 5, Ibid.)

3. Failure of election; call for special election

a. CONCEPTS

1) Failure of election

If, on account of force majeure, violence, terrorism, fraud, or other analogous causes the election in any polling place has not been held on the date fixed, or had been suspended before the hour fixed by law for the closing of the voting, or after the voting and during the preparation and the transmission of the election returns or in the custody or canvass thereof, such election results in a failure to elect, and in any of such cases the failure or suspension of election would affect the result of the election, the Commission shall, on the basis of a verified petition by any interested party and after due notice and hearing, call for the holding or continuation of the election not held, suspended or which resulted in a failure to elect on a date reasonably close to the date of the election not held, suspended or which resulted in a failure to elect but not later than thirty days after the cessation of the cause of such postponement or suspension of the election or failure to elect. (Section 6, B.P. Blg. 881, Omnibus Election Code of the Philippines)

2) Call of special election

a) Vacancy in Congress

1) In case a vacancy arises in the Congress eighteen (18) months or more before a regular election, the Commission shall call a special election to be held within sixty (60) days after the vacancy occurs to elect the Member to serve the unexpired term. (Section 7[1] cf. Section 22, Ibid.)

2) In case of the dissolution of the Congress, the President shall call an election which shall not be held earlier than forty-five (45) nor later than sixty (60) days from the date of such dissolution. (Section 7[2], Ibid.)

The Batasang Pambansa through a duly approved resolution or an official communication of the Speaker when it is not in session shall certify to the Commission the existence of said vacancy. (Paragraph 2, Section 22, Ibid.)

b) Vacancy in Office of the President or Vice-President

In case a vacancy occurs for the Office of the President and Vice-President, the [Congress] shall, at ten o’clock in the morning of the third day after the vacancy occurs, convene in accordance with its rules without need of a call and within seven (7) days enact a law calling for a special election to elect a President and a Vice-President to be held not earlier than forty-five (45) days nor later than sixty (60) days from the time of such call. The bill calling such special election shall be deemed certified under paragraph (2), Section 19, Article VIII of the Constitution and shall become law upon its approval on third reading by the Batasang Pambansa. (Section 14, Ibid.)

The convening of the Batasang Pambansa cannot be suspended nor the special election postponed. No special election shall be called if the vacancy occurs within seventy (70) days before the date of the presidential election of 1987. (Ibid.)

3) Postponement of election

When for any serious cause such as violence, terrorism, loss or destruction of election paraphernalia or records, force majeure, and other analogous causes of such a nature that the holding of a free, orderly and honest election should become impossible in any political subdivision, the Commission, motu proprio or upon a verified petition by any interested party, and after due notice and hearing, whereby all interested parties are afforded equal opportunity to be heard, shall postpone the election therein to a date which should be reasonably close to the date of the election not held, suspended or which resulted in a failure to elect but not later than thirty days after the cessation of the cause for such postponement or suspension of the election or failure to elect. (Section 5, Ibid.)

4. Pre-proclamation controversy

a. CONCEPT

Pre-proclamation controversy – refers to any question pertaining to or affecting the proceedings of the board of canvassers which may be raised by any candidate or by any registered political party or coalition of political parties before the board or directly with the Commission, or any matter raised under Sections 233, 234, 235 and 236 in relation to the preparation, transmission, receipt, custody and appreciation of the election returns. (Section 241, Ibid.)

1) Commission’s exclusive jurisdiction of all pre-proclamation controversies

The Commission shall have exclusive jurisdiction of all pre-proclamation controversies. It may motu proprio or upon written petition, and after due notice and hearing, order the partial or total suspension of the proclamation of any candidate-elect or annual partially or totally any proclamation, if one has been made, as the evidence shall warrant in accordance with the succeeding sections. (Section 242, Ibid.)

2) Issues that may be raised in pre-proclamation controversy

The following shall be proper issues that may be raised in a pre-proclamation controversy:

1) Illegal composition or proceedings of the board of canvassers;

2) The canvassed election returns are incomplete, contain material defects, appear to be tampered with or falsified, or contain discrepancies in the same returns or in other authentic copies thereof as mentioned in Sections 233, 234, 235 and 236 of this Code;

3) The election returns were prepared under duress, threats, coercion, or intimidation, or they are obviously manufactured or not authentic; and

4) When substitute or fraudulent returns in controverted polling places were canvassed, the results of which materially affected the standing of the aggrieved candidate or candidates. (Section 243, Ibid.)

a) Contested composition or proceedings of the board

When the composition or proceedings of the board of canvassers are contested, the board of canvassers shall, within twenty-four hours, make a ruling thereon with notice to the contestant who, if adversely affected, may appeal the matter to the Commission within five days after the ruling with proper notice to the board of canvassers. After due notice and hearing, the Commission shall decide the case within ten days from the filing thereof. During the pendency of the case, the board of canvassers shall suspend the canvass until the Commission orders the continuation or resumption thereof and citing their reasons or grounds therefor. (Section 244, Ibid.)

b) Contested election returns

1) Any candidate, political party or coalition of political parties, contesting the inclusion or exclusion in the canvass of any election returns on any of the grounds authorized under this article or in Sections 234, 235 and 236 of Article XIX shall submit their verbal objections to the chairman of the board of canvassers at the time the questioned returns is presented for inclusion or exclusion, which objections shall be noted in the minutes of the canvassing. (Section 245, Ibid.)

The board of canvassers upon receipt of any such objections shall automatically defer the canvass of the contested returns and shall proceed to canvass the rest of the returns which are not contested by any party. (Paragraph 2, Section 245, Ibid.)

2) Within twenty-four hours from and after the presentation of a verbal objection, the same shall be submitted in written form to the board of canvassers. Thereafter, the board of canvassers shall take up each contested return, consider the written objections thereto and summarily rule thereon. Said ruling shall be made oral initially and then reduced to writing by the board within twenty-four hours from the time the oral ruling is made. (Paragraph 3, Section 245, Ibid.)

3) Any party adversely affected by an oral ruling on its/his objection shall immediately state orally whether it/he intends to appeal said ruling. The said intent to appeal shall be stated in the minutes of the canvassing. If a party manifests its intent to appeal, the board of canvassers shall set aside the return and proceed to rule on the other contested returns. When all the contested returns have been ruled upon by it, the board of canvassers shall suspend the canvass and shall make an appropriate report to the Commission, copy furnished the parties. (Paragraph 4, Section 245, Ibid.)

4) The board of canvassers shall not proclaim any candidate as winner unless authorized by the Commission after the latter has ruled on the objections brought to it on appeal by the losing party and any proclamation made in violation hereof shall be void ab initio, unless the contested returns will not adversely affect the results of the election. (Paragraph 5, Section 245, Ibid.)

3) Summary proceedings before the Commission

All pre-proclamation controversies shall be heard summarily by the Commission after due notice and hearing, and its decisions shall be executory after the lapse of five days from receipt by the losing party of the decision of the Commission, unless restrained by the Supreme Court. (Section 246, Ibid.)

4) Partial proclamation

Notwithstanding the pendency of any pre-proclamation controversy, the Commission may, motu proprio or upon the filing of a verified petition and after due notice and hearing, order the proclamation of other winning candidates whose election will not be affected by the outcome of the controversy. (Section 247, Ibid.)

5) Effect of filing petition to annual or to suspend the proclamation

The filing with the Commission of a petition to annual or to suspend the proclamation of any candidate shall suspend the running of the period within which to file an election protest or quo warranto proceedings. (Section 248, Ibid.)

5. Election protest

a. COMELEC JURISDICTION

The Commission shall be the sole judge of all contests relating to the elections, returns, and qualifications of all Members of the Batasang Pambansa, elective regional, provincial and city officials. (Section 249, Ibid.)

6. Quo warranto

a. PROCEDURE

1) Filing of petition

A voter contesting the election of any municipal official on the ground of ineligibility or disloyalty to the Republic of the Philippines may file a petition for quo warranto with the appropriate Regional Trial Court. (Section 1, Rule 36 COMELEC Rules of Procedure)

The petition shall be filed within ten (10) days after the proclamation of the results of the election. (Section 3, Ibid.)

The petition shall be verified by the party filing it or by his attorney. Any subsequent pleading based on facts which ought to be proved shall likewise be verified. (Section 3, Ibid.)

Any voter contesting the election of any municipal or barangay officer on the ground of ineligibility or of disloyalty to the Republic of the Philippines shall file a sworn petition for quo warranto with the regional trial court or metropolitan or municipal trial court, respectively, within ten days after the proclamation of the results of the election. (Paragraph 2, Section 253, B.P. Blg. 881)

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