Election Protest

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Transcript of Election Protest

ELECTION PROTEST

Election contest exists when a defeated candidate for elective public office questions or assails the rifht to said office of one who has been proclaimed elected thereunder, the queries anchored on elections, returns or qualifications of a protestee. Its goal is to determine the canidate lawfully elected to office.

Laws concerning election contests must be liberally construed with the end view that the will of the people in the choice of the public officials may not be defeated by mere technical objections (Lorenzo vs Comelec, 418SCRA 448; Saquilayan vs Comelec, 416SCRA658)

Pendency of an election contest is not enough basis to enjoin him from discharging his functions or from assuming office (Mendoza vs Laxina Sr, 406 SCRA 156)

A regular election protest is the proper remedy and not a PPC whenever a party seeks to raise issues the resolution of which would necessitate the Comelec to pierce the veil of election returns which are prima facie regular (Sarangani vs Comelec, 415SCRA614)

In an election contest where what is involved is the correctness of the number of votes of each candidate, the best and most conclusive evidence are the ballots themselves, but if they cannot be produced, the best evidence would be the election returns (Torres vs HRET,351 SCRA 312)

The nature of an election protest case is different from an ordinary civil action. Demurrer to evidence as found under the Rules of Civil Procedure cannot apply to election cases even by suppletory character or by analogy. (Gementiza vs Comelec, 353 SCRA 724)

The resolution of election protests involving barangay positions within 15 days from the filing is mandatory.Failure of the respondent judge to decide the election protest within the required period constitutes gross inefficiency (Sanchez vs Eduardo, (261 SCRA 233)

Its purpose is to determine whether the candidate proclaimed elected by the board is really the lawful choice of the electorate and the best way to know the truthfulness of a party claim.. is to open the ballot boxes in the protested precincts followed by the revision, examination, recounting and re-appreciation of the official ballots contained thereat pursuant to the law (Maruhom vs Comelec, 331 SCRA 473)

It is the ministerial duty of the trial court to order the opening of the ballot boxes, examination and counting of ballots deposited thereunder whenever there is averment in an election protest that requires the examination, scrutiny or counting of ballots as evidence (Miguel vs Comelec)

In election protest, death of the protestant does not constitute ground for the dismissal of the contest nor ousts the trial court of its jurisdiction (De Castro vs Comelec, 267 SCRA 806)

Petitioner must specify the precincts where widespread irregularities and election fraud occurred, otherwise, it is a fatal omission. ( Pena vs HRET, 270 SCRA 340)

The board may not proclaim a candidate as winner where returns are contested, unless authorized by the Comelec. An incomplete canvass of votes is unlawful and cannot be the basis of a valid proclamation (Jamil vs Comelec, 283 SCRA vs 345)

It is the contest between the defeated and winning candidates grounded on frauds or irregularities in the casting and counting of the ballots or in the preparation of the returns (Samad vs Comelec, 224 SCRA 631)

Fraud, violence, lack of notice of the date and time of canvass, terrorism and analogous causes, disenfranchisement of voters, presence of flying voters and unqualified members of the board of election inspectors are proper grounds for election contests (Borja Jr vs Comelec, 260 SCRA 604)

The pronouncement in Esquivel vs Comelec, was that the 10-day period to lodge an election protest does not start to run while a petition concerning the proclamation of candidates is pending before the SC. After the latters decision on PPC between the parties, petitioner is entitled to the 10-day period to file the protest.

EP & QW DISTINCTIONS As to office- QW to disqualify an elected official on the ground of ineligibilitydue to age, citizenship or commission of acts under Section 68 of BP 881; EP to annul the election of an elected candidate on the grounds of frauds and irregularities in the conduct of election and the counting and canvassing of votes

EP & QW DISTINCTIONS As to issue involved: QW is qualification or lack of it, of the winning candidate; EP is who obtained the highest number of legal votes As to who can file: QW by any registered voter; EP by a candidate who has duly filed a COC and has been voted for the same office

EP & QW DISTINCTIONS As to consequence if adverse party is unseated- QW petitioner will not be seated; EP protestant may assume office after protestee is unseated

EP & QW DISTINCTIONS As to parties concerned: QW petitioner and respondent; EP protestant and protestee

CASES Repol vs Comelec, GR 161418, 428 SCRA 321 Lucman vs Comelec, GR 166229, 462 SCRA 299 Balajonda vs Comelec, GR 166032, 452 SCRA 643 People vs Reyes, GR 115022, 247 SCRA 328 Comelec vs Espanol, 417 SCRA 554