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  A.   SUFFRAGE Lacson v. Posadas July 30, 1976) FACTS: Judge Posadas was charged with with (a) ignorance of the law, (b) partiality, and (c) violation of the Election Code of 1971 because disregarded this provision of law: Section 136 of the Election Code of 1971, which provides: Any person who has been refused registration or whose name has been stricken out from the permanent list of voters may …  apply to the proper court for an order directing the election registration board or the board of inspectors as the case may be, to include or reinstate his name in the permanent list of voters, attaching to his application for inclusion the certificate  of the Electron registration board or the board of inspectors regarding his case and proof of service of a copy of his application  and of the notice of hearing thereof  upon a member of the said board And none of the said petitions contains the attached certificate requirement., and he admitted that as long as the petitioners were present when he called the inclusion cases for hearing and the respondent Election Registration Board or the members of the Board of Inspectors of the precincts concerned were not present he considered the latter in default and summarily granted the petition. HELD : Jusge was admonished that he should exercise greater care in the observance of the provisions of existing laws in the discharge of his judicial duty, and warned that any subsequent misconduct shall be dealt with more severely. The inclusion in or exclusion from the permanent electoral list of any voter concerns not only the latter in his individual capacity but the public in general. The seriousness of respondent's failure to comply with the requirements of Section 136 of the electoral law becomes evident. His good faith or lack of malice is of no avail, considering that in crimes which are mala prohibita the act alone irrespective of its motives, constitutes the offense Pangutan v. Abubakar FACTS: A petition was filed by respondent Abubakar and the other candidates, alleging that in the towns of Siasi, Tapul, Parang and Luuk, no elections were in effect held in view of massive violence, terrorism and fraud. The Commission decided that no elections were held in said municipalities as the voting was done by persons other than the registered voters while armed men went from precinct to precinct, prepared the ballots and dictated how the election returns were to be prepared and ordered the exclusion of certain returns. ISSUE: WON COMELEC had the power to exclude such returns? –  YES. Affirmed. RATIO: The right to vote has reference to a constitutional guarantee of the utmost significance. It is a right without which the principle of sovereignty residing in the people becomes nugatory. In the traditional terminology, it is a political right enabling every citizen to participate in the process of government to assure that it derives its power from the consent of the governed While the question of inclusion or exclusion from the list of voters is properly judicial, As to whether or not an election has been held is a question of a different type. It is properly within the administrative jurisdiction of respondent Commission. If, as is our decision, no such voting did take place, considering the massive irregularities that attended it in the four towns,    The circumstances definitely point, not merely to a few isolated instances of irregularities affecting the integrity and authenticity of the election returns, but to an organized, well-directed large-scale operation to make a mockery of the elections in Karomatan. Taule v. Santos August 12, 1991) FACTS: T he Federation of Associations of Barangay Councils (FABC) of Catanduanes, composed of eleven (11) membersconvened in Virac, Catanduanes with six members in attendance for the purpose of holding the election of its officers. The group decided to hold the election despite the absence of five (5) of its members. Respondent Leandro I. Verceles, Governor sent a letter to respondent Luis T. Santos, the Secretary of Local Government, protesting the election of the officers of the FABC and seeking its nullification in view of several flagrant irregularities Secretary issued a resolution nullifying the election of the officers of the FABC in Catanduanes held on June 18, 1989 and ordering a new one to be conducted. ISSUE: Whether or not the respondent Secretary has jurisdiction? –  NO, but neither does COMELEC have jurisdiction. RATIO : RE COMELEC : The court did not agree that it is the Commission on Elections which has jurisdiction. The Court agrees with the Solicitor General that the jurisdiction of the COMELEC is over popular elections, the elected officials of which are determined through the will of the electorate. An election is the embodiment of the popular will, the expression of the sovereign power of the people. Election contests would refer to adversary proceedings by which matters involving the title or claim of title to an elective office, made before or after proclamation of the winner, The jurisdiction of the COMELEC does not cover protests over the organizational set-up of the katipunan ng mga barangay composed of popularly elected punong barangays as prescribed by law whose officers are voted upon by their respective members. The COMELEC exercises only appellate jurisdiction over election contests involving elective barangay officials decided by the Metropolitan or Municipal Trial Courts which likewise have limited jurisdiction. The authority of the COMELEC over the katipunan ng mga barangay is limited by law to supervision of the election of the representative of the katipunan concerned to the sanggunian in a particular level conducted by their own respective organization. RE: SECRETARY  - There is neither a statutory nor constitutional provision expressly or even by necessary implication conferring upon the Secretary of Local Government the power to assume jurisdiction over an election protect involving officers of the katipunan ng mga barangay. To deny the Secretary of Local Government the power to review the regularity of the elections of officers of the katipunan would be to enhance the avowed state policy of promoting the autonomy of local governments. The respondent Secretary not having the jurisdiction to hear an election protest involving officers of the FABC, the recourse of the parties is to the ordinary courts. The Regional Trial Courts have the exclusive srcinal jurisdiction to hear the protest.  Romualdez v. RTC Sept. 14, 1993) Facts : Petitioner Romualdez is a ntural-born citizen; the son of Kokoy Romualdez and a niece of Imelda Marcos. In 1980, he established his residence in Malbog, Tolosa, Leyte. However, in 1986, during the days of People Power, relatives of Marcos, fearing for their personal safety, fled the country, including the Romualdezs. Romuladez went back to the Philippines in 1991 and returned to his residence in Leyte and immediately registered himself as a voter. In 1992, herein private respondent Advincula filed a petition to exclude petitioner from the list of the voters alleging that the latter is a U.S. resident, and residency is a qualification for a registered voter. However, the MTC denied the petition but when the respondent elevated the petition to the RTC, the appellate court reversed MTC’s ruling and disqualified Romuldez as a registered voter. Hence, this case. ISSUE : Whether petitioner is qualified to be a registered voter in Malbog, Tolosa, Leyte despite his sudden departure to the U.S? - YES RATIO : The residence of petitioner, was established during the early 1980's to be at Barangay Malbog, Tolosa, Leyte. Residence thus acquired, however, may be lost by adopting another choice of domicile. In order, in turn, to acquire a new domicile by choice, there must concur (1) residence or bodily presence in the new locality, (2) an intention to remain there, and (3) an intention to abandon the old domicile. Stating that, the political situation brought about by people’s Power Revolution must have cau sed great fear to the Romualdezes, and as having concern over the safety of their families, their self-exile is understandable. Hence, their sudden departure cannot be described as ‘voluntary’ or ‘abandonment of residence’.  It must be emphasized that the right to vote is a most precious political right; a bounden duty of every citizen enabling them to participate in the government process to ensure the will of the people. Badelles v. Cabili February 27, 1969) FACTS: This case is a consolidation of 2 election protests against the duly proclaimed Mayor and Councilors of Iligan City, in the 1967 elections, based on the allegations of flagrant violations of certain mandatory provisions of the Election Code. These protest were dismissed for lack of cause of action by the RTC. In such order of dismissal, it was admitted that while irregularities as well as misconduct on the part of election officers were alleged in the election protests filed, there was however an absence of an allegation that they would change the result of the election in favor of the protestants and against the protestees, that such irregularities would destroy the secrecy and integrity of the ballots cast, or that the protestees knew of or participated in the commission thereof. ISSUE : WON the dismissal was proper? No. RATIO: The proper remedy is the protest availed of here if the grievance relied upon is the widespread irregularities and the flagrant violations of the election law.    The dismissal would amount to judicial abnegation of a sworn duty to inquire into and pass upon in an appropriate proceeding allegations of misconduct and misdeeds of such character. Time and time again, we have stressed the importance of preserving inviolate the right of suffrage. If that right be disregarded or frittered away, then popular sovereignty becomes a myth. The election law has no justification except as a means for assuring a free, honest and orderly expression of their views. It is of the essence that corruption and irregularities should not be permitted to taint the electoral process. B.   POWERS OF COMELEC Gallardo v. Tabamo January 29, 1993) FACTS : In this petition Cong. Romualdo sought to prohibit and restrain the respondents from undertaking and/or pursuing certain public works projects and from disbursing, releasing, and/or spending public funds for said projects, allegedly because, among other reasons, said projects were undertaken in violation of the 45-day ban on public works imposed by the Omnibus Election Code (B.P. Blg. 881); and that the illegal prosecution of the said public works projects requiring massive outlay or public funds during the election period was done maliciously and intentionally to corrupt voters and induce them to support the candidacy of Gov. Gallardo and his ticket in the May 11, 1992 elections. In the afternoon of the same day that the petition was filed, Judge Tabamo issued a temporary restraining order as prayed for. ISSUE : whether or not the trial court has jurisdiction over the enforcement of laws involving the conduct of elections? - NO RATIO: The act of the judge is invalid. This Court explicitly ruled that considering that the COMELEC is vested by the Constitution with exclusive charge of the enforcement and administration of all laws relative to the conduct of elections, the assumption of jurisdiction by the trial court over a case involving the enforcement of the Election Code is at war with the plain constitutional command, the implementing statutory provisions, and the hospitable scope afforded such grant of authority so clear and unmistakable in recent decisions. … “It is easy to realize the chaos that would ensue if the Court of First Instance of each and every province were to arrogate unto itself the power to disregard, suspend, or contradict any order of the Commission on Elections; that constitutional body would be speedily reduced to impotence. Tan v. COMELEC October 4, 1994) FACTS : On 10 May 1992, petitioner, COMELEC as Vice-Chairman of the City Board of Canvassers of Davao City for the 11th May 1992 elections. Manuel Garcia was proclaimed the winning candidate for a congressional seat to represent the Second District of Davao City. Private respondent Alterado, himself a candidate for the position, filed a number of cases questioning the validity of the proclamation of Manuel Garcia. This case was, instituted in the COMELEC against the City Board of Canvassers, including herein petitioner, for Misconduct, Neglect of Duty, Gross Incompetence and Acts Inimical to the Service. Petitioner moved to dismiss the administrative complaint against him for alleged lack of jurisdiction of the COMELEC, he being under the Executive Department of the government. The COMELEC denied petitioner's motion to dismiss.
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