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October-2003 Jurisprudence                 

  • A.M. No. P-02-1548 October 1, 2003 - ROBERT E. VILLAROS v. RODOLFO ORPIANO

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  • A.M. MTJ-00-1311 October 3, 2003 - SILVESTRE H. BELLO III v. AUGUSTUS C. DIAZ, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. P-02-1547 October 3, 2003 - LEOPOLDO V. CAÑETE v. NELSON MANLOSA

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  • G.R. No. 118375 October 3, 2003 - CELESTINA T. NAGUIAT v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 122134 October 3, 2003 - ROMANA LOCQUIAO VALENCIA, ET AL. v. BENITO A. LOCQUIAO, ET AL.

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  • G.R. No. 146569 October 6, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JOHN NEQUIA

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  • A.M. No. P-96-1179 October 10, 2003 - WINSTON C. CASTELO v. CRISTOBAL C. FLORENDO

  • G.R. No. 110604 October 10, 2003 - BUENAVENTURA S. TENORIO, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 140917 October 10, 2003 - MENELIETO A. OLANDA v. LEONARDO G. BUGAYONG, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. P-02-1640 October 13, 2003 - SAAD ANJUM v. CESAR L. ABACAHIN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 122765 October 13, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. EDGARDO L. VARGAS

  • G.R. No. 141942 October 13, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JIMMY PONCE JAMON

  • G.R. No. 143842 October 13, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MANGI L. ADAM

  • G.R. No. 144662 October 13, 2003 - SPS. EFREN AND DIGNA MASON, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. MTJ-02-1459 October 14, 2003 - IMELDA Y. MADERADA v. ERNESTO H. MEDIODEA

  • A.M. No. P-03-1674 October 14, 2003 - PABLO B. FRANCISCO v. OLIVIA M. LAUREL

  • A.M. No. RTJ-03-1805 October 14, 2003 - TEODORA A. RUIZ v. ROLANDO G. HOW

  • G.R. No. 153157 October 14, 2003 - PHILIPPINE AIRLINES v. ARTHUR B. TONGSON

  • A.M. No. RTJ-02-1697 October 15, 2003 - EUGENIO K. CHAN v. JOSE S. MAJADUCON

  • A.M. No. RTJ-02-1699 October 15, 2003 - VERNETTE UMALI-PACO, ET AL. v. REINATO G. QUILALA, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. RTJ-03-1808 October 15, 2003 - RADELIA SY, ET AL. v. ANTONIO FINEZA

  • G.R. Nos. 123144, 123207 & 123536 October 15, 2003 - PABLO P. BURGOS, ET AL. v. SANDIGANBAYAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 126119 October 15, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL v. GILDO B. PELOPERO PNP

  • G.R. No. 130662 October 15, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. SERGIO ABON

  • G.R. No. 138364 October 15, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROGELIO VILLANUEVA

  • G.R. No. 142381 October 15, 2003 - PHILIPPINE BLOOMING MILLS, INC., ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 142595 October 15, 2003 - RACHEL C. CELESTIAL v. JESSE CACHOPERO

  • G.R. Nos. 148139-43 October 15, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. HERMENIO CANOY

  • G.R. No. 156273 October 15, 2003 - HEIRS OF TIMOTEO MORENO, ET AL. v. MACTAN-CEBU INT’L. AIRPORT AUTHORITY

  • A.M. No. SCC-00-6-P October 16, 2003 - RE: Ma. Corazon M. Molo

  • A.M. No. P-02-1592 October 16, 2003 - LUZITA ALPECHE v. EXPEDITO B. BATO

  • G.R. No. 141074 October 16, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. NORLY LIBRADO

  • G.R. No. 144881 October 16, 2003 - BETTY T. CHUA v. ABSOLUTE MNGT. CORP., ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 147650-52 October 16, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RODOLFO S. PEPITO

  • G.R. No. 152492 October 16, 2003 - PALMA DEVELOPMENT CORP. v. MUN. OF MALANGAS

  • G.R. Nos. 153991-92 October 16, 2003 - ANWAR BERUA BALINDONG v. COMELEC, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. P-01-1475 October 17, 2003 - MANUEL R. AQUINO v. JOCELYN C. FERNANDEZ

  • G.R. No. 131399 October 17, 2003 - ANGELITA AMPARO GO v. OFFICE OF THE OMBUDSMAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 133759-60 October 17, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. LEONITO LORENZO

  • G.R. Nos. 148673-75 October 17, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FLORENCIO R. ABANILLA

  • G.R. No. 150286 October 17, 2003 - ELCEE FARMS, INC., ET AL. v. PAMPILO SEMILLANO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 142885 October 22, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. WILLIAM TIU, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. MTJ-01-1368 October 23, 2003 - JOSE GODOFREDO M. NAUI v. MARCIANO C. MAURICIO, SR.

  • G.R. No. 120409 October 23, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. WILLIAMSON PICKRELL, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 120670 October 23, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. HEDISHI SUZUKI

  • G.R. No. 125689 October 23, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ANTONIO SATIOQUIA

  • G.R. No. 127153 October 23, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. SATUR G. APOSAGA

  • G.R. No. 132788 October 23, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ISAIAS FERNANDEZ, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 134485 October 23, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. OSCAR PEREZ

  • G.R. Nos. 134573-75 October 23, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. VICENTE BINARAO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 136849 October 23, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. NESTOR A. CODERES

  • G.R. No. 138456 October 23, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROLANDO P. DEDUYO

  • G.R. No. 140247 October 23, 2003 - ALEX ASUNCION, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 143252 October 23, 2003 - CEBU MARINE BEACH RESORT, ET AL. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 146368-69 October 23, 2003 - MADELEINE MENDOZA-ONG v. SANDIGANBAYAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 146608 October 23, 2003 - SPS. CONSTANTE & AZUCENA FIRME v. BUKAL ENTERPRISES AND DEV’T. CORP.

  • G.R. No. 147369 October 23, 2003 - SPS. PATRICK and RAFAELA JOSE v. SPS. HELEN and ROMEO BOYON

  • G.R. No. 147549 October 23, 2003 - JESUS DELA ROSA, ET AL. v. SANTIAGO CARLOS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 149149 October 23, 2003 - ERNESTO SYKI v. SALVADOR BEGASA

  • G.R. No. 149725 October 23, 2003 - OSCAR MAGNO v. PEOPLE OF THE PHIL.

  • G.R. Nos. 150493-95 October 23, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. CIRILO MACABATA

  • G.R. No. 150946 October 23, 2003 - MUNICIPAL BOARD OF CANVASSERS OF GLAN, ET AL. v. COMELEC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 152135 October 23, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MARCOS GIALOLO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 152716 October 23, 2003 - ELNA MERCADO-FEHR v. BRUNO FEHR

  • G.R. Nos. 154796-97 October 23, 2003 - RAYMUNDO A. BAUTISTA v. COMELEC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 155692 October 23, 2003 - PHIVIDEC INDUSTRIAL AUTHORITY, ET AL. v. CAPITOL STEEL CORP., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 155717 October 23, 2003 - ALBERTO JARAMILLA v. COMELEC, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. RTJ-00-1586 October 24, 2003 - THELMA C. BALDADO v. ARNULFO O. BUGTAS

  • G.R. No. 119775 October 24, 2003 - JOHN HAY PEOPLES ALTERNATIVE COALITION, ET AL. v. VICTOR LIM, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 119847 October 24, 2003 - JENNY ZACARIAS v. NATIONAL POLICE COMMISSION, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 137597 October 24, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JASON S. NAVARRO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 141615 October 24, 2003 - MAC ADAMS METAL ENGINEERING WORKERS UNION-INDEPENDENT, ET AL. v. MAC ADAMS METAL ENGINEERING, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 144439 October 24, 2003 - SOUTHEAST ASIA SHIPPING CORP. v. SEAGULL MARITIME CORP., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 148120 October 24, 2003 - RODRIGO QUIRAO, ET AL. v. LYDIA QUIRAO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 148597 October 24, 2003 - GRACE F. MUNSAYAC-DE VILLA, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 152285 October 24, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JOSE OBESO

  • G.R. Nos. 152589 and 152758 October 24, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ANTONIO MENDOZA

  • G.R. No. 153828 October 24, 2003 - LINCOLN L. YAO v. NORMA C. PERELLO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 139181 October 27, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JIMMY AQUINO

  • G.R. No. 143817 October 27, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ALEJANDRO BAJAR

  • A.C. No. 5829 October 28, 2003 - DANIEL LEMOINE v. AMADEO E. BALON, JR.

  • A.M. No. P-02-1581 October 28, 2003 - MA. CORAZON M. ANDAL v. NICOLAS A. TONGA

  • G.R. No. 134563 October 28, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FRANCISCO DALA

  • G.R. No. 138933 October 28, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JERRYVIE D. GUMAYAO

  • G.R. No. 150540 October 28, 2003 - DIMALUB P. NAMIL, ET AL. v. COMELEC, ET AL

  • G.R. No. 155206 October 28, 2003 - GSIS v. EDUARDO M. SANTIAGO

  •  





     
     

    G.R. No. 150946   October 23, 2003 - MUNICIPAL BOARD OF CANVASSERS OF GLAN, ET AL. v. COMELEC, ET AL.

     
    PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

    EN BANC

    [G.R. No. 150946. October 23, 2003.]

    MUNICIPAL BOARD OF CANVASSERS OF GLAN, ENRIQUE B. YAP, JR., VENANCIO S. WATA, JR., GILDO VILLORENTE, SR., JING MUSA, BENEDICTO L. RUIZ, ANANIAS S. EMNACE, VANNEVAR B. ALEGADO, ALITO ARNOLD CARIÑO, SATURNINO BAG, JR., and FEDERICO J. TANGAN, Petitioners, v. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS, (En Banc) and FLORA L. BENZONAN, Respondents.

    D E C I S I O N


    AZCUNA, J.:


    The present petition for certiorari, under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court, originated from SPC No. 01-032, a pre-proclamation controversy instituted by respondent Flora L. Benzonan with the Commission on Election (COMELEC) en banc. Benzonan, who was a mayoralty candidate in the Municipality of Glan, Sarangani during the May 14, 2001 elections, sought to declare null and void the canvass conducted by the Municipal Board of Canvassers (MBC) of Glan, Sarangani and to recall the proclamation of petitioners Enrique B. Yap, Jr., Venancio S. Wata, Jr., Gildo Villorente, Sr., Ting Musa, Benedicto L. Ruiz, Ananias S. Emnace, Vannevar B. Alegado, Alito Arnold Carino, Saturnino Bag, Jr. and Federico J. Tangan, as duly elected Mayor, Vice-Mayor and members of the Sangguniang Bayan of Glan, Sarangani, respectively.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    Benzonan argued her pre-proclamation case on the grounds that: a) after the original and second MBC had resigned, the third MBC was illegally constituted as its Chairman, Vice-Chairman and Secretary are not qualified under the Omnibus Election Code; 1 b) the canvassing proceedings, which were initially held in the Session Hall of the Sangguniang Bayan of Glan, were later transferred to the Provincial Capitol of Danao Province, contrary to COMELEC Resolution No. 3848; 2 c) the Secretary of the MBC failed to record the minutes of the canvassing proceedings since the start of the canvass; d) neither Benzonan nor her representatives were notified of the last three days of the canvassing proceedings and, consequently, they were not able to participate therein; e) a substantial number of the election returns had been tampered with or falsified; and f) the MBC had falsified the certificate of canvass votes. 3

    On December 4, 2001, the COMELEC en banc issued a resolution 4 finding that, based on the evidence presented, the canvass of votes had been conducted in a place other than the previous venue at the inception of the proceedings to which all were notified. Thus, the proclamations of the winning candidates were declared null and void and a re-canvass of the election returns was ordered.

    To reverse the COMELEC en banc’s resolution, petitioners filed the present petition with a prayer for a temporary restraining order and preliminary prohibitory injunction. 5 On December 21, 2001, the Court issued a temporary restraining order directing the COMELEC to cease and desist from implementing its December 4, 2001 resolution.

    Although not raised as an issue, the Court is compelled to resolve whether the COMELEC has jurisdiction over this case.

    Section 3 (c) of Article IX-C of the Constitution reads:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    The Commission on Elections may sit en banc or in two divisions, and shall promulgate its rules of procedure in order to expedite the disposition of election cases, including pre-proclamation controversies. All such election cases shall be heard and decided in division, provided that motions for reconsideration of decisions shall be decided by the Commission en banc.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    Beginning with Sarmiento v. COMELEC 6 and reiterated in subsequent cases, 7 the most recent being Balindong v. COMELEC, 8 the Court has upheld this constitutional mandate and consistently ruled that the COMELEC sitting en banc does not have the requisite authority to hear and decide election cases in the first instance. This power pertains to the divisions of the Commission and any decision by the Commission en banc as regards election cases decided by it in the first instance is null and void for lack of jurisdiction.

    It is important to clarify, however, that not all cases relating to election laws filed before the COMELEC are required to be first heard by a division. Under the Constitution, the COMELEC exercises both administrative and quasi-judicial powers. The COMELEC en banc can act directly on matters falling within its administrative powers. It is only when the exercise of quasi-judicial powers are involved that the COMELEC is mandated to decide cases first in division, and then, upon motion for reconsideration, en banc. 9

    It is clear that SPC No. 01-032 is one that involves a pre-proclamation controversy that requires the exercise of the COMELEC’s quasi-judicial powers, as the illegality of the composition and proceedings of the MBC, including the falsification of election returns and certificate of canvass, were alleged to be in issue. 10 Furthermore, in her comment to the petition dated January 9, 2000, 11 Benzonan categorically stated that it is not disputed that what is involved here is a pre-proclamation controversy.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    Also undisputed is the fact that Benzonan filed her pre-proclamation case directly with the COMELEC en banc and that the case was subsequently decided by the COMELEC, sitting en banc. As aforestated, the COMELEC en banc is without jurisdiction to decide cases involving these types of controversies in the first instance. Thus, the procedure taken by Benzonan resulted in a resolution in her favor that the Court must declare null and void and set aside.

    WHEREFORE, in view of the foregoing, the petition is GRANTED. The resolution of the COMELEC en banc dated December 4, 2001 in SPC No. 01-032 is hereby declared null and void and set aside, and the COMELEC is directed to assign SPC No. 01-032 to a division.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    No costs.

    SO ORDERED.

    Davide Jr., C.J., Bellosillo, Puno, Vitug, Panganiban, Quisumbing, Sandoval-Gutierrez, Carpio, Austria-Martinez, Corona, Carpio Morales, Callejo, Sr. and Tinga, JJ., concur.

    Ynares-Santiago, J., on official leave.

    Endnotes:



    1. B.P. 881, as amended.

    2. COMELEC Resolution No. 3848 states that, unless otherwise ordered, the canvassing proceedings of the MBC should be held in the Session Hall of the Sangguniang Bayan.

    3. SPC No, 01-032 Amended Petition dated May 20, 2001, Rollo, p. 85.

    4. Annex "A" to Petition, Rollo, pp. 30–40.

    5. Rollo, pp. 3–27.

    6. 212 SCRA 307 (1992).

    7. Zurate v. COMELEC, 318 SCRA 608 (1999); Abad v. COMELEC, 320 SCRA 507 (1999); Soller v. COMELEC, 339 SCRA 685 (2000); Milla v. Balmores-Laxa, G.R. No. 151216, July 18, 2003.

    8. G.R. No. 153991-92, October 14, 2003.

    9. Canicosa v. COMELEC, 282 SCRA 512 (1977); Baytan, Et. Al. v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 153945, February 4, 2003.

    10. Sections 241 and 242 of B.P. 881, as amended.

    11. Rollo, pp. 185–268.

    G.R. No. 150946   October 23, 2003 - MUNICIPAL BOARD OF CANVASSERS OF GLAN, ET AL. v. COMELEC, ET AL.


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