Philippine Supreme Court Jurisprudence


Philippine Supreme Court Jurisprudence > Year 2005 > January 2005 Decisions > G.R. No. 163756 - GEORGIDI B. AGGABAO v. THE COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS, ET AL.:




G.R. No. 163756 - GEORGIDI B. AGGABAO v. THE COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS, ET AL.

PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

EN BANC

[G.R. NO. 163756 : January 26, 2005]

GEORGIDI B. AGGABAO, Petitioner, v. THE COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS, the PROVINCIAL BOARD of CANVASSERS of ISABELA, and ANTHONY MIRANDA, Respondents.

D E C I S I O N

YNARES-SANTIAGO, J.:

This Petition for Certiorari1 seeks to annul and set aside as having been issued with grave abuse of discretion Resolution No. 7233 of the COMELEC En Banc and the proclamation of private respondent Anthony Miranda as Congressman for the 4th District of Isabela.2

Petitioner Georgidi B. Aggabao and private respondent Anthony Miranda were rival congressional candidates for the 4th District of Isabela during the May 10, 2004 elections. During the canvassing of the certificates of canvass of votes (COCV) for the municipalities of Cordon and San Agustin, Miranda moved for the exclusion of the 1st copy of the COCV on grounds that it was tampered with; prepared under duress; differed from other authentic copies and contained manifest errors.3

Aggabao objected arguing that the grounds raised by Miranda are proper only for a pre-proclamation controversy which is not allowed in elections for Members of the House of Representatives.4

On May 22, 2004, the reconstituted Provincial Board of Canvassers (PBC) excluded from canvass the contested COCVs and used instead the 4th and 7th copies of the COCVs.5 Based on the results, Miranda garnered the highest number of votes for the position of Congressman.

On appeal with the COMELEC,6 petitioner asserted that the PBC acted without jurisdiction7 when it heard Miranda's Petition for Exclusion. Even assuming that the PBC had jurisdiction over the petition, it still erred in excluding the contested COCVs as they appeared regular and properly authenticated.8

On June 6, 2004, private respondent filed a Very Urgent Motion for Proclamation9 which was opposed10 by petitioner who contended that the pendency of his appeal with the COMELEC Second Division is a bar to Miranda's proclamation.

In a Memorandum dated June 8, 2004, Commissioner Mehol K. Sadain, commissioner in-charge for Regions II and III, approved the proclamation of the remaining winning candidates for the province of Isabela.11

On June 9, 2004, the COMELEC En Banc issued Resolution No. 7233 likewise directing the proclamation of the remaining winning candidates in Isabela.12 On the same day, petitioner filed with the COMELEC an Urgent Motion to Set Aside the Notice of Proclamation with Prayer for the Issuance of a Temporary Restraining Order.13

On June 14, 2004, Miranda was proclaimed as the duly elected Congressman for the 4th District of Isabela.14

Two days after the proclamation, Aggabao filed this petition assailing Resolution No. 7233. He claimed that the COMELEC En Banc acted without jurisdiction when it ordered Miranda's proclamation considering that the Second Division has not yet resolved the appeal.

In his Comment,15 Miranda moved for the dismissal of the petition considering that the issue raised by Aggabao is best addressed to the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal (HRET).16

On August 27, 2004, the petitioner filed a Consolidated Motion for Early Resolution; Manifestation that the COMELEC Second Division Issued a Resolution Sustaining the Appeal of the Petitioner; and Reply to the Comment.17 He manifested that on August 16, 2004, the COMELEC Second Division gave due course to his pending appeal.18 At the same time, he bewailed the failure of the COMELEC Second Division to annul the proclamation.19

The basic issue for resolution is whether we can take cognizance of this petition.

Certiorari as a special civil action can be availed of only if there is concurrence of the essential requisites, to wit: (a) the tribunal, board or officer exercising judicial functions has acted without or in excess of jurisdiction or with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack of jurisdiction, and (b) there is no appeal, nor any plain, speedy and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law for the purpose of annulling or modifying the proceeding. There must be capricious, arbitrary and whimsical exercise of power for it to prosper.20

Article VI, Section 17 of the 1987 Constitution provides:

Sec. 17. The Senate and the House of Representatives shall each have an Electoral Tribunal which shall be the sole judge of all contests relating to the election, returns, and qualifications of their respective Members. Each Electoral Tribunal shall be composed of nine Members, three of whom shall be Justices of the Supreme Court to be designated by the Chief Justice, and the remaining six shall be Members of the Senate or the House of Representatives, as the case may be, who shall be chosen on the basis of proportional representation from the political parties and the parties or organization registered under the party-list system represented therein. The senior Justice in the Electoral Tribunal shall be its Chairman.

In Pangilinan v. Commission on Elections21 we ruled that:

The Senate and the House of Representatives now have their respective Electoral Tribunals which are the "sole judge of all contests relating to the election, returns, and qualifications of their respective Members, thereby divesting the Commission on Elections of its jurisdiction under the 1973 Constitution over election cases pertaining to the election of the Members of the Batasang Pambansa (Congress). It follows that the COMELEC is now bereft of jurisdiction to hear and decide pre-proclamation controversies against members of the House of Representatives as well as of the Senate.

The HRET has sole and exclusive jurisdiction over all contests relative to the election, returns, and qualifications of members of the House of Representatives. Thus, once a winning candidate has been proclaimed, taken his oath, and assumed office as a Member of the House of Representatives, COMELEC's jurisdiction over election contests relating to his election, returns, and qualifications ends, and the HRET's own jurisdiction begins.22

It is undisputed that Miranda has already been proclaimed, taken his oath and assumed office on June 14, 2004. As such, petitioner's recourse would have been to file an electoral protest before the HRET. His remedy is not this petition for certiorari . Thus:

Finally, the private respondent Feliciano Belmonte, Jr. has already been proclaimed as the winner in the congressional elections in the fourth district of Quezon City. He has taken his oath of office and assumed his duties as representative; hence, the remedy open to the petitioner was to have filed an electoral protest with the Electoral Tribunal of the House of Representatives.23

The allegation that Miranda's proclamation is null and void ab initio does not divest the HRET of its jurisdiction. Thus:

(I)n an electoral contest where the validity of the proclamation of a winning candidate who has taken his oath of office and assumed his post as Congressman is raised, that issue is best addressed to the HRET. The reason for this ruling is self-evident, for it avoids duplicity of proceedings and a clash of jurisdiction between constitutional bodies, with due regard to the people's mandate.24

In Lazatin v. Commission on Elections25 we ruled that, upon proclamation of the winning candidate and despite its alleged invalidity, the COMELEC is divested of its jurisdiction to hear the protest. Thus:

The petition is impressed with merit because the petitioner has been proclaimed winner of the Congressional elections in the first district of Pampanga, has taken his oath of office as such, and assumed his duties as Congressman. For this Court to take cognizance of the electoral protest against him would be to usurp the functions of the House Electoral Tribunal.ςηαñrοblεš νιr†υαl lαω lιbrαrÿ

The alleged invalidity of the proclamation (which has been previously ordered by the COMELEC itself) despite alleged irregularities in connection therewith, and despite the pendency of the protests of the rival candidates, is a matter that is also addressed, considering the premises, to the sound judgment of the Electoral Tribunal.

In this case, certiorari will not lie considering that there is an available and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law for the purpose of annulling or modifying the proceedings before the COMELEC. After the proclamation, petitioner's remedy was an electoral protest before the HRET. The resolution of the issues presented in this petition is best addressed to the sound judgment and discretion of the electoral tribunal.

WHEREFORE, in view of the foregoing, the instant Petition for Certiorari is DISMISSED for lack of merit. No pronouncement as to costs.

SO ORDERED.

Davide, Jr., C.J., Puno, Panganiban, Quisumbing, Sandoval-Gutierrez, Carpio, Austria-Martinez, Corona, Carpio-Morales, Azcuna, Tinga, Chico-Nazario, and Garcia, JJ., concur.

Callejo, Sr., J., on official leave.

Endnotes:


1 Rollo, pp. 3-26.

2 Id., pp. 23-24.

3 Id., pp. 43-54.

4 Id., p. 68.

5 Id., pp. 109-110.

6 Docketed as SPC No. 04-219 and raffled to the Second Division; Rollo, pp. 35-52.

7 Rollo, p. 46.

8 Id., p. 47.

9 Id., pp. 114-116.

10 Id., pp. 124-128.

11 Id., pp. 131-132.

12 Id., pp. 28-32.

13 Id., pp. 133-137.

14 Id., p. 22.

15 Id., pp. 151-162.

16 Id., p. 154.

17 Id., pp. 220-235.

18 Id, p. 225.

19 Id, p. 229.

20 Garcia v. House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal, G.R. No. 134792, 12 August 1999, 312 SCRA 353, 363, citing Suntay v. Cojuangco-Suntay, G.R. No. 132524, 29 December 1998, 300 SCRA 760.

21 G.R. No. 105278, 18 November 1993, 228 SCRA 36, 43.

22 Guerrero v. Commission on Elections, 391 Phil. 344, 352 [2000].

23 See note 21, p. 44.

24 See note 22, p. 354.

25 G.R. No. 80007, 25 January 1998, 157 SCRA 337, 338.




Back to Home | Back to Main


chanrobles.com



ChanRobles On-Line Bar Review

ChanRobles Internet Bar Review : www.chanroblesbar.com





January-2005 Jurisprudence                 

  • G.R. No. 143791 - PETER D. GARRUCHO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 143169 - JIMMY ANG v. ELEANOR R. LUCERO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 144692 - CELSA P. ACU A v. DEPUTY OMBUDSMAN FOR LUZON, PEDRO PASCUA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 144057 - REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES v. THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 145017 - DR. JOSE, ET AL. v. FAUSTINO ARCIAGA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 145498 - BENJAMIN LEE v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 146262 - HEIRS OF EUGENIO LOPEZ, SR. v. HON. ALFREDO R. ENRIQUEZ, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 145794 - LOURDES S. ARROFO v. PEDRO QUI O

  • G.R. No. 146530 - PEDRO CHAVEZ v. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 146527 - REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES v. MANNA PROPERTIES, INC.

  • G.R. No. 146586 - DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION CULTURE AND SPORTS v. JULIA DEL ROSARIO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 146572 - CIRINEO BOWLING PLAZA, INC. v. GERRY SENSING, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 147145 - TESTATE ESTATE OF THE LATE ALIPIO ABADA, ET AL. v. ALIPIO ABAJA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 147869 - V.V. SOLIVEN REALTY CORP. v. LUIS KUNG BENG T. ONG

  • G.R. No. 147928 - EMMANUEL F. CONCEPCION, ET AL. v. HEIRS OF JOSE F. CONCEPCION, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 147550 - ISIDRA VDA. DE VICTORIA v. HON. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 148410 - VICENTE C. ETCUBAN, JR. v. SULPICIO LINES, INC.

  • G.R. No. 147969 - FELICISSIMA GALINDO, ET AL. v. HEIRS OF MARCIANO A. ROXAS

  • G.R. No. 148542 - MARILYN ODCHIMAR GERLACH v. REUTERS LIMITED, PHILS.

  • G.R. No. 149539 - NESTOR M. CAYAGO, ET AL. v. HON. JOEY LINA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 150467 - THE PROVINCIAL SHERIFF OF ILOCOS NORTE, ET AL. v. BRUNO LORENZO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 149590 - SOUTHECK DEVELOPMENT CORP., ET AL. v. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 150730 - MILA SALES LLANTO, ET AL. v. ERNESTO ALZONA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 151379 - UNIVERSITY OF IMMACULATE CONCEPCION v. THE HONORABLE SECRETARY OF LABOR, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 150908 - LAGRIMAS PACA A-GONZALES v. THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 152115 - NIMFA USERO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 152195 - PEDRO SEPULVEDA, SR. v. ATTY. PACIFICO S. PELAEZ

  • G.R. No. 152238 - UNITED COCONUT PLANTERS BANK v. UNITED ALLOY PHILIPPINES CORPORATION

  • G.R. No. 152308 - ACESITE CORPORATION, ET AL. v. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 152440 - FELICITACION B. BORBAJO v. HIDDEN VIEW HOMEOWNERS, INC., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 152589 & 152758 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. ANTONIO MENDOZA Y BUTONES

  • G.R. No. 152752 - INOCELIA S. AUTENCIO v. CITY ADMINISTRATOR RODEL M. MA ARA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 153524 - RODOLFO SORIA, ET AL. v. HON. ANIANO DESIERTO, ET AL.

  • Soria v. Desierto : 153524-25 : January 31, 2005 : J. Chico-Nazario : Second Division : Decision

  • G.R. No. 153201 - JOSE MENCHAVEZ, ET AL. v. FLORENTINO TEVES JR.

  • G.R. No. 153578 - VICENTE C. JIMENEZ, ET AL. v. EULOGIO TOLENTINO, JR., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 153904 - PNOC-EDC, ET AL. v. FREDERICK V. ABELLA

  • G.R. No. 155282 - MOVIE AND TELEVISION REVIEW AND CLASSIFICATION BOARD v. ABS-CBN BROADCASTING CORPORATION, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 155609 - ST. JOSEPH COLLEGE v. ST. JOSEPH COLLEGE WORKERS' ASSOCIATION

  • G.R. No. 155673 - SPOUSES SALVADOR F. DE VERA, ET AL. v. HON. GUILLERMO P. AGLORO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 156292 - ME-SHURN CORPORATION, ET AL. v. ME-SHURN WORKERS UNION FSM, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 156360 - CESAR SAMPAYAN v. THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 156306 - REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES v. INSTITUTE FOR SOCIAL CONCERN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 156394 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. THE HONORABLE SANDIGANBAYAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 156408 - ANDRES S. SUERO v. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 157509 - AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRY WORKERS ALLIANCE, ET AL. v. HON. ALBERTO G. ROMULO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 157070 - JOSEFINA ESTOLAS, ET AL. v. RAYMUNDO ACENA

  • G.R. No. 157809 - LEONARDO, EMERENCIA, RENATO, VIRGILIO, JESUSA, TERESITA AND RUBEN, ALL SURNAMED DELA CRUZ, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 157824 - WAINWRIGHT RIVERA v. HONORABLE ASSOCIATE JUSTICES OF THE FOURTH DIVISION, SANDIGANBAYAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 158166 - MINERVA UMPOC, ET AL. v. MILDRED MERCADO

  • G.R. No. 158158 - BUKLURAN NG MANGGAGAWA SA CLOTHMAN KNITTING CORPORATION, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 158682 - SPOUSES BIENVENIDO R. MACADANGDANG, ET AL. v. SPOUSES RAMON MARTINEZ, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 158407 - FILOMENA DOMAGAS v. VIVIAN LAYNO JENSEN

  • G.R. No. 159024 - LTS PHILIPPINES CORPORATION, ET AL. v. JOCELYN D. MALIWAT, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 159124 - MARCELA GONZALES ALMEIDA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 159146 - OSM SHIPPING PHIL., INC. v. ANTONIA DELA CRUZ

  • G.R. No. 160258 - REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES v. GLORIA BERMUDEZ-LORINO

  • G.R. No. 159156 - RAMON P. ARON v. FRANCISCO REALON, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 160466 - SPOUSES ALFREDO AND SUSANA ONG v. PHILIPPINE COMMERCIAL INTERNATIONAL BANK

  • G.R. No. 160533 - FIRST FIL-SIN LENDING CORPORATION v. GLORIA D. PADILLO

  • G.R. No. 161028 - TERESITA V. IDOLOR v. HON. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 161029 - SPRINGSUN MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS CORPORATION v. OSCAR CAMERINO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 161414 - SULTAN OSOP B. CAMID, v. THE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 161730 - JAPAN AIRLINES v. MICHAEL ASUNCION, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 162109 - LAPANDAY AGRICULTURAL & DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION v. MAXIMO ESTITA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 165052 - ALVIN JOSE v. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES

  • G.R. No. 163756 - GEORGIDI B. AGGABAO v. THE COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 164338 - GUARANTEED HOTELS, INC., ET AL. v. JOSEFINA S. BALTAO, ET AL.

  • A.C. No. 1526 - NAZARIA S. HERNANDEZ v. ATTY. JOSE C. GO

  • A.C. No. 3523 - RASMUS G. ANDERSON, JR. v. ATTY. REYNALDO A. CARDE O

  • A.C. No. 4929 - ALEEM AMERODDIN SARANGANI v. ATTY. WYNNE B. ASDALA, ET AL.

  • A.C. No. 5534 - JAYNE Y. YU v. RENATO LAZARO BONDAL

  • A.C. No. 5798 - ALEX B. CUETO v. ATTY. JOSE B. JIMENEZ, JR

  • A.C. No. 5838 - SPOUSES BENJAMIN SANTUYO, ET AL. v. ATTY. EDWIN A. HIDALGO

  • A.C. No. 6086 - NICANOR B. GATMAYTAN, JR. v. ATTY. ISIDRO C. ILAO

  • A.C. No. 6491 - BENILDA M. MADDELA v. ATTY. ROSALIE DALLLONG-GALINCINAO

  • A.C. No. 6107 - BEL-AIR TRANSIT SERVICE CORPORATION v. ATTY. ESTEBAN Y. MENDOZA

  • A.M. No. 03-3-179-RTC - WITHHOLDING OF THE SALARY AND BENEFITS OF MICHAEL A. LATIZA, COURT AIDE, REGIONAL TRIAL COURT, BRANCH 14, CEBU CITY, FOR UNEXPLAINED ABSENCES AND INVOLVEMENT IN THE LOSS OF EVIDENCE

  • A.M. No. 00-3-108-RTC - RE: REPORT OF ACTING PRESIDING JUDGE WILFREDO F. HERICO ON MISSING CASH BONDS IN CRIMINAL CASE NO. 750 AND CRIMINAL CASE NO. 812.

  • A.M. No. 2004-41-SC - RE: MEMORANDUM REPORT OF ATTY. THELMA C. BAHIA AGAINST MS. DOROTHY SALGADO

  • A.M. No. MTJ-03-1508 - OFFICE OF THE COURT ADMINISTRATOR v. JUDGE ROLANDO V. RAMIREZ, ET AL.

  • Adoma v. Gatcheco : AM OCA IPI 03-1580-P : January 17, 2005 : J. Ynares-Santiago : First Division : Decision

  • A.M. No. MTJ-05-1575 - YOLANDA S. REYES v. JUDGE MARVIN B. MANGINO

  • A.M. No. P-01-1496 - LEONILA S. RAYMUNDO, ET AL. v. ENRIQUE M. CALAGUAS

  • A.M. No. P-01-1459 - MARITONI M. NIEVA v. SATURNINA ALVAREZ-EDAD

  • A.M. No. P-02-1542 - METRO MANILA TRANSIT CORP., ET AL. v. MARIO ROLANDO P. SANTIAGO

  • A.M. No. P-02-1608 - CYNTHIA N. EUFEMIO v. ANTONIO F. MADAMBA

  • A.M. No. P-03-1671 - ANTONIO RODRIGUEZ v. VICENTE P. APOSAGA

  • A.M. No. P-04-1835 - RE: REPORT ON THE JUDICIAL AUDIT CONDUCTED AT THE MUNICIPAL TRIAL COURT IN CITIES (BRANCH 1), SURIGAO CITY.

  • A.M. No. P-04-1873 - JUDGE LUIS ENRIQUEZ REYES v. RAQUEL S. BAUTISTA

  • A.M. No. P-04-1896 - CYNTHIA N. EUFEMIO v. ANTONIO F. MADAMBA

  • A.M. No. P-05-1930 - LOLITO B. SULIT v. SOTERO A. MATIAS

  • A.M. No. P-05-1931 - RITA ONG v. DAKILA C. MANALABE

  • A.M. No. P-05-1936 - JUDGE FATIMA GONZALES-ASDALA v. BONIFACIO C. WONG

  • A.M. No. P-05-1942 - ALIBSAR ADOMA v. ROMEO GATCHECO, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. P-05-1945 - EVELYN T. HONCULADA v. VICTORIANO S. RAGAY, JR.

  • A.M. No. P-05-1946 - JUDGE RODERICK A. MAXINO v. HERMOLO B. FABUGAIS

  • A.M. No. P-97-1258 - OFFICE OF THE COURT ADMINISTRATOR v. CLERK OF COURT ERMERLINA C. BERNARDINO, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. RTJ-02-1692 - FRANCISCO C. TAGUINOD, ET AL., v. JUDGE FE ALBANO MADRID OF RTC BRANCH 21, SANTIAGO CITY

  • A.M. No. RTJ-04-1830 - OFFICE OF THE COURT ADMINISTRATOR v. JUDGE JAIME T. HAMOY

  • A.M. No. RTJ-03-1750 - MAMERTO MANIQUIZ FOUNDATION, INC. v. HON. ROGELIO M. PIZARRO

  • A.M. No. RTJ-04-1846 - MELECIA B. BELLENA, ET AL. v. JUDGE NORMA C. PERELLO

  • A.M. No. RTJ-04-1869 - OFFICE OF THE COURT ADMINISTRATOR v. JUDGE LETICIA QUERUBIN ULIBARRI

  • A.M. No. RTJ-04-1879 - SPO4 EDUARDO ALONZO v. JUDGE CRISANTO C. CONCEPCION, PRESIDING JUDGE, RTC OF MALOLOS CITY, BRANCH 12, PROVINCE OF BULACAN

  • A.M. No. RTJ-05-1898 - CHARLTON TAN v. JUDGE ABEDNEGO O. ADRE

  • A.M. No. RTJ-05-1900 - SHIRLEY LORIA TOLEDO, ET AL. v. JUDGE ALFREDO E. KALLOS