Republic of the Philippines, Commission on Elections

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Minute Resolution No. 13-1164

IN THE MATTER OF THE RECOMMENDATION OF DIRECTOR ESMERALDA AMORA-LADRA, LAW DEPARTMENT, ON CERTAIN ISSUES IN CONNECTION WITH THE CONDUCT OF THE OCTOBER 28, 2013 BARANGAY ELECTIONS

Date: 22 October 2013


This pertains to the Memorandum dated October 21, 2013 of Director Esmeralda Amora-Ladra, Law Department, submitting her recommendation on certain issues in connection with the conduct of the October 28, 2013 Barangay Elections.

The Memorandum of Director Ladra reads:

"This refers to the issues that are being raised before the Law Department by our field officials, in connection with our October 28, 2013 Barangay elections, particularly on the following:

  1. Whether or not substitution is allowed in connection with the forthcoming barangay elections
  2. Whether or no amendment to the Certificate of Candidacy (COC) is allowed after the last day for the filing of COCs.

ON THE SUBSTITUTION
OF CANDIDATES

Resolution No. 9740 of the Commission En Banc promulgated on July 10, 2013 is silent on whether the substitution of candidates is allowed in connection with the October 28, 2013 Barangay Elections.

On this issue, the decision of the Honorable Supreme Court in the case of Rulloda vs. Comelec is instructive. Pertinent portion of the decision reads:

'Private respondent argues that inasmuch as the barangay election is non-partisan, there can be no substitution because there is no political party from which to designate the substitute. Such an interpretation, aside from being non sequitur, ignores the purpose of election laws which is to give effect to, rather than frustrate, the will of the voters. It is a solemn duty to uphold the clear and unmistakable mandate of the people. It is well-settled that in case of doubt, political laws must be construed as to give life and spirit to the popular mandate freely expressed through the ballot.

Contrary to respondent's claim, the absence of a specific provision governing substitution of candidates in barangay elections can not be inferred as a prohibition against said substitution. Such a restrictive construction cannot be read into the law where the same is not written. Indeed, there is more reason to allow the substitution of candidates where no political parties are involved than when political considerations or party affiliations reign, a fact that must have been subsumed by law.

Hence, based on [the afore-quoted] pronouncement of the Honorable Supreme Court that there is no legal basis for the prohibition on the substitution of a candidate, we respectfully RECOMMEND that the same be allowed subject to the following conditions:

  1. Substitution shall be allowed only in cases of death, disqualification and permanent incapacity;
  2. No substitution shall be allowed in cases of withdrawal of the Certificate of Candidacy;
  3. The substitute for a candidate who died or disqualified by final judgment or suffered permanent incapacity, may file his certificate of candidacy up to mid-day of election day on October 28, 2013;
  4. The Certificate of Candidacy of the substitute shall be filed at the Office of the Election Officer of the city/municipality concerned;
  5. If the death or permanent incapacity should occur between the day before the election and mid-day of election day, the substitute candidate may file the certificate with any Board of Election Tellers in the political subdivision where the substituted was a candidate;
  6. The substitution shall be effective upon the filing of the COC of the substitute in the Office of the Election Officer concerned or with any of the Board of Election Tellers as the case may be, provided, the same is filed in conformity with the foregoing conditions;
  7. In case two or more aspirants file their COC in substitution of another candidate who died or was disqualified by final judgement or otherwise permanently incapacitated; the first who filed his COC shall be considered as the substitute.

ON THE [AMENDMENT]
CORRECTION OF CERTIFICATES
OF CANDIDACY

Our officers in the field have been requesting for guidance on how to treat requests for the amendment/correction of the Certificate of Candidacy filed with their offices after the last day of filing the COCs. Moreover, candidates themselves have been requesting for the rectification/correction of their Certificate of Candidacy claiming that they used the wrong form. For example, some of them asserted that they really intended to run for the position of Punong Barangay but they filed the wrong form for Member, Sangguniang Barangay or vice versa.

We respectfully RECOMMEND the denial of any amendment or correction to the COC after the last day of filing thereof because the same will be tantamount to accepting a new COC which is already filed out of time.

A COC filed out of time or beyond the period fixed by law is void, and the person who filed it is not. in law, a candidate. Thus, in the case of Gador vs. Cornelec, the Honorable Supreme Court held:

'x x x a certificate of candidacy filed beyond the period fixed by law is void, and the person who filed it is not, in law, a candidate. Much in the same manner as a person who filed no certificate of candidacy at all and a person who filed it out of time, a person whose certificate of candidacy is cancelled or denied due course is no candidate at all. No amount of votes should entitle him to the elective office aspired for."

The evident purposes of the law in requiring the filing of certificates of candidacy and in fixing a time limit therefor are (a) to enable the voter to know, at least xxx xxx xxx before a regular election the candidate among whom they are to make the choice, and (b) to avoid confusion and inconvenience in the tabulation of the votes cast; for if the law did not confine the choice or election by the voter to duly registered candidates, there might be as many persons voted for as there were voters, and votes might be cast even for unknown or fictitious person as a mark to identify the votes in favor of a candidate for another office in the same election.

Hence, any changes in the COCs, in order to be valid must be done within the period fixed by the rules for filing the same. As have been held time and again, the provisions of the election law regarding certificates of candidacy, such as signing and swearing on the same, as well as the information required to be stated therein, are considered mandatory prior to the elections.

Respectfully submitted."

The Commission RESOLVED, as it hereby RESOLVES, to adopt the foregoing recommendations of Director Esmeralda Amora-Ladra, Law Department, on the following issues in connection with the conduct of the October 28, 2013 Barangay Elections:

  1. To allow the substitution of a candidate, subject to the following conditions:

    1. Substitution shall be allowed only in cases of death, disqualification, and permanent incapacity;
    2. No substitution shall be allowed in cases of withdrawal of the Certificate of Candidacy (COC);
    3. The substitute for a candidate who died or disqualified by final judgment or suffered permanent incapacity, may file his certificate of candidacy up to mid-day of election day on October 28, 2013;
    4. The Certificate of Candidacy of the substitute shall be filed at the Office of the Election Officer of the city/municipality concerned;
    5. If the death or permanent incapacity should occur between the day before the election and mid-day of election day, the substitute candidate may file the certificate with any Board of Election Tellers in the political subdivision where the substituted was a candidate;
    6. The substitution shall be effective upon the filing of the COC of the substitute in the Office of the Election Officer concerned or with any of the Board of Election Tellers as the case may be, provided, the same is filed in conformity with the foregoing conditions;
    7. In case two or more aspirants file their COC in substitution of another candidate who died or was disqualified by final judgment or otherwise permanently incapacitated, the first who filed his COC shall be considered as the substitute.
  2. To deny any amendment or correction in the COC after the last day of filing thereof.

This Resolution shall take effect immediately upon its publication.

Let the Law Department implement this Resolution and the Education and Information Department shall cause the immediate publication of this Resolution in two (2) newspapers of general circulation in the Philippines, and give the same the widest dissemination possible and furnish copies thereof to all Regional Election Directors, Provincial Election Supervisors and Election Officers.

SO ORDERED.



SIGNED:

  • BRILLANTES, SIXTO S., Jr., Chairman
  • YUSOPH, ELIAS R., Commissioner
  • LIM, CHRISTIAN ROBERT S., Commissioner
  • PARREƑO, AL A., Commissioner
  • GUIA, LUIE TITO F., Commissioner


ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS:

  • TAGLE, LUCENITO N., Commissioner
  • PADACA, MARIA GRACIA CIELO M., Commissioner




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Created: 11.07.2013 JJSP, Updated: 02.28.2014 CPTB
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