Sec. 249. Jurisdiction of the Commission. - The Commission shall be the sole judge of all contests relating to the elections, returns, and qualifications of all Members of the Batasang Pambansa, elective regional, provincial and city officials.
Sec. 250. Election contests for Batasang Pambansa, regional, provincial and city offices. - A sworn petition contesting the election of any Member of the Batasang Pambansa or any regional, provincial or city official shall be filed with the Commission by any candidate who has duly filed a certificate of candidacy and has been voted for the same office, within ten days after the proclamation of the results of the election.
Sec. 251. Election contests for municipal offices. - A sworn petition contesting the election of a municipal officer shall be filed with the proper regional trial court by any candidate who has duly filed a certificate of candidacy and has been voted for the same office, within ten days after proclamation of the results of the election.
Sec. 252. Election contest for barangay offices. - A sworn petition contesting the election of a barangay officer shall be filed with the proper municipal or metropolitan trial court by any candidate who has duly filed a certificate of candidacy and has been voted for the same office, within ten days after the proclamation of the results of the election. The trial court shall decide the election protest within fifteen days after the filing thereof. The decision of the municipal or metropolitan trial court may be appealed within ten days from receipt of a copy thereof by the aggrieved party to the regional trial court which shall decide the case within thirty days from its submission, and whose decisions shall be final.
Sec. 253. Petition for quo warranto. - Any voter contesting the election of any Member of the Batasang Pambansa, regional, provincial, or city officer on the ground of ineligibility or of disloyalty to the Republic of the Philippines shall file a sworn petition for quo warranto with the Commission within ten days after the proclamation of the results of the election.
Any voter contesting the election of any municipal or barangay officer on the ground of ineligibility or of disloyalty to the Republic of the Philippines shall file a sworn petition for quo warranto with the regional trial court or metropolitan or municipal trial court, respectively, within ten days after the proclamation of the results of the election.
Sec. 254. Procedure in election contests. - The Commission shall prescribe the rules to govern the procedure and other matters relating to election contests pertaining to all national, regional, provincial, and city offices not later than thirty days before such elections. Such rules shall provide a simple and inexpensive procedure for the expeditious disposition of election contests and shall be published in at least two newspapers of general circulation.
However, with respect to election contests involving municipal and barangay offices the following rules of procedure shall govern:
- Notice of the protest contesting the election of a candidate for a municipal or barangay office shall be served upon the candidate by means of a summons at the postal address stated in his certificate of candidacy except when the protestee, without waiting for the summons, has made the court understand that he has been notified of the protest or has filed his answer hereto;
- The protestee shall answer the protest within five days after receipt of the summons, or, in case there has been no summons from the date of his appearance and in all cases before the commencement of the hearing of the protest or contest. The answer shall deal only with the election in the polling places which are covered by the allegations of the contest;
- Should the protestee desire to impugn the votes received by the protestant in other polling places, he shall file a counter-protest within the same period fixed for the answer serving a copy thereof upon the protestant by registered mail or by personal delivery or through the sheriff;
- The protestant shall answer the counter-protest within five days after notice;
- Within the period of five days counted from the filing of the protest any other candidate for the same office may intervene in the case as other contestants and ask for affirmative relief in his favor by a petition in intervention, which shall be considered as another contest, except that it shall be substantiated within the same proceedings. The protestant or protestee shall answer the protest in intervention within five days after notice;
- If no answer shall be filed to the contest, counter-protest, or to the protest in intervention, within the time limits respectively fixed, a general denial shall be deemed to have been entered;
- In election contest proceedings, the permanent registry list of voters shall be conclusive in regard to the question as to who had the right to vote in said election.
Sec. 255. Judicial counting of votes in election contest. - Where allegations in a protest or counter-protest so warrant, or whenever in the opinion of the court the interests of justice so require, it shall immediately order the book of voters, ballot boxes and their keys, ballots and other documents used in the election be brought before it and that the ballots be examined and the votes recounted.
Sec. 256. Appeals. - Appeals from any decision rendered by the regional trial court under Section 251 and paragraph two, Section 253 hereof with respect to quo warranto petitions filed in election contests affecting municipal officers, the aggrieved party may appeal to the Intermediate Appellate Court within five days after receipt of a copy of the decision. No motion for reconsideration shall be entertained by the court. The appeal shall be decided within sixty days after the case has been submitted for decision.
Sec. 257. Decision in the Commission. - The Commission shall decide all election cases brought before it within ninety days from the date of their submission for decision. The decision of the Commission shall become final thirty days after receipt of judgment.
Sec. 258. Preferential disposition of contests in courts. - The courts, in their respective cases, shall give preference to election contests over all other cases, except those of habeas corpus, and shall without delay, hear and, within thirty days from the date of their submission for decision, but in every case within six months after filing, decide the same.
Sec. 259. Actual or compensatory damages. - Actual or compensatory damages may be granted in all election contests or in quo warranto proceedings in accordance with law.
Sec. 260. Notice of decisions. - The clerk of court and the corresponding official in the Commission before whom an election contest or a quo warranto proceeding has been instituted or where the appeal of said case has been taken shall notify immediately the President of the Philippines of the final disposition thereof. In election contests involving provincial, city, municipal, or barangay offices, notice of such final disposition shall also be sent to the secretary of the local sanggunian concerned. If the decision be that none of the parties has been legally elected, said official shall certify such decision to the President of the Philippines and, in appropriate cases, to the Commission.