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Republic of the Philippines

Office of the President of the Philippines


HOUSING AND LAND USE REGULATORY BOARD
Northern Tagalog Regional Field Office-III

3rd Floor Insular Life Building, McArthur Highway, Dolores, San Fernando City, Pampanga

DR. GABRIEL G. URIARTE


Complainant,
- versus -

HLURB Case No. NTR-HOA011316-697

MICHELLE
LAURETA,
RAFAEL
NOLASCO
AND
LORNA
F.
MCNABNEY in their capacity as
members of the Commission on
Election (Comelec)
Respondent.
x
---------------------------------------------------------- x

DECISION
This is a case of election protest filed by Dr. Gabriel G. Uriarte
(complainant) against Michelle Laureta, Rafael Nolasco and Lorna F.
McNabney in their capacity as members of the Comelec (respondents)
praying that the election conducted on 09 January 2016 by Metrogate
San Jose Village Homeowners Association, Inc., ( M S J H A I ) be annulled
and for the appointment and constitution of a management committee.
Stripped of the unnecessary details, the facts of the case as are
follows:
On 09 January 2016, MSJHAI conducted the election of officers for
20161. During the election, complainant was allowed only to cast vote
under the auspices of the respondents-protestees per Memorandum Circular No. 007,
Series of 2016,
1

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on 19 lots he owned in spite of his ownership of 51 lots wherein he


should be allowed one (1) vote per lot 2 pursuant to Sec. 6, Article VIII of
the By-Laws. Because of this case, complainant immediately lodged a
protest with the respondents through its chairman 3, however said
election was proceeded despite protest by the complainant. He further
alleges that the actions of respondents in not allowing complainant to
cast votes in his other lots was aimed to favor the other candidates and
the incumbent officers who orchestrated the scheme of not collecting
the dues on his 32 lots in order to minimize the number of votes that he
can cast considering he was only assessed for 21 lots. Moreover,
complainant avers that he exhausted other remedies before the
Comelec but was denied his right to vote on the 32 lots owned by him.
Aggrieved, the complainant filed the instant case before this Office to
annul the 9 January 2016 Election, conduct a new election and
constitute a management committee to oversee the day to day
operation of the association.
Respondents, in their Answer,

deny

complainant and posit the following:

the allegations of the

the complainants failed to

exhaust administrative remedies in accordance with the By-Laws of the


association and 2011 Revised Rules of Procedure before he filed the
instant case in Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB); there
is no basis for the creation of management committee; complainant's
status as member in good standing corresponds only to the 21 lots
with fully paid monthly dues; complainant was aware and familiar with
the required monthly dues of every lots and verbally informed about
his monthly dues deficiencies but refused to pay the same; and
complainant cannot claim that he was

disenfranchised

or

not

allowed to vote because by his own admission, complainant was


allowed to cast several votes corresponding
paid

monthly

to

his lots with

fully

dues . Respondents pray that the complaint be

dismissed for lack of factual and legal basis.


2
3

Annex B of the Complaint


Annex C of the Complaint

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The case was set for a series mediation conference, however, the
parties failed to arrive at a settlement. Thus, this Office issued an Order
dated 17 June 2016 directing the complainant and the respondents to
submit their respective position papers and draft decisions.
The pivotal issue in this case is whether or not complainant is
entitled to the remedies he prayed for.

Ruling of this OfficeThis Office rules in the negative.


Pertinent is Rule 5 Section 15 paragraph g (3) of the 2011
Revised Rules of Procedure of Housing and land Use Regulatory Board 4
which states that, to wit:
xxx
Rule 5
COMPLAINT
Section 15. Complaint.- The complaint shall
contain the following:

(a)
(b)
(c)
(d)
(e)
(f)

Caption and Title.Body.Relief.Signature.Verification.Certification Against Forum Shopping.-

(g) The following shall be attached to the complaint upon filing:

(1) ;
(2) ; and
(3) In homeowners association cases, a certification
issued by the chair of the Election Committee in
cases involving elections, or by the chair of the
Grievance Committee or any other committee
constituted to resolve any matter in controversy at the
association level, as the case may be, stating under
oath that the parties have been invited to

Board Resolution No. 871 series of 2011 which was approved on 19 April 2011

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participate in the proceedings to settle the


dispute but that no amicable settlement was
reached.
In the absence of an Election Committee and Grievance
Committee or refusal to issue the certification, an
affidavit attesting to this fact shall be made and
further stating that complainant has exhausted
administrative remedies.
Non-compliance with any of the above
requirements shall be a ground for the dismissal of
the complaint without prejudice. (emphasis ours)

Xxx
Also, Rule 24 Section 90 of the same Rules, it provides that:
xxx
Rule 24
ELECTION CONTEST
Section 90. Filing of Election Contest.- In addition to
the requirements in Section 15 of this Rules, the complaint in
an election contest must state that the case was filed within
ten (10) days from receipt of the resolution of the
controversy by the association as provided in its
bylaws. If the bylaws of the association do not provide for a
procedure for resolution of the controversy, the complaint
shall be filed within ten (10) days from the date of the
election or proclamation,
whichever is later.
(emphasis supplied)

xxx

As culled in the records of the case, the complainants failed to


attach a certification from the Comelec stating under oath that the parties
have been invited to participate in the proceedings to settle the dispute
but that no amicable settlement was reached. In the event the Comelec
refused to issue such certification, an affidavit attesting to this fact shall
be

made

and

further

stating

that

complainant

has

exhausted

administrative remedies. While the complainant sent a letter to the


respondents, he made no earnest effort to resolve their differences or file
a case in accordance with the Settlement of Dispute Clause provided for
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in their associations By-Laws and instead, went directly to this Office to


file the case. The

Dispute Settlement Clause

being the

mode of

settlement between the parties expressly provided for in their by-laws,


being mandatory,

the

same

should

be

respected

and

strictly

complied with by the members of the associate.


The Supreme Court said in Toshiba Information Equipment (Phils.),
Inc. vs. Commissioner of Internal Revenue,5 to wit:
xxx
..it is axiomatic in pleadings and practice that no
new issue in a case can be raised in a pleading which by due
diligence could have been raised in previous pleadings. The
Court cannot simply grant the plea of the CIR that the
procedural rules be relaxed based on the general averment of
the interest of substantive justice. It should not be forgotten that
the first and fundamental concern of the rules of procedure is to
secure a just determination of every action. Procedural rules are
designed to facilitate the adjudication of cases. Courts and
litigants alike are enjoined to abide strictly by the rules. While in
certain instances, the Court allows a relaxation in the application
of the rules, it never intends to forge a weapon for erring
litigants to violate the rules with impunity. The liberal
interpretation and application of rules apply only in proper cases
of demonstrable merit and under justifiable causes and
circumstances. While it is true that litigation is not a game of
technicalities, it is equally true that every case must be
prosecuted in accordance with the prescribed procedure to
ensure an orderly and speedy administration of justice. Party
litigants and their counsel are well advised to abide by, rather
than flaunt, procedural rules for these rules illumine the path of
the law and rationalize the pursuit of justice.
xxx

As to issue of whether or not complainant was disenfranchised or


denied of his right to vote, this Office also rules in the negative.

G.R. No. 157594. March 9, 2010.

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Xxx
Article III
MEMBERSHIP
Section 2. Member in Good Standing. A member in
good standing is one who complies with all the duties and
obligations of a member as determined by the Board of
Directors.
xxx
Section 4. Duties of Members. A

member shall have the following

duties:
a. To pay his membership fee, association dues,
special assessment and such other fees which may be levied on
him.
b. xxx
c. xxx
d. To obey and comply with the By-laws and such
other rules and regulations as maybe promulgated by the
Board of Directors."
xxx

Complainant cannot claim that he was disenfranchised. He was


allowed to vote for the number of lots with fully paid monthly dues. To
do otherwise will violate the By-Laws of the association.

As

m e m b e r , he is duty- bound to pay for the dues of all lots before he


can cast his votes thereto. Considering he is paid for 19 lots, he was
allowed to vote for 19 lots. Hence, he was duly afforded his right to vote.
As to the third issue, there is no legal basis for the creation of
management committee.
The grounds for the creation of the management committee are
enumerated under Section 69 Rule 20 of the 2011 Rules of Procedure of
this Honorable Board. To quote:
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xxx
RULE 20
MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE
Section 69. Grounds for the Creation of the
Management Committee. - No petition for the creation of
the committee shall be granted unless it is established that
no other adequate remedy is available and the same is
necessary:
a) To avert dissipation, loss, wastage or destruction of assets

or other properties of the association;


b) To prevent paralyzation of operations which may be
prejudicial to the interest of the members and the general
public; or
c) When the election of the incumbent officers has been
declared null and void and the hold-over of the previous
board shall frustrate or render nugatory the invalidation of
the election.
xxx
In the present case, the above-mentioned grounds for the creation of
Management Committee do not exist because the election conducted on 9
January 2016 was in accordance with the By-Laws of the association,
participated by the homeowners including the complainant, the winners
were duly proclaimed and in fact had already taken their Oath of Office
and performing their duties. Likewise, the By-Laws of the association
provides for adequate remedy to the complainant but he ignore the same
by filing directly the complaint before this Honorable Board.
There can be no dissipation, loss, wastage or destruction of assets or
other properties of the association because the common facilities of the
subdivision are under the joint care and management of the association
and the owner/developer of the subdivision. Therefore, there would be no
order declaring the election of the incumbent officers null and void and
there are no hold-over board of directors.
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WHEREFORE,

premises

considered,

judgment

is

hereby

rendered dismissing the instant complaint for lack of merit.


IT IS SO ORDERED.
City of San Fernando, Pampanga. ___________________________

ATTY.

MARIFE

C.

DOBLADA
Housing and Land Use
Arbiter

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