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1. GMA Network v. COMELEC, G.R. No.

205357, September 2, 2014;

GMA NETWORK, INC., Petitioner,

vs.

COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS, Respondent.

G.R. No. 205357 September 2, 2014

PONENTE: Peralta

TOPIC: Freedom of expression, of speech and of the press, airtime limits

FACTS:

The five (5) petitions before the Court put in issue the alleged
unconstitutionality of Section 9 (a) of COMELEC Resolution No. 9615 limiting
the broadcast and radio advertisements of candidates and political parties for
national election positions to an aggregate total of one hundred twenty (120)
minutes and one hundred eighty (180) minutes, respectively. They contend that
such restrictive regulation on allowable broadcast time violates freedom of the
press, impairs the peoples right to suffrage as well as their right to information
relative to the exercise of their right to choose who to elect during the forth
coming elections.

Section 9 (a) provides for an aggregate total airtime instead of the


previous per station airtime for political campaigns or advertisements, and also
required prior COMELEC approval for candidates television and radio guestings
and appearances.

ISSUE:

Whether or not Section 9 (a) of COMELEC Resolution No. 9615 on


airtime limits violates freedom of expression, of speech and of the press.

HELD:

YES. The Court held that the assailed rule on aggregate-


based airtime limits is unreasonable and arbitrary as it unduly restricts
and constrains the ability of candidates and political parties to reach out
and communicate with the people. Here, the adverted reason for imposing
the aggregate-based airtime limits leveling the playing field does not
constitute a compelling state interest which would justify such a substantial
restriction on the freedom of candidates and political parties to communicate their
ideas, philosophies, platforms and programs of government. And, this is specially
so in the absence of a clear-cut basis for the imposition of such a prohibitive
measure.

It is also particularly unreasonable and whimsical to adopt the


aggregate-based time limits on broadcast time when we consider that the
Philippines is not only composed of so many islands. There are also a lot of
languages and dialects spoken among the citizens across the country.
Accordingly, for a national candidate to really reach out to as many of the
electorates as possible, then it might also be necessary that he conveys his
message through his advertisements in languages and dialects that the people
may more readily understand and relate to. To add all of these airtimes in different
dialects would greatly hamper the ability of such candidate to express himself a
form of suppression of his political speech.

2. Makalintal v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 157013, July 10, 2003;

3. Roque v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 188456, September 10, 2009;

4. BANAT v. COMELEC, G.R.No. 177508, August 7, 2009;

5. CenPEG v. COMELEC, September 21, 2010, G.R. No. 189546,


September 21, 2010;

6. Cayetano v. Monsod, G.R. No. 100113, September 3, 1991;

7. Brillante v. Yorac, 192 SCRA 358;

8. Gaminde v. COA, G.R. No. 140335, December 13, 2000;

9. Estrella v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 160465, May 27, 2004;

10. Dumayas v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 141952-53, April 20, 2001;

11. Mamerto Sevilla v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 202833, March 10, 2013;

12. Alvarez v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 142527, March 1, 2001;

13. Sarmiento v. COMELEC, 212 SCRA 307;

14. Bautista v. COMELEC, G.R. Nos. 154796-97, October 23, 2003;

15. Kamarudin Ibrahim v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 192289, January 14, 2013;

16. Abad v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 128877, December 10, 1999;

17. Soller v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 139853, September 5, 2000;

Soller v. COMELEC
G.R. NO. 139853
FACTS
Petitioner and private respondent (Saulong) were both candidates
for
mayor of the municipality of Bansud, Oriental Mindoro in the May
11,
1998 elections. The petitioner was proclaimed as mayor by the
municipal board of canvassers. Private respondent filed a petition
with
the COMELEC to annul the proclamation. Later, private respondent
filed an election protest against petitioner with the RTC. The
COMELEC
dismissed the pre-proclamation case filed by private respondent,
while
the RTC denied petitioners motion to dismiss. Petitioner moved for
reconsideration but said motion was denied.
Petitioner then filed with the COMELEC a petition for certiorari
contending that respondent RTC acted without or in excess of
jurisdiction or with grave abuse of discretion in not dismissing
private
respondents election protest. The COMELEC en banc dismissed
petitioners suit. Petitioner now questions this decision of the
COMELEC
en banc.

ISSUE:
Whether or not the COMELEC has the authority to decide on the
case.

HELD
The SC has ruled in previous cases that the COMELEC, sitting en
banc,
does not have the requisite authority to hear and decide election
cases
including pre-proclamation controversies in the first instance. This
power pertains to the divisions of the Commission. Any decision by
the
Commission en banc as regards election cases decided by it in the
first
instance is null and void. In the SCs view, the authority to resolve
petition for certiorari involving incidental issues of election protest,
like
the questioned order of the trial court, falls within the division of the
COMELEC and not on the COMELEC en banc.

18. Zarate v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 129096, November 19, 1999;

19. Jaramilla v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 155717, October 23, 2003;

20. Typoco v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 186359, March 5, 2010;

21. Matura v. COMELEC, 285 SCRA 493;

22. Baytan v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 153945, February 4, 2003;


23. Municipal Board of Canvassers v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 150946;

24. Villarosa v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 212953, August 5, 2014;

25. Hayudini v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 207900, April 22, 2014;

26. Barato v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 149147, June 18, 2003;

27. Reyes v. Oriental Mindoro, 244 SCRA 44;

28. Cayetano v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 193846, April 12, 2011;

29. Ambil, Jr. v. COMELEC, 398 Phil. 257;

30. Soriano, Jr. v. COMELEC, 548 Phil. 639;

31. Blanco v. COMELEC, 577 Phil. 622;

32. ABS-CBN v. COMELEC, 380 Phil. 780;

33. Garces v. CA, 259 SCRA 99;

34. Diocese of Bacolod, rep. Bishop Navarra v. COMELEC, G.R. No.


205720, January 21, 2015;

35. Gallando v. Judge Tabamo. 218 SCRA 253;

36. LDP v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 161265, February 24, 2004;

37. Luis Lokin v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 193808;

38. AKLAT v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 162203, april 14, 2004;

39. Buca v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 155855, January 26, 2004;

40. Cagas v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 209185, October 25, 2013;

41. National Press Club v. COMELEC, 207 SCRA 1;

42. Adiong v. COMELEC, 207 SCRA 712;

43. Chavez v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 162777, August 31, 2004;

44. Philippine Press Institute v. COMELEC, 244 SCRA 272;

45. SWS v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 147571, May 5, 2001;

46. Sanidad v. COMELEC, 181 SCRA 529;

47. Sison v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 134096, March 3, 1999;

48. Mitmug v. COMELEC, 230 SCRA 54

49. Solita v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 141723, April 20, 2001;

50. Montejo v. COMELEC, 242 SCRA 415;

51. Brillante v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 163193, June 15, 2004;


52. Cerafica v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 205136, December 2, 2014;

53. Akbayan Youth v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 147066, March 26, 2001;

54. Goh v. Bayron and COMELEC, G.R. No. 212584, November 25, 2014;

55. Jalosjos, Jr. v. COMELEC, G.R. Nos. 192474, 192704, June 26, 2012;

56. Tanada, Jr. v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 207199, October 22, 2013;

57. Reyes v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 207264, June 25, 2013;

58. Sahali v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 201796, January 15, 2013;

59. Bince v. COMELEC, 218 SCRA 782;

60. Relampagos v. Cumba, 243 SCRA 690;

61. Gallano v. Hon. Geronimo, G.R. No. 192793, February 22, 2011;

62. Flores v. COMELEC, 184 SCRA 484;

63. Veloria v. COMELEC, 211 SCRA 907;

64. Lloren v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 196355, September 18, 2012;

65. Divinagracia v. COMELEC, G.R. Nos. 186007 & 186016, July 27, 2009;

66. Nollen v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 187635, January 11, 2010;

67. Baraonda v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 166032, February 28, 2005;

68. Saludaga v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 189431, April 7, 2010;

69. Edding v. COMELEC, 246 SCRA 502;

70. Santos v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 155618, March 26, 2003;

71. Navarrosa v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 157957, September 18, 2003;

72. Gutierrez v. COMELEC, 270 SCRA 413;

73. Ramas v. COMELEC, 286 SCRA 189;

74. Calo v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 185222, January 19, 2010;

75. Camlian v. COMELEC, 271 SCRA 757;

76. Guevara v. COMELEC, 104 Phil. 269;

77. Galido v. COMELEC, 193 SCRA 78;

78. Ambil v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 143398, October 25, 2000;

79. Cawasa v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 150469, July 3, 2002;

The appointment of military personnel as members of the BEI is a


grave electoral irregularity.
80. Salic Dumarpa v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 192249, April 2, 2013;

81. Filipina Engineering & Machine Shop v. Ferrer, 135 SCRA 25;

82. Salva v. Makalintal, G.R. No. 132603, September 18, 2000;

83. Tan v. COMELEC, 237 SCRA 353;

84. Mandalo Para sa Pagbabago v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 190793, June 19,
2012;

85. Ang Ladlad LGBT Party v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 190582, April 8, 2010;

86. Phil. Guardians Brotherhood, Inc. v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 190529, April
29, 2010;

87. Cocofed v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 207026, August 6, 2013;

88. ANAD v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 206987, September 10, 2013;

89. Coalitions of Associations of Senior Citizenz v. COMELEC, G.R. No.


206844-45, July 23, 2013;

90. Abang-Lingkod Party-List v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 206952, October 22,


2013;

91. Veterans Federation Party v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 136781, October 6,


2000;

92. Ang Bagong Bayani-OFW Labor Party v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 147589,
June 26, 2001;

93. BANAT v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 179271, April 21, 2009;

94. Atona Paglaum, Inc., v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 203766, April 2, 2013;

95. Bello v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 191998, December 7, 2010;

96. ABC v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 193,256, March 22, 2011;

97. Amores v. HRET, G.R. No. 189600, June 29, 2010;

98. De Jesus v. People, 120 SCRA 760;

99. People v. Judge Inting, 187 SCRA 788;

100. COMELEC v. Silva, 286 SCRA 177;

101. People v. Judge Basilio, 179 SCRA 87;

102. BANAT v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 177508, August 7, 2009;


103. Loong v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 133676, April 14, 1999;

104. Sambarani v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 160427, September 15, 2004;

105. Hassan v. COMELEC, 264 SCRA 125;

106. Yra v. Abano, 52 Phil. 380;

107. Asistio v. Aguirre, G.R. No. 191124, April 27, 2010;

108. Ututalum v. COMELEC, 181 SCRA 335;

109. Frivaldo v. COMELEC, 174 SCRA 245;

110. Labo v. COMELEC, 176 SCRA 1;

111. Frivaldo v. COMELEC, 257 SCRA 727;

112. Jalosjos v. COMELEC, G.R. no. 191970, April 24, 2012;

113. Jalosjos v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 193314, February 26, 2013;

114. Mitra v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 191938, July 2, 2010;

115. Vidal v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 206666, January 21, 2015;

116. Villaber v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 148326, November 15, 2001;

117. Cassi v. COMELEC, 191 SCRA 229;

118. Moreno v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 168550, August 10, 2006;

119. Grego v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 125955, June 19, 1997;

120. Reyes v. COMELEC, 254 SCRA 514;

121. Mercado v. Manzano, 307 SCRA 630;

122. Lopez v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 182701, July 23, 2008;

123. Sobejana-COndon v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 198742, August 10, 2012;

124. Maquiling v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 195649, April 16, 2013;

125. Marquez v. COMELEC, 243 SCRA 538;

126. Rodriguez v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 120099, July 24, 1996;

127. Esercito v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 212398, November 25, 2014;

128. Pangkat Laguna v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 148075, February 4, 2002;

129. Lato v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 164858, November 16, 2006;

130. Penera v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 181613, November 25, 2009;

131. Quinto v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 189698, February 22, 2010;

132. PNOC v. NLRC, G.R. No. 100947, May 31, 1993;


133. De Guzman v. Board of Canvassers, 48 Phil. 211;

134. Amora v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 192280, January 25, 2011;

135. Jurilla v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 105435, June 2, 1994;

136. Talaga v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 196804, October 9, 2012;

137. Tagolino v. HRET, G.R. No. 202202, March 19, 2013;

138. Aratea v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 195229, October 9, 2012;

139. Jalosjos v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 193237, October 9, 2012;

140. Ycain v. Caneja, 81 Phil 773;

141. Monsale v. Nico, 83 Phil. 758;

142. Loreto-Go v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 147741, May 10, 2001;

143. Abcede v. Imperial, 103 Phil. 136;

144. Cipriano v. COMELEC, 479 Phil. 677 (2004);

145. Romeo Jalosjos v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 205033, Jun3, 18, 2003;

146. Timbol v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 206004, February 24, 2015;

147. Garcia v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 121139, July 11, 2010;

148. Martinez v. HRET, G.R. No. 189034, January 11, 2010;

149. Casimira v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 19221, November 13, 2012;

150. Garvida v. Sales, G.R. No. 122872, September 10, 1997;

151. Quizon v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 177927, February 15, 2008;

152. Luis Villafuerte v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 206698, February 25, 2014;

153. Hayudini v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 207900, April 22, 2014;

154. Fermin v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 179695, December 18, 2008;

155. Jalover v. Osmena, G.R. No. 209286, September 23, 2014;

156. Gonzalez v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 192856, March 8, 2011;

157. Codilla v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 150605, December 10, 2002;

158. Albana v. COMELEC, 185 SCRA 703;

159. Alfais Munder v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 194076, October 10, 2011;

160. Papandayan v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 147909, April 16, 2002;

161. Bautista v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 133840, November 13, 1998;

162. Martinez v. HRET, G.R. No. 189034, January 11, 2010;


163. De La Cruz v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 192221, November 13, 2012;

164. Lato v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 154858, November 16, 2006;

165. Garcia v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 170256, January 25, 2010;

166. Ejercito v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 212398, November 25, 2014;

167. Badoy v. COMELEC, 35 SCRA 285;

168. Sanidad v. COMELEC, 181 SCRA 529;

169. Chavez v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 162777, august 31, 2004;

170. Pilar v. COMELEC, 245 SCRA 759;

171. Libanan v. HRET. G.R. No. 129783, December 22, 1997;

172. Punzalan v. COMELEC, 289 SCRA 702;

173. Villagracia v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 168296, Janaury 31, 2006;

174. Garay v. COMELEC, 261 SCRA 222;