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RepublicofthePhilippines

SupremeCourt
Manila

ENBANC

DOUGLASR.CAGAS, G.R.No.194139
Petitioner,
Present:

CORONA,C.J.,
CARPIO,
VELASCO,JR.,

LEONARDODECASTRO,

BRION,
PERALTA,
BERSAMIN,
DELCASTILLO,
versus
ABAD,


VILLARAMA,JR.,
PEREZ,
MENDOZA,
SERENO,
REYES,and
PERLASBERNABE,JJ.

THECOMMISSIONON Promulgated:
ELECTIONS,AND

CLAUDEP.BAUTISTA,
January24,2012
Respondents.

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xx

DECISION

BERSAMIN,J.:

ApartyaggrievedbyaninterlocutoryorderissuedbyaDivisionoftheCommissiononElections
(COMELEC)inanelectionprotestmaynotdirectlyassailtheorderinthisCourtthroughaspecialcivil
actionforcertiorari.Theremedyistoseekthereviewoftheinterlocutoryorderduringtheappealof
thedecisionoftheDivisioninduecourse.

ForresolutionisthepetitionforcertioraribroughtunderRule64oftheRulesofCourt,assailing
theorderdatedAugust13,2010(denyingtheaffirmativedefensesraisedbythepetitioner),1andthe
orderdatedOctober7,2010(denyinghismotionforreconsideration),2bothissuedbytheCOMELEC
FirstDivisioninEPCNo.201042,anelectionprotestentitledClaudeP.Bautista,protestantv.
DouglasR.Cagas,protestee.3

Antecedents

ThepetitionerandrespondentClaudeP.Bautista(Bautista)contestedthepositionofGovernorofthe
ProvinceofDavaodelSurintheMay10,2010automatednationalandlocalelections.Thefast
transmissionoftheresultsledtothecompletionbyMay14,2010ofthecanvassingofvotescastfor
GovernorofDavaodelSur,andthepetitionerwasproclaimedthewinner(with163,440votes),with
Bautistagarnering159,527votes.4

Allegingfraud,anomalies,irregularities,votebuyingandviolationsofelectionlaws,rulesand

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resolutions,BautistafiledanelectoralprotestonMay24,2010(EPCNo.201042).5Theprotestwas
raffledtotheCOMELECFirstDivision.

InhisanswersubmittedonJune22,2010,6thepetitioneraverredashisspecialaffirmative
defensesthatBautistadidnotmaketherequisitecashdepositontimeandthatBautistadidnotrendera
detailedspecificationoftheactsoromissionscomplainedof.

OnAugust13,2010,theCOMELECFirstDivisionissuedthefirstassailedorderdenyingthe
specialaffirmativedefensesofthepetitioner,7viz:


Aftercarefulexaminationoftherecordsofthecase,thisCommission(FirstDivision)makesthe
followingobservation:

1.Protestantpaidthecashdepositamountingtoonehundredthousandpesos(P100,000.00)onJune
3,2010asevidencedbyO.R.No.1118105and

2.Paragraphnos.9to28oftheinitiatorypetitionfiledbytheProtestantsetforththespecific
detailsoftheactsandomissionscomplainedofagainsttheProtestee.

ItisthereforeconcludedthatthepaymentbytheProtestantonJune3,2010isasubstantial
compliancewiththerequirementofCOMELECResolutionNo.8804,takingintoconsideration
Section9(e),Rule6ofsaidResolution.Furthermore,theProtestanthaslikewiseessentially
compliedwithSection7(g),Rule6oftheabovementionedResolution.

Inviewoftheforegoing,thisCommission(FirstDivision)RESOLVEStoDENYtheProtestees
specialaffirmativedefenses.

SOORDERED.8

Thepetitionermovedtoreconsideronthegroundthattheorderdidnotdiscusswhetherthe
protestspecifiedtheallegedirregularitiesintheconductoftheelections,inviolationofSection2,

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paragraph2,9Rule19ofCOMELECResolutionNo.8804,10requiringalldecisionstoclearlyand
distinctlyexpressthefactsandthelawonwhichtheywerebasedandthatitalsocontravenedSection
7(g),11Rule6ofCOMELECResolutionNo.8804requiringadetailedspecificationoftheactsor
omissionscomplainedof.HeprayedthatthematterbecertifiedtotheCOMELECenbancpursuantto
Section1,12Section5,13andSection6,14allofRule20ofCOMELECResolutionNo.8804.

ThepetitionerinsistedthatCOMELECResolutionNo.8804hadintroducedtherequirementfor
thedetailedspecificationtopreventshotgunfishingexpeditionsbylosingcandidates15thatsuch
requirementcontrastedwithRule6,Section1ofthe1993COMELECRulesofProcedure,16under
whichtheprotestneededonlytocontainaconcisestatementoftheultimatefactsconstitutingthecause
orcausesofactionthatBautistasprotestdidnotmeetthenewrequirementunderCOMELEC
ResolutionNo.8804andthatinPeav.HouseofRepresentativesElectoralTribunal,17theCourtupheld
thedismissalofaprotestbytheHouseofRepresentativesElectoralTribunal(HRET)fornot
specificallyallegingtheelectoralanomaliesandirregularitiesintheMay8,1995elections.

Inhisopposition,18Bautistacounteredthattheassailedorders,beingmerelyinterlocutory,could
notbeelevatedtotheCOMELECenbancpursuanttotherulinginPanliliov.COMELEC19thatthe
rulesoftheCOMELECrequiredtheinitiatorypetitiontospecifytheactsoromissionsconstitutingthe
electoralfrauds,anomaliesandelectionirregularities,andtocontaintheultimatefactsuponwhichthe
causeofactionwasbasedandthatPeav.HouseofRepresentativesElectoralTribunaldidnotapply
because,firstly,Peahadtotallydifferentfactualantecedentsthanthiscase,and,secondly,theomission
ofmaterialfactsfromPeasprotestpreventedtheprotestee(AlfredoE.Abueg,Jr.)frombeingapprised
oftheissuesthathemustmeetandmadeiteventuallyimpossiblefortheHRETtodeterminewhich
ballotboxeshadtobecollected.

OnOctober7,2010,theCOMELECFirstDivisionissueditssecondassailedorder,20denyingthe
petitionersmotionforreconsiderationforfailingtoshowthatthefirstorderwascontrarytolaw,towit:


TheProtesteesAugust28,2010MotionforReconsiderationwithPrayertoCertifytheCaseto
theCommissionEnBancrelativetotheOrderissuedbytheCommission(FirstDivision)dated

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theCommissionEnBancrelativetotheOrderissuedbytheCommission(FirstDivision)dated
August13,2010isherebyDENIEDforfailuretoshowthattheassailedorderiscontrarytolaw

Withoutgoingintothemeritsoftheprotest,theallegationsintheprotestantspetitionhave
substantiallycompliedwiththerequirementsofCOMELECResolutionNo.8804thatwill
warranttheopeningoftheballotboxesinordertoresolvenotonlytheissuesraisedinthe
protestbutalsothosesetforthintheProtesteesanswer.Whensubstantialcompliancewiththe
rulesissatisfied,allowingtheprotesttoproceedisthebestwayofremovinganydoubtor
uncertaintyastothetruewilloftheelectorate.Allotherissueslaiddownintheparties
pleadings,includingthoseintheProtesteesspecialandaffirmativedefensesandthoseexpressed
inthepreliminaryconferencebrief,willbestbethreshedoutinthefinalresolutionofthe
instantcase.

TheprayertoelevatetheinstantMotionforReconsiderationtotheCommissionEnBanc
isDENIEDconsideringthatthe13August2010Orderismerelyinterlocutoryanditdoesnot
disposeoftheinstantcasewithfinality,inaccordancewithSection5(c),Rule3ofthe
COMELECRulesofProcedure.

SOORDERED.

Notsatisfied,thepetitionercommencedthisspecialcivilactiondirectlyinthisCourt.

Issue

Thepetitionersubmitsthat:


THERESPONDENTCOMELECCOMMITTEDGRAVEABUSEOFDISCRETION
AMOUNTINGTOLACKOREXCESSOFJURISDICTIONINREFUSINGTODISMISSTHE
PROTESTFORINSUFFICIENCYINFORMANDCONTENT.

ThepetitionerarguesthatSection9,21Rule6ofCOMELECResolutionNo.8804obligedthe
COMELECFirstDivisiontosummarilydismisstheprotestforbeinginsufficientinformandcontent
andthattheinsufficiencyinsubstancearosefromthefailureoftheprotestto:(a)specificallystatehow
thevariousirregularitiesandanomalieshadaffectedtheresultsoftheelections(b)indicateinwhichof
theprotestedprecinctswerepreshadedbogusballotsused(c)identifytheprecinctswherethePCOS
machineshadfailedtoaccuratelyaccountforthevotesinfavorofBautistaand(d)allegewith

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particularityhowmanyadditionalvotesBautistastoodtoreceiveforeachofthegroundsheprotested.
HeconcludesthattheCOMELECFirstDivisiongravelyabuseditsdiscretioninallowingtheprotestof
Bautistadespiteitsinsufficiency.

Moreover,thepetitionerurgesthattheprotestbeconsideredasamerefishingexpeditiontobe
outrightlydismissedinlightoftheelectionsbeingheldunderanautomatedsystem.Insupportofhis
urging,hecitesRoque,Jr.v.CommissiononElections,22wheretheCourttookjudicialnoticeofthe
accuracyandreliabilityofthePCOSmachinesandCCScomputers,suchthatallegationsofmassive
errorsintheautomatedcountingandcanvassinghadbecomeinsufficientasbasisfortheCOMELECto
entertainortogiveduecoursetodefectiveelectionprotests.23HesubmitsthataprotestlikeBautistas
castdoubtontheautomatedelections.

Ontheotherhand,theOfficeoftheSolicitorGeneral(OSG)andBautistabothpositthatthe
COMELEChadthepowerandprerogativetodeterminethesufficiencyoftheallegationsofanelection
protestandthatcertiorarididnotliebecausetheCOMELECFirstDivisionactedwithinitsdiscretion.
Additionally,theOSGmaintainsthattheassailedorders,beinginterlocutory,arenotthepropersubjects
ofapetitionforcertiorari.

Asweseeit,thedecisiveissueiswhethertheCourtcantakecognizanceofthepetitionfor
certiorari.

Ruling

Wedismissthepetitionforlackofmerit.

ThegoverningprovisionisSection7,ArticleIXofthe1987Constitution,whichprovides:


Section7.EachCommissionshalldecidebyamajorityvoteofallitsMembersanycaseor

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Section7.EachCommissionshalldecidebyamajorityvoteofallitsMembersanycaseor
matterbroughtbeforeitwithinsixtydaysfromthedateofitssubmissionfordecisionorresolution.A
caseormatterisdeemedsubmittedfordecisionorresolutionuponthefilingofthelastpleading,
brief,ormemorandumrequiredbytherulesoftheCommissionorbytheCommissionitself.Unless
otherwiseprovidedbythisConstitutionorbylaw,anydecision,order,orrulingofeachCommission
maybebroughttotheSupremeCourtoncertioraribytheaggrievedpartywithinthirtydaysfrom
receiptofacopythereof.

Thisprovision,althoughitconfersontheCourtthepowertoreviewanydecision,orderorruling
oftheCOMELEC,limitssuchpowertoafinaldecisionorresolutionoftheCOMELECenbanc,and
doesnotextendtoaninterlocutoryorderissuedbyaDivisionoftheCOMELEC.Otherwisestated,the
Courthasnopowertoreviewoncertiorarianinterlocutoryorderorevenafinalresolutionissuedbya
DivisionoftheCOMELEC.ThefollowingcogentobservationsmadeinAmbilv.Commissionon
Elections24areenlightening,viz:


Tobeginwith,thepoweroftheSupremeCourttoreviewdecisionsoftheComelecisprescribed
intheConstitution,asfollows:

Section7.Eachcommissionshalldecidebyamajorityvoteofallitsmembersanycase
ormatterbroughtbeforeitwithinsixtydaysfromthedateofitssubmissionfordecisionor
resolution.Acaseormatterisdeemedsubmittedfordecisionorresolutionuponthefilingof
thelastpleading,brief,ormemorandumrequiredbytherulesofthecommissionorbythe
commissionitself.Unlessotherwiseprovidedbythisconstitutionorbylaw,anydecision,
order,orrulingofeachcommissionmaybebroughttotheSupremeCourtoncertiorariby
theaggrievedpartywithinthirtydaysfromreceiptofacopythereof.[emphasissupplied]

Wehaveinterpretedthisprovisiontomeanfinalorders,rulingsanddecisionsofthe
COMELECrenderedintheexerciseofitsadjudicatoryorquasijudicialpowers.Thisdecision
mustbeafinaldecisionorresolutionoftheComelecenbanc,notofadivision,certainlynotan
interlocutoryorderofadivision.TheSupremeCourthasnopowertoreviewviacertiorari,an
interlocutoryorderorevenafinalresolutionofaDivisionoftheCommissiononElections.

Themodebywhichadecision,orderorrulingoftheComelecenbancmaybeelevatedtothe
SupremeCourtisbythespecialcivilactionofcertiorariunderRule65ofthe1964RevisedRulesof
Court,nowexpresslyprovidedinRule64,1997RulesofCivilProcedure,asamended.

Rule65,Section1,1997RulesofCivilProcedure,asamended,requiresthattherebenoappeal,
oranyplain,speedyandadequateremedyintheordinarycourseoflaw.Amotionforreconsideration
isaplainandadequateremedyprovidedbylaw.Failuretoabidebythisproceduralrequirement
constitutesagroundfordismissalofthepetition.

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Inlikemanner,adecision,orderorresolutionofadivisionoftheComelecmustbe
reviewedbytheComelecenbancviaamotionforreconsiderationbeforethefinalenbanc
decisionmaybebroughttotheSupremeCourtoncertiorari.Theprerequisitefilingofamotion
forreconsiderationismandatory.xxx25

Thereisnoquestion,therefore,thattheCourthasnojurisdictiontotakecognizanceofthe
petitionforcertiorariassailingthedenialbytheCOMELECFirstDivisionofthespecialaffirmative
defensesofthepetitioner.TheproperremedyisforthepetitionertowaitfortheCOMELECFirst
Divisiontofirstdecidetheprotestonitsmerits,andiftheresultshouldaggrievehim,toappealthe
denialofhisspecialaffirmativedefensestotheCOMELECenbancalongwiththeothererrors
committedbytheDivisionuponthemerits.

Itistruethattheremaybeanexceptiontothegeneralrule,astheCourtconcededinKhov.
CommissiononElections.26Inthatcase,theprotestantassailedtheorderoftheCOMELECFirst
Divisionadmittingananswerwithcounterprotestbelatedlyfiledinanelectionprotestbyfilinga
petitionforcertioraridirectlyinthisCourtonthegroundthattheorderconstitutedgraveabuseof
discretiononthepartoftheCOMELECFirstDivision.TheCourtgrantedthepetitionandnullifiedthe
assailedorderforbeingissuedwithoutjurisdiction,andexplainedtheexceptionthuswise:


AstotheissueofwhetherornotthecaseshouldbereferredtotheCOMELECenbanc,
thisCourtfindstherespondentCOMELECFirstDivisioncorrectwhenitheldinitsorder
datedFebruary28,1996thatnofinaldecision,resolutionororderhasyetbeenmadewhichwill
necessitatetheelevationofthecaseanditsrecordstotheCommissionenbanc.Nolessthanthe
Constitutionrequiresthatelectioncasesmustbeheardanddecidedfirstindivisionandanymotion
forreconsiderationofdecisionsshallbedecidedbytheCommissionenbanc.Apparently,theorders
datedJuly26,1995,November15,1995andFebruary28,1996andtheotherordersrelatingtothe
admissionoftheanswerwithcounterprotestareissuancesofaCommissionindivisionandareall
interlocutoryordersbecausetheymerelyruleuponanincidentalissueregardingtheadmissionof
Espinosa'sanswerwithcounterprotestanddonotterminateorfinallydisposeofthecaseasthey
leavesomethingtobedonebeforeitisfinallydecidedonthemerits.Insuchasituation,theruleis
clearthattheauthoritytoresolveincidentalmattersofacasependinginadivision,likethe
questionedinterlocutoryorders,fallsonthedivisionitself,andnotontheCommissionenbanc.
Section5(c),Rule3oftheCOMELECRulesofProcedureexplicitlyprovidesforthis,

Sec.5.QuorumVotesRequiredxxx
xxx
(c)Anymotiontoreconsideradecision,resolution,orderorrulingofaDivisionshallbe
resolvedbytheCommissionenbancexceptmotionsoninterlocutoryordersofthedivision
whichshallberesolvedbythedivisionwhichissuedtheorder.(emphasisprovided)

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whichshallberesolvedbythedivisionwhichissuedtheorder.(emphasisprovided)

Furthermore,alookatSection2,Rule3oftheCOMELECRulesofProcedureconfirmsthatthe
subjectcasedoesnotfallonanyoftheinstancesoverwhichtheCommissionenbanccantake
cognizanceof.Itreadsasfollows:

Section2.TheCommissionenbanc.TheCommissionshallsitenbancincases
hereinafterspecificallyprovided,orinpreproclamationcasesuponavoteofamajorityof
themembersofaCommission,orinallothercaseswhereadivisionisnotauthorizedtoact,
orwhere,uponaunanimousvoteofallthemembersofaDivision,aninterlocutorymatter
orissuerelativetoanactionorproceedingbeforeitisdecidedtobereferredtothe
Commissionenbanc.

Intheinstantcase,itdoesnotappearthatthesubjectcontroversyisoneofthecases
specificallyprovidedundertheCOMELECRulesofProcedureinwhichtheCommissionmay
sitenbanc.Neitherisitshownthatthepresentcontroversyacasewhereadivisionisnot
authorizedtoactnorasituationwhereinthemembersoftheFirstDivisionunanimouslyvoted
toreferthesubjectcasetotheCommissionenbanc.Clearly,theCommissionenbanc,underthe
circumstancesshownabove,cannotbetheproperforumwhichthematterconcerningthe
assailedinterlocutoryorderscanbereferredto.

InasituationsuchasthiswheretheCommissionindivisioncommittedgraveabuseof
discretionoractedwithoutorinexcessofjurisdictioninissuinginterlocutoryordersrelativeto
anactionpendingbeforeitandthecontroversydidnotfallunderanyoftheinstances
mentionedinSection2,Rule3oftheCOMELECRulesofProcedure,theremedyofthe
aggrievedpartyisnottoreferthecontroversytotheCommissionenbancasthisisnot
permissibleunderitspresentrulesbuttoelevateittothisCourtviaapetitionforcertiorari
underRule65oftheRulesofCourt.(Boldemphasissupplied)

Undertheexception,therefore,theCourtmaytakecognizanceofapetitionforcertiorariunder
Rule64toreviewaninterlocutoryorderissuedbyaDivisionoftheCOMELEConthegroundofthe
issuancebeingmadewithoutjurisdictionorinexcessofjurisdictionorwithgraveabuseofdiscretion
amountingtolackorexcessofjurisdictionwhenitdoesnotappeartobespecificallyprovidedunderthe
COMELECRulesofProcedurethatthematterisonethattheCOMELECenbancmaysitandconsider,
oraDivisionisnotauthorizedtoact,orthemembersoftheDivisionunanimouslyvotetorefertothe
COMELECenbanc.Ofnecessity,theaggrievedpartycandirectlyresorttotheCourtbecausethe
COMELECenbancisnottheproperforuminwhichthematterconcerningtheassailedinterlocutory
ordercanbereviewed.

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However,theKhov.CommissiononElectionsexceptionhasnoapplicationherein,becausethe
COMELECFirstDivisionhadthecompetencetodeterminethelackofdetailedspecificationsofthe
actsoromissionscomplainedofasrequiredbyRule6,Section7ofCOMELECResolutionNo.8804,
andwhethersuchlackcalledfortheoutrightdismissaloftheprotest.Forsure,the1987Constitution
vestedintheCOMELECbroadpowersinvolvingnotonlytheenforcementandadministrationofall
lawsandregulationsrelativetotheconductofelectionsbutalsotheresolutionanddeterminationof
electioncontroversies.27Thebreadthofsuchpowersencompassestheauthoritytodeterminethe
sufficiencyofallegationscontainedineveryelectionprotestandtodecidebasedonsuchallegations
whethertoadmittheprotestandproceedwiththehearingortooutrightlydismisstheprotestin
accordancewithSection9,Rule6ofCOMELECResolutionNo.8804.

TheCourthasupheldtheCOMELECsdeterminationofthesufficiencyofallegationscontained
inelectionprotests,conformablywithitsimperativedutytoascertaininanelectionprotest,byall
meanswithinitscommand,whowasthecandidateelectedbytheelectorate.28Indeed,inPanliliov.
CommissiononElections,29webrushedasidethecontentionthattheelectionprotestwasinsufficientin
formandsubstanceandwasashamforhavingallegationscouchedingeneralterms,stating:


InMiguelv.COMELEC,theCourtbelittledthepetitionersargumentthattheprotestanthadno
causeofaction,astheallegationsoffraudandirregularities,whichwerecouchedingeneralterms,
werenotsufficienttoordertheopeningofballotboxesandcountingofballots.TheCourtstatesthe
rulesinelectionprotestscognizablebytheCOMELECandcourtsofgeneraljurisdiction,asfollows:


Theruleinthisjurisdictionisclearandjurisprudenceisevenclearer.Inastringof
categoricalpronouncements,wehaveconsistentlyruledthatwhenthereisanallegationin
anelectionprotestthatwouldrequiretheperusal,examinationorcountingofballotsas
evidence,itistheministerialdutyofthetrialcourttoordertheopeningoftheballotboxes
andtheexaminationandcountingofballotsdepositedtherein.

Inakindredcase,HomerSaquilayanv.COMELEC,theCourtconsideredtheallegationsinan
electionprotest,similartothoseinthiscase,assufficientinformandsubstance.

Again,inDayov.COMELEC,theCourtdeclaredthatallegationsoffraudandirregularitiesare
sufficientgroundsforopeningtheballotboxesandexaminingthequestionedballots.The
pronouncementisinaccordancewithSection255oftheOmnibusElectionCode,whichreads:

Judicialcountingofvotesinelectioncontest.Whereallegationsinaprotestorcounter
protestsowarrant,orwheneverintheopinionofthecourtintheinterestsofjusticeso

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protestsowarrant,orwheneverintheopinionofthecourtintheinterestsofjusticeso
require,itshallimmediatelyorderthebookofvoters,ballotboxesandtheirkeys,ballots
andotherdocumentsusedintheelectionbebroughtbeforeitandthattheballotsbe
examinedandthevotesrecounted.

Inthiscase,theCOMELECSecondDivisionfoundthattheallegationsintheprotestand
counterprotestwarrantedtheopeningofthecontestedballotboxesandtheexaminationoftheir
contentstosettleatoncetheconflictingclaimsofpetitionerandprivaterespondent.

ThepetitioneraddsthatwiththeCourthavingnotedthereliabilityandaccuracyofthePCOS
machinesandconsolidation/canvassingsystem(CCS)computersinRoque,Jr.v.Commissionon
Elections,30Bautistaselectionprotestassailingthesystemandprocedureofcountingandcanvassingof
votescastinanautomatedsystemofelectionsshouldbeimmediatelydismissed.

Wearenotpersuaded.

Roque,Jr.v.CommissiononElectionsdoesnotprecludethefilingofanelectionprotestto
challengetheoutcomeofanelectionundertakeninanautomatedsystemofelections.Instead,theCourt
onlyruledtherethatthesystemandprocedureimplementedbytheCOMELECinevaluatingthePCOS
machinesandCCScomputersmettheminimumsystemrequirementsprescribedinSection7of

RepublicActNo.8436.31TheCourtdidnotguaranteetheefficiencyandintegrityoftheautomated
systemofelections,ascanbegleanedfromthefollowingpronouncementthereat:



TheCourt,however,willnotindulgeinthepresumptionthatnothingwouldgowrong,thata
successfulautomationelectionunmarredbyfraud,violence,andlikeirregularitieswouldbetheorder
ofthemomentonMay10,2010.Neitherwillitguarantee,asitcannotguarantee,theeffectivenessof
thevotingmachinesandtheintegrityofthecountingandconsolidationsoftwareembeddedinthem.
ThattaskbelongsatthefirstinstancetoComelec,aspartofitsmandatetoensurecleanandpeaceful
elections.Thisindependentconstitutionalcommission,itistrue,possessesextraordinarypowersand
enjoysaconsiderablelatitudeinthedischargeofitsfunctions.Theroad,however,towardssuccessful
2010automationelectionswouldcertainlyberoughandbumpy.TheComelecislaboringundervery
tighttimelines.Itwouldaccordinglyneedthehelpofalladvocatesoforderlyandhonestelections,of
allmenandwomenofgoodwill,tosmoothenthewayandassistComelecpersonneladdressthefears
expressedabouttheintegrityofthesystem.Likeanyoneelse,theCourtwouldlikeandwish
automatedelectionstosucceed,credibly.32

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Inviewoftheforegoing,wehavenoneedtodiscussatlengththeothersubmissionsofthe
petitioner.

ACCORDINGLY,thepetitionforcertiorariisDISMISSEDforlackofmerit.

SOORDERED.

LUCASP.BERSAMIN
AssociateJustice

WECONCUR:

RENATOC.CORONA

ChiefJustice

ANTONIOT.CARPIOPRESBITEROJ.VELASCO,JR.
AssociateJusticeAssociateJustice

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(OnOfficialLeave)

TERESITAJ.LEONARDODECASTROARTUROD.BRION

AssociateJusticeAssociateJustice

Nopart

DIOSDADOM.PERALTAMARIANOC.DELCASTILLO

AssociateJusticeAssociateJustice

ROBERTOA.ABADMARTINS.VILLARAMA,JR.

AssociateJusticeAssociateJustice

JOSEPORTUGALPEREZJOSECATRALMENDOZA

AssociateJusticeAssociateJustice

MARIALOURDESP.A.SERENOBIENVENIDOL.REYES

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MARIALOURDESP.A.SERENOBIENVENIDOL.REYES

AssociateJusticeAssociateJustice

ESTELAM.PERLASBERNABE

AssociateJustice

CERTIFICATION

PursuanttoSection13,ArticleVIIIoftheConstitution,itisherebycertifiedthattheconclusionsinthe
aboveDecisionwerereachedinconsultationbeforethecasewasassignedtothewriteroftheopinion
oftheCourt.


RENATOC.CORONA
ChiefJustice
1Rollo,pp.3435.

2Id.,p.37.

3Id.,pp.3877.

4Id.,p.8.

5Supra,note3.

6Id.,pp.7895.

7Supra,note1.

8Emphasissupplied.

9Section2.ProcedureinMakingDecisions.TheconclusionsoftheCommissioninanycasesubmittedtoitfordecisionshallbereached
inconsultationbeforethecaseisassignedbyraffletoaMemberforthewritingoftheopinion.Acertificationtothiseffectsignedbythe
ChairmanorPresidingCommissionershallbeincorporatedinthedecision.Anymemberwhotooknopartordissented,orabstainedfroma
decisionorresolutionmuststatethereasontherefor.

Everydecisionshallexpressthereinclearlyanddistinctlythefactsandthelawonwhichitisbased.Initsdecision,theCommission
shallbeguidedbytheprinciplethateveryballotispresumedtobevalidunlessthereisclearandgoodreasontojustifyitsrejection

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shallbeguidedbytheprinciplethateveryballotispresumedtobevalidunlessthereisclearandgoodreasontojustifyitsrejection
andthattheobjectoftheelectionistoobtainthetrueexpressionofthevoters.

10InRe:COMELECRulesofProcedureonDisputesinanAutomatedElectionSysteminconnectionwiththeMay10,2010Elections.

11Section7.Contentsoftheprotestofpetition.Anelectionprotestorpetitionforquowarrantoshallspecificallystatethefollowing
facts:

xxx

g)Adetailedspecificationoftheactsoromissionscomplainedofshowingtheelectoralfrauds,anomaliesorirregularitiesinthe
protestedprecincts.

12Section1.GroundsofMotionforReconsideration.Amotionforreconsiderationmaybefiledonthegroundsthattheevidenceis
insufficienttojustifythedecision,orderorrulingorthatthesaiddecision,iscontrarytolaw.

13Section5.HowMotionforReconsiderationDisposedof.Uponthefilingofamotiontoreconsideradecision,resolution,orderorruling
ofaDivision,theECADClerkconcernedshall,withintwentyfour(24)hoursfromthefilingthereof,notifythePresidingCommissioner.
Thelattershallwithintwo(2)daysthereaftercertifythecasetotheCommissionenbanc.

14Section6.DutyofECADDirectortoCalendarMotionforResolution.TheECADDirectorconcernedshallcalendarthemotionfor
reconsiderationfortheresolutionoftheCommissionenbancwithintendaysfromthecertificationthereof.

15Rollo,p.120.

16Section1.CommencementofActionorProceedingsbyParties.Anynaturalorjuridicalpersonauthorizedbytheserulestoinitiateany
actionorproceedingshallfilewiththeCommissionaprotestorpetitionallegingthereinhispersonalcircumstancesaswellasthoseofthe
protesteeorrespondent,thejurisdictionalfacts,andaconcisestatementoftheultimatefactsconstitutinghiscauseorcausesofactionand
specifyingthereliefsought.Hemayaddageneralprayerforsuchfurtherorotherreliefasmaybedeemedjustorequitable.
17G.R.No.123037,March21,1997,270SCRA340.

18Rollo,pp.128138.

19G.R.No.181478,July15,2009,593SCRA139.

20Rollo,p.37(emphasissupplied).

21Section9.Summarydismissalofelectioncontest.TheCommissionshallsummarilydismiss,motuproprio,anelectionprotestand
counterprotestonthefollowinggrounds:

xxx

b)TheprotestisinsufficientinformandcontentasrequiredinSection7hereof

xxx

22G.R.No.188456,September10,2009,599SCRA69.

23Rollo,pp.2324.

24G.R.No.143398,October25,2000,344SCRA358,365366reiteratedin,amongothers,Jumamilv.CommissiononElections,G.R.
Nos.16798993,March6,2007,517SCRA553Dimayugav.CommissiononElections,G.R.No.174763,April24,2007,522SCRA
220Cayetanov.CommissiononElections,G.R.No.193846,April12,2011.

25Emphasissupplied.

26G.R.No.124033,September25,1997,279SCRA463,471473.SeealsoRepolv.CommissiononElections,G.R.No.161418,April
28,2004,428SCRA321.

27DelaLlanav.CommissiononElections,G.R.No.152080,November28,2003,416SCRA638.

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5/25/2017 RepublicofthePhilippines

28Benitov.CommissiononElections,G.R.No.106053,August17,1994,235SCRA436,422.

29Supra,note19atpp.151153.

30Supra,note22.

31EntitledAnActAuthorizingtheCommissiononElectionstoUseanAutomatedElectionSystemintheMay11,1998NationalorLocal
ElectionsandinSubsequentNationalandLocalElectoralExercises,ProvidingFundsThereforandForOtherPurposes.

32Supra,note22atpp.153154.

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