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Congress enacted RA 8436 on December 22, 1997. On January 23, 2007. it enacted RA 9369,
amending the previous act. Pursuant to its constitutional mandate to enforce and administer
election laws, COMELEC issued Resolution No. 8678,4 the Guidelines on the Filing of
Certificates of Candidacy (CoC) and Nomination of Official Candidates of Registered Political
Parties in Connection with the May 10, 2010 National and Local Elections.Sections 4 and 5 of
Resolution No. 8678 provide:

SEC. 4. Effects of Filing Certificates of Candidacy.-a)

Any person holding a public appointive office or position including active members of the
Armed Forces of the Philippines, and other officers and employees in government-owned or
controlled corporations, shall be considered ipso facto resigned from his office upon the filing
of his certificate of candidacy.


Any person holding an elective office or position shall not be considered resigned upon the
filing of his certificate of candidacy for the same or any other elective office or position.

SEC. 5. Period for filing Certificate of Candidacy.- The certificate of candidacy shall be filed on
regular days, from November 20 to 30, 2009, during office hours, except on the last day,
which shall be until midnight.

Alarmed that they will be deemed ipso facto resigned from their offices the moment they file
their CoCs petitioners Eleazar P. Quinto and Gerino A. Tolentino, Jr., who hold appointive
positions in the government and who intend to run in the coming elections,5 filed the instant
petition for prohibition and certiorari, seeking the declaration of the afore-quoted Section 4(a)
of Resolution No. 8678 as null and void.


Do the second proviso in paragraph 3, Section 13 of RA 9369, Section 66 of the Omnibus

Election Code, and Section 4(a) of RA 8678 violate the equal protection clause?


2009 Decision
Yes. Persons holding appointive positions as ipso facto resigned upon filing of CoCs, but not
considering resigned all other civil servants, specifically elective ones, the law duly
discriminates against the first class (appointive officials). Applying the four requisites of valid
classification, the Court finds that treatment of persons holding appointive officers as opposed
to those holding elective ones is not germane to the purposes of law (Requisite No. 2). There is
no valid justification to treat appointive officials differently from the elective ones. The
classification simply fails to meet the test that it should be germane to the purposes of law.
2010 Decision Section 4(a) of COMELEC Resolution No. 8678 is not violative of the equal
protection clause.
There is substantial distinction. Elective officials are elected by his constituents, if they are
deemed resigned, the constituents will be affected. On the other hand, in the case of
appointive officials, they do not have ordinary succession, thus, there will be vacancy during
The dichotomized treatment of appointive and elective officials is therefore germane to the
purposes of the law. For the law was made not merely to preserve the integrity, efficiency, and
discipline of the public service; the Legislature, whose wisdom is outside the rubric of judicial
scrutiny, also thought it wise to balance this with the competing, yet equally compelling,
interest of deferring to the sovereign will.

The Minister of INC felt directly alluded by an offending remark made by Soriano in one of his
episode in his regular program aired on UNTV 37, Ang Dating Daan. This ensued 8 private
complainants who are members of INC to file an affidavit-complaint against herein petition
(Soriano) before the MTRCB. Forthwith, the MTRCB sent petitioner a notice of the hearing in
relation to the alleged use of some cusswords in the said episode. After a preliminary
conference in which petitioner appeared, the MTRC Bordered preventive suspension of his
program for 20 days, in accordance with Section 3(d) of Presidential Decree No. (PD) 1986,
creating the MTRCB, in relation to Sec. 3, Chapter XIII of the 2004Implementing Rules and
Regulations (IRR) of PD 1986 and Sec. 7, Rule VII of the MTRCB Rules of Procedure. The
petitioner sought reconsideration of the preventive suspension order, praying that Laguardia
and two other members of the adjudication board recuse themselves from hearing the case,
but withdrew the same two days after, and, instead filed with the SC of a petition for certiorari
and prohibition to nullify the preventive suspension order thus issued. Meanwhile, in the
administrative case filed against the respondent with the MTRCB, it was held that the
respondent is liable for his utterances and thereby imposing on him a penalty of three (3)
months suspension from said program. He then filed petition for certiorari and prohibition
with prayer for injunctive relief on the ground that the preventive suspension imposed against
him and the relevant IRR provision authorizing it are invalid inasmuch as PD 1986 does not
expressly authorize the MTRCB to issue preventive suspension.

Whether or not the preventive suspension order by the MTRCB denied him his right to the
equal protection clause.

Petitioner next faults MTRCBs preventive suspension order which made him unable to
answer the criticisms coming from the INC ministers. Petitioners position does not persuade.
The equal protection clause demands that "all persons subject to legislation should be treated
alike, under like circumstances and conditions both in the privileges conferred and liabilities
imposed." It guards against undue favor and individual privilege as well as hostile
discrimination. Surely, petitioner cannot, under the premises, place himself in the same
shoes as the INC ministers, who, for one, are not facing administrative complaints before the
MTRCB. For another, he offers no proof that the said ministers, in their TV programs, use
language similar to that which he used in his own, necessitating the MTRCBs disciplinary
action. If the immediate result of the preventive suspension order is that petitioner remains
temporarily gagged and is unable to answer his critics, this does not become a deprivation of
the equal protection guarantee.