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180 SCRA 509


Adelina Larrazabal substituted her husband as candidate when the latter was disqualified by
COMELEC for lack of residence. After Adelina won, Abella, filed a petition to disqualify
her for alleged false statements in her certificate of candidacy regarding her residence. Abella
contended that COMELEC denied him the right to appeal when it failed to consider the
objections he raised before the Board of Canvassers (BOC) for the latter’s rulings that were
not in writing.


Whether BOC has jurisdiction to hear election contests


NO. Election contests could not be resolved by BOC because it only has ministerial
task of tallying the votes as reported in the election returns and cannot exercise the
judicial power of deciding an election contest. BOC is obliged to make a written ruling on
formal objections made by parties but failure or refusal of BOC to discharge this obligation
should not prejudice the objecting party's right to elevate the matter to the COMELEC for
proper review.


411 SCRA 621

Pending the resolution of the administrative disciplinary case against Anonuevo, Jr., et. al.,
the Office of the Ombudsman filed an Information for Indirect Bribery against them before the
MTC based on the same set of charges. The Office of the City Prosecutor conducted a
reinvestigation of the case and recommended the withdrawal of the Information for
insufficiency of evidence to support a finding of probable cause.

Does the dismissal of the criminal case for warrants the dismissal of the administrative
disciplinary case on the ground of insufficiency of evidence?


NO. The quantum of evidence required in the latter is only substantial evidence, and not proof
beyond reasonable doubt that is required in criminal cases. Thus, considering the
difference in the quantum of evidence, as well as the procedure followed and the
sanctions imposed in criminal and administrative proceedings, the findings and
conclusions in one should not necessarily be binding on the other.

[417 SCRA 554 (2003)]

Bautista executed an Affidavit-Complaint charging the Poblete, of vote buying and filed
the same with the Law Department of the COMELEC which recommended that the resolution
of the Office of the Cavite Provincial Prosecutor be nullified because the accused are exempt.

The Court sustained the authority of the COMELEC to exempt from prosecution persons
charged with vote-buying, vote-selling, and conspiracy to bribe voters who volunteer to give
information and testify on any information under Section 28 of R.A. No. 6648.The immunity
statute seeks a rational accommodation between the imperatives of the privilege
against self-incrimination and the legitimate demands of government to encourage
citizens, including law violators themselves, to testify against law violators. The statute
operates as a complete pardon for the offenses to which the information was given.


[111 SCAD 472, 314 SCRA 311 (1999)]

After Abalos, Jr.'s proclamation as mayor, Domingo, Jr. filed a petition for disqualification on
the ground that, during the campaign period, Abalos, Jr. "prodded" his father to give
"substantial allowances" to public school teachers appointed as Boards of Election Inspectors

Domingo, Jr.’s evidence failed to persuade because nothing in the affidavits of the teachers
suggests knowledge on any degree of participation of Abalos, Jr., his name was not even
mentioned there; and nothing in the videotape recordings presented showed that he prodded
his father. The burden of proving factual claims rests on the party raising them.

140 SCAD 486, 348 SCRA 367 (2000)


Grefalde,, employees of the Ministry of Public Works and Highways, were indicted for
graft charges pertaining to Negros Oriental Highways and Engineering District transactions by
authorizing payments for “ghost deliveries”. Sandiganbayan found that the government had
been defrauded so it declared them guilty of all charges.


Are the accused guilty of the graft charges?


Grefalde was held guilty for she was positively identified by the state witness and this was
corroborated not only by the findings of the NBI-Treasury-Auditing team but by the
voluminous documents presented; her signatures on the general vouchers, in her capacity as
district accountant, were an indispensable link to accomplish the fraud. The other petitioners
were acquitted because their signatures, by themselves, while they may have contributed to
the consummation of the crime, do not represent direct or competent proof of connivance.

166 SCRA 246


Judge Rodolfo U. Manzano, Executive Judge, RTC, Bangui, Ilocos Norte, sent a letter to the
Court which requests it to issue a resolution that his membership in the Committee on Justice,
as neither violative of the independence of the Judiciary nor a violation of Section 12, Article
of the Constitution, and that it will not amount to an abandonment of his position as Executive
Judge and as a member of the Judiciary; and to consider it as part of the primary functions of
an Executive Judge.
Under the Constitution, the members of the Supreme Court and other courts
established by law shall not be designated to any agency performing quasi- judicial or
administrative functions (Section 12, Art. VIII, Constitution).


Whether the function of a member of the Committee on Justice an administrative function


YES. Administrative functions are those which involve the regulation and control over the
conduct and affairs of individuals for; their own welfare and the promulgation of rules and
regulations to better carry out the policy of the legislature or such as are devolved upon the
administrative agency by the organic law of its existence (Nasipit Integrated Arrastre and
Stevedoring Services Inc., vs. Tapucar, SP-07599-R, 29 September 1978, Blacks Law

An examination of Executive Order No. 856, as amended, reveals that Committees

on Justice are created to insure the speedy disposition of cases of detainees, particularly
those involving the poor and indigent ones, thus alleviating jail congestion and improving local
jail conditions. Among the functions of the Committee are to receive complaints against any
apprehending officer, jail warden, final or judge who may be found to have committed abuses
in the discharge of his duties and refer the same to proper authority for appropriate action;
and to recommend the revision of any law or regulation which is believed prejudicial to the
proper administration of criminal justice. Thus, the membership of Judge Manzano in the
Ilocos Norte Provincial Committee on Justice, which discharges administrative functions, will
be in violation of the Constitution.

Dissenting Opinions:

• "Administrative functions" as used in Section 12 refers to the executive machinery of

government and the performance by that machinery of governmental acts. It refers to
the management actions, determinations, and orders of executive officials as they
administer the laws and try to make government effective. There is an element of
positive action, of supervision or control.
• Membership in the Provincial or City Committee on Justice would not involve any
regulation or control over the conduct and affairs of individuals. Neither will the
Committee on Justice promulgate rules and regulations nor exercise any quasi-
legislative functions. Its work is purely advisory. The Committee on Justice cannot be
likened to an administrative agency of government. It is a study group with
recommendatory functions.

406 SCRA 156


Laxina took his oath and assumed office as barangay captain. His rival candidate, Fermo,
filed an election protest and the latter was declared by the trial court as the winner.
COMELEC annulled the order on the ground that there were no good reasons to justify it.
Mendoza, et. al., barangay councilors, filed a case against Laxina for making it appear in the
payroll that he and his appointees rendered services before he renewed his oath and re-
assumed office.


Is the re-taking of an oath of office by a duly proclaimed but subsequently unseated local
elective official a condition sine qua non to the validity of his re-assumption in office?

NO. An oath of office is a qualifying requirement for a public office; it is his right to
enter into the position becomes plenary and complete. Once proclaimed and duly
sworn in office, he is entitled to assume office and to exercise its functions. When the
COMELEC nullified the court’s decision, the last actual peaceful uncontested situation
preceding the controversy was restored. Thus, the re-taking of his oath of office was a mere

346 SCRA 327

Te contracted a second marriage with Santella while his marriage with Choa was subsisting.
Choa charged Te with bigamy while he filed for the annulment of his marriage to her on the
grounds of force, concealment of pregnancy by another man, and psychological incapacity.
She also filed with the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) an administrative case
against Te and Santella for the revocation of their engineering licenses on the ground of

Is there a prejudicial question?

NONE. A prejudicial question is based on a fact distinct and separate from the crime
but so intimately connected with it that it determines the guilt or innocence of the
accused, and for it to suspend the criminal action. The outcome of the civil case for
annulment of his marriage had no bearing upon the determination of his innocence or guilt in
the criminal case for bigamy, because all that is required for the charge of bigamy to prosper
is that the first marriage be subsisting at the time the second marriage is contracted.


337 SCRA 574


Emano was elected provincial governor of Misamis Oriental and during his last term as
governor, he executed a Voter Registration Record in Cagayan de Oro and he consequently
filed his Certificate of Candidacy for mayor of the said city. He stated therein that his
residence for the preceding two years and five months was at Gusa, Cagayan de Oro City.
Torayno,, all residents of Cagayan de Oro City, filed a petition before Comelec seeking
the disqualification of Emano on the ground that he failed to meet the one-year residency


Did Emano meet the residency requirement for mayorship?


YES. Section 39 of the Local Government Code (LGC) requires the residency of at least one
year immediately preceding the day of the election. Comelec found that Emano and his family
had actually been residing in Gusa, Cagayan de Oro City, in a house he had
bought. Furthermore, during the three terms that he was governor of Misamis Oriental, he
physically lived in that city, where the seat of the provincial government was located. Cagayan
de Oro City was once an integral part of Misamis Oriental and remains a geographical part of
the province. The requisite period would give candidates the opportunity to be familiar
with their desired constituencies, and likewise for the electorate to evaluate their
qualifications and fitness for the offices they seek.