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[MAYOR GAMAL S. HAYUDINI v. COMELEC](https://lawyerly.ph/juris/view/cddd9?user=fbGU2WFpmaitMVEVGZ2lBVW5xZ2RVdz09)
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EN BANC

[ GR No. 207900, Apr 22, 2014 ]

MAYOR GAMAL S. HAYUDINI v. COMELEC +

DECISION



EN BANC

[ G.R. No. 207900, April 22, 2014 ]

MAYOR GAMAL S. HAYUDINI, PETITIONER, VS. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS AND MUSTAPHA J. OMAR, RESPONDENTS.

D E C I S I O N

PERALTA, J.:

For the Court's resolution is a Petition for Certiorari and Prohibition[1] under Rule 65, which petitioner Gamal S. Hayudini (Hayudini) filed to set aside and annul the assailed Resolutions of the Commission on Elections (COMELEC), dated June 20, 2013[2] and July 10, 2013,[3] which cancelled his Certificate of Candidacy for the mayoralty seat in the 2013 local elections in South Ubian, Tawi-Tawi, for having been issued with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or in excess of jurisdiction.

The antecedent facts are:

On October 5, 2012, Hayudini filed his Certificate of Candidacy[4] (CoC) for the position of Municipal Mayor of South Ubian, Tawi-Tawi in the May 13, 2013 National and Local Elections held in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.  Ten days after, or on October 15, 2012, Mustapha  J. Omar (Omar) filed a Petition to Deny Due Course or Cancel Hayudini's CoC, entitled Mustapha J. Omar v. Gamal S. Hayudini, docketed as SPA No. 13-106(DC)(F).[5]  Omar basically asserted that Hayudini should be disqualified for making false representation regarding his residence.  He claimed that Hayudini declared in his CoC that he is a resident of the Municipality of South Ubian when, in fact, he resides in Zamboanga City.

Thereafter, on November 30, 2012, Hayudini filed a Petition for Inclusion in the Permanent List of Voters in Barangay Bintawlan, South Ubian before the Municipal Circuit Trial Court (MCTC).  Despite the opposition of Ignacio Aguilar Baki, the MCTC granted Hayudini's petition on January 31, 2013.[6]  On that same day, the COMELEC's First Division dismissed[7] Omar's earlier petition to cancel Hayudini's CoC in SPA No. 13-106(DC)(F) for lack of substantial evidence that Hayudini committed false representation as to his residency.

Oppositor Baki, subsequently, elevated the case to the Bongao Regional Trial Court (RTC), Branch 5.  The RTC, on March 8, 2013, reversed[8] the MCTC ruling and ordered the deletion of Hayudini's name in Barangay Bintawlan's permanent list of voters.  In view of said decision, Omar filed before the COMELEC a Petition to Cancel the Certificate of Candidacy of Gamal S. Hayudini by Virtue of a Supervening Event on March 26, 2013.  The petition was docketed as SPA No. 13-249(DC)(F).[9]  Hayudini appealed the March 8, 2013 RTC decision to the Court of Appeals (CA), but on April 17, 2013, in CA-G.R. SP No. 05426,[10] the same was denied.

On May 13, 2013, Hayudini won the mayoralty race in South Ubian, Tawi-Tawi.  He was proclaimed and, consequently, took his oath of office.

On June 20, 2013, the COMELEC Second Division issued a Resolution[11] granting Omar's second petition to cancel Hayudini's CoC.  The dispositive portion of the COMELEC Resolution reads:

WHEREFORE, premises considered, the instant petition is hereby GRANTED.  Accordingly, the Certificate of Candidacy filed by Gamal S. Hayudini as Mayor of South Ubian, Tawi-Tawi, in the 13 May 2013 elections, is hereby CANCELLED.

The Office of the Deputy Executive Director for Operations is hereby directed to constitute a Special Board of Canvassers for the purpose of proclaiming the lawful winner for mayoralty position in South Ubian, Tawi-Tawi during the 13 May 2013 elections.

SO ORDERED.[12]

Hayudini, thus, filed a Motion for Reconsideration with the COMELEC En Banc, arguing that its Second Division committed grave error when it gave due course to a belatedly filed petition and treated the March 8, 2013 RTC Decision as a supervening event.

On July 10, 2013, the COMELEC En Banc denied Hayudini's Motion for Reconsideration for lack of merit.  The decretal portion of the En Banc's assailed Resolution states:

WHEREFORE, premises considered, the Commission RESOLVED, as it hereby RESOLVES to DENY this Motion for Reconsideration for LACK OF MERIT.  Consequently, the June 20, 2013 Resolution of the Commission (Second Division) is hereby affirmed.

Corollary thereto, the proclamation of respondent GAMAL S. HAYUDINI is hereby declared null and void and without any legal force and effect.  SALMA A. OMAR is hereby proclaimed as the duly-elected Mayor for South Ubian, Tawi-Tawi, being the qualified candidate obtaining the highest number of votes, considering the doctrine laid down by the case Aratea v. Comelec[13] that a cancelled CoC cannot give rise to a valid candidacy, and much less, to a valid vote, to wit:
"Ergo, since respondent Lonzanida was never a candidate for the position of mayor [of] San Antonio, Zambales, the votes cast for him should be considered stray votes.  Consequently, Intervenor Antipolo, who remains as the sole candidate for the mayoralty post and obtained the highest number of votes, should now be proclaimed as the duly-elected Mayor of San Antonio, Zambales.

Lonzanida's certificate of candidacy was cancelled, because he was ineligible or not qualified to run for Mayor.  Whether his certificate of candidacy is cancelled before or after elections is immaterial because the cancellation on such ground means he was never a candidate from the very beginning, his certificate of candidacy being void ab initio.  There was only one qualified candidate for Mayor in the May 2010 elections - Antipolo, who therefore received the highest number of votes."
The Office of the Deputy Executive Director for Operations is hereby directed to constitute a Special Board of Canvassers for the purpose of proclaiming SALMA OMAR as the winning candidate for mayoralty position in South Ubian, Tawi-Tawi during the May 13, 2013 elections.

SO ORDERED.[14]

Thus, Hayudini filed the instant petition for certiorari and prohibition.

Hayudini mainly advances the following arguments:

A.

THE PUBLIC RESPONDENT COMMITTED GRAVE ABUSE OF DISCRETION AMOUNTING TO LACK OR IN EXCESS OF JURISDICTION WHEN IT FAILED TO OUTRIGHTLY DISMISS THE INSTANT PETITION TO CANCEL CERTIFICATE OF CANDIDACY DUE TO SUPERVENING EVENT (SPA. NO. 13-249(DC)(F), DESPITE THE FAILURE OF RESPONDENT OMAR TO COMPLY WITH THE MANDATORY REQUIREMENTS OF SECTIONS 2 AND 4 OF THE COMELEC RESOLUTION NO. 9532.

x x x x

THE PUBLIC RESPONDENT COMMITTED GRAVE ABUSE OF DISCRETION AMOUNTING TO LACK OR IN EXCESS OF JURISDICTION WHEN IT REVISITED AND MODIFIED THE FINAL AND EXECUTORY RESOLUTION ISSUED BY THE FIRST DIVISION IN THE SPA NO. 13-106(DC)(F).

III.

THE PUBLIC RESPONDENT COMMITTED GRAVE ABUSE OF DISCRETION AMOUNTING TO LACK OR IN EXCESS OF JURISDICTION WHEN IT RESOLVED TO CANCEL PETITIONER HAYUDINI'S CERTIFICATE OF CANDIDACY AND DECLARE HIS PROCLAMATION AS NULL AND VOID.

x x x x

L.

THE PUBLIC RESPONDENT COMMITTED GRAVE ABUSE OF DISCRETION AMOUNTING TO LACK OR IN EXCESS OF JURISDICTION WHEN IT DECREED THE PROCLAMATION OF SALMA A. OMAR AS THE DULY-ELECTED MAYOR FOR SOUTH UBIAN, TAWI-TAWI.[15]

The Court finds the petition to be without merit.

A special civil action for certiorari under Rule 65 is an independent action based on the specific grounds and available only if there is no appeal or any other plain, speedy, and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law.  It will only prosper if grave abuse of discretion is alleged and is actually proved to exist.  Grave abuse of discretion has been defined as the arbitrary exercise of power due to passion, prejudice or personal hostility; or the whimsical, arbitrary, or capricious exercise of power that amounts to an evasion or refusal to perform a positive duty enjoined by law or to act at all in contemplation of law.  For an act to be condemned as having been done with grave abuse of discretion, such an abuse must be patent and gross.[16]  Here, Hayudini miserably failed to prove that the COMELEC rendered its assailed Resolutions with grave abuse of discretion.

Hayudini contends that the COMELEC committed grave abuse of discretion when it admitted, and later granted, Omar's petition despite failure to comply with Sections 2 and 4 of Rule 23 of the COMELEC Rules of Procedure, as amended by Resolution No. 9523.  The subject sections read:

Section 2. Period to File Petition. The Petition must be filed within five (5) days from the last day for filing of certificate of candidacy; but not later than twenty five (25) days from the time of filing of the certificate of candidacy subject of the Petition. In case of a substitute candidate, the Petition must be filed within five (5) days from the time the substitute candidate filed his certificate of candidacy.

x x x x

Section 4. Procedure to be observed. Both parties shall observe the following procedure:
  1. The petitioner shall, before filing of the Petition, furnish a copy of the Petition, through personal service to the respondent. In cases where personal service is not feasible, or the respondent refuses to receive the Petition, or the respondents' whereabouts cannot be ascertained, the petitioner shall execute an affidavit stating the reason or circumstances therefor and resort to registered mail as a mode of service. The proof of service or the affidavit shall be attached to the Petition to be filed;[17]

Here, Hayudini filed his CoC on October 5, 2012, which was also the last day of filing of CoC for the May 13, 2013 elections.  Omar, on the other hand, filed the subject petition only on March 26, 2013.  Under the COMELEC Rules, a Petition to Deny Due Course or Cancel CoC must be filed within five days from the last day for filing a certificate of candidacy, but not later than twenty-five days from the time of filing of the CoC subject of the petition.  Clearly, Omar's petition was filed way beyond the prescribed period. Likewise, he failed to provide sufficient explanation as to why his petition was not served personally to Hayudini.

Notwithstanding the aforementioned procedural missteps, the Court sustains the COMELEC's liberal treatment of Omar's petition.

As a general rule, statutes providing for election contests are to be liberally construed in order that the will of the people in the choice of public officers may not be defeated by mere technical objections.  Moreover, it is neither fair nor just to keep in office, for an indefinite period, one whose right to it is uncertain and under suspicion.  It is imperative that his claim be immediately cleared, not only for the benefit of the winner but for the sake of public interest, which can only be achieved by brushing aside technicalities of procedure that protract and delay the trial of an ordinary action.  This principle was reiterated in the cases of Tolentino v. Commission on Elections[18] and De Castro v. Commission on Elections,[19] where the Court held that "in exercising its powers and jurisdiction, as defined by its mandate to protect the integrity of elections, the COMELEC must not be straitjacketed by procedural rules in resolving election disputes."[20]

Settled is the rule that the COMELEC Rules of Procedure are subject to liberal construction.  The COMELEC has the power to liberally interpret or even suspend its rules of procedure in the interest of justice, including obtaining a speedy disposition of all matters pending before it.  This liberality is for the purpose of promoting the effective and efficient implementation of its objectives - ensuring the holding of free, orderly, honest, peaceful, and credible elections, as well as achieving just, expeditious, and inexpensive determination and disposition of every action and proceeding brought before the COMELEC.  Unlike an ordinary civil action, an election contest is imbued with public interest.  It involves not only the adjudication of private and pecuniary interests of rival candidates, but also the paramount need of dispelling the uncertainty which beclouds the real choice of the electorate.  And the tribunal has the corresponding duty to ascertain, by all means within its command, whom the people truly chose as their rightful leader.[21]

Indeed, Omar had previously filed a Petition to Deny Due Course or Cancel Hayudini's CoC on October 15, 2012, docketed as SPA No. 13-106(DC)(F).  This was dismissed on January 31, 2013, or the same day the MCTC granted Hayudini's petition to be included in the list of voters.  However, on March 8, 2013, the RTC reversed the MCTC ruling and, consequently, ordered the deletion of Hayudini's name in Barangay Bintawlan's permanent list of voters.  Said deletion was already final and executory under the law.[22]  Hayudini, however, still appealed the case to the CA, which was subsequently denied.  Notably, thereafter, he went to the CA again, this time to file a petition for certiorari, docketed as CA-G.R. SP No. 05499.[23]  In a Resolution dated July 9, 2013, the CA also denied said petition primarily because of Hayudini's act of engaging in the pernicious practice of forum shopping by filing two modes of appeal before said court.[24]  Hence, by virtue of the finality of said RTC decision deleting his name from the voters' list, Hayudini, who had been previously qualified under the law[25] to run for an elective position, was then rendered ineligible.

Given the finality of the RTC decision, the same should be considered a valid supervening event.  A supervening event refers to facts and events transpiring after the judgment or order had become executory.  These circumstances affect or change the substance of the judgment and render its execution inequitable.[26]  Here, the RTC's March 8, 2013 decision, ordering the deletion of Hayudini's name in the list of voters, which came after the dismissal of Omar's first petition, is indubitably a supervening event which would render the execution of the ruling in SPA No. 13-106(DC)(F) iniquitous and unjust.  As the COMELEC aptly ruled, the decision to exclude Hayudini was still non-existent when the COMELEC first promulgated the Resolution in SPA No. 13-106(DC)(F) on January 31, 2013, or when the issues involved therein were passed upon.[27]  The First Division even expressed that although the Election Registration Board (ERB) denied Hayudini's application for registration, it could not adopt the same because it was not yet final as Hayudini was still to file a Petition for Inclusion before the MCTC.[28]  Thus, it is not far-fetched to say that had this final RTC finding been existent before, the COMELEC First Division could have taken judicial notice of it and issued a substantially different ruling in SPA No. 13-106(DC)(F).[29]

The same ruling adequately equipped Omar with the necessary ground to successfully have Hayudini's CoC struck down.  Under the rules, a statement in a certificate of candidacy claiming that a candidate is eligible to run for public office when in truth he is not, is a false material representation, a ground for a petition under Section 78 of the Omnibus Election Code.

Sections 74 and 78 read:

Sec. 74. Contents of certificate of candidacy. The certificate of candidacy shall state that the person filing it is announcing his candidacy for the office stated therein and that he is eligible for said office; if for Member of the Batasang Pambansa, the province, including its component cities, highly urbanized city or district or sector which he seeks to represent; the political party to which he belongs; civil status; his date of birth; residence; his post office address for all election purposes; his profession or occupation; that he will support and defend the Constitution of the Philippines and will maintain true faith and allegiance thereto; that he will obey the laws, legal orders, and decrees promulgated by the duly constituted authorities; that he is not a permanent resident or immigrant to a foreign country; that the obligation imposed by his oath is assumed voluntarily, without mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that the facts stated in the certificate of candidacy are true to the best of his knowledge.

x x x x

Sec. 78. Petition to deny due course to or cancel a certificate of candidacy. A verified petition seeking to deny due course or to cancel a certificate of candidacy may be filed by the person exclusively on the ground that any material representation contained therein as required under Section 74 hereof is false. The petition may be filed at any time not later than twenty-five days from the time of the filing of the certificate of candidacy and shall be decided, after due notice and hearing, not later than fifteen days before the election.

The false representation mentioned in these provisions must pertain to a material fact, not to a mere innocuous mistake.  A candidate who falsifies a material fact cannot run; if he runs and is elected, cannot serve; in both cases, he or she can be prosecuted for violation of the election laws.  These facts pertain to a candidate's qualification for elective office, such as his or her citizenship and residence.  Similarly, the candidate's status as a registered voter falls under this classification as it is a legal requirement which must be reflected in the CoC.  The reason for this is obvious: the candidate, if he or she wins, will work for and represent the local government under which he or she is running.[30]  Even the will of the people, as expressed through the ballot, cannot cure the vice of ineligibility, especially if they mistakenly believed, as in the instant case, that the candidate was qualified.[31]

Aside from the requirement of materiality, a false representation under Section 78 must consist of a "deliberate attempt to mislead, misinform, or hide a fact which would otherwise render a candidate ineligible."  Simply put, it must be made with a malicious intent to deceive the electorate as to the potential candidate's qualifications for public office.[32]

Section 74 requires the candidate to state under oath in his CoC "that he is eligible for said office."  A candidate is eligible if he has a right to run for the public office.  If a candidate is not actually eligible because he is not a registered voter in the municipality where he intends to be elected, but still he states under oath in his certificate of candidacy that he is eligible to run for public office, then the candidate clearly makes a false material representation, a ground to support a petition under Section 78.[33]  It is interesting to note that Hayudini was, in fact, initially excluded by the ERB as a voter.  On November 30, 2012, the ERB issued a certificate confirming the disapproval of Hayudini's petition for registration.[34]  This is precisely the reason why he needed to file a Petition for Inclusion in the Permanent List of Voters in Barangay Bintawlan before the MCTC.  Thus, when he stated in his CoC that "he is eligible for said office," Hayudini made a clear and material misrepresentation as to his eligibility, because he was not, in fact, registered as a voter in Barangay Bintawlan.

Had the COMELEC not given due course to Omar's petition solely based on procedural deficiencies, South Ubian would have a mayor who is not even a registered voter in the locality he is supposed to govern, thereby creating a ridiculously absurd and outrageous situation.  Hence, the COMELEC was accurate in cancelling Hayudini's certificate of candidacy.

Hayudini likewise protests that it was a grave error on the part of the COMELEC to have declared his proclamation null and void when no petition for annulment of his proclamation was ever filed.  What petitioner seems to miss, however, is that the nullification of his proclamation as a winning candidate is also a legitimate outcome - a necessary legal consequence - of the cancellation of his CoC pursuant to Section 78. A CoC cancellation proceeding essentially partakes of the nature of a disqualification case.[35]  The cancellation of a CoC essentially renders the votes cast for the candidate whose certificate of candidacy has been cancelled as stray votes.[36]  If the disqualification or CoC cancellation or denial case is not resolved before the election day, the proceedings shall continue even after the election and the proclamation of the winner.  Meanwhile, the candidate may be voted for and even be proclaimed as the winner, but the COMELEC's jurisdiction to deny due course and cancel his or her CoC continues.  This rule likewise applies even if the candidate facing disqualification has already taken his oath of office.[37]  The only exception to this rule is in the case of congressional and senatorial candidates where the COMELEC ipso jure loses jurisdiction in favor of either the Senate or the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal after the candidates have been proclaimed, taken the proper oath, and also assumed  office.[38]

It bears stressing that one of the requirements for a mayoralty candidate is that he must be a resident of the city or municipality where he intends to be elected.  Thus, under Section 74 of the Omnibus Election Code, it is required that a candidate must certify under oath that he is eligible for the public office he seeks election.  In this case, when petitioner stated in

his CoC that he is a resident of Barangay Bintawlan, South Ubian, Tawi Tawi and eligible for a public office, but it turned out that he was declared to be a non-resident thereof in a petition for his inclusion in the list of registered voters, he therefore committed a false representation in his CoC which pertained to a material fact which is a ground for the cancellation of his CoC under Section 78 of the Omnibus Election Code. Petitioner's ineligibility for not being a resident of the place he sought election is not a ground for a petition for disqualification, since the grounds enumerated under Section 68[39] of the Omnibus Election Code specifically refer to the commission of prohibited acts, and possession of a permanent resident status in a foreign country.

As held in Aratea v. COMELEC,[40] which is a case for cancellation of CoC under Section 78 of the Omnibus Election Code, a cancelled certificate of candidacy void ab initio cannot give rise to a valid candidacy, and much less to valid votes. Whether a certificate of candidacy is cancelled before or after the elections is immaterial, because the cancellation on such ground means he was never a candidate from the very beginning, his certificate of candidacy being void ab initio. We then found that since the winning mayoralty candidate's certificate of candidacy was void ab initio, he was never a candidate at all and all his votes were considered stray votes, and thus, proclaimed the second placer, the only qualified candidate, who actually garnered the highest number of votes, for the position of Mayor.

We find the factual mileu of the Aratea case applicable in the instant case, since this is also a case for a petition to deny due course or cancel a certificate of candidacy.  Since Hayudini was never a valid candidate for the position of the Municipal Mayor of South Ubian, Tawi-Tawi, the votes cast for him should be considered stray votes, Consequently, the COMELEC properly proclaimed Salma Omar, who garnered the highest number of votes in the remaining qualified candidates for the mayoralty post, as the duly-elected Mayor of South Ubian, Tawi Tawi.

Codilla v. De Venecia case has no application in this case, since it dealt with a petition for disqualification under Section 68 of the Omnibus Election Code and not a petition to deny due course or cancel certificate of candidacy under Section 78 which is the case at bar.

Finally, contrary to Hayudini's belief, the will of the electorate is still actually respected even when the votes for the ineligible candidate are disregarded. The votes cast in favor of the ineligible candidate are not considered at all in determining the winner of an election for these do not constitute the sole and total expression of  the sovereign voice. On the other hand, those votes for the eligible and legitimate candidates  form an integral part of said voice, which must equally be given due respect , if not more.[41]

WHEREFORE, the petition is DISMISSED. The COMELEC Resolutions dated June 20, 2013 and July 10, 2013 are hereby AFFIRMED.  No pronouncement as to costs.

SO ORDERED.

Sereno, C.J., Carpio, Velasco, Jr., Peralta, Bersamin, Del Castillo, Abad, Villarama, Jr., Perez, Mendoza, Reyes, Perlas-Bernabe, and Leonen, JJ., concur.
Leonardo-De Castro, J., please see separate concurring and dissenting opinion.
Brion, J., see concurrence with separate concurring opinion.



[1] Rollo, pp. 4-47.

[2] Id. at 81-87.

[3] Id. at 48-51.

[4] Id. at 101.

[5] Id. at 90-97.

[6] Id. at 216-221.

[7] Id. at 149-156.

[8] Id. at 169-182.

[9] Id. at 157-166.

[10] Id. at 222-242.

[11] Id. at 81-87.

[12] Id. at 86.

[13] G.R. No. 195229, October 9, 2012, 683 SCRA 105.

[14] Rollo, pp. 50-51. (Emphasis in the original)

[15] Id. at 16-19. (Underscoring and emphasis omitted)

[16] Beluso v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 180711, June 22, 2010, 621 SCRA 450, 456.

[17] Emphasis supplied

[18] G.R. Nos. 187958, 187961, and 187962, April 7, 2010, 617 SCRA 575, 598.

[19] G.R. Nos. 187966-68, April 7, 2010, 617 SCRA 575, 598.

[20] Violago v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 194143, October 4, 2011, 658 SCRA 516, 525.

[21] Id.

[22] Omnibus Election Code, Sec. 138. Jurisdiction in inclusion and exclusion cases. - The municipal and metropolitan trial courts shall have original and exclusive jurisdiction over all matters of inclusion and exclusion of voters from the list in their respective municipalities or cities. Decisions of the municipal or metropolitan trial courts may be appealed directly by the aggrieved party to the proper regional trial court within five days from receipt of notice thereof, otherwise said decision of the municipal or metropolitan trial court shall become final and executory after said period. The regional trial court shall decide the appeal within ten days from the time the appeal was received and its decision shall be immediately final and executory. No motion for reconsideration shall be entertained by the courts. (Emphasis supplied)

[23] Rollo, pp. 421-440.

[24] Id. at 442-444.

[25] Republic Act No. 7160, Sec. 39. Qualifications. ?

(a) An elective local official must be a citizen of the Philippines; a registered voter in the barangay, municipality, city or province or, in the case of a member of the sangguniang panlalawigan, sangguniang panlungsod, or sangguniang bayan, the district where he intends to be elected; a resident therein for at least one (1) year immediately preceding the day of the election; and able to read and write Filipino or any other local language or dialect. x x x

[26] Javier v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 96086, July 21, 1993.

[27] Rollo, p. 85.

[28] Resolution, SPA No. 13-106(DC)(F), January 31, 2013, p. 6.

[29] Rollo, p. 85.

[30] Velasco v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 180051, December 24, 2008, 575 SCRA 590, 603-604.

[31] Limkaichong v. COMELEC, G.R. Nos. 178831-32, 179120, 179132-33, and 179240-41, April 1, 2009, 583 SCRA 1, 38-39.

[32] Velasco v. COMELEC, supra note 30, at 604.

[33] Jalosjos v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 193237 and G.R. No. 193536, October 9, 2012, 683 SCRA 1, 2.

[34] Rollo, p. 128.

[35] Velasco v. COMELEC, supra note 30, at 612.

[36] Section 9 of Rule 23, COMELEC Rules of Procedure, as amended by Resolution No. 9523.

[37] Velasco v. COMELEC, supra note 30, at 613.

[38] Regina Ongsiako Reyes v. COMELEC, et al., G.R. No. 207264, June 25, 2013.

[39]  Section 68. Disqualifications. - Any candidate who, in an action or protest in which he is a party is declared by final decision of a competent court guilty of, or found by the Commission of having (a) given money or other material consideration to influence, induce or corrupt the voters or public officials performing electoral functions; (b) committed acts of terrorism to enhance his candidacy; (c) spent in his election campaign an amount in excess of that allowed by this Code; (d) solicited, received or made any contribution prohibited under Sections 89, 95, 96, 97 and 104; or (e) violated any of Sections 80, 83, 85, 86 and 261, paragraphs d, e, k, v, and cc, subparagraph 6, shall be disqualified from continuing as a candidate, or if he has been elected, from holding the office. Any person who is a permanent resident of or an immigrant to a foreign country shall not be qualified to run for any elective office under this Code, unless said person has waived his status as permanent resident or immigrant of a foreign country in accordance with the residence requirement provided for in the election laws.

[40]  GR No. 195229, October 9, 2012, 683 SCRA 105, 145.

[41]  Casan Macode Maquiling v. COMELEC, et al., G.R. No. 195649, April 16, 2013.


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