Archive for May, 2016


CASE 2016-0024: HARLIN C. ABAYON, PETITIONER, -VERSUS HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES ELECTORAL TRIBUNAL (HRET) AND RAUL A. DAZA, RESPONDENTS (G.R. NO. 222236, G.R. NO. 223032, 03 MAY 2016,  MENDOZA J.) (SUBJECT/S: POWERS OF HRET; POWERS OF COMELEC; ELECTORAL PROTESTS; ANNULMENT OF ELECTIONS; DECLARING FAILURE OF ELECTIONS) (BRIEF TITLE: ABAYON VS. HRET ET AL)

 

DISPOSITIVE:

 

“WHEREFORE, THE FEBRUARY 3, 2016 DECISION AND THE MARCH 7, 2016 RESOLUTION OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES ELECTORAL TRIBUNAL ARE REVERSED AND SET ASIDE. PETITIONER HARLIN C. ABAYON IS DECLARED TO BE THE LAW.FULLY ELECTED REPRESENTATIVE OF THE FIRST LEGISLATIVE DISTRICT OF NORTHERN  SAMAR IN THE MAY 13, 2013 ELECTIONS.

 

THIS DECISION IS IMMEDIATELY EXECUTORY.

 

SO ORDERED.”

 

SUBJECTS/DOCTRINES/DIGEST:

 

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE POWER OF HRET AND THE POWER OF COMELEC?

 

HRET HAS THE POWER TO ANNUL ELECTIONS. COMELEC HAS THE POWER TO DECLARE FAILURE OF ELECTIONS.

 

WHAT IS THE EXCLUSIVE JURISDICTION OF HRET?

 

TO DECIDE ALL ELECTION CONTESTS INVOLVING MEMBERS OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES WHICH INCLUDES THOSE WHICH RAISE THE ISSUE OF FRAUD, TERRORISM OR OTHER IRREGULARITIES COMMITTED BEFORE, DURING OR AFTER THE ELECTIONS.

 

WHAT ARE THE THREE TYPES OF POWERS OF THE COMELEC?

 

ADMININSTRATIVE, QUASI-LEGISLATIVE AND QUASI-JUDICIAL.

 

WHAT DOES QUASI-JUDICIAL POWER EMBRACE?

 

IT EMBRACES THE POWER TO RESOLVE CONTROVERSIES ARISING FROM THE ENFORCEMENT OF ELECTION LAWS, AND TO BE THE SOLE JUDGE OF ALL PRE-PROCLAMATION CONTROVERSIES; AND OF ALL CONTESTS RELATING TO THE ELECTIONS, RETURNS, AND QUALIFICATIONS.

 

WHAT ARE ITS QUASI-LEGISLATIVE POWER?

 

REFERS TO ISSUANCE OF RULES AND REGULATIONS TO IMPLEMENT THE ELECTION LAWS.

 

WHAT ARE ITS ADMINSTRATIVE FUNCTION?

 

REFERS TO THE ENFORCEMENT AND ADMINISTRATION OF ELECTION LAWS.

 

WHAT ELECTION CONTESTS DOES COMELEC DECIDES?

 

ELECTION CONTESTS NOT OTHERWISE RESERVED TO OTHER ELECTORAL TRIBUNALS.

 

WHEN COMELEC DECLARES FAILURE OF ELECTION, WHAT KIND OF POWER DOES IT EXERCISE?

 

ADMINISTRATIVE. PART OF COMELEC’S ADMINISTRATIVE FUNCTION OF ENSURING THAT ELECTIONS ARE FREE, ORDERLY, HONEST, PEACEFUL, AND CREDIBLE.

 

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ANNULMENT OF ELECTIONS BY ELECTORAL TRIBUNALS AND DECLARATION OF FAILURE OF ELECTIONS BY COMELEC?

 

FIRST, THE FORMER IS AN INCIDENT OF THE JUDICIAL FUNCTION OF ELECTORAL TRIBUNALS WHILE THE LATTER IS IN THE EXERCISE OF THE COMELEC’S ADMINISTRATIVE FUNCTION.

 

SECOND, ELECTORAL TRIBUNALS ONLY ANNUL THE ELECTION RESULTS CONNECTED WITH THE ELECTION CONTEST BEFORE IT WHEREAS THE DECLARATION OF FAILURE OF ELECTIONS BY THE COMELEC RELATES TO THE ENTIRE ELECTION IN THE CONCERNED PRECINCT OR POLITICAL UNIT. AS SUCH, IN ANNULLING ELECTIONS, THE HRET DOES SO ONLY TO DETERMINE WHO AMONG THE CANDIDATES GARNERED A MAJORITY OF THE LEGAL VOTES CAST. THE COMELEC, ON THE OTHER HAND, DECLARES A FAILURE OF ELECTIONS WITH THE OBJECTIVE OF HOLDING OR CONTINUING THE ELECTIONS, WHICH WERE NOT HELD OR WERE SUSPENDED, OR IF THERE WAS ONE, RESULTED IN A FAILURE TO ELECT. WHEN COMELEC DECLARES A FAILURE OF ELECTIONS, SPECIAL ELECTIONS WILL HAVE TO BE CONDUCTED. 34

 

IS THERE AN OVERLAP?

 

THERE IS NO OVERLAP OF JURISDICTION BECAUSE WHEN THE COMELEC DECLARES A FAILURE OF ELECTIONS ON THE GROUND OF VIOLENCE, INTIMIDATION, TERRORISM OR OTHER IRREGULARITIES, IT DOES SO IN ITS ADMINISTRATIVE CAPACITY. IN CONTRAST, WHEN ELECTORAL TRIBUNALS ANNUL ELECTIONS UNDER THE SAME GROUNDS, THEY DO SO IN THE PERFORMANCE OF THEIR QUASI-JUDICIAL FUNCTIONS.

 

HOW SHOULD THE POWER TO DECLARE A FAILURE OF ELECTIONS SHOULD BE EXERCISED?

 

IT SHOULD BE EXERCISED WITH UTMOST CARE AND ONLY UNDER CIRCUMSTANCES WHICH DEMONSTRATE BEYOND DOUBT THAT THE DISREGARD OF THE LAW HAD BEEN SO FUNDAMENTAL OR SO PERSISTENT AND CONTINUOUS THAT IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO DISTINGUISH WHAT VOTES ARE LAWFUL AND WHAT ARE UNLAWFUL, OR TO ARRIVE AT ANY CERTAIN RESULT WHATSOEVER, OR THAT THE GREAT BODY OF THE VOTERS HAVE BEEN PREVENTED BY VIOLENCE, INTIMIDATION AND THREATS FROM EXERCISING THEIR FRANCHISE.”35

 

WHAT MUST A PROTESTANT ALLEGING TERRORISM IN AN ELECTION PROTEST DO?

 

HE MUST ESTABLISH BY CLEAR AND CONVINCING EVIDENCE THAT THE WILL OF THE MAJORITY HAS BEEN MUTED BY”VIOLENCE, INTIMIDATION OR THREATS.

 

IN THIS CASE DID THE CIRCUMSTANCES WARRANT NULLIFICATION OF ELECTION?

 

NO.

 

PROTESTANT’S EVIDENCE IS UTTERLY WEAK, UNCLEAR AND UNCONVINCING.

 

WHAT ARE THE TWO INDISPENSABLE REQUISITES THAT MUST CONCUR IN ORDER TO JUSTIFY THE DRASTIC ACTION OF NULLIFYING THE ELECTION?

 

(1) THE ILLEGALITY OF THE BALLOTS MUST AFFECT MORE THAN FIFTY PERCENT (50%) OF THE VOTES CAST ON THE SPECIFIC PRECINCT OR PRECINCTS SOUGHT TO BE ANNULLED, OR IN CASE OF THE ENTIRE MUNICIPALITY, MORE THAN FIFTY PERCENT (50%) OF ITS TOTAL PRECINCTS AND THE VOTES CAST THEREIN; AND

 

(2) IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO DISTINGUISH WITH REASONABLE CERTAINTY BETWEEN THE LAWFUL AND UNLAWFUL BALLOTS. XXX

 

WAS THE DECISION OF HRET SUPPORTED BY CLEAR AND CONVINCING EVIDENCE?

 

NO.

 

THUS, THE HRET COMMITTED GRAVE ABUSE OF DISCRETION IN ANNULLING THE ELECTIONS IN THE CONTESTED PRECINCTS AND DISREGARDING THE RESPECTIVE NUMBER OF VOTES RECEIVED BY ABAYON AND DAZA FROM THE PRECINCTS, WHICH LED TO ITS CONCLUSION THAT DAZA WAS THE ONE ELECTED BY THE MAJORITY OF VOTERS IN THE FIRST LEGISLATIVE DISTRICT OF NORTHERN SAMAR TO BE THEIR REPRESENTATIVE IN CONGRESS. HENCE, ABAYON SHOULD BE REINSTATED AS THE DULY ELECTED REPRESENTATIVE OF THE SAID LEGISLATIVE DISTRICT.

 

TO READ THE DECISION, JUST CLICK/DOWNLOAD THE FILE BELOW.

 

SCD-2016-0024-ABAYONSCD-2016-0024-ABAYON

 

NOTE: TO RESEARCH ON A TOPIC IN YAHOO OR GOOGLE SEARCH  JUST TYPE “JABBULAO AND THE TOPIC”. EXAMPLE: TO RESEARCH ON FORUM SHOPPING JUST  TYPE “JABBULAO AND FORUM SHOPPING”.

 

CASE 2016-0023: REPUBLIC ET AL VS. HON. MUPAS ET AL (G.R. NO. 181892); REPUBLIC ET AL VS. PIATCO ET AL  (G.R. NO. 209917); TAKENAKA ET AL VS REPUBLIC ET AL (G.R. NO. 209699) PIATCO VS. REPUBLIC ET AL (G.R. NO. 209731) (19 APRIL 2016, BRION, J)

 

DISPOSITIVE:

 

WHEREFORE, premises considered, we:

 

(1) SUSTAIN our September 8, 2015 Decision, thus:

 

 a) The principal amount of just compensation is fixed at $326,932,221.26 as of December 21, 2004. Thereafter, the amount of $267 ,493 ,61 7 .26, which is the difference between $326,932,221.26 and the proffered value of $59,438,604.00, shall earn a straight interest of 12% per annum from September 11, 2006 until June 30, 2013, and a straight interest of 6% per annum from July 1, 2013 until full payment;

 

 b) The Republic is hereby ordered to make direct payment of the just compensation due to PIATCO; and

 

c) The Republic is hereby ordered to defray the expenses of the BOC in the sum of P3,500,000.00.

 

(2) PARTLY GRANT the Republic’s motion for reconsideration by declaring that full ownership over the NAIA-IPT III shall be vested in the Republic upon full payment of the just compensation as computed in the immediately preceding paragraph; ·

 

(3) DENY PIATCO’s motion for partial reconsideration;

 

( 4) DENY Takenaka and Asahikosan’s motion for partial reconsideration; and

 

(5) RECTIFY THE FOLLOWING TYPOGRAPHICAL ERRORS in our Decision dated September 8, 2015:

 

(a) The last paragraph of page 41 of our Decision should read as follows:

 

Interest. The CA further held that interest shall be added to just compensation as of December 21, 2004. xxx

 

(b) Page 99 of the Decision should reflect the proper quote of item 3.1.17 of the Scott Wilson Report, as follows:

 

3.1.17 On the basis of a construction cost valuation of the order of US$322 million we would expect the cost of construction supervision to be a minimum of US$9 .5 million. It is understood that PIATCO has paid US$7.9 million to the QA Inspectors (JAC) and US$4.2 million to PCI, SOM, PA CI CON and JGC and this therefore appears not unreasonable.

 

(c) Pages 123-124 of the Decision should reflect the proper number of days in years 2008 and 2012, which is 366 days, and hence should be corrected as follows:

 

. . . . .

 

This Resolution is final and no further pleadings shall be entertained. Let judgment be entered in due course.

 

SO ORDERED.”

 

TO READ THE DECISION, JUST CLICK/DOWNLOAD THE FILE BELOW.

 

SCD-2016-0023-PIATCO

 

NOTE: TO RESEARCH ON A TOPIC IN YAHOO OR GOOGLE SEARCH  JUST TYPE “jabbulao and the topic”. EXAMPLE: TO RESEARCH ON FORUM SHOPPING JUST  TYPE “jabbulao and forum shopping”.

LEGAL NOTE 0145: RULE ON E-FILING AND EFFICIENT USE OF PAPER (GUIDELINES ON SUBMISSION AND PROCESSING OF SOFT COPIES OF SUPREME COURT-BOUND PAPERS PURSUANT TO THE EFFICIENT USE OF PAPER RULE)

 

TO READ THE RULE, JUST CLICK/DOWNLOAD THE FILE BELOW.

 

 RULE ON E-FILING AND EFFICIENT USE OF PAPER

 

NOTE: TO RESEARCH ON A TOPIC IN YAHOO OR GOOGLE SEARCH  JUST TYPE “jabbulao and the topic”. EXAMPLE: TO RESEARCH ON FORUM SHOPPING JUST  TYPE “jabbulao and forum shopping”.