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Name: Dungog, Yasie T. LLB – II Professor: Atty. Gonzalo Malig-on, Jr.

I. Reference

Subject: Election Law

Topic: Canvassing, Pre-proclamation controversy, Proclamation


Title: Codilla vs De Venecia
Citation: G.R. NO. 150605 DECEMBER 10, 2002

FACTS:
Petitioner garnered the highest votes in the election for representative in the 4 th district
of Leyte as against respondent Locsin. Petitioner won while a disqualification suit was
pending. Respondent moved for the suspension of petitioner’s proclamation. By virtue
of the Comelec ex parte order, petitioner’s proclamation was suspended. Comelec later
on resolved that petitioner was guilty of soliciting votes and consequently disqualified
him. Respondent Locsin was proclaimed winner. Upon motion by petitioner, the
resolution was however reversed and a new resolution declared respondent’s
proclamation as null and void. Respondent made his defiance and disobedience to
subsequent resolution publicly known while petitioner asserted his right to the office he
won.
ISSUE(S):

1. Whether or not respondent’s proclamation was valid.

2. Whether or not the Comelec had jurisdiction in the instant case.

3. Whether or not proclamation of the winner is a ministerial duty.

HELD:

1. The respondent’s proclamation was premature given that the case against petitioner
had not yet been disposed of with finality. In fact, it was subsequently found that the
disqualification of the petitioner was null and void for being violative of due process and
for want of substantial factual basis. Furthermore, respondent, as second placer, could
not take the seat in office since he did not represent the electorate’s choice.

2. Since the validity of respondent’s proclamation had been assailed by petitioner before
the Comelec and that the Comelec was yet to resolve it, it cannot be said that the order
disqualifying petitioner had become final. Thus Comelec continued to exercise
jurisdiction over the case pending finality. The House of Representatives Electoral
Tribunal does not have jurisdiction to review resolutions or decisions of the Comelec. A
petition for quo warranto must also fail since respondent’s eligibility was not the issue.

3. The facts had been settled by the COMELEC en banc, the constitutional body with
jurisdiction on the matter, that petitioner won. The rule of law demands that its
(Comelec’s) Decision be obeyed by all officials of the land. Such duty is ministerial.
Petitioner had the right to the office which merits recognition regardless of personal
judgment or opinion.