496-508_VALDERAMA.doc - LUIS K LOKIN JR as the second nominee of CITIZENS BATTLE AGAINST CORRUPTION(CIBAC petitioner vs COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS and the

496-508_VALDERAMA.doc - LUIS K LOKIN JR as the second...

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LUIS K. LOKIN, JR., as the second nominee of CITIZENS BATTLE AGAINST CORRUPTION (CIBAC), petitioner, vs. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS and the HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, respondents G.R. No. 179431-32 June 22, 2010 Bersamin, J. FACTS Citizens’ Battle Against Corruption (CIBAC) was one of the organized groups duly registered under the party-list system of representation that manifested their intent to participate in the 14 May 2007 synchronized national and local elections. Through its president, CIBAC submitted a list of 5 nominees (Villanueva, Lokin, Jr., Cruz-Gonzales, Tugna, & Galang) from which its representatives would be chosen should CIBAC obtain the required number of qualifying votes. This list was later published in 2 newspapers of general circulation. However, prior to the elections, CIBAC, still through Villanueva, filed a certificate of nomination, substitution and amendment of the previous list of nominees whereby it withdrew the nominations of Lokin, Tugna and Galang and substituted Borje as one of the nominees. On June 20 2007, following the close of the polls, Villanueva sent a letter to COMELEC Chairperson Abalos, transmitting therewith the signed petitions of more than 81% of the CIBAC members averring that Lokin, Tugna and Galang were not among the nominees presented and proclaimed by CIBAC. On June 26 2007, CIBAC supposedly through its counsel, filed with the COMELEC en banc sitting as the National Board of Canvassers a motion seeking the proclamation of Lokin as its second nominee. This motion was opposed by Villanueva and Cruz-Gonzales. ISSUE Whether or not the proper recourse is a petition for quo warranto not mandamus. HELD An election protest proposes to oust the winning candidate from office. It is strictly a contest between the defeated and the winning candidates, based on the grounds of electoral frauds and irregularities, to determine who between them has actually obtained the majority of the legal votes cast and is entitled to hold the office. It can only be filed by a candidate who has duly filed a certificate of candidacy and has been voted for in the preceding elections. A special civil action for quo warranto refers to questions of disloyalty to the State, or of ineligibility of the winning candidate. The objective of the action is to unseat the ineligible person from the office, but not to install the petitioner in his place. Any voter may initiate the action, which is, strictly speaking, not a contest where the parties strive for supremacy because the petitioner will not be seated even if the respondent may be unseated. The controversy involving Lokin is neither an election protest nor an action for quo warranto, for it concerns a very peculiar situation in which Lokin is seeking to be seated as the second nominee of CIBAC. Although an election protest may properly be available to one party- list organization seeking to unseat another partylist organization to determine disloyalty of Cruz- Gonzales to the Republic of the Philippines, or some other cause of disqualification for her.
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