The “exclusive power of the COMELEC to conduct a preliminary investigation of allcasesinvolving criminal infractions of the election laws” stated in Par. 1 of COMELECResolution No. 2050 pertains to the criminal aspect of a disqualification case. Hence, an erringcandidate may be disqualified even without prior determination of probable cause in apreliminary investigation.
10. DAYAO CASE11. ATIENZA CASEThe validity or invalidity of the expulsion of a political party’s officers is purely a membershipissue that has to be settled within the party. It is an internal party matter over which COMELEChas no jurisdiction. It may intervene in disputes internal to a party only when necessary to thedischarge of its constitutional functions, such as resolving an intra party leadership dispute as anincident of its power to register political parties The loser cannot be ordered to reimburse the winner for the expenses incurred in the electionprotest, for no law provides for it.12. BASHER CASEFailure of electionThe armed followers pointed their guns at her and her military escorts responded in the samemanner.The tally sheet showed that Ampatuan got 250 votes; Basher got 15 votes and Razul got 10votes. Ampatuan was proclaimed winner. Basher now assails the validity of the COMELECResolution dismissing the Petition to Declare Failure o Election and to Call Special Election inPrecinct No. 12 Baranggay Maidan.WON there was failure of electionYES. There was a failure of election. This notwithstanding, there was an invalid postponement ofelection. First, the place where the voting was conducted was illegal. Omnibus Election Codeprovides that election tellers shall designate the public school or ay public building within theBarangay to be used as polling place, election was held in the residence of the former mayorwhich is located in Barangay Pandarianao. Second, the law provides that the casting of votesstart at 7 am and end at 3 pm except when there are voters present within 30 meters in front ofthe polling place who have nor yet cast their votes. Election was held after 9:00 pm until the weehours the following day, certainly such was not in accordance with the law. Third, Election Daywas invalid because suspension of postponement of election is governed by law and it providesthat when f or any serious cause such as rebellion, insurrection, violence, terrorism, loss ordestruction of election paraphernalia and any analogous causes such nature that the free, orderlyand honest election should become impossible the COMELEC motu proprio or upon writtenpetition by 10 registered voter after summary proceedings shall suspend or postpone theproceedings. Election Officer did not follow the procedure for he postponement or suspension ordeclaration of failure of election. She did not conduct any proceeding summary or otherwise to
find out any legal grounds for the suspension or postponement or declaration of failure ofelection.