of candidacy were valid at the time of the filing "but subsequently had to be cancelled because of a violation of law that took place, or a legal impediment that took effect, after the filing of the certificate of candidacy." The rule on succession under Section 45, however, would not apply if the permanent vacancy was caused by one whose certificate of candidacy was void ab initio. Specifically with respect to dual citizens, their certificates of candidacy are void ab initiobecause they possess "a substantive [disqualifying circumstance] . . . [existing] prior to the filing of their certificate of candidacy." Legally, they should not even be considered candidates. The votes casted for them should be considered stray and should not be counted. In cases of vacancies caused by those with void ab initiocertificates of candidacy, the person legally entitled to the vacant position would be the candidate who garnered the next highest number of votes among those eligible. In this case, it is private respondent Bacani who is legally entitled to the position of Councilor, having garnered the sixth highest number of votes among the eligible candidates. The Commission on Elections correctly proclaimed private respondent Bacani in lieu of petitioner. (Chua v. Commission on Elections, G.R. No. 216607, April 5, 2016) Pre-Proclamation Controversies The petition filed by Ludovico against Labao, Jr. before the COMELEC, docketed as SPA Case No. 13-294 (DC), is not a pre-proclamation controversy. The Omnibus Election Code (OEC) clearly defines the term "pre-proclamation controversy." Pertinently, Section 241 thereof provides as follows: Sec, 241. Definition. - A pre-proclamation controversy refers to any question pertaining to or affecting the proceedings of the board of canvasserswhich may be raised by any candidate or by any registered political party or coalition of political parties before the board or directly with the Commission, or any matter raised under Sections 233,234,235 and 236 in relation to the preparation, transmission, receipt, custody and appreciation of the election returns.(Emphasis supplied.) Sections 233 to 236 of the OEC read: Sec. 233. When the election returns are delayed, lost or destroyed.- In case its copy of the election returns is missing, the board of canvassers shall, by messenger or otherwise, obtain such missing election returns from the board of election inspectors concerned, or if said returns have been lost or destroyed, the board of canvassers, upon prior authority of the Commission, may use any of the authentic copies of said election returns or a certified copy of said election returns issued by the Commission, and forthwith direct its representative to investigate the case
NOTES ON POLITICAL LAW Excerpts from the 2016 Decisions of the Supreme Court by Atty. CARLO L.