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Lucero v.

COMELEC
G.R. No. 113107 | 20 Jul 1994
Davide, Jr., J.
Petitioner: Wilmar Lucero (Lucero), Jose Ong, Jr. (Ong)
Respondent: COMELEC
Consolidated petition for certiorari seeking to annul the 7 Jan 1994
resolution of COMELEC
Related Provision/s:
Omnibus Election Code, Section 6. Requirements for holding a
special election
1935 Constitution, Article VI, Section 9. In case of vacancy in the
Senate or in the House of Representatives, a special election may be
called to ll such vacancy in the manner prescribed by law, but the
Senator or Member of the House of Representatives thus elected
shall serve only for the unexpired term
Facts:
" Lucero lost to Ong by 204 votes in the 1992 elections for the
position of district representative of the 2nd legislative district of
Northern Samar
" The tally, however, did not include the results of the following:
" Precinct No. 7 Illegible
" Precinct No. 13 Snatched ballots; no election held
" Precinct No. 16 Missing election returns
" In light of this failure, Lucero moved for the COMELEC to suspend
the proclamation of Ong and to hold a special election for Precinct
No. 13
" Acting on Luceros urgent manifestation, COMELEC directed PBC
to desist from reconvening until further orders
" Ong moved to lift the suspension in which Lucero opposed
" COMELEC en banc issued a resolution ordering the Provincial
Election Supervision (PES) of Northern Samar to bring the ballot
boxes from Precinct 7 and 16 to the Commission wherein the keys
thereof shall be turned over to the PES who shall in turn give the
keys for each ballot boxes to the duly authorized representatives of
Lucero and Ong
" The Court issued a TRO against the implementation of the above-
mentioned resolution and eventually ordered the COMELEC to
cease and desist from implementing the same
" Acting on motions for reconsideration and clarication respectively
led by COMELEC and Lucero, the Court modied its decision and
instead ordered to re-ra#e the case to COMELEC
" In 1994, COMELEC en banc issued the assailed resolution
ordering a re-tabulation of the votes including the results of
Precinct 16 and the COMELEC-copy of the results for Precinct 7,
a special election for Precinct 13, and a recount of Precinct 7
conditioned upon the results of Precinct 13
" Both Lucero and Ong contested the said resolution
" Lucero the count of ballots in Precinct 7 must be
unconditional because the election returns therefrom are invalid
" Ong COMELEC has no authority to order the correction and
to call for a special election almost two (2) years after the regular
election
" Hence, this petition
Issue/s:
W/N the count of Precinct 7 must come before the holding special
election in Precinct 13
W/N a special election could be held 1 year and 10 months after
the regular election
Held:
! Yes. The count of Precinct 7 must be determined before holding a
special election in Precinct 13.
! Requirement for holding a special election
! Failure of election
! E$ect of failure of election in the results of the election
! It must therefore be necessary to know the total number of
votes and the di$erence before it could be determined if a
special election is necessary
! If after including the count of Precinct 7, the di$erence in the
votes are less than 213, which is the total number of voters
in Precinct 13, then a special election is deemed to be
necessary because its failure then would have an e$ect in
the results of the election
! The COMELEC copy, which the authenticity is doubted,
cannot be used, therefore, a count is in order to determine the
real results in Precinct 7
! Yes. A special election could still be held even after 1 year and 10
months after the regular election.
! Requirements in xing the date of the special election
! Not later than 30 days after the cessation of the cause of the
postponement or suspension of the election or the failure to
elect
! Reasonably close to the date of the election held,
suspended, or which resulted in failure to elect
! The delay was primarily caused by the legal skirmishes and
maneuvers of the petitioners, therefore the holding of the
special election after almost two years may still be deemed to
be reasonably close to the date of the election not held
! Constitutional and statutory proscription are inapplicable to
special elections which may be called under Section 6 of the
Omnibus Election Code
Ruling:
Ongs petition denied.
Luceros petition granted ordering the COMELEC to count the
votes in Precinct 7, correct and add the votes in Precinct 13, and
hold a special election in Precinct 13 in not later than 30 days if
found necessary after the completion of the preceding orders