JAMES BERNARD G.

CALO
FERDINAND G.S. GUJILDE
Rm. 406
ELECTION LAW
SARANGANI vs. COMELEC
G.R. No. 155560-62. Nov. 11, 2003

ATTY.

FACTS:
Petitioner Aleem Ameroddin Sarangani, Saidamen B. Pangarungan and
private respondent Mamintal M. Adiong were the contenders for the position of
governor in the province of Lanao del Sur. During the canvass of votes made by the
Provincial Board of Canvassers (PBC), the contending candidates made several
objections to the inclusion of Certificates of Canvass (COC) from several
municipalities.
On 02 July 2001, the PBC issued resolutions excluding COC’s from the
municipalities of Wao, In view of the fact that the second page of the subject COC is
a photocopy where the votes written in figures were likewise appearing to be a
result of photo copying although the votes in words were handwritten thereon, and
no single signature was affixed on that page of the COC that would least prove its
authenticity. The PBC likewise excluded the COCs from the municipality of Bubong
for they cannot ascertain, the true and real votes reflected in the certificate of votes
and the corresponding statements of votes where they found to be altered.
Private respondent refused to acknowledge receipt of the rulings of the PBC
and filed with the COMELEC a Motion to Resolve Petition to Change Composition of
the PBC of Lanao del Sur. The COMELEC granted the motion, and the newly
constituted PBC overturned the rulings of the old board and decided to include the
COCs from the municipalities of Wao and Bubong which resulted in the proclamation
of Private respondent as being the duly elected governor.
Feeling aggrieved by the new ruling. Petitioners filed, on July 14, 2001,
separate appeals to the COMELEC, were eventually consolidated in the Second
Division of the COMELEC together with the Urgent Petition to Annul the
proclamation of respondent.
ISSUE:
Whether the proper remedy is to file a Pre-Proclamation controversy or
Election Protest.
HELD:
To require the board of canvassers and the COMELEC to look beyond or
behind the election returns which are on their face regular and authentic, examine
the circumstances surrounding the preparation of the returns would run counter to
the rule that a pre-proclamation controversy should be summarily decided…Where
the resolution of the issues raised would require the COMELEC to pierce the veil of
election returns that appear prima facie regular, the proper remedy is a regular
election protest and not pre-proclamation controversy.
As a general rule, the proper remedy after the proclamation of the winning
candidate for the position contested would be to file a regular election protest or a
petition for quo warranto.
Wherefore the instant petition is DISMISSED.

CALO FERDINAND G.S. GUJILDE Rm. 406 ELECTION LAW ATTY.JAMES BERNARD G. .

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