SC reverses Comelec dismissal of DQ petition vs Cagayan governor | Inquirer News

SC reverses Comelec dismissal of DQ petition vs Cagayan governor

/ 06:17 PM April 22, 2024

Supreme Court rules against Comelecdismissal of DQ case vs Mambna

(PHOTO: Supreme Court of the Philippines facebook page)

MANILA CITY, Philippines—The Commission on Elections (Comelec) gravely abused its discretion in dismissing the petition for disqualification filed against then gubernatorial candidate and current Cagayan Governor Manuel Mamba, the Supreme Court (SC) said Monday.

In a decision dated April 16 but made public Monday, the SC granted the petition filed by Ma. Zarah Rose De Guzman challenging the Comelec en banc’s ruling dismissing her disqualification petition against Mamba.


The SC remanded the disqualification case to the Comelec en bank for proper disposition.


Both De Guzman-Lara and Mamba were running for governor of Cagayan in the 2022 elections. On May 10, De Guzman-Lara filed a petition to disqualify Mamba through an email, accusing him of massive vote-buying and unlawful disbursement of public funds.

A day later, Mamba was declared winner by the Provincial Board of Canvassers.

Then, the Comelec’s Second Division issued a resolution on Dec. 14, 2022 disqualifying Mamba after finding substantial evidence of unauthorized release, disbursement or expenditure of public funds during the campaign period, which is prohibited under the Omnibus Election Code.

Thr Comelec en banc, however,  reversed the findings of its Second Division because De Guzman-Lara’s petition was filed out of time.

Citing Section 5 of its Resolution No. 10673, or the guidelines on the electronic filing of pleadings, it ruled that De Guzman-Lara’s petition was filed on May 10, 2022, at 6:21 p.m., which is already considered filed the next working day, or May 11, 2022, at 8 a.m., to be exact.

Since Mamba was proclaimed May 11 at 1:39 a.m., Comelec said the petition was filed after Mamba’s proclamation, which effectively divested the Comelec of any authority to hear and decide the case. The ruling prompted De Guzman-Lara to go to the SC.


But the SC, in granting De Guzman-Lara’s petition pointed out that Section 3, Rule 25 of the Comelec Rules of Procedure, disqualification shall be filed any day after the last day for filing a certificate of candidacy (COCs) but not later than the date of proclamation.

“A petition for disqualification can be filed even after the exact time of the proclamation of a candidate, so long as it was filed within the same day,” the SC, through Associate Justice Jhosep Lopez said.

“The Court found that since Mamba was proclaimed on May 11, 2022 at 1:39 a.m., petitions for disqualification against Mamba could still be filed anytime within the day,” the SC said.

The SC added practicable realities borne by technological advances should also be considered.

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

“Actual receipt of pleadings by email is not limited to the physical structures of an agency, which remain open during certain hours of the day…it can hardly be argued that institutions with vast innovative resources such as the Comelec will not be able to access a pleading filed beyond office hours when such filing was made via email,” it added.

TAGS: Manuel Mamba, Supreme Court

© Copyright 1997-2024 | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.