Differences between Election Protest and Quo Warranto Proceedings
While both have one objective which is to remove the winning candidate from office, an election protest may be distinguished from quo warranto proceedings as follows:
As to who may file
Filing is limited to a candidate who has duly filed a certificate of candidacy, and has been duly voted for Petition may be made or filed by any voter.
As to the grounds
Based on fraud or irregularity
Refers to questions of disloyalty or ineligibility of the winning candidate As to the purpose
To ascertain who actually obtained the majority of the legal votes in the election, and is therefore entitled to the office To unseat the ineligible person from the office, but not to install the protestant in his place As to effect when petition is granted
Protestant may be installed if proven that he actually obtained the majority legal votes The respondent may be unseated, but the petitioner will not be seated in the vacated office As to the allegations stated in the complaint
Where one alleges that fraud and illegality affected the conduct of the election, even if one were to denominate the same as quo warranto, the contest is really an election protest Where the petition alleges a defect or absence of qualification for an office, it is a quo warranto proceeding, even if labeled an election protest
COMELEC Resolution No. 8804 promulgated last March 22, 2010
The Comelec Rules of Procedure on Disputes in an Automated Election System
Part I, Rule 1
Section 2. Applicability – These rules shall apply to election disputes under the Automated Election System (AES) using the Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS), and shall cover pre-proclamation controversies and election protests.
The resolution will not only apply to the May 10, 2010 Elections, but also to all subsequent automated elections that will use the PCOS machine.
Section 4. Suspension of the Rules – In the interest of justice and in order to obtain speedy disposition of all matters pending before it, these Rules or any portion thereof, may be suspended by the COMELEC.
It is within the power of the COMELEC to suspend the rules in the interest of obtaining the speedy disposition of cases. The COMELEC may suspend the application of the said rules.
Part II, Rule 3
Section 1. Pre-Proclamation Controversy - A pre-proclamation controversy refers to the proceedings of the board of canvassers which may be raised by any candidates or by any registered political party or coalition of political parties, or by any accredited and participating party list group, before the board or directly with the Commission. It covers only two issues:
Illegal composition of the Board of Canvassers (BOC);
Illegal proceedings of the BOC.
The two issues came from the first ground mentioned in Section 243 of the Omnibus Election Code which enumerated the four grounds in a pre-proclamation controversy. In the Automated Election System, only the first ground will apply. The second, third and fourth grounds do not apply since the AES uses electronically transmitted election returns in the canvassing of votes. Section 2. Jurisdiction of the Commission in Pre-Proclamation Controversies - COMELEC has exclusive jurisdiction in pre-proclamation controversies arising from national, regional and local elections. A pre-proclamation controversy may be raised by any candidate or by any registered political party, organization, or coalition of political parties before the BOC, or directly with the Commission. Part II, Rule 4
Section 1. Illegal Composition of the Board of Canvassers - There is illegal composition of the BOC when, among other similar circumstances, any of the members do not possess legal qualifications and appointments. The information technology capable person (at least one) required to assist the BOC by Republic Act No. 9369 shall be included as among those...
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