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Jan 13, 2010

213 SCRA 807

  • HRET has exclusive jurisdiction over election contests and qualifications of members of Congress
  • Remedies against a disqualified House of Representative candidate: (1) cancellation of certificate of candidacy filed with COMELEC before election; (2) quo warranto case filed with HRET after proclamation


Petitioners filed a petition seeking to disqualify Daza, then incumbent congressman of their congressional district in Makati, from continuing to exercise the functions of his office on the ground that the latter is a greencard holder and a lawful permanent resident of the United States. They also alleged that Mr. Daza has not by any act or declaration renounced his status as permanent resident thereby violating the Omnibus Election Code (Section 68) and the 1987 Constitution (section 18, Article III).

Respondent Congressman filed his Comment denying the fact that he is a permanent resident of the United States as evidenced by a letter order of the US Immigration and Naturalization Service, Los Angeles, U.S.A, he had long waived his status when he returned to the Philippines on August 12, 1985.

  • Whether or not respondent Daza should be disqualified as a member of the House of Representatives for violation of Section 68 of the Omnibus Election Code


The Supreme Court vote to dismiss the instant case, first, the case is moot and academic for it is evident from the manifestation filed by petitioners dated April 6, 1992, that they seek to unseat the respondent from his position as Congressman for the duration of his term of office commencing June 30, 1987 and ending June 30, 1992. Secondly, jurisdiction of this case rightfully pertains to the House Electoral Tribunal. Under Section 17 of Article VI of the 1987 Constitution, it is the House Electoral Tribunal which shall be the sole judge of all contests relating to the election returns and qualification of its members.

The petitioner’s appropriate remedy should have been to file a petition to cancel respondent Daza’s certificate of candidacy before the election or a quo warranto case with the House of Electoral Tribunal within ten days after Daza’s proclamation.


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