Republic of the Philippines
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES ELECTORAL TRIBUNAL
Electoral Tribunal Building
Commonwealth Avenue, Quezon City
THE 2011 RULES OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES ELECTORAL TRIBUNAL
The House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal hereby adopts and promulgates the following Rules governing its proceedings as the sole judge of all contests relating to the elections, returns and qualifications of Member of the House of Representatives, pursuant to Section 17, Article VI of the Constitution.
TITLE AND CONSTRUCTION
RULE 1. Title. These Rules shall be known and cited as the 2011 Rules of the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal, or HRET Rules. The word Tribunal whenever used alone or without qualification in these Rules, shall refer to the House of Representative Electoral Tribunal.
RULE 2. Construction. These Rules shall be liberally constructed in order to achieve a just, expeditious and inexpensive determination and disposition of every contest brought before the Tribunal.
RULE 3. Composition. - The Tribunal shall be composed of nine (9) Members, three (3) of whom shall be Justices of the Supreme Court to be designated by the Chief Justice, and the remaining six (6) shall be Members of the House of Representatives who shall be chosen on the basis of proportional representation from the political parties and the parties or organizations registered under the party-list system represented therein. The Senior Justice in the Tribunal shall be its Chairperson.
RULE 4. Organization. (a) Upon the designation of the Justices of the Supreme Court and the election of the Members of the House of Representatives who are to compose the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal pursuant to Sections 17 and 19 of Article VI of the Constitution, the Tribunal shall meet for its organization and adoption of such resolutions as it may deem proper.
(b) Notwithstanding the provision of the immediately preceding paragraph, pending the election of the Members of the House of Representatives who shall sit in the Tribunal, the tree (3) Justices already designated shall have the authority to act on administrative and interlocutory matters subject to confirmation by the Tribunal upon its organization.
(c) The Tribunal may constitute itself into three (3) divisions for the purpose of allocating and distributing its workload. Each division shall be composed of one (1) Justice and two (2) Members of the House of Representatives.
Each division shall act on such matters as may be assigned to it by the Tribunal En Banc, including the appreciation of contested ballots, returns and election documents pertaining to the particular contested precincts assigned to it by raffle and the submission to the Tribunal En Banc of its findings and recommendations thereon within the time specified therefor.
RULE 5. Meetings; Quorum; Executive Committee Actions on Matters in between Regular Meetings. (a) The Tribunal shall meet on such days and hours as it may designate or at the call of the Chairperson or of a majority of its Members. The presence of at least one (1) Justice and four (4) Members of the Tribunal shall be necessary to constitute a quorum. In the absence of the Chairperson, the next Senior Justice shall preside, and in the absence of both, the Justice present shall take the Chair.
(b) In the absence of a quorum and provided there is at least one Justice in attendance, the Members present, who shall not be less than three (3), may constitute themselves as an Executive Committee to act on the agenda for the meeting concerned, provided, however, that its action shall be subject to confirmation by the Tribunal at any subsequent meeting where a quorum is present.
(c) In between the regular meetings of the Tribunal, the Chairperson, or any three (3) of its Members, provided at least one (1) of them is a Justice-Member, who may sit as the Executive Committee, may act on the following matters requiring immediate action by the Tribunal:
1. Any pleading or motion,
(a) Where delay in its resolution may result in irreparable or substantial damage or injury to the rights of a party or cause delay in the proceedings or action concerned;
(b) Which is urgent in character but does not substantially affect the rights of the adverse party, such as one for extension of time to comply with an order/resolution of the Tribunal, or to file a pleading which is not a prohibited pleading and is within the discretion of the Tribunal to grant; and
(c) Where the Tribunal would require a comment, reply, rejoinder or any other similar pleading from any of the parties or their attorneys; and
2. Administrative matters which do not involve new applications or allocations of the appropriations of the Tribunal.
However, any such action/resolution shall be included in the order of business of the immediately succeeding meeting of the Tribunal for its confirmation.
RULE 6. Place of Meetings. The Tribunal shall meet in the Conference Room of the Tribunal at its main office or at such other place in Metro Manila as it may designate. When in its judgment the interest of justice so requires, it may also hold sessions outside of Metro Manila.
RULE 7. Exclusive Control of Functions. The Tribunal shall have exclusive control, direction, and supervision of all matters pertaining to its own functions and operation.
RULE 8. Express and Implied Powers. - The Tribunal shall have and exercise all such powers as are vested in it by the Constitution or by law, and such other powers as may be necessary or incidental to the accomplishment of its purposes and the effective exercise of its functions
RULE 9. Inherent Powers. When performing its functions, the Tribunal shall have inherent power to, inter alia:
(1) Preserve and enforce order in its immediate presence;
(2) Enforce order in proceedings before it or before any of its officials acting under its authority;
(3) Compel obedience to its judgments, orders, resolutions and processes;
(4) Compel the attendance of witnesses and the production of evidence in any case or proceeding before it;
(5) Administer or cause to be administered oaths in any case or proceeding before it, and in all other cases where it may be necessary in the exercise of its powers;
(6) Control its processes and amend its resolutions or orders to make them conform with law and justice;
(7) Authorize a copy of a lost or destroyed pleading or other paper to be filed and used in lieu of the original, and restore and supply deficiencies in its records and proceedings; and
(8) Promulgate its own rules of procedure and amend or revise the same.
RULE 10. The Chairperson; Powers and Duties. The Chairperson shall have the following powers and duties:
(1) Act as the Chief Executive Officer of the Tribunal;
(2) Exercise administrative supervision over the Tribunal, including the Office of the Secretary of the Tribunal and the administrative staff of the Tribunal;
(3) Issue calls for the sessions and meetings of the Tribunal and preside thereat, and preserve order and decorum during the same; and pass upon all questions of order subject to such appeal as any member may take to the Tribunal;
(4) Take care that the orders, resolutions, and decisions of the Tribunal are enforced;
(5) Appoint, dismiss or otherwise discipline the personnel of the Tribunal in accordance with Civil Service laws and regulations. The confidential employees of every Member shall serve at the pleasure of such Member and in no case beyond the tenure of such Member; and
(6) Perform such other functions and acts as may be necessary or appropriate to ensure the independence and efficiency of the Tribunal.
RULE 11. Administrative Staff. The Tribunal shall have a Secretary and a Deputy Secretary. Unless the Tribunal otherwise provides, the administrative staff of the Tribunal shall function in eight (8) services, namely:
(1) Legal Service;
(2) Canvass Board Service;
(3) Information System and Judicial Records Management Service;
(4) Human Resource Management Service;
(5) General Service;
(6) Finance and Budget Service;
(7) Accounting Service; and
(8) Cash Management Service.
RULE 12. Duties of the Secretary of the Tribunal; the Deputy Secretary of the Tribunal. The Secretary of the Tribunal shall have the following duties:
(1) Receive all pleadings and other documents properly presented, indicating on each such document the date and time when it was filed, and furnishing each Member of the Tribunal a copy thereof;
(2) Keep a judicial docket wherein shall be entered in chronological order the contests and cases brought before the Tribunal, and the proceedings had therein;
(3) Prepare the calendar of contests and cases;
(4) Attend the sessions or meetings of the Tribunal and, whenever necessary, of its divisions, and keep the minutes thereof which shall contain a clear and succinct account of all business transacted;
(5) Certify under his signature and the seal of the Tribunal all notices, orders, resolutions and decisions of the Tribunal;
(6) Implement the orders, resolutions, decisions and processes issued by the Tribunal;
(7) Keep a judgment book containing a copy of each decision and final order or resolution rendered by the Tribunal in the order of its dates, and a Book of Entries of Judgments containing in chronological order entries of the dispositive portions of all decisions and final orders or resolutions of the Tribunal;
(8) Keep an account of the funds received and disbursed relative to the cases;
(9) Subject to the authority of the Tribunal and the Chairperson, oversee the performance of the line and support (adjudicatory and administrative) functions of the various divisions of the administrative staff;
(10) Keep and secure all ballot boxes, election documents, records, papers, files, exhibits, the office seal and other public property belonging to or officially brought to the Tribunal;
(11) Perform such other duties as are prescribed by law for clerks of superior courts; and
(12) Keep such other books and perform such other duties as the Tribunal or the Chairperson may direct.
The Deputy Secretary of the Tribunal shall assist the Secretary of the Tribunal; act as Secretary of the Tribunal in the absence of the latter; and perform such other duties and functions as may be assigned by the Tribunal, the Chairperson, or the Secretary of the Tribunal.
RULE 13. The Seal. The seal of the Tribunal shall be circular in shape and shall contain in the upper part the words "House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal," in the center, the coat of arms of the Republic of the Philippines; and at the base, the words "Republic of the Philippines."
The seal of the Tribunal shall be affixed to all decisions, orders, rulings or resolutions of the Tribunal, certified copies of official records, and such other documents which the Tribunal may require to be sealed.
RULE 14. Jurisdiction. The Tribunal is the sole judge of all contests relating to the election, returns, and qualifications of the Members of the House of Representatives.
RULE 15. How Initiated. An election contest is initiated by the filing of a verified petition of protest or a verified petition for quo warranto against a Member of the House of Representatives. An election protest shall not include a petition for quo warranto. Neither shall a petition for quo warranto include an election protest.
RULE 16. Election Protest. A verified petition contesting the election or returns of any Member of the House of Representatives shall be filed by any candidate who has duly filed a certificate of candidacy and has been voted for the same office, within fifteen (15) days after the proclamation of the winner. The party filing the protest shall be designated as the protestant while the adverse party shall be known as the protestee.
No joint election protest shall be admitted, but the Tribunal, for good and sufficient reasons, may consolidate individual protests and hear and decide them jointly. Thus, where there are two or more protests involving the same protestee and common principal causes of action, the subsequent protests shall be consolidated with the earlier case to avoid unnecessary costs or delay. In case of objection to the consolidation, the Tribunal shall resolve the same. An order resolving a motion for or objection to the consolidation shall be unappealable.
The protest is verified by an affidavit that the affiant has read it and that the allegations therein are true and correct of his knowledge and belief or based on verifiable information or authentic records. A verification based on "information and belief," or upon "knowledge, information and belief," is not a sufficient verification.
An unverified election protest shall not suspend the running of the reglementary period to file the protest.
An election protest shall state:
1. The date of proclamation of the winner and the number of votes obtained by the parties per proclamation;
2. The total number of contested individual and clustered precincts per municipality or city;
3. The individual and clustered precinct numbers and location of the contested precincts; and
4. The specific acts or omissions complained of constituting the electoral frauds, anomalies or irregularities in the contested precincts.
RULE 17. Quo Warranto. A verified petition for quo warranto contesting the election of a Member of the House of Representatives on the ground of ineligibility or of disloyalty to the Republic of the Philippines shall be filed by any registered voter of the district concerned within fifteen (15) days from the date of the proclamation of the winner. The party filing the petition shall be designated as the petitioner while the adverse party shall be known as the respondent.
The provisions of the preceding paragraph to the contrary notwithstanding, a petition for quo warranto may be filed by any registered voter of the district concerned against a member of the House of Representatives, on the ground of citizenship, at any time during his tenure.
The rule on verification and consolidation provided in Section 16 hereof shall apply to petitions for quo warranto.
RULE 18. Damages. Damages may be granted in election protests or quo warranto proceedings in accordance with law.
RULE 19. Periods Non-Extendible. The period for the filing of the appropriate petition, as prescribed in Rules 16 and 17, is jurisdictional and cannot be extended.
RULE 20. Filing with the Tribunal. Petitions for election protests and quo warranto shall be filed either personally with the Office of the Secretary of the Tribunal or by registered mail addressed to the Secretary of the Tribunal, together with fifteen (15) clearly legible copies thereof. If filed personally, the Secretary of the Tribunal shall inscribe on the petition the date and hour of filing. If filed by registered mail, the date of the mailing of the petition, as shown by the post office stamp on the envelope or the registry receipt, shall be considered as the date of its filing with the Tribunal. The envelope shall be attached to the record of the case.
RULE 21. Summary Dismissal of Election Contest. An election protest or petition for quo warranto may be summarily dismissed by the Tribunal without the necessity of requiring the protestee or respondent to answer if, inter alia:
(1) The petition is insufficient in form and substance;
(2) The petition is filed beyond the periods provided in Rules 16 and 17 of these Rules;
(3) The filing fee is not paid within the periods provided for filing the protest or petition for quo warranto;
(4) In case of a protest where a cash deposit is required, the cash deposit, or the first P150, 000.00 thereof, is not paid within ten (10) days after the filing of the protest; and
(5) The petition or copies thereof and the annexes thereto filed with the Tribunal are not clearly legible.
For this purpose, the Secretary of the Tribunal shall, upon receipt of the petition, prepare a report and calendar the same for appropriate action by the Tribunal or the Executive Committee.
This rule shall, pro tanto, apply to counter-protests.
ANSWER AND COUNTER-PROTEST
RULE 22. Summons. If the petition is not summarily dismissed in accordance with Rule 21 of these Rules, the Secretary of the Tribunal shall issue the corresponding summons to the protestee or respondent, as the case may be, together with a copy of the petition, requiring him to file an answer within ten (10) days from receipt thereof.
The summons shall be served by handing copies of the summons and of the election protest or the quo warranto petition to the protestee or the respondent in person or, in case of the protestees or respondents refusal to receive or sign proof of receipt of these copies, by tendering them to him or her. Service of summons in this manner is complete upon such tender.
In cases filed involving legislative districts outside of Metro Manila, summons may be served through registered mail. Service by registered mail is complete upon actual receipt by the protestee or the respondent, or after five (5) days from the date he received the first notice from the postmaster, whichever date is earlier.
Service by registered mail shall be made by depositing copies of the summons and of the election protest or the quo warranto petition, in a sealed envelope, plainly addressed to the protestee or the respondent at his residence on record, with postage fully pre-paid, and with instructions to the postmaster to return the mail to the Tribunal after ten (10) days if undelivered.
RULE 23. Answer. The answer must be verified and may set forth special and affirmative defenses and a counterclaim. The protestee may incorporate in his answer a counter-protest. The answer shall be filed in fifteen (15) clearly legible copies with proof of service of a copy upon the protestant or petitioner within ten (10) days from receipt of the summons and a copy of the petition.
If filed in a separate pleading, a counter-protest must be verified and filed in fifteen (15) clearly legible copies with proof of service of a copy upon the protestant within ten (10) days from receipt of the summons and a copy of the protest.
RULE 24. Answer to Counterclaim or Counter-Protest. Answer to counterclaim or counter-protest must be verified and filed in fifteen (15) clearly legible copies within ten (10) days from receipt of the counterclaim or counter-protest.
RULE 25. Motion to Dismiss; Motion for Bill of Particulars; Demurrer to Evidence. No motion to dismiss, motion for a bill of particulars or demurrer to evidence shall be entertained. Grounds for a motion to dismiss shall be pleaded as affirmative defenses in the appropriate responsive pleadings allowed under Rules 23 and 24. The Tribunal may in its discretion hold a preliminary hearing on any of the grounds so pleaded.
RULE 26. Extensions of Time. No motion for extension of any of the periods fixed in Rules 22, 23 and 24 will be entertained.
RULE 27. Failure to Answer; Effect. If no answer to the protest, counter-protest, or the petition for quo warranto is filed within the period fixed in these Rules, a general denial shall be deemed to have been entered.
RULE 28. Amendments; Limitations. After the expiration of the period for the filing of the protest, counter-protest or petition for quo warranto, substantial amendments which broaden the scope of the action or introduce an additional cause or caused of action shall not be allowed. Any amendment in matters of form may be allowed at any stage of the proceedings.
When the Tribunal admits an amended petition, it may require the other party to answer the same within a non-extendible period of ten (10) days from service of a copy of the amended petition and of the resolution admitting the same.
RULE 29. Other Pleadings; How Filed. Except for the initiatory petitions of protest or for quo warranto which the Tribunal itself serves on the adverse party, all other pleadings shall be filed with the Office of the Secretary of the Tribunal in fifteen (15) clearly legible copies and must be accompanied with proof of service upon the adverse party or parties. Whenever practicable, the service and filing of pleadings, motions and other papers shall be done personally. A resort to other modes must be accompanied by a written explanation why personal service is not practicable.
All pleadings, motions and other papers filed with the Tribunal in connection with electoral cases pending before other tribunals, courts or agencies shall likewise be accompanied by proof of service upon the adverse party or parties in the said electoral cases.
No action shall be taken on pleadings that fail to comply with the foregoing requirements.
RULE 30. Proof of Service. Proof of personal service shall consist of a written admission of the party served, or the affidavit of the party serving, containing a full statement of the date, place and manner of service. If the service is made by registered mail, proof shall be established through such affidavit and the registry receipt issued by the mailing office. The registry return card or, in lieu thereof, the unclaimed letter together with the certified or sworn copy of the notice given by the postmaster to the addressee, shall be filed with the Tribunal by the sender immediately upon receipt of either.
RULE 31. Filing Fees. No protest, counter-protest or petition for quo warranto shall be deemed filed without the payment to the Tribunal of the filing fee on the amount of ten thousand pesos (P10, 000.00).
If a claim for damages or attorneys fees is set forth in a protest, counter-protest or petition for quo warranto, an additional filing fee shall be paid, which shall be, if the sum claimed is:
|Not more than P20, 000.00
|More than P20, 000.00 but less than P40, 000.00
|P40, 000.00 or more but less than P60, 000.00
|P60, 000.00 or more but less than P80, 000.00
|| P1, 100.00
|P80, 000.00 or more but less than P100, 000.00
|| P1, 300.00
|P100, 000.00 or more but less than P150, 000.00
|| P1, 500.00
|For each P1, 000.00 in excess of P150, 000.00
Where the protest, counter-protest or petition for quo warranto is filed by registered mail, it must be accompanied by a postal money order in the amount of the corresponding filing fees.
The required fees must be fully paid within the period prescribed in Rules 16 (Election Protest), 17 (Quo Warranto), 23 (Answer) and 24 (Answer to Counterclaim or Counter-Protest) of this Rule.
RULE 32. Cash Deposit. In addition to the fees prescribed in the preceding Rule, each protestant, counter-protestant or petitioner in quo warranto shall make a cash deposit with the Tribunal in the following amounts:
(1) In a petition for quo warranto, ten thousand pesos (P10, 000.00) to be paid within ten (10) days after the filing of the petition.
(2) If the protest or counter-protest does not require the bringing to the Tribunal of the ballot boxes, copies of election returns as well as other election documents and paraphernalia from the district concerned, ten thousand pesos (P10, 000.00) to be paid within ten (10) days after the filing of the protest or counter-protest;
(3) If the protest or counter-protest requires the bringing of ballot boxes, copies of election returns and other election documents and paraphernalia, three thousand pesos (P3, 000.00) for each clustered precinct involved therein. If, as thus computed, the amount of the deposit does not exceed one hundred fifty thousand pesos (P150, 000.00), the same shall be paid in full with the Tribunal within ten (10) days after the filing of the protest or counter-protest;
(4) If the required deposit exceeds one hundred fifty thousand pesos (P150, 000.00), a partial cash deposit of at least one hundred fifty thousand pesos (P150, 000.00), shall be made ten (10) days after the filing of the protest or counter-protest. The balance shall be paid in such installments as may be required by the Tribunal on at least five (5) days advance notice to the party required to make a cash deposit.
The cash deposit shall be applied by the Tribunal to the payment of all expenses incidental to the disposition of the case, including, in the case of protest, the bringing of the ballot boxes, copies of election returns as well as other election documents and paraphernalia to the Tribunal, and returning them to their original official custodians after the case is terminated, and to the compensation of the Revisors, when circumstances so demand, the Tribunal may require additional cash deposits. Any unused cash deposit shall be returned to the party or parties who paid the same after complete termination of the protest, counter-protest or petition for quo warranto.
RULE 33. Effect of Failure to Make Cash Deposit. If a party fails to make the cash deposits or additional deposits herein provided within prescribed time limit, the Tribunal may dismiss the protest, counter-protest, or petition for quo warranto, or take such action as it may deem equitable under the circumstances.
RULE 34. Legal Fees. The following legal fees shall be charged and collected:
(1) For furnishing certified transcripts of records or copies of any record, decision, resolution or entry of which any person is entitled to demand and receive a copy, for each page
Ten Pesos (P10.00);
(2) For furnishing certified transcripts of notes taken by stenographers to every person requesting the same, for each page of not less than two hundred and fifty words, for each page seven pesos and fifty centavos (P7.50) provided, however, that one-third (1/3) of the total charges shall go to the Tribunal and the remaining two-thirds (2/3) to the stenographer concerned;
(3) For every search for anything above a years standing and reading the same
Fifty Pesos (P50.00); and
(4) For every certificate not in process
.. Fifty Pesos (P50.00).
PRODUCTION OF ELECTION DOCUMENTS
AND REVISION OF BALLOTS
RULE 35. When Ballot Boxes, Election Returns and Other Election Documents Brought before the Tribunal. Where the allegations in a protest or counter-protest so warrant, or whenever in its opinion the interest of justice so demands, the Tribunal shall immediately order the ballot boxes containing the ballots and their keys, copies of election returns, list of voters with the voting records, and other documents or paraphernalia used in the election to be brought before the Tribunal. Certified copies of the Statement of Votes by the Board of Canvassers in all the municipalities of the district or of the city concerned shall also be obtained. Upon the receipt thereof, they shall be kept and held secure in the offices of the Tribunal in the care and custody of the Canvass Board Service under the supervision of the Secretary of the Tribunal and under the authority of the Chairperson.
Where any of the ballot boxes, ballots, election returns, election documents or paraphernalia mentioned in the immediately preceding paragraph are also involved in election contests before the Presidential Electoral Tribunal, Senate Electoral Tribunal, the Commission on Elections or the regular courts in appropriate cases, every effort shall be exerted to synchronize their examination and revision of ballots thereof in the other Tribunals, the Commission on Elections or the regular courts, as the case may be.
The expenses necessary and incidental to the bringing of the ballot boxes, copies of election returns and other election documents or paraphernalia before the Tribunal, and returning them after the termination of the case, as well as the revision and paid from his cash deposit.
RULE 36. Revision of Ballots Revision of the ballots shall be conducted in accordance with the Guidelines on the Revision of Ballots promulgated on January 19, 2011 which are hereby reproduced as Annex "A."
RULE 37. PostRevision Determination of the Merit or Legitimacy of Protest Prior to Revision of Counter-Protest; Pilot Precincts; Initial Revision. Any provision of these Rules to the contrary notwithstanding, as soon as the issues in any contest before the Tribunal have been joined, the Protestant, in case the protest involves more than 50% of the total number of precincts in the district, shall be required to the state and designate in writing within a fixed period at most twenty five (25%) percent of the total number of precincts involved in the protest which said party deems as best exemplifying or demonstrating the electoral irregularities or fraud pleaded by him; and the revision of the ballots or the examination, verification or re-tabulation of election returns and/or reception of evidence shall begin with such pilot precincts designated. Otherwise, the revision of ballots or the examination, verification of re-tabulation of election returns and/or reception of evidence shall begin with all the protested precincts. The revision of ballots or the examination, verification of re-tabulation of election returns in the counter-protested precincts shall not be commenced until the Tribunal shall have determined through appreciation of ballots or election documents and/or reception of evidence, which reception shall not exceed ten (10) days, the merit or legitimacy of the protest, relative to the pilot protested precincts. Based on the results of such post revision determination, the Tribunal may dismiss the protest without further proceedings, if and when no reasonable recovery was established from the pilot protested precincts, or proceed with the revision of the ballots or the examination, verification or re-tabulation of election returns in the remaining contested precincts.
RULE 38. Motion for Technical Examination; Contents. Within five (5) days after completion of revision, either party may move for technical examination, specifying:
(1) The nature of the technical examination requested (fingerprint examination, etc.);
(2) The documents to be subjected to technical examination;
(3) The objections made in the course of the revision of ballots which the movant intends to substantiate with the results of the technical examination; and
(4) The ballots coverd by such objections.
RULE 39. Technical Examination; Time Limits. The motion for technical examination may be granted by the Tribunal in its discretion and under such conditions it may impose. If granted the movant shall schedule the technical examination, to start within ten (10) calendar days from the time he was notified of the resolution or order granting his motion, notifying the other party and the Secretary of the Tribunal at least five (5) days in advance thereof. The technical examination shall be completed within the period allowed by the Tribunal, but in no case to exceed twenty (20) working days unless an extension is grated pursuant to Rule 41. The other party may attend the technical examination, either personally or through a representative, but the technical examination shall proceed with or without his attendance, provided due notice has been given him.
Where more than one party would request for technical examinations, the examinations shall, as far as practicable, be conducted simultaneously.
The technical examination shall be conducted at the expense of the movant, in the offices of the Tribunal as such other place as the Tribunal may designate and under the supervision of the Secretary of the Tribunal of his duly authorized representative.
RULE 40. Experts; Who Shall Provide. - Experts necessary for the conduct of a technical examination shall be provided by the party requesting the same. The other party may, however, also avail of the assistance of his own expert who may observe, but not interfere with, the examination conducted by the movant's experts.
At its discretion, the Tribunal may appoint an independent expert and in such case the parties' experts may observe, but not interfere with, the former's examination.
RULE 41. Technical Examination Not Interrupted. - Once started, the technical examination shall continue every working day until completed or until expiration of the period granted for such purpose.
RULE 42. Extension of Period for Technical Examination; When Granted. - An extension of the period for conducting technical examination shall not be granted by the tribunal except upon a clear showing that the party conducting the examination has diligently utilized the period originally granted him for that purpose, but for compelling reasons not imputable to him, could not finish the technical examination within the period originally granted.
RULE 43. Scope of Technical Examination. - Only election documents allowed by the Tribunal to be examined shall be subjected to such examination.
RULE 44. Who May Issue. - Subpoena ad testificandum or duces tecum may be issued by the tribunal motu propio, or upon request of any of the parties.
RULE 45. Form and Contents. - A subpoena shall be signed by the Secretary or Deputy Secretary of the Tribunal. It shall state the name of the Tribunal, the docket number and title of the action and shall be directed to the person whose attendance is required. In the case of a subpoena duces tecum, it shall also contain a particular description of the books, documents or objects demanded.
RULE 46. Authority of Hearing Commissioners to Issue Subpoena; Parties to File Proper Motion. - Hearing Commissioners are authorized by the Tribunal to issue subpoenas in cases assigned to them for reception of evidence.
The party seeking issuance of a subpoena ad testificandum or duces tecum shall file the proper motion before the hearing Commissioner at least five (5) working days before the hearing in which the witness or document sought will be presented. Failure of the party to file the proper motion within said period shall be considered a waiver of his right to compel attendance of the witness or the production of the documents concerned.
RECEPTION OF EVIDENCE
RULE 47. Preliminary Conference. - (a) After the issues have been joined, the Tribunal shall order the parties to submit their respective preliminary conference briefs and shall summon them and their counsel to a preliminary conference, at which the following shall be considered:
(1) The simplification of issues;
(2) The possibility of obtaining stipulations or admission of facts and of documents to avoid unnecessary proof;
(3) The limitation of the number of witnesses;
(4) The nature of the testimonies of the witnesses and whether they relate to evidence aliunde the ballots, or otherwise;
(5) The withdrawal of some contested or counter-protested precincts (especially those where, inter alia, the ballots are unavailable due to the existence of protests concerning other positions involving the same ballots or are missing and cannot be located or destroyed due to natural disasters or calamities);
(6) The fixing of the dates for the reception of evidence, including the matter of reception to be done simultaneously with the revision of the ballots if the evidence is intended to prove such causes of action or defenses or issues which are unrelated to the ballots or election documents; and
(7) Such other matters as may aid in the prompt disposition of the protest, counter-protest or cross-contest,
(b) The preliminary conference brief shall contain the following:
(1) The pilot precincts which the protestant may designate pursuant to Rule 37;
(2) A summary of admitted facts and proposed stipulation of facts;
(3) The issues to be tried or resolved;
(4) The documents or exhibits to be presented, stating the purpose thereof; and
(5) The number and names of witnesses and the substance of their respective testimonies, and indicating therein whether their testimonies shall be taken by depositions or otherwise.
(c) The presentation of witnesses in excess of that declared by a party shall be deemed waived unless meritorious reasons shown in a proper motion, the Tribunal shall allow their presentation.
(d) The Tribunal may dismiss the protest or counter-protest or quo warranto petition, as the case may be, for failure of the protestant or counter-protestant or petitioner to submit a preliminary conference brief and/or to appear at the preliminary conference. If the protestee or the respondent fails to submit a preliminary conference brief and/or appear at the preliminary conference, the Tribunal shall proceed with the conference on the basis of the preliminary conference briefs filed.
(e) Following the conclusion of the preliminary conference, the Tribunal shall issue a Preliminary Conference Order of what transpired during the preliminary conference. Within three (3) days from receipt of a copy of the preliminary conference order, the parties may file their respective comments thereon.
RULE 48. Hearings; Hearing Commissioner; Qualifications. - The Tribunal may delegate the hearing of cases or the reception of evidence to a Hearing Commissioner.
Any Member of the Tribunal or any of its lawyers may be designated as Hearing Commissioner.
RULE 49. Reception of Evidence by Hearing Commissioner. - Reception of evidence by a Hearing Commissioner shall be done at the offices of the Tribunal, unless the Tribunal, for good cause, directs the reception of evidence in some other place.
In case of consolidated cases, the reception of evidence shall be delegated to the Hearing Commissioner and Deputy Hearing Commissioner to whom the earlier case was assigned.
If at the preliminary conference the parties agree on the presentation of witnesses to testify on matters or issues aliunde, the reception of testimonial evidence shall be done simultaneously with the revision of the ballots at a date fixed for the purpose by the Hearing Commissioner.
Presentation of evidence on all other matters or issues arising from the revision of ballots and/or technical examination of questioned documents shall be made (a) after the completion of the revision of all, or substantially all, of the ballots or election documents, or (b) when so allowed by the Tribunal motu proprio or upon motion of a party, after the completion of the technical examination of the questioned documents, if any.
RULE 50. Procedure of Hearings. Reception of evidence may proceed ex parte, even in the absence of the other parties, provided they have been duly notified of the hearing. In such a case, the absent party shall be deemed to have waived his right to be present and to cross-examine a witness whose testimony on direct or redirect examination has been concluded.
If a party scheduled to present evidence fails to appear at a date, time and place appointed, the Hearing Commissioner may adjourn to the proceedings to the following day, giving notice of such adjournment to the absent party or his counsel. The delay shall be charged against the period allowed the absent party for the presentation of his evidence.
Unless the Hearing Commissioner or the Tribunal directs otherwise, the order of hearing shall be as follows:
(1) The proetsstant pr petitioner shall adduce evidence in support of his protest or petition for quo warranto;
(2) The protestee or the respondent shall then adduce evidence to support his defenses, counterclaim or counter-protest;
(3) The protestant or petitioner, subject to the approval of the Tribunal, may then present rebuttal evidence; and
(4) No sur-rebuttal eveidence shall be allowed.
To prevent surprise and to expedite the proceedings, the party presenting evidence shall inform the other parties of the evidence to be presented and provide a reasonable description thereof at least three (3) days before the scheduled hearing.
At least three days (3) days before the scheduled date of hearing, a party shall also submit to the Tribunal a list of documentary and testimonial evidence to be presented. He shall also indicate therein the documents which are already in the custody of the Tribunal.
The affidavits of the witnesses shall be considered as their direct testimony. These affidavits shall be considered to the Tribunal and copies served on the other parties a t least three (3) days before the scheduled hearing. Failure of the party to submit the affidavit of the witness within the specified time will constitute a waiver of his right to present said testimonial evidence.
RULE 51. Hearing Commissioner to Rule on Objections. The ruling of the Hearing Commissioner on objections made in the course of the direct or cross-examination shall be subject to review by the Tribunal.
An exception to a ruling of the Hearing Commissioner shall not suspend the reception of evidence.
RULE 52. Time Limit for Presentation of Evidence. Each party is given a period of twenty (20) successive working days to complete the presentation of his evidence, including the formal offer thereof. This period shall begin to run from the first date set for the presentation of the partys evidence, either before the Tribunal or before a Hearing Commissioner, and shall continue every working day thereafter until completed. Upon motion based on meritorious grounds, the Tribunal may grant a ten-working-day extension of the period herein fixed.
The hearing for any particular day or days may be postponed or cancelled on meritorious grounds upon the request of the party presenting evidence, provided, however, that the delay caused thereby shall be charged against said partys period for presenting evidence.
The following shall not be charged against the period allotted to either party:
(1) The period when presentation of the partys evidence is suspended by order of the Tribunal or the Hearing Commissioner because of the pendency of a prejudicial question which should first be resolved before the hearing can continue.
(2) The time taken up in the cross-examination of his or her witnesses by the other party.
A party may present rebuttal evidence, if allowed by the Tribunal, during the remainder of the twenty-day-period or the extension thereof, if any, that he has not utilized for the presentation of his evidence0in-chief.
RULE 53. Procedure after Hearing by Hearing Commissioner. Within five (5) days or such period as may be fixed by the Tribunal, the Hearing Commissioner shall submit the evidence presented, together with the transcript of the proceedings held before him, to the Tribunal.
RULE 54. Evidence not Formally Presented. Evidence neither formally presented nor formally offered shall not be considered by the Tribunal in deciding the case except the revision reports, being official records of Tribunal proceedings.
RULE 55. Disputable Presumptions. The following are disputable presumptions:
(a) On the election procedure:
(1) The election of candidates was held on the date and time set and in the polling place determined by the Commission on Elections (Comelec);
(2) The Board of Election Inspectors (BEI) was duly constituted and organized;
(3) Political parties an d candidates were duly represented by pollwatchers;
(4) Pollwatchers were able to perform their functions; and
(5) The minutes of voting and counting of votes contains all the incidents that transpired before the BEIs.
(b) On election paraphernalia:
(1) Ballots and election returns that bear the security markins and features prescribed by the Comelec are genuine;
(2) The data and information supplied by the members of the BEIs in the accountable forms are true and correct; and
(3) The allocation, packing and distribution of election documents or paraphernalia were properly and timely done.
(c) On appreciation of ballots
(1) A ballot with appropriate security markings is valid;
(2) The ballot reflects the intent of the voter;
(3) A voter personally of ones right to vote was voluntary and free.
RULE 56. Evidence by Deposition; When Allowed. With leave of the Tribunal, any party may take the deposition of his witness in lieu of presenting them before the Tribunal or a Hearing Commissioner.
The period used by a party for taking depositions shall be charged against the twenty (20)-day-period or extended period allotted to him to present evidence.
RULE 57. When Commenced; Contents of Notice. The taking of the deposition shall commence within ten (10) days after leave therefore is granted. No deposition shall be taken unless notice thereof has been given to the other party at least five (5) days in advance of the taking of such deposition. Such notice shall state the venue, which must be a public office; the time of the taking of the deposition; the officer before whom the deposition shall be taken; and the names and addresses of the deponents.
RULE 58. Who May Take Depositions. Depositions may be taken before any of the following officers who may be designated by the corresponding Executive Judge upon the request of the Tribunal:
(1) Any judge of the Regional Trial Court; or
(2) Any judge of the Metropolitan Trial Court; the Municipal Trial Court in Cities; the Municipal Trial Court; or the Municipal Circuit Trial Court.
The officer taking the deposition shall not be related to any of the parties or counsel within the fourth civil degree by consanguinity or affinity. An objection on such ground shall be made to the Executive Judge within (2) days after notification of the designation.
RULE 59. Cross-Examination of Witnesses. The opposing party shall have the right to attend the taking of the deposition and cross-examine the witnesses presented. Failure to do so shall be deemed a waiver of such right.
Objections to questions asked during the taking of depositions shall be ruled upon by the Judge taking the deposition, subject to review by the Tribunal.
RULE 60. Submission of Depositions. The officer taking the deposition shall, within (10) days thereafter, submit to the Tribunal the original and fourteen (14) copies of the deposition taken by him, together with the exhibits presented in the course thereof, with proof of service upon the parties.
RULE 61. Electronic Evidence. Electronic documents or electronic data messages may be used, offered and admitted in evidence in accordance with the provisions of the Rules of Court on electronic evidence.
RULE 62. When Submitted; Contents. Within ten (10) days from receipt of the Tribunals ruling on the last offer of evidence by the protestee or respondent, the parties shall be submit their respective Memoranda simultaneously, setting forth briefly:
(1) The facts of the case;
(2) A complete statement of all the arguments submitted in support of their respective views of the case;
(3) Objection to the ballots adjudicated to or complained by the other party in the revision of the ballots; and
(4) Refutation of the objections of the other party to the ballots adjudicated or claimed by the latter in the revision of ballots.
All evidence, as well as objections to evidence presented by the other party, shall be referred to or contained either in the memorandum or in appendices thereto.
RULE 63. Supplemental Reply or Rebuttal Memorandum. - No supplemental reply or rebuttal memorandum shall be entertained.
RULE 64. Votes Required. - In resolving all questions submitted to the Tribunal, all the Members present, including the Chairperson, shall vote. For the rendition of decisions and the adoption of formal resolutions, the concurrence of at least five (5) Members shall be necessary.
RULE 65. Rulings in Hearings before tribunal. - During hearings before the Tribunal, the Chairperson, on in his absence, the Justice presiding, shall decide all questions raised in connection with the examination of witnesses and the admission of evidence, and his rulings shall be deemed as a ruling by the Tribunal. If a Member should request that a question be previously decided in consultation, the Chairperson, or the Justice presiding shall act only after the matter has been voted upon.
RULE 66. Procedure in Deciding Contests. - In rendering its decisions, the Tribunal shall follow the procedure prescribed for the Supreme Court in Section 13 and 14, Article VIII of the Constitution.
RULE 67. Rendition of Decisions. - The decisions of the Tribunal shall as far as practicable, be rendered within ninety (90) days from the date the last Memorandum of the parties was filed where no appreciation of ballots in involved, or from the date such appreciation is completed.
RULE 68. Promulgation and Notice of Decisions. - After the decision, along with separate, concurring or dissenting opinions, if any, is signed, it shall be delivered for filing to the Secretary of the Tribunal who shall forthwith indicate thereon the date of promulgation and cause true copies thereof to be served upon the parties or their counsel, personally or by registered mail.
RULE 69. Finality and Execution if Decisions; Motion for Reopening or Reconsideration. - The decision shall become final and executory as against a party ten (10) days after his receipt of a copy thereof if no motion for reconsideration is filed.
No motion shall be entertained for the reopening of a case except for the reconsideration of a decision based on the evidence already of record.
A party may file a motion for reconsideration within ten (10) days from his receipt of a copy of the decision, with proof of service thereof on the adverse party. A second motion for reconsideration shall not be entertained.
Unless required by the Tribunal, the adverse party need not file an opposition to or comment on the motion for reconsideration.
If a motion for reconsideration is denied, the decision shall become final and executory as against a party after five (5) days from service upon him of a copy of the resolution disposing of the motion for reconsideration. If a motion for reconsideration is granted, the party adversely affected thereby may move to reconsider it within ten (10) days from his receipt of a copy of the resolution granting the motion for reconsideration; otherwise, the decision as reconsidered shall become final and executory after the lapse of said period.
RULE 70. Entry of Judgment. - The judgment shall be entered or recorded by the Secretary of the Tribunal after the decision shall have become final and executory, if neither of the parties is able to secure a restraining order or status quo ante order from the Supreme Court within five (5) days from receipt of the resolution/decision from the Tribunal disposing of the case or resolution denying the motion for reconsideration. The date when the judgment becomes final and executory shall be deemed as the date of its entry although the physical act of entering or recording the judgment may be done at later date. The record shall contain the dispositive part of the judgment and shall be signed by the Secretary of the Tribunal, with a certification that such judgment has become final and executory.
RULE 71. Procedure after Finality of Decision; Executory of Decision; Publication of Decisions. - As soon as a decision becomes final and executory, notice thereof shall be sent to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the President of the Philippines and the Chairperson of the Commission on Audit. Upon receipt of a copy of the decision, the speaker of the House of Representatives, through the Secretary-General, shall execute the same, unless a Temporary Restraining Order is issued by the Supreme Court.
The original copies of the decisions of the Tribunal shall be kept in bound form in the archives of the Tribunal. Decisions shall be published in the Official Gazette or in the reports officially authorized by the Tribunal in the language in which they have been originally written together with the syllabi therefor.
RULE 72. When Allowed. - Costs shall be allowed to the prevailing party as a matter of course, but the Tribunal shall have the power, for special reasons, to apportion the costs as may be equitable.
RULE 73. Costs When Action Dismissed. - If a protest, counter-protest or a petition for quo warranto is dismissed, the Tribunal may still render judgment for costs.
RULE 74. Costs When Action Frivolous. - When a protest, counter-protest or a petition for quo warranto is found to be Frivolous, double or treble costs may be imposed by the Tribunal on the protestant, counter-protestant or petitioner, as the case may be.
RULE 75. Attorney's Fees. - No award of attorney's fees shall be assessed against the adverse party, except as provided in the Civil Code.
RULE 76. Applicability. - The following shall be applicable by analogy or in suppletory character provided, they are not inconsistent with these Rules or with the orders, resolutions and decisions of the Tribunal, namely:
(1) The Rules of Court;
(2) Decisions of the Supreme Court; and
(3) Decisions of the Electoral Tribunals.
RULE 77. Amendment. - The Tribunal may, at any time, amend these Rules. Any amendment adopted by the Tribunal shall be effective fifteen (15) days after its publication in the Official Gazette or in a newspaper of general circulation.
RULE 78. Effectivity. - These Rules shall take effect fifteen (15) days from their publication in the Official Gazette or in a newspaper of general circulation. Upon its taking effect, any and all Rules of the Tribunal previously adopted or promulgated are superseded and repealed, and these Rules shall remain operative until amended or substituted by the Tribunal.
RULE 79. Application to Pending Cases. - These Rules shall apply to all pending actions except when substantive rights are affected as may be determined by the Tribunal.
APPROVED, February 10, 2011
(Sgd.) CONCHITA CARPIO MORALES
Associate Justice, Supreme Court
|(Sgd.)ANTONIO EDUARDO B. NACHURA
Associate Justice, Supreme Court
|(Sgd.)ARTURO D. BRION
Associate Justice, Supreme Court
|(Sgd.)FRANKLIN P. BAUTISTA
2nd District, Davao del Sur
|(Sgd.)RUFUS B. RODRIGUEZ
2nd District, Cagayan de Oro City
|(Sgd.)JOSELITO ANDREW R. MENDOZA
3rd District, Bulacan
|(Sgd.)JUSTIN MARC SB. CHIPECO
2nd District, Laguna
|(Sgd.)MA. THERESA BONOAN-DAVID
4th District, Manila
|(Sgd.)RODOLFO B. ALBANO
1st District, Isabela
Source: The Philippine STAR, 13 Feb 2011
The Lawphil Project - Arellano Law Foundation