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Digest: Barroso v. Ampig, Jr. (328 SCRA 520, 2000)

Digest: Barroso v. Ampig, Jr. (328 SCRA 520, 2000)

Facts: Petitioner Claudius G. Barroso and private respondent Emerico V. Escobillo were candidates for mayor of the municipality of Tampakan, Cotabato. Petitioner won the election. Private respondent protested the result and filed with the Commission on Elections (Comelec) several cases against petitioner.

Issue: whether the election contest case, E.C. Case-No. 15-24, should be dismissed in view of private respondent’s failure to declare in his certification against forum shopping the existence of two pre-proclamation cases then pending with the Comelec.

Ruling: The certification against forum shopping is required under Section 5, Rule 7 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure. Failure to comply with the foregoing requirements shall not be curable by mere amendment of the complaint or other initiatory pleading but shall be cause for the dismissal of the case without prejudice, unless otherwise provided, upon motion and after hearing. The submission of a false certification or non-compliance with any of the undertakings therein shall constitute indirect contempt of court, without prejudice to the corresponding administrative and criminal actions. If the acts of the party or his counsel clearly constitute willful and deliberate forum shopping, the same shall be ground for summary dismissal with prejudice and shall constitute direct contempt, as well as a cause for administrative sanctions.

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