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Digest: Dimaporo v. Commission on Elections (544 SCRA 381, 2008)

Digest: Dimaporo v. Commission on Elections (544 SCRA 381, 2008)

Facts: Petitioner Imelda Dimaporo and private respondent Vicente Belmonte were both candidates for Representative of the 1st Congressional District of Lanao del Norte during the May 14, 2007 elections.

The said legislative district is composed of seven (7) towns and one (1) city, namely: the Municipalities of Linamon, Kauswagan, Bacolod, Maigo, Kolambugan, Tubod, Baroy and the City of Iligan.

On May 22, 2007, the Provincial Board of Canvassers (PBOC) completed the canvass of the Certificates of Canvass (COCs) for the City of Iligan and four (4) of the municipalities, namely, Linamon, Kolambugan, Tubod and Baroy. Upon adjournment on May 22, 2007, the said PBOC issued a Certification showing respondent Belmonte in the lead, with 52,783 votes, followed by candidate Badelles with 39,315 votes, and petitioner Dimaporo in third place with only 35,150 votes,

COMELEC declared Belmonte as a winner.

Issue: Whether or not the proclamation by COMELEc is valid

Ruling: The proclamation of a congressional candidate by the COMELEC as winner before there is status quo ante order by Supreme Court is valid. Without the status quo ante order, the COMELEC may proceed with the proclamation with the candidate as if there was no petition filed in the said body. Once an elected candidate has his/her oath, the jurisdiction to try and hear the cases transfer to the HRET. The proper remedy would then be to file the proper election protest before the HRET.

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