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Digest: Navarosa v. Commission on Elections (411 SCRA 369, 2003)

Digest: Navarosa v. Commission on Elections (411 SCRA 369, 2003)

Facts: Petitioner Charito Navarosa (petitioner Navarosa) and respondent Roger M. Esto (respondent Esto) were candidates for mayor of Libacao, Aklan in the 14 May 2001 elections. On 17 May 2001, the COMELEC Municipal Board of Canvassers of Libacao proclaimed petitioner Navarosa as the duly elected mayor, with a winning margin of three (3) votes over respondent Esto

Claiming that irregularities marred the canvassing of ballots in several precincts, respondent Esto filed an election protest. Petitioner Navarosa, who also claimed that canvassing irregularities prejudiced her, filed a counter-protest in the same case. the trial court rendered judgment in favor of respondent Esto

Petitioner Navarosa appealed the trial courts. Respondent Esto, on the other hand, filed with the trial court a motion for execution of the judgment pending petitioner Navarosas appeal. Petitioner Navarosa opposed respondent Estos motion. In the alternative, petitioner Navarosa offered to file a supersedeas bond to stay execution pending appeal, should the trial court grant respondent Estos motion.

the COMELEC Second Division affirmed the trial courts Order granting execution pending appeal and nullified the stay of the execution. The Second Division also found that respondent Esto duly paid the COMELEC filing fee.

On 10 June 2003, the Court required the parties to maintain the status quo pending resolution of this petition.

Issue: whether or not the Trial court had power to order the stay of execution pending appeal.

Ruling: To grant execution pending appeal in election protest cases, the following requisites must concur: (1) there must be a motion by the prevailing party with notice to the adverse party; (2) there must be good reasons for the execution pending appeal; and (3) the order granting execution pending appeal must state the good reasons.[23] Petitioner Navarosa concedes respondent Estos compliance with the first and third requisites. What she contests is the trial courts finding that there are good reasons to order discretionary execution of its decision.

Omnibus Election Code of the Philippines (B.P. Blg. 881) and the other election laws do not specifically provide for execution pending appeal of judgment in election cases, unlike the Election Code of 1971 whose Section 218 made express reference to the Rules of Court on execution pending appeal The failure of the extant election laws to reproduce Section 218 of the Election Code of 1971 does not mean that execution of judgment pending appeal is no longer available in election cases. In election contests involving elective municipal officials, which are cognizable by courts of general jurisdiction; and those involving elective barangay officials, which are cognizable by courts of limited jurisdiction, execution of judgment pending appeal under Section 2 of Rule 39 of the Rules of Court are permissible pursuant to Rule 143 of the Rules of Court, which is now Section 4, Rule 1 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure.

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