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Digest: Penera v. Commission on Elections (605 SCRA574, 2009)

Digest: Penera v. Commission on Elections (605 SCRA574, 2009)

Facts: On 11 September 2009, the Supreme Court affirmed the COMELEC’s decision to
disqualify petitioner Rosalinda Penera (Penera) as mayoralty candidate in Sta. Monica, Surigao del Norte, for engaging in election campaign outside the campaign period, in violation of Section 80 of Batas Pambansa Blg. 881 (the Omnibus Election Code).

Penera moved for reconsideration, arguing that she was not yet a candidate at the time of the supposed premature campaigning, since under Section 15 of Republic Act No. 8436 (the law authorizing the COMELEC to use an automated election system for the process of voting, counting of votes, and canvassing/consolidating the results of the national and local elections), as amended by Republic Act No. 9369, one is not officially a candidate until the start of the campaign period.

Issue: Whether or not Penera’s disqualification for engaging in premature campaigning should be reconsidered.

Ruling: Motorcades conducted after filing of the certificate of candidacy prior to the campaign period constitute premature campaigning. When the campaign period starts and a person proceeds with his/her candidacy, his/her acts, after the filing of his/her certificate of candidacy and prior to the campaign period, as the promotion of his/her election as a candidate, constitute premature campaigning, for which s/he may be disqualified.

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