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Digest: Tan v. Commission on Elections (417 SCRA 532, 2003)


Digest: Tan v. Commission on Elections (417 SCRA 532, 2003)

Facts: Abdusakur Tan and Abdulwahid Sahidulla were candidates for Governor and Vice-Governor, respectively, while Munib Estino and Abraham Burahan were candidates for Congressman of the Second and First District of Sulu, respectively. The other candidates for Governor and Vice-Governor were Yusop Jikiri and Abdel Anni. The candidates for the position of members of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of the First District of Sulu were Den Rasher Salim, Talib Hayudini, Rizal Tingkahan and Barlie Nahudan, while those for the Second District were Abraham Daud, Lukman Omar, Onnih Ahmad and Basaron Burahan.

On May 17, 2001, Abdusakur Tan, Abdulwahid Sahidulla and Abraham Burahan (Abdusakur Tan, et al. for brevity) filed with the COMELEC (public respondent) a petition to "declare failure of elections in all the precincts in the Municipality of Luuk," Province of Sulu, which was docketed as SPA No. 01-257.The petitioners prayed that:

WHEREFORE, premises considered, it is respectfully prayed that the Honorable Commission DECLARE a FAILURE of ELECTIONS in all the precincts in the Municipality of Luuk, Sulu where no voting was actually held, as the registered voters never did their votes.

The petitioners further pray that pending final resolution of this petition that an order be immediately issued directing the Municipal Board of Canvassers of Luuk, Sulu as well as the Provincial Board of Canvassers of Sulu to suspend and desist from continuing with, the CANVASSING of the election returns and/or certificate of canvass.

Other relief consistent with law, justice and equity are also prayed for.

The following day, the petitioners filed a petition to declare failure of elections and/or to annul the elections or the election results in the Municipalities of Parang and Indanan, Province of Sulu

Issue: Whether or not fraud and irregularities may be a ground for failure of elections

Ruling: When the alleged fraud and irregularities did not prevent or suspend the holding of the elections, there is no failure of elections.

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