Tags: Commission on Elections, departmental issuances Republic of the Philippines
Commission on Elections
GUIDELINES ON THE RETRIEVAL OF REJECTED BALLOTS SUBJECT OF ELECTION PROTEST CASES IN RELATION TO SECTION 4 OF COMELEC RESOLUTION NO. 9720 PROMULGATED ON JUNE 20, 2013
Promulgated: September 11, 2013
RESOLUTION NO. 9776
WHEREAS, in order to achieve the Constitutional mandate of the Commission to provide procedural rules that will afford litigants an accessible, inexpensive and speedy remedy, there is a need to further provide for the guidelines on the retrieval of rejected ballots subject of election protest cases in relation to Comelec Resolution No. 9720 promulgated on June 20, 2013, as follows:
1. The rejected ballots subject of the election protest shall be retrieved either by the City/Municipal Treasurer (Treasurer) or his or her authorized representative or by the City/Municipal Election Officer (Election Officer) or his or her authorized representative. The retrieval of rejected ballots shall be done with the assistance and in the presence of the Election Officer or his or her representative whenever it is the Treasurer or his or her representative who conducts the retrieval process, and vice-versa. The Treasurer or the Election Officer, as the case may be, shall be entitled to one (1) support staff each;
2. The Election Officer, with prior authority from the Division concerned, shall issue notices to both parties concerned and, in cases where there are simultaneous election protests, to the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET), Senate Electoral Tribunal (SET) and House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal (HRET) as the case may be, as to the time, date and place of the retrieval of rejected ballots;
3. An inventory of each ballot box shall be done, observing the following procedures:
a. The Treasurer or the Election Officer or their authorized representatives shall conduct a briefing on the procedures to be adopted;
b. The ballot boxes shall be opened one at a time;
c. Before the opening of the ballot box, the Treasurer or the Election Officer or their authorized representatives shall note the physical condition of the same and the locks or locking mechanisms thereof, and shall record the same in the minutes of the proceedings;
d. The ballot box shall then be opened and the Minutes of Voting (MOV) shall be retrieved first ensuring that only the Treasurer, Election Officer or their authorized representatives shall touch the contents of the ballot box;
e. The Treasurer or the Election Officer or their authorized representatives shall get the MOV inside the ballot box and record the condition of its envelope and the paper seal number of the envelope, and shall check whether there are rejected ballots as stated in the MOV;
f. If the MOV states that there are rejected ballots, the Treasurer or the Election Officer or their authorized representatives shall look for the brown envelope containing the rejected ballots. The Treasurer or the Election Officer or their authorized representatives shall record the CEF number and paper seal number then open the brown envelope to count the rejected ballots and check whether the number of ballots stated in the MOV tallies with the number of rejected ballots found inside the brown envelope; Provided, that in the event that there is no separate brown envelope containing the rejected ballots found inside the ballot box, it is presumed that there are no rejected ballots for that particular clustered precinct. However, the Treasurer or the Election Officer or their authorized representatives, as the case may be, is hereby granted the discretion to retrieve the rejected ballots even if there is no separate brown envelope for the rejected ballots if the former is immediately and readily identifiable;
If no rejected ballots are found inside the brown envelope for the rejected ballots or if no brown envelope for the rejected ballots is found inside the ballot box, the Treasurer or the Election Officer or their authorized representatives shall note the same in the minutes of the proceedings; thereafter, all the other contents of the ballot box shall be carefully returned and the ballot box shall be appropriately sealed with COMELEC plastic seals;
Thereafter, the envelope containing the rejected ballots shall be placed in a separate ballot box (preferably the old yellow ballot box) to be used as “retrieval box” together with the minutes of voting and other documents requested by both parties. When all the rejected ballots are placed inside the retrieval box, the latter shall be locked with two (2) COMELEC padlocks and one (1) plastic seal for purposes of immediate identification. The Treasurer or the Election Officer or their authorized representatives shall likewise label and indicate the corresponding precinct numbers where the rejected ballots came from outside the retrieval box;
g. The minutes of the proceedings shall be signed by the Treasurer, Election Officer or their authorized representatives and representatives of both parties present. The Commission or the Division concerned shall be furnished with a copy of the minutes of the proceeding. The retrieval box shall be transported by the Election Officer or by any authorized representative through the fastest means available, to the COMELEC Philpost Warehouse, Port Area Manila (Philpost Warehouse) through the ECAD Contested Ballot Box Custodian within ten (10) days from the termination of the retrieval proceedings and stored at said Philpost Warehouse at the expense of the protestant or protestee as the case may be. The original ballot box shall remain in the custody of the treasurer:
h. The Election Officer or his or her authorized representative shall notify both parties of the date of delivery and transmittal of the retrieval boxes to the Philpost Warehouse. Both parties may accompany the delivery and transmittal of said ballot boxes or may wish to send their respective duly authorized representatives to accompany the same;
i. All expenses for the inventory, retrieval, sealing and transportation of the original and retrieval boxes from the Treasurer’s Office to the Philpost Warehouse shall be borne by the protestant or protestee as the case may be. In case both parties protested all clustered precincts, they shall shoulder equally the expenses for the inventory, sealing, retrieval and delivery of retrieval boxes from the city/province to Manila. The amount shall be taken from the cash deposit of the parties concerned, which shall be computed in accordance with Comelec Resolution No. 8804 dated March 22, 2010 and Comelec Minute Resolution No. 10-0780 dated August 17, 2010;
j. The per diem of the personnel involved shall be as follows:
COMELEC Election Officer/Treasurer
Support Staff not exceeding two (2)
Other necessary and incidental expenses like communications, lodging/accommodation and gasoline shall be shouldered by the protestant/protestee. These expenses shall be taken from the cash deposit of the parties concerned without prejudice to the right of the Commission to require additional cash deposits when the previously computed cash deposit has been depleted, as provided in Section 2, Rule 11 of Comelec Resolution No. 8804;
Both parties to the election protest case shall shoulder the traveling expenses of their respective counsels and watchers, not exceeding three (3) each for both parties;
4. All other matters not covered by the instant guidelines may be brought before the Division/Commission hearing the election protest case.
These guidelines shall take effect within seven (7) days from publication in two (2) newspapers of general circulation.
Let the Education and Information Department (EID) cause the publication and the Electoral Contests Adjudication Department (ECAD) implement this Resolution.
(Sgd.) SIXTO S. BRILLANTES, JR.
(Sgd.) LUCENITO N. TAGLE
(Sgd.) ELIAS R. YUSOPH
(Sgd.) CHRISTIAN ROBERT S. LIM
(Sgd.) MARIA GRACIA CIELO M. PADACA
(Sgd.) AL A. PARREÃO
(Sgd.) LUIE TITO F. GUIA
Deputy Executive Director for Operations
Electoral Contests Adjudication Department
Education and Information Department
Clerk of the Commission
All other Departments
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[PDF] Comelec Resolution No. 9776, September 11, 2013
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