Loong v. COMELEC
On 15 January 1990, petitioner filed with respondent Commission his certificate of candidacy for the position of Vice-Governor of the Mindanao Autonomous Region in the election held on 17 February 1990. On 5 March 1990 (or 16 days after the election), respondent Ututalum filed before the respondent Commission a petition seeking to disqualify petitioner for the office of Regional Vice-Governor, on the ground that the latter made a false representation in his certificate of candidacy as to his age.
Petitioner Loong sought the dismissal of the petition on the ground that the respondent COMELEC has no jurisdiction. The motion to dismiss was denied by the COMELEC in a resolution, which is the subject of this petition. Thus petitioner Loong contends that SPA No. 90-006 (a petition to cancel the certificate of candidacy of petitioner Loong) was filed out of time because it was filed beyond the 25-day period prescribed by Section 78 of the Omnibus Election Code.
Whether or not SPA No. 90-006 was filed within the period prescribed by law.
No. The petition filed by private respondent Ututalum with the respondent COMELEC to disqualify petitioner Loong on the ground that the latter made a false representation in his certificate of candidacy as to his age, clearly does not fall under the grounds of disqualification as provided for in Rule 25 but is expressly covered by Rule 23 of the Comelec Rules of Procedure governing petitions to cancel certificate of candidacy. Moreover, Section 3, Rule 25 which allows the filing of the petition at any time after the last day for the filing of certificates of candidacy but not later than the date of proclamation, is merely a procedural rule issued by respondent Commission which, although a constitutional body, has no legislative powers. Thus, it cannot supersede Section 78 of the Omnibus Election Code, which is a legislative enactment.