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Angara vs. Electoral Commission, 63 Phil 139 (1936)
In the elections of Sept. 17, 1935, petitioner Jose A. Angara and the respondents Pedro Ynsua, Miguel Castillo, and Dionisio Mayor were candidates for the position of members of the National Assembly for the first district of Tayabas. On Oct. 7, 1935, the provincial board of canvassers proclaimed Angara as member-elect of the National Assembly and on Nov. 15, 1935, he took his oath of office. On Dec. 3, 1935, the National Assembly passed Resolution No. 8, which in effect, fixed the last date to file election protests. On Dec. 8, 1935, Ynsua filed before the Electoral Commission a "Motion of Protest" against Angara and praying, among other things, that Ynsua be named/declared elected Member of the National Assembly or that the election of said position be nullified. On Dec. 9, 1935, the Electoral Commission adopted a resolution (No. 6) stating that last day for filing of protests is on Dec. 9. Angara contended that the Constitution confers exclusive jurisdiction upon the Electoral Commission solely as regards the merits of contested elections to the National Assembly and the Supreme Court therefore has no jurisdiction to hear the case.
Whether or not The Electoral Commission has acted without or in excess of its jurisdiction.
RATIO DECIDENDI: In this case, the nature of the present controversy shows the necessity of a final constitutional arbiter to determine the conflict of authority between two agencies created by the Constitution. The court has jurisdiction over the Electoral Commission and the subject matter of the present controversy for the purpose of determining the character, scope and extent of the constitutional grant to the Electoral Commission as "the sole judge of all contests relating to the election, returns and qualifications of the members of the National Assembly." (Sec 4 Art. VI 1935 Constitution). It is held, therefore, that the Electoral Commission was acting within the legitimate exercise of its constitutional prerogative in assuming to take cognizance of the election protest filed by Ynsua.
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