ISSUE: Whether or not respondent’s proclamation was valid.
FACTS: Petitioner garnered the highest votes in the election for representative in the 4th district of Leyte as against respondent Locsin. Petitioner won while a disqualification suit was pending. Respondent moved for the suspension of petitioner’s proclamation. By virtue of the Comelec ex parte order, petitioner’s proclamation was suspended. Comelec later on resolved that petitioner was guilty of soliciting votes and consequently disqualified him. Respondent Locsin was proclaimed winner. Upon motion by petitioner, the resolution was however reversed and a new resolution declared respondent’s proclamation as null and void. Respondent made his defiance and disobedience to subsequent resolution publicly known while petitioner asserted his right to the office he won.
DECISION: Petition for mandamus is granted
RATIO DECIDENDI: The respondent’s proclamation was premature given that the case against petitioner had not yet been disposed of with finality. In fact, it was subsequently found that the disqualification of the petitioner was null and void for being violative of due process and for want of substantial factual basis. Furthermore, respondent, as second placer, could not take the seat in office since he did not represent the electorate’s choice. Since the validity of respondent’s proclamation had been assailed by petitioner before the Comelec and that the Comelec was yet to resolve it, it cannot be said that the order disqualifying petitioner had become final. Thus Comelec continued to exercise jurisdiction over the case pending finality. The House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal does not have jurisdiction to review resolutions or decisions of the Comelec. A petition for quo warranto must also fail since respondent’s eligibility was not the issue.