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/ 81 OG No. 49, 5787 (December 9, 1985)
[ BATAS PAMBANSA BLG. 884, December 03, 1985 ]
AN ACT CONSTITUTING AN INDEPENDENT PRESIDENTIAL ELECTORAL TRIBUNAL TO TRY, HEAR AND DECIDE ELECTION CONTESTS IN THE OFFICE OF PRESIDENT AND VICE-PRESIDENT OF THE PHILIPPINES, APPROPRIATING FUNDS THEREFOR AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES
Be it enacted by the Batasang Pambansa in session assembled:
SECTION 1. There shall be an independent Presidential Electoral
Tribunal, hereinafter referred to as the Tribunal, to be composed of
nine members which shall be the sole judge of all contests relating to
the election, returns and qualifications of the President and the
Vice-President of the Philippines. It shall be composed of nine members,
three of whom shall 'be the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and two
other justices to be designated by the Chief Justice, and the remaining
six shall be chosen as follows: tliree to be nominated by the majority
party from among its Members in the Batasang Pambansa, and three to be
nominated by the minority party from among its Members. The Chief
Justice of the Supreme Court shall be its Chairman.
Any vacancy in the Tribunal shall be filed by nomi-nation by the
Chief Justice, the majority party or the minority party in the Batasang
Pambansa, as the case may. be.
SEC. 2. The oath of office of the members of the Tri¬bunal shall be
administered by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court not later than
fifteen days prior to the scheduled date of any presidential and
vice-presidential elections. The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, who
shall be the Chairman, shall take his oath of office before the Speaker
of the Batasang Pambansa.
SEC. 3. Five members of the Tribunal shall constitute a quorum to do
business. ¦ Unless otherwise specifically provided herein, it may
provide its own rales and regula¬tions concerning the procedure in the
filing and hearing of such contests filed before it. The Tribunal shall
hear and decide en bane all presidential and vice-presidential election
contests brought under this Act, and the concur' rence of at least five
members of the Tribunal shall be necessary for a final decision thereon.
SEC. 4. The Tribunal must decide the contest within twelve months
after it is filed. In case of a tie between the candidates for President
and/or for Vice-President involved in the contest, the Tribunal shall
notify the Ba¬tasang Pambansa of such fact, in which case the President
or Vice-President, as the case may be, shall be chosen by a vote of a
majority of all the Members of the Batasang Pambansa in session
The promulgation of the judgment shall be made on a date previously
fixed, notice of which shall be served in advance upon the parties or
their attorneys, personally or by special registered mail or by
telegram. No motion shall be estertained for the opening of a case but
only for the reconsideration of a decision based on the evidence already
oferecord. No party may file more than one motion for reconsideration,
copy of which shall be served upon the adverse party who shall answer it
within five days after the receipt thereof. Any petition for
recon-sideration must be resolved within ten days after it is submitted
for resolution. As soon as a decision becomes final, a copy thereof
shall be furnished the Eatasang Pam-bansa through the Speaker, and the
Commission on Elec-tions through its Chairman, in addition to the copies
for the contestants or their attorneys.
SEC. 5. In case the protestant is declared the winner, he shall
assume office by taking his oath in accordance with the Constitution as
soon as the judgment has become final.
SEC. 6. The Tribunal shall have a Clerk of the Tribunal who shall be
appointed by it in accordance with its rules, and such other subordinate
officers and employees as may be necessary for the efficient
performance of ifs functions and duties shall be designated by the
Tribunal from the judiciary and other offices of the government.
SEC. 7. Any registered candidate for President or for Viee-President
of the Philippines who received the .second tnd third highest number of
votes may contest the election t the President or the Vice-President, as
the case may be, by filing a verified petition of contest with the
Clerk of the Tribunal within thirty days after the proclamation of the
result of the election of a purported winner.
SEC. 8. The Tribunal shall have and exercise the same powers which,
the lav/ confers upon the courts of justice, including the issuance of
subpoena, subpoena duces tecum, the taking" of depositions, the
arrest of witnesses for the purpose of compelling their appearance, the
production of documents and other evidence, and the compulsory ¦slice
with its orders.
SEC. 9. The Tribunal shall have the power to recommend the immediate
prosecution of persons, either public officers or private individuals,
who in its opinion appear to have participated in any irregularity
connected with he canvassing and/or accomplishing of election returns,
including but not limited to the forging or falsification of advance
report of election returns, tampering in any Banner with the election
returns, failure to affix the required signatures and thumbmarks by any
member or members of the board of election inspectors or board of
canvassers, or unnecessary delay in the sending or transmission of any
election returns or paraphernalia used in the election, or in the
transport and safekeeping of ballot The Tribunal shall be empowered to
store or deposit ballot boxes, election returns and all other election
paraphernalia in a safe and secure place under guard by. appropriate
deputies appointed by the Tribunal, and, upon formal request by the
contestants or their attorneys, the latter shall likewise be authorized
to post their own guards thereat.
The Tribunal or any of its duly authorized members shall have the
power to punish for contempt, as provided for in Rule 71 of the Revised
Rules of Court, under the same procedure and with the same penalties
provided therein and exercised by superior courts.
The telegrams, correspondence and other communica¬tions of the
Tribunal shall be transmitted without delay and free of charge.
SEC. 10. To carry out the purposes of this Act, the amount of five
million pesos shall be appropriated out of any unappropriated funds in
the national treasury or from the Special Activities Funds as provided
for in the 1986 and subsequent General Appropriations Acts intended for
organizational purposes. The amount so provided shall be utilized for
office space, furniture, fixtures, and equipment, personal services and
other relevant operating costs, including for transport of ballot boxes
and other paraphernalia, storage and security thereof.
Should the actual expenses of the Tribunal exceed the appropriations
herein provided, the contestant shall be required to file a bond as
required by the Tribunal pursuant to its rules and regulations to answer
for the expenses that may be incurred by the Tribunal in connection
with the contest or counter-contest.
SEC. 11. This Act shall take effect upon its approval.
Approved, December 3, 1985.
Source: Supreme Court E-Library