THE 2015 REVISED RULES OF THE
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES ELECTORAL TRIBUNAL


The House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal (HRET) hereby adopts and promulgates the following Rules governing its proceedings as the sole judge of all contests relating to the election, returns and qualifications of Members of the House of Representatives, pursuant to Section 17, Article VI of the Constitution.

TITLE AND CONSTRUCTION
 
RULE 1. Title. – These Rules shall be known and cited as the 2015 Rules of the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal, or HRET Rules. The word Tribunal, whenever used alone or without qualification in these Rules, shall refer to the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal.

RULE 2. Construction. – These Rules shall be liberally construed in order to achieve a just, expeditious and inexpensive determination and disposition of every contest brought before the Tribunal.

RULE 3. Applicability. – The following shall be applicable by analogy or in suppletory character, provided, they are not inconsistent with these Rules or with the orders, resolutions and decisions of the Tribunal, namely:

(1) The Rules of Court;
(2) Decisions of the Supreme Court; and
(3) Decisions of the Electoral Tribunals.

The Tribunal is not strictly bound by the technical rules of procedure. It may suspend these Rules in the higher interest of justice and apply other rules of procedure as may be applicable at its discretion. 

THE TRIBUNAL

RULE 4. Composition. – The Tribunal shall be composed of nine (9) Members, three (3) of whom shall be Justices of the Supreme Court to be designated by the Chief Justice, and the remaining six (6) shall be Members of the House of Representatives who shall be chosen on the basis of proportional representation from the political parties and the parties or organizations registered under the party-list system represented therein. The Senior Justice in the Tribunal shall be its Chairperson.

RULE 5. Organization. – (a) Upon the designation of the Justices of the Supreme Court and the selection of the Members of the House of Representatives who are to compose the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal pursuant to Sections 17 and 19 of Article VI of the Constitution, the Tribunal shall meet for its organization and adoption of such resolutions as it may deem proper.

(b) Notwithstanding the provision of the immediately preceding paragraph, pending the selection of the Members of the House of Representatives who shall sit in the Tribunal, the three (3) Justices already designated shall have the authority to act on administrative and interlocutory matters subject to confirmation by the Tribunal upon its organization.

RULE 6. Meetings; Quorum; Executive Committee Actions on Matters in between Regular Meetings. –

(a) The Tribunal shall meet on such days and hours as it may designate or at the call of the Chairperson or of a majority of its Members. The presence of at least one (1) Justice and four (4) Members of the Tribunal shall be necessary to constitute a quorum. In the absence of the Chairperson, the next Senior Justice shall preside, and in the absence of both, the Justice present shall take the Chair.

(b) In the absence of a quorum and provided there is at least one Justice in attendance, the Members present, who shall not be less than three (3), may constitute themselves as an Executive Committee to act on the agenda for the meeting concerned, provided, however, that its action shall be subject to confirmation by the Tribunal at any subsequent meeting where a quorum is present.

(c) In between the regular meetings of the Tribunal, the Chairperson, or any three (3) of its Members, provided at least one (1) of them is a Justice, who may sit as the Executive Committee, may act on the following matters requiring immediate action by the Tribunal:

1. Any pleading or motion,

(a) Where delay in its resolution may result in irreparable or substantial damage or injury to the rights of a party or cause delay in the proceedings or action concerned;
(b) Which is urgent in character but does not substantially affect the rights of the adverse party, such as one for extension of time to comply with an order/resolution of the Tribunal, or to file a pleading which is not a prohibited pleading and is within the discretion of the Tribunal to grant; and
(c) Where the Tribunal would require a comment, reply, rejoinder or any other similar pleading from any of the parties or their attorneys;

2. Administrative matters which do not involve new applications or allocations of the appropriations of the Tribunal; and

3. Such other matters as may be delegated by the Tribunal.

However, any such action/resolution shall be included in the order of business of the immediately succeeding meeting of the Tribunal for its confirmation.

RULE 7. Place of Meetings. – The Tribunal shall meet at its main office or at such other place in the Philippines as it may designate.

RULE 8. Exclusive Control of Functions. – The Tribunal shall have exclusive control, direction, and supervision of all matters pertaining to its own functions and operation.

RULE 9. Express and Implied Powers. – The Tribunal shall have and exercise all such powers as are vested in it by the Constitution or by law, and such other powers as may be necessary or incidental to the accomplishment of its purposes and the effective exercise of its functions.

RULE 10. Inherent Powers. – In the performance of its functions, the Tribunal shall have inherent power to, inter alia:

(1) Preserve and enforce order in its immediate presence;
(2) Enforce order in proceedings before it or before any of its officials acting under its authority;
(3) Compel obedience to its judgments, orders, resolutions and processes;
(4) Compel the attendance of witnesses and the production of evidence in any case or proceeding before it;
(5) Administer or cause to be administered oaths in any case or proceeding before it, and in all other cases where it may be necessary in the exercise of its powers;
(6) Control its processes and amend its resolutions or orders to make them conform with law and justice;
(7) Authorize a copy of a lost or destroyed pleading or other paper to be filed and used in lieu of the original, and restore and supply deficiencies in its records and proceedings;
(8) Promulgate its own rules of procedure and amend or revise the same; and
(9) Exercise such other powers as may be necessary in the performance of its duties under the Constitution and existing laws.

RULE 11. The Chairperson; Powers and Duties. – The Chairperson shall have the following powers and duties:

(1) Act as the Chief Executive Officer of the Tribunal;
(2) Exercise administrative supervision over the Tribunal, including the Office of the Secretary of the Tribunal and the administrative staff of the Tribunal;
(3) Issue calls for the sessions and meetings of the Tribunal and preside thereat, and preserve order and decorum during the same; and pass upon all questions of order subject to such appeal as any Member may take to the Tribunal;
(4) Take care that the orders, resolutions, and decisions of the Tribunal are enforced;
(5) Appoint, dismiss or otherwise discipline the personnel of the Tribunal in accordance with Civil Service laws and regulations. The coterminous or confidential employees of every Member shall serve at the pleasure of such Member and in no case beyond the tenure of such Member; and
(6) Perform such other functions and acts as may be necessary or appropriate to ensure the independence and efficiency of the Tribunal.

RULE 12. Administrative Staff. – The Tribunal shall have a Secretary and a Deputy Secretary.

Unless the Tribunal otherwise provides, the administrative functions of the Tribunal shall be exercised through the following services, namely:

(1) Legal Service;
(2) Canvass Board Service;
(3) Information System and Judicial Records Management Service;
(4) Human Resource Management Service;
(5) General Service;
(6) Finance and Budget Service;
(7) Accounting Service;
(8) Cash Management Service; and
(9) Such other services as may be created by the Tribunal.

RULE 13. Duties of the Secretary of the Tribunal; the Deputy Secretary of the Tribunal. – The Secretary of the Tribunal shall have the following duties:

(1) Receive all pleadings and other documents properly presented and filed with the Tribunal, indicating on each such document the date and time when it was filed, and furnishing each Member of the Tribunal a copy thereof;
(2) Keep a judicial docket or repository book wherein shall be entered in chronological order the contests and cases brought before the Tribunal, and the proceedings had therein;
(3) Prepare the calendar of contests and cases;
(4) Attend the sessions or meetings of the Tribunal and, whenever necessary, of its divisions, and keep the minutes thereof which shall contain a clear and succinct account of all business transacted;
(5) Certify under his/her signature and the seal of the Tribunal all notices, orders, resolutions and decisions of the Tribunal;
(6) Implement the orders, resolutions, decisions and processes issued by the Tribunal;
(7) Keep a judgment book containing a copy of each decision and final order or resolution rendered by the Tribunal in the order of its dates, and a Book of Entries of Judgments containing in chronological order entries of the dispositive portions of all decisions and final orders or resolutions of the Tribunal;
(8) Keep an account of the funds received and disbursed relative to the cases;
(9) Subject to the authority of the Tribunal and the Chairperson, oversee the performance of the line and support (adjudicatory and administrative) functions of the various divisions of the administrative staff;
(10) Keep and secure all ballot boxes, election documents, records, papers, files, exhibits, the office seal and other public property belonging to or officially brought to the Tribunal;
(11) Perform such other duties as are prescribed by law for clerks of superior courts; and
(12) Keep such other books and perform such other duties as the Tribunal or the Chairperson may direct.

The Deputy Secretary of the Tribunal shall assist the Secretary of the Tribunal; act as Secretary of the Tribunal in the absence of the latter; and perform such other duties and functions as may be assigned by the Tribunal, the Chairperson, or the Secretary of the Tribunal.

RULE 14. The Seal. – The seal of the Tribunal shall be circular in shape and shall contain in the upper part the words “House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal”; in the center, the coat of arms of the Republic of the Philippines; and at the base, the words “Republic of the Philippines”.

The seal of the Tribunal shall be affixed to all decisions, orders, rulings or resolutions of the Tribunal, certified copies of official records, and such other documents which the Tribunal may require to be sealed.

ELECTION CONTESTS

RULE 15. Jurisdiction. – The Tribunal is the sole judge of all contests relating to the election, returns, and qualifications of the Members of the House of Representatives.

To be considered a Member of the House of Representatives, there must be a concurrence of the following requisites: (1) a valid proclamation; (2) a proper oath; and (3) assumption of office.

RULE 16. How Initiated. – An election contest is initiated by the filing of a verified election protest or a verified petition for quo warranto against a Member of the House of Representatives. An election protest and a petition for quo warranto may be combined in one case, provided the parties are the same.

RULE 17. Election Protest. – A verified election protest contesting the election or returns of any Member of the House of Representatives shall be filed by any candidate who has duly filed a certificate of candidacy and has been voted for the same office, within fifteen (15) days from June 30 of the election year or the date of actual assumption to office, whichever is later.

It can only be filed by the candidates who obtained the second or third highest number of votes. The party filing the protest shall be designated as the protestant, while the adverse party shall be known as the protestee.

An election protest shall state:

(1) The date of proclamation of the winner and the number of votes obtained by the parties per proclamation;
(2) The total number of contested individual and clustered precincts per municipality or city;
(3) The individual and clustered precinct numbers and location of the contested precincts;
(4) The specific acts or omissions complained of constituting the electoral frauds, anomalies or irregularities in the contested precincts; and
(5) A statement as to whether or not there is a need for a revision of ballots.

No joint election protest shall be admitted, but the Tribunal, for good and sufficient reasons, may consolidate individual protests and hear and decide them jointly. Thus, where there are two or more protests involving the same protestee and common principal causes of action, the subsequent protests may be consolidated with the earlier case to avoid unnecessary costs or delay. In case of objection to the consolidation, the Tribunal shall resolve the same.

The protest is verified by an affidavit that the affiant has read it and that the allegations therein are true and correct based on affiant's personal knowledge or authentic records. A verification based on “information and belief,” or upon “knowledge, information and belief,” is a defective verification and a ground for dismissal.

The protest shall contain a sworn certification that: (a) protestant has not theretofore commenced any action or filed any claim involving the same issues in any court, tribunal or quasi-judicial agency and, to the best of his or her knowledge, no such other action or claim is pending therein; (b) if there is such other pending action or claim, a complete statement of the present status thereof; and (c) if protestant should thereafter learn that the same or similar action or claim has been filed or is pending, he or she shall report that fact within five (5) days therefrom to the Tribunal.

The running of the reglementary period to file the protest shall not be suspended if the election protest is unverified, unaccompanied by a certification against forum shopping, or contains an insufficient or defective verification or defective certification against forum shopping.

RULE 18. Quo Warranto. – A verified petition for quo warranto on the ground of ineligibility may be filed by any registered voter of the congressional district concerned, or any registered voter in the case of party-list representatives, within fifteen (15) days from June 30 of the election year or the date of the actual assumption to office, whichever is later. The party filing the petition shall be designated as the petitioner, while the adverse party shall be known as the respondent.

The provisions of the preceding paragraph to the contrary notwithstanding, a petition for quo warranto may be filed by any registered voter of the district concerned against a Member of the House of Representatives, on the ground of citizenship, at anytime during said Member's tenure. A petition for quo warranto may also be filed at anytime for grounds that occur during the term of office of the winning candidate.

The rules on verification, consolidation, certification against forum shopping and case information sheet provided in Rule 17 hereof shall apply to petitions for quo warranto.

RULE 19. Damages. – Damages may be sought and granted in election protests or quo warranto proceedings in accordance with law.

RULE 20. Ad Cautelam Cases. – An election protest or petition for quo warranto filed ad cautelam shall be assigned with an undocketed (UDK) number. No summons shall be issued unless the case is converted into a regular election protest or petition for quo warranto.

After thirty (30) days from filing, an order shall be issued to the protestant or the petitioner, as the case may be, directing him or her to manifest, within ten (10) days from notice, whether the ad cautelam case can already be converted into a regular election protest or petition for quo warranto.

Nevertheless, an ad cautelam case shall comply with the requirements set forth in Rules 17 and 18, as the case may be, and the payment of the required filing fee and cash deposit.

RULE 21. Periods Non-Extendible. – The period for the filing of the appropriate protest or petition, as prescribed in Rules 17 and 18, is jurisdictional and cannot be extended. If the last day falls on a Saturday, a Sunday, or a legal holiday, the last day for filing the appropriate protest or petition shall fall on the next working day.

RULE 22. Filing with the Tribunal. – Election protests and petitions for quo warranto shall be filed either personally with the Office of the Secretary of the Tribunal or by registered mail addressed to the Secretary of the Tribunal, together with fifteen (15) clearly legible copies thereof.

If filed personally, the Secretary of the Tribunal shall inscribe on the protest or petition the date and hour of filing.

If filed by registered mail, the date of the mailing of the petition, as shown by the post office stamp on the envelope or the registry receipt, shall be considered as the date of its filing with the Tribunal. The envelope shall be attached to the records of the case. It shall likewise be accompanied by a postal money order to cover the filing fees and cash deposit as prescribed by these Rules. Filing by registered mail is not encouraged, and failure to attach the postal money order for all the prescribed fees and charges is a ground for dismissal.

RULE 23. Summary Dismissal of Election Contest. – An election protest or petition for quo warranto may be summarily dismissed by the Tribunal without the necessity of requiring the protestee or respondent to answer if, inter alia:

(1) It is insufficient in form and substance;
(2) It is filed beyond the periods provided in Rules 17 and 18 of these Rules;
(3) It does not contain a verification or the verification is defective;
(4) It does not conform to the prescribed form of certification against forum shopping under Rules 17 and 18, or if related pending cases are not specified in said certification;
(5) The petition or protest or copies thereof and the annexes thereto filed with the Tribunal are not clearly legible;
(6) The full amount of filing fee and other legal fees are not paid within the periods provided for filing the protest or petition for quo warranto;
(7) In case of a protest where a cash deposit is required, the cash deposit, or the first one hundred fifty thousand pesos (P150,000.00) thereof, is not paid within ten (10) days after the filing of the protest; and
(8) If the filing of the petition or protest is by registered mail and there is a failure to attach the postal money order for all the prescribed fees and expenses to said petition or protest.

For this purpose, the Secretary of the Tribunal shall, upon receipt of the petition, prepare a report and calendar the same for appropriate action by the Tribunal or the Executive Committee.

This rule shall likewise apply to counter-protests.
 
ANSWER AND COUNTER-PROTEST

RULE 24. Summons.
– If the protest or petition is not summarily dismissed in accordance with Rule 23 of these Rules, the Secretary of the Tribunal shall issue the corresponding summons to the protestee or respondent, as the case may be, together with a copy of the protest or petition, requiring him or her to file an answer within fifteen (15) calendar days from receipt thereof.

The summons shall be served by handing copies of the summons and of the election protest or the quo warranto petition to the protestee or the respondent in person or, in case of protestee’s or respondent’s refusal to receive or sign proof of receipt of these copies, by tendering it to him or her. Service of summons in this manner is complete upon such tender.

If for justifiable causes, the protestee or respondent cannot be served within a reasonable time as provided in the preceding paragraph, service may be effected:

(a) By leaving copies of the summons at the residence of the respondent or protestee with some person of suitable age and discretion then residing therein; or
(b) By leaving copies at his or her office or regular place of business with some competent person in charge thereof.

In cases filed involving legislative districts outside of Metro Manila, summons may be served through registered mail. Service by registered mail is complete upon actual receipt by the protestee or respondent, or after five (5) days from the date of receipt of the first notice from the postmaster, whichever date is earlier.

Service by registered mail shall be made by depositing copies of the summons and of the election protest or the quo warranto petition, in a sealed envelope, plainly addressed to the protestee or respondent at the latter's residence on record, with postage fully pre-paid, and with instructions to the postmaster to return the mail to the Tribunal after ten (10) calendar days if undelivered.

RULE 25. Answer. – The answer must be verified and may set forth special and affirmative defenses and a counterclaim. The protestee may incorporate in the answer a counter-protest. The answer shall be filed in fifteen (15) clearly legible copies with proof of service of a copy upon the protestant or petitioner within fifteen (15) calendar days from receipt of the summons and a copy of the protest or petition.

If filed in a separate pleading, a counter-protest must be verified and filed in fifteen (15) clearly legible copies with proof of service of a copy upon the protestant within fifteen (15) calendar days from receipt of the summons and a copy of the protest.

The counter-protestant shall pay the appropriate filing fees and cash deposit. Otherwise, the counter-protest shall be dismissed.

RULE 26. Answer to Counterclaim or Counter-Protest. – The answer to counterclaim or counter-protest must be verified and filed in fifteen (15) clearly legible copies within fifteen (15) calendar days from receipt of counterclaim or counter-protest.

RULE 27. Motion to Dismiss; Motion for Bill of Particulars. – No motion to dismiss or motion for a bill of particulars shall be entertained. Grounds for a motion to dismiss shall be pleaded as affirmative defenses in the appropriate responsive pleadings allowed under Rules 25 and 26. The Tribunal may, in its discretion, hold a preliminary hearing on any of the grounds so pleaded.

RULE 28. Extensions of Time. – No motion for extension of any of the periods fixed in Rules 24, 25 and 26 shall be entertained.

RULE 29. Failure to Answer; Effect. – If no answer to the protest, counter-protest, or the petition for quo warranto is filed within the period fixed in these Rules, a general denial shall be deemed to have been entered.

RULE 30. Amendments; Limitations. – Pleadings may be amended by adding or striking out an allegation, or by correcting a mistake in the name of a party or a mistaken or inadequate allegation or description in any other respect, so that the actual merits of the controversy may be speedily determined, without regard to technicalities, and in the most expeditious and inexpensive manner.

(a) Amendments as a matter of right. A party may amend his or her pleading once as a matter of right at any time before a responsive pleading is served.
(b) Amendments by leave of the Tribunal. Except as provided in the next paragraph, substantial amendments may be made only upon leave of the Tribunal, but such leave may be refused if it appears to the Tribunal that the amendment was made with intent to delay. Orders of the Tribunal upon the matters provided in this rule shall be made only upon motion duly filed with the Tribunal, and after notice to the adverse party, and an opportunity to be heard.
(c) Formal amendments. A defect in the designation of the parties and other clearly clerical or typographical errors may be summarily corrected by the Tribunal at any stage of the action, at its initiative or on motion, provided no prejudice is caused thereby to the adverse party.
(d) Answer to an Admitted Amended Protest or Petition. When the Tribunal admits an amended protest or petition, it may require the other party to answer the same within a non-extendible period of ten calendar (10) days from service of a copy of the amended protest or petition and of the resolution admitting the same.

RULE 31. Admission by Adverse Party

(a) Request for Admission. – At anytime after issues have been joined, a party may file and serve upon any other party a written request for the admission by the latter of the truth of any material and relevant matter of fact pertinent to the subject matter of the protest or petition or of the genuineness of any material and relevant document/s described in and attached to the request. The request for admission containing averments in the protest or petition is allowed. The Tribunal shall be furnished with a copy of said request.

(b) Implied Admission. – Within a period designated in the request for admission, which shall not be less than fifteen (15) days after service thereof, or within such further time as the Tribunal may allow on motion, the party to whom the request is directed shall file and serve upon the party requesting the admission a sworn statement containing categorical answers to the request for admission. Each of the matters of which an admission is requested shall be deemed admitted in case of failure to file and serve said sworn statement. The party to whom the request is directed may deny specifically the matters of which an admission is requested or set forth in detail the reasons why he or she cannot admit or deny those matters. A general denial that said party is without knowledge or information sufficient to form a belief as to the veracity of the matters of which an admission is requested is prohibited and shall have the effect of an implied admission. The Tribunal shall likewise be furnished with a copy of the sworn statement. No objection shall be made to the request for admission as such objection can be incorporated in the sworn statement itself.

(c) Effect of Admission. – Any admission made by a party pursuant to such request is for the purpose of the pending action only and shall not constitute an admission by said party for any other purpose nor may the same be used against him or her in any other proceeding.

(d) Withdrawal. – The Tribunal may allow the party making an admission under this Rule, whether express or implied, to withdraw or amend it upon such terms as may be just.

(e) Effect of failure to file and serve request for admission. – A party who fails to file and serve a request for admission on the adverse party of material and relevant facts at issue which are, or ought to be, within the personal knowledge of the latter, shall not be permitted to present evidence on such facts.

RULE 32. Other Pleadings; How Filed. – Except for the initiatory petitions for quo warranto or election protests which the Tribunal itself serves on the adverse party, all other pleadings shall be filed with the Office of the Secretary of the Tribunal in fifteen (15) clearly legible copies and must be accompanied with proof of service upon the adverse party or parties. Whenever practicable, the service and filing of pleadings, motions and other papers shall be done personally. A resort to other modes must be accompanied by a written explanation why personal service is not practicable.

The Tribunal shall impose sanctions on any party who abuses the rule on personal service of pleadings by resorting to service by registered mail to delay the case.

All pleadings, motions and other papers filed with the Tribunal in connection with electoral cases pending before other tribunals, courts or agencies shall likewise be accompanied by proof of service upon the adverse party or parties in said electoral cases.

No action shall be taken on pleadings that fail to comply with the foregoing requirements.

RULE 33. Proof of Service. – Proof of personal service shall consist of a written admission of the party served, or an affidavit of service of the party serving, containing a full statement of the date, place and manner of service. If service is made by registered mail, proof shall be established through such affidavit and the registry receipt issued by the mailing office. The registry return card or, in lieu thereof, the unclaimed letter together with the certified or sworn copy of the notice given by the postmaster to the addressee, shall be filed with the Tribunal by the sender immediately upon receipt of either.
 
FILING FEES, CASH DEPOSITS
AND OTHER LEGAL FEES

RULE 34. Filing Fees.
– No protest, counter-protest or petition for quo warranto shall be deemed filed without the payment to the Tribunal of the filing fee in the amount of twenty thousand pesos (P20,000.00).

If a claim for damages or attorney’s fees is set forth in a protest, counter-protest or petition for quo warranto, an additional filing fee shall be paid, which shall be, if the sum claimed is:

(1) More than P 20,000.00 but less than P 40,000.00 ………. P 1,000.00

(2) P 40,000.00 or more but less than P 60,000.00 ………. P 1,500.00

(3) P 60,000.00 or more but less than P 80,000.00 ….……. P 2,000.00

(4) P 80,000.00 or more but less than P 100,000.00 ………. P 2,500.00

(5) P 100,000.00 or more but less than P 150,000.00 ..……... P 3,000.00
For every P 1,000.00 in excess of P 150,000.00 ………....
P 100.00

Where the protest, counter-protest or petition for quo warranto is filed by registered mail, it must be accompanied by a postal money order in the amount of the corresponding filing fees.

The required fees must be fully paid within the period prescribed in Rules 17 (Election Protest), 18 (Quo Warranto), 25 (Answer) and 26 (Answer to Counterclaim or Counter-Protest) of these Rules.

The payment of filing fees herein provided for the filing of a protest, counter-protest or petition for quo warranto is jurisdictional and failure to pay the mandated amounts within the reglementary period for filing the same shall be a ground for dismissal.

RULE 35. Cash Deposit. – In addition to the fees prescribed in the preceding Rule, each protestant, counter-protestant or petitioner in quo warranto shall make a cash deposit with the Tribunal in the following amounts:

(1) In a petition for quo warranto, ten thousand pesos (P 10,000.00) to be paid within ten (10) calendar days after the filing of the petition.

(2) If the protest or counter-protest does not require the bringing to the Tribunal of the ballot boxes, copies of election returns as well as other election documents and paraphernalia from the district concerned, ten thousand pesos (P 10,000.00) to be paid within ten (10) calendar days after the filing of the protest or counter-protest.

(3) If the protest or counter-protest requires the bringing of ballot boxes, copies of election returns and other election documents and paraphernalia, three thousand pesos (P 3,000.00) for each clustered precinct involved therein. If, as thus computed, the amount of the deposit does not exceed one hundred fifty thousand pesos (P 150,000.00), the same shall be paid in full with the Tribunal within ten (10) calendar days after the filing of the protest or counter-protest.
(4) If the required deposit exceeds one hundred fifty thousand pesos (P 150,000.00), a partial cash deposit of at least one hundred fifty thousand pesos (P 150,000.00), shall be made within ten (10) calendar days after the filing of the protest or counter-protest. The balance shall be paid in such installments as may be required by the Tribunal on at least five (5) calendar days advance notice to the party required to make a cash deposit.

The cash deposit shall be applied by the Tribunal to the payment of all expenses incidental to the disposition of the case, including, but not limited to, in the case of protest, the bringing of the ballot boxes, copies of election returns as well as other election documents and paraphernalia to the Tribunal, and returning them to their original official custodians after the case is terminated, storage fees, the compensation of the Revisors, expenses relating to technical examination incidental to the revision but not limited to essential supplies and services, and other miscellaneous expenses (i.e. padlocks, self-locking seals, customized envelopes, and copying of electronic data contained in data storage devices) and all other expenses relating to the proceedings and adjudication of the protest or petition.

Failure to pay the cash deposit within the prescribed period shall be a ground for the dismissal of the protest, counter-protest or petition.

Any unused cash deposit shall be returned to the party or parties who paid the same after complete termination of the protest, counter-protest or petition for quo warranto. Any unused cash deposit which remains unclaimed for a period of two years from receipt of notice authorizing release thereof shall be deemed forfeited in favor of the Tribunal.

When circumstances so demand, the Tribunal may require additional cash deposit. If a party fails to make the additional cash deposits within the period prescribed by the Tribunal, it may dismiss the protest or counter-protest.

RULE 36. Other Legal Fees. – The following legal fees shall be charged and collected for:

(1) Certified transcripts of records or copies of any record, decision, resolution or entry of which any person is entitled to demand and receive a copy, for each page ……………………………Twenty Pesos (P 20.00);

(2) Certified transcripts of notes taken by stenographers to every person requesting the same, for each page of not less than two hundred and fifty words, for each page ten pesos (P 10.00) provided, however, that one-fourth (1/4) of the total charges shall go to the Tribunal and the remaining three-fourths (3/4) to the stenographer concerned;

(3) Research fee for any record relating to a previous case …………………………Two Hundred Pesos (P 200.00); and

(4) Other Certifications……………One Hundred Pesos (P 100.00).
 
PRODUCTION OF ELECTION DOCUMENTS

RULE 37. Issuance of precautionary order.
– Where the allegations in a protest so warrant, the Tribunal shall, simultaneous with the issuance of summons, order the municipal or city treasurer and election officer, and the responsible personnel and custodian to take immediate steps or measures to safeguard the integrity of all the ballot boxes and their contents, lists of voters with voting records, books of voters, and other documents or paraphernalia used in the election, as well as data storage devices containing electronic data evidencing the conduct and the results of elections in the contested precincts.

RULE 38. When Ballot Boxes, Election Returns and Other Election Documents Brought before the Tribunal.
– Where the allegations in a protest or counter-protest so warrant, or whenever in its opinion the interest of justice so demands, the Tribunal shall immediately also order all the ballot boxes containing the ballots and their keys, copies of election returns whenever the protest particularly questions the authenticity of the contents of the returns, list of voters with voting records, books of voters, data storage devices containing electronic data evidencing the content and results of the election, and other documents or paraphernalia used in the election to be brought before the Tribunal. Certified copies of the Statement of Votes by the Board of Canvassers in all the municipalities of the district or of the city concerned shall also be obtained. Upon receipt thereof, they shall be kept and held secured in the offices of the Tribunal or in any designated storage area under the care and custody of the Canvass Board Service, under the supervision of the Secretary of the Tribunal and under the authority of the Chairperson.

Where any of the ballot boxes, ballots, election returns, election documents or paraphernalia mentioned in the immediately preceding paragraph are also involved in election contests before the Presidential Electoral Tribunal, the Senate Electoral Tribunal, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) or the regular courts, in appropriate cases, the Tribunal shall exert every effort to synchronize the examination and revision of ballots in the other Tribunals, the Comelec or the regular courts, as the case may be.

The Tribunal, if warranted, may seek the assistance of the Philippine National Police (PNP), the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) or other law enforcing agencies to safeguard the integrity of the ballot boxes and all documents subject of Rule 37 while in the custody of the municipal treasurer, election officer or custodian and to ensure the safe delivery thereof and the corresponding keys thereof to the Tribunal. For this purpose, a Memorandum of Agreement shall be executed between the PNP, the AFP and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) for effective and strict implementation.

The expenses necessary and incidental to the bringing of the ballot boxes, copies of election returns and other election documents or paraphernalia before the Tribunal, and returning them after the termination of the case, including the storage fees, the compensation of the Revisors, and all expenses incidental to the revision, shall be charged against the party requesting the revision and shall be paid from his or her cash deposit.
 
REVISION OF BALLOTS

RULE 39. Revision of Ballots
– Revision of the ballots shall be conducted in accordance with the guidelines promulgated by the Tribunal.
The Tribunal shall inquire from the Comelec about the detailed specification and security features, as well as additional remedial measures for determining the genuineness and authenticity, of official ballots stored inside the ballot boxes. The parties shall be duly notified of the inquiry, the actions taken thereof by the Tribunal and by the Comelec, and shall have the right to be represented in and notified of any hearing or meeting to be held in connection with said inquiry.

In the event that there are substantial variances between the actual physical count of the ballots and the election returns discovered during the revision proceedings, the Tribunal, thru its Secretary, shall upon notice, immediately order for a preliminary hearing to allow the parties to present evidence and witnesses thereon.

The hearing shall be conducted by the Hearing Commissioner in charge of the case which shall be summary in character without due regard to technicalities. A maximum of two (2) hearing dates shall be allotted for each party to present their claims unless additional hearing dates are necessary, as determined by the Tribunal.

RULE 40. Post-Revision Determination of the Merit or Legitimacy of Protest Prior to Revision of Counter-Protest; Pilot Precincts; Initial Revision and/or Technical Examination. – Any provision of these Rules to the contrary notwithstanding, as soon as the issues in any contest before the Tribunal have been joined, the protestant and the protestee shall be required to state and designate in the preliminary conference brief, at most twenty-five (25%) percent of the total number of precincts involved in the protest or counter-protest, as the case may be, which said parties deem as best exemplifying or demonstrating the electoral irregularities or fraud pleaded by them.

The revision of the ballots or the examination, verification or re-tabulation of election returns and the reception of evidence shall begin only with the designated pilot protested precincts.

The revision of ballots or the examination, verification or re-tabulation of election returns and the reception of evidence in the remaining seventy-five (75%) protested precincts and twenty-five percent (25%) counter-protested precincts shall not commence until the Tribunal shall have determined through appreciation of ballots or election documents and/or reception of evidence, within a period not exceeding ten (10) successive working days, the merit or legitimacy of the protest, relative to the designated pilot protested precincts.

Based on the results of such post-revision determination, the Tribunal may dismiss the protest without further proceedings, if and when no reasonable recovery was established from the pilot protested precincts, or may proceed with the revision of the ballots or the examination, verification or re-tabulation of election returns in the remaining contested precincts.

The foregoing shall likewise apply to the twenty-five percent (25%) of designated pilot counter-protested precincts.

However, if the proclamation margin is only one thousand (1,000) votes or less, the revision of ballots or the examination, verification or re-tabulation of election returns and/or reception of evidence shall cover all the contested precincts.

 
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Information System and Judicial Records Management Service
Rm. 301, 3rd Floor, Right Wing, Electoral Tribunal Building
Commonwealth Avenue, Quezon City
Tel. No. (+632) 931 7642
E-mail: isjrms@hret.gov.ph