Kaiser Recabo vs COMELEC & Francisco Reyes, Jr. GR 134293 (June 21, 1999)

KAISER B. RECABO, JR. vs. COMELEC & FRANCISCO R. REYES, JR.
G.R. No. 134293; 308 SCRA 793
June 21, 1999

FACTS:
On March 27, 1998, Francisco R. Reyes, Jr., filed his certificate of candidacy for vice-mayor of Mainit, Surigao Del Norte under the LAKAS NUCD-UMDP. His nomination by said political party is evidence by the certificate of nomination and acceptance dated March 27, 1998 signed by Fidel V. Ramos and Jose de Venecia, National Chairman and Secretary General, respectively, of said political party.
However, on April 2, 1998, Kaiser B. Recabo, Jr., claimed to be the official candidate of LAKAS as vice-mayor of the same municipality and also filed his certificate of candidacy. Recabo also submitted to the Commission a copy of the certificate of his nomination and acceptance signed only by one representative of LAKAS, Francisco T. Matugas. The space of the other representative (Robert Z. Barbers) is blank. It was further alleged that Recabo, Jr., is a SUBSTITUTE candidate of MRS. CANDELARIA B. RECABO who filed her Certificate of Candidacy for VICE-MAYOR of Mainit, Surigao del Norte on March 25, 1998.
Reyes submits the theory that since the certificate of nomination and acceptance in favor of Candelaria B. Recabo is not signed by Robert Barbers, there is no valid nomination by LAKAS NUCD-UMDP in favor of Candelaria Recabo. Therefore, Candelaria B. Recabo not having been validly nominated, should be deemed an independent candidate only. And since Candelaria B. Recabo is an independent candidate, she cannot be validly substituted because under Sec. 11 of Comelec Res. No. 2977 promulgated on January 15, 1998, “no substitution shall be allowed for an independent candidate.”

ISSUE:
Whether or not petitioner’s certificate of nomination by LAKAS NUCD-UMDP is valid?

HELD:
NO. COMELEC Resolution No. 2977 provides under Section 5 thereof: The certificate of nomination by registered political parties of their official candidates shall be filed with the certificates of candidacy not later than the last day for filing of certificates of candidacy as specified in Section 4 hereof, duly signed and attested under oath by the party president, chairman, secretary-general or any other party officer duly authorized in writing to do so.

Be that as it may, the certificate of nomination of the petitioner as well as his mother did not comply with the requirements of being official candidates of LAKAS NUCD-UMDP Party. For the reason, that the certificate of nomination was invalid because it was signed only by one authorized party officer as compared to Reyes’ which was signed by the National Chairman and Secretary General, respectively, of said political party. Therefore, Candelaria Recabo is considered an independent candidate.

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