Philippine Supreme Court Jurisprudence

Philippine Supreme Court Jurisprudence > Year 1938 > August 1938 Decisions > G.R. No. 46172 August 22, 1938 - BASILIO MARTINEZ v. JOSE GUTIERREZ DAVID, ET AL.

066 Phil 117:



[G.R. No. 46172. August 22, 1938.]

BASILIO MARTINEZ, Petitioner, v. JOSE GUTIERREZ DAVID, Judge of First Instance of Capiz, and BERNARDO NAVARRA, Respondents.

Basilio Martinez in his own behalf.

Jose Y. Torres, for respondent Navarra.

No appearance, for respondent Judge.


1. ELECTIONS; ELECTION PROTEST; ABUSE OF JURISDICTION. — By virtue of the facts stated in the decision of the court, Held: That the lower court should have counted in favor of B. M. the four of the fifty-one ballots declared valid by it upon rendering its original decision, and, at all events, after B.M. had filed his motion for reconsideration. If necessary, the court should have given B. M. the opportunity to present and submit for examination said four ballots claimed by him to have been cast in his favor. The court, in not doing so, acted with evident abuse.



In civil case No. 3623 of the Court of First Instance of Capiz, on election protest, in connection with the elections held on December 14, 1937, the court declared, as the result of said elections for the office of councillors, as follows:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library


Names 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Total

Federico Andaya 198 87 133 133 123 83 109 868

Basilio Martinez 192 90 134 86 121 81 96 800

Aquilino Samson 119 190 126 57 152 77 110 831

Candelario Martinez 152 173 133 57 121 81 110 827

Salvador Kapunan 162 78 148 123 96 77 86 770

Fortunato Villareal 118 182 106 62 137 108 104 817

Bernardo Martinez 112 180 118 52 128 70 106 766

Bernardo Navarra 141 170 101 39 161 56 126 803

Baltazar Corcino 205 82 130 95 106 125 84 727

Whereupon, the court declared that the following six are, with respect to the number of votes obtained, the ones who were elected councillors:


1. Federico Andaya 866

2. Aquilino Samson 831

3. Candelario Martinez 827

4. Fortunato A. Villareal 817

5. Bernardo Navarra 803

6. Basilio Martinez 800

It should be noted that the last two, who obtained the last number of votes, are Basilio Martinez, with 800 votes, and Bernardo Navarra with 803 votes, and that Baltazar Corcino, who was one of the candidates voter for, obtained only 727 votes.

During the hearing of the protest, fifty-one ballots (A-1 to A-51) were questioned by Basilio Martinez who claimed that, notwithstanding the fact that 4 of them are in his favor, the should not be counted on the ground that they are marked ballots prepared by one only hand. The court, however, declared them to be valid, thereby overruling the objection of Basilio Martinez, and ordered them counted in favor of the persons appearing to have been voted for therein. These fifty-one ballots were, for this reason, included in the recount and adjudicated in favor of the candidates voted for therein, with the exception of Basilio Martinez to whom the four ballots, announced by him to have been cast in his favor, were not adjudicated.

After said decision had been rendered, Baltazar Corcino and Basilio Martinez sought the reconsideration thereof.

Corcino alleged that he obtained 827 votes, and not 727, as stated in the decision rendered, by reason of a typographical error. The court, considering this allegation to be well founded, admitted that Corcino really obtained 827 votes and declared him councilor-elect, as a consequence, thereby excluding Basilio Martinez, who had been proclaimed the sixth councilor-elect in the original decision.

Basilio Martinez, in turn, alleges in his motion for reconsideration that, inasmuch as the fifty-one ballots referred to above have been adjudicated to him. The court denied said petition and this court is of the opinion that, in so doing, it acted with evident abuse. In denying the petition of Basilio Martinez, the court based its opinion on the ground that Basilio Martinez did not ask that the four ballots in question be counted in his favor. This court finds this ground to be untenable. Basilio Martinez could not have made such petition during the hearing of the protest because he claimed that said fifty-one ballots, being marked ones, should not be counted in favor of the candidates voted for therein. However, Basilio Martinez announced that four of them had been cast in his favor. Before the original decision was rendered in the case, Basilio Martinez could not ask for the adjudication to him of the four ballots, which he claimed should not be counted for illegal, inasmuch as it was not then known whether the court would declare them valid or not. After the decision of the court had been rendered, it was the chance of Basilio Martinez to make such claim, which he in fact did in his motion for reconsideration. If necessary, the court should have given Basilio Martinez the opportunity to present and submit for examination said four ballots claimed by him to have been cast in his favor. The court, in not doing so, acted with evident abuse.

Wherefore, the judgment rendered on March 9, 1938, is set aside and, with respect to the four ballots claimed by Basilio Martinez to have been cast in his favor, the case is ordered remanded to the court of origin so that it may pass upon the claim of Basilio Martinez in connection with said four ballots and render the corresponding judgment in accordance with its findings, without special pronouncement as to the costs. So ordered.

Villa-Real, Abad Santos, Imperial, Diaz, Laurel and Concepcion, JJ., concur.

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