ChanRobles Virtual law Library

A collection of Philippine laws, statutes and codes
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of the Chan Robles Virtual Law Library

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Section 1.    General registration of voters. — There shall be a general registration of all voters throughout the Philippines in accordance with the provisions of this Decree. chanroblesvirtualawlibrary

The lists of voters of every city and municipality prepared in accordance herewith shall be used in the May 14, 1984 election for Members of the Batasang Pambansa and every election which may be held thereafter. The issuing lists of voters are hereby declared null and void and without further force and effect for purposes of voting after the January 27, 1984 national plebiscite.

Section 2.    Permanent list of voters every twelve years. — There shall be in each city and municipality a permanent list of voters which shall be completely renewed every twelve years. A new list of voters shall be prepared for the elections which will be held in nineteen hundred and eighty-four and said list with such additions, cancellations, and corrections as may be proper shall constitute the permanent list of voters in each subsequent election until its renewal in nineteen hundred and ninety- six.

Section 3.    Necessity of registration to be entitled to vote. — In order that a qualified elector may vote in any election, he must be registered in the permanent list of voters for the city or municipality in which he resides.

Section 4.    Who may be registered in the list. — All persons having complied with the requisites herein prescribed for the registration of voters shall be registered in the list, provided they possess all the qualifications and none of the disqualifications of a voter. Any person who may not have on the date of registration the age or period of residence required may also be registered upon proof that on the date of the election he shall have such qualifications.

Section 5.    Qualifications prescribed for a voter. — Every citizen of the Philippines, not otherwise disqualified by law, eighteen years of age or over, who shall have resided in the Philippines for one year and in the city or municipality wherein he proposes to vote for at least six months immediately preceding the election, may register as a voter.

Any person who transfers to another city or municipality solely by reason of his occupation; profession; employment in private or public service; educational activities; work in military of naval reservations; service in the army, navy orr force, the constabulary or national police force, or confinement or detention in government institutions in accordance with law shall be deemed not to have lost his original residence. Provided, That he may register as a voter of the city or municipality where he is residing for the foregoing reasons if on the date of the election he has already resided therein for at least six months.

Section 6.    Voters in New Settlement Areas. — Residents relocated to new settlement areas within six months immediately preceding an election shall be allowed to register in the new place of resettlement.

Section 7.    Disqualifications. — The following shall be disqualified from voting: chanroblesvirtualawlibrary

(a)    Any person who has been sentenced by final judgment to suffer imprisonment for not less than one year, such disability not having been removed by plenary pardon: Provided, however, That any person disqualified to vote under this paragraph shall automatically reacquire the right to vote upon expiration of five years after service of sentence.

(b)    Any person who has been adjudged by final judgment by competent court of having violated his oath of allegiance to the Republic of the Philippines.

(c).    Insane or feeble-minded persons.

Section 8.    Registration of voters. — For the registration of voters in nineteen hundred and eighty-four and every twelve years thereafter, the citizens election committee of each voting center shall hold four meetings in the place designated as voting centers on the ninth Saturday and Sunday and on the eight Saturday and Sunday before the date of the regular election to be held. At these meetings, the Committee shall prepare as provided in this Decree eight copies of the list of voters of the voting center.

For the May 14, 1984 elections, said meetings shall be held on March 17, 18, 24, and 25 1984: Provided, That if after the last day of registration the Commission on Elections should decide that a substantial number of qualified voters have not registered, it may authorize additional registration days in order that said voters shall not be deprived of their right of suffrage.

Section 9.    Postponement of Registration. — When for any serious cause such as force majeure, violence, terrorism, or other analogous causes of such a nature, or where there are ongoing military operations that the holding of the registration on the prescribed dates should become impossible in any political subdivision, the Commission, after due notice, shall postpone the registration therein to such time as it may deem necessary or undertake such other measures necessary in order to effectively implement the provisions of this Decree. chanroblesvirtualawlibrary

Section 10.    Citizens election committee. — There shall be a citizens election committee in every voting center composed of two public school teachers as chairman and poll clerk, and two members, one representing the ruling party and the other the dominant opposition party in the province and its component city or cities; highly urbanized city, and district Metropolitan Manila.

Section 11.    Qualifications of members of the committee. — No person shall be appointed or shall act as chairman, poll clerk or member of the committee or substitute therein, unless he is of good moral character and irreproachable reputation, a qualified voter of the city or municipality, has never been convicted of any election offense or of any other crime punishable by more than six months of imprisonment, or if he has pending against him an information for any election offense. He must be able to speak and write English or the local dialect.

Section 12.    Disqualification of members of the committee. — No chairman, poll clerk or member of the committee shall be related within the fourth civil degree of consanguinity or affinity to any other member of the committee. In case of such disqualification, the member or members concerned shall inform the Commission thereof.

Section 13.    Appointment of the members of the committee. — The members of the citizens election committee representing the ruling party and the dominant opposition party and their substitutes shall be appointed by the Commission on Elections not later than March 7, 1984 upon nomination by the respective political parties. For this purpose, the directorates of political parties shall submit in writing to the Commission the names of their representatives in each province and its component city or cities; highly urbanized city; and district of Metropolitan Manila who shall in turn submit likewise in writing not later than February 29, 1984 the names and addresses of the persons whom they propose to be appointed as representatives to the citizens election committee for each voting center in the province. chanroblesvirtualawlibrary

In constituencies where there are more than one opposition party and each of said parties submits its nomination and such nominations are in favor of different persons, the Commission shall require said parties to agree on the nomination of a common representative in the committee. Should they fail to come to an agreement, the Commission shall determine which among said parties is the dominant party, based on but not limited to the following guidelines:cralaw:red

(1)    Capability of the political party to wage a bona fide nationwide campaign as evidenced by the number of its members in the Batasang Pambansa and the number of its members elected to positions in the local governments, as well as by its party organization.

(2)    Bailiwicks or areas of political support.

(3)    Platform or program of government distinguishing the political party from the other political parties in ideology and orientation.

(4)    The record of the political party in the matter of its adherence to constitutional provisions on elections, including the duty and obligation of qualified citizens to register and to vote in elections.

If any of the parties entitled to representation in the committee fails to nominate its representative therein on or before February 29, 1984, the Commission shall appoint a public school teacher to fill the vacancy.

Section 14.    Question of Facts. — Findings of the Commission on questions of facts shall be final. chanroblesvirtualawlibrary

Section 15.    Relief of members of the committee. — Any member of the citizens elections committee as well as his substitute may at any time be relieved from office and substituted with another having the legal qualifications, upon petition of the authorized representatives of the party upon whose nomination the appointment was made, and it shall be unlawful to prevent said person from, or disturb him in, the performance of the duties of the said office. A record of each case of substitution shall be made, setting forth therein the hour in which the replaced member has ceased in office and the status of the work of the citizens election committee. Said record shall be signed by each member of the committee including the incoming and outgoing officers.

Section 16.    Temporary vacancies. — If, at the time of the meeting of the committee, any member or the poll clerk is absent, or the office is still vacant, the member present shall call upon the substitute of the absent member to perform the duties of the latter; and, in case such substitute cannot be found, the member present upon nomination by the representative of the party of the absent member or in his absence, by the watchers belonging to the party, shall appoint any qualified elector of the voting center to temporarily fill said vacancy until the absent member appears or the vacancy is filled. In case there are two members present, they shall act jointly.

Section 17.    Arrest of absent member. — The member or members present may order the arrest of any member or poll clerk or substitute thereof who, in their judgment, has absented himself with intention of obstructing the performance of the duties of the committee.

Section 18.    Temporary designation of member and poll clerks by watchers. — If at the time in which the committee must meet, all the offices of members and poll clerks are vacant, or if not one of them shall appear, the watchers present may designate qualified electors of the voting center to act in the place of the members and the poll clerks until the absentees shall appear or the vacancies are filled. chanroblesvirtualawlibrary

Section 19.     Oath of the members of the committee. — The members and poll clerks, whether permanent, substitute or temporary, shall, before assuming their office, take and sign an oath upon forms prepared by the Commission before an officer authorized to administer oaths or, in his absence, before any other member of the committee, or in case no one is present, they shall take it before any elector. The oaths shall be sent immediately to the election registrar.

Section 20.    Compensation of the members of the committee. — The chairman; poll clerks and members of the committee-shall each be entitled to a per diem of thirty pesos for each day of actual service rendered in the committee.

Section 21.    Duties of the committee. — The committee shall have the following duties and functions:cralaw:red

(a)    Undertake the registration of voters as authorized herein;chanroblesvirtualawlibrary

(b)    Act as deputies of the Commission in the supervision and control of the registration in centers wherein they are assigned to assure that registration of qualified voters shall be done in a free, orderly and honest manner;chanroblesvirtualawlibrary

(c)    Perform such other functions prescribed by this Decree or by the rules and regulations promulgated by the Commission.

Section 22.    Proceedings of the citizens election committee. — The citizens election committee shall act through its chairman, by the vote of the majority of its members, but the poll clerk shall have no vote in its proceedings. The committee shall decide without delay all questions which may arise in the performance of its duties. During the meeting of the committee, not more that one member of the committee shall absent himself from the voting center at a time, and in no case shall such absence before more than twenty-minutes.

Section 23.    Meeting to close the list of the voters before the election. — The citizens election committee shall also meet on May 5, 1984 for the purpose of making such inclusions, exclusions and corrections as may be or have been ordered by the courts, stating opposite every name so corrected added, or cancelled the date of the order and the court which issued the same, and for the consecutive numbering of the voters of the voting center.

Should the committee fail to include in the list of voters any person ordered by competent court to be so included, said person shall, upon presentation of a certified copy of the order of inclusion and upon proper identification be allowed by the committee to vote.

Should the committee fail to exclude from the list of voters any person ordered by the court to be so excluded, the committee shall not permit said person to vote upon presentation to it by any interested party of a certified copy of the order of exclusion.

Section 24.    Meeting hours of the committee. — The meetings of the citizens election committee for the registration of voters shall commence at seven o'clock in the morning and shall continue until five o'clock in the afternoon. They may be suspended for one hour only at midday.

Section 25.    Voter's affidavit. — Every person desiring to be registered in the list of voters shall, under oath taken before the citizens election committee, sign and affix the imprint of the thumbs of his right and left hands in quadruplicate, wherein he shall state: His name and surname; place of birth; age on his last birthday; civil status; profession, occupation or trade, residence, giving his correct and exact address; that he possesses the qualifications required of a voter; and that he is not in any way legally disqualified from voting. The citizens election committee shall require that the thumbmarks appear plainly printed. chanroblesvirtualawlibrary

Section 26.    Identification of voters. — Any voter who is not known by the members of the committee may be identified by any voter of the voting center, or by the presentation of his birth or baptismal certificate or any other document showing his identity. No fees nor documentary stamps shall be required on such documents.

Section 27.    Action by the committee. — Upon receipt of the voter's affidavit, the committee shall examine the date therein. If it finds that the applicant possesses all the qualifications and none of the disqualifications of a voter, he shall be registered. Otherwise, he shall not be registered.

The name and address of each registered voter shall, immediately upon his registration, be entered in the proper alphabetical group in the list.

Section 28.    Preservation of the voters' affidavits. — A copy of the affidavit of each voter shall be kept by the citizens election committee until after the election, when it shall deliver it to the election registrar together with the copies of the list of voters and other election papers for use in the next election. The other two copies shall be sent by the committee on the day following the date of the affidavit to the office of the provincial election supervisor and the Commission on Elections in Manila. The latter shall file and preserve the voter's affidavits by city and municipality and in alphabetical order of their surnames. The fourth copy shall be given to the voter as evidence of his registration. chanroblesvirtualawlibrary

Section 29.    Columns in the list of voters. — The list of voters shall be arranged in columns as follows: In the first column there shall be entered, at the time of the closing of the list before the election, a number opposite the name of each voter registered, beginning with number one and continuing in consecutive order until the end of the list. In the second column, the surnames generally used by such persons shall be written in alphabetical order followed by their respective first names, without abbreviations of any kind. In the third column, the respective residence of such person with the name of the street and number, or, in case there be none, a brief description of the locality or place shall be inserted. In the fourth column, there shall be entered on the day of the election the numbers of the ballot which were given successively to the voter. In the fifth column, the voter shall stamp on the day of the election the mark of the thumb of his right and under said mark his signature. And in the sixth column the signature of the chairman of the committee who has handed the ballot to the voter. It will be sufficient that the fourth, fifth, and sixth columns shall be filed in the copy of the list under the custody of the committee to see to it that the thumbmark is stamped plainly.

Section 30.    Certificate of the committee in the list of voters. — Upon the adjournment of each meeting for the registration of voters, the citizens election committee shall close each alphabetical group of surnames of voters by writing the date of the next line in blank, which shall be forthwith signed by each member, and, before adding a new name on the same page at the next meeting, it shall write the following: "Added at the.meeting," specifying if it is the second, third, or fourth meeting of the committee. If the meeting adjourned is the last one for the registration of voters, the committee shall, besides closing each alphabetical group of voters as above provided, add at the end of the list a certificate (a) of the corrections and cancellations made in the permanent list, specifying them, or that there has been none, and (b) of the total number of voters registered in the voting center.

Section 31.    Publication of the list. — At the first hour of the working day following the last day of registration of voters, the poll clerk shall deliver to the election registrar a copy of the list certified to by the citizens election committee as provided in the preceding section; another copy, also certified, shall be sent to the provincial election supervisor of the province, and another, likewise certified, shall be sent to the Commission on Elections, in whose offices said copies shall be open to public inspection during regular office hours. On the same day and hour, the poll clerk shall also post a copy of the list in the voting center in a secure place on the door or near the same at a height of a meter and a half, where it may be conveniently consulted by the interested parties. Each member of the committee shall also have a copy of the list so prepared, which may be inspected by the public in the residence or office of said member during regular office hours. Immediately after the meeting for the closing of the list, the poll clerk shall also send a notice to the official above named regarding the changes and the number above referred to, to be attached to the copy of the list under their custody.

Section 32.    Challenged of right to register. — Any person applying for registration may be challenged before the citizens election committee on any registration day by any member, elector, candidate, or watcher. The committee shall then examine the challenged person and shall receive such other evidence as it may deem pertinent, after which it shall decide whether the elector shall be included in or excluded from the list as may be proper. All challenges shall be heard and decided without delay, and in no case beyond the three days from the date the challenge was made.

After the question has been decided, the committee shall give to each party a brief certified statement setting forth the challenge and the decision thereon.

Section 33.    Power of the committee to administer oaths and issue summons. — For the purpose of determining the right of applicants to be registered as voters in the list, the citizens committee shall have the same powers to administer oaths, to issue subpoena and subpoena duces tecum, and to compel witnesses to appear and testify, but the latter's fees and the expenses incident to the process shall be paid in advance by the party in whose behalf the summons is issued. chanroblesvirtualawlibrary

Section 34.    Proceedings of the committee shall be public. — All meetings of the citizens election committee shall be public. The committee shall have full authority to keep order within the voting center and its environs, to keep the access thereto open and unobstructed, and to enforce obedience to its lawful commands. If any person shall refuse to obey a lawful command of the committee, or shall conduct himself in a disorderly manner in its presence or within its hearing and thus interrupt or disturb its work or the proceedings in connection with the registration, the chairman shall order any peace officer to take such offending person into his custody until the adjournment of the meeting; but such order shall not be so executed as to prevent the person so taken into custody from registering as a voter. Such order shall be executed by any peace officer to whom it may be given, but if none shall be present, by any other person deputized thereto by the committee in writing.

Section 35.    Illiterate or disabled applicants. — The voter's affidavit of an illiterate or physically disabled person may be prepared by any relative within the fourth civil degree of consanguinity or affinity or any member of the committee who shall prepare the affidavit in accordance with the data supplied by the applicant.

Section 36.    Voting centers for registration purposes. — Without prejudice to the establishment of new voting centers, transfer, merger or splitting of existing ones, the voting centers which functioned as such during the immediately preceding national election shall be used as centers for purposes of the registration of voters. Each voting center shall have as far as practicable three hundred registered voters.

Section 37.    Jurisdiction in inclusion and exclusion cases. — The municipal or metropolitan trial courts shall have original and exclusive jurisdiction over all matters of inclusion in and exclusion of voters from the list in their respective municipalities or cities. Decisions of the municipal or metropolitan trial courts may be appealed directly by the aggrieved party to the proper Regional Trial Court within five days from receipt of notice thereof, otherwise said decision of the municipal or metropolitan trial court shall become final and executory after said period. The Regional Trial Court shall decide the appeal within ten days from the time the appeal was received and its decision shall be immediately final and executory. No motion for reconsideration shall be entertained by the courts. chanroblesvirtualawlibrary

Section 38.    Application for inclusion of voters in the list. — Any person whom the citizens election committee has refused to register or whose name has been stricken out from the list may apply within twenty days after the last registration day, to the proper Municipal or Metropolitan Trial Court, for an order directing the citizens election committees to include or reinstate his name in the list, together with the certificate of the citizens election committees regarding his case and proof of service of notice of his application upon a member of the citizens election committee with indication of the time, place, and court before which the application is to be heard.

Section 39.    Voters excluded through inadvertence or registered with an erroneous or misspelled name. — Any voter registered in the permanent list, who has not been included in the list prepared for the election or who has been included therein with a wrong or misspelled name, shall have the right to file an application on any date with the proper Municipal or Metropolitan Trial Court, for an order directing that his name be reinstated in the list or that he be registered with his correct name. He shall attach to such application a certified copy of the entry of his name in the list of the preceding election, together with proof that he has applied without success to the citizens election committees and that he has served notice thereof upon a member of the committee.

Section 40.    Application for exclusion of voters from the list. — Any registered voter in a municipality may apply at any time except during the period beginning with the twenty-first day after the last registration day of any election up to and including the election day to the proper municipal or metropolitan trial court, for the exclusion of a voter from the list, giving the name and residence of the latter, the voting center in which he is registered, and the grounds for the challenge. The application shall be sworn to and accompanied by proof of notice to a member of the citizens election committee, if the same is duly constituted, and to the challenged voter.

Section 41.    Common rules governing judicial proceedings in the matter of inclusion, exclusion, and correction of names of voters. — (a) Outside of the regular office hours no application for inclusion, exclusion, or correction of names of voters shall be received.

(b)    Notices to the members of the citizens election committees and to the challenged voters shall state the place, day and hour in which such application or motion shall be heard, and such notice may be made by sending a copy thereof by registered mail or by personal delivery to them, or by leaving it in the possession of a person of sufficient discretion in the residence of the said persons, or, in the event that the foregoing procedure is not practicable, by posting a copy in a conspicuous place in the municipal building and in two other conspicuous places within the municipality, at least ten days prior to the day set for the hearing.

In the interest of justice and to afford the challenged voter all the opportunities to contest the applicant for exclusion, the court concerned may, when the challenged voter fails to appear on the first day set for the hearing, order that notice be effected in such manner and within such period of time as he may decide, which time shall in no case be more than ten days from the day the respondent is first bound in default.

(c)    Each application shall refer to only one voting.

(d)    No costs shall be assessed in these proceedings. However, if the court should be satisfied that the application has been filed for the sole purpose of molesting the adverse party and causing him to incur expenses, he may condemn the culpable party to pay the costs and incidental expenses.

(e)    Any candidate who may be affected by the proceedings may intervene and present his evidence.

(f)    The decision shall be based on the evidence presented. If the question is whether or not the voter is real or fictitious his non-appearance on the day set for hearing shall be prima facie evidence that the registered voter is fictitious. In no case shall a decision be rendered upon a stipulation of facts.

(g)    These applications shall be heard and decided without delay. The decision shall be rendered within six hours after the hearing and within ten days from the date of its filing in court. Cases appealed to the Regional Trial Court shall be decided within ten days from receipt of the appeal in the office of the clerk of court. In any case, the court shall decide these petitions not later than the day before the election and the decision rendered thereon shall be immediately final and executory, notwithstanding the provisions of Sec. 37 on the finality of decisions.

Section 42.    Election offenses. — (a) The following shall be guilty of a serious election offense punishable in accordance with the provisions of this Decree:cralaw:red

(1)    Any person who deliberately makes any false or untruthful statement relative to any of the data or information required in the voter's affidavit as herein prescribed;chanroblesvirtualawlibrary

(2)    Any member of the citizens election committee who knowingly approves the application of a person who does not possess all the qualifications or who possesses any of the disqualifications prescribed by law for voters, or who knowingly disapproves the application or a person who possesses all such qualifications and one of the disqualifications;chanroblesvirtualawlibrary

(3)    Any person who registers in substitution for another whether with or without the latter's knowledge and/or consent; chanroblesvirtualawlibrary

(4)    Any person who falsifies any voter's affidavit or the current list of voters;chanroblesvirtualawlibrary

(5)    Any person who deliberately imprints blurred or indistinct thumbmark on any of the copies of the application for registration, or in the corresponding space on the voter's voting records; or any member of the citizens election committee who deliberately or through negligence causes or allows the imprinting of blurred or indistinct thumbmarks in any of the above-mentioned election records; or any person who tampers with the thumbmarks in said election records;chanroblesvirtualawlibrary

(6)    Any person who delays, or hinders or obstructs another from registering as a voter or from taking steps leading thereto;chanroblesvirtualawlibrary

(7)    Any person who shall falsely certify or identify another as a bona fide resident of a particular place or locality for the purpose of securing the latter's registration as a voter;chanroblesvirtualawlibrary

(8)    Any member of the citizens election committee or any person acting on their behalf who fails, without cause, to post or to give any of the notices or to make any of the reports required by this Decree;chanroblesvirtualawlibrary

(9)    Any person who being ineligible for appointment as member of the citizens' election committee, accepts an appointment to said committee, assumes office and actually serves as member thereof; or any public officer or any person acting on his behalf who appoints such ineligible person knowing him to be ineligible;chanroblesvirtualawlibrary

(10)    Any person who, without authority, acts as, or assumes or performs any function of, as member of the citizens election committee; chanroblesvirtualawlibrary

(11)    Any public official, or any person acting in this behalf, who relieves any member of the citizen's election committee or who changes or causes the change of the assignment of members of the Committee without authority of the Commission; and

(12)    Any person who, in the presence or within the hearing of the citizens election committee during any of its meetings, conducts himself in a disorderly manner in such a way as to interrupt or disrupt its work or proceedings to the end of preventing said body from performing its functions, either partly or totally.

Section 43.    Penalties. — Any person found guilty of any election offense under this Decree shall be punished with imprisonment of not less than one year but not more than six years. In addition, the guilty party shall be sentenced to suffer disqualification to hold public office and deprivation of the right of suffrage. If he is a foreigner, he shall be sentenced to deportation which shall be enforced after the prison terms has been served. Any political party, group or entity found guilty shall be sentenced to pay a fine of not less than ten thousand pesos, which shall be imposed upon such party, group or entity after criminal action has been instituted in which their corresponding officials have been found guilty.

Section 44.    Prosecution. — The Commission shall, through its duly authorized legal officers, have the power to conduct preliminary investigation of all election offenses punishable under this Decree, and to prosecute the same. The Commission may avail of the assistance of other prosecuting arms of the Government.

Section 45.    Prescription. — Election offenses shall prescribe after three years from the date of their commission. If the discovery of the offense is made in an election contest proceedings, the period of prescription shall commence on the date on which the judgment in such proceedings becomes final and executory.

Section 46.    Jurisdiction of courts. — The Regional Trial Court shall have exclusive original jurisdiction to try and decide any criminal action or proceedings for violation of this Decree. From the decision of the courts, appeal will lie as in other criminal cases. chanroblesvirtualawlibrary

Section 47.    List to be used in the January 27, 1984 Plebiscite. — This Decree shall not in any manner affect the existing books of voters and the registration records of voters who shall register for the plebiscite on January 27, 1984. Said books of voters and registration records shall be the bases for the preparation of the list of voters to be used in the plebiscite.

Section 48.    Appropriation. — The amount of one hundred million pesos or so much thereof as may be necessary to carry out the purposes of this Decree is hereby set aside out of the Special Activities Fund provided in the current General Appropriations Act.

Section 49.    Repealing Clause. — All laws, decrees, executive orders, rules and regulations or parts thereof, inconsistent with the provisions of this Decree are hereby repealed, amended or modified accordingly. chanroblesvirtualawlibrary

Section 50.    Effectivity. — This Decree shall take effect immediately.

Done in the City of Manila, this 11th day of January, in the year of Our Lord, nineteen hundred and eighty-four.

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