Due process in the COMELEC

Due process in quasi-judicial proceedings before the Commission on Election (COMELEC) requires notice and hearing. The proclamation of a winning candidate cannot be annulled if he has not been notified of any motion to set aside his proclamation.

In Namil v. Comelec, the COMELEC issued an order annulling the proclamation of candidates and ousted them from their offices as members of the Sangguniang Bayan of Palimbang. Such order was on the basis of a private respondent's allegations and the recommendation of the law department. However, it was done without giving notice to the candidate proclaimed. Thus, the COMELEC order was declared void. (G.R. No. 150540. October 28, 2003)

Section 242 of the Omnibus Election Code: Commission's exclusive jurisdiction of all pre-proclamation controversies. - The Commission shall have exclusive jurisdiction of all pre-proclamation controversies. It may motu proprio or upon written petition, and after due notice and hearing, order the partial or total suspension of the proclamation of any candidate-elect or annul partially or totally any proclamation, if one has been made, as the evidence shall warrant in accordance with the succeeding section.

Administrative function is called "quasi-judicial" when there is an obligation to assume a judicial approach and to comply with the basic requirements of natural justice. Thus, the fundamental purpose of a quasi-judicial hearing is to provide the affected parties due process. Due process requires notice of the proceedings and an opportunity to be heard. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quasi-judicial_proceedings.

Definition of quasi-judicial: having a partly judicial character by possession of the right to hold hearings on and conduct investigations into disputed claims and alleged infractions of rules and regulations and to make decisions in the general manner of courts quasi-judicial bodies. https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/quasi-judicial.

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