Electoral tribunal's procedural rules

In Hofer v. House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal,[1] a case that is closely analogous to the instant petition, the Court emphasized that "[p]rocedural rules in election cases are designed to achieve not only a correct but also an expeditious determination of the popular will of the electorate."[2] Thus, the time limit set by the rules is not something to be taken lightly, for it was stressed in the same case that "the observance of the HRET Rules in conjunction with our own Rules of Court, must be taken seriously."[3] Quoting Baltazar v. Commission of Elections,[4] The Court reiterated in Hofer[5] that:
By their very nature and given the public interest involved in the determination of the results of an election, the controversies arising from the canvass must be resolved speedily, otherwise the will of the electorate would be frustrated. And the delay brought about by the tactics resorted to by petitioner is precisely the very evil sought to be prevented by election statutes and controlling case law on the matter.[6]
Basing on the foregoing legal arguments, the Supreme Court found that the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal (HRTE) acted in the best interest of the electorate, ensuring the determination of the latter's will within a reasonable time. In sum, the High Court said that there was absolutely nothing in the case that would justify a finding that the HRET gravely abused its discretion by not granting petitioner an extension of time to present additional evidence and formally offer the same.[7]

[1] G.R. No. 158833, May 12, 2004, 428 SCRA 383.

[2] Id.

[3] Id. at 386.

[4] G.R. No. 140158, January 29, 2001, 350 SCRA 518.

[5] Supra note 1.

[6] Baltazar v. Commission on Elections, supra note 1, at 387.

[7] G.R. No. 190067, March 09, 2010.

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