On 04 Jun 1998, respondent Jose Ramirez filed an election protest with the COMELEC challenging the result of the 11 May 1998 elections where petitioner Ruperto Ambil, Jr. was proclaimed the duly-elected governor of Eastern Samar. On 24 Feb 2000, Commissioner Japal Guidani retired from the service prior to the finalization of his proposed resolution in the Ramirez protest. In said resolution, Commissioner Julio Desamito had dissented while Commissioner Luzviminda Tancangco did not indicate her vote.
Whether or not the Supreme Court has the power to review decisions of the COMELEC.
YES. Article IX-A, Section 7 provides that any decision, order or ruling of each commission may be brought to the Supreme Court on certiorari by the aggrieved party within thirty days from receipt of a copy thereof. The Court interpreted the provision to mean final orders, rulings and decisions of the COMELEC rendered in the exercise of its adjudicatory or quasi-judicial powers. The decision must be a final decision or resolution of the COMELEC en banc, not a division, certainly not an interlocutory order of a division.