Respondent Antonio Suyat and petitioner Alberto Jaramilla both ran for the position of member of the Sangguniang Bayan in the Municipality of Sta. Cruz, Ilocos Sur in the 14 May 2001 elections. Upon review by Suyat of the tabulated results issued by the Municipal Board of Canvassers of Sta. Cruz, he discovered that Jaramilla was credited 23 votes per election return from precinct 34A1. However, when the figures were forwarded to the Statement of Votes by precinct, Jaramilla was credited with 73 votes for the said precinct.
Whether or not COMELEC en banc may take cognizance of the petitioner for correction despite its having been filed beyond the five-day reglementary period fixed by COMELEC Rules of Procedure and its lack of certification against forum-shopping.
YES. Section 4, Rule 1 of its Rules expressly provides COMELEC with the authority to suspend the reglementary periods provided by the rules, or the requirement of certification of non-forum shopping for that matter, in the interest of justice and speedy resolution of the cases before it.