By Ben Rosario
At least 11 cases of election protests and quo warranto petitions have been filed before the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal (HRET), it was disclosed on Wednesday.
Lawyer Deo M. Natividad, chief of the HRET Information System and Judicial Records Management Service, said the election protests and quo warranto petitions will be taken up by the HRET as soon as the composition of the nine-man panel has been completed.
Supreme Court Senior Associate Justice Diosdado Peralta remains the chairman of the tribunal and will be joined in by two more SC justices and six congressmen.
The Lower House is not expected to elect its six members to the HRET until it launches regular sessions on July 22.
Natividad said election protests may be filed only until July 15.
Under the revised HRET rules, Natividad said the filing of petitions for election protests and quo warranto petitions cover a 15-day period from June 30 of the election year.
But a winning candidate proclaimed after June 30 of an election year may be subjected to protest within 15 days from the date of the proclamation.
Under the amended rule, electoral protests and quo warranto petitions involving similar parties will no longer be allowed to be fused in one filing.
Thus, a candidate seeking a recount of the ballots through an election protest will have to file a separate quo warranto petition if needed.
Records show that a total 27 HRET cases were filed after the 2016 elections.
On the other hand, 30 House members were the respondents of petitions for quo warranto and election protests at the start of the 16th Congress.
Election protests contesting the ballot count may be filed by losing candidates who obtained the second or third highest number of votes in a congressional election.
On the other hand, a quo warranto petition questioning the eligibility of a winning candidate may be filed by any registered voter of the congressional district concerned.