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WHETHER THE 22 FEBRUARY 2013 NOTICE/ORDER BY ELECTION OFFICER MAJARUCON AND THE 27 FEBRUARY 2013 ORDER BY THE COMELEC LAW DEPARTMENT ARE CONSIDERED JUDGMENTS/FINAL ORDERS/RESOLUTIONS OF THE COMELEC WHICH WOULD WARRANT A REVIEW OF THIS COURT VIA RULE 65 PETITION[;] A. WHETHER PETITIONERS VIOLATED THE HIERARCHY OF COURTS DOCTRINE AND JURISPRUDENTIAL RULES GOVERNING APPEALS FROM COMELEC DECISIONS; B. Petitioners also conceded that the tarpaulin contains names ofcandidates for the 2013 elections, but not of politicians who helped in the passage of the RH Law but were not candidates for that election. The letter provides as follows: Dear Bishop Navarra: It has reached this Office that our Election Officer for this City, Atty.
Before us is a special civil action for certiorari and prohibition with application for preliminary injunction and temporary restraining order1 under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court seeking to nullify COMELECs Notice to Remove Campaign Materials2 dated February 22, 2013 and letter3 issued on February 27, 2013. On February 21, 2013, petitioners posted two (2) tarpaulins within a private compound housing the San Sebastian Cathedral of Bacolod. This court, however, took cognizance of this case applying one of the exceptions in ABS-CBN: The assailed resolution was a nullity.47 Finally, respondents cited Cayetano v. COMELEC, a recent election protest case involving the mayoralty candidates of Taguig City.48 Petitioner assailed a resolution of the COMELEC denying her motion for reconsideration to dismiss the election protest petition for lack of form and substance.49 This court clarified the general rule and refused to take cognizance of the review of the COMELEC order. - In addition to the forms of election ropaganda prohibited under Section 85 of Batas Pambansa Blg. Respondents contend that the assailed notice and letter are not subject to review by this court, whose power to review is "limited only to final decisions, rulings and orders of the COMELEC En Banc rendered in the exercise of its adjudicatory or quasi-judicial power."23 Instead, respondents claim that the assailed notice and letter are reviewable only by COMELEC itself pursuant to Article IX-C, Section 2(3) of the Constitution24 on COMELECs power to decide all questions affecting elections.25 Respondents invoke the cases of Ambil, Jr. COMELEC,39 it clarified the exception: This Court, however, has ruled in the past that this procedural requirement [of filing a motion for reconsideration] may be glossed over to prevent miscarriage of justice, when the issue involves the principle of social justice or the protection of labor, when the decision or resolution sought to be set aside is a nullity, or when the need for relief is extremely urgent and certiorari is the only adequate and speedy remedy available.40 Based on ABS-CBN, this court could review orders and decisions of COMELEC in electoral contests despite not being reviewed by the COMELEC En Banc, if: 1) It will prevent the miscarriage of justice; 2) The issue involves a principle of social justice; 3) The issue involves the protection of labor; 4) The decision or resolution sought tobe set aside is a nullity; or 5) The need for relief is extremely urgent and certiorari is the only adequate and speedy remedy available. The ponencia for this court, however, acknowledged the exceptions to the general rule in ABS-CBN.44 Blanco v. b) for any newspaper, radio broadcasting or television station, other mass media, or any person making use of the mass media to sell or to give free ofcharge print space or air time for campaign or other political purposes except to the Commission as provided under Sections 90 and 92 of Batas Pambansa Blg. Any mass media columnist, commentator, announcer or personality who is a candidate for any elective public office shall take a leave of absence from his work as such during the campaign period. Ultimately, this court took jurisdiction in Repoland decided that the status quo anteorder issued by the COMELEC Division was unconstitutional. COMELEC, another case cited by respondents, was a disqualification case of one of the mayoralty candidates of Meycauayan, Bulacan.45 The COMELEC Second Division ruled that petitioner could not qualify for the 2007 elections due to the findings in an administrative case that he engaged in vote buying in the 1995 elections.46 No motion for reconsideration was filed before the COMELEC En Banc.