Republic of the Philippines
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES ELECTORAL TRIBUNAL
Electoral Tribunal Building
Commonwealth Avenue, Quezon City
GUIDELINES ON THE REVISION OF BALLOTS
The House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal (HRET) hereby adopts the following guidelines on the Revision of Ballots for election protests under the Automated Election System (AES).
Section 1. Revision Time and Venue. - (a) Period for revision. - The revision shall be conducted from 9:00 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. and from 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. from Monday to Friday, except on non-working holidays.
(b) Revision to continue even if a party revisor is absent or late. - The revision shall not be delayed or postponed by reason of the absence or tardiness of a party's revisor or substitute revisor, as long as the Head Revisor and one Party Revisor are present. The Tribunal may at any time designate another Head Revisor if the regular Head Revisor fails for any reason to report.
(c) If the revisor is absent or late. - During the revision of ballots in the protested precincts, if the revisor of the protestee is absent or late for thirty minutes and no alternate appears as a substitute, the revision shall nevertheless commence. The protestee shall be deemed to have waived the right to appear and to object to the revision of ballots made during his or her revisor's absence or tardiness. The same rule applies if the revisor of the protestant is absent or late during the revision of ballots in the counter-protested precincts.
(d) If the revisor of the protestant or the revisors of both parties fail to appear. - If the protestant's revisor or the revisors of both parties or their alternates fail to appear within thirty minutes after the scheduled start of the revision of ballots in the protested precincts, the ballot boxes scheduled for revision for that day and the corresponding ballot box keys in the possession of the Head Revisor, shall be returned to the Tribunal's ballot box custodian, and the ballots shall no longer be revised; the parties are deemed to have waived their right to the revision for that day, and the Head Revisor shall state the facts of absence and waiver in the revision report. The same rule applies if the revisors of the protestee fail to appear during the revision of ballots in the counter-protested precincts.
Section 2. Revision Teams; Composition, Functions and Conduct. - During the Revision of Ballots in each election protest, twenty (20) Revision Teams shall be created or such numbers as may be deemed appropriate. Each Revision Team shall be composed of (a) a Head Revisor who shall be designated by the Tribunal, (b) a Party Revisor designated by protestant, and (c) a Party Revisor designated by protestee. The party revisors must be accredited by the Tribunal.
In addition, there shall be an alternate Head Revisor designated by the Tribunal. The parties shall also designate a supervisor and alternate party revisors.
The Revision Teams shall conduct the Revision of Ballots under the strict supervision of the Tribunal or its duly authorized personnel/representatives. The members of the Revision Teams shall discharge their duties with the highest degree of trust, integrity, and probity. They shall exercise extraordinary diligence and take precautionary measures to prevent the loss, disappearance or impairment of the integrity of ballots, election documents, whether electronic or printed, and other election paraphernalia.
Section 3. Compensation - The compensation of Regular Head Revisors and/or alternate Head Revisors shall be eight hundred pesos (P800.00) for every revision day actually served, to be charged to the cash deposits of their parties.
The compensation of Party Revisors shall be directly paid by the respective parties who designated them.
Section 4. Authorized HRET Personnel in the Revision of Ballots. - The Secretary of the Tribunal shall designate the following personnel in the revision of ballots in each election protest: (a) a Ballot Box Custodian; (b) a Head Revision Supervisor; (c) four (4) Revision Supervisors who shall each be assigned to supervise a particular number of Revision Teams; (d) two (2) Revision Reports Appraisers; and (e) at least three (3) Utility Personnel. The Chief of the Canvass Board Service or his duly authorized representative and the Hearing Commissioner or Deputy Hearing Commissioner of the election protest involves shall be designated as Over-All Supervisor and Legal Consultant, respectively.
Section 5. Prohibited Access. - During the Revision of Ballots, only the Chairperson and Members of the Tribunal or their duly authorized representatives, the Secretary of the Tribunal or duly authorized representative, the Deputy Secretary of the Tribunal or duly authorized representative, the duly authorized HRET personnel, the Head Revisors and Party Revisors of the Revision Teams, and the parties, their counsels and their supervisors shall be allowed inside the revision area. However, only one (1) counsel and one (1) supervisor for each party shall be allowed to enter the revision area at any one time.
Section 6. Security Measures
(a) As part of the security measures to be observed during the Revision of Ballots, to maintain the integrity of the proceedings and to ensure the protection of ballots, election documents, electronic device and gadgets, and other election paraphernalia involved therein, the NO I.D. - NO ENTRY POLICY shall be implemented as follows:
(1.) Office I.D. cards for authorized HRET personnel.
(2.) Color-coded I.D. cards to be issued by the Tribunal, as follows:
a.) White for Head Revisors
b.) Light Blue for Protestant's Revisors, Supervisors and Legal Counsels.
c.) Light Pink for Protestee's Revisors, Supervisors and Legal Counsels.
(b) Before leaving the revision area during lunch break and after the conclusion of each working day, all member of the Revision Teams shall leave behind their I.D. cards in the care of the PNP-on-duty/guards-on-duty, and the latter, on the same duty, shall turn over the same to the Canvass Board Service. All I.D. cards of the Party Revisors, supervisors and counsels shall be permanently surrendered upon the completion of the revision proceedings.
The PNP-on-duty/guards-on-duty shall conduct body search of all persons coming in and out of the revision area, except HRET personnel. Instead, the Head Revision Supervisor shall ensure that all Tribunal personnel involved in the said proceedings do not bring in and out of the said venue any document involved in such Revision of Ballots.
Bags, folders, newspapers and personal belongings (such as but not limited to cell phones, cameras, radio and other electronic equipment and gadgets) shall be prohibited inside the revision area.
(c) Only the following materials shall be allowed inside the revision area: (a) colored ballpoint pens (i.e., RED for exhibit markings and BLUE for accomplishing the revision forms; (b) blank HRET official revision forms; and (c) carbon papers, masking tapes, permanent markers, brown envelopes and other supplies or equipment officially used in the Revision of Ballots.
(d) No food and drinks shall be brought inside the revision area. A five (5)-minute break may be arranged by the members of each of the Revision Teams, provided that, the ballot box subject of revision has already been completed and returned to the Ballot Box Custodian. The taking of food or drinks shall be allowed only outside the revision area. (as amended per Resolution of February 10, 2011).
Smoking and drinking of wines or liquors and other alcoholic beverages shall be strictly prohibited inside the Tribunal building during the conduct of such proceedings.
(e) The members of the Revision Teams shall not be allowed to roam around the revision area. They shall stay within their respective places of assignments during the period of conduct of such proceedings, Unreasonable substitution, transfer or exchange of Party Revisors from one Revision Team to another shall not be allowed.
(f) Each Revision Team shall be assigned only one precinct/clustered precincts for revision each time. The Ballot Box Custodian shall ensure that only the ballot box belonging to the precinct/clustered precincts assigned to each Revision Team shall be released each time. Self-locking security seal shall likewise be issued simultaneously with the release of each ballot box.
(g) The ballot box subject of the revision shall be placed beside the revision table of the Revision Team or in an area which is within the plain view of all members of the team. The Head Revisors shall open the ballot box only in the physical presence of the Party Revisors. The opening of the ballot box and the retrieval/return of the ballots and other election documents shall be witnessed by the Revision Supervisor assigned to the Revision Team.
(h) No ballot box shall be forced open, unless authorized by the Tribunal by reason of unfitness or unavailability of its corresponding keys. In the event of forced opening, the Ballot Box Custodian shall issue at least one (1) new padlock and shall strictly require the Revision Team concerned to lock the ballot box involved after the completion of the proceedings. The said incident shall be reflected by the Head Revisor in the Revision Report that will be submitted to the Tribunal.
(i) The Head Revisor shall accomplish a Checklist of all envelopes and election documents retrieved from the ballot box.
(j) Recount, segregation and classification of all ballots involved as well as the writing or marking of exhibit numbers for the parties' objected and claimed ballots shall exclusively be done by the Head Revisor and cannot be delegated. Ballpens and marking pens shall strictly be placed under the table during the recount, segregation, classification and examination of ballots.
(k) The Head Revisor shall place the parties' objected and claimed ballots inside the envelope and seal the same only after they have been checked and reviewed by the assigned Revision Supervisor. The Revision Supervisor and all members of the Revision Team shall affix their respective signatures over their printed names on the sealed envelope.
(l) Before closing the ballot box after completion of the proceeding, the Head Revisor shall ensure that all envelopes and election documents are complete by marking the Checklist accordingly while the envelopes and election documents are being consecutively returned inside the ballot box in the presence of the Party Revisors and the assigned Revision Supervisor. The Revision Supervisor and all members of the Revision Team shall affix their respective signatures over their printed names on the spaces provided for in the Checklist which shall property be attached to the ballot box.
(m) The ballot box shall be locked during lunch break. Before closing the ballot box, the Revision Team shall ensure that all the contents of the ballot box have been properly returned therein.
(n) After the completion of the revision proceedings in each of the precincts involved, all original pages of the annexes accomplished by the Party Revisors shall be attached to the Revision Report prepared by the Head Revisor. Said Revision Report with complete original copies of the accomplished annexes shall be submitted to the Revision Report Appraisers for their review and appraisal.
Section 7. Revision Report
(a) The members of the Revision Teams shall accomplish a report on the result of their revision in every precinct/clustered precinct, the ballot box contents of which underwent their examinations, in an official form provided by the Tribunal (see attached Revision Report form). The Revision Report accomplished by the Head Revisor shall be considered as the original Tribunal's copy.
(b) In accomplishing the Revision Report, writings should be legible and all data should be completely filled up particularly pages 1-3 of the Revision Report.
(c) Only the Head Revisor shall be allowed to write on the original Tribunal's copy of the Revision Report.
(d) Following the appropriate sequence of entries appearing on the Revision Report, the Revision Team shall fill or supply the needed data and information on the Revision Report whenever applicable or indicate "N/A" if not applicable.
Section 8. Condition of Ballot Box
(a) The Revision Team shall note, before opening the ballot box, the condition of the ballot box as well as that of the locks or locking mechanism and the Head Revisor shall record the condition in the Revision Report by filling up the entries under Item No. 1, page 1 of the Revision Report, including observations, if any, as regards the outer condition of the ballot box (e.g., padlocks and self-locking security seal properly attached and locked).
(b) Open the ballot box and write observations, if any, of the inner condition of the ballot box and condition of envelopes (e.g. self-locking security seal properly attached and locked/envelope pasted and sealed), on the appropriate spaces of the Revision Report.
Section 9. Contents of Ballot Box; Material Data
(a) The Revision Team shall fill up entries pertaining to the contents of the ballot box under Item No. II-A and II-B, pages 1-2, of the Revision Report which shall contain the following data: (a) the total number of votes obtained by each candidate for congressman/representative based on the ballot box copy of the Election Returns (ER); (b) the total number of valid ballots retrieved from the ballot box; (c) the total number of votes counted for protestant, protestee and other candidate/s for congressman/representatives; (d) the total number of ballots tentatively classified as stray ballots based on the physical count of ballots made by the Revision Team; (e) the total number of the parties' objected and unobjected ballots; and (f) The total number of claimed and unclaimed ballots.
(b) No parties' arguments in support of or against objections or claims to ballots shall be entertained and set forth in the Revision Report.
Section 10. Revision of Ballots
(a) Dispute ballots shall be numbered consecutively with RED ballpen by the Head Revisor. BLUE ballpen shall strictly be used for accomplishing the revision forms. DO NOT FOLD THE BALLOT OR WRITE ON THE FACE OF THE BALLOT PARTICULARLY ON THE MARK.
(b) The Head Revisor shall count the "VALID" BALLOTS retrieved from the ballot box.
(c) The Head Revisor shall, prior to the classification of the valid ballots, authenticate each and every ballot, through the use of the PCOS machine actually used during the elections in the subject precinct or by another device certified by the Commission on Elections as one that can perform the desired authentication requirement such as the use of bar code and ultra-violet ray code detection mechanism, to make sure that they were the same ballots that were cast and fed to the PCOS machine during the elections.
(d) When it has been shown, in a preliminary hearing set by the parties or by the Tribunal, that the integrity of the ballots and ballot boxes used in the May 10, 2010 elections was not preserved, as when there is proof of tampering or substitutions, the Tribunal shall direct the printing of the picture images of the ballots of the subject precinct stored in the data storage device for the same precinct. The Tribunal shall provide a non-partisan technical person who shall conduct the necessary authentication process to ensure that the data or image stored is genuine and not a substitute. It is only upon such determination that the printed picture image can be used for the revision, (as amended per Resolution of February 10, 2011).
(e) After such determination, The Head Revisor shall classify the valid ballots into four (4) categories, to writ:
(1) BALLOTS FOR PROTESTANT
(2) BALLOTS FOR PROTESTEE
(3) BALLOTS FOR OTHER CANDIDATES
(4) STRAY BALLOTS
In classifying the valid ballots, the Head Revisor shall look at the shade or mark used to register vote for representative/congressman.
Valid ballots with two or more shades or marks used to register vote for representative/congressman or without any shade or mark shall be tentatively classified as STRAY BALLOTS. Valid ballots with mar or shade which are less than 50% of the oval shall also be tentatively classified as STRAY BALLOTS. Any issue as to whether a certain mark or shade is within the threshold shall be determined by feeding the ballot on the PCOS machine, and not by human determination. In case there is no PCOS machine, the ballot shall be tentatively classified as stray.
Any other question pertaining to the application of the rules on appreciation of ballots shall be referred to the Legal Consultant.
(f) The Revision Team shall then Fill-up the spaces pertaining to valid ballots under Item No. III-A, pages 2.
(g) After classification, the Head Revisor team shall give the Ballots for Protestant to Protestant's Revisor, and the Ballots for Protestee to Protestee's Revisor, for their examination and comments.
(h) The Head Revisor shall then give the Ballots for Protestant to Protestee's Revisor, and the Ballots for Protestee to Protestant's Revisor, for viewing, examination and segregation of ballots they intend to challenge/contest or object. Thereafter, they shall each group or sort the challenged/contested ballots under such classification and sequence as the Tribunal may establish. Then, they shall hand the challenged/contested ballots to the Head Revisor for making of Precinct Number and Exhibit Number. Protestant's and protestee's contested ballots shall be marked lightly with precinct number and exhibit numbers separately and consecutively at the back portion of the ballot. DO NOT FOLD THE BALLOT OR WRITE ON THE FACE OF THE BALLOT PARTICULARLY ON THE TIME MARK.
(i) The Party Revisors shall fill up entries pertaining to objected ballots on the respective annexes (Annex "A" or Annex "A-1"), while the Head Revisor is counting the uncontested and objected ballots, who shall, thereafter, fill up the appropriate spaces/entries pertaining to said objected and uncontested ballots in Item No. III-A, Nos. 2 & 3, page 2.
(j) Before the contested ballots (all objected and claimed ballots) are placed inside the properly labeled envelope and sealed, the Head Revisor shall call the assigned Revision Supervisor to check and review the precinct number and exhibit numbers indicated on each of the contested ballots to ensure the completeness of the ballots and the accuracy and appropriateness of the exhibit makings. Protestant's and protestee's objected and claimed ballots shall each be placed and sealed inside separate properly labeled envelopes.
(k) The Head Revisor shall then give the ballots for OTHER CANDIDATE/S to the Party Revisors who may register a claim thereon. Claimed ballot/s shall be given to the Head Revisor for making of Precinct Number and Exhibit Number. The appropriate entries pertaining to "other candidates" under Item No. III-A, No. 4, page 2 shall be filled up. Consequently, the Party Revisors shall list claimed ballots for other candidates, if any, in the appropriate spaces of Annexes "B" or "B-1".1avvphi1
(l) The STRAY ballots shall be given to the Party Revisors to determine if there are legal grounds to claim any or all of the ballots. Thereafter, claimed ballots shall be returned to the Head Revisor for making of Precinct Number and Exhibit Number.
(m) The Head Revisor shall fill-up the appropriate spaces pertaining to claimed stray ballots under Item III-A, No. 5, page 2. The Party Revisors shall list such claimed ballots, in the appropriate spaces of Annexes "C" or "C-1".
(n) UNLESS THE PICTURE IMAGE OF THE BALLOT IS USED in applicable cases, the Head Revisor shall retrieve from the ballot box the envelope containing the REJECTED BALLOT/S. The Head Revisor shall inspect the envelope and write on the appropriate space of the Revision Report the condition of the envelope and its paper seal. Thereafter, the Head Revisor shall open the envelope, retrieve and count the rejected ballot/s and fill-up the corresponding spaces pertaining to rejected ballots under Item III-B, page 2.
(o) The REJECTED BALLOT/S shall be given to the Party Revisors to determine if there are legal grounds to claim any or all of the ballots. Then, claimed ballot/s shall be returned to the Head Revisor for making of Precinct Number and Exhibit Number.
(p) The Head Revisor shall fill-up the entries pertaining to the rejected ballots claimed by the parties under Item No. III-B, Nos. 2, 3 & 4, page 2. The Party Revisors shall list such claimed ballots if any in the appropriate spaces of Annexes "D" or "D-1".
(q) The Head Revisor shall place inside separate properly labeled envelopes: (a) the parties' OBJECTED BALLOTS; (b) the parties' CLAIMED STRAY BALLOTS; (c) the parties' CLAIMED BALLOT/S FOR OTHER CANDIDATE/S; (d) the parties' REJECTED BALLOTS; (e) UNOBJECTED BALLOTS; and (f) UNCLAIMED BALLOTS. The envelopes shall then be sealed and all members of the Revision Team shall affix their respective signatures over printed name on the flap of each sealed envelope.
(r) All envelopes shall be placed inside the ballot box. The Head Revisor shall accomplish the Check List of election documents to be returned inside the ballot box as required in Sec. 6 (I).
(s) All other observations and the number of pages per annex used shall be indicated on page 3 of the Revision Report.
(t) All three (3) members of the Revision Team shall sign over their printed names on each page of the Revision Report and thereafter submit the Revision Reports to the Revision Report Appraisers. Revision Reports without the required signatures of each of the members of the Revision Team shall not be accepted by the Revision Appraisers. Refusal of the Party Revisor to sign the Revision Report without justifiable reason/s shall result to his/her immediate disqualification to participate in the succeeding proceedings.
(u) Any Head Revisor, Party Revisor, party supervisor or any of the parties' representatives who violates the foregoing guidelines or reforms acts detrimental to the conduct of the proceedings shall, after due notice and hearing, be disqualified by the Tribunal in the succeeding proceedings and shall, thereafter, be banned from entering the HRET premises.
Section 11. Printing of the picture images of the ballots in lieu of photocopying. - Unless it has been shown, in a preliminary hearing set by the parties or motu propio, that the integrity of any of the Compact Flash (CF) Cards used in the May 10, 2010 elections was not preserved or the same was violated, as when there is proof of tampering or substitution, the Tribunal, in lieu of photocopying of ballots upon motion of any of the parties, shall direct the printing of the picture images of the ballots of the subject precinct stored in the data storage device for the same precinct. The Tribunal shall provide a non-partisan technical person who shall conduct the necessary authentication process to ensure that the data or image stored is genuine and not a substitute.
Section 12. Amendment Clause. - The Tribunal may, at any time, amend these Guidelines.
Section 13. Repealing Clause. - All other rules, resolutions or regulations of the HRET or parts thereof that are inconsistent with any provision of these Guidelines are hereby deemed repealed or modified accordingly.
Section 14. Effectively. - The Guidelines on the Revision of Ballots shall take effect immediately upon approval.
Section 15. Dissemination. - Let copies of the Guidelines on the Revision of Ballots be furnished to all parties of selection protests filed this 2010-2013 congressional term and their respective counsels, the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET), Senate Electoral Tribunal (SET), the Commission on Elections, and the Courts, through the Court Administrator.
APPROVED, January 19, 2011
(Sgd.) CONCHITA CARPIO MORALES
Associate Justice, Supreme Court
|(Sgd.)ANTONIO EDUARDO B. NACHURA
Associate Justice, Supreme Court
|(Sgd.)ARTURO D. BRION
Associate Justice, Supreme Court
|(Sgd.)FRANKLIN P. BAUTISTA
2nd District, Davao del Sur
|(Sgd.)RUFUS B. RODRIGUEZ
2nd District, Cagayan de Oro City
|(Sgd.)JOSELITO ANDREW R. MENDOZA
3rd District, Bulacan
|(Sgd.)JUSTIN MARC SB. CHIPECO
2nd District, Laguna
|(Sgd.)MA. THERESA BONOAN-DAVID
4th District, Manila
|(Sgd.)RODOLFO B. ALBANO
1st District, Isabela
Source: The Philippine STAR, 13 Feb 2011
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