Nollen vs. COMELEC/Caballes
January 11, 2010
Petitioners Nollen and private respondents Caballes were candidates for Punong barangay in the October 2007 barangay elections. Nollen was declared punong barangay-elect. Caballes protested and MTC declared Caballes the punong barangay elect for having 5 votes more than Nollen. The latter filed an appeal to MTC and paid P1,000 and records were elevated to COMELEC where its first decision dismissed the case for failure to pay 3,000 prescribed by COMELEC’s rules on procedure. MR also denied.
Whether or not COMELEC erred in dismissing the appeal for failure of paying appeal fee.
The payment of the appeal fee within 5 days technically perfects the appeal from the trial court’s decision. Such appeal is not dismissible as a matter of course on account alone of the inadequate payment or non payment of the 3,200 filing fee. The legal situation changes if the appellant fails to pay the amount within 15 days from receipt of notice from COMELEC. Nollen’s appeal may validly be viewed as not fatally belated. COMELEC resolution 8654 is applicable to his appeal, as the appeal was on June 5, 2008 or prior to July 24, 2008 when the more stringent Resolution 8486 took effect.