SET Case No. 001-87 (AUGUSTO S. SANCHEZ, Petitioner, versus JUAN PONCE ENRILE or SANTANINA T. RASUL, Alternative Respondents)


Election Protest: Originally filed by Petitioner Sanchez before the Senate of the Philippines on 21 August 1987, the Election Protest was later forwarded to the Tribunal on 03 September 1987.

Being in the 25th slot in the list of senators obtaining the highest number of votes, Petitioner questioned the results of the 11 May 1987 elections, in so far as the last or the 24th slot was concerned. He impleaded as alternative respondents, Juan Ponce Enrile and Santanina T. Rasul, both of whom the official count of the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) had credited with enough votes to make the last two places in the winners’ list, although in what order was not yet certain.

Petitioner impugned as incorrect the official COMELEC tally showing him short by some 70,000 votes of winning a Senate seat. He asserted that the 45,155 votes of disqualified candidate Gil M. Sanchez should be credited to him, together with the countless of Sanchez votes which were invalidated or considered as stray and the thousands more which were misappreciated in favor of Gil M. Sanchez due to the negligence of the COMELEC when it distributed to more than 101,000 precincts throughout the country at least five (5) official election forms listing Gil Sanchez as a bona fide candidate for senator.

Initial actual collection of ballot boxes was made on 19-20 July 1989. On 08 September 1989, a letter was sent to Petitioner, requiring him to augment his cash deposit so that the collection of ballot boxes could proceed. When no action was forthcoming from Petitioner, another letter of the same tenor was sent to him on 18 October 1989, but the same fell on deaf ears. A third letter dated 17 January 1990 also failed to elicit any response from Petitioner. On 16 March 1990, the Tribunal issued a resolution suspending the proceedings pending Petitioner’s showing his readiness to shoulder and defray the expenses. Still, Petitioner maintained his silence.

Status: The case was dismissed in the Tribunal Resolution promulgated on 16 August 1991, due to Petitioner’s lack of readiness to shoulder the expenses for the collection and revision of ballots, resulting in his failure to prosecute the protest.