SET Case No. 002-98 (EDCEL C. LAGMAN, Protestant, versus TEOFISTO GUINGONA, JR. and TERESA AQUINO-ORETA, Protestees; and ROBERTO PAGDANGANAN and RUBEN TORRES, Necessary Protestees)


Election Protest: The Election Protest was filed on 15 June 1998 to contest the results of the 11 May 1998 senatorial elections. Named as Principal Protestees by Protestant Edcel C. Lagman, who ranked 15th, were Teofisto Guingona, Jr., who ranked 11th, and Teresa Aquino-Oreta, who ranked 12th. Designated as Necessary Protestees were Roberto M. Pagdanganan and Ruben Torres, who ranked 13th and 14th, respectively.

Protestant Lagman alleged that the Certificates of Canvass (COCs) were based on figures and returns which were falsified, altered and/or substituted in favor of the Protestees and against the Protestant; thus depriving the latter of a well-deserved victory. He further claimed that massive operation of “Dagdag-Bawas” and “Palit Forma” (Substitution of Election Forms), i.e. election returns and COCs, resulted in the installation of some senators by “special operators,” not by genuine election.

Initial revision of the ballots from Protestant Lagman’s pilot areas was conducted. However, upon the urgent request of the COMELEC through its Chairperson that Protestant Lagman withdraw his protest so that the ballot boxes could be used in the then forthcoming elections, Protestant Lagman filed an “Urgent Motion to Withdraw Protest” on 20 April 2001.

Status: The case was dismissed in Tribunal Resolution No. 01-11, promulgated on 02 May 2001, upon Protestant Lagman’s filing an “Urgent Motion to Withdraw Protest” on 30 April 2001.