Reference: Annual Audit Report on the Senate Electoral Tribunal
For the Calendar Year 31 December 1997
The Senate Electoral Tribunal (SET) was created pursuant to Article VI, Section 17 and 19 of the Constitution, which shall act as the sole judge of all protests relating to the election, returns and qualifications of the members of the Senate.
Nine Members, three of whom are Associate Justices of the Supreme Court and Six Members of the Senate, constitute the Tribunal. As of December 31, 1998, the SET had the following members:
- Hon. Justice Florenz D. Regalado, Chairman
- Hon. Justice Flerida Ruth P. Romero, Member
- Hon. Justice Jose A.R. Melo, Member
- Hon. Senator Alberto G. Romulo, Member
- Hon. Senator Freddie N. Webb, Member
- Hon. Senator Juan M. Flavier, Member
- Hon. Senator Blas F. Ople, Member
- Hon. Senator Gloria M. Macapagal-Arroyo, Member
- Hon. Senator Mirriam Defensor-Santiago, Member
The administrative staff of the Tribunal has eight divisions namely:
- Canvass Board Division
- Legal Division
- Information Systems and Judicial Records Management Division
- Personnel Division
- General Services Division
- Finance and Budget Division
- Accounting Division
The agency had a total personnel compliment of one hundred twenty.
In 1997, the Senate Electoral Tribunal underwent changes in its composition. Senator Ramon B. Revilla was replaced by Senator Blas F. Ople as member of the Tribunal. Senior Associate Justice Teodoro R. Padilla retired from government service upon reaching the compulsory retirement age of 70 years. Supreme Court Senior Associate Justice Florenz D. Regalado assumes chairmanship of the Tribunal on September 1, 1997. Designated members of the Tribunal were Honorable Justice Flerida Ruth P. Romero and Honorable Justice Jose A.R. Melo. They replaced the Honorable Justices Hilarion G. Davide, Jr. and Josue N. Bellosillo, who were designated Chairman and Member, respectively, of the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal (HRET).
The major accomplishments of the SET for the fiscal year 1997 was the completion of the revision and appreciation proceedings in the pilot areas of Protestant Aquilino Q. Pimentel, Jr. vs. Gregorio B. Honasan, Marcelo B. Fernan, Juan Ponce Enrile, Anna Dominique Coseteng, Protestees and Ramon V. Mitra and Rodolfo Biazon, necessary Protestees.
The revision and appreciation proceedings covered a total of 11,657 pilot precincts in twenty provinces, representing 94.8% of the total 12,295 designated pilot precincts. Collection and revision of the ballot boxes and election documents were, in most part, of LAnao and Tawi-Tawi being collected on January 6 to 10, 1997, January 20, 1997 and March 14 to 19, 1997. Revision thereof followed immediately on January 22 to February 3, 1997 and April 2 to 4, 1997.
The above accomplishment as contained in this year-end report were validated through verification and examination of relevant documents and reports.