List of special elections to the Philippine Congress
These are the special elections (known outside the Philippines and the United States as by-elections) to the Congress of the Philippines. The Philippines holds two types of special elections: those that were supposed to be held on election day but were delayed, and those held after an office has become vacant. This article describes the second type.
As stipulated in Republic Act (R.A.) No. 6645 approved on December 28, 1987, once a vacancy occurs in the Senate at least 18 months, or in the House of Representatives at least (1) year, before the next scheduled election, the Commission on Elections, upon receipt of a resolution from the chamber where the vacancy occurred, shall schedule a special election. The special election will then be held not earlier than 45 days and not later than 90 days from the date of the resolution.
However, Republic Act No. 7166 approved on November 26, 1991, amended parts of R.A. No. 6645. When a vacancy in the House of Representatives occurs before one year before the expiration of the term, the special election shall be held not earlier than 60 days and not later than 90 days after occurrence of the vacancy. For the Senate, if the vacancy occurs one year before the expiration of the term, the special election shall be held on the day of the next succeeding regular election.
Not all vacancies that occurred a year before the next regular election resulted in a special election. To save money, the Speaker appointed a caretaker representative from a nearby district. In same cases a caretaker representative was appointed while an election date was considered.
As with general elections, special elections are usually scheduled on a Monday. In some cases, election days are declared as holidays.
House of Representatives
Since the 1998 elections, there have been two types of elected representatives, those who represent single-member districts and those elected via the party-list system. When a vacancy occurs for a party-list representative, the next-ranked nominee from the party replaces his predecessor. For district representatives, a special election will be held to determine who shall succeed the predecessor. During the Third Philippine Republic, where representatives had four-year terms, the special election was held together with the mid-term election.
A special election will not be held if the vacancy occurred less than a year before the next regularly scheduled election.
|Manila–1st||1st||August 11, 1908||Dominador Gomez||Justo Lukban||Resigned June 18, 1908|
|Cavite||January 19, 1909||Rafael Palma||Emiliano Tria Tirona||Left office after being appointed to the Philippine Commission on July 1, 1908.|
|Surigao||2nd||October 14, 1910||Manuel Gavieres||Inocencio Cortes||Died on 1912.|
|La Laguna–1st||December 13, 1910||Potenciano Malvar||Marcos Paulino||Left office after being appointed as governor of La Laguna|
|Batanes||September 5, 1911||Teofilo Castillejos||Vicente Barsana||Died on 1912.|
|Zambales||October 3, 1911||Alberto Barreto||Gabriel Alba||Left office after being appointed judge of the Court of First Instance on July 20, 1911.|
|Ilocos Sur–1st||3rd||October 13, 1913||Vicente Singson Encarnacion||Alberto Reyes||Left office after being appointed to the Philippine Commission.|
|Mindoro||March 26, 1914||Macario Adriatico||Mariano Leuterio||Resigned on March 1, 1914.|
|Bulacan–1st||May 15, 1914||Aguedo Velarde||Ambrosio Santos||Died on 1914.|
|Zambales||July 22, 1914||Rafael Corpus||Gabriel Alba||Left office after being appointed Director of Lands.|
|Iloilo–4th||August 28, 1914||Amando Avanceña||Tiburcio Lutero||Resigned on June 30, 1914.|
|Negros Oriental–2nd||October 1, 1914||Teofisto Guingona, Sr.||Leopoldo Rovira||Resigned April 9, 1914.|
|Capiz–2nd||October 10, 1914||Simeon Dadivas||Emilio Acevedo||Died on 1914.|
|Cebu–7th||November 21, 1914||Eulalio Causing||Tomas Alonso||Resigned on October 13, 1914|
|Rizal–2nd||July 12, 1915||Sixto de los Angeles||Died on 1915.|
|Leyte–4th||September 18, 1915||Francisco Enage||Ruperto Kapunan||Resigned on 1915.|
|Negros Occidental–1st||Melecio Severino||Died on 1915.|
|Cebu–3rd||4th||1916||Filemon Sotto||Vicente Urgello||Left office after winning Senate seat on 1916.|
|Cavite||7th||August 15, 1925||Augusto Reyes||Antero Soriano||Died on July 3, 1925.|
|Nueva Ecija||March 22, 1926||Isauro Gabaldon||Feliciano Ramoso||Disqualified.|
|Tayabas–2nd||8th||October 6, 1928||León G. Guinto, Sr.||Marcelo Boncan||Left office after being appointed governor of Tayabas.|
|Cavite||1929||Antero Soriano||Fidel Ibañez||Died on 1929.|
|Albay–3rd||9th||1932||Froilan Paverico||Exequiel Kare||Died on August 9, 1931; Julian Locsin was originally declared the winner, but Kare won on an election protest.|
|Mindoro||April 23, 1932||Mariano Leuterio||Juan L. Luna||Died.|
|Batangas–1st||February 18, 1933||Antonio de las Alas||Ramon Diokno||Left office after being appointed Secretary of Public Works and Communications.|
|National Assembly of the Philippines|
|Ilocos Norte–2nd||1st||July 22, 1936||(none)||Ulpiano Arzadon||General election winner Julio Nalundasan died on September 20, 1935, prior to taking office.|
|Samar–2nd||1936||Serafin Marabut||Pascual Azanza||Left office after being appointed Secretary of Budget.|
|Leyte–4th||1936||Francisco Enage||Norberto Romualdez||Left office after being appointed technical adviser to President Manuel L. Quezon|
|Albay–3rd||2nd||December 10, 1940||Pedro Sabido||Left office after being appointed as Manager of the National Abaca and other Fibers Corporation.|
|Leyte–5th||Ruperto Kapunan||Died on February 4, 1939.|
|Nueva Ecija–2nd||Felipe Buencamino||Resigned in 1940.|
|Congress of the Philippines|
|Pangasinan–5th||1st||March 3, 1947||Narciso Ramos||Cipriano Allas||Left office after being appointed Minister-counsellor to the United Nations on July 15, 1946|
|Bukidnon||March 11, 1947||Carlos Fortich, Sr.||Remedios Fortich||Died on October 12, 1946.|
|Iloilo–1st||Jose Zulueta||Mateo Nonato||Resigned on May 28, 1945, subsequently appointed Secretary of the Interior on June 4, 1946.|
|Cebu–6th||November 11, 1947||Nicolas Rafols||Manuel Zosa||Died on May 2, 1947.|
|Iloilo–4th||March 23, 1948||Gaudencio Dimaisip||Mariano Peñaflorida||Left office after winning Iloilo governorship on a November 11, 1947 special election.|
|Leyte–1st||Carlos S. Tan||Jose Martinez||Left office after winning Senate seat on 1947.|
|Rizal–2nd||2nd||November 13, 1951||Emilio de la Paz||Isaias R. Salonga||Died August 30, 1951|
|Albay–1st||3rd||November 8, 1955||Lorenzo P. Ziga||Tecla San Andres Ziga||Died on November 4, 1954|
|Samar–1st||Gregorio Tan||Eladio Balite|
|Batangas–1st||5th||November 12, 1963||Apolinario Apacible||Luis Lopez||Died on 1963.|
|Negros Occidental–1st||Vicente Gustillo, Sr.||Armando Gustillo||Died on December 17, 1962.|
|Iloilo–3rd||November 9, 1965||Ramon Tabiana||Gloria Tabiana||Died on December 20, 1964.|
|Ilocos Norte–1st||6th||November 4, 1967||Antonio Raquiza||Roque Ablan, Jr.||Left office after being appointed Secretary of Public Works on August 24, 1966.|
|Northern Samar||November 14, 1967||Eladio Balite||Eusebio Moore||Died on 1967.|
|Agusan del Norte–2nd||9th||August 30, 1993||Edelmiro Amante||Edelmiro Amante||Amante resigned on September 14, 1992 after being appointed as Executive Secretary. Amante then resigned as Executive Secretary in 1993 after being rejected by the Commission on Appointments.|
|Capiz–1st||Gerardo Roxas, Jr.||Mar Roxas||Died on April 4, 1993|
|Rizal–1st||March 7, 1994||Manuel Sanchez||Gilberto Duavit||Disqualified for not being a Filipino citizen on December 7, 1993.|
|Zamboanga del Norte–1st||12th||August 26, 2002||Romeo Jalosjos||Cecilia Jalosjos Carreon||Dropped from the rolls|
|Isabela–4th||May 12, 2003||Antonio Abaya||Giorgidi Aggabao||Died on February 26, 2003|
|Cebu–5th||13th||May 30, 2005||Joseph Ace Durano||Ramon Durano VI||Left office after being appointed Secretary of Tourism on November 30, 2004.|
|Cagayan–2nd||15th||March 12, 2011||Florencio Vargas||Baby Aline Vargas-Alfonso||Died on July 22, 2010.|
|Ilocos Sur–1st||May 28, 2011||Ronald Singson||Ryan Singson||Resigned on March 1, 2011.|
|Zambales–2nd||February 4, 2012||Antonio M. Diaz||Jun Omar Ebdane||Died on August 3, 2011.|
|Negros Occidental–5th||June 2, 2012||Iggy Arroyo||Alejandro Mirasol||Died on January 26, 2012.|
Death is the most common reason to trigger a special election, causing almost half of the instances. Resignation is the second most common, both from leaving office to assume another position, and for other reasons. There had been two disqualifications, or the representative should had not been able to run at all, and one was "dropped from the rolls", or removed from office after being convicted with finality of a crime. No special election has yey to be held after a member had been expelled by the House of Representatives.
|Reason for vacancy||Total||%|
|Left office to assume another position||17||31%|
|Resigned for a reason other than leaving office to assume another position||8||15%|
|Dropped from the rolls||1||2%|
From 1917 to 1934, senators are elected via senatorial districts; a vacancy mid-term will be filled up by a special election.
Starting from 1941, senators elected at-large nationwide, have 6-year terms, with senators elected via staggered elections: every two years, eight out of the 24 senators were elected from 1940 to 1972, and 12 out of 24 senators every three years since 1987. In cases where a senator left office before the expiration of his term, a special election on the day of the next regularly scheduled Senate election was held to fill up the vacancy, as long as the seat per se won't be contested on that election day. There had been three cases where that happened:
|Aquilino Calvo||Resigned February 26, 1917||Matias Gonzales||May 5, 1917||4th PL||October 3, 1919|
|Pedro Guevara||Appointed Resident Commissioner to the U.S.||Ramon J. Fernandez||October 3, 1923||6th PL||June 6, 1925|
|Santiago Lucero||Died November 2, 1925||Luis Morales||March 23, 1926||7th PL||June 2, 1928|
|Tomas Gomez||Died July 28, 1926||Pastor Salazar||7th PL||June 2, 1928|
|Fernando Lopez (Liberal)||Elected as Vice president, gave up seat on December 30, 1949||Felisberto Verano (Nacionalista)||November 13, 1951||2nd||December 30, 1953|
|Carlos P. Garcia (Nacionalista)||Elected as Vice president, gave up seat on December 30, 1953||Roseller T. Lim (Nacionalista)||November 8, 1955||3rd||December 30, 1957|
|Teofisto Guingona (Lakas-NUCD-UMDP)||Appointed as Vice president on February 7, 2001||Gregorio Honasan (Independent)||May 14, 2001||12th||June 30, 2004|
Leaving office to assume another position is the most common reason to trigger a Senate special election; in fact, out of four such instances, three involve the assumption of the vice presidency.
|Reason for vacancy||Total||%|
|Left office to assume another position||4||57%|
|Resigned for a reason other than leaving office to assume another position||1||14%|
In 1949, Senator Fernando Lopez (who was on his second year of service in the Senate) was elected Vice President of the Philippines. To fill the vacancy, a special election was held separately with Senators whose terms ended in that year:
|3.||Prospero Sanidad||Liberal (Independent)||223,810||12.2%|
|4.||Carlos Tan||Liberal (Independent)||124,975||6.8%|
|Note: A total of 5 candidates ran for senator.|
In 1953, Senator Carlos P. Garcia (who was on his second year of service in the Senate) was elected Vice President of the Philippines. To fill the vacancy, a special election was held separately with Senators whose terms ended in that year:
|1.||Roseller T. Lim||Nacionalista||1,102,979||61.4%|
|3.||Avelino P. Garcia||Independent||4,378||0.2%|
|Total valid votes||1,796,270||100.0%|
|Source: Commission on Elections|
In 2001, Vice President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo succeeded Joseph Estrada after the 2001 EDSA Revolution, leaving the office of the vice president vacant. Arroyo appointed Teofisto Guingona (who was serving his second year as senator) as vice president later that year but prior to the 2001 Senate election. The Commission on Elections ruled that instead of twelve, the electorate will vote for thirteen senators, with the thirteenth-placed candidate serving Guingona's unexpired term of three years. In purposes of term limits, that senator would've deemed to have served a full six-year term.
|1.||Noli de Castro||Puwersa ng Masa1||Independent||16,237,386||55.09%|
|3.||Sergio Osmeña III||PPC||PDP-Laban||11,593,389||39.33%|
|6.||Ramon Magsaysay, Jr.||PPC||Independent||11,250,677||38.17%|
|9.||Edgardo Angara||Puwersa ng Masa||LDP||10,805,177||36.66%|
|10.||Panfilo Lacson||Puwersa ng Masa||LDP||10,535,559||35.74%|
|11.||Loi Estrada||Puwersa ng Masa||Independent||10,524,130||35.71%|
|13.||Gregorio Honasan 2||Puwersa ng Masa||Independent||10,454,527||35.47%|
|14.||Juan Ponce Enrile||Puwersa ng Masa||LDP||9,677,209||32.83%|
|15.||Miriam Defensor Santiago||Puwersa ng Masa||PRP||9,622,742||32.65%|
|16.||Dong Puno||Puwersa ng Masa||LDP||8,701,205||29.52%|
|18.||Orlando Mercado||Puwersa ng Masa||Independent||7,395,092||25.09%|
|22.||Santanina Rasul||Puwersa ng Masa||Independent||5,222,490||17.72%|
|23.||Jamby Madrigal||Puwersa ng Masa||LDP||5,043,043||17.11%|
|26.||Ombra Tamano||Puwersa ng Masa||LDP||3,548,480||12.04%|
|27.||Reuben Canoy||Puwersa ng Masa||LDP||3,542,460||12.02%|
|38.||Eddie Gil||Partido Isang Bansa, Isang Diwa||15,522||0.05%|
|Note: A total of 38 candidates ran for senator.||Source: COMELEC (vote totals), NCSB (turnout)|
Former senator Arturo Tolentino and others sued the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) to set aside the proclamation of the thirteen senators in 2001. In Tolentino vs. COMELEC, the Supreme Court ruled that the commission did not comply with the requirements of R.A. 6645, nor did the commission "give formal notice that it would proclaim as winner the senatorial candidate receiving the 13th highest number of votes in the special election." However, the court ruled that while the commission failed to give notice of the time of the special election, it did not negate the calling of such election, "indispensable to the election's validity." Since R.A. 6645 as amended "charges the voters with knowledge of this statutory notice and COMELEC's failure to give the additional notice did not negate the calling of such special election, much less invalidate it", the court dismissed the petition for lack of merit and allowed the result of the election to stand.
The "thirteenth" senator
There had been four instances in the Fifth Republic where a seat was vacated exactly mid-way through the senator's term due to election to another office. In all cases, the thirteenth-placed senator in the immediately preceding election was not given the former's seat since the vacancy occurred after the election.
- In 1998, senator Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo was elected vice president mid-way through her term,.Arroyo's seat would be up for the 2001 election and no special elections were held, nor was the thirteenth-placed candidate during the 1998 Senate election (Roberto Pagdanganan) proclaimed winner. Later that year, Marcelo Fernan died in office, leaving two vacant seats in the Senate (Fernan's seat would also be up in 2001).
- In 2004, senator Noli de Castro was elected vice president mid-way through his term . De Castro's seat would be up for the 2007 election and no special election was held, nor was the thirteenth-placed candidate during the 2004 Senate election (Robert Barbers) proclaimed winner.
- In 2007, senator Alfredo Lim was elected mayor of Manila mid-way through his term. Lim's seat would be up for the 2010 election and no special election was held, nor was the thirteenth-placed candidate during the 2007 Senate election (Aquilino Pimentel III) proclaimed winner. On August 15, 2011, Pimentel assumed the seat of Juan Miguel Zubiri after allegations of electoral fraud.
- In 2010, senator Benigno Aquino III was elected president mid-way through his term. Aquino's seat would be up for the 2013 election and no special election was held, nor was the thirteenth-placed candidate during the 2010 Senate election (Risa Hontiveros-Baraquel) proclaimed winner.
In all of those cases, the thirteenth-placed candidate was not given the vacant seat as the voters elected for only twelve senators.
Note that this won't be a problem for senators elected prior to 1971, as long as they are elected to a new position prior to the second senate election of their terms (there were two elections for the senate for senators at that time). For senators elected since 1987, their seats will be vacant since there will be no intervening senate elections from the day they gave up their seat up to the expiration of their term.
- "REPUBLIC ACT NO. 6645 - AN ACT PRESCRIBING THE MANNER OF FILING A VACANCY IN THE CONGRESS OF THE PHILIPPINES". Chan Robles Virtual Law Library. 1998-07-19. Retrieved 2010-11-23.
- "AN ACT PROVIDING FOR SYNCHRONIZED NATIONAL AND LOCAL ELECTIONS AND FOR ELECTORAL REFORMS, AUTHORIZING APPROPRIATIONS THEREFOR, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES". The Lawphil Project. Retrieved 2010-11-23.
- "Clam Victory Amid Violence". The Milwaukee Journal. Associated Press. 1951-11-17. Retrieved 2012-12-06.
- "List of Previous Senators". Senate.gov.ph. Retrieved 2012-12-06.
- "ARTURO M. TOLENTINO and ARTURO C. MOJICA, petitioners, vs. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS, SENATOR RALPH G. RECTO and SENATOR GREGORIO B. HONASAN, respondents.". Supreme Court of the Philippines. 2004-01-21. Retrieved 2010-11-25.
- Coronel Ferrer, Miriam (2010-06-17). "Senate facts - Miriam Coronel Ferrer". ABS-CBNNews.com. Retrieved 2010-11-22.
- Online roster of Philippine legislators (House of Representatives)
- Commission on Elections' special elections webpage