The question then is, would taking cognizance of a petition for certiorariquestioning an interlocutory order of the regional trial court in an electoral protest case be considered in aid of the appellate jurisdiction of the COMELEC? The Court finds in the affirmative.
Interpreting the phrase “in aid of its appellate jurisdiction,” the Court held in J.M. Tuason & Co., Inc. v. Jaramillo, et al. that if a case may be appealed to a particular court or judicial tribunal or body, then said court or judicial tribunal or body has jurisdiction to issue the extraordinary writ of certiorari, in aid of its appellate jurisdiction. This was reiterated in De Jesus v. Court of Appeals, where the Court stated that a court may issue a writ of certiorari in aid of its appellate jurisdiction if said court has jurisdiction to review, by appeal or writ of error, the final orders or decisions of the lower court.
Note that Section 8, Rule 14 of the 2010 Rules of Procedure in Election Contests Before the Courts Involving Elective Municipal Officials states that:
Sec. 8. Appeal. – An aggrieved party may appeal the decision to the COMELEC within five (5) days after promulgation, by filing a notice of appeal with the court that rendered the decision, with copy served on the adverse counsel or on the adverse party who is not represented by counsel.
Since it is the COMELEC which has jurisdiction to take cognizance of an appeal from the decision of the regional trial court in election contests involving elective municipal officials, then it is also the COMELEC which has jurisdiction to issue a writ of certiorari in aid of its appellate jurisdiction. Clearly, petitioner erred in invoking this Court’s power to issue said extraordinary writ.