Ronald Allan Poe a.k.a. Fernando Poe, Jr., protestant, vs. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, protestee._____________________________________________________________________________
Facts: GMA was proclaimed by the congress as duly elected President of the Philippines. Refusing to concede defeat, the second-placer in the elections, FPJ, filed an election protest before the Presidential Electoral Tribunal. However, the protestant died in the course of his medical treatment at St. Luke’s Hospital. Now, the widow of FPJ, Mrs. Jesusa Sonora Poe submitted a manifestation with urgent petition/motion to intervene as a substitute for deceased protestant FPJ.
Issue: Whether the widow may substitute/intervene for the protestant who died during the pendency of the latter’s protest case.
Ruling: No. The court held in Vda. de De Mesa that while the right to a public office is personal and exclusive to the public officer, an election protest is not purely personal and exclusive to the protestant or to the protestee such that the death of either would oust the court of all authority to continue the protest proceedings. Hence, substitution and intervention is allowed but only by a real party in interest. A real party in interest is the party who would be benefited or injured by the judgment, and the party who is entitled to the avails of the suit. Herein movant/intervenor, Mrs. FPJ, herself denies any claim to the august office of President. Thus, given the circumstances of this case, we can conclude that protestant’s widow is not a real party in interest to this election protest.