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David v Comelec

David v Comelec

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Republic of the PhilippinesSUPREME COURTBaguio CityEN BANC G.R. No. !"#Ap$il %& ''" A(E) (. *A+,*& in his o-n behalf as Ba$angay Chai$an of Ba$angay ""& /one "& 0aloo1an Cityan2 as P$esi2ent of the (,GA NG MGA BARANGA3 SA P,(,P,NAS& petitione$&  4s.COMM,SS,ON ON E(ECT,ONS& *epa$tent of ,nte$io$ an2 (ocal Go4e$nent& an2 T5E5ONORAB(E SECRETAR3& *epa$tent of Bu2get an2 Manageent& $espon2ents.G.R. No. !%67'Ap$il %& ''"(,GA NG MGA BARANGA3 8UE/ON C,T3 C5APTER& Rep$esente2 by BON,9AC,O M. R,((ON&petitione$&  4s.COMM,SS,ON ON E(ECT,ONS an2 *EPARTMENT O9 BU*GET AN* MANAGEMENT&$espon2ents. PANGAN,BAN& :.;The t-o petitions befo$e us $aise a coon <uestion; 5o- long is the te$ of o=ice of ba$angaychai$en an2 othe$ ba$angay o=icials -ho -e$e electe2 to thei$ $especti4e o=ices on thesecon2 Mon2ay of May ''>? ,s it th$ee yea$s& as p$o4i2e2 by RA "#6 @the (ocal Go4e$nentCo2eo$ 4e yea$s& as containe2 in RA ##"'? Conten2ing that thei$ te$ is 4e yea$s&petitione$s as1 this Cou$t to o$2e$ the cancellation of the sche2ule2 ba$angay election thiscoing May !& ''" an2 to $eset it to the secon2 Mon2ay of May& '''.The Antece2entsG.R. No. !"#,n his capacity as ba$angay chai$an of Ba$angay ""& /one "& 0aloo1an City an2 as p$esi2ent of the (iga ng ga Ba$angay sa Pilipinas& Petitione$ Ale (. *a4i2 le2 on *ecebe$ !& ''# apetition fo$ p$ohibition 2oc1ete2 in this Cou$t as G.R. No. !"#& un2e$ Rule #D of the Rules of Cou$t& to p$ohibit the hol2ing of the ba$angay election sche2ule2 on the secon2 Mon2ay of May''". On :anua$y >& ''"& the Cou$t $esol4e2 to $e<ui$e the $espon2ents to coent on thepetition -ithin a noneten2ible pe$io2 of fteen 2ays en2ing on :anua$y !'& ''".On :anua$y !'& ''"& the Solicito$ Gene$al le2 his fou$page Coent si2ing -ith petitione$an2 p$aying that Fthe election sche2ule2 on May !& ''" be hel2 in abeyance.F Respon2entCoission on Elections le2 a sepa$ate Coent& 2ate2 9eb$ua$y & ''" opposing thepetition. On 9eb$ua$y & ''"& the Cou$t issue2 a Resolution gi4ing 2ue cou$se to the petitionan2 $e<ui$ing the pa$ties to le siultaneous eo$an2a -ithin a noneten2ible pe$io2 of t-enty 2ays f$o notice. ,t also $e<ueste2 fo$e$ Senato$ A<uilino 8. Pientel& :$.  to act asaicus cu$iae an2 to le a eo$an2u also -ithin a noneten2ible pe$io2 of t-enty 2ays. ,tnote2 but 2i2 not g$ant petitione$s U$gent Motion fo$ ,ssuance of Tepo$a$y Rest$aining O$2e$an2Ho$ I$it of P$eliina$y ,nJunction 2ate2 :anua$y 7& ''" @as -ell as his U$gent EPa$teSecon2 Motion to the sae e=ect& 2ate2 Ma$ch #& ''". Acco$2ingly& the pa$ties le2 thei$
 
$especti4e eo$an2a. The Petition fo$ (ea4e to ,nte$4ene le2 on Ma$ch "& ''" by PunongBa$angay Ro2son 9. Mayo$ -as 2enie2 as it -oul2 Just un2uly 2elay the $esolution of the case&his inte$est li1e those of all othe$ ba$angay o=icials being al$ea2y a2e<uately $ep$esente2 byPetitione$ *a4i2 -ho le2 this petition as Fp$esi2ent of the (iga ng ga Ba$angay sa Pilipinas.FG.R. No. !%67'On 9eb$ua$y !6& ''"& Petitione$ (iga ng ga Ba$angay 8ueKon City Chapte$ $ep$esente2 byits p$esi2ent Bonifacio M. Rillon le2 a petition& 2oc1ete2 as G.R. No. !%67'& Fto see1 a Ju2icial $e4ie- by ce$tio$a$i to 2ecla$e as unconstitutional;.Section >7@c of R.A. "#6 -hich $ea2s as follo-s;@cThe te$ of o=ice of ba$angay o=icials an2 ebe$s of the sangguniang 1abataan shallbe fo$ th$ee @7 yea$s& -hich shall begin afte$ the $egula$ election of ba$angay o=icials on thesecon2 Mon2ay of May ''>.!.COME(EC Resolution Nos. !%%6 an2 !%%" ing the 2ate of the hol2ing of the ba$angayelections on May !& ''" an2 othe$ acti4ities $elate2 the$etoL7.The bu2geta$y app$op$iation of P>66 illion containe2 in Republic Act No. %!D6othe$-ise 1no-n as the Gene$al App$op$iations Act of ''" inten2e2 to 2ef$ay the costs an2epenses in hol2ing the ''" ba$angay elections; !Coelec Resolution !%%6& 7 p$oulgate2 on *ecebe$ !"& ''# an2 $efe$$e2 to abo4e& a2opte2a FCalen2a$ of Acti4ities an2 (ist an2 Pe$io2s of Ce$tain P$ohibite2 Acts fo$ the May !& ''"Ba$angay Elections.F On the othe$ han2& Coelec Resolution !%%" p$oulgate2 on 9eb$ua$y D&''" o4e2 ce$tain 2ates e2 in Resolution !%%6. > Acting on the petition& the Cou$t on 9eb$ua$y !D& ''" $e<ui$e2 $espon2ents to subit thei$coent the$eon -ithin a noneten2ible pe$io2 of ten 2ays en2ing on Ma$ch "& ''". TheCou$t fu$the$ $esol4e2 to consoli2ate the t-o cases inasuch as they $aise2 basically the saeissue. Respon2ent Coission le2 its Coent on Ma$ch #& ''" D an2 the Solicito$ Gene$al&in $ep$esentation of the othe$ $espon2ent& le2 his on Ma$ch #& ''". Petitione$s U$gentOnibus Motion fo$ o$al a$guent an2 tepo$a$y $est$aining o$2e$ -as note2 but not g$ante2.The petition -as 2eee2 subitte2 fo$ $esolution by the Cou$t -ithout nee2 of eo$an2a.The ,ssuesBoth petitions though -o$2e2 2i=e$ently $aise the sae ultiate issue; 5o- long is the te$ of o=ice of ba$angay o=icials?Petitione$s # conten2 that un2e$ Sec. ! of Republic Act No. ##D7& app$o4e2 on May #& '%%&F@the te$ of o=ice of ba$angay o=icials shall be fo$ 4e @D yea$s . . .F This is $eite$ate2 inRepublic Act No. ##"'& app$o4e2 on No4ebe$ >& '%%& -hich $eset the ba$angay electionsf$o Fthe secon2 Mon2ay of No4ebe$ '%%F to Ma$ch !%& '%' an2 p$o4i2e2 in Sec.  the$eof that such 4eyea$ te$ shall begin on the F$st 2ay of May '%' an2 en2ing on the thi$ty$st2ay of May ''>.F Petitione$s fu$the$ a4e$ " that although Sec. >7 of RA "#6 $e2uce2 the te$of o=ice of all local electi4e o=icials to th$ee yea$s& such $e2uction 2oes not apply to ba$angayo=icials because @ RA ##"' is a special la- applicable only to ba$angays -hile RA "#6 is agene$al la- -hich applies to all othe$ local go4e$nent unitsL @! RA "#6 2oes not ep$essly o$iplie2ly $epeal RA ##"' insofa$ as the te$ of ba$angay o=icials is conce$ne2L @7 -hile Sec. %of A$ticle ) of the '%" constitution es the te$ of electi4e local o=icials at th$ee yea$s& thesae p$o4ision states that the te$ of ba$angay o=icials Fshall be 2ete$ine2 by la-FL an2 @>thus& it follo-s that the constitutional intention is to g$ant ba$angay o=icials any te$& eceptth$ee yea$sL othe$-ise& Fthe$e -oul2 be no $hye o$ $eason fo$ the f$ae$s of the Constitution
 
to ecept ba$angay o=icials f$o the th$ee yea$ te$ foun2 in Sec. % @of A$ticle ) of theConstitution.F Petitione$s conclu2e @ that the Coission on Elections coitte2 g$a4e abuseof 2isc$etion -hen it p$oulgate2 Resolution Nos. !%%6 an2 !%%" because it Fsubstitute2 itso-n -ill fo$ that of the legislati4e an2 usu$pe2 the Ju2icial function . . . by inte$p$eting theconicting p$o4isions of Sec.  of RA ##"' an2 Sec. >7 @c of RA "#6L an2 @! that theapp$op$iation of P>66 illion in the Gene$al App$op$iation Act of ''" @RA %!D6 to be use2 inthe con2uct of the ba$angay elections on May !& ''" is itself unconstitutional an2 a -aste of public fun2s.The Solicito$ Gene$al ag$ees -ith petitione$s& a$guing that RA ##"' -as not $epeale2 by RA "#6 an2 thus Fhe belie4es that the hol2ing of the ba$angay elections @on the secon2 Mon2ayof May ''" is -ithout su=icient legal basis.FRespon2ent Coission on Elections& th$ough Chai$an Be$na$2o P. Pa$2o& 2efen2s itsassaile2 Resolutions an2 aintains that the $epealing clause of RA "#6 inclu2es Fall la-s&-hethe$ gene$al o$ special& inconsistent& -ith the p$o4isions of the (ocal Go4e$nent Co2e&Fciting this Cou$ts 2ictu in Pa$as 4s. Coelec % that Fthe net $egula$ election in4ol4ing theba$angay o=ice is ba$ely se4en @" onths a-ay& the sae ha4ing been sche2ule2 in May ''".F9u$the$o$e& RA %!D6 @the Gene$al App$op$iations Act fo$ ''" an2 RA %%' @p$o4i2ing fo$ agene$al $egist$ation of 4ote$sboth Fin2icate that Cong$ess consi2e$e2 that the ba$angayelections shall ta1e place in May& ''"& as p$o4i2e2 fo$ in RA "#6& Sec. >7 @c.F ' Besi2es&petitione$s cannot clai a te$ of o$e than th$ee yea$s since they -e$e electe2 un2e$ theaegis of the (ocal Go4e$nent Co2e of '' -hich p$esc$ibes a te$ of only th$ee yea$s.9inally& Respon2ent Coelec 2enies the cha$ge of g$a4e abuse of 2isc$etion stating that theF<uestion p$esente2 . . . is a pu$ely legal one in4ol4ing no ee$cise of an act -ithout o$ in ecessof Ju$is2iction o$ -ith g$a4e abuse of 2isc$etion.F 6 As aicus cu$iae& fo$e$ Senato$ A<uilino 8. Pientel& :$. u$ges the Cou$t to 2eny the petitionsbecause @ the (ocal Autonoy Co2e $epeale2 both RA ##"' an2 ##D7 Fnot only by iplicationbut by 2esign as -ellFL @! the legislati4e intent is to sho$ten the te$ of ba$angay o=icials toth$ee yea$sL @7the ba$angay o=icials shoul2 not ha4e a te$ longe$ than that of thei$a2inist$ati4e supe$io$s& the city an2 unicipal ayo$sL an2 @> ba$angay o=icials a$e estoppe2f$o contesting the applicability of the th$eeyea$ te$ p$o4i2e2 by the (ocal Go4e$nent Co2eas they -e$e electe2 un2e$ the p$o4isions of sai2 Co2e.9$othe fo$egoing 2iscussions of the pa$ties& the Cou$t belie4es that the issues can becon2ense2 intoL th$ee& as follo-s;.Ihich la- go4e$ns the te$ of o=ice of ba$angay o=icial; RA "#6 o$ RA ##"'?!.,s RA "#6 insofa$ as it sho$tene2 such te$ to only th$ee yea$s constitutional?7.A$e petitione$s estoppe2 f$o claiing a te$ othe$ than that p$o4i2e2 un2e$ RA "#6?.The Cou$ts RulingThe petitions a$e 2e4oi2 of e$it.B$ief 5isto$ical Bac1g$oun2 of Ba$angay Elections9o$ a clea$ un2e$stan2ing of the issues& it is necessa$y to 2el4e b$iey into the histo$y of ba$angay elections. An a unit of go4e$nent& the ba$angay ante2ate2 the Spanish con<uest of the Philippines The-o$2 Fba$angayF is 2e$i4e2 f$o the Malay Fbalangay&F a boat -hich t$anspo$te2 the @the

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