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POLITICAL LAW REVIEW

Constitutional commissions
TITLE: Civil Service Commission vs. Department of Budget and Management (Carpio Morales, J.) FACTS: CSC seeks to compel DBM to release the balance of its budget for fiscal year 2002. At the same time, it seeks a determination by this Court of the extent of the constitutional concept of fiscal autonomy. By CSC’s claim, the amount of P215,270,000.00 was appropriated for its Central Office by the General Appropriations Act of 2002, while the total allocations for the same Office, if all sources of funds are considered, amount to P285,660,790.44. It complains, however, that the total fund releases by DBM to its Central Office during the fiscal year 2002 was only P279,853,398.14, thereby leaving an unreleased balance of P5,807,392.30. To CSC, this balance was intentionally withheld by DBM on the basis of its “no report, no release” policy whereby allocations for agencies are withheld pending their submission of the following documents mentioned in the National Budget Circular No. 478 on Guidelines on the Release of the FY 2002 Funds: 1. Annual Cash Program 2. Requests for the Release of Special Allotment Release Order and Notice of Cash Allocation 3. Summary List of Checks Issued and Cancelled 4. Statement of Allotment, Obligations and Balances 5. xxx CSC contends that the application of the “no report, no release” policy upon independent consti bodies of which it is one is a violation of the principle of fiscal autonomy and, therefore, unconstitutional. DBM denies having strictly enforced the policy upon offices vested with fiscal autonomy. It proffers at any rate that the delay in releasing the balance of CSC’s budget was not on account of any failure on CSC’s part to submit the required reports; rather, it was due to a shortfall in revenues. ISSUE: Whether DBM’s act of withholding the subject funds from CSC due to revenue shortfall is constitutional HELD: The “no report, no release” policy may not be validly enforced against offices vested with fiscal autonomy. Such policy cannot be enforced against CSC without violating Art IX (A), Sec 5 of the Consti which provides: Sec. 5. The Commission shall enjoy fiscal autonomy. Their approved appropriations shall be automatically and regularly released. “Automatic release” of approved annual appropriations to CSC, a consti commission which is vested with fiscal autonomy, should thus be construed to mean that no condition to fund releases to it may be imposed. Respecting DBM’s justification for the withholding of funds from CSC as due to a shortfall in revenues, the same does not lie. In the first place, the alleged shortfall is totally unsubstantiated. In the second place, even assuming that there was indeed such a shortfall, that does not justify non-compliance with the mandate of Art IX (A), Sec 5 of the Consti. If DBM’s theory were adopted, then the constitutional mandate to automatically and regularly release approved appropriations would be suspended every year, or even every month that there is a shortfall in revenues, thereby emasculating to a significant degree, if not rendering insignificant altogether, such mandate. Furthermore, the Consti grants the enjoyment of fiscal autonomy only to the Judiciary, the Consti Commissions and the Ombudsman. To hold that CSC may be subjected to withholding or reduction of funds in the event of a revenue shortfall would, to that extent, place CSC and the other entities vested with fiscal autonomy on equal footing with all others which are not granted the same autonomy, thereby reducing to naught the distinction established by the Consti. The agencies which the Consti has vested with fiscal autonomy should thus be given priority in the release of their approved appropriations over all other agencies not similarly vested when there is a revenue shortfall. Finally, CSC’s claim that its budget may not be reduced by Congress lower than that of the previous fiscal year, as is the case of the Judiciary, must be rejected. For with respect to the Judiciary, Art. VIII, Sec 3 of the Consti explicitly provides: Section 3. The Judiciary shall enjoy fiscal autonomy. Appropriations for the Judiciary may not be reduced by the legislature below the amount appropriated for the previous year and, after approval, shall be automatically and regularly released. On the other hand, in the parallel provision granting fiscal autonomy to Consti Commissions, a similar proscription against the reduction of appropriations below the amount for the previous year is clearly absent. The plain implication of the omission is that Congress is not prohibited from reducing the appropriations of Consti Commissions below the amount appropriated for them for the previous year.

TITLE: CHREA vs. CHR, (GR No. 155336, 7/21/2006); J. Chico-Nazario FACTS: In the General Appropriations Act of 1998 (RA 8522), Congress authorized the Constitutional Commissions enjoying fiscal autonomy to formulate and implement organizational structures, and to fix and determine the salaries of their personnel. Based on said RA No. 8522, the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) proposed through a resolution the creation of ten new plantilla positions, the upgrading or raising of salary of some positions and the reclassification of certain positions. The CHR submitted its proposal to the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) for approval. DBM Secretary, Benjamin Diokno however disapproved the proposal. Diokno reasoned that the reclassification scheme elevated field units to regional offices without actual changes in functions. On the strength of DBM’S disapproval, the Civil Service Commission (CSC)–Regional Office rejected CHR’s proposed upgrading and reclassification scheme. However, the CSC–Central Office reversed the decision of its Regional Office, and approved the CHR’s proposal. It reasoned that CHR enjoys fiscal autonomy just like other Constitutional Commissions, and as such its upgrading or reclassification scheme need not first be approved by the DBM. CHR’s Employees’ Association (CHREA) filed a petition against the said decision. CHREA is a group that consists of rank and file employees who stand to be prejudiced by the upgrading scheme. They claimed that the scheme benefited only a few employees in the upper level positions and if approved would eat a big share in CHR’s Budget that should otherwise belong to them. Their main argument for the scheme’s disapproval is that under the Salary Standardization Law, only the DBM has the authority to evaluate and approve matters of reclassification, upgrading and creation of positions. In 2004, the SC rendered a decision declaring that the CHR does not enjoy fiscal autonomy and thus, any upgrading or reclassification of its positions needs prior approval by the DBM. The CHR filed a Motion for Reconsideration against the said SC decision. ISSUES AND DECISION: (1) Does the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) enjoy fiscal autonomy? No. The SC ruled that the CHR, unlike the three Constitutional Commissions, does not enjoy fiscal autonomy. The SC said that only the following departments or offices enjoy fiscal autonomy as mandated by the Constitution: the Constitutional Commissions, the Office of the Ombudsman, and the Judiciary. The bases

AQUINO.BANGI.BAYOT.CAEG.DE GUZMAN.EBORA.GAVINO.GOZOS.HERNANDEZ.HERRERA.HIZON.ISIDRO.LAGRAMADA.LASALA.MAGRATA. MAGPANTAY.MALAMUG.MIOLE.PABLO.PACETE.POSTRADO.RAMOS.TOLENTINO.VILLANO.YAP.YU 2010-2011

POLITICAL LAW REVIEW

Constitutional commissions
are in the Constitutional provisions themselves. In all of the said departments and commissions, there is a provision declaring: “The Commission/Judiciary/Office of the Ombudsman shall enjoy fiscal autonomy. Their approved annual appropriations shall be automatically and regularly released.*” As to the CHR, there is no express provision stating that it shall enjoy fiscal autonomy. Instead, Art. XIII, Sec. 7 merely states that “The approved annual appropriation of the Commission (on Human Rights) shall be automatically and regularly released.” The SC said that the omission of the statement vesting fiscal autonomy to the CHR is an express proof that the CHR does not enjoy fiscal autonomy. So, although the CHR was created by the Constitution in Art. XIII, it does not enjoy fiscal autonomy unlike the three Constitutional Commissions (the Comelec, CSC and COA) created in Art. IX, and specifically given fiscal autonomy in Sec. 5. The SC ruled that the CHR has limited fiscal autonomy in the sense that its autonomy is limited to automatic and regular release of its approved annual appropriations. (2) Is CHR’s upgrading and reclassification scheme subject to review by the DBM? Yes. Under the Salary Standardization Law, all upgrading and reclassification of government offices need prior approval of the DBM. Even the reorganization of the Judiciary required the prior approval of the DBM despite the fact that it enjoyed fiscal autonomy. More so the CHR, since as previously stated, it does not enjoy fiscal autonomy. As to the privilege granted to the other Constitutional Commissions by RA 8522 to reorganize without prior DBM approval, the CHR cannot invoke the said privilege. The reason is only the three Constitutional Commissions created in Art. IX has fiscal autonomy. * Art. IX, Sec. 5; Art. VIII, Sec. 3 and Art. XI, Sec. 14. HELD: The term of office of the Chairman and members of the Civil Service Commission is prescribed in the 1987 Constitution, as follows: “Section 1 (2). The Chairman and the Commissioners shall be appointed by the President with the consent of the Commission on Appointments for a term of seven years without reappointment. Of those first appointed, the Chairman shall hold office for seven years, a Commissioner for five years, and another Commissioner for three years, without reappointment. Appointment to any vacancy shall be only for the unexpired term of the predecessor. In no case shall any Member be appointed or designated in a temporary or acting capacity.” It was held in Republic vs. Imperial that the terms of the first three (3) Commissioners should start on a common date, irrespective of the variations in the dates of appointments and qualifications of the appointees, in order that the expiration of the first terms of seven, five and three years should lead to the regular recurrence of the two-year interval between the expiration of the terms. Applying the foregoing conditions to the case at bar, the appropriate starting point of the terms of office of the first appointees to the Constitutional Commissions under the 1987 Constitution must be on February 02, 1987, the date of the adoption of the 1987 Constitution. Given the foregoing common starting point, the history of the line of succession, terms of office and tenure of the Chairman and members of the Civil Service Commission shows that the term of office of Ms. Thelma P. Gaminde as Commissioner, Civil Service Commission, under an appointment extended to her by Pres. Ramos on June 11, 1993, expired on February 02, 1999. However, she served as de facto officer in good faith until February 02, 2000, and thus entitled to receive her salary and other emoluments for actual service rendered. Consequently, the Commission on Audit erred in disallowing in audit such salary and other emoluments, including that of her co-terminous staff. NOTE: In the law of public officers, there is a settled distinction between “term” and “tenure.” “[T]he term of an office must be distinguished from the tenure of the incumbent. The term means the time during which the officer may claim to hold office as of right, and fixes the interval after which the several incumbents shall succeed one another. The tenure represents the term during which the incumbent actually holds the office. The term of office is not affected by the hold-over. The tenure may be shorter than the term for reasons within or beyond the power of the incumbent.”

TITLE: GAMINDE VS COMMISSION ON AUDIT FACTS: The President appointed petitioner Gaminde, ad interim, Commissioner, Civil Service Commission. According to her appointment paper her term expires on February 2,1999. However, petitioner sought clarification from the Office of the President as to the expiry date of her term of office. In reply, the Chief Presidential Legal Counsel, in a letter opined that petitioner’s term of office would expire on February 02, 2000, not on February 02, 1999. Relying on said advisory opinion, petitioner remained in office after February 02, 1999. Chairman De Leon, questioned her stay. COA, issued an opinion that “the term of Commissioner Gaminde has already expired. Consequently, a notice of disallowance No. 99-002-101 (99) was made, disallowing in audit the salaries and emoluments pertaining to petitioner and her co-terminous staff, effective February 02, 1999. On April 5, 1999, petitioner appealed the disallowance to the Commission on Audit en banc and was dismissed. Hence, this petition. ISSUE: Whether the term of office of Atty. Gaminde already prescribed.

TITLE: Estrella vs. Comelec FACTS: Romeo M. Estrella (petitioner) and Rolando F. Salvador (respondent) were mayoralty candidates in Baliuag, Bulacan during the May 14, 2001 Elections. The Municipal Board of Canvassers proclaimed

AQUINO.BANGI.BAYOT.CAEG.DE GUZMAN.EBORA.GAVINO.GOZOS.HERNANDEZ.HERRERA.HIZON.ISIDRO.LAGRAMADA.LASALA.MAGRATA. MAGPANTAY.MALAMUG.MIOLE.PABLO.PACETE.POSTRADO.RAMOS.TOLENTINO.VILLANO.YAP.YU 2010-2011

POLITICAL LAW REVIEW

Constitutional commissions
respondent as winner. Petitioner thereafter filed before the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Bulacan an election protest. the RTC annulled respondent’s proclamation and declared petitioner as the duly elected mayor of Baliuag. Respondent appealed the RTC decision to the COMELEC and was raffled to its second division. A motion of execution was granted pending appeal. Respondent assailed the order of the RTC via certiorari to the COMELEC which was also raffled to the second division. Commissioner Lantion inhibited himself and was replaced by Commissioner Borra. The COMELEC second division nullified the writ of execution. Respondent filed before the COMELEC Second Division a very urgent motion to consider the instant case certified to the Commission en banc. The COMELEC en banc ruled in favor of the respondent. Commissioner Lantion participated in the en banc decision. Of the 5 Commissioners, Borra dissented. Petitioner argues that Commissioner Lantion’s vote in the assailed order should be disregarded because of his previous inhibition in a similar case and in the same case in the Division level, thus making said assailed order null and void as it was not concurred by the required majority. ISSUE: WON Lantion should be allowed to participate in the COMELEC en banc HELD: Commissioner Lantion’s voluntary piecemeal inhibition cannot be countenanced. Nowhere in the COMELEC Rules does it allow a Commissioner to voluntarily inhibit with reservation. To allow him to participate in the En Banc proceedings when he previously inhibited himself in the Division is, absent any satisfactory justification, not only judicially unethical but legally improper and absurd. Since Commissioner Lantion could not participate and vote in the issuance of the questioned order, thus leaving three (3) members concurring therewith, the necessary votes of four (4) or majority of the members of the COMELEC was not attained. The order thus failed to comply with the number of votes necessary for the pronouncement of a decision or order, as required under Rule 3, Section 5(a) of the COMELEC Rules of Procedure which provides: Section 5. Quorum; Votes Required. – (a) When sitting en banc, four (4) Members of the Commission shall constitute a quorum for the purpose of transacting business. The concurrence of a majority of the Members of the Commission shall be necessary for the pronouncement of a decision, resolution, order or ruling. In the case at bar, following the clear provision of the Constitution, counting out Commissioner Lantion’s vote from the questioned COMELEC En Banc resolution would leave just three (3) votes out of “all” seven (7) members of the COMELEC. this Court hereby abandons the doctrine laid down in Cua and holds that the COMELEC En Banc shall decide a case or matter brought before it by a majority vote of “all its members,” and NOT majority of the members who deliberated and voted thereon. Sa CUA case pinayagan cinount na majority yung 3 votes TITLE: Alvarez vs.COMELEC and La Rainne Abad-Sarmiento (J. Quisumbing) FACTS: Petitioner was proclaimed duly elected Punong Barangay of Doña Aurora, Quezon City. He received 590 votes while his opponent, private respondent Abad-Sarmiento, obtained 585 votes. Private respondent filed an election protest claiming irregularities, i.e. misreading and misappreciation of ballots by the Board of Election Inspectors. After petitioner answered and the issues were joined, the MTC ordered the reopening and recounting of the ballots in ten contested precincts. It subsequently rendered its decision that private respondent won the election. She garnered 596 votes while petitioner got 550 votes after the recount. On appeal, the Second Division of the COMELEC ruled that private respondent won over petitioner. Private respondent, meanwhile, filed a Motion for Execution pending appeal which petitioner opposed. Both petitioner's Motion for Reconsideration and private respondent's Motion for Execution pending appeal were submitted for resolution. The COMELEC En Banc denied the Motion for Reconsideration and affirmed the decision of the Second Division. It granted the Motion for Execution pending appeal. Petitioner brought before the Court this petition for Certiorari alleging grave abuse of discretion on the part of the COMELEC when:(1) it did not preferentially dispose of the case;(2) it prematurely acted on the Motion for Execution pending appeal; and (3) it misinterpreted the Constitutional provision that "decisions, final orders, or rulings of the Commission on Election contests involving municipal and barangay officials shall be final, executory and not appealable". (Issues nos. 2 and 3 are not in point, so disregard them.) On the first issue, petitioner avers that the Commission violated its mandate on "preferential disposition of election contests" as mandated by Section 3, Article IX-C, 1987 Constitution as well as Section 257, Omnibus Election Code that the COMELEC shall decide all election cases brought before it within ninety days from the date of submission. He points out that the case was ordered submitted for resolution on November 15, 1999 but the COMELEC En Banc promulgated its resolution only on April 4, 2000, four months and four days after November 14, 1999. ISSUE: Did the COMELEC violate its mandate on “preferential disposition of election contests”? HELD: The Court is not unaware of the Constitutional provision cited by petitioner. It agrees with him that election cases must be resolved justly, expeditiously and inexpensively. It is also not unaware of the requirement of Section 257 of the Omnibus Election Code that election cases brought before the Commission shall be decided within ninety days from the date of submission for decision. The records show that petitioner contested the results of ten (10) election precincts involving scrutiny of affirmation, reversal, validity, invalidity, legibility, misspelling, authenticity, and other irregularities in these ballots. The COMELEC has numerous cases before it where attention to minutiae is critical. Considering further the tribunal's manpower and logistic limitations, it is sensible to treat the procedural requirements on deadlines realistically. Overly strict adherence to deadlines might induce the Commission to resolve election contests hurriedly by reason of lack of material time. In our view this is not what the framers of the Code had intended since a very strict construction might allow procedural flaws to subvert the will of the electorate and would amount to disenfranchisement of voters in numerous cases.

AQUINO.BANGI.BAYOT.CAEG.DE GUZMAN.EBORA.GAVINO.GOZOS.HERNANDEZ.HERRERA.HIZON.ISIDRO.LAGRAMADA.LASALA.MAGRATA. MAGPANTAY.MALAMUG.MIOLE.PABLO.PACETE.POSTRADO.RAMOS.TOLENTINO.VILLANO.YAP.YU 2010-2011

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Constitutional commissions
Petitioner avers the COMELEC abused its discretion when it failed to treat the case preferentially. Petitioner misreads the provision in Section 258 of the Omnibus Election Code. It will be noted that the "preferential disposition" applies to cases before the courts and not those before the COMELEC, as a faithful reading of the section will readily show. Further, it is noted that petitioner raises the alleged delay of the COMELEC for the first time. As private respondent pointed out, petitioner did not raise the issue before the COMELEC when the case was pending before it. In fact, private respondent points out that it was she who filed a Motion for Early Resolution of the case when it was before the COMELEC. The active participation of a party coupled with his failure to object to the jurisdiction of the court or quasi-judicial body where the action is pending, is tantamount to an invocation of that jurisdiction and a willingness to abide by the resolution of the case and will bar said party from later impugning the court or the body's jurisdiction. On the matter of the assailed resolution, therefore, the Court finds no grave abuse of discretion on this score by the COMELEC. the position to which they may be appointed. Thus, a career executive service officer may be transferred or reassigned from one position to another without losing his rank which follows him wherever he is transferred or reassigned. In fact, a CESO suffers no diminution of salary even if assigned to a CES position with lower salary grade, as he is compensated according to his CES rank and not on the basis of the position or office he occupies. There is no question that respondent Roco, though a CES eligible, does not possess the appropriate CES rank, which is - CES rank level V, for the position of Regional Director of the LTO (Region V). Falling short of one of the qualifications that would complete his membership in the CES, respondent cannot successfully interpose violation of security of tenure. Accordingly, he could be validly reassigned to other positions in the career executive service. Respondent capitalizes on the fact that petitioner Luis Mario M. General is not a CES eligible. The absence, however, of such CES eligibility is of no moment. , the law allows appointment of those who are not CES eligible, subject to the obtention of said eligibility, in the same manner that the appointment of respondent who does not possess the required CES rank (CES rank level V) for the position of Regional Director of the LTO, is permitted in a temporary capacity.

TITLE: General vs. Roco FACTS: Ramon S. Roco was appointed by Fidel V. Ramos on August 26, 1996 as Regional Director of the Land Transportation Office (LTO) in Region V, a position equivalent to CES rank level V. At the time of respondent’s appointment, he was not a CES eligible. However, during his incumbency, or on August 13, 1999, he was conferred CES eligibility by the Career Executive Service Board. On September 7, 1999, petitioner Luis Mario General, who is not a CES eligible, was appointed by President Estrada as Regional Director of the LTO in Region V. Aggrieved, respondent Roco filed before the CA a petition for quo warranto with prayer for the issuance of a writ of preliminary injunction and/or temporary restraining order. On March 10, 2000, the Court of Appeals rendered a decision affirming the appointment of respondent Roco to the Office of Regional Director of the LTO, Region V, and nullified the appointment of petitioner General and ordered him to vacate the post in favor of Roco. The respondent’s argument is that a career executive service (CES) eligibility is all that an employee needs to acquire security of tenure in the service; and that appointment to a CES rank is not necessary for the acquisition of such security of tenure. On the other hand, petitioners in, claim that CES eligibility alone will not suffice. Petitioners contended that unless and until an employee in the career executive service is appointed to the appropriate CES rank, he acquires no security of tenure. ISSUE: WON Roco has acquired security of tenure HELD: No. Section 27 (1), of the Civil Service Law (Subtitle A, Tittle I, Book V of E.O. No. 292), provides that two requisites must concur in order that an employee in the career executive service may attain security of tenure, to wit: a) CES eligibility; and b) Appointment to the appropriate CES rank. In addition, it must be stressed that the security of tenure of employees in the career executive service (except first and second-level employees in the civil service), pertains only to rank and not to the office or to

TITLE: UNIVERSITY OF THE PHILIPPINES and ALFREDO DE TORRES VS. CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION PANGANIBAN, J.: FACTS: Dr. Alfredo B. De Torres is a Professor of the UPLB who went on a vacation leave of absence without pay from September 1, 1986 to August 30, 1989. During this period, he served as the Philippine Government official representative to the Centre on Integrated Rural Development for Asia and [the] Pacific (CIRDAP).When the term of his leave of absence was about to expire, CIRDAP requested the UPLB for an extension of said leave, but was denied. He was advised to report for duty and that if he failed to report within 30 days he would be dropped from the rolls of personnel. Dr. De Torres did not report to work. After almost five years of absence without leave, Dr. De Torres wrote the Chancellor of UPLB that he was reporting back to duty. However De Torres was informed that in the absence of any approved application for leave of absence, he was considered to be on AWOL. Thus, he was advised to re-apply with UPLB. Dr. De Torres then sought for reconsideration with regard to said decision. Chancellor Villareal reversed his earlier stand and notified De Torres that since records at UPLB did not show that he had been officially dropped from the rolls he may report for duty. Members of Academic Personnel Committee, ACCI-UPLB, requested the Civil Service Commission regarding the employment status of Dr. De Torres. The Commission issued CSC Resolution No. 95-3045 stating that De Torres was already on AWOL beginning September 1, 1989 since his request for extension of leave of absence for one year was denied. De Torres' absence from work was not duly authorized by UPLB. Despite the advice of Chancellor De Guzman to him that he should report for duty on or before September 5, 1989, De Torres failed to do so. Thus, his failure to assume duty as ordered caused his automatic separation from the service. The CA upheld the decision of the CSC. ISSUE: WON the automatic separation of Dr. Alfredo de Torres from the civil service due to his prolonged absence without official leave is valid.

HELD: The CSC predicated its ruling on Section 33, Rule XVI of the Revised Civil Service Rules, which was in effect at the time. The provision states:

AQUINO.BANGI.BAYOT.CAEG.DE GUZMAN.EBORA.GAVINO.GOZOS.HERNANDEZ.HERRERA.HIZON.ISIDRO.LAGRAMADA.LASALA.MAGRATA. MAGPANTAY.MALAMUG.MIOLE.PABLO.PACETE.POSTRADO.RAMOS.TOLENTINO.VILLANO.YAP.YU 2010-2011

POLITICAL LAW REVIEW

Constitutional commissions
"Under no circumstances shall leave without pay be granted for more than one year. If an employee who is on leave without pay for any reason fails to return to duty at the expiration of one year from the effective date of such leave, he shall be considered automatically separated from the service; Provided, that he shall, within a reasonable time before the expiration of his one year leave of absence without pay, be notified in writing of the expiration thereof with a warning that if he fails to report for duty on said date, he will be dropped from the service." UPLB Chancellor had advised petitioner of the possibility of being dropped from the service, if he failed to return and report for duty. This action constituted sufficient notice. The pivotal issue herein, however, is whether petitioner was indeed dropped from the service by the University. In the case at bar, however, Petitioner De Torres was never actually dropped from the service by UP. He remained in the UPLB's roll of academic personnel, even after he had been warned of the possibility of being dropped from the service if he failed to return to work within a stated period. UPLB records show that no notice or order of dropping Dr. de Torres from the rolls was ever issued by the UPLB Chancellor. On the contrary, UPLB records show Private petitioner was not only retained in the roll of personnel; his salary was even increased three times. Moreover, he was promoted in rank with the explicit approval of the Board of Regents, the highest governing body of UP. All these circumstances indubitably demonstrate that the University has chosen not to exercise its prerogative of dismissing petitioner from its employ. Thus, we hold that by opting to retain private petitioner and even promoting him despite his absence without leave, the University was exercising its freedom to choose who may teach or, more precisely, who may continue to teach in its faculty. Even in the light of the provision of the Revised Civil Service Law, the Respondent CSC had no authority to dictate to UP the outright dismissal of its personnel. The former could not have done so without trampling upon the latter's constitutionally enshrined academic freedom. Moreover, in Chang v. Civil Service Commission, the Court stressed that "the CSC is not a co-manager, or surrogate administrator of government offices and agencies. Its functions and authority are limited to approving or reviewing appointments to determine their concordance with the requirements of the Civil Service Law." In short, on its own, the CSC does not have the power to terminate employment or to drop workers from the rolls. Consequently, there is no need for the issuance of a new appointment in favor of Dr. De Torres. His service in UP is deemed uninterrupted during his tenure at CIRDAP. MSPB was silent on the award of back salaries. Petitioner, through counsel, he wrote to PRC Chairman Hermogenes Pobre requesting not only reinstatement but payment of back salaries as well. Petitioner was eventually reinstated on July 17, 1995. However, his claim for backwages was in effect denied by Chairman Pobre in a Letter to petitioner dated November 28, 1995 allegedly for lack of legal basis. Hence, this Motion for Clarificatory Relief. ISSUE: Whether or not Del Castillo, who is exonerated in the administrative case and later ordered reinstated, is entitled to backwages and other monetary benefits from the time of his preventive suspension up to the time of his actual reinstatement. HELD: It is already settled in this jurisdiction that a government official or employee is entitled to backwages not only if he is exonerated in the administrative case but also when the suspension is unjustified. When an official or employee was illegally dismissed and his reinstatement has later been ordered, for all legal purposes he is considered as not having left his office. Therefore, he is entitled to all the rights and privileges that accrue to him by virtue of the office he held Having been exonerated of the charges against him, petitioner should clearly be awarded back salaries, the silence of the MSPB's decision notwithstanding. A judgment is not confined to what appears upon the face of the decision, but also those necessarily included therein or necessary thereto. The sufficiency and efficacy of a judgment must be tested by its substance rather than its form. In construing a judgment, its legal effects including such effects that necessarily follow because of legal implications, rather than the language used, govern. Also, its meaning, operation, and consequences must be ascertained like any other written instrument. Petitioner's motion for clarificatory relief is GRANTED.

TITLE: Philippine National Bank vs. Garcia Jr. Panganiban FACTS: This is a Petition fo Review under Rule 45. Private Respondent Ricardo Garcia Jr. was a check processor and cash representative of the PNB Buendia Branch. He was charged by the latter with Gross Negligence for the lost of the amount of Seven Million Pesos on August 5, 19994. The PNB-Administrative Adjudication Office found Private Respondent guilty of the administrative charge against him and was meted with a forced resignation without prejudice to any liability the court may fin against him. Private respondent moved for reconsideration but to no avail thereby necessitating him to appeal with the Publi Respondent. Petitioner was thereafter privatized pursuant to EO no.80. Public Respondent issued resolution No. 967612 granting private respondent’s appeal after finding that the evidence on record failed to establish neglect of duty on the part of private respondent. PNB appealed the decision of the public respondent exonerating the private respondent.

TITLE: Del Castillo vs. CSC, G.R. No. 112513 Kapunan, J.: FACTS: On August 1, 1990, petitioner, an employee of the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC), was placed under preventive suspension by the PRC for "grave misconduct" and "conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service." After due investigation, petitioner was found guilty of grave misconduct and was dismissed from the service with forfeiture of all benefits. On appeal to the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB), Del Castillo was exonerated the charge. On appeal by the PRC, however, the Civil Service Commission (CSC) found petitioner guilty of grave misconduct, and imposed upon him the penalty of dismissal. Petitioner's MR was denied. Petitioner filed with the Court a petition for certiorari which reinstated the decision of the MSPB. However, the decision of the

AQUINO.BANGI.BAYOT.CAEG.DE GUZMAN.EBORA.GAVINO.GOZOS.HERNANDEZ.HERRERA.HIZON.ISIDRO.LAGRAMADA.LASALA.MAGRATA. MAGPANTAY.MALAMUG.MIOLE.PABLO.PACETE.POSTRADO.RAMOS.TOLENTINO.VILLANO.YAP.YU 2010-2011

POLITICAL LAW REVIEW

Constitutional commissions
ISSUE: Whether or not PNB can appeal the decision exonerating the Private Respondent of the administrative case against him. HELD: Yes, the right to appeal is not anatural right or a part of due process, but a mere statutory privilege that may be exercised only in the manner prescribed by law. Under PD 807, the Civil Service Commission has jurisdiction over appeals of administrative disciplinary cases, in which penalty imposed is suspension for more than 30 days; a fine exceeding 30 days’ salary ; a demotionin rank or salary; or, transfer, removal, or dismissal from office. This should be read hand in hand with section 39 of the same law which provides: Section 39. Appeals. Appeals, where allowable, shall be made by the party adversely affected by the decision within fifteen days from receipt of the decision unless a petition for reconsideration is seasonably filed, which petition shall be decided within fifteen days. Notice of the appeal shall be filed with the disciplining office, which shall forward the records of the case, together with the notice of appeal, to the appellate authority within fifteen days from filing of the notice of appeal, with its comment, if any. The notice of appeal shall specifically state the date of the decision appealed from and the date of receipt thereof. It shall also specifically set forth clearly the grounds relied upon for excepting from the decision. In Mendez vs. CSC, the CA construed the phrase “party adverse;y affected” in the above-quoted provision to refer solely to the public officer or employee who was administratively charged, hence appeal may be availed of only in a case where the respondent is found guilty. The court however overturned this interpretation in Mendez case in the case of CSC vs. Dacoycoy, saying that what the law declared to be final were only those decisions of heads of agencies involving suspensions of not more than 30 days or fines not exceeding 30 days’ salary. These decisions involved minor and petty offenses and to allow multiple appeals in those would overburden the quasi-judicial machinery. Nothing in the provision indicates a legislative intent to bar appeals from decisions exonerating a government official or an employee from an administrative charge. Administrative cases do not partake the nature of criminal actions in chich acquittals are final and unappealable based on proscription of double jeopardy. nominees. Meanwhile, reacting to the emerging public perception that the individuals behind the aforementioned 14 party-list groups do not, as they should, actually represent the poor and marginalized sectors, petitioner Rosales, in G.R. No. 177314, addressed 2 letters to Director Alioden Dalaig of the COMELEC’s Law Department requesting a list of the 14 groups’ nominees. Neither the COMELEC Proper nor its Law Department officially responded to petitioner Rosales’ requests. Evidently unbeknownst then to Ms. Rosales, et al., was the issuance of COMELEC en banc Resolution 0707249 under date April 3, 2007 virtually declaring the nominees’ names confidential and in net effect denying petitioner Rosales’ basic disclosure request. Finally, COMELEC Chairman Abalos Sr. said he and other five COMELEC Commissioners believe that the party list elections must not be personality oriented. Abalos also stated that the people are to vote for sectoral parties, organizations, or coalitions, not for their nominees. He said that there is nothing in R.A. 7941 that requires the COMELEC to disclose the names of nominees. ISSUE: 1. Whether respondent COMELEC is mandated by the Constitution to disclose to the public the names of said nominees. HELD: 1. Yes. In all, we agree with the petitioners that respondent COMELEC has a constitutional duty to disclose and release the names of the nominees of the party-list groups named in the herein petitions As may be noted, no national security or like concerns is involved in the disclosure of the names of the nominees of the party-list groups in question. Doubtless, the COMELEC committed grave abuse of discretion in refusing the legitimate demands of the petitioners for a list of the nominees of the party-list groups subject of their respective petitions. The last sentence of Section 7 of R.A. 7941 reading: "[T]he names of the party-list nominees shall not be shown on the certified list" is certainly not a justifying card for the COMELEC to deny the requested disclosure. To us, the prohibition imposed on the COMELEC under said Section 7 is limited in scope and duration, meaning, that it extends only to the certified list which the same provision requires to be posted in the polling places on election day. To stretch the coverage of the prohibition to the absolute is to read into the law something that is not intended. As it were, there is absolutely nothing in R.A. No. 7941 that prohibits the COMELEC from disclosing or even publishing through mediums other than the "Certified List" the names of the party-list nominees. The COMELEC obviously misread the limited non-disclosure aspect of the provision as an absolute bar to public disclosure before the May 2007 elections. The interpretation thus given by the COMELEC virtually tacks an unconstitutional dimension on the last sentence of Section 7 of R.A. No. 7941.

TITLE: BANTAY REPUBLIC ACT or BA-RA 7941 vs. COMELEC (GARCIA, J.) Facts: On January 12, 2007, the COMELEC issued Resolution No. 7804 prescribing rules and regulations to govern the filing of manifestation of intent to participate and submission of names of nominees under the party-list system of representation in connection with the May 14, 2007 elections. Pursuant thereto, a number of organized groups filed the necessary manifestations. Among these – and ostensibly subsequently accredited by the COMELEC to participate in the 2007 elections - are 14 party-list groups, namely: (1) BABAE KA; (2) ANG KASANGGA; (3) AKBAY PINOY; (4) AKSA; (5) KAKUSA; (6) AHON PINOY; (7) OFW PARTY; (8) BIYAHENG PINOY; (9) ANAD; (10) AANGAT ANG KABUHAYAN; (11) AGBIAG; (12) BANAT; (13) BANTAY LIPAD; (14) AGING PINOY. Subsequent events saw BA-RA 7941 and UP-LR filing with the COMELEC an Urgent Petition to Disqualify, thereunder seeking to disqualify the nominees of certain party-list organizations. Both petitioners appear not to have the names of the nominees sought to be disqualified since they still asked for a copy of the list of

AQUINO.BANGI.BAYOT.CAEG.DE GUZMAN.EBORA.GAVINO.GOZOS.HERNANDEZ.HERRERA.HIZON.ISIDRO.LAGRAMADA.LASALA.MAGRATA. MAGPANTAY.MALAMUG.MIOLE.PABLO.PACETE.POSTRADO.RAMOS.TOLENTINO.VILLANO.YAP.YU 2010-2011

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The COMELEC’s reasoning that a party-list election is not an election of personalities is valid to a point. It cannot be taken, however, to justify its assailed non-disclosure stance which comes, as it were, with a weighty presumption of invalidity, impinging, as it does, on a fundamental right to information. While the vote cast in a party-list elections is a vote for a party, such vote, in the end, would be a vote for its nominees, who, in appropriate cases, would eventually sit in the House of Representatives. MeTC Judge. Equity dictates that he should no longer be allowed to receive further gratuity for said years of service in the guise of separation pay. Rewards – are given to an employee who has given up the best years of his life to the service of his country. (GSIS v. CSC). ‘Common sense consideration’ stated by Justice J.B.L. Reyes, in Espejo v. Auditor General, that if a retiree is being credited with his years of service under his 1st retirement in computing his gratuity under his 2nd retirement, it is but just that the retirement gratuity received by him under his 1st retirement should also be charged to his account. It is in accordance with the rule consistently enunciated by the Court (Anciano v. Otadoy and Borromeo v. GSIS) that the claims for double retirement or pension such as Santos’ would run roughshod over the well-settled rule that in the absence of an express legal exception, pension and gratuity laws should be so construed as to preclude any person from receiving double pension. Sec. 11 of R.A. 7924, which awards separation pay to those govt. employees who were displaced by the reorganization of MMA into the MMDA, should be construed to preclude govt. employee from receiving double gratuity for the same years of service.

TITLE:

SANTOS v. CA 22 November 2000 | Davide, Jr., C. J.;

FACTS: Antonio Santos was appointed judge of the MeTC of Quezon City. He optionally retired from the Judiciary under R.A. 910, and received his retirement gratuity under the law for his entire years in the govt. service; and 5 years thereafter he has been regularly receiving a monthly pension. Santos re-entered the govt. service and was appointed Director III of the Traffic Operation Center of the Metropolitan Manila Authority (MMA). Congress enacted R.A. 7924 which reorganized the MMA and renamed it as Metropolitan Manila Devt. Authority (MMDA). MMDA issued Resolution No. 16, which authorized the payment of separation benefits to the officials and employees of the former MMA who would be separated as a result of the implementation of R.A. 7924. MMDA issued a Memorandum to Santos informing him that in view of his voluntary option to be separated from the service, his services would automatically cease effective at the close of office hours on 15 Sept. 1996, and that he would be entitled to separation benefits equivalent to 1 ¼ monthly salary for every year of service as provided under Sec. 11 of the MMDA Law. Santos submitted to CSC-NCR a position paper wherein he asserted that since the retirement gratuity he received under R.A 910 is not an additional or double compensation, all the years of his govt. service, including those years in the Judiciary, should be credited in the computation of his separation benefits under R.A 7924. Director IV Acebedo of CSC-NCR, in his opinion, stated that while an employee who was paid separation/retirement benefits is not required to refund the same once re-employed in the govt. service, for reason of equity however, it would be proper and logical that said separation/retirements benefits should nevertheless be deducted from the retirement/separation pay to be received by the employee concerned. CSC promulgated a Resolution affirming the opinion of Dir. Acebedo. In Chaves v. Mathay, it held that petitioner cannot be paid retirement benefits twice – one under R.A. 910 and another under R.A. 7924 – for the same services he rendered as MeTC Judge. He can only exercise one of the 2 options in the computation of his separation pay under R.A. 7924: (1) to refund the gratuity he received under R.A. 910 after he retired from the MeTC and get the full separation pay for his entire years in the govt., that is 9 years and 2 mos. with the MeTC plus 2 years and 8 mos. for his services as Dir. III in the defunct MMA, at the rate of 1 ¼ monthly salary for every year of service pursuant to MMDA Memorandum; or (2) to retain the gratuity pay he received for his services as MeTC Judge but an equivalent amount shall be deducted from the separation benefits due from the former MMA for his entire govt. service. CSC denied Santos’ MR. Santos appealed. CA held that CSC was correct in dismissing Santos’ appeal from the opinion of Dir. Acebedo. It is equitable to deny his claim for payment of separation pay at the rate of 1 ¼ salary for every year of his service in govt, that is, inclusive of the number of years he served as Judge of the MeTC of Manila. Santos already received and is continually receiving gratuity for his years of service as a

ISSUE: Whether his years of service in the Judiciary should be excluded in the computation of his separation pay under Sec. 11 of R.A. 7924, and that his separation pay should be solely confined to his services in the MMA.

HELD: YES. The retirement benefits which Santos had received or has been receiving under R.A. 910 do not constitute double compensation. He could continue receiving the same even if after his retirement he had been receiving salary from the defunct MMA as Director III thereof. This is but just because said retirement benefits are rewards for his services as MeTC Judge, while his salary was his compensation for his services as Dir. III of the MMA. However, to credit his years of service in the Judiciary in the computation of his separation pay under R.A. No. 7924 notwithstanding the fact that he had received or has been receiving the retirement benefits under R.A 910, would be to allow double compensation for exactly the same services, that is his services as MeTC Judge. Such would run counter to the policy of this Court against double compensation for exactly the same service. It would be in violation of the 1st par. of Sec. 8 of Art. 9-B of the Constitution, which proscribes additional, double, or indirect compensation. Moreover, Sec. 11 of R.A. No. 7924 does not specifically authorize payment of additional compensation for years of govt. service outside of the MMA. 1. The last par. of Sec. 11 of R.A. 7924 on the grant of separation pay at the rate of 1 ¼ months of salary for every year of service cannot be interpreted to refer to the total length of service of an MMA employee in the govt., that is to include such service in the govt. outside the MMA. Since it allows the grant of separation pay to employees who were to be displaced thereby the separation pay can be based only on the length of service in the MMA. The displacement amounted to an abolition of office or position of the displaced employees, such as that of Santos. The rule is settled that Congress may abolish offices. Such power is a consequent prerogative of its power to created public offices. However, the power to abolish is subject to the condition that it be exercised in good faith. The separation partook of the nature of a disturbance of compensation; hence, the separation pay must relate only to the employment thus affected.

AQUINO.BANGI.BAYOT.CAEG.DE GUZMAN.EBORA.GAVINO.GOZOS.HERNANDEZ.HERRERA.HIZON.ISIDRO.LAGRAMADA.LASALA.MAGRATA. MAGPANTAY.MALAMUG.MIOLE.PABLO.PACETE.POSTRADO.RAMOS.TOLENTINO.VILLANO.YAP.YU 2010-2011

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2. Santos must realized that Sec. 11 does not allow the tacking in of his previous govt. service. If he were convinced that it does he could have instead applied for retirement benefits, since by adding his years of service in the MMA to his previous years of service in the govt. he could have retired under the 3 rd par. of Sec. 11: provided, that, if qualified for retirement under existing retirement laws, said employee may opt to receive the benefits thereunder. 3. After the approval of his optional retirement, Santos was fully paid of his retirement gratuity under R.A. 910; and 5 years thereafter he has been receiving a monthly pension. 4. Santos cannot invoke the 2 par. of Sec. 8, Art. 9-B of the Constitution which provides: Pensions or gratuities shall not be considered as additional, double, or indirect compensation. The provision simply means that a retiree receiving pension or gratuity can continue to receive such pension or gratuity even if he accepts another govt. position to which another compensation is attached.
nd

groups, in initiating, lobbying for and engaging in affirmative action for the agrarian reform law and lately the urban land reform bill. Monsod also made use of his legal knowledge as a member of the Davide Commission, a quast judicial body, which conducted numerous hearings (1990) and as a member of the Constitutional Commission (1986-1987), and Chairman of its Committee on Accountability of Public Officers, for which he was cited by the President of the Commission, Justice Cecilia Muñoz-Palma for "innumerable amendments to reconcile government functions with individual freedoms and public accountability and the party-list system for the House of Representative. Interpreted in the light of the various definitions of the term Practice of law". particularly the modern concept of law practice, and taking into consideration the liberal construction intended by the framers of the Constitution, Atty. Monsod's past work experiences as a lawyer-economist, a lawyer-manager, a lawyer-entrepreneur of industry, a lawyer-negotiator of contracts, and a lawyer-legislator of both the rich and the poor — verily more than satisfy the constitutional requirement — that he has been engaged in the practice of law for at least ten years. Notes: 1. “Practice of law” means any activity, in or out of court, which requires the application of law, legal procedure, knowledge, training and experience. 2. there were various definitions of “practice of law” cited in the case 3. Liberal interpretation of “practice of law” by the Committee n Constitutional Commissions and Agencies: MR. OPLE. Is he, in effect, saying that service in the COA by a lawyer is equivalent to the requirement of a law practice that is set forth in the Article on the Commission on Audit? MR. FOZ. We must consider the fact that the work of COA, although it is auditing, will necessarily involve legal work; it will involve legal work. And, therefore, lawyers who are employed in COA now would have the necessary qualifications in accordance with the Provision on qualifications under our provisions on the Commission on Audit. And, therefore, the answer is yes. MR. OPLE. Yes. So that the construction given to this is that this is equivalent to the practice of law. 4. Substantially more legal work is transacted in law offices than in courtrooms. 5. (Long discussion on how corporate lawyers assume responsibility othere than legal affairs) Revolutionary transformation in corporate law practice – understanding the major emerging trends in corpo law is indispensable to intelligent decision making. A corpo lawyer may assume responsibilities other than legal affairs. These include such matters as determining policy and becoming involved in management. Corpo law and managing the business go hand in hand or are intertwined.(still practice of law; moden view) 6. Defined: appointment; the appointing process (all of which, we discussed under the “Executive Department”. 7. Judgment/Confirmation by the Commission on Appointments is beyond judicial interference except upon a clear showing of grave abuse of discretion.

Cayetano vs. Monsod Paras, J: Facts: Respondent Monsod was nominated by President Corazon C. Aquino to the position of Chairman of the COMELEC. Petitioner opposed the nomination because allegedly Monsod does not possess the required qualification of having been engaged in the practice of law for at least ten years. The appointment was confirmed by the Commission on Appointments. He took his oath of office and assumed the same as Chairman of the COMELEC. Challenging the validity of the confirmation by the Commission on Appointments of Monsod's nomination, petitioner as a citizen and taxpayer, filed the instant petition for certiorari and Prohibition praying that said confirmation and the consequent appointment of Monsod as Chairman of the Commission on Elections be declared null and void. Issue: Whether or not respondent Monsod is engaged in the practice of law for at least 10 years and is thus qualified for the position. Held. Yes. Atty. Christian Monsod is a member of the Philippine Bar, having passed the bar examinations of 1960 with a grade of 86-55%. He has been a dues paying member of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines since its inception in 1972-73. He has also been paying his professional license fees as lawyer for more than ten years. After graduating from the College of Law (U.P.) and having hurdled the bar, Atty. Monsod worked in the law office of his father. During his stint in the World Bank Group (1963-1970), Monsod worked as an operations officer for about two years in Costa Rica and Panama, which involved getting acquainted with the laws of member-countries negotiating loans and coordinating legal, economic, and project work of the Bank. Upon returning to the Philippines in 1970, he worked with the Meralco Group, served as chief executive officer of an investment bank and subsequently of a business conglomerate, and since 1986, has rendered services to various companies as a legal and economic consultant or chief executive officer. As former Secretary-General (1986) and National Chairman (1987) of NAMFREL. Monsod's work involved being knowledgeable in election law. He appeared for NAMFREL in its accreditation hearings before the Comelec. In the field of advocacy, Monsod, in his personal capacity and as former Co-Chairman of the Bishops Businessmen's Conference for Human Development, has worked with the under privileged sectors, such as the farmer and urban poor

TITLE: PENERA VS ANDANAR FACTS: Penera and Andanar were mayoralty candidates in Sta. Monica during the 2007 elections. Andanar filed a Petition for Disqualification against Penera and the candidates for Vice-Mayor and SAngguniang Bayan who

AQUINO.BANGI.BAYOT.CAEG.DE GUZMAN.EBORA.GAVINO.GOZOS.HERNANDEZ.HERRERA.HIZON.ISIDRO.LAGRAMADA.LASALA.MAGRATA. MAGPANTAY.MALAMUG.MIOLE.PABLO.PACETE.POSTRADO.RAMOS.TOLENTINO.VILLANO.YAP.YU 2010-2011

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belonged to her political party, for unlawfully engaging in election campaigning and partisan political activity prior to the commencement of the campaign period. Andanar claimed that a day before the start of the authorized campaigning period, Penera and her partymates went around the different barangays in Sta. Monica announcing their candidacies and requesting the people to vote for them on the day of the elections. Penera filed an Answer averring that the charge of premature campaigning was not true. She explained that the motorcade that took place was simply in accordance with the usual practice in nearby cities and provinces where the filing of COCs was preceded by a motorcade. She claimed that in the motorcade, no person made any speech and there was only marching music in the background and a grand standing for the purpose of raising the hands of the candidates. While the case was pending, Penera was proclaimed the duly elected Mayor of Sta.Monica. The Comelec Second Division issued its resolution disqualifying Penera from continuing as a mayoralty candidate in Sta.Monica for engaging in premature campaigning in violation of Sections 80 and 68 of the Omnibus Election Code. But the Comelec absolved the other candidates. Penera filed before the COMELEC en banc a Motion for Reconsideration but the Commission resolved to deny it. Commissioner Sarmiento again dissented. He believed that Andanar was not able to adduce substantial evidence that would support the claim of violation of laws. Penera filed the instant petition. A Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) was issued on the condition that Penera post a bond in the amount of P5,000.00 ISSUE: Whether or not Penera has engaged in an election campaign or partisan political activity outside the campaign period? Motorcade The conduct of a motorcade is a form of election campaign or partisan political activity, falling squarely within the ambit of Section 79(b)(2) of the Omnibus Election Code. The obvious purpose of the conduct of motorcades is to introduce the candidates and the positions to which they seek to be elected, to the voting public. It also makes them more visible so as to facilitate the recognition and recollection of their names in the minds of the voters. With vehicles, balloons and candies on hand, Penera can hardly persuade the Court that the motorcade was spontaneous and unplanned. QUESTIONS OF LAW The dissenting opinion raises the legal issue that Section 15 of republic Act No. 8436 as amended by Republic Act No. 9369, provides a new definition of the term “candidate,” as a result of which, premature campaigning may no longer be committed. Under Section 79(a) of the Omnibus Election Code, a candidate is "any person aspiring for or seeking an elective public office, who has filed a certificate of candidacy by himself or through an accredited political party, aggroupment, or coalition of parties." In view of the third paragraph of Section 15 of Republic Act No. 8436, as amended, the Dissenting Opinion argues that Section 80 of the Omnibus Election Code can not be applied to the present case since, as the Court held in Lanot v. Commission on Elections, the election campaign or partisan activity, which constitute the prohibited premature campaigning, should be designed to promote the election or defeat of a particular candidate or candidates. Under present election laws, while a person may have filed his/her COC within the prescribed period for doing so, said person shall not be considered a candidate until the start of the campaign period. Thus, prior to the start of the campaign period, there can be no election campaign or partisan political activity designed to promote the election or defeat of a particular candidate to public office because there is no candidate to speak of. The Dissenting Opinion ultimately concludes that because of Section 15 of Republic Act No. 8436, as amended, the prohibited act of premature campaigning in Section 80 of the Omnibus Election Code, is practically impossible to commit at any time. We disagree. Section 80 of the Omnibus Election Code remains relevant and applicable despite Section 15 of Republic Act No. 8436, as amended. A close reading of the entire Republic Act No. 9369, which amended Republic Act No. 8436, would readily reveal that that it did not contain an express repeal of Section 80 of the Omnibus Election Code. An express repeal is one wherein a statute declares, usually in its repealing clause, that a particular and specific law, identified by its number or title, is repealed. Absent this specific requirement, an express repeal may not be presumed.

HELD: SECTION 80. Election campaigning or a partisan political activity outside campaign period- It shall be unlawful for any person, whether or not a voter or candidate, or for any party, or association of persons, to engage in an election campaign or partisan political activity except during the campaign period: xxxxx SECTION 68. Disqualifications.- Any candidate who, in action or protest in which he is a party is declared by final decision of a complete court guilty of, or found by the Commission of having xxx e) violated any of Sections 80, 83, 85, 86 and 261, paragraphs d,e,k,v and cc, subparagraph 6, shall be disqualified from continuing as a candidate, or if he has been elected, from holding the office. In the case at bar, it had been sufficiently established, not just by Andanar’s evidence, but also those of Penera herself, that Penera and her partymates, after filing their COCs, participated in a motorcade which passed through the different barangays of Sta. Monica, waived their hands to the public, and threw candies to the onlookers.

AQUINO.BANGI.BAYOT.CAEG.DE GUZMAN.EBORA.GAVINO.GOZOS.HERNANDEZ.HERRERA.HIZON.ISIDRO.LAGRAMADA.LASALA.MAGRATA. MAGPANTAY.MALAMUG.MIOLE.PABLO.PACETE.POSTRADO.RAMOS.TOLENTINO.VILLANO.YAP.YU 2010-2011

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As can be gleaned from the foregoing disquisition, harmony in the provisions of Sections 80 and 79 of the Omnibus Election Code, as well as Section 15 of Republic Act No. 8436, as amended, is not only very possible, but in fact desirable, necessary and consistent with the legislative intent and policy of the law. The laudable and exemplary intention behind the prohibition against premature campaigning, as declared in Chavez v. Commission on Elections, is to level the playing field for candidates of public office, to equalize the situation between the popular or rich candidates, on one hand, and lesser-known or poorer candidates, on the other, by preventing the former from enjoying undue advantage in exposure and publicity on account of their resources and popularity. The intention for prohibiting premature campaigning, as explained in Chavez, could not have been significantly altered or affected by Republic Act No. 8436, as amended by Republic Act No. 9369, the avowed purpose of which is to carry-on the automation of the election system. Whether the election would be held under the manual or the automated system, the need for prohibiting premature campaigning – to level the playing field between the popular or rich candidates, on one hand, and the lesserknown or poorer candidates, on the other, by allowing them to campaign only within the same limited period – remains. Verily, the consequences provided for in Section 6844 of the Omnibus Election Code for the commission of the prohibited act of premature campaigning are severe: the candidate who is declared guilty of committing the offense shall be disqualified from continuing as a candidate, or, if he/she has been elected, from holding office. Not to mention that said candidate also faces criminal prosecution for an election offense under Section 262 of the same Code. The Dissenting Opinion, therefore, should not be too quick to pronounce the ineffectiveness or repeal of Section 80 of the Omnibus Election Code just because of a change in the meaning of candidate by Section 15 of Republic Act No. 8436, as amended, primarily, for administrative purposes. An interpretation should be avoided under which a statute or provision being construed is defeated, or as otherwise expressed, nullified, destroyed, emasculated, repealed, explained away, or rendered insignificant, meaningless, inoperative, or nugatory.45 Indeed, not only will the prohibited act of premature campaigning be officially decriminalized, the value and significance of having a campaign period before the conduct of elections would also be utterly negated. Any unscrupulous individual with the deepest of campaign war chests could then afford to spend his/her resources to promote his/her candidacy well ahead of everyone else. Such is the very evil that the law seeks to prevent. Our lawmakers could not have intended to cause such an absurd situation. This fear is utterly unfounded. It is the filing by the person of his/her COC through which he/she explicitly declares his/her intention to run as a candidate in the coming elections. It is such declaration which would color the subsequent acts of said person to be election campaigning or partisan political activities as described under Section 79(b) of the Omnibus Election Code. It bears to point out that, at this point, no politician has yet submitted his/her COC. Also, the plain solution to this rather misplaced apprehension is for the politicians themselves to adhere to the letter and intent of the law and keep within the bounds of fair play in the pursuit of their candidacies. This would mean that after filing their COCs, the prudent and proper course for them to take is to wait for the designated start of the campaign period before they commence their election campaign or partisan political activities. Indeed, such is the only way for them to avoid disqualification on the ground of premature campaigning. It is not for us to carve out exceptions to the law, much more to decree away the repeal thereof, in order to accommodate any class of individuals, where no such exception or repeal is warranted. Lastly, as we have observed at the beginning, Penera’s Petition is essentially grounded on questions of fact. Penera’s defense against her disqualification, before the COMELEC and this Court, rests on the arguments that she and her partymates did not actually hold a motorcade; that their supporters spontaneously accompanied Penera and the other candidates from her political party when they filed their certificates of candidacy; that the alleged motorcade was actually the dispersal of the supporters of Penera and the other candidates from her party as said supporters were dropped off at their respective barangays; and that Andanar was not able to present competent, admissible, and substantial evidence to prove that Penera committed premature campaigning. Penera herself never raised the argument that she can no longer be disqualified for premature campaigning under Section 80, in relation to Section 68, of the Omnibus Election Code, since the said provisions have already been, in the words of the Dissenting Opinion, rendered "inapplicable," "repealed," and "done away with" by Section 15 of Republic Act No. 8436, as amended. This legal argument was wholly raised by the Dissenting Opinion. Nonetheless, the questions of fact raised by Penera and questions of law raised by the Dissenting Opinion must all be resolved against Penera. Penera should be disqualified from holding office as Mayor of Sta. Monica for having committed premature campaigning when, right after she filed her COC, but still a day before the start of the campaign period, she took part in a motorcade, which consisted of two jeepneys and ten motorcycles laden with multi-colored balloons that went around several barangays of Sta. Monica, and gave away candies to the crowd.

TITLE: Quinto vs. COMELEC FACTS: Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Undersecretary Eleazar Quinto and DENR Land Management Bureau Director Gerino Tolentino Jr. are intending to run in the 2010 elections. Quinto running for Pangasinan Congressman and Tolentino Jr. running for Manila Councilor filed a petition for certiorari and prohibition to nullify Sec. 4(a) of Resolution 8678. Petitioners argued that the automatic resignation against appointive officials who file their certificates of candidacy violates the equal protection clause of the Constitution and that it gives an undue advantage to elective officials who are allowed to remain in office despite the filing of their certificates of candidacy. Sec. 4 (a) of Resolution 8678 provides: Sec. 4. Effects of Filing of Certificates of Candidacy. (a) Any person holding a public appointive office or position, including active members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, and other officers and employees in government-owned or controlled corporations, shall be considered ipso facto resigned from his office upon the filing of his certificate of candidacy. (b) Any person holding an elective office or position shall not be considered resigned upon the filing of his certificate of candidacy for the same or any other elective office or position. The Courted decided in favor of the petitioners. It granted the Petition for Certiorari and Prohibition filed by Eleazar P. Quinto and Gerino A. Tolentino, Jr. and declared as unconstitutional the second proviso in the third paragraph of Section 13 of Republic Act No. 9369, Section 66 of the Omnibus Election Code and Section 4(a) of COMELEC Resolution No. 8678, mainly on the ground that they violate the equal protection clause of the

AQUINO.BANGI.BAYOT.CAEG.DE GUZMAN.EBORA.GAVINO.GOZOS.HERNANDEZ.HERRERA.HIZON.ISIDRO.LAGRAMADA.LASALA.MAGRATA. MAGPANTAY.MALAMUG.MIOLE.PABLO.PACETE.POSTRADO.RAMOS.TOLENTINO.VILLANO.YAP.YU 2010-2011

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Constitution and suffer from overbreadth. The assailed Decision thus paved the way for public appointive officials to continue discharging the powers, prerogatives and functions of their office notwithstanding their entry into the political arena. COMELEC then filed a motion for reconsideration assailing the decision of the Court. ISSUE: (1) Whether or not Section 4(a) of Resolution 8678 unconstitutional for violating the equal protection clause; and (2) Whether or not the exclusion of elective officials in the application of the disputed section is germane to the purposes of law. HELD: (1) No. As held in the case of Fariñas, et al. v. Executive Secretary, et al. the equal protection of the law clause in the Constitution is not absolute, but is subject to reasonable classification. If the groupings are characterized by substantial distinctions that make real differences, one class may be treated and regulated differently from the other. The Court has explained the nature of the equal protection guarantee in this manner: The equal protection of the law clause merely requires that all persons shall be treated alike, under like circumstances and conditions both as to privileges conferred and liabilities enforced. The equal protection clause is not infringed by legislation which applies only to those persons falling within a specified class, if it applies alike to all persons within such class, and reasonable grounds exist for making a distinction between those who fall within such class and those who do not. Substantial distinctions clearly exist between elective officials and appointive officials. The former occupy their office by virtue of the mandate of the electorate. They are elected to an office for a definite term and may be removed therefrom only upon stringent conditions. On the other hand, appointive officials hold their office by virtue of their designation thereto by an appointing authority. Some appointive officials hold their office in a permanent capacity and are entitled to security of tenure while others serve at the pleasure of the appointing authority. Another substantial distinction between the two sets of officials is that appointive officials, as officers and employees in the civil service, are strictly prohibited from engaging in any partisan political activity or take (sic) part in any election except to vote. Under the same provision, elective officials, or officers or employees holding political offices, are obviously expressly allowed to take part in political and electoral activities. Since the classification justifying Section 14 of Rep. Act No. 9006, i.e., elected officials vis-à-vis appointive officials, is anchored upon material and significant distinctions and all the persons belonging under the same classification are similarly treated, the equal protection clause of the Constitution is, thus, not infringed. (2)YES. In the assailed decision the Court had previously decided that there is no valid classification because it is not germane to the purposes of law. However, the Court reversed its decision and Justice Puno explained: In the instant case, is there a rational justification for excluding elected officials from the operation of the deemed resigned provisions? I submit that there is. An election is the embodiment of the popular will, perhaps the purest expression of the sovereign power of the people. It involves the choice or selection of candidates to public office by popular vote. Considering that elected officials are put in office by their constituents for a definite term, it may justifiably be said that they were excluded from the ambit of the deemed resigned provisions in utmost respect for the mandate of the sovereign will. In other words, complete deference is accorded to the will of the electorate that they be served by such officials until the end of the term for which they were elected. In contrast, there is no such expectation insofar as appointed officials are concerned. The dichotomized treatment of appointive and elective officials is therefore germane to the purposes of the law. For the law was made not merely to preserve the integrity, efficiency, and discipline of the public service; the Legislature, whose wisdom is outside the rubric of judicial scrutiny, also thought it wise to balance this with the competing, yet equally compelling, interest of deferring to the sovereign will.

TITLE: JOSELITO R. MENDOZA vs. COMELEC AND ROBERTO M. PAGDANGANAN

FACTS: Petitioner Mendoza was proclaimed the winner of the 2007 gubernatorial election for the province of Bulacan, besting respondent Roberto M. Pagdanganan by a margin of 15,732 votes. Respondent filed the Election Protest, which anchored on the massive electoral fraud allegedly perpetrated by petitioner to the Second Division of the COMELEC. The latter annulled petitioner’s proclamation as governor and proclaimed respondent as Governor also issuing a writ of execution (The FEB 8 2010 Resolution) directing the Provincial Election Supervisor of Bulacan to implement the Resolution of the Commission ordering petitioner to cease and desist from exercising his office and to vacate said office in favor of private respondent. Petitioner filed petition for Certiorari with TRO to recall the “FEB 8 Resolution”; the COMELEC on the other hand set a re-hearing on the FEB 8 Resolution due to its failure to reach a majority vote on said resolution. As it turned out, the deliberation, which ensued, again failed to muster the required majority vote since, with three (3) Commissioners not taking part in the voting, and only one dissent therefrom. The COMELEC and the Solicitor General sharing the agreement that the petitioner’s second petition was premature and violated the rules against forum shopping, the latter’s Electoral Contests Adjudication Department (ECAD) issued the corresponding Writ of by personal service to the parties. Hence this recourse by the petitioner.

ISSUE: WON the COMELEC acted with grave abuse of discretion in entertaining the election protest filed by Pagdanganan.

HELD: YES. The failure of the COMELEC En Banc to muster the required majority vote even after the rehearing should have caused the dismissal of respondent’s Election Protest.

AQUINO.BANGI.BAYOT.CAEG.DE GUZMAN.EBORA.GAVINO.GOZOS.HERNANDEZ.HERRERA.HIZON.ISIDRO.LAGRAMADA.LASALA.MAGRATA. MAGPANTAY.MALAMUG.MIOLE.PABLO.PACETE.POSTRADO.RAMOS.TOLENTINO.VILLANO.YAP.YU 2010-2011

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Although initially raffled to the COMELEC Second Division, the elevation of said election protest on motion for reconsideration before the Commission En Banc cannot, by any stretch of the imagination, be considered an appeal. Tersely put, there is no appeal within the COMELEC itself. As aptly observed in the lone dissent penned by COMELEC Commissioner Rene V. Sarmiento, respondent’s Election Protest was filed with the Commission "at the first instance" and should be, accordingly, considered an action or proceeding "originally commenced in the Commission." The reliance is on Section 3, Article IX(C) of the Constitution which provides: Section 3. The Commission on Elections may sit En Banc or in two divisions, and shall promulgate its rules of procedure in order to expedite disposition of election cases, including pre-proclamation controversies. All such election cases shall be heard and decided in division, provided that motions for reconsideration of decisions shall be decided by the Commission En Banc. The dissent reasons that it would be absurd that for a lack of the necessary majority in the motion for reconsideration before the COMELEC En Banc, the original protest action should be dismissed as this would render nugatory the constitutional mandate to authorize and empower a division of the COMELEC to decide election cases. We cannot, in this case, get out of the square cover of Section 6, Rule 18 of the COMELEC Rules. The provision is not violative of the Constitution. What is included in the phrase "all such election cases" may be seen in Section 2(2) of Article IX(C) of the Constitution which states: Section 2. The Commission on Elections shall exercise the following powers and functions: xxxx (2) Exercise exclusive original jurisdiction over all contests relating to the elections, returns, and qualifications of all elective regional, provincial, and city officials, and appellate jurisdiction over all contests involving elective municipal of officials decided by trial courts of general jurisdiction, or involving elective barangay officials decided by trial courts of limited jurisdiction. Section 2(2) read in relation to Section 3 shows that however the jurisdiction of the COMELEC is involved, either in the exercise of "exclusive original jurisdiction" or an "appellate jurisdiction," the COMELEC will act on the case in one whole and single process: to repeat, in division, and if impelled by a motion for reconsideration, en banc. There is a difference in the result of the exercise of jurisdiction by the COMELEC over election contests. The difference inheres in the kind of jurisdiction invoked, which in turn, is determined by the case brought before the COMELEC. When a decision of a trial court is brought before the COMELEC for it to exercise appellate jurisdiction, the division decides the appeal but, if there is a motion for reconsideration, the appeal proceeds to the banc where a majority is needed for a decision. If the process ends without the required majority at the banc, the appealed decision stands affirmed. Upon the other hand, and this is what happened in the instant case, if what is brought before the COMELEC is an original protest invoking the original jurisdiction of the Commission, the protest, as one whole process, is first decided by the division, which process is continued in the banc if there is a motion for reconsideration of the division ruling. If no majority decision is reached in the banc, the protest, which is an original action, shall be dismissed. There is no first instance decision that can be deemed affirmed. It is easy to understand the reason for the difference in the result of the two protests, one as original action and the other as an appeal, if and when the protest process reaches the COMELEC En Banc. In a protest originally brought before the COMELEC, no completed process comes to the banc. It is the banc which will complete the process. If, at that completion, no conclusive result in the form of a majority vote is reached, the COMELEC has no other choice except to dismiss the protest. In a protest placed before the Commission as an appeal, there has been a completed proceeding that has resulted in a decision. So that when the COMELEC, as an appellate body, and after the appellate process is completed, reaches an inconclusive result, the appeal is in effect dismissed and resultingly, the decision appealed from is affirmed

TITLE: Liberal Party vs. Comelec J. Brion FACTS: Liberal Party filed with the Comelec a petition for accreditation as a dominant minority party, and at the same time Nacionalista Party and Nationalist People’s Coalition filed a petition for registration as a coalition and asked for accreditation as the dominant minority for purposes of May 10, 2010 elections, LP filed an opposition to the NP-NPC petition stating that it was not a duly registered coalition parties at the time of the filing of their petition for accreditation as dominant minority party and it was filed out of time. The Comelec en banc granted the NP-NPC’s petition for registration but deferred the resolution of the NPNPC’s application for accreditation as dominant minority. Hence, this petition for certiorari with prohibition. ISSUE: 1. 2.

W or N the Comelec en banc has jurisdiction to entertain petitions for registrations of political coalition. W or N the Comelec gravely abused its discretion when it allowed the registration despite the lapse of time.

HELD: 1.

2.

The supreme court did not rule on the issue because of time constraints, and reserve for another case and another time the answers to these important questions, however, our dearest professor Commissioner Sarmiento has this dissenting opinion; “the comelec en banc had no jurisdiction over NP-NPC’s petition for registration as a coalition and accreditation as a dominant minority party, according to Rule 32 section 3 of the Comelec rules, the commission sitting in two dvisions, shall have jurisdiction to hear and decide cases falling under special proceedings, with the exception of the accreditation of citizens arms of the comelec. The present petition is within the jurisdiction of he Comelec sitting in Division and not of the Comelec sitting en banc.” CAVEAT: only a dissenting opinion from a resolution by the Comelec en banc but he is our professor, ahihi. Yes, it acted with grave abuse of discretion. According to Comelec resolution no.8646 Aug. 17, 2009 is the last filing for petition for registration of political parties without mentioning organizations and coalitions, however resolution 8646 is simply a listing of electoral activities and

AQUINO.BANGI.BAYOT.CAEG.DE GUZMAN.EBORA.GAVINO.GOZOS.HERNANDEZ.HERRERA.HIZON.ISIDRO.LAGRAMADA.LASALA.MAGRATA. MAGPANTAY.MALAMUG.MIOLE.PABLO.PACETE.POSTRADO.RAMOS.TOLENTINO.VILLANO.YAP.YU 2010-2011

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deadline for the may 10 elections, it is not in any way a resolution aimed to establish distinctions among political parties, organizations, and coalitions. Thus the rule is, in the absence of any note, explanations or reason why the deadline only mentions political parties, the term “political parties” should be understood in its generic sense that covers political organizations and political coalitions. Thus the petition by the NP-NPC was filed out of time. Summons in the disqualification case was issued by the Comelec on March 27, 1992 to petitioner Labo followed by a telegram dated April 1, 1992, requiring him to file his Answer within three (3) non-extendible days but the latter failed to respond. On April 15, 1992, Ortega filed a motion to declare Labo in default for failure to file his Answer. On April 24, 1992, the Comelec issued another order directing the Election Registrar of Baguio City to personally deliver the summons. On May 4, 1992, the disqualification case was set for reception of evidence. At the said hearing, Ortega presented the decision of this Court in Labo v. Commission on Elections (176 SCRA 1 [1989]) declaring Labo not a citizen of the Philippines. Labo, on the other hand, though represented by counsel, did not present any evidence. It was only on May 5, 1992 that petitioner submitted his Answer claiming Filipino citizenship. On May 9, 1992, respondent Comelec issued the assailed resolution, the dispositive portion of which reads: G.R. No. 105111 July 3, 1992 RAMON L. LABO, Jr., petitioner, vs. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS, and ROBERTO ORTEGA, respondents. G.R. No. 105384 July 3, 1992 ROBERTO C. ORTEGA, petitioner, vs. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS, and RAMON L. LABO, Jr., respondents. WHEREFORE, premises considered, the Commission RESOLVED, as it hereby resolves, to grant the petition; respondent's (Labo's) certificate of candidacy is hereby DENIED due course and ordered CANCELLED; the City Election Registrar of Baguio City is hereby directed to delete the name of the respondent (Labo) from the list of candidates for City Mayor of Baguio City. (Rollo, pp. 47-48; GR No. 105111) On the same date, Labo filed a motion to stay implementation of said resolution until after he shall have raised the matter before this Court. On May 10, 1992, respondent Comelec issued an Order which reads: Acting on the "Urgent Ex-Parte Motion for Clarification", filed by respondent (Labo) on May 9, 1992, the Commission resolves that the decision promulgated on May 9, 1992 disqualifying respondent Ramon L. Labo, Jr., shall become final and executory only after five (5) days from promulgation pursuant to Rule 18, Section 13, Paragraph (b) of the Comelec Rules of Procedure. Accordingly, respondent (Labo) may still continue to be voted upon as candidate for City Mayor of Baguio City on May 11, 1992 subject to the final outcome of this case in the event the issue is elevated to the Supreme Court either on appeal or certiorari. (Rollo, p. 53; GR No. 105111; emphasis supplied) On May 13, 1992, respondent Comelec resolved, motu proprio to suspend the proclamation of Labo in the event he wins in the elections for the City Mayor of Baguio. (Rollo, pp. 64-65; GR No. 105111) On May 15, 1992, petitioner Labo filed the instant petition for review docketed as G.R. No. 105111 with prayer, among others, for the issuance of a temporary restraining order to set aside the May 9, 1992

Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila EN BANC

BIDIN, J.: This is the second time 1 that this Court is called upon to rule on the citizenship of Ramon Labo, Jr., who, believing that he is a Filipino citizen launched his candidacy for mayor of Baguio City in the last May 11, 1992 elections by filing his certificate of candidacy on March 23, 1992. Petitioner Roberto Ortega (GR No. 105384), on other hand, also filed his certificate of candidacy for the same office on March 25, 1992. Shortly after petitioner Labo filed his certificate of candidacy, petitioner Ortega filed on March 26, 1992, a disqualification proceeding against Labo before the Commission on Elections (Comelec), docketed as SPA No. 92-029, seeking to cancel Labo's certificate of candidacy on the ground that Labo made a false representation when he stated therein that he (Labo) is a "natural-born" citizen of the Philippines.

AQUINO.BANGI.BAYOT.CAEG.DE GUZMAN.EBORA.GAVINO.GOZOS.HERNANDEZ.HERRERA.HIZON.ISIDRO.LAGRAMADA.LASALA.MAGRATA. MAGPANTAY.MALAMUG.MIOLE.PABLO.PACETE.POSTRADO.RAMOS.TOLENTINO.VILLANO.YAP.YU 2010-2011

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resolution of respondent Comelec; to render judgment declaring him as a Filipino citizen; and to direct respondent Comelec to proceed with his proclamation in the event he wins in the contested elections. On the same date, or on May 15, 1992 petitioner Ortega filed before the Comelec an urgent motion for the implementation of its May 9, 1992 resolution cancelling Labo's certificate of candidacy. After an exchange of pleadings, respondent Comelec, in its resolution dated May 26, 1992, denied Ortega's motion in view of the pending case (G.R. No. 105111) earlier filed by Labo of the same nature before this Court. On June 1, 1992, Ortega filed a petition for mandamus docketed as G.R. No. 105384 praying for the implementation of the Comelec's May 9, 1992 resolution. Petitioner Ortega argues that respondent Comelec committed grave abuse of discretion when it refused to implement its May 9, 1992 resolution notwithstanding the fact that said resolution disqualifying Ramon Labo has already become final and executory. After the parties have submitted their respective pleadings, the Court, on June 16, 1992, Resolved to consider the case submitted for decision. I. GR No. 105111 In essence, it is the contention of petitioner Labo that he is a Filipino citizen. Alleging lack of trial on the merits as well as the lack of opportunity to be heard in Labo v. Commission on Elections (supra), it is the submission of petitioner that he can prove his Filipino citizenship. Petitioner cites the 1980 US case of Vance v. Terrazas (444 US 252), wherein it was held that in proving expatriation, an expatriating act an intent to relinquish citizenship must be proved by a preponderance of evidence. Petitioner contends that no finding was made either by the Commission on Immigration or the Comelec as regards his specific intent to renounce his Philippine citizenship. Petitioner also faults the Comelec for the supposed abbreviated proceedings in SPA No. 92-029 which denied him adequate opportunity to present a full-dress presentation of his case. Thus: a) only one (1) day was set for hearing of the case, i.e., May 4, 1992; b) two days later, May 6, 1992 the hearing was set; c) instead of holding a hearing, the Comelec issued the questioned resolution on May 9, 1992. If only to refresh the mind of petitioner Labo, as well as that of his counsel, records disclose that summons were issued by respondent Comelec as early as March 27, 1992 followed by a telegram on April 1, 1992. But petitioner chose to ignore the same. Came April 15, 1992, petitioner Ortega filed a motion to declare petitioner Labo in default. Over-extending him (Labo) the benefit of due process, respondent Comelec issued No evidence was adduced for the respondent as in fact he had no Answer as of the hearing. On May 5, 1992, respondent (Labo) filed his verified Answer, insisting that he is a Filipino citizen and continue to maintain and preserve his Filipino citizenship; that he does not hold an Australian citizenship; that the doctrine of res judicata does not apply in citizenship; and that "existing facts support his continuous maintenance and holding of Philippine citizenship" and "supervening events now preclude the application of the ruling in the Labo v. Comelec case and the respondent (Labo) now hold and enjoys Philippine citizenship. No evidence has been offered by respondent to show what these existing facts and supervening events are to preclude the application of the Labo decision. (emphasis supplied) The Commission is bound by the final declaration that respondent is not a Filipino citizen. Consequently, respondent's verified statement in his certificate of candidacy that he is a "natural-born" Filipino citizen is a false material representation." (Rollo, pp. 45-48; GR No. 105111) Up to this moment, petitioner Labo still failed to submit a scintilla of proof to shore his claim before this Court that he has indeed reacquired his Philippine citizenship. another order dated April 24, 1992, this time directing the Acting City Election Registrar of Baguio to personally serve the summons. The alleged delay in the resolution of SPA No. 92-029 can only be attributed to petitioner Labo and no one else. Thus, the respondent Comelec in its resolution dated May 9, 1992 stated: On May 4, 1992, the Acting Regional Election Registrar called this case for reception of evidence. Surprisingly, while as of that date respondent had not yet filed his Answer, a lawyer appeared for him. The petitioner (Ortega) presented the certificate of candidacy of respondent Ramon L. Labo, Jr., which contained in item 9 thereof the verified statement that respondent is a "natural-born" Filipino citizen. To prove that respondent is not a Filipino citizen, petitioner submitted the decision of the Supreme Court in "Ramon L. Labo, Jr., petitioner, v. Comelec, et al.," GR No. 86564, August 1, 1989, the dispositive portion of which states: WHEREFORE, petitioner Ramon J. (sic) Labo, Jr. is hereby declared NOT a citizen of the Philippines and therefore DISQUALIFIED from continuing to serve as Mayor of Baguio City. He is ordered to VACATE his office and surrender the same to the Vice-Mayor of Baguio City once this decision becomes final and executory.

AQUINO.BANGI.BAYOT.CAEG.DE GUZMAN.EBORA.GAVINO.GOZOS.HERNANDEZ.HERRERA.HIZON.ISIDRO.LAGRAMADA.LASALA.MAGRATA. MAGPANTAY.MALAMUG.MIOLE.PABLO.PACETE.POSTRADO.RAMOS.TOLENTINO.VILLANO.YAP.YU 2010-2011

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Instead, petitioner relies in the US case of Vance v. Terrazas (supra). Suffice it to state that petitioner has already pleaded Vance in his motion for reconsideration in Labo v. Comelec (supra; Rollo, p. 375). Having been previously passed upon, the Court sees no pressing need to re-examine the same and make a lengthy dissertation thereon. At any rate, the fact remains that he has not submitted in the instant case any evidence, if there be any, to prove his reacquisition of Philippine citizenship either before this Court or the Comelec. On this score alone, We find no grave abuse of discretion committed by respondent Comelec in cancelling his (Labo's) certificate of candidacy and declaring that he is NOT a Filipino citizen pursuant to our ruling in the 1989 case of Labo v. Comelec (supra). Petitioner Labo claims, however, that Sec. 72 2 of the Omnibus Election Code "operates as a legislatively mandated special repatriation proceeding" and that it allows his proclamation as the winning candidate since the resolution disqualifying him was not yet final at the time the election was held. The Court finds petitioner Labo's strained argument quixotic and untenable. In the first place, Sec. 72 of the Omnibus Election Code has already been repealed by Sec. 6 of RA No. 6646, to wit: Sec. 6. Effect of Disqualification Case. — Any candidate who has been declared by final judgment to be disqualified shall not be voted for, and the votes cast for him shall not be counted. If for any reason a candidate is not declared by final judgment before an election to be disqualified and he is voted for and receives the winning number of votes in such election, the Court or the Commission shall continue with the trial and hearing of the action, inquiry, or protest and, upon motion of the complainant or any intervenor, may during the pendency thereof order the suspension of the proclamation of such candidate whenever the evidence of his guilt is strong. (emphasis supplied) A perusal of the above provision would readily disclose that the Comelec can legally suspend the proclamation of petitioner Labo, his reception of the winning number of votes notwithstanding, especially so where, as in this case. Labo failed to present any evidence before the Comelec to support his claim of reacquisition of Philippine citizenship. Furthermore, we need only to reiterate what we have stated in Labo v. Comelec (supra), viz.,: Under CA No. 63, as amended by P.D. No. 725, Philippine citizenship may be reacquired by a direct act of Congress, by naturalization, or by repatriation. It does not appear in the record, nor does the petitioner claim, that he has reacquired Philippine citizenship by any of these methods. He does not point to any judicial decree of naturalization or to any statute directly conferring Philippine citizenship upon him. . . . Petitioner Labo's status has not changed in the case at bar. To reiterate, he (Labo) was disqualified as a candidate for being an alien. His election does not automatically restore his Philippine citizenship, the possession of which is an indispensable requirement for holding public office (Sec. 39, Local Government Code). Still, petitioner takes pains in raising a new argument not litigated before the respondent Comelec. Petitioner claims that he has reacquired his Filipino citizenship by citing his application for reacquisition of Philippine citizenship filed before the Office of the Solicitor General pursuant to PD 725 and Letter of Instruction No. 270 3 (Rollo, pp. 116-119; G.R. No. 105111). To date, however, and despite favorable recommendation by the Solicitor General, the Special Committee on Naturalization had yet acted upon said application for repatriation. Indeed, such fact is even admitted petitioner. In the absence of any official action or approval by the proper authorities, a mere application for repratriation, does not, and cannot, amount to an automatic reacquisition of the applicant's Philippine citizenship. II. GR No. 105384 Petitioner Ortega submits that since this Court did not issue a temporary restraining order as regards the May 9, 1992 resolution of respondent Comelec cancelling Labo's certificate of candidacy, said resolution has already become final and executory. Ortega further posits the view that as a result of such finality, the candidate receiving the next highest number of votes should be declared Mayor of Baguio City. We agree with Ortega's first proposition. At the time petitioner Labo filed his petition (GR No. 105111) on May 15, 1992, the May 9, 1992 resolution of respondent Comelec cancelling his (Labo's) certificate of candidacy had already become final and executory a day earlier, or on May 14, 1992, said resolution having been received by petitioner Labo on the same day it was promulgated, i.e., May 9, 1992 and in the interim no restraining order was issued by this Court. Thus, Sec. 78 of the Omnibus Election Code provides: Sec. 78. Petition to deny due course or to cancel a certificate of candidacy — xxx xxx xxx (e) The decision, order, or ruling of the Commission shall, after five (5) days from receipt of a copy thereof by the parties, be final and executory unless stayed by the Supreme Court. (emphasis supplied) A similar provision is also found in Sec. 3, Rule 39 of the Comelec Rules of procedure, to wit: Sec. 3. Decisions final after five days. — Decisions in pre-proclamation cases and petitions to deny due course to or cancel certificates of candidacy, to declare a candidate as nuisance candidate or to disqualify a candidate, and to postpone or suspend elections shall become final and executory after the lapse

AQUINO.BANGI.BAYOT.CAEG.DE GUZMAN.EBORA.GAVINO.GOZOS.HERNANDEZ.HERRERA.HIZON.ISIDRO.LAGRAMADA.LASALA.MAGRATA. MAGPANTAY.MALAMUG.MIOLE.PABLO.PACETE.POSTRADO.RAMOS.TOLENTINO.VILLANO.YAP.YU 2010-2011

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of five (5) days from their promulgation, unless restrained by the Supreme Court. (emphasis supplied) The resolution cancelling Labo's certificate of candidacy on the ground that he is not a Filipino citizen having acquired finality on May 14, 1992 constrains Us to rule against his proclamation as Mayor of Baguio City. To begin with, one of the qualifications of an elective official is that he must be a citizen of the Philippines. Thus, the Local Government Code provides: Sec. 39. Qualifications. — (a) An elective local official must be a citizen of the Philippines; a registered voter in the barangay, municipality, city, or province or, in the case of a member of the sangguniang panlalawigan, sangguniang panlungsod, sangguniang bayan, the district where he intends to be elected; a resident therein for at least one (1) year immediately preceding the day of the election; and able to read and write Filipino or any other local language or dialect. (emphasis supplied) Undoubtedly, petitioner Labo, not being a Filipino citizen, lacks the fundamental qualification for the contested office. Philippine citizenship is an indispensable requirement for holding an elective office. As mandated by law: "An elective local official must be a citizen of the Philippines." The issue here is citizenship and/or Labo's alienage — the very essence which strikes at the very core of petitioner Labo's qualification to assume the contested office, he being an alien and not a Filipino citizen. The fact that he was elected by the majority of the electorate is of no moment. As we have held in Frivaldo v. Commission on Elections (174 SCRA 245 [1989]): . . . The fact that he was elected by the people of Sorsogon does not excuse this patent violation of the salutary rule limiting public office and employment only to the citizens of this country. The qualifications prescribed for elective office cannot be erased by the electorate alone. The will of the people as expressed through the ballot cannot cure the vice of ineligibility, especially if they mistakenly believed, as in this case, that the candidate was qualified. Obviously, this rule requires strict application when the deficiency is lack of citizenship. If a person seeks to serve in the Republic of the Philippines, he must owe his total loyalty to this country only, abjuring and renouncing all fealty and fidelity to any other state. This brings us to the second issue raised by petitioner Ortega, i.e., whether the disqualification of petitioner Labo entitles the candidate (Ortega) receiving the next highest number of votes to be proclaimed as the winning candidate for mayor of Baguio City. We hold in the negative. The disqualification of petitioner Labo does not necessarily entitle petitioner Ortega as the candidate with the next highest number of votes to proclamation as the Mayor of Baguio City. We make mention of petitioner Ortega because in his petition, he alleges that: . . . the May 11, 1992 elections were held with both herein petitioner (Roberto Ortega) and respondent LABO having been voted for the position of Mayor and unofficial results indicate that if the name of respondent LABO were deleted from the list of candidates, herein petitioner (Ortega) will be entitled to be proclaimed as Mayor-elect of Baguio City. (Rollo, p. 7, GR No. 105384; emphasis supplied) and further prays this Court "to proclaim as the Mayor-elect of Baguio City the candidate who may have garnered the most number of votes after the exclusion of the name of respondent candidate LABO." (Rollo, p. 15, Ibid.) Implicit, therefore, is petitioner Ortega's desire to be proclaimed Mayor-elect of Baguio City. As discussed hereunder, however, the Court finds Ortega's prayer devoid of merit. While Ortega may have garnered the second highest number of votes for the office of city mayor, the fact remains that he was not the choice of the sovereign will. Petitioner Labo was overwhelmingly voted by the electorate for the office of mayor in the belief that he was then qualified to serve the people of Baguio City and his subsequent disqualification does not make respondent Ortega the mayor-elect. This is the import of the recent case of Abella v. Comelec (201 SCRA 253 [1991]), wherein we held that: While it is true that SPC No. 88-546 was originally a petition to deny due course to the certificate of candidacy of Larrazabal and was filed before Larrazabal could be proclaimed, the fact remains that the local elections of Feb. 1, 1988 in the province of Leyte proceeded with Larrazabal considered as a bona fide candidate. The voters of the province voted for her in the sincere belief that she was a qualified candidate for the position of governor. Her votes was counted and she obtained the highest number of votes. The net effect is that petitioner lost in the election. He was repudiated by the electorate. . . . What matters is that in the event a candidate for an elected position who is voted for and who obtains the highest number of votes is disqualified for not possessing the eligibility requirements at the time of the election as provided by law, the candidate who obtains the second highest number of votes for the same position cannot assume the vacated position. (emphasis supplied) Our ruling in Abella applies squarely to the case at bar and we see no compelling reason to depart therefrom. Like Abella, petitioner Ortega lost in the election. He was repudiated by the electorate. He was obviously not the choice of the people of Baguio City. Thus, while respondent Ortega (GR No. 105111) originally filed a disqualification case with the Comelec (docketed as SPA-92-029) seeking to deny due course to petitioner's (Labo's) candidacy, the same did not deter the people of Baguio City from voting for petitioner Labo, who, by then, was allowed by the respondent Comelec to be voted upon, the resolution for his disqualification having yet to attain the degree of finality (Sec. 78. Omnibus Election Code). And in the earlier case of Labo v. Comelec (supra), We held:

AQUINO.BANGI.BAYOT.CAEG.DE GUZMAN.EBORA.GAVINO.GOZOS.HERNANDEZ.HERRERA.HIZON.ISIDRO.LAGRAMADA.LASALA.MAGRATA. MAGPANTAY.MALAMUG.MIOLE.PABLO.PACETE.POSTRADO.RAMOS.TOLENTINO.VILLANO.YAP.YU 2010-2011

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Finally, there is the question of whether or not the private respondent, who filed the quo warranto petition, can replace the petitioner as mayor. He cannot. The simple reason is that as he obtained only the second highest number of votes in the election, he was obviously not the choice of the people of Baguio City. The latest ruling of the Court in this issue is Santos v. Commission on Election, (137 SCRA 740) decided in 1985. In that case, the candidate who placed second was proclaimed elected after the votes for his winning rival, who was disqualified as a turncoat and considered a non-candidate, were all disregarded as stray. In effect, the second placer won by default. That decision was supported by eight members of the Court then (Cuevas, J., ponente, with Makasiar, Concepcion, Jr., Escolin, Relova, De la Fuente, Alampay, and Aquino JJ., concurring) with three dissenting (Teehankee, acting C.J., Abad Santos and Melencio-Herrera) and another two reserving their votes (Plana and Gutierrez, Jr.). One was on official leave (Fernando, C.J.) Re-examining that decision, the Court finds, and so holds, that it should be reversed in favor of the earlier case of Geronimo v. Santos (136 SCRA 435), which represents the more logical and democratic rule. That case, which reiterated the doctrine first announced in 1912 in Topacio vs. Paredes (23 Phil. 238) was supported by ten members of the Court (Gutierrez, Jr., J., ponente, with Teehankee, Abad Santos, Melencio-Herrera, Plana, Escolin, Relova, De la Fuente, Cuevas and Alampay, JJ., concurring), without any dissent, . . . . There the Court held: . . . it would be extremely repugnant to the basic concept of the constitutionally guaranteed right to suffrage if a candidate who has not acquired the majority or plurality of votes is proclaimed a winner and imposed as the representative of a constituency, the majority of which have positively declared through their ballots that they did not choose him. Sound policy dictates that public elective offices are filled by those who have received the highest number of votes cast in the election for that office, and it is a fundamental idea in all republican forms of government that no one can be declared elected and no measure can be declared carried unless he or it receives a majority or plurality of the legal votes cast in the election. (20 Corpus Juris 2nd, S 243, p. 676) The fact that a candidate who obtained the highest number of votes is later declared to be disqualified or not eligible for the office to which he was elected does not necessarily entitle the candidate who obtained the second highest number of votes to be declared the winner of the elective office. The votes cast for a dead, disqualified, or non-eligible person may be valid to vote the winner into office or maintain him there. However, in the absence of a statute which clearly asserts a contrary political and legislative policy on the matter, if the votes were cast in the sincere belief that that candidate was alive, qualified, or eligible, they should not be treated as stray, void or meaningless. The rule, therefore, is: the ineligibility of a candidate receiving majority votes does not entitle the eligible candidate receiving the next highest number of votes to be declared elected. A minority or defeated candidate cannot be deemed elected to the office. Indeed, this has been the rule in the United States since 1849 (State ex rel. Dunning v. Giles, 52 Am. Dec. 149). It is therefore incorrect to argue that since a candidate has been disqualified, the votes intended for the disqualified candidate should, in effect, be considered null and void. This would amount to disenfranchising the electorate in whom sovereignty resides. At the risk of being repetitious, the people of Baguio City opted to elect petitioner Labo bona fide, without any intention to misapply their franchise, and in the honest belief that Labo was then qualified to be the person to whom they would entrust the exercise of the powers of the government. Unfortunately, petitioner Labo turned out to be disqualified and cannot assume the office. Whether or not the candidate whom the majority voted for can or cannot be installed, under no circumstances can a minority or defeated candidate be deemed elected to the office. Surely, the 12,602 votes cast for petitioner Ortega is not a larger number than the 27,471 votes cast for petitioner Labo (as certified by the Election Registrar of Baguio City; rollo, p. 109; GR No. 105111). The rule would have been different if the electorate fully aware in fact and in law of a candidate's disqualification so as to bring such awareness within the realm of notoriety, would nonetheless cast their votes in favor of the ineligible candidate. In such case, the electorate may be said to have waived the validity and efficacy of their votes by notoriously misapplying their franchise or throwing away their votes, in which case, the eligible candidate obtaining the next higher number of votes may be deemed elected. But this is not the situation obtaining in the instant dispute. It has not been shown, and none was alleged, that petitioner Labo was notoriously known as an ineligible candidate, much less the electorate as having known of such fact. On the contrary, petitioner Labo was even allowed by no less than the Comelec itself in its resolution dated May 10, 1992 to be voted for the office of the city mayor as its resolution dated May 9, 1992 denying due course to petitioner Labo's certificate of candidacy had not yet become final and subject to the final outcome of this case. As aforesaid, the ineligibility of a candidate receiving majority votes does not entitle the candidate receiving the next highest number of votes to be declared elected. Ortega failed to satisfy the necessary requisite of winning the election either by a majority or mere plurality of votes sufficient to elevate him in public office as mayor of Baguio City. Having lost in the election for mayor, petitioner Ortega was obviously not the choice of the people of Baguio City.

AQUINO.BANGI.BAYOT.CAEG.DE GUZMAN.EBORA.GAVINO.GOZOS.HERNANDEZ.HERRERA.HIZON.ISIDRO.LAGRAMADA.LASALA.MAGRATA. MAGPANTAY.MALAMUG.MIOLE.PABLO.PACETE.POSTRADO.RAMOS.TOLENTINO.VILLANO.YAP.YU 2010-2011

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As a consequence of petitioners' ineligibility, a permanent vacancy in the contested office has occurred. This should now be filled by the vice-mayor, in accordance with Sec. 44 of the Local Government Code, to wit: Chapter 2. Vacancies and Succession Sec. 44. Permanent Vacancies in the Offices of the Governor, Vice-Governor, Mayor and Vice-Mayor. — (a) If a permanent vacancy occurs in the office of the governor or mayor, the vice-governor or the vice-mayor concerned shall become the governor or mayor. . . . (emphasis supplied) WHEREFORE, the instant petitions are DISMISSED for lack of merit. Petitioners both being ineligible for the Office of the City Mayor of Baguio City and in view of the vacancy created in said office, the vice-mayor elect of said city in the May 11, 1992 elections is hereby declared Mayor of Baguio City after proclamation by the City Board of Canvassers. No costs. SO ORDERED. Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila EN BANC Petitioner Romeo Lonzanida was duly elected and served two consecutive terms as municipal mayor of San Antonio, Zambales prior to the May 8, 1995 elections. In the May 1995 elections Lonzanida ran for mayor of San Antonio, Zambales and was again proclaimed winner. He assumed office and discharged the duties thereof. His proclamation in 1995 was however contested by his then opponent Juan Alvez who filed an election protest before the Regional Trial Court of Zambales, which in a decision dated January 9, 1997 declared a failure of elections. The court ruled: PREMISES CONSIDERED, this court hereby renders judgment declaring the results of the election for the office of the mayor in San Antonio, Zambales last May 8, 1995 as null and void on the ground that there was a failure of election. Accordingly, the office of the mayor of the Municipality of San Antonio, Zambales is hereby declared vacant. Both parties appealed to the COMELEC. On November 13, 1997 the COMELEC resolved the election protest filed by Alvez and after a revision and re-appreciation of the contested ballots declared Alvez the duly elected mayor of San Antonio, Zambales by plurality of votes cast in his favor totaling P1,720 votes as against 1,488 votes for Lonzanida. On February 27, 1998 the COMELEC issued a writ of execution ordering Lonzanida to vacate the post, which he obeyed, and Alvez assumed office for the remainder of the term. In the May 11, 1998 elections Lonzanida again filed his certificate of candidacy for mayor of San Antonio. On April 21, 1998 his opponent Eufemio Muli timely filed a petition to disqualify Lonzanida from running for mayor of San Antonio in the 1998 elections on the ground that he had served three consecutive terms in the same post. On May 13, 1998, petitioner Lonzanida was proclaimed winner. On May 21, 1998 the First Division of the COMELEC issued the questioned resolution granting the petition for disqualification upon a finding that Lonzanida had served three consecutive terms as mayor of San Antonio, Zambales and he is therefore disqualified to run for the same post for the fourth time. The COMELEC found that Lonzanida's assumption of office by virtue of his proclamation in May 1995, although he was later unseated before the expiration of the term, should be counted as service for one full term in computing the three term limit under the Constitution and the Local Government Code. The finding of the COMELEC First Division was affirmed by the COMELEC En Banc in a resolution dated August 11, 1998. Petitioner Lonzanida challenges the validity of the COMELEC resolutions finding him disqualified to run for mayor of San Antonio Zambales in the 1998 elections. He maintains that he was duly elected mayor for only two consecutive terms and that his assumption of office in 1995 cannot be counted as service of a term for the purpose of applying the three term limit for local government officials, because he was not the duly elected mayor of San Antonio in the May 1995 elections as evidenced by the COMELEC decision dated November 13, 1997 in EAC No. 6-97 entitled Juan Alvez, Protestant-Appellee vs. Romeo Lonzanida, Protestee-Appellant; wherein the COMELEC declared Juan Alvez as the duly elected mayor of San Antonio, Zambales. Petitioner also argues that the COMELEC ceased to have jurisdiction over the petition for disqualification after he was proclaimed winner in the 1998 mayoral elections; as the proper remedy is a petition for quo warranto with the appropriate regional trial court under Rule 36 of the COMELEC Rules of Procedure.

G.R. No. 135150 July 28, 1999 ROMEO LONZANIDA, petitioner, vs. THE HONORABLE COMMISSION ON ELECTION and EUFEMIO MULI, respondents.

GONZAGA-REYES, J.: This petition for certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court seeks to set aside the resolutions issued by the COMELEC First Division dated May 21, 1998 and by the COMELEC En Banc dated August 11, 1998 in SPA 98190 entitled, In the matter of the Petition to Disqualify Mayoralty Candidate Romeo Lonzanida of San Antonio, Zambales, Eufemio Muli, petitioner, vs. Romeo Lonzanida, respondent. The assailed resolutions declared herein petitioner Romeo Lonzanida disqualified to run for Mayor in the municipality of San Antonio, Zambales in the May 1998 elections and that all votes cast in his favor shall not be counted and if he has been proclaimed winner the said proclamation is declared null and void.1âwphi1.nêt

AQUINO.BANGI.BAYOT.CAEG.DE GUZMAN.EBORA.GAVINO.GOZOS.HERNANDEZ.HERRERA.HIZON.ISIDRO.LAGRAMADA.LASALA.MAGRATA. MAGPANTAY.MALAMUG.MIOLE.PABLO.PACETE.POSTRADO.RAMOS.TOLENTINO.VILLANO.YAP.YU 2010-2011

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Private respondent Eufemio Muli filed comment to the petition asking this court to sustain the questioned resolutions of the COMELEC and to uphold its jurisdiction over the petition for disqualification. The private respondent states that the petition for disqualification was filed on April 21, 1998 or before the May 1998 mayoral elections. Under section 6, RA 6646 and Rule 25 of the COMELEC Rules of Procedure petitions for disqualification filed with the COMELEC before the elections and/or proclamation of the party sought to be disqualified may still be heard and decided by the COMELEC after the election and proclamation of the said party without distinction as to the alleged ground for disqualification, whether for acts constituting an election offense or for ineligibility. Accordingly, it is argued that the resolutions of the COMELEC on the merits of the petition for disqualification were issued within the commission's jurisdiction. As regards the merits of the case, the private respondent maintains that the petitioner's assumption of office in 1995 should be considered as service of one full term because he discharged the duties of mayor for almost three years until March 1, 1998 or barely a few months before the next mayoral elections. The Solicitor-General filed comment to the petition for the respondent COMELEC praying for the dismissal of the petition. The Solicitor-General stressed that section 8, Art. X of the Constitution and section 43 (b), Chapter 1 of the Local Government Code which bar a local government official from serving more than three consecutive terms in the same position speaks of "service of a term" and so the rule should be examined in this light. The public respondent contends that petitioner Lonzanida discharged the rights and duties of mayor from 1995 to 1998 which should be counted as service of one full term, albeit he was later unseated, because he served as mayor for the greater part of the term. The issue of whether or not Lonzanida served as a de jure or de facto mayor for the 1995-1998 term is inconsequential in the application of the three term limit because the prohibition speaks or "service of a term" which was intended by the framers of the Constitution to foil any attempt to monopolize political power. It is likewise argued by the respondent that a petition for quo warranto with the regional trial court is proper when the petition for disqualification is filed after the elections and so the instant petition for disqualification which was filed before the elections may be resolved by the COMELEC thereafter regardless of the imputed basis of disqualification. The petitioner filed Reply to the comment. It is maintained that the petitioner could not have served a valid term from 1995 to 1998 although he assumed office as mayor for that period because he was not lawfully elected to the said office. Moreover, the petitioner was unseated before the expiration of the term and so his service for the period cannot be considered as one full term. As regards the issue of jurisdiction, the petitioner reiterated in his Reply that the COMELEC ceased to have jurisdiction to hear the election protest after the petitioner's proclamation. The petition has merit. Sec. 8, Art. X of the Constitution provides: Sec. 8. The term of office of elective local officials, except barangay officials, which shall be determined by law shall be three years and no such officials shall serve for more than three consecutive terms. Voluntary renunciation of the office for any length of time shall not be considered as an interruption in the continuity of his service for the full term for which he was elected. Sec. 43 of the Local Government Code (R.A. No. 7160) restates the same rule: Sec. 43. Term of Office. (b) No local elective official shall serve for more than three consecutive terms in the same position. Voluntary renunciation of the office for any length of time shall not be considered as an interruption in the continuity of service for the full term for which the elective official concerned was elected. The issue before us is whether petitioner Lonzanida's assumption of office as mayor of San Antonio Zambales from May 1995 to March 1998 may be considered as service of one full term for the purpose of applying the three-term limit for elective local government officials. The records of the 1986 Constitutional Commission show that the three-term limit which is now embodied in section 8, Art. X of the Constitution was initially proposed to be an absolute bar to any elective local government official from running for the same position after serving three consecutive terms. The said disqualification was primarily intended to forestall the accumulation of massive political power by an elective local government official in a given locality in order to perpetuate his tenure in office. The delegates also considered the need to broaden the choices of the electorate of the candidates who will run for office, and to infuse new blood in the political arena by disqualifying officials from running for the same office after a term of nine years. The mayor was compared by some delegates to the President of the Republic as he is a powerful chief executive of his political territory and is most likely to form a political dynasty. 1 The drafters however, recognized and took note of the fact that some local government officials run for office before they reach forty years of age; thus to perpetually bar them from running for the same office after serving nine consecutive years may deprive the people of qualified candidates to choose from. As finally voted upon, it was agreed that an elective local government official should be barred from running for the same post after three consecutive terms. After a hiatus of at least one term, he may again run for the same office. 2 The scope of the constitutional provision barring elective local officials with the exception of barangay officials from serving more than three consecutive terms was discussed at length in the case of Benjamin Borja, Jr.; vs. COMELEC and Jose Capco, Jr. 3 where the issue raised was whether a vice-mayor who succeeds to the office of the mayor by operation of law upon the death of the incumbent mayor and served the remainder of the term should be considered to have served a term in that office for the purpose of computing the three term limit. This court pointed out that from the discussions of the Constitutional Convention it is evident that the delegates proceeded from the premise that the official's assumption of office is by reason of election. This Court stated: 4 Two ideas emerge from a consideration of the proceedings of the Constitutional Commission. The first is the notion of service of term, derived from the concern about the accumulation of power as a result of a prolonged stay in office. The second is the idea of election, derived from the concern that the right of the people to choose those whom they wish to govern them be preserved. It is likewise noteworthy that, in discussing term limits, the drafters of the Constitution did so on the assumption that the officials concerned were serving by reason of election. This is clear from the following exchange in the Constitutional Commission

AQUINO.BANGI.BAYOT.CAEG.DE GUZMAN.EBORA.GAVINO.GOZOS.HERNANDEZ.HERRERA.HIZON.ISIDRO.LAGRAMADA.LASALA.MAGRATA. MAGPANTAY.MALAMUG.MIOLE.PABLO.PACETE.POSTRADO.RAMOS.TOLENTINO.VILLANO.YAP.YU 2010-2011

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concerning term limits, now embodied in Art. VI sections 4 and 7 of the Constitution, for members of Congress: MR. GASCON. I would like to ask a question with regard to the issue after the second term. We will allow the Senator to rest for a period of time before he can run again? MR. DAVIDE. That is correct. MR. GASCON. And the question that we left behind before — if the Gentlemen will remember-was: How long will that period of rest be? Will it be one election which is three years or one term which is six years? MR. DAVIDE. If the Gentlemen will remember, Commissioner Rodrigo expressed the view that during the election following the expiration of the first 12 years, whether such election will be on the third year or on the sixth year thereafter, this particular member of the Senate can run. So it is not really a period of hibernation for six years. That was the Committees' stand. xxx xxx xxx Second, not only historical examination but textual analysis as well supports the ruling of the COMELEC that Art X, section 8 contemplates service by local officials for three consecutive terms as a result of election. The first sentence speaks of "the-term of office of elective local officials" and bars "such officials" from serving for more than three consecutive terms. The second sentence, in explaining when an elective official may be deemed to have served his full term of office, states that "voluntary renunciation of the office for any length of time shall not be considered as an interruption in the continuity of his service for the full term for which he was elected." The term served must therefore be one "for which the official concerned was elected." The purpose of the provision is to prevent a circumvention of the limitation on the number of terms an elective official may serve." This Court held that the two conditions for the application of the disqualification must concur: 1) that the official concerned has been elected for three consecutive terms in the same local government post and 2) that he has fully served three consecutive terms. It stated: To recapitulate, the term limit for elective local officials must be taken to refer to the right to be elected as well as the right to serve in the same elective position. Consequently, it is not enough that an individual has served three consecutive terms in an elective local office, he must also have been elected to the same position for the same number of times before the disqualification can apply. It is not disputed that the petitioner was previously elected and served two consecutive terms as mayor of San Antonio Zambales prior to the May 1995 mayoral elections. In the May 1995 elections he again ran for mayor of San Antonio, Zambales and was proclaimed winner. He assumed office and discharged the rights and duties of mayor until March 1998 when he was ordered to vacate the post by reason of the COMELEC decision dated November 13, 1997 on the election protest against the petitioner which declared his opponent Juan Alvez, the duly elected mayor of San Antonio. Alvez served the remaining portion of the 19951998 mayoral term. The two requisites for the application of the three term rule are absent. First, the petitioner cannot be considered as having been duly elected to the post in the May 1995 elections, and second, the petitioner did not fully serve the 1995-1998 mayoral term by reason of involuntary relinquishment of office. After a reappreciation and revision of the contested ballots the COMELEC itself declared by final judgment that petitioner Lonzanida lost in the May 1995 mayoral elections and his previous proclamation as winner was declared null and void. His assumption of office as mayor cannot be deemed to have been by reason of a valid election but by reason of a void proclamation. It has been repeatedly held by this court that a proclamation subsequently declared void is no proclamation at all 5 and while a proclaimed candidate may assume office on the strength of the proclamation of the Board of Canvassers he is only a presumptive winner who assumes office subject to the final outcome of the election protest. 6 Petitioner Lonzanida did not serve a term as mayor of San Antonio, Zambales from May 1995 to March 1998 because he was not duly elected to the post; he merely assumed office as presumptive winner, which presumption was later overturned by the COMELEC when it decided with finality that Lonzanida lost in the May 1995 mayoral elections. Second, the petitioner cannot be deemed to have served the May 1995 to 1998 term because he was ordered to vacate his post before the expiration of the term. The respondents' contention that the petitioner should be deemed to have served one full term from May 1995-1998 because he served the greater portion of that term has no legal basis to support it; it disregards the second requisite for the application of the disqualification, i.e., that he has fully served three consecutive terms. The second sentence of the constitutional provision under scrutiny states, "Voluntary renunciation of office for any length of time shall not be considered as an interruption in the continuity of service for the full term for which he was elected. "The clear intent of the framers of the constitution to bar any attempt to circumvent the three-term limit by a voluntary renunciation of office and at the same time respect the people's choice and grant their elected official full service of a term is evident in this provision. Voluntary renunciation of a term does not cancel the renounced term in the computation of the three term limit; conversely, involuntary severance from office for any length of time short of the full term provided by law amounts to an interruption of continuity of service. The petitioner vacated his post a few months before the next mayoral elections, not by voluntary renunciation but in compliance with the legal process of writ of execution issued by the COMELEC to that effect. Such involuntary severance from office is an interruption of continuity of service and thus, the petitioner did not fully serve the 1995-1998 mayoral term. In sum, the petitioner was not the duly elected mayor and that he did not hold office for the full term; hence, his assumption of office from 1995 to March 1998 cannot be counted as a term for purposes of computing the three term limit. The Resolution of the COMELEC finding him disqualified on this ground to run in the May 1998 mayoral elections should therefore be set aside.

AQUINO.BANGI.BAYOT.CAEG.DE GUZMAN.EBORA.GAVINO.GOZOS.HERNANDEZ.HERRERA.HIZON.ISIDRO.LAGRAMADA.LASALA.MAGRATA. MAGPANTAY.MALAMUG.MIOLE.PABLO.PACETE.POSTRADO.RAMOS.TOLENTINO.VILLANO.YAP.YU 2010-2011

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The respondents harp on the delay in resolving the election protest between petitioner and his then opponent Alvez which took roughly about three years and resultantly extended the petitioners incumbency in an office to which he was not lawfully elected. We note that such delay cannot be imputed to the petitioner. There is no specific allegation nor proof that the delay was due to any political maneuvering on his part to prolong his stay in office. Moreover, protestant Alvez, was not without legal recourse to move for the early resolution of the election protest while it was pending before the regional trial court or to file a motion for the execution of the regional trial court's decision declaring the position of mayor vacant and ordering the vice-mayor to assume office while the appeal was pending with the COMELEC. Such delay which is not here shown to have intentionally sought by the petitioner to prolong his stay in office cannot serve as basis to bar his right to be elected and to serve his chosen local government post in the succeeding mayoral election. The petitioner's contention that the COMELEC ceased to have jurisdiction over the petition for disqualification after he was proclaimed winner is without merit. The instant petition for disqualification was filed on April 21, 1998 or before the May 1998 elections and was resolved on May 21, 1998 or after the petitioner's proclamation. It was held in the case of Sunga vs. COMELEC and Trinidad 7 that the proclamation nor the assumption of office of a candidate against whom a petition for disqualification is pending before the COMELEC does not divest the COMELEC of jurisdiction to continue hearing the case and to resolve it on the merits. Sec. 6 of RA 6646 specifically mandates that: Sec. 6. Effects of disqualification Case. — any candidate who has been declared by final judgment to be disqualified shall not be voted for, and the votes cast for him shall not be counted. If for any reason a candidate is not declared by final judgment before an election to be disqualified and he is voted for and receives the winning number of votes in such election, the court or commission shall continue with the trial and hearing of the action, inquiry or protest and, upon motion of the complainant or any intervenor, may during the pendency thereof order the suspension of the proclamation of such candidate whenever the evidence of his guilt is strong. This court held that the clear legislative intent is that the COMELEC should continue the trial and hearing of the disqualification case to its conclusion i.e., until judgment is rendered. The outright dismissal of the petition for disqualification filed before the election but which remained unresolved after the proclamation of the candidate sought to be disqualified will unduly reward the said candidate and may encourage him to employ delaying tactics to impede the resolution of the petition until after he has been proclaimed. The court stated: Clearly, the legislative intent is that the COMELEC should continue the trial and hearing of the disqualification case to its conclusion i.e., until judgment is rendered thereon. The word "shall" signified that this requirement of the law is mandatory, operating to impose a positive duty which must be enforced. The implication is that the COMELEC is left with no discretion but to proceed with the disqualification case even after the election. Thus, in providing for the outright dismissal of the disqualification case which remains unresolved after the election, Silvestre vs. Duavit in effect disallows what R.A. The fact that Trinidad was already proclaimed and had assumed the position of mayor did not divest the COMELEC of authority and jurisdiction to continue the hearing and eventually decide the disqualification case. In Aguam v. COMELEC this Court held — Time and again this Court has given its imprimatur on the principle that COMELEC is with authority to annul any canvass and proclamation which was illegally made. The fact that a candidate proclaimed has assumed office, we have said, is no bar to the exercise of such power. It of course may not be availed of where there has been a valid proclamation. Since private respondent's petition before the COMELEC is precisely directed at the annulment of the canvass and proclamation, we perceive that inquiry into this issue is within the area allocated by the Constitution and law to COMELEC . . . Really, were a victim of a proclamation to be precluded from challenging the validity thereof after that proclamation and the assumption of office thereunder, baneful effects may easily supervene. It must be emphasized that the purpose of a disqualification proceeding is to prevent the candidate from running or, if elected. From serving, or to prosecute him for violation of the election laws. Obviously, the fact that a candidate has been proclaimed elected does not signify that his disqualification is deemed condoned and may no longer be the subject of a separate investigation . Accordingly, the petition is granted. The assailed resolutions of the COMELEC declaring petitioner Lonzanida disqualified to run for mayor in the 1998 mayoral elections are hereby set aside.1âwphi1.nê No. 6646 imperatively requires. This amounts to a quasi-judicial legislation by the COMELEC which cannot be countenanced and is invalid for having been issued beyond the scope of its authority. Interpretative rulings of quasi-judicial bodies or administrative agencies must always be in perfect harmony with statutes and should be for the sole purpose of carrying their general provisions into effect. By such interpretative or administrative rulings, of course, the scope of the law itself cannot be limited. Indeed, a quasi-judicial body or an administrative agency for that matter cannot amend an act of Congress. Hence, in case of a discrepancy between the basic law and an interpretative or administrative ruling, the basic law prevails. Besides, the deleterious effect of the Silvestre ruling is not difficult to foresee. A candidate guilty of election offenses would be undeservedly rewarded, instead of punished, by the dismissal of the disqualification case against him simply because the investigating body was unable, for any reason caused upon it, to determine before the election if the offenses were indeed committed by the candidate sought to be disqualified. All that the erring aspirant would need to do is to employ delaying tactics so that the disqualification case based on the commission of election offenses would not be decided before the election. This scenario is productive of more fraud which certainly is not the main intent and purpose of the law.

AQUINO.BANGI.BAYOT.CAEG.DE GUZMAN.EBORA.GAVINO.GOZOS.HERNANDEZ.HERRERA.HIZON.ISIDRO.LAGRAMADA.LASALA.MAGRATA. MAGPANTAY.MALAMUG.MIOLE.PABLO.PACETE.POSTRADO.RAMOS.TOLENTINO.VILLANO.YAP.YU 2010-2011

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