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Alunan vs Mirasol GR No.

108399 July 31, 1997 Facts: LGC of 1991 provided for an SK in every barangay to be composed of a chairman, 7 members, a secretary and a treasurer, and provided that the first SK elections were to be held 30 days after the next local elections. The Local Government Code was enacted January 1, 1992. The first elections under the code were held May of 1992. August 1992, COMELEC provided guidelines for the holding of the general elections for the SK on Sept. 30, 1992, which also placed the SK elections under the direct control and supervision of DILG, with the technical assistance of COMELEC. After postponements, they were held December 4, 1992. Registration in 6 districts of Manila was conducted. 152,363 people aged 15-21 registered, 15,749 of them filing certificated of candidacy. The City Council passed the necessary appropriations for the elections. September 18, 1992 The DILG, through Alunan, issued a letter-resolution exempting Manila from holding SK elections because the elections previously held on May 26, 1990 were to be considered the first SK elections under the new LGC. DILG acted on a letter by Santiago, acting President of the KB (Kabataang Barangay) City Federation of Manila and a member of the City Council of Manila, which stated that elections for the Kabataang Barangay were held on May 26, 1990. In this resolution, DILG stated that the LGC intended to exempt those barangay chapters which conducted their KB elections from January 1, 1998 to January 1, 1992 from the forthcoming SK elections. The terms of those elected would be extended to coincide with the terms of those elected in the SK elections Private respondents, claiming to represent 24,000 members of the Katipunan ng Kabataan, filed a petition for certiorari and mandamus, arguing that the DILG had no power to amend the resolutions of the COMELEC calling for general elections for SKs, and that DILG denied them equal protection of laws. RTC issued an injunction and ordered petitioners to desist from implementing the order of the DILG Secretary, and ordered them to perform the specified pre-election activities in order to implement the general elections. The case was reraffled to a different branch of the same court, and the new judge held that DILG had no power to exempt Manila from holding SK elections, because that power rests solely in COMELEC, and that COMELEC already determined that Manila has not previously held elections for KB by calling for a general election, and that the exemption of Manila violated the equal protection clause because of the 5,000 barangays that previously held elections, only in Manila, 897 barangay, were there no elections. Issue: Whether COMELEC can validly vest the DILG with the power of direct control and supervision over the SK elections with the technical assistance of COMELEC Whether DILG can exempt an LGU from holding SK elections Held: Despite the holding of SK elections in 1996, the case is not moot; it is capable of repetition, yet evading review. DILG had the authority to determine whether Manila would be required to hold SK elections. o COMELEC vesting DILG with such powers is not unconstitutional. Election for SK officers are not subject to the supervision of COMELEC in the same way that contests involving elections of SK officials do not fall within the jurisdiction of COMELEC.

Justice Davide, in Mercado vs Board of Election Supervisors, stated that the provision in the Omnibus Election Code that states that COMELEC shall have exclusive appellate jurisdiction over contest involving elective barangay officials only refer to elective barangay officials under the laws in force at the time the Code was enacted, which was the old LGC. Moreover, DILG was only acting or performing tasks in accordance to the framework of detailed and comprehensive rules embodied in a resolution of COMELEC. Although it is argued that no barangays were named in the resolution, DILG was not given discretionary powers because they merely used the time period set by COMELEC as a reference in designating exempted barangays. Likewise, the LGC of 1991 was held to be curative, and thus should be given retroactive effect, giving the mayor the authority to call elections; thus, the 1990 KB elections were not null and void for being conducted without authority. The contention of violation of the equal protection clause could not be determined from the records of this case. The mere showing that there were other barangays that held KB elections during the set period but were not exempted from the 1992 SK elections is not sufficient to prove that violation. An article in manila Bulletin stated that barangays in Bulacan did not have elections in 1992 because they held elections on January 1, 1988.