EUNICE R.

MANSION POLITICAL LAW REVIEW

BACHELOR OF LAWS DR. REY OLIVER S. ALEJANDRINO

THE CONTINUOUS IMPLEMENTATION OF THE THREE-TERM LIMIT

OF ELECTIVE LOCAL OFFICIALS

I. Introduction

II. Thesis Statement

III. The three-term limit rule

IV. Prolonging term limit vs. three-term limit of local officials

V. Conclusion

Senator Poe and Senator Escudero. However. the differing positions of the Vice-President and the President of the Philippines as regards the extension of the terms of local officials sparked debates. later. Introduction Last July 17. hindi ako naniniwala diyan. He said in an address in Negros Occidental that “Itong term na ito. She said “doing away with term limits may also make it easier for families with dynastic inclinations to perpetuate themselves in office” (Calonzo. Legaspi. ipapaalis ko ang term limitation hanggang gusto. Hanggang gusto ng tao. 2 I. . Vice-President Jejomar Binay announced that he will be pushing for constitutional amendments on the term limits for local officials if he wins the presidency in 2016. Kaya kung merong amendment sa Constitution. iboto nang iboto”. Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Usec. VP Binay’s spokesman emphasized the latter’s stand for no term limits for local officials. 2015. Abigail Valte opposed VP Binay’s stand. Kailangan one to sawa ‘yan. 2015) Consequently. Joey Salgado. and Marcelo. This will ensure the continuity of programs which will benefit the locality in the long term according to United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) spokesperson Mon Ilagan.

Sovereignty resides in the people and all government authority emanates from them. II. and to elucidate the researcher’s stand on such matter. According to the then Chief Justice Reynato S. through the ballot. and disputes the extension of the three-term limit of local officials. III. 2015). 3 expressed their rejection of the proposal to lift term limits for local officials (Cruz. shows the pros and cons of the proposal to lift the term limit of local officials using the related laws and latest jurisprudence. people express are able to choose their leaders in accordance with the fundamental principle of representative . the researcher found it necessary to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of prolonging the terms of local officials. Puno. Hence. The electoral process is one of the prerequisites of a democratic and republican framework because it is through the act of voting that government by consent is secured. The three-term limit rule The Philippines is a democratic and republican State. Thesis Statement This paper elucidates the three-term limit of local officials under the Constitution and the Local Government Code.

Under Section 8. while it is settled that in elections. Our Constitution and statutes are clear about the existence of term limits. COMELEC. “The term of office of elective local officials. Section 8. 2014). 2014). 4 democracy that the people should elect whom they please to govern them. the Supreme Court has repeatedly declared that a public office is a public trust and not a vested property right (Montescarlos vs. COMELEC. Article X of the 1987 Philippine Constitution. Voluntary renunciation of the office for any length of time shall not be considered as an interruption in the . there are limitations to being elected to a public office. COMELEC cited in Naval vs. which shall be determined by law. Moreover. and the guarantee from the State that citizens shall have equal access to public service. the first consideration of every democratic polity is to give effect to the expressed will of the majority. is significantly reiterated by Section 43 (b) of the Local Government Code. shall be three years and no such official shall serve for more than three consecutive terms. the nature of public office. Accordingly. Article X of our Constitution. on term limits. except barangay officials. Voting has an important instrumental value in preserving the viability of constitutional democracy (Naval vs.

as worded. the constitutional provision fixes the term of a local elective office and limits an elective officials stay in office to no more than three consecutive terms. 5 continuity of his service for the full term for which he was elected (The 1987 Constitution of the republic of the Philippines …. the first branch is. to wit. 2005). 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 1987 Constitution of the republic of the Philippines …. to wit. . According to the Supreme Court. The Local Government Code Section 43 (b) reiterated the above- mentioned provision. “No local elective official shall serve for more than three (3) consecutive terms in the same position. 2005). there are two branches in the three- term limit. and the second branch is the provision that voluntary renunciation of office shall not be considered as an interruption in the continuity of his service for the full term for which he was elected.

COMELEC. a loss of title to office by conscious choice. In the context of the three-term limit rule. not to the service that a public official may render. In other words. The second branch does not textually state that voluntary renunciation is the only actual interruption of service that does not affect continuity of service for a full term for purposes of the three-term limit rule. . such loss of title is not considered an interruption because it is presumed to be purposely sought to avoid the application of the term limitation (Abundo vs. This formulation no more than three consecutive terms is a clear command suggesting the existence of an inflexible rule. the limitation refers to the term. It is a pure declaratory statement of what does not serve as an interruption of service for a full term. The descriptive word voluntary linked together with renunciation signifies an act of surrender based on the surenderee’s own freely exercised will. 2013). 6 Under the first branch. The meaning is clear reference is to the term. thus. This complements the term limitation under the first branch. the limitation is expressed in the negative that no such official shall serve for more than three consecutive terms. The second branch relates to the express initiative to prevent any circumvention of the limitation through voluntary severance of ties with the public office.

who has served for three consecutive terms and who did not seek the elective position for what could be his fourth term. the Supreme Court enunciated the effective and ineffective interruptions in the three-term limit rule: In Aldovino vs. had an interruption in the continuity of the official’s service for he had become in the interim a private citizen. it was ruled that the abolition of an elective office due to the conversion of a municipality to a . by its nature does not involve an effective interruption of a term. 7 In the following cases. In Adormeo v. It merely requires an easily fabricated administrative charge that can be dismissed soon after a preventive suspension had been imposed. as it does not require relinquishment or loss of office even for the briefest time. but later won in a recall election. In Latasa v. it was held that preventive suspension. Commission on Elections and Socrates v. it was held that an elective official. Thus. Commission on Elections. Commission on Elections. A preventive suspension is easier to undertake than voluntary renunciation. preventive suspension as an effective interruption of a term can serve as circumvention more potent than the voluntary renunciation that the Constitution expressly disallows as an interruption (2009). Commission on Elections.

Alegre and Rivera III v. it was declared that when an official is defeated in an election protest and the decision becomes final only after the official had served the full term for the office. His full service should be counted in the application of term limits because the nullification of his proclamation came after the expiration of the term. Commission on Elections. An interruption for any length of time. ruled that the three-term limit contemplates a rest period during which the local elective official steps down from office and ceases to exercise power or authority over the . provided the cause is involuntary is sufficient to break the continuity of service (cited in Abundo vs. The Supreme Court. COEMELEC. his term is interrupted when he loses in an election protest and is ousted from office. it was held that when a candidate is proclaimed as winner for an elective position and assumes office. In Ong v. work to interrupt the incumbent official’s continuity of service. his loss in the election contest does not constitute an interruption since he has managed to serve the term from start to finish. However. 2013). In Lonzanida v. Commission on Elections and Dizon v. 8 city does not. in sum. Commission on Elections. by itself.

these are the following: 1. . the official concerned has been elected for three consecutive terms in the same local government post. COMELEC. 2015). three-term limit of local officials Democracy resides in the people and preventing qualified persons from running because they have already served the maximum allowable term is a diminution of their power to choose who should lead them (Danao. however short. Prolonging term limit vs. and 2. COMELEC. IV. COMELEC. 2009). Accordingly. he has fully served three consecutive terms (Aldovino vs. 2003). for an elective interruption to occur (Aldovino vs. 9 inhabitants of the territorial jurisdiction of a particular local government unit (Latasa vs. The interruption of a term exempting an elective official from the three-term limit rule is one that involves no less than involuntary loss of title to office. 2009). there are 2 requisites for the disqualification pursuant to the three-term limit rule to take effect. The elective official must have involuntarily left his office for a length of time.

millions and thousands of pesos from the taxes paid by the people and were spent for such programs will be at naught. Consequently. These matters were seen and raised by the Constitutional Commissioners. 2014). another bulk of monies shall be needed and spent for the corresponding change of programs. and the restriction of the power of the citizens to elect whoever they want to remain in office (Naval vs. 10 By limiting the term of office. Their excellent programs will be cut and removed by the next winning official verily. Some of the Commissioners posited that limiting the term of office of local officials’ results to wasting the experience of seasoned public servants. On the other hand. the Supreme Court declared that the three-term limit rule was designed by the framers of the Constitution to prevent the monopoly of power centered only on a chosen few. the outstanding officials are prevented from continuing their remarkable service. The said . Worse. COMELEC. when the latter came from the opposition. as can be gleaned in the Journal of the Constitutional Commission anent the exchanges of the members on the subject of the three-term limit imposed on local elective officials.

2014). COMELEC. Nevertheless. Also. It is true. Conclusion The researcher found the continuous implementation of the three- term limit of local elective officials more advantageous for the Filipino people and therefore stands for the same. Also. it is likewise true that these outstanding officials can vie for other positions in the local government to maintain their excellent programs . 11 disqualification was primarily intended to prevent the accumulation of massive political power by an elective local government official in a given locality in order to perpetuate his tenure in office. Further. that democracy shall further be emphasized by not limiting the service of outstanding officials to three consecutive terms. the prohibition seeks to infuse new blood in the political arena by rendering ineligible for public office those who have been elected and served for three (3) consecutive terms in the same public elective post (Naval vs. the framers considered the necessity of the enhancement of the freedom of choice of the electorate by broadening the selection of would-be elective public officers. V. it will ensure the continuous implementation of their excellent programs.

hindering other would-be officials to give their outstanding service and to develop excellent programs for the people. . thus. indeed their programs will not be at naught. an American preacher and author. What should be underscored here is the massive and increasing abuse of power by many local officials in their given unit by monopolizing the power given by the people. 12 and let other would-be elective officers to develop new programs for the Filipino people. a politician thinks of the next election. COMELEC. Hence. the term limit of the local officials should not be prolonged and the three-term limit of the elective local officials should be continuously implemented. 2014). According to James Freeman Clarke. but a statesman thinks of the next generation (cited in Naval vs. inasmuch as the Filipino people would vote for them over and over again and for whatever position they will vie for if they are truthfully outstanding in their service. With such in the minds of these outstanding local officials.

(2015. Retrieved from http://mobile.pdf Aldovino vs. and Marcelo E.judiciary.ph/jurisprudence/2009/december2009/184836. July 21). (2015. Retrieved from http://sc.. GMA News Online. The Manila Times.gov. January 8). Supreme Court of the Philippines. Supreme Court of the Philippines. Chiz reject proposal to lift term limits for local officials. Palace reminds VP Binay: Lifting of term limits opens door for abuse. Poe. 13 References Abundo vs.htm Calonzo. Retrieved from sc. (2015. Legaspi A. COMELEC.gmanetwork. COMELEC. Efren L. Proposal to lift term limits meritorious.judiciary.net/proposal-to-lift- term-limits-meritorious/202310// . December 23. 2009.ph/jurisprudence/2013/January2013/201716.manilatimes.gov. A.abs- cbnnews. Retrieved from http://www.com/nation/07/18/15/poe-chiz-reject-proposal-lift-term-limits-local -officials/ Danao. (2013. RG. July 18).COM.. July 17). Retrieved from http://www. ABS-CBN NEWS.palace- reminds-vp-binay-lifting-of-term-limits-opens-doors-for-abuse Cruz.com/news/story/523938/news/nation.

and Anti-Graft Laws. 2005 Edition. The Initiative and Referendum Act.ph/jurisprudence/2003/dec2003/154829. The Omnibus Election Code.net/judjuris/juri2014/jul2014/gr_207851_2014. Retrieved from http://www. Inc. COMELEC. Supreme court of the Philippines. 2003. The Civil Service Law. 14 Latasa vs. Quezon City: Rex Printing Company.lawphil. COMELEC.judiciary.gov.html The 1987 Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines Including The Local Government Code.htm Naval vs. (2014 July 8). Retrieved from http://sc. . The Lawphil Project. December 10.