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from voting twice in the selection of Secretary in the proceedings of the Sanggunian as she had stated she will in different occasions. The first vote is to create a tie, the second is to break the tie as presiding officer. The LC judge granted a preliminary injunction. Perez filed for certiorari to the CA which granted a TRO but later dissolved it and dismissed Perez’ petition. Held: Remarkably, the charter of Naga City did not at all provide for the position of vice-mayor; indeed, it explicitly provided that "the City Treasurer shall perform the duties of the Mayor" "in the event of sickness, absence or other temporary incapacity of the Mayor." On June 19, 1959 upon approval of Republic Act 2259 making elective the offices of mayor, vice-mayor and councilors in chartered cities, the position of vice-mayor, among others was created. There is absolutely nothing in Republic Act 305, also known as the charter of the City of Naga, which provides that the vicemayor of the said city is a member of the municipal board thereof. For sooth, the position of vice-mayor was not even provided for, as the "acting
mayor" designated to take over in case of sickness, absence or other temporary incapacity of the Mayor was the "City Treasurer." True it is that upon the passage of Republic Act 2259, the position of vice-mayor in Naga City, and in all other chartered cities whose corporate charters did not provide for the position of vice-mayor, was created, but section 3 thereof simply provides that "the Vice-Mayor shall be the presiding officer of the City Council or Municipal Board in all chartered cities." It does not decree that the vicemayor is a member of the city council or municipal board. Section 3 of Rep. Act 2259 simply installs the vice-mayor as the presiding officer of the board in all chartered cities. It does not install the vice-mayor as a member thereof. This is especially true in the case of Naga where the position of vicemayor (whether appointive or elective) was originally not even provided for in its charter — the official next-in-rank to the mayor being the city treasurer. In no manner does the law, either in its original form under Rep. Act 305, or in its amendatory shape under Rep. Act 2259, constitute the vicemayor as a member of the municipal board. It simply says that "the vice-mayor shall be presiding officer of the City Council or Municipal Board." Nothing more.
The mere fact, therefore, that the vice-mayor was made the "presiding officer" of the board did not ipso jure make him a member thereof; and even if he "is an integral part of the Municipal Board" such fact does not necessarily confer on him "either the status of a regular member of its municipal board or the powers and attributes of a municipal councilor." In sum, the vice-mayor of Naga possesses in the municipal board of Naga no more than the prerogatives and authority of a "presiding officer" as such, and no more. Hebron v. Reyes July 28, 1958 Facts: Hebron was elected mayor of Carmona for a term of 4 years. Later, he received a letter from the Office of the President which stated that the President has directly assumed the investigation regarding the administrative charges leveled against him. He was immediately suspended until the end of the admin proceedings against him. The issue remained pending with the OP. The term of the petitioner was about to expire so he filed an action for quo warranto that Reyes was illegally holding the office of mayor. (at time of decision, the term did expire) Held:
The President has no power to remove or suspend local elective officials. There is neither statutory nor constitutional provision granting the President sweeping authority to remove municipal officials. The President’s supervisory authority over municipal affairs is even qualified by the proviso “as may be provided by law”, a clear indication of constitutional intention that the provisions was not to be self-executing but requires legislative implementation. Even in sec 64(b) of the Revised Administrative Code, conferring on the Chief Executive power to remove specifically enjoins that the said power should be exercised conformably to law, which means that removals must be accomplished only for any of the causes and in the fashion prescribed by law and the said procedure. Sections 2188 to 2191 of the RAC outline the procedure for the suspension and removal of municipal officers. Said sections expressly vest on the Provincial Governor and the Provincial Board the exclusive jurisdication to conduct investigation so fcomplaints against municipal officers for neglect of duty, oppression, corruption or other form of maladministration of office, and conviction by final judgment of any crime involving moral turpitude. It also provides for the periods of suspension allowable pending the
investigation and hearing of the admin charges. Mendova v. Afable December 4, 2002 Facts: Mendova charged Judge Crisanto B. Afable with ignorance of the law relative to a case filed by him for slight physical injuries. Mendova alleged that on February 18, 1998 he filed with the Office of the Barangay Chairman a complaint for slight physical injuries against Palada. The Barangay Chairman, in his Certification dated April 19, 1999,confirmed such fact. Pangkat Chairman also certified in an undated "Minutes In Settling Disputes" that the case was set for hearing on March 16, 22 and 29, 1998, but the parties failed to reach an amicable settlement. May 4, 1998: complainant filed with the McTC a complaint for slight physical injuries against Palada, November 3, 1998: respondent judge rendered his Decision dismissing the case on the ground of prescription. Mendova then filed with the OCA an administrative complaint against respondent judge. He alleged that in dismissing the case, respondent judge showed his ignorance of the law when he did not apply the provisions of Section 410(c) of Republic Act No. 7160 which provides the procedure for amicable settlement.
Held: Robert Palada committed the crime of slight physical injuries on February 15, 1998. On February 18, 1998, complainant filed his complaint with the Office of the Barangay Chairman. Pursuant to the provisions of Section 410(c) of The Local Government Code of 1991, quoted earlier, such filing interrupted the prescriptive period and started to run again upon receipt by the complainant of the Certification to File Action issued by the Pangkat Secretary. Here, records fail to show when complainant received the Barangay Certification to File Action. The undated certification he submitted merely states that the case was set for hearing before the barangay on March 16, 22 and 29, 1998, but the parties failed to reach an amicable settlement. When he filed on May 4, 1998 Criminal Case No. 2198-98 for slight physical injuries with respondent's court, until the dismissal of the case on November 3, 1998, he still failed to present proof of his receipt of the Barangay Certification to File Action. Clearly, he cannot now fault respondent judge for dismissing the case on the ground of prescription. While respondent admitted his mistake, the same may not be considered ignorance of the law. If at all, it can only be an error of judgment.
Finally, we noted that the complaint does not allege any bad faith or malice on the part of respondent judge when he dismissed the criminal case. MMDA v. Bel Air March 27, 2000 Facts: MMDA, without any ordinance from Makati, ordered Bel-Air Village Assoc to open Neptune Street to traffic, pursuant to its alleged police power. Held: Local government units exercise police power through their respective legislative bodies. The MMDA is not a local government unit and there is nothing in the law that grants MMDA police and legislative powers. The MMDA is a mere development authority. Neither does the governing board of the MMDA, the Metro Manila Council, exercise police or legislative powers. The powers of the MMDA are limited to: formulation, coordination, regulation, implementation, preparation, management, monitaoring and setting of policies, installation of a system and administration. The MMDA is not the “special metropolitan political subdivision” mentioned in Sec 11, Art X of the Constitution because the creation of the MMDA was not submitted in a plebiscite nor is the Chair of the
MMDA elected by the inhabitants of Metro Manila. Caasi v. CA November 8, 1990 Facts: These are consolidated petitions for the disqualification of Merlito Miguel, who was elected mayor of Bolinao, Pangasinan in 1998. Petitioners here allege that Miguel is a green card holder, and thus, is a permanent resident of the US and not the Philippines. COMELEC dismissed petition, and in the case Caasi filed, the CA dismissed the quo warranto petition. Held: Miguel's immigration to the United States in 1984 constituted an abandonment of his domicile and residence in the Philippines. For he did not go to the United States merely to visit his children or his doctor there; he entered the limited States with the intention to have there permanently as evidenced by his application for an immigrant's (not a visitor's or tourist's) visa. Based on that application of his, he was issued by the U.S. Government the requisite green card or authority to reside there permanently. He also did not, by returning to the Philippines in November 1987 and presenting himself as a candidate for mayor of Bolinao in the January 18,1988 local elections, waive his status as a
permanent resident or immigrant of the United States To be "qualified to run for elective office" in the Philippines, the law requires that the candidate who is a green card holder must have "waived his status as a permanent resident or immigrant of a foreign country." Therefore, his act of filing a certificate of candidacy for elective office in the Philippines, did not of itself constitute a waiver of his status as a permanent resident or immigrant of the United States. The waiver of his green card should be manifested by some act or acts independent of and done prior to filing his candidacy for elective office in this country. Without such prior waiver, he was "disqualified to run for any elective office" (Sec. 68, Omnibus Election Code).
Indeed a fundamental tenet of representative democracy is that the people should be allowed to choose those whom they please to govern them. To bar the election of a local official because he has already served three terms, although the first as a result of succession by operation of law rather than election, would therefore be to violate this principle. Not only historical examination but textual analysis as well supports the ruling of the COMELEC that Art. X, §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 official[s]" from serving for more than three consecutive terms. The second sentence, in explaining when an elective local 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 this provision is to prevent a circumvention of the limitation on the number of terms an elective local official may serve. Conversely, if he is not serving a term for which he was elected because he is simply continuing the service of
Borja v. COMELEC September 3, 1998 Facts: Capco became vice-mayor of Pateros in 1989 by virtue of Mayor Borja’s death. He ran again in 1992 and 1995, and won both times. He filed for candidacy again in 1998 but Borja, Jr. who is running against him filed a disqualification in that he had already served 3 terms. Held:
the official he succeeds, such official cannot be considered to have fully served the term notwithstanding his voluntary renunciation of office prior to its expiration. 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. David v. COMELEC April 8, 1997 Facts: These are two consolidated the cases. The first is a petition for prohibition filed by Alex David, president of Liga ng mga Brgy sa Pilipinas and Brgy Chair of Brgy 77, Kalookan. The second is by Petitioner Liga ng mga Barangay Quezon City Chapter represented by its president Bonifacio M. Rillon. Essentially, the two petitions raise a common question: How long is the term of office of barangay chairmen and other barangay officials who were elected to their respective offices on the second Monday of May 1994? Is it three years, as provided by RA 7160 (the Local Government Code) or five years, as contained in RA 6679?
Contending that their term is five years, petitioners ask this Court to order the cancellation of the scheduled barangay election this coming May 12, 1997 and to reset it to the second Monday of May, 1999. Held: The intent and design of the legislature to limit the term of barangay officials to only three (3) years as provided under the Local Government Code emerges as bright as the sunlight. The cardinal rule in the interpretation of all laws is to ascertain and give effect to the intent of the law. And three years is the obvious intent. First. RA 7160, the Local Government Code, was enacted later than RA 6679. It is basic that in case of an irreconciliable conflict between two laws of different vintages, the later enactment prevails. Legis posteriores priores contrarias abrogant. Second. The Local Autonomy Code mandates a direct vote on the barangay chairman by the entire barangay electorate, separately from the seven kagawads. Third. During the barangay elections held on May 9, 1994 (second Monday), the voters actually and directly elected one punong barangay and seven kagawads. Fourth. In enacting the general appropriations act of 1997,Congress appropriated the amount of P400 million to cover expenses for the holding of barangay elections
Fifth. In Paras vs. Comelec, this Court said that "the next regular election involving the barangay office concerned is barely seven (7) months away, the same having been scheduled in May, 1997." Sixth. RA. 7160 is a codified set of laws that specifically applies to local government units. It specifically and definitively provides in its Sec. 43-c that "the term of office of barangay officials . . . shall be for three years." Undoubtedly, the Constitution did not expressly prohibit Congress from fixing any term of office for barangay officials. It merely left the determination of such term to the lawmaking body, without any specific limitation or prohibition, thereby leaving to the lawmakers full discretion to fix such term in accordance with the exigencies of public service. It must be remembered that every law has in its favor the presumption of constitutionality. For a law to be nullified, it must be shown that there is a clear and unequivocal (not just implied) breach of the Constitution. 39 To strike down a law as unconstitutional, there must be a clear and unequivocal showing that what the fundamental law prohibits, the statute permits. The petitioners have miserably failed to discharge this burden and to show clearly the unconstitutionality they aver.
Reyes v. COMELEC and De Castro (1996) FACTS: Reyes was the incumbent mayor of the municipality of Bongabong, Oriental Mindoro, having been elected to that office on May 11, 1992. On October 26, 1994, an administrative complaint was filed against him with the Sangguniang Panlalawigan alleging several acts of appropriation to himself of public funds. The Sanggunian found Reyes guilty of the charges and ordered his removal from office on February 6, 1995. On March 23, an order was issued for Reyes to vacate the position of mayor and peacefully turn over the office to the incumbent vice mayor. But service upon Reyes was refused. Earlier, on March 20, Reyes filed a certificate of candidacy (COC) with the Office of the Election Officer of the COMELEC in Bongabong. On March 24, De Castro, as registered voter of Bongabong, sought the disqualification of Reyes as candidate for mayor. Nonetheless, because of the lack of any contrary order from the COMELEC, Reyes was voted for in the elections of May 8, 1995. On May 8, COMELEC issued a resolution on De Castro’s petition disqualifying Reyes from running for public office. Reyes’ COC is then cancelled. A day later, or on May 9, 1995, the Municipal Board of Canvassers, apparently unaware of the disqualification resolution,
proclaimed Reyes as duly elected mayor. On July 3, Reyes filed an MR of the COMELEC disqualification resolution but the latter denied said petition. ISSUE: WON charges against Reyes have become moot and academic by expiration of the term during which acts complained of had been committed; HELD: NO. Although Reyes brought an action to question the decision in the administrative case, the TRO issued in the action he brought lapsed, with the result that the decision served on him and it thereafter became final on April 3, 1995. Reyes failed to appeal to the Office of the President. He was thus validly removed from office and pursuant to Sec. 40(b) of the LGC, he was disqualified from running for reelection. Malonzo v. COMELEC March 11, 1997 Facts: Malonzo was elected as mayor of Caloocan (May 8, 1995). July 1996, 1057 Punong Barangays and SB Members as well as SK Charis, constituting a majority of the members of the Preparatory Recall Assembly of the City of Caloocan, met and upon deliberation and election, voted for the approval of the resolution expressing loss of confidence in Mayor Malonzo and calling for the initiation of
recall proceedings. Malonzo filed a petition with COMELEC opposing the recall. This was denied by COMELEC which set the election recall for Dec 14, 2006. Held: The Liga ng mga Barangay is undoubtedly an entity distinct from the Preparatory Recall Assembly. It just so happens that the personalities representing the barangays in the Liga are the very members of the PRA, the majority of whom met on July 7, 1996, and voted in favor of the resolution call for recall, after deliberation reported in the record in accordance with existing law. Thus, the Punong Barangays and SB members convened as voted as members of the PRA, and not as members of the Liga. The law on recall did not prescribe an elaborate proceeding. Neither did it demand a specific procedure. What is fundamental is compliance with the provision that: 1. There should be a session called for the purpose of initiating recall proceedings 2. Attended by a majority of all member of the PRA 3. In a public place, and 4. The resolution resulting from such assembly be adopted by a majority of all members of the PRA.
Rivera v. Municipality of Malolos October 31, 1957 Facts: In 1949, the municipality of Malolos called for bids for furnishing and delivering materials to be used in the maintenance and repair of barrio roads, which Rivera won. The contract was then signed by Rivera and Maclang in his capacity and municipal mayor. Rivera then delivered the materials but after repeated demands was not paid. The appellant then sought the intervention of the Presidential Complaint and Action Commission, which referred the matter to the General Auditing Office which turned down the claim. Held: Before a contract may be entered into validly by a municipality, the law requires that there should be an appropriation of municipal funds to meet the obligation validly passed by the municipal council and approved by the municipal mayor. If the law requires that before a contract involving the expenditure of P2,000 or more may be entered into or authorized, the municipal treasurer must certify to the officer entering into such contracts that funds have been duly appropriated for such purpose and that the amount necessary to cover the proposed contract-is available for
expenditure on account thereof; and that purported contract entered into contrary to the requirements just stated is wholly void, the petitioner's claim that there is no longer any question as to the validity of the contract entered into by and between the petitioner and the municipal mayor of Malolos is not correct. Likewise, if the law provides that the provincial auditor or his representative must check up the deliveries made by a contractor pursuant to a contract lawfully and validly entered into, and there was no such check up, the petitioner's claim that there is no longer an issue as to whether the road construction materials have been actually delivered by the petitioner and received by the respondent is groundless. The Auditor General is not in duty bound to pass and allow in audit the sum claimed by the petitioner if he or his authorized representative did not check up the delivery of the crushed adobe stone and gravel. To say that the purpose and aim of this checking requirement is to forestall fraud and collusion is to state what is obvious. The petitioner enlisted the aid of the Presidential Complaints and Action Committee to request the Auditor General to pass in audit and authorize the payment of the petitioner's claim. The Auditor General had no alternative but to comply with the provisions of the law and as
the contract entered into by the municipal mayor of Malolos, Bulacan, was not in accordance with law, the Auditor General was correct in denying the petitioner's claim. Abella v. Municipality of Naga Facts: The Municipality of Naga, by resolution, ordered the closing of part of a municipal street which ran between the public market and Abella’s property and used the closed thoroughfare to expand the market. Abella claims that permanent, semi-permanent as well as temporary constructions were allowed by the municipality of Naga along the sidewalk of her property depriving her of access to streets and retarding her reconstruction. Held: The municipality was not charged with any unlawful act, or with acting without authority, or with invasion of plaintiff’s property rights; the basis of the lower court’s decision to award damages to Abella is Section 2246 of the RAC which provides that no municiapal street, etc. or any part thereof “shall be closed without indemnifying any person prejudiced thereby.” It was admitted in the lower court that Abella was economically damaged and therefore the municipality is liable to pay.
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