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Bel-Air Village

[328 SCRA 836; G.R. No. 135962; 27 Mar 2000]

Facts: Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), petitioner herein, is a

Government Agency tasked with the delivery of basic services in Metro Manila. Bel-Air
Village Association (BAVA), respondent herein, received a letter of request from the
petitioner to open Neptune Street of Bel-Air Village for the use of the public. The said
opening of Neptune Street will be for the safe and convenient movement of persons and to
regulate the flow of traffic in Makati City. This was pursuant to MMDA law or Republic Act
No. 7924. On the same day, the respondent was appraised that the perimeter wall
separating the subdivision and Kalayaan Avenue would be demolished.

The respondent, to stop the opening of the said street and demolition of the wall, filed a
preliminary injunction and a temporary restraining order. Respondent claimed that the
MMDA had no authority to do so and the lower court decided in favor of the Respondent.
Petitioner appealed the decision of the lower courts and claimed that it has the authority to
open Neptune Street to public traffic because it is an agent of the State that can practice
police power in the delivery of basic services in Metro Manila.

Issue: Whether or not the MMDA has the mandate to open Neptune Street to public traffic
pursuant to its regulatory and police powers.

Held: The Court held that the MMDA does not have the capacity to exercise police power.
Police power is primarily lodged in the National Legislature. However, police power may be
delegated to government units. Petitioner herein is a development authority and not a
political government unit. Therefore, the MMDA cannot exercise police power because it
cannot be delegated to them. It is not a legislative unit of the government. Republic Act No.
7924 does not empower the MMDA to enact ordinances, approve resolutions and
appropriate funds for the general welfare of the inhabitants of Manila. There is no syllable in
the said act that grants MMDA police power.

It is an agency created for the purpose of laying down policies and coordinating with various
national government agencies, peoples organizations, non-governmental organizations and
the private sector for the efficient and expeditious delivery of basic services in the vast
metropolitan area.

[G.R. No. 181367, April 24, 2012]

The approval of an ordinance where the LCE affixes his signature is not a purely ministerial
act. He in fact has veto power.

In an effort to exonerate himself from the charge, petitioner argues that the deliberations
undertaken and the consequent passage of Resolution No. 57-S-92 are legislative in nature.
He adds that as local chief executive, he has neither the official custody of nor the duty to
prepare said resolution; hence, he could not have taken advantage of his official position in
committing the crime of falsification as defined and punished under Article 171 6 of the
Revised Penal Code.

Petitioner would like to impress upon this Court that the final step in the approval of an
ordinance or resolution, where the local chief executive affixes his signature, is purely a
ministerial act. This view is erroneous. Article 109(b) of the Local Government Code outlines
the veto power of the Local Chief Executive which provides: Art. 109 (b). The local chief
executive, except the punong barangay shall have the power to veto any particular item or
items of an appropriations ordinance, an ordinance or resolution adopting a local
development plan and public investment program or an ordinance directing the payment of
money or creating liability. . . . .

Contrary to petitioner's belief, the grant of the veto power confers authority beyond the
simple mechanical act of signing an ordinance or resolution, as a requisite to its
enforceability. Such power accords the local chief executive the discretion to sustain a
resolution or ordinance in the first instance or to veto it and return it with his objections to
the Sanggunian, which may proceed to reconsider the same. The Sanggunian concerned,
however, may override the veto by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of all its members thereby
making the ordinance or resolution effective for all legal intents and purposes. It is clear,
therefore, that the concurrence of a local chief executive in the enactment of an ordinance
or resolution requires, not only a flourish of the pen, but the application of judgment after
meticulous analysis and intelligence as well.

The minutes of the session reveal that petitioner attended the session of the Sangguniang
Bayan on July 27, 1992. It is evident, therefore, that petitioner approved the subject
resolution knowing fully well that "the subject matter treated therein was neither taken up
and discussed nor passed upon by the Sangguniang Bayan during the legislative session."

The Sandiganbayan is directed to set the criminal case for arraignment and trial.


A new organizational structure and staffing pattern of the

provincialgovernment of Aklan was approved by the Joint Commission on LocalGovernment
Personnel Administration. The reorganization provided three hundred sixty four (364)
regular plan tilla positions from the previous three hundred thirty nine (339) with the Office
of the Governor allocated one hundred forty four (144) from the previous sixty(60)
positions. Petitioner herein, issued a Memorandum inviting all provincial officials and
employees to apply for any of the authorized positions in the new
staffingpattern for the evaluation and assessment of the Provincial PlacementCommittee. 21
supposedly aggrieved employees jointly appealed to petitioner pursuant to Section 18 of the
Rules on Government Reorganization issued by the Civil Service Commission and Sections
2, 3, 4, 5 and 12 of Republic Act 6656(1988) entitled An Act to Protect the Security of
Tenure of Civil Officers
andEmployees in the Implementation of Government Reorganization. Theyprayed that they
be appointed to the positions they applied for to which
theyare eligible, having the required educational background, training andexperience. They
likewise sent petitioner individual letters reiterating their qualifications and praying for
reconsideration of their new appointments
topositions lower in rank than their positions prior to the reorganization. Petitioner denied
their plea. Upon appeal, CSC found that irregularities attended the election of the two
members representing the first and second level personnel to the Placement Committee
based on the affidavit executed by one Nida E. Melgarejo and
theletter appeal of some thirty-seven (37) employees of the provincialgovernment of Aklan.
Furthermore, it found petitioner to have violated Sec. 7of the Rules on Reorgnization and
Memorandum Circular No. 5, s. of
1988providing preference for appointment of employees holding permanentpositions consid
ering that private respondents who were all holdingpermanent appointments to regular
items prior to the reorganization were proposed to positions much lower than their former
items despite the
factthat their old items were carried over in the new staffing pattern. TheCommission found
no reason for displacing the services of privaterespondents primarily because there are
eighty-four (84) additional positions for the Office of the Governor alone. The CSC found
that sixteen (16) of the seventeen (17) private respondents were demoted because of the
wide disparity between the former positions held by them and the positions to which they
were proposed by petitioner.

ISSUE/S: Whether CSC committed grave abuse of discretion in reinstating the dismissed

Yes. With respect to the sixteen private respondents, respondentCommission committed no

grave abuse of discretion in ordering that they
be"immediately appointed and restored to their positions or positions of comparable or equi
valent rank without loss of seniority rights with backsalaries reckoned from dates they shoul
d properly have been appointedthereto effective the date of the reorganization of said
province."It is within the power of public respondent to order the reinstatement
of government employees who have been unlawfully dismissed. The CSC, as the central
personnel agency, has the obligation to implement and safeguard the constitutional
provisions on security of tenure and due process. In the present case, the issuance by the
CSC of the questioned resolutions, for the
reasonsclearly explained therein, is indubitably in the performance of itsconstitutional task
of protecting and strengthening the civil service.

However, with respect to private respondent Oczon, we hold that

respondentCommission did commit grave abuse of discretion in ordering hisreinstatement
with back salary, considering that he was not terminated as a result of the reorganization

MMDA vs Garin

FACTS: Respondent Garin was issued a traffic violation receipt (TVR) and his drivers
license was confiscated for parking illegally. Garin wrote to then MMDA Chairman Prospero
Oreta requesting the return of his license and expressed his preference for his case to be file
in Court. Without an immediate reply from the chairman, Garin filed for a preliminary
injunction assailing among others that Sec 5 (f) of RA 7924 violates the constitutional
prohibition against undue delegation of legislative authority, allowing MMDA to fix and
impose unspecified and unlimited fines and penalties. RTC rule in his favor, directing MMDA
to return his license and for the authority to desist from confiscating drivers license without
first giving the driver the opportunity to be heard inan appropriate proceeding. Thus this

ISSUE: Whether or not Sec 5(f) of RA 7924 which authorizes MMDA to confiscate and
suspend or revoke drivers license in the enforcement of traffic rules and regulations

RULING: The MMDA is not vested with police power. It was concluded that MMDA is not a
local government unit of a public corporation endowed with legislative power and it has no
power to enact ordinances for the welfare of the community. Police power, as an inherent
attribute of sovereignty is the power vested in the legislature to make, ordain, establish all
manner of wholesome and reasonable laws, statutes and ordinances either with penalties of
without, not repugnant to the constitution, as they shall judge to be for good and welfare of
the commonwealth and for subjects of the same. There is no provision in RA 7924 that
empowers MMDA or its council to enact ordinance, approve resolutions and appropriate
funds for the general welfare of the inhabitants of Metro Manila. It is an agency created for
the purpose of laying down policies and coordinating with the various national government
agencies, Peoples Organizations, NGOs and private sector for the efficient and expeditious
delivery of services. All its functions are administrative in nature.


G. R. No. 79974 December 17, 1987 (CASE DIGEST)


Respondent Salvador Mison was appointed as the Commissioner of the Bureau of Customs
by then President (Corazon) Aquino. The said appointment made by the President is being
questioned by petitioner Ulpiano Sarmiento III and Juanito Arcilla who are both taxpayers,
members of the bar, and both Constitutional law professors, stating that the said
appointment is not valid since the appointment was not submitted to the Commission On
Appointment (COA) for approval. Under the Constitution, the appointments made for the
"Heads of Bureau" requires the confirmation from COA.


WHETHER OR NOT the appointment made by the President without the confirmation from
COA is valid.


Yes, under the 1987 Constitution, Heads of Bureau are removed from the list of officers that
needed confirmation from the Commission On Appointment. It enumerated the four (4)
groups whom the President shall appoint:

Heads of the Executive Departments, Ambassadors, other public minister or consuls,

Officers of the Armed Forces from the rank of Colonel or Naval Captain, and Other officers
whose appointments are vested in him in him in this Constitution;
The above-mentioned circumstance is the only instance where the appointment made by
the President that requires approval from the COA and the following instances are those
which does not require approval from COA:

All other Officers of the Government whose appointments are not otherwise provided by

Those whom the President may be authorized by law to appoint; and

Officers lower in rank whose appointments the Congress may by law vest in the President


G.R. No. 87193, 23 June 1989 [Naturalization; Reacquisition]


Juan G. Frivaldo was proclaimed governor of the province of Sorsogon and assumed office in
due time. The League of Municipalities filed with the COMELEC a petition for the annulment
of Frivaldo on the ground that he was not a Filipino citizen, having been naturalized in the
United States.

Frivaldo admitted the allegations but pleaded the special and affirmative defenses that he
was naturalized as American citizen only to protect himself against President Marcos during
the Martial Law era.


Whether or not Frivaldo is a Filipino citizen.


No. Section 117 of the Omnibus Election Code provides that a qualified voter must be,
among other qualifications, a citizen of the Philippines, this being an indispensable
requirement for suffrage under Article V, Section 1, of the Constitution.
He claims that he has reacquired Philippine citizenship by virtue of valid repatriation. He
claims that by actively participating in the local elections, he automatically forfeited
American citizenship under the laws of the United States of America. The Court stated that
that the alleged forfeiture was between him and the US. If he really wanted to drop his
American citizenship, he could do so in accordance with CA No. 63 as amended by CA No.
473 and PD 725. Philippine citizenship may be reacquired by direct act of Congress, by
naturalization, or by repatriation.

Jalosjos v. COMELEC

G.R. No. 205033 : June 18, 2013



On November 16, 2001, the Court promulgated its Decision convicting petitioner by final
judgment.Consequently, he was sentenced to suffer the principal penalties of reclusion
perpetua and reclusion temporal for each count, respectively, which carried the accessory
penalty of perpetual absolute disqualification pursuant to Article 41 of the Revised Penal
Code. On April 30, 2007, then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo issued an order
commuting his prison term to sixteen (16) years, three (3) months and three (3) days.

On April 26, 2012,petitioner applied to register as a voter in Zamboanga City. However,

because of his previous conviction, his application was denied by the Acting City Election
Officer of the Election Registration Board (ERB), prompting him to file a Petition for
Inclusion in the Permanent List of Voters before the Municipal Trial Court in Cities of
Zamboanga City. Pending resolution of the same, he filed a CoCon October 5, 2012, seeking
to run as mayor for Zamboanga City in the upcoming local elections scheduled on May 13,
2013. In his CoC, petitioner stated,inter alia,that he is eligible for the said office and that he
is a registered voter of Barangay Tetuan, Zamboanga City.

On October 18, 2012,the MTCC denied his Petition for Inclusion on account of his perpetual
absolute disqualification which in effect, deprived him of the right to vote in any election.
Such denial was affirmed by the Regional Trial Court in its Order which, pursuant to Section
138 of Batas Pambansa Bilang 881, as amended, otherwise known as the "Omnibus Election
Code" (OEC), was immediately final and executory.

The COMELEC En Banc issued motu proprio Resolution No. 9613 on January 15, 2013,
resolving "to CANCEL and DENY due course the Certificate of Candidacy filed by Romeo G.
Jalosjos as Mayor of Zamboanga City in the May 13, 2013 National and Local Elections" due
to his perpetual absolute disqualification as well as his failure to comply with the voter
registration requirement.


(a)Whether or not the COMELEC En Banc acted beyond its jurisdiction when it issued motu
proprio Resolution No. 9613 and in so doing, violated petitioner's right to due process;

(b)Whether or not petitioner's perpetual absolute disqualification to run for elective office
had already been removed by Section 40 (a) of Republic Act No. 7160, otherwise known as
the "Local Government Code of 1991" (LGC).

HELD: Decision of the appellate court is affirmed.

POLITICAL LAW: cancellation of Certificate of Candidacy

The COMELECEn Bancdid not exercise its quasi-judicial functions when it issued Resolution
No. 9613 as it did not assume jurisdiction over any pending petition or resolve any election
case before it or any of its divisions.Rather, it merely performed its duty to enforce and
administer election laws in cancelling petitioner's CoC on the basis of his perpetual absolute
disqualification, the fact of which had already been established by his final conviction.In this
regard, the COMELECEn Bancwas exercising its administrative functions, dispensing with the
need for a motion for reconsideration of a division ruling under Section 3, Article IX-C of the
Constitution, the same being required only in quasi-judicial proceedings.

The denial of due course to and/or cancellation of one's CoC generally necessitates the
exercise of the COMELEC's quasi-judicial functions commenced through a petition based on
either Sections 12 or 78of the OEC, or Section 40 of the LGC, when the grounds therefor are
rendered conclusive on account of final and executory judgments as when a candidate's
disqualification to run for public office is based on a final conviction.

There is also no violation of procedural due process since the COMELECEn Banc would be
acting in a purely administrative manner.

POLITICAL LAW: right to run for elective office

The petitioner was sentenced to suffer the principal penalties of reclusion perpetua and
reclusion temporal which, pursuant to Article 41 of the RPC, carried with it the accessory
penalty of perpetual absolute disqualification and in turn, pursuant to Article 30 of the RPC,
disqualified him to run for elective office. As discussed, Section 40 (a) of the LGC would not
apply to cases wherein a penal provision such as Article 41 in this case directly and
specifically prohibits the convict from running for elective office. Hence, despite the lapse of
two (2) years from petitioner's service of his commuted prison term, he remains bound to
suffer the accessory penalty of perpetual absolute disqualification which consequently,
disqualifies him to run as mayor for Zamboanga City.

It is well to note that the use of the word "perpetual" in the aforementioned accessory
penalty connotes a lifetime restriction and in this respect, does not depend on the length of
the prison term, which is imposed as its principal penalty. Instructive on this point is the
Court's ruling in Lacuna v. Abes,where the Court explained the meaning of the term
"perpetual" as applied to the penalty of disqualification to run for public office.

The accessory penalty of temporary absolute disqualification disqualified the convict for
public office and for the right to vote, such disqualification to last only during the term of
the sentence (Article 27, paragraph 3, & Article 30, Revised Penal Code) that, in the case of
Abes, would have expired on 13 October 1961.

But this does not hold true with respect to the other accessory penalty of perpetual special
disqualification for the exercise of the right of suffrage.This accessory penalty deprives the
convict of the right to vote or to be elected to or hold public office perpetually, as
distinguished from temporary special disqualification, which lasts during the term of the

Petition for review on certiorari is DISMISSED.

Mercado v. Manzano

G.R. No. 135083 May 26, 1999


Petitioners filed for respondents disqualification for election alleging that respondent is a
dual citizen, and under the Local Government Code, dual citizens cannot run for public

Respondent is a son of both Filipinos but was born in the U.S which follows the principle of
jus soli, hence, considered an American citizen as well.

COMELEC allowed Manzano to run because he was considered natural-born because of the
vrtue that he is a son of both Filipino citizens but petitioners assail this.

Issue: Is respondent Manzano a dual citizen and cannot run for public office?

Ruling: The Court first defined dual citizenship and compared it to dual allegiance.
Dual citizenship arises when a person whose parents are citizens of a state that follows jus
saguinis and was born in a state that follows jus soli, hence, resulting to a concurrent
application of different two laws or more.

On the other hand, dual allegiance is a situation whre a person simultaneously owes loyalty
to two or more states.

In this case, Respondent, though dual citizen, his act of filing a certificate of candidacy
tantamount to his election of Phil. citizenship meaning he forswears allegiance to the
other country and thereby terminating their status as dual.

The Court stressed that participating in the election is an express renunciation of American

Abundo vs. Comelec,

G.R. No. 201716, Jan. 8, 2013

FACTS: Abundo vied for the position of municipal mayor of Viga, Catanduanes. In both the
2001 and 2007 runs, he emerged and was proclaimed as the winning mayoralty candidate
and accordingly served the corresponding terms as mayor.

In the 2004 electoral derby, however, the Viga municipal board of canvassers initially
proclaimed as winner one Jose Torres (Torres), who, in due time, performed the functions of
the office of mayor. Abundo protested Torres election and proclamation. Abundo was
eventually declared the winner of the 2004 mayoralty electoral contest, paving the way for
his assumption of office starting May 9, 2006 until the end of the 2004-2007 term on June
30, 2007, or for a period of a little over one year and one month.

Then came the May 10, 2010 elections where Abundo and Torres again opposed each other.
When Abundo filed his certificate of candidacy for the mayoralty seat relative to this
electoral contest, Torres lost no time in seeking the formers disqualification to run, the
corresponding petition, predicated on the three-consecutive term limit rule.
ISSUE #1: Is the service of a term less than the full three years by Mayor Abundo, in view
of an election protest, considered as full service of the term for purposes of the application
of the three consecutive term limit for elective local officials?

RULING: No. Abundo cannot plausibly claim,even if he wanted to, that he could hold office
of the mayor as a matterof right during the period of one year and ten months, or from
June 30, 2004 until May 8, 2006. Neither can heassert title to the same nor serve the
functions ofthe said elective office. The reason is that during that period, title to hold such
office and the corresponding right to assume the functions thereof still belonged to his
opponent, as proclaimed election winner. Accordingly, Abundo actually held the office and
exercised the functions as mayor only upon his declaration, following the resolution of the
protest, as duly elected candidate in the May 2004 elections or for only a little over one year
and one month. Consequently, since the legally contemplated full term for local elected
officials is three (3) years, it cannot be said that Abundo fully served the term 2004-2007.

ISSUE #2: Under what instances are the consecutive terms not involuntary broken or

RULING: The instanceswherein such consecutive terms are not considered as having been
involuntarily interrupted or broken are as follows:

Assumption of Office by Operation of Law;

Recall Election;

Conversion of a Municipality into a City;

Period of Preventive Suspension; and

Election Protest


Jose T. Capco, Jr. was elected as Vice-Mayor of Pateros on January 18, 1988 for a term
ending on June 30, 1992. On September 2, 1989, he became Mayor, by operation of law,
upon the death of the incumbent, Cesar Borja. Thereafter, Capco was elected and served as
Mayor for two more terms, from 1992 to 1998. On March 27, 1998, Capco filed a Certificate
of Candidacy for Mayor of Pateros in the May 11, 1998 elections. Petitioner Benjamin U.
Borja, Jr., who was also a candidate for mayor, sought Capcos disqualification on the
ground that Capco would have already served as Mayor for 3 consecutive terms by June 30,
1998; hence, he would be ineligible to serve for another term. The Second Division of
the Comelec declared Capco disqualified but the Comelec en banc reversed the decision and
declared Capco eligible to run for mayor. Capco was subsequently voted and proclaimed as


Whether or not a vice-mayor who succeeds to the office of mayor by operation of law and
serves the remainder of the term is considered to have served a term in that office for the
purpose of the three-term limit.


No. 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 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. Capco was qualified to run again as mayor in the next election
because he wasnot elected to the office of mayor in the first term but simply found himself
thrust into it by operation of law. Neither had he served the full term because he only
continued the service, interrupted by the death, of the deceased mayor. The vice-mayors
assumption of the mayorship in the event of the vacancy is more a matter of chance than of
design. Hence, his service in that office should not be counted in the application of any term

The policy embodied in the constitutional provision (Art. X, 8) is not only to prevent the
establishment of political dynasties but also to enhance thefreedom of choice of the people.
A consideration of the historical background of Art. X, 8 of the Constitution reveals that the
members of the Constitutional Commission were as much concerned with preserving the
freedom of choice of the people as they were with preventing the monopolization of political
power. In discussing term limits, the drafters of the Constitution did so on the assumption
that the officials concerned were serving by reason of election. To consider Capco to have
served the first term in full and therefore ineligible to run a third time for reelection would
be not only to falsify reality but also to unduly restrict the right of the people to choose
whom they wish to govern them. (Borja vs Comelec, G.R. No. 133495, September 3, 1998)



Petitioner Latasa, was elected mayor of the Municipality of Digos, Davao del Sur in the
elections of 1992, 1995, and 1998. In February 2001, he filed his certificate of candidacy for
city mayor for the 2001 elections. He stated therein that he is eligible therefor, and likewise
disclosed that he had already served for three consecutive terms as mayor of the
Municipality of Digos and is now running for the first time for the position of city mayor.

Sunga, also a candidate for city mayor in the said elections, filed before the COMELEC a
petition to deny petitioner's candidacy since the latter had already been elected and served
for three consecutive terms. Petitioner countered that this fact does not bar him from filing
a certificate of candidacy for the 2001 elections since this will be the first time that he will
be running for the post of city mayor.

The Comelecs First Division denied petitioner's certificate of candidacy. However, his motion
for reconsideration was not acted upon by the Comelec en banc before election day and he
was proclaimed winner. Only after the proclamation did the Comelec en banc issue a
resolution that declared him disqualified from running for mayor of Digos City, and ordered
that all votes cast in his favor should not be counted.

Petitioner appealed, contending that when Digos was converted from a municipality to a
city, it attained a different juridical personality separate from the municipality of Digos. So
when he filed his certificate of candidacy for city mayor, it should not be construed as vying
for the same local government post.


Is petitioner Latasa eligible to run as candidate for the position of mayor of the newly-
created City of Digos immediately after he served for three consecutive terms as mayor of
the Municipality of Digos?

As a rule, in a representative democracy, the people should be allowed freely to choose

those who will govern them. Article X, Section 8 of the Constitution is an exception to this
rule, in that it limits the range of choice of the people.

Section 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 official 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.

An elective local official, therefore, is not barred from running again in for same local
government post, unless two conditions concur: 1.) that the official concerned has been
elected for three consecutive terms to the same local government post, and 2.) that he has
fully served three consecutive terms.

True, the new city acquired a new corporate existence separate and distinct from that of the
municipality. This does not mean, however, that for the purpose of applying the subject
Constitutional provision, the office of the municipal mayor would now be construed as a
different local government post as that of the office of the city mayor. As stated earlier, the
territorial jurisdiction of the City of Digos is the same as that of the municipality.
Consequently, the inhabitants of the municipality are the same as those in the city. These
inhabitants are the same group of voters who elected petitioner Latasa to be their municipal
mayor for three consecutive terms. These are also the same inhabitants over whom he held
power and authority as their chief executive for nine years.

The framers of the Constitution specifically included an exception to the peoples freedom to
choose those who will govern them in order to avoid the evil of a single person
accumulating excessive power over a particular territorial jurisdiction as a result of a
prolonged stay in the same office. To allow petitioner Latasa to vie for the position of city
mayor after having served for three consecutive terms as a municipal mayor would
obviously defeat the very intent of the framers when they wrote this exception. Should he
be allowed another three consecutive terms as mayor of the City of Digos, petitioner would
then be possibly holding office as chief executive over the same territorial jurisdiction and
inhabitants for a total of eighteen consecutive years. This is the very scenario sought to be
avoided by the Constitution, if not abhorred by it.(Latasa vs. Comelec, G.R. No. 154829, 10
December 2003)


It cannot be denied that the Court has previously held in Mamba-Perez v. COMELEC that
after an elective official has been proclaimed as winner of the elections, the COMELEC has
no jurisdiction to pass upon his qualifications. An opposing party's remedies after
proclamation would be to file a petition for quo warranto within ten days after the
proclamation. Time and again, this Court has held that rules of procedure are only tools
designed to facilitate the attainment of justice, such that when rigid application of the rules
tend to frustrate rather than promote substantial justice, this Court is empowered to
suspend their operation. We will not hesitate to set aside technicalities in favor of what is
fair and just.


353 SCRA 94 G.R. No. 131136 February 28 2001 [Midnight appointments]

Evelyn Abeja run for reelection but lost to de Rama. Before she vacated her office, she
extended permanent appointments to 14 new employees of the municipal government. de
Rama, upon assuming office, recalled said appointments contending that these were
"midnight appointments" and, therefore, prohibited under Sec. 15 Art. VII of the
Constitution. SC held that the records reveal that when de Rama brought the matter
recalling the appointments of the 14 employees before the Civil Service Commission, the
only reason he cited to justify his actions that these were "midnight appointments" that are
forbidden under the Constitution. However, the CSC ruled, and correctly so, that the said
prohibitions applies only to presidential appointments. In truth and in fact, there is no law
that prohibits local elective officials from making appointments during the last days of his or
her tenure.


Carlito B. Domingo was a member of the Sangguniang Bayan of San Nicolas, Ilocos Norte.
On March 24, 1994, he resigned after going without leave to the United States.

To fill the vacancy created by his resignation, a recommendation for the appointment of
Edward Palafox was made by the Sangguniang Bayan of San Nicolas but the
recommendation was made to Mayor Barba. The resolution, containing the
recommendation, was submitted to the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Ilocos Norte
purportedly in compliance with Sec. 56 of the Local Government Code (R.A. No. 7160).

The Sangguniang Panlalawigan, purporting to act under this provision of the Local
Government Code, disapproved the resolution for the reason that the authority and power
to appoint Sangguniang Bayan members are lodged in the Governor. Accordingly, the
Sangguniang Panlalawigan recommended to the Governor the appointment of petitioner Al
Nacino. On June 8, 1994, the Governor appointed petitioner Nacino and swore him in office
that same day. On the other hand, respondent Mayor Barba appointed respondent Edward
Palafox to the same position.

On June 14, 1994, petitioners filed with the Regional Trial Court of Ilocos Norte a petition
for quo warranto and prohibition.

On July 8, 1994 the trial court rendered its decision, upholding the appointment of
respondent Palafox by respondent Mayor Barba.

Who can appoint the replacement and in accordance with what procedure?

The person who has the power to appoint under such circumstance is the Governor upon
the recommendation of the Sangguniang concerned which is the Sangguniang Bayan of San
Nicolas where the vacancy occurs.

The upshot of this is that in the case at bar, since neither petitioner Al Nacino nor
respondent Edward Palafox was appointed in the manner indicated in the preceding
paragraph, neither is entitled to the seat in the Sangguniang Bayan of San Nicolas, Ilocos
Norte which was vacated by member Carlito B. Domingo. For while petitioner Al Nacino was
appointed by the provincial governor, he was not recommended by the Sangguniang Bayan
of San Nicolas. On the other hand, respondent Edward Palafox was recommended by the
Sangguniang Bayan but it was the mayor and not the provincial governor who appointed


GR No. 150799. February 3, 2003

Facts: Petitioner was a candidate for Mayor in the May 14, 2001 elections and during the
canvassing, he petitioned the Board of Canvassers (BOC) to exclude the election returns
contained in nine (9) ballot boxes on the ground that said boxes were not secured by the
required 3 padlocks. The BOC denied the petition and petitioner appealed to the
COMELEC. The COMELEC en banc denied the appeal and ordered the BOC to proceed with
the canvassing and proclaim the winning local candidates. Petitioner lost in the election.


1. Lack of the required number of padlocks on the ballot boxes is not a proper issue in a
pre-proclamation controversy. The issues that may be raised in a pre-proclamation
controversy are enumerated in Sec 243 of the Omnibus Election Code, to wit:
a. Illegal composition or proceeding of the board of canvassers;
b. The canvassed election returns are incomplete, contain material defects, and appear to
tampered with or falsified, or contain discrepancies in the same returns or in other authentic
copies thereof as mentioned in Sections 233, 234, 235, and 236 of this Code;
c. The election returns were prepared under duress, threats, coercion, or intimidation, or
they are obviously manufactured or not authentic; and
d. When substitute or fraudulent returns in controverted polling places were canvassed, the
results of which materially affected the standing of the aggrieved candidate or candidates.
This enumeration is exclusive.

2. A pre-proclamation controversy is limited to an examination of the election returns on

their face and the COMELEC as a general rule need not go beyond the face of the returns
and investigate the alleged election irregularities. In the case of Baterina, et al. v.
COMELEC, 205 SCRA 1, the following facts were shown: (a) failure to close the entries with
the signatures of the election inspectors; (b) lack of inner and outer seals; (c) canvassing
by the Board of copies not intended for it; (d) lack of time and date receipt by the Board of
the election returns; (e) lack of signatures of petitioners watchers; and (f) lack of authority
of the person receiving the election returns. It was held that while said facts may, indeed,
involve violation of the rules governing the preparation and delivery of election returns for
canvassing, they do not necessarily affect the authenticity and genuineness of the subject
election returns as to warrant their exclusion from the canvassing. Above facts are clearly
defects in form insufficient to support a conclusion that the election returns were tampered
with or spurious.

3. The COMELEC en banc validly ordered the proclamation of the winning candidate even
during the pendency of the appeal to the COMELEC from the BOCs denial of the petition for
exclusion of the questioned election returns. RA 7166, Sec 20 (I) provides as follows:
(i) The BOC shall not proclaim any candidate as winner unless authorized by the
Commission after the latter has ruled on the objection brought to it on appeal by the losing
party. Any proclamation in violation hereof shall be void ab initio, unless the contested
returns will not adversely affect the results of the election.
Above-quoted provision applies only where the objection deals with a pre-proclamation


Administrative complaints were filed by Mandaue City Councilors Dionson and

Bercede with the Office of the Deputy Ombudsman for Visayas against Mayor Ouano, Vice
Mayor Canete and Sangguniang Panlungsod Member Mayol, for having conspired to falsify
Ordinance 018/92 to increase the allocated appropriation from 3.4M to 7M. The councilors
moved for the preventive suspension of the said officials. Aside from opposing the motions,
the said officials also moved to dismiss the case on the ground that the Ombudsman did not
have jurisdiction to hear the case. They averred that Section 63 of the LGC vested the
power to investigate and discipline local officials (of provinces/highly urbanized
cities/independent component cities) with the Office of the President.

The Ombudsman denied the motion to dismiss and placed the officials under
preventive suspension. The officials filed for a writ of preliminary injunction and TRO with
the RTC. Respondent judge ruled in favor of the officials, enjoining the enforcement of the
preventive suspension, hence this petition.


Whether the Ombudsman has been divested of his authority to conduct

administrative investigations over local elective officials by virtue LGC of 1991?


SC agreed with the SolGen that there is nothing in th LGC to indicate that it has
repealed the provisions of the Ombudsman Act. Repeal of laws by implication are not
favored, unless the two laws are absolutely incompatible.

In the old LGC of 1983, the authority to conduct administrative investigation and to
impose preventive suspension over elective provincial or city officials was at that time
entrusted to the Minister of Local Government. With the passage of the Ombudsman Act of
1989, the Ombudsman was vested with concurrent authority. Since Sections 61 & 63 of the
new LGC were adopted from the old LGC, except for the substitution of the Minister of of
Local Government by the Office of the President, no other change was effected except for
such substitution.

The 6-month preventive suspension without pay under Section 24 of the

Ombudsman Act is not repugnant to the 60-day preventive suspension provided by Section
63 of the LGC.
The two laws govern differently. The 6-month preventive suspension under Section
24 of the Ombudsman Act may be imposed on all public officials, whether elective or
appointive and to justify it, the evidence of guilt should be strong, and

a. the charge against the officer or employee should involve dishonesty, oppression
or grave misconduct or neglect in the performance of duty

b. the charges should warrant removal from the service; or

c. the respondent's continued stay in office would prejudice the case filed against

On the other hand, to justify the imposition of the 60-day preventive suspension
under Section 63 of LCG of 1991 on an elective local official, it would be enough that the
issues have been joined and

a. there is reasonable ground to believe that the respondent has committed the act or acts
complained of,

b. the evidence of culpability is strong,

c. the gravity of the offense so warrants, or

d. the continuance in office of the respondent could influence the witnesses or pose a threat
to the safety and integrity of the records and other evidence.

Hearing is not a requirement before preventive suspension is imposed. In this case,

the Ombudsman imposed the preventive suspension after the officials filed their opposition
and Mayor Ouano filed his memorandum. Being a preventive measure merely aimed to aid
to the investigation and not to serve as penalty, there is no need for a finding of guilt before
it can be imposed. The charges being of very serious nature, it was within the
Ombudsman's judgment to determine of the imposition was proper.

The RTC had no jurisdiction to entertain the application for remedy. Section 14 of
the Ombudsman Act provides that no court shall hear any appeal or application for remedy
against the decision or findings of the Ombudsman, except the Supreme Court, on pure
question of law.

The order of the RTC ANNULLED.

Pablico vs Villapando

G.R. No. 147870

July 31, 2002

Solomon Maagad and Renato Fernandez, members of the Sangguniang Bayan of San
Vicente, Palawan filed an administrative complaint against Alejandro A. Villapando, the
mayor of San Vicente, Palawan for abuse of authority and culpable violation of the
Constitution for entering into a consultancy agreement with Orlando M. Tiape, a defeated
mayoralty candidate in the May 1998 elections where Villapando was elected. They allege
that the consultancy agreement amounted to an appointment to a government position
within the prohibited one-year period under Article IX-B, Section 6, of the 1987
Constitution. Villapando, on the other hand, argues that he did not hire Tiape, but appointed
him and invoked Opinion No. 106, s. 1992, of the Department of Justice which states that
the appointment of a defeated candidate as a consultant does not constitute an
appointment to a government office or position as prohibited by the Constitution. The
Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Palawan found Villapando guilty of the administrative charge
and dismissed him from service which was affirmed by the Office of the President.
Meanwhile, Ramir Pablico, the vice-mayor of San Vicente, Palawan, took his oath of office as
Municipal Mayor. Villapando filed for a temporary restraining order with the RTC of Palawan
which was first granted, then denied.

Villapando now seeks to annul the Sangguniang Panlalawigans Decision as affirmed by the
Office of the President, and the RTCs denial of the TRO. He argues that under Sec. 60 of
R.A. 7160, an elective local official may be removed by order of the proper court based on
the grounds enumerated under said section. Without such order of the court, he cannot be

Whether or not local legislative bodies and/or the Office of the President, on appeal, may
validly impose the penalty of dismissal from service on erring elective local officials?

The Supreme Court held that it is clear under Sec. 60 of R.A. 7160 that the penalty of
dismissal from service upon an erring elective local official may be decreed only by a court
of law.

In Salalima, et al. v. Guingona, et al., it was held that [t]he Office of the President is
without any power to remove elected officials, since such power is exclusively vested in the
proper courts as expressly provided for in the last paragraph of Section 60. Article 124 (b),
Rule XIX of the Rules and Regulations Implementing the Local Government Code, however,
adds that (b) An elective local official may be removed from office on the grounds
enumerated in paragraph (a) of this Article [The grounds enumerated in Section 60, Local
Government Code of 1991] by order of the proper court or the disciplining authority
whichever first acquires jurisdiction to the exclusion of the other. The disciplining authority
referred to pertains to the Sangguniang Panlalawigan/Panlungsod/Bayan and the Office of
the President.

As held in Salalima, this grant to the disciplining authority of the power to remove elective
local officials is clearly beyond the authority of the Oversight Committee that prepared the
Rules and Regulations. No rule or regulation may alter, amend, or contravene a provision of
law, such as the Local Government Code. Implementing rules should conform, not clash,
with the law that they implement, for a regulation which operates to create a rule out of
harmony with the statute is a nullity. It is beyond cavil, therefore, that the power to remove
erring elective local officials from service is lodged exclusively with the courts. Hence, Article
124 (b), Rule XIX, of the Rules and Regulations Implementing the Local Government Code,
insofar as it vests power on the disciplining authority to remove from office erring elective
local officials, is void for being repugnant to the last paragraph of Section 60 of the Local
Government Code of 1991.

The law on suspension or removal of elective public officials must be strictly construed and
applied, and the authority in whom such power of suspension or removal is vested must
exercise it with utmost good faith, for what is involved is not just an ordinary public official
but one chosen by the people through the exercise of their constitutional right of suffrage.
Their will must not be put to naught by the caprice or partisanship of the disciplining
authority. Where the disciplining authority is given only the power to suspend and not the
power to remove, it should not be permitted to manipulate the law by usurping the power to