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COMELEC vs CONRADO CRUZ

G.R. No. 186616 November 20, 2009


FACTS:
When RA 9164 entitled An Act Providing for Synchronized Barangay and Sangguniang

Kabataan Elections was passed, questions of the constitutionality were raised against Section 2

which states that No barangay elective official shall serve for more than 3 consecutive terms in

the same position: Provided however, that the term of office shall be reckoned from the 1994

barangay elections. 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 the elective

official was elected.

Before the 2007 Synchronized Barangay and SK Elections, some of the then incumbent

officials of several barangays of Caloocan City filed with the RTC a petition for declaratory

relief to challenge the constitutionality of the said provision as it is violative of the equal

protection clause of the Constitution in as much as the barangay officials were singled out that

there consecutive limit shall be counted retroactively.

ISSUE:
Whether or not the provision in Section 2 of RA 9164 is violative of the equal protection

clause of the Constitution.

RULING:
The equal protection clause is under Sec 2 Art III of the Constitution which provides:

Nor shall any person be denied the equal protection of the laws. This is however considering

equality under the same conditions and among persons similarly situated. The law can treat

barangay officials differently from other local elective officials because the Constitution itself

provides a significant distinction between these elective officials with respect to length of term

and term limitation. The clear distinction, expressed in the Constitution itself, is that while the

Constitution provides for a 3-year term and 3-term limit for local elective officials, it left the

length of term and the application of the 3-term limit or any form of term limitation for

determination by Congress through legislation. Not only does this disparate treatment recognize

substantial distinctions, it recognizes as well that the Constitution itself allows a non-uniform

treatment. No equal protection violation can exist under these conditions.