his own behalf as Barangay Chairman
of Barangay 77,
Zone 7, Kalookan City and as President of
the LIGA NG MGA
BARANGAY SA PILIPINAS,
Department of Interior and Local
THE HONORABLE SECRETARY, Department of
CITY CHAPTER, Represented
by BONIFACIO M.
and DEPARTMENT OF BUDGET AND
E C I S I
The two petitions before
Us raise a common question: How long is the term of office of
chairmen and other barangay officials who were elected to their
offices on the second Monday of May 1994? Is it three years, as
by R. A. 7160 [the Local Government Code] or five years, as contained
R. A. 6679? Contending that their term is five years, petitioners
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,
G. R. No. 127116
In his capacity as barangay
chairman of Barangay 77, Zone 7, Kalookan City and as president of the
Liga ng mga Barangay sa Pilipinas, Petitioner Alex L. David filed on
2, 1996 a petition for prohibition docketed in this Court as G. R. No.
127116, under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court, to prohibit the holding of
the barangay election scheduled on the second Monday of May 1997. On
14, 1997, the Court resolved to require the respondents to comment on
petition within a non-extendible period of fifteen days ending on
On January 29, 1997,
the Solicitor General filed his four-page Comment siding with
and praying that "the election scheduled on May 12, 1997 be held in
Respondent Commission on Elections filed a separate Comment, dated
1, 1997 opposing the petition. On February 11, 1997, the Court issued a
Resolution giving due course to the petition and requiring the parties
to file simultaneous memoranda within a non-extendible period of twenty
days from notice. It also requested former Senator Aquilino Q.
to act as amicus curiae and to file a memorandum also within a
period of twenty days. It noted but did not grant petitioner's Urgent
for Issuance of Temporary Restraining Order and/or Writ of Preliminary
Injunction dated January 31, 1997 [as well as his Urgent Ex-Parte
Motion to the same effect, dated March 6, 1997]. Accordingly, the
filed their respective memoranda. The Petition for Leave to Intervene
on March 17, 1997 by Punong Barangay Rodson F. Mayor was denied as it
just unduly delay the resolution of the case, his interest like those
all other barangay officials being already adequately represented by
David who filed this petition as "president of the Liga ng mga Barangay
G. R. No. 128039
On February 20, 1997,
Petitioner Liga ng mga Barangay Quezon City Chapter represented by its
president Bonifacio M. Rillon filed a petition, docketed as G.R. No.
"to seek a judicial review by certiorari to declare as unconstitutional:
1. Section 43(c) of
R. A. 7160 which reads as follows:
(c) The term of
of barangay officials and members of the sangguniang kabataan shall be
for three (3) years, which shall begin after the regular election of
officials on the second Monday of May 1994.
2. COMELEC Resolution
2880 and 2887 fixing the date of the holding of the barangay elections
on May 12, 1997 and other activities related thereto;
3. The budgetary
of P400 million contained in Republic Act No. 8250 otherwise known as
General Appropriations Act of 1997 intended to defray the costs and
in holding the 1997 barangay elections:
Comelec Resolution 2880,
promulgated on December 27, 1996 and referred to above, adopted a
of Activities and List and Periods of Certain Prohibited Acts for the
12, 1997 Barangay Elections." On the other hand, Comelec Resolution
promulgated on February 5, 1997 moved certain dates fixed in Resolution
Acting on the petition,
the Court on February 25, 1997 required respondents to submit their
thereon within a non-extendible period of ten days ending on March 7,
The Court further resolved to consolidate the two cases inasmuch as
raised basically the same issue. Respondent Commission filed its
on March 6, 1997 5 and the Solicitor General, in representation of the
other respondent, filed his on March 6, 1997. Petitioner's Urgent
Motion for oral argument and temporary restraining order was noted but
not granted. The petition was deemed submitted for resolution by the
without need of memoranda.
Both petitions though
worded differently raise the same ultimate issue: How long is the term
of office of barangay officials?
contend that under Sec. 2 of Republic Act No. 6653, approved on May 6,
1988, "[t]he term of office of barangay officials shall be for five (5)
years" This is reiterated in Republic Act No. 6679, approved on
4, 1988, which reset the barangay elections from "the second Monday of
November 1988" to March 28, 1989 and provided in Sec. 1 thereof that
five-year term shall begin on the "first day of May 1989 and ending on
the thirty-first day of May 1994." Petitioners further aver
that although Sec. 43 of R. A. 7160 reduced the term of office of all
elective officials to three years, such reduction does not apply to
officials because (1) R. A. 6679 is a special law applicable only to
while R. A. 7160 is a general law which applies to all other
government units; (2) R. A. 7160 does not expressly or impliedly repeal
R. A. 6679 insofar as the term of barangay officials is concerned; (3)
while Sec. 8 of Article X of the 1987 constitution fixes the term of
local officials at three years, the same provision states that the term
of barangay officials "shall be determined by law"; and (4) thus, it
that the constitutional intention is to grant barangay officials any
except three years; otherwise, "there would be no rhyme or reason for
framers of the Constitution to except barangay officials from the three
year term found in Sec. 8 (of) Article X of the Constitution."
conclude (1) that the Commission on Elections committed grave abuse of
discretion when it promulgated Resolutions Nos. 2880 and 2887 because
"substituted its own will for that of the legislative and usurped the
function.by interpreting the conflicting provisions of Sec. 1 of
R. A. 6679 and Sec. 43 (c) of R. A. 7160; and (2) that the
of P400 million in the General Appropriation Act of 1997 (R. A. 8250)
be used in the conduct of the barangay elections on May 12, 1997 is
unconstitutional and a waste of public funds.cralaw
The Solicitor General
agrees with petitioners, arguing that RA 6679 was not repealed by RA
and thus "he believes that the holding of the barangay elections (o)n
second Monday of May 1997 is without sufficient legal basis."
on Elections, through Chairman Bernardo P. Pardo, defends its assailed
Resolutions and maintains that the repealing clause of RA 7160 includes
"all laws, whether general or special, inconsistent, with the
of the Local Government Code," citing this Court's dictum in Paras vs.
that "the next regular election involving the barangay office is barely
seven (7) months away, the same having been scheduled in May 1997."
R. A. 8250 (the General Appropriations Act for 1997) and R. A. 8189
for a general registration of voters) both "indicate that Congress
that the barangay elections shall take place in May, 1997, as provided
for in R. A. 7160, Sec. 43 (c)."
Besides, petitioners cannot claim a term of more than three years since
they were elected under the aegis of the Local Government Code of 1991
which prescribes a term of only three years. Finally, Respondent
denies the charge of grave abuse of discretion stating that the
presented is a purely legal one involving no exercise of an act without
or in excess of jurisdiction or with grave abuse of discretion."
As amicus curiae, former Senator Aquilino Q.
Pimentel, Jr. urges the Court to
petitions because (1) the Local Autonomy Code repealed both R. A. 6679
and 6653 "not only by implication but by design as well"; (2) the
intent is to shorten the term of barangay officials to three years; (3)
the barangay officials should not have a term longer than that of their
administrative superiors, the city and municipal mayors; and (4)
officials are estopped from contesting the applicability of the
term provided by the Local Government Code as they were elected under
provisions of said Code.cralaw
From the foregoing discussions
of the parties, the Court believes that the issues can be condensed
three, as follows:
1. Which law governs
the term of office of barangay official: R. A. 7160 or R. A. 6679?
2. Is R. A. 7160
as it shortened such term to only three years constitutional?
3. Are petitioners
from claiming a term other than that provided under R. A. 7160?.
The petitions are devoid
Background of Barangay Elections
For a clear understanding
of the issues, it is necessary to delve briefly into the history of
As a unit of government,
the barangay antedated the Spanish conquest of the Philippines The word
"barangay" is derived from the Malay "balangay," a boat which
them (the Malays) to these shores.
Quoting from Juan de Plasencia, a Franciscan missionary in 1577,
wrote that the barangay was ruled by a dato who exercised absolute
of government. While the Spaniards kept the barangay as the basic
of government, they stripped the dato or rajah, of his powers.
Instead, power was centralized nationally in the governor general and
in the encomiendero and later, in the alcalde mayor and the
The dato or rajah was much later renamed cabeza de barangay, who was
by the local citizens possessing property. The position degenerated
a title of honor to that of a "mere government employee. Only the poor
who needed a salary, no matter how low, accepted the post."
After the Americans
colonized the Philippines, the barangays became known as "barrios."
For some time, the laws governing barrio governments were found in the
Revised Administrative Code of 1916 and later in the Revised
Code of 1917.
Barrios were granted autonomy by the original Barrio Charter, R. A.
and formally recognized as quasi-municipal corporations
by the Revised Barrio Charter, R. A. 3590. During the martial law
barrios were "declared" or renamed "barangays" a reversion really
to their pre-Spanish names by P. D. No. 86 and PD No. 557. Their
basic organization and functions under R. A. 3590, which was expressly
"adopted as the Barangay Charter, were retained. However, the titles of
the officials were changed to "barangay captain," "barangay
"barangay secretary" and "barangay treasurer."
Pursuant to Sec. 6 of
Batas Pambansa Big. 222,
"a Punong Barangay (Barangay Captain) and six Kagawads ng Sangguniang
(Barangay Councilmen), who shall constitute the presiding officer and
of the Sangguniang Barangay (Barangay Council) respectively" were first
elected on May 17, 1982. They had a term of six years which began on
The Local Government
Code of 1983
also fixed the term of office of local elective officials at six years.
Under this Code, the chief officials of the barangay were the punong
six elective sangguniang barangay members, the kabataang barangay
a barangay secretary and a barangay treasurer.
B. P. Blg. 881, the Omnibus Election Code,
reiterated that barangay officials "shall hold office, for six years,"
and stated that their election was to be held "on the second Monday of
May nineteen hundred and eighty eight and on the same day every six
This election scheduled
by B. P. Blg. 881 on the second Monday of May 1988 was reset to "the
Monday of November 1988 and every five years thereafter
by R. A. 6653. Under this law, the term of office of the barangay
was cut to five years
and the punong barangay was to be chosen from among themselves by seven
kagawads, who in turn were to be elected at large by the barangay
But the election date
set by R. A. 6653 on the second Monday of November 1988 was again
and reset to March 28, 1989" by R. A. 6679,
and the term of office of barangay officials was to begin on May 1,
and to end on May 31, 1994. R. A. 6679 further provided that "there
be held a regular election of barangay officials on the second Monday
May 1994 and on the same day every five (5) years thereafter Their term
shall be for five years. "
Significantly, the manner of election of the punong barangay was
Sec. 5 of said law ordained that while the seven kagawads were to be
by the registered voters of the barangay, "[t]he candidate who obtains
the highest number of votes shall be the punong barangay and in the
of a tie, there shall be a drawing of lots under the supervision of the
Commission on Elections."
Under the Local Government
Code of 1991, R. A. 7160,
several provisions concerning barangay official were introduced:
(1) The term of office
was reduced to three years, as follows:
Sec. 43. Term of
(c) The term of
of barangay officials and members of the sangguniang kabataan shall be
for three (3) years, which shall begin after the regular election of
officials on the second Monday of May, 1994 [Emphasis
(2) The composition of
the Sangguniang Barangay and the manner of electing its officials were
altered, inter alia, the barangay chairman was to be elected directly
the electorate, as follows:
Sec. 387. Chief
Officials and Offices.- (a) There shall be in each barangay a
punong barangay, seven (7) sanggunian barangay members, the sanggunian
kabataan chairman, a barangay secretary and a barangay treasurer.
Sec. 390. Composition.-
The Sangguniang barangay, the legislative body of the barangay, shall
composed of the punong barangay as presiding officer, and the seven (7)
regular sangguniang barangay members elected at large and the
kabataan chairman as members.
Sec. 41. Manner of
Election. (a) The punong barangay shall be elected at large by
qualified voters in the barangay. [Emphasis supplied]
Pursuant to the foregoing
mandates of the Local Autonomy Code, the qualified barangay voters
voted for one punong barangay and seven (7) kagawads during the
elections held on May 9, 1994. In other words, the punong barangay was
elected directly and separately by the electorate, and not by the seven
(7) kagawads from among themselves.
The First Issue:
Clear Legislative Intentand Design to Limit Term to Three Years
In light of the foregoing
brief historical background, the intent and design of the legislature
limit the term of barangay officials to only three (3) years as
under the Local Government Code emerges as bright as the sunlight. The
cardinal rule in the interpretation of all laws is to ascertain and
effect to the intent of the law.
And three years is the obvious intent.cralaw
First. R. A.
7160, the Local Government Code, was enacted later than R. A. 6679. It
is basic that in case of an irreconciliable conflict between two laws
different vintages, the later enactment prevails.
Legis posteriores priores contrarias abrogant. The rationale is
a later law repeals an earlier one because it is the later legislative
will. It is to be presumed that the lawmakers knew the older law and
to change it. In enacting the older law, the legislators could not have
known the newer one and hence could not have intended to change what
did not know. Under the Civil Code, laws are repealed only by
and not the other way around.cralaw
Under Sec. 43-c of R.
A. 7160, the term of office of barangay officials was fixed at "three
years which shall begin after the regular election of barangay
on the second Monday of May 1994." This provision is clearly
with and repugnant to Sec. 1 of R. A. 6679 which states that such "term
shall be for five years." Note that both laws refer to the same
who were elected "on the second Monday of May 1994."
Second. R. A.
6679 requires the barangay voters to elect seven kagawads and the
obtaining the highest number of votes shall automatically be the punong
barangay. R. A. 6653 empowers the seven elected barangay kagawads to
the punong barangay from among themselves. On the other hand, the Local
Autonomy Code mandates a direct vote on the barangay chairman by the
barangay electorate, separately from the seven kagawads. Hence, under
Code, voters elect eight barangay officials, namely, the punong
plus the seven kagawads. Under both R. A. 6679 and 6653, they vote for
only seven kagawads, and not for the barangay chairman.cralaw
the barangay elections held on May 9, 1994 (second Monday), the voters
actually and directly elected one punong barangay and seven kagawads.
we agree with the thesis of petitioners, it follows that all the punong
barangays were elected illegally and thus, Petitioner Alex David cannot
claim to be a validly elected barangay chairman, much less president of
the national league, of barangays which he purports to represent in
petition. It then necessarily follows also that he is not the real
and on that ground, his petition should be summarily dismissed.cralaw
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 this year. Likewise, under Sec. 7 of
R. A. 8189, Congress ordained that a general registration of voters
be held "immediately after the barangay elections in 1997." These are
and express contemporaneous statements of Congress that barangay
shall be elected this May, in accordance with Sec. 43-c of R. A. 7160.cralaw
Fifth. In Paras
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." This judicial decision, per Article 8 of the
Code, is now a "part of the legal system of the Philippines."
pompously claim that R. A. 6679, being a special law, should prevail
R. A. 7160, all alleged general law pursuant to the doctrine of generaila
specialibus non derogant. Petitioners are wrong. R. A. 7160 is a
set of laws that specifically applies to local government units. It
and definitively provides in its Sec. 43-c that "the term of office of
barangay officials shall be for three years." It is a special provision
that applies only to the term of barangay officials who were elected on
the second Monday of May 1994. With such particularity, the provision
be deemed a general law. Petitioner may be correct in alleging that R.
A. 6679 is a special law, but they are incorrect in stating (without
giving the reasons therefor) that R. A. 7160 is necessarily a general
It is a special law insofar as it governs the term of office of
officials. In its repealing clause,
R. A. 7160 states that "all general and special laws which are
with any of the provisions of this Code are hereby repealed or modified
accordingly." There being a clear repugnance and incompatibility
the two specific provisions, they cannot stand together. The latter
R. A. 7160, should thus prevail in accordance with its repealing
When a subsequent law encompasses entirely the subject matter of the
enactments, the latter is deemed repealed.
The Second Issue:
Three-Year TermNot Repugnant, to Constitution
Sec. 8, Article X of
the Constitution states:
Sec. 8. The term of
office of elective local officials, except barangay officials, which
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
in the continuity of his service for the full term for which he was
Petetioner Liga ng mga
Barangay Quezon City Chapter posits that by excepting barangay
whose "term shall be determined by law" from the general provision
the term of "elective local officials" at three years, the Constitution
thereby impliedly prohibits Congress from legislating a three year term
for such officers. We find this theory rather novel but nonetheless
and legally flawed.
did not expressly prohibit Congress from fixing any term of office for
barangay officials. It merely left the determination of such term to
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
(not just implied) breach of the Constitution.
To strike down a law as unconstitutional, there must be a clear and
showing that what the fundamental law prohibits, the statute permits.
The petitioners have miserably failed to discharge this burden and to
clearly the unconstitutionality they aver.
There is absolutely
no doubt in our mind that Sec. 43-c of RA 7160 is constitutional. Sec.
8, Article X of the Constitution limiting the term of all
local officials to three years, except that of barangay officials which
"shall be determined by law" was an amendment proposed by
Commissioner (now Supreme Court Justice) Hilario G. Davide, Jr.
to Fr. Joaquin G. Bernas, S.J., the amendment was "readily
without much discussion and formally approved." Indeed, a search into
Record of the Constitutional Commission yielded only a few pages
of actual deliberations, the portions pertinent to the Constitutional
intent being the following:
MR. NOLLEDO. One
question, Madam President. What will be the term of the office of
officials as provided for?
MR. DAVIDE. As may
determined by law
MR. NOLLEDO. As
for in the Local Government Code?
MR. DAVIDE. Yes.
THE PRESIDENT. Is
any other comment? Is there any objection to this proposed new section
as submitted by Commissioner Davide and accepted by the Committee?
MR. RODRIGO. Madam
does this prohibition to serve for more than three consecutive terms
to barangay officials?
MR. DAVIDE. Madam
the voting that we had on the terms of office did not include the
officials because it was then the stand of the Chairman of the
on Local Governments that the term of barangay officials must be
by law. So it is now for the law to determine whether the restriction
the number of reelections will be included in the Local Government Code.
MR. RODRIGO. So
is up to Congress to decide.
MR. DAVIDE. Yes.
MR. RODRIGO. I
wanted that clear in the record.
Although the discussions
in the Constitutional Commission were very brief, they nonetheless
the exact answer to the main issue. To the question at issue here on
long the term of barangay officials is, the answer of the Commission
simple, clear and quick: "As may be determined by law"; more precisely,
"[a]s provided for in the Local Autonomy Code." And the Local Autonomy
Code, in its Sec. 43-c, limits their term to three years.
The Third Issue:
Petitioners Estopped FromChallenging Their Three-Year Terms
We have already shown
that constitutionally, statutorily, logically, historically and
the petitions are completely devoid of merit. And we could have ended
Decision right here. But there is one last point why petitioners have
moral ascendancy for their dubious claim to a longer term of office:
equities of their own petition militate against them. As pointed out by
Amicus Curiae Pimentel,
petitioners are barred by estoppel from pursuing their petitions.cralaw
on Elections submitted as Annex "A" of its memorandum,
a machine copy of the certificate of candidacy of Petitioner Alex L.
in the May 9, 1994 barangay elections, the authenticity of which was
denied by said petitioner. In said certificate of candidacy, he
stated under oath that he was announcing his "candidacy for the office
of punong barangay for Barangay 77, Zone 7" of Kalookan City and that
was "eligible for said office." The Comelec also submitted as Annex "B"
to its said memorandum, a certified statement of the votes obtained by
the candidates in said elections, thus:
LIST OF CANDIDATESVOTES OBTAINEDMay 9, 1994 BARANGAY ELECTIONS
1. DAVID, ALEX L.
1. Magalona, Ruben
Quinto, Nelson L. 1303. Ramon, Dolores Z. 1204. Dela Pena, Roberto T.
Castillo, Luciana 1146. Lorico, Amy A. 1077. Valencia, Arnold 1028.
Jose 979. Dequilla, Teresita D. 5810. Primavera, Marcelina 52
If, as claimed by petitioners,
the applicable law is R. A. 6679, then (1) Petitioner David should not
have run and could not have been elected chairman of his barangay
under RA 6679, there was to be no direct election for the punong
the kagawad candidate who obtained the highest number of votes was to
automatically elected barangay chairman; (2) thus, applying said law,
punong barangay should have been Ruben Magalona, who obtained the
number of votes among the kagawads - 150, which was much more than
112; (3) the electorate should have elected only seven kagawads and not
one punong barangay plus seven kagawads.
In other words, following
petitioners' own theory, the election of Petitioner David as well as
the barangay chairmen of the two Liga petitioners was illegal. The sum
total of these absurdities in petitioners' theory is that barangay
are estopped from asking for any term other than that which they ran
and were elected to, under the law governing thie very claim to such
namely, R. A. 7160, the Local Government Code. Petitioners' belated
of ignorance as to what law governed their election to office in 1994
unacceptable because under Art. 3 of the Civil Code, "[i]gnorance of
law excuses no one from compliance therewith."
It is obvious that these
two petitions must fail. The Constitution and the laws do not support
Extant jurisprudence militates against them. Reason and common sense
them. Equity and morality abhor them. They are subtle but nonetheless
propositions to lengthen governance without a mandate from the
In a democracy, elected leaders can legally and morally justify their
only by obtaining the voluntary consent of the electorate. In this case
however, petitioners propose to extend their terms not by seeking the
vote but by faulty legal argumentation This Court cannot and will not
its imprimatur to such untenable proposition. If they want to continue
serving, they must get a new mandate in the elections scheduled on May
WHEREFORE, the petitions
are DENIED for being completely devoid of merit.cralaw
Padilla, Regalado, Davide, Jr., Romero, Bellosillo, Melo, Puno,
Mendoza, Francisco and Torres, Jr., JJ., concur.
is on leave.
Sen. Pimentel was the principal author of the Local Government Code of
Petition, p. 2; Rollo, p. 4, G.R. No. 128039.
Signed by Chairman Bernardo P. Pardo and Comms. Regalado E. Maambong,
S. Fernando, Manolo B. Gorospe, Julio F. Desamito, Teresita D. L.
and Japal M. Guiani.
Resolution 2887 was signed also
Chairman and six commissioners of the Comelec mentioned in note 3.
Subsequently, on March 11, 1997, Comelec filed a Manifestation and a
version of its Comment.
Petition, pp. 3-4; Rollo, pp. 5-6, G.R.: No. 127116.
Petition, pp. 4 et seq.; Rollo, pp. 6 et seq., G.R. No. 128039.
G.R. No. 123169, November 4, 1996.
Comelec Comment, pp. 10-11, G.R. No. 128039.
Comelec Comment, p. 7, G.R. No. 127116.
Agoncillo and Alfonso, A Short History of the Filipino People, 1961 Ed.
p. 38; Cushner, Spain in the Philippines, 1971 Ed. p. 5.
Encyclopedia of the Philipines, Vol. XI, 1953 Ed. p. 12, authored by
M. Galang relates that "(t)he word BARANGAY is originally BALANGAY from
the Malay BALANG which means a boat larger than the chinese sampan. It
is used in the diminutive sense, having the suffix ay. The
of this word confirms what the historians say about the way the Malay
emigrated for the first time to [our] Islands. They came in small boats
[Balangay]. These groups by Spaniards and kept by them to the end of
Benitez, A History of the Philippines, 1940 ed., p. 119. See also
Philippine Society and Revolution, 1971 Ed., p. 6.
Blair and Robertson, the Philippine Islands, 1493-1898, Vol. XVI, pp.
Arcilla, An Introduction to Philippine History, 1971 Ed. p. 73.
See Hayden, The Philippines, A Study in National Development, 1950 Ed.
p. 261 et seq. However, Casiano O. Flores and Jose P. Abletez
Its Government and Management, 1989 Ed., p. 3], aver that "the
became barrios and components of Spanish pueblos" even prior to the
of the Americans. See also, Ortiz, The Barangays of the Philippines,
Ed., p. 1.
Aruego, Barrio Government Law, 1971 Ed., p. 15.
Section 2, R. A. 3590.
Approved on March 25, 1982.
Approved on February 10, 1983 as B. P. Blg. 337.
Sec. 44, B. P. Blg. 337.
Sec. 86. B. P. Blg. 337.
Approved on December 3, 1985.
Sec. 37, B. P. Blg. 881.
Sec. 1, R. A. 6653.
Sec. 2, ibid.
Sec. 5, ibid.
Approved on October 21, 1988.
Sec. 1, 2nd Paragraph, RA 6679.
Approved on October 10, 1991 and took effect on January 1, 1992.
Collector of Internal Revenue vs. Manila Lodge No. 761, 105 Phil. 983,
cited in Agpalo, Statutory Construction, 1990 Ed. p. 36; Francisco,
Construction, Third Ed., pp. 5 and 106; Martin, Statutory Construction,
1979 Ed. p. 40.
Agpalo, Statutory Construction, 1990 Ed. p. 294.
Art. 7, Civil Code.
R. A. 8250.
G.R. No. 123169, November 4, 1996.
If the Local Government Code merely provided that all local officials,
without specifying barangay officials, "shall have a term of three
then such provision could be deemed a general law. But the Code
in question (Sec. 43[c]) specifically and specially mentioned barangay
officials. Hence, such provision ceased to be a general law. Rather, it
assumes the nature of a special law, or a special provision of a code
Iloilo Palay vs. Feliciano, 13 SCRA 377, March 3, 1965; Joaquin vs.
81 Phil. 373 .
Abbas vs. Comelec, 179 SCRA 287, 301, November 10, 1989; Lim vs.
240 SCRA 649, January 27, 1995; People vs. Permakiel 173 SCRA 324, 675,
May 12, 1989; La Union Electric Cooperative vs. Yaranon, 179 SCRA 828,
836, December 4, 1989.
Basco vs. Pagcor, 197 SCRA 52, 68, May 14, 1991.
Garcia vs. Comelec, 227 SCRA 100, October 5, 1993.
Vol. III, pp. 406-408 and 451.
The petitioner is estopped from contesting the applicability of the
year term of elective barangay officials as fixed by the Code.
present set of barangay officials were elected in 1994 to a three-year
term under the provisions of the Code.
rules issued by the Commission on Elections covering the barangay
of 1994 state among other things that the laws that govern the said
include the Code. In fact, when the petitioner and the candidates for
barangay filed their certificates of candidacy for purposes of the 1994
barangay elections, they had to state categorically that they were
for election as punong barangay, which the Code required but which was
not so required under Rep. Act No. 6653 and Rep. Act No. 6679, as the
acts then provided for two different ways of electing the punong
which have been explained earlier.
of the provisions of the Code that the Comelec implemented in
with the barangay elections of 1994 is Sec. 43, which categorically
that the barangay officials would only have a three, not a five, year
petitioner as well as other elective barangay officials who are now in
office knowingly ran under the provisions of the code. They have been
under the strictures of the Code. The petitioner and all the elective
officials are making use of the various provisions of Code. They are
sangguniang barangay meetings and passing barangay ordinances under the
provisions of the Code. They are receiving the honoraria granted them
the Code. They are getting in behalf of their barangay their shares of
the taxes and the wealth of the nation as directed by the Code.
the petitioner (and the barangay officials associated with his cause)
avail of all the beneficial provisions of the Code intended for the
exclusive, however, of the three-year term limitation for barangay
is plain opportunism, patently ludicrous and should, thus, be laughed
of the court " [Comment, pp. 10-11; Rollo, pp. 114- 115, G.R. No.
the other hand, in a rather delayed and undated "Urgent Ex-parte
to the Amicus Curiae" filed with this Court on March 31, 1997,
David laments the alleged "intemperate, ungentlemanly and uncalled for
language of [the] distinguished legal practitioner and former senator."
He argues that "(t)he barangay elections of 1994 were held solely at
instance of the COMELEC and all the rules, orders and directives
the elections in 1994 were prepared, promulgated and implemented by
He asserts that the "blame" for the failure of R. A. 7160 to expressly
repeal R. A. 6653 and 6679 and the confusion resulting therefrom should
be laid on Sen. Pimentel, the principal author of R. A. 7160, and not
the "lowly and innocent 420,000 elected barangay officials" who are
"for the first time a judicial interpretation of the laws and issues
Rollo, pp. 75, 86; G. R. No. 127116.
Ibid, p. 87.