Law Dictionary

Question B.15, Political Law, 2019 Bar Exam

Notice: The following suggested answers simulate those that a bar examinee may provide as an answer to a bar exam question. Thus, specific citations (i.e., republic acts, articles/sections, jurisprudence, etc.) are not provided because it is not required in the bar exam. For purposes other than answering the bar exam, please be reminded that proper referencing or legal citation is required.

Question B.15, Political Law, 2019 Bar Exam

R was elected as Municipal Councilor for three (3) consecutive terms. Before the end of the third term, Vice Mayor S died, rendering his post vacant. Since R was the highest-ranking Municipal Councilor, he assumed the office of the Vice Mayor. One of his constituents, T, assailed R’s assumption of office, arguing that elections should have been conducted to fill in the vacancy following the death of Vice Mayor S.

(a) Is T’s contention correct? Explain. (2.5%)

(b) Assuming that R validly assumed S’s post, at the end of R’s term as Vice Mayor, may he run, once more, for the position of Municipal Councilor? Or, is he prescribed to do so under the Local Government Code? Explain. (2.5%)

Suggested Answer:

(a) No. Answer

Under the Local Government Code, if a permanent vacancy occurs in the office of vice-mayor, the highest ranking sanggunian member shall become vice-mayor, Rule

In the case at bar, the death of Vice Mayor S resulted in a permanent vacancy. Accordingly, R as the highest-ranking Municipal Councilor becomes the vice-mayor succeeding Vice Mayor S. Apply

Thus, T’s contention is not correct. Conclusion

(b) Yes. Answer

Under the jurisprudence, succession in local government offices is by operation of law. Hence, a lower local elective official succeeding to a higher position does not count in the application of any term limit for the lower post. Succession in local government offices is by operation of law. Rule

In the case at bar, the assumption R as the highest-ranking Municipal Council to the position of S as vice-mayor is by operation of law. Accordingly, the term office that R rendered as vice-mayor does not count to the term limit for his previous post as Municipal Councilor. Apply

Thus, R may still run again for the position of Municipal Councilor. Conclusion

Disclaimer: All information is for educational and general information only. These should not be taken as professional legal advice or opinion. Please consult a competent lawyer to address your specific concerns. Any statements or opinions of the author are solely his own and do not reflect that of any organization he may be connected.

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