2016 (Political Law) Bar Exam Questions: Question 18

[Answer/discuss the question below, or see 2016 bar exam Political Law Instructions; 2016 Political Law Questions: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 1719, and 20; See also 2016 Bar Exam: Information, Discussions, Tips, Questions and Results]


Sec. 8, Article X of the 1987 Constitution provides that no elective official shall serve for more than three (3) consecutive terms. Rule and explain briefly the reason if the official is prohibited to run for another term in each of the following situations: (a) if the official is a Vice-Mayor who assumed the position ofMayor for the unexpired term under the Local Government Code; (b) if the official has served for three consecutive terms and did not seek a 4th term but who won in a recall election; (c) if the position of Mayor of a town is abolished due to conversion of the town to a city; (d) if the official is preventively suspended during his term but was exonerated; and (e) if the official is proclaimed as winner and assumes office but loses in an election protest. (5%)

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  1. (a) When a permanent vacancy occurs in an elective position and the official merely assumed the position pursuant to the rules on succession under the LGC, then his service for the unexpired portion of the term of the replaced official cannot be treated as one full term as contemplated under the subject constitutional and statutory provision that service cannot be counted in the application of any term limit (Borja, Jr.). If the official runs again for the same position he held prior to his assumption of the higher office, then his succession to said position is by operation of law and is considered an involuntary severance or interruption (Montebon).

    (b) An elective official, who has served for three consecutive terms and who did not seek the elective position for what could be his fourth term, but later won in a recall election, had an interruption in the continuity of the official’s service. For, he had become in the interim, i.e., from the end of the 3rd term up to the recall election, a private citizen (Adormeo and Socrates).

    (c) The abolition of an elective local office due to the conversion of a municipality to a city does not, by itself, work to interrupt the incumbent official’s continuity of service (Latasa).

    (d) Preventive suspension is not a term-interrupting event as the elective officer’s continued stay and entitlement to the office remain unaffected during the period of suspension, although he is barred from exercising the functions of his office during this period (Aldovino, Jr.).

    (e) When a candidate is proclaimed as winner for an elective position and assumes office, his term is interrupted when he loses in an election protest and is ousted from office, thus disenabling him from serving what would otherwise be the unexpired portion of his term of office had the protest been dismissed (Lonzanida and Dizon). The break or interruption need not be for a full term of three years or for the major part of the 3-year term; an interruption for any length of time, provided the cause is involuntary, is sufficient to break the continuity of service (Socrates, citing Lonzanida).

    When an official is defeated in an election protest and said decision becomes final after said official had served the full term for said office, then his loss in the election contest does not constitute an interruption since he has managed to serve the term from start to finish. His full service, despite the defeat, should be counted in the application of term limits because the nullification of his proclamation came after the expiration of the term (Ong and Rivera).

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