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Question B.15

B.15.

(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

..

(Notice: The suggested answers simulate those that a bar examinee may provide, and thus specific citations are not provided. Notwithstanding, in the reviewers, the bar exam question is answered under the appropriate topic which discusses the concepts and principles, as well as provide for specific citations. Accordingly, please refer to it on the reviewer or in the Library.)

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