You are on page 1of 11

4.

POWERS OF THE LOCAL CHIEF EXECUTIVES; VICE LOCAL EXECUTIVES (EXCEPT


BARANGAY LEVEL) THEIR DUTIES AND FUNCTIONS
Gamboa vs. Aguirre and Araneta
G.R. No. 134213 July 20, 1999
Provision(s): Section 46(a). Temporary Vacancy in the Office of the Local Chief Executive.When the governor, city or municipal mayor, or punong barangay is temporarily
incapacitated to perform his duties for physical or legal reasons such as, but not limited to, leave of
absence, travel abroad, and suspension from office, the vice-governor, city or municipal vice-mayor, or
the highest ranking sangguniang barangay member shall automatically exercise the powers and perform
the duties and functions of the local chief executive concerned, except the power to appoint, suspend, or
dismiss employees which can only be exercised if the period of temporary incapacity exceeds thirty (30)
working days.
Section
466(a)(4).
Powers,
Duties,
and
Compensation.
The vice-governor shall:
xxx
Exercise the powers and perform the duties and functions of the governor in cases of temporary
vacancy as provided for in Section 46, Book I of this Code
Section 49(b) .Presiding Officer.
In the event of the inability of the regular presiding officer to preside at a sanggunian session, the
members present and constituting a quorum shall elect from among themselves a temporary presiding
officer. xxx
Facts: Negros Occidental Governor Gamboa designated Vice-Governor Aguirre as Acting Governor for the
duration of the former's official trip abroad until his return. Sangguniang Panlalawigan Members later
questioned the authority of Aguirre to preside over its regular session and asked him to vacate his office which
he refused to do so. However, in another session, Sanggunian, by majority vote, voted to allow him to preside
over. This caused respondents to file before a lower court a petition for declaratory relief and prohibition to
which the court rendered him temporarily legally incapacitated to preside over the sessions. Before the
decision, Gamboa reassumed his office.
Issue: Was Vice Gov. Aguirre designated as Acting Governor be allowed to preside over sessions of
Sanggunian?
Held: No. Under the new LGC of 1991, it abandoned the old practice under the old LGC of 1983 wherein
the governor is not only the local chief executive but also the presiding officer of the Sanggunian. The
governor was no longer allowed to hold two offices at the same time. That a person performing local
executive functions be different from person involved in legislative functions. Similarly, in the given
case,designated Acting Governor Aguirre while have to perform his new duty which demands full time
service, could not be at the same time preside over the sessions of Sanggunian. His new mandate was to
assume the office of Governor in acting or temporary capacity only. However, his power to preside over is
suspended as long as he is legally to continue as such. His inability thus calls for election of temporary
presiding officer as mandated in sec. 49(b).

MANUEL E. ZAMORA vs. JOSE R. CABALLERO, ET AL.


FACTS:
Vice-Governor Reynaldo Navarro sent a written notice of a special session on February 7, 2001.
Upon the request of Governor JoseR. Caballero, however, the scheduled special session
was reset to February 8, 2001 without the benefit of a written notice.
On February 8,2001, the Sanggunian thus held a special session to, among other things, allow
the Governor to deliver his State of the Province Address. Asonly seven members of the
fourteen-member Sanggunian were present,no resolution was considered. The Sanggunian
held its 4th regular session during which it issued Resolution No. 05 declaring the entire
province of Compostela Valley under a state of calamity and ResolutionNo. 07 authorizing the
Governor to, on behalf of the province, enter into a construction contract. During the
same session, the Sanggunian accepted the letter of irrevocable resignation submitted by
Board Member Gemma Sotto. Petitioner thus filed a petition before the RTC against the
Governor, et al., challenging the validity of the acts of the Sanggunian on February 26, 2001,
alleging that while the Journal and Resolutions indicated the presence of 13 members, the
Sanggunian nonetheless "conducted official business without a quorum. Respondents, on the
other hand, contended that since Board Member Sotto was in the United States
at the time the questioned acts were executed and resolutions adopted, the
actual number of Board Members then in the country was thirteen which should be the
basis of the determination of a quorum.The RTC dismissed the petition as Sotto should not
be counted as member for the purpose of determining the number to constitute a quorum
because she is in the USA. Quorum should be determined on the basis of the actual number of
members of the body concerned rather than upon its full membership which is fourteen
(14). Therefore, in this case, with seven (7) members of the thirteen (13) members
present inconstitutive of a quorum.RTC based its decision in the case of Avelino vs. Cuenco.
ISSUES:
(1) whether there was a quorum in the sessions; (2) Whether Board Member Osorio, who
presided the session in behalf of the vice governor, can cast his vote for the resolution.
HELD:
(1) There was no quorum. There is nothing on record, save for respondents allegation, to show
that Board Member Sotto was out of the country and to thereby conclude that she was outside
the coercive power of the Sanggunian when the February 8 and 26, 2001 sessions were held. In
fact it is undisputed that the leave form filed by said Board Member before the Department of
Interior and Local Government (DILG) did not mention that she was going out of the country.
The case of Avelino is not applicable. Moreover, the present case, however, involves a local
legislative body, the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Compostela Valley Province, and the
applicable rule respecting quorum is found in Section53(a) of the LGC. "Quorum" is defined as
that number of members of a body which, when legally assembled in their proper places, will
enable the body to transact its proper business or that number which makes a lawful body and
gives it power to pass upon a law or ordinance or do any valid act."Majority," when required to
constitute a quorum, means the number greater than half or more than half of any total.
In fine, theentire membership must be taken into account in computing the quorum of
the sangguniang panlalawigan, for while the constitution merelystates that "majority
of each House shall constitute a quorum," Section 53 of the LGC is more exacting as it
requires that the "majority of all members of the sanggunian . . . elected and qualified " shall
constitute a quorum. The trial court should thus have based its determination of theexistence of
a quorum on the total number of members of the Sanggunian without regard to the filing of a
leave of absence by Board Member Sotto.(2) No. The LGC clearly limits the power of
presiding officers to vote only in case of a tie. While acting as presiding officer, Board
Member Osorio may not, at the same time, be allowed to exercise the rights of a regular board

member including that of voting even when there is no tieto break. A temporary
presiding officer who merely steps into the shoes of the presiding officer could
not have greater power than thatpossessed by the latter who can vote only in case of a tie.

5. POWERS OF LOCAL LEGISTALATIVE, BODIES ; QUORUM

Legislation
Malonzo v. Zamora
323 SCRA 875
FACTS: A supplemental budget was passed by the councilors upon three readings held on the
same day. They were charged with misconduct.
HELD: There is no law prohibiting the holding of the three readings of a proposed ordinance in
one session day.

Garces Vs Estenzo
G.R. No. L-53487 May 25, 1981 ANDRES GARCES, Reverend Father SERGIO MARILAO
OSMEA, NICETAS DAGAR and JESUS EDULLANTES, petitioners, vs. Hon. NUMERIANO
G. ESTENZO, Presiding Judge of the Court of First Instance of Leyte, Ormoc City Branch V,
BARANGAY COUNCIL of Valencia, Ormoc City, Barangay Captain MANUEL C. VELOSO,
Councilmen GAUDENCIO LAVEZARES, TOMAS CABATINGAN and MAXIMINO NAVARRO,
Barangay Secretary CONCHITA MARAYA and Barangay Treasurer LUCENA BALTAZAR,
respondents.
Facts : This case is about the constitutionality of four resolutions of the barangay council of
Valencia, Ormoc City, regarding the acquisition of the wooden image of San Vicente Ferrer to be
used in the celebration of his annual feast day. On March 23, 1976, the said barangay council
adopted Resolution No. 5, "reviving the traditional socio-religious celebration" every fifth day of
April "of the feast day of Seor San Vicente Ferrer, the patron saint of Valencia That resolution
designated the members of nine committees who would take charge of the 1976 festivity. lt
provided for (1) the acquisition of the image of San Vicente Ferrer and (2) the construction of a
waiting shed as the barangay's projects. Funds for the two projects would be obtained through
the selling of tickets and cash donations On March 26, 1976, the barangay council passed
Resolution No. 6 which specified that, in accordance with the practice in Eastern Leyte,
Councilman Tomas Cabatingan, the Chairman or hermano mayor of the fiesta, would be the
caretaker of the image of San Vicente Ferrer and that the image would remain in his residence
for one year and until the election of his successor as chairman of the next feast day Funds
were raised by means of solicitations0 and cash donations of the barangay residents and those
of the neighboring places of Valencia. With those funds, the waiting shed was constructed and
the wooden image of San Vicente Ferrer was acquired in Cebu City by the barangay council for
four hundred pesos A controversy arose after the mass when the parish priest, Father Sergio
Marilao Osmea refused to return that image to the barangay council on the pretext that it was
the property of the church because church funds were used for its acquisition. Because Father
Osmea did not accede to the request of Cabatingan to have custody of the image and
"maliciously ignored" the council's Resolution No. 6, the council enacted on May 12, 1976
Resolution No. 10, authorizing the hiring of a lawyer to file a replevin case against Father
Osmea for the recovery of the image (Exh. C or 8). On June 14, 1976, the barangay council
passed Resolution No. 12, appointing Veloso as its representative in the replevin case (Exh. D
or 9). Later, he and three other persons, Andres Garces, a member of the Aglipayan Church,
and two Catholic laymen, Jesus Edullantes and Nicetas Dagar, filed against the barangay
council and its members (excluding two members) a complaint in the Court of First Instance at
Ormoc City, praying for the annulment of the said resolutions. The lower court dismissed the
complaint.
lt
upheld
the
validity
of
the
resolutions
ISSUE: WON The Barangay Council has the right over the custody of the Relic
HELD : The questioned resolutions do not directly or indirectly establish any religion, nor
abridge religious liberty, nor appropriate public money or property for the benefit of any sect,
priest or clergyman. The image was purchased with private funds, not with tax money. The
construction of a waiting shed is entirely a secular matter The wooden image was purchased in
connection with the celebration of the barrio fiesta honoring the patron saint, San Vicente Ferrer,
and not for the purpose of favoring any religion nor interfering with religious matters or the
religious beliefs of the barrio residents. One of the highlights of the fiesta was the mass.
Consequently, the image of the patron saint had to be placed in the church when the mass was

celebrated If there is nothing unconstitutional or illegal in holding a fiesta and having a patron
saint for the barrio, then any activity intended to facilitate the worship of the patron saint (such
as the acquisition and display of his image) cannot be branded as illegal. The barangay council
designated a layman as the custodian of the wooden image in order to forestall any suspicion
that it is favoring the Catholic church. There can be no question that the image in question
Continuation (Garces Vs Estenzo)
belongs to the barangay council. The council has the right to take measures to recover
possession of the image by enacting Resolutions Nos. 10 and 12. Not every governmental
activity which involves the expenditure of public funds and which has some religious tint is
violative of the constitutional provisions regarding separation of church and state, freedom of
worship and banning the use of public money or property

Bunye vs Escareal
GR No. 110216
September 10, 1993
Facts:
The above-named accused, all public officers of the Municipality of Muntinlupa, Metro Manila,
were charged of enacting Kapasiyahan Bilang 45 in order to allegedly take possession and take
over its operation and management of the New Public Market in Alabang, Muntinlupa starting
August 19, 1988 despite the valid and subsisting lease contract for a term o0f 25 years between
the Municipality of Muntinlupa and the Kilusang Bayan sa Paglilingkod and Mga Magtitinda ng
Bagong Pamilihan ng Muntinlupa, Inc.(Kilusang Magtitinda). COA Chairman Domingo and MMC
Governor Cruz also warned that appropriate legal steps be taken by the MMC toward the
rescission of the contractto protect the interests of the Government, and to evaluate
thoroughly and study further the case to preclude possible damages of financial liabilities which
the Court may adjudge against that municipality as an offshoot of the case.
The forcible take-over allegedly caused undue injury to the aforesaid Cooperative members,
and gave the Municipal Government, and in effect, the herein accused, unwarranted benefits,
advantage or preference in the discharge of their official functions.
On the motion of the Public Prosecutor, the Sandiganbayan issued a resolution suspending
them pendent lite from public office pursuant to Sec.13 of RA 3019.
Petitioners Municipal Mayor, Vice Mayor and Councilors question the resolution suspending
them from office for 90 days pending their trial for violation of Sec.3(3) of the Anti-Graft and
Corrupt Practices Act.

Issue:
WON the preventive suspension is unjustified or unnecessary and its implementation will sow
havoc and confusion in the government of the Municipality of Muntinlupa, to the shattering of the
peace and order thereat?
Held:
Sec.13 of RA No. 3019 as amended, provides that the accused public officials shall be
suspended from office while the criminal prosecution is pending in court.

In Gonzaga vs Sandiganbayan, 201 SCRA 417, 422, 426, the SC ruled that such preventive
suspension is mandatory. Preventive suspension n is not a penalty. In fact, suspension
under Sec.13 of RA 3019 is mandatory once the validity of the information is determined
(People vs CA, 135 SCRA 372).
The Sandiganbayan clearly did not abuse its discretion when it ordered the preventive
suspension of the petitioners.
The Solicitor General correctly replied that it is not for the petitioners to say that their admissions
are all the evidence that the prosecution will need to hold up its case against them. The
prosecution must be given the opportunity to gather and prepare the facts for trial under
conditions which would ensure non-intervention and non-interference for 90 straight days from
petitioners camp (p.13, Solicitor Generals comment).
The petitioners fear that the municipal government of Muntinlupa will be paralyzed for 90 days
when they are preventively suspended is remote. There will still remain 8 councilors who can
meet as the Sangguniang Bayan . The President or his alter ego, the Secretary of the Interior
Local Government, will surely know how to deal with the problem of filling up the temporarily
vacant positions of Mayor, Vice Mayor, and 6 councilors in accordance with the provisions of the
LGC, RA 7160 (Samad vs COMELEC , et al., GR No. 107854; Samad vs Executive Secretary,
et al., GR No. 108642, July 16, 1993).

Javellana vs. Tayo, 6 SCRA 1042 , No. L-18919, December 29, 1962
G.R. No. L-18919
December 29, 1962
ABELARDO JAVELLANA, TOMAS JONCO, RUDICO HABANA, EXEQUIEL GOLEZ,
ALFREDO ANG, and FILIPINAS SOLEDAD, in their capacities as Councilors of the
Municipal Municipality of Buenavista, Province of Iloilo, petitioners appellees,
vs.
SUSANO TAYO, as Mayor of the Municipal Municipality of Buenavista, Iloilo, respondentappellant.
Ramon A. Gonzales for petitioners-appellees.
Rico & Tia for respondent-appellant.
BARRERA, J.:
This is a direct appeal taken by respondent Susano Tayo (Mayor of the Municipality of
Buenavista, Iloilo) from the decision of the Court of First Instance of Iloilo (in Civil Case No.
5558, for mandamus) declaring legal and validity the regular session held by petitioners
Abelardo Javellano Tomas Jonco, Rudico Habana, Exequiel Golez, Alfredo Ang, and Filipinas
Soledad, constituting a majority of the elected councilors of said municipality, and ordering
respondent to give due course to the resolutions and or ordinances passed thereat, and to sign
the payrolls corresponding to the session days of June 1, June 15, July 6, July 20, August 3,
August 17, September 7, and September 21, 1960 for payment of the per diems of petitioner as
councilors; to pay said Councilor Golez the sum of P100.00 as moral damages; and to pay
P100.00 as attorney' fees plus costs.
The case was submitted on the following Stipulation of Facts:
I
That the petitioners are duly elected and qualified a members of the Municipal Council of the
Municipality of Buenavista, Province of Iloilo, Philippines; and that the respondent at the time
the acts hereinbelow complained of took place, was and still is the duly-elected and qualified
Mayor of the Municipality of Buenavista, Province of Iloilo Philippines where he resides and may
be served with summons.
II
On February 8, 1960. the Municipal Council of the Municipality of Buenavista, Iloilo,
unanimously approved Resolution No. 5, Series of 1960, dated February 8, 1960, a copy of
which is hereto attached to form an integral part hereon as Annex 'A', which set the regular
sessions of the Municipality Council of Buenavista on every first and third Wednesday of every
month, and which resolution was duly approved by the respondent, in his capacity as Mayor of
the Municipality of Buenavista.

III
That on June 1, 1960, at the time and place set for the regular session of the Municipal Council,
the Mayor, Vice-Mayor, No. 1 and No. 2 Councilors, and the Secretary were absent.
IV
That the six councilors, who are the petitioners in this case, were present and they proceeded to
elect among themselves a temporary presiding officer and Acting Secretary to take notes of the
proceedings. Having thus elected a temporary presiding officer and a secretary of the Council,
they proceeded to do business.
V
That on June 15. 1960, at the time and place designated in Resolution No. 5, series of 1960,
dated February 8, 1960 above referred to, the petitioners acting as duly elected and qualified
councilors were present and again, in view of the absence of the Mayor, Vice-Mayor said to
councilor and the Secretary proceeded to elect a temporary presiding officer and temporary
secretary from among them, and did business as a Municipal Council of Buenavista.
VI
That again on July 6, and July 21, 1960, on August 3, and August 17, September 7, and on
September 21, 1960, the petitioners met at the place and time designated in Resolution No. 5,
series of 1960, and proceeded to elect a temporary Secretary among themselves, and did
business as the Municipal Council of Buenavista, in view again of the absence of the Mayor
Vice-Mayor, 2 councilors, and the Secretary.
VII
That when the minutes of the proceedings of June 1, June 15. July 6, July 20, August 17,
September 7, and September 21, 1960 of the Municipal Council were presented to the
respondent for action, the respondent Mayor refused to act upon said minutes, or particularly to
approve or disapprove the resolution as approved by the municipal Council, the Mayor declaring
the sessions above referred to as null and void and not in accordance with.
VIII
That the petitioners made repeated demands for payment of their per diems for the of June 1,
June 15, July 6, July 20, August 3, August 17, September 7, 1960, by representing the payrolls;
Provincial Forms No. 38(A) to the respondent Mayor for the latter signature, but that the
respondent refused to affix his signature to the payrolls thus presented, covering the per diems
of the petitioner alleging that the proceedings were illegal due to his absence.
IX
That the petitioners, acting through Atty. Bartolome T. Tina, addressed a letter dated August 8,
1960 to the Honorable Provincial Fiscal of the Province of Iloilo, asking of the latter's opinion on
the validity of the acts of the herein petitioners, acting as the Municipal Council in the absence
of the Mayor, Vice-Mayor, said two councilors and the secretary, a copy which letter is herewith
attached as Annex 'B' and made an integral part of this petition.
X
That on August 9, 1960, the Honorable Provincial Fiscal of the Province of Iloilo in his
indorsement, rendered an opinion upholding the validity of the controverted sessions of the
Municipal Council, a copy, of which communication is, likewise attached herein is Annex 'C' and
made an integral part of this petition.
XI
That despite the opinion of the Provincial Fiscal, the respondent Mayor refused and still refuses
to act upon the resolution petitions presented to him and to sign the payrolls covering the per
diems of the herein petitioners.
XII
That the respondent brought the matter to the attention of the Provincial Board, of the Province
of Iloilo, by means of a letter questioning the legality of the minutes of the regular possession of
the Municipal Council without his presence individual that the Provincial Board resolved on
September 23, 1960 to return the minutes of the regular session of the Municipal Council of
Buenavista, Iloilo, informing the Mayor that per the opinion of the Legal Assistant, said minutes
is legal.
XIII
That despite the resolution of the Provincial Board, the Mayor refused and still refuses to
recognize the validity of the acts of the Municipal Council and the legality of its regular session
held in his absence.
On the basis of the foregoing Stipulation of Facts (plus the testimony of Councilor Exequiel
Golez), the trial court (on July 26, 1961) rendered the decision above adverted to, partly stating:

This Court, after perusal of all the records of this case has reached the conclusion that the
sessions held by the petitioner during the absence of the respondent Mayor were perfectly valid
and legal. The attendance of the Mayor is not essential to the validity of the session as long as
there is quorum constituted in accordance with law. To declare that the proceedings of the
petitioners were null and void, is to encourage recalcitrant public officials who would frustrate
valid session for political end or consideration. Public interest will immensely suffer, if a mayor
who belongs to one political group refuses to call or attend a session, because the Council is
controlled by another political group. In a democrats the minority should respect the majority
and inasmuch as the petitioners constitute the majority political group, it is but natural that they
could validly hold a valid session, in order to devise means for public interest.
The respondent here as Municipal Mayor should have given good example, by calling and
attending regular session on the dates fixed by the Council. In the discharge of his of official
duty, he should consider the Session Hall of the Municipal Council as the sanctuary and
depository of public interest and public welfare. Any member of the Council should enter the
Session Hall, not as a representative of any political part or group, but as a representative of the
people of the municipality whose interest and welfare should be safeguarded by the Council. In
entering this Hall, he must lay aside his political affiliation, interest, and consideration, because
it is the sworn duty of every councilor to perform his duty with justice and impartiality. Not to
attend a meeting, constitutes an abandonment of the people's welfare. One may be in the
minority group, but he can discharge his duty with honor and prestige as a fiscalizer, to fiscalize
the doings and actuations of the majority. He may be overwhelmed in his plan or project by
superior numerical majority but if he could adduce good reasons and arguments in favor of the
welfare of the people, his task as a fiscalizer is thereby attained. There is no fear on attending
any session because if your project is not carried out, you may have the remedy, either by
administrative or judicial relief, by questioning and ordinance or resolution passed by the
majority, which may be null and void because they are excessive and unreasonable. So, there is
no reason why the respondent in this case had refused to attend the session of the Council.
Petitioners here claim moral damages pursuant to the provisions of Article 2219, in connection
with Article 21 and Article 27 of the new Civil Code. Said Article 27 provides as follows:
'Any person suffering material or moral loss because a public servant or employee refuses or
neglects, without just cause, to perform his official duty may file an action for damages and
other relief against the latter, without prejudice to any disciplinary administrative action that my
be taken.'lawphil.net
But in support of the allegations in the petition, only petitioner Exequiel Golez was presented as
a witness who prove moral damages he suffered as a consequence of the refusal the
respondent Susano Tayo to perform his official duty. such, of all the petitioners, only Exequiel
Golez is entitled receive moral damages in the sum of P100.00.
IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING, the petition for a writ of mandamus is hereby granted, and the
respondent is here ordered to give due course to the resolutions and ordinance passed by the
petitioners in the regular sessions during the absence of the respondent, to give due course and
sign the payrolls covering the periods of June 1, June 15, July 6, July 20, August 3, August 17,
September 7, and September 21, 196 for the payment of per diems of the petitioners as
Municipal Councilors; to pay to said Exequiel Golez, the sum of P100.00 as moral damage, to
pay the sum of P100.00 as attorney's fee and to pay the costs of the proceeding.
SO ORDERED.
Respondent-appellant claims, in this appeal, that the trial court erred in holding that the
sessions held by petitioners-appellees during his absence and during the absence of his ViceMayor and the No. 1 and No. 2 Councilors the Municipal Council of Buenavista, Iloilo were valid
an legal.
The claim is untenable. In the first place, there is no question that the sessions at issue were
held on the days set for regular sessions of the council, as authorized an approved in a previous
resolution. Secondly, it is not disputed that a majority of the members of the council (six out of
ten) were present in these sessions. Consequently, pursuant to Section 2221 of the Revised
Administrative Code which provides:
SEC. 2221. Quorum of council Enforcing Attendance of absent members. The majority of
the council elected shall constitute a quorum to do business; ....
there was a quorum to do business in all the sessions in question. The term "quorum" has been
defined as that number of members of the body which, when legally as assembled in their
proper places, will enable the body to transact its proper business, or, in other words, that
number that makes a lawful body and gives it power to pass a law or ordinance or do any other
valid corporate act. (4 McQuillin, Municipal Corporation [3rd Ed 478]; see also State vs.
Wilkesville Tp., 20 Ohio St. 288).

Appellant, however asserts that while under Section 2221 of the Revised Administrative Code,
the majority of the members of the council constitutes a quorum to do business, the council
"shall be presided by the Mayor and no one else", inasmuch as it is one of the duties imposed
upon him under Section 2194(d) of the Revised Administrative Code. 1 The argument would be
correct if the mayor (herein appellant) were present at the sessions in question and was
prevented from presiding therein, but not where, as in the instant case, he absented himself
therefrom.
Appellant likewise invokes Section 7 (third paragraph) of Republic Act No. 9264, 2 in support of
his view that the sessions in question were null and void, as they were not presided by him or by
his Vice-Mayor, or by the councilor who obtained the largest number of votes.lawphil.net
It is true that this section mentions only the vice-mayor, or in his place, the councilor who
obtained the largest number of votes who could perform the duties of the mayor, in the event of
the latter's temporary incapacity to do so, except the power to appoint, suspend, or dismiss
employees. Ordinarily, this enumeration would be in interpreted as exclusive, following the
general principle of inclusio unius, est exclusio alterius, but there are cogent reasons to
disregard this rule in this case, since to adopt it would cause inconvenience, hardship, and
injury to public interest, as it would place in the hands of mayor, vice-mayor, and the councilor
receiving the highest number of votes an instrument to defeat the law investing the legislative
power in the municipal council, by simply boycotting, as they continuously did for 4 months,
regular sessions of the council. It is to be noted that same section 7 of Republic Act No. 2264
invoked by appellant provides, in case of permanent incapacity of mayor, vice-mayor, and the
councilor obtaining the largest number of votes, to assume and perform the duties of mayor, the
councilor receiving the next largest number of votes, and so on, can assume and perform such
duties. We see no strong reason why the same procedure should not be followed in case of
temporary incapacity, there being no express prohibition against its observance. The legal
provision being therefore susceptible of two in interpretations, we adopt the one in consonance
with the resumed intention of the legislature to give its enactmentthe most reasonable and
beneficial construction, the that will render them operative and effective and harmonious with
other provisions of law. This is imperative because, as already pointed out heretofore, under the
law "the majority of the council elected shall constitute a quorum to do business", and this would
be defeated if adopt the literal interpretation of appellant that only mayor, vice-mayor, or the
councilor receiving the largest number of votes could preside the council's meeting, to legal,
irrespective of the presence of a quorum or majority of the councilors elected. Such an
interpretation would, indeed, be fraught with dangerous consequences. For it would, in effect,
deprive the municipal council its function, namely, the enactment of ordinances design for the
general welfare of its inhabitants. As the trial court aptly observed, "To declare that the
proceedings of thepetitioners (herein appellees) were null and void, is to encourage recalcitrant
public officials who would frustrate valid sessions for political end or consideration. Public
interest will immensely suffer, if a mayor who belong to one political group refused to call or
attend a session because the council is controlled by another political group."
Lastly, appellant contests the award of moral damage to appellee councilor Exequiel Golez. We
find said award proper under Article 27 of the new Civil Code, 3 considering that according to
the trial court, he (Golez) was able to prove that he suffered the same, as a consequence of
appellant's refusal to perform his official duty, not withstanding the action taken by the Provincial
Fiscal an the Provincial Board upholding the validity of the session in question.
WHEREFORE, the decision appealed from is hereby affirmed with costs against respondentappellant. So ordered.
Bengzon, C.J., Padilla, Bautista Angelo, Labrador, Concepcion, Reyes, J.B.L.,Paredes and
Makalintal, JJ. concur.
Dizon and Regala, JJ., took no part.
1"SEC. 2194. Mayor as chief executive of municipality. ... He shall have the following duties:
"(d) He shall preside at the meetings of the municipal council and shall recommend to said body
from time to time, such measures connected with the public health, cleanliness or ornament of
the municipality or the improvement of its finances as he shall deem expedient."
2 "SEC. 7. The city, municipal, and municipal district vice-mayor and succession to the office of
mayor. ... In the event of temporary incapacity of the mayor to perform the duties of his office
on account of absence on leave, sickness or and temporary incapacity, the vice-mayor shall
perform the duties and exercise the powers of the mayor except the power to appoint suspend
or dismiss employees. In the even the vice-mayor is temporarily incapacitated to perform the
duties of the office of mayor, the councilor who obtained the largest number of votes among the
incumbent councilors in the local elections immediately preceding shall perform the duties and

exercise the powers of the mayor except the power to appoint, suspend or dismiss
employees. ..."
3 "Art. 27. Any person suffering material or moral loss because a public servant or employee
refuses or neglects, without just cause, to perform his official duty may file an action for
damages and other relief against the latter, without prejudice to any disciplinary administrative
action that may be taken.

LOCAL GOVERNMENTS; SANGGUNIANG PANLALAWIGAN; MAJORITY OF ALL THE


MEMBERS
REQUIRED
TO
CONSTITUTE
QUORUM
MANUELZAMORAVS.GOV.JOSECABALLERO,ETAL.
G.R.No.147767.January14,2002
Facts: Manuel Zamora, a member of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Compostela
Valley, filed before the RTC a petition to invalidate all acts executed and resolutions
issued by the Sanggunian during its sessions held on February 8 and 26, 2001 for lack of
quorum. Said sessions noted the resignation letter of Board Member Sotto, declared the
entire province under a state of calamity and approved the Governor to enter into the
contract with the Allado Company. Zamora, the petitioner, argued that the Sanggunian,
during its February 26 session, conducted official business without a quorum since only
7 out of the 14 members were present. He further questioned the February 8 sessions
validity arguing that only 7 members were present and the failure to provide written
notice to all members at least 24 hours before the holding of the special session.
Respondents argued that Board Member Sotto was in the United States during such
sessions and that the actual number of Board Members in the country was only 13
which, they claimed, should be the basis for the determination of a quorum. Such
petition raised by Zamora was dismissed by the RTC but reversed and granted by the
Supreme
Court.
Issues: 1) Whether or not Section 53 (a) of the LGC provides and specifies applicable rule
regardingthedeterminationofaquorum.
2) Whether or not Sanggunian Members who are abroad should not be included in the
counting oftheentireSanggunianbody.
3) Whether or not the approved decisions during the sessions, alleged to be without
quorum,
is
deemed
to
be
valid.
Held:
Section 53 (a) of the LGC states that : A majority of all members of the Sanggunian who
have been elected and qualified shall constitute a quorum to transact official business.
Quorum is defined as the number of members of a body which, when legally assembled,
will enable the body to transact its proper business or that number which makes a lawful
body and gives it power to pass upon a law or ordinance or do any valid act. When
required to constitute a quorum, majority means the number greater than half or more
than
half
of
the
total.
As further stated, it requires the majority of ALL members of the Sanggunian. Quorum
should, thus, be based on the total number of members regardless of whether or not a
member
is
said
tobeabroad.
Therefore, in cases where decisions have been made during sessions deemed to have
not met the required quorum, such sessions and decisions shall be considered void.