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Pamil vs Teleron
Political Law – Inviolability of the Separation of Church and State
In 1971, Fr. Margarito Gonzaga, a priest, won the election for mayoralty in Albuquerque, Bohol. He was also proclaimed as a mayor therein. Pamil, a rival candidate file a quo warranto case against Gonzaga questioning the eligibility of Gonzaga. He argued that as provided for in the Revised Administrative Code; “in no case shall there be elected or appointed to a municipal office ecclesiastics, soldiers in active service, persons receiving salaries or compensation from provincial or national funds, or contractors for public works of the municipality.” In this case, the elected mayor is a priest. However, Judge Teleron ruled that the Administrative Code is repealed by the Election Code of 1971 which allowed the prohibitions of the revised administrative code.
ISSUE: Whether or not the Revised Administrative Code is no longer operative?
HELD: Decision is indecisive, the said law, in the deliberations of the court, failed to obtain the majority vote of eight (8) which is needed in order for this law to be binding upon the parties in this case. For this, the petition must be granted and the decision of the lower court reversed and set aside. Fr. Gonzaga is hereby ordered to vacate the mayoralty position. It is also pointed out that how can one who swore to serve the Church’s interest above all be in duty to enforce state policies which at times may conflict with church tenets. This is in violation of the separation of the church and state. The Revised Administrative Code still stands because there is no implied repeal.
J. Teehankee – The Comelec ruled that soldiers in active service and persons receiving salaries or compensation from provincial or national funds “are obviously now allowed to run for a public elective office because under Sec. 23 of the Election Code of 1971 ‘every person holding a public appointive office or position, including active members of the Armed Forces’ shall ipso facto cease in their office or position on the date they file their certificates of candidacy. This implies that they are no longer disqualified from running for an elective office.” The Comelec further ruled that as to the two remaining categories formerly banned under the Revised Administrative Code, “ecclesiastics and contractors for public works of the municipality are allowed to run for municipal elective offices under the maxim, ‘Inclusio unius est exclusio alterius’, they being not included in the enumeration of persons ineligible under the New Election Code. The rule is that all persons possessing the necessary qualifications, except those expressly disqualified by the election code, are eligible to run for public office.”
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