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Digest: Aguila v. Genato (103 SCRA 380, 1981)

Digest: Aguila v. Genato (103 SCRA 380, 1981)
G.R. No. L-55151 March 17, 1981

Facts: Petitioners David Aguila and Edita Bueno are the Deputy Administrator and Director for Cooperative Development, respectively, of the National Electrification Administration (NEA).

Petitioner Evelito Elento is the Acting General Manager of MOELCI II, while petitioners Ressurrection Inting, Antonio Lim and Wilfredo Cabardo, are members of its Board of Directors.

Private respondent Dominador B. Borje, representing the North District of Ozamiz City, was elected Director of MOELCI II, to hold office as such for three years starting March 25, 1979.

Section 21 of Presidential Decree No. 269 (second paragraph) and Section 3, Article IV of the By-laws of MOELCI II also explicitly states: Section 3. Qualifications. ... No person shall be eligible to become or to remain a Board member of the Cooperative who

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(c) holds an elective office in the government above the level of a Barangay Captain

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(emphasis supplied)

On 4 January 1980, private respondent filed his certificate of candidacy for the position of member of the Sangguniang Panglunsod of Ozamiz City in the 30 January 1980 local elections.

On January 1980, the NEA Deputy Administrator sent a telegram to the Acting General Manager of MOELCI II stating that should private respondent Borje be elected to the Sangguniang Bayan, he shall be considered resigned from his position as Director.

Private respondent moved reconsideration and requested that he be allowed to serve the unexpired term of his office in accordance with PD No. 269. Reconsideration was denied by NEA on 7 February 1980.

On 3 March 1980, private respondent filed a Petition for "Prohibition, mandamus & Construction of Legal Provisions with Preliminary Injunction and Damages" against petitioners before the Court of First Instance of Misamis Occidental, Branch II (Spec. Case No. 0511), seeking a declaration of entitlement to remain and to serve his unexpired term as Director of MOELCI II until March, 1982.

On 3 March 1980, having won the election, private respondent assumed office and began discharging his functions.

Issue: Whether or not respondent my continue to hold office as a Director.

Ruling: No. Private respondent's argument that PD 269 (sec. 21) does not prohibit Board members of a cooperatives from continuing in their position prior to their election, and that pursuant to section 24 of PD No. 269 he is entitled, as Director, to hold office for the term for which he is erected and until his successor is elected and qualified," is untenable. Eligibility to an office should be construed as of a continuing nature and must exist at the commencement of the term and during occupancy of the office. The fact that private respondent may have been qualified at the time he assumed the Directorship is not sufficient to entitle him to continue holding office, if during the continuance of his incumbency he ceases to be qualified. Private respondent was qualified to become a director of MOELCI II at the time of the commencement of his term, but his election as member of the Sangguniang Panglunsod of Ozamiz City, and his subsequent assumption of office, disqualified him to continue as such.


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