Villar vs. Paraiso
GR No. L-8014 Villar vs. Paraiso Parties: Both are candidates for the office of Mayor of Rizal, Nueva Ecija Facts: 1.) In the 1951 elections, Paraiso defeated Villar and was elected and proclaimed Mayor of Rizal, Nueva Ecija. Villar filed a quo warranto proceeding against Paraiso contending that the latter was ineligible to hold office because he was then a minister of the United Church of Christ and as such, was disqualified under Sec. 2175 of the Revised Administrative Code. Villar instituted a quo warranto proceeding praying that Paraiso’s proclamation as mayor-elect be declared null and void, and that he be declared duly elected mayor of Rizal. Paraiso denied ineligibility and claimed that he resigned as minister and that his resignation was accepted by the cabinet of his church. 2.) RTC found Paraiso ineligible for being an ecclesiastic and declared his proclamation as mayor null and void. However, it did not declare Villar as mayor-elect for lack of legal ground to do so. Both parties appealed. 3.) CA certified the case to the SC, finding that Villar raised only questions of law even though Paraiso raisedboth questions of law and fact. Issue: WON Paraiso, being an ecclesiastic, is ineligible to hold office as Mayor of Rizal, Nueva Ecija Held: YES Rule: SEC. 2175. Persons ineligible to municipal office.—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 Insular funds, or contractors for public works of the municipality. Application: SC did not find any reason to deviate from the finding of the trial court that respondent never ceased as minister of the order to which he belonged and that the resignation he claimed to have filed months prior to the elections was a mere scheme to circumvent the prohibition of law regarding ecclesiastics who desire to run for a municipal office. Indeed, if respondent really and sincerely intended to resign as minister of the religious organization to which he belonged for the purpose of launching his candidacy why did he not resign in due form and have the acceptance of his resignation registered with the Bureau of Public Libraries. The purpose of registration is two-fold: to inform the public not only of the authority of the minister to discharge religious functions, but equally to keep it informed of any change in his religious status. This information is necessary for the protection of the public. This is specially so with regard to the authority to solemnized marriages, the registration of which is made by the law mandatory (Articles 92-96, new Civil Code). It is no argument to say that the duty to secure the cancellation of the requisite resignation devolves, not upon respondent, but upon the head of his organization or upon the official in charge of such registration, upon proper showing of the reason for such cancellation, because the law likewise imposes upon the interested party the duty of effecting such cancellation, who in the instant case is the respondent himself. Thi she failed to do. And what is more, he failed to attach to his certificate of candidacy, a copy of his alleged resignation as minister knowing full well that a minister is disqualified by law to run for a municipal office. The documents Paraiso presented purporting to show his alleged resignation were held to be self-serving and appeared to have been prepared haphazardly, leading the court to believe that these were made only to cure his ineligibility to hold office.
Disposotive Portion: Wherefore, the decision appealed from is affirmed, without pronouncement as to costs. Petitioner was not declared elected, having obtained second place in the elections, in the absence of an express provision authorizing such declaration.