Rodolfo Farińas vs Angelo Barba, et al., L-116763, April 19, 1996

GOVERNOR RODOLFO C. FARIÑAS and AL NACINO, petitioners,
vs.
MAYOR ANGELO N. BARBA, VICE MAYOR MANUEL S. HERNANDO and EDWARD PALAFOX, respondents.
L-116763; 256 SCRA 396
April 19, 1996

FACTS:
Carlito B. Domingo was a member of the Sangguniang Bayan of San Nicolas, Ilocos Norte. On March 24, 1994, he resigned after going without leave to the United States.

To fill the vacancy created by his resignation, a recommendation for the appointment of Edward Palafox was made by the Sangguniang Bayan of San Nicolas but the recommendation was made to Mayor Barba. The resolution, containing the recommendation, was submitted to the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Ilocos Norte purportedly in compliance with Sec. 56 of the Local Government Code (R.A. No. 7160).

The Sangguniang Panlalawigan, purporting to act under this provision of the Local Government Code, disapproved the resolution “for the reason that the authority and power to appoint Sangguniang Bayan members are lodged in the Governor. Accordingly, the Sangguniang Panlalawigan recommended to the Governor the appointment of petitioner Al Nacino. On June 8, 1994, the Governor appointed petitioner Nacino and swore him in office that same day. On the other hand, respondent Mayor Barba appointed respondent Edward Palafox to the same position.

On June 14, 1994, petitioners filed with the Regional Trial Court of Ilocos Norte a petition for quo warranto and prohibition.

On July 8, 1994 the trial court rendered its decision, upholding the appointment of respondent Palafox by respondent Mayor Barba.

ISSUE:
Who can appoint the replacement and in accordance with what procedure?

HELD:
The person who has the power to appoint under such circumstance is the Governor upon the recommendation of the Sangguniang concerned which is the Sangguniang Bayan of San Nicolas where the vacancy occurs.

The upshot of this is that in the case at bar, since neither petitioner Al Nacino nor respondent Edward Palafox was appointed in the manner indicated in the preceding paragraph, neither is entitled to the seat in the Sangguniang Bayan of San Nicolas, Ilocos Norte which was vacated by member Carlito B. Domingo. For while petitioner Al Nacino was appointed by the provincial governor, he was not recommended by the Sangguniang Bayan of San Nicolas. On the other hand, respondent Edward Palafox was recommended by the Sangguniang Bayan but it was the mayor and not the provincial governor who appointed him.

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