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Pamil v.

Teleron
G.R. No. L-34854 November 20, 1978

Facts:

1. In 1971, Private respondent, Father Margarito R. Gonzaga, was elected and duly
proclaimed as mayor of Alburquerque, Bohol. Petitioner filed a suit for quo
warranto, to disqualify respondent based on Section 2175 of the Administrative
Code provision: "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."

2. The suit did not prosper, with the lower court held that the ineligibility was
impliedly repealed by the Election Code of 1971. The matter was then elevated to
this Tribunal by petitioner. It is his contention that there was no such implied repeal,
that it is still in full force and effect. Thus was the specific question raised.

ISSUE: Whether or not an ecclesiastic was eligible to an elective municipal


position

NO. The attack on the continuing effectivity of Section 2175 having failed, it must
be, as noted at the outset, given full force and application. Section 2175 of the
Revised Administrative Code, as far as ecclesiastics are concerned, must be
accorded respect. The presumption of validity calls for its application. Under the
circumstances, certiorari lies.
__________________________________________________________________

FORTUNATO R. PAMIL vs. HONORABLE VICTORINO C. TELERON and


REV. FR. MARGARITO R. GONZAGA G.R. No. L-34854 November 20, 1978
CASE DIGEST
Father Margarito R. Gonzaga, was, in 1971, elected to the position of municipal
mayor of Alburquerque, Bohol. Therefore, he was duly proclaimed. A suit for quo
warranto was then filed by petitioner, himself an aspirant for the office, for his
disqualification based on this Administrative Code provision: "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." The suit did not prosper,
respondent Judge sustaining the right of Father Gonzaga to the office of municipal
mayor. He ruled that such statutory ineligibility was impliedly repealed by the
Election Code of 1971. The matter was then elevated to this Tribunal by petitioner.
It is his contention that there was no such implied repeal, that it is still in full force
and
effect.
Thus
was
the
specific
question
raised.
ISSUE WON the disqualification of the respondent based on Administrative Code
provision
Constitutional
HELD: The challenged Administrative Code provision, certainly insofar as it
declares ineligible ecclesiastics to any elective or appointive office, is, on its face,
inconsistent with the religious freedom guaranteed by the Constitution. To so
exclude them is to impose a religious test. Here being an ecclesiastic and therefore
professing a religious faith suffices to disqualify for a public office. There is thus an
incompatibility between the Administrative Code provision relied upon by petitioner
and an express constitutional mandate.
__________________________________________________________________

PAMIL v TELERON
A priest, Father Margarito Gonzaga, was elected municipal mayor of Albuquerque,
Bohol. One of the losing candidates filed a petition to have him disqualified based
on the Admin Code provision saying that ecclesiastics shall not be appointed to a
municipal office. The lower court sustained the right of Fr. Gonzaga to the office,
saying that such statutory ineligibility was impliedly repealed by the Election Code
of 1971.

Held: Lower court decision overturned. Seven SC justices believed the lower courts
judgment should be affirmed because the challenged provision was no longer
operative, either because it was superseded by the 1935 Constitution or repealed.
But five believed that the prohibition was against priests running for elective office
was constitutional. Because eight votes were needed to render the provision
ineffective, the SC had to apply the presumption of validity and overturn the lower
courts decision.