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A republic is a representative government, a government run by and for the people.

It is not a pure
democracy where the people govern themselves directly. The essence of republicanism is
representation and renovation, the selection by the citizenry of a corps of public functionaries who
derive their mandate from the people and act on their behalf, serving for a limited period only, after
which they are replaced or retained, at the option of their principal.

R.A.No. 9716 plainly state that the new Second Districtis to be created, but the Third Districtis to be
renamed. Verba legis non est recedendum. The terms used in a legal provision to be construed compels
acceptance and negates the power of the courts to alter it, based on the postulate that the framers
mean what they say.

The rationale behind reapportionment is the constitutional requirement to achieve equality of

representation among the districts. It is with this mindset that the Court should consider Naval’s
argument anent having a new set of constituents electing him into office in 2010 and 2013.

Naval’s ineligibility to run, by reason of violation of the three-term limit rule, does not undermine the
right to equal representation of any of the districts in Camarines Sur. With or without him, the renamed
Third District, which he labels as a new set of constituents, would still be represented, albeit by another
eligible person.