Lonzanida vs COMELEC, G.R. No. 135150 case brief summary
July 28, 1999
Facts: Petitioner Lonzanida was duly elected and served two consecutive terms as municipal mayor of San Antonio, Zambales prior to the May 1995 elections. In the May 1995 elections Lonzanida ran for mayor of San Antonio, Zambales and was again proclaimed winner. He assumed office and discharged the duties thereof. His proclamation was contested and resulted to declaring his opponent winning the election and ordered Lonzanida to vacate the office. In the May 11, 1998 elections Lonzanida again filed his certificate of candidacy. His opponent filed a petition for disqualification on the grounds that it is a violation of the three-term rule. COMELEC granted the petition. Petitioner filed a petition challenging the validity of the COMELEC resolution.
Issue: Whether petitioner’s assumption of office from May 1995 to March 1, 1998 is considered full term of office for the purpose of three-term rule
Ruling: The Supreme Court ruled that it cannot be considered a full term of office for two reasons, he cannot be considered elected as the proclamation was void and he also did not voluntary renounce office, but was involuntary severance from office.
The petition is granted and the resolution of the COMELEC declaring petitioner Lonzanida disqualified to run for mayor in the 1998 mayoral elections are hereby set aside.