Political Law

Zamora vs. Caballero G.R. No. 147767. January 14, 2004 LGU, LGC, Quorum

FACTS:

Petitioner is  a member of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Compostela Valley filed a petition before the  RTC  against the Governor, et. al. , challenging the validity of the acts of Sanggunian , alleging that while the Journal and Resolutions indicated the presence of 13 members, the Sanggunian nonetheless “conducted official business without quorum” as only 7 of its 14 members were actually present when the irrevocable letter of resignation of Board Member Sotto was noted, and the motions to declare the entire province of Compostella Valley under the state of Calamity and to authorize the Governor to enter into the Contract with the Allado Company were approved.

ISSUE:

What are the requisite conditions for the local government units to exercise their power to acquire and convey real properties?

RULING:

The determination of the existence of a quorum depends on the total number of members of the Sanggunian without regard to the filing of a leave of absence by Board Member Sotto.

The motion to grant the Governor authority to enter into the construction contract is  deemed not approved in accordance with the law even if it received seven affirmative votes, which is already the majority of thirteen, due to the defect in the seventh vote. For as priorly stated, as the Journal confirms, after all six members voted in the affirmative, Board Member Osorio, as acting presiding officer, relinquished his seat to Board Member Arafol and thereafter cast his vote as a member in favor of granting authority to the Governor. The LGC clearly limits the power of presiding officers to vote only in case of a tie,

For a resolution authorizing the governor to enter into a construction contract to be valid, the vote of the majority of all members of the Sanggunian, and not only of those present during the session, is required in accordance with Section 468 of the LGC in relation to Article 107 of its Implementing Rules..

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