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G.R. No. L-33097, September 30, 1971 Baloria vs.

De Guzman, Amatong & Municipal Board of Canvassers FACTS: Petitioner, Jose Sol Baloria (Baloria) and private respondent Jacobo P. Amatong (Amatong) were candidates for municipal councilor of the municipality of Dipolog, Zamboanga del Norte in the election held on November 14, 1967. However, the proclamation of Baloria as the elected councilor was suspended by the municipal board of canvassers because of the discrepancy the municipal treasurers copy and the Nationalista Party and the Liberal Partys copy of the election returns for Precinct No 18. Amatong filed a petition for recount before the Court of First Instance (CFI), Zamboanga del Norte which granted the same. However, the said order for recount was set aside by the Supreme Court. And pursuant to the same decision, Baloria was proclaimed as the duly elected eight councilor on June 17, 1970. During the pendency of the said case the Municipality of Dipolog, Zamboanga del Norte was converted into a city by virtue of Republic Act No. 5520 and took effect on January 1, 1970. After the proclamation of Baloria, Amatong filed an election protest before the CFI whose decision declared him as the winner over Baloria. Baloria filed his notice of appeal but Amatong opposed on the ground that the Revised Election Code does not authorize any appeal from the decision in an election protest involving municipal councilors. Baloria on the other hand contended that with the conversion of the municipality to a city, he automatically became city councilor. ISSUE/S: Can Baloria file an appeal on the respondent Judges decision in view of supervening conversion of Dipolog as a municipality to a city during the pendency of the petition for recount? RULING: No. Under Section 178 of Republic Act No. 180, otherwise known as the Revised Election Code, as amended, no appeal on questions of fact lies from the decision of the Court of First Instance in an election contest involving the position of vice-mayor or municipal councilor. An appeal lies only when it raises purely a question of law, for under Section 2 of Article VIII of the Philippine Constitution, the Supreme Court cannot be deprived of its appellate jurisdiction to review all involving errors or questions of law. Although Balorias notice of appeal did not specify the issues he raises or will raise on appeal, the fact that he filed his notice of appeal to make known that the he will appeal to the Court of Appeals (CA), can only mean that he raises questions of fact, which the CA alone can review. The character of the position involved in an election protest should be determined as of the time of the elections held for that particular elective position and not thereafter. When the local elections were held

on November 14, 1967, Dipolog was still a municipality; hence, herein petitioner could only run for the position of municipal councilor, not city councilor. Accordingly, his right to appeal from an election contest involving said position under Section 178 of the Revised Election Code should be reckoned as of said date, November 14, 1967. The supervening fact that Dipolog was converted into a city on January 1, 1970 did not amend said Section 178 so as to grant him a right to appeal on questions of fact which was denied him prior to January 1, 1970.

QUESTION: May public funds be used for mainly private/religious purpose? No. Public funds may not be used for mainly private or religious purpose. As the term connotes, public funds should only be used for public purpose. The 1987 Consititution is very clear on the prohibition on the use of public funds for religious purpose. Under Sec. 29 (2) Article VI it states: No public money or property shall be appropriated, applied, paid or employed, directly or indirectly, for the use, benefit, or support of any sect, church, denomination, sectarian institution, or system of religion, or of any priest, preacher, minister, or other religious teacher, or dignitary as such, except when such priest, preacher, minister, or dignitary is assigned to the armed forces, or to any penal institution, or government orphanage or leprosarium. Our constitution has no express proscription on the use of public funds for private purposes. However, just as the power to tax is inherent upon a state and need not be provided in the constitution, it is also an inherent characteristic of public funds to be limited only for public purpose and not for private purpose. These funds are mainly sourced from taxes and it is a requirement that taxes should be for a public purpose. Revenues derived from taxes cannot be used for purely private purposes or for the exclusive benefit of private persons. Incidental advantage to the public or to the State resulting from the promotion of private interests and the prosperity of private enterprises or business does not justify their aid by the use of public money. The Supreme Court, in its ruling on the case of Pascual vs. Secretary of Public Works and Communication(G.R. No. L-10405, December 29, 1960) explained this more extensively by quoting established jurisprudence in the United States. The decision states that according to Ruling Case Law, it is a general rule that legislature is without power to appropriate public revenue for anything but a public purpose. Incidental to the public or to the state, which results from the promotion of private interest and the prosperity of private enterprises or business, does not justify th eir aid by the use public money (25 R.L.C. pp. 398-400). And in the Corpus Juris Secundum, the rule is that the taxing power must be exercised for public purposes only. Money raised by taxation can be expended only for public purposes and not for the advantage of private individuals. (85 C.J.S. pp. 645-646). The reason it states is that generally,

under the express or implied provisions of the constitution, public funds may be used only for public purpose. The right of the legislature to appropriate funds is correlative with its right to tax, and, under constitutional provisions against taxation except for public purposes and prohibiting the collection of a tax for one purpose and the devotion thereof to another purpose, no appropriation of state funds can be made for other than for a public purpose. The court in the above cited case said that they are in accord with the established jurisprudence in the United States because besides reflecting a sound view, our constitutional system has been patterned from theirs, thus said views and jurisprudence are, likewise, part and parcel of our own constitutional system. The following provisions of law underscores the rule on the use of public funds: 1. PD No. 1445 Ordaining and Instituting a Government Auditing Code of the Philippines: Sec. 4, par. 2. Government funds or property shall be spent or used solely for public purposes. 2. Local Government Code of 1991 (RA 7160) Sec. 335. Prohibition Against Expenditures for Religious or Private Purposes. No public money or property shall be appropriated for religious or private purposes. The improper use of public funds are punishable by law as provided in: 1. Article 217 of the Revised Penal Code punishes malversation of public funds or property. The said Article provides that: Any public officer who, by reason of the duties of his office, is accountable for public funds or property, shall appropriate the same, or shall take or misappropriate the same, or shall consent or though abandonment or negligence, shall permit any person to take such public funds or property, wholly or partially or shall otherwise be guilty of the misappropriation or malversation of such funds or property. xxx . . . 2. Republic Act No. 3019 Sec. 3 (e) declares it unlawful to give any private party any unwarranted benefits, advantage or preference in the discharge of his official administrative or judicial functions through manifest partiality, evident bad faith or gross inexcusable negligence.

Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila SECOND DIVISION G.R. No. 71092 September 30, 1987 PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee, vs. ANACLETO Q. OLVIS, Acquitted, ROMULO VILLAROJO, LEONARDO CADEMAS and DOMINADOR SORELA,accused-appellants.

FACTS: Appellants are the accused on the murder of Deosdedit Bagon. Olvis is accused as principal by inducement while Villarojo, Cademas, and Sorela are accused as principals by direct participation.