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GR 217126-27, 11/10/15

The condonation doctrine is ABANDONED, but the abandonment is PROSPECTIVE in effect… no basis for
saying that the election of an official to a new term fully absolves the official of any administrative
liability arising from an offense committed during a prior term
Facts: Binay, Jr. was charged with administrative and criminal cases in connection with the allegation that he is
involved in anomalous activities attending the procurement and construction phases of the Makati Parking Building
project, committed during his previous and present terms as City Mayor of Makati.

Binay, Jr. argued that he could not be held administratively liable since Phases I and II were undertaken before he
was elected Mayor of Makati and Phases III to V transpired during his first term. His re-election as mayor for a
second term effectively condoned his administrative liability therefor, if any, thus rendering the administrative
cases against him moot and academic.

The Ombudsman issued an order placing Binay, et al. under preventive suspension.

The CA granted Binay’s prayer for TRO enjoining the implementation of the preventive suspension order.

According to the CA, it was more prudent on its part to issue a TRO considering that if it were established that the
acts subject of the administrative cases against Binay, Jr. were all committed during his prior term, then, applying
the condonation doctrine, Binay, Jr.'s re-election meant that he can no longer be administratively charged.

Under the Condonation Doctrine, which applies only to administrative cases,

(1) the penalty of removal may not be extended beyond the term in which the public officer was elected for each
term is separate and distinct;
(2) an elective official's re-election serves as a condonation of previous misconduct, thereby cutting the right to
remove him therefor; and
(3) courts may not deprive the electorate, who are assumed to have known the life and character of candidates, of
their right to elect officers.

Issue: Whether or not the CA gravely abused its discretion in issuing the TRO and the WPI enjoining the
implementation of the preventive suspension order against Binay, Jr. based on the condonation doctrine


No. The CA's resolutions were all hinged on cases enunciating the condonation doctrine. By merely following
settled precedents on the condonation doctrine, which at that time, unwittingly remained "good law," it cannot be
concluded that the CA committed a grave abuse of discretion based on its legal attribution.

However, the condonation doctrine should be abandoned. There is no constitutional or statutory basis to support

The continued application of the condonation doctrine is simply inconsistent and impermissible under the
auspices of the present Constitution which explicitly mandates that public office is a public trust and that public
officials shall be accountable to the people at all times.

Election is not a mode of condoning an administrative offense.

In fact the LGC and the RRACCS precludes condonation since in the first place, an elective local official who is meted
with the penalty of removal could not be re-elected to an elective local position due to a direct disqualification
from running for such post.
There is no presumption in any statute or procedural rule that the electorate, when re-electing a local official, do
so with knowledge of his life and character, and that they disregarded or forgave his faults or misconduct, if he had
been guilty of any.

In reality, most corrupt acts by public officers are shrouded in secrecy, and concealed from the public. Condonation
presupposes that the condoner has actual knowledge of what is to be condoned. Thus, there could be no
condonation of an act that is unknown.

However, the Court's abandonment of the condonation doctrine should be prospective in application. It should
be, as a general rule, recognized as "good law" prior to its abandonment. Consequently, the people's reliance
thereupon should be respected.