Legally Yours,  Political Law

Cailles v. Bonifacio

Cailles v. Bonifacio

February 25, 1938 | G.R. No. L-45937

FACTS:

The respondent filed his certificate of candidacy for the election of the provincial governor of Laguna, however, at that time he was a captain in the reverse force of the Philippine army. The respondent ultimately won. Thus, The petitioner filed a quo warranto proceeding against the respondent, seeking his disqualification on the basis of Sec. 2, Article XI of the 1935 Constitution which provides, “Officers and employees in the Civil Service, including members of the armed force, shall not engage directly or indirectly in partisan political activities or take part in any election except to vote.”

ISSUE:

Are non-active members of the armed force covered in the constitutional prohibition of Sec. 2, Article XI of the 1935 Constitution?

HELD:

No. The Court held that non-active members of the armed force are not covered in the constitutional prohibition. As basis, the Court cites the original prohibition proposed in the Convention:

“SEC. 2. Public officers and employees in the Civil Service Shall not engage directly or indirectly in political activities or take part in any election except to vote; they are servants of the people and not the agent of any political groups.

Thus, the Court infers that the intention of the prohibition was merely limited against officers and employees of the Civil Service. While members of the armed force are not included in the draft quoted, the Court asserts that the Constitutional Convention intended to extend the prohibition to them HOWEVER it only being limited to those active in service. The rationale is: a contrary interpretation would lead to the disqualification of all able-bodied male citizens between the ages of 20 and 50 years – not specially exempted by the National Defense Act – which, for obvious reasons, should be avoided

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