QUESTION:

Edgardo was elected and had served as Punong Barangay for three consecutive terms. In the next Barangay Election (October 2010) he ran and was elected Barangay Kagawad and ranked third. During the same elections, Ariko, was elected Punong Barangay, while Leonardo and Emiliana were elected Barangay Kagawads and ranked first and second, respectively.

A day after they took their oath, Ariko, Leonardo, and Emiliana resigned from their respective positions, citing personal reasons. Their resignations were accepted and approved by the City Mayor on the same day. Being third in rank, Edgardo succeeded as Punong Barangay. Five days after, Edgardo was re-elected as President of the Association of Barangay Captains of City, by which he once more earned a seat in the City Council.

Subsequently, Leonardo, and Emiliana were appointed back as Barangay Kagawads by the City Mayor. Ariko, on the other hand, was hired as an employee of the city government after her resignation.

Convinced that Ariko, Leonardo, and Emiliana resigned from their respective positions to pave the way for Edgardo’s succession as Punong Barangay, Samuel filed a complaintbefore the Ombudsman for violation of Republic Act No. 6713. According to them, the concerted resignations were part of a ruse to enable Edgardo to serve a fourth consecutive term in circumvention of the three-term limit.

In his answer, Edgardo argues that his assumption as Punong Barangay in 2010 was involuntary. In other words, it was by operation of law as he merely succeeded as Punong Barangay to fill the vacancy caused by the resignations. Thus, his serving a fourth term as Punong Barangay was not a violation of the three-term limit.

Decide.