SK election NOT regular election under LGC

The subject provision of the Local Government Code provides: SEC. 74. Limitations on Recall. (a) Any elective local official may be the subject of a recall election only once during his term of office for loss of confidence, (b) No recall shall take place within one (1) year from the date of the officials assumption to office or one (1) year immediately preceding a regular local election. It is a rule in statutory construction that every part of the statute must be interpreted with reference to the context, i.e., that every part of the statute must be considered together with the other parts, and kept subservient to the general intent of the whole enactment. The evident intent of Section 74 is to subject an elective local official to recall election once during his term of office. Paragraph (b) construed together with paragraph (a) merely designates the period when such elective local official may be subject of a recall election, that is, during the second year of his term of office. Thus, subscribing to petitioners interpretation of the phrase regular local election to include the SK election will unduly circumscribe the novel provision of the Local Government Code on recall, a mode of removal of public officers by initiation of the people before the end of his term. And if the SK election which is set by R.A. No. 7808 to be held every three years from May 1996 were to be deemed within the purview of the phrase regular local election, as erroneously insisted by petitioner, then no recall election can be conducted rendering inutile the recall provision of the Local Government Code. In the interpretation of a statute, the Court should start with the assumption that the legislature intended to enact an effective law, and the legislature is not presumed to have done a vain thing in the enactment of a statute. An interpretation should, if possible, be avoided under which a statute or provision being construed is defeated, or as otherwise expressed, nullified, destroyed, emasculated, repealed, explained away, or rendered insignificant, meaningless, inoperative or nugatory. It is likewise a basic precept in statutory construction that a statute should be interpreted in harmony with the Constitution. Thus, the interpretation of Section 74 of the Local Government Code, specifically paragraph (b) thereof, should not be in conflict with the Constitutional mandate of Section 3 of Article X of the Constitution to enact a local government code which shall provide for a more responsive and accountable local government structure instituted through a system of decentralization with effective mechanisms of recall, initiative, and referendum x x x. [G.R. No. 123169. November 4, 1996]