SK elective officials NOT considered local elective officials under LGC

The term regular local election must be confined to the regular election of elective local officials, as distinguished from the regular election of national officials. The elective national officials are the President, Vice-President, Senators and Congressmen. The elective local officials are Provincial Governors, Vice-Governors of provinces, Mayors and Vice-Mayors of cities and municipalities, Members of the Sanggunians of provinces, cities and municipalities, punong barangays and members of the sangguniang barangays, and the elective regional officials of the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao. These are the only local elective officials deemed recognized by Section 2(2) of Article IX-C of the Constitution, which provides: SEC 2. The Commission on Elections shall exercise the following powers and functions: x x x (2) Exercise exclusive original jurisdiction over all contests relating to the elections, returns, and qualifications of all elective regional, provincial, and city officials, and appellate jurisdiction over all contests involving elective municipal officials decided by trial courts of general jurisdiction, or involving elective barangay officials decided by trial courts of limited jurisdiction. A regular election, whether national or local, can only refer to an election participated in by those who possess the right of suffrage, are not otherwise disqualified by law, and who are registered voters. One of the requirements for the exercise of suffrage under Section 1, Article V of the Constitution is that the person must be at least 18 years of age, and one requisite before he can vote is that he be a registered voter pursuant to the rules on registration prescribed in the Omnibus Election Code (Section 113-118). Under the law, the SK includes the youth with ages ranging from 15 to 21 (Sec. 424, Local Government Code of 1991). Accordingly, they include many who are not qualified to vote in a regular election, viz., those from ages 15 to less than 18. In no manner then may SK elections be considered a regular election (whether national or local). Indeed the Sangguniang Kabataan is nothing more than a youth organization, and although fully recognized in the Local Government Code and vested with certain powers and functions, its elective officials have not attained the status of local elective officials. So, in Mercado vs. Board of Election Supervisors (243 SCRA 422 [1995]), this Court ruled that although the SK Chairman is an ex-officio member of the sangguniang barangay an elective body that fact does not make him an elective barangay official, since the law specifically provides who comprise the elective officials of the sangguniang barangay, viz., the punong barangay and the seven (7) regular sangguniang barangay members elected at large by those qualified to exercise the right of suffrage under Article V of the Constitution, who are likewise registered voters of the barangay. This shows further that the SK election is not a regular local election for purposes of recall under Section 74 of the Local Government Code. [G.R. No. 123169. November 4, 1996]