ISSUE: Is the rule on succession in the Local Government Code applicable?
FACTS: Rommel Arnado is a natural bon Filipino citizen who lost his citizenship upon his naturalization as an American citizen. Subsequently, he renounced his American citizenship and ran as a Mayor of Lanao del Norte. After he was proclaimed the winner, the COMELEC anulled such proclamation and consequently directed that the order of succession under the Local Government Code be followed. Maquiling, another candidate for mayor, and who garnered the second highest number of votes in the election intervened the case, claims that he should be proclaimed as the winner.
DECISION: No, it is not applicable.
RATIO DECIDENDI: The disqualifying circumstance surrounding Arnado's candidacy involves his citizenship. It does not involve the commission on election offenses as provided for in the Omnibus Election Code, the effect of which is to disqualify the individual from continuing as a candidate, or if he has already been elected, from holding the office. Arnado being a non-candidate, the votes cast in his favor should not have been counted. This leaves Maquiling as the qualified candidate who obtained the highest number of votes. The old doctrine was that the vice mayor or the vice governor, as the case may be, shall succeed the disqualified winning candidate, not the candidate for the same position who had received the next highest vote.