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ADMIN LAW LOCAL OFFICIALS - PRACTICE OF PROFESSION

Title: Republic v. Rambuyong G.R. No. 167810


Date: October 4, 2010
Ponente: Del Castillo, J.
REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, represented by the
ATTY. RICHARD B. RAMBUYONG,
NATIONAL POWER CORPORATION,
respondent
petitioner
FACTS
 Alfredo Chu filed a case for collection against the National Power Corporation (NPC). Appearing as counsel for Chu is
Atty. Richard Rambuyong who was then the incumbent Vice-Mayor. NPC then filed a motion for inhibition of
Rambuyong arguing that he is prohibited under Section 90 (b)(1) of the Local Government Code.
 The Regional Trial Court ruled in favor of Rambuyong where it argued that government-owned or controlled
corporations are not included in the prohibition. Should the framers intended so, it must have explicitly stated therein.
In appeal, the Court of Appeals dismissed the petition for lack of merit.
ISSUE/S
Whether or not Rambuyong can represent NPC as counsel despite being a Vice Mayor. NO
RATIO
 Section 90 (b)(1) of the Local Government Code provides that Sanggunian Members may practice their profession or
engage in any occupation or teach in schools except during session hours, provided when the Member is also a
member of the Bar, he shall not appear as counsel before any court in any civil case where the local government unit
or any office, agency or instrumentality of the government is the adverse party. Then, the Court quoted Section 2 (10)
of the Revised Administrative Code which defined “instrumentality” shall include regulatory agencies, chartered
institutions and government-owned or controlled corporations.
 With the foregoing provisions, it is clear without any ambiguity that NPC is a government instrumentality tasked in
undertaking development hydroelectric generation of power and production of electricity from other sources.
Further, being the Vice-Mayor, Rambuyong is deemed a Sanggunian Member because Section 446 of the LGC provided
that the sangguniang bayan shall be composed of the municipal vice mayor as the presiding officer. As such,
Rambuyong cannot represent himself as counsel for Chu when NPC is an adverse party, pursuant to the above-
mentioned laws.
NOTES
 Sec. 90. Practice of Profession. — (a) All governors, city and municipal mayors are prohibited from practicing their
profession or engaging in any occupation, other than the exercise of their functions as local chief executives.
(b) Sanggunian members may practice their professions, engage in any occupation, or teach in schools except
during session hours: Provided, That sanggunian members who are also members of the Bar shall not:
(1) Appear as counsel before any court in any civil case wherein a local government unit or any office, agency,
or instrumentality of the government is the adverse party;
xxx xxx xxx
 Sec. 2. General Terms Defined. — Unless the specific words of the text, or the context as a whole, or a particular
statute, shall require a different meaning:
xxx xxx xxx
(4) "Agency of the Government" refers to any of the various units of the Government, including a department,
bureau, office, instrumentality, or government-owned or controlled corporations, or a local government or a
distinct unit therein.
xxx xxx xxx
(10) Instrumentality — refers to any agency of the National Government, not integrated within the department
framework, vested with special functions or jurisdiction by law, endowed with some if not all corporate powers,
administering special funds, and enjoying operational autonomy, usually through a charter. This term includes
regulatory agencies, chartered institutions and government-owned or controlled corporations.
RULING
WHEREFORE, the petition is GRANTED. The May 20, 2004 Decision and April 13, 2005 Resolution of the Court of Appeals
in CA-G.R. SP No. 72800 are REVERSED and SET ASIDE. Atty. Richard B. Rambuyong is disqualified from appearing in Civil
Case No. I-197.
(SANTOS, 2B 2017-2018)