5 the comelec missed the point when it ruled that

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5. The COMELEC missed the point when it ruled that there was no interruption in the service of Abundo since what he considered as an "interruption" of his 2004-2007 term occurred before his term started; and 6. To rule that the term of the protestee (Torres) whose proclamation was adjudged invalid was interrupted while that of the protestant (Abundo) who was eventually proclaimed winner was not so interrupted is at once absurd as it is illogical. Abundo argues that the RTC and the COMELEC erred in uniformly ruling that he had already served three consecutive terms and is, thus, barred by the constitutional three-term limit rule to run for the current 2010-2013 term. The COMELEC ruled that Abundo did not lose title to the office as his victory in the protest case confirmed his entitlement to said office and he was only unable to temporarily discharge the functions of the office during the pendency of the election protest. We find that Abundo’s case presents a different factual backdrop.
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POLITICAL LAW CASE DIGESTS 95 Unlike in the abovementioned election protest cases wherein the individuals subject of disqualification were candidates who lost in the election protest and each declared loser during the elections, Abundo was the winner during the election protest and was declared the rightful holder of the mayoralty post. Unlike Mayor Lonzanida and Mayor Morales, who were both unseated toward the end of their respective terms, Abundo was the protestant who ousted his opponent and had assumed the remainder of the term. Notwithstanding, We still find this Court’s pronouncements in the past as instructive, and consider several doctrines established from the 1998 case of Borja, Jr. up to the most recent case of Aldovino Jr. in 2009, as potent aids in arriving at this Court’s conclusion. The intention behind the three-term limit rule was not only to abrogate the "monopolization of political power" and prevent elected officials from breeding "proprietary interest in their position" but also to "enhance the people’s freedom of choice." In the words of Justice Vicente V. Mendoza, "while people should be protected from the evils that a monopoly of power may bring about, care should be taken that their freedom of choice is not unduly curtailed." In the present case, the Court finds Abundo’s case meritorious and declares that the two-year period during which his opponent, Torres, was serving as mayor should be considered as an interruption, which effectively removed Abundo’s case from the ambit of the three-term limit rule. This thus brings us to the second requisite of whether or not Abundo had served for "three consecutive terms," as the phrase is juridically understood, as mayor of Viga, Catanduanes immediately before the 2010 national and local elections. Subsumed to this issue is of course the question of whether or not there was an effective involuntary interruption during the three three-year periods, resulting in the disruption of the continuity of Abundo’s mayoralty.
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