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ATTORNEYS HUMBERTO BASCO, EDILBERTO BALCE, SOCRATES MARANAN AND LORENZO SANCHEZ,petitioners, vs.

PHILIPPINE AMUSEMENTS AND GAMING CORPORATION (PAGCOR), respondent. A TV ad proudly announces: "The new PAGCOR respondin throu h responsi!le a"in ." #ut the petitioners thin$ otherwise, that is why, they %iled the instant petition see$in to annul the Philippine A"use"ent and Ga"in Corporation &PAGCOR' Charter P( )*+,, !ecause it is alle edly contrary to "orals, pu!lic policy and order, and !ecause A. -t constitutes a waiver o% a ri ht pre.udicial to a third person with a ri ht reco ni/ed !y law. -t waived the 0anila City overn"ent1s ri ht to i"pose ta2es and license %ees, which is reco ni/ed !y law3 #. 4or the sa"e reason stated in the i""ediately precedin para raph, the law has intruded into the local overn"ent1s ri ht to i"pose local ta2es and license %ees. This, in contravention o% the constitutionally enshrined principle o% local autono"y3 C. -t violates the e5ual protection clause o% the constitution in that it le ali/es PAGCOR conducted a"!lin , while "ost other %or"s o% a"!lin are outlawed, to ether with prostitution, dru tra%%ic$in and other vices3 (. -t violates the avowed trend o% the Cory overn"ent away %ro" "onopolistic and crony econo"y, and toward %ree enterprise and privati/ation. &p. 6, A"ended Petition3 p. 7, Rollo' -n their 8econd A"ended Petition, petitioners also clai" that P( )*+, is contrary to the declared national policy o% the "new restored de"ocracy" and the people1s will as e2pressed in the ),*7 Constitution. The decree is said to have a " a"!lin o!.ective" and there%ore is contrary to 8ections )), )6 and )9 o% Article --, 8ec. ) o% Article V--and 8ection 9 &6' o% Article :-V, o% the present Constitution &p. 9, 8econd A"ended Petition3 p. 6), Rollo'.

The procedural issue is whether petitioners, as ta2payers and practicin lawyers &petitioner #asco !ein also the Chair"an o% the Co""ittee on ;aws o% the City Council o% 0anila', can 5uestion and see$ the annul"ent o% P( )*+, on the alle ed rounds "entioned a!ove. The Philippine A"use"ents and Ga"in Corporation &PAGCOR' was created !y virtue o% P.(. )<+7=A dated >anuary ), ),77 and was ranted a %ranchise under P.(. )<+7=# also dated >anuary ), ),77 "to esta!lish, operate and "aintain a"!lin casinos on land or water within the territorial .urisdiction o% the Philippines." -ts operation was ori inally conducted in the well $nown %loatin casino "Philippine Tourist." The operation was considered a success %or it proved to !e a potential source o% revenue to %und in%rastructure and socio=econo"ic pro.ects, thus, P.(. )9,, was passed on >une 6, ),7* %or PAGCOR to %ully attain this o!.ective. 8u!se5uently, on >uly )), ),*9, PAGCOR was created under P.(. )*+, to ena!le the Govern"ent to re ulate and centrali/e all a"es o% chance authori/ed !y e2istin %ranchise or per"itted !y law, under the %ollowin declared policy 8ec. ). Declaration of Policy. -t is here!y declared to !e the policy o% the 8tate to centrali/e and inte rate all a"es o% chance not hereto%ore authori/ed !y e2istin %ranchises or per"itted !y law in order to attain the %ollowin o!.ectives: &a' To centrali/e and inte rate the ri ht and authority to operate and conduct a"es o% chance into one corporate entity to !e controlled, ad"inistered and supervised !y the Govern"ent. &!' To esta!lish and operate clu!s and casinos, %or a"use"ent and recreation, includin sports a"in pools, &!as$et!all, %oot!all, lotteries, etc.' and such other %or"s o% a"use"ent and recreation includin a"es o% chance, which "ay !e allowed !y law within the territorial .urisdiction o% the Philippines and which will: &)' enerate sources o% additional revenue to %und in%rastructure and socio=civic pro.ects, such as %lood control pro ra"s, !eauti%ication, sewera e and sewa e pro.ects, Tulun an n #ayan Centers, ?utritional Pro ra"s, Population Control and such other essential pu!lic services3 &6' create recreation and inte rated %acilities which will e2pand and i"prove the country1s e2istin tourist

attractions3 and &9' "ini"i/e, i% not totally eradicate, all the evils, "alpractices and corruptions that are nor"ally prevalent on the conduct and operation o% a"!lin clu!s and casinos without direct overn"ent involve"ent. &8ection ), P.(. )*+,' To attain these o!.ectives PAGCOR is iven territorial .urisdiction all over the Philippines. @nder its Charter1s repealin clause, all laws, decrees, e2ecutive orders, rules and re ulations, inconsistent therewith, are accordin ly repealed, a"ended or "odi%ied. -t is reported that PAGCOR is the third lar est source o% overn"ent revenue, ne2t to the #ureau o% -nternal Revenue and the #ureau o% Custo"s. -n ),*, alone, PAGCOR earned P9.A9 #illion, and directly re"itted to the ?ational Govern"ent a total o% P6.B #illion in %or" o% %ranchise ta2, overn"ent1s inco"e share, the President1s 8ocial 4und and Cost Cities1 share. -n addition, PAGCOR sponsored other socio=cultural and charita!le pro.ects on its own or in cooperation with various overn"ental a encies, and other private associations and or ani/ations. -n its 9 )D6 years o% operation under the present ad"inistration, PAGCOR re"itted to the overn"ent a total o% P+.6 #illion. As o% (ece"!er 9), ),*,, PAGCOR was e"ployin A,A,A e"ployees in its nine &,' casinos nationwide, directly supportin the livelihood o% 4our Thousand 4our Cundred ?inety=4our &A,A,A' %a"ilies. #ut the petitioners, are 5uestionin the validity o% P.(. ?o. )*+,. They alle e that the sa"e is "null and void" %or !ein "contrary to "orals, pu!lic policy and pu!lic order," "onopolistic and tends toward "crony econo"y", and is violative o% the e5ual protection clause and local autono"y as well as %or runnin counter to the state policies enunciated in 8ections )) &Personal (i nity and Cu"an Ri hts', )6 &4a"ily' and )9 &Role o% Eouth' o% Article --, 8ection ) &8ocial >ustice' o% Article :--- and 8ection 6 &Fducational Values' o% Article :-V o% the ),*7 Constitution. This challen e to P.(. ?o. )*+, deserves a searchin and thorou h scrutiny and the "ost deli!erate consideration !y the Court, involvin as it does the e2ercise o% what has !een descri!ed as "the hi hest and "ost delicate %unction which !elon s to the .udicial depart"ent o% the overn"ent." &8tate v. 0anuel, 6< ?.C. )AA3 ;o/ano v. 0artine/, )A+ 8CRA 969'.

As Ge enter upon the tas$ o% passin on the validity o% an act o% a co=e5ual and coordinate !ranch o% the overn"ent Ge need not !e re"inded o% the ti"e= honored principle, deeply in rained in our .urisprudence, that a statute is presu"ed to !e valid. Fvery presu"ption "ust !e indul ed in %avor o% its constitutionality. This is not to say that Ge approach Our tas$ with di%%idence or ti"idity. Ghere it is clear that the le islature or the e2ecutive %or that "atter, has over=stepped the li"its o% its authority under the constitution, Ge should not hesitate to wield the a2e and let it %all heavily, as %all it "ust, on the o%%endin statute &;o/ano v. 0artine/, supra'. -n Victoriano v. Elizalde Rope Workers' Union, et al, B, 8CRA BA, the Court thru 0r. >ustice Haldivar underscored the . . . thorou hly esta!lished principle which "ust !e %ollowed in all cases where 5uestions o% constitutionality as o!tain in the instant cases are involved. All presu"ptions are indul ed in %avor o% constitutionality3 one who attac$s a statute alle in unconstitutionality "ust prove its invalidity !eyond a reasona!le dou!t3 that a law "ay wor$ hardship does not render it unconstitutional3 that i% any reasona!le !asis "ay !e conceived which supports the statute, it will !e upheld and the challen er "ust ne ate all possi!le !asis3 that the courts are not concerned with the wisdo", .ustice, policy or e2pediency o% a statute and that a li!eral interpretation o% the constitution in %avor o% the constitutionality o% le islation should !e adopted. &(anner v. Cass, ),A ?.G. 2nd B9A, B9,3 8pur!ec$ v. 8tatton, )<+ ?.G. 2nd ++<, ++93 B, 8CRA ++3 see also e. . 8alas v. >arencio, A+ 8CRA 79A, 79, I),7<J3 Peralta v. Co""ission on Flections, *6 8CRA 9<, BB I),7*J3 and Ceirs o% Ordona v. Reyes, )6B 8CRA 66<, 6A)=6A6 I),*9J cited in Citi/ens Alliance %or Consu"er Protection v. Fner y Re ulatory #oard, )+6 8CRA B6), BA<' O% course, there is %irst, the procedural issue. The respondents are 5uestionin the le al personality o% petitioners to %ile the instant petition. Considerin however the i"portance to the pu!lic o% the case at !ar, and in $eepin with the Court1s duty, under the ),*7 Constitution, to deter"ine whether or not the other !ranches o% overn"ent have $ept the"selves within the li"its o% the Constitution and the laws and that they have not a!used the discretion iven to the", the

Court has !rushed aside technicalities o% procedure and has ta$en co ni/ance o% this petition. &Kapatiran n " a ?a lilin $od sa Pa"ahalaan n Pilipinas -nc. v. Tan, )+9 8CRA 97)' Gith particular re ard to the re5uire"ent o% proper party as applied in the cases !e%ore us, Ge hold that the sa"e is satis%ied !y the petitioners and intervenors !ecause each o% the" has sustained or is in dan er o% sustainin an i""ediate in.ury as a result o% the acts or "easures co"plained o%. And even i%, strictly spea$in they are not covered !y the de%inition, it is still within the wide discretion o% the Court to waive the re5uire"ent and so re"ove the i"pedi"ent to its addressin and resolvin the serious constitutional 5uestions raised. -n the %irst F"er ency Powers Cases, ordinary citi/ens and ta2payers were allowed to 5uestion the constitutionality o% several e2ecutive orders issued !y President Luirino althou h they were involvin only an indirect and eneral interest shared in co""on with the pu!lic. The Court dis"issed the o!.ection that they were not proper parties and ruled that "the transcendental i"portance to the pu!lic o% these cases de"ands that they !e settled pro"ptly and de%initely, !rushin aside, i% we "ust technicalities o% procedure." Ge have since then applied the e2ception in "any other cases. &Association o% 8"all ;andowners in the Philippines, -nc. v. 8ec. o% A rarian Re%or", )7B 8CRA 9A9'. Cavin disposed o% the procedural issue, Ge will now discuss the su!stantive issues raised. Ga"!lin in all its %or"s, unless allowed !y law, is enerally prohi!ited. #ut the prohi!ition o% a"!lin does not "ean that the Govern"ent cannot re ulate it in the e2ercise o% its police power. The concept o% police power is well=esta!lished in this .urisdiction. -t has !een de%ined as the "state authority to enact le islation that "ay inter%ere with personal li!erty or property in order to pro"ote the eneral wel%are." &Fdu v. Fricta, 9B 8CRA A*), A*7' As de%ined, it consists o% &)' an i"position or restraint upon li!erty or property, &6' in order to %oster the co""on ood. -t is not capa!le o% an e2act de%inition !ut has !een, purposely, veiled in eneral ter"s to underscore its all=co"prehensive e"!race. &Philippine Association o% 8ervice F2porters, -nc. v. (rilon, )+9 8CRA 9*+'.

-ts scope, ever=e2pandin to "eet the e2i encies o% the ti"es, even to anticipate the %uture where it could !e done, provides enou h roo" %or an e%%icient and %le2i!le response to conditions and circu"stances thus assu"in the reatest !ene%its. &Fdu v. Fricta, supra' -t %inds no speci%ic Constitutional rant %or the plain reason that it does not owe its ori in to the charter. Alon with the ta2in power and e"inent do"ain, it is in!orn in the very %act o% statehood and soverei nty. -t is a %unda"ental attri!ute o% overn"ent that has ena!led it to per%or" the "ost vital %unctions o% overnance. 0arshall, to who" the e2pression has !een credited, re%ers to it succinctly as the plenary power o% the state "to overn its citi/ens". &Tri!e, A"erican Constitutional ;aw, 969, ),7*'. The police power o% the 8tate is a power co= e2tensive with sel%=protection and is "ost aptly ter"ed the "law o% overwhel"in necessity." &Ru!i v. Provincial #oard o% 0indoro, 9, Phil. ++<, 7<*' -t is "the "ost essential, insistent, and illi"ita!le o% powers." &8"ith #ell M Co. v. ?ational, A< Phil. )9+' -t is a dyna"ic %orce that ena!les the state to "eet the a encies o% the winds o% chan e. Ghat was the reason !ehind the enact"ent o% P.(. )*+,N P.(. )*+, was enacted pursuant to the policy o% the overn"ent to "re ulate and centrali/e thru an appropriate institution all a"es o% chance authori/ed !y e2istin %ranchise or per"itted !y law" &)st whereas clause, P( )*+,'. As was su!se5uently proved, re ulatin and centrali/in a"!lin operations in one corporate entity the PAGCOR, was !ene%icial not .ust to the Govern"ent !ut to society in eneral. -t is a relia!le source o% "uch needed revenue %or the cash strapped Govern"ent. -t provided %unds %or social i"pact pro.ects and su!.ected a"!lin to "close scrutiny, re ulation, supervision and control o% the Govern"ent" &Ath Ghereas Clause, P( )*+,'. Gith the creation o% PAGCOR and the direct intervention o% the Govern"ent, the evil practices and corruptions that o with a"!lin will !e "ini"i/ed i% not totally eradicated. Pu!lic wel%are, then, lies at the !otto" o% the enact"ent o% P( )*,+. Petitioners contend that P.(. )*+, constitutes a waiver o% the ri ht o% the City o% 0anila to i"pose ta2es and le al %ees3 that the e2e"ption clause in P.(. )*+, is violative o% the principle o% local autono"y. They "ust !e re%errin to 8ection )9 par. &6' o% P.(. )*+, which e2e"pts PAGCOR, as the %ranchise holder %ro" payin any "ta2 o% any $ind

or %or", inco"e or otherwise, as well as %ees, char es or levies o% whatever nature, whether ?ational or ;ocal." &6' Income and other ta es. a' 4ranchise Colder: ?o ta2 o% any $ind or %or", inco"e or otherwise as well as %ees, char es or levies o% whatever nature, whether ?ational or ;ocal, shall !e assessed and collected under this %ranchise %ro" the Corporation3 nor shall any %or" or ta2 or char e attach in any way to the earnin s o% the Corporation, e2cept a %ranchise ta2 o% %ive &BO' percent o% the ross revenues or earnin s derived !y the Corporation %ro" its operations under this %ranchise. 8uch ta2 shall !e due and paya!le 5uarterly to the ?ational Govern"ent and shall !e in lieu o% all $inds o% ta2es, levies, %ees or assess"ents o% any $ind, nature or description, levied, esta!lished or collected !y any "unicipal, provincial or national overn"ent authority &8ection )9 I6J'. Their contention stated hereina!ove is without "erit %or the %ollowin reasons: &a' The City o% 0anila, !ein a "ere 0unicipal corporation has no inherent ri ht to i"pose ta2es &-card v. City o% #a uio, *9 Phil. *7<3 City o% -loilo v. Villanueva, )<B Phil. 9973 8antos v. 0unicipality o% Caloocan, 7 8CRA +A9'. Thus, "the Charter or statute "ust plainly show an intent to con%er that power or the "unicipality cannot assu"e it" &0edina v. City o% #a uio, )6 8CRA +6'. -ts "power to ta2" there%ore "ust always yield to a le islative act which is superior havin !een passed upon !y the state itsel% which has the "inherent power to ta2" &#ernas, the Revised I),79J Philippine Constitution, Vol. ), ),*9 ed. p. AAB'. &!' The Charter o% the City o% 0anila is su!.ect to control !y Con ress. -t should !e stressed that ""unicipal corporations are "ere creatures o% Con ress" &@nson v. ;acson, G.R. ?o. 7,<,, >anuary )*, ),B7' which has the power to "create and a!olish "unicipal corporations" due to its " eneral le islative powers" &Asuncion v. Eriantes, 6* Phil. +73 0erdanillo v. Orandia, B 8CRA BA)'. Con ress, there%ore, has the power o% control over ;ocal overn"ents &Ce!ron v. Reyes, G.R. ?o. ,)6A, >uly 6, ),B<'. And i% Con ress can rant the City o% 0anila the power to ta2 certain "atters, it can also provide %or e2e"ptions or even ta$e !ac$ the power.

&c' The City o% 0anila1s power to i"pose license %ees on a"!lin , has lon !een revo$ed. As early as ),7B, the power o% local overn"ents to re ulate a"!lin thru the rant o% "%ranchise, licenses or per"its" was withdrawn !y P.(. ?o. 77) and was vested e2clusively on the ?ational Govern"ent, thus: 8ec. ). Any provision o% law to the contrary notwithstandin , the authority o% chartered cities and other local overn"ents to issue license, per"it or other %or" o% %ranchise to operate, "aintain and esta!lish horse and do race trac$s, .ai=alai and other %or"s o% a"!lin is here!y revo$ed. 8ec. 6. Cerea%ter, all per"its or %ranchises to operate, "aintain and esta!lish, horse and do race trac$s, .ai=alai and other %or"s o% a"!lin shall !e issued !y the national overn"ent upon proper application and veri%ication o% the 5uali%ication o% the applicant . . . There%ore, only the ?ational Govern"ent has the power to issue "licenses or per"its" %or the operation o% a"!lin . ?ecessarily, the power to de"and or collect license %ees which is a conse5uence o% the issuance o% "licenses or per"its" is no lon er vested in the City o% 0anila. &d' ;ocal overn"ents have no power to ta2 instru"entalities o% the ?ational Govern"ent. PAGCOR is a overn"ent owned or controlled corporation with an ori inal charter, P( )*+,. All o% its shares o% stoc$s are owned !y the ?ational Govern"ent. -n addition to its corporate powers &8ec. 9, Title --, P( )*+,' it also e2ercises re ulatory powers thus: 8ec. ,. Re!ulatory Po"er. The Corporation shall "aintain a Re istry o% the a%%iliated entities, and shall e2ercise all the powers, authority and the responsi!ilities vested in the 8ecurities and F2chan e Co""ission over such a%%iliatin entities "entioned under the precedin section, includin , !ut not li"ited to a"end"ents o% Articles o% -ncorporation and #y=;aws, chan es in corporate ter", structure, capitali/ation and other "atters concernin the operation o% the a%%iliated entities, the provisions o% the Corporation Code o% the Philippines to the contrary notwithstandin , e2cept only with respect to ori inal incorporation.

PAGCOR has a dual role, to operate and to re ulate a"!lin casinos. The latter role is overn"ental, which places it in the cate ory o% an a ency or instru"entality o% the Govern"ent. #ein an instru"entality o% the Govern"ent, PAGCOR should !e and actually is e2e"pt %ro" local ta2es. Otherwise, its operation "i ht !e !urdened, i"peded or su!.ected to control !y a "ere ;ocal overn"ent. The states have no power !y ta2ation or otherwise, to retard, i"pede, !urden or in any "anner control the operation o% constitutional laws enacted !y Con ress to carry into e2ecution the powers vested in the %ederal overn"ent. &0C Culloch v. 0arland, A Gheat 9)+, A ; Fd. B7,' This doctrine e"anates %ro" the "supre"acy" o% the ?ational Govern"ent over local overn"ents. >ustice Col"es, spea$in %or the 8upre"e Court, "ade re%erence to the entire a!sence o% power on the part o% the 8tates to touch, in that way &ta2ation' at least, the instru"entalities o% the @nited 8tates &>ohnson v. 0aryland, 6BA @8 B)' and it can !e a reed that no state or political su#division can re!ulate a federal instrumentality in such a "ay as to prevent it from consummatin! its federal responsi#ilities , or even to seriously #urden it in the accomplishment of them . &Antieau, 0odern Constitutional ;aw, Vol. 6, p. )A<, e"phasis supplied' Otherwise, "ere creatures o% the 8tate can de%eat ?ational policies thru e2ter"ination o% what local authorities "ay perceive to !e undesira!le activities or enterprise usin the power to ta2 as "a tool %or re ulation" &@.8. v. 8anche/, 9A< @8 A6'. The power to ta2 which was called !y >ustice 0arshall as the "power to destroy" &0c Culloch v. 0aryland, supra' cannot !e allowed to de%eat an instru"entality or creation o% the very entity which has the inherent power to wield it. &e' Petitioners also ar ue that the ;ocal Autono"y Clause o% the Constitution will !e violated !y P.(. )*+,. This is a pointless ar u"ent. Article : o% the ),*7 Constitution &on ;ocal Autono"y' provides:

8ec. B. Fach local overn"ent unit shall have the power to create its own source o% revenue and to levy ta2es, %ees, and other char es su#$ect to such !uidelines and limitation as the con!ress may provide, consistent with the !asic policy on local autono"y. 8uch ta2es, %ees and char es shall accrue e2clusively to the local overn"ent. &e"phasis supplied' The power o% local overn"ent to "i"pose ta2es and %ees" is always su!.ect to "li"itations" which Con ress "ay provide !y law. 8ince P( )*+, re"ains an "operative" law until "a"ended, repealed or revo$ed" &8ec. 9, Art. :V---, ),*7 Constitution', its "e2e"ption clause" re"ains as an e2ception to the e2ercise o% the power o% local overn"ents to i"pose ta2es and %ees. -t cannot there%ore !e violative !ut rather is consistent with the principle o% local autono"y. #esides, the principle o% local autono"y under the ),*7 Constitution si"ply "eans "decentrali/ation" &--- Records o% the ),*7 Constitutional Co""ission, pp. A9B=A9+, as cited in #ernas, The Constitution o% the Repu!lic o% the Philippines, Vol. --, 4irst Fd., ),**, p. 97A'. -t does not "a$e local overn"ents soverei n within the state or an "imperium in imperio." ;ocal Govern"ent has !een descri!ed as a political su!division o% a nation or state which is constituted !y law and has su!stantial control o% local a%%airs. -n a unitary syste" o% overn"ent, such as the overn"ent under the Philippine Constitution, local overn"ents can only !e an intra soverei!n su#division of one soverei!n nation, it cannot !e an imperium in imperio. ;ocal overn"ent in such a syste" can only "ean a "easure o% decentrali/ation o% the %unction o% overn"ent. &e"phasis supplied' As to what state powers should !e "decentrali/ed" and what "ay !e dele ated to local overn"ent units re"ains a "atter o% policy, which concerns wisdo". -t is there%ore a political 5uestion. &Citi/ens Alliance %or Consu"er Protection v. Fner y Re ulatory #oard, )+6 8CRA B9,'. Ghat is settled is that the "atter o% re ulatin , ta2in or otherwise dealin with a"!lin is a 8tate concern and hence, it is the sole prero ative o% the 8tate to retain it or dele ate it to local overn"ents.

As !am#lin! is usually an offense a!ainst the %tate, le!islative !rant or e press charter po"er is !enerally necessary to empo"er the local corporation to deal "ith the su#$ect. . . . -n the a!sence o% e2press rant o% power to enact, ordinance provisions on this su#$ect "hich are inconsistent "ith the state la"s are void. &;i an v. Gadsden, Ala App. )<7 8o. 799 F2=Parte 8olo"on, ,, Cals. AA<, 67 PAC 7B7 %ollowin in re Ah Eou, ** Cal. ,,, 6B PAC ,7A, 66 A" 8t. Rep. 6*<, )) ;RA A*<, as cited in 0c Luinllan Vol. 9 I#id, p. BA*, e"phasis supplied' Petitioners ne2t contend that P.(. )*+, violates the e5ual protection clause o% the Constitution, !ecause "it le ali/ed PAGCOR conducted a"!lin , while "ost a"!lin are outlawed to ether with prostitution, dru tra%%ic$in and other vices" &p. *6, Rollo'. Ge, li$ewise, %ind no valid round to sustain this contention. The petitioners1 posture i nores the well= accepted "eanin o% the clause "e5ual protection o% the laws." The clause does not preclude classi%ication o% individuals who "ay !e accorded di%%erent treat"ent under the law as lon as the classi%ication is not unreasona!le or ar!itrary &-tchon v. Cernande/, )<) Phil. ))BB'. A law does not have to operate in e5ual %orce on all persons or thin s to !e con%or"a!le to Article ---, 8ection ) o% the Constitution &(FC8 v. 8an (ie o, G.R. ?o. *,B76, (ece"!er 6), ),*,'. The "e5ual protection clause" does not prohi!it the ;e islature %ro" esta!lishin classes o% individuals or o!.ects upon which di%%erent rules shall operate &;aurel v. 0isa, A9 O.G. 6*A7'. The Constitution does not re5uire situations which are di%%erent in %act or opinion to !e treated in law as thou h they were the sa"e &Go"e/ v. Palo"ar, 6B 8CRA *67'. >ust how P.(. )*+, in le ali/in a"!lin conducted !y PAGCOR is violative o% the e5ual protection is not clearly e2plained in the petition. The "ere %act that so"e a"!lin activities li$e coc$%i htin &P.( AA,' horse racin &R.A. 9<+ as a"ended !y RA ,*9', sweepsta$es, lotteries and races &RA ))+, as a"ended !y #.P. A6' are le ali/ed under certain conditions, while others are prohi!ited, does not render the applica!le laws, P.(. )*+, %or one, unconstitutional. -% the law presu"a!ly hits the evil where it is "ost %elt, it is not to !e overthrown !ecause there are other instances

to which it "i ht have !een applied. &Go"e/ v. Palo"ar, 6B 8CRA *67' The e5ual protection clause o% the )Ath A"end"ent does not "ean that all occupations called !y the sa"e na"e "ust !e treated the sa"e way3 the state "ay do what it can to prevent which is dee"ed as evil and stop short o% those cases in which har" to the %ew concerned is not less than the har" to the pu!lic that would insure i% the rule laid down were "ade "athe"atically e2act. &(o"inican Cotel v. Ari/ona, 6A, @8 6+B)'. Anent petitioners1 clai" that P( )*+, is contrary to the "avowed trend o% the Cory Govern"ent away %ro" "onopolies and crony econo"y and toward %ree enterprise and privati/ation" su%%ice it to state that this is not a round %or this Court to nulli%y P.(. )*+,. -%, indeed, P( )*+, runs counter to the overn"ent1s policies then it is %or the F2ecutive (epart"ent to reco""end to Con ress its repeal or a"end"ent. The .udiciary does not settle policy issues. The Court can only declare what the law is and not what the law should !e. @nder our syste" o% overn"ent, policy issues are within the do"ain o% the political !ranches o% overn"ent and o% the people the"selves as the repository o% all state power. &Val"onte v. #el"onte, >r., )7< 8CRA 6B+'. On the issue o% ""onopoly," however, the Constitution provides that: 8ec. ),. The 8tate shall re ulate or prohi!it "onopolies when pu!lic interest so re5uires. ?o co"!inations in restraint o% trade or un%air co"petition shall !e allowed. &Art. :--, ?ational Fcono"y and Patri"ony' -t should !e noted that, as the provision is worded, "onopolies are not necessarily prohi!ited !y the Constitution. The state "ust still decide whether pu!lic interest de"ands that "onopolies !e re ulated or prohi!ited. A ain, this is a "atter o% policy %or the ;e islature to decide. On petitioners1 alle ation that P.(. )*+, violates 8ections )) &Personality (i nity' )6 &4a"ily' and )9 &Role o% Eouth' o% Article --3 8ection )9 &8ocial >ustice' o% Article :--and 8ection 6 &Fducational Values' o% Article :-V o% the ),*7 Constitution, su%%ice it to state also that these are "erely state"ents o% principles and, policies. As such,

they are !asically not sel%=e2ecutin , "eanin a law should !e passed !y Con ress to clearly de%ine and e%%ectuate such principles. -n eneral, there%ore, the ),9B provisions were not intended to !e sel%=e2ecutin principles ready %or en%orce"ent throu h the courts. They were rather directives addressed to the e2ecutive and the le islature. -% the e2ecutive and the le islature %ailed to heed the directives o% the articles the availa!le re"edy was not .udicial or political. The electorate could e2press their displeasure with the %ailure o% the e2ecutive and the le islature throu h the lan ua e o% the !allot. &#ernas, Vol. --, p. 6' Fvery law has in its %avor the presu"ption o% constitutionality &Eu Con Fn v. Trinidad, A7 Phil. 9*73 8alas v. >arencio, A* 8CRA 79A3 Peralta v. Co"elec, *6 8CRA 9<3 A!!as v. Co"elec, )7, 8CRA 6*7'. There%ore, %or P( )*+, to !e nulli%ied, it "ust !e shown that there is a clear and une5uivocal !reach o% the Constitution, not "erely a dou!t%ul and e5uivocal one. -n other words, the rounds %or nullity "ust !e clear and !eyond reasona!le dou!t. &Peralta v. Co"elec, supra' Those who petition this Court to declare a law, or parts thereo%, unconstitutional "ust clearly esta!lish the !asis %or such a declaration. Otherwise, their petition "ust %ail. #ased on the rounds raised !y petitioners to challen e the constitutionality o% P.(. )*+,, the Court %inds that petitioners have %ailed to overco"e the presu"ption. The dis"issal o% this petition is there%ore, inevita!le. #ut as to whether P.(. )*+, re"ains a wise le islation considerin the issues o% ""orality, "onopoly, trend to %ree enterprise, privati/ation as well as the state principles on social .ustice, role o% youth and educational values" !ein raised, is up %or Con ress to deter"ine. As this Court held in &itizens' 'lliance for &onsumer Protection v. Ener!y Re!ulatory (oard, )+6 8CRA B6) Presidential (ecree ?o. ),B+, as a"ended !y F2ecutive Order ?o. )97 has, in any case, in its %avor the presu"ption o% validity and constitutionality which petitioners Val"onte and the K0@ have not overturned. Petitioners have not underta$en to identi%y the provisions in the Constitution which they clai" to have !een violated !y that statute. This Court, however, is not co"pelled to speculate and to i"a ine how the assailed le islation "ay possi!ly o%%end so"e provision o% the Constitution. The Court notes, %urther, in this respect that petitioners

have in the "ain put in 5uestion the wisdo", .ustice and e2pediency o% the esta!lish"ent o% the OP84, issues which are not properly addressed to this Court and which this Court "ay not constitutionally pass upon. Those issues should !e addressed rather to the political depart"ents o% overn"ent: the President and the Con ress. Parenthetically, Ge wish to state that a"!lin is enerally i""oral, and this is precisely so when the a"!lin resorted to is e2cessive. This e2cessiveness necessarily depends not only on the %inancial resources o% the a"!ler and his %a"ily !ut also on his "ental, social, and spiritual outloo$ on li%e. Cowever, the "ere %act that so"e persons "ay have lost their "aterial %ortunes, "ental control, physical health, or even their lives does not necessarily "ean that the sa"e are directly attri!uta!le to a"!lin . )am#lin! may have #een the antecedent,#ut certainly not necessarily the cause. 4or the sa"e conse5uences could have !een preceded !y an overdose o% %ood, drin$, e2ercise, wor$, and even se2. GCFRF4ORF, the petition is (-80-88F( %or lac$ o% "erit. METROPOLITAN MANILA DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY, petitioner, vs. BEL-AIR VILLAGE ASSOCIATION, INC., respondent. DECISION PUNO, J.: ?ot in%re5uently, the overn"ent is te"pted to ta$e le al shortcuts to solve ur ent pro!le"s o% the people. #ut even when overn"ent is ar"ed with the !est o% intention, we cannot allow it to run rou hshod over the rule o% law. A ain, we let the ha""er %all and %all hard on the ille al atte"pt o% the 00(A to open %or pu!lic use a private road in a private su!division. Ghile we hold that the eneral wel%are should !e pro"oted, we stress that it should not !e achieved at the e2pense o% the rule o% law. P h E Petitioner 00(A is a overn"ent a ency tas$ed with the delivery o% !asic services in 0etro 0anila. Respondent #el=Air Villa e Association, -nc. &#AVA' is a non=stoc$, non=pro%it corporation whose "e"!ers are ho"eowners in #el=Air Villa e, a private su!division in 0a$ati City.

Respondent #AVA is the re istered owner o% ?eptune 8treet, a road inside #el=Air Villa e. On (ece"!er 9<, ),,B, respondent received %ro" petitioner, throu h its Chair"an, a notice dated (ece"!er 66, ),,B re5uestin respondent to open ?eptune 8treet to pu!lic vehicular tra%%ic startin >anuary 6, ),,+. The notice reads: Court "8@#>FCT: ?OT-CF o% the Openin o% ?eptune 8treet to Tra%%ic "(ear President ;indo, "Please !e in%or"ed that pursuant to the "andate o% the 00(A law or Repu!lic Act ?o. 7,6A which re5uires the Authority to rationali/e the use o% roads andDor thorou h%ares %or the sa%e and convenient "ove"ent o% persons, ?eptune 8treet shall !e opened to vehicular tra%%ic e%%ective >anuary 6, ),,+. "-n view whereo%, the undersi ned re5uests you to voluntarily open the points o% entry and e2it on said street. "Than$ you %or your cooperation and whatever assistance that "ay !e e2tended !y your association to the 00(A personnel who will !e directin tra%%ic in the area. "4inally, we are %urnishin you with a copy o% the handwritten instruction o% the President on the "atter. "Very truly yours, PRO8PFRO -. ORFTA Chair"an"I)J On the sa"e day, respondent was apprised that the peri"eter wall separatin the su!division %ro" the ad.acent Kalayaan Avenue would !e de"olished. 8ppedsc On >anuary 6, ),,+, respondent instituted a ainst petitioner !e%ore the Re ional Trial Court, #ranch )9+, 0a$ati City, Civil Case ?o. ,+=<<) %or in.unction. Respondent prayed %or the issuance o% a te"porary restrainin order and preli"inary in.unction en.oinin the

openin o% ?eptune 8treet and prohi!itin the de"olition o% the peri"eter wall. The trial court issued a te"porary restrainin order the %ollowin day. On >anuary 69, ),,+, a%ter due hearin , the trial court denied issuance o% a preli"inary in.unction. I6J Respondent 5uestioned the denial !e%ore the Court o% Appeals in CA= G.R. 8P ?o. 9,BA,. The appellate court conducted an ocular inspection o% ?eptune 8treet I9J and on 4e!ruary )9, ),,+, it issued a writ o% preli"inary in.unction en.oinin the i"ple"entation o% the 00(AQs proposed action.IAJ On >anuary 6*, ),,7, the appellate court rendered a (ecision on the "erits o% the case %indin that the 00(A has no authority to order the openin o% ?eptune 8treet, a private su!division road and cause the de"olition o% its peri"eter walls. -t held that the authority is lod ed in the City Council o% 0a$ati !y ordinance. The decision disposed o% as %ollows:>urissc "GCFRF4ORF, the Petition is GRA?TF(3 the challen ed Order dated >anuary 69, ),,B, in Civil Case ?o. ,+=<<), is 8FT A8-(F and the Grit o% Preli"inary -n.unction issued on 4e!ruary )9, ),,+ is here!y "ade per"anent. "4or want o% sustaina!le su!stantiation, the 0otion to Cite Ro!erto ;. del Rosario in conte"pt is denied. IBJ "?o pronounce"ent as to costs. "8O OR(FRF(."I+J The 0otion %or Reconsideration o% the decision was denied on 8epte"!er 6*, ),,*. Cence, this recourse. >$s" Petitioner 00(A raises the %ollowin 5uestions: "CA8 TCF 0FTROPO;-TA? 0A?-;A (FVF;OP0F?T A@TCOR-TE &00(A' TCF 0A?(ATF TO OPF? ?FPT@?F 8TRFFT TO P@#;-C TRA44-C P@R8@A?T TO -T8 RFG@;ATORE A?( PO;-CF POGFR8N --

-8 TCF PA88AGF O4 A? OR(-?A?CF A CO?(-T-O? PRFCF(F?T #F4ORF TCF 00(A 0AE OR(FR TCF OPF?-?G O4 8@#(-V-8-O? ROA(8 TO P@#;-C TRA44-CN ---8 RF8PO?(F?T #F;=A-R V-;;AGF A88OC-AT-O?, -?C. F8TOPPF( 4RO0 (F?E-?G OR A88A-;-?G TCF A@TCOR-TE O4 TCF 00(A TO OPF? TCF 8@#>FCT 8TRFFTN >le2. V GA8 RF8PO?(F?T (FPR-VF( O4 (@F PROCF88 (F8P-TF TCF 8FVFRA; 0FFT-?G8 CF;( #FTGFF? 00(A A?( TCF A44FCTF( #F;=A-R RF8-(F?T8 A?( #AVA O44-CFR8N V CA8 RF8PO?(F?T CO0F TO CO@RT G-TC @?C;FA? CA?(8N"I7J ?eptune 8treet is owned !y respondent #AVA. -t is a private road inside #el=Air Villa e, a private residential su!division in the heart o% the %inancial and co""ercial district o% 0a$ati City. -t runs parallel to Kalayaan Avenue, a national road open to the eneral pu!lic. (ividin the two &6' streets is a concrete peri"eter wall appro2i"ately %i%teen &)B' %eet hi h. The western end o% ?eptune 8treet intersects ?icanor Garcia, %or"erly Reposo 8treet, a su!division road open to pu!lic vehicular tra%%ic, while its eastern end intersects 0a$ati Avenue, a national road. #oth ends o% ?eptune 8treet are uarded !y iron ates. FdpR "is Petitioner 00(A clai"s that it has the authority to open ?eptune 8treet to pu!lic tra%%ic !ecause it is an a ent o% the state endowed with police power in the delivery o% !asic services in 0etro 0anila. One o% these !asic services is tra%%ic "ana e"ent which involves the re ulation o% the use o% thorou h%ares to insure the sa%ety, convenience and wel%are o% the eneral pu!lic. -t is alle ed that the police power o% 00(A was a%%ir"ed !y this Court in the consolidated cases o% 8an alan v. -nter"ediate Appellate Court.I*J 4ro" the pre"ise that it has police power, it is now ur ed that there is no need %or the City o% 0a$ati to enact an ordinance openin ?eptune street to the pu!lic.I,J

Police power is an inherent attri!ute o% soverei nty. -t has !een de%ined as the power vested !y the Constitution in the le islature to "a$e, ordain, and esta!lish all "anner o% wholeso"e and reasona!le laws, statutes and ordinances, either with penalties or without, not repu nant to the Constitution, as they shall .ud e to !e %or the ood and wel%are o% the co""onwealth, and %or the su!.ects o% the sa"e.I)<J The power is plenary and its scope is vast and pervasive, reachin and .usti%yin "easures %or pu!lic health, pu!lic sa%ety, pu!lic "orals, and the eneral wel%are.I))J -t !ears stressin that police power is lod ed pri"arily in the ?ational ;e islature.I)6J -t cannot !e e2ercised !y any roup or !ody o% individuals not possessin le islative power.I)9JThe ?ational ;e islature, however, "ay dele ate this power to the President and ad"inistrative !oards as well as the law"a$in !odies o% "unicipal corporations or local overn"ent units.I)AJ Once dele ated, the a ents can e2ercise only such le islative powers as are con%erred on the" !y the national law"a$in !ody.I)BJ A local overn"ent is a "political su!division o% a nation or state which is constituted !y law and has su!stantial control o% local a%%airs."I)+J The ;ocal Govern"ent Code o% ),,) de%ines a local overn"ent unit as a "!ody politic and corporate"I)7J== one endowed with powers as a political su!division o% the ?ational Govern"ent and as a corporate entity representin the inha!itants o% its territory.I)*J ;ocal overn"ent units are the provinces, cities, "unicipalities and !aran ays. I),J They are also the territorial and political su!divisions o% the state. I6<J Our Con r!"" #!$! %&!# 'o$()! 'o*!r &o &+! $o)%$ o,!rn-!n& un(&" (n &+! Lo)%$ Go,!rn-!n& Co#! o. /00/. This dele ation is %ound in 8ection )+ o% the sa"e Code, $nown as the eneral wel%are clause, viz: Chie% "%ec* +,* )eneral Welfare.Fvery local overn"ent unit shall e2ercise the powers e2pressly ranted, those necessarily i"plied there%ro", as well as powers necessary, appropriate, or incidental %or its e%%icient and e%%ective overnance, and those which are essential to the pro"otion o% the eneral wel%are. Githin their respective territorial .urisdictions, local overn"ent units shall ensure and support, a"on other thin s, the preservation and enrich"ent o% culture, pro"ote health and sa%ety, enhance the ri ht o% the people to a !alanced ecolo y, encoura e and support the develop"ent o% appropriate and sel%=reliant scienti%ic and technolo ical

capa!ilities, i"prove pu!lic "orals, enhance econo"ic prosperity and social .ustice, pro"ote %ull e"ploy"ent a"on their residents, "aintain peace and order, and preserve the co"%ort and convenience o% their inha!itants."I6)J Lo)%$ o,!rn-!n& un(&" !1!r)("! 'o$()! 'o*!r &+rou + &+!(r r!"'!)&(,! $! ("$%&(,! 2o#(!". The le islative !ody o% the provincial overn"ent is the "%n un(%n '%n$%$%*( %n, that o% the city overn"ent is the "%n un(%n '%n$un "o#, that o% the "unicipal overn"ent is the "%n un(%n 2%3%n, and that o% the !aran ay is the"%n un(%n 2%r%n %3. The ;ocal Govern"ent Code o% ),,) e"powers the "%n un(%n '%n$%$%*( %n, "%n un(%n '%n$un "o# and s%n un(%n 2%3%n to "enact ordinances, approve resolutions and appropriate %unds %or the eneral wel%are o% the Iprovince, city or "unicipality, as the case "ay !eJ, and its inha!itants pursuant to 8ection )+ o% the Code and in the proper e2ercise o% the corporate powers o% the Iprovince, city "unicipalityJ provided under the Code 2 2 2."I66J The sa"e Code ives the "%n un(%n 2%r%n %3the power to "enact ordinances as "ay !e necessary to dischar e the responsi!ilities con%erred upon it !y law or ordinance and to pro"ote the eneral wel%are o% the inha!itants thereon."I69J M!&ro'o$(&%n or M!&ro M%n($% (" % 2o#3 )o-'o"!# o. "!,!r%$ $o)%$ o,!rn-!n& un(&" - i*e*, twelve &)6' cities and %ive &B' "unicipalities, na"ely, the cities o% Caloocan, 0anila, 0andaluyon , 0a$ati, Pasay, Pasi , Lue/on, 0untinlupa, ;as Pinas, 0ari$ina, Parana5ue and Valen/uela, and the "unicipalities o% 0ala!on, , ?avotas, , Pateros, 8an >uan and Ta ui . 4(&+ &+! '%""% ! o. R!'u2$() A)& (R. A.) No. 50678679 (n /00:, M!&ro'o$(&%n M%n($% *%" #!)$%r!# %" % ;"'!)(%$ #!,!$o'-!n& %n# %#-(n("&r%&(,! r! (on; %n# &+! A#-(n("&r%&(on o. ;-!&ro-*(#!; 2%"() "!r,()!" %..!)&(n &+! r! (on '$%)!# un#!r ;% #!,!$o'-!n& %u&+or(&3; r!.!rr!# &o %" &+! MMDA.I6BJ "M!&ro-*(#! "!r,()!"" are those "services which have "etro=wide i"pact and transcend local political !oundaries or entail hu e e2penditures such that it would not !e via!le %or said services to !e provided !y the individual local overn"ent units co"prisin 0etro 0anila."I6+J There are seven &7' !asic "etro=wide services and the scope o% these services cover the %ollowin : &)' develop"ent plannin 3 &6' transport and tra%%ic

"ana e"ent3 &9' solid waste disposal and "ana e"ent3 &A' %lood control and sewera e "ana e"ent3 &B' ur!an renewal, /onin and land use plannin , and shelter services3 &+' health and sanitation, ur!an protection and pollution control3 and &7' pu!lic sa%ety. The !asic service o% transport and tra%%ic "ana e"ent includes the %ollowin : ;e2.uris ;(2) Tr%n"'or& %n# &r%..() -%n% !-!n& *+()+ (n)$u#! &+! .or-u$%&(on, )oor#(n%&(on, %n# -on(&or(n o. 'o$()(!", "&%n#%r#", 'ro r%-" %n# 'ro<!)&" &o r%&(on%$(=! &+! !1("&(n &r%n"'or& o'!r%&(on", (n.r%"&ru)&ur! r!>u(r!-!n&", &+! u"! o. &+orou +.%r!", %n# 'ro-o&(on o. "%.! %n# )on,!n(!n& -o,!-!n& o. '!r"on" %n# oo#"? 'ro,("(on .or &+! -%"" &r%n"'or& "3"&!- %n# &+! (n"&(&u&(on o. % "3"&!- &o r! u$%&! ro%# u"!r"? %#-(n("&r%&(on %n# (-'$!-!n&%&(on o. %$$ &r%..() !n.or)!-!n& o'!r%&(on", &r%..() !n (n!!r(n "!r,()!" %n# &r%..() !#u)%&(on 'ro r%-", (n)$u#(n &+! (n"&(&u&(on o. % "(n $! &()@!&(n "3"&!- (n M!&ro'o$(&%n M%n($%?;I67J In &+! #!$(,!r3 o. &+! "!,!n (5) 2%"() "!r,()!", &+! MMDA +%" &+! .o$$o*(n 'o*!r" %n# .un)&(on": Fs" "%ec* -* .unctions and po"ers of the /etro /anila Development 'uthority.The 00(A shall: &a' 4or"ulate, coordinate and re ulate the i"ple"entation o% "ediu" and lon =ter" plans and pro ra"s %or the delivery o% "etro=wide services, land use and physical develop"ent within 0etropolitan 0anila, consistent with national develop"ent o!.ectives and priorities3 &!' Prepare, coordinate and re ulate the i"ple"entation o% "ediu"=ter" invest"ent pro ra"s %or "etro=wide services which shall indicate sources and uses o% %unds %or priority pro ra"s and pro.ects, and which shall include the pac$a in o% pro.ects and presentation to %undin institutions3 Fs"sc &c' @nderta$e and "ana e on its own "etro=wide pro ra"s and pro.ects %or the delivery o% speci%ic services under its .urisdiction, su!.ect to the approval o% the Council. 4or this purpose, 00(A can create appropriate pro.ect "ana e"ent o%%ices3

&d' Coordinate and "onitor the i"ple"entation o% such plans, pro ra"s and pro.ects in 0etro 0anila3 identi%y !ottlenec$s and adopt solutions to pro!le"s o% i"ple"entation3 (!) T+! MMDA "+%$$ "!& &+! 'o$()(!" )on)!rn(n &r%..() (n M!&ro M%n($%, %n# "+%$$ )oor#(n%&! %n# r! u$%&! &+! (-'$!-!n&%&(on o. %$$ 'ro r%-" %n# 'ro<!)&" )on)!rn(n &r%..() -%n% !-!n&, "'!)(.()%$$3 '!r&%(n(n &o !n.or)!-!n&, !n (n!!r(n %n# !#u)%&(on. U'on r!>u!"&, (& "+%$$ 2! !1&!n#!# %""("&%n)! %n# )oo'!r%&(on, (n)$u#(n 2u& no& $(-(&!# &o, %""( n-!n& o. '!r"onn!$, 23 %$$ o&+!r o,!rn-!n& % !n)(!" %n# o..()!" )on)!rn!#? (.) In"&%$$ %n# %#-(n("&!r % "(n $! &()@!&(n "3"&!-, .(1, (-'o"! %n# )o$$!)& .(n!" %n# '!n%$&(!" .or %$$ @(n#" o. ,(o$%&(on" o. &r%..() ru$!" %n# r! u$%&(on", *+!&+!r -o,(n or non--o,(n (n n%&ur!, %n# )on.(")%&! %n# "u"'!n# or r!,o@! #r(,!r"A $()!n"!" (n &+! !n.or)!-!n& o. "u)+ &r%..() $%*" %n# r! u$%&(on", &+! 'ro,("(on" o. RA 7/BC %n# PD /CD: &o &+! )on&r%r3 no&*(&+"&%n#(n . Eor &+(" 'ur'o"!, &+! Au&+or(&3 "+%$$ (-'o"! %$$ &r%..() $%*" %n# r! u$%&(on" (n M!&ro M%n($%, &+rou + (&" &r%..() o'!r%&(on )!n&!r, %n# -%3 #!'u&(=! -!-2!r" o. &+! PNP, &r%..() !n.or)!r" o. $o)%$ o,!rn-!n& un(&", #u$3 $()!n"!# "!)ur(&3 u%r#", or -!-2!r" o. non- o,!rn-!n&%$ or %n(=%&(on" &o *+o- -%3 2! #!$! %&!# )!r&%(n %u&+or(&3, "u2<!)& &o "u)+ )on#(&(on" %n# r!>u(r!-!n&" %" &+! Au&+or(&3 -%3 (-'o"!? and & ' Per%or" other related %unctions re5uired to achieve the o!.ectives o% the 00(A, includin the underta$in o% delivery o% !asic services to the local overn"ent units, when dee"ed necessary su!.ect to prior coordination with and consent o% the local overn"ent unit concerned." >uris"is The (-'$!-!n&%&(on o% the 00(AQs plans, pro ra"s and pro.ects is underta$en !y the local overn"ent units, national overn"ent a encies, accredited peopleQs or ani/ations, non= overn"ental or ani/ations, and the private sector as well as !y the 00(A itsel%. 4or this purpose, the 00(A has the power to enter into contracts, "e"oranda o% a ree"ent and other cooperative arran e"ents with these !odies %or the delivery o% the re5uired services within 0etro 0anila.I6*J

The o,!rn(n 2o%r# o. &+! MMDA (" &+! M!&ro M%n($% Coun)($. The Council is co"posed o% the "ayors o% the co"ponent )6 cities and B "unicipalities, the president o% the 0etro 0anila Vice=0ayorsQ ;ea ue and the president o% the 0etro 0anila CouncilorsQ ;ea ue. I6,J The Council is headed !y a Chair"an who is appointed !y the President and vested with the ran$ o% ca!inet "e"!er. As the policy="a$in !ody o% the 00(A, the 0etro 0anila Council approves "etro=wide plans, pro ra"s and pro.ects, and issues the necessary rules and re ulations %or the i"ple"entation o% said plans3 it approves the annual !ud et o% the 00(A and pro"ul ates the rules and re ulations %or the delivery o% !asic services, collection o% service and re ulatory %ees, %ines and penalties. These %unctions are particularly enu"erated as %ollows: ;F: "8ec. +. Eun)&(on" o. &+! M!&ro M%n($% Coun)($. = &a' The Council shall !e the policy="a$in !ody o% the 00(A3 &!' -t shall approve "etro=wide plans, pro ra"s and pro.ects and issue rules and re ulations dee"ed necessary !y the 00(A to carry out the purposes o% this Act3 &c' -t "ay increase the rate o% allowances and per die"s o% the "e"!ers o% the Council to !e e%%ective durin the ter" o% the succeedin Council. -t shall %i2 the co"pensation o% the o%%icers and personnel o% the 00(A, and approve the annual !ud et thereo% %or su!"ission to the (epart"ent o% #ud et and 0ana e"ent &(#0'3 &d' -t shall pro"ul ate rules and re ulations and set policies and standards %or "etro=wide application overnin the delivery o% !asic services, prescri!e and collect service and re ulatory %ees, and i"pose and collect %ines and penalties." >.S sc Clearly, the scope o% the 00(AQs %unction is li"ited to the delivery o% the seven &7' !asic services. One o% these is transport and tra%%ic "ana e"ent which includes the %or"ulation and "onitorin o% policies, standards and pro.ects to rationali/e the e2istin transport operations, in%rastructure re5uire"ents, the use o% thorou h%ares and pro"otion o% the sa%e "ove"ent o% persons and oods. -t also covers the "ass transport syste" and the institution o% a syste" o% road re ulation, the ad"inistration o% all

tra%%ic en%orce"ent operations, tra%%ic en ineerin services and tra%%ic education pro ra"s, includin the institution o% a sin le tic$etin syste" in 0etro 0anila %or tra%%ic violations. @nder this service, the 00(A is e2pressly authori/ed "to set the policies concernin tra%%ic" and "coordinate and re ulate the i"ple"entation o% all tra%%ic "ana e"ent pro ra"s." -n addition, the 00(A "ay "install and ad"inister a sin le tic$etin syste"," %i2, i"pose and collect %ines and penalties %or all tra%%ic violations. Ca=lrsc -t will !e noted that the powers o% the 00(A are li"ited to the %ollowin acts: %or"ulation, coordination, re ulation, i"ple"entation, preparation, "ana e"ent, "onitorin , settin o% policies, installation o% a syste" and ad"inistration. T+!r! (" no "3$$%2$! (n R. A. No. 5067 &+%& r%n&" &+! MMDA 'o$()! 'o*!r, $!& %$on! $! ("$%&(,! 'o*!r. Fven the 0etro 0anila Council has not !een dele ated any le islative power. @nli$e the le islative !odies o% the local overn"ent units, there is no provision in R. A. ?o. 7,6A that e"powers the 00(A or its Council to "enact ordinances, approve resolutions and appropriate %unds %or the eneral wel%are" o% the inha!itants o% 0etro 0anila. The 00(A is, as ter"ed in the charter itsel%, a "develop"ent authority."I9<J -t is an a ency created %or the purpose o% layin down policies and coordinatin with the various national overn"ent a encies, peopleQs or ani/ations, non= overn"ental or ani/ations and the private sector %or the e%%icient and e2peditious delivery o% !asic services in the vast "etropolitan area. A$$ (&" .un)&(on" %r! %#-(n("&r%&(,! (n n%&ur! and these are actually su""ed up in the charter itsel%, vi/: "%ec* 2* &reation of the /etropolitan /anila Development 'uthority. == T2 2 2. The 00(A shall per%or" '$%nn(n , -on(&or(n %n# )oor#(n%&(,! .un)&(on", and in the process e2ercise r! u$%&or3 %n# "u'!r,("or3 %u&+or(&3 over the delivery o% "etro=wide services within 0etro 0anila, without di"inution o% the autono"y o% the local overn"ent units concernin purely local "atters."I9)J Petitioner cannot see$ re%u e in the cases o% S%n %$%n ,. In&!r-!#(%&! A''!$$%&! Cour&I96J where we upheld a /onin ordinance issued !y the 0etro 0anila Co""ission &00C', the predecessor o% the 00(A, as an e2ercise o% police power. The %irst S%n %$%n decision was on the "erits o% the petition,I99J while the second decision denied

reconsideration o% the %irst case and in addition discussed the case o% Y%2u& ,. Cour& o. A''!%$".I9AJ S%n %$%n ,. IAC involved %ive &B' consolidated petitions %iled !y respondent #AVA and three residents o% #el=Air Villa e a ainst other residents o% the Villa e and the Ayala Corporation, %or"erly the 0a$ati (evelop"ent Corporation, as the developer o% the su!division. The petitioners sou ht to en%orce certain restrictive ease"ents in the deeds o% sale over their respective lots in the su!division. These were the prohi!ition on the settin up o% co""ercial and advertisin si ns on the lots, and the condition that the lots !e used only %or residential purposes. Petitioners alle ed that respondents, who were residents alon >upiter 8treet o% the su!division, converted their residences into co""ercial esta!lish"ents in violation o% the "deed restrictions," and that respondent Ayala Corporation ushered in the %ull co""erciali/ation" o% >upiter 8treet !y tearin down the peri"eter wall that separated the co""ercial %ro" the residential section o% the villa e. I9BJ The petitions were dis"issed !ased on Ordinance ?o. *) o% the 0unicipal Council o% 0a$ati and Ordinance ?o. *)= <) o% the 0etro 0anila Co""ission &00C'. 0unicipal Ordinance ?o. *) classi%ied #el=Air Villa e as a Class A Residential Hone, with its !oundary in the south e2tendin to the center line o% >upiter 8treet. The 0unicipal Ordinance was adopted !y the 00C under the Co"prehensive Honin Ordinance %or the ?ational Capital Re ion and pro"ul ated as 00C Ordinance ?o. *)=<). #el=Air Villa e was indicated therein as !ounded !y >upiter 8treet and the !loc$ ad.acent thereto was classi%ied as a Ci h -ntensity Co""ercial Hone. I9+J Ge ruled that since !oth Ordinances reco ni/ed >upiter 8treet as the !oundary !etween #el=Air Villa e and the co""ercial district, >upiter 8treet was not %or the e2clusive !ene%it o% #el=Air residents. Ge also held that the peri"eter wall on said street was constructed not to separate the residential %ro" the co""ercial !loc$s !ut si"ply %or security reasons, hence, in tearin down said wall, Ayala Corporation did not violate the "deed restrictions" in the deeds o% sale. 8cc=alr Ge upheld the ordinances, speci%ically 00C Ordinance ?o. *)=<), as a le iti"ate e2ercise o% police power. I97J The power o% the 00C and the 0a$ati 0unicipal Council to enact /onin ordinances %or the eneral wel%are prevailed over the "deed restrictions".

-n the second S%n %$%n FY%2u& decision, we held that the openin o% >upiter 8treet was warranted !y the de"ands o% the co""on ood in ter"s o% "tra%%ic decon estion and pu!lic convenience." >upiter was opened !y the 0unicipal 0ayor to alleviate tra%%ic con estion alon the pu!lic streets ad.acent to the Villa e.I9*J The sa"e reason was iven %or the openin to pu!lic vehicular tra%%ic o% Or!it 8treet, a road inside the sa"e villa e. The destruction o% the ate in Or!it 8treet was also "ade under the police power o% the "unicipal overn"ent. The ate, li$e the peri"eter wall alon >upiter, was a pu!lic nuisance !ecause it hindered and i"paired the use o% property, hence, its su""ary a!ate"ent !y the "ayor was proper and le al.I9,J Con&r%r3 &o '!&(&(on!rA" )$%(-, &+! &*o Sangalang )%"!" #o no& %''$3 &o &+! )%"! %& 2%r. E(r"&$3, !oth involved /onin ordinances passed !y the "unicipal council o% 0a$ati and the 00C. -n the instant case, the !asis %or the proposed openin o% ?eptune 8treet is contained in the notice o% (ece"!er 66, ),,B sent !y petitioner to respondent #AVA, throu h its president. The notice does not cite any ordinance or law, either !y the 8an unian Panlun sod o% 0a$ati City or !y the 00(A, as the le al !asis %or the proposed openin o% ?eptune 8treet. Petitioner 00(A si"ply relied on its authority under its charter "to rationali/e the use o% roads andDor thorou h%ares %or the sa%e and convenient "ove"ent o% persons." Rationali/in the use o% roads and thorou h%ares is one o% the acts that %all within the scope o% transport and tra%%ic "ana e"ent. #y no stretch o% the i"a ination, however, can this !e interpreted as an e2press or i"plied rant o% ordinance="a$in power, "uch less police power. 0is.uris S!)on#$3, &+! MMDA (" no& &+! "%-! !n&(&3 %" &+! MMC (n Sangalang. A$&+ou + &+! MMC (" &+! .or!runn!r o. &+! 'r!"!n& MMDA, %n !1%-(n%&(on o. Pr!"(#!n&(%$ D!)r!! (P. D.) No. G67, &+! )+%r&!r o. &+! MMC, "+o*" &+%& &+! $%&&!r 'o""!""!# r!%&!r 'o*!r" *+()+ *!r! no& 2!"&o*!# on &+! 'r!"!n& MMDA. >.le2 0etropolitan 0anila was %irst created in ),7B !y Presidential (ecree &P.(.' ?o. *6A. -t co"prised the Greater 0anila Area co"posed o% the conti uous %our &A' cities o% 0anila, Lue/on, Pasay and Caloocan, and the thirteen &)9' "unicipalities o% 0a$ati, 0andaluyon , 8an >uan, ;as Pinas, 0ala!on, ?avotas, Pasi , Pateros, Parana5ue, 0ari$ina, 0untinlupa and Ta ui in the

province o% Ri/al, and Valen/uela in the province o% #ulacan.IA<J 0etropolitan 0anila was created as a response to the %indin that the rapid rowth o% population and the increase o% social and econo"ic re5uire"ents in these areas de"and a call %or si"ultaneous and uni%ied develop"ent3 that the pu!lic services rendered !y the respective local overn"ents could !e ad"inistered "ore e%%iciently and econo"ically i% inte rated under a syste" o% central plannin 3 and this coordination, "especially in the "aintenance o% peace and order and the eradication o% social and econo"ic ills that %anned the %la"es o% re!ellion and discontent IwereJ part o% re%or" "easures under 0artial ;aw essential to the sa%ety and security o% the 8tate."IA)J M!&ro'o$(&%n M%n($% *%" !"&%2$("+!# %" % ;'u2$() )or'or%&(on; with the %ollowin powers: Calrs=pped "%ection +* &reation of the /etropolitan /anila.There is here!y created a 'u2$() )or'or%&(on, to !e $nown as the 0etropolitan 0anila, ,!"&!# *(&+ 'o*!r" %n# %&&r(2u&!" o. % )or'or%&(on (n)$u#(n &+! 'o*!r &o -%@! )on&r%)&", "u! %n# 2! "u!#, %)>u(r!, 'ur)+%"!, !1'ro'r(%&!, +o$#, &r%n".!r %n# #("'o"! o. 'ro'!r&3 %n# "u)+ o&+!r 'o*!r" %" %r! n!)!""%r3 &o )%rr3 ou& (&" 'ur'o"!". The Corporation shall !e ad"inistered !y a Co""ission created under this (ecree."IA6J The ad"inistration o% 0etropolitan 0anila was placed under the 0etro 0anila Co""ission &00C' vested with the %ollowin powers: 0%ec* 1* Po"ers and .unctions of the &ommission. = The Co""ission shall have the %ollowin powers and %unctions: /. To %)& %" % )!n&r%$ o,!rn-!n& &o !"&%2$("+ %n# %#-(n("&!r 'ro r%-" %n# 'ro,(#! "!r,()!" )o--on &o &+! %r!%? 6. To levy and collect ta2es and special assess"ents, !orrow and e2pend "oney and issue !onds, revenue certi%icates, and other o!li ations o% inde!tedness. F2istin ta2 "easures should, however, continue to !e operative until otherwise "odi%ied or repealed !y the Co""ission3

9. To char e and collect %ees %or the use o% pu!lic service %acilities3 A. To appropriate "oney %or the operation o% the "etropolitan overn"ent and review appropriations %or the city and "unicipal units within its .urisdiction with authority to disapprove the sa"e i% %ound to !e not in accordance with the esta!lished policies o% the Co""ission, without pre.udice to any contractual o!li ation o% the local overn"ent units involved e2istin at the ti"e o% approval o% this (ecree3 :. To r!,(!*, %-!n#, r!,("! or r!'!%$ %$$ or#(n%n)!", r!"o$u&(on" %n# %)&" o. )(&(!" %n# -un()('%$(&(!" *(&+(n M!&ro'o$(&%n M%n($%? C. To !n%)& or %''ro,! or#(n%n)!", r!"o$u&(on" %n# &o .(1 '!n%$&(!" .or %n3 ,(o$%&(on &+!r!o. *+()+ "+%$$ no& !1)!!# % .(n! o. P/D,DDD.DD or (-'r("on-!n& o. "(1 3!%r" or 2o&+ "u)+ .(n! %n# (-'r("on-!n& .or % "(n $! o..!n"!? 7. To per%or" eneral ad"inistrative, e2ecutive and policy="a$in %unctions3 *. To esta!lish a %ire control operation center, which shall direct the %ire services o% the city and "unicipal overn"ents in the "etropolitan area3 ,. To esta!lish a ar!a e disposal operation center, which shall direct ar!a e collection and disposal in the "etropolitan area3 )<. To esta!lish and operate a transport and tra%%ic center, which shall direct tra%%ic activities3 >..uris )). To coordinate and "onitor overn"ental and private activities pertainin to essential services such as transportation, %lood control and draina e, water supply and sewera e, social, health and environ"ental services, housin , par$ develop"ent, and others3 )6. To insure and "onitor the underta$in o% a co"prehensive social, econo"ic and physical plannin and develop"ent o% the area3 )9. To study the %easi!ility o% increasin !aran ay participation in the a%%airs o% their respective local

overn"ents and to propose to the President o% the Philippines de%inite pro ra"s and policies %or i"ple"entation3 )A. To su!"it within thirty &9<' days a%ter the close o% each %iscal year an annual report to the President o% the Philippines and to su!"it a periodic report whenever dee"ed necessary3 and )B. To per%or" such other tas$s as "ay !e assi ned or directed !y the President o% the Philippines." 8cU .. T+! MMC *%" &+! ;)!n&r%$ o,!rn-!n&; o. M!&ro M%nila %or the purpose o% esta!lishin and ad"inisterin pro ra"s providin services co""on to the area. As a "central overn"ent" it had the power to levy and collect ta2es and special assess"ents, the power to char e and collect %ees3 the power to appropriate "oney %or its operation, and at the sa"e ti"e, review appropriations %or the city and "unicipal units within its .urisdiction. -t was !estowed the power to enact or approve ordinances, resolutions and %i2 penalties %or violation o% such ordinances and resolutions. -t also had the power to review, a"end, revise or repeal all ordinances, resolutions and acts o% any o% the %our &A' cities and thirteen &)9' "unicipalities co"prisin 0etro 0anila. P. (. ?o. *6A %urther provided: "%ec* 2. @ntil otherwise provided, the overn"ents o% the %our cities and thirteen "unicipalities in the 0etropolitan 0anila shall continue to e2ist in their present %or" e2cept as "ay !e inconsistent with this (ecree. T+! -!-2!r" o. &+! !1("&(n )(&3 %n# -un()('%$ )oun)($" (n M!&ro'o$(&%n M%n($% "+%$$, u'on 'ro-u$ %&(on o. &+(" D!)r!!, %n# un&($ D!)!-2!r B/, /05:, 2!)o-! -!-2!r" o. &+! S%n un(%n B%3%n *+()+ (" +!r!23 )r!%&!# .or !,!r3 )(&3 %n# -un()('%$(&3 o. M!&ro'o$(&%n M%n($%. -n addition, the 8an unian #ayan shall !e co"posed o% as "any !aran ay captains as "ay !e deter"ined and chosen !y the Co""ission, and such nu"!er o% representatives %ro" other sectors o% the society as "ay !e appointed !y the President upon reco""endation o% the Co""ission. 2 2 2.

T+! S%n un(%n B%3%n -%3 r!)o--!n# &o &+! Co--(""(on or#(n%n)!", r!"o$u&(on" or "u)+ -!%"ur!" %" (& -%3 %#o'&? Pro,(#!#, &+%& no "u)+ or#(n%n)!, r!"o$u&(on or -!%"ur! "+%$$ 2!)o-! !..!)&(,!, un&($ %.&!r (&" %''ro,%$ 23 &+! Co--(""(on? %n# Pro,(#!# .ur&+!r, &+%& &+! 'o*!r &o (-'o"! &%1!" %n# o&+!r $!,(!", &+! 'o*!r &o %''ro'r(%&! -on!3 %n# &+! 'o*!r &o '%"" or#(n%n)!" or r!"o$u&(on" *(&+ '!n%$ "%n)&(on" "+%$$ 2! ,!"&!# !1)$u"(,!$3 (n &+! Co--(""(on.; T+! )r!%&(on o. &+! MMC %$"o )%rr(!# *(&+ (& &+! )r!%&(on o. &+! S%n un(%n B%3%n. This was co"posed o% the "e"!ers o% the co"ponent city and "unicipal councils, !aran ay captains chosen !y the 00C and sectoral representatives appointed !y the President. The S%n un(%n B%3%n had the power to reco""end to the 00C the adoption o% ordinances, resolutions or "easures. I& *%" &+! MMC (&"!$., +o*!,!r, &+%& 'o""!""!# $! ("$%&(,! 'o*!r". All ordinances, resolutions and "easures reco""ended !y theS%n un(%n B%3%n were su!.ect to the 00CQs approval. 0oreover, the power to i"pose ta2es and other levies, the power to appropriate "oney, and the power to pass ordinances or resolutions with penal sanctions were vested e2clusively in the 00C. 8ce=dp T+u", M!&ro'o$(&%n M%n($% +%# % ;)!n&r%$ o,!rn-!n&,; i.e., &+! MMC *+()+ .u$$3 'o""!""!# $! ("$%&(,! %n# 'o$()! 'o*!r". 4+%&!,!r $! ("$%&(,! 'o*!r" &+! )o-'on!n& )(&(!" %n# -un()('%$(&(!" +%# *!r! %$$ "u2<!)& &o r!,(!* %n# %''ro,%$ 23 &+! MMC. A.&!r Pr!"(#!n& Cor%=on A>u(no %""u-!# 'o*!r, there was a cla"or to restore the autono"y o% the local overn"ent units in 0etro 0anila. Cence, 8ections ) and 6 o% Article : o% the ),*7 Constitution provided: 8.S c. "%ection +. The territorial and political su!divisions o% the Repu!lic o% the Philippines are the provinces, cities, "unicipalities and !aran ays. There shall !e autono"ous re ions in 0usli" 0indanao and the Cordilleras as herein provided. %ection 2. The territorial and political su!divisions shall en.oy local autono"y."

The Constitution, however, reco ni/ed the necessity o% creatin "etropolitan re ions not only in the e2istin ?ational Capital Re ion !ut also in potential e5uivalents in the Visayas and 0indanao.IA9J 8ection )) o% the sa"e Article : thus provided: "%ection ++. The Con ress "ay, !y law, create special "etropolitan political su!divisions, su!.ect to a ple!iscite as set %orth in 8ection )< hereo%. The co"ponent cities and "unicipalities shall retain their !asic autono"y and shall !e entitled to their own local e2ecutives and le islative asse"!lies. The .urisdiction o% the "etropolitan authority that will there!y !e created shall !e li"ited to !asic services re5uirin coordination." The Constitution itsel% e2pressly provides that Con ress "ay, !y law, create "special "etropolitan political su!divisions" which shall !e su!.ect to approval !y a "a.ority o% the votes cast in a ple!iscite in the political units directly a%%ected3 the .urisdiction o% this su!division shall !e li"ited to !asic services re5uirin coordination3 and the cities and "unicipalities co"prisin this su!division shall retain their !asic autono"y and their own local e2ecutive and le islative asse"!lies. IAAJ Pendin enact"ent o% this law, the Transitory Provisions o% the Constitution ave the President o% the Philippines the power to constitute the 0etropolitan Authority, vi/: "%ection 3. @ntil otherwise provided !y Con ress, the President "ay constitute the 0etropolitan Authority to !e co"posed o% the heads o% all local overn"ent units co"prisin the 0etropolitan 0anila area."IABJ In /00D, Pr!"(#!n& A>u(no (""u!# E1!)u&(,! Or#!r (E. O.) No. B06 %n# )on"&(&u&!# &+! M!&ro'o$(&%n M%n($% Au&+or(&3 (MMA). T+! 'o*!r" %n# .un)&(on" o. &+! MMC *!r! #!,o$,!# &o &+! MMA.IA+J I& ou +& &o 2! "&r!""!#, +o*!,!r, &+%& no& %$$ 'o*!r" %n# .un)&(on" o. &+! MMC *!r! '%""!# &o &+! MMA. T+! MMAA" 'o*!r *%" $(-(&!# &o &+! ;#!$(,!r3 o. 2%"() ur2%n "!r,()!" r!>u(r(n )oor#(n%&(on (n M!&ro'o$(&%n M%n($%.;IA7J T+! MMAA" o,!rn(n 2o#3, &+! M!&ro'o$(&%n M%n($% Coun)($, %$&+ou + )o-'o"!# o. &+! -%3or" o. &+! )o-'on!n& )(&(!" %n# -un()('%$(&(!", *%" -!r!$3 (,!n &+! 'o*!r o.: (/) .or-u$%&(on o. 'o$()(!" on &+! #!$(,!r3 o. 2%"() "!r,()!" r!>u(r(n )oor#(n%&(on %n# )on"o$(#%&(on? %n# (6) 'ro-u$ %&(on o. r!"o$u&(on" %n# o&+!r (""u%n)!", %''ro,%$ o. % )o#! o. 2%"() "!r,()!" %n# &+! !1!r)("! o. (&" ru$!--%@(n 'o*!r.IA*J

Un#!r &+! /0G5 Con"&(&u&(on, the local overn"ent units !eca"e pri"arily responsi!le %or the overnance o% their respective political su!divisions. The MMAA" <ur("#()&(on *%" $(-(&!# to addressin co""on pro!le"s involvin !asic services that transcended local !oundaries. I& #(# no& +%,! $! ("$%&(,! 'o*!r. -ts power was "erely to provide the local overn"ent units technical assistance in the preparation o% local develop"ent plans. Any se"!lance o% le islative power it had was con%ined to a "review Io%J le islation proposed !y the local le islative asse"!lies to ensure consistency a"on local overn"ents and with the co"prehensive develop"ent plan o% 0etro 0anila," and to "advise the local overn"ents accordin ly."IA,J 4+!n R.A. No. 5067 &oo@ !..!)&, M!&ro'o$(&%n M%n($% 2!)%-! % ;"'!)(%$ #!,!$o'-!n& %n# %#-(n("&r%&(,! r! (on; %n# &+! MMDA % ;"'!)(%$ #!,!$o'-!n& %u&+or(&3; *+o"! .un)&(on" *!r! ;*(&+ou& 'r!<u#()! &o &+! %u&ono-3 o. &+! %..!)&!# $o)%$ o,!rn-!n& un(&".; T+! )+%r%)&!r o. &+! MMDA *%" )$!%r$3 #!.(n!# (n &+! $! ("$%&(,! #!2%&!" !n%)&(n (&" )+%r&!r. R. A. ?o. 7,6A ori inated as Couse #ill ?o. )A)7<D ))))+ and was introduced !y several le islators led !y (ante Tin a, Roilo Gole/ and 4eliciano #el"onte. -t was presented to the Couse o% Representatives !y the Co""ittee on ;ocal Govern"ents chaired !y Con ress"an Ciriaco R. Al%elor. The !ill was a product o% Co""ittee consultations with the local overn"ent units in the ?ational Capital Re ion &?CR', with %or"er Chair"en o% the 00C and 00A,IB<J and career o%%icials o% said a encies. Ghen the !ill was %irst ta$en up !y the Co""ittee on ;ocal Govern"ents, the %ollowin de!ate too$ place: "TCF CCA-R0A? ICon. Ciriaco Al%elorJ: O$ay, ;et "e e2plain. This has !een de!ated a lon ti"e a o, you $now. -tQs a specialV we can create a special "etropolitan political su!division. 8upre"eS Actually, there are only si2 &+' political su!divisions provided %or in the Constitution: !aran ay, "unicipality, city, province, and we have the Autono"ous Re ion o% 0indanao and we have the Cordillera. 8o we have +. ?owV.

CO?. IFliasJ ;OPFH: 0ay - interrupt, 0r. Chair"an. -n the case o% the Autono"ous Re ion, that is also speci%ically "andated !y the Constitution. TCF CCA-R0A?: ThatQs correct. #ut it is considered to !e a political su!division. 4+%& (" &+! -!%n(n o. % 'o$(&()%$ "u2#(,("(onH M!%n(n &o "%3, &+%& (& +%" (&" o*n o,!rn-!n&, (& +%" (&" o*n 'o$(&()%$ '!r"on%$(&3, (& +%" &+! 'o*!r &o &%1, %n# %$$ o,!rn-!n&%$ 'o*!r": 'o$()! 'o*!r %n# !,!r3&+(n . A$$ r( +&. Au&+or(&3 (" #(..!r!n&? 2!)%u"! (& #o!" no& +%,! (&" o*n o,!rn-!n&. I& (" on$3 % )oun)($, (& (" %n or %n(=%&(on o. 'o$(&()%$ "u2#(,("(on, 'o*!r", Ino, *+()+ (" no& (-2u!# *(&+ %n3 'o$(&()%$ 'o*!r. Fs""is I. 3ou o o,!r S!)&(on C, *+!r! &+! 'o*!r" %n# .un)&(on" o. &+! M!&ro M%n($% D!,!$o'-!n& Au&+or(&3, (& (" 'ur!$3 )oor#(n%&(,!. An# (& 'ro,(#!" +!r! &+%& &+! )oun)($ (" 'o$()3--%@(n . All ri ht. @nder the Constitution is a 0etropolitan Authority with coordinative power. 0eanin to say, it coordinates all o% the di%%erent !asic services which have to !e delivered to the constituency. All ri ht. There is now a pro!le". Fach local overn"ent unit is iven its respectiveV as a political su!division. Kaloo$an has its powers, as provided %or and protected and uaranteed !y the Constitution. All ri ht, the e2ercise. Cowever, in the e2ercise o% that power, it "i ht !e deleterious and disadvanta eous to other local overn"ent units. 8o, we are %or"in an authority where all o% these will !e "e"!ers and then set up a policy in order that the !asic services can !e e%%ectively coordinated. All ri ht. .ustice O. )our"!, *! )%nno& #!n3 &+%& &+! MMDA +%" &o "ur,(,!. 4! +%,! &o 'ro,(#! "o-! .un#", r!"our)!". Bu& (& #o!" no& 'o""!"" %n3 'o$(&()%$ 'o*!r. 4! #o no& !$!)& &+! Go,!rnor. 4! #o no& +%,! &+! 'o*!r &o &%1. As a "atter o% %act, - was tryin to inti"ate to the author that it "ust have the power to sue and !e sued !ecause it coordinates. All ri ht. -t coordinates practically all these !asic services so that the %low and the distri!ution o% the !asic services will !e continuous. ;i$e tra%%ic, we cannot deny that. -tQs !e%ore our eyes. 8ewera e, %lood control, water syste", peace and order, we cannot deny these. -tQs ri ht on our %ace.

Ge have to loo$ %or a solution. Ghat would !e the ri ht solutionN All ri ht, we envision that there should !e a coordinatin a ency and it is called an authority. All ri ht, i% you do not want to call it an authority, itQs alri ht. Ge "ay call it a council or "ay!e a "ana e"ent a ency. 2 2 2."IB)J C$!%r$3, &+! MMDA (" no& % 'o$(&()%$ un(& o. o,!rn-!n&. The power dele ated to the 00(A is that iven to the 0etro 0anila Council to pro"ul ate ad"inistrative rules and re ulations in the i"ple"entation o% the 00(AQs %unctions. T+!r! (" no r%n& o. %u&+or(&3 &o !n%)& or#(n%n)!" %n# r! u$%&(on" .or &+! !n!r%$ *!$.%r! o. &+! (n+%2(&%n&" o. &+! -!&ro'o$(". This was e2plicitly stated in the last Co""ittee deli!erations prior to the !illQs presentation to Con ress. Thus: Fd=p "TCF CCA-R0A?: Eeah, !ut we have to o over the su ested revision. - thin$ this was already approved !e%ore, !ut it was reconsidered in view o% the proposals, set=up, to "a$e the 00(A stron er. O$ay, so i% there is no o!.ection to para raph "%"V And then ne2t is para raph "!," under 8ection +. ;I& "+%$$ %''ro,! -!&ro-*(#! '$%n", 'ro r%-" %n# 'ro<!)&" %n# (""u! or#(n%n)!" or r!"o$u&(on" #!!-!# n!)!""%r3 23 &+! MMDA &o )%rr3 ou& &+! 'ur'o"!" o. &+(" A)&.; Do 3ou +%,! &+! 'o*!r"H Do!" &+! MMDA J 2!)%u"! &+%& &%@!" &+! .or- o. % $o)%$ o,!rn-!n& un(&, % 'o$(&()%$ "u2#(,("(on. CO?. I4elicianoJ #F;0O?TF: Ees, - !elieve so, your Conor. Ghen we say that it has the policies, itQs very clear that those policies "ust !e %ollowed. Otherwise, whatQs the use o% e"powerin it to co"e out with policies. ?ow, the policies "ay !e in the %or" o% a resolution or it "ay !e in the %or" o% a ordinance. The ter" "ordinance" in this case really ives it "ore teeth, your honor. Otherwise, we are oin to see a situation where you have the power to adopt the policy !ut you cannot really "a$e it stic$ as in the case now, and - thin$ here is Chair"an #unye. - thin$ he will a ree that that is the case now. EouQve ot the power to set a policy, the !ody wants to %ollow your policy, then we say letQs call it an ordinance and see i% they will not %ollow it. TCF CCA-R0A?: ThatQs very nice. - li$e that. Ho*!,!r, &+!r! (" % )on"&(&u&(on%$ (-'!#(-!n&. You %r!

-%@(n &+(" MMDA % 'o$(&()%$ "u2#(,("(on. T+! )r!%&(on o. &+! MMDA *ou$# 2! "u2<!)& &o % '$!2(")(&!. T+%& (" *+%& IA- &r3(n &o %,o(#. IA,! 2!!n &r3(n &o %,o(# &+(" @(n# o. 'r!#()%-!n&. Un#!r &+! Con"&(&u&(on (& "&%&!": (. (& (" % 'o$(&()%$ "u2#(,("(on, on)! (& (" )r!%&!# (& +%" &o 2! "u2<!)& &o % '$!2(")(&!. IA- &r3(n &o -%@! &+(" %" %#-(n("&r%&(,!. T+%&A" *+3 *! '$%)! &+! C+%(r-%n %" % )%2(n!& r%n@. CO?. #F;0O?TF: All ri ht, 0r. Chair"an, o$ay, what you are sayin there is V. THE CHAIRMAN: In "!&&(n u' or#(n%n)!", (& (" % 'o$(&()%$ !1!r)("!. B!$(!,! -!. HON. 8E$(%"9 LOPEZ: Mr. C+%(r-%n, (& )%n 2! )+%n !# (n&o (""u%n)!" o. ru$!" %n# r! u$%&(on". T+%& *ou$# 2! J (& "+%$$ %$"o 2! !n.or)!#. >$s"S R U HON. BELMONTE: O@%3, I *($$ J. HON. LOPEZ: An# 3ou )%n %$"o "%3 &+%& ,(o$%&(on o. "u)+ ru$!, 3ou (-'o"! % "%n)&(on. Bu& 3ou @no*, or#(n%n)! +%" % #(..!r!n& $! %$ )onno&%&(on. HON. BELMONTE: A$$ r( +&. I #!.!r &o &+%& o'(n(on, 3our Honor. sc THE CHAIRMAN: So (n"&!%# o. or#(n%n)!", "%3 ru$!" %n# r! u$%&(on". HON. BELMONTE: Or r!"o$u&(on". A)&u%$$3, &+!3 %r! %)&u%$$3 )on"(#!r(n r!"o$u&(on" no*. THE CHAIRMAN: Ru$!" %n# r!"o$u&(on". HON. BELMONTE: Ru$!", r! u$%&(on" %n# r!"o$u&(on".;IB6J The dra%t o% C. #. ?o. )A)7<D ))))+ was presented !y the Co""ittee to the Couse o% Representatives. The e2planatory note to the !ill stated that the proposed 00(A is a "develop"ent authority" which is a "national a ency, not a political overn"ent unit."IB9J The e2planatory note was adopted as the sponsorship speech o% the Co""ittee on ;ocal Govern"ents. ?o

interpellations or de!ates were "ade on the %loor and no a"end"ents introduced. The !ill was approved on second readin on the sa"e day it was presented. IBAJ Ghen the !ill was %orwarded to the 8enate, several a"end"ents were "ade. These a"end"ents, however, did not a%%ect the nature o% the 00(A as ori inally conceived in the Couse o% Representatives. IBBJ I& (" &+u" 2!3on# #ou2& &+%& &+! MMDA (" no& % $o)%$ o,!rn-!n& un(& or % 'u2$() )or'or%&(on !n#o*!# *(&+ $! ("$%&(,! 'o*!r. -t is not even a "special "etropolitan political su!division" as conte"plated in 8ection )), Article : o% the Constitution. The creation o% a "special "etropolitan political su!division" re5uires the approval !y a "a.ority o% the votes cast in a ple!iscite in the political units directly a%%ected.IB+J R. A. ?o. 7,6A was not su!"itted to the inha!itants o% 0etro 0anila in a ple!iscite. The Chair"an o% the 00(A is not an o%%icial elected !y the people, !ut appointed !y the President with the ran$ and privile es o% a ca!inet "e"!er. -n %act, part o% his %unction is to per%or" such other duties as "ay !e assi ned to hi" !y the President,IB7J whereas in local overn"ent units, the President "erely e2ercises supervisory authority. This e"phasi/es the %#-(n("&r%&(,! )+%r%)&!ro% the 00(A. ?ew"iso C$!%r$3 &+!n, &+! MMC un#!r P. D. No. G67 (" no& &+! "%-! !n&(&3 %" &+! MMDA un#!r R. A. No. 5067. Un$(@! &+! MMC, &+! MMDA +%" no 'o*!r &o !n%)& or#(n%n)!" .or &+! *!$.%r! o. &+! )o--un(&3. -t is the local overn"ent units, actin throu h their respective le islative councils, that possess le islative power and police power. -n the case at !ar, the 8an unian Panlun sod o% 0a$ati City did not pass any ordinance or resolution orderin the openin o% ?eptune 8treet, hence, its proposed openin !y petitioner 00(A is ille al and the respondent Court o% Appeals did not err in so rulin . Ge desist %ro" rulin on the other issues as they are unnecessary. Fs"so Ge stress that this decision does not "a$e li ht o% the 00(AQs no!le e%%orts to solve the chaotic tra%%ic condition in 0etro 0anila. Fveryday, tra%%ic .a"s and tra%%ic !ottlenec$s pla ue the "etropolis. Fven our once sprawlin !oulevards and avenues are now cra""ed with cars while city streets are clo ed with "otorists and pedestrians. Tra%%ic has !eco"e a social "alaise a%%ectin our peopleQs productivity and the e%%icient delivery o%

oods and services in the country. The 00(A was created to put so"e order in the "etropolitan transportation syste" !ut un%ortunately the powers ranted !y its charter are li"ited. -ts ood intentions cannot .usti%y the openin %or pu!lic use o% a private street in a private su!division without any le al warrant. The pro"otion o% the eneral wel%are is not antithetical to the preservation o% the rule o% law. 8d.ad IN VIE4 4HEREOE, the petition is denied. The (ecision and Resolution o% the Court o% Appeals in CA=G.R. 8P ?o. 9,BA, are a%%ir"ed. THE PROVINCE OE BATANGAS, r!'r!"!n&!# 23 (&" Go,!rnor, HERMILANDO I. MANDANAS, petitioner, vs. HON. ALBERTO G. ROMULO, E1!)u&(,! S!)r!&%r3 %n# C+%(r-%n o. &+! O,!r"( +& Co--(&&!! on D!,o$u&(on? HON. EMILIA BONCODIN, S!)r!&%r3, D!'%r&-!n& o. Bu# !& %n# M%n% !-!n&? HON. KOSE D. LINA, KR., S!)r!&%r3, D!'%r&-!n& o. In&!r(or %n# Lo)%$ Go,!rn-!n&, respondents. The Province o% #atan as, represented !y its Governor, Cer"ilando -. 0andanas, %iled the present petition %or certiorari, prohi!ition and "anda"us under Rule +B o% the Rules o% Court, as a"ended, to declare as unconstitutional and void certain provisos contained in the General Appropriations Acts &GAA' o% ),,,, 6<<< and 6<<), inso%ar as they uni%or"ly ear"ar$ed %or each correspondin year the a"ount o% %ive !illion pesos &PB,<<<,<<<,<<<.<<' o% the -nternal Revenue Allot"ent &-RA' %or the ;ocal Govern"ent 8ervice F5uali/ation 4und &;G8F4' and i"posed conditions %or the release thereo%. ?a"ed as respondents are F2ecutive 8ecretary Al!erto G. Ro"ulo, in his capacity as Chair"an o% the Oversi ht Co""ittee on (evolution, 8ecretary F"ilia #oncodin o% the (epart"ent o% #ud et and 0ana e"ent &(#0' and 8ecretary >ose ;ina o% the (epart"ent o% -nterior and ;ocal Govern"ent &(-;G'.

#ac$ round On (ece"!er 7, ),,*, then President >oseph F.ercito Fstrada issued F2ecutive Order &F.O.' ?o. A* entitled WF8TA#;-8C-?G A PROGRA0 4OR (FVO;@T-O? A(>@8T0F?T A?( FL@A;-HAT-O?.X The pro ra" was esta!lished to W%acilitate the process o% enhancin the

capacities o% local overn"ent units &;G@s' in the dischar e o% the %unctions and services devolved to the" !y the ?ational Govern"ent A encies concerned pursuant to the ;ocal Govern"ent Code.X I)J The Oversi ht Co""ittee &re%erred to as the (evolution Co""ittee in F.O. ?o. A*' constituted under 8ection B99&!' o% Repu!lic Act ?o. 7)+< &The ;ocal Govern"ent Code o% ),,)' has !een tas$ed to %or"ulate and issue the appropriate rules and re ulations necessary %or its e%%ective i"ple"entation.I6J 4urther, to address the %undin short%alls o% %unctions and services devolved to the ;G@s and other %undin re5uire"ents o% the pro ra", the W(evolution Ad.ust"ent and F5uali/ation 4undX was created.I9J 4or ),,*, the (#0 was directed to set aside an a"ount to !e deter"ined !y the Oversi ht Co""ittee !ased on the devolution status appraisal surveys underta$en !y the (-;G.IAJ The initial %und was to !e sourced %ro" the availa!le savin s o% the national overn"ent %or CE ),,*.IBJ 4or ),,, and the succeedin years, the correspondin a"ount re5uired to sustain the pro ra" was to !e incorporated in the annual GAA.I+J The Oversi ht Co""ittee has !een authori/ed to issue the i"ple"entin rules and re ulations overnin the e5uita!le allocation and distri!ution o% said %und to the ;G@s.I7J

and distri!ution o% said %und a"on local overn"ent units su!.ect to the uidelines that "ay !e prescri!ed !y the Oversi ht Co""ittee on (evolution as constituted pursuant to #oo$ -V, Title ---, 8ection B99&!' o% R.A. ?o. 7)+<. The -nternal Revenue Allot"ent shall !e released directly !y the (epart"ent o% #ud et and 0ana e"ent to the ;ocal Govern"ent @nits concerned. On >uly 6*, ),,,, the Oversi ht Co""ittee &with then F2ecutive 8ecretary Ronaldo #. Ha"ora as Chair"an' passed Resolution ?os. OC(=,,=<<9, OC(=,,=<<B and OC(=,,=<<+ entitled as %ollows: OC(=,,=<<B RF8O;@T-O? A(OPT-?G TCF A;;OCAT-O? 8CCF0F 4OR TCF PhPB #-;;-O? CE ),,, ;OCA; GOVFR?0F?T 8FRV-CF FL@A;-HAT-O? 4@?( &;G8F4' A?( RFL@F8T-?G C-8 F:CF;;F?CE PRF8-(F?T >O8FPC F>FRC-TO F8TRA(A TO APPROVF 8A-( A;;OCAT-O? 8CCF0F. OC(=,,=<<+ RF8O;@T-O? A(OPT-?G TCF A;;OCAT-O? 8CCF0F 4OR TCF PhPA.< #-;;-O? O4 TCF ),,, ;OCA; GOVFR?0F?T 8FRV-CF FL@A;-HAT-O? 4@?( A?( -T8 CO?CO0-TA?T GF?FRA; 4RA0FGORK, -0P;F0F?T-?G G@-(F;-?F8 A?( 0FCCA?-C8 4OR -T8 -0P;F0F?TAT-O? A?( RF;FA8F, A8 PRO0@;GATF( #E TCF OVFR8-GCT CO00-TTFF O? (FVO;@T-O?. OC(=,,=<<9 RF8O;@T-O? RFL@F8T-?G C-8 F:CF;;F?CE PRF8-(F?T >O8FPC F>FRC-TO F8TRA(A TO APPROVF TCF RFL@F8T O4 TCF OVFR8-GCT CO00-TTFF O? (FVO;@T-O? TO 8FT A8-(F TGF?TE PFRCF?T &6<O' O4 TCF ;OCA; GOVFR?0F?T 8FRV-CF FL@A;-HAT-O? 4@?( &;G8F4' 4OR ;OCA; A44-R0AT-VF ACT-O? PRO>FCT8 A?( OTCFR PR-OR-TE -?-T-AT-VF8 4OR ;G@s -?8T-T@T-O?A; A?( CAPA#-;-TE #@-;(-?G -? ACCOR(A?CF G-TC TCF -0P;F0F?T-?G G@-(F;-?F8 A?( 0FCCA?-C8 A8 PRO0@;GATF( #E TCF CO00-TTFF. These OC( resolutions were approved !y then President Fstrada on Octo!er +, ),,,.

@nder the allocation sche"e adopted pursuant to Resolution ?o. OC(=,,=<<B, the %ive !illion pesos ;G8F4 was to !e allocated as %ollows: ). The PhPA #illion o% the ;G8F4 shall !e allocated in accordance with the allocation sche"e and i"ple"entin uidelines and "echanics pro"ul ated and adopted !y the OC(. To wit: a. The %irst PhP6 #illion o% the ;G8F4 shall !e allocated in accordance with the codal %or"ula sharin sche"e as prescri!ed under the ),,) ;ocal Govern"ent Code3 !. The second PhP6 #illion o% the ;G8F4 shall !e allocated in accordance with a "odi%ied ),,6 cost o% devolution %und &CO(F4' sharin sche"e, as reco""ended !y the respective lea ues o% provinces, cities and "unicipalities to the OC(. The "odi%ied CO(F4 sharin %or"ula is as %ollows: Province : A<O Cities : 6<O 0unicipalities : A<O This is applied to the P6 #illion a%ter the approved a"ounts ranted to individual provinces, cities and "unicipalities as assistance to cover decrease in ),,, -RA share due to reduction in land area have !een ta$en out. 6. The re"ainin PhP) #illion o% the ;G8F4 shall !e ear"ar$ed to support local a%%ir"ative action pro.ects and other priority initiatives su!"itted !y ;G@s to the Oversi ht Co""ittee on (evolution %or approval in accordance with its prescri!ed uidelines as pro"ul ated and adopted !y the OC(. -n Resolution ?o. OC(=,,=<<9, the Oversi ht Co""ittee set aside the one !illion pesos or 6<O o% the ;G8F4 to support ;ocal A%%ir"ative Action Pro.ects &;AAPs' o% ;G@s. This re"ainin a"ount was intended to Wrespond to the ur ent need %or additional %unds assistance, otherwise not availa!le within the para"eters o% other e2istin %und sources.X 4or ;G@s to !e eli i!le %or %undin under the one=!illion=peso portion o% the ;G8F4, the OC( pro"ul ated the %ollowin : ---. CR-TFR-A 4OR F;-G-#-;-TE:

4he 5)%E. in the )'' of +222 -n Repu!lic Act ?o. *7AB, otherwise $nown as the GAA o% ),,,, the pro ra" was rena"ed as the ;OCA; GOVFR?0F?T 8FRV-CF FL@A;-HAT-O? 4@?( &;G8F4'. @nder said appropriations law, the a"ount o% P,+,7*<,<<<,<<< was allotted as the share o% the ;G@s in the internal revenue ta2es. -te" ?o. ), 8pecial Provisions, Title :::V- T A. -nternal Revenue Allot"ent o% Rep. Act ?o. *7AB contained the %ollowin proviso: ... PROV-(F(, That the a"ount o% 4-VF #-;;-O? PF8O8 &PB,<<<,<<<,<<<' shall !e ear"ar$ed %or the ;ocal Govern"ent 8ervice F5uali/ation 4und %or the %undin re5uire"ents o% pro.ects and activities arisin %ro" the %ull and e%%icient i"ple"entation o% devolved %unctions and services o% local overn"ent units pursuant to R.A. ?o. 7)+<, otherwise $nown as the ;ocal Govern"ent Code o% ),,): PROV-(F(, 4@RTCFR, That such a"ount shall !e released to the local overn"ent units su!.ect to the i"ple"entin rules and re ulations, includin such "echanis"s and uidelines %or the e5uita!le allocations

). ;G@s &province, city, "unicipality, or !aran ay', individually or !y roup or "ulti=;G@s or lea ues o% ;G@s, especially those !elon in to the Bth and +th class, "ay access the %und to support any pro.ects or activities that satis%y any o% the a%orecited purposes. A !aran ay "ay also access this %und directly or throu h their respective "unicipality or city. 6. The proposed pro.ectDactivity should !e need=!ased, a local priority, with hi h develop"ent i"pact and are con ruent with the socio=cultural, econo"ic and develop"ent a enda o% the Fstrada Ad"inistration, such as %ood security, poverty alleviation, electri%ication, and peace and order, a"on others. 9. Fli i!le %or %undin under this %und are pro.ects arisin %ro", !ut not li"ited to, the %ollowin areas o% concern: a. delivery o% local health and sanitation services, hospital services and other tertiary services3 !. delivery o% social wel%are services3

$. other pro.ects that "ay !e authori/ed !y the OC( consistent with the a%ore"entioned o!.ectives and uidelines3 A. F2cept on e2tre"ely "eritorious cases, as "ay !e deter"ined !y the Oversi ht Co""ittee on (evolution, this portion o% the ;G8F4 shall not !e used in e2penditures %or personal costs or !ene%its under e2istin laws applica!le to overn"ents. Generally, this %und shall cover the %ollowin o!.ects o% e2penditures %or pro ra"s, pro.ects and activities arisin %ro" the i"ple"entation o% devolved and re ular %unctions and services: a. ac5uisitionDprocure"ent o% supplies and "aterials critical to the %ull and e%%ective i"ple"entation o% devolved pro ra"s, pro.ects and activities3 !. repair andDor i"prove"ent o% %acilities3 c. repair andDor up radin o% e5uip"ent3 d. ac5uisition o% !asic e5uip"ent3

and the e2pected i"pact to the local pro ra"Dpro.ect arisin %ro" the %ull and e%%icient i"ple"entation o% social services and %acilities, at the local levels3 &c' tar et outputs or $ey result areas3 &d' schedule o% activities and details o% re5uire"ents3 &e' total cost re5uire"ent o% the pro.ect3 &%' proponentQs counterpart %undin share, i% any, and identi%ied source&s' o% counterpart %unds %or the %ull i"ple"entation o% the pro.ect3 & ' re5uested a"ount o% pro.ect cost to !e covered !y the ;G8F4. 4urther, under the uidelines %or"ulated !y the Oversi ht Co""ittee as contained in Attach"ent = Resolution ?o. OC(=,,=<<9, the ;G@s were re5uired to identi%y the pro.ects eli i!le %or %undin under the one=!illion=peso portion o% the ;G8F4 and su!"it the pro.ect proposals thereo% and other docu"entary re5uire"ents to the (-;G %or appraisal. The pro.ect proposals that passed the (-;GQs appraisal would then !e su!"itted to the Oversi ht Co""ittee %or review, evaluation and approval. @pon its approval, the Oversi ht Co""ittee would then serve notice to the (#0 %or the preparation o% the 8pecial Allot"ent Release Order &8ARO' and ?otice o% Cash Allocation &?CA' to e%%ect the release o% %unds to the said ;G@s.

c. provision o% socio=cultural services and %acilities %or youth and co""unity develop"ent3 d. provision o% a ricultural and on=site related research3 e. i"prove"ent o% co""unity=!ased %orestry pro.ects and other local pro.ects on environ"ent and natural resources protection and conservation3 %. i"prove"ent o% touris" %acilities and pro"otion o% touris"3 . peace and order and pu!lic sa%ety3 h. construction, repair and "aintenance o% pu!lic wor$s and in%rastructure, includin pu!lic !uildin s and %acilities %or pu!lic use, especially those destroyed or da"a ed !y "an="ade or natural cala"ities and disaster as well as %acilities %or water supply, %lood control and river di$es3 i. provision o% local electri%ication %acilities3 .. livelihood and %ood production services, %acilities and e5uip"ent3

e. construction o% additional or new %acilities3 %. counterpart contri!ution to .oint arran e"ents or collective pro.ects a"on roups o% "unicipalities, cities andDor provinces related to devolution and delivery o% !asic services. B. To !e eli i!le %or %undin , an ;G@ or roup o% ;G@ shall su!"it to the Oversi ht Co""ittee on (evolution throu h the (epart"ent o% -nterior and ;ocal Govern"ents, within the prescri!ed schedule and ti"e%ra"e, a ;etter Re5uest %or 4undin 8upport %ro" the A%%ir"ative Action Pro ra" under the ;G8F4, duly si ned !y the concerned ;G@&s' and endorsed !y cooperators andDor !ene%iciaries, as well as the duly si ned Resolution o% Fndorse"ent !y the respective 8an unian&s' o% the ;G@s concerned. The ;G@=proponent shall also !e re5uired to su!"it the Pro.ect Re5uest &PR', usin OC( Pro.ect Re5uest 4or" ?o. ,,=<6, that details the %ollowin : &a' eneral description or !rie% o% the pro.ect3 &!' o!.ectives and .usti%ications %or underta$in the pro.ect, which should hi hli ht the !ene%its to the locality

4he 5)%E. in the )'' of 2666 @nder Rep. Act ?o. *7+<, otherwise $nown as the GAA o% 6<<<, the a"ount o% P))),77*,<<<,<<< was allotted as the share o% the ;G@s in the internal revenue ta2es. As in the GAA o% ),,,, the GAA o% 6<<< contained a proviso ear"ar$in %ive !illion pesos o% the -RA %or the ;G8F4. This proviso, %ound in -te" ?o. ), 8pecial Provisions, Title :::V-- T A. -nternal Revenue Allot"ent, was si"ilarly worded as that contained in the GAA o% ),,,. The Oversi ht Co""ittee, in its Resolution ?o. OC(= 6<<<=<69 dated >une 66, 6<<<, adopted the %ollowin

allocation sche"e %or 6<<<:

overnin

the %ive !illion pesos ;G8F4

). The PhP9.B #illion o% the CE 6<<< ;G8F4 shall !e allocated to and shared !y the %our levels o% ;G@s, i.e., provinces, cities, "unicipalities, and !aran ays, usin the %ollowin percenta e=sharin %or"ula a reed upon and .ointly endorsed !y the various ;ea ues o% ;G@s: 4or Provinces 6+O or P ,)<,<<<,<<< 4or Cities 69O or *<B,<<<,<<< 4or 0unicipalities 9BO or ),66B,<<<,<<< 4or #aran ays )+O or B+<,<<<,<<< Provided that the respective ;ea ues representin the provinces, cities, "unicipalities and !aran ays shall draw up and adopt the hori/ontal distri!utionDsharin sche"es a"on the "e"!er ;G@s where!y the ;ea ues concerned "ay opt to adopt direct %inancial assistance or pro.ect=!ased arran e"ent, such that the ;G8F4 allocation %or individual ;G@ shall !e released directly to the ;G@ concerned3 Provided %urther that the individual ;G8F4 shares to ;G@s are used in accordance with the eneral purposes and uidelines pro"ul ated !y the OC( %or the i"ple"entation o% the ;G8F4 at the local levels pursuant to Res. ?o. OC(=,,=<<+ dated Octo!er 7, ),,, and pursuant to the ;ea uesQ uidelines and "echanis" as approved !y the OC(3 Provided %urther that each o% the ;ea ues shall su!"it to the OC( %or its approval their respective allocation sche"e, the list o% ;G@s with the correspondin ;G8F4 shares and the correspondin pro.ect cate ories i% pro.ect=!ased3 Provided %urther that upon approval !y the OC(, the lists o% ;G@s shall !e endorsed to the (#0 as the !asis %or the preparation o% the correspondin ?CAs, 8AROs, and related !ud etDrelease docu"ents. 6. The re"ainin P),B<<,<<<,<<< o% the CE 6<<< ;G8F4 shall !e ear"ar$ed to support the %ollowin initiatives and local a%%ir"ative action pro.ects, to !e endorsed to and approved !y the Oversi ht Co""ittee on (evolution in accordance with the OC( a ree"ents, uidelines, procedures and docu"entary re5uire"ents:

On >uly B, 6<<<, then President Fstrada issued a 0e"orandu" authori/in then F2ecutive 8ecretary Ha"ora and the (#0 to i"ple"ent and release the 6.B !illion pesos ;G8F4 %or 6<<< in accordance with Resolution ?o. OC(=6<<<=<69. Therea%ter, the Oversi ht Co""ittee, now under the ad"inistration o% President Gloria 0acapa al=Arroyo, pro"ul ated Resolution ?o. OC(=6<<)=6, entitled WA(OPT-?G RF8O;@T-O? ?O. OC(=6<<<=<69 -? TCF A;;OCAT-O?, -0P;F0F?TAT-O? A?( RF;FA8F O4 TCF RF0A-?-?G P6.B #-;;-O? ;G8F4 4OR CE 6<<<.X @nder this resolution, the a"ount o% one !illion pesos o% the ;G8F4 was to !e released in accordance with para raph ) o% Resolution ?o. OC(=6<<<=69, to co"plete the 9.B !illion pesos allocated to the ;G@s, while the a"ount o% ).B !illion pesos was allocated %or the ;AAP. Cowever, out o% the latter a"ount, PA<<,<<<,<<< was to !e allocated and released as %ollows: PB<,<<<,<<< as %inancial assistance to the ;AAPs o% ;G@s3 P67B,9+<,667 as %inancial assistance to cover the decrease in the -RA o% ;G@s concerned due to reduction in land area3 andP7A,+9,,779 %or the ;G8F4 Capa!ility=#uildin 4und.

Provinces 6B Cities 6B 0unicipalities 9B #aran ays )B )<< P 9.<<< !illion

P <.7B< !illion <.7B< ).<B< <.AB<

RF8O;VF( 4@RTCFR, that the P)., # ear"ar$ed %or priority pro.ects shall !e distri!uted accordin to the %ollowin criteria: ).< 4or pro.ects o% the Ath, Bth and +th class ;G@s3 or

6.< Pro.ects in consonance with the PresidentQs 8tate o% the ?ation Address &8O?A'Dsu""it co""it"ents. RF8O;VF( 4@RTCFR, that the re"ainin P)<< "illion ;G8F4 capa!ility !uildin %und shall !e distri!uted in accordance with the reco""endation o% the ;ea ues o% Provinces, Cities, 0unicipalities and #aran ays, and approved !y the OC(. @pon receipt o% a copy o% the a!ove resolution, Gov. 0andanas wrote to the individual "e"!ers o% the Oversi ht Co""ittee see$in the reconsideration o% Resolution ?o. OC(=6<<6=<<). Ce also wrote to Pres. 0acapa al=Arroyo ur in her to disapprove said resolution as it violates the Constitution and the ;ocal Govern"ent Code o% ),,). On >anuary 6B, 6<<6, Pres. 0acapa al=Arroyo approved Resolution ?o. OC(=6<<6=<<).

4he 5)%E. in the )'' of 266+ -n view o% the %ailure o% Con ress to enact the eneral appropriations law %or 6<<), the GAA o% 6<<< was dee"ed re=enacted, to ether with the -RA o% the ;G@s therein and the proviso ear"ar$in %ive !illion pesos thereo% %or the ;G8F4. On >anuary ,, 6<<6, the Oversi ht Co""ittee adopted Resolution ?o. OC(=6<<6=<<) allocatin the %ive !illion pesos ;G8F4 %or 6<<) as %ollows: 0odi%ied Codal 4or"ula P 9.<<< !illion Priority Pro.ects ).,<< !illion Capa!ility #uildin 4und .)<< !illion P B.<<< !illion RF8O;VF( 4@RTCFR, that the P9.< # o% the CE 6<<) ;G8F4 which is to !e allocated accordin to the "odi%ied codal %or"ula shall !e released to the %our levels o% ;G@s, i.e., provinces, cities, "unicipalities and !aran ays, as %ollows: ;G@s Percenta e A"ount

The PetitionerQs Case The petitioner now co"es to this Court assailin as unconstitutional and void the provisos in the GAAs o% ),,,, 6<<< and 6<<), relatin to the ;G8F4. 8i"ilarly assailed are the Oversi ht Co""itteeQs Resolutions ?os. OC(=,,=<<9, OC(=,,=<<B, OC(=,,=<<+, OC(=6<<<=<69, OC(=6<<)=<6, and OC(=6<<6=<<) issued pursuant thereto. The petitioner su!"its that the assailed provisos in the GAAs and the OC( resolutions, inso%ar as they ear"ar$ed the a"ount o% %ive !illion pesos o% the -RA o% the ;G@s %or ),,,, 6<<< and 6<<) %or the ;G8F4 and i"posed conditions %or the release thereo%, violate the Constitution and the ;ocal Govern"ent Code o% ),,).

8ection +, Article : o% the Constitution is invo$ed as it "andates that the W.ust shareX o% the ;G@s shall !e auto"atically released to the". 8ections )* and 6*+ o% the ;ocal Govern"ent Code o% ),,), which en.oin that the W.ust shareX o% the ;G@s shall !e Wauto"atically and directlyX released to the" Wwithout need o% %urther actionX are, li$ewise, cited. The petitioner posits that to su!.ect the distri!ution and release o% the %ive=!illion=peso portion o% the -RA, classi%ied as the ;G8F4, to co"pliance !y the ;G@s with the i"ple"entin rules and re ulations, includin the "echanis"s and uidelines prescri!ed !y the Oversi ht Co""ittee, contravenes the e2plicit directive o% the Constitution that the ;G@sQ share in the national ta2es Wshall !e auto"atically released to the".X The petitioner "aintains that the use o% the word WshallX "ust !e iven a co"pulsory "eanin . To %urther !uttress this ar u"ent, the petitioner contends that to vest the Oversi ht Co""ittee with the authority to deter"ine the distri!ution and release o% the ;G8F4, which is a part o% the -RA o% the ;G@s, is an anathe"a to the principle o% local autono"y as e"!odied in the Constitution and the ;ocal Govern"ent Code o% ),,). The petitioner cites as an e2a"ple the e2perience in 6<<) when the release o% the ;G8F4 was lon delayed !ecause the Oversi ht Co""ittee was not a!le to convene that year and no uidelines were issued there%or. 4urther, the possi!le disapproval !y the Oversi ht Co""ittee o% the pro.ect proposals o% the ;G@s would result in the di"inution o% the latterQs share in the -RA. Another in%rin e"ent alle ed to !e occasioned !y the assailed OC( resolutions is the i"proper a"end"ent to 8ection 6*B o% the ;ocal Govern"ent Code o% ),,) on the percenta e sharin o% the -RA a"on the ;G@s. 8aid provision allocates the -RA as %ollows: Provinces T 69O3 Cities T 69O3 0unicipalities T 9AO3 and #aran ays T 6<O. I*J This %or"ula has !een i"properly a"ended or "odi%ied, with respect to the %ive=!illion=peso portion o% the -RA allotted %or the ;G8F4, !y the assailed OC( resolutions as they invaria!ly provided %or a di%%erent sharin sche"e. The "odi%ications alle edly constitute an ille al a"end"ent !y the e2ecutive !ranch o% a su!stantive law. 0oreover, the petitioner "entions that in the ;etter dated (ece"!er B, 6<<) o% respondent F2ecutive 8ecretary Ro"ulo addressed to respondent 8ecretary #oncodin, the %or"er endorsed to the latter the release o%

%unds to certain ;G@s %ro" the ;G8F4 in accordance "ith the hand"ritten instructions of President 'rroyo . Thus, the ;G@s are at a loss as to how a portion o% the ;G8F4 is actually allocated. 4urther, there are still portions o% the ;G8F4 that, to date, have not !een received !y the petitioner3 hence, resultin in da"a e and in.ury to the petitioner. The petitioner prays that the Court declare as unconstitutional and void the assailed provisos relatin to the ;G8F4 in the GAAs o% ),,,, 6<<< and 6<<) and the assailed OC( resolutions &Resolutions ?os. OC(=,,=<<9, OC(=,,=<<B, OC(=,,=<<+, OC(=6<<<=<69, OC(=6<<)=<6, and OC(=6<<6=<<)' issued !y the Oversi ht Co""ittee pursuant thereto. The petitioner, li$ewise, prays that the Court direct the respondents to recti%y the unlaw%ul and ille al distri!ution and releases o% the ;G8F4 %or the a%ore"entioned years and release the sa"e in accordance with the sharin %or"ula under 8ection 6*B o% the ;ocal Govern"ent Code o% ),,). 4inally, the petitioner ur es the Court to declare that the entire -RA should !e released auto"atically without %urther action !y the ;G@s as re5uired !y the Constitution and the ;ocal Govern"ent Code o% ),,).

includin appropriations laws such as the GAAs o% ),,,, 6<<< and 6<<), providin %or a di%%erent sharin %or"ula. 8ection 6*B o% the ;ocal Govern"ent Code o% ),,) was "erely intended to !e the Wde%ault shareX o% the ;G@s to do away with the need to deter"ine annually !y law their W.ust share.X Cowever, the ;G@s have no vested ri ht in a per"anent or %i2ed percenta e as Con ress "ay increase or decrease the W.ust shareX o% the ;G@s in accordance with what it !elieves is appropriate %or their operation. There is nothin in the Constitution which prohi!its Con ress %ro" "a$in such deter"ination throu h the appropriations laws. -% the provisions o% a particular statute, the GAA in this case, are within the constitutional power o% the le islature to enact, they should !e sustained whether the courts a ree or not in the wisdo" o% their enact"ent. On procedural rounds, the respondents ur e the Court to dis"iss the petition outri ht as the sa"e is de%ective. The petition alle edly raises %actual issues which should !e properly threshed out in the lower courts, not this Court, not !ein a trier o% %acts. 8peci%ically, the petitionerQs alle ation that there are portions o% the ;G8F4 that it has not, to date, received, there!y causin it &the petitioner' in.ury and da"a e, is su!.ect to proo% and "ust !e su!stantiated in the proper venue, i*e*, the lower courts. 4urther, accordin to the respondents, the petition has already !een rendered "oot and acade"ic as it no lon er presents a .usticia!le controversy. The -RAs %or the years ),,,, 6<<< and 6<<), have already !een released and the overn"ent is now operatin under the 6<<9 !ud et. -n support o% this, the respondents su!"itted certi%ications issued !y o%%icers o% the (#0 attestin to the release o% the allocation or shares o% the petitioner in the ;G8F4 %or ),,,, 6<<< and 6<<). There is, there%ore, nothin "ore to prohi!it. 4inally, the petitioner alle edly has no le al standin to !rin the suit !ecause it has not su%%ered any in.ury. -n %act, the petitionerQs W.ust shareX has even increased. Pursuant to 8ection 6*B o% the ;ocal Govern"ent Code o% ),,), the share o% the provinces is 69O. OC( ?os. ,,=<<B, ,,=<<+ and ,,=<<9 ave the provinces A<O o% P6 !illion o% the ;G8F4. OC( ?os. 6<<<= <69 and 6<<)=<6, apportioned 6+O o% P9.B !illion to the provinces. On the other hand, OC( ?o. 6<<)=<<) allocated 6BO o% P9 !illion to the provinces. Thus, the petitioner has not su%%ered any in.ury in the i"ple"entation o% the assailed provisos in the GAAs o% ),,,, 6<<< and 6<<) and the OC( resolutions.

The RespondentsQ Ar u"ents The respondents, throu h the O%%ice o% the 8olicitor General, ur e the Court to dis"iss the petition on procedural and su!stantive rounds. On the latter, the respondents contend that the assailed provisos in the GAAs o% ),,,, 6<<< and 6<<) and the assailed resolutions issued !y the Oversi ht Co""ittee are not constitutionally in%ir". The respondents advance the view that 8ection +, Article : o% the Constitution does not speci%y that the W.ust shareX o% the ;G@s shall !e deter"ined solely !y the ;ocal Govern"ent Code o% ),,). 0oreover, the phrase Was deter"ined !y lawX in the sa"e constitutional provision "eans that there e2ists no li"itation on the power o% Con ress to deter"ine what is the W.ust shareX o% the ;G@s in the national ta2es. -n other words, Con ress is the ar!iter o% what should !e the W.ust shareX o% the ;G@s in the national ta2es. The respondents %urther theori/e that 8ection 6*B o% the ;ocal Govern"ent Code o% ),,), which provides %or the percenta e sharin o% the -RA a"on the ;G@s, was not intended to !e a %i2ed deter"ination o% their W.ust shareX in the national ta2es. Con ress "ay enact other laws,

The Rulin o% the Court

Procedural Issues #e%ore resolvin the petition on its "erits, the Court shall %irst rule on the %ollowin procedural issues raised !y the respondents: &)' whether the petitioner has le al standin orlocus standi to %ile the present suit3 &6' whether the petition involves %actual 5uestions that are properly co ni/a!le !y the lower courts3 and &9' whether the issue had !een rendered "oot and acade"ic.

o% its share in the -RA, as provided under 8ection 6*B o% the ;ocal Govern"ent Code o% ),,), occasioned !y the i"ple"entation o% the assailed "easures. These alle ations are su%%icient to rant the petitioner standin to 5uestion the validity o% the assailed provisos in the GAAs o% ),,,, 6<<< and 6<<), and the OC( resolutions as the petitioner clearly has Wa plain, direct and ade5uate interestX in the "anner and distri!ution o% the -RA a"on the ;G@s.

Wtranscendental i"portanceX o% the case, as it necessarily involves the application o% the constitutional principle on local autono"y, cannot !e ainsaid. The nature o% the present controversy, there%ore, warrants the rela2ation !y this Court o% procedural rules in order to resolve the case %orthwith.

4he su#stantive issue needs to #e resolved not"ithstandin! the supervenin! events Grantin ar!uendo that, as contended !y the respondents, the resolution o% the case had already !een overta$en !y supervenin events as the -RA, includin the ;G8F4, %or ),,,, 6<<< and 6<<), had already !een released and the overn"ent is now operatin under a new appropriations law, still, there is co"pellin reason %or this Court to resolve the su!stantive issue raised !y the instant petition. 8upervenin events, whether intended or accidental, cannot prevent the Court %ro" renderin a decision i% there is a rave violation o% the Constitution.I)9J Fven in cases where supervenin events had "ade the cases "oot, the Court did not hesitate to resolve the le al or constitutional issues raised to %or"ulate controllin principles to uide the !ench, !ar and pu!lic.I)AJ Another reason .usti%yin the resolution !y this Court o% the su!stantive issue now !e%ore it is the rule that courts will decide a 5uestion otherwise "oot and acade"ic i% it is Wcapa!le o% repetition, yet evadin review.X I)BJ 4or the GAAs in the co"in years "ay contain provisos si"ilar to those now !ein sou ht to !e invalidated, and yet, the 5uestion "ay not !e decided !e%ore another GAA is enacted. -t, thus, !ehooves this Court to "a$e a cate orical rulin on the su!stantive issue now.

4he petition involves a si!nificant le!al issue The cru2 o% the instant controversy is whether the assailed provisos contained in the GAAs o% ),,,, 6<<< and 6<<), and the OC( resolutions in%rin e the Constitution and the ;ocal Govern"ent Code o% ),,). This is undou!tedly a le al 5uestion. On the other hand, the %ollowin %acts are not disputed: ). The ear"ar$in o% %ive !illion pesos o% the -RA %or the ;G8F4 in the assailed provisos in the GAAs o% ),,,, 6<<< and re=enacted !ud et %or 6<<)3 6. The pro"ul ation resolutions providin %or coverin the said %ive i"ple"entin rules and re o% the assailed OC( the allocation sche"es !illion pesos and the ulations there%or3 and

4he petitioner has locus standi to maintain the present suit The ist o% the 5uestion o% standin is whether a party has Walle ed such a personal sta$e in the outco"e o% the controversy as to assure that concrete adverseness which sharpens the presentation o% issues upon which the court so lar ely depends %or illu"ination o% di%%icult constitutional 5uestions.XI,J Accordin ly, it has !een held that the interest o% a party assailin the constitutionality o% a statute "ust !e direct and personal. 8uch party "ust !e a!le to show, not only that the law or any overn"ent act is invalid, !ut also that he has sustained or is in i""inent dan er o% sustainin so"e direct in.ury as a result o% its en%orce"ent, and not "erely that he su%%ers there!y in so"e inde%inite way. -t "ust appear that the person co"plainin has !een or is a!out to !e denied so"e ri ht or privile e to which he is law%ully entitled or that he is a!out to !e su!.ected to so"e !urdens or penalties !y reason o% the statute or act co"plained o%.I)<J The Court holds that the petitioner possesses the re5uisite standin to "aintain the present suit. The petitioner, a local overn"ent unit, see$s relie% in order to protect or vindicate an interest o% its own, and o% the other ;G@s. This interest pertains to the ;G@sQ share in the national ta2es or the -RA. The petitionerQs constitutional clai" is, in su!stance, that the assailed provisos in the GAAs o% ),,,, 6<<< and 6<<), and the OC( resolutions contravene 8ection +, Article : o% the Constitution, "andatin the Wauto"atic releaseX to the ;G@s o% their share in the national ta2es. 4urther, the in.ury that the petitioner clai"s to su%%er is the di"inution

9. The release o% the ;G8F4 to the ;G@s only upon their co"pliance with the i"ple"entin rules and re ulations, includin the uidelines and "echanis"s, prescri!ed !y the Oversi ht Co""ittee. Considerin that these %acts, which are necessary to resolve the le al 5uestion now !e%ore this Court, are no lon er in issue, the sa"e need not !e deter"ined !y a trial court.I))J-n any case, the rule on hierarchy o% courts will not prevent this Court %ro" assu"in .urisdiction over the petition. The said rule "ay !e rela2ed when the redress desired cannot !e o!tained in the appropriate courts or where e2ceptional and co"pellin circu"stances .usti%y avail"ent o% a re"edy within and callin %or the e2ercise o% this CourtQs pri"ary .urisdiction.
I)6J

%u#stantive Issue As earlier inti"ated, the resolution o% the su!stantive le al issue in this case calls %or the application o% a "ost i"portant constitutional policy and principle, that o% local autono"y.I)+J -n Article -- o% the Constitution, the 8tate has e2pressly adopted as a policy that:

The crucial le al issue su!"itted %or resolution o% this Court entails the proper le al interpretation o% constitutional and statutory provisions. 0oreover, the

8ection 6B. The 8tate shall ensure the autono"y o% local overn"ents. An entire article &Article :' o% the Constitution has !een devoted to uaranteein and pro"otin the autono"y o% ;G@s. 8ection 6 thereo% reiterates the 8tate policy in this wise: 8ection 6. The territorial and political su!divisions shall en.oy local autono"y. Consistent with the principle o% local autono"y, the Constitution con%ines the PresidentQs power over the ;G@s to one o% eneral supervision. I)7J This provision has !een interpreted to e2clude the power o% control. The distinction !etween the two powers was enunciated in Drilon v* 5im:I)*J An o%%icer in control lays down the rules in the doin o% an act. -% they are not %ollowed, he "ay, in his discretion, order the act undone or re=done !y his su!ordinate or he "ay even decide to do it hi"sel%. 8upervision does not cover such authority. The supervisor or superintendent "erely sees to it that the rules are %ollowed, !ut he hi"sel% does not lay down such rules, nor does he have the discretion to "odi%y or replace the". -% the rules are not o!served, he "ay order the wor$ done or re=done !ut only to con%or" to the prescri!ed rules. Ce "ay not prescri!e his own "anner %or doin the act. Ce has no .ud "ent on this "atter e2cept to see to it that the rules are %ollowed.I),J The ;ocal Govern"ent Code o% ),,) I6<J was enacted to %lesh out the "andate o% the Constitution. I6)J The 8tate policy on local autono"y is a"pli%ied in 8ection 6 thereo%: 8ec. 6. Declaration of Policy. T &a' -t is here!y declared the policy o% the 8tate that the territorial and political su!divisions o% the 8tate shall en.oy enuine and "eanin %ul local autono"y to ena!le the" to attain their %ullest develop"ent as sel%=reliant co""unities and "a$e the" "ore e%%ective partners in the attain"ent o% national oals. Toward this end, the 8tate shall provide %or a "ore responsive and accounta!le local overn"ent structure instituted throu h a syste" o% decentrali/ation where!y local overn"ent units shall !e iven "ore powers, authority, responsi!ilities, and resources. The process o% decentrali/ation shall proceed %ro" the ?ational Govern"ent to the local overn"ent units.

Guided !y these precepts, the Court shall now deter"ine whether the assailed provisos in the GAAs o% ),,,, 6<<< and 6<<), ear"ar$in %or each correspondin year the a"ount o% %ive !illion pesos o% the -RA %or the ;G8F4 and the OC( resolutions pro"ul ated pursuant thereto, trans ress the Constitution and the ;ocal Govern"ent Code o% ),,).

5uarter, and which shall not !e su!.ect to any lien or hold!ac$ that "ay !e i"posed !y the national overn"ent %or whatever purpose. &!' ?othin in this Chapter shall !e understood to di"inish the share o% local overn"ent units under e2istin laws. Ge!sterQs Third ?ew -nternational (ictionary de%ines Wauto"aticX as Winvoluntary either wholly or to a "a.or e2tent so that any activity o% the will is lar ely ne li i!le3 o% a re%le2 nature3 without volition3 "echanical3 li$e or su estive o% an auto"aton.X 4urther, the word Wauto"aticallyX is de%ined as Win an auto"atic "anner: without thou ht or conscious intention.X #ein Wauto"atic,X thus, connotes so"ethin "echanical, spontaneous and per%unctory. As such, the ;G@s are not re5uired to per%or" any act to receive the W.ust shareX accruin to the" %ro" the national co%%ers. As e"phasi/ed !y the ;ocal Govern"ent Code o% ),,), the W.ust shareX o% the ;G@s shall !e released to the" Wwithout need o% %urther action.X Construin 8ection 6*+ o% the ;GC, we held in Pimentel7 9r* v* '!uirre,I66J viz: 8ection A o% AO 976 cannot, however, !e upheld. A !asic %eature o% local %iscal autono"y is the automatic release o% the shares o% ;G@s in the ?ational internal revenue. This is "andated !y no less than the Constitution. The ;ocal Govern"ent Code speci%ies %urther that the release shall !e "ade directly to the ;G@ concerned within %ive &B' days a%ter every 5uarter o% the year and Wshall not #e su#$ect to any lien or hold#ack that may #e imposed #y the national !overnment for "hatever purpose.X As a rule, the ter" WSHALLX is a word o% co""and that "ust !e iven a co"pulsory "eanin . The provision is, there%ore, IMPERATIVE. 8ection A o% AO 976, however, orders the withholdin , e%%ective >anuary ), ),,*, o% )< percent o% the ;G@sQ -RA Wpendin the assess"ent and evaluation !y the (evelop"ent #ud et Coordinatin Co""ittee o% the e"er in %iscal situationX in the country. 8uch withholdin clearly contravenes the Constitution and the law. Althou h te"porary, it is e5uivalent to a hold!ac$, which "eans Wso"ethin held !ac$ or withheld, o%ten te"porarily.X Cence, the Wte"poraryX nature o% the retention !y the national overn"ent does not "atter. Any retention is prohi!ited.

4he assailed provisos in the )''s of +2227 2666 and 266+ and the 8&D resolutions violate the constitutional precept on local autonomy 8ection +, Article : o% the Constitution reads: 8ec. +. ;ocal overn"ent units shall have a <u"& "+%r!, as #!&!r-(n!# 23 $%*, in the national ta2es which shall !e %u&o-%&()%$$3 released to the". Ghen parsed, it would !e readily seen that this provision "andates that &)' the ;G@s shall have a W.ust shareX in the national ta2es3 &6' the W.ust shareX shall !e deter"ined !y law3 and &9' the W.ust shareX shall !e auto"atically released to the ;G@s. The ;ocal Govern"ent Code o% ),,), a"on its salient provisions, underscores the auto"atic release o% the ;G@sQ W.ust shareX in this wise: 8ec. )*. Po"er to )enerate and 'pply Resources. ;ocal overn"ent units shall have the power and authority to esta!lish an or ani/ation that shall !e responsi!le %or the e%%icient and e%%ective i"ple"entation o% their develop"ent plans, pro ra" o!.ectives and priorities3 to create their own sources o% revenue and to levy ta2es, %ees, and char es which shall accrue e2clusively %or their use and disposition and which shall !e retained !y the"3 to have a .ust share in national ta2es which shall !e auto"atically and directly released to the" without need o% %urther action3 ... 8ec. 6*+. 'utomatic Release of %hares. &a' The share o% each local overn"ent unit shall !e released, without need o% any %urther action, directly to the provincial, city, "unicipal or !aran ay treasurer, as the case "ay !e, on a 5uarterly !asis within %ive &B' days a%ter the end o% each

-n su", while 8ection ) o% AO 976 "ay !e upheld as an advisory e%%ected in ti"es o% national crisis, 8ection A thereo% has no color o% validity at all. The latter provision e%%ectively encroaches on the %iscal autono"y o% local overn"ents. Concededly, the President was well= intentioned in issuin his Order to withhold the ;G@sQ -RA, !ut the rule o% law re5uires that even the !est intentions "ust !e carried out within the para"eters o% the Constitution and the law. Verily, lauda!le purposes "ust !e carried out !y le al "ethods.I69J The W.ust shareX o% the ;G@s is incorporated as the -RA in the appropriations law or GAA enacted !y Con ress annually. @nder the assailed provisos in the GAAs o% ),,,, 6<<< and 6<<), a portion o% the -RA in the a"ount o% %ive !illion pesos was ear"ar$ed %or the ;G8F4, and these provisos i"posed the condition that Wsuch a"ount shall !e released to the local overn"ent units su!.ect to the i"ple"entin rules and re ulations, includin such "echanis"s and uidelines %or the e5uita!le allocations and distri!ution o% said %und a"on local overn"ent units su!.ect to the uidelines that "ay !e prescri!ed !y the Oversi ht Co""ittee on (evolution.X Pursuant thereto, the Oversi ht Co""ittee, throu h the assailed OC( resolutions, apportioned the %ive !illion pesos ;G8F4 such that: 4or ),,, P6 !illion = allocated accordin to 8ec. 6*B ;GC P6 !illion = 0odi%ied 8harin 4or"ula &Provinces T A<O3 Cities T 6<O3 0unicipalities T A<O' P) !illion T pro.ects &;AAP' approved !y OC(.I6AJ 4or 6<<< P9.B !illion T 0odi%ied 8harin 4or"ula &Provinces T 6+O3 Cities T 69O3 0unicipalities T 9BO3 #aran ays T )+O'3 P).B !illion T pro.ects &;AAP' approved !y the OC(.I6BJ 4or 6<<) P9 !illion T 0odi%ied 8harin 4or"ula &Provinces T 6BO3 Cities T 6BO3 0unicipalities T 9BO3 #aran ays T )BO' P)., !illion T priority pro.ects P)<< "illion T capa!ility !uildin %und.I6+J

8i ni%icantly, the ;G8F4 could not !e released to the ;G@s without the Oversi ht Co""itteeQs prior approval. 4urther, with respect to the portion o% the ;G8F4 allocated %or various pro.ects o% the ;G@s &P) !illion %or ),,,3 P).B !illion %or 6<<< and P6 !illion %or 6<<)', the Oversi ht Co""ittee, throu h the assailed OC( resolutions, laid down uidelines and "echanis"s that the ;G@s had to co"ply with !e%ore they could avail o% %unds %ro" this portion o% the ;G8F4. The uidelines re5uired &a' the ;G@s to identi%y the pro.ects eli i!le %or %undin !ased on the criteria laid down !y the Oversi ht Co""ittee3 &!' the ;G@s to su!"it their pro.ect proposals to the (-;G %or appraisal3 &c' the pro.ect proposals that passed the appraisal o% the (-;G to !e su!"itted to the Oversi ht Co""ittee %or review, evaluation and approval. -t was only upon approval thereo% that the Oversi ht Co""ittee would direct the (#0 to release the %unds %or the pro.ects. To the CourtQs "ind, the entire process involvin the distri!ution and release o% the ;G8F4 is constitutionally i"per"issi!le. The ;G8F4 is part o% the -RA or W.ust shareX o% the ;G@s in the national ta2es. To su!.ect its distri!ution and release to the va aries o% the i"ple"entin rules and re ulations, includin the uidelines and "echanis"s unilaterally prescri!ed !y the Oversi ht Co""ittee %ro" ti"e to ti"e, as sanctioned !y the assailed provisos in the GAAs o% ),,,, 6<<< and 6<<) and the OC( resolutions, "a$es the releaseno& auto"atic, a %la rant violation o% the constitutional and statutory "andate that the W.ust shareX o% the ;G@s Wshall !e auto"atically released to the".X The ;G@s are, thus, placed at the "ercy o% the Oversi ht Co""ittee. Ghere the law, the Constitution in this case, is clear and una"!i uous, it "ust !e ta$en to "ean e2actly what it says, and courts have no choice !ut to see to it that the "andate is o!eyed. I67J 0oreover, as correctly posited !y the petitioner, the use o% the word WshallX connotes a "andatory order. -ts use in a statute denotes an i"perative o!li ation and is inconsistent with the idea o% discretion.I6*J -ndeed, the Oversi ht Co""ittee e2ercisin discretion, even control, over the distri!ution and release o% a portion o% the -RA, the ;G8F4, is an anathe"a to and su!versive o% the principle o% local autono"y as e"!odied in the Constitution. 0oreover, it %inds no statutory !asis at all as the Oversi ht Co""ittee was created "erely to %or"ulate the rules and re ulations %or the e%%icient and e%%ective i"ple"entation o% the ;ocal

Govern"ent Code o% ),,) to ensure Wco"pliance with the principles o% local autono"y as de%ined under the Constitution.XI6,J -n %act, its creation was placed under the title o% WTransitory Provisions,X si ni%yin its ad hoc character. Accordin to 8enator A5uilino L. Pi"entel, the principal author and sponsor o% the !ill that eventually !eca"e Rep. Act ?o. 7)+<, the Co""itteeQs wor$ was supposed to !e done a year %ro" the approval o% the Code, or on Octo!er )<, ),,6.I9<J The Oversi ht Co""itteeQs authority is undou!tedly li"ited to the i"ple"entation o% the ;ocal Govern"ent Code o% ),,), not to supplant or su!vert the sa"e. ?either can it e2ercise control over the -RA, or even a portion thereo%, o% the ;G@s. That the auto"atic release o% the -RA was precisely intended to uarantee and pro"ote local autono"y can !e leaned %ro" the discussion !elow !etween 0essrs. >ose ?. ?olledo and Re alado 0. 0aa"!on , then "e"!ers o% the ),*+ Constitutional Co""ission, to wit: 0R. 0AA0#O?G. @n%ortunately, under 8ection ),* o% the ;ocal Govern"ent Code, the e2istence o% su!provinces is still ac$nowled ed !y the law, !ut the state"ent o% the Gentle"an on this point will have to !e ta$en up pro!a!ly !y the Co""ittee on ;e islation. A second point, 0r. Presidin O%%icer, is that under Article 6, 8ection )< o% the ),79 Constitution, we have a provision which states: The 8tate shall uarantee and pro"ote the autono"y o% local overn"ent units, especially the !arrio, to insure their %ullest develop"ent as sel%=reliant co""unities. This provision no lon er appears in the present con%i uration3 does this "ean that the concept o% ivin local autono"y to local overn"ents is no lon er adopted as %ar as this Article is concernedN 0R. ?O;;F(O. ?o. -n the report o% the Co""ittee on Prea"!le, ?ational Territory, and (eclaration o% Principles, that concept is included and widened upon the initiative o% Co""issioner #enna en. 0R. 0AA0#O?G. Than$ you %or that. Gith re ard to 8ection +, sources o% revenue, the creation o% sources as provided !y previous law was Wsu!.ect to li"itations as "ay !e provided !y law,X !ut now, we are usin the ter" Wsu!.ect to such uidelines as "ay !e

%i2ed !y law.X -n 8ection 7, "ention is "ade a!out the Wuni5ue, distinct and e2clusive char es and contri!utions,X and in 8ection *, we tal$ a!out We2clusivity o% local ta2es and the share in the national wealth.X -ncidentally, - was one o% the authors o% this provision, and - a" very than$%ul. (oes this indicate local autono"y, or was the wordin o% the law chan ed to ive "ore autono"y to the local overn"ent unitsNI9)J 0R. ?O;;F(O. Ees. -n e%%ect, those words indicate also Wdecentrali/ationX !ecause local political units can collect ta2es, %ees and char es su!.ect "erely to uidelines, as reco""ended !y the lea ue o% overnors and city "ayors, with who" - had a dialo ue %or al"ost two hours. They told "e that li"itations "ay !e 5uestiona!le in the sense that Con ress "ay li"it and in e%%ect deny the ri ht later on. 0R. 0AA0#O?G. Also, this provision on Wauto"atic release o% national ta2 shareX points to "ore local autono"y. -s this the intentionN 0R. ?O;;F(O. Ees, the Co""issioner is per%ectly ri ht.
I96J

?ow, autono"y is either decentrali/ation o% ad"inistration or decentrali/ation o% power. There is decentrali/ation o% ad"inistration when the central overn"ent dele ates ad"inistrative powers to political su!divisions in order to !roaden the !ase o% overn"ent power and in the process to "a$e local overn"ents Y"ore responsive and accounta!leQ and Yensure their %ullest develop"ent as sel%=reliant co""unities and "a$e the" "ore e%%ective partners in the pursuit o% national develop"ent and social pro ress.Q At the sa"e ti"e, it relieves the central overn"ent o% the !urden o% "ana in local a%%airs and ena!les it to concentrate on national concerns. The President e2ercises Y eneral supervisionQ over the", !ut only to Yensure that local a%%airs are ad"inistered accordin to law.Q Ce has no control over their acts in the sense that he can su!stitute their .ud "ents with his own. (ecentrali/ation o% power, on the other hand, involves an a!dication o% political power in the IsicJ %avor o% local overn"ents IsicJ units declared to !e autono"ous. -n that case, the autono"ous overn"ent is %ree to chart its own destiny and shape its %uture with "ini"u" intervention %ro" central authorities. Accordin to a constitutional author, decentrali/ation o% power a"ounts to Ysel%=i""olation,Q since in that event, the autono"ous overn"ent !eco"es accounta!le not to the central authorities !ut to its constituency. I9AJ ;ocal autono"y includes !oth ad"inistrative and %iscal autono"y. The %airly recent case o% Pimentel v* '!uirreI9BJ is particularly instructive. The Court declared therein that local %iscal autono"y includes the power o% the ;G@s to, inter alia, allocate their resources in accordance with their own priorities: @nder e2istin law, local overn"ent units, in addition to havin ad"inistrative autono"y in the e2ercise o% their %unctions, en.oy %iscal autono"y as well. 4iscal autono"y "eans that local overn"ents have the power to create their own sources o% revenue in addition to their e5uita!le share in the national ta2es released !y the national overn"ent, as well as the power to allocate their resources in accordance with their own priorities. -t e2tends to the preparation o% their !ud ets, and local o%%icials in turn have to wor$ within the constraints thereo%. They are not %or"ulated at the national level and i"posed on local overn"ents, whether they are relevant to local needs and resources or not ...I9+J

4urther, a !asic %eature o% local %iscal autono"y is the constitutionally "andated automatic release o% the shares o% ;G@s in the national internal revenue. I97J 4ollowin this ratiocination, the Court in Pimentel struc$ down as unconstitutional 8ection A o% Ad"inistrative Order &A.O.' ?o. 976 which ordered the withholdin , e%%ective >anuary ), ),,*, o% ten percent o% the ;G@sQ -RA Wpendin the assess"ent and evaluation !y the (evelop"ent #ud et Coordinatin Co""ittee o% the e"er in %iscal situation.X -n li$e "anner, the assailed provisos in the GAAs o% ),,,, 6<<< and 6<<), and the OC( resolutions constitute a Wwithholdin X o% a portion o% the -RA. They put on hold the distri!ution and release o% the %ive !illion pesos ;G8F4 and su!.ect the sa"e to the i"ple"entin rules and re ulations, includin the uidelines and "echanis"s prescri!ed !y the Oversi ht Co""ittee %ro" ti"e to ti"e. ;i$e 8ection A o% A.O. 976, the assailed provisos in the GAAs o% ),,,, 6<<< and 6<<) and the OC( resolutions e%%ectively encroach on the %iscal autono"y en.oyed !y the ;G@s and "ust !e struc$ down. They cannot, there%ore, !e upheld.

The concept o% local autono"y was e2plained in )anzon v* &ourt of 'ppealsI99J in this wise: As the Constitution itsel% declares, local autono"y Y"eans a "ore responsive and accounta!le local overn"ent structure instituted throu h a syste" o% decentrali/ation.Q The Constitution, as we o!served, does nothin "ore than to !rea$ up the "onopoly o% the national overn"ent over the a%%airs o% local overn"ents and as put !y political adherents, to Wli!erate the local overn"ents %ro" the i"perialis" o% 0anila.X Autono"y, however, is not "eant to end the relation o% partnership and interdependence !etween the central ad"inistration and local overn"ent units, or otherwise, to usher in a re i"e o% %ederalis". The Charter has not ta$en such a radical step. ;ocal overn"ents, under the Constitution, are su!.ect to re ulation, however li"ited, and %or no other purpose than precisely, al!eit parado2ically, to enhance sel%= overn"ent. As we o!served in one case, decentrali/ation "eans devolution o% national ad"inistration T !ut not power T to the local levels. Thus:

4he assailed provisos in the )''s of +2227 2666 and 266+ and the 8&D resolutions cannot amend %ection 23- of the 5ocal )overnment &ode of +22+ 8ection 6*AI9*J o% the ;ocal Govern"ent Code provides that, !e innin the third year o% its e%%ectivity, the ;G@sQ share in the national internal revenue ta2es shall !e A<O. This percenta e is %i2ed and "ay not !e reduced e2cept Win the event the national overn"ent incurs an un"ana ea!le pu!lic sector de%icit" and only upon co"pliance with strin ent re5uire"ents set %orth in the sa"e section: 8ec. 6*A. ...

Provided, That in the event that the national overn"ent incurs an un"ana ea!le pu!lic sector de%icit, the President o% the Philippines is here!y authori/ed, upon reco""endation o% 8ecretary o% 4inance, 8ecretary o% -nterior and ;ocal Govern"ent and 8ecretary o% #ud et and 0ana e"ent, and su!.ect to consultation with the presidin o%%icers o% !oth Couses o% Con ress and the presidents o% the li a, to "a$e the necessary ad.ust"ents

in the internal revenue allot"ent o% local overn"ent units !ut in no case shall the allot"ent !e less than thirty percent &9<O' o% the collection o% the national internal revenue ta2es o% the third %iscal year precedin the current %iscal year3 Provided, further That in the %irst year o% the e%%ectivity o% this Code, the local overn"ent units shall, in addition to the thirty percent &9<O' internal revenue allot"ent which shall include the cost o% devolved %unctions %or essential pu!lic services, !e entitled to receive the a"ount e5uivalent to the cost o% devolved personnel services. Thus, %ro" the a!ove provision, the only possi!le e2ception to the "andatory auto"atic release o% the ;G@sQ -RA is i% the national internal revenue collections %or the current %iscal year is less than A< percent o% the collections o% the precedin third %iscal year, in which case what should !e auto"atically released shall !e a proportionate a"ount o% the collections %or the current %iscal year. The ad.ust"ent "ay even !e "ade on a 5uarterly !asis dependin on the actual collections o% national internal revenue ta2es %or the 5uarter o% the current %iscal year. -n the instant case, however, there is no alle ation that the national internal revenue ta2 collections %or the %iscal years ),,,, 6<<< and 6<<) have %allen co"pared to the precedin three %iscal years. 8ection 6*B then speci%ies how the -RA shall !e allocated a"on the ;G@s: 8ec. 6*B. 'llocation to 5ocal )overnment Units. T The share o% local overn"ent units in the internal revenue allot"ent shall !e allocated in the %ollowin "anner: &a' &!' &c' &d' Provinces T Twenty=three &69O' Cities T Twenty=three percent &69O'3 0unicipalities T Thirty=%our &9AO'3 and #aran ays T Twenty percent &6<O'.

Provinces T 6BO3 Cities T 6BO3 0unicipalities T 9BO3 #aran ays T )BO.IA)J The respondents ar ue that this "odi%ication is allowed since the Constitution does not speci%y that the W.ust shareX o% the ;G@s shall only !e deter"ined !y the ;ocal Govern"ent Code o% ),,). That it is within the power o% Con ress to enact other laws, includin the GAAs, to increase or decrease the W.ust shareX o% the ;G@s. This contention is untena!le. The ;ocal Govern"ent Code o% ),,) is a su!stantive law. And while it is conceded that Con ress "ay a"end any o% the provisions therein, it "ay not do so throu h appropriations laws or GAAs. Any a"end"ent to the ;ocal Govern"ent Code o% ),,) should !e done in a separate law, not in the appropriations law, !ecause Con ress cannot include in a eneral appropriation !ill "atters that should !e "ore properly enacted in a separate le islation.IA6J A eneral appropriations !ill is a special type o% le islation, whose content is li"ited to speci%ied su"s o% "oney dedicated to a speci%ic purpose or a separate %iscal unit.IA9J Any provision therein which is intended to a"end another law is considered an Winappropriate provision.X The cate ory o% Winappropriate provisionsX includes unconstitutional provisions and provisions which are intended to a"end other laws, !ecause clearly these $inds o% laws have no place in an appropriations !ill. IAAJ -ncreasin or decreasin the -RA o% the ;G@s or "odi%yin their percenta e sharin therein, which are %i2ed in the ;ocal Govern"ent Code o% ),,), are "atters o% eneral and su!stantive law. To per"it Con ress to underta$e these a"end"ents throu h the GAAs, as the respondents contend, would !e to ive Con ress the un!ridled authority to unduly in%rin e the %iscal autono"y o% the ;G@s, and thus put the sa"e in .eopardy every year. This, the Court cannot sanction. -t is relevant to point out at this .uncture that, unli$e those o% ),,,, 6<<< and 6<<), the GAAs o% 6<<6 and 6<<9 do not contain provisos si"ilar to the herein assailed provisos. -n other words, the GAAs o% 6<<6 and 6<<9 have not ear"ar$ed any a"ount o% the -RA %or the ;G8F4. Con ress had perhaps seen %it to discontinue the practice as it reco ni/es its in%ir"ity. ?onetheless, as earlier "entioned, this Court has dee"ed it necessary to "a$e a de%initive rulin on the "atter in order to prevent its recurrence in %uture appropriations laws and that the principles enunciated herein would serve to uide the !ench, !ar and pu!lic.

&onclusion -n closin , it is well to note that the principle o% local autono"y, while concededly e2pounded in reater detail in the present Constitution, dates !ac$ to the turn o% the century when President Gillia" 0cKinley, in his -nstructions to the 8econd Philippine Co""ission dated April 7, ),<<, ordered the new Govern"ent Wto devote their attention in the %irst instance to the esta!lish"ent o% "unicipal overn"ents in which the natives o% the -slands, !oth in the cities and in the rural co""unities, shall !e a%%orded the opportunity to "ana e their own a%%airs to the %ullest e2tent o% which they are capa!le, and su!.ect to the least de ree o% supervision and control in which a care%ul study o% their capacities and o!servation o% the wor$in s o% native control show to !e consistent with the "aintenance o% law, order and loyalty.X IABJ Ghile the ),9B Constitution had no speci%ic article on local autono"y, nonetheless, it li"ited the e2ecutive power over local overn"ents to W eneral supervision ... as "ay !e provided !y law.XIA+J 8u!se5uently, the ),79 Constitution e2plicitly stated that WItJhe 8tate shall uarantee and pro"ote the autono"y o% local overn"ent units, especially the !aran ay to ensure their %ullest develop"ent as sel%=reliant co""unities.X IA7J An entire article on ;ocal Govern"ent was incorporated therein. The present Constitution, as earlier opined, has !roadened the principle o% local autono"y. The )A sections in Article : thereo% "ar$edly increased the powers o% the local overn"ents in order to acco"plish the oal o% a "ore "eanin %ul local autono"y. -ndeed, the value o% local overn"ents as institutions o% de"ocracy is "easured !y the de ree o% autono"y that they en.oy.IA*J As elo5uently put !y 0. (e Toc5ueville, a distin uished 4rench political writer, WIlJocal asse"!lies o% citi/ens constitute the stren th o% %ree nations. Township "eetin s are to li!erty what pri"ary schools are to science3 they !rin it within the peopleQs reach3 they teach "en how to use and en.oy it. A nation "ay esta!lish a syste" o% %ree overn"ents !ut without the spirit o% "unicipal institutions, it cannot have the spirit o% li!erty.XIA,J Our national o%%icials should not only co"ply with the constitutional provisions on local autono"y !ut should also appreciate the spirit and li!erty upon which these provisions are !ased.IB<J 4HEREEORE, the petition is GRA?TF(. The assailed provisos in the General Appropriations Acts o% ),,,, 6<<<

Cowever, this percenta e sharin is not %ollowed with respect to the %ive !illion pesos ;G8F4 as the assailed OC( resolutions, i"ple"entin the assailed provisos in the GAAs o% ),,,, 6<<< and 6<<), provided %or a di%%erent sharin sche"e. 4or e2a"ple, %or ),,,, P6 !illion o% the ;G8F4 was allocated as %ollows: Provinces T A<O3 Cities T 6<O3 0unicipalities T A<O.I9,J 4or 6<<<, P9.B !illion o% the ;G8F4 was allocated in this "anner: Provinces T 6+O3 Cities T 69O3 0unicipalities T 9BO3 #aran ays T 6+O. IA<J 4or 6<<), P9 !illion o% the ;G8F4 was allocated, thus:

and 6<<), and the assailed OC( Resolutions, are declared @?CO?8T-T@T-O?A;. SULTAN OSOP B. CAMID, petitioner, vs. THE OEEICE OE THE PRESIDENT, DEPARTMENT OE THE INTERIOR AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT, AUTONOMOUS REGION IN MUSLIM MINDANAO, DEPARTMENT o. EINANCE, DEPARTMENT o. BUDGET AND MANAGEMENT, COMMISSION ON AUDIT, %n# &+! CONGRESS OE THE PHILIPPINES (HOUSE o. REPRESENTATIVES AND SENATE),respondents. DECISION TINGA, J.: This Petition for &ertiorari presents this Court with the prospect o% our own (ri!adoonI)Jthe "unicipality o% Andon , ;anao del 8urZwhich li$e its counterpart in %il"do", is a town that is not supposed to e2ist yet is anyway insisted !y so"e as actually alive and thrivin . Eet unli$e in the "ovies, there is nothin "ystical, hostly or anythin even re"otely char"in a!out the purported e2istence o% Andon . The creation o% the putative "unicipality was declared void a# initio !y this Court %our decades a o, !ut the present petition insists that in spite o% this insur"ounta!le o!stacle Andon thrives on, and hence, its le al personality should !e iven .udicial a%%ir"ation. Ge disa ree. The %actual antecedents derive %ro" the pro"ul ation o% our rulin in Pelaez v* 'uditor )eneral I6J in ),+B. As discussed therein, then President (iosdado 0acapa al issued several F2ecutive OrdersI9J creatin thirty=three &99' "unicipalities in 0indanao. A"on the" was Andon in ;anao del 8ur which was created !y virtue o% F2ecutive Order ?o. )<7.IAJ These e2ecutive orders were issued a%ter le islative !ills %or the creation o% "unicipalities involved in that case had %ailed to pass Con ress.IBJ President (iosdado 0acapa al .usti%ied the creation o% these "unicipalities citin his powers under 8ection +* o% the Revised Ad"inistrative Code. Then Vice=President F""anuel Pelae/ %iled a special civil action %or a writ o% prohi!ition, alle in in "ain that the F2ecutive Orders were null and void, 8ection +* havin !een repealed !y Repu!lic Act ?o. 697<,I+J and said orders constitutin an undue dele ation o% le islative power.I7J A%ter due deli!eration, the Court unani"ously held that the challen ed F2ecutive Orders were null and void. A

"a.ority o% %ive .ustices, led !y the ponente, >ustice &later Chie% >ustice' Ro!erto Concepcion, ruled that 8ection +* o% the Revised Ad"inistrative Code did not "eet the well= settled re5uire"ents %or a valid dele ation o% le islative power to the e2ecutive !ranch,I*J while three .ustices opined that the nullity o% the issuances was the conse5uence o% the enact"ent o% the ),9B Constitution, which reduced the power o% the Chie% F2ecutive over local overn"ents.I,J Pelaez was disposed in this wise: GCFRF4ORF, the F2ecutive Orders in 5uestion are declared null and void a# initio and the respondent per"anently restrained %ro" passin in audit any e2penditure o% pu!lic %unds in i"ple"entation o% said F2ecutive Orders or any dis!urse"ent !y the "unicipalities a!ove re%erred to. -t is so ordered. I)<J A"on the F2ecutive Orders annulled was F2ecutive Order ?o. )<7 which created the 0unicipality o% Andon . ?evertheless, the core issue presented in the present petition is the continued e%%icacy o% the .udicial annul"ent o% the 0unicipality o% Andon . Petitioner 8ultan Osop #. Ca"id &Ca"id' represents hi"sel% as a current resident o% Andon , I))J suin as a private citi/en and ta2payer whose locus standi Wis o% pu!lic and para"ount interest especially to the people o% the 0unicipality o% Andon , Province o% ;anao del 8ur.XI)6J Ce alle es that Andon Whas "eta"orphosed into a %ull=!lown "unicipality with a co"plete set o% o%%icials appointed to handle essential services %or the "unicipality and its constituents,X I)9J even thou h he concedes that since ),+*, no person has !een appointed, elected or 5uali%ied to serve any o% the elective local overn"ent positions o% Andon .I)AJ ?onetheless, the "unicipality o% Andon has its own hi h school, #ureau o% Posts, a (epart"ent o% Fducation, Culture and 8ports o%%ice, and at least seventeen &)7' W!aran ay unitsX with their own respective chair"en. I)BJ 4ro" ),+A until ),76, accordin to Ca"id, the pu!lic o%%icials o% Andon Whave !een servin their constituents throu h the "ini"al "eans and resources with least &sic' honorariu" and reco nition %ro" the O%%ice o% the then %or"er President (iosdado 0acapa al.X 8ince the ti"e o% 0artial ;aw in ),76, Andon has alle edly !een ettin !y despite the a!sence o% pu!lic %unds, with the W-nteri" O%%icialsX servin their constituents Win their own little ways and "eans.XI)+J -n support o% his clai" that Andon re"ains in e2istence, Ca"id presents to this Court a &ertification issued !y the

O%%ice o% the Co""unity Fnviron"ent and ?atural Resources &CF?RO' o% the (epart"ent o% Fnviron"ent and ?atural Resources &(F?R' certi%yin the total land area o% the 0unicipality o% Andon , Wcreated under F2ecutive Order ?o. )<7 issued IlastJ Octo!er ), ),+A.XI)7J Ce also su!"its a &ertification issued !y the Provincial 8tatistics O%%ice o% 0arawi City concernin the population o% Andon , which is pe ed at %ourteen thousand %i%ty nine &)A,<B,' stron . Ca"id also enu"erates a list o% overn"ental a encies and private roups that alle edly reco ni/e Andon , and notes that other "unicipalities have reco""ended to the 8pea$er o% the Re ional ;e islative Asse"!ly %or the i""ediate i"ple"entation o% the revival or re=esta!lish"ent o% Andon .I)*J The petition assails a &ertification dated 6) ?ove"!er 6<<9, issued !y the #ureau o% ;ocal Govern"ent 8upervision o% the (epart"ent o% -nterior and ;ocal Govern"ent &(-;G'.I),J The &ertification enu"erates ei hteen &)*' "unicipalities certi%ied as We2istin ,X per (-;G records. ?ota!ly, these ei hteen &)*' "unicipalities are a"on the thirty=three &99', alon with Andon , whose creations were voided !y this Court in Pelaez. These "unicipalities are 0idaslip, Pito o, ?a a, and #ayo in Ha"!oan a del 8ur3 8iayan and Pres. 0anuel A. Ro2as in Ha"!oan a del ?orte3 0a saysay, 8ta. 0aria and ?ew Corella in (avao3 #adian an and 0ina in -loilo3 0a uin in ;anao del 8ur3 Gloria in Oriental 0indoro3 0aasi" in 8aran ani3 Kalilan an and ;antapan in #u$idnon3 and 0aco in Co"postela Valley.I6<J Ca"id i"putes rave a!use o% discretion on the part o% the (-;G Win not classi%yin IAndon J as a re ular e2istin "unicipality and in not includin said "unicipality in its records and o%%icial data!ase as IanJ e2istin re ular "unicipality.XI6)J Ce characteri/es such non=classi%ication as une5ual treat"ent to the detri"ent o% Andon , especially in li ht o% the current reco nition iven to the ei hteen &)*' "unicipalities si"ilarly annulled !y reason o% Pelaez. As appropriate relie%, Ca"id prays that the Court annul the (-;G &ertificationdated 6) ?ove"!er 6<<93 direct the (-;G to classi%y Andon as a Wre ular e2istin "unicipality3X all pu!lic respondents, to e2tend %ull reco nition and support to Andon 3 the (epart"ent o% 4inance and the (epart"ent o% #ud et and 0ana e"ent, to i""ediately release the internal revenue allot"ents o% Andon 3 and the pu!lic respondents, particularly the (-;G, to reco ni/e the W-nteri" ;ocal O%%icialsX o% Andon .
I66J

0oreover, Ca"id insists on the continuin validity o% F2ecutive Order ?o. )<7. Ce ar ues that Pelaez has already !een "odi%ied !y supervenin events consistin o% su!se5uent laws and .urisprudence. Particularly cited is our Decision in /unicipality of %an :arciso v* ;on* /endez,I69J wherein the Court a%%ir"ed the uni5ue status o% the "unicipality o% 8an Andres in Lue/on as a Wde facto "unicipal corporation.XI6AJ 8i"ilar to Andon , the "unicipality o% 8an Andres was created !y way o% e2ecutive order, precisely the "anner which the Court in Pelae/ had declared as unconstitutional. 0oreover, %an :arciso cited, as Ca"id does, 8ection AA6&d' o% the ;ocal Govern"ent Code o% ),,) as !asis %or the current reco nition o% the i"pu ned "unicipality. The provision reads: 8ection AA6. Re<uisites for &reation* = 222 &d' 0unicipalities e2istin as o% the date o% the e%%ectivity o% this Code shall continue to e2ist and operate as such. F2istin "unicipal districts or ani/ed pursuant to presidential issuances or e2ecutive orders and which have their respective sets o% elective "unicipal o%%icials holdin o%%ice at the ti"e o% the e%%ectivity o% &the' Code shall hence%orth !e considered as re ular "unicipalities.
I6BJ

corporations "ay e2ist !y prescription where it is shown that the co""unity has clai"ed and e2ercised corporate %unctions, with the $nowled e and ac5uiescence o% the le islature, and without interruption or o!.ection %or period lon enou h to a%%ord title !y prescription. I6+J These "unicipal corporations have e2ercised their powers %or a lon period without o!.ection on the part o% the overn"ent that althou h no charter is in e2istence, it is presu"ed that they were duly incorporated in the %irst place and that their charters had !een lost. I67J They are especially co""on in Fn land, which, as well=worth notin , has e2isted as a state %or over a thousand years. The reason %or the develop"ent o% that rule in Fn land is understanda!le, since that country was settled lon !e%ore the Ro"an con5uest !y no"adic Celtic tri!es, which could have hardly !een e2pected to o!tain a "unicipal charter in the a!sence o% a national le al authority. -n the @nited 8tates, "unicipal corporations !y prescription are less co""on, !ut it has !een held that when no charter or act o% incorporation o% a town can !e %ound, it "ay !e shown to have clai"ed and e2ercised the powers o% a town with the $nowled e and assent o% the le islature, and without o!.ection or interruption %or so lon a period as to %urnish evidence o% a prescriptive ri ht.I6*J Ghat is clearly essential is a %actual de"onstration o% the continuous e2ercise !y the "unicipal corporation o% its corporate powers, as well as the ac5uiescence thereto !y the other instru"entalities o% the state. Ca"id does not have the opportunity to "a$e an initial %actual de"onstration o% those circu"stances !e%ore this Court. -ndeed, the %actual de%iciencies aside, Ca"idQs plaint should have under one the usual ad"inistrative auntlet and, once that was done, should have !een %iled %irst with the Court o% Appeals, which at least would have had the power to "a$e the necessary %actual deter"inations. Ca"idQs see"in i norance o% the principles o% e2haustion o% ad"inistrative re"edies and hierarchy o% courts, as well as the conco"itant pre"aturity o% the present petition, cannot !e countenanced. -t is also di%%icult to capture the sense and via!ility o% Ca"idQs present action. The assailed issuance is the &ertification issued !y the (-;G. #ut such &ertification does not pretend to !ear the authority to create or revalidate a "unicipality. Certainly, the annul"ent o% the &ertification will really do nothin to serve Ca"idQs ulti"ate cause the reco nition o% Andon . ?either does the &ertification even e2pressly re%ute the

clai" that Andon still e2ists, as there is nothin in the docu"ent that co""ents on the present status o% Andon . Perhaps the &ertification is assailed !e%ore this Court i% only to present an actual issuance, rather than a lon =standin ha!it or pattern o% action that can !e annulled throu h the special civil action o% certiorari. 8till, the relation o% the &ertification to Ca"idQs central ar u"ent is %orlornly strained. These dis5uisitions aside, the central issue re"ains whether a "unicipality whose creation !y e2ecutive %iat was previously voided !y this Court "ay attain reco nition in the a!sence o% any curative or rei"ple"entin statute. Apparently, the 5uestion has never !een decided !e%ore, %an :arciso and its $indred cases pertainin as they did to "unicipalities whose !ases o% creation were du!ious yet were never .udicially nulli%ied. The e%%ect o% 8ection AA6&d' o% the ;ocal Govern"ent Code on "unicipalities such as Andon warrants e2planation. #esides, the residents o% Andon who !ela!or under the i"pression that their town still e2ists, "uch less those who "ay co"port the"selves as the "unicipalityQs W-nteri" Govern"ent,X would !e well served !y a rude awa$enin . The Court can e"ploy a si"plistic approach in resolvin the su!stantive aspect o% the petition, "erely !y pointin out that the 0unicipality o% Andon never e2isted. I6,J F2ecutive Order ?o. )<7, which esta!lished Andon , was declared Wnull and void a# initioX in ),+B !y this Court in Pelaez, alon with thirty=three &99' other e2ecutive orders. The phrase W a# initioX "eans W%ro" the !e innin ,XI9<J Wat %irst,XI9)J W%ro" the I96J inception.X Pelaez was never reversed !y this Court !ut rather it was e2pressly a%%ir"ed in the cases o% /unicipality of %an 9oa<uin v* %iva7 I99J /unicipality of /ala#an! v* (enito7I9AJ and /unicipality of =apalon! v* /oya.I9BJ ?o su!se5uent rulin !y this Court declared Pelae/ as overturned or inoperative. ?o su!se5uent le islation has !een passed since ),+B creatin a 0unicipality o% Andon . Given these %acts, there is hardly any reason to ela!orate why Andon does not e2ist as a duly constituted "unicipality. This ratiocination does not ad"it to patent le al errors and has the additional virtue o% !lessed austerity. 8till, its sweepin adoption "ay not !e advisedly appropriate in li ht o% 8ection AA6&d' o% the ;ocal Govern"ent Code and our rulin in /unicipality of %an :arciso, !oth o% which ad"it to the possi!ility o% de facto "unicipal corporations.

There are several reasons why the petition "ust !e dis"issed. These can !e !etter discerned upon e2a"ination o% the proper scope and application o% 8ection AA6&d', which does not sanction the reco nition o% .ust any "unicipality. This point shall !e %urther e2plained %urther on. ?ota!ly, as pointed out !y the pu!lic respondents, throu h the O%%ice o% the 8olicitor General &O8G', the case is not a %it su!.ect %or the special civil actions o% certiorari and "anda"us, as it pertains to the de novo appreciation o% %actual 5uestions. There is indeed no way to con%ir" several o% Ca"idQs astonishin %actual alle ations pertainin to the purported continuin operation o% Andon in the decades since it was annulled !y this Court. ?o trial court has had the opportunity to ascertain the validity o% these %actual clai"s, the appreciation o% which is !eyond the %unction o% this Court since it is not a trier o% %acts. The i"portance o% proper %actual ascertain"ent cannot !e ainsaid, especially in li ht o% the le al principles overnin the reco nition o% de facto "unicipal corporations. -t has !een opined that "unicipal

To understand the applica!ility o% /unicipality of %an :arciso and 8ection AA6&!' o% the ;ocal Govern"ent Code to the situation o% Andon , it is necessary a ain to consider the ra"i%ications o% our decision in Pelaez. The e"inent le al doctrine enunciated in Pelaez was that the President was then, and still is, not e"powered to create "unicipalities throu h e2ecutive issuances. The Court therein reco ni/ed Wthat the President has, %or "any years, issued e2ecutive orders creatin "unicipal corporations, and that the sa"e have !een or ani/ed and in actual operation . . . .XI9+J Cowever, the Court ulti"ately nulli%ied only those thirty=three &99' "unicipalities, includin Andon , created durin the period %ro" A 8epte"!er to 6, Octo!er ),+A whose e2istence petitioner Vice=President Pelae/ had speci%ically assailed !e%ore this Court. ?o pronounce"ent was "ade as to the other "unicipalities which had !een previously created !y the President in the e2ercise o% power the Court dee"ed unlaw%ul. Two years a%ter Pelaez was decided, the issue a ain ca"e to %ore in /unicipality of %an 9oa<uin v* %iva.I97J The 0unicipality o% ;awi an was created !y virtue o% F2ecutive Order ?o. A9+ in ),+). ;awi an was not one o% the "unicipalities ordered annulled in Pelaez. A petition %or prohi!ition was %iled contestin the le ality o% the e2ecutive order, a ain on the round that 8ection +* o% the Revised Ad"inistrative Code was unconstitutional. The trial court dis"issed the petition, !ut the 8upre"e Court reversed the rulin and entered a new decision declarin F2ecutive Order ?o. A9+ void a# initio. The Court reasoned without ela!oration that the issue had already !een s5uarely ta$en up and settled in Pelaez which a reed with the ar u"ent posed !y the challen ers to ;awi anQs validity.I9*J -n the ),+, case o% /unicipality of /ala#an! v* (enito , I9,J what was challen ed is the validity o% the constitution o% the 0unicipality o% #ala!a an in ;anao del 8ur, also created !y an e2ecutive order,IA<J and which, si"ilar to ;awi an, was not one o% the "unicipalities annulled in Pelaez. This ti"e, the o%%icials o% #ala!a an invo$ed de facto status as a "unicipal corporation in order to dissuade the Court %ro" nulli%yin action. They alle ed that its status as a de facto corporation cannot !e collaterally attac$ed !ut should !e in5uired into directly in an action %or <uo "arranto at the instance o% the 8tate, and not !y a private individual as it was in that case. -n response, the Court conceded that an in5uiry into the le al e2istence o% a "unicipality is reserved to the 8tate

in a proceedin %or <uo "arranto, !ut only i% the "unicipal corporation is a de facto corporation.IA)J @lti"ately, the Court re%used to ac$nowled e #ala!a an as a de facto corporation, even thou h it had !een or ani/ed prior to the CourtQs decision in Pelaez. The Court declared void the e2ecutive order creatin #ala!a an and restrained its "unicipal o%%icials %ro" per%or"in their o%%icial duties and %unctions. IA6J -t cited con%lictin A"erican authorities on whether a de facto corporation can e2ist where the statute or charter creatin it is unconstitutional. IA9J #ut the CourtQs %inal conclusion was une5uivocal that #ala!a an was not a de facto corporation. -n the cases where a de facto "unicipal corporation was reco ni/ed as such despite the %act that the statute creatin it was later invalidated, the decisions could %airly !e "ade to rest on the consideration that there was so"e other valid law ivin corporate vitality to the or ani/ation. Cence, in the case at !ar, the "ere %act that #ala!a an was or ani/ed at a ti"e when the statute had not !een invalidated cannot conceiva!ly "a$e it a de facto corporation, as, independently o% the Ad"inistrative Code provision in 5uestion, there is no other valid statute to ive color o% authority to its creation. IAAJ The Court did clari%y in /ala#an! that the previous acts done !y the "unicipality in the e2ercise o% its corporate powers were not necessarily a nullity. IABJ Ca"id devotes several pa es o% his petition in citin this point, IA+J yet the relevance o% the citation is unclear considerin that Ca"id does not assert the validity o% any corporate act o% Andon prior to its .udicial dissolution. ?otwithstandin , the Court in /ala#an! retained an e"phatic attitude as to the unconstitutionality o% the power o% the President to create "unicipal corporations !y way o% presidential pro"ul ations, as authori/ed under 8ection +* o% the Revised Ad"inistrative Code. This principle was "ost recently a%%ir"ed in ),**, in /unicipality of =apalon! v* /oya.IA7J The "unicipality o% 8anto To"as, created !y President Carlos P. Garcia, %iled a co"plaint a ainst another "unicipality, who challen ed 8anto To"asQs le al personality to institute suit. A ain, 8anto To"as had not !een e2pressly nulli%ied !y prior .udicial action, yet the Court re%used to reco ni/e its le al e2istence. The !lunt !ut si"ple rulin : W?ow then, as ruled in the Pelae/ case supra, the President has no power to create a "unicipality. 8ince I8anto To"asJ has

no le al personality, it can not !e a party to any civil actionV.XIA*J ?evertheless, when the Court decided /unicipality of %an :arcisoIA,J in ),,B, it indicated a shi%t in the .urisprudential treat"ent o% "unicipalities created throu h presidential issuances. The 5uestioned "unicipality o% 8an Andres, Lue/on was created on 6< Au ust ),B, !y F2ecutive Order ?o. 9B9 issued !y President Carlos P. Garcia. F2ecutive Order ?o. 9B9 was not one o% the thirty=three issuances annulled !y Pelaez in ),+B. The le al status o% the 0unicipality o% 8an Andres was %irst challen ed only in ),*,, throu h a petition %or<uo "arranto %iled with the Re ional Trial Court o% Gu"aca, Lue/on, which did cite Pelaez as authority. IB<J The RTC dis"issed the petition %or lac$ o% cause o% action, and the petitioners therein elevated the "atter to this Court. -n dis"issin the petition, the Court delved in the "erits o% the petition, i% only to resolve %urther dou!t on the le al status o% 8an Andres. -t noted a circu"stance which is not present in the case at !arthat 8an Andres was in e2istence %or nearly thirty &9<' years !e%ore its le ality was challen ed. The Court did not declare the e2ecutive order creatin 8an Andres null and void. 8till, actin on the pre"ise that the said e2ecutive order was a co"plete nullity, the Court noted Wpeculiar circu"stancesX that led to the conclusion that 8an Andres had attained the uni5ue status o% a Wde %acto "unicipal corporation.X IB)J -t noted that Pelaez li"ited its nulli%icatory e%%ect only to those e2ecutive orders speci%ically challen ed therein, despite the %act that the Court then could have very well e2tended the decision to invalidate 8an Andres as well. IB6J This state"ent s5uarely contradicts Ca"idQs readin o%%an :arciso that the creation o% 8an Andres, .ust li$e Andon , had !een declared a co"plete nullity on the sa"e round o% unconstitutional dele ation o% le islative power %ound inPelaez.IB9J The Court also considered the applica!ility o% 8ection AA6&d'IBAJ o% the ;ocal Govern"ent Code o% ),,). -t clari%ied the i"plication o% the provision as %ollows: F5ually si ni%icant is 8ection AA6&d' o% the ;ocal Govern"ent Code to the e%%ect that "unicipal districts "or ani/ed pursuant to presidential issuances or e2ecutive orders and which have their respective sets o% elective "unicipal o%%icials holdin o%%ice at the ti"e o% the e%%ectivity o% &the' Code shall hence%orth !e considered as re ular "unicipalities." ?o pretension o% unconstitutionality per se o% 8ection AA6&d' o% the ;ocal

Govern"ent Code is pre%erred. -t is dou!t%ul whether such a prete2t, even i% "ade, would succeed. T+! 'o*!r &o )r!%&! 'o$(&()%$ "u2#(,("(on" (" % .un)&(on o. &+! $! ("$%&ur!. Con r!"" #(# <u"& &+%& *+!n (& +%" (n)or'or%&!# S!)&(on 776(#) (n &+! Co#!. Curative laws, which in essence are retrospective, and ai"ed at ivin "validity to acts done that would have !een invalid under e2istin laws, as i% e2istin laws have !een co"plied with," are validly accepted in this .urisdiction, su!.ect to the usual 5uali%ication a ainst i"pair"ent o% vested ri hts. &F"phasis supplied'IBBJ The holdin in 8an ?arciso was su!se5uently a%%ir"ed in /unicipality of &andi$ay v* &ourt of 'ppeals IB+J and /unicipality of 9imenez v* (azIB7J -n &andi$ay, the .uridical personality o% the 0unicipality o% Alicia, created in a ),A, e2ecutive order, was attac$ed only !e innin in ),*A. Pelaez was a ain invo$ed in support o% the challen e, !ut the Court re%used to invalidate the "unicipality, citin %an :arciso at len th. The Court noted that the situation o% the 0unicipality o% Alicia was stri$in ly si"ilar to that in %an :arciso3 hence, the town should li$ewise W!ene%it %ro" the e%%ects o% 8ection AA6&d' o% the ;ocal Govern"ent Code, and should I!eJ considered as a re ular, de $ure "unicipality.X IB*J The valid e2istence o% 0unicipality o% 8inaca!an, created in a ),A, e2ecutive order, was a"on the issues raised in 9imenez. The Court, throu h >ustice 0endo/a, provided an e2pert su""ation o% the evolution o% the rule. The principal !asis %or the view that 8inaca!an was not validly created as a "unicipal corporation is the rulin in Pelaez v* 'uditor )eneral that the creation o% "unicipal corporations is essentially a le islative "atter and there%ore the President was without power to create !y e2ecutive order the 0unicipality o% 8inaca!an. The rulin in this case has !een reiterated in a nu"!er o% cases later decided. Cowever, we have since held that where a "unicipality created as such !y e2ecutive order is later i"pliedly reco ni/ed and its acts are accorded le al validity, its creation can no lon er !e 5uestioned. -n /unicipality of %an :arciso7 >uezon v* /endez7 %r*, this Court considered the %ollowin %actors as havin validated the creation o% a "unicipal corporation, which, li$e the 0unicipality o% 8inaca!an, was created !y e2ecutive order o% the President !e%ore the rulin in Pelaez v* 'uditor )eneral: &)' the %act that %or nearly 9< years the validity o% the creation o% the "unicipality had never !een challen ed3 &6' the %act that %ollowin the rulin in Pelae/ no <uo "arranto suit was %iled to 5uestion the validity o%

the e2ecutive order creatin such "unicipality3 and &9' the %act that the "unicipality was later classi%ied as a %i%th class "unicipality, or ani/ed as part o% a "unicipal circuit court and considered part o% a le islative district in the Constitution apportionin the seats in the Couse o% Representatives. A!ove all, it was held that whatever dou!t there "i ht !e as to the de $ure character o% the "unicipality "ust !e dee"ed to have !een put to rest !y the ;ocal Govern"ent Code o% ),,) &R. A. ?o. 7)+<', [AA6&d' o% which provides that ""unicipal districts or ani/ed pursuant to presidential issuances or e2ecutive orders and which have their respective sets o% elective o%%icials holdin o%%ice at the ti"e o% the e%%ectivity o% this Code shall hence%orth !e considered as re ular "unicipalities." Cere, the sa"e %actors are present so as to con%er on 8inaca!an the status o% at least a de %acto "unicipal corporation in the sense that its le al e2istence has !een reco ni/ed and ac5uiesced pu!licly and o%%icially. 8inaca!an had !een in e2istence %or si2teen years when Pelaez v* 'uditor )eneral was decided on (ece"!er 6A, ),+B. Eet the validity o% F.O. ?o. 6B* creatin it had never !een 5uestioned. Created in ),A,, it was only A< years later that its e2istence was 5uestioned and only !ecause it had laid clai" to an area that apparently is desired %or its revenue. This %act "ust !e underscored !ecause under Rule ++, [)+ o% the Rules o% Court, a <uo "arranto suit a ainst a corporation %or %or%eiture o% its charter "ust !e co""enced within %ive &B' years %ro" the ti"e the act co"plained o% was done or co""itted. On the contrary, the 8tate and even the 0unicipality o% >i"ene/ itsel% have reco ni/ed 8inaca!an1s corporate e2istence. @nder Ad"inistrative Order ?o. 99 dated >une )9, ),7* o% this Court, as reiterated !y [9) o% the >udiciary Reor ani/ation Act o% ),*< &#. P. #l . )6,', 8inaca!an is constituted part o% a "unicipal circuit %or purposes o% the esta!lish"ent o% 0unicipal Circuit Trial Courts in the country. 4or its part, >i"ene/ had earlier reco ni/ed 8inaca!an in ),B< !y enterin into an a ree"ent with it re ardin their co""on !oundary. The a ree"ent was e"!odied in Resolution ?o. 77 o% the Provincial #oard o% 0isa"is Occidental. -ndeed 8inaca!an has attained de $ure status !y virtue o% the Ordinance appended to the ),*7 Constitution, apportionin le islative districts throu hout the country, which considered 8inaca!an part o% the 8econd (istrict o% 0isa"is Occidental. 0oreover, %ollowin the rulin in /unicipality of %an :arciso7 >uezon v* /endez7 %r.,

AA6&d' o% the ;ocal Govern"ent Code o% ),,) "ust !e dee"ed to have cured any de%ect in the creation o% 8inaca!anV.IB,J 4ro" this survey o% relevant .urisprudence, we can ather the applica!le rules. Pelaez and its o%%sprin cases ruled that the President has no power to create "unicipalities, yet li"ited its nulli%icatory e%%ects to the particular "unicipalities challen ed in actual cases !e%ore this Court. Cowever, with the pro"ul ation o% the ;ocal Govern"ent Code in ),,), the le al cloud was li%ted over the "unicipalities si"ilarly created !y e2ecutive order !ut not .udicially annulled. The de facto status o% such "unicipalities as 8an Andres, Alicia and 8inaca!an was reco ni/ed !y this Court, and 8ection AA6&!' o% the ;ocal Govern"ent Code dee"ed curative whatever le al de%ects to title these "unicipalities had la!ored under. -s Andon si"ilarly entitled to reco nition as a de facto "unicipal corporationN -t is not. There are e"inent di%%erences !etween Andon and "unicipalities such as 8an Andres, Alicia and 8inaca!an. 0ost pro"inent is the %act that the e2ecutive order creatin Andon was e2pressly annulled !y order o% this Court in ),+B. -% we were to a%%ir" Andon Qs de facto status !y reason o% its alle ed continued e2istence despite its nulli%ication, we would in e%%ect !e condonin de%iance o% a valid order o% this Court. Court decisions cannot o!viously lose their e%%icacy due to the sheer de%iance !y the parties a rieved. -t !ears notin that !ased on Ca"idQs own ad"issions, Andon does not "eet the re5uisites set %orth !y 8ection AA6&d' o% the ;ocal Govern"ent Code. 8ection AA6&d' re5uires that in order that the "unicipality created !y e2ecutive order "ay receive reco nition, they "ust Whave their respective set o% elective "unicipal o%%icials holdin o%%ice at the ti"e o% the e%%ectivity o% Ithe ;ocal Govern"entJ Code.X Ca"id ad"its that Andon has never elected its "unicipal o%%icers at all.I+<J This incapacity ties in with the %act that Andon was .udicially annulled in ),+B. Out o% o!eisance to our rulin in Pelaez, the national overn"ent ceased to reco ni/e the e2istence o% Andon , deprivin it o% its share o% the pu!lic %unds, and re%usin to conduct "unicipal elections %or the void "unicipality. The %ailure to appropriate %unds %or Andon and the a!sence o% elections in the "unicipality in the last %our decades are elo5uent indicia o% the non=reco nition !y the 8tate o% the e2istence o% the town. The certi%ications relied upon !y Ca"id, issued !y the (F?R=CF?RO and the

?ational 8tatistics O%%ice, can hardly serve the purpose o% attestin to Andon Qs le al e%%icacy. -n %act, !oth these certi%ications 5uali%y that they were issued upon the re5uest o% Ca"id, Wto support the restoration or re= operation o% the 0unicipality o% Andon , ;anao del 8ur,XI+)J thus o!viously concedin that the "unicipality is at present inoperative. Ge "ay li$ewise pay attention to the Ordinance appended to the ),*7 Constitution, which had also !een relied upon in 9imenez and %an :arciso. This Ordinance, which apportioned the seats o% the Couse o% Representatives to the di%%erent le islative districts in the Philippines, enu"erates the various "unicipalities that are enco"passed !y the various le islative districts. Andon is not listed therein as a"on the "unicipalities o% ;anao del 8ur, or o% any other province %or that "atter. I+6J On the other hand, the "unicipalities o% 8an Andres, Alicia and 8inaca!an are "entioned in the Ordinance as part o% Lue/on,I+9J #ohol,I+AJ and 0isa"is OccidentalI+BJ respectively. Cow a!out the ei hteen &)*' "unicipalities si"ilarly nulli%ied in Pelaez !ut certi%ied as e2istin in the (-;G &ertification presented !y Ca"idN The petition %ails to "ention that su!se5uent to the rulin in Pelaez7 le islation was enacted to reconstitute these "unicipalities.I++J -t is thus not surprisin that the (-;G certi%ied the e2istence o% these ei hteen &)*' "unicipalities, or that these towns are a"on the "unicipalities enu"erated in the Ordinance appended to the Constitution. Andon has not !een si"ilarly reesta!lished throu h statute. Clearly then, the %act that there are valid or anic statutes passed !y le islation recreatin these ei hteen &)*' "unicipalities is su%%icient le al !asis to accord a di%%erent le al treat"ent to Andon as a ainst these ei hteen &)*' other "unicipalities. Ge thus assert the proper purview to 8ection AA6&d' o% the ;ocal Govern"ent Codethat it does not serve to a%%ir" or reconstitute the .udicially dissolved "unicipalities such as Andon , which had !een previously created !y presidential issuances or e2ecutive orders. The provision a%%ir"s the le al personalities only o% those "unicipalities such as 8an ?arciso, Alicia, and 8inaca!an, which "ay have !een created usin the sa"e in%ir" le al !asis, yet were %ortunate enou h not to have !een .udicially annulled. On the other hand, the "unicipalities .udicially dissolved in cases such as Pelaez7 %an 9oa<uin7 and /ala#an!, re"ain ine2istent, unless recreated throu h speci%ic le islative enact"ents, as

done with the ei hteen &)*' "unicipalities certi%ied !y the (-;G. Those "unicipalities derive their le al personality not %ro" the presidential issuances or e2ecutive orders which ori inally created the" or %ro" 8ection AA6&d', !ut %ro" the respective le islative statutes which were enacted to revive the". And what now o% Andon and its residentsN Certainly, neither Pelaez or this decision has o!literated Andon into a hole on the round. The le al e%%ect o% the nulli%ication o% Andon in Pelaez was to revert the constituent !arrios o% the voided town !ac$ into their ori inal "unicipalities, na"ely the "unicipalities o% ;u"!atan, #uti and Tu!aran.I+7J These three "unicipalities su!sist to this day as part o% ;anao del 8ur,I+*J and presu"a!ly continue to e2ercise corporate powers over the !arrios which once !elon ed to Andon . -% there is truly a stron i"pulse callin %or the reconstitution o% Andon , the solution is throu h the le islature and not .udicial con%ir"ation o% void title. -% indeed the residents o% Andon have, all these years, !een overned not !y their proper "unicipal overn"ents !ut !y a ra ta W-nteri" Govern"ent,X then an e2pedient political and le islative solution is perhaps necessary. Eet we can hardly sanction the retention o% Andon Qs le al personality solely on the !asis o% collective a"nesia that "ay have allowed Andon to so"ehow pretend itsel% into e2istence despite its .udicial dissolution. 0ay!e those who insist Andon still e2ists pre%er to re"ain unpertur!ed in their !liss%ul i norance, li$e the inha!itants o% the cave in PlatoQs %a"ed alle ory. #ut the ti"e has co"e %or the li ht to seep in, and %or the petitioner and li$e="inded persons to awa$en to le al reality. 4HEREEORE, the Petition is (-80-88F( "erit. Costs a ainst petitioner. %or lac$ o%

MUNICIPALITY OE TANDAG, PROVINCE OE SURIGAO DEL SUR? MUNICIPALITY OE BORONGAN, PROVINCE OE EASTERN SAMAR? AND MUNICIPALITY OE TAYABAS, PROVINCE OE NUEZON, RESOLUTION BERSAMIN, J.:

Ge consider and resolve the 'd &autelam /otion for Reconsideration %iled !y the petitioners vis?@?vis the

Resolution pro"ul ated on 4e!ruary )B, 6<)).

To recall, the Resolution pro"ul ated on 4e!ruary )B, 6<)) ranted the /otion for Reconsideration o% the

respondents presented a ainst the Resolution dated Au ust 6A, 6<)<, reversed the Resolution dated Au ust 6A, 6<)<, and declared the )+ Cityhood ;aws Repu!lic Acts ?os. ,9*,, ,9,<, ,9,), ,9,6, ,9,9, ,9,A, ,9,*, ,A<A, ,A<B, ,A<7, ,A<*, ,A<,, ,A9A, ,A9B, ,A9+, and ,A,) constitutional.

?ow, the petitioners anchor their 'd &autelam /otion for Reconsideration upon the pri"ordial round that the

Court could no lon er "odi%y, alter, or a"end its .ud "ent declarin the Cityhood ;aws unconstitutional lon !eco"e %inal and

LEAGUE OE CITIES OE THE PHILIPPINES (LCP), r!'r!"!n&!# 23 LCP N%&(on%$ Pr!"(#!n& K!rr3 P. Tr!L%"? CITY OE CALBAYOG, r!'r!"!n&!# 23 M%3or M!$ S!n!n S. S%r-(!n&o? %n# KERRY P. TREMAS, (n +(" '!r"on%$ )%'%)(&3 %" T%1'%3!r, Petitioners, = versus = COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS? MUNICIPALITY OE BAYBAY, PROVINCE OE LEYTE? MUNICIPALITY OE BOGO, PROVINCE OE CEBU? MUNICIPALITY OE CATBALOGAN, PROVINCE OE 4ESTERN SAMAR?

due to such .ud "ent havin

e2ecutory. They su!"it that the Cityhood ;aws violated 8ection + and 8ection )< o% Article : o% the Constitution, as well as the F5ual Protection Clause.

The petitioners speci%ically ascri!e to the Court the %ollowin errors in its pro"ul ation o% the

that the decision herein had lon

!eco"e %inal and

part. >ustice ;eonardo A. Luisu"!in


I)J

is on leave.

e2ecutory. They state that the Court there!y violated rules o% procedure, and the principles o% res $udicata and i""uta!ility o% %inal .ud "ents. Githin )B days %ro" receipt o% the April 6*, 6<<, Resolution, the respondents %iled a /otion 4o 'mend Resolution 8f 'pril 237 2662 (y Declarin! Instead 4hat The petitioners posit that the controversy on the Cityhood ;aws ended with the April 6*, 6<<, Resolution denyin the respondentsQ second "otion %or RespondentsA B/otion for Reconsideration 8f the

assailed 4e!ruary )B, 6<)) Resolution, to wit: -. TCF CO?ORA#;F CO@RT CA8 ?O >@R-8(-CT-O? TO PRO0@;GATF TCF RF8O;@T-O? O4 )B 4F#R@ARE 6<)) #FCA@8F TCFRF -8 ?O ;O?GFR A?E ACT@A; CA8F OR CO?TROVFR8E TO 8FTT;F. --. TCF RF8O;@T-O? CO?TRAVF?F8 TCF ),,7 R@;F8 O4 C-V-; PROCF(@RF A?( RF;FVA?T 8@PRF0F CO@RT -88@A?CF8. ---. TCF RF8O;@T-O? @?(FR0-?F8 TCF >@(-C-A; 8E8TF0 -? -T8 (-8RFGAR( O4 TCF PR-?C-P;F8 O4 RF8 >@(-CATA A?( TCF (OCTR-?F O4 -00@TA#-;-TE O4 4-?A; >@(G0F?T8. -V. TCF RF8O;@T-O? FRRO?FO@8;E R@;F( TCAT TCF 8-:TFF? &)+' C-TECOO( #-;;8 (O ?OT V-O;ATF ART-C;F :, 8FCT-O?8 + A?( )< O4 TCF ),*7 CO?8T-T@T-O?. V. TCF 8-:TFF? &)+' C-TECOO( ;AG8 V-O;ATF TCF FL@A; PROTFCT-O? C;A@8F O4 TCF CO?8T-T@T-O? A?( TCF R-GCT O4 ;OCA; GOVFR?0F?T8 TO A >@8T 8CARF -? TCF ?AT-O?A; TA:F8.

Resolution 8f /arch C+7 2662D 'nd B/otion .or 5eave 4o .ile7 'nd 4o 'dmit 'ttached E%econd /otion .or

reconsideration vis?@?vis the ?ove"!er )*, 6<<* (ecision %or !ein a prohi!ited pleadin , and in view o% the

Reconsideration 8f 4he Decision Dated :ovem#er +37 2663A Remain Unresolved 'nd 4o &onduct .urther Proceedin!s 4hereon, ar uin therein that a

issuance o% the entry of $ud!ment on 0ay 6), 6<<,.

deter"ination o% the issue o% constitutionality o% the )+ The Court disa rees with the petitioners. Cityhood ;aws upon a "otion %or reconsideration !y an e5ually divided vote was not !indin -n the April 6*, 6<<, Resolution, the Court ruled: #y a vote o% +=+, the 0otion %or Reconsideration o% the Resolution o% 9) 0arch 6<<, is (F?-F( %or lac$ o% "erit. The "otion is denied since there is no "a.ority that voted to overturn the Resolution o% 9) 0arch 6<<,. The 8econd 0otion %or Reconsideration o% the (ecision o% )* ?ove"!er 6<<* is (F?-F( %or !ein a prohi!ited pleadin , and the 0otion %or ;eave to Ad"it Attached Petition in -ntervention dated 6< April 6<<, and the Petition in -ntervention dated 6< April 6<<, %iled !y counsel %or ;udivina T. 0as, et al. are also (F?-F( in view o% the denial o% the second "otion %or reconsideration. ?o %urther pleadin s shall !e entertained. ;et entry o% .ud "ent !e "ade in due course. >ustice Pres!itero >. Velasco, >r. wrote a (issentin Opinion, .oined !y >ustices Consuelo Enares= 8antia o, Renato C. Corona, 0inita Chico=?a/ario, Teresita ;eonardo=(e Castro, and ;ucas P. #ersa"in. Chie% >ustice Reynato 8. Puno and >ustice Antonio Fduardo #. ?achura too$ no valid precedent, citin on the Court as a

the separate opinion o% then Chie%

>ustice Reynato 8. Puno in 5am#ino v* &ommission on Elections.I6J

Thus, in its >une 6, 6<<, Resolution, the Court issued the %ollowin clari%ication o% the April 6*, 6<<, Resolution, viz: As a rule, a second "otion %or reconsideration is a prohi!ited pleadin pursuant to 8ection 6, Rule B6 o% the Rules o% Civil Procedure which provides that: W?o second "otion %or reconsideration o% a .ud "ent or %inal resolution !y the sa"e party shall !e entertained.X Thus, a decision !eco"es %inal and e2ecutory a%ter )B days %ro" receipt o% the denial o% the %irst "otion %or reconsideration. Ho*!,!r, *+!n % -o&(on .or $!%,! &o .($! %n# %#-(& % "!)on# -o&(on .or r!)on"(#!r%&(on (" r%n&!# 23 &+! Cour&, &+! Cour& &+!r!.or! %$$o*" &+! .($(n o. &+! "!)on# -o&(on .or r!)on"(#!r%&(on. In "u)+ % )%"!, &+! "!)on# -o&(on .or

Ru$(n

@pon

thorou h

consideration,

we

deny

the 'd

&autelam /otion for Reconsideration %or its lac$ o% "erit. I. Pro)!#ur%$ I""u!"

Gith respect to the %irst, second, and third assi n"ents petitioners pro"ul atin o% assail errors, supra, the it appears o% the that Court the in

.urisdiction

the4e!ruary )B, 6<)) Resolution, clai"in

r!)on"(#!r%&(on (" no $on !r % 'ro+(2(&!# '$!%#(n . In &+! 'r!"!n& )%"!, &+! Cour& ,o&!# on &+! "!)on# -o&(on .or r!)on"(#!r%&(on .($!# 23 r!"'on#!n& )(&(!". In !..!)&, &+! Cour& %$$o*!# &+! .($(n o. &+! "!)on# -o&(on .or r!)on"(#!r%&(on. T+u", &+! "!)on# -o&(on .or r!)on"(#!r%&(on *%" no $on !r % 'ro+(2(&!# '$!%#(n . Ho*!,!r, .or $%)@ o. &+! r!>u(r!# nu-2!r o. ,o&!" &o o,!r&urn &+! /G No,!-2!r 6DDG D!)("(on %n# B/ M%r)+ 6DD0 R!"o$u&(on, &+! Cour& #!n(!# &+! "!)on# -o&(on .or r!)on"(#!r%&(on (n (&" 6G A'r($ 6DD0 R!"o$u&(on.I9J

-n

the 8epte"!er

6,,

6<<, Resolution,IAJ the

Court

re5uired the petitioners to co""ent on the /otion for Reconsideration of the Resolution of 9une 27 2662within )< days %ro" receipt.

As directed, the petitioners %iled their &omment 'd &autelam With /otion to E pun!e.

(eclarin -nstead that RespondentsQ Y0otion %or Reconsideration o% the Resolution o% 0arch 9), 6<<,Q and Y0otion %or ;eave to 4ile and to Ad"it Attached 8econd 0otion %or Reconsideration o% the (ecision (ated ?ove"!er )*, 6<<*Q Re"ain @nresolved and to Conduct 4urther Proceedin s,X dated 0ay )A, 6<<,, and their second 0otion %or Reconsideration o% the (ecision dated ?ove"!er )*, 6<<* areGRA?TF(. The >une 6, 6<<,, the 0arch 9), 6<<,, and April 9), 6<<, Resolutions are RFVFR8F( and 8FT A8-(F. The entry o% .ud "ent "ade on 0ay 6), 6<<, "ust accordin ly !eRFCA;;F(. The instant consolidated petitions and petitions= in=intervention are (-80-88F(. The cityhood laws, na"ely Repu!lic Act ?os. ,9*,, ,9,<, ,9,), ,9,6, ,9,9, ,9,A, ,9,*, ,A<A, ,A<B, ,A<7, ,A<*, ,A<,, ,A9A, ,A9B, ,A9+, and ,A,) are declared VA;-( and CO?8T-T@T-O?A;. 8O OR(FRF(.

The respondents %iled their /otion for 5eave to .ile and to 'dmit 'ttached BReply to PetitionersA E&omment 'd

As the result o% the a%orecited clari%ication, the Court resolved to e2pun e %ro" the records several pleadin s and docu"ents, includin respondentsQ /otion 4o 'mend

&autelam With /otion to E pun!eAX, to ether with the Reply.

Resolution 8f 'pril 237 2662 etc.

On ?ove"!er )7, 6<<,, the Court resolved to note the petitionersQ &omment 'd &autelam With /otion to their /otion for On >anuary B, 6<)<, the petitioners %iled an 'd &autelam /otion for Reconsideration a ainst the (ece"!er 6), 6<<, (ecision.I+J On the sa"e date, the petitioners also %iled a /otion to 'nnul Decision of 2+ Decem#er 2662.I7J

The

respondents

thus

%iled

E pun!e, to

rant the respondentsQ /otion for 5eave to &omment 'd

Reconsideration of the Resolution of 9une 27 2662 , asseveratin 'pril 237 that their /otion 4o 'mend Resolution 8f 2662 etc* was not another "otion %or

.ile and 'dmit Reply to PetitionersA

&autelam "ith /otion to E pun!e , and to note the respondentsQ Reply to PetitionersA &omment 'd &autelam "ith /otion to E pun!e.

reconsideration o% the ?ove"!er )*, 6<<* (ecision, !ecause it assailed the April 6*, 6<<, Resolution with respect to the tie=vote on the respondentsQ %econd /otion .or Reconsideration . They pointed out that

On >anuary )6, 6<)<, the Court directed the respondents to co""ent on the "otions o% the petitioners. I*J the /otion On 4e!ruary A, 6<)<, petitioner=

On (ece"!er 6), 6<<,, the Court, resolvin

4o 'mend Resolution 8f 'pril 237 2662 etc* and votin anew on the %econd /otion .or Reconsideration in order to reach a concurrence o% a "a.ority, pro"ul ated its (ecision rantin the "otion and declarin the Cityhood

the /otion 4o 'mend Resolution 8f 'pril 237 2662 etc* was %iled on 0ay )A, 6<<,, which was within the )B= day period %ro" their receipt o% the April 6*, 6<<, Resolution3 thus, the entry of $ud!ment had !een

intervenors City o% 8antia o, City o% ;e a/pi, and City o% -ri a %iled their separate /anifestations "ith

;aws as constitutional,IBJdisposin thus: GCFRF4ORF, respondent ;G@sQ 0otion %or Reconsideration dated >une 6, 6<<,, their W0otion to A"end the Resolution o% April 6*, 6<<, !y

%upplemental 'd &autelam /otions for Reconsideration .


I,J

pre"aturely "ade. They reiterated their ar u"ents with respect to a tie=vote upon an issue o% constitutionality.

8i"ilar "ani%estations with supple"ental "otions %or

reconsideration were %iled !y other petitioner=intervenors, speci%ically: City o% Cadi/ on 4e!ruary )B, 6<)<3I)<J City

o% #atan as on 4e!ruary

)7,

6<)<3I))J and

City

the CourtQs votin

and actin

on it havin

the e%%ect

ended up with the pro"ul ation o% the (ece"!er 6), 6<<, (ecision &declarin constitutional'. the Cityhood ;aws valid and

o% Oro5uieta on 4e!ruary 6A, 6<)<.I)6J The Court re5uired the adverse parties to co""ent on the "otions. I)9J As directed, the respondents co"plied.

o% allo"in! the %econd /otion .or Reconsideration 3 and that when the respondents of the the %iled their /otion of 9une for 27 4o

Reconsideration 2662 5uestionin

Resolution o%

e2pun in

their /otion

-t is also inaccurate %or the petitioners to insist that the (ece"!er 6), 6<<, (ecision overturned

On Au ust 6A, 6<)<, the Court issued its Resolution reinstatin the ?ove"!er )*, 6<<* (ecision.I)AJ

'mend Resolution 8f 'pril 237 2662 etc* &which had !een %iled within the )B=day period %ro" receipt o% the April 6*, 6<<, Resolution', the Court opted to act on the /otion for

the ?ove"!er )*, 6<<* (ecision on the !asis o% the "ereReflections o% the 0e"!ers o% the Court. To !e sure, the Reflections were the le al opinions o% the 0e"!ers and %or"ed part o% the deli!erations o% the Court. The re%erence in the (ece"!er 6), 6<<, (ecision to

On 8epte"!er )A, 6<)<, the respondents ti"ely %iled a /otion for Reconsideration of the BResolutionD Dated 'u!ust 217 26+6.I)BJ They %ollowed this !y %ilin on 8epte"!er 6<, 6<)< a /otion to %et B/otion for Reconsideration of the EResolutionA dated 'u!ust 217 26+6D for ;earin!.I)+J On ?ove"!er ),, 6<)<, the

Reconsideration of the Resolution of 9une 27 2662 !y directin the adverse parties throu h its 8epte"!er 6,,

6<<, Resolution to co""ent. The sa"e per"ittin e%%ect occurred when the Court, !y its ?ove"!er )7, 6<<, Resolution, ranted the respondentsQ /otion for 5eave to &omment 'd

the Reflections pointed out that there was still a pendin incident a%ter the April 6*, 6<<, Resolution that had !een ti"ely %iled within )B days %ro" its receipt, I6<J pursuant to 8ection )<, Rule B),I6)J in relation to 8ection ), Rule B6,
I66J

.ile and 'dmit Reply to PetitionersA

petitioners sent in their 8pposition F4o the B/otion for Reconsideration of EResolutionA dated 'u!ust 217 26+6DG.
I)7J

&autelam "ith /otion to E pun!e, and noted the attached Reply.

o% the Rules of &ourt. A ain, the Court did act and incident, leadin to the

On ?ove"!er 9<, 6<)<,I)*J the Court noted, a"on 0oreover, !y issuin the Resolutions dated 8epte"!er

deli!erate upon this pendin

others, the petitionersQ 8pposition.

issuance o% the (ece"!er 6), 6<<, (ecision &declarin the Cityhood ;aws %ree %ro" constitutional in%ir"ity'. -t was therea%ter that the Court rendered its Au ust 6A, 6<)< Resolution &reinstatin the ?ove"!er )*, 6<<*

6,, 6<<, and ?ove"!er )7, 6<<,, the Court: & a' On >anuary )*, 6<)),I),J the Court denied the rendered ineffective the tie=vote under the Resolution o% April 6*, 6<<, and the ensuin denial o% the /otion for

respondentsQ /otion to %et B/otion for Reconsideration of the EResolutionA dated 'u!ust 217 26+6D for ;earin!.

Reconsideration of the Resolution of /arch C+7 2662 %or lac$ o% a "a.ority to overturn3 &#'7 re=opened the (ecision

(ecision', to correct which the respondentsQ/otion for Reconsideration of the BResolutionD Dated 'u!ust 217 26+6 was %iled. And, %inally, the Court issued its 4e!ruary )B, 6<)) Resolution, reversin and settin aside

Therea%ter, on 4e!ruary )B, 6<)), the Court issued the Resolution !ein now challen ed.

o%

?ove"!er

)*,

6<<*

%or

second

loo$

under

reconsideration3 and &c' li%ted the directive that no %urther pleadin s would !e entertained. The Court in %act

the Au ust 6A, 6<)< Resolution.

-t can !e >une 6,

leaned %ro" the %ore oin 6<<, Resolution /otion

that, as the the .or in view o%

entertained and acted on the respondentsQ /otion for Reconsideration of the Resolution of 9une 27 2662. -t is worth repeatin that the actions ta$en herein

clari%ied,

respondentsQ %econd

Therea%ter, the Court proceeded to deli!erate anew on the respondentsQ %econd /otion for Reconsideration and

were "ade !y the Court en #anc strictly in accordance with the Rules of &ourt and its internal procedures. There

Reconsideration was not a prohi!ited pleadin

has

!een no irre ularity attendin

or taintin

the

Con ress clearly intended that the local overn"ent units covered !y the Cityhood ;aws !e e2e"pted %ro" the covera e o% R.A. ?o. ,<<,. The apprehensions o% the

&ertain /unicipalities Em#odied in (ills .iled in &on!ress #efore 9une C67 266+ from the covera!e of Repu#lic 'ct :o* 2662. Cowever, the 8enate %ailed to act on >oint Resolution ?o. 6,. Fven so, the Couse o% Representatives readopted >oint Resolution ?o. 6, as >oint Resolution ?o. ) durin the )6th Con ress,I6BJ and

proceedin s.

-t also relevant to state that the Court has %re5uently disencu"!ered itsel% under e2traordinary

then 8enate President with respect to the considera!le disparity !etween the inco"e re5uire"ent o% P6< "illion under the ;ocal Govern"ent Code &;GC' prior to its a"end"ent, and the P)<< "illion under the a"end"ent introduced !y R.A. ?o. ,<<, were de%initively articulated

circu"stances %ro" the shac$les o% technicality in order to render .ust and e5uita!le relie%.I69J

%orwarded >oint Resolution ?o. ) to the 8enate %or approval. A ain, the 8enate %ailed to approve >oint Resolution ?o. ).

On whether the principle o% i""uta!ility o% .ud "ents and !ar !y res $udicata apply herein, su%%ice it to state that the succession o% the events recounted herein indicates that the controversy a!out the )+ Cityhood ;aws has not yet !een resolved with %inality. As such, the operation o% the principle o% i""uta!ility o% .ud "ents did not yet co"e into play. 4or the sa"e reason is an adherence to the doctrine o% res $udicata not yet

in his interpellation o% 8enator Pi"entel durin

the

deli!erations on 8enate #ill ?o. 6)B7. The then 8enate President was co ni/ant o% the %act that there were "unicipalities that then had pendin conversion !ills durin #ill the ))th Con ress prior to the adoption o% 8enate ?o. 6)B7 as R.A. ?o. ,<<,,I6AJ includin the 0A?-4F8TAT-O? O4 8F?ATOR P-0F?TF; Couse >oint Resolution ?o. ) see$s to e2e"pt certain "unicipalities see$in conversion into cities %ro" the re5uire"ent that they "ust have at least P)<< "illion in inco"e o% locally enerated revenue, e2clusive o% the internal revenue share that they received %ro" the central overn"ent as re5uired under Repu!lic Act ?o. ,<<,. The procedure %ollowed !y the Couse is 5uestiona!le, to say the least. The Couse wants the 8enate to do away with the inco"e re5uire"ent o% P)<< "illion so that, en "asse, the "unicipalities they want e2e"pted could now %ile !ills speci%ically convertin the" into cities. The reason they want the 8enate to do it %irst is that Con . (odo 0acias, chair o% the Couse Co""ittee on ;ocal Govern"ents, - a" told, will not entertain any !ill %or the conversion o% "unicipalities into cities unless the issue o% inco"e re5uire"ent is %irst hurdled. The Couse leadership there%ore wants to shi%t the !urden o% e2e"ptin certain "unicipalities %ro" the inco"e re5uire"ent to the 8enate rather than do it itsel%. At this .uncture, it is worthwhile to consider the

"ani%estation o% 8enator Pi"entel with respect to >oint Resolution ?o. ), to wit:

"unicipalities covered !y the Cityhood ;aws. -t is worthy o% "ention that the pertinent deli!erations on 8enate #ill ?o. 6)B7 occurred on Octo!er B, 6<<< while the ))th Con ress was in session, and the conversion !ills were then pendin in the 8enate. Thus, the responses o%

warranted, especially considerin rulin

that the precedential

%or this case needed to !e revisited and set with

certainty and %inality. II. Su2"&%n&(,! I""u!"

8enator Pi"entel "ade it o!vious that R.A. ?o. ,<<, would not apply to the conversion !ills then pendin deli!eration in the 8enate durin the ))th Con ress. The petitioners reiterate their position that the Cityhood ;aws violate 8ection + and 8ection )< o% Article : o% the Constitution, the F5ual Protection Clause, and the ri ht o% local overn"ents to a .ust share in the national ta2es. R.A. ?o. ,<<, too$ e%%ect on >une 9<, 6<<), when the )6th Con ress was incipient. #y reason o% the clear le islative intent to e2e"pt the

"unicipalities covered !y the conversion !ills pendin The Court di%%ers. durin the ))th

Con ress, the Couse o% Representatives adopted >oint Resolution ?o. 6,, entitled 9oint Resolution to E empt

That is "ost unusual !ecause, in e%%ect, the Couse wants the 8enate to pass a !lan$et resolution that would 5uali%y the "unicipalities concerned %or conversion into cities on the "atter o% inco"e alone. Then, at a later date, the Couse would pass speci%ic !ills convertin the "unicipalities into cities. Cowever, inco"e is not only the re5uire"ent %or "unicipalities to !eco"e cities. There are also the re5uire"ents on population and land area. -n e%%ect, the Couse wants the 8enate to tac$le the 5uali%ication o% the "unicipalities they want converted into cities piece"eal and separately, %irst is the inco"e under the .oint resolution, then the other re5uire"ents when the !ills are %ile to convert speci%ic "unicipalities into cities. To repeat, this is a "ost unusual "anner o% creatin cities. 0y respect%ul su estion is %or the 8enate to re5uest the Couse to do what they want to do re ardin the applications o% certain "unicipalities to !eco"e cities pursuant to the re5uire"ents o% the ;ocal Govern"ent Code. -% the Couse wants to e2e"pt certain "unicipalities %ro" the re5uire"ents o% the ;ocal Govern"ent Code to !eco"e cities, !y all "eans, let the" do their thin . 8peci%ically, they should act on speci%ic !ills to create cities and cite the reasons why the "unicipalities concerned are 5uali%ied to !eco"e cities. Only a%ter the Couse shall have co"pleted what they are e2pected to do under the law would it !e proper %or the 8enate to act on speci%ic !ills creatin cities. -n other words, the Couse should !e re5uested to %inish everythin that needs to !e done in the "atter o% convertin "unicipalities into cities and not do it piece"eal as they are now tryin to do under the .oint resolution. -n "y lon years in the 8enate, this is the %irst ti"e that a resort to this su!ter%u e is !ein underta$en to %avor the creation o% certain cities. I %- no& "%3(n &+%& &+!3 %r! no& >u%$(.(!#. A$$ I %- "%3(n (", (. &+! Hou"! *%n&" &o '%"" %n# )r!%&! )(&(!" ou& o. )!r&%(n -un()('%$(&(!", 23 %$$ -!%n" $!& &+!#o &+%&. Bu& &+!3 "+ou$# #o (& .o$$o*(n &+! r!>u(r!-!n&" o. &+! Lo)%$ Go,!rn-!n& Co#!

%n#, (. &+!3 *%n& &o -%@! )!r&%(n !1)!'&(on", &+!3 )%n %$"o #o &+%& &oo. Bu& &+!3 "+ou$# no& u"! &+! S!n%&! %" % '$o3 &o !& &+(n " #on! *+()+ &+!3 &+!-"!$,!" "+ou$# #o. -ncidentally, - have reco""ended this "ode o% action ver!ally to so"e leaders o% the Couse. Cad they %ollowed the reco""endation, %or all - $now, the "unicipalities they had envisioned to !e covered !y Couse >oint Resolution ?o. ) would, !y now T i% not all, at least so"e T have !een converted into cities. Couse >oint Resolution ?o. ), the Couse, in e%%ect, caused the delay in the approval in the applications %or cityhood o% the "unicipalities concerned. ;astly, - do not have an a"end"ent to Couse >oint Resolution ?o. ). Ghat - a" su estin is %or the 8enate to re5uest the Couse to %ollow the procedure outlined in the ;ocal Govern"ent Code which has !een respected all throu h the years. #y doin so, we uphold the rule o% law and "ini"i/e the possi!ilities o% power play in the approval o% !ills convertin "unicipalities into cities.I6+J

respondents, "ithout e ception, %ro" the covera e o% R.A. ?o. ,<<,. There!y, R.A. ?o. ,<<,, and, !y necessity, the ;GC, were a"ended, not !y repeal !ut !y way o% the e2press e2e"ptions !ein clauses. e"!odied in the e2e"ption

The petitioners %urther contend that the new inco"e re5uire"ent o% P)<< "illion %ro" locally

enerated sources is not ar!itrary !ecause it is not di%%icult to co"ply with3 that there are several

"unicipalities that have already co"plied with the re5uire"ent and have, in %act, !een converted into cities, such as 8ta. Rosa in ;a una &R.A. ?o ,6+A', ?avotas &R.A. ?o. ,9*7' and 8an >uan &R.A. ?o. ,9**' in 0etro 0anila, (as"ari\as in Cavite &R.A. ?o. ,769', and #i\an in ;a una &R.A. ?o. ,7A<'3 and that several other

"unicipalities have supposedly reached the inco"e o% P)<< "illion %ro" locally Therea%ter, the conversion !ills o% the respondents were individually enerated sources, such as

#auan in #atan as, 0a!alacat in Pa"pan a, and #acoor in Cavite.

%iled in the Couse o% Representatives, and were all unani"ously and The persuade. %avora!ly voted upon !y the 0e"!ers o% the Couse o% Representatives.I67J The !ills, when %orwarded to the 8enate, were li$ewise unani"ously approved !y the 8enate.I6*J The acts o% !oth Cha"!ers o% Con ress show that the e2e"ption clauses ulti"ately incorporated in the Cityhood ;aws are !ut the e2press articulations o% the clear le islative intent to e2e"pt the As indicated in the Resolution o% 4e!ruary )B, 6<)), %i%ty= nine &B,' e2istin cities had %ailed as o% 6<<+ to post an contention o% the petitioners does not

avera e annual inco"e o% P)<< "illion !ased on the %i ures contained in the certi%ication dated (ece"!er B, 6<<* !y the #ureau o% ;ocal Govern"ent. The lar e nu"!er o% e2istin cities, virtually B<O o% the", still

una!le to co"ply with the P)<< "illion threshold inco"e %ive years a%ter R.A. ?o. ,<<, too$ e%%ect renders it %allacious and pro!a!ly unwarranted %or the petitioners to clai" that the P)<< "illion inco"e re5uire"ent is not di%%icult to co"ply with.

S!n%&or P(-!n&!$. -n %act, 0r. President, the Couse version restores the WorX. 8o, this is a "atter that we can very well ta$e up as a policy issue. The chair o% the co""ittee does not say that we should, as we $now, not listen to ar u"ents %or the restoration o% the word WorX in the population or territorial re5uire"ent. S!n%&or O"-!L% III. 0r. President, "y point is that, - a ree with the entle"anQs WandX, !ut perhaps we should !rin down the area. There are certainly very crowded places in this country that are less than )<,<<< hectares)<< s5uare $ilo"eters is )<,<<< hectares. There "i ht only !e ,,<<< hectares or *,<<< hectares. And it would !e un%air i% these "unicipalities already earnin P)<<,<<<,<<< in locally enerated %unds and have a population o% over )B<,<<< would not !e 5uali%ied !ecause o% the si"ple %act that the physical area does not cover )<,<<< hectares. S!n%&or P(-!n&!$. 0r. President, in %act, in 0etro 0anila there are any nu"!er o% "unicipalities. 8an >uan is a speci%ic e2a"ple which, i% we apply the present re5uire"ents, would not 5uali%y: )<< s5uare $ilo"eters and a population o% not less than )B<,<<<. #ut "y reply to that, 0r. President, is that they do not have to !eco"e a cityN S!n%&or O"-!L% III. #ecause o% the inco"e. S!n%&or P(-!n&!$. #ut they are already earnin a lot, as the entle"an said. O&+!r*("!, &+! #%n !r +!r!, (. *! 2!)o-! $%1 (n &+! r!>u(r!-!n&", (" &+! -!&ro'o$("-$o)%&!# $o)%$ o,!rn-!n&" *ou$# +%,! -or! 'r(or(&3 (n &!r-" o. .un#(n 2!)%u"! &+!3 *ou$# +%,! -or! >u%$(.()%&(on" &o 2!)o-! % )(&3 )o-'%r!# &o .%r-.$un %r!%" (n M(n#%n%o or (n &+! Cor#($$!r%", or *+%&!,!r. There%ore, - thin$ we should not pro!a!ly ease up on the re5uire"ents. 0ay!e we can restore the word WorX so that i% they do not have the )<< s5uare $ilo"eters o% territory, then i% they 5uali%y in ter"s o% population and inco"e, that would !e all ri ht, 0r. President.

S!n%&or O"-!L% III. 0r. President, - will not !ela!or the point at this ti"e. - $now that the distin uished entle"an is considerin several a"end"ents to the ;ocal Govern"ent Code. Perhaps this is so"ethin that could !e %urther re%ined at a later ti"e, with his per"ission. 8o - would li$e to than$ the entle"an %or his raciousness in answerin our 5uestions. S!n%&or P(-!n&!$. - also than$ the 0r. President.I6,J entle"an,

-n this re ard, the deli!erations on 8enate #ill ?o. 6)B7 "ay prove enli htenin , thus: S!n%&or O"-!L% III. And could the entle"an help clari%y why a "unicipality would want to !e converted into a cityN S!n%&or P(-!n&!$. There is only one reason, 0r. President, and it is not hidden. -t is the %act that once converted into a city, the "unicipality will have rou hly "ore than three ti"es the share that it would !e receivin over the internal revenue allot"ent than it would have i% it were to re"ain a "unicipality. 8o "ore or less three ti"es or "ore. S!n%&or O"-!L% III. -s it the additional %undin that they will !e a!le to en.oy %ro" a lar er share %ro" the internal revenue allocationsN S!n%&or P(-!n&!$. Ees, 0r. President. S!n%&or O"-!L% III. ?ow, could the entle"an clari%y, 0r. President, why in the ori inal Repu!lic Act ?o. 7)+<, $nown as the ;ocal Govern"ent Code o% ),,), such a wide ap was "ade !etween a "unicipalitywhat a "unicipality would earnand a cityN #ecause essentially, to a personQs "ind, even with this new re5uire"ent, i% approved !y Con ress, i% a "unicipality is earnin P)<< "illion and has a population o% "ore than )B<,<<< inha!itants !ut has less than )<< s5uare $ilo"eters, it would not 5uali%y as a city. S!n%&or P(-!n&!$. Ees. S!n%&or O"-!L% III. ?ow would that not !e 5uite ar!itrary on the part o% the "unicipalityN

The

Court

ta$es !y

note the

o%

the

%act

that as

the

"unicipalities

cited

petitioners

havin

enerated the threshold inco"e o% P)<< "illion %ro" local sources, includin those already converted into cities, are either in 0etro 0anila or in provinces close to 0etro 0anila. -n co"parison, the "unicipalities covered !y the Cityhood ;aws are spread out in the di%%erent provinces o% the Philippines, includin the Cordillera

and 0indanao re ions, and are considera!ly very distant %ro" 0etro 0anila. This reality underscores the dan er the enact"ent o% R.A. ?o. ,<<, sou ht to prevent, i*e*, that Wthe "etropolis=located local overn"ents would !ecause they a city

have "ore priority in ter"s o% %undin would have "ore 5uali%ications to

!eco"e

co"pared to the %ar=%lun

areas in 0indanao or in the %ro" the

Cordilleras, or whatever,X actually resultin

a!rupt increase in the inco"e re5uire"ent. Verily, this result is antithetical to what the Constitution and ;GC have no!ly envisioned in %avor o% countryside

develop"ent and national

rowth. #esides, this result

should !e arrested early, to avoid the unwanted divisive e%%ect on the entire country due to the local overn"ent a%%orded

units closer to the ?ational Capital Re ion !ein easier access to the !i

er share in the national co%%ers

than other local overn"ent units.

There should also !e no 5uestion that the local overn"ent units covered !y the Cityhood ;aws !elon to a class o% their own. They have proven the"selves via!le and capa!le to !eco"e co"ponent cities o% their respective provinces. They are and have !een centers o% trade and co""erce, points o% conver ence o%

respective provinces3 #ay!ay and #ayu an are nu"!er two3 #o o and ;a"itan are nu"!er three3 Carcar, nu"!er %our3 and Taya!as, nu"!er seven. ?ot only are they pacesetters in their respective provinces, they are also a"on the %rontrunners in their re ions T #ay!ay, #ayu an and Ta!u$ are nu"!er two inco"e=earners in Re ions V---, :---, and CAR, respectively3 Cat!alo an and #atac are nu"!er three in Re ions V--- and -, respectively3 #o o, nu"!er %ive in Re ion V--3 #oron an and Carcar are !oth nu"!er si2 in Re ions V--and V--, respectively. This si"ply shows that these "unicipalities are via!le.

@ndou!tedly,

the

i"position

o%

the

inco"e

re5uire"ent o% P)<< "illion %ro" local sources under R.A. ?o. ,<<, was ar!itrary. Ghen the sponsor o% the law chose the speci%ic %i ure o% P)<< "illion, no research or e"pirical data !uttressed the %i ure. ?or was there proo% that the proposal too$ into account the a%ter=e%%ects that were li$ely to arise. As already "entioned, even the dan er the passa e o% R.A. ?o. ,<<, sou ht to prevent

Petitioner ;ea ue o% Cities ar ues that there e2ists no issue with respect to the cityhood o% its "e"!er cities, considerin that they !eca"e cities in %ull co"pliance

"i ht soon !eco"e a reality. Ghile the Constitution "andates that the creation o% local overn"ent units

"ust co"ply with the criteria laid down in the ;GC, it cannot !e .usti%ied to insist that the Constitution "ust have to yield to every a"end"ent to the ;GC despite such a"end"ent i""inently producin e%%ects contrary

transportation, rich havens o% a ricultural, "ineral, and other natural resources, and %lourishin touris" spots. -n

with the criteria %or conversion at the ti"e o% their creation.

his speech delivered on the %loor o% the 8enate to sponsor Couse >oint Resolution ?o. ), 8enator ;i" reco ni/ed such uni5ue traits,I9<J vizH -t "ust !e noted that e2cept %or Tanda and ;a"itan, which are !oth second=class "unicipalities in ter"s o% inco"e, all the rest are cate ori/ed !y the (epart"ent o% 4inance as %irst=class "unicipalities with ross inco"e o% at least P7< "illion as per Co""ission o% Audit Report %or 6<<B. 0oreover, Tanda and ;a"itan, to ether with #oron an, Cat!alo an, and Ta!u$, are all provincial capitals. The "ore recent inco"e %i ures o% the )6 "unicipalities, which would have increased %urther !y this ti"e, indicate their readiness to ta$e on the responsi!ilities o% cityhood. 0oreover, the "unicipalities under consideration are leadin localities in their respective provinces. #oron an, Cat!alo an, Tanda , #atac and Ta!u$ are ran$ed nu"!er one in ter"s o% inco"e a"on all the "unicipalities in their The Court considers the ar u"ent too sweepin . Ghat we pointed out was that the previous inco"e re5uire"ent o% P6< "illion was de%initely not insu%%icient to provide the essential overn"ent %acilities, services, and special population that "illion the o% a co"ponent inco"e the only

to the ori inal thrusts o% the ;GC to pro"ote autono"y, decentrali/ation, countryside develop"ent, and the

conco"itant national rowth.

%unctions vis?@?vis the city. Ge also

0oreover, i% we were now to adopt the strin ent interpretation o% the Constitution the petitioners are espousin , we "ay have to apply the sa"e restrictive yardstic$ a ainst the recently converted cities cited !y the petitioners, and %ind two o% the" whose conversion laws have also to !e struc$ down %or !ein

stressed o% P)<<

increased not

re5uire"ent

was

conclusive indicator %or any "unicipality to survive and re"ain via!le as a co"ponent city. These o!servations were unerrin ly re%lected in the respective inco"es o% the %i%ty=nine &B,' "e"!ers o% the ;ea ue o% Cities that have still %ailed, re"ar$a!ly enou h, to !e co"pliant with the new re5uire"ent o% the P)<< "illion threshold inco"e %ive years a%ter R.A. ?o. ,<<, !eca"e law.

unconstitutional. The two laws are R.A. ?o. ,9*7 I9)J and R.A. ?o. ,9**,I96J respectively o% 8an >uan and convertin into the hi hly

"unicipalities

?avotas

ur!ani/ed cities. A cursory readin

o% the laws indicates

that there is no indication o% co"pliance with the

re5uire"ents i"posed !y the ;GC, %or, althou h the two local overn"ent units concerned presu"a!ly co"plied

The petitionersQ contention that the Cityhood ;aws violated their ri ht to a .ust share in the national ta2es is not accepta!le.

their conversion into co"ponent cities, they will have to share with only around )6< cities.

with the inco"e re5uire"ent o% PB< "illion under 8ection AB6 o% the ;GC and the inco"e re5uire"ent o% P)<< "illion under the a"ended 8ection AB< o% the ;GC, they o!viously did not "eet the re5uire"ents set %orth under 8ection AB9 o% the ;GC, to wit: 8ection AB9. Duty to Declare ;i!hly Ur#anized %tatus.-t shall !e the duty o% the President to declare a city as hi hly ur!ani/ed within thirty &9<' days a%ter it shall have "et the "ini"u" re5uire"ents prescri!ed in the i""ediately precedin 8ection, upon proper application there%or and rati%ication in a ple!iscite !y the 5uali%ied voters therein.

;ocal -n this re ard, it su%%ices to state that the share o% local overn"ent units is a "atter o% percenta e under 8ection 6*B o% the ;GC, not a speci%ic a"ount. 8peci%ically, the share o% the cities is 69O, deter"ined on the !asis o% population &B<O', land area &6BO', and e5ual sharin &6BO'. This share is also dependent on the nu"!er o% e2istin cities, such that when the nu"!er o% cities

overn"ent units do not su!sist only on locally

enerated inco"e, !ut also depend on the -RA to support their develop"ent. They can spur their own

develop"ents and there!y reali/e their encoura in

reat potential o% re ions

trade and co""erce in the %ar=%lun

o% the country. Eet their potential will e%%ectively !e stunted i% those already earnin !i "ore will still receive a

er share %ro" the national co%%ers, and i% co""ercial

increases, then "ore will divide and share the allocation %or cities. Cowever, we have to note that the allocation !y the ?ational Govern"ent is not a constant, and can either

activity will !e "ore or less concentrated only in and near 0etro 0anila. III. Con)$u"(on

-ndeed, R.A. ?o. ,9*7 and R.A. ?o. ,9** evidently show that the President as hi hly had not classi%ied 8an cities upon >uan and proper

increase or decrease. Gith every newly converted city !eco"in entitled to share the allocation %or cities, the o% internal revenue allot"ent &-RA'

?avotas

ur!ani/ed

percenta e

Ge should not ever lose si ht o% the %act that the )+ cities covered !y the Cityhood ;aws not only had conversion !ills pendin durin the ))th Con ress, !ut have also

application and rati%ication in a ple!iscite !y the 5uali%ied voters therein. A %urther perusal o% R.A. ?o. ,9*7 reveals that 8an >uan did not 5uali%y as a hi hly ur!ani/ed city !ecause it had the a population o% only )6B,BB*, o%

entitle"ent o% each city will decrease, althou h the actual a"ount received "ay !e "ore than that received in the precedin year. That is a necessary conse5uence o%

co"plied with the re5uire"ents o% the ;GC prescri!ed prior to its a"end"ent !y R.A. ?o. ,<<,. Con ress undenia!ly ave these cities all the considerations that

8ection 6*B and 8ection 6*+ o% the ;GC.

contravenin

re5uired

"ini"u"

population

6<<,<<< under 8ection AB6 o% the ;GC. 8uch non= 5uali%ication as a co"ponent city was conceded even !y 8enator Pi"entel durin ?o. 6)B7. the deli!erations on 8enate #ill

As ela!orated here and in the assailed 4e!ruary )B, 6<)) Resolution, the Cityhood ;aws were not violative o% the Constitution and the ;GC. The respondents are thus also entitled to their .ust share in the -RA allocation %or cities. They have de"onstrated their via!ility as co"ponent cities o% their respective provinces and are developin continuously, al!eit slowly, !ecause they had previously to share the -RA with a!out ),B<< "unicipalities. Gith

.ustice and %air play de"anded. Cence, this Court should do no less !y sta"pin its imprimatur to the clear and

un"ista$a!le le islative intent and !y duly reco ni/in the certain collective wisdo" o% Con ress.

4HEREEORE, the 'd

&autelam 0otion

%or

co"prisin a territory o% A,<),.,B s5uare $ilo"eters "ore or less. 8FC. 9. The seat o% overn"ent o% the new province shall !e the City o% Cadi/. 8FC. A. A ple!iscite shall !e conducted in the proposed new province which are the areas a%%ected within a period o% one hundred and twenty days %ro" the approval o% this Act. A%ter the rati%ication o% the creation o% the Province o% ?e ros del ?orte !y a "a.ority o% the votes cast in such ple!iscite, the President o% the Philippines shall appoint the %irst o%%icials o% the province. 8FC. B. The Co""ission on Flections shall conduct and supervise the ple!iscite herein provided, the e2penses %or which shall !e char ed to local %unds. 8FC. +. This Act shall ta$ee%%ect upon its approval.&Rollo, pp. 69=6A'

re5uire"ents under this section. The territory need not !e conti uous i% it co"prises two or "ore islands. The avera e esti"ated annual inco"e shall include the inco"e alloted %or !oth the eneral and in%rastructural %unds, e2clusive o% trust %unds, trans%ers and nonrecurrin inco"e. &Rollo, p. +' (ue to the constraints !rou ht a!out !y the supervenin Christ"as holidays durin which the Court was in recess and una!le to ti"ely consider the petition, a supple"ental pleadin was %iled !y petitioners on >anuary A, ),*+, averrin therein that the ple!iscite sou ht to !e restrained !y the" was held on >anuary 9, ),*+ as scheduled !ut that there are still serious issues raised in the instant case a%%ectin the le ality, constitutionality and validity o% such e2ercise which should properly !e passed upon and resolved !y this Court. The ple!iscite was con%ined only to the inha!itants o% the territory o% ?e ros del ?rte, na"ely: the Cities o% 8ilay, Cadi/, and 8an Carlos, and the "unicipalities o% Calatrava, Ta!oso, Fscalante, 8a ay, 0anapla, Victorias, F.#. 0a alona and (on 8alvador #enedicto. #ecause o% the e2clusions o% the voters %ro" the rest o% the province o% ?e ros Occidental, petitioners %ound need to chan e the prayer o% their petition "to the end that the constitutional issues which they have raised in the action will !e ventilated and iven %inal resolution.1"At the sa"e ti"e, they as$ed that the e%%ects o% the ple!iscite which they sou ht to stop !e suspended until the 8upre"e Court shall have rendered its decision on the very %unda"ental and %ar=reachin 5uestions that petitioners have !rou ht out. Ac$nowled in in their supple"ental petition that supervenin events rendered "oot the prayer in their initial petition that the ple!iscite scheduled %or >anuary 9, ),*+, !e en.oined, petitioners plead, nevertheless, that= ... a writ o% Prohi!ition !e issued, directed to Respondent Co""ission on Flections to desist %ro" issuin o%%icial procla"ation o% the results o% the ple!iscite held on >anuary 9, ),*+. 4indin that the e2clusion and non=participation o% the voters o% the Province o% ?e ros Occidental other than those livin within the territory o% the new province o% ?e ros del ?orte to !e not in accordance with the

Reconsideration &o% the (ecision dated )B 4e!ruary 6<))' is denied with %inality. PATRICIO TAN, EELIO EERRER, KUAN M. HAGAD, SERGIO HILADO, VIRGILIO GASTON, CONCHITA MINAYA, TERESITA ESTACIO, DESIDERIO DEEERIA, ROMEO GAMBOA, ALBERTO LACSON, EE HOEILENA, EMILY KISON, NIEVES LOPEZ AND CECILIA MAGSAYSAY, petitioners, vs. THE COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS %n# THE PROVINCIAL TREASURER OE NEGROS OCCIDENTAL,respondents. )am#oa I ;ofileJa 5a" 8ffice for petitioners*

ALAMPAY, J.: Pro"pted !y the enact"ent o% #atas Pa"!ansa #l . **B= An Act Creatin a ?ew Province in the -sland o% ?e ros to !e $nown as the Province o% ?e ros del ?orte, which too$ e%%ect on (ece"!er 9, ),*B, Petitioners herein, who are residents o% the Province o% ?e ros Occidental, in the various cities and "unicipalities therein, on (ece"!er 69, ),*B, %iled with this Court a case %or Prohi!ition %or the purpose o% stoppin respondents Co""ission on Flections %ro" conductin the ple!iscite which, pursuant to and in i"ple"entation o% the a%oresaid law, was scheduled %or >anuary 9, ),*+. 8aid law provides: 8FCT-O? ). The Cities o% 8ilay, Cadi/, and 8an Carlos and the "unicipalities o% Calatrava, Ta!oso, Fscalante, 8a ay, 0anapla, Victorias, F.R. 0a alona3 and 8alvador #enedicto, all in the northern portion o% the -sland o% ?e ros, are here!y separated %ro" the province to !e $nown as the Province o% ?e ros del ?orte. 8FC. 6. The !oundaries o% the new province shall !e the southern li"its o% the City o% 8ilay, the 0unicipality o% 8alvador #enedicto and the City o% 8an Carlos on the south and the territorial li"its o% the northern portion to the -sland o% ?e ros on the west, north and east,

Petitioners contend that #atas Pa"!ansa #l . **B is unconstitutional and it is not in co"plete accord with the ;ocal Govern"ent Code as in Article :-, 8ection 9 o% our Constitution, it is e2pressly "andated that 8ee. 9. ?o province, city, "unicipality or !arrio "ay !e created, divided, "er ed, a!olished, or its !oundary su!stantially altered, e2cept in accordance with the criteria esta!lished in the local overn"ent code, and su!.ect to the approval !y a "a.ority o% the votes in a ple!iscite in the unit or units a%%ected. 8ection ),7 o% the ;ocal Govern"ent Code enu"erates the conditions which "ust e2ist to provide the le al !asis %or the creation o% a provincial unit and these re5uisites are: 8FC. ),7. Re<uisites for &reation. A province "ay !e created i% it has a territory o% at least three thousand %ive hundred s5uare $ilo"eters, a population o% at least %ive hundred thousand persons, an avera e esti"ated annual inco"e, as certi%ied !y the 0inistry o% 4inance, o% not less than ten "illion pesos %or the last three consecutive years, and its creation shall not reduce the population and inco"e o% the "other province or provinces at the ti"e o% said creation to less than the "ini"u"

Constitution, that a writ o% "anda"us !e issued, directed to the respondent Co""ission on Flections, to schedule the holdin o% another ple!iscite at which all the 5uali%ied voters o% the entire Province o% ?e ros Occidental as now e2istin shall participate, at the sa"e ti"e "a$in pronounce"ent that the ple!iscite held on >anuary 9, ),*+ has no le al e%%ect, !ein a patent le al nullity3 And that a si"ilar writ o% Prohi!ition !e issued, directed to the respondent Provincial Treasurer, to desist %ro" orderin the release o% any local %unds to answer %or e2penses incurred in the holdin o% such ple!iscite until ordered !y the Court. &Rollo pp. ,=)<'. Petitioners %urther prayed that the respondent CO0F;FC hold in a!eyance the issuance o% any o%%icial procla"ation o% the results o% the a%orestated ple!iscite. (urin the pendency o% this case, a "otion that he !e allowed to appear as a"icus curiae in this case &dated (ece"!er 67, ),*B and %iled with the Court on >anuary 6, ),*+' was su!"itted !y %or"er 8enator A"!rosio Padilla. 8aid "otion was ranted in Our resolution o% >anuary 6, ),*+. Actin on the petition, as well as on the supple"ental petition %or prohi!ition with preli"inary in.unction with prayer %or restrainin order, the Court, on >anuary 7, ),*+ resolved, without ivin due course to the sa"e, to re5uire respondents to co""ent, not to %ile a "otion to dis"iss. Co"plyin with said resolution, pu!lic respondents, represented !y the O%%ice o% the 8olicitor General, on >anuary )A, ),*+, %iled their Co""ent, ar uin therein that the challen ed statute.=#atas Pa"!ansa **B, should !e accorded the presu"ption o% le ality. They su!"it that the said law is not void on its %ace and that the petition does not show a clear, cate orical and undenia!le de"onstration o% the supposed in%rin e"ent o% the Constitution. Respondents state that the powers o% the #atasan =Pa"!ansa to enact the assailed law is !eyond 5uestion. They clai" that #atas Pa"!ansa #i . **B does not in%rin e the Constitution !ecause the re5uisites o% the ;ocal Govern"ent Code have !een co"plied with. 4urther"ore, they su!"it that this case has now !eco"e "oot and acade"ic with the procla"ation o% the new Province o% ?e ros del ?orte.

Respondents ar ue that the re"ainin cities and "unicipalities o% the Province o% ?e ros Occidental not included in the area o% the new Province o% ?e ros del ?orte, de not %all within the "eanin and scope o% the ter" "unit or units a%%ected", as re%erred to in 8ection 9 o% Art. :- o% our Constitution. On this reasonin , respondents "aintain that #atas Pa"!ansa #l . **B does not violate the Constitution, invo$in and citin the case o% )overnor Kosimo Paredes versus the ;onora#le E ecutive %ecretary to the President7 et al* &G.R. ?o. BB+6*, 0arch 6, ),*A &)6* 8CRA +)', particularly the pronounce"ents therein, hereunder 5uoted: ). Ad"ittedly,this is one o% those cases where the discretion o% the Court is allowed considera!le leeway. There is indeed an ele"ent o% a"!i uity in the use o% the e2pression 1unit or units a%%ected1. -t is plausi!le to assert as petitioners do that when certain #aran ays are separated %ro" a parent "unicipality to %or" a new one, all the voters therein are a%%ected. -t is "uch "ore persuasive, however, to contend as respondents do that the accepta!le construction is %or those voters, who are not %ro" the !aran ays to !e separated, should !e e2cluded in the ple!iscite. 6. 4or one thin , it is in accordance with the settled doctrine that !etween two possi!le constructions, one avoidin a %indin o% unconstitutionality and the other yieldin such a result, the %or"er is to !e pre%erred. That which will save, not that which will destroy, co""ends itsel% %or acceptance. A%ter all, the !asic presu"ption all these years is one o% validity. ... 9. ... Adherence to such philosophy co"pels the conclusion that when there are indications that the inha!itants o% several !aran ays are inclined to separate %ro" a parent "unicipality they should !e allowed to do so. Ghat is "ore lo ical than to ascertain their will in a ple!iscite called %or that purpose. -t is they, and they alone, who shall constitute the new unit. ?ew responsi!ilities will !e assu"ed. ?ew !urdens will !e i"posed. A new "unicipal corporation will co"e into e2istence. -ts !irth will !e a "atter o% choice=their choice. They should !e le%t alone then to decide %or the"selves. To allow other voters to participate will not yield a true e2pression o% their will. They "ay even %rustrate it, That certainly will !e so i% they vote a ainst it %or sel%ish reasons, and they constitute the "a.ority. That is not to a!ide !y the %unda"ental principle o% the Constitution to pro"ote local autono"y, the pre%erence !ein %or s"aller

units. To rule as this Tri!unal does is to %ollow an accepted principle o% constitutional construction, that in ascertainin the "eanin o% a particular provision that "ay ive rise to dou!ts, the intent o% the %ra"ers and o% the people "ay !e leaned %ro" provisions in pari materia. Respondents su!"it that said rulin in the a%orecited case applies e5ually with %orce in the case at !ar. Respondents also "aintain that the re5uisites under the ;ocal Govern"ent Code &P.(. 997' %or the creation o% the new province o% ?e ros del ?orte have all !een duly co"plied with, Respondents discredit petitioners1 alle ations that the re5uisite area o% 9,B<< s5uare $ilo"eters as so prescri!ed in the ;ocal Govern"ent Code %or a new province to !e created has not !een satis%ied. Petitioners insist that the area which would co"prise the new province o% ?e ros del ?orte, would only !e a!out 6,*B+.B+ s5uare $ilo"eters and which evidently would !e lesser than the "ini"u" area prescri!ed !y the overnin statute. Respondents, in this re ard, point out and stress that 8ection 6 o% #atas Pa"!ansa #l . **B creatin said new province plainly declares that the territorial !oundaries o% ?e ros del ?orte co"prise an area o% A,<),.,B s5uare $ilo"eters, "ore or less. As a %inal ar u"ent, respondents insist that instant petition has !een rendered "oot and acade"ic considerin that a ple!iscite has !een already conducted on >anuary 9, ),*+3 that as a result thereo%, the correspondin certi%icate o% canvass indicated that out o% ),B,)9A total votes cast in said ple!iscite, )+A,79A were in %avor o% the creation o% ?e ros del ?orte and 9<,A<< were a ainst it3 and !ecause "the a%%ir"ative votes cast represented a "a.ority o% the total votes cast in said ple!iscite, the Chair"an o% the #oard o% Canvassers proclai"ed the new province which shall !e $nown as "?e ros del ?orte". Thus, respondents stress the %act that %ollowin the procla"ation o% ?e ros del ?orte province, the appoint"ents o% the o%%icials o% said province created were announced. On these considerations, respondents ur e that this case should !e dis"issed %or havin !een rendered "oot and acade"ic as the creation o% the new province is now a "%ait acco"pli." -n resolvin this case, it will !e use%ul to note and e"phasi/e the %acts which appear to !e a reed to !y the parties herein or stand unchallen ed.

4irstly, there is no disa ree"ent that the Provincial Treasurer o% the Province o% ?e ros Occidental has not dis!ursed, nor was re5uired to dis!urse any pu!lic %unds in connection with the ple!iscite held on >anuary 9, ),*+ as so disclosed in the Co""ent to the Petition %iled !y the respondent Provincial Treasurer o% ?e ros Occidental dated >anuary 6<, ),*+ &Rollo, pp. 9+=97'. Thus, the prayer o% the petitioners that said Provincial Treasurer !e directed !y this Court to desist %ro" orderin the release o% any pu!lic %unds on account o% such ple!iscite should not lon er deserve %urther consideration. 8econdly, in Parlia"entary #ill ?o. 9+AA which led to the enact"ent o% #atas Pa"!ansa #l . **B and the creation o% the new Province o% ?e ros del ?orte, it e2pressly declared in 8ec. 6 o% the a%ore"entioned Parlia"entary #ill, the %ollowin : 8FC. 6. The !oundaries o% the new province shall !e the southern li"its o% the City o% 8ilay, the 0unicipality o% 8alvador #enedicto and the City o% 8an Carlos on the 8outh and the natural !oundaries o% the northern portion o% the -sland o% ?e ros on the Gest, ?orth and Fast, containin! an area of 23-7,-, hectares more or less. &F"phasis supplied'. Cowever, when said Parlia"entary #ill ?o. 9+AA was very 5uic$ly enacted into #atas Pa"!ansa #l . **B, the !oundaries o% the new Province o% ?e ros del ?orte were de%ined therein and its !oundaries then stated to !e as %ollows: 8FCT-O? ). The Cities o% 8ilay, Cadi/, and 8an Carlos and the "unicipalities o% Calatrava, To!oso, Fscalante, 8a ay, 0anapla, Victorias, F.R. 0a alona3 and 8alvador #enedicto, all in the northern portion o% the -sland o% ?e ros, are here!y separated %ro" the Province o% ?e ros Occidental and constituted into a new province to !e $nown as the Province o% ?e ros del ?orte. 8FC. ). The !oundaries o% the new province shall !e the southern li"its o% the City o% 8ilay, the 0unicipality o% 8alvador #enedicto and the City o% 8an Carlos on the south and the territorial li"its o% the northern portion o% the -sland o% ?e ros on the Gest, ?orth and Fast, co"prisin a territory o% A,<),.,B s5uare $ilo"eters "ore or less.

F5ually accepted !y the parties is the %act that under the certi%ication issued !y Provincial Treasurer >ulian ;. Ra"ire/ o% the Province o% ?e ros Occidental, dated >uly )+, ),*B, it was therein certi%ied as %ollows: 222 222 222 This is to certi%y that the %ollowin cities and "unicipalities o% ?e ros Occidental have the land area as indicated hereunder !ased on the 8pecial Report ?o. 9, Philippines ),*<, Population, ;and Area and (ensity: ),7<, ),7B and ),*< !y the ?ational Census and 8tatistics O%%ice, 0anila. ;and Area &85. K".' ). 8ilay City ...................................................................6)A.* 6. F.#. 0a alona............................................................))9.9 9. Victorias.....................................................................)99., A. 0anapla......................................................................))6. , B. Cadi/ City ..................................................................B)+.B +. 8a ay .........................................................................9*,. + 7. Fscalante ....................................................................)6A. < *. To!oso.......................................................................)69.A

,. Calatrava.....................................................................B<A. B )<. 8an Carlos City...........................................................AB).9 )). (on 8alvador #enedicto.................................... &not availa!le' This certi%ication is issued upon the re5uest o% (r. Patricio E. Tan %or whatever purpose it "ay serve hi". &8G(.' >@;-A? ;. RA0-RFH Provincial Treasurer &F2h. "C" o% Petition, Rollo, p. ,<'. Althou h in the a!ove certi%ication it is stated that the land area o% the relatively new "unicipality o% (on 8alvador #enedicto is not availa!le, it is an uncontradicted %act that the area co"prisin (on 8alvador "unicipality, one o% the co"ponent units o% the new province, was derived %ro" the City o% 8an Carlos and %ro" the 0unicipality o% Calatrava, ?e ros Occidental, and added thereto was a portion o% a!out one=%ourth the land area o% the town o% 0urcia, ?e ros Occidental. -t is si ni%icant to note the uncontroverted su!"ission o% petitioners that the total land area o% the entire "unicipality o% 0urcia, ?e ros Occidental is only C22*2 s<uare kilometers &F2h. "(", Rollo, p. ,)'. One= %ourth o% this total land area o% 0urcia that was added to the portions derived %ro" the land area o% Calatrava, ?e ros Occidental and 8an Carlos City &?e ros Occidental' would constitute, there%ore, only *<.6 s5uare $ilo"eters. This area o% *<.6 s5uare $ilo"eters i% then added to 6,+*B.6 s5uare $ilo"eters, representin the total land area o% the Cities o% 8ilay, 8an Carlos and Cadi/ and the 0unicipalities o% F.R. 0a alona, Victorias, 0anapla, 8a ay, Fscalante, Ta!oso and Calatrava, will result in appro2i"ately an area o% only 6,7+B.A s5uare $ilo"eters usin as !asis the 8pecial Report, Philippines ),*<, Population, ;and Area and (ensity: ),7<, ),7B and ),*< o% the ?ational Census and 8tatistics O%%ice, 0anila &see F2hi!it "C", Rollo, p. ,<'. ?o controversion has !een "ade !y respondent with respect to the alle ations o% petitioners that the ori inal provision in the dra%t le islation, Parlia"entary #ill ?o. 9+AA, reads:

8FC. A. A ple!iscite shall !e conducted in the areas a%%ected within a period o% one hundred and twenty days %ro" the approval o% this Act. A%ter the rati%ication o% the creation o% the Province o% ?e ros del ?orte !y a "a.ority o% the votes cast in such ple!iscite, the President shall appoint the %irst o%%icials o% the new province. Cowever, when #atas Pa"!ansa #l . **B was enacted, there was a si ni%icant chan e in the a!ove provision. The statute, as "odi%ied, provides that the re5uisite ple!iscite "shall !e conducted in the proposed new province which are the areas a%%ected." -t is this le islative deter"ination li"itin the ple!iscite e2clusively to the cities and towns which would co"prise the new province that is assailed !y the petitioners as violative o% the provisions o% our Constitution. Petitioners su!"it that 8ec. 9, ART :- thereo%, conte"plates a ple!iscite that would !e held in the unit or units a%%ected !y the creation o% the new province as a result o% the conse5uent division o% and su!stantial alteration o% the !oundaries o% the e2istin province. -n this instance, the voters in the re"ainin areas o% the province o% ?e ros Occidental should have !een allowed to participate in the 5uestioned ple!iscite. Considerin that the le ality o% the ple!iscite itsel% is challen ed %or non=co"pliance with constitutional re5uisites, the %act that such ple!iscite had !een held and a new province proclai"ed and its o%%icials appointed, the case !e%ore @s cannot truly !e viewed as already "oot and acade"ic. Continuation o% the e2istence o% this newly proclai"ed province which petitioners stron ly pro%ess to have !een ille ally !orn, deserves to !e in5uired into !y this Tri!unal so that, i% indeed, ille ality attaches to its creation, the co""ission o% that error should not provide the very e2cuse %or perpetuation o% such wron . 4or this Court to yield to the respondents1 ur in that, as there has !een fait accompli then this Court should passively accept and accede to the prevailin situation is an unaccepta!le su estion. (is"issal o% the instant petition, as respondents so propose is a proposition %rau ht with "ischie%. Respondents1 su!"ission will create a dan erous precedent. 8hould this Court decline now to per%or" its duty o% interpretin and indicatin what the law is and should !e, this "i ht te"pt a ain those who strut a!out in the corridors o% power to rec$lessly and with ulterior "otives, create, "er e, divide andDor alter the !oundaries o% political su!divisions, either !ra/enly or stealthily, con%ident that this Court will

a!stain %ro" entertainin %uture challen es to their acts i% they "ana e to !rin a!out a fait accompli* -n the li ht o% the %acts and circu"stances alluded to !y petitioners as attendin to the unusually rapid creation o% the instant province o% ?e ros del ?orte a%ter a swi%tly scheduled ple!iscite, this Tri!unal has the duty to repudiate and discoura e the co""ission o% acts which run counter to the "andate o% our %unda"ental law, done !y whatever !ranch o% our overn"ent. This Court ives notice that it will not loo$ with %avor upon those who "ay !e herea%ter inclined to ra" throu h all sorts o% le islative "easures and then i"ple"ent the sa"e with indecent haste, even i% such acts would violate the Constitution and the prevailin statutes o% our land. -t is illo ical to as$ that this Tri!unal !e !lind and dea% to protests on the round that what is already done is done. To such untena!le ar u"ent the reply would !e that, !e this so, the Court, nevertheless, still has the duty and ri ht to correct and recti%y the wron !rou ht to its attention. On the "erits o% the case. Aside %ro" the si"pler %actual issue relative to the land area o% the new province o% ?e ros del ?orte, the "ore si ni%icant and pivotal issue in the present case revolves around in the interpretation and application in the case at !ar o% Article :-, 8ection 9 o% the Constitution, which !ein !rie% and %or convenience, Ge a ain 5uote: 8FC. 9. ?o province, city, "unicipality or !arrio "ay !e created, divided, "er ed a!olished, or its !oundary su!stantially altered, e2cept in accordance with the criteria esta!lished in the local overn"ent code, and su!.ect to the approval !y a "a.ority o% the votes in a ple!iscite in the unit or units a%%ected. -t can !e plainly seen that the a%orecited constitutional provision "a$es it i"perative that there !e %irst o!tained "the approval o% a "a.ority o% votes in the ple!iscite in the unit or units a%%ected" whenever a province is created, divided or "er ed and there is su!stantial alteration o% the !oundaries. -t is thus inescapa!le to conclude that the !oundaries o% the e2istin province o% ?e ros Occidental would necessarily !e su!stantially altered !y the division o% its e2istin !oundaries in order that there can !e created the proposed new province o% ?e ros del ?orte. Plain and si"ple lo ic will de"onstrate than that two political units would !e a%%ected. The %irst would !e the

parent province o% ?e ros Occidental !ecause its !oundaries would !e su!stantially altered. The other a%%ected entity would !e co"posed o% those in the area su!tracted %ro" the "other province to constitute the proposed province o% ?e ros del ?orte. Ge %ind no way to reconcile the holdin o% a ple!iscite that should con%or" to said constitutional re5uire"ent !ut eli"inates the participation o% either o% these two co"ponent political units. ?o a"ount o% rhetorical %lourishes can .usti%y e2clusion o% the parent province in the ple!iscite !ecause o% an alle ed intent on the part o% the authors and i"ple"entors o% the challen ed statute to carry out what is clai"ed to !e a "andate to uarantee and pro"ote autono"y o% local overn"ent units. The alle ed ood intentions cannot prevail and overrule the cardinal precept that what our Constitution cate orically directs to !e done or i"poses as a re5uire"ent "ust %irst !e o!served, respected and co"plied with. ?o one should !e allowed to pay ho"a e to a supposed %unda"ental policy intended to uarantee and pro"ote autono"y o% local overn"ent units !ut at the sa"e ti"e trans ress, i nore and disre ard what the Constitution co""ands in Article :- 8ection 9 thereo%. Respondents would !e no di%%erent %ro" one who hurries to pray at the te"ple !ut then spits at the -dol therein. Ge %ind no "erit in the su!"ission o% the respondents that the petition should !e dis"issed !ecause the "otive and wisdo" in enactin the law "ay not !e challen ed !y petitioners. The principal point raised !y the petitioners is not the wisdo" and "otive in enactin the law !ut the in%rin e"ent o% the Constitution which is a proper su!.ect o% .udicial in5uiry. Petitioners1 discussion re ardin the "otives !ehind the enact"ent o% #.P. #l . **B to say the least, are "ost enli htenin and provo$in !ut are %actual issues the Court cannot properly pass upon in this case. 0ention !y petitioners o% the une2plained chan es or di%%erences in the proposed Parlia"entary #ill ?o. 9+AA and the enacted #atas Pa"!ansa #l . **B3 the swi%t and surreptitious "anner o% passa e and approval o% said law3 the a!rupt schedulin o% the ple!iscite3 the re%erence to news articles re ardin the 5uestiona!le conduct o% the said ple!iscite held on >anuary 9, ),*+3 all serve as interestin readin !ut are not the decisive "atters which should !e rec$oned in the resolution o% this case.

Ghat the Court considers the only si ni%icant su!"issions lendin a little support to respondents1 case is their reliance on the rulin s and pronounce"ents "ade !y this Court in the case o% Governor Hosi"o Paredes versus The Conora!le F2ecutive 8ecretary to the President, et al., G.R. ?o. BB+6*, 0arch 6, ),*A &)6* 8CRA +'. -n said case relatin to a ple!iscite held to rati%y the creation o% a new "unicipality %ro" e2istin !aran ays, this Court upheld the le ality o% the ple!iscite which was participated in e2clusively !y the people o% the !aran ay that would constitute the new "unicipality. This Court is not un"ind%ul o% this solitary case alluded to !y respondents. Ghat is, however, hi hly si ni%icant are the pre%atory state"ents therein statin that said case is "one o% those cases where the discretion o% the Court is allowed considera!le leeway" and that "there is indeed an ele"ent o% a"!i uity in the use o% the e2pression unit or units a%%ected." The rulin rendered in said case was !ased on a clai"ed prero ative o% the Court then to e2ercise its discretion on the "atter. -t did not resolve the 5uestion o% how the pertinent provision o% the Constitution should !e correctly interpreted. The rulin in the a%orestated case o% Paredes vs* 4he ;onora#le E ecutive %ecretary7 et al* LsupraM should not !e ta$en as a doctrinal or co"pellin precedent when it is ac$nowled ed therein that "it is plausi!le to assert, as petitioners do, that when certain #aran ays are separated %ro" a parent "unicipality to %or" a new one, all the voters therein are a%%ected." -t is relevant and "ost proper to "ention that in the a%orecited case o% Paredes vs* E ecutive %ecretary7 invo$ed !y respondents, Ge %ind very lucidly e2pressed the stron dissentin view o% >ustice Vicente A!ad 8antos, a distin uished "e"!er o% this Court, as he therein voiced his opinion, which Ge hereunder 5uote: 6. ... when the Constitution spea$s o% "the unit or units a%%ected" it "eans all o% the people o% the "unicipality i% the "unicipality is to !e divided such as in the case at !ar or an o% the people o% two or "ore "unicipalities i% there !e a "er er. - see no a"!i uity in the Constitutional provision. This dissentin opinion o% >ustice Vicente A!ad 8antos is the %orerunner o% the rulin which Ge now consider applica!le to the case at !ar, -n the analo ous case

o% Emilio &* 5opez7 9r*7 versus the ;onora#le &ommission on Elections7 5?-,6227 /ay C+7 +23-7 +C, %&R' ,CC7 this dissent was reiterated !y >ustice A!ad 8antos as he therein assailed as su%%erin %ro" a constitutional in%ir"ity a re%erendu" which did not include all the people o% #ulacan and Ri/al, when such re%erendu" was intended to ascertain i% the people o% said provinces were willin to ive up so"e o% their towns to 0etropolitan 0anila. Cis dissentin opinion served as a use%ul uideline in the instant case. Opportunity to re=e2a"ine the views %or"erly held in said cases is now a%%orded the present Court. The reasons in the "entioned cases invo$ed !y respondents herein were %or"erly considered accepta!le !ecause o% the views then ta$en that local autono"y would !e !etter pro"oted Cowever, even this consideration no lon er retains persuasive value. The environ"ental %acts in the case !e%ore @s readily disclose that the su!.ect "atter under consideration is o% reater "a nitude with conco"itant "ulti%arious co"plicated pro!le"s. -n the earlier case, what was involved was a division o% a !aran ay which is the s"allest political unit in the ;ocal Govern"ent Code. @nderstanda!ly, %ew and lesser pro!le"s are involved. -n the case at !ar, creation o% a new province relates to the lar est political unit conte"plated in 8ection 9, Art. :- o% the Constitution. To %or" the new province o% ?e ros del ?orte no less than three cities and ei ht "unicipalities will !e su!tracted %ro" the parent province o% ?e ros Occidental. This will result in the re"oval o% appro2i"ately 6,7+*.A s5uare $ilo"eters %ro" the land area o% an e2istin province whose !oundaries will !e conse5uently su!stantially altered. -t !eco"es easy to reali/e that the conse5uent e%%ects c% the division o% the parent province necessarily will a%%ect all the people livin in the separate areas o% ?e ros Occidental and the proposed province o% ?e ros del ?orte. The econo"y o% the parent province as well as that o% the new province will !e inevita!ly a%%ected, either %or the !etter or %or the worse. Ghatever !e the case, either or !oth o% these political roups will !e a%%ected and they are, there%ore, the unit or units re%erred to in 8ection 9 o% Article :- o% the Constitution which "ust !e included in the ple!iscite conte"plated therein. -t is a well accepted rule that "in ascertainin the "eanin o% a particular provision that "ay ive rise to dou!ts, the intent o% the %ra"ers and o% the people, "ay

!e leaned %ro" the provisions in pari materia*" Parlia"entary #ill ?o. 9+AA which proposed the creation o% the new province o% ?e ros del ?orte recites in 8ec. A thereo% that "the ple!iscite shall !e conducted in the areas a%%ected within a period o% one hundred and twenty days %ro" the approval o% this Act." As this dra%t le islation spea$s o% "areas," what was conte"plated evidently are plurality of areas to participate in the ple!iscite. ;o ically, those to !e included in such ple!iscite would !e the people livin in the area o% the proposed new province and those livin in the parent province. This assu"ption will !e consistent with the re5uire"ents set %orth in the Constitution. Ge %ail to %ind any le al !asis %or the une2plained chan e "ade when Parlia"entary #ill ?o. 9+AA was enacted into #atas Pa"!ansa #l . **B so that it is now provided in said ena!lin law that the ple!iscite "shall !e conducted in the proposed new province which are the areas a%%ected." Ge are not disposed to a ree that !y "ere le islative %iat the unit or units a%%ected re%erred in the %unda"ental law can !e di"inished or restricted !y the #atasan Pa"!ansa to cities and "unicipalities co"prisin the new province, there!y i norin the evident reality that there are other people necessarily a%%ected. -n the "ind o% the Court, the chan e "ade !y those responsi!le %or the enact"ent o% #atas Pa"!ansa #l . **B !etrays their own "is ivin s. They "ust have entertained apprehensions that !y holdin the ple!iscite only in the areas o% the new proposed province, this tactic will !e tainted with ille ality. -n anticipation o% a possi!le stron challen e to the le ality o% such a ple!iscite there was, there%ore, deli!erately added in the enacted statute a sel%=servin phrase that the new province constitutes the area a%%ected. 8uch additional state"ent serves no use%ul purpose %or the sa"e is "isleadin , erroneous and %ar %ro" truth. The re"ainin portion o% the parent province is as "uch an area a%%ected. The su!stantial alteration o% the !oundaries o% the parent province, not to "ention the other adverse econo"ic e%%ects it "i ht su%%er, elo5uently ar ue the points raised !y the petitioners. Petitioners have averred without contradiction that a%ter the creation o% ?e ros del ?orte, the province o% ?e ros Occidental would !e deprived o% the lon esta!lished Cities o% 8ilay, Cadi/, and 8an Carlos, as well as the "unicipality o% Victorias. ?o controversion has !een "ade

re ardin petitioners1 assertion that the areas o% the Province o% ?e ros Occidental will !e di"inished !y a!out 6*B,+B+ hectares and it will lose seven o% the %i%teen su ar "ills which contri!ute to the econo"y o% the whole province. -n the lan ua e o% petitioners, "to create ?e ros del ?orte, the e2istin territory and political su!division $nown as ?e ros Occidental has to !e partitioned and dis"e"!ered. Ghat was involved was no 1!irth1 !ut "a"putation." Ge a ree with the petitioners that in the case o% ?e ros what was involved was a division, a separation3 and conse5uently, as 8ec. 9 o% Article :- o% the Constitution anticipates, a su!stantial alteration o% !oundary. As contended !y petitioners, -ndeed, the ter"s 1created1, 1divided1, 1"er ed1, 1a!olished1 as used in the constitutional provision do not conte"plate distinct situation isolated %ro" the "utually e2clusive to each other. A Province "ay!e created where an e2istin province is divided or two provinces "er ed. 8uch cases necessarily will involve e2istin unit or units a#olished and de%initely the !oundary !ein su!stantially altered. -t would thus !e inaccurate to state that where an e2istin political unit is divided or its !oundary su!stantially altered, as the Constitution provides, only so"e and not all the voters in the whole unit which su%%ers dis"e"!er"ent or su!stantial alteration o% its !oundary are a%%ected. Rather, the contrary is true. -t is also Our considered view that even hypothetically assu"in that the "erits o% this case can depend on the "ere discretion that this Court "ay e2ercise, nevertheless, it is the petitioners1 case that deserve to !e %avored. -t is now ti"e %or this Court to set aside the e5uivocations and the indecisive pronounce"ents in the adverted case o% Paredes vs. the Conora!le F2ecutive 8ecretary, et al. &supra'. 4or the reasons already here e2press, Ge now state that the rulin in the two "entioned cases sanctionin the e2clusion o% the voters !elon in to an e2istin political unit %ro" which the new political unit will !e derived, %ro" participatin in the ple!iscite conducted %or the purpose o% deter"inin the %or"ation o% another new political unit, is here!y a!andoned.

-n their supple"ental petition, dated >anuary A, ),*+, it is prayed %or !y petitioners that a writ o% "anda"us !e issued, directin the respondent Co""ission on Flections, to schedule the holdin o% another ple!iscite at which all the 5uali%ied voters o% the entire province o% ?e ros Occidental as now e2istin shall participate and that this Court "a$e a pronounce"ent that the ple!iscite held on >anuary 9, ),*+ has no le al e%%ect %or !ein a patent nullity. The Court is prepared to declare the said ple!iscite held on >anuary 9, ),*+ as null and void and violative o% the provisions o% 8ec. 9, Article :- o% the Constitution. The Court is not, however, disposed to direct the conduct o% a new ple!iscite, !ecause Ge %ind no le al !asis to do so. Gith constitutional in%ir"ity attachin to the su!.ect #atas Pa"!ansa #i . **B and also !ecause the creation o% the new province o% ?e ros del ?orte is not in accordance with the criteria esta!lished in the ;ocal Govern"ent Code, the %actual and le al !asis %or the creation o% such new province which should .usti%y the holdin o% another ple!iscite does not e2ist. Ghatever clai" it has to validity and whatever reco nition has !een ained !y the new province o% ?e ros del ?orte !ecause o% the appoint"ent o% the o%%icials thereo%, "ust now !e erased. That ?e ros del ?orte is !ut a le al %iction should !e announced. -ts e2istence should !e put to an end as 5uic$ly as possi!le, i% only to settle the co"plications currently attendin to its creation. As has !een "ani%ested, the parent province o% ?e ros del ?orte has !een i"pleaded as the de%endant in a suit %iled !y the new Province o% ?e ros del ?orte, !e%ore the Re ional Trial Court o% ?e ros &del ?orte', doc$eted as Civil Case ?o. )+,=C, %or the i""ediate allocation, distri!ution and trans%er o% %unds !y the parent province to the new province, in an a"ount clai"ed to !e at least P)<,<<<,<<<.<<. The %inal nail that puts to rest whatever pretension there is to the le ality o% the province o% ?e ros del ?orte is the si ni%icant %act that this created province does not even satis%y the area re5uire"ent prescri!ed in 8ection ),7 o% the ;ocal Govern"ent Code, as earlier discussed. -t is o% course clai"ed !y the respondents in their Co""ent to the e2hi!its su!"itted !y the petitioners &F2hs. C and (, Rollo, pp. ), and ,)', that the new province has a territory o% A,<),.,B s5uare $ilo"eters, "ore or less. This assertion is "ade to ne ate the proo%s

su!"itted, disclosin that the land area o% the new province cannot !e "ore than 9,B<< s5uare $ilo"eters !ecause its land area would, at "ost, !e only a!out 6,*B+ s5uare $ilo"eters, ta$in into account overn"ent statistics relative to the total area o% the cities and "unicipalities constitutin ?e ros del ?orte. Respondents insist that when 8ection ),7 o% the ;ocal Govern"ent Code spea$s o% the territory o% the province to !e created and re5uires that such territory !e at least 9,B<< s5uare $ilo"eters, what is conte"plated is not only the land area !ut also the land and water over which the said province has .urisdiction and control. -t is even the su!"ission o% the respondents that in this re ard the "ar inal sea within the three "ile li"it should !e considered in deter"inin the e2tent o% the territory o% the new province. 8uch an interpretation is strained, incorrect, and %allacious. The last sentence o% the %irst para raph o% 8ection ),7 is "ost revealin . As so stated therein the 0territory need not #e conti!uous if it comprises t"o or more islands*0 The use o% the word territory in this particular provision o% the ;ocal Govern"ent Code and in the very last sentence thereo%, clearly re%lects that 0territory0 as therein used, has re%erence only to the "ass o% land area and e2cludes the waters over which the political unit e2ercises control. 8aid sentence states that the "territory need not !e conti uous." Conti uous "eans &a' in physical contact3 &!' touchin alon all or "ost o% one side3 &c' near, te2t, or ad.acent &Ge!ster1s ?ew Gorld (ictionary, ),76 Fd., p. 9<7'. "Conti uous", when e"ployed as an ad.ective, as in the a!ove sentence, is only used when it descri!es physical contact, or a touchin o% sides o% two solid "asses o% "atter. The "eanin o% particular ter"s in a statute "ay !e ascertained !y re%erence to words associated with or related to the" in the statute &Ani"al Rescue ;ea ue vs. Assessors, )9* A.;.R. p. ))<'. There%ore, in the conte2t o% the sentence a!ove, what need not !e "conti uous" is the "territory" the physical "ass o% land area. There would arise no need %or the le islators to use the word conti uous i% they had intended that the ter" "territory" e"!race not only land area !ut also territorial waters. -t can !e sa%ely concluded that the word territory in the %irst para raph o% 8ection ),7 is "eant to !e synony"ous with "land area" only. The words and phrases used in a statute should !e iven the "eanin intended !y the le islature &*6 C.>.8., p. +9+'. The sense in which the words are used %urnished

the rule o% construction &-n re Ginton ;u"!er Co., +9 p. 6d., p. ++A'. The distinction !etween "territory" and "land area" which respondents "a$e is an arti%icial or strained construction o% the disputed provision where!y the words o% the statute are arrested %ro" their plain and o!vious "eanin and "ade to !ear an entirely di%%erent "eanin to .usti%y an a!surd or un.ust result. The plain "eanin in the lan ua e in a statute is the sa%est uide to %ollow in construin the statute. A construction !ased on a %orced or arti%icial "eanin o% its words and out o% har"ony o% the statutory sche"e is not to !e %avored &Celverin vs. Cutchin s, *B ;. Fd., p. ,<,'. -t would !e rather preposterous to "aintain that a province with a s"all land area !ut which has a lon , narrow, e2tended coast line, &such as ;a @nion province' can !e said to have a lar er territory than a land=loc$ed province &such as -%u ao or #en uet' whose land area "ani%estly e2ceeds the province %irst "entioned. Alle ations have !een "ade that the enact"ent o% the 5uestioned state was "arred !y "dirty tric$s", in the introduction and passin o% Parlia"entary #ill ?o. 9+AA "in secret haste" pursuant to sinister desi ns to achieve "pure and si"ple erry"anderin 3 "that recent happenin s "ore than a"ply de"onstrate that %ar %ro" uaranteein its autono"y it &?e ros del ?orte' has !eco"e the %ie%do" o% a local stron "an" &Rollo, p. A93 e"phasis supplied'. -t is not %or this Court to a%%ir" or re.ect such "atters not only !ecause the "erits o% this case can !e resolved without need o% ascertainin the real "otives and wisdo" in the "a$in o% the 5uestioned law. ?o proper challen e on those rounds can also !e "ade !y petitioners in this proceedin . ?either "ay this Court venture to uess the "otives or wisdo" in the e2ercise o% le islative powers. Repudiation o% i"proper or unwise actions ta$en !y tools o% a political "achinery rests ulti"ately, as recent events have shown, on the electorate and the power o% a vi ilant people. Petitioners herein deserve and should receive the ratitude o% the people o% the Province o% ?e ros Occidental and even !y our ?ation. Co""enda!le is the patriotis" displayed !y the" in darin to institute this case in order to preserve the continued e2istence o% their

historic province. They were inspired undou!tedly !y their %aith%ul co""it"ent to our Constitution which they wish to !e respected and o!eyed. (espite the set!ac$s and the hardships which petitioners aver con%ronted the", they valiantly and un%alterin ly pursued a worthy cause. A happy destiny %or our ?ation is assured as lon as a"on our people there would !e e2e"plary citi/ens such as the petitioners herein. GCFRF4ORF, #atas Pa"!ansa #l . **B is here!y declared unconstitutional. The procla"ation o% the new province o% ?e ros del ?orte, as well as the appoint"ent o% the o%%icials thereo% are also declared null and void. HON. ROY A. PADILLA, KR., In +(" )%'%)(&3 %" Go,!rnor o. &+! Pro,(n)! o. C%-%r(n!" Nor&!, petitioner, vs. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS, respondent. RF8O;@T-O?

!e ta$e out o% the Contin ent 4und under the current %iscal year appropriations3 ?OG, TCFRF4ORF, #F -T RF8O;VF(, as the Co""ission here!y resolves, to pro"ul ated &sic' the %ollowin uidelines to overn the conduct o% said ple!iscite: ). The ple!iscite shall !e held on (ece"!er )B, ),,), in the areas or units a%%ected, na"ely the !aran ays co"prisin he proposed 0unicipality o% Tulay=?a=;upa and the re"ainin areas o% the "other 0unicipality o% ;a!or, Ca"arines ?orte &Tan vs. CO0F;FC, G.R. ?o. 79)BB, >uly )), ),*+'. 222 222 222 -n the ple!iscite held on (ece"!er )B, ),,) throu hout the 0unicipality o% ;a!o, only 6,*,< votes %avored its creation while 9,A9, voters voted a ainst the creation o% the 0unicipality o% Tulay=?a=;upa. Conse5uently, the day a%ter the political e2ercise, the Ple!iscite #oard o% Canvassers declared the re.ection and disapproval o% the independent 0unicipality o% Tulay=?a=;upa !y a "a.ority o% votes. B Thus, in this special civil action o% certiorari, petitioner as Governor o% Ca"arines ?orte, see$s to set aside the ple!iscite conducted on (ece"!er )B, ),,) throu hout the 0unicipality o% ;a!o and prays that a new ple!iscite !e underta$en as provided !y RA 7)BB. -t is the contention o% petitioner that the ple!iscite was a co"plete %ailure and that the results o!tained were invalid and ille al !ecause the ple!iscite, as "andated !y CO0F;FC Resolution ?o. 69)6 should have !een conducted only in the political unit or units a%%ected, i*e* the )6 !aran ays co"prisin the new 0unicipality o% Tulay=?a=;upa na"ely Tulay=?a=;upa, ;u ui, 8an Antonio, 0a!ilo -, ?apaod, #enit, #ayan=#ayan, 0atanlan , Pa =Asa, 0aot, and Cala!asa. Petitioner stresses that the ple!iscite should not have included the re"ainin area o% the "other unit o% the 0unicipality o% ;a!o, Ca"arines ?orte. 7 -n support o% his stand, petitioner ar ues that with the approval and rati%ication o% the ),*7 Constitution, particularly Article :, 8ection )<, the rulin set %orth in 4an v. &8/E5E& : relied upon !y respondent CO0F;FC is now passe, thus reinstatin the case o% Paredes v. E ecutive %ecretary C which held that where a local unit

ROMERO, J.: Pursuant to Repu!lic Act ?o. 7)BB, the Co""ission on Flections pro"ul ated on ?ove"!er )9, ),,), Resolution ?o. 69)6 which reads as %ollows: GCFRFA8, Repu!lic Act ?o. 7)BB approved on 8epte"!er +, ),,) creates the 0unicipality o% Tulay=?a=;upa in the Province o% Ca"arines ?orte to !e co"posed o% #aran ays Tulay=?a=;upa, ;u ui, 8an Antonio, 0a!ilo -, ?apaod, #enit, #ayan=#ayan, 0atanlan , Pa =Asa, 0aot, and Cala!asa, all in the 0unicipality o% ;a!o, sa"e province. GCFRFA8 under 8ection )<, Article : o% the ),*7 Constitution / the creation o% a "unicipality shall !e su!.ect to approval !y a "a.ority o% votes cast in a ple!iscite in the political units directly a%%ected, and pursuant to 8ection )9A o% the ;ocal Govern"ent Code &#atas Pa"!ansa #l . 997' 6 said ple!iscite shall !e conducted !y the Co""ission on Flections3 GCFRFA8, 8ection + o% said Repu!lic Act ?o. 7)BB provides that the e2penses in holdin the ple!iscite shall

is to !e se re ated %ro" a parent unit, only the voters o% the unit to !e se rated should !e included in the ple!iscite. 5 Accordin ly, the issue in this case is whether or not respondent CO0F;FC co""itted rave a!use o% discretion in pro"ul atin Resolution ?o. 69)6 and, conse5uently, whether or not the ple!iscite conducted in the areas co"prisin the proposed 0unicipality o% Tulay= ?a=;upa and the re"ainin areas o% the "other 0unicipality o% ;a!o is valid. Ge rule that respondent CO0F;FC did not co""it rave a!use in pro"ul atin Resolution ?o. 69)6 and that the ple!iscite, which re.ected the creation o% the proposed 0unicipality o% Tulay=?a=;upa, is valid. Petitioner1s contention that our rulin in 4an vs. &8/E5E& has !een superseded with the rati%ication o% the ),*7 Constitution, thus reinstatin our earlier rulin in Paredes vs. &8/E5E& is untena!le. Petitioner opines that since4an vs. &8/E5E& was !ased on 8ection 9 o% Article :- o% the ),79 Constitution our rulin in said case is no lon er applica!le under 8ection )< o% Article : o% the ),*7 Constitution, G especially since the latter provision deleted the words "unit or." Ge do not a ree. The deletion o% the phrase "unit or" in 8ection )<, Article : o% the ),*7 Constitution %ro" its precursor, 8ection 9 o% Article :- o% the ),79 Constitution not a%%ected our rulin in 4an vs. &omelec as e2plained !y then CO?CO0 Co""issioner, now "y distin uished collea ue, Associate >ustice Cilario (avide, durin the de!ates in the ),*+ Constitutional Co""ission, to wit: 0r. 0aa"!on : Ghile we have already approved the deletion o% "unit or," - would li$e to in%or" the Co""ittee that under the %or"ulation in the present ;ocal Govern"ent Code, the words used are actually "political unit or units." Cowever, - do not $now the i"plication o% the use o% these words. 0ay!e there will !e no su!stantial di%%erence, !ut - .ust want to in%or" the Co""ittee a!out this. 0r. ?olledo: Can we not adhere to the ori inal "unit or units"N Gill there !e no o!.ection on the part o% the two Gentle"en %ro" the %loorN

0r. (avide: I "ould o#$ect. I precisely asked for the deletion of the "ords 0unit or0 #ecause in the ple#iscite to #e conducted7 it must involve all the units affected . If it is the creation of a #aran!ay ple#iscite #ecause it is affected. It "ould mean a loss of a territory . 0 &F"phasis supplied' -t stands to reason that when the law states that the ple!iscite shall !e conducted "in the political units directly a%%ected," it "eans that residents o% the political entity who would !e econo"ically dislocated !y the separation o% a portion thereo% have a ri ht to vote in said ple!iscite. Fvidently, what is conte"plated !y the phase "political units directly a%%ected," is the plurality o% political units which would participate in the ple!iscite. /D ;o ically, those to !e included in such political areas are the inha!itants o% the )6 !aran ays o% the proposed 0unicipality o% Tulay=?a=;upa as well as those livin in the parent 0unicipality o% ;a!o, Ca"arines ?orte. Thus, we conclude that respondent CO0F;FC did not co""it rave a!use o% discretion in pro"ul atin Resolution ?o. 69)6. GCFRF4ORF, the instant petition is here!y (-80-88F(. Case (i est = Flection ;aw, ;ocal Govern"ent Gri\o vs. CO0F;FC

Ghether or not there was a co"plete %ailure o% election in Gui"aras. CF;(: The court held that CO0F;FC was under "ista$en presu"ption that under the ;GC o% ),,), whether or not the conversion o% Gui"aras into a re ular province is rati%ied !y the people in ple!iscite, the President will appoint provincial o%%icials. Cowever, the voters %avored %or the conversion o% Gui"aras into a re ular province so there was need to undo what CO0F;FC has done in ple!iscite. There !allots in Gui"aras should have contained spaces %or Gov and Vice Gov. etc. !ut 8C has now considered the case "oot and acade"ic since "a.ority voted in the a%%ir"ative %or the conversion o% Gui"aras. G.R. No. L-:CD66 M%3 B/, /0G: GEMILIANO C. LOPEZ, KR., .or +(-"!$. %n# %$$ o&+!r (n&!r!"&!# '%r&(!" "(-($%r$3 "(&u%&!# (n M!&ro'o$(&%n M%n($%, petitioner, vs. THE HONORABLE COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS, respondent. G.R. No. L-:C/67 M%3 B/, /0G:

G.R. ?o. )<B)6< 8epte"!er 6, ),,6 4ACT8: Gri\o and his ;(P political party %iled a certiorari case a ainst CO0F;FC in relation to the 0ay )), ),,6 election. Gri\o is a candidate %or Governor o% -loilo where the su!= province o% Gui"aras is located. ;GC o% ),,) too$ e%%ect re5uirin the conversion o% e2istin su!=provinces into re ular provinces, and Gui"aras is one such su!= provinces, upon approval !y "a.ority o% votes cast in a ple!iscite. The ple!iscite %avored the conversion o% Gui"aras into a re ular province !ut petitioner 5uestioned the CO0F;FC that !allots should have contained spaces to allow votin %or Gov, Vice Gov and "e"!ers o% the 8an unian o% -loilo. -88@F: GEMILIANO C. LOPEZ, KR. %n# REYNALDO B. ARALAR, .or &+!-"!$,!" %n# %$$ o&+!r (n&!r!"&!# '%r&(!" "(-($%r$3 "(&u%&!# %" &+!-"!$,!" (n M!&ro'o$(&%n M%n($%, petitioners, vs. THE HONORABLE METROPOLITAN MANILA COMMISSION, respondent. Reynaldo (* 'ralar for and in his o"n #ehalf* 9acinto D* 9imenez for petitioner )* 5opez7 9r*

EERNANDO, C.J.:

Presidential (ecree ?o. *6A / was a response to a %elt need %or a "central overn"ent to esta!lish and ad"inister pro ra" and provide services co""on to" the cities o% 0anila, Lue/on, Pasay, and Caloocan as well as thirteen "unicipalities 6 in the surroundin area. -t is worth notin that such a pro!le" was !y no "eans uni5ue and con%ined to the Philippines. Recent decades have witnessed a rowin erosion in pu!lic con%idence in the a!ility o% local overn"ent units as traditionally or ani/ed to %ul%ill their responsi!ilities and dischar e their %unctions e%%ectively, e%%iciently, and satis%actorily. B The rowth in population in 0anila, the three other cities, and the ad.acent "unicipalities has !een unchec$ed since the end o% Gorld Gar --. There was o% course the !ri ht pro"ise o% a !etter %i%e especially so with the proli%eration o% co""ercial %ir"s and the esta!lish"ent o% industries. The lure has thus proved irresisti!le. The result has !een the ever increasin ina!ility o% the separate local overn"ents to cope with the ensuin serious pro!le"s. A pu!lic corporation was thus created "to !e $nown as the 0etropolitan 0anila, vested with powers and attri!utes o% a corporation includin the power to "a$e contracts, sue and !e sued, ac5uire, purchase, e2propriate, hold, trans%er and dispose o% property and such other powers as are necessary to carry out its purposes." 7 -t is ad"inistered !y a Co""ission. : Petitioners C in the second o% the a!ove cases 5 assail the constitutionality o% Presidential (ecree ?o. *6A. They rely on this provision: "?o province, city, "unicipality, or !arrio "ay !e created, divided, "er ed, a!olished, or its !oundary su!stantially altered, e2cept in accordance with the criteria esta!lished in the local overn"ent code, and su!.ect to the approval !y a "a.ority o% the votes cast in a ple!iscite in the unit or units a%%ected." G The ;ocal Govern"ent Code was not enacted until ),*9. 0 4or reasons to !e set %orth, it will !e "ade apparent that such a challen e is %ar %ro" %or"ida!le. -t does not su%%ice to call %or a declaration o% unconstitutionality. 0oreover, the last vesti e o% dou!t has !een re"oved !y the present constitutional provision adopted in the ple!iscite on >anuary 67, ),*A. Thus in the Article on #atasan Pa"!ansa it is e2pressly provided: "The #atasan Pa"!ansa which shall !e co"posed o% not "ore than 6<< 0e"!ers unless otherwise provided !y law, shall include representatives elected %ro" the di%%erent provinces with their co"ponent cities, hi hly ur!ani/ed cities as "ay !e declared !y or pursuant to law, and districts in

0etropolitan 0anila, those elected or selected %ro" the various sectors as "ay !e provided !y law, and those chosen !y the President %ro" 0e"!ers o% the Ca!inet. Fach district in 0etropolitan 0anila shall co"prise, as %ar as practica!le, conti uous, co"pact and ad.acent territory. The elective representatives shall !e apportioned !y law a"on the provinces with their co"ponent cities, hi hly ur!ani/ed cities, and the districts o% 0etropolitan 0anila in accordance with the nu"!er o% their respective inha!itants and on the !asis o% a uni%or" and pro ressive ratio, !ut the provinces with co"ponent cities and hi hly ur!ani/ed cities shall have at least one representative each. The provinces and cities shall have at least the sa"e total nu"!er o% representatives as under the ),9B Constitution." /D The reco nition o% the e2istence to 0etropolitan 0anila cannot !e e2pressed any clearer. There can !e no le al .usti%ication then %or a declaration o% unconstitutionality. Presidential (ecree ?o. *6A is not tainted with constitutional in%ir"ity. ). -n Presidential (ecree ?o *6A re%erence was "ade to "the re%erendu" held on 4e!ruary 67, ),7B IwhereinJ the residents o% the Greater 0anila Area authori/ed the President to restructure the local overn"ents o% the %our cities and )9 "unicipalities thereo% into an inte rated unit o% the "ana er or co""ission %or" o% overn"ent," with the ter"s and conditions !ein le%t to the discretion o% the President. // -t was then pointed out that "the rapid rowth o% population and the correspondin increase o% social and econo"ic re5uire"ents in the conti uous co""unities re%erred to a!ove has !rou ht into !ein a lar e area that calls %or Idevelop"ent !othJ si"ultaneous and uni%ied." /6 4or ""any pu!lic services IthenJ rendered !y local overn"ents separately %or the"selves Iou ht toJ !e ad. "inistered "ore e%%iciently and "ore econo"ically, to the co""on !ene%it o% the cities and "unicipalities in the area, i% they are inte rated and har"oni/ed, under a syste" o% central plannin Itreatin as a co""on pro!le" theJ separate "unicipal needs." /B -t "is Vital to the survival and rowth o% the a%ore"entioned Greater 0anila Area that a wor$a!le and e%%ective syste" !e esta!lished %or the coordination, inte ration and uni%ied "ana e"ent o% such local overn"ent services or %unctions" /7 therein, There is necessity %or "the uni%ied "etropolitan services or %unctions ItoJ !e planned, ad"inistered, and operated I!ased onJ the hi hest pro%essional technical

standards." /: The %ore oin constitutes the .usti%ication %or and the o!.ective o% such Presidential (ecree. 6. There is relevance to this openin para raph in the recent case o% Paredes v. F2ecutive 8ecretary: /C "The constitutional 5uestion raised in this declaratory relie% proceedin treated as a special civil action %or prohi!ition, one o% %irst i"pression, arose %ro" the issuance o% a procla"ation !y the President, directin that a ple!iscite !e conducted in certain !aran ays, all within the "unicipality o% 0ayoyao, Province o% -%u ao, se re ated under a #atas Pa"!ansa, "to deter"ine whether the said !aran ays shall !eco"e a new "unicipality !e $nown as the 0unicipality o% A uinaldo, Province o% -%u ao." -n such procla"ation, respondent Co""ission on Flections was char ed with the duty o% supervisin the conduct o% such ple!iscite and e"powered to pro"ul ate the necessary rules and re ulations to i"ple"ent the procla"ation. -t is alle ed that #atas Pa"!ansa #l . *+ is unconstitutional %or !ein violative o% Article :-, 8ection 9 o% the Constitution. The !asis %or such contention is that the statute e2cluded %ro" the ple!iscite the voters %ro" the po!lacion and other !aran ays o% the 0unicipality o% 0ayoyao e2cept those "entioned in the Act." /5 The procla"ation was issued on ?ove"!er )), ),*<, at least three years !e%ore the enact"ent o% the local overn"ent code. The petition !ased on Article :-, 8ection 9 o% the Constitution, the very sa"e provision relied upon in this case, was dis"issed. There were twelve &)6' votes in %avor o% such dis"issal, two o% the >ustices /G votin to dis"iss the petition on the round that it had !eco"e "oot and acade"ic, the ple!iscite havin !een duly held and the certi%icate o% canvass and procla"ation disclosin that out o% the 6,A<, total votes !ein cast in the ple!iscite, 6,9+* were cast in %avor o% the creation o% the new "unicipality./0 >ustice A!ad 8antos dissented on the round that the people in the !aran ay o% the "unicipality o% A uinaldo should li$ewise have voted in the ple!iscite, not only those o% the !aran ays that constituted the new "unicipality. The Court did ta$e note o% the plausi!ility o% such an approach !ut ca"e to the conclusion that the constitutional provision on the need %or a "a.ority o% the votes cast in the ple!iscite in the unit or units a%%ected would !e satis%ied even i% "those voters who are not %ro" the !aran ay to !e separated IwereJ e2cluded in the ple!iscite." 6D-t cannot !e ar ued there%ore that the ple!iscite held in the areas a%%ected to constitute 0etropolitan 0anila, havin "ani%ested their will, the constitutional provision relied upon !y petitioners has !een satis%ied. -t is to !e noted li$ewise that at the

ti"e o% such ple!iscite in 4e!ruary, ),7B, there was no ;ocal Govern"ent Code. 9. ?or is there any 5uestion as to the Presidential authority to issue Presidential (ecree ?o. *6A creatin 0etropolitan 0anila in ),7B. There was at the ti"e no interim #atasan Pa"!ansa. -t was the President who was then entrusted with such responsi!ility. 8o it was held in A5uino, >r. v. Co""ission on Flections, 6/ decided in >anuary o% ),7B. The ponencia o% >ustice 0a$asiar dispelled "all dou!ts as to the le ality o% such law="a$in authority !y the President durin the period o% 0artial ;aw, ] ] ]." 66 As the opinion went on to state: "The entire para raph o% 8ection 9&6' is not a rant o% authority to le islate, !ut a reco nition o% such power as already e2istin in %avor o% the incu"!ent President durin the period o% 0artial ;aw." 6B A. The sole petitioner in the other case 67 is li$ewise now Asse"!ly"an Ge"iliano C ;ope/, >r, o% 0etropolitan 0anila. -t is a "anda"us petition to re5uire respondent Co""ission on Flections to order the elections %or "e"!ers o% the 8an unian Pan lun sod and 8an unian #ayan in the %our cities and thirteen towns o% 0etropolitan 0anila. As was ,stated in the 0e"orandu" o% the 8olicitor General Fstelito P. 0endo/a, the %act that it is a suit %or "anda"us is an ad"ission o% the validity o% Presidential (ecree ?o. *6A. 6: ?or would "anda"us lie, it !ein provided therein that "the 8an unian #ayan shall !e co"posed o% as "any !aran ay captains as "ay !e deter"ined and chosen !y the Co""ission, and such nu"!er o% representatives %ro" other sectors o% the society as "ay !e appointed !y the President upon reco""endation o% the Co""ission." 6C The 8olicitor General can, there%ore plausi!ly assert: "This de"onstrates that the petition1s char e, that there is no duly constituted 8an unian #ayan, in 0etro 0anila Area is untrue, and that the citi/enry therein do have a voice in decision="a$in , throu h the respective 8an unian #ayans o% each o% the political units therein." 65 The (ecree itsel% thus supplies the re%utation to the contention o% petitioner. B. The point has !een raised, however, that unless Presidential (ecree ?o. *6A !e construed in such a way that alon with the rest o% the other cities and "unicipalities, there should !e elections %or the 8an unian #ayan, then there is a denial o% the e5ual protection provision o% the Constitution. The point is not well=ta$en. -n a recent decision, 6G this Court reiterated

the concept o% e5ual protection in these words: "The applica!le standard to avoid the char e that there is a denial o% this constitutional "andate whether the assailed act is in the e2ercise o% the police power or the power o% e"inent do"ain is to de"onstrate "that the overn"ent act assailed, %ar %ro" !ein inspired !y the attain"ent o% the co""on weal was pro"pted !y the spirit o% hostility, or at the very least, discri"ination that %inds no support in reason. -t su%%ices then that the laws operate e5ually and uni%or"ly on all persons under si"ilar circu"stances or that all persons "ust !e treated in the sa"e "anner, the conditions not !ein di%%erent, !oth in the privele es con%erred and the lia!ilities i"posed. 4avoritis" and undue pre%erence cannot !e allowed. 4or the principle is that e5ual protection and security shall !e iven to every person under circu"stances, which, i% not -dentical, are analo ous. -% law !e loo$ed upon in ter"s o% !urden or char es, those that %all within a class should !e treated in the sa"e %ashion, whatever restrictions cast on so"e in the roup e5ually !indin on the rest." That sa"e %or"ulation applies as well to ta2ation "easures. The e5ual protection clause is, o% course, inspired !y the no!le concept o% appro2i"atin the -deal o% the law1s !ene%its !ein availa!le to all and the a%%airs o% "en !ein !y the serene and i"partial uni%or"ity, which is o% the very essence o% the -dea o% law. There is, however, wisdo", as well as realis", in these words o% >ustice 4ran$%urther: "The e5uality at which the "e5ual protection" clause ai"s is not a dise"!odied e5uality. The 4ourteenth A"end"ent en.oins "the e5ual protection o% the laws, and the laws are not a!stract propositions. They do not relate to a!stract units A, # and C, !ut are e2pressions o% policy arisin out o% speci%ic di%%iculties, addressed to the attain"ent o% speci%ic ends !y the use o% speci%ic re"edies. The Constitution does not re5uire thin s which are di%%erent in %act or opinion to !e treated in law as thou h they were the sa"e." 60 -t is clear that under the e5ual protection clause, classi%ication is not %or!idden. As was so well put !y >ustice ;aurel as ponente in the leadin case People v* Vera: BD "Class le islation discri"inatin a ainst so"e and %avorin others is prohi!ited. #ut classi%ication on a reasona!le !asis, and not "ade ar!itrarily or capriciously is per"itted. ] ] ] The classi%ication, however, to !e reasona!le "ust !e !ased on su!stantial distinction which "a$e real di%%erences3 it "ust !e er"ane to the purposes o% the law3 it "ust not !e li"ited to e2istin conditions only, and "ust apply e5ually to each "e"!er o% the class." B/ All such ele"ents are present. There is no need to set %orth anew the co"pellin reasons that called %or the creation o% 0etropolitan 0anila. -t is 5uite o!vious

that under the conditions then e2istin still present and, with the continued rowth o% population, attended with "ore co"ple2ity what was done a response to a reat pu!lic need. The overn"ent was called upon to act. Presidential (ecree ?o. *6A was the result. -t is not a condition %or the validity o% the 8an unian #ayans provided %or in the %our cities and the thirteen "unicipalities that the "e"!ership !e -dentical with those o% other cities or "unicipalities. There is a"ple .usti%ication %or such a distinction. -t does not !y any "eans co"e under the cate ory o% what Pro%essor Gunther calls suspect classi%ication. B6 There is thus no warrant %or the view that the e5ual protection uarantee was violated. + Re%erence was "ade earlier to Article V---, 8ection 6 o% the Constitution where there is e2press reco nition o% the .uridical entity $nown as 0etropolitan 0anila. 8uch e2press constutional a%%ir"ation o% its e2istence in the %unda"ental law calls, as earlier noted, %or the dis"issal o% these petitions, there !ein no le al .usti%ication %or the declaration o% unconstitutionality o% Presidential (ecree ?o. *6A. ?or was it the %irst ti"e that there has !een ac$nowled "ent in law o% the creation o% 0anila. Thus accordin to the Flection Code o% ),7*, "there shall !e )+< re ional representatives to the interi" #atasan Pa"!ansa apportioned a"on the thirteen re ions o% the nation in accordance with the nu"!er o% their respective inha!itants and on the !asis o% a uni%or" and pro ressive ratio" with Re ion -V. with ), representatives co"prisin "0etro 0anila as %ollows: Cities o% 0anila, Lue/on, Caloocan, and Pasay3 and the "unicipalities o% Valen/uela, 0ala!on, ?avotas, 0a$ati, Parana5ue, ;as Pinas, 0andaluyon , 8an >uan, Pasi , 0untinlupa, 0ari$ina, Pateros, and Ta ui ." BB Then there is this provision %ound in Presidential (ecree ?o. )9,+ creatin the 0inistry o% Cu"an 8ettle"ents" "8FC. 9. Fsta!lish"ent o% the ?ational Capital Re ion -n view o% the critical i"portance o% the 0etropolitan 0anila Re ion in hu"an settle"ent develop"ent. it is here!y declared and esta!lished as the ?ational Capital Re ion o% the Repu!lic o% the Philippines, and its ad"inistration as such is here!y vested in the 8ecretary o% Cu"an 8ettle"ents. The pertinent provisions o% Presidential (ecree ?o. *6A, creatin the 0etropolitan 0anila Co""ission, are here!y accordin ly a"ended." B7The %act o% such re ional representation was once a ain "ade clear in the April 7, ),*) a"end"ents to the Constitution. Thus: "8FC. 6. The #atasan Pa"!ansa which shall !e co"posed o% not "ore than 6<< "e"!ers unless provided !y law, shall include representatives elected %ro" the re ions o% the

Philippines, those elected or selected %ro" various sectors as "ay !e provided !y law, and those chosen !y the President %ro" the "e"!ers o% the Ca!inet. Re ional representatives shall !e apportioned a"on the re ions in accordance with the nu"!er o% their respective inha!itants and on the !asis o% a uni%or" and pro ressive ration." B: ;astly, in addition to Article V---, 8ection 6 o% the Constitution as approved on >anuary 67, ),*A, its acco"panyin ordinance reads as %ollows: "8FCT-O? ). 4or purposes o% the election o% 0e"!ers o% the re ular #atasan Pa"!ansa on the second 0onday o% 0ay ),*A and su!se5uent elections and until otherwise provided !y law, the 0e"!ers o% the #atasan Pa"!ansa, other than the sectoral representatives and those chosen !y the President %ro" the Ca!inet, shall !e apportioned to the di%%erent provinces with their co"ponent cities, hi hly ur!ani/ed cities and the representatives districts o% 0etropolitan 0anila as %ollows: "?ational Capital Re ion: 0anila si2 &+' Lue/on City, %our &A'3 Caloocan, two &6'3 Pasay, one &)'3 0a$ati, one &)'3 0ala!on, one &)'3 ?avotas and Valen/uela, two &6'3 8an >uan and 0andaluyon , one &)'3 Ta ui , Pateros and 0untinlupa, one &)'." BC -t would !e, there%ore, as contended !y respondent Co""ission to show lac$ o% the %idelity to the Constitution i% the prayer %or the a!olition o% the 0etropolitan 0anila, which is e2pressly authori/ed and reco ni/ed !y the %unda"ental law, !e ranted. 7 One last point. -t is undenia!le, there%ore, that the creation o% the 0etropolitan 0anila Co""ission is %ree %ro" any constitutional o!.ection. There is, however, a 5uestion that "ay arise in connection with the powers o% the President over the Co""ission. Accordin to Presidential (ecree ?o. *6A: "The Co""ission, the General 0ana er and any o%%icial o% the Co""ission shall !e under the direct supervision and control o% the President. ?otwithstandin any provision in this (ecree, the President shall the power to revo$e, a"end or "odi%y any ordinance, resolution or act o% the Co""ission, the General and the Co""issioners." B5 -t "ay ive rise to dou!ts as to its validity inso%ar as it con%ers the power o% control on the President. That control he certainly e2ercises under the present Constitution over the "inistries. BG Cis power over local overn"ents does not o that %ar. -t e2tends no %urther than eneral supervision. B0 These dou!ts, however, do not su%%ice to nulli%y such a provision. They can !e set at rest. Eu Con Fn v. Trinidad 7D shows the way. A%ter reiteratin the classic doctrine o% the presu"ption !ein always in %avor o% constitutionality, >ustice 0alcol", as ponente, cate orically declared: "To dou!t is to sustain." 7/ -n this

case, the validity o% Repu!lic Act ?o. 6,76 o% the Philippine ;e islature, popularly $nown as the Chinese #oo$$eepin ;aw, was 5uestioned. Accordin to the opinion o% >ustice 0alcol": "A literal application o% the law would "a$e it unlaw%ul %or any Chinese "erchant to $eep his account !oo$s in any lan ua e other than Fn lish, 8panish, or oral dialect. The petitioner say the law is suscepti!le o% that interpretation "i ht, and pro!a!ly would, cause us to hold the law unconstitutional." 76 The construction adopted to which the Court considered per"issi!le is "that the law only intended to re5uire the $eepin o% such !oo$s as were necessary in order to %acilitate overn"ental inspection %or ta2 purposes" 7B 8uch a conclusion was reached !y the invocation o% "an ele"entary, a %unda"ental, and a universal rule o% construction, applied when considerin constitutional 5uestions, that when a law is suscepti!le o% two constructions one o% which will "aintain and the other constructions one o% which will "aintain and the other destroy it, the courts will always adopt the %or"er." 778uccinctly put, that construction that would save is to !e pre%erred as a ainst one that will destroy. As phrased !y Chie% >ustices Cu hes in Crowell v. #en son, 7: "i% a serious dou!t o% constitutionality is raised, it is a cardinal principle that this Court will %irst ascertain whether a construction o% the statute is %airly possi!le !y which the 5uestion "ay !e avoided." 7C ?r does it ar ue a ainst the authoritative character o% >ustice 0alco"1s ponencia in Eu Con Fn that it was reversed in appeal to the @nited 8tates 8upre"e Court. 75 (urin the period o% A"erican soverei nty, such .urisdiction validly !e e2ercised. -ts decision then nulli%yin the Chinese #oo$$eepin ;aw is the law o% the case. it does not %ollow, however, that the reasonin on which the Philippine decisions was !ased is !ere%t o% any le al si ni%icance. -t does not ad"it o% dou!t that >ustice 0alcol" and his !rethren considered %ully the precise pro!le" presented and the need %or such a "easure to assure that the ta2es to which the Philippine overn"ent was entitled would !e %ully paid. -t cannot !e said that the A"erican 8upre"e Court in this as in other cases o% Philippine ori in was as well=in%or"ed. -t did not possess it could not possess %ull awareness o% the conditions then e2istin in this country. A%ter >uly A, ),A+, when the Philippine declared its independence, there%ore, it is not only understanda!le !ut also proper that there !e less reliance on A"erican 8upre"e Court decisions. Ghat is undenia!le as shown !y the %ore oin citations o% case !oth Philippine and A"erican is that approach %ollowed !y >ustice 0alco" in the interpretation o% statutes to

avoid any dou!t as to its validity re"ains a %unda"ental canon. * To show %idelity to his !asic principle o% construction is to lend su!stance to the e5ually !asic doctrine that the constitution enters into and %or"s part o% every statute. 7G Accordin ly, the presidential power o% control over acts o% the 0etro 0anila Co""ission is li"ited to those that "ay !e considered national in character. There can !e no valid o!.ection to such e2ercise o% authority. -t is undisputed that !y virtue o% the ),*) a"end"ents to the Constitution, once a ain, "there is one purpose which is crystal=clear and is the esta!lish"ent o% a sin le, not plural, F2ecutive." 70 8o it was a%%ir"ed in .ree 4elephone Workers Union v* /inister of 5a#or. :D There is si ni%icance to the %act that the ;ocal Govern"ent Code :/ does not include the 0etro 0anila Co""ission. That is clear reco nition that so"e o% its attri!utes are those o% a national character. Ghere, however, the acts o% the 0etro 0anila Co""ission "ay !e considered as properly appertainin to local overn"ent %unctions, the power o% the President is con%ined to eneral supervision. As thus construed, 8ection )9 clearly appears to !e %ree %ro" any constitutional in%ir"ity. GCFRF4ORF, the petition in G.R. ?o. B+<66 entitled )emiliano &* 5opez7 9r* v* &ommission on Elections, and the petition in G.R. ?o. B+)6A entitled )emiliano &* 5opez7 9r* and Reynaldo (* 'ralar v* /etropolitan /anila &ommission, are dis"issed. ?o costs. KUANITO MARIANO, KR. !& %$., petitioners, vs. THE COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS, THE MUNICIPALITY OE MAPATI, HON. KEKOMAR BINAY, THE MUNICIPAL TREASURER, AND SANGGUNIANG BAYAN OE MAPATI, respondents. G.R. No. //GC65 M%r)+ 5, /00: KOHN R. OSMEMA, petitioner, vs. THE COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS, THE MUNICIPALITY OE MAPATI, HON. KEKOMAR BINAY, MUNICIPAL TREASURER, AND SANGGUNIANG BAYAN OE MAPATI, respondents.

PUNO, J.: At !ench are two &6' petitions assailin certain provisions o% Repu!lic Act ?o. 7*BA as unconstitutional. R.A. ?o. 7*BA as unconstitutional. R.A. ?o. 7*BA is entitled, "An Act Convertin the 0unicipality o% 0a$ati -nto a Ci hly @r!ani/ed City to !e $nown as the City o% 0a$ati." / G.R. ?o. ))*B77 involves a petition %or prohi!ition and declaratory relie%. -t was %iled !y petitioners >uanito 0ariano, >r., ;i aya 8. #autista, Teresita Ti!ay, Ca"ilo 8antos, 4ran$ie Cru/, Ricardo Pascual, Teresita A!an , Valentina Pitalvero, Ru%ino Caldo/a, 4lorante Al!a, and Per%ecto Al!a. O% the petitioners, only 0ariano, >r., is a resident o% 0a$ati. The others are residents o% -!ayo @susan, Ta ui , 0etro 0anila. 8uin as ta2payers, they assail as unconstitutional sections 6, B), and B6 o% R.A. ?o. 7*BA on the %ollowin rounds: ). 8ection 6 o% R.A. ?o. 7*BA did not properly identi%y the land area or territorial .urisdiction o% 0a$ati !y "etes and !ounds, with technical descriptions, in violation o% 8ection )<, Article : o% the Constitution, in relation to 8ections 7 and AB< o% the ;ocal Govern"ent Code3 6. 8ection B) o% R.A. ?o. 7*BA atte"pts to alter or restart the "three consecutive ter"" li"it %or local elective o%%icials, in violation o% 8ection *, Article : and 8ection 7, Article V- o% the Constitution. 9. 8ection B6 o% R.A. ?o. 7*BA is unconstitutional %or: &a' it increased the le islative district o% 0a$ati only !y special law &the Charter in violation o% the constitutional provision re5uirin a eneral reapportion"ent law to !e passed !y Con ress within three &9' years %ollowin the return o% every census3 &!' the increase in le islative district was not e2pressed in the title o% the !ill3 and &c' the addition o% another le islative district in 0a$ati is not in accord with 8ection B &9', Article V- o% the Constitution %or as o% the latest survey &),,< census', the population o% 0a$ati stands at only AB<,<<<. G.R. ?o. ))*+67 was %iled !y the petitioner >ohn C. Os"e\a as senator, ta2payer, and concerned citi/en.

Petitioner assails section B6 o% R.A. ?o. 7*BA as unconstitutional on the sa"e rounds as a%orestated. Ge %ind no "erit in the petitions. 8ection 6, Article - o% R.A. ?o. 7*BA delineated the land areas o% the proposed city o% 0a$ati, thus: 8ec. 6. 4he &ity of /akati. The 0unicipality o% 0a$ati shall !e converted into a hi hly ur!ani/ed city to !e $nown as the City o% 0a$ati, hereina%ter re%erred to as the City, "hich shall comprise the present territory of the /unicipality of /akati in /etropolitan /anila 'rea over which it has .urisdiction !ounded on the northeast !y Pasi River and !eyond !y the City o% 0andaluyon and the 0unicipality o% Pasi 3 on the southeast !y the "unicipalities o% Pateros and Ta ui 3 on the southwest !y the City o% Pasay and the 0unicipality o% Ta ui 3 and, on the northwest, !y the City o% 0anila. The %ore oin provision shall !e "ithout pre$udice to the resolution #y the appropriate a!ency or forum of e istin! #oundary disputes or cases involvin! <uestions of territorial $urisdiction #et"een the &ity of /akati and the ad$oinin! local !overnment units. &F"phasis supplied' -n G.R. ?o. ))*B77, petitioners clai" that this delineation violates sections 7 and AB< o% the ;ocal Govern"ent Code which re5uire that the area o% a local overn"ent unit should !e "ade !y "etes and !ounds with technical descriptions. 6 The i"portance o% drawin with precise stro$es the territorial !oundaries o% a local unit o% overn"ent cannot !e overe"phasi/ed. The !oundaries "ust !e clear %or they de%ine the li"its o% the territorial .urisdiction o% a local overn"ent unit. -t can le iti"ately e2ercise powers o% overn"ent only within the li"its, its acts are ultra vires. ?eedless to state, any uncertainty in the !oundaries o% local overn"ent units will sow costly con%licts in the e2ercise o% overn"ental powers which ulti"ately will pre.udice the people1s wel%are. This is the evil sou ht to avoided !y the ;ocal Govern"ent Code in re5uirin that the land area o% a local overn"ent unit "ust !e spelled out in "etes and !ounds, with technical descriptions.

Given the %acts o% the cases at !ench, we cannot perceive how this evil can !e !rou ht a!out !y the description "ade in section 6 o% R.A. ?o. 7*BA, Petitioners have not de"onstrated that the delineation o% the land area o% the proposed City o% 0a$ati will cause con%usion as to its !oundaries. Ge note that said delineation did not chan e even !y an inch the land area previously covered !y 0a$ati as a "unicipality. 8ection 6 did not add, su!tract, divide, or "ultiply the esta!lished land area o% 0a$ati. -n lan ua e that cannot !e any clearer, section 6 stated that, the city1s land area "shall co"prise the present territory o% the "unicipality." The deli!erations o% Con ress will reveal that there is a le iti"ate reason why the land area o% the proposed City o% 0a$ati was not de%ined !y "etes and !ounds, with technical descriptions. At the ti"e o% the consideration o% R.A. ?o. 7*BA, the territorial dispute !etween the "unicipalities o% 0a$ati and Ta ui over 4ort #oni%acio was under court liti ation. Out o% a !eco"in sense o% respect to co=e5ual depart"ent o% overn"ent, le islators %elt that the dispute should !e le%t to the courts to decide. They did not want to %oreclose the dispute !y "a$in a le islative %indin o% %act which could decide the issue. This would have ensued i% they de%ined the land area o% the proposed city !y its e2act "etes and !ounds, with technical descriptions. B Ge ta$e .udicial notice o% the %act that Con ress has also re%rained %ro" usin the "etes and !ounds description o% land areas o% other local overn"ent units with unsettled !oundary disputes. 7 Ge hold that the e2istence o% a !oundary dispute does not per se present an insur"ounta!le di%%iculty which will prevent Con ress %ro" de%inin with reasona!le certitude the territorial .urisdiction o% a local overn"ent unit. -n the cases at !ench, Con ress "aintained the e2istin !oundaries o% the proposed City o% 0a$ati !ut as an act o% %airness, "ade the" su!.ect to the ulti"ate resolution !y the courts. Considerin these peculiar circu"stances, we are not prepared to hold that section 6 o% R.A. ?o. 7*BA is unconstitutional. Ge sustain the su!"ission o% the 8olicitor General in this re ard, viz.: Goin now to 8ections 7 and AB< o% the ;ocal Govern"ent Code, it is !eyond cavil that the re5uire"ent stated therein, viz.: "the territorial .urisdiction o% newly created or converted cities should !e descri!ed !y "eted and !ounds, with technical descriptions" was "ade in order to provide a "eans !y which the area o% said cities "ay !e reasona!ly ascertained. -n other words, the

re5uire"ent on "etes and !ounds was "eant "erely as tool in the esta!lish"ent o% local overn"ent units. -t is not an end in itsel%. Er!o, so lon as the territorial .urisdiction o% a city "ay !e reasona!ly ascertained, i.e., !y re%errin to co""on !oundaries with nei h!orin "unicipalities, as in this case, then, it "ay !e concluded that the le islative intent !ehind the law has !een su%%iciently served. Certainly, Con ress did not intends that laws creatin new cities "ust contain therein detailed technical descriptions si"ilar to those appearin in Torrens titles, as petitioners see" to i"ply. To re5uire such description in the law as a condition sine <ua non %or its validity would !e to de%eat the very purpose which the ;ocal Govern"ent Code to see$s to serve. The "ani%est intent o% the Code is to e"power local overn"ent units and to ive the" their ri ht%ul due. -t see$s to "a$e local overn"ents "ore responsive to the needs o% their constituents while at the sa"e ti"e servin as a vital co in national develop"ent. To invalidate R.A. ?o. 7*BA on the "ere round that no cadastral type o% description was used in the law would serve the letter !ut de%eat the spirit o% the Code. -t then !eco"es a case o% the "aster servin the slave, instead o% the other way around. This could not !e the intend"ent o% the law. Too well settled is the rule that laws "ust !e en%orced when ascertained, althou h it "ay not !e consistent with the strict letter o% the statute. Courts will not %ollow the letter o% the statute when to do so would depart %ro" the true intent o% the le islature or would otherwise yield conclusions inconsistent with the eneral purpose o% the act. &Torres v. ;i".ap, B+ Phil., )A)3 Ta\ada v. Cuenco, )<9 Phil. )<B)3 Cidal o v. Cidal o, 99 8CRA ))<B'. ;e islation is an active instru"ent o% overn"ent, which, %or purposes o% interpretation, "eans that laws have ends to achieve, and statutes should !e so construed as not to de%eat !ut to carry out such ends and purposes &#ocol!o v. Fstanislao, 76 8CRA B6<'. The sa"e rule "ust indu!ita!ly apply to the case at !ar. -Petitioners in G.R. ?o. ))*B77 also assail the constitutionality o% section B), Article : o% R.A. ?o. 7*BA. 8ection B) states:

8ec. B). 8fficials of the &ity of /akati. The represent elective o%%icials o% the 0unicipality o% 0a$ati shall continue as the o%%icials o% the City o% 0a$ati and shall e2ercise their powers and %unctions until such ti"e that a new election is held and the duly elected o%%icials shall have already 5uali%ied and assu"e their o%%ices: Provided, 4he ne" city "ill ac<uire a ne" corporate e istence. The appointive o%%icials and e"ployees o% the City shall li$ewise continues e2ercisin their %unctions and duties and they shall !e auto"atically a!sor!ed !y the city overn"ent o% the City o% 0a$ati. They contend that this section collides with section *, Article : and section 7, Article V- o% the Constitution which provide: 8ec. *. The ter" o% o%%ice o% elective local o%%icials, e2cept !aran ay o%%icials, which shall !e deter"ined !y law, shall !e three years and no such official shall serve for more than three consecutive terms. Voluntary renunciation o% the o%%ice %or any len th o% ti"e shall not !e considered as an interruption in the continuity o% his service %or the %ull ter" %or which he was elected. 222 222 222 8ec. 7. The 0e"!ers o% the Couse o% Representatives shall !e elected %or a ter" o% three years which shall !e in, unless otherwise provided !y law, at noon on the thirtieth day o% >une ne2t %ollowin their election. ?o 0e"!er o% the Couse o% Representatives shall serve %or "ore than three consecutive ter"s. Voluntary renunciation o% the o%%ice %or any len th o% ti"e shall not !e considered as an interruption in the continuity o% his service %or the %ull ter" %or which he was elected. Petitioners stress that under these provisions, elective local officials7 includin! /em#ers of the ;ouse of Representative7 have a term of three &C' years and are prohi#ited from servin! for more than three &C' consecutive terms. They ar ue that !y providin that the new city shall ac5uire a ne" corporate e istence, section B) o% R.A. ?o. 7*BA restarts the ter" o% the present "unicipal elective o%%icials o% 0a$ati and disre ards the ter"s previously served !y the". -n particular, petitioners point that section B) %avors the incu"!ent 0a$ati 0ayor, respondent >e.o"ar #inay, who has already served %or two &6' consecutive ter"s. They

%urther ar ue that should 0ayor #inay decide to run and eventually win as city mayor in the co"in elections, he can still run %or the sa"e position in ),,* and see$ another three=year consecutive ter" since his previous three=year consecutive ter" as municipal mayor would not !e counted. Thus, petitioners conclude that said section B) has !een conveniently cra%ted to suit the political a"!itions o% respondent 0ayor #inay. Ge cannot entertain this challen e to the constitutionality o% section B). The re5uire"ents !e%ore a liti ant can challen e the constitutionality o% a law are well delineated. They are: )' there "ust !e an actual case or controversy3 &6' the 5uestion o% constitutionality "ust !e raised !y the proper party3 &9' the constitutional 5uestion "ust !e raised at the earliest possi!le opportunity3 and &A' the decision on the constitutional 5uestion "ust !e necessary to the deter"ination o% the case itsel%. : Petitioners have %ar %ro" co"plied with these re5uire"ents. The petition is pre"ised on the occurrence o% "any contin ent events, i.e., that 0ayor #inay will run a ain in this co"in "ayoralty elections3 that he would !e re=elected in said elections3 and that he would see$ re= election %or the sa"e position in the ),,* elections. Considerin that these contin encies "ay or "ay not happen, petitioners "erely pose a hypothetical issue which has yet to ripen to an actual case or controversy. Petitioners who are residents o% Ta ui &e2cept 0ariano' are not also the proper parties to raise this a!stract issue. Gorse, they hoist this %uturistic issue in a petition %or declaratory relie% over which this Court has no .urisdiction. --4inally, petitioners in the two &6' cases at !ench assail the constitutionality o% section B6, Article : o% R.A. ?o. 7*BA. 8ection B6 o% the Charter provides: 8ec. B6. 5e!islative Districts . @pon its conversion into a hi hly=ur!ani/ed city, 0a$ati shall therea%ter have at least t"o L2M le!islative districts that shall initially correspond to the two &6' e2istin districts created under 8ection 9&a' o% Repu!lic Act. ?o. 7)++ as i"ple"ented !y the Co""ission on Flections to co""ence at the ne2t national elections to !e held a%ter the e%%ectivity o% this Act. Cence%orth, !aran ays 0a allanes, (as"ari\as and 4or!es shall !e with the %irst district, in lieu o% #aran ay

Guadalupe=Vie.o which shall %or" part o% the second district. &e"phasis supplied' They contend. that the addition o% another le islative district in 0a$ati is unconstitutional %or: &)' reapportion"ent Ccannot "ade !y a special law, &6' the addition o% a le islative district is not e2pressed in the title o% the !ill 5 and &9' 0a$ati1s population, as per the ),,< census, stands at only %our hundred %i%ty thousand &AB<,<<<'. These issues have !een laid to rest in the recent case o% 4o#ias v. '#alos. G -n said case, we ruled that reapportion"ent o% le islative districts "ay !e "ade throu h a special law, such as in the charter o% a new city. The Constitution 0 clearly provides that Con ress shall !e co"posed o% not "ore than two hundred %i%ty &6B<' "e"!ers, unless other"ise fi ed #y la". As thus worded, the Constitution did not preclude Con ress %ro" increasin its "e"!ership !y passin a law, other than a eneral reapportion"ent o% the law. This is its e2actly what was done !y Con ress in enactin R.A. ?o. 7*BA and providin %or an increase in 0a$ati1s le islative district. 0oreover, to hold that reapportion"ent can only !e "ade throu h a eneral apportion"ent law, with a review o% all the le islative districts allotted to each local overn"ent unit nationwide, would create an ine5uita!le situation where a new city or province created !y Con ress will !e denied le islative representation %or an indeter"inate period o% ti"e. /D The intolera!le situations will deprive the people o% a new city or province a particle o% their soverei nty. // 8overei nty cannot ad"it o% any $ind o% su!traction. -t is indivisi!le. -t "ust !e %orever whole or it is not soverei nty. Petitioners cannot insist that the addition o% another le islative district in 0a$ati is not in accord with section B&9', Article V- /6 o% the Constitution %or as o% the latest survey &),,< census', the population o% 0a$ati stands at only %our hundred %i%ty thousand &AB<,<<<'. /B 8aid section provides, inter alia, that a city with a population o% at least t"o hundred fifty thousand &6B<,<<<' shall have at least one representative. Fven rantin that the population o% 0a$ati as o% the ),,< census stood at %our hundred %i%ty thousand &AB<,<<<', its le islative district "ay still !e increased since it has "et the "ini"u" population re5uire"ent o% two hundred %i%ty thousand &6B<,<<<'. -n %act, section 9 o% the Ordinance appended to the Constitution provides that a city whose population has increased to more than t"o hundred fifty thousand

L2-67666M shall !e entitled to at least one con!ressional representative. /7 4inally, we do not %ind "erit in petitioners1 contention that the creation o% an additional le islative district in 0a$ati should have !een e2pressly stated in the title o% the !ill. -n the sa"e case o% 4o#ias v. '#alos7 op cit., we reiterated the policy o% the Court %avorin a li!eral construction o% the "one title?one su#$ect" rule so as not to i"pede le islation. To !e sure, with Constitution does not co""and that the title o% a law should e2actly "irror, %ully inde2, or co"pletely catalo ue all its details. Cence, we ruled that "it should !e su%%icient co"pliance i% the title e2presses the eneral su!.ect and all the provisions are er"ane to such eneral su!.ect." GCFRF4ORF, the petitions are here!y (-80-88F( %or lac$ o% "erit ?o costs. THE MUNICIPALITY OE MALABANG, LANAO DEL SUR, %n# AMER MACAORAO BALINDONG, petitioners, vs. PANGANDAPUN BENITO, HADKI NOPODIN MACAPUNUNG, HADKI HASAN MACARAMPAD, EREDERICP V. DUKERTE MONDACO ONTAL, MARONSONG ANDOY, MACALABA INDAR LAO. respondents. 5* 'mores and R* )onzales for petitioners* 9ose W* Diokno for respondents* CASTRO, J.: The petitioner A"er 0acaorao #alindon is the "ayor o% 0ala!an , ;anao del 8ur, while the respondent Pan andapun #onito is the "ayor, and the rest o% the respondents are the councilors, o% the "unicipality o% #ala!a an o% the sa"e province. #ala!a an was %or"erly a part o% the "unicipality o% 0ala!an , havin !een created on 0arch )B, ),+<, !y F2ecutive Order 9*+ o% the then President Carlos P. Garcia, out o% !arrios and sitios ) o% the latter "unicipality. The petitioners !rou ht this action %or prohi!ition to nulli%y F2ecutive Order 9*+ and to restrain the respondent "unicipal o%%icials %ro" per%or"in the %unctions o% their respective o%%ice relyin on the rulin o%

this Court in Pelaez v* 'uditor )eneral 6 and /unicipality of %an 9oa<uin v* %iva. 9 -n Pelaez this Court, throu h 0r. >ustice &now Chie% >ustice' Concepcion, ruled: &)' that section 69 o% Repu!lic Act 697< I#arrio Charter Act, approved >anuary ), ),+<J, !y vestin the power to create #arrios in the provincial !oard, is a "statutory denial o% the presidential authority to create a new #arrio IandJ i"plies a ne ation o% the #i!!er power to create "unicipalities," and &6' that section +* o% the Ad"inistrative Code, inso%ar as it ives the President the power to create "unicipalities, is unconstitutional &a' !ecause it constitutes an undue dele ation o% le islative power and &!' !ecause it o%%ends a ainst section )< &)' o% article V-- o% the Constitution, which li"its the President1s power over local overn"ents to "ere supervision. As this Court su""ed up its discussion: "-n short, even i% it did not entail an undue dele ation o% le islative powers, as it certainly does, said section +*, as part o% the Revised Ad"inistrative Code, approved on 0arch )<, ),)7, "ust !e dee"ed repealed !y the su!se5uent adoption o% the Constitution, in ),9B, which is utterly inco"pati!le and inconsistent with said statutory enact"ent." On the other hand, the respondents, while ad"ittin the %acts alle ed in the petition, nevertheless ar ue that the rule announced in Pelaez can have no application in this case !ecause unli$e the "unicipalities involved in Pelaez, the "unicipality o% #ala!a an is at least a de facto corporation, havin !een or ani/ed under color o% a statute !e%ore this was declared unconstitutional, its o%%icers havin !een either elected or appointed, and the "unicipality itsel% havin dischar ed its corporate %unctions %or the past %ive years precedin the institution o% this action. -t is contended that as a de facto corporation, its e2istence cannot !e collaterally attac$ed, althou h it "ay !e in5uired into directly in an action %or <uo "arranto at the instance o% the 8tate and not o% an individual li$e the petitioner #alindon . -t is indeed true that, enerally, an in5uiry into the le al e2istence o% a "unicipality is reserved to the 8tate in a proceedin %or <uo "arranto or other direct proceedin , and that only in a %ew e2ceptions "ay a private person e2ercise this %unction o% overn"ent. A #ut the rule disallowin collateral attac$s applies only where the "unicipal corporation is at least a de facto corporations. B 4or where it is neither a corporation de $ure nor de facto, !ut a nullity, the rule is

that its e2istence "ay !e, 5uestioned collaterally or directly in any action or proceedin !y any one whose ri hts or interests ate a%%ected there!y, includin the citi/ens o% the territory incorporated unless they are estopped !y their conduct %ro" doin so. + And so the threshold 5uestion is whether the "unicipality o% #ala!a an is a de facto corporation. As earlier stated, the clai" that it is rests on the %act that it was or ani/ed !e%ore the pro"ul ation o% this Court1s decision inPelaez. 7 Accordin ly, we address ourselves to the 5uestion whether a statute can lend color o% validity to an atte"pted or ani/ation o% a "unicipality despite the %act that such statute is su!se5uently declared unconstitutional.la"phi+*Jet This has !een a liti iously proli%ic 5uestion, sharply dividin courts in the @nited 8tates. Thus, so"e hold that a de facto corporation cannot e2ist where the statute or charter creatin it is unconstitutional !ecause there can !e no de facto corporation where there can !e no de $ure one, * while others hold otherwise on the theory that a statute is !indin until it is conde"ned as unconstitutional. , An early article in the Eale ;aw >ournal o%%ers the %ollowin analysis: -t appears that the true !asis %or denyin to the corporation a de facto status lay in the a!sence o% any le islative act to ive vitality to its creation. An e2a"ination o% the cases holdin , so"e o% the" unreservedly, that a de facto o%%ice or "unicipal corporation can e2ist under color o% an unconstitutional statute will reveal that in no instance did the invalid act ive li%e to the corporation, !ut that either in other valid acts or in the constitution itsel% the o%%ice or the corporation was potentially created.... The principle that color o% title under an unconstitutional statute can e2ist only where there is so"e other valid law under which the or ani/ation "ay !e e%%ected, or at least an authority in potentia !y the state constitution, has its counterpart in the ne ative propositions that there can !e no color o% authority in an unconstitutional statute that plainly so appears on its %ace or that atte"pts to authori/e the oustin o% a de

$ure or de facto "unicipal corporation upon the sa"e territory3 in the one case the %act would i"ply the i"putation o% !ad %aith, in the other the new or ani/ation "ust !e re arded as a "ere usurper.... As a result o% this analysis o% the cases the %ollowin principles "ay !e deduced which see" to reconcile the apparently con%lictin decisions: -. The color o% authority re5uisite to the or ani/ation o% a de facto "unicipal corporation "ay !e: ). A valid law enacted !y the le islature. 6. An unconstitutional law, valid on its %ace, which has either &a' !een upheld %or a ti"e !y the courts or &!' not yet !een declared void3 provided that a warrant %or its creation can !e %ound in so"e other valid law or in the reco nition o% its potential e2istence !y the eneral laws or constitution o% the state. --. There can !e no de facto "unicipal corporation unless either directly or potentially, such a de $urecorporation is authori/ed !y so"e le islative %iat. ---. There can !e no color o% authority in an unconstitutional statute alone, the invalidity o% which is apparent on its %ace. -V. There can !e no de facto corporation created to ta$e the place o% an e2istin de $ure corporation, as such or ani/ation would clearly !e a usurper.)< -n the cases where a de facto "unicipal corporation was reco ni/ed as such despite the %act that the statute creatin it was later invalidated, the decisions could %airly !e "ade to rest on the consideration that there was so"e other valid law ivin corporate vitality to the or ani/ation. Cence, in the case at !ar, the "ere %act that #ala!a an was or ani/ed at a ti"e when the statute had not !een invalidated cannot conceiva!ly "a$e it a de facto corporation, as, independently o% the Ad"inistrative Code provision in 5uestion, there is no other valid statute to ive color o% authority to its creation. -ndeed, in /unicipality of %an 9oa<uin v* %iva, )) this Court ranted a si"ilar petition %or prohi!ition and nulli%ied an e2ecutive order creatin the "unicipality o% ;awi an in -loilo on the !asis o% the Pelaez rulin , despite the %act that the

"unicipality was created in ),+), !e%ore section +* o% the Ad"inistrative Code, under which the President had acted, was invalidated. 1O% course the issue o% de facto"unicipal corporation did not arise in that case. -n :orton v* %hel#y &ount, )6 0r. >ustice 4ield said: "An unconstitutional act is not a law3 it con%ers no ri hts3 it i"poses no duties3 it a%%ords no protection3 it creates no office3 it is, in le al conte"plation, as inoperative as thou h it had never !een passed." Accordin ly, he held that !onds issued !y a !oard o% co""issioners created under an invalid statute were unen%orcea!le. F2ecutive Order 9*+ "created no o%%ice." This is not to say, however, that the acts done !y the "unicipality o% #ala!a an in the e2ercise o% its corporate powers are a nullity !ecause the e2ecutive order "is, in le al conte"plation, as inoperative as thou h it had never !een passed." 4or the e2istence o% F2ecutive, Order 9*+ is "an operative %act which cannot .ustly !e i nored." As Chie% >ustice Cu hes e2plained in &hicot &ounty Draina!e District v* (a ter %tate (ank: )9 The courts !elow have proceeded on the theory that the Act o% Con ress, havin !een %ound to !e unconstitutional, was not a law3 that it was inoperative, con%errin no ri hts and i"posin no duties, and hence a%%ordin no !asis %or the challen ed decree. ?orton v. 8hel!y County, ))* @.8. A6B, AA63 Chica o, -. M ;. Ry. Co. v. Cac$ett, 66* @.8. BB,, B++. -t is 5uite clear, however, that such !road state"ents as to the e%%ect o% a deter"ination o% unconstitutionality "ust !e ta$en with 5uali%ications. The actual e2istence o% a statute, prior to such a deter"ination, is an operative %act and "ay have conse5uences which cannot .ustly !e i nored. The past cannot always !e erased !y a new .udicial declaration. The e%%ect o% the su!se5uent rulin as to invalidity "ay have to !e considered in various aspects with respect to particular relations, individual and corporate, and particular conduct, private and o%%icial. Luestions o% ri hts clai"ed to have !eco"e vested, o% status o% prior deter"inations dee"ed to have %inality and acted upon accordin ly, o% pu!lic policy in the li ht o% the nature !oth o% the statute and o% its previous application, de"and e2a"ination. These 5uestions are a"on the "ost di%%icult o% those which have en a ed the attention o% courts, state and %ederal, and it is "ani%est %ro" nu"erous decisions that an all=inclusive state"ent o% a principle o% a!solute retroactive invalidity cannot !e .usti%ied.

There is then no !asis %or the respondents1 apprehension that the invalidation o% the e2ecutive order creatin #ala!a an would have the e%%ect o% unsettlin "any an act done in reliance upon the validity o% the creation o% that "unicipality. )A ACCOR(-?G;E, the petition is ranted, F2ecutive Order 9*+ is declared void, and the respondents are here!y per"anently restrained %ro" per%or"in the duties and %unctions o% their respective o%%ices. ?o pronounce"ent as to costs. EMMANUEL PELAEZ, petitioner, vs. THE AUDITOR GENERAL, respondent. Kulueta7 )onzales7 Paculdo and 'ssociates for petitioner* 8ffice of the %olicitor )eneral for respondent* CONCEPCION, J.: (urin the period %ro" 8epte"!er A to Octo!er 6,, ),+A the President o% the Philippines, purportin to act pursuant to 8ection +* o% the Revised Ad"inistrative Code, issued F2ecutive Orders ?os. ,9 to )6), )6A and )6+ to )6,3 creatin thirty=three &99' "unicipalities enu"erated in the "ar in.) 8oon a%ter the date last "entioned, or on ?ove"!er )<, ),+A petitioner F""anuel Pelae/, as Vice President o% the Philippines and as ta2payer, instituted the present special civil action, %or a writ o% prohi!ition with preli"inary in.unction, a ainst the Auditor General, to restrain hi", as well as his representatives and a ents, %ro" passin in audit any e2penditure o% pu!lic %unds in i"ple"entation o% said e2ecutive orders andDor any dis!urse"ent !y said "unicipalities. Petitioner alle es that said e2ecutive orders are null and void, upon the round that said 8ection +* has !een i"pliedly repealed !y Repu!lic Act ?o. 697< and constitutes an undue dele ation o% le islative power. Respondent "aintains the contrary view and avers that the present action is pre"ature and that not all proper parties re%errin to the o%%icials o% the new political su!divisions in 5uestion have !een i"pleaded. 8u!se5uently, the "ayors o% several "unicipalities adversely a%%ected !y the a%ore"entioned e2ecutive orders !ecause the latter have ta$en away %ro" the %or"er the !arrios co"posin the new political

su!divisions intervened in the case. 0oreover, Attorneys Fnri5ue 0. 4ernando and F""a Luisu"!in = 4ernando were allowed to and did appear asamici curiae. The third para raph o% 8ection 9 o% Repu!lic Act ?o. 697<, reads: #arrios shall not !e created or their !oundaries altered nor their na"es chan ed e2cept under the provisions o% this Act or !y Act o% Con ress. Pursuant to the %irst two &6' para raphs o% the sa"e 8ection 9: All !arrios e2istin at the ti"e o% the passa e o% this Act shall co"e under the provisions hereo%. @pon petition o% a "a.ority o% the voters in the areas a%%ected, a new !arrio "ay !e created or the na"e o% an e2istin one "ay !e chan ed !y the provincial !oard o% the province, upon reco""endation o% the council o% the "unicipality or "unicipalities in which the proposed !arrio is stipulated. The reco""endation o% the "unicipal council shall !e e"!odied in a resolution approved !y at least two=thirds o% the entire "e"!ership o% the said council: Provided, however, That no new !arrio "ay !e created i% its population is less than %ive hundred persons. Cence, since >anuary ), ),+<, when Repu!lic Act ?o. 697< !eca"e e%%ective, !arrios "ay "not !e created or their !oundaries altered nor their na"es chan ed" e2cept !y Act o% Con ress or o% the correspondin provincial !oard "upon petition o% a "a.ority o% the voters in the areas a%%ected" and the "reco""endation o% the council o% the "unicipality or "unicipalities in which the proposed !arrio is situated." Petitioner ar ues, accordin ly: "-% the President, under this new law, cannot even create a !arrio, can he create a "unicipality which is co"posed o% several #arrios, since #arrios are units o% "unicipalitiesN" Respondent answers in the a%%ir"ative, upon the theory that a new "unicipality can !e created without creatin new !arrios, such as, !y placin old !arrios under the .urisdiction o% the new "unicipality. This theory overloo$s, however, the "ain i"port o% the petitioner1s ar u"ent, which is that the statutory denial o% the presidential authority to create a new !arrio i"plies a ne ation o% the !i er power to create "unicipalities, each o% which

consists o% several !arrios. The co ency and %orce o% this ar u"ent is too o!vious to !e denied or even 5uestioned. 4ounded upon lo ic and e2perience, it cannot !e o%%set e2cept !y a clear "ani%estation o% the intent o% Con ress to the contrary, and no such "ani%estation, su!se5uent to the passa e o% Repu!lic Act ?o. 697,, has !een !rou ht to our attention. 0oreover, section +* o% the Revised Ad"inistrative Code, upon which the disputed e2ecutive orders are !ased, provides: The &Governor=General' President o% the Philippines "ay !y e2ecutive order de%ine the !oundary, or !oundaries, o% any province, su!province, "unicipality, ItownshipJ "unicipal district, or other political su!division, and increase or di"inish the territory co"prised therein, "ay divide any province into one or "ore su!provinces, separate any political division other than a province, into such portions as "ay !e re5uired, "er e any o% such su!divisions or portions with another, na"e any new su!division so created, and "ay chan e the seat o% overn"ent within any su!division to such place therein as the pu!lic wel%are "ay re5uire: Provided, That the authori/ation o% the &Philippine ;e islature' Con ress o% the Philippines shall %irst !e o!tained whenever the !oundary o% any province or su!province is to !e de%ined or any province is to !e divided into one or "ore su!provinces. Ghen action !y the &Governor=General' President o% the Philippines in accordance herewith "a$es necessary a chan e o% the territory under the .urisdiction o% any ad"inistrative o%%icer or any .udicial o%%icer, the &Governor=General' President o% the Philippines, with the reco""endation and advice o% the head o% the (epart"ent havin e2ecutive control o% such o%%icer, shall redistrict the territory o% the several o%%icers a%%ected and assi n such o%%icers to the new districts so %or"ed. @pon the chan in o% the li"its o% political divisions in pursuance o% the %ore oin authority, an e5uita!le distri!ution o% the %unds and o!li ations o% the divisions there!y a%%ected shall !e "ade in such "anner as "ay !e reco""ended !y the &-nsular Auditor' Auditor General and approved !y the &Governor=General' President o% the Philippines. Respondent alle es that the power o% the President to create "unicipalities under this section does not a"ount to an undue dele ation o% le islative power, relyin upon /unicipality of &ardona vs* /unicipality of

(inaJ!onan &9+ Phil. BA7', which, he clai"s, has settled it. 8uch clai" is untena!le, %or said case involved, not the creation o% a new "unicipality, !ut a "ere transfer of territory %ro" an already e istin! "unicipality &Cardona' to another "unicipality &#ina\ onan', like"ise7 e istin! at the time of and prior to said transfer &8ee Gov1t o% the P.-. e2 rel. 0unicipality o% Cardona vs. 0unicipality, o% #ina\ onan I9A Phil. B)*, B),=B6<)' in conse5uence o% the %i2in and de%inition, pursuant to Act ?o. )7A*, o% the co""on !oundaries o% two "unicipalities. -t is o!vious, however, that, whereas the power to %i2 such co""on !oundary, in order to avoid or settle con%licts o% .urisdiction !etween ad.oinin "unicipalities, "ay parta$e o% an administrative nature involvin , as it does, the adoption o% "eans and ways to carry into effect the law creatin said "unicipalities the authority to create "unicipal corporations is essentially le!islative in nature. -n the lan ua e o% other courts, it is "strictly a le islative %unction" &8tate e2 rel. Ci ins vs. Aic$len, )), 8. A6B, >anuary 6, ),B,' or "solely and e clusively the e2ercise o%le!islative power" &@dall vs. 8evern, 0ay 6,, ),9*, 7, P. 6d 9A7=9A,'. As the 8upre"e Court o% Gashin ton has put it &Territory e2 rel. Kelly vs. 8tewart, 4e!ruary )9, )*,<, 69 Pac. A<B, A<,', ""unicipal corporations are purely the creatures of statutes." Althou h)a Con ress "ay dele ate to another !ranch o% the Govern"ent the power to %ill in the details in the e2ecution, en%orce"ent or ad"inistration o% a law, it is essential, to %orestall a violation o% the principle o% separation o% powers, that said law: &a' !e co"plete in itsel% it "ust set %orth therein the policy to !e e2ecuted, carried out or i"ple"ented !y the dele ate 6 and &!' %i2 a standard the li"its o% which are su%%iciently deter"inate or deter"ina!le to which the dele ate "ust con%or" in the per%or"ance o% his %unctions.6a -ndeed, without a statutory declaration o% policy, the dele ate would in e%%ect, "a$e or %or"ulate such policy, which is the essence o% every law3 and, without the a%ore"entioned standard, there would !e no "eans to deter"ine, with reasona!le certainty, whether the dele ate has acted within or !eyond the scope o% his authority.6! Cence, he could there!y arro ate upon hi"sel% the power, not only to "a$e the law, !ut, also and this is worse to un"a$e it, !y adoptin "easures inconsistent with the end sou ht to !e attained !y the Act o% Con ress, thus nulli%yin the principle o% separation o%

powers and the syste" o% chec$s and !alances, and, conse5uently, under"inin the very %oundation o% our Repu!lican syste". 8ection +* o% the Revised Ad"inistrative Code does not "eet these well settled re5uire"ents %or a valid dele ation o% the power to %i2 the details in the en%orce"ent o% a law. -t does not enunciate any policy to !e carried out or i"ple"ented !y the President. ?either does it ive a standard su%%iciently precise to avoid the evil e%%ects a!ove re%erred to. -n this connection, we do not overloo$ the %act that, under the last clause o% the %irst sentence o% 8ection +*, the President: ... "ay chan e the seat o% the overn"ent within any su!division to such place therein as the pu#lic "elfare may re<uire. -t is apparent, however, %ro" the lan ua e o% this clause, that the phrase "as the pu!lic wel%are "ay re5uire" 5uali%ied, not the clauses precedin the one .ust 5uoted, !ut only the place to which the seat o% the overn"ent "ay !e trans%erred. This %act !eco"es "ore apparent when we consider that said 8ection +* was ori inally 8ection ) o% Act ?o. )7A*,9 which provided that, "whenever in the .ud "ent o% the Governor=General the pu#lic "elfare re5uires, he "ay, !y e2ecutive order," e%%ect the chan es enu"erated therein &as in said section +*', includin the chan e o% the seat o% the overn"ent "to such place ... as the pu#lic interest re<uires." The openin state"ent o% said 8ection ) o% Act ?o. )7A* which was not included in %ection +* o% the Revised Ad"inistrative Code overned the ti"e at which, or the conditions under which, the powers therein con%erred could !e e2ercised3 whereas the last part o% the %irst sentence o% said section re%erred e clusively to the place to which the seat o% the overn"ent was to !e trans%erred. At any rate, the conclusion would !e the sa"e, inso%ar as the case at !ar is concerned, even i% we assu"ed that the phrase "as the pu!lic wel%are "ay re5uire," in said 8ection +*, 5uali%ies all other clauses thereo%. -t is true that in &alalan! vs* Williams &7< Phil. 76+' and People vs* Rosenthal &+* Phil. 96*', this Court had upheld "pu!lic wel%are" and "pu!lic interest," respectively, as su%%icient standards %or a valid dele ation o% the authority to e2ecute the law. #ut, the doctrine laid down in these cases as all .udicial pronounce"ents "ust !e construed in relation to the speci%ic %acts and issues

involved therein, outside o% which they do not constitute precedents and have no !indin e%%ect. A The law construed in the Calalan case con%erred upon the (irector o% Pu!lic Gor$s, with the approval o% the 8ecretary o% Pu!lic Gor$s and Co""unications, the power to issue rules and re ulations to promote safe transit upon national roads and streets. @pon the other hand, the Rosenthal case re%erred to the authority o% the -nsular Treasurer, under Act ?o. 6B*), to issue and cancel certi%icates or per"its %or the sale o%speculative securities. #oth cases involved rants to administrative o%%icers o% powers related to the e2ercise o% their ad"inistrative %unctions, callin %or the deter"ination o% 5uestions o% fact. 8uch is not the nature o% the powers dealt with in section +*. As a!ove indicated, the creation o% "unicipalities, is not an administrative %unction, !ut one which is essentially and eminently le!islative in character. The 5uestion o% whether or not "pu!lic interest" de"ands the e2ercise o% such power is not one o% fact. it is "purely a le!islative5uestion "&Carolina=Vir inia Coastal Ci hway vs. Coastal Turnpi$e Authority, 7A 8.F. 6d. 9)<=9)9, 9)B= 9)*', or apolitical 5uestion &@dall vs. 8evern, 7, P. 6d. 9A7=9A,'. As the 8upre"e Court o% Gisconsin has aptly characteri/ed it, "the 5uestion as to whether incorporation is %or the #est interest o% the co""unity in any case is e"phatically a <uestion of pu#lic policy and statecraft" &-n re Villa e o% ?orth 0ilwau$ee, +7 ?.G. )<99, )<9B=)<97'. 4or this reason, courts o% .ustice have annulled, as constitutin undue dele ation o% le islative powers, state laws rantin the .udicial depart"ent, the power to deter"ine whether certain territories should !e anne2ed to a particular "unicipality &@dall vs. 8evern, supra, 6B*= 9B,'3 or vestin in a Co""ission the ri ht to deter"ine the plan and %ra"e o% overn"ent o% proposed villa es and what %unctions shall !e e2ercised !y the sa"e, althou h the powers and %unctions o% the villa e are speci%ically li"ited !y statute &-n re 0unicipal Charters, *+ Atl. 9<7=9<*'3 or con%errin upon courts the authority to declare a iven town or villa e incorporated, and desi nate its "etes and !ounds, upon petition o% a "a.ority o% the ta2a!le inha!itants thereo%, settin %orth the area desired to !e included in such villa e &Territory e2 rel Kelly vs. 8tewart, 69 Pac. A<B=A<,'3 or authori/in the territory o% a town, containin a iven area and population, to !e incorporated as a town, on certain steps !ein ta$en !y the inha!itants thereo% and on certain

deter"ination !y a court and su!se5uent vote o% the inha!itants in %avor thereo%, inso%ar as the court is allowed to deter"ine whether the lands e"!raced in the petition "ou ht .ustly" to !e included in the villa e, and whether the interest o% the inha!itants will !e pro"oted !y such incorporation, and to enlar e and di"inish the !oundaries o% the proposed villa e "as .ustice "ay re5uire" &-n re Villa es o% ?orth 0ilwau$ee, +7 ?.G. )<9B= )<97'3 or creatin a 0unicipal #oard o% Control which shall deter"ine whether or not the layin out, construction or operation o% a toll road is in the "pu!lic interest" and whether the re5uire"ents o% the law had !een co"plied with, in which case the !oard shall enter an order creatin a "unicipal corporation and %i2in the na"e o% the sa"e &Carolina=Vir inia Coastal Ci hway vs. Coastal Turnpi$e Authority, 7A 8.F. 6d. 9)<'. -nso%ar as the validity o% a dele ation o% power !y Con ress to the President is concerned, the case o% %chechter Poultry &orporation vs* U*%* &7, ;. Fd. )B7<' is 5uite relevant to the one at !ar. The 8chechter case involved the constitutionality o% 8ection 9 o% the ?ational -ndustrial Recovery Act authori/in the President o% the @nited 8tates to approve "codes o% %air co"petition" su!"itted to hi" !y one or "ore trade or industrial associations or corporations which "i"pose no ine5uita!le restrictions on ad"ission to "e"!ership therein and are truly representative," provided that such codes are not desi ned "to pro"ote "onopolies or to eli"inate or oppress s"all enterprises and will not operate to discri"inate a ainst the", and will tend to e%%ectuate the policy" o% said Act. The 4ederal 8upre"e Court held: To su""ari/e and conclude upon this point: 8ec. 9 o% the Recovery Act is without precedent. -t supplies no standards %or any trade, industry or activity. -t does not underta$e to prescri!e rules o% conduct to !e applied to particular states o% %act deter"ined !y appropriate ad"inistrative procedure. -nstead o% prescri!in rules o% conduct, it authori/es the "a$in o% codes to prescri!e the". 4or that le islative underta$in , 8ec. 9 sets up no standards, aside %ro" the state"ent o% the eneral ai"s o% reha!ilitation, correction and e2pansion descri!ed in 8ec. ). -n view o% the scope o% that !road declaration, and o% the nature o% the %ew restrictions that are i"posed, the discretion o% the President in approvin or prescri!in codes, and thus enactin laws %or the overn"ent o% trade and industry throu hout the country, is virtually un%ettered. Ge thin$ that the code "a$in authority thus

con%erred is an unconstitutional dele ation o% le islative power. -% the ter" "un%air co"petition" is so !road as to vest in the President a discretion that is "virtually un%ettered." and, conse5uently, tanta"ount to a dele ation o% le islative power, it is o!vious that "pu!lic wel%are," which has even a !roader connotation, leads to the sa"e result. -n %act, i% the validity o% the dele ation o% powers "ade in 8ection +* were upheld, there would no lon er !e any le al i"pedi"ent to a statutory rant o% authority to the President to do anythin which, in his opinion, "ay !e re5uired !y pu!lic wel%are or pu!lic interest. 8uch rant o% authority would !e a virtual a!dication o% the powers o% Con ress in %avor o% the F2ecutive, and would !rin a!out a total collapse o% the de"ocratic syste" esta!lished !y our Constitution, which it is the special duty and privile e o% this Court to uphold. -t "ay not !e a"iss to note that the e ecutive orders in <uestion "ere issued after the le!islative #ills for the creation of the municipalities involved in this case had failed to pass &on!ress. A !etter proo% o% the %act that the issuance o% said e2ecutive orders entails the e2ercise o% purely le islative %unctions can hardly !e iven. A ain, 8ection )< &)' o% Article V-- o% our %unda"ental law ordains: The President shall have control o% all the e2ecutive depart"ents, !ureaus, or o%%ices, e2ercise eneral supervision over all local overn"ents as "ay !e provided !y law, and ta$e care that the laws !e %aith%ully e2ecuted. The power o% control under this provision i"plies the ri ht o% the President to inter%ere in the e2ercise o% such discretion as "ay !e vested !y law in the o%%icers o% the e2ecutive depart"ents, !ureaus, or o%%ices o% the national overn"ent, as well as to act in lieu o% such o%%icers. This power is denied !y the Constitution to the F2ecutive, inso%ar as local overn"ents are concerned. Gith respect to the latter, the %unda"ental law per"its hi" to wield no "ore authority than that o% chec$in whether said local overn"ents or the o%%icers thereo% per%or" their duties as provided !y statutory enact"ents. Cence, the President cannot inter%ere with local overn"ents, so lon as the sa"e or its o%%icers act Githin the scope o% their authority. Ce "ay not enact an ordinance which the

"unicipal council has %ailed or re%used to pass, even i% it had there!y violated a duty i"posed thereto !y law, althou h he "ay see to it that the correspondin provincial o%%icials ta$e appropriate disciplinary action there%or. ?either "ay he vote, set aside or annul an ordinance passed !y said council within the scope o% its .urisdiction, no "atter how patently unwise it "ay !e. Ce "ay not even suspend an elective o%%icial o% a re ular "unicipality or ta$e any disciplinary action a ainst hi", e2cept on appeal %ro" a decision o% the correspondin provincial !oard.B @pon the other hand i% the President could create a "unicipality, he could, in e%%ect, re"ove any o% its o%%icials, !y creatin a new "unicipality and includin therein the #arrio in which the o%%icial concerned resides, %or his o%%ice would there!y !eco"e vacant. + Thus, !y "erely !randishin the power to create a new "unicipality &i% he had it', without actually creatin it, he could co"pel local o%%icials to su!"it to his dictation, there!y, in e%%ect, e2ercisin over the" the power o% control denied to hi" !y the Constitution. Then, also, the power o% control o% the President over e2ecutive depart"ents, !ureaus or o%%ices i"plies no morethan the authority to assu"e directly the %unctions thereo% or to inter%ere in the e2ercise o% discretion !y its o%%icials. 0ani%estly, such control does not include the authority either to a#olish an e ecutive department or #ureau7 or to create a ne" one. As a conse5uence, the alle ed power o% the President to create "unicipal corporations would necessarily connote the e2ercise !y hi" o% an authority even reater than that o% control which he has over the e2ecutive depart"ents, !ureaus or o%%ices. -n other words, 8ection +* o% the Revised Ad"inistrative Code does not "erely %ail to co"ply with the constitutional "andate a!ove 5uoted. -nstead o% ivin the President less power over local overn"ents than that vested in hi" over the e2ecutive depart"ents, !ureaus or o%%ices, it reverses the process and does the e act opposite, !y con%errin upon hi" more power over "unicipal corporations than that which he has over said e2ecutive depart"ents, !ureaus or o%%ices. -n short, even i% it did entail an undue dele ation o% le islative powers, as it certainly does, said 8ection +*, as part o% the Revised Ad"inistrative Code, approved on 0arch )<, ),)7, "ust !e dee"ed repealed !y the su!se5uent adoption o% the Constitution, in ),9B, which is

utterly inco"pati!le and inconsistent with said statutory enact"ent.5 There are only two &6' other points le%t %or consideration, na"ely, respondent1s clai" &a' that "not all the proper parties" re%errin to the o%%icers o% the newly created "unicipalities "have !een i"pleaded in this case," and &!' that "the present petition is pre"ature." As re ards the %irst point, su%%ice it to say that the records do not show, and the parties do not clai", that the o%%icers o% any o% said "unicipalities have !een appointed or elected and assu"ed o%%ice. At any rate, the 8olicitor General, who has appeared on !ehal% o% respondent Auditor General, is the o%%icer authori/ed !y law "to act and represent the Govern"ent o% the Philippines, its o%%ices and a ents, in any o%%icial investi ation, proceedin or "atter re5uirin the services o% a lawyer" &8ection )++), Revised Ad"inistrative Code', and, in connection with the creation o% the a%ore"entioned "unicipalities, which involves a political, not proprietary, %unction, said local o%%icials, i% any, are "ere a ents or representatives o% the national overn"ent. Their interest in the case at !ar has, accordin ly, !een, in e%%ect, duly represented.* Gith respect to the second point, respondent alle es that he has not as yet acted on any o% the e2ecutive order M in 5uestion and has not inti"ated how he would act in connection therewith. -t is, however, a "atter o% co""on, pu!lic $nowled e, su!.ect to .udicial co ni/ance, that the President has, %or "any years, issued e2ecutive orders creatin "unicipal corporations and that the sa"e have !een or ani/ed and in actual operation, thus indicatin , without peradventure o% dou!t, that the e2penditures incidental thereto have !een sanctioned, approved or passed in audit !y the General Auditin O%%ice and its o%%icials. There is no reason to !elieve, there%ore, that respondent would adopt a di%%erent policy as re ards the new "unicipalities involved in this case, in the a!sence o% an alle ation to such e%%ect, and none has !een "ade !y hi". GCFRF4ORF, the F2ecutive Orders in 5uestion are here!y declared null and void a# initio and the respondent per"anently restrained %ro" passin in audit any e2penditure o% pu!lic %unds in i"ple"entation o% said F2ecutive Orders or any dis!urse"ent !y the "unicipalities a!ove re%erred to. -t is so ordered.