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Pelaez vs Auditor General Sufficient Standard Test and Completeness Test From Sept 04 to Oct 29, 1964, the President (Marcos) issued executive orders creating 33 municipalities this is purportedly in pursuant to Sec 68 of the Revised Administrative Code which provides that the President of the Philippines may by executive order define the boundary, or boundaries, of any province, sub-province, municipality, [township] municipal district or other political subdivision, and increase or diminish the territory comprised therein, may divide any province into one or more subprovincesThe VP Emmanuel Pelaez and a taxpayer filed a special civil action to prohibit the auditor general from disbursing funds to be appropriated for the said municipalities. Pelaez claims that the EOs are unconstitutional. He said that Sec 68 of the RAC has been impliedly repealed by Sec 3 of RA 2370 which provides that barrios may "not be created or their boundaries altered nor their names changed" except by Act of Congress or of the corresponding provincial board "upon petition of a majority of the voters in the areas affected" and the "recommendation of the council of the municipality or municipalities in which the proposed barrio is situated." Pelaez argues, accordingly: "If the President, under this new law, cannot even create a barrio, can he create a municipality which is composed of several barrios, since barrios are units of municipalities?" The Auditor General countered that only barrios are barred from being created by the President. Municipalities are exempt from the bar and that t a municipality can be created without creating barrios. Existing barrios can just be placed into the new municipality. This theory overlooks, however, the main import of Pelaez argument, which is that the statutory denial of the presidential authority to create a new barrio implies a negation of the bigger power to create municipalities, each of which consists of several barrios. ISSUE: Whether or not Congress has delegated the power to create barrios to the President by virtue of Sec 68 of the RAC HELD: Although Congress may delegate to another branch of the government the power to fill in the details in the execution, enforcement or administration of a law, it is essential, to forestall a violation of the principle of separation of powers, that said law: (a) be complete in itself it must set forth therein the policy to be executed, carried out or implemented by the delegate and (b) fix a standard the limits of which are sufficiently determinate or determinable to which the delegate must conform in the performance of his functions. Indeed, without a statutory declaration of policy, the delegate would, in effect, make or formulate such policy, which is the essence of every law; and, without the aforementioned standard, there would be no means to determine, with reasonable certainty, whether the delegate has acted within or beyond the scope of his authority. In the case at bar, the power to create municipalities is eminently legislative in character not administrative. 2. Disomangcop vs DPWH Power of Judicial Review - Requisites

Disomangcop and Dimalotang were district engineers of the 1st Engineering District of DPWHARMM. They are assailing the validity of RA 8999 & DO 119. RA 8999 created an engineering district in Lanao and DO 119 created an engineering district in Marawi. Disomangcop and Dimalotang argued that the creation of those engineering districts undermines the autonomy of ARMM hence the said RA and DO should be declared inoperative and unconstitutional. Disomangcop and Dimalotang sought to enjoin Datumanong as well as the Secretary of DBM from enforcing and releasing funds pursuant to the law. The Sol-Gen argued that the petitioners lack legal standing and that the said RA is constitutional pursuant to the undiminished power of Congress to enact laws for ARMM. In all, Sol-Gen attacks the institution of the case. ISSUE: Whether or not Disomangcop and Dimalotang have legal standing. HELD: The SC ruled in favor of Disomangcop and Dimalotang and the SC held the said RA and DO to be inoperative. The SC noted that Disomangcop and Dimalotang do have the legal standing to initiate the case. Also, Disomangcop and Dimalotang were able to show the requisites of judicial review in order for a court of justice to take cognizance of this case. Jurisprudence has laid down the following requisites for the exercise of judicial power: First, there must be before the Court an actual case calling for the exercise of judicial review. Second, the question before the Court must be ripe for adjudication. Third, the person challenging the validity of the act must have standing to challenge. Fourth, the question of constitutionality must have been raised at the earliest opportunity. Fifth, the issue of constitutionality must be the very lis mota of the case. In sum, the following are the requisites for the exercise of judicial power 1. There must be an actual controversy calling for the exercise of judicial power/review. 2. The question before the court must be ripe for judicial adjudication. 3. The constitutional question (question of constitutionality) must be raised by the proper party. Proper party must have the standing to challenge (locus standi). 4. The constitutional question (question of constitutionality) must be raised at the earliest possible opportunity. 5. The issue of constitutionality must be the very lis mota (controversy which has begun) of the case. The decision of the constitutional question must be necessary to the determination of the case itself. 3. Sogod vs Rosal G.R. No. L-38204 September 24, 1991 THE MUNICIPALITY OF SOGOD, Petitioner, vs. HON. AVELINO S. ROSAL, as Judge of the Court of First instance of Southern Leyte, Branch III, THE PROVINCIAL BOARD OF SOUTHERN LEYTE, HON. SALVACION O. YNIGUEZ, in her capacity as Governor of Southern Leyte and the MUNICIPALITY OF BONTOC, Respondents. G.R. No. 38205 September 24, 1991

THE MUNICIPALITY OF SOGOD, Petitioner, vs. HON. AVELINO S. ROSAL, as Judge of the Court of First Instance of Southern Leyte, Branch III and the Municipality of Bontoc, Respondents.

The executive order also specified Granada Creek as the boundary line separating Bontoc and Sogod.virtualawlibrary virtual law library However, on July 14, 1960, the President of the Philippines, thru then Executive Secretary Castillo sent a telegram to the Provincial Board of Southern MEDIALDEA, J.: Leyte which states as follows: This refers to two (2) petitions for certiorari under BY DIRECTION OF PRESIDENT PLEASE SUSPEND Rule 65 of the Rules of Court seeking to annul and IMPLEMENTATION OF EXECUTIVE ORDER 368 set aside the accused orders of respondent judge SERIES 1959 RECONSTITUTION (sic) BARRIOS AND which dismissed the complaints filed with the trial SITIOS TO COMPOSE MUNICIPALITIES OF SOGOD court, as having been issued with grave abuse of AND BONTOC AND READJUSTING TERRITORIES discretion, and to order the same respondent to SAID MUNICIPALITIES UNTIL FURTHER ADVISE STOP assume jurisdiction and proceed with the TO DETERMINE TRUE WISHES OF INHABITANTS determination of the cases on the PLEASE SUPERVISE HOLDING OF PLEBISCITE IN merits.virtualawlibrary virtual law library BARRIO AND SITIOS AFFECTED ADVISING THIS The antecedent facts of each case are as follows: OFFICE IMMEDIATELY OF G.R. No. 38204 RESULT.virtualawlibrary virtual law library On June 15, 1950, Congress passed Republic Act SEC. CASTILLO (P. 20, Rollo) No. 522 creating the municipality of Bontoc, On July 18, 1960, the Provincial Board of Southern formerly a barrio of the municipality of Sogod in Leyte passed Resolution No. 62 suspending the the province of Leyte, which shall be composed of implementation of Executive Order 368. The Board the barrios of Bontoc, Divisoria, Onion, Pacu, also created a committee to conduct the holding of Beniton, Catmon, Hilaan, Taa, Sta. Cruz, a plebiscite in the barrios and sitios affected by Mahayahay and their corresponding Executive Order 368 and to finally settle the sitios.virtualawlibrary virtual law library boundary dispute.virtualawlibrary virtual law A boundary dispute however, later arose between library the municipality of Bontoc and the municipality of On June 24, 1970, the municipality of Sogod filed Sogod with the latter claiming that the former Civil Case No. R-1706 for certiorari and prohibition exercised jurisdiction not only over the barrios with the Court of First Instance of Southern Leyte above-mentioned but also over other ten (10) (now Regional Trial Court), to enjoin the provincial barrios allegedly belonging to board and provincial governor from taking Sogod.virtualawlibrary virtual law library cognizance of the long pending boundary dispute On June 17, 1952, the Provincial Board of Leyte between the two municipalities and to enjoin the issued Resolution No. 617 directing the holding of municipality of Bontoc from exercising territorial a plebiscite among the barrios of Pangi, Taa part of jurisdiction over the barrios of Pangi, Taa Casao, Sta. Cruz, Tuburan, Laogawan and their Sta. Cruz, Tuburan and Laogawan all allegedly corresponding sitios. The purpose of the plebiscite belonging to the municipality of is to determine whether the people in these barrios Sogod.virtualawlibrary virtual law library would like to remain with the municipality of Sogod On August 31, 1973, the trial court dismissed the or with Bontoc. The plebiscite was conducted on action for lack of jurisdiction over the subject August 1, 1952, and the results thereof show that matter of the case. On December 17, 1973, the more votes were cast in favor of Sogod than those trial court denied petitioner's motion for in favor of Bontoc.virtualawlibrary virtual law reconsideration.virtualawlibrary virtual law library library Hence, this petition was filed alleging that the On April 4, 1959, the Provincial Board of Leyte respondent judge acted with grave abuse of issued Resolution No. 519 recommending to the discretion in dismissing the case. President of the Philippines and/or to the Congress G.R. No. 38205 of the Philippines that Republic Act 522 be On December 7, 1970, the municipality of Sogod amended so as to include in said Act creating the filed Civil Case No. R-1707 with the Court of First municipality of Bontoc, the following barrios Instance of Southern Leyte (now Regional Trial claimed by Sogod which are in the heart of Bontoc Court) for recovery of taxes with receivership but not included in said law, namely: Baugo, against the municipality of Bontoc. The complaint Himakilo, Esperanza, Hibagwan, Pamahawan, alleged that the municipality of Bontoc, without Mahayahay, Bunga, Da-o and Maoylab The Board any legal basis, exercised jurisdiction not only over also recommended that a law be enacted annexing the barrios enumerated in Republic Act No. 522 but to the municipality of Sogod the following barrios also over ten (10) barrios belonging to the which are very near Sogod and are claimed by the complainant municipality of Sogod. The complaint latter but are included in the law creating Bontoc, prayed that the municipality of Bontoc be ordered namely: Laogawan, Taa Tuburan, Sta. Cruz and to pay Sogod onehalf of the total amount of taxes Pangi he board further recommended that the collected by the former from the inhabitants of the boundary line between the two municipalities be aforesaid barrios during the period from 1950 to placed at Granada Creek.virtualawlibrary virtual 1959.virtualawlibrary virtual law library law library On August 31, 1973, the trial court issued an order On December 28, 1959, Carlos P. Garcia, then dismissing Civil Case No. R-1707 on the ground President of the Philippines, promulgated that the right to collect taxes would ultimately Executive Order No. 368, which approved the depend on Civil Case No. R-1706, which was recommendation of the provincial board of Leyte, already dismissed for lack of jurisdiction and that and reconstituted the barrios and sitios which shag the issue as to boundary dispute have not yet been compose the municipalities of Bontoc and Sogod.

decided in a plebiscite for that purpose.virtualawlibrary virtual law library Hence this petition for certiorari under Rule 65 seeking to annul the above order of the judge.virtualawlibrary virtual law library The common issue to be resolved in these petitions is whether or not the trial court gravely erred in dismissing the two cases for lack of jurisdiction.virtualawlibrary virtual law library Jurisdiction has been defined as the power and authority to hear and determine a cause or the right to act in a case (Herrera v. Barrette and Joaquin, 25 Phil. 245; Conchada v. Director of Prisons, 31 Phil. 4). Jurisdiction is conferred only by the Constitution or by law. It cannot be fixed by the will of the parties nor can it be acquired or diminished by any act of the parties. In determining whether a case lies within or outside the jurisdiction of a court, reference to the applicable statute on the matter is indispensable. It is a settled rule that jurisdiction of a court is determined by the statute in force at the time of commencement of action (Tolentino v. Social Security Commission, L-28870, September 6, 1985, 138 SCRA 428; Lee v. Municipal Trial Court of Legaspi City Br. 1, No. 68789, November 10, 1986, 145 SCRA 408; Dela Cruz v. Moya, No. 65192, April 27, 1988, 160 SCRA 838).virtualawlibrary virtual law library At the time the civil actions were filed with the trial court by petitioner municipality in 1970, the applicable laws necessary for the determination of the question of whether the trial court has the authority to decide on the municipal boundary dispute are the following: 1) Republic Act No. 522, creating the municipality of Bontoc; 2) Republic Act No. 3590, the Revised Barrio Charter, revising Republic Act No. 2370; and 3) Section 2167 of the Revised Administrative Code of 1917.virtualawlibrary virtual law library Republic Act No. 522 defines the jurisdiction of the municipality of Bontoc. It clearly enumerates the barrios which shag compose the municipality of Bontoc, to wit: Bontoc, Divisoria, Onion, Pacu, Beniton, Catmon, Hilaan, Taa Sta. Cruz, Mahayahay and their corresponding sitios. This means that all the other barrios in Southern Leyte which are not included in the law creating the municipality of Bontoc are deemed to remain under the jurisdiction of the municipality of Sogod. Although the said law is clear as to which territories shall belong to each municipality, the law is silent however, as to the specifications of the boundary line which will separate the two municipalities.virtualawlibrary virtual law library With the passage of Republic Act No. 2370 which took effect on January 1, 1960 as revised by Republic Act No. 3590 on June 22, 1963, known as the Revised Barrio Charter, barrios may be created and their boundaries altered only by Act of Congress or by the corresponding provincial board upon petition of the majority of the voters in the area affected and the recommendation of the municipality in which the proposed barrios are situated. Thus, the provincial board was empowered under the Id law to determine and alter boundaries of municipalities and barrios.virtualawlibraryvirtual law library Further, the law then vested the right to settle boundary disputes between municipalities on the

provincial board pursuant to Section 2167 of the Revised Administrative Code, which reads: SEC. 2167. Municipal boundary disputes. - How settled - Disputes as to jurisdiction of municipal governments over places or barrios shall be decided by the province boards of the provinces in which such municipalities are situated, after an investigation at which the municipalities concerned shall be duly heard. From the decision of the provincial board appeal may be taken by the municipality aggrieved to the Secretary of the Interior (now the Office of the Executive Secretary), whose decision shall be final. Where the places or barrios in dispute are claimed by municipalities situated in different provinces, the provincial boards of the provinces concerned shall come to an agreement if possible, but, in the event of their failing to agree, an appeal shall be had to the Secretary of Interior (Executive Secretary), whose decision shall be final. (Municipality of Hinabangan v. Municipality of Wright, 107 Phil. 394). It is clear from the aforestated legal provision that the authority to hear and resolve municipal boundary disputes belongs to the provincial boards and not to the trial courts. The decisions of the boards are then appealable to the Executive Secretary. Records in the instant case show that when petitioner municipality filed the civil actions in 1970 before the trial court, the provincial board of Southern Leyte had not yet conducted a plebiscite as ordered by the Executive Department in 1960 or rendered any order settling the dispute. Petitioner municipality should have elevated the matter of delay to the then Secretary of Interior (now Executive Secretary) for action instead of bringing it to the trial court. Although existing laws then vested on the provincial board the power to determine or even alter municipal boundaries, the Secretary of Interior or the Executive Department for that matter, was not precluded during that time from taking necessary steps for the speedy settlement of the boundary dispute. In Pelaez v. Auditor General, No. L-23825, December 24, 1965, 15 SCRA 569, which applied Republic Act No. 2370, known as the Barrio Charter, We held that the power to fix common boundaries in order to avoid or settle conflicts of jurisdiction between adjoining municipalities may also partake of an administrative nature that can be decided by the administrative department, involving as it does, the adoption of means and ways to carry into effect the laws creating said municipalities.virtualawlibrary virtual law library Considering the foregoing, We find that the trial court acted correctly in dismissing the cases for want of jurisdiction and in allowing the provincial board to continue with the pending investigation and proceedings on the boundary dispute.virtualawlibrary virtual law library It is worthy to note however, that up to this time, the controversy between these two municipalities has not been settled. However, this dispute has already been overtaken by events, namely, the enactment of the 1987 Constitution and the New Local Government Code on February 10, 1983, which imposed new mandatory requirements and procedures on the fixing of boundaries between municipalities. The 1987 Constitution now mandates that no province, city, municipality or

barangay may be created, divided, merged, abolished or its boundary substantially altered except in accordance with the criteria established in the local government code and subject to approval by a majority of the votes cast in a plebiscite in the political units directly affected. Hence, any alteration or modification of the boundaries of the municipalities shall only be by a law to be enacted by Congress subject to the approval by a majority of the votes cast in a plebiscite in the barrios affected (Section 134, Local Government Code). Thus, under present laws, the function of the provincial board to fix the municipal boundaries are now strictly limited to the factual determination of the boundary lines between municipalities, to be specified by natural boundaries or by metes and bounds in accordance with the laws creating said municipalities.virtualawlibrary virtual law library In view of the length of time that this municipal boundary dispute had remained unresolved, due to the possibility that Republic Act No. 522 has lost its practicability or has become obsolete considering the geographical location of barrios in Southern Leyte, especially those enumerated in Republic Act No. 522, which apparently, are much nearer to Sogod than to Bontoc, this Court finds that this matter should be referred to the Congress of the Philippines for whatever legislative action that may be necessary under the circumstances.virtualawlibrary virtual law library ACCORDINGLY, the petitions are DISMISSED. The assailed orders of the respondent judge dated August 31, 1973 and December 17, 1973 in G.R. No. L-38204 and orders dated August 31, 1973 and December 17, 1973 in G.R. No. L-38205 are AFFIRMED.virtualawlibrary virtual law library SO ORDERED.

seat of government; and no adverse effect to being a city of Quezon City, respectively, and its Implementing Rules as provided in Article 11(b)(1) and (2), as to furnishing a copy of the Quezon City Council of barangay resolution; and b) The said law will in effect amend the Constitution.[1] Petitioner asserts that certifications as to income, population, and land area were not presented to Congress during the deliberations that led to the passage of R.A. No. 8535. This, he argues, is clear from the minutes of the public hearings conducted by the Senate Committee on Local Government on the proposed charter of the City of Novaliches. Petitioner particularly cites its hearings held on October 3 and 27, 1997. He is silent, however, on the hearings held by the appropriate Committee in the House of Representatives. Likewise, petitioner points out that there is no certification attesting to the fact that the mother local government unit, Quezon City, would not be adversely affected by the creation of the City of Novaliches, in terms of income, population, and land area. In their Comment, respondents through the Office of the Solicitor General, traversed all the allegations of petitioner. They claimed he failed to substantiate said allegations with convincing proof. In their memorandum, respondents argued that petitioner had the burden of proof to overcome the legal presumption that Congress considered all the legal requirements under the Local Government Code of 1991 in passing R.A. 8535. Further, respondents stated that the petition itself is devoid of any pertinent document supporting petitioners claim that R.A. 8535 is unconstitutional. Respondents pray that the present petition be dismissed for lack of merit. 4. Samson vs Aguirre In Victoriano v. Elizalde Rope Workers Union,[2] we [G.R. No. 133076. September 22, 1999] had occasion to stress that: MOISES S. SAMSON, petitioner, vs. HON. All presumptions are indulged in favor of ALEXANDER AGUIRRE, in his capacity as the constitutionality; one who attacks a statute, Executive Secretary, COMMISSION ON alleging unconstitutionality must prove its ELECTIONS, and the DEPARTMENT OF invalidity beyond a reasonable doubt; that a law BUDGET, respondents. may work hardship does not render it DECISION unconstitutional; that if any reasonable basis may QUISUMBING, J.: be conceived which supports the statute, it will be On February 23, 1998, President Fidel V. Ramos upheld, and the challenger must negate all signed into law Republic Act No. 8535, creating the possible bases; that the courts are not concerned City of Novaliches out of 15 barangays of Quezon with the wisdom, justice, policy, or expediency of a City. Petitioner Moises S. Samson, incumbent statute; and that a liberal interpretation of the councilor of the first district of Quezon City, is now constitution in favor of the constitutionality of before the Court challenging the constitutionality legislation should be adopted.[3] of Republic Act No. 8535. Every statute is presumed valid.[4] Every law is Petitioner also seeks to enjoin the Executive presumed to have passed through regular Secretary from ordering the implementation of R.A. congressional processes.[5] A person asserting the 8535, the COMELEC from holding a plebiscite for contrary has the burden of proving his allegations the creation of the City of Novaliches, and the clearly and unmistakably. Having this in mind, we Department of Budget and Management from now proceed to examine whether or not petitioner disbursing funds for said plebiscite. Lastly, he was able to successfully overcome the prays for the issuance of a preliminary injunction presumption of validity accorded R.A. No. 8535. or temporary restraining order, through a motion The Local Government Code of 1991 provides we duly noted. under Section 7: Petitioner bases his petition on the following SECTION 7. Creation and Conversion. As a grounds: general rule, the creation of a local government a) R.A. No. 8535 failed to conform to the criteria unit or its conversion from one level to another established by the Local Government Code level shall be based on verifiable indicators of particularly, Sections 7, 11(a) and 450(a), as to the viability and projected capacity to provide services, requirements of income, population and land area; to wit:

(a) Income. It must be sufficient, based on acceptable standards, to provide for all essential government facilities and services and special functions commensurate with the size of its population, as expected of the local government unit concerned; (b) Population. It shall be determined as the total number of inhabitants within the territorial jurisdiction of the local government unit concerned; and (c) Land Area. It must be contiguous, unless it comprises two or more islands or is separated by a local government unit independent of the others; properly identified by metes and bounds with technical descriptions; and sufficient to provide for such basic services and facilities to meet the requirements of its populace. Compliance with the foregoing indicators shall be attested to by the Department of Finance (DOF), the National Statistics Office (NSO), and the Land Management Bureau (LMB) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR). Corollarily, the Rules and Regulations Implementing the Code provide in Article 11: ART. 11. Cities. (a) Requisites for creation A city shall not be created unless the following requisites on income and either population or land area are present: (1) Income an average annual income of not less than Twenty Million Pesos (P20,000,000.00), for the immediately preceding two (2) consecutive years based on 1991 constant prices, as certified by DOF. The average annual income shall include the income accruing to the general fund, exclusive of special funds, special accounts, transfers, and nonrecurring income; and (2) Population or land area Population which shall not be less than one hundred fifty thousand (150,000) inhabitants, as certified by the NSO; or land area which must be contiguous with an area of at least one hundred (100) square kilometers, as certified by LMB. The territory need not be contiguous if it comprises two (2) or more islands or is separated by a chartered city or cities which do not contribute to the income of the province. The land area requirement shall not apply where the proposed city is composed of one (1) or more islands. The territorial jurisdiction of a city sought to be created shall be properly identified by metes and bounds. The creation of a new city shall not reduce the land area, population, and income of the original LGU or LGUs at the time of said creation to less than the prescribed minimum requirements. All expenses incidental to the creation shall be borne by the petitioners. Petitioner argues that no certifications attesting compliance with the foregoing requirements were submitted to Congress, citing in particular public hearings held by the Senate Committee on Local Government. However, we note that the bill that eventually became R.A. No. 8535 originated in the House of Representatives. Its principal sponsor is Cong. Dante Liban of Quezon City. Petitioner did not present any proof, but only allegations, that no certifications were submitted to the House Committee on Local Government, as is the usual practice in this regard. Allegations, without more, cannot substitute for proof. The

presumption stands that the law passed by Congress, based on the bill of Cong. Liban, had complied with all the requisites therefor. Moreover, present during the public hearings held by the Senate Committee on Local Government were resource persons from the different government offices like National Statistics Office, Bureau of Local Government Finance, Land Management Bureau, and Department of Budget and Management, aside from officials of Quezon City itself. The representative from the Bureau of Local Government Finance estimated the combined average annual income of the 13 barangays[6] for the years 1995 and 1996 to be around P26,952,128.26.[7]Under the Local Government Code, a proposed city must have an average annual income of only at least P20,000,000.00 for the immediately preceding two years. The representative from the NSO estimated the population in the barangays that would comprise the proposed City of Novaliches to be around 347,310.[8] This figure is more than the 150,000 required by the Implementing Rules. There is no need to consider the land area, given these figures, since under the Local Government Code, the proposed city must comply with requirements as regards income and population or land area. Other than the income requirement, the proposed city must have the requisite number of inhabitants or land area. Compliance with either requirement, in addition to income, is sufficient. Judicial notice may also be taken that Novaliches is now highly urbanized. Petitioner avers that the oral manifestation made by the representatives of government offices is not enough certification. But respondents reply that in the hearings, particularly by the Local Government Committee headed by Senator Sotto, on October 3 and 27, 1997, the DBM, DILG, and Finance Officials were present along with other officers armed with official statistics and reference materials. In their official capacity, they spoke and shed light on population, land area and income of the proposed city. Their official statements could serve the same purpose contemplated by law requiring certificates. Their affirmation as well as their oath as witnesses in open session of either the Senate or the House of Representatives give even greater solemnity than a certification submitted to either chamber routinely. Moreover, petitioner failed to show that, aside from the oral declarations during the public hearings, the representatives present did not also submit written certifications. Note that under the Implementing Rules, written certifications are required to be attached to the petition for the creation of a city, to be submitted by interested municipalities or barangays to Congress in the form of a resolution. Petitioner, however, did not even bother to present a copy of said petition if only to prove that it was without the written certifications attached as required by law. We are thus constrained to presume, as respondents urge, that these requirements were met appropriately in the passage of the assailed legislative act. Petitioner then argues that R.A. No. 8535 failed to specify the seat of government of the proposed City of Novaliches as required under Section 11(a) of the Local Government Code:

SECTION 11. Selection and Transfer of Local Government Site, Offices, and Facilities. (a) The law or ordinance creating or merging local government units shall specify the seat of government from where governmental and corporate service shall be delivered. In selecting said site, factors relating to geographical centrality, accessibility, availability of transportation and communication facilities, drainage and sanitation, development and economic progress, and other relevant considerations shall be taken into account. Indeed, a reading of R.A. No. 8535 will readily show that it does not provide for a seat of government. However, this omission, to our mind, is not as fatal to the validity of R.A. No. 8535 as petitioner makes it to be. We agree with respondents that under Section 12 of the Local Government Code, which applies to the proposed City of Novaliches by virtue of Section 54 of R.A. No. 8535,[9] the City of Novaliches can still establish a seat of government after its creation. For said Code already provides as follows: SECTION 12. Government Centers. Provinces, cities, and municipalities shall endeavor to establish a government center where offices, agencies, or branches of the National Government, local government units, or government-owned or controlled corporations may, as far as practicable, be located. In designating such a center, the local government unit concerned shall take into account the existing facilities of national and local agencies and offices which may serve as the government center as contemplated under this Section. The National Government, local government unit or government-owned or controlled corporation concerned shall bear the expenses for the construction of its buildings and facilities in the government center. While Section 12 speaks of the site of government centers, such site can very well also be the seat of government, from where governmental and corporate service shall be delivered.[10] With regard to the alleged adverse effect on Quezon City by the creation of the City of Novaliches, petitioner again failed to present any concrete evidence on this point. Quezon City Mayor Ismael Mathay, Jr., was present during the deliberations of the Senate Committee on Local Government, and made no mention of anything concerning such adverse effects. As chief executive of Quezon City, Mayor Mathay would be the first person to protest any development that might prove detrimental to Quezon City. The fact that he did not raise any adverse issue during the public hearings on R.A. No. 8535, stressing instead his concern on the matter of inclusion of all Quezon City voters in the plebiscite that would decide the fate of the City of Novaliches, is indicative of the non-existence of such negative issues. Moreover, in the plebiscite as contemplated on R.A. 8535, all persons concerned will obviously have the opportunity to raise those issues even before they vote on the principal question of the cityhood of Novaliches. That the Quezon City Council was not furnished a copy of the petition of concerned barangays calling for the creation of the City of Novaliches, if true, will also not render invalid R.A. No. 8535. The

evident purpose of this requirement, found in the Implementing Rules, is to inform the City Council of the move to create another city and to enable it to formulate its comments and recommendations on said petition. The Quezon City Council members are obviously aware of the petition. The matter has been widely publicized in the mass media. Surely members of the Quezon City Council, including petitioner, could not now be heard to claim they have not known of the contents of the barangays petition to create the City of Novaliches. The proposed creation of the City of Novaliches will in no way result in a prohibited amendment of the Constitution, contrary to petitioners contention. The ordinance appended to the Constitution merely apportions the seats of the House of Representatives to the different legislative districts in the country. Nowhere does it provide that Metro Manila shall forever be composed of only 17 cities and municipalities as claimed by petitioner. Too literal a reading of the ordinance in or appendix of the Constitution will only result in its erroneous interpretation. Clearly, from the foregoing considerations, petitioner has failed to present clear and convincing proof to defeat the presumption of constitutionality being enjoyed by R.A. No. 8535. Nor did he succeed to convince the Court with substantial and persuasive legal reasons for us to grant the reliefs he seeks. WHEREFORE, the instant petition is hereby DISMISSED. SO ORDERED. 5. Alvarez vs Guingona Municipal Corporation LGU Requirement Income Inclusion of IRAs In April 1993, HB 8817 (An Act Converting the Municipality of Santiago into an Independent Component City to be known as the City of Santiago) was passed in the HOR. In May 1993, a Senate bill (SB 1243) of similar title and content with that of HB 8817 was introduced in the Senate. In January 1994, the HB 8817 was transmitted to the Senate. In February 1994, the Senate conducted a public hearing on SB 1243. In March 1994, the Senate Committee on Local Government rolled out its recommendation for approval of HB 8817 as it was totally the same with SB 1243. Eventually, HB 8817 became a law (RA 7720). Now Alvarez et al are assailing the constitutionality of the said law on the ground that the bill creating the law did not originate from the lower house and that the Santiago was not able to comply with the income of at least P20M per annum in order for it to be a city. That in the computation of the reported average income of P20,974,581.97 included the IRA which should not be. ISSUE: 1. Whether or not RA 7720 is invalid for not being originally from the HOR. 2. Whether or not the IRA should be included in the computation of an LGUs income. HELD: 1. NO. The house bill was filed first before the senate bill as the record shows. Further, the Senate held in abeyance any hearing on the said SB while the HB was on its 1st, 2nd and 3rd reading in the HOR. The Senate only conducted its

1st hearing on the said SB one month after the HB was transmitted to the Senate (in anticipation of the said HB as well). 2. YES. The IRA should be added in the computation of an LGUs average annual income as was done in the case at bar. The IRAs are items of income because they form part of the gross accretion of the funds of the local government unit. The IRAs regularly and automatically accrue to the local treasury without need of any further action on the part of the local government unit. They thus constitute income which the local government can invariably rely upon as the source of much needed funds. To reiterate, IRAs are a regular, recurring item of income; nil is there a basis, too, to classify the same as a special fund or transfer, since IRAs have a technical definition and meaning all its own as used in the Local Government Code that unequivocally makes it distinct from special funds or transfers referred to when the Code speaks of funding support from the national government, its instrumentalities and government-owned-orcontrolled corporations. 6. Pasig City vs COMELEC Facts: Upon petition of the residents of Karangalan Village that they be segregated from its mother Barangays Manggahan and Dela Paz, City of Pasig, and to be converted and separated into a distinct barangay to be known as Barangay Karangalan, the City Council of Pasig passed an ordinance creating Barangay Karangalan in Pasig City. Plebiscite on the creation of said barangay was thereafter set for June 22, 1996. Meanwhile, the City of Pasig similarly issued an ordinance creating Barangay Napico in Pasig City. Plebiscite for this purpose was set for March 15, 1997. Immediately upon learning of such ordinances, the Municipality of Cainta filed two (2) Petitions with the Commission on Elections calling its attention to a pending case before the Regional Trial Court of Antipolo, Rizal for the settlement of boundary disputes. The Municipality of Cainta claimed that the proposed barangays involve areas included in the boundary dispute subject of said pending case; hence, the scheduled plebiscite should be suspended or cancelled until after the said case shall have been finally decided by the court. The COMELEC accepted the position of the Municipality of Cainta and ordered the plebiscite on the creation of Barangay Karangalan to be held in abeyance until after the court has settled with finality the boundary dispute involving the two municipalities. However, the COMELEC ruled differently in the other petition, dismissing the same for being moot since the creation of Barangay Napico was already ratified and approved by the majority of the votes cast in the plebiscite. Hence, these two (2) petitions by the City of Pasig and the Municipality of Cainta. Issue: WON City of Pasig should await for the decision in the boundary dispute case before it should allow for a plebiscite segregating Karangalan and Napico as independent barangays? YES. WON the plebiscite conducted in favor of Brgy. Napico is null and void? YES.

Held: A requisite for the creation of a barangay is for its territorial jurisdiction to be properly identified by metes and bounds or by more or less permanent natural boundaries. Precisely because territorial jurisdiction is an issue raised in the pending civil case, until and unless such issue is resolved with finality, to define the territorial jurisdiction of the proposed barangays would only be an exercise in futility. The Court also would be paving the way for potentially ultra vires acts of such barangays. Furthermore, the Court did not agree that merely because a plebiscite had already been held in the case of the proposed Barangay Napico, the petition of the Municipality of Cainta has already been rendered moot and academic. The Supreme Court, therefore, ruled that the plebiscite on the creation of Barangay Karangalan should be held in abeyance pending final resolution of the boundary dispute between the City of Pasig and Municipality of Cainta by the RTC of Antipolo City. In the same vein, the plebiscite held to ratify the creation of Barangay Napico, Pasig City, should be annulled and set aside. 7. San Juaqin vs Silva G.R. No. L-19870 March 18, 1967 MUNICIPALITY OF SAN JOAQUIN, PetitionerAppellant, vs. NICANOR SIVA, BASILIO SAPITANAN, ET AL., respondents-appellees. CONCEPCION, C.J.: chanrobles virtual law library Petitioner, Municipality of San Joaquin, seeks the reversal of a decision of the Court of First Instance of Iloilo dismissing the former's petition for prohibition, contesting the legality of Executive Order No. 436 of the President of the Philippines, dated July 10, 1961, creating the municipality of Lawigan out of twenty-one (21) barrios theretofore forming part of said municipality of San Joaquin. Respondents-appellees are the persons appointed by the President as mayor, vice-mayor and councilors of Lawigan, who are sought to be restrained from performing their functions as such, upon the ground that Section 68 of the Revised Administrative Code, on which said Executive Order is based, constitutes an undue delegation of legislative powers, and, hence, unconstitutional. The lower court, however, held otherwise. Hence, this appeal.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library The issue herein has been squarely taken up and settled in Pelaez vs. Auditor General, G.R. No. L23825, promulgated on December 24, 1965, which upheld the theory of appellant herein, and rejected the view taken in the appealed decision.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library Wherefore, said decision is hereby reversed, and another one shall be entered declaring the aforementioned Executive Order No. 436 null and void ab initio, and directing herein respondentsappellees to refrain from acting as officers of the municipality of Lawigan, with costs against them. It is so ordered. Reyes, J.B.L., Dizon, Regala, Makalintal, Bengzon, J.P., Zaldivar, Sanchez and Castro, JJ., concur. 8. Tobias vs Abalos Facts:

Mandaluyong and San Juan were one legislative district until the passage of the RA 7675 with title An Act Converting the Municipality of Mandaluyong into a Highly Urbanized City to be known as the City of Mandaluyong." Same bill is now in question at to its constitutionality by the petitioners by invoking their right as tax payers and residents of Mandaluyong.

and Sorsogon in the Province of Sorsogon16 Dec 2000: COMELEC conducted a plebiscite in the municipalities 17 Dec 2000: Plebiscite City Board of Canvassers proclaimed the creation of the City of Sorsogon Cawaling filed this petition for certiorari, which challenged the law on the ff grounds: With a plebiscite held on April 10, 1994, people of 1. The plebiscite was conducted beyond the 120Mandaluyong voted to for the the conversion of day period from Mandaluyong to a highly urbanized city ratifying the approval of RA 8806, violating Sec. 54 of the RA 7675 and making it in effect. LGC; 2. It violates Sec. 450 (a) of the LGC which requires Issues: that only a WON RA 7675 is in: municipality or a cluster of barangays may be 1. Violation of Article VI, Section 26(1) of the converted into a Constitution regarding 'one subject one bill rule". component city; 2. Violation of Article VI, Sections 5(1) and (4) as 3. It contains two subjects: Creation of the City of to the number of members of the Congress to 250 Sorsogon and and reappropriating the legislative districts. the abolition of the two municipalities. ISSUE: WON RA 8806 violated the Constitution and Ruling: the LGC. NO. Applying liberal construction the Supreme Court RATIO: dismissed the contention of constitutionality - The phrase A municipality or a cluster is not a pertaining to Art VI 26(1) saying "should be given a criterion practical rather than a technical construction. It but just one of the modes by which a city may be should be sufficient compliance with such created. Sec. requirement if the title expresses the general 10 Art. X of the Constitution allows the merger of subject and all the provisions are germane to that LGUs to general subject." create a province, city, municipality, or barangay in As to Article VI Sec 5(1), the clause "unless accordance with LGC standards. otherwise provided by law" was enforced justifying - The creation of an entirely new LGU through a the act of the legislature to increase the number of division or a the members of the congress. merger of existing LGUs is recognized under the Consti so Article VI Sec 5 (4) was also overruled as it was the long as it complies with the standards set by the Congress itself which drafted the bill LGC. reapportioning the legislative district. - In response to Cawalings argument that there is no In view of the foregoing facts, the petition was compelling reason merge the two municipalities, dismissed for lack of merit. the Court stated that it could not pass upon the wisdom of 9. Kapalong vs Moya RA 8806; Facts: Pres. Garcia created the Municipality of - The word approval in Sec. 54 of RA 8806, which Santo Tomas from should be portions of the Municipality of Kapalong. Sto. read together with Sec. 65 thereof, could only Tomas now asserts mean jurisdiction over eight barrios of Kapalong. Sto. effectivity as used and contemplated in Sec. 10 Tomas then filed a of the Code. complaint against Kapalong for settlement of the - The law was first published in 25 Aug 2000 issue municipal of TODAY. boundary dispute. The publication of the law was completed on 1 Issue: WON Santo Tomas legally exists. NO. Sept 2000, As ruled in the Pelaez case, the President has no which should be the reckoning point in determining power to create a municipality. Since private the 120respondent has no legal personality, it can not be a day period within which to conduct the plebiscite. party to any civil action, and as such, Judge Moya - COMELEC: Since publication is indispensable for should have dismissed the case, since further the proceedings would be pointless. The Rules of Court effectivity of a law, it could only schedule the expressly provides that only "entities authorized by plebiscite after law may be parties in a civil action. the Act took effect. - As to the failure of the COMELEC to conduct an 10. Cawaling vs COMELEC intensive FACTS: 16 Aug 2000: Pres. Estrada signed into law info campaign, the Court said that no proof was RA 8806: An Act presented by Creating the City of Sorsogon by Merging the the petitioner to substantiate his claim. There is Municipalities of Bacon the

presumption that COMELEC regularly performed its duty under the law in conducting the plebiscite.

offices: Provided, The new city will acquire a new corporate existence. The appointive officials and employees of the City shall likewise continues exercising their functions and duties and they shall 11. Mariano vs COMELEC be automatically absorbed by the city government Juanito Mariano, a resident of Makati, along with of the City of Makati. residents of Taguig suing as taxpayers, assail Section 8, Article X and section 7, Article VI of the Sections 2, 51 and 52 of R.A. No. 7854 (An Act Constitution provide the following: Converting the Municipality of Makati into a Highly Sec. 8. The term of office of elective local officials, Urbanized City to be known as the City of except barangay officials, which shall be Makati). Another petition which contends the determined by law, shall be three years and no unconstitutionality of R.A. No. 7854 was also filed such official shall serve for more than three by John H. Osmena as a senator, taxpayer and consecutive terms. Voluntary renunciation of the concerned citizen. office for any length of time shall not be ISSUES: considered as an interruption in the continuity of 1. Whether Section 2 of R.A. No. 7854 his service for the full term for which he was delineated the land areas of the proposed elected. city of Makati violating sections 7 and 450 of xxx xxx xxx the Local Government Code on specifying Sec. 7. The Members of the House of metes and bounds with technical Representatives shall be elected for a term of descriptions three years which shall begin, unless otherwise 2. Whether Section 51, Article X of R.A. No. provided by law, at noon on the thirtieth day of 7854 collides with Section 8, Article X and June next following their election. Section 7, Article VI of the Constitution No Member of the House of Representatives shall stressing that they new citys acquisition of serve for more than three consecutive terms. a new corporate existence will allow the Voluntary renunciation of the office for any length incumbent mayor to extend his term to of time shall not be considered as an interruption more than two executive terms as allowed in the continuity of his service for the full term for by the Constitution which he was elected. 3. Whether the addition of another legislative This challenge on the controversy cannot be district in Makati is unconstitutional as the entertained as the premise on the issue is on the reapportionment cannot be made by a occurrence of many contingent events. special law Considering that these events may or may not HELD/RULING: happen, petitioners merely pose a hypothetical 1. Section 2 of R.A. No. 7854 states that: issue which has yet to ripen to an actual case or Sec. 2. The City of Makati. The Municipality of controversy. Moreover, only Mariano among the Makati shall be converted into a highly urbanized petitioners is a resident of Taguig and are not the city to be known as the City of Makati, hereinafter proper parties to raise this abstract issue. referred to as the City, which shall comprise the 1. Section 5(1), Article VI of the Constitution present territory of the Municipality of clearly provides that the Congress may be Makati in Metropolitan Manila Area over which comprised of not more than two hundred it has jurisdiction bounded on the northeast by fifty members, unless otherwise Pasig River and beyond by the City of provided by law. As thus worded, the Mandaluyong and the Municipality of Pasig; on the Constitution did not preclude Congress from southeast by the municipalities of Pateros and increasing its membership by passing a law, Taguig; on the southwest by the City of Pasay and other than a general reapportionment of the the Municipality of Taguig; and, on the northwest, law. by the City of Manila. Emphasis has been provided in the provision under 12. Nueva Era vs Marcos dispute. Said delineation did not change even by [G.R. No. 169435, February 27, 2008] an inch the land area previously covered by Makati as a municipality. It must be noted that the MUNICIPALITY OF NUEVA ERA, ILOCOS requirement of metes and bounds was meant NORTE, represented by its Municipal Mayor, merely as a tool in the establishment of LGUs. It is CAROLINE ARZADON-GARVIDA, Petitioner, vs. not an end in itself. MUNICIPALITY OF MARCOS, ILOCOS NORTE, Furthermore, at the time of consideration or R.A. represented by its Municipal Mayor, No. 7854, the territorial dispute between the SALVADOR PILLOS, and the HONORABLE municipalities of Makati and Taguig over Fort COURT OF APPEALS, Respondents. Bonifacio was under court litigation. Out of becoming a sense of respect to co-equal DECISION department of government, legislators felt that the dispute should be left to the courts to decide. REYES, R.T., J.: 1. Section 51 of R.A. No. 7854 provides that: Sec. 51. Officials of the City of Makati. The AS the law creating a municipality fixes its represent elective officials of the Municipality of boundaries, settlement of boundary disputes Makati shall continue as the officials of the City of between municipalities is facilitated by carrying Makati and shall exercise their powers and into effect the law that created them. functions until such time that a new election is held and the duly elected officials shall have Any alteration of boundaries that is not in already qualified and assume their accordance with the law creating a municipality is

not the carrying into effect of that law but its amendment, which only the Congress can do.[1] For Our review on certiorari is the Decision[2] of the Court of Appeals (CA) reversing to a certain extent that[3] of the Regional Trial Court (RTC), Branch 12, Laoag City, Ilocos Norte, in a case that originated from the Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP) of Ilocos Norte about the boundary dispute between the Municipalities of Marcos and Nueva Era in Ilocos Norte. The CA declared that Marcos is entitled to have its eastern boundary extended up to the boundary line between the province of Ilocos Norte and Kalinga-Apayao.[4] By this extension of Marcos eastern boundary, the CA allocated to Marcos a portion of Nueva Eras territory. The Facts The Municipality of Nueva Era was created from the settlements of Bugayong, Cabittaoran, Garnaden, Padpadon, Padsan, Paorpatoc, Tibangran, and Uguis which were previously organized as rancherias, each of which was under the independent control of a chief. Governor General Francis Burton Harrison, acting on a resolution passed by the provincial government of Ilocos Norte, united these rancherias and created the township of Nueva Era by virtue of Executive Order (E.O.) No. 66 [5]dated September 30, 1916. The Municipality of Marcos, on the other hand, was created on June 22, 1963 pursuant to Republic Act (R.A.) No. 3753 entitled An Act Creating the Municipality of Marcos in the Province of Ilocos Norte. Section 1 of R.A. No. 3753 provides: SECTION 1. The barrios of Capariaan, Biding, Escoda, Culao, Alabaan, Ragas and Agunit in the Municipality of Dingras, Province of Ilocos Norte, are hereby separated from the said municipality and constituted into a new and separate municipality to be known as the Municipality of Marcos, with the following boundaries: On the Northwest, by the barrios Biding-Rangay boundary going down to the barrios CapariaanGabon boundary consisting of foot path and feeder road; on the Northeast, by the Burnay River which is the common boundary of barrios Agunit and Naglayaan; on the East, by the Ilocos Norte-Mt. Province boundary; on the South, by the Padsan River which is at the same time the boundary between the municipalities of Banna and Dingras; on the West and Southwest, by the boundary between the municipalities of Batac and Dingras. The Municipality of Marcos shall have its seat of government in the barrio of Biding. Based on the first paragraph of the said Section 1 of R.A. No. 3753, it is clear that Marcos shall be derived from the listed barangays of Dingras, namely: Capariaan, Biding, Escoda, Culao, Alabaan, Ragas and Agunit. The Municipality of Nueva Era or any of its barangays was not mentioned. Hence, if based only on said paragraph, it is clear that Nueva Era may not be considered as a source of territory of Marcos.

There is no issue insofar as the first paragraph is concerned which named only Dingras as the mother municipality of Marcos. The problem, however, lies in the description of Marcos boundaries as stated in the second paragraph, particularly in the phrase: on the East, by the Ilocos Norte-Mt. Province boundary. It must be noted that the term Mt. Province stated in the above phrase refers to the present adjoining provinces of Benguet, Mountain Province, Ifugao, Kalinga and Apayao, which were then a single province. Mt. Province was divided into the four provinces of Benguet, Mountain Province, Ifugao, and KalingaApayao by virtue of R.A. No. 4695 which was enacted on June 18, 1966. On February 14, 1995, the province of Kalinga-Apayao, which comprises the sub-provinces of Kalinga and Apayao, was further converted into the regular provinces of Kalinga and Apayao pursuant to R.A. No. 7878. The part of then Mt. Province which was at the east of Marcos is now the province of Apayao. Hence, the eastern boundary referred to by the second paragraph of Section 1 of R.A. No. 3753 is the present Ilocos Norte-Apayao boundary. On the basis of the said phrase, which described Marcos eastern boundary, Marcos claimed that the middle portion of Nueva Era, which adjoins its eastern side, formed part of its territory. Its reasoning was founded upon the fact that Nueva Era was between Marcos and the Ilocos NorteApayao boundary such that if Marcos was to be bounded on the east by the Ilocos Norte-Apayao boundary, part of Nueva Era would consequently be obtained by it.[6] Marcos did not claim any part of Nueva Era as its own territory until after almost 30 years,[7] or only on March 8, 1993, when its Sangguniang Bayan passed Resolution No. 93-015.[8] Said resolution was entitled: Resolution Claiming an Area which is an Original Part of Nueva Era, But Now Separated Due to the Creation of Marcos Town in the Province of Ilocos Norte. Marcos submitted its claim to the SP of Ilocos Norte for its consideration and approval. The SP, on the other hand, required Marcos to submit its position paper.[9] In its position paper, Marcos alleged that since its northeastern and eastern boundaries under R.A. No. 3753 were the Burnay River and the Ilocos Norte-Mountain Province boundary, respectively, its eastern boundary should not be limited to the former Dingras-Nueva Era boundary, which was coterminous and aligned with the eastern boundary of Dingras. According to Marcos, its eastern boundary should extend further to the east or up to the Ilocos-Norte-Mt. Province boundary pursuant to the description of its eastern boundary under R.A. No. 3753.[10] In view of its claim over the middle portion of Nueva Era, Marcos posited that Nueva Era was cut into two parts. And since the law required that the

10

land area of a municipality must be compact and contiguous, Nueva Eras northern isolated portion could no longer be considered as its territory but that of Marcos. Thus, Marcos claimed that it was entitled not only to the middle portion[11] of Nueva Era but also to Nueva Eras isolated northern portion. These areas claimed by Marcos were within Barangay Sto. Nio, Nueva Era. Nueva Era reacted to the claim of Marcos through its Resolution No. 1, Series of 1993. It alleged that since time immemorial, its entire land area was an ancestral domain of the tinguians, an indigenous cultural community. It argued to the effect that since the land being claimed by Marcos must be protected for the tinguians, it must be preserved as part of Nueva Era.[12] According to Nueva Era, Marcos was created out of the territory of Dingras only. And since R.A. No. 3753 specifically mentioned seven (7) barrios of Dingras to become Marcos, the area which should comprise Marcos should not go beyond the territory of said barrios.[13] From the time Marcos was created in 1963, its eastern boundary had been considered to be aligned and coterminous with the eastern boundary of the adjacent municipality of Dingras. However, based on a re-survey in 1992, supposedly done to conform to the second paragraph of Section 1 of R.A. No. 3753, an area of 15,400 hectares of Nueva Era was alleged to form part of Marcos.[14] This was the area of Barangay Sto. Nio, Nueva Era that Marcos claimed in its position paper. On March 29, 2000, the SP of Ilocos Norte ruled in favor of Nueva Era. The fallo of its decision[15] reads: WHEREFORE, in view of all the foregoing, this Body has no alternative but to dismiss, as it hereby DISMISSES said petition for lack of merit. The disputed area consisting of 15,400 hectares, more or less, is hereby declared as part and portion of the territorial jurisdiction of respondent Nueva Era.
[16]

object to be achieved and the evil or mischief to be suppressed, and they should be given such construction as will advance the object, suppress the mischief and secure the benefits intended. [18] (Citations omitted) The SP further explained: Invariably, it is not the letter, but the spirit of the law and the intent of the legislature that is important. When the interpretation of the statute according to the exact and literal import of its words would lead to absurdity, it should be construed according to the spirit and reason, disregarding if necessary the letters of the law. It is believed that congress did not intend to have this absurd situation to be created when it created the Municipality of Marcos. This body, by the mandate given to it by the RA 7160 otherwise known Local Government Code, so believes that respondent Nueva Era or any portion thereof has been excluded from the ambit of RA 3753. Under the principle of espressio (sic) unios (sic) est exclusio alterius, by expressly naming the barangays that will comprise the town of Marcos, those not mentioned are deemed excluded. In Republic Act 4354, where Section 2 thereof enumerated the barrios comprising the City of Davao excluding the petitioner Barrio Central as part of the said City, the court held that there arose a prima facie conclusion that the said law abolished Barrio Central as part of Davao City. Historically, the hinterlands of Nueva Era have been known to be the home of our brothers and sisters belonging to peculiar groups of non(C)hristian inhabitants with their own rich customs and traditions and this body takes judicial notice that the inhabitants of Nueva Era have proudly claimed to be a part of this rich culture. With this common ancestral heritage which unfortunately is absent with Marcos, let it not be disturbed. [19] (Emphasis ours and citations omitted) RTC Decision On appeal by Marcos, the RTC affirmed the decision of the SP in its decision[20] of March 19, 2001. The dispositive part of the RTC decision reads: WHEREFORE, the instant appeal is hereby DISMISSED. The questioned decision of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Ilocos Norte is hereby AFFIRMED. No costs. SO ORDERED.[21] The RTC reasoned out in this wise: The position of the Municipality of Marcos is that the provision of R.A. 3753 as regards its boundary on the East which is the Ilocos Norte-Mt. Province should prevail. On the other hand, the Municipality of Nueva Era posits the theory that only the barrios of the Municipality of Dingras as stated in R.A. 3753 should be included in the territorial jurisdiction of the Municipality of Marcos. The Sangguniang Panlalawigan agreed with the position of Nueva Era. xxxx

R.A. No. 3753 expressly named the barangays that would comprise Marcos, but none of Nueva Eras barangays were mentioned. The SP thus construed, applying the rule of expressio unius est exclusio alterius, that no part of Nueva Era was included by R.A. No. 3753 in creating Marcos.[17] The SP ratiocinated that if Marcos was to be bounded by Mt. Province, it would encroach upon a portion, not only of Nueva Era but also of Abra. Thus: x x x Even granting, for the sake of argument, that the eastern boundary of Marcos is indeed Mountain Province, Marcos will then be claiming a portion of Abra because the province, specifically Barangay Sto. Nio, Nueva Era, is actually bounded on the East by the Province of Abra. Abra is situated between and separates the Provinces of Ilocos Norte and Mountain Province. This is precisely what this body would like to avoid. Statutes should be construed in the light of the

11

An examination of the Congressional Records during the deliberations of the R.A. 3753 (House Bill No. 3721) shows the Explanatory Note of Congressman Simeon M. Valdez, 2nd District, Ilocos Norte, to wit: EXPLANATORY NOTE

to Marcos of said middle portion.

Marcos prayed before the CA that the above two portions of Nueva Era be declared as part of its own territory. It alleged that it was entitled to the middle portion of Nueva Era in view of the description of Marcos eastern boundary under R.A. No. 3753. Marcos likewise contended that it This bill seeks to create in the Province of Ilocos was entitled to the northern portion of Nueva Era Norte a new municipality to be known as the which was allegedly isolated from Nueva Era when Municipality of Marcos, to be comprised by the Marcos was created. It posited that such isolation present barrios of Capariaan, Biding Escoda, Culao, of territory was contrary to law because the law Alabaan, Ragas and Agunit, all in the Municipality required that a municipality must have a compact of Dingras of the same province. The seat of and contiguous territory.[26] government will be in the sitio of San Magro in the present barrio of Ragas. In a Decision[27] dated June 6, 2005, the CA partly xxxx reversed the RTC decision with the following disposition: On the other hand, the Municipality of Dingras will WHEREFORE, we partially GRANT the petition not be adversely affected too much because its treated as one for certiorari. The Decisions of finances will still be sound and stable. Its capacity both the Sangguniang Panlalawigan and to comply with its obligations, especially to its Regional Trial Court of Ilocos Norte are employees and personnel, will not be diminished REVERSED and SET ASIDE insofar as they made nor its operations paralyzed. On the contrary, the eastern boundary of the municipality of Marcos economic development in both the mother and the co-terminous with the eastern boundary of Dingras proposed municipalities will be accelerated. town, and another is rendered extending the said boundary of Marcos to the boundary line between In view of the foregoing, approval of this bill is the province of Ilocos Norte and Kalingaearnestly requested. Apayao,but the same Decisions are (Sgd.) SIMEON M. VALDEZ AFFIRMED with respect to the denial of the claim Congressman, 2nd District of Marcos to the detached northern portion of Ilocos Norte[22] barangay Sto. Nio which should, as it is hereby ordered to, remain with the municipality of Nueva Parenthetically, the legislative intent was for the Era. No costs. creation of the Municipality of Marcos, Ilocos Norte from the barrios (barangays) of the Municipality of SO ORDERED.[28] Dingras, Ilocos Norte only. Hence, the Municipality In concluding that the eastern boundary of Marcos of Marcos cannot add any area beyond the was the boundary line between Ilocos Norte and territorial jurisdiction of the Municipality of Dingras, Kalinga-Apayao, the CA gave the following Ilocos Norte. This conclusion might have been explanation: different only if the area being claimed by the Clearly then, both the SP and the RTC erred when Municipality of Marcos is within the territorial they ruled that the eastern boundary of Marcos is jurisdiction of the Municipality of Dingras and not only coterminous with the eastern boundary of the the Municipality of Nueva Era. In such case, the adjacent municipality of Dingras and refused to two conflicting provisions may be harmonized by extend it up to the boundary line between the including such area within the territorial provinces of Ilocos Norte and Mountain Province jurisdiction of the Municipality of Dingras as within (Kalinga-Apayao). R.A. No. 3753, the law creating the territorial jurisdiction of the Municipality of Marcos, is very explicit and leaves no room for Marcos.[23] (Emphasis ours) equivocation that the boundaries of Marcos town CA Disposition are: Still determined to have a more extensive eastern boundary, Marcos filed a petition for review[24] of On the Northwest by the barrios Bidingthe RTC decision before the CA. The issues raised Rangay boundary going down to the barrios by Marcos before the CA were: Capariaan-Gabon boundary consisting of foot path 1. Whether or not the site of Hercules Minerals and and feeder road; on the Northeast, by the Burnay Oil, Inc. which is within a Government Forest River which is the common boundary of barrios Reservation in Barangay Sto. Nio, formerly of Agunit and Naglayaan; on the East, by the Nueva Era, is a part of the newly created Ilocos Norte-Mt. Province boundary; on the Municipality of Marcos, Ilocos Norte. South by the Padsan River, which is at the same time the boundary between the municipalities of 2. Whether or not the portion of Barangay Sto. Banna and Dingras; on the West and Southwest by Nio on the East which is separated from Nueva the boundary between the municipalities of Batac Era as a result of the full implementation of the and Dingras. boundaries of the new Municipality of Marcos belongs also to Marcos or to Nueva Era.[25] To stop short at the eastern boundary of Dingras The twin issues involved two portions of Nueva Era, as the eastern boundary also of Marcos and viz.: (1) middle portion, where Hercules Minerals refusing to go farther to the boundary line between and Oil, Inc. is located; and (2) northern portion of Ilocos Norte and Mountain Province (KalingaNueva Era, which, according to Marcos, was Apayao) is tantamount to amending the law which isolated from Nueva Era in view of the integration Congress alone can do. Both the SP and RTC have

12

no competence to undo a valid act of Congress. It is not correct to say that Congress did not intend to take away any part of Nueva Era and merge it with Marcos for it is chargeable with conclusive knowledge that when it provided that the eastern boundary of Marcos is the boundary line between Ilocos Norte and Mountain Province, (by the time of both the SB and RTC Decision was already KalingaApayao), it would be cutting through a portion of Nueva Era. As the law is written so must it be applied. Dura lex sed lex![29] The CA likewise held that the province Abra was not located between Marcos and Kalinga-Apayao; and that Marcos would not encroach upon a portion of Abra for it to be bounded by KalingaApayao, to wit: Nueva Eras contention that to lay out the eastern jurisdiction of Marcos to the boundary line between Ilocos Norte and Mountain Province (Kalinga-Apayao) would mean annexing part of the municipality of Itnig, province of Abra to Marcos as Abra is between Ilocos Norte and Mountain Province is geographically erroneous. From Nueva Eras own map of Region 1, which also depicts the locations of Kalinga-Apayao, Abra, Mountain Province, Benguet and Nueva Vizcaya after the partition of the old Mountain Province into the provinces of Kalinga-Apayao, Ifugao, Mountain Province and Benguet, the province of Abra is situated far to the south of Kalinga Apayao and is between the latter and the present Mountain Province, which is farther south of Abra. Abra is part of the eastern boundary of Ilocos Sur while Kalinga-Apayao is the eastern boundary of Ilocos Norte. Hence, in no way will the eastern boundary of the municipality of Marcos encroach upon a portion of Abra.[30] However, Marcos claim over the alleged isolated northern portion of Nueva Era was denied. The CA ruled: Going now to the other area involved, i.e., the portion of Sto. Nio that is separated from its mother town Nueva Era and now lies east of the municipalities of Solsona and Dingras and north of Marcos, it bears stressing that it is not included within the area of Marcos as defined by law. But since it is already detached from Sto. Nio, Marcos is laying claim to it to be integrated into its territory by the SP because it is contiguous to a portion of said municipality. We hold that the SP has no jurisdiction or authority to act on the claim, for it will necessarily substantially alter the north eastern and southern boundaries of Marcos from that defined by law and unduly enlarge its area. Only Congress can do that. True, the SP may substantially alter the boundary of a barangay within its jurisdiction. But this means the alteration of the boundary of a barangay in relation to another barangay within the same municipality for as long as that will not result in any change in the boundary of that municipality. The area in dispute therefore remains to be a part of Sto. Nio, a barangay of Nueva Era although separated by the newly created Marcos town pursuant to Section 7(c) of the 1991 Local Government Code which states: SEC. 7. Creation and Conversion. As a general

rule, the creation of a local government unit or its conversion from one level to another shall be based on verifiable indicators of viability and projected capacity to provide services, to wit: xxxx (c) Land Area. It must be contiguous, unless it comprises two or more islands or is separated by a local government unit independent of the others; properly identified by metes and bounds with technical descriptions; and sufficient to provide for such basic services and facilities to meet the requirements of its populace.[31] The CA also expressed the view that Marcos adopted the wrong mode of appeal in bringing the case to it. The case, according to the CA, was appealable only to the RTC. Nonetheless, despite its pronouncement that the case was dismissible, the CA took cognizance of the same by treating it as one for certiorari, to wit: A final word. At the outset, we agonized over the dilemma of choosing between dismissing outright the petition at bar or entertaining it. This is for the simple reason that a petition for review is a mode of appeal and is not appropriate as the Local Government Code provides for the remedy of appeal in boundary disputes only to the Regional Trial Court but not any further appeal to this Court. Appeal is a purely statutory right. It cannot be exercised unless it is expressly granted by law. This is too basic to require the citation of supporting authority. xxxx By the same token, since the Local Government Code does not explicitly grant the right of further appeal from decisions of the RTCs in boundary disputes between or among local government units, Marcos town cannot exercise that right from the adverse decision of the RTC of Ilocos Norte. Nonetheless, because of the transcendental legal and jurisdictional issues involved, we solved our inceptive dilemma by treating the petition at bar as a special civil action for certiorari.[32] Nueva Era was not pleased with the decision of the CA. Hence, this petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45. Issues Nueva Era now raises the following issues: a) Whether or not, the Court of Appeals has jurisdiction on the Petition for Review on Appeal, since Sec. 119 of the Local Government Code, which provides that An appeal to the Decision of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan is exclusively vested to the Regional Trial Court, without further Appeal to the Court of Appeals; b) Whether or not, the Court of Appeals gravely abused its discretion, in treating the Petition for Review On Appeal, filed under Rule 45, Revised Rules of Court, as a Petition for Certiorari, under Rule 65 of the Revised Rules of Court; c) Whether or not, the Court of Appeals erred in its appreciation of facts, in declaring that MARCOS East is not coterminous with the Eastern boundary of its mother town-Dingras. That it has no factual

13

and legal basis to extend MARCOS territory beyond Brgys. Agunit (Ferdinand) and Culao (Elizabeth) of Marcos, and to go further East, by traversing and disintegrating Brgy. Sto. Nio, and drawing parallel lines from Sto. Nio, there lies Abra, not Mt. Province or Kalinga-Apayao.[33] Basically, there are two (2) issues to resolve here: (1) whether or not the mode of appeal adopted by Marcos in bringing the case to the CA is proper; and (2) whether or not the eastern boundary of Marcos extends over and covers a portion of Nueva Era. Our Ruling Marcos correctly appealed the RTC judgment via petition for review under Rule 42. Under Section 118(b) of the Local Government Code, (b)oundary disputes involving two (2) or more municipalities within the same province shall be referred for settlement to the sangguniang panlalawigan concerned. The dispute shall be formally tried by the said sanggunian in case the disputing municipalities fail to effect an amicable settlement.[34] The SP of Ilocos validly took cognizance of the dispute between the parties. The appeal of the SP judgment to the RTC was likewise properly filed by Marcos before the RTC. The problem, however, lies in whether the RTC judgment may still be further appealed to the CA.

petition for review precisely because the law allows it. Batas Pambansa (B.P.) Blg. 129 or the Judiciary Reorganization Act of 1980, as amended by R.A. No. 7902,[38] vests in the CA the appellate jurisdiction over all final judgments, decisions, resolutions, orders or awards of Regional Trial Courts and quasi-judicial agencies, instrumentalities, boards or commissions, among others.[39]B.P. Blg. 129 has been further supplemented by the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure, as amended, which provides for the remedy of appeal via petition for review under Rule 42 to the CA in cases decided by the RTC in the exercise of its appellate jurisdiction. Thus, the CA need not treat the appeal via petition for review filed by Marcos as a petition for certiorari to be able to pass upon the same. B.P. Blg. 129, as amended, which is supplemented by Rule 42 of the Rules of Civil Procedure, gives the CA the authority to entertain appeals of such judgments and final orders rendered by the RTC in the exercise of its appellate jurisdiction. At the time of creation of Marcos, approval in a plebiscite of the creation of a local government unit is not required.

Section 10, Article X of the 1987 Constitution provides that: No province, city, municipality, or barangay may be created, divided, merged, abolished, or its The CA pronounced that the RTC decision on the boundary substantially altered, except in boundary dispute was not appealable to it. It ruled accordance with the criteria established in the that no further appeal of the RTC decision may be local government code and subject to approval by made pursuant to Section 119 of the Local a majority of the votes cast in a plebiscite in the Government Code[35] which provides: political units directly affected.[40] SECTION 119. Appeal. Within the time and The purpose of the above constitutional provision manner prescribed by the Rules of Court, any party was acknowledged by the Court through Justice may elevate the decision of the sanggunian Reynato S. Puno in Miranda v. Aguirre,[41] where it concerned to the proper Regional Trial Court was held that: having jurisdiction over the area in dispute. The Regional Trial Court shall decide the appeal within The 1987 Constitution, more than any of our one (1) year from the filing thereof. Pending final previous Constitutions, gave more reality to the resolution of the disputed area prior to the dispute sovereignty of our people for it was borne out of shall be maintained and continued for all legal the people power in the 1986 EDSA revolution. Its purposes. Section 10, Article X addressed the undesirable The CA concluded that since only the RTC was practice in the past whereby local government mentioned as appellate court, the case may no units were created, abolished, merged or divided longer be further appealed to it. The CA stated that on the basis of the vagaries of politics and not of (a)ppeal is a purely statutory right. It cannot the welfare of the people. Thus, the consent of the be exercised unless it is expressly granted by law. people of the local government unit directly This is too basic to require the citation of affected was required to serve as a checking supporting authority.[36] mechanism to any exercise of legislative power creating, dividing, abolishing, merging or altering The CA, however, justified its taking cognizance of the boundaries of local government units. It is one the case by declaring that: because of the instance where the people in their sovereign transcendental legal and jurisdictional issues capacity decide on a matter that affects them involved, we solved our inceptive dilemma by direct democracy of the people as opposed to treating the petition at bar as a special civil action democracy thru peoples representatives. This forcertiorari.[37] plebiscite requirement is also in accord with the philosophy of the Constitution granting more The CA erred in declaring that only the RTC has autonomy to local government units.[42] appellate jurisdiction over the judgment of the SP. Nueva Era contends that the constitutional and True, appeal is a purely statutory right and it statutory[43] plebiscite requirement for the creation cannot be exercised unless it is expressly granted of a local government unit is applicable to this by law. Nevertheless, the CA can pass upon the case. It posits that the claim of Marcos to its

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territory should be denied due to lack of the required plebiscite. We agree with Nueva Eras contention that Marcos claim over parts of its territory is not tenable. However, the reason is not the lack of the required plebiscite under the 1987 and 1973 constitutions and the Local Government Code of 1991 but other reasons as will be discussed below. At the time Marcos was created, a plebiscite was not required by law to create a local government unit. Hence, Marcos was validly created without conducting a plebiscite. As a matter of fact, no plebiscite was conducted in Dingras, where it was derived. Lex prospicit, non respicit. The law looks forward, not backward.[44] It is the basic norm that provisions of the fundamental law should be given prospective application only, unless legislative intent for its retroactive application is so provided.
[45]

Since only the barangays of Dingras are enumerated as Marcos source of territory, Nueva Eras territory is, therefore, excluded. Under the maxim expressio unius est exclusio alterius, the mention of one thing implies the exclusion of another thing not mentioned. If a statute enumerates the things upon which it is to operate, everything else must necessarily and by implication be excluded from its operation and effect.[49] This rule, as a guide to probable legislative intent, is based upon the rules of logic and natural workings of the human mind.[50] Had the legislature intended other barangays from Nueva Era to become part of Marcos, it could have easily done so by clear and concise language. Where the terms are expressly limited to certain matters, it may not by interpretation or construction be extended to other matters.[51] The rule proceeds from the premise that the legislature would not have made specified enumerations in a statute had the intention been not to restrict its meaning and to confine its terms to those expressly mentioned.[52] Moreover, since the barangays of Nueva Era were not mentioned in the enumeration of barangays out of which the territory of Marcos shall be set, their omission must be held to have been done intentionally. This conclusion finds support in the rule of casus omissus pro omisso habendus est, which states that a person, object or thing omitted from an enumeration must be held to have been omitted intentionally.[53] Furthermore, this conclusion on the intention of the legislature is bolstered by the explanatory note of the bill which paved the way for the creation of Marcos. Said explanatory note mentioned only Dingras as the mother municipality of Marcos. Where there is ambiguity in a statute, as in this case, courts may resort to the explanatory note to clarify the ambiguity and ascertain the purpose and intent of the statute.[54] Despite the omission of Nueva Era as a mother territory in the law creating Marcos, the latter still contends that said law included Nueva Era. It alleges that based on the description of its boundaries, a portion of Nueva Era is within its territory. The boundaries of Marcos under R.A. No. 3753 read: On the Northwest, by the barrios Biding-Rangay boundary going down to the barrios CapariaanGabon boundary consisting of foot path and feeder road; on the Northeast, by the Burnay River which is the common boundary of barrios Agunit and Naglayaan; on the East, by the Ilocos Norte-Mt. Province boundary; on the South, by the Padsan River which is at the same time the boundary between the municipalities of Banna and Dingras; on the West and Southwest, by the boundary between the municipalities of Batac and Dingras. Marcos contends that since it is bounded on the East, by the Ilocos Norte-Mt. Province boundary, a portion of Nueva Era formed part

In the comparable case of Ceniza v. Commission on Elections[46] involving the City of Mandaue, the Court has this to say: Petitioners assail the charter of the City of Mandaue as unconstitutional for not having been ratified by the residents of the city in a plebiscite. This contention is untenable. The Constitutional requirement that the creation, division, merger, abolition, or alteration of the boundary of a province, city, municipality, or barrio should be subject to the approval by the majority of the votes cast in a plebiscite in the governmental unit or units affected is a new requirement that came into being only with the 1973 Constitution. It is prospective in character and therefore cannot affect the creation of the City of Mandaue which came into existence on June 21, 1969.[47] (Citations omitted and underlining supplied). Moreover, by deciding this case, We are not creating Marcos but merely interpreting the law that created it. Its creation was already a fait accompli. Therefore, there is no reason for Us to further require a plebiscite. As pointed out by Justice Isagani Cruz, to wit: Finally, it should be observed that the provisions of the Constitution should be given only a prospective application unless the contrary is clearly intended. Were the rule otherwise, rights already acquired or vested might be unduly disturbed or withdrawn even in the absence of an unmistakable intention to place them within the scope of the Constitution.
[48]

No part of Nueva Eras territory was taken for the creation of Marcos under R.A. No. 3753. Only the barrios (now barangays) of Dingras from which Marcos obtained its territory are named in R.A. No. 3753. To wit: SECTION 1. The barrios of Capariaan, Biding, Escoda, Culao, Alabaan, Ragas and Agunit in the Municipality of Dingras, Province of Ilocos Norte, are hereby separated from the said municipality and constituted into a new and separate municipality to be known as the Municipality of Marcos, with the following boundaries:

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of its territory because, according to it, Nueva Era is between the Marcos and Ilocos Norte-Mt. Province boundary. Marcos posits that in order for its eastern side to reach the Ilocos Norte-Mt. Province boundary, it will necessarily traverse the middle portion of Nueva Era. Marcos further claims that it is entitled not only to the middle portion of Nueva Era but also to its northern portion which, as a consequence, was isolated from the major part of Nueva Era. We cannot accept the contentions of Marcos. Only Dingras is specifically named by law as source territory of Marcos. Hence, the said description of boundaries of Marcos is descriptive only of the listed barangays of Dingras as a compact and contiguous territory. Considering that the description of the eastern boundary of Marcos under R.A. No. 3753 is ambiguous, the same must be interpreted in light of the legislative intent. The law must be given a reasonable interpretation, to preclude absurdity in its application.[55] We thus uphold the legislative intent to create Marcos out of the territory of Dingras only. Courts must give effect to the general legislative intent that can be discovered from or is unraveled by the four corners of the statute, and in order to discover said intent, the whole statute, and not only a particular provision thereof, should be considered.[56] Every section, provision or clause of the statute must be expounded by reference to each other in order to arrive at the effect contemplated by the legislature. The intention of the legislator must be ascertained from the whole text of the law, and every part of the act is to be taken into view.[57] It is axiomatic that laws should be given a reasonable interpretation, not one which defeats the very purpose for which they were passed. This Court has in many cases involving the construction of statutes always cautioned against narrowly interpreting a statute as to defeat the purpose of the legislature and stressed that it is of the essence of judicial duty to construe statutes so as to avoid such a deplorable result (of injustice or absurdity) and that therefore a literal interpretation is to be rejected if it would be unjust or lead to absurd results.[58] Statutes are to be construed in the light of the purposes to be achieved and the evils sought to be remedied. Thus, in construing a statute, the reason for its enactment should be kept in mind and the statute should be construed with reference to the intended scope and purpose. The court may consider the spirit and reason of the statute, where a literal meaning would lead to absurdity, contradiction, injustice, or would defeat the clear purpose of the lawmakers.[59] WHEREFORE, the petition is GRANTED. The Decision of the Court of Appeals is partlyREVERSED. The Decision of the Regional

Trial Court in Ilocos Norte is REINSTATED. SO ORDERED. 13. Miranda vs Aguirre Miranda v. Aguirre Facts: In 1994, RA 7720 converting the municipality of Santiago to an independent component city was signed into law and thereafter ratified in a plebiscite. Four years later, RA 8528 which amended RA 7720 was enacted, changing the status of Santiago from an ICC to a component city. Petitioners assail the constitutionality of RA 8528 because it does not provide for submitting the law for ratification by the people of Santiago City in a proper plebiscite. Issues: 1. WON petitioners have standing. YES. Rule: constitutionality of law can be challenged by one who will sustain a direct injury as a result of its enforcement Miranda was mayor when he filed the petition, his rights would have been greatly affected. Other petitioners are residents and voters of Santiago. 1. WON petition involves a political question. NO. PQ: concerned with issues dependent upon the wisdom, not legality, of a particular measure, Justiciable issue: implies a given right, legally demandable and enforceable, an act or omission violative of such right, and a remedy granted and sanctioned by law, for said breach of right Case at bar=justiciable. WON petitioners have right to a plebiscite is a legal question. WON laws passed by Congress comply with the requirements of the Consti pose questions that this court alone can decide. 1. WON the change involved any creation, division, merger, abolition or substantial alteration of boundaries. YES. 2. WON a plebiscite is necessary considering the change was a mere reclassification from ICC to CC. YES. A close analysis of the said constitutional provision will reveal that the creation, division, merger, abolition or substantial alteration of boundaries of LGUs involve a common denominator material change in the political and economic rights of the 14. Jimenez vs Bas FACTS: The Municipality of Sinacaban was created by EO 258 of then Pres. Quirino pursuant to Sec. 68 of the Revised Admin. Code. Sinacaban laid claim to several barrios based on the technical description in EO 258. The Municipality of Jimenez asserted jurisdiction based on an agreement with Sinacaban which was approved by the Provincial Board of Misamis Occidental which fixed the common boundary of Sinacaban and Jimenez.

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The Provincial Board declared the disputed area to be part of Sinacaban. It held that the earlier resolution approving the agreement between the municipalities was void since the Board had no power to alter the boundaries of Sinacaban as fixed in EO 258. Jimenez filed a petition for certiorari, prohibition, and mandamus in the RTC of Oroquieta. Jimenez argued that the power to create municipalities is essentially legislative (as held in Pelaez v Auditor General), then Sinacaban, which was created thru and EO, had no legal personality and no right to assert a territorial claim. ISSUES: I. WON Sinacaban has juridical personality. YES. II. WON RA 7160 Sec. 442(d) is invalid since it does not conform to the constitutional and statutory requirements for the holding of plebiscites in the creation of new municipalities. NO. RATIO: I. Where a municipality created as such by EO is later impliedly recognized and its acts are accorded legal validity, its creation can no longer be questioned. In the case of Municipality of San Narciso v Mendez, the SC laid the factors to consider in validating the creation of a municipal corporation: 1. The fact that for 30 years, the validity of the corporation has not been challenged; 2. The fact that no quo warranto suit was filed to question the validity of the EO creating the municipality; and 3. the fact that the municipality was later classified as a 5th class municipality, organized as part of a municipal circuit court and considered part of a legislative district in the Constitution apportioning the seats in the House. In this case, the following factors are present: 1. Sinacaban has been in existence for 16 years when Pelaez was decided in 1965 and yet the validity of EO 258 creating it had never been questioned. It was only 40 years later that its existence was questioned. 2. The State and even Jimenez recognized Sinacabans corporate existence. Ex.: AO 33, Judiciary Reorganization Act of 1980, etc. Moreover, the LGC of 1991, Sec. 442(d) provides that municipal districts organized pursuant to presidential issuances or executive orders and which have their respective sets of elective officials holding office at the time of the effectivity of this Code shall henceforth be considered as regular municipalities. Sinacaban has attained de jure

status by virtue of the Ordinance appended to the 1987 Constitution, apportioning legislative districts throughout the country, which considered Sinacaban as part of the 2nd District of Misamis Occidental. II. Sinacaban had attained de facto status at the time the 1987 Constitution took effect. It is not subject to the plebiscite requirement. It applies only to new municipalities created for the first time under the Constitution. The requirement of plebiscite was originally contained in Art. XI, Section 3 of the previous Constitution. It cannot be applied to municipal corporations created before, such as Sinacaban. 15. Ordillo vs COMELEC FACTS: 30 January 1990: People of the provinces of Benguet, Mountain Province, Ifugao, Abra and Kalinga Apayao and the city of Baguio cast their votes in a plebiscite held pursuant to RA 6766.10 The COMELEC results showed that the creation of the Region was approved only by a majority of 5,899 votes in only the Ifugao Province and was overwhelmingly rejected by 148,676 votes in the rest of the provinces and city mentioned. Sec of Justice: Ifugao can legally constitute the CAR. 8 March 1990: Congress enacted RA 6861 which set the elections in the CAR. Ordillo: The SC must declare COMELEC Res. No. 2259 as null and void. It must restrain the respondents from implementing AO 160. It must also declare EO 220 constituting the CEB and the CR Assembly and other offices to be still in force and effect until another organic law for the Autonomous Region shall have been enacted and duly ratified. There can be no valid CAR in only one province since the Constitution and RA 6766 require that the said Region be composed of more than one constituent unit. ISSUE: WON the province of Ifugao, being the only province which voted favorably for the creation of the CAR can, alone, legally and validly constitute such region. NO. RATIO: Art. X Sec. 15 of 1987 Constitution: There shall be created autonomous regions in Muslim Mindanao and in the Cordillera consisting of provinces, cities, municipalities and geographical areas sharing common and distinctive historical and cultural heritage, economic and social structures, and other relevant characteristics within the framework of this Constitution and the national

17

sovereignty as well as territorial integrity of the Republic of the Philippines. The term region used in its ordinary sense means two or more provinces. This is supported by the fact that the 13 regions into which the Philippines is divided for administrative purposes are groupings of contiguous provinces. Even RA 6766 shows that Congress never intended that a single province may constitute the autonomous region. Otherwise, we would be faced with the absurd situation of having 2 sets of provincial officials and another set of regional officials exercising their executive and legislative powers over exactly the same area. There will be two legislative bodies: the Cordillera Assembly and the Sangguniang Panlalawigan, exercising their legislative powers over the province of Ifugao. This must be distinguished from the Abbas case in that it laid the ff rule: What is required by the Constitution is a simple majority of votes approving the Organic Act in individual constituent units and not a double majority of the votes in all constituent units put together, as well as the individual constituent units.

16 municipalities filed, through their respective sponsors, individual cityhood bills. The 16 cityhood bills contained a common provision exempting all the 16 municipalities from the P100 million income requirement in RA 9009. On 22 December 2006, the House of Representatives approved the cityhood bills. The Senate also approved the cityhood bills in February 2007, except that of Naga, Cebu which was passed on 7 June 2007. The cityhood bills lapsed into law without the Presidents signature. The Cityhood Laws direct the COMELEC to hold plebiscites to determine whether the voters in each respondent municipality approve of the conversion of their municipality into a city. Petitioners filed the present petitions to declare the Cityhood Laws unconstitutional for violation of Section 10, Article X of the Constitution, as well as for violation of the equal protection clause. Petitioners also lament that the wholesale conversion of municipalities into cities will reduce the share of existing cities in the Internal Revenue Allotment because more cities will share the same amount of internal revenue set aside for all cities under Section 285 of the LGC. 16. League of Cities vs COMELEC Issues: 1. WON RA 9009 violates the principle of Facts: 11th Congress: 33 bills converting 33 non-retroactivity. municipalities into NO cities were enacted. However, Congress did not act Congress passed the Cityhood Laws long after the on bills effectivity converting 24 other municipalities into cities. 12th of RA 9009. RA 9009 became effective on 30 June Congress: RA 2001 or 9009 which amended Sec. 450 of the LGC by during the 11th Congress. The 13th Congress increasing the annual passed in income requirement for conversion of a December 2006 the cityhood bills which became municipality into a city law only in from P20 million to P100 million was enacted. The 2007. Thus, respondent municipalities cannot rationale for the invoke the amendment was to restrain, in the words of Sen. principle of non-retroactivity of laws. This basic Pimentel, the rule has no mad rush of municipalities to convert into cities application because RA 9009, an earlier law to the solely to secure a Cityhood larger share in the Internal Revenue Allotment Laws, is not being applied retroactively but despite the fact that prospectively. they are incapable of fiscal independence. After 2. WON RA 9009 violates Sec 10 Art X of the the effectivity of Constitution. RA 9009, the House adopted Joint Resolution No. The Constitution is clear. The creation of local 29 which sought government to exempt from the P100 million income units must follow the criteria established in the requirement in RA 9009 LGC and not the 24 municipalities whose cityhood bills were not in any other law. There is only one LGC. The approved in the Constitution 11th Congress. However, the 12th Congress ended requires Congress to stipulate in the LGC all the without the criteria Senate approving Joint Resolution No. 29. necessary for the creation of a city, including the 13th Congress: JR 29 was re-adopted as JR 1 and conversion was forwarded to of a municipality into a city. Congress cannot write the Senate for approval. However, the Senate such again failed to criteria in any other law, like the Cityhood Laws. approve the Joint Resolution. Following the advice The criteria of Sen.Pimentel,

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prescribed in the LGC govern exclusively the creation of a city. No other law, not even the charter of the city, can govern such creation. The clear intent of the Constitution is to insure that the creation of cities and other political units must follow the same uniform, non-discriminatory criteria found solely in the LGC. Any derogation or deviation from the criteria prescribed in the LGC violates Section 10, Article X of the Constitution. RA 9009 amended Section 450 of the LGC to increase the income requirement from P20 million to P100 million for the creation of a city. This took effect on 30 June 2001. Hence, from that moment the LGC required that any municipality desiring to become a city must satisfy the P100 million income requirement. Section 450 of the LGC, as amended by RA 9009, does not contain any exemption from this income requirement. In enacting RA 9009, Congress did not grant any exemption to respondent municipalities, even though their cityhood bills were pending in Congress when Congress passed RA 9009. The Cityhood Laws, all enacted after the effectivity of RA 9009, explicitly exempt respondent municipalities from the increased income requirement in Section 450 of the LGC, as amended by RA 9009. Such exemption clearly violates Section 10, Article X of the Constitution and is thus patently unconstitutional. To be valid, such exemption must be written in the LGC and not in any other law, including the Cityhood Laws. There can be no resort to extrinsic aids like deliberations of Congress if the language of the law is plain, clear and unambiguous. Courts determine the intent of the law from the literal language of the law, within the laws four corners. If the language of the law is plain, clear and unambiguous, courts simply apply the law according to its express terms. If a literal application of the law results in absurdity, impossibility or injustice, then courts may resort to extrinsic aids of statutory construction like the legislative history of the law.

Congress, in enacting RA 9009 to amend Section 450 of the LGC, did not provide any exemption from the increased income requirement, not even to respondent municipalities whose cityhood bills were then pending when Congress passed RA 9009. Section 450 of the LGC, as amended by RA 9009, contains no exemption whatsoever. Since the law is clear, plain and unambiguous that any municipality desiring to convert into a city must meet the increased income requirement, there is no reason to go beyond the letter of the law in applying Section 450 of the LGC, as amended by RA 9009. True, members of Congress discussed exempting respondent municipalities from RA 9009, as shown by the various deliberations on the matter during the 11th Congress. However, Congress did not write this intended exemption into law. Congress could have easily included such exemption in RA 9009 but Congress did not. This is fatal to the cause of respondent municipalities because such exemption must appear in RA 9009 as an amendment to Section 450 of the LGC. The Constitution requires that the criteria for the conversion of a municipality into a city, including any exemption from such criteria, must all be written in the LGC. Congress cannot prescribe such criteria or exemption from such criteria in any other law. In short, Congress cannot create a city through a law that does not comply with the criteria or exemption found in the LGC. 2. WON the Cityhood Laws violate Sec 6Art X of the Constitution. Uniform and non-discriminatory criteria as prescribed in the LGC are essential to implement a fair and equitable distribution of national taxes to all local government units. Section 6, Article X of the Constitution provides: Local government units shall have a just share, as determined by law, in the national taxes which shall be automatically released to them. If the criteria in creating local government units are not uniform and discriminatory, there can be no fair and just distribution of the national taxes to local government units.

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A city with an annual income of only P20 million, all other criteria being equal, should not receive the same share in national taxes as a city with an annual income of P100 million or more. The criteria of land area, population and income, as prescribed in Section 450 of the LGC, must be strictly followed because such criteria, prescribed by law, are material in determining the just share of local government units in national taxes. Since the Cityhood Laws do not follow the income criterion in Section 450 of the LGC, they prevent the fair and just distribution of the Internal Revenue Allotment in violation of Section 6, Article X of the Constitution. 2. WON the deliberations of unapproved bills by the 11th Congress may be used as basis for those approved by the 12th . NO Congress is not a continuing body. The unapproved cityhood bills filed during the 11th Congress became mere scraps of paper upon the adjournment of the 11th Congress. All the hearings and deliberations conducted during the 11th Congress on unapproved bills also became worthless upon the adjournment of the 11th Congress. These hearings and deliberations cannot be used to interpret bills enacted into law in the 13th or subsequent Congresses. The members and officers of each Congress are different. All unapproved bills filed in one Congress become functus officio upon adjournment of that Congress and must be refiled anew in order to be taken up in the next Congress. When their respective authors re-filed the cityhood bills in 2006 during the 13th Congress, the bills had to start from square one again, going through the legislative mill just like bills taken up for the first time, from the filing to the approval. The deliberations during the 11th Congress on the unapproved cityhood bills, as well as the deliberations during the 12th and 13th Congresses on the unapproved resolution exempting from RA 9009 certain municipalities, have no legal significance. They do not qualify as extrinsic aids in construing laws passed by subsequent Congresses.

17. Narciso vs Mendez EO 353 creating the municipal district of San Andres was issued on 20 August 1959 but it was only after almost thirty (30) years, or on 05 June 1989, that the municipality of San Narciso finally decided to challenge the legality of the executive order. In the meantime, the Municipal district, and later the Municipality of San Andres, began and continued to exercise the powers and authority of a duly created LGU. Granting that EO 353 was a complete nullity for being the result of an unconstitutional delegation of legislative power, the peculiar circumstances obtaining in this case hardly could offer a choice other than to consider the Municipality of San Andres to have at least attained a status uniquely of its own closely approximating, if not in fact attaining, that of a de facto municipal corporation. Conventional wisdom cannot allow it to be otherwise. Created in 1959 by virtue of EO 353, the Municipality of San Andres had been in existence for more than six years when, on 24 December 1965, Pelaez vs. Auditor General was promulgated. The ruling could have sounded the call for a similar declaration of the unconstitutionality of EO 353 but it was not to be the case. On the contrary, certain governmental acts all pointed to the State's recognition of the continued existence of the Municipality of San Andres: 1. EO 174 classified the Municipality of San Andres as a fifth class municipality after having surpassed the income requirement. 2. Under AO 33, the Municipality of San Andres had been covered by the 10th Municipal Circuit Court of San Francisco-San Andres for the province of Quezon. 3. Under the Ordinance (adopted on 15 October 1986) apportioning the seats of the House of Representatives, appended to the 1987 Constitution, the Municipality of San Andres has been considered to be one of the twelve (12) municipalities composing the Third District of the province of Quezon. 4. Section 442 (d) of the LGC to the effect that municipal districts "organized pursuant to presidential issuances or executive orders and which have their respective sets of elective municipal officials holding office at the time of the effectivity of (the) Code shall henceforth be considered as regular municipalities." No pretension of unconstitutionality per se of Section 442 (d) of the LGC is proffered. It is doubtful whether such a pretext, even if made, would succeed. The power to create political subdivisions is a function of the legislature. Congress did just that when it has incorporated Section 442 (d) in the Code. Curative laws, which in essence are retrospective, and aimed at giving "validity to acts done that would have been invalid under existing laws, as if existing laws have been complied with," are validly accepted in this jurisdiction, subject to

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the usual qualification against impairment of vested rights. All considered, the de jure status of the Municipality of San Andres in the province of Quezon must now be conceded. Alicia's situation in the instant case is strikingly similar to that of the municipality of San Andres. Alicia was created by virtue of EO 265 in 1949, or ten years ahead of the municipality of San Andres, and therefore had been in existence for all of sixteen years when Pelaez vs. Auditor General was promulgated. And various governmental acts throughout the years all indicate the State's recognition and acknowledgment of the existence thereof. For instance, under AO 33 above-mentioned, the Municipality of Alicia was covered by the 7th Municipal Circuit Court of Alicia-Mabini for the province of Bohol. Likewise, under the Ordinance appended to the 1987 Constitution, the Municipality of Alicia is one of twenty municipalities comprising the Third District of Bohol. Inasmuch as respondent municipality of Alicia is similarly situated as the municipality of San Andres, it should likewise benefit from the effects of Sec 442 (d) of the LGC, and should henceforth be considered as a regular, de jure municipality. 18. Candijay vs CA FACTS: The Municipality of Candijay claimed that the barrio of Pagahat is within its territorial jurisdiction and that it is not a part of the Municipality of Alicia. The trial court ruled for Candijay but this was reversed by the CA. The CA found that the plans submitted by the two municipalities are inadequate insofar as identifying the monuments of the boundary line between the petitioner and the Muncipality of Mabini. The CA ruled that in cases of equiponderance of evidence, the courts must find for the defendant. The petitioner raised the ff issues before the SC: 1. The CA improperly applied the rule on equiponderance of evidence; 2. The respondent municipality does not have a juridical personality since it was created under a void executive order; and 3. the challenged decision throws them back again to their controversy. ISSUE: WON a municipality, created under a void executive order, can be considered as not having a juridical personality in light of the passage of the Local Government Code of 1991. NO. RATIO: The petitioner commenced its collateral attack on the juridical personality of the respondent on 19 January 1984 (35 yrs after its creation

in 1949) during the proceedings in this case. After presentation of evidence, Candijay asked the trial court to bar the respondent from presenting evidence on the ground that it had no juridical personality. Candijay argued that EO 265 issued by Pres. Quirino is null and void ab initio since Sec. 68 of the RAC constituted an undue delegation of legislative power to the Prez. The Municipality of Alicia was created by EO 265, or ten years ahead of the Municipality of San Andres, and had been in existence for 16 years when Pelaez was promulgated. Various governmental acts through the years all indicate the States recognition and acknowledgement of its existence. Alicia must benefit from the effects of Sec. 422 (d) of the LGC and should be considered a regular, de jure municipality. According to Sec. 442 (d) of the LGC, municipal districts organized pursuant to presidential issuances or executive orders and which have their respective sets of elective municipal officials holding office at the time of the effectivity of the Code shall henceforth be considered as regular municipalities. Curative laws, which in essence are retrospective, and aimed at giving validity to acts done that would have been invalid under existing laws, as if existing laws have been complied with, are validly accepted in this jurisdiction, subject to the usual qualification against impairment of vested rights. 19. Camarines Norte vs Quezon G.R. No. 80796 November 8, 1989 PROVINCE OF CAMARINES NORTE, Represented by HONORABLE ROY PADILLA, as Acting Provincial Governor, petitioner, vs. PROVINCE OF QUEZON, Represented by HONORABLE HJALMAR QUINTANA, as Acting Provincial Governor, respondent. FELICIANO, J.: The instant Petition for mandamus and Prohibition with Preliminary Injunction or Restraining Order brought by petitioner Province of Camarines Norte against respondent Province of Quezon, formerly known as Province of Tayabas, involves a land boundary dispute, which has raged between these two (2) provinces since the second decade of this century. Historical records disclose that the Camarines region in the Island of Luzon had been divided originally into the two (2) separate provinces of Camarines Norte and Camarines Sur, which division was maintained until 19 May 1893, when the two (2) provinces were consolidated by the Spanish colonial administration to constitute a single entity, the Province of Ambos Camarines.

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Adjacent to Camarines Norte in the northeast (i.e., the northern portion of Ambos Camarines), upon the other hand, lay the Province of Tayabas. At the time of arrival of the United States flag in the Philippines, there was thus existing the Province of Ambos Camarines. The boundary between Ambos Camarines and Tayabas was defined and written into law in 1916, by Section 47 of Act No. 2657 (the Administrative Code). Although Act No. 2657 was repealed the following year by Act No. 2711 (the Revised Administrative Code), 1 the provisions pertaining to said boundary remained unaltered. In this respect, Act No. 2711 provided: Chapter 3. BOUNDARIES DEFINED Article I. Undefined boundaries Sec. 41. Undefined boundaries recognized. Boundaries which are not defined in the next succeeding article of this chapter shall, until expressly changed by law or executive order, be taken to be as heretofore determined by decree, statute, executive order, or other resolution having the force of law, and in the absence of such, by custom recognized by the administrative authorities. Article II. Defined boundaries Sec. 42. Ambos Camarines and Tayabas boundary. The boundary separating the Province of Ambos Camarines from the Province of Tayabas begins at a point on the eastern shore of Basiad Bay and extends to a peak known as Mount Cadig in such manner as to bring the territory of the barrio of Basiad entirely within the municipality of Capalonga, in Ambos Camarines, and to exclude the same from the territory of Calauag, in Tayabas. From Mount Cadig it extends along the crest of a mountain range, a distance of 50 kilometers, more or less, to a peak known as Mount Labo; thence in a southwesterly direction, a distance of 25 kilometers, more or less, to a prominent stone monument at the source or headwaters of the Pasay River, thence along the meandering course of said river in a southerly direction, a distance of 1-1/2 kilometers, more or less, to the Gulf of Ragay. (Emphasis supplied) Section 68 of the same Act also authorized the Governor-General of the Philippine Islands, among others, "to define the boundary, or boundaries, of any province, sub-province, municipality, township or other political subdivision, and increase or diminish the territory comprised therein," subject to what "the public welfare may require." As amended by Act No. 2929, which took effect on 30 March 1920, Section 68 provided, in full: Sec. 68. General authority of Governor-General to fix boundaries and make new subdivisions. The Governor-General may by executive order define the boundary or boundaries, of any province, subprovince municipality, township, of other political subdivision, and increase or diminish the territory comprised therein, may divide any province into one or more sub-provinces, separate any political division other than a province, into such portions as may be required, merge any of such subdivisions or portions with another, name any new subdivision so created, and may change the seat of Government within any subdivision to such place therein as the public welfare may require: Provided, That the authorization of the Philippine Legislature shall first be obtained

whenever the boundary of any province or subprovince is to be defined or or any provinces is to be divided into one or more subprovinces. When any action by the Governor- General in accordance herewith makes necessary a change of the territory under the jurisdiction of any administrative officer or any judicial officer, the Governor-General, with the recommendation and advice of the head of the Department having executive control of such officer, shall redistrict the territory of the several officers affected and assign such officers to the new districts so formed. Upon the changing of the limits of political divisions in pursuance of the foregoing authority, an equitable distribution of the funds and obligations of the divisions thereby affected shall be made in such manner as may be recommended by the Insular Auditor and approved by the Governor-General. (Emphasis supplied) In the meantime, on 3 March 1919, the Philippine Legislature approved Act No. 2809, which authorized once again the partition of Ambos Camarines into two (2) separate provinces: the Province of Camarines Norte and the Province of Camarines Sur. The pertinent provisions of Act No. 2809 read: Section 1. The Governor-General is hereby authorized whenever the public interest may require it, and subject to such conditions as he may desire to impose, to re-establish as an independent province the former Province of Camarines Norte, consolidated with the Province of Camarines Sur. Sec. 2. The Province of Camarines Norte so reestablished shall have the same territory as before its consolidation with Camarines Sur the organization of the present Province of Ambos Camarines and its capital shall be the municipality of Daet, on the Island of Luzon. The provisions of the Administrative Code in so far as they are applicable to a regularly organized province shall apply to the government and operation of said province and to the election and appointment of the officers thereof. The remaining territory of the Province of Ambos Camarines shall be denominated the Province of Camarines Sur. (Emphasis supplied) On 30 March 1920, Governor-General Francis Burton Harrison issued Executive Order No. 22, implementing Act No. 2809 and formally reestablishing Camarines Norte as a province separate and distinct from Camarines Sur, effective 15 April 1920. 2 It is not clear from the records before the Court exactly how and when the present boundary dispute-involving a land area of approximately 8,762 hectares-between Camarines Norte and Tayabas first emerged. The dispute probably evolved when Section 47 of the Administrative Code of 1916 and later Section 42 of the Revised Administrative Code of (1917) were enacted. In any event, the then Chief of the Executive Bureau, acting upon the authority of the Secretary of the Interior, rendered on 16 June 1922 a decision (First Indorsement) delineating that portion of the boundary between the provinces of Camarines Norte and Tayabas which is here involved. 3 That part of the boundary line was described in the following terms:

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Starting from the peak of Mt. Labo as a common corner between the provinces of Tayabas, Camarines Sur and Camarines Norte thence a straight line is drawn to the peak of Mt. Cadig; thence a straight line is drawn to the point of intersection of the inter-provincial road between Camarines Norte and Tayabas with the Tabugon River; thence, following the course of the river to its mouth at the to Basiad Bay. 4 To date, however, the aforementioned decision of 16 June 1922 has remained unimplemented and unenforced, despite several official directives from the then Secretary of the Interior and repeated efforts on the part of petitioner Camarines Norte, over the years, to enforce the same. All efforts at amicable resolution of the boundary dispute (the last such effort having been made sometime in 1987) have failed. Respondent Province of Quezon (then Tayabas), now as in the past, has simply refused to recognize as valid, and has frustrated all attempts to locate on the ground, survey and monument the segment of the Ambos Camarines [later Camarines Norte]-Tayabas boundary line delineated in the 1922 decision. In the instant Petition for mandamus and Prohibition, petitioner Camarines Norte Province asks the Court, firstly, to order respondent Quezon Province "to respect and abide [by] the decision of the Chief of [the] Executive Bureau dated June 16, 1922 and immediately comply therewith by yielding the whole territory described and defined therein to the petitioner;" secondly, to prohibit respondent Quezon Province from exercising power and authority over the area [so] embraced in the territory of petitioner; "and thirdly, to restrain respondent Province "from collecting all kinds of taxes from the inhabitants of [the territory of petitioner.]" The Court gave due course to the Petition on 30 June 1988 and required the filing of memoranda by the parties. 5Petitioner filed its Memorandum 6 on 2 September 1988. For its part, respondent Quezon Province moved that the Solicitor General's Comment 7 on and Rejoinder 8 to the Petition and Reply, respectively, be considered as its Memorandum. We granted the respondent's request. 9 The opposition of respondent Quezon Province to the, boundary line claimed and sought to be enforced here by petitioner Camarines Norte Province is, in the main, anchored on two (2) arguments. First, it is contended by Quezon Province that the boundary separating the old Province of Ambos Camarines from Quezon Province had already been established and defined in Section 42 of the Revised Administrative Code. Second, Quezon Province argues that the Chief of the Executive Bureau had no authority to alter or re-define that statutorily-defined boundary through his decision of 16 June 1922. Two (2) issues are thus posed for reconsideration and resolution by the court. The first issues relates to the character of the boundary between Ambos Camarines and Quezon province as set out in Section 42 of the revised Administrative code. Was that boundary already "defined" and, therefore, in no need of further definition? The second issue relates to the action of the Chief of the Executive Bureau: Was there legal authority for the 16 June 1922 decision of the Chief Executive Bureau? The

two (2) issues are, of course related to one to the other. Should the entirety of the boundary line between Ambos Camarines and Quezon province be regarded as already "defined" by Section 42, then any "alteration" or "re-definition" by the Executive Department would, under Section 68 of the Revised Administrative Code, require the prior authorization of the then Philippine Legislature and a third issue would arise: Was such prior legislative authorization given? 1. Turning to the first issue, we note that Section 42 does set out a definition or description of the boundary line between Ambos Camarines and Quezon province. We note, however, that Section 42 does not describe or define the entirety of that line is such a manner as to permit the whole boundary line to be located on the ground by a surveyor. Close examination os Section 42 will show that is not the whole boundary line that is disputed but only a segment thereof. the boundary line from the peak of Mt. Cadig eastward to the peak of Mt. Labo and from there to a stone monument at the head-waters of the Pasay River and thence along the course of that river to the gulf of Ragay, is described in terms which are sufficiently precise to permit a surveyor to locate that boundary line on the surface of the earth. it is the western portion of the boundary line from the peak of mt. Cadig westward to a point on the eastern shore of Basiad Bay which is the subject of the boundary dispute. It is pointed out by petitioner Camarines Norte, firstly, that the particular point on Basiad bay that is the terminus of the boundary line is not specificaly Identified in Section 42, considering that the eastern shore of Basiad Bay is 25 kilometersd in length, more or less, such that that terminal point could in theory be located anywhere along the 25-kilometer shore line. Secondly, the specific direction or directions and the varying lengths (the "metes and bounds") of the various segments of the boundary line to be projected from the terminus point on Basiad Bay onto Mt. Cadig's peak, are similarly not specified in Section 42, Thus, again, a surveyor on the ground would be unable to locate and monument the boundary line from Basiad Bay to Mt. Cadig if all he had was the languange found in Section 42 of the Revised Administrative Code. We agree with petitioner Camarines Norte's argument. We consider that to that limited extent, the Ambos Camarines-Quezon boundary line was "undefined" and that there was thus necessity for the 16 June 1922 decision of the Chief of the Executive Bureau to provide more specific guidance that would permit actual Identification or location of the Basiad Bay-Mt. Cadig portion of the boundary line between Ambos Camarines and Quezon Province: [from the peak of Mt. Cadig] thence a straight line is drawn to the point of intersection of the inter provincial road between Camarines Norte and Tayabas with the Tabugon River, thence following the course of the river to its mouth at the Basiad Bay. (Emphasis supplied) 10 2. We consider next the second issue relating to the authority of the Chief of the Executive Bureau to render his decision. It is important to stress that the Chief of the Executive Bureau, in rendering

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that decision, did not, as he could not, purport to act with unlimited discretion. For Section 42 itself established certain requirements which the disputed portion of the Ambos Camarines Tayabas boundary line must satisfy; 1 the western) terminus point must be on the eastern shore line of Basiad Bay; and 2 the line to be projected from that terminus point must proceed (eastward) to the peak of Mt. Cadig in such a manner as to bring the territory of the barrio of Basiad entirely within the municipality. of Capalonga in Ambos Camarines, and to exclude the same from the territory of the Municipality of Calauag in Tayabas. It is not disputed by respondent Quezon Province that the line delineated by the Chief of the Executive Bureau in his decision in fact complied with both the above general directions or descriptions prescribed in Section 42. The Chief of the Executive Bureau did not, therefore, "alter" or "re-define" or "amend an existing provincial boundary.." the boundary line between Ambos Camarines and Tayabas. All that the Chief of the Executive Bureau did was toimplement upon the authority of the Secretary of Interior, Section 42 of Act No. 2711. He was, in addition, acting in accordance with the provisions of Act No. 2809, enacted on 3 March 1919, Section 2 of which (quoted supra) provided that petitioner Camarines Norte, upon its reestablishment as a distinct and separate province, "shall have the same territory as before its consolidation with Camarines Sur for the organization of the present Ambos Camarines in a letter dated 5 May 1960 to the Provincial Boards of Camarines Norte and Quezon Province, 11 former Assistant Executive Secretary Enrique C. Quema stated, among other things that the Basiad Bay Mt. Cadig segment of the Camarines Norte Quezon boundary line so spelled out under the 1922 decision of the Chief of the Executive Bureau, "according to the Bureau of Coast and Geodetic Survey, was the same boundary enforced between Camarines Norte and Tayabas when the former province was consolidated with Camarines Sur on May 19, 1893." 12 The Court notes that respondent Quezon Province has not controverted the correctness of this statement of Assistant Executive Secretary Quema. The Court notes also that, so far as the records before us show, respondent Quezon Province has not attempted to indicate any other"surveyable" line between Basiad Bay and Mt. Cadig which, like that marked out in the 16 June 1922 decision, complies with both the requirements established in Section 42 of Act No. 2711 and the requirement prescribed in Section 2 of Act No. 2809. Should it be assumed, finally, that prior legislative authority was nonetheless necessary for the legal effectivity and enforceability of the 16 June 1922 decision of the Chief of the executive Bureau, we believe and so hold that that prior legislative authority was supplied by Act No. 2809. The spelling out of a "survey-able" and "monumentable" Basiad Bay-Mt. Cadig segment of the Ambos Camarines-Tayabas boundary line, was necessary and incidental to the authority of the Governor-General to re-establish as an independent province the former Province of Camarines Norte and to ensure that it would have

the same territory which it had prior to its consolidation into the then Province of Ambos Camarines. In sum, we hold that the decision of the Chief of the Executive Bureau dated 16 June 1922 was lawfully issued and is binding upon the parties. We hold further that prohibition and mandamus will lie for the enforcement of that decision, an enforcement unjustifiably resisted and delayed for sixty-seven (67) years. WHEREFORE, the Petition for Mandamus and Prohibition is hereby GRANTED Respondent Quezon Province is hereby ORDERED immediately to cease and desist, and perpetually to refrain, from exercising or performing any and all acts of jurisdiction or political authority over all or any part of the area here held to be part of the territory of the Province of Camarines Norte and forthwith to relinquish the same to petitioner Province of Camarines Norte. Let a copy of this decision be furnished to the Secretary of Local Governments and the Office of the President with the request that surveyors from the Bureau of Lands or other appropriate government agency be forthwith designated to survey and locate, by latitude and longtitude and by metes and bounds, and to monument the Basiad Bay Mt. Cadig line described in the 16 June 1922 decision of the Chief of the Executive Bureau. Costs against respondent. SO ORDERED. 20. Malabang vs Benito FACTS: Petitioner Balindong (municipal mayor of Malabang, Lanao del Sur), Respondents (Mayor Benito and councilors of Municipality of Balabagan of the same province). Balabagan, (formerly part of Malabang) was created on March 15, 1960, by Executive Order 386 of the then President Carlos P. Garcia, out of barrios and sitios of the Malabang. Citing Pelaez ruling (that Republic Act 2370 [Barrio Charter Act, approved January 1, 1960], vested power to create barrios in the provincial board, and Section 68 of the Administrative Code, insofar as it gives the President the power to create municipalities, is unconstitutional (a) because it constitutes an undue delegation of legislative power and (b) because it offends against Section 10 (1) of Article VII of the Constitution, which limits the President's power over local governments to mere supervision), Petitioner sought to nullify E.O. 386 and restrain respondents from performing their official functions. Respondents argued that Pelaez ruling did not apply because, unlike the municipalities involved therein, the municipality of Balabagan is at least a de facto corporation, having been organized under color of a statute before this was declared unconstitutional (by Pelaez ruling), its officers having been either elected or appointed, and the municipality itself having discharged its corporate functions for the past five years preceding the institution of this action. That as a de facto corporation, its existence cannot be collaterally attacked, although it may be inquired into directly in an action for quo warranto at the instance of the State and not of an individual like the petitioner Balindong. DECISION: Petition granted, Executive Order 386 declared void. Generally, the inquiry into the legal

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existence of a municipality is reserved to the State in a proceeding for quo warranto or other direct proceeding, and that only in a few exceptions may a private person exercise this function of government. But the rule disallowing collateral attacks applies only where the municipal corporation is at least a de facto corporation. For where it is neither a corporation de jure nor de facto, but a nullity, the rule is that its existence may be questioned collaterally or directly in any action or proceeding by any one whose rights or interests are affected thereby, including the citizens of the territory incorporated unless they are estopped by their conduct from doing so. A de facto municipal corporation is recognized as such despite the fact that the statute creating it was later invalidated, rests upon the consideration that there was some other valid law giving corporate validity to the organization. Hence, in the case at bar, the mere fact that Balabagan was organized at a time when the statute had not been invalidated cannot conceivably make it a de facto corporation, as, independently of Section 68 of the Administrative Code, there is no other valid statute to give color of authority to its creation. Thus, Executive Order 386 creating the municipality in question is a nullity pursuant to the ruling in Pelaez ruling. This is not to say, however, that the acts done by the municipality of Balabagan in the exercise of its corporate powers are a nullity because the executive order "is, in legal contemplation, as inoperative as though it had never been passed." Note, the existence of Executive Order 386 is "an operative fact which cannot justly be ignored." The actual existence of a statute, prior to such a determination, in an operative fact and may have consequences which cannot justly be ignored. The past cannot always be erased by a new judicial declaration. The effect of the subsequent ruling as to invalidity may have to be considered in various aspects with respect to particular relations, individual and corporate, and particular conduct, private and official.

For the foregoing considerations, this Court is not inclined to approve and grant the motion to dismiss[,] although the municipality has all the right to bring the matter or issue to the Supreme Court by way of certiorari purely on question of law.[3] The Facts A boundary dispute arose between the Municipality of Kananga and the City of Ormoc. By agreement, the parties submitted the issue to amicable settlement by a joint session of the Sangguniang Panlungsod of Ormoc City and the Sangguniang Bayan of Kananga on October 31, 1997. No amicable settlement was reached. Instead, the members of the joint session issued Resolution No. 97-01, which in part reads: x x x IT IS HEREBY RESOLVED x x x to pass a resolution certifying that both the Sangguniang Panlungsod of Ormoc City and the Sangguniang Bayan of Kananga, Leyte have failed to settle amicably their boundary dispute and have agreed to elevate the same to the proper court for settlement by any of the interested party (sic).[4] To settle the boundary dispute, the City of Ormoc filed before the RTC of Ormoc City (Branch 35) on September 2, 1999, a Complaint docketed as Civil Case No. 3722-O. On September 24, 1999, petitioner filed a Motion to Dismiss on the following grounds: (1) That the Honorable Court has no jurisdiction over the subject matter of the claim; (2) That there is no cause of action; and (3) That a condition precedent for filing the complaint has not been complied with[.][5]

Ruling of the Trial Court In denying the Municipality of Kanangas Motion to Dismiss, the RTC held that it had jurisdiction over the action under Batas Pambansa Blg. 129. It further ruled that Section 118 of the Local Government Code had been substantially complied with, because both parties already had the occasion to meet and thresh out their 21. Kananga vs Ormoc City differences. In fact, both agreed to elevate the [G.R. No. 141375. April 30, 2003] matter to the trial court via Resolution No. 97MUNICIPALITY OF KANANGA, Represented by 01. It also held that Section 118 governed venue; its Mayor, Hon. GIOVANNI M. hence, the parties could waive and agree upon it NAPARI, petitioner, vs. Hon. FORTUNITO L. under Section 4(b) of Rule 4 of the Rules of Court. MADRONA,Presiding Judge, Regional Trial Not satisfied with the denial of its Motion, the Court of Ormoc City (Branch 35); and the Municipality of Kananga filed this Petition.[6] CITY OF ORMOC, Represented by its Mayor, Issue Hon.EUFROCINO M. CODILLA In their respective Memoranda, both parties raise SR., respondents. the lone issue of whether respondent court may DECISION exercise original jurisdiction over the settlement of PANGANIBAN, J.: a boundary dispute between a municipality and an Since there is no legal provision specifically independent component city. governing jurisdiction over boundary disputes The Courts Ruling between a municipality and an independent The Petition has no merit. component city, it follows that regional trial courts Sole Issue: have the power and the authority to hear and Jurisdiction determine such controversy. Jurisdiction is the right to act on a case or the The Case power and the authority to hear and determine a Before us is a Petition for Certiorari[1] under Rule 65 cause.[7] It is a question of law.[8] As consistently of the Rules of Court, seeking to annul the October ruled by this Court, jurisdiction over the subject 29, 1999 Order[2] issued by the Regional Trial Court matter is vested by law.[9] Because it is a matter (RTC) of Ormoc City (Branch 35) in Civil Case No. of substantive law, the established rule is that the 3722-O. The decretal portion of the assailed Order statute in force at the time of the commencement reads as follows: of the action determines the jurisdiction of the court.[10]

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Both parties aver that the governing law at the time of the filing of the Complaint is Section 118 of the 1991 Local Government Code (LGC),[11] which provides: Sec. 118. Jurisdictional Responsibility for Settlement of Boundary Disputes. Boundary disputes between and among local government units shall, as much as possible, be settled amicably. To this end: (a) Boundary disputes involving two (2) or more barangays in the same city or municipality shall be referred for settlement to the sangguniang panlungsod or sangguniang bayanconcerned. (b) Boundary disputes involving two (2) or more municipalities within the same province shall be referred for settlement to the sangguniang panlalawigan concerned. (c) Boundary disputes involving municipalities or component cities of different provinces shall be jointly referred for settlement to the sanggunians of the provinces concerned. (d) Boundary disputes involving a component city or municipality on the one hand and a highly urbanized city on the other, or two (2) or more highly urbanized cities, shall be jointly referred for settlement to the respective sanggunians of the parties. (e) In the event the sanggunian fails to effect an amicable settlement within sixty (60) days from the date the dispute was referred thereto, it shall issue a certification to that effect. Thereafter, the dispute shall be formally tried by the sanggunian concerned which shall decide the issue within sixty (60) days from the date of the certification referred to above. Under this provision, the settlement of a boundary dispute between a component city or a municipality on the one hand and a highly urbanized city on the other -- or between two or more highly urbanized cities -- shall be jointly referred for settlement to the respective sanggunians of the local government units involved. There is no question that Kananga is a municipality constituted under Republic Act No. 542.[12] By virtue of Section 442(d) of the LGC, it continued to exist and operate as such. However, Ormoc is not a highly urbanized, but an independent component, city created under Republic Act No. 179.[13] Section 89 thereof reads: Sec. 89. Election of provincial governor and members of the Provincial Board of the Province of Leyte. The qualified voters of Ormoc City shall not be qualified and entitled to vote in the election of the provincial governor and the members of the provincial board of the Province of Leyte. Under Section 451 of the LGC, a city may be either component or highly urbanized. Ormoc is deemed an independent component city, because its charter prohibits its voters from voting for provincial elective officials. It is a city independent of the province. In fact, it is considered a component, not a highly urbanized, city of Leyte in Region VIII by both Batas Pambansa Blg. 643, [14] which calls for a plebiscite; and the Omnibus Election Code,[15] which apportions representatives to the defunct Batasang Pambansa. There is neither a declaration by the President of the Philippines nor an allegation by the parties that it is highly urbanized. On the contrary, petitioner

asserted in its Motion to Dismiss that Ormoc was an independent chartered city.[16] Section 118 of the LGC applies to a situation in which a component city or a municipality seeks to settle a boundary dispute with a highly urbanized city, not with an independent component city. While Kananga is a municipality, Ormoc is an independent component city. Clearly then, the procedure referred to in Section 118 does not apply to them. Nevertheless, a joint session was indeed held, but no amicable settlement was reached. A resolution to that effect was issued, and the sanggunians of both local government units mutually agreed to bring the dispute to the RTC for adjudication. The question now is: Does the regional trial court have jurisdiction over the subject matter of the claim? We rule in the affirmative. As previously stated, jurisdiction is vested by law and cannot be conferred or waived by the parties.[17] It must exist as a matter of law and cannot be conferred by the consent of the parties or by estoppel.[18] It should not be confused with venue. Inasmuch as Section 118 of the LGC finds no application to the instant case, the general rules governing jurisdiction should then be used. The applicable provision is found in Batas Pambansa Blg. 129,[19] otherwise known as the Judiciary Reorganization Act of 1980, as amended by Republic Act No. 7691.[20] Section 19(6) of this law provides: Sec. 19. Jurisdiction in civil cases. Regional Trial Courts shall exercise exclusive original jurisdiction: xxx xx x xxx (6) In all cases not within the exclusive jurisdiction of any court, tribunal, person or body exercising judicial or quasi-judicial functions[.] Since there is no law providing for the exclusive jurisdiction of any court or agency over the settlement of boundary disputes between a municipality and an independent component city of the same province, respondent court committed no grave abuse of discretion in denying the Motion to Dismiss. RTCs have general jurisdiction to adjudicate all controversies except those expressly withheld from their plenary powers.[21] They have the power not only to take judicial cognizance of a case instituted for judicial action for the first time, but also to do so to the exclusion of all other courts at that stage. Indeed, the power is not only original, but also exclusive. In Mariano Jr. v. Commission on Elections,[22] we held that boundary disputes should be resolved with fairness and certainty. We ruled as follows: The importance of drawing with precise strokes the territorial boundaries of a local unit of government cannot be overemphasized. The boundaries must be clear for they define the limits of the territorial jurisdiction of a local government unit. It can legitimately exercise powers of government only within the limits of its territorial jurisdiction. Beyond these limits, its acts are ultra vires. Needless to state, any uncertainty in the boundaries of local government units will sow costly conflicts in the exercise of governmental powers which ultimately will prejudice the peoples welfare. x x x.

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Indeed, unresolved boundary disputes have sown costly conflicts in the exercise of governmental powers and prejudiced the peoples welfare. Precisely because of these disputes, the Philippine National Oil Company has withheld the share in the proceeds from the development and the utilization of natural wealth, as provided for in Section 289 of the LGC.[23] WHEREFORE, the Petition is DENIED and the challenged Order AFFIRMED. No pronouncement as to costs. SO ORDERED. 22. Sema vs COMELEC Sema v. COMELEC (G.R. No. 177597, 2008) is a court case that was heard before the Supreme Court of the Philippines. It was consolidated with Marquez v. Comelec (G.R. No. 178628, 2008). It held that the Regional Assembly of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao does not have the power to create provinces and cities. Thus, the creation of the province of Shariff Kabunsuan was unconstitutional and that province no longer exists as a political entity in the Philippines.[1] The cases These consolidated certiorari, prohibition, mandamus and declaratory relief petitions sought the annulment of Commission on Elections "Resolution No. 7902" (10 May 2007), treatingCotabato City as part of the legislative district of Shariff Kabunsuan. In G.R. No. 177597, Bai Sandra S. A. Sema (Sema), asked the COMELEC "to exclude from the canvassing the votes cast in Cotabato City for representative of the legislative district in question in the Philippine general election, 2007." In G.R. No. 178628, Perfecto Marquez, asked the Court "to order the COMELEC to conduct a special election for representative of the First District of Maguindanao with Cotabato City.

clarify the status of Cotabato City in view of the conversion of the First District of Maguindanao into a regular province under MMA Act 201. The COMELEC issued Resolution No. 07-0407 on 6 March 2007 "maintaining the status quo with Cotabato City as part of Shariff Kabunsuan in the First Legislative District of Maguindanao. Resolution No. 07-0407, adopted the COMELECs Law Department recommendation under a Memorandum dated 27 February 2007. The COMELEC issued on 29 March 2007 Resolution No. 7845 stating that Maguindanaos first legislative district is composed only of Cotabato City because of the enactment of MMA Act 201. On 10 May 2007, the COMELEC issued Resolution No. 7902 (subject of these cases), amending Resolution No. 07-0407 by renaming the legislative district in question as Shariff Kabunsuan Province with Cotabato City (formerly First District of Maguindanao with Cotabato City). Meanwhile, the Shariff Kabunsuan creation plebiscite was supervised and officiated by the COMELEC pursuant to Resolution No. 7727. Option Votes In favor for creation 285,3 72

Against the 8,802 creation The following municipalities seceded from Maguindanao and formed the new province. All of them were from the first legislative district of Maguindanao. Barira Northern Kabuntalan Buldon Parang Datu Blah T. Sinsuat Sultan Kudarat Datu Odin Sinsuat Sultan Mastura Kabuntalan Upi Matanog Kabuntalan was chosen as the capital of the new Facts: he Ordinance appended to the 1987 Constitution of province. The province was the first to be created under Republic Act No. 9054 or the Expanded the Philippines apportioned 2 legislative districts ARMM law. for Maguindanao. The first consists ofCotabato City and 8 municipalities. Maguindanao forms part Sandra Sema questioned COMELEC Resolution 7902 which combined Shariff Kabunsuan and of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Cotabato City into a single legislative district Mindanao (ARMM), created under itsOrganic Act, during the Philippine general election, 2007. Sema Republic Act No. 6734 (RA 6734), as amended by Republic Act No. 9054 (RA 9054). Cotabato City, as lost to incumbent Congress representative of the Shariff Kabunsuan and Cotabato district, Didagen part of Maguindanaos first legislative district, is Dilangalen.[2] not part of the ARMM but of Region XII (having [edit]Issues voted against its inclusion in November The Court was asked to rule on "whether Section 1989 plebiscite). 19, Article VI of RA 9054, delegating to the ARMM On 28 August 2006, the ARMMs legislature, the Regional Assembly the power to create provinces, ARMM Regional Assembly, exercising its power to create provinces under Section 19, Article VI of RA cities, municipalities and barangays, is 9054, enacted Muslim Mindanao Autonomy Act No. constitutional; and if in the affirmative, whether a 201 (MMA Act 201) creating the Province of Shariff province created by the ARMM Regional Assembly Kabunsuancomposed of the 8 municipalities in the under MMA Act 201 pursuant to Section 19, Article VI of RA 9054 is entitled to one representative in first district of Maguindanao. the House of Representatives without need of a Later, 2 new municipalities were carved out of the original 9, constituting Shariff Kabunsuan, resulting national law creating a legislative district for such province." to total of 11. Cotabato City is not part of Further, the High Tribunal had to render judgment Maguindanao. Maguindanao voters ratified Shariff on "whether COMELEC Resolution No. 7902 is valid Kabunsuans creation in 29 October 2006 for maintaining the status quo in the first plebiscite. legislative district of Maguindanao (as Shariff On 6 February 2007, Cotabato City passed Board Kabunsuan Province with Cotabato City [formerly Resolution No. 3999, requesting the COMELEC to

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First District of Maguindanao with Cotabato City]), despite the creation of the Province of Shariff Kabunsuan out of such district (excluding Cotabato City)." [edit]Conclusion On July 16, 2008 the Supreme Court of the Philippines's 33-page judgment (8-6) penned by Antonio Carpio annulled "Muslim Mindanao Autonomy Act 201", which created Shariff Kabunsuan (carved out of Maguindanao, Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao). Justice Antonio Carpio opined: "We rule that (1) Section 19, Article VI of RA 9054 is unconstitutional insofar as it grants to the ARMM Regional Assembly the power to create provinces and cities; (2) MMA Act 201 creating the Province of Shariff Kabunsuan is void; and (3) COMELEC Resolution No. 7902 is valid." Carpio stressed that only Congress can create provinces and cities because the creation of provinces and cities necessarily includes the creation of legislative districts. Creation of province or a city inherently involves the power to create a legislative district. The Constitution mandates that a province or a city with at least 250,000 inhabitants is entitled to at least one representative." The Court also declared unconstitutional the RLAs power to create provinces and cities in the region but it did not pass upon the constitutionality of the creation of new municipalities and barangays. Under Republic Act No. 9140 or the Expanded ARMM Law, the RLA has the power to create new LGUs and to set its own criteria in creating, dividing, merging, or abolishing LGUs.[3] Carpio further ruled that "in the present 14th Congress, there are 219 district representatives out of the maximum 250 seats in the House of Representatives. Since party-list members shall constitute 20 percent of total membership of the House, there should at least be 50 party-list seats available in every election in case 50 party-list candidates are proclaimed winners. This leaves only 200 seats for district representatives, much less than the 219 incumbent district representatives. Thus, there is a need now for Congress to increase by law the allowable membership of the House, even before Congress can create new provinces." [edit]Summary Carpio tersely put the judgment in this manner: "In summary, we rule that Section 19, Article VI of RA 9054, insofar as it grants to the ARMM Regional Assembly the power to create provinces and cities, is void for being contrary to Section 5 of Article VI and Section 20 of Article X of the Constitution, as well as Section 3 of the Ordinance appended to the Constitution. Only Congress can create provinces and cities because the creation of provinces and cities necessarily includes the creation of legislative districts, a power only Congress can exercise under Section 5, Article VI of the Constitution and Section 3 of the Ordinance appended to the Constitution. The ARMM Regional Assembly cannot create a province without a legislative district because the Constitution mandates that every province shall have a legislative district. Moreover, the ARMM Regional Assembly cannot enact a law creating a national office like the office of a district representative of

Congress because the legislative powers of the ARMM Regional Assembly operate only within its territorial jurisdiction as provided in Section 20, Article X of the Constitution. Thus, we rule that MMA Act 201, enacted by the ARMM Regional Assembly and creating the Province of Shariff Kabunsuan, is void. Consequently, we hold that COMELEC Resolution No. 7902, preserving the geographic and legislative district of the First District of Maguindanao with Cotabato City, is valid as it merely complies with Section 5 of Article VI and Section 20 of Article X of the Constitution, as well as Section 1 of the Ordinance appended to the Constitution." [edit]Aftermath The landmark ruling resulted in the Philippines' reverting back to 80 provinces. The ruling also nullified the elections of the governor, vice governor and provincial board of Shariff Kabunsuan and the entire provincial bureaucracy is deemed scrapped as Shariff Kabunsuan reverts back as integral part of Maguindanao.[4] Uncertainty loomed about the legal fate of local elected provincial officials in Shariff Kabunsuan. Among the proclaimed winners in the 2007 local election are 2 board members and the vice governor. Former Sultan Kudarat mayor and 2007 Shariff Kabunsuan gubernatorial candidate Tucao Mastura said: "What will happen to the elected governor, vice governor, and board members? We cannot afford to be under a governor not elected by the people of Shariff Kabunsuan." Rep. Didagen Dilangalen of Shariff Kabunsuan, meanwhile, said "there is a need to declare vacant the position of governor, vice-governor, and board members in new Maguindanao province. There is no election held for the purpose of electing officials in the undivided Maguindanao. The election held there (Maguindanao) is an exercise in futility." Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) leaders on July 16, 2008 warned that the Court ruling would cause leadership problem and unemployment in the province, for it will cause some of the elected officials and government employees in Shariff Kabunsuan to lose their jobs. Sema v. Comelec reduced the number of provinces in ARMM to 5. ARMM is composed of Maguindanao, Tawi-Tawi, Sulu, Lanao del Sur, Basilan (excluding Isabela City) and the city of Marawi. Maguindanao Gov. Andal Ampatuan, however, would welcome the judgment, for it reverted to the old province 2 crucial sources of income covered by Shariff Kabunsuan: the Parang seaport and Awang Airport in Datu Odin Sinsuat. Shariff Kabunsuan Vice Governor Ibrahim Ibay said that "among those severely affected by the decision are the more than 400 government employees in his province, half of which used to work in the old Maguindanao provincial government. What will happen to them? We dreamed for a separate province and now it is voided." The ruling may also affect the conduct of August automated election in the region, since Shariff Kabunsuan and Maguindanao are expected to use different kinds of machine for the elections. Maguindanao will use a direct recording electronic technology that uses a touch-screen technology for voting, while Shariff Kabunsuan, along with other

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ARMM provinces, will use optical mark reader technology, which will require voters to use a paper-based ballot to be fed to a machine.[5]

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