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b. 1 Lopez, Jr. v.


Facts: Mel Lopez, et. Al. questioned the validity of P, D. 824 which provides for the creation of
Metro Manila Commission which shall hold sway over 4 cities (Manila, Quezon, Caloocan, and Pasay)
and 13 municipalities. P.D. He says it runs counter to Art. 11, Sec. 3 of the 1973 Constitution which states
that: “No province, city, municipality or barrio may be created, divided, abolished, merged or its
boundaries substantially altered, except in accordance with the criteria established in the Local
Government Code and subject to the approval of the majority of votes cast in a plebiscite in the unit or
units affected.” No plebiscite was conducted to vote for the creation of Metro Manila. He also claims the
P.D. is a denial of the equal protection clause as other cities and municipalities were not similarly
organized into such. Also the President cannot exercise direct supervision and control over the
Metropolitan Manila Commission as it runs counter to the autonomy of local governments.

Held: Mel Lopez is incorrect. Reasons:

1. Although a plebiscite was not conducted, a referendum was held Feb. 27, 1975 wherein the
residents of the Greater Manila area authorized the President to reorganize the cities and municipalities
under the Metro Manila Commission. The requirements for a plebiscite were therefore deemed satisfied.
Besides, at the time of the referendum, there was no Local Government Code in existence then which
provided the need for a plebiscite. By virtue of martial law and the absence of an interim Batasang
Pambansa at that time, the President had authority to enact said P.D.
2. There is reasonable classification in organizing said 4 cities and 13 municipalities into a
metropolitan area
3. Article 8, Sec. 2 of the 1973 Constitution expressly recognizes the juridical entity known as
Metropolitan Manila
4. There is presumption of constitutionality in the President’s power of direct supervision and control
over the Metropolitan Manila Commission. The presidential power of control can and should be
constructed to mean that said control is limited to those that may be considered national in character.