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Pelaez vs.

Auditor General Facts: From September 4, 1964 to October 29, 1964 the President of the Philippines issued executive orders to create thirtythree municipalities pursuant to Section 69 of the Revised Administrative Code. Public funds thereby stood to be disbursed in the implementation of said executive orders. Suing as a private citizen and taxpayer, Vice President Emmanuel Pelaez filed a petition for prohibition with preliminary injunction against the Auditor General. It seeks to restrain from the respondent or any person acting in his behalf, from passing in audit any expenditure of public funds in implementation of the executive orders aforementioned. Issue: WON the executive orders are null and void, upon the ground that the President does not have the authority to create municipalities as this power has been vested in the legislative department. Held/Ratio:

provided by law, and take care that the laws be faithfully executed. The power of control under this provision implies the right of the President to interfere in the exercise of such discretion as may be vested by law in the officers of the executive departments, bureaus, or offices of the national government, as well as to act in lieu of such officers. This power is denied by the Constitution to the Executive, insofar as local governments are concerned. Such control does not include the authority to either abolish an executive department or bureau, or to create a new one. Section 68 of the Revised Administrative Code does not merely fail to comply with the constitutional mandate above quoted, it also gives the President more power than what was vested in him by the Constitution. The Executive Orders in question are hereby declared null and void ab initio and the respondent permanently restrained from passing in audit any expenditure of public funds in implementation of said Executive Orders or any disbursement by the municipalities referred to. Municipality of Kapalong vs. Moya Facts:

YES. Section 10(1) of Article VII of the fundamental law ordains: The President shall have control of all the executive departments, bureaus or offices, exercise general supervision over all local governments as may be

Pres. Garcia created the Municipality of Santo Tomas from portions of the Municipality of Kapalong. Sto. Tomas now asserts jurisdiction over eight barrios of Kapalong. Sto. Tomas then filed a complaint against Kapalong for

settlement of the municipal boundary dispute. Issue: WON Santo Tomas legally exists. Held/Ratio: NO. As ruled in the Pelaez case, the President has no power to create a municipality. Since private respondent has no legal personality, it cannot be a party to any civil action, and as such, Judge Moya should have dismissed the case, since further proceedings would be pointless. The Rules of Court expressly provides that only "entities authorized by law may be parties in a civil action. Cawaling vs. COMELEC Facts: On August 16, 2000, former President Joseph E. Estrada signed into law R.A. No. 8806, an "Act Creating The City Of Sorsogon By Merging The Municipalities Of Bacon And Sorsogon In The Province Of Sorsogon, And Appropriating Funds Therefor." The COMELEC a plebiscite in the Municipalities of Bacon and Sorsogon and submitted the matter for ratification proclaimed the creation of the City of Sorsogon as having been ratified and approved by the majority of the votes cast in the plebiscite. Invoking his right as a resident and taxpayer, the petitioner filed the present petition for certiorari seeking the

annulment of the plebiscite on the following grounds: A. The December 16, 2000 plebiscite was conducted beyond the required 120-day period from the approval of R.A. 8806, in violation of Section 54 thereof; and B. Respondent COMELEC failed to observe the legal requirement of twenty (20) day extensive information campaign in the Municipalities of Bacon and Sorsogon before conducting the plebiscite. Petitioner instituted another petition declaring enjoin R.A. No. 8806 unconstitutional, contending that: 1. The creation of Sorsogon City by merging two municipalities violates Section 450(a) of the Local Government Code of 1991 (in relation to Section 10, Article X of the Constitution) which requires that only "a municipality or a cluster of barangays may be converted into a component city"; and 2. R.A. No. 8806 contains two (2) subjects, namely, the (a) creation of the City of Sorsogon and the (b) abolition of the Municipalities of Bacon and Sorsogon, thereby violating the "one subject-one bill" rule prescribed by Section 26(1), Article VI of the Constitution. Petitioner contends that under Section 450(a) of the Code, a component city may be created only by converting "a municipality or a cluster of barangays," not by merging two municipalities, as what R.A. No. 8806 has done.

Issues: 1) WON a component city may be created by merging two municipalities. 2) WON there exists a "compelling" reason for merging the Municipalities of Bacon and Sorsogon in order to create the City of Sorsogon. 3) WON R.A. No. 8806 violatethe "one subject-one bill" rule enunciated in Section 26 (1), Article VI of the Constitution. 4) WON R.A No 8806 is unconstitutional. Held/Ratio: 1) YES. Petitioner's constricted reading of Section 450(a) of the Code is erroneous. The phrase "A municipality or a cluster of barangays may be converted into a component city" is not a criterion but simply one of the modes by which a city may be created. Section 10, Article X of the Constitution allows the merger of local government units to create a province city, municipality or barangay in accordance with the criteria established by the Code. the creation of an entirely new local government unit through a division or a merger of existing local government units is recognized under the Constitution, provided that such merger or division shall comply with the requirements prescribed by the Code. 2) This argument goes into the wisdom of R.A. No. 8806, a matter which we are

not competent to rule. In Angara v. Electoral Commission, this Court, made it clear that "the judiciary does not pass upon questions of wisdom, justice or expediency of legislation." In the exercise of judicial power, we are allowed only "to settle actual controversies involving rights which are legally demandable and enforceable," and "may not annul an act of the political departments simply because we feel it is unwise or impractical. 3) NO. There is only one subject embraced in the title of the law, that is, the creation of the City of Sorsogon. The abolition/cessation of the corporate existence of the Municipalities of Bacon and Sorsogon due to their merger is not a subject separate and distinct from the creation of Sorsogon City. Such abolition/cessation was but the logical, natural and inevitable consequence of the merger. The rule is sufficiently complied with if the title is comprehensive enough as to include the general object which the statute seeks to effect, and where, as here, the persons interested are informed of the nature, scope and consequences of the proposed law and its operation. 4) NO. Every statute has in its favor the presumption of constitutionality. This presumption is rooted in the doctrine of separation of powers which enjoins upon the three coordinate departments of the Government a becoming courtesy for each other's acts. The theory is that every law, being the joint act of the Legislature and the Executive, has passed careful scrutiny to ensure that it is in accord with the fundamental law.

The Court, however, may declare a law, or portions thereof, unconstitutional where a petitioner has shown a clear and unequivocal breach of the Constitution, not merely a doubtful or argumentative one. In other words the grounds for nullity must be beyond reasonable doubt, for to doubt is to sustain. We hold that petitioner has failed to present clear and convincing proof to defeat the presumption of constitutionality of R.A. No. 8806. League of Cities vs. COMELEC Nov. 18, 2008 Facts: 11th Congress: Congress enacted into law 33 bills converting 33 municipalities into cities. However, the same did not act on bills converting 24 other municipalities into cities. In the 12th Congress, it enacted into law RA 9009 which took effect on June 30, 2001. The RA amended Section 450 of the LGC by increasing the annual income requirement for conversion of a municipality into a city from P20 M to P100 M. After the effectivity of RA 9009, the House of Representatives (HOR) of the 12th Congress adopted Joint Resolution No. 29, which sought to exempt from the P100 million income requirements in RA 9009 the 24 municipalities whose cityhood bills were not approved in the 11th Congress. However, the 12th Congress ended without the Senate approving Joint Resolution No. 29.

13th Congress: HOR re-adopted Joint Resolution No. 29 as Joint Resolution No. 1 and forwarded it to the Senate for approval, which again failed to approve it. Concurring with Senator Pimentel, 16 municipalities filed, through their respective sponsors, individual cityhood bills. These cityhood bills contained a common provision exempting all the 16 municipalities from the P100M income requirements in RA 9009. On December 22, 2006, the HOR approved the cityhood bills and subsequently, the Senate also approved the cityhood bills, except those of Naga and Cebu which were passed on June 7, 2007. The cityhood bills lapsed into law, called the Cityhood Laws, on various dates from March to July 2007 without the President's signature. These 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. Present petitions were filed by petitioners herein to declare the Cityhood Laws unconstitutional for violation of Section 10, Article X of the Constitution and for violation of the equal protection clause. The same also lament more cities will share the same amount of internal revenue set aside for all cities under Section 285 of the Local Government Code and it will hence reduce the share of existing cities in the IRA. Issues/Held: 1) WON the Cityhood Laws violate Section 10, Article X of the Constitution. YES

2) WON the Cityhood Laws violate the equal protection clause. YES Ratio: Summary enumeration of the rulings: a. applying the P100 M income requirement in RA 9009 to the present case is a prospective, not a retroactive application, b. Constitution requires that Congress shall prescribe all the criteria for the creation of a city in the and not in any other law c. Section 6, Article X of the Constitution violated because laws prevent a fair and just distribution of the national taxes to local government units, d. the criteria prescribed in Section 450 of the LGC, as amended, for converting a municipality into a city are clear, needing no resort to any statutory construction, e. the intent of members of the 11th Congress to exempt certain municipalities remained an intent and was never written into Sec. 450 of LGC, f. deliberations of the 11th or 12th Congress on unapproved bills or resolutions are not extrinsic aids in interpreting a law passed in the 13th Congress and g. even if the exemption were written in Section 450, it would still be unconstitutional for violation of the equal protection clause. December 21, 2009 Facts: I. Procedural Aspect: The consolidated petitions for prohibition commenced by the League of Cities of the Philippines (LCP), City of Iloilo, City of Calbayog and Jerry P.

Treas assail the constitutionality of 16 cityhood laws and seek to enjoin the COMELEC from conducting plebiscites pursuant to those laws. On November 18, 2008, the Court en banc, by a 6-5 vote, granted the petitions and nullified the cityhood laws for violating Section 10, Article X of the Constitution. The respondent LGUs moved for reconsideration which was denied by resolution in March 31, 2009. A second motion for reconsideration was filed, praying that the Court reconsider its March 31, 2009 resolution insofar as the resolution denies the respondents first MR. They ask their first MR be granted and that the petitions for prohibition be dismissed. On April 28, 2009, the Court voting 6-6, denied the MR of the March 31, 2009 resolution, and denied the second MR for the November 18, 2008 decision for being a prohibited pleading. Entry of judgment is ordered. On May 14, 2009, the respondent LGUs filed another motion to amend the resolution of April 28, 2009 and asked that instead, the resolution of March 31, 2009 be declared to be unresolved and to conduct further proceedings. On June 2, 2009, the Court declared the May 14, 2009 motion expunged in light of the fact that entry of judgment was already made on May 21, 2009. The respondents now file another MR, this time of the June 2, 2009 resolution basically alleging that the tie vote of 6-6

in the April 28, 2009 resolution denying to reconsider the March 31, 2009 resolution, necessitates deliberation anew because of Section 4(2) of Article VIII of the Constitution. It states that all cases involving the constitutionality of a treaty, international ore executive agreement or law shall be heard by the Supreme Court en banc and shall be decided with the concurrence of a majority of the Members who actually took part in the deliberations. Taken in conjunction with Section 7 which states that when the en banc is equally divided, the case shall again be deliberated upon, as well as the fact that the finality of the November 18, 2008 decision has yet to set in despite the entry in judgment, the Court is inclined to take another hard look at the decision. Anyway, in the performance of their duty, the Court should not be shackled by stringent rules which would result in a manifest injustice. II. Substantive Aspect: In the 11th Congress, 57 cityhood bills were filed in the House of Representatives. 33 became laws while 24 were not acted upon. Later, Senate Bill No. 2157 was introduced which sought to amend Sec. 450 of the LGC of 1991 and increase the income requirement to qualify for conversion into a city from 20M to 100M annual locally generated income. In March 2001, it was signed into law as RA 9009 to take effect on June 30, 2001. The lower house of the 12th Congress adopted Joint Resolution No. 29 which

sought to exempt the 24 pending municipalities from the new income requirement. But the 12th Congress ended without the Senate acting upon it. The 13th Congress readopted the Joint Resolution 29, as House Joint Resolution No. 1, but Congress also ended without the Senate approving it. But Senator Aquilino Pimentel stated that passing the resolution would allow a wholesale exemption, therefore, he suggested that the municipalities involved file separate cityhood bills. Heeding his advice, 16 of the 24 municipalities filed cityhood bills each with a provision for exemption from the new requirement of RA 9009. As of June 7, 2007, both Houses had approved the individual cityhood bills which all eventually became laws. Each cityhood requires the COMELEC within 30 days to hold a plebiscite to determine whether the voters approve the conversion. Petitioners now want to strike down the cityhood laws as unconstitutional for violating Section 10 Article X of the Constitution and for violating the equal protection clause. Issues/Held: 1) Do the cityhood laws violate Section 10 Article X of the Constitution? No. 2) Do they violate the equal protection clause? No. Ratio:

1) Petitioners argue that the cityhood laws violate Section 10 because they run counter against the uniform and nondiscriminatory criterion which can only be found in the LGC. Petitioners arguments cannot prosper, because such view may cripple the power of Congress to create political subdivisions. The code mentioned in both 1973 and 1987 Constitutions refers only to a law that Congress passes. Since Congress may create political subdivisions, it is only logical to conclude that they should also have the lesser power to set the criterion. Moreover, when the 1987 Constitution was enacted, the LGC of 1991 was not yet in existence, therefore, it cannot be gainsaid that Section 10 should mean that the criterion should only be found in a still inexistent law at the time the Constitution was passed. If that was what the framers wanted, they should have referred to BP 337 which was the law governing local governments at the time. Consistent with the plenary power of Congress, it can impose criteria of viability either via a consolidated set of laws, or a single-subject enactment. These need not be embodied in the LGC although it is ideal if it is. Congress can even enact an amendatory law. Also, petitioners argue that the only repository of criterion should be the LGC while also claiming that RA 9009 which is an amendatory law be the one to govern. If indeed the cityhood laws are unconstitutional, then the same unconstitutionality also taints RA 9009.

But they dont question the constitutionality of RA 9009. Assuming arguendo that the underlying thesis of the petitioners are correct, the cityhood laws are still constitutional because of the intent of RA 9009 to exclude the municipalities from its ambit. Looking at the Senator Pimentels sponsorship speech, it is clear that RA 9009 was never meant to be retroactive and that pending cases were not to be affected. Since this is the spirit of the law, it shall prevail. 2) Petitioners argue that the cityhood laws violate the equal protection clause because they are given special treatment. Petitioners challenge is not well taken. At its most basic, the equal protection clause proscribes undue favor as well as hostile discrimination. Hence, a law need not operate with equal force on all persons or things to be conformable with Sec. 1, Art. III of the Constitution. The equal protection guarantee is embraced in the broader and elastic concept of due process, every unfair discrimination being an offense against the requirements of justice and fair play. Arbitrariness in general may be assailed on the basis of the due process clause. But if a particular challenged act partakes of an unwarranted partiality or prejudice, the sharper weapon to cut it down is the equal protection clause. This constitutional protection extends to all persons, natural or artificial, within the territorial jurisdiction. Artificial persons, as the respondent LGUs herein, are,

however, entitled to protection only insofar as their property is concerned. In the proceedings at bar, petitioner LCP and the intervenors cannot plausibly invoke the equal protection clause, precisely because no deprivation of property results by virtue of the enactment of the cityhood laws. The LCPs claim that the IRA of its membercities will be substantially reduced on account of the conversion into cities of the respondent LGUs would not suffice to bring it within the ambit of the constitutional guarantee. Indeed, it is presumptuous on the part of the LCP member-cities to already stake a claim on the IRA, as if it were their property, as the IRA is yet to be allocated. For the same reason, the municipalities that are not covered by the uniform exemption clause in the cityhood laws cannot validly invoke constitutional protection. For, at this point, the conversion of a municipality into a city will only affect its status as a political unit, but not its property as such. As a matter of settled legal principle, the fundamental right of equal protection does not require absolute equality. It is enough that all persons or things similarly situated should be treated alike, both as to rights or privileges conferred and responsibilities or obligations imposed. The equal protection clause does not preclude the state from recognizing and acting upon factual differences between individuals and classes. It recognizes that inherent in the right to legislate is the right to classify,necessarily implying that the equality guaranteed is not violated by a

legislation based on reasonable classification. Classification, to be reasonable, must (1) rest on substantial distinctions; (2) be germane to the purpose of the law; (3) not be limited to existing conditions only; and (4) apply equally to all members of the same class. The Court finds that all these requisites have been met by the laws challenged as arbitrary and discriminatory under the equal protection clause. Substantial Distinction the 16 are municipalities which have already qualified according to the previous criterion, but due to intervening events beyond their control, such as the impeachment of Erap, they were not converted. To subject them to the new requirement in RA 9009 is unfair and it is only proper that they be given a remedy. Germane to purpose - The exemption of respondent LGUs/municipalities from the PhP 100 million income requirement was meant to reduce the inequality occasioned by the passage of the amendatory RA 9009. From another perspective, the exemption was unquestionably designed to insure that fairness and justice would be accorded respondent LGUs. Not Limited to Existing Conditions Then too the non-retroactive effect of RA 9009 is not limited in application only to conditions existing at the time of its enactment. It is intended to apply for all time, as long as the contemplated conditions obtain. To be more precise, the legislative intent underlying the enactment of RA 9009 to exclude would-

be-cities from the PhP 100 million criterion would hold sway, as long as the corresponding cityhood bill has been filed before the effectivity of RA 9009 and the concerned municipality qualifies for conversion into a city under the original version of Sec. 450 of the LGC of 1991. Apply Equally - Lastly and in connection with the third requisite, the uniform exemption clause would apply to municipalities that had pending cityhood bills before the passage of RA 9009 and were compliant with then Sec. 450 of the LGC of 1991, which prescribed an income requirement of PhP 20 million. Dissent, Carpio: In accordance with the rules, the evenly divided Court directed the rehearing of those cases and when, after the rehearings, the tie-vote persisted, the Court ordered the dismissal or denial of the petitions. the tie-vote in the en banc cannot amend or reverse a prior majority action of a lower court, whose decision stands affirmed. if the Court en banc is evenly divided on such matters, the petition or motion shall be denied. A tie vote on a motion means that the same number of members has voted in the affirmative as in the negative. Since a majority vote, or more than half of the legal votes case, is required to adopt a motion, an equal or tie vote means that the motion is lost because it has failed to receive a majority vote. A tie vote on a motion is not a deadlock vote that must be

resolved; it is simply not a majority vote, and the motion is lost. A tie vote on a motion means that the same number of members has voted in the affirmative as in the negative. Since a majority vote, or more than half of the legal votes case, is required to adopt a motion, an equal or tie vote means that the motion is lost because it has failed to receive a majority vote. A tie vote on a motion is not a deadlock vote that must be resolved; it is simply not a majority vote, and the motion is lost. The Court, by a majority vote, ruled that the 16 Cityhood Laws are unconstitutional in its 18 November 2008 Decision. The Court, by another majority vote, denied the first motion for reconsideration of the 18 November 2008 Decision. Then, the Court, by a split-vote, denied the second motion for reconsideration. Contrary to respondents' perception, there is nothing left unresolved by the Court. The 18 November 2008 Decision became final on 21 May 2009. As a consequence, it has become immutable and unalterable, no longer subject to attack and cannot be modified directly or indirectly by this Court, which had lost jurisdiction to alter it. August 24, 2010 Facts: The following were laid down for resolution: (1) the ad cautelam motion for reconsideration and (2) motion to annul the Decision of 21 December 2009 filed by petitioners League of Cities of

the Philippines, et al. and (3) the ad cautelam motion for reconsideration filed by petitioners-in-intervention Batangas City, Santiago City, Legazpi City, Iriga City, Cadiz City, and Oroquieta City. 18 November 2008: SC En Banc, by a majority vote, struck down the subject 16 Cityhood Laws for violating Section 10, Article X of the 1987 Constitution and the equal protection clause. 31 March 2009: Same, again by a majority vote, denied the respondents first MR. 28 April 2009: Same, by a split vote, denied the respondents 2nd MR. Accordingly, the 18 November 2008 Decision became final and executory and was recorded, in due course, in the Book of Entries of Judgments on 21 May 2009. However, after the finality of the 18 November 2008 Decision and without any exceptional and compelling reason, the Court En Banc unprecedentedly reversed the 18 November 2008 Decision by upholding the constitutionality of the Cityhood Laws in the Decision of 21 December 2009. Issues/Held: 1) WON there was a violation of Article X Section 10 of the Constitution. YES 2) WON the operative fact doctrine applies. PARTIALLY 3) WON there was a violation of the equal protection clause of the Constitution. YES

4) WON the governing a Tie-Vote on a Motion for Reconsideration was followed. NO Ratio: 1) RA 9009 increased the income requirement for the creation of cities. To repeat, RA 9009 is not a law different from the Local Government Code, as it expressly amended Section 450 of the Local Government Code. 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. Moreover, where the law does not make an exemption, the Court should not create one. 2) The doctrine of operative fact, as an exception to the general rule, only applies as a matter of equity and fair play. It nullifies the effects of an unconstitutional law by recognizing that the existence of a statute prior to a determination of unconstitutionality is an operative fact and may have consequences which cannot always be ignored. The past cannot always be erased by a new judicial declaration. The invocation of the operative fact doctrine is an admission that the law is unconstitutional. It is argued: the enactment of the Cityhood Laws and the functioning of the 16 municipalities as new cities with new sets of officials and employees operate to contitutionalize the unconstitutional Cityhood Laws. This novel theory misapplies the operative fact doctrine and sets a gravely dangerous precedent. This view

will open the floodgates to the wanton enactment of unconstitutional laws and a mad rush for their immediate implementation before the Court can declare them unconstitutional. The operative fact doctrine is a rule of equity and it must be applied as an exception to the general rule that an unconstitutional law produces no effects. It affects or modifies only the effects of the unconstitutional law, not the unconstitutional law itself. The Cityhood Laws remain unconstitutional because they violate Section 10, Article X of the Constitution. However, the effects of the implementation of the Cityhood Laws prior to the declaration of their nullity, such as the payment of salaries and supplies by the "new cities" or their issuance of licenses or execution of contracts, may be recognized as valid and effective. This does not mean that the Cityhood Laws are valid for they remain void. Only the effects of the implementation of these unconstitutional laws are left undisturbed as a matter of equity and fair play to innocent people who may have relied on the presumed validity of the Cityhood Laws prior to the Courts declaration of their unconstitutionality. 3) The classification criterion mere pendency of a cityhood bill in the 11th Congress is not rationally related to the purpose of the law which is to prevent fiscally non-viable municipalities from converting into cities. Moreover, the fact of pendency of a cityhood bill in the 11th Congress limits the exemption to a specific condition existing at the time of passage of RA 9009. That specific condition will

never happen again. This violates the requirement that a valid classification must not be limited to existing conditions only. The exemption provision in the Cityhood Laws gives the 16 municipalities a unique advantage based on an arbitrary date the filing of their cityhood bills before the end of the 11th Congress as against all other municipalities that want to convert into cities after the effectivity of RA 9009. In addition, limiting the exemption only to the 16 municipalities violates the requirement that the classification must apply to all similarly situated. Municipalities with the same income as the 16 respondent municipalities cannot convert into cities, while the 16 respondent municipalities can. 4) The En Banc Resolution of 26 January 1999 in A.M. No. 99-1-09-SC, reads: A MOTION FOR THE CONSIDERATION OF A DECISION OR RESOLUTION OF THE COURT EN BANC OR OF A DIVISION MAY BE GRANTED UPON A VOTE OF A MAJORITY OF THE MEMBERS OF THE EN BANC OR OF A DIVISION, AS THE CASE MAY BE, WHO ACTUALLY TOOK PART IN THE DELIBERATION OF THE MOTION. A. IF THE VOTING RESULTS IN A TIE, THE MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION IS DEEMED DENIED. The 18 November 2008 Decision and the 31 March 2009 Resolution, which were both reached with the concurrence of a majority of the Court en banc, are not reconsidered but stand affirmed.7These prior majority actions of the Court en banc can only be overruled by a new majority vote, not a

tie-vote because a tie-vote cannot overrule a prior affirmative action. February 15, 2011 Facts: Aug 24, 2010 decision (3rd) reinstated Nov. 18 2008 decision (1st) which declared the Cityhood laws unconstitutional, reversing the Dec. 21, 2009 decision (2nd). This case is a Motion for Reconsideration of the August 24, 2010 decision by respondents Municipality of Baybay, et al. Issues/Held: 1) WON the 16 Cityhood Bills violate Art. X Sec. 10 of the Constitution? NO. 2) WON the 16 Cityhood Laws violate Art. XSec. 6 and the equal protection clause of the Constitution? NO. Ratio: Article X, Section 10 provides Section 10. 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. The Court took notice of the deliberations of the 11th Congress which expressed the intention of the law to exempt the cities whose petitions to

be component cities were already pending at the time RA 9009 was being deliberated, specifically: THE PRESIDENT. So the understanding is that those bills which are already pending in the Chamber will not be affected. SENATOR PIMENTEL. These will not be affected, Mr. President. Undeniably, R.A. No. 9009 amended the LGC. But it is also true that, in effect, the Cityhood Laws amended R.A. No. 9009 through the exemption clauses found therein. Since the Cityhood Laws explicitly exempted the concerned municipalities from the amendatory R.A. No. 9009, such Cityhood Laws are, therefore, also amendments to the LGC itself. For this reason, we reverse the November 18, 2008 Decision and the August 24, 2010 Resolution on their strained and stringent view that the Cityhood Laws, particularly their exemption clauses, are not found in the LGC. The Court addressed the equal protection in 3 tiers: 1st The standards set forth in RA 9009 is arbitrary, and therefore Congress can choose to exempt certain cities from these standards. 2nd The test of substantial distinction should be measured by the purpose of the Local Government Code and not RA 9009: LGC. SECTION 2. Declaration of Policy.(a) It is hereby declared the

policy of the State that the territorial and political subdivisions of the State shall enjoy genuine and meaningful local autonomy to enable them to attain their fullest development as self-reliant communities and make them more effective partners in the attainment of national goals. Toward this end, the State shall provide for a more responsive and accountable local government structure instituted through a system of decentralization whereby local government units shall be given more powers, authority, responsibilities and resources. The process of decentralization shall proceed from the National Government to the local government units. 3rd - Petitioners in these cases complain about the purported reduction of their "just share" in the IRA. To be sure, petitioners are entitled to a "just share," BUT not a specific amount. Congress, who holds the power of the purse, in enacting the Cityhood Laws, only sought the well-being of respondent municipalities, having seen their respective capacities to become component cities of their provinces, temporarily stunted by the enactment of R.A. No. 9009. By allowing respondent municipalities to convert into component cities, Congress desired only to uphold the very purpose of the LGC, i.e., to make the local government units "enjoy genuine and meaningful local autonomy to enable them to attain their fullest development as self-reliant communities and make them more effective partners in the attainment of

national goals," which is the very mandate of the Constitution. REMEDIAL: Courts should not be restricted by technical rules of procedure at the expense of the transcendental interest of justice and equity. While it is true that litigation must end, even at the expense of errors in judgment, it is nobler rather for this Court of last resort, as vanguard of truth, to toil in order to dispel apprehensions and doubt, as the following pronouncement of this Court instructs: The right and power of judicial tribunals to declare whether enactments of the legislature exceed the constitutional limitations and are invalid has always been considered a grave responsibility, as well as a solemn duty. The courts invariably give the most careful consideration to questions involving the interpretation and application of the Constitution, and approach constitutional questions with great deliberation, exercising their power in this respect with the greatest possible caution and even reluctance; and they should never declare a statute void, unless its invalidity is, in their judgment, beyond reasonable doubt. To justify a court in pronouncing a legislative act unconstitutional, or a provision of a state constitution to be in contravention of the Constitution x xx, the case must be so clear to be free from doubt, and the conflict of the statute with the constitution must be irreconcilable, because it is but a decent respect to the wisdom, the integrity, and the patriotism of the legislative body by which any law is passed to presume in favor of its validity until the contrary is

shown beyond reasonable doubt. Therefore, in no doubtful case will the judiciary pronounce a legislative act to be contrary to the constitution. To doubt the constitutionality of a law is to resolve the doubt in favor of its validity. Dissent, Carpio: Same arguments in August 24 decision. Concurring, Abad: Given the unstable footing of such views as evidenced by its shifting positions on the issue, the Court should have adopted an attitude of becoming humility, upholding the constitutionality of the acts of a co-equal branch of government regarding a matter that properly fell within its powers. The equal protection clause of the Constitution seeks to protect persons from being deprived of life, liberty, or property by the uneven application of statutes. In invoking this protection, it is incumbent on petitioner League of Cities to show, not only that the exemption granted to the sixteen cities amounted to arbitrary classification but, that the League or their members have been deprived of life, liberty or property, by reason of the exemption. The League of Cities has failed to discharge this burden.Inchong: The equal protection of the law clause is against undue favor and individual or class privilege, as well as hostile discrimination or the oppression of inequality. It is not intended to prohibit legislation, which is limited either in the

object to which it is directed or by territory within which is to operate. Diminution of IRA does not amount to deprivation of property since the IRA is not their property until it has been automatically released.Mere expectancy in the receipt of IRA cannot be regarded as the "property" envisioned in the Bill of Rights. April 12, 2011 Facts: Ad Cautelam Motion for Reconsideration filed by the petitioners vis--vis the Resolution promulgated on February 15, 2011. To recall, the Resolution promulgated on February 15, 2011 granted the Motion for Reconsideration of the respondents presented against the Resolution dated August 24, 2010, reversed the Resolution dated August 24, 2010, and declared the 16 Cityhood Laws Republic Acts Nos. 9389, 9390, 9391, 9392, 9393, 9394, 9398, 9404, 9405, 9407, 9408, 9409, 9434, 9435, 9436, and 9491 constitutional. Petitioners anchor their Ad Cautelam Motion for Reconsideration upon the primordial ground that the Court could no longer modify, alter, or amend its judgment declaring the Cityhood Laws unconstitutional due to such judgment having long become final and executory. They submit that the Cityhood Laws violated Section 6 and Section 10 of Article X of the Constitution, as well as the Equal Protection Clause.

Issues: 1) WON the SC had jurisdiction in promulgating the February 15, 2011 resolution. 2) WON the Cityhood Laws are violative of Secs. 6 and 10 of the Constitution, the Equal Protection clause, and the right of local governments to a just share in national taxes. Held/Ratio: 1) YES. By issuing the Resolutions dated September 29, 2009 and November 17, 2009, the Court: (a) rendered ineffective the tie-vote under the Resolution of April 28, 2009 and the ensuing denial of the Motion for Reconsideration of the Resolution of March 31, 2009 for lack of a majority to overturn; (b), re-opened the Decision of November 18, 2008 for a second look under reconsideration; and (c) lifted the directive that no further pleadings would be entertained. The Court in fact entertained and acted on the respondents Motion for Reconsideration of the Resolution of June 2, 2009. Thereafter, the Court proceeded to deliberate anew on the respondents Second Motion for Reconsideration and ended up with the promulgation of the December 21, 2009 Decision. It is also inaccurate for the petitioners to insist that the December 21, 2009 Decision overturned the November 18, 2008 Decision on the basis of the mere Reflections of the Members of the Court.

On whether the principle of immutability of judgments and bar by res judicata apply herein, suffice it to state that the succession of the events recounted herein indicates that the controversy about the 16 Cityhood Laws has not yet been resolved with finality. As such, the operation of the principle of immutability of judgments did not yet come into play. For the same reason is an adherence to the doctrine of res judicata not yet warranted, especially considering that the precedential ruling for this case needed to be revisited and set with certainty and finality. 2) Congress clearly intended that the local government units covered by the Cityhood Laws be exempted from the coverage of R.A. No. 9009. The Court takes note of the fact that the municipalities cited by the petitioners as having generated the threshold income of P100 million from local sources, including those already converted into cities, are either in Metro Manila or in provinces close to Metro Manila. In comparison, the municipalities covered by the Cityhood Laws are spread out in the different provinces of the Philippines, including the Cordillera and Mindanao regions, and are considerably very distant from Metro Manila. This reality underscores the danger the

enactment of R.A. No. 9009 sought to prevent, i.e., that "the metropolis-located local governments would have more priority in terms of funding because they would have more qualifications to become a city compared to the far-flung areas in Mindanao or in the Cordilleras, or whatever," actually resulting from the abrupt increase in the income requirement. There should also be no question that the local government units covered by the Cityhood Laws belong to a class of their own. They have proven themselves viable and capable to become component cities of their respective provinces. They are and have been centers of trade and commerce, points of convergence of transportation, rich havens of agricultural, mineral, and other natural resources, and flourishing tourism spots. Petitioner League of Cities argues that there exists no issue with respect to the cityhood of its member cities, considering that they became cities in full compliance with the criteria for conversion at the time of their creation. Undoubtedly, the imposition of the income requirement of P100 million from local sources under R.A. No. 9009 was arbitrary.

When the sponsor of the law chose the specific figure of P100 million, no research or empirical data buttressed the figure. Nor was there proof that the proposal took into account the after-effects that were likely to arise. As already mentioned, even the danger the passage of R.A. No. 9009 sought to prevent might soon become a reality. While the Constitution mandates that the creation of local government units must comply with the criteria laid down in the LGC, it cannot be justified to insist that the Constitution must have to yield to every amendment to the LGC despite such amendment imminently producing effects contrary to the original thrusts of the LGC to promote autonomy, decentralization, countryside development, and the concomitant national growth. Moreover, if we were now to adopt the stringent interpretation of the Constitution the petitioners are espousing, we may have to apply the same restrictive yardstick against the recently converted cities cited by the petitioners, and find two of them whose conversion laws have also to be struck down for being unconstitutional. The two laws are R.A. No. 938731 and R.A. No. 9388,32 respectively converting the municipalities of San Juan and Navotas into highly urbanized cities.

The petitioners contention that the Cityhood Laws violated their right to a just share in the national taxes is not acceptable. In this regard, it suffices to state that the share of local government units is a matter of percentage under Section 285 of the LGC, not a specific amount. Specifically, the share of the cities is 23%, determined on the basis of population (50%), land area (25%), and equal sharing (25%). This share is also dependent on the number of existing cities, such that when the number of cities increases, then more will divide and share the allocation for cities. However, we have to note that the allocation by the National Government is not a constant, and can either increase or decrease. With every newly converted city becoming entitled to share the allocation for cities, the percentage of internal revenue allotment (IRA) entitlement of each city will decrease, although the actual amount received may be more than that received in the preceding year. That is a necessary consequence of Section 285 and Section 286 of the LGC. Local government units do not subsist only on locally generated income, but also depend on the IRA to support their development. They can spur their own developments and thereby realize their great potential of

encouraging trade and commerce in the far-flung regions of the country. Yet their potential will effectively be stunted if those already earning more will still receive a bigger share from the national coffers, and if commercial activity will be more or less concentrated only in and near Metro Manila.

June 28, 2011 Facts: FOR RESOLUTION: 1) The petitioners' Motion for Leave to File Motion for Reconsideration of the Resolution of 12 April 2011, praying that the resolution of April 12, 2011 be reconsidered and set aside; 2) The respondents' Motion for Entry of Judgment dated May 9, 2011. The Motion for Reconsideration seeks the reconsideration, reversal, or setting aside of the resolution of April 12, 2011. The resolution of April 12, 2011 denied the petitioners' Ad Cautelam Motion for Reconsideration (of the Decision dated 15 February 2011). Issues: 1) WON the petitioners MR should be entertained or granted. 2) WON respondents motion for entry of judgment should be granted.

Held/Ratio: Motion for Reconsideration denied; Motion for Entry of Judgment granted. The Motion for Reconsideration, being a second motion for reconsideration, cannot be entertained. Section 2 of Rule 51 of the Rules of Court is unqualified. The Court has firmly held that a second motion for reconsideration is a prohibited pleading, and only for extraordinarily persuasive reasons and only after an express leave has been first obtained may a second motion for reconsideration be entertained. The restrictive policy against a second motion for reconsideration has been reemphasized in the recently promulgated Internal Rules of the Supreme Court. Also, a second motion for reconsideration "can only be entertained before the ruling sought to be reconsidered becomes final by operation of law or by the Court's declaration. April 12, 2011 decision shows that the ruling sought to be reconsidered became final by the Court's express declaration. Consequently, the denial of the Motion for Reconsideration is immediately warranted. Petitioners contend that the Court had earlier entertained and granted the respondents' own second motion for reconsideration. SC says there is no similarity between then and now, however, for the Court en banc itself unanimously declared in the resolution of June 2, 2009 that the respondents' second motion for reconsideration was

"no longer a prohibited pleading." No similar declaration favors the petitioners' Motion for Reconsideration. Petitioners' Motion for Reconsideration rehashes the issues previously put forward, particularly in the Ad Cautelam Motion for Reconsideration (of the Decision dated 15 February 2011), the Court, having already passed upon such issues with finality, finds no need to discuss the issues again to avoid repetition and redundancy. The finality of the resolutions upholding the constitutionality of the 16 Cityhood Laws now absolutely warrants the granting of respondents' Motion for Entry of Judgment. Municipality of Candijay v. CA Facts: The Municipalities of Alicia and Candijay were in dispute over barrio/barangay Pagahat. The RTC ruled in favor of Candijay. CA : 1. Court rejected the boundary line being claimed by petitioner since it would in effect place "practically all of Barrio Pagahat . . . , part of Barrio Cagongcagong and portions of Barrio Putlongcam and La Hacienda and all of Barrio Mahayag and Barrio del Monte within the territorial jurisdiction of Candijay." Candijay will not only engulf the entire barrio of Pagahat, but also of the barrios of

Putlongcam, Mahayag, Del Monte, Cagongcagong, and a part of the Municipality of Mabini. Candijay will eat up a big chunk of territories far exceeding her territorial jurisdiction under the law creating her. 2. Trial court erred in relying on Exh. X-Commissioner [exhibit for petitioner], because, in effect, it included portions of Barrios Putlongcam and La Hacienda within the jurisdiction of Candijay when said barrios are undisputedly part of Alicias territory under EO265 creating the latter" 3. After an examination of the respective survey plans of petitioner and respondent submitted as exhibits, court: "both plans are inadequate insofar as identifying the monuments of the boundary line between Candijay and the Municipality of Mabini (which is not a party to this case) as declared by the Provincial Board of Bohol. Neither plan shows where Looc-Tabasan, Lomislis Island, Tagtang Canlirong, mentioned in the aforequoted boundary line declared by the Provincial Board of Bohol, are actually located." The respondent Court, after weighing and considering the import of certain official acts, including EO. 265 dated September 16, 1949 (which created the municipality of Alicia from out of certain barrios of the municipality of Mabini), and Act

968 of the Philippine Commission dated October 31, 1903 (which set forth the respective component territories of the municipalities of Mabini and Candijay), concluded that "Barrio Bulawan from where barrio Pagahat originated is not mentioned as one of the barrios constituted as part of defendantappellant Municipality of Alicia. Neither do they show that Barrio Pagahat forms part of plaintiffappellant Municipality of Candijay." 4. CA: there is an equiponderance of evidence When the scale shall stand upon an equipoise and there is nothing in the evidence which shall incline it to one side or the other, the court will find for the defendant. Under said principle, the plaintiff must rely on the strength of his evidence and not on the weakness of defendant's claim. Even if the evidence of the plaintiff may be stronger than that of the defendant, there is no preponderance of evidence on his side if such evidence is insufficient in itself to establish his cause of action Issues: 1) WON the CA erred in its application of the principle of "equiponderance of evidence", for having based its ruling against petitioner on documentary evidence which, petitioner claims, are void; 2) That the challenged Decision "does not solve the problem of both towns but

throws them back again to their controversy." 3) Alicias purported lack of juridical personality, as a result of having been created under a void executive order.

Held/Ratio: With respect to the first and second grounds, we find that the issues of fact in this case had been adequately passed upon by respondent Court in its Decision, which is wellsupported by the evidence on record. The determination of equiponderance of evidence by the respondent Court involves the appreciation of evidence by the latter tribunal, which will not be reviewed by this Court unless shown to be whimsical or capricious; here, there has been no such showing. Neither party was able to make out a case; neither side could establish its cause of action and prevail with the evidence it had. As a consequence thereof, the courts can only leave them as they are. In such cases, courts have no choice but to dismiss the complaints/petitions.

Candijay commenced its collateral attack on the juridical personality of Alicia some thirty five years after it first came into existence in 1949. It appears that, after presentation of its evidence, Candijay asked the trial court to bar Alicia from presenting its evidence on the ground that it had no juridical personality. Candijay contended that EO 265 issued by is null and void ab initio, inasmuch as Sec 68 of the RAC, on which said EO was based, constituted an undue delegation of legislative powers to the President of the Philippines, and was therefore declared unconstitutional, per this Court's ruling in Pelaez vs. Auditor General. Municipality of San Narciso, Quezon vs. Mendez, Sr: 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 FranciscoSan 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 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 abovementioned, 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.