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LEAGUE OF CITIES vs.

COMELEC cases

November 18, 2008 December 21, 2009 August 24, 2010 February 15, 2011
ISSUES J. Carpio J. Velasco J. Carpio J. Bersamin
1. WON Cityhood Laws violate Section Cityhood Laws VIOLATE Sections 6 and 10, Cityhood Laws DID not violate Sec. 10, Art. X Cityhood Laws VIOLATED Sec. 10, Art. X of the Cityhood Laws DID not violate Sec. 10, Art. X
Article X of the Constitution of the Constitution Constitution of the Constitution
10, Article X of the Constitution

YES, exemption in RA 9009 is PROSPECTIVE


a) Is the exemption from income
in application since RA 9009 took effect in
requirement under RA 9009 June 30, 2001 while the Cityhood Bills
prospective or retroactive in became a law (December 2007) more than
5 years later.
application?
RA 9009 (an earlier law to the Cityhood Laws)
is not being applied retroactively, but
prospectively

NO, the criteria need not be embodied in


b) Is the criteria for the YES. Congress must prescribe in the LGC all NO, the criteria need not be embodied in YES, the criteria for the creation of LGUs
the Local Government Code only - Congress
criteria for the creation of LGUs. Creation of the Local Government Code only, although should only be prescribed by the Local
creation of LGUs only be has the power to alter or modify it as it did
LGUs must follow the criteria in the LGC and the LGC is the ideal repository to ensure Government Code. The Constitution requires
when it enacted R.A. No. 9009. Such power of
prescribed in the Local NOT in any other law (i.e. RA 9009). element of uniformity – this is consistent Congress to stipulate in the Local Government
amendment of laws was again exercised when
The clear intent of the Constitution is to insure with the plenary legislative power of Code all the criteria necessary for the creation
Government Code? Congress enacted the Cityhood Laws.
that the creation of cities and other political Congress. of a city, including the conversion of a
units must follow the same uniform, non- Congress can even, after making a municipality into a city. Congress cannot write
Congress deemed it wiser to exempt
discriminatory criteria found solely in the Local codification, enact an amendatory law, adding such criteria in any other law, like the Cityhood
respondent municipalities from such a
Government Code. Any derogation or to the existing layers of indicators earlier Laws.
belatedly imposed modified income
deviation from the criteria prescribed in the codified, just as efficaciously as it may reduce
requirement in order to uphold its higher
Local Government Code violates Section 10, the same. In this case, the amendatory RA The clear intent of the Constitution is to insure
calling of putting flesh and blood to the very
Article X of the Constitution. 9009 upped the already codified income that the creation of cities and other political
intent and thrust of the LGC, which is
requirement from PhP 20 million to PhP 100 units must follow the same uniform, non-
countryside development and autonomy,
million discriminatory criteria found solely in the Local
especially accounting for these municipalities
Government Code.
as engines for economic growth in their
respective provinces.

c) Is RA 9009 an amendatory RA 9009 is an AMENDATORY LAW to the


law of the LGC or a separate LGC since it amended Sec. 450 of the LGC Did Congress intend to exempt the LGUs RA 9009 is an AMENDATORY LAW to the
Did Congress intend to exempt the LGUs
increasing the income requirement from LGC to increase the income requirement from
law? covered by the cityhood laws from the covered by the cityhood laws from the
P20 million to P100 million for the creation P20 million to P100 million for the creation of
higher income requirement in RA 9009? higher income requirement in RA 9009?
of a city. a city. This took effect on 30 June 2001.
In enacting RA 9009, Congress did not grant Hence, from that moment the Local
any exemption to respondent municipalities, YES, it was the intent of the lawmakers to Government Code required that any
exempt the LGUs from the higher income YES, Congress intended that those with
even though their cityhood bills were pending municipality desiring to become a city must pending cityhood bills during the 11th
in Congress when Congress passed RA 9009. requirement when they approved the satisfy the P100 million income
cityhood laws considering that the Congress would not be covered by the new
The Cityhood Laws, all enacted after the requirement. Section 450 of the Local and higher income requirement of P100

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effectivity of RA 9009, explicitly exempt cityhood bills were proposed much earlier Government Code, as amended by RA 9009, million imposed by R.A. No. 9009. When the
respondent municipalities from the increased than the approval of RA 9009 does not contain any exemption from this LGC was amended by R.A. No. 9009, the
income requirement. Such exemption clearly income requirement. amendment carried with it both the letter and
violates Section 10, Article X of the the intent of the law, and such were
Constitution and is thus patently The Cityhood Laws, all enacted after the incorporated in the LGC by which the
unconstitutional. To be valid, such What was the rationale behind the effectivity of RA 9009, explicitly exempt compliance of the Cityhood Laws was gauged.
exemption must be written in the Local respondent municipalities from the increased
enactment of RA 9009 – increasing the
Government Code and not in any other law, income requirement in Section 450 of the Notwithstanding that both the 11th and 12th
income requirement?
including the Cityhood Laws. Local Government Code, as amended by RA Congress failed to act upon the pending
9009. Such exemption clearly violates Section cityhood bills, both the letter and intent of
To prevent the mad rush of municipalities 10, Article X of the Constitution and is thus Section 450 of the LGC, as amended by R.A.
wanting to be converted into cities patently unconstitutional. To be valid, such No. 9009, were carried on until the 13th
exemption must be written in the Local Congress, when the Cityhood Laws were
In this case, Congress knew, when RA 9009 was Government Code and not in any other law, enacted. The exemption clauses found in the
being deliberated, of the pendency of the including the Cityhood Laws. individual Cityhood Laws are the express
cityhood bills. articulation of that intent to exempt
respondent municipalities from the coverage
RATIO LEGIS EST ANIMA (intent of the law) of R.A. No. 9009.
(1) Legislative intent that the pending
d) Do the Cityhood Laws violate YES, the Cityhood Laws VIOLATE
constitutional mandate of a fair and cityhood bills would be outside the P100 Indeed, these municipalities have proven
Sec. 6, Art. X of the million requirement
equitable share in the distribution of themselves viable and capable to become
Constitution on the fair and national taxes. If the criteria in creating local component cities of their respective provinces.
(2) RA 9009 would not have any retroactive
equitable share in the national government units are not uniform and It is also acknowledged that they were centers
discriminatory, there can be no fair and just effect insofar as the cityhood bills are of trade and commerce, points of convergence
taxes? concerned
distribution of the national taxes to local of transportation, rich havens of agricultural,
government units. A city with an annual mineral, and other natural resources, and
income of only P20 million, all other criteria flourishing tourism spots.
being equal, should not receive the same Given the foregoing perspective, it is not amiss
share in national taxes as a city with an annual to state that the basis for the inclusion of the
exemption clause of the cityhood laws is Did RA 9009 in effect amended the LGC?
income of P100 million or more. Since the
Cityhood Laws do not follow the income the clear-cut intent of Congress of not
criterion in Section 450 of the Local according retroactive effect to RA 9009. YES. Undeniably, R.A. No. 9009 amended
Government Code, they prevent the fair and Not only do the congressional records bear
the LGC. But it is also true that, in effect, the
just distribution of the Internal Revenue the legislative intent of exempting the
Cityhood Laws amended R.A. No. 9009
Allotment. cityhood laws from the income requirement of through the exemption clauses found
PhP 100 million. Congress has now made its
therein.
intention to exempt express in the challenged
cityhood laws. Since the Cityhood Laws explicitly exempted
the concerned municipalities from the
Are the deliberations of the 11th and 12th amendatory R.A. No. 9009, such Cityhood
Congress without significance and would not Laws are, therefore, also amendments to
qualify as extrinsic aids since Congress is the LGC itself. For this reason, we reverse the
November 18, 2008 Decision and the August
not a continuing body?
24, 2010 Resolution on their strained and
e) Should there be resort to the NO. Sec. 450 of the LGC is CLEAR and The language of RA 9009 is plain, simple, stringent view that the Cityhood Laws,
NO, given that the cityhood bills were already
deliberations of Congress UNAMBIGUOUS. Congress, in enacting RA and clear. RA 9009 amended Section 450 of particularly their exemption clauses, are not
being deliberated again during the 13th
9009 to amend Section 450 of the Local the Local Government Code of 1991 by found in the LGC.
(extrinsic aids) for statutory Congress after being tossed around in the 11th
Government Code, did not provide any increasing the income requirement for the
& 12th Congress. It is immaterial if Congress
construction? exemption from the increased income creation of cities. There are no exemptions

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requirement, not even to respondent is not continuing body; what is important is from this income requirement. Since the law
municipalities whose cityhood bills were then that the deliberations of Congress (i.e. is clear, plain and unambiguous that any
pending when Congress passed RA 9009. cityhood laws in relation to RA 9009) WERE municipality desiring to convert into a city
Since the law is clear, plain and unambiguous PART OF ITS LEGISLATIVE HISTORY and must meet the increased income
that any municipality desiring to convert into may be CONSULTED AS EXTRINSIC AIDS requirement, there is no reason to go
a city must meet the increased income beyond the letter of the law.
requirement

f) Was the intent of the 11th NO, the 11th Congress intent was NOT
Congress (to exempt the WRITTEN into the Local Government Code.
While members of 11th Congress discussed
municipalities from higher
exempting the respondent municipalities from
income requirement) written RA 9009, however Congress did not write
into the LGC? this exemption into law given that it could
have easily included such exemption. 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
Local Government Code.

g) Are the deliberations of the


NO, the deliberations of 11th Congress are
11th Congress of the Cityhood INAPPLICABLE since Congress is not a
bills applicable to construe continuing body. All the hearings and
deliberations conducted during the 11th
laws passed by subsequent
Congress on unapproved bills also became
Congresses? 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.

2. WON Cityhood Laws violate the YES, the Cityhood Laws VIOLATE the equal NO, the Cityhood Laws DO NOT VIOLATE YES, the Cityhood Laws VIOLATE the equal NO, the Cityhood Laws DO NOT VIOLATE
protection clause. If Section 450 of the Local the equal protection clause protection clause the equal protection clause since there was
equal protection clause Government Code, as amended by RA 9009, VALID CLASSIFCATION
contained an exemption to the P100 million Can the other LGUs claim that their IRA
annual income requirement, criteria could be
would be substantially reduced on account
assailed on the ground of absence of valid
of the conversion of the respondent
classification. But Sec. 450 as amended by
RA 9009 does not contain the exemption. municipalities?
The exemption in the Cityhood Laws are
unconstitutional NO, since there is no deprivation of
property resulting from the enactment of
the cityhood laws. Indeed, it is presumptuous
on the part of the LCP member-cities to
already stake a claim on the IRA, as if it were

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** Granting that exemption from the YES, such exemption would still violate the their property, as the IRA is yet to be allocated.
equal protection clause. The exemption For the same reason, the municipalities that
higher income requirement is included provision merely states, "Exemption from are not covered by the uniform exemption
in RA 9009 as amendatory to Sec. Republic Act No. 9009 ─ The City of x x x shall clause in the cityhood laws cannot validly
be exempted from the income requirement invoke constitutional protection. For, at this
450 LGC, would it still violate the
prescribed under Republic Act No. 9009." This point, the conversion of a municipality into a
equal protection clause? one sentence exemption provision contains no city will only affect its status as a political unit,
classification standards or guidelines but not its property as such.
differentiating the exempted municipalities
from those that are not exempted.

The exemption will be based solely on the fact


that the 16 municipalities had cityhood bills
pending in the 11th Congress when RA 9009
was enacted. This is not a valid classification
between those entitled and those not entitled
to exemption from the P100 million income
requirement.

NO, there is no substantial distinction


YES, there is SUBSTANTIAL DISTINCTION. NO, there is no substantial distinction YES, there is SUBSTANTIAL DISTINCTION.
a) Was there substantial between the municipalities with pending
Respondent LGUs, which are subjected only to between municipalities with pending cityhood
distinction? cityhood bills and municipalities that did
the erstwhile PhP 20 million income criterion bills in the 11th Congress and municipalities It should be pointed out that the imposition
not have pending cityhood bills. The mere
instead of the stringent income requirement that did not have pending bills. The mere of the P100 million average annual income
pendency of a cityhood bill in the 11th
prescribed in RA 9009, are substantially pendency of a cityhood bill in the 11th requirement for the creation of component
Congress is not a material difference to
different from other municipalities desirous to Congress is not a material difference to cities was arbitrarily made. To be sure, there
distinguish one municipality from another for
be cities. distinguish one municipality from another was no evidence or empirical data, such as
the purpose of the income requirement.
They were qualified cityhood applicants for the purpose of the income requirement. inflation rates, to support the choice of this
before the enactment of RA 009. Because of The pendency of a cityhood bill in the 11th amount. The imposition of a very high
events they had absolutely nothing to do with, Congress does not affect or determine the income requirement of P100 million,
a spoiler in the form of RA 9009 supervened. level of income of a municipality. increased from P20 million, was simply to
Now, then, to impose on them the much make it extremely difficult for
higher income requirement after what they municipalities to become component cities.
have gone through would appear to be
indeed unfair Verily, the determination of the existence of
substantial distinction with respect to
Is the classification germane to the purpose respondent municipalities does not simply lie
on the mere pendency of their cityhood bills
of the law?
during the 11th Congress.
YES. The exemption of respondent
Indeed, substantial distinction lies in the
LGUs/municipalities from the PhP 100 million
capacity and viability of respondent
income requirement was meant to reduce the
municipalities to become component cities of
inequality occasioned by the passage of the
their respective provinces. Congress, by
amendatory RA 9009. Respondent
enacting the Cityhood Laws, recognized
municipalities and the 33 other municipalities,
this capacity and viability of respondent

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which had already been elevated to city status, municipalities to become the State’s
were all found to be qualified under the old partners in accelerating economic growth
Sec. 450 of the LGC of 1991 during the 11th and development in the provincial regions,
Congress. As such, both respondent LGUs and which is the very thrust of the LGC, manifested
the 33 other former municipalities are under by the pendency of their cityhood bills during
like circumstances and conditions. the 11th Congress and their relentless pursuit
for cityhood up to the present.

YES, the fact of pendency of the cityhood


b) Was the classification limited Can the other LGUs claim that their IRA
YES, the fact of pendency of the cityhood NO, the non-retroactive effect of RA 9009 bills LIMITS the exemption to a specific
to existing conditions only? bills LIMITS the exemption to a specific is NOT LIMITED in application only to condition (i.e. that specific condition will would be substantially reduced on account
condition (i.e. that specific condition will conditions existing at the time of its never happen again) existing at the time of of the conversion of the respondent
never happen again) existing at the time of enactment. It is intended to apply for all time, passage of RA 9009. municipalities?
passage of RA 9009 as long as the contemplated conditions This violates the requirement that a valid
obtain. To be more precise, the legislative classification must not be limited to existing
In the same vein, the exemption provision in intent underlying the enactment of RA 9009 to conditions only. In fact, the minority concedes NO, the feared reduction of IRA proved to
the Cityhood Laws gives the 16 municipalities exclude would-be-cities from the PhP 100 that the conditions (pendency of the cityhood be FALSE when after the implementation of
a unique advantage based on an arbitrary date million criterion would hold sway, as long as bills) adverted to can no longer be repeated. the Cityhood Laws, THEIR RESPECTIVE
− the filing of their cityhood bills before the the corresponding cityhood bill has been filed SHARES INCREASED, not decreased
end of the 11th Congress - as against all other before the effectivity of RA 9009 and the
municipalities that want to convert into cities concerned municipality qualifies for Congress merely took the 16 municipalities
after the effectivity of RA 9009. conversion into a city under the original covered thereby from the disadvantaged
version of Sec. 450 of the LGC of 1991. position brought about by the abrupt increase
in the income requirement of R.A. No. 9009,
acknowledging the “privilege” that they have
already given to those newly-converted
NO, limiting the exemption only to the 16 component cities, which prior to the
c) Did the classification apply
NO, limiting the exemption only to the 16 YES, the uniform exemption clause would municipalities violates the requirement enactment of R.A. No. 9009, were undeniably
equally to all members of the in the same footing or “class” as the
municipalities violates the requirement apply to municipalities that had pending that classification must apply to all similarly
same class? that classification must apply to all similarly cityhood bills before the passage of RA situated. Municipalities with the same respondent municipalities. Congress merely
situated. Municipalities with the same 9009 and were compliant with then Sec. income as the 16 respondent municipalities recognized the capacity and readiness of
income as the 16 respondent municipalities 450 of the LGC of 1991, which prescribed an cannot convert into cities, while the 16 respondent municipalities to become
cannot convert into cities, while the 16 income requirement of PhP 20 million. respondent municipalities can. component cities of their respective provinces.
respondent municipalities can.

OPERATIVE FACT DOCTRINE

The Operative Fact doctrine does not


operate to constitutionalize the
unconstitutional Cityhood Laws.

Applying the operative fact doctrine to the


present case, 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 ©asKARLA
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and effective.

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