MIRANDA V. AGUIRRE
Petitioners Jose Miranda, mayor of Santiago,Isabel, Dirige & Afiado, councilors and Babaran &Cabuyadao, residents of the said city assail theconstitutionality of
R.A. 8528 CONVERTINGTHE CITY OF SANTIAGO, ISABELA FROM ANINDEPENDENT COMPONENT CITY TO ACOMPONENT CITY.
Charges were filed againstthe Exec. Sec., DILG Sec., provincial officials, etc.May 5, 1994 – RA 7720 converted municipality of Santiago into an independent component city. Itwas ratified by its residents on July 4, 1994. Thiswas amended by said RA 8528 enacted on Feb.14, 1998.Among other changes, the new law had somepolitical amendments including the qualificationof Santiago residents to vote for the provincialofficials of Isabela. They are in turn qualified torun for provincial posts.Petitioners assail the lack of provision forratification of the new law. Respondents on theother hand assail the standing of the petitionersand the Court’s jurisdiction since according tothem this is a political question. Also, they claimthat there is no need to ratify the law because itdid not involve the division, merger, abolition, orsubstantial alteration of boundaries of localgovernment units as required in
Sec. 10, Art. X1987 Consti and Sec. 10, Chapter 2 Loc.Gov. Code
1. WON petitioners have standing in this case?2. WON court has jurisdiction?3. WON RA 8528 is unconstitutional?
Petition granted. RA 8528unconstitutional.
1. YES.a.Constitutionality can be challenged byanyone who will sustain a direct injury byresult of law’s enforcement. Miranda filedsuit in his capacity as Mayor and not onbehalf of the City which needed consent of the council. Definitely, he will sustaindirect & immediate injuries because thiswill alter or affect his powers as a mayor.b.Other petitioners are residents & voters of the city. They are being denied their rightto a plebiscite on a law that will affecttheir city. They have standing as well.2. YES.a.Supreme Court can “determine whether ornot there has been a grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the part of any branch orinstrumentality of government.”
(SEC. 1,ART. VIII, 1987 CONSTI)
b.Political question: question of policy, to bedecided by people in their sovereigncapacity or in regard to which fulldiscretionary authority has beendelegated to the legislative orexec.branch, involving wisdom of the law.
(TANADA V. CUENCO)
c.Justiciable issue: given right, legallydemandable & enforceable, an act oromission violative of such right & aremedy granted & sanctioned by law, forsaid breach of right.
d.The legally demandable & enforceableright of petitioners to a plebiscite is a legalquestion and the Court being the ultimateinterpreter of the Consti has jurisdictionover this case.3. YES.a.Material changes in the political &economic rights of Isabela’s localgovernment unit and residents will takeplace as an effect of the new law. Therewill be geographical, political andadministrative changes too.
City’s capacity as a political unit willdiminish
mayor will be placed under provincialsupervision
ordinances will be subject to theapproval of the provincial board
share taxes with the province whichwill diminish funds due to reducedinternal revenue allocations
registered voters will vote for and bevoted as provincial officials Thus, essential that it goes through aplebiscite as spirit of Sec. 10, Art. X of Consti states. Plebiscite was instituted toserve as a checking mechanism againstpublic officials who instituted changes forpolitical reasons without considering thewelfare of the people. This favors directdemocracy over democracy thru theelected representatives. This also grantslocal government units more autonomy.b.When it was converted from a municipalityto an independent component city(upgraded) it was ratified in a plebiscite,why should downgrading not be subjectedto ratification as well?c.Plebiscite is required for all conversions asstated in
Rule II, Art. 6, Par. (f)(1)Implementing Rules & Regulations of the Loc.Gov.Code
.d.Reason for converting it to a componentcity: people aspire for the leadership of theprovince. Surprising enough becausepeople were aware that they were givingup that right when they voted for