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Comment in Intervention (Re Synchronization of Election in ARMM, constitutionality of RA 10153)

Comment in Intervention (Re Synchronization of Election in ARMM, constitutionality of RA 10153)

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Published by: Algamar_Latiph on Jul 20, 2011
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07/21/2011

 
Republic of the Philippines
SUPREME COURT
Manila
En Banc
REP. EDCEL C. LAGMAN,
Petitioner 
,-
versus
- G.R. No. 197221PAQUITO N. OCHOA, JR.,
ET. AL
,
Respondents
.x--------------------------------------------------xROMULO B. MAKALINTAL,
Petitioner 
,-
versus
- G.R. No. 197282COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS
ET. AL
,
Respondents,
 x----------------------------------------------------xALMARIM CENTI TILLAH,
ET. AL
,
Petitioners
,-
versus
- G.R. No. 197282COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS,
ET. AL
,
Respondents,
 x----------------------------------------------------xMINORITY RIGHTS FORUMPHILIPPINES, INC.,
Respondent-in-Intervention
,x----------------------------------------------------xBANGSAMORO SOLIDARITYMOVEMENT,
Respondent-in-Intervention
,x----------------------------------------------------x
COMMENT-IN-INTERVENTION
(For readers, this is not part of the pleading: Excluded here are the twomotions: 1. Motion for Leave to Admit the Attached Motion for Intervention andComment-and-Intervention; and Comment-In-Intervention, 4 pages ; and 2.Motion for Intervention, 12pages)
 
 2
Respondents-in-Intervention, Bangsamoro SolidarityMovement (BANGSA) and Minority Rights Forum Philippines, Inc.(MRF Philippines), by themselves, most respectfully state:
PROLOGUE
These petitions seek to adjudicate a constitutional controversythis Honorable Court had firmly settled in
Osmena vs. Commission onElection.
1
 
Rejecting this ruling, petitioners come to this Court holdingan opposite view. The obvious outcome of the petitions, followingthe pronouncement in
Osmena,
is an outright denial of the petitions.In these petitions, they advanced that synchronization of election of Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) withnational and local election is unconstitutional.Thus, petitioners’ assailed Republic Act No. 10153.
2
 Unfortunately, their arguments failed to show that the holding of asynchronized election in ARMM runs counter to the Constitution.Rather, they cited inapplicable and off-tangent constitutionalprovisions that cannot operate to nullify RA 10153.Petitioners also asserted that RA 10153 is unconstitutional for itis contrary to the procedural requirements in passing a law allegingthat RA 10153 was not approved in the Senate by a vote of two-thirdof all its members and that it was not submitted to a plebiscite.
1
G.R. No. 100318, 30 July 1991.
2
 
An Act Providing for the Synchronization of the Elections in the Autonomous Region in MuslimMindanao (ARMM) with the National and Local Elections, and for other Purposes.
 
 3
Petitioners’ argument lacks merit—they are introducing adifferent procedure in the law-making process unsupported by anyconstitutional provision.To begin with, they failed to present constitutional basis for thetwo-third vote by the Senate; conversely, they cited a statutoryprovision sourced from RA 9054. This holds true in the case of holding a plebiscite. Further, they posited an erroneous argumentthat every amendment to RA 9054 must be submitted to a plebiscite.In effect, they are asking this Court that apart from the Congress, the1.4 Million electorate of ARMM must be included in the law-makingprocess without any qualification.They also assail Sections 3 and 4 empowering the President toappoint Officers-In-Charge for elective regional positions in theARMM are unconstitutional. Again, they relied on an inapplicablegeneral provision of the Constitution and a case-law which has no bearing in the issue.As we will argue later, RA 10153 is
not
an amendment of RA9054 rather the former is an enabling law of the constitutional policyon synchronization of election. Being an implement of theConstitution, it is not subject to the parameters in RA 9054.With the foregoing, the Petitions must necessarily fail.
NATURE OF THE PETITION

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