G.R. No. L-28089 vs.

October 25, 1967

BARA LIDASAN, petitioner, COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS, respondent.

FACTS: The Chief Executive signed into law House Bill 1247, known as Republic Act 4790 entitled: “An Act

Creating the Municipality of Dianaton in the Province of Lanao del Sur”. Comelec, prompted by the coming
elections, adopted its resolution the composition of the new municipality of Dianaton which will be the basis of the establishment of precincts, registration of voter and other election purposes. It stated that the Dianaton, Lanao del Sur shall be comnposed of 9 barrios situated in the municipality of Balabagan, Lanao del Sur; 2 barrios situated in the municipality of Buldon, Cotabato; and 10 situated in the municipality of Parang, also of Cotabato. Apprised of this development the Office of the President, recommended to Comelec that the operation of the statute be suspended until “clarified by correcting legislation.” Comelec, by another resolution, stood by its own interpretation, declared that the statute “should be implemented unless declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.” ISSUE: Whether R.A. 4790 is unconstitutional and therefore COMELEC’s resolutions pertaining to the said law be nullified. HELD: Yes. The title — “An Act Creating the Municipality of Dianaton, in the Province of Lanao del Sur“ — projects the impression that solely the province of Lanao del Sur is affected by the creation of Dianaton. This is in violation of Section 21 Art. VI of the Constitution which states that the title of the bill is to be couched in a

language sufficient to notify the legislators and the public and those concerned of the import of the single subject thereof. The phrase “in the Province of Lanao del Sur,” is misleading because it did not inform the
concerned parties, particularly the affected people of the 2 towns of Cotabato, of the full impact of the law. Moreover, a change of boundaries of two (2) provinces could not be considered as a mere effect of the enacted law since it is as important as creating a new municipality, which the title did not reflect. The totality of R.A. 4790 was null and void since the remaining parts, which may be considered as valid, are dependent to the parts being argued. Thus, the resolutions of COMELEC were prohibited to be implemented.