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Ceniza v COMELEC
Heading in Syllabus
Date: January 28, 1980 (1973 Constitution)
Ponente: Concepcion, Jr., J.
The case is about a petition for prohibition and
mandamus against the COMELEC filed by the petitioners
as taxpayers and registered voters of Mandaue City after
the voters of the said city were prohibited from voting
provincial officials for Cebu. Their petition was denied
for lack of merit.
1. WON the right to suffrage of Mandaue City
voters have been violated.
2. WON there was a denial of equal protection.
3. WON the charter is unconstitutional for lack of a
1. On December 22, 1979, the Interim Batasang
Pambansa enacted Batas Blg. 51a providing for
local elections on January 30, 1980. To
implement this ACT, the COMELEC adopted
Resolution No. 1421 which included a list of
cities whose registered voters were not allowed
to vote for provincial officials.
2. In the said COMELEC Resolution, voters from
Mandaue City, despite the City not qualifying
as a highly urbanized city, were barred from
provincial elections as based from the Citys
3. Thus, the petitioners filed for prohibition and
1. NO. The constitution confers no right to a voter
in a city to vote for the provincial officials of

the province where the city is located.

Moreover, provincial governments have no
supervision over highly urbanized cities thus it
is only proper to exclude aforementioned
voters from provincial elections since their
interest wont be vitally affected.
2. NO. The practice of allowing voters in one
component city to vote for provincial officials
whilst denying the same to voters of another
component city is a matter of legislative
discretion which violates neither the
Constitution nor the right to suffrage.
3. NO. The requirement for plebiscite came with
the 1973 Constitution while the City of Mandaue
came into existent in June 21, 1969. It is a
general rule that constitutional provisions
should apply prospectively only.
WHEREFORE, the petition should be, as it is hereby
dismissed. Costs against the petitioners.

Batas Blg. 51, Sec 3(2). Until
cities are reclassified into highly
urbanized and component cities in
accordance with the standards
established in the Local Government
Code as provided for in Article XI, Sec. 4
(1) of the Constitution, any city now
existing with an annual regular income
derived from infrastructure and general
funds of not less than forty million
pesos (P40,000,000.00) at the time of
the approval of this Act shall be
classified as a highly urbanized city. All
other cities shall be considered
components of the provinces where
they are geographically located.
R.A. 5519 Sec. 96.
Participation of voters in provincial
election. The qualified voters of the city
shall not be entitled to vote in any
election for the offices of the Provincial
Governor, Vice-Governor, and
Members of the Provincial Board of the
Province of Cebu, but any of such
qualified voters can be a candidate for
any provincial office.
1973 Constitution, Art. XI, SEC. 4. (1).
Provinces with respect to component
cities and municipalities, and cities and
municipalities with respect to
component barrios, shall ensure that
the acts of their component units are
within the scope of their assigned
powers and functions. Highly urbanized
cities, as determined by standards
established in the local government
code, shall be independent of the
(2) Local government units may group
themselves, or consolidate or
coordinate their efforts, services, and
resources for purposes commonly
beneficial to them.