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LEAGUE OF CITIES V. COMELEC: LOC & Jerry P.

Treas assailing the


constitutionalityofthesubjectCityhoodLaws
FACTS: Duringthe12thCongress,CongressenactedintolawRepublicActNo.
9009(RA9009),whichtookeffecton30June2001.RA9009amendedSection
450oftheLocalGovernmentCodebyincreasingtheannualincomerequirement
forconversionofamunicipalityintoacityfromP20milliontoP100million.The
rationale for the amendment was to restrain, in the words of Senator Aquilino
Pimentel,themadrushofmunicipalitiestoconvertintocitiessolelytosecurea
larger share in the Internal Revenue Allotment despite the fact that they are
incapableoffiscalindependence.
After the effectivity of RA 9009, the House of Representatives of the 12th
CongressadoptedJointResolutionNo.29,whichsoughttoexemptfromtheP100
millionincomerequirementinRA9009the24municipalitieswhosecityhoodbills
were not approved in the 11th Congress. However, the 12th Congress ended
withouttheSenateapprovingJointResolutionNo.29.Duringthe13thCongress,
the House of Representatives readopted Joint Resolution No. 29 as Joint
ResolutionNo.1andforwardedittotheSenateforapproval.However,theSenate
again failed to approve the Joint Resolution. Following the advice of Senator
Aquilino Pimentel, 16 municipalities filed, through their respective sponsors,
individual cityhood bills. The 16 cityhood bills contained a common provision
exemptingallthe16municipalitiesfromtheP100millionincomerequirementin
RA 9009. On 22 December 2006, the House of Representatives approved the
cityhood bills. The Senate also approved the cityhood bills in February 2007,
exceptthatofNaga,Cebuwhichwaspassedon7June2007.Thecityhoodbills
lapsedintolaw(CityhoodLaws)onvariousdatesfromMarchtoJuly2007without
the Presidents signature. The Cityhood Laws direct the COMELEC to hold
plebiscites to determine whether the voters in each respondent municipality

approveoftheconversionoftheirmunicipalityintoacity.Petitionersfiledthe
presentpetitions todeclaretheCityhood Lawsunconstitutionalfor violation of
Section 10, Article X oftheConstitution,as wellas for violation oftheequal
protection clause. Petitioners also lament that the wholesale conversion of
municipalities into cities will reduce the share of existing cities in the Internal
Revenue Allotmentbecause more cities willshare the same amountofinternal
revenuesetasideforallcitiesunderSection285oftheLocalGovernmentCode.
ISSUE:WONCityhoodLawsUnconstitutional
HELD: We grantthepetitions. The CityhoodLaws violateSections 6and10,
Article X oftheConstitution,andarethusunconstitutional. 1) theConstitution
requiresthatCongressshallprescribeallthecriteriaforthecreationofacityinthe
LocalGovernmentCodeandnotinanyotherlaw,includingtheCityhoodLaws.2)
theCityhoodLawsviolateSection6,ArticleXoftheConstitutionbecausethey
preventafairandjustdistributionofthenationaltaxestolocalgovernmentunits.
3) the criteria prescribed in Section 450 of the Local Government Code, as
amendedbyRA9009,forconvertingamunicipalityintoacityareclear,plainand
unambiguous, needing no resort to any statutory construction. 4) the intent of
membersofthe11thCongresstoexemptcertainmunicipalitiesfromthecoverage
ofRA9009remainedanintentandwasneverwrittenintoSection450oftheLocal
GovernmentCode.5)thedeliberationsofthe11thor12thCongressonunapproved
billsorresolutionsarenotextrinsicaidsininterpretingalawpassedinthe13th
Congress.6)eveniftheexemptionintheCityhoodLawswerewritteninSection
450oftheLocalGovernmentCode,theexemptionwouldstillbeunconstitutional
forviolationoftheequalprotectionclause.