You are on page 1of 22

2.

Limbona vs Mangelin
Facts:
* Petitioner was appointed member of the
Sanguniang Pampook, Regional Autonomous
Government and was later elected Speaker
of the Regional Legislative Assembly.
* Congressman Datu invited petitioner in his
capacity as Speaker of the Assembly for
consulations and dialogues on the recent
and present political developments and
other issues affecting Regions IX and XII
hopefully resulting to chart the autonomous
governments of the two regions as
envisioned and may prod the President to
constitute
immediately
the
Regional
Consultative Commission as mandated by
the Commission.
* Consistent with the said invitation,
Petitioner addressed all Assemblymen that
there shall be no session in November as
our presence in the house committee
hearing of Congress take (sic) precedence
over any pending business in batasang
pampook .
* In defiance of Petitioners advice, the
Assembly held a meeting on November 2,
1987, and unseated Limbona from his
position. Limbona prays for the session to be
declared null and void and that he still be
declared Speaker of the Regional Assembly.
* Pending the case, the SC also received a
resolution from the Assembly expelling
Limbonas membership.
Issue:
1. Whether or not the expulsion is valid?
2. Whether or not the courts of law have
jurisdiction
over
the
autonomous
governments or regions. What is the extent
of self-government given to the autonomous
governments of Region XII
Held:
1. No. the November 2 and 5, 1987 sessions
are declared invalid since at the time
Limbona called the recess, it was not a
settled matter whether or not he could do
so. Secondly, the invitation by the House of
Representatives Committee on Muslim

Affairs provides a plausible reason for the


intermission sought. Also, assuming that a
valid recess could not be called, it does not
appear that respondents called his attention
to his mistake. What appears is they opened
the sessions themselves behind his back in
an apparent act of mutiny. Under these
circumstances, equity is on his side. The
recess was called on the ground of good
faith.
2. Yes. An examination of the very
Presidential
Decree
creating
the
autonomous governments of Mindanao
persuades us that they were never meant to
exercise autonomy in the second sense
(decentralization of power) but in the first
sense decentralization of administration ,it
comes unarguably under court's (our)
jurisdiction.
Autonomy is either decentralization of
administration or decentralization of power.
There is decentralization of administration
when the central government delegates
administrative
powers
to
political
subdivisions in order to broaden the base of
government power and in the process to
make local governments "more responsive
and accountable". At the same time, it
relieves the central government of the
burden of managing local affairs and
enables it to concentrate on national
concerns. The President exercises "general
supervision" over them, but only to "ensure
that local affairs are administered according
to law." He has no control over their acts in
the sense that he can substitute their
judgments with his own.
Decentralization of power, on the other
hand, involves an abdication of political
power in the favor of local governments
units declared to be autonomous. In that
case, the autonomous government is free to
chart its own destiny and shape its future
with minimum intervention from central
authorities. An autonomous government
that enjoys autonomy of the latter category
(Decentralization of power) [CONST. (1987),
Art. X, Sec. 15.] is subject alone to the
decree of the organic act creating it and
accepted principles on the effects and limits
of "autonomy."
On the other hand, an autonomous
government
of
the
former
class
(decentralization of administration) is, as we
noted, under the supervision of the national

government acting through the President


(and the Department of Local Government).
If the Sangguniang Pampook (of Region XII),
then, is autonomous in the latter sense
(decentralization of power) its acts are,
debatably beyond the domain of this Court
in perhaps the same way that the internal
acts, say, of the Congress of the Philippines
are beyond our jurisdiction. But if it is
autonomous in the former category
(decentralization of administration) only, it
comes unarguably under our jurisdiction. An
examination of the very Presidential Decree
creating the autonomous governments of
Mindanao persuades us that they were
never meant to exercise autonomy in the
second sense (decentralization of power).
PD No. 1618, in the first place, mandates
that "[t]he President shall have the power of
general supervision and control over
Autonomous Regions." Hence, we assume
jurisdiction. And if we can make an inquiry in
the validity of the expulsion in question,
with more reason can we review the
petitioner's removal as Speaker.

3. Lina vs Pano
Respondent Tony Calvento was appointed
agent of PCSO to install Terminal OM 20 for
the operation of lotto. He asked Mayor
Calixto Cataquiz, Mayor of San Pedro,
Laguna, for a mayor's permit to open the
lotto outlet but was denied by virtue of
ordinance passed by the Sangguniang
Panlalawigan of Laguna which prohibits
Lotto outlets in the province.
Respondent Calvento filed a complaint for
declaratory relief before RTC and a petition
to require Mayor Cataquiz to issue a
business permit for the operation of a lotto
outlet and to annul or declare as invalid the
said ordinance.
Respondent judge Pano
petitions of Calvento.

granting

the

Petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration


which was subsequently denied.
Hence, this petition.
Issue:
- WON Kapasiyahan Blg. 508, T. 1995 of the
Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Laguna and

the denial of a mayor's


thereon are valid?

permit based

- WON whether prior consultations and


approval by the concerned Sanggunian are
needed before a lotto system can be
operated in a given local government unit.?
Held: No.
The assailed ordinance merely states the
"objection" of the council to the said game.
It is but a mere policy statement on the part
of the local council, which is not selfexecuting. It could not serve as a valid
ground to prohibit the operation of the lotto
system in the province of Laguna.
As a policy statement expressing the local
government's objection to the lotto, such
resolution is valid. This is part of the local
government's autonomy to air its views
which may be contrary to that of the
national government's.
However, this freedom to exercise contrary
views
does
not
mean
that
local
governments may actually enact ordinances
that go against laws duly enacted by
Congress. Given this premise, the assailed
resolution in this case could not and should
not be interpreted as a measure or
ordinance prohibiting the operation of lotto.
The game of lotto is a game of chance duly
authorized by the national government
through an Act of Congress.
The Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Laguna, a
local government unit, cannot issue a
resolution or an ordinance that would seek
to prohibit permits.
In our system of government, the power of
local government units to legislate and
enact ordinances and resolutions is merely a
delegated power coming from Congress.
Ordinances should not contravene an
existing statute enacted by Congress.
Municipal governments are only agents of
the national government. Local councils
exercise only delegated legislative powers
conferred upon them by Congress as the
national lawmaking body. The delegate
cannot be superior to the principal or
exercise powers higher than those of the
latter.

Municipal corporations owe their origin to,


and derive their powers and rights wholly
from the legislature. It breathes into them
the breath of life, without which they cannot
exist. As it creates, so it may destroy. As it
may destroy, it may abridge and control.

1. Rights to life

The basic relationship between the national


legislature and the local government units
has not been enfeebled by the new
provisions in the Constitution strengthening
the policy of local autonomy. We here
confirm that Congress retains control of the
local
government
units
although
in
significantly reduced degree now than under
our previous Constitutions.

4. Privacy of families

2. Rights to health
3. Freedom of expression and speech

5. Academic freedom
6. Due process of law
7. Equal protection and
8. Against involuntary servitude.

The power to create still includes the power


to destroy. The power to grant still includes
the power to withhold or recall.
National legislature is still the principal of
the local government units, which cannot
defy its will or modify or violate it
Any form of autonomy granted to local
governments will necessarily be limited and
confined within the extent allowed by the
central authority.
Respondent mayor of San Pedro, cannot
avail of Kapasiyahan Bilang 508, Taon 1995,
of the Provincial Board of Laguna as
justification to prohibit lotto in his
municipality. For said resolution is nothing
but an expression of the
local legislative unit concerned. The Board's
enactment, like spring water, could not rise
above its source of power, the national
legislature.

4. Imbong vs Ochoa
FACTS
On December 21, 2012, the Republic Act
(R.A.) No. 10354, otherwise known as the
Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive
Health Act of 2012 (RH Law), was enacted
by Congress.
14 petitions and 2 petitions-in-intervention
were filed by petitioners praying for the
declaration
of
the
RH
Law
as
unconstitutional on the grounds, as alleged
by the petitioners, that it violates:

Petitioners also contended that RH law


intrudes
in
the
autonomy
of
local
governments and the ARMM, and violate the
natural law, and that delegation of authority
to the FDA is invalid.
On March 15, 2013, the RH law took effect
but on March 19, 2013, after considering the
issues and arguments raised, the Court
issued the Status Quo Ante Order (SQAO),
which effected a 120-day halt on the
implementation or until July 17, 2013.
The Status Quo Ante generally states that
the government has already supported this
kind of law even as early as 1966 until
August 2009. The Status Quo Ante shows
the series of laws enacted which concludes
the RH Bill is just an enhancement measure
to fortify and make effective the current
laws on contraception, women's health and
population control.
Despite the legislative measures in the past,
the population of the country kept on
galloping at an uncontrollable pace. The RH
Law role is to make it mandatory for health
providers to provide information on the full
range of modem family planning methods,
supplies and services, and for schools to
provide reproductive health education. To
put teeth to it, the RH Law criminalizes
certain acts of refusals to carry out its
mandates.
On May 30, 2013, the Court held a
preliminary conference with the counsels of
the parties to identify the pertinent issues
raised by the parties and the sequence by
which these issues were to be discussed in
the oral arguments.

On July 9 and 23, 2013, and on August 6, 13,


and 27, 2013, the cases were heard on oral
argument.
On July 16, 2013, the SQAO was ordered
extended until further orders of the Court.
Thereafter, the Court directed the parties to
submit their respective memoranda within
sixty (60) days and, at the same time posed
several questions for their clarification on
some contentions of the parties.
Petitioners prayed to maintain the status
quo.
ISSUES
Whether the RH law is unconstitutional as it
violates
Autonomy
of
Local
Govemment/ARMM
RULING:
Unless an LGU is particularly designated as
the implementing agency, it has no power
over a program for which funding has been
provided by the national government under
the annual general appropriations act, even
if the program involves the delivery of basic
services within the jurisdiction of the LGU.
In this case, a reading of the RH Law clearly
shows that whether it pertains to the
establishment of health care facilities, the
hiring of skilled health professionals, or the
training of barangay health workers, it will
be the national government that will provide
for the funding of its implementation. Local
autonomy is not absolute. The national
government still has the say when it comes
to national priority programs which the local
government is called upon to implement like
the RH Law.
The fact that the RH Law does not intrude in
the autonomy of local governments can be
equally applied to the ARMM. The RH Law
does not infringe upon its autonomy.
HELD:
Petitions
are
PARTIALLY
GRANTED.
Accordingly, the Court declares R.A. No.
10354 as NOT UNCONSTITUTIONAL except
with respect to the following provisions
which are declared UNCONSTITUTIONAL:

1) Section 7 and the corresponding provision


in the RH-IRR insofar as they: a) require
private health facilities and non-maternity
specialty hospitals and hospitals owned and
operated by a religious group to refer
patients, not in an emergency or lifethreatening case, as defined under Republic
Act No. 8344, to another health facility
which is conveniently accessible; and b)
allow minor-parents or minors who have
suffered a miscarriage access to modem
methods of family planning without written
consent from their parents or guardian/s;
2) Section 23(a)(l) and the corresponding
provision in the RH-IRR, particularly Section
5 .24 thereof, insofar as they punish any
healthcare service provider who fails and or
refuses
to
disseminate
information
regarding programs and services on
reproductive health regardless of his or her
religious beliefs.
3) Section 23(a)(2)(i) and the corresponding
provision in the RH-IRR insofar as they allow
a married individual, not in an emergency or
life-threatening case, as defined under
Republic Act No. 8344, to undergo
reproductive health procedures without the
consent of the spouse;
4) Section 23(a)(2)(ii) and the corresponding
provision in the RH-IRR insofar as they limit
the requirement of parental consent only to
elective surgical procedures.
5) Section 23(a)(3) and the corresponding
provision in the RH-IRR, particularly Section
5.24 thereof, insofar as they punish any
healthcare service provider who fails and/or
refuses to refer a patient not in an
emergency or life-threatening case, as
defined under Republic Act No. 8344, to
another health care service provider within
the same facility or one which is
conveniently accessible regardless of his or
her religious beliefs;
6) Section 23(b) and the corresponding
provision in the RH-IRR, particularly Section
5 .24 thereof, insofar as they punish any
public officer who refuses to support
reproductive health programs or shall do
any act that hinders the full implementation
of a reproductive health program, regardless
of his or her religious beliefs;
7) Section 17 and the corresponding
prov1s10n in the RH-IRR regarding the

rendering of pro bona reproductive health


service in so far as they affect the
conscientious objector in securing PhilHealth
accreditation; and
8) Section 3.0l(a) and Section 3.01 G) of the
RH-IRR,
which
added
the
qualifier
"primarily" in defining abortifacients and
contraceptives, as they are ultra vires and,
therefore, null and void for contravening
Section 4(a) of the RH Law and violating
Section 12, Article II of the Constitution.
The Status Quo Ante Order issued by the
Court on March 19, 2013 as extended by its
Order, dated July 16, 2013 is hereby LIFTED,
insofar as the provisions of R.A. No. 10354
which have been herein declared as
constitutional.

5. Dadole vs COA
DOCTRINE:
the President can only interfere in the affairs
and activities of a local government unit if
he or she finds that the latter has acted
contrary to law. This is the scope of the
Presidents supervisory powers over local
government units. Hence, the President or
any of his or her alter egos cannot interfere
in local affairs as long as the concerned local
government unit acts within the parameters
of the law and the Constitution.
FACTS:
In 1986, the RTC and MTC judges of
Mandaue City started receiving monthly
allowances of P1,260 each through the
yearly appropriation ordinance enacted by
the Sangguniang Panlungsod of the said city.
In 1991, Mandaue City increased the
amount to P1,500 for each judge.
On March 15, 1994, the Department of
Budget and Management (DBM) issued the
disputed Local Budget Circular No. 55 (LBC
55) which provided that:
XXX the local government units under the
Local Government Code to provide for
additional allowances and other benefits to
national
government
officials
and
employees assigned in their locality, such
additional allowances in the form of
honorarium
at
rates
not
exceeding

P1,000.00 in provinces and cities and


P700.00 in municipalities may be granted
subject to the following conditions:
a) That the grant is not mandatory on the
part of the LGUs;
b) That all contractual and statutory
obligations of the LGU including the
implementation of R.A. 6758 shall have
been fully provided in the budget;
c)
That
the
budgetary
requirements/limitations under Section 324
and 325 of R.A. 7160 should be satisfied
and/or complied with; and
d) That the LGU has fully implemented the
devolution
of
functions/personnel
in
accordance with R.A. 7160.
The said circular likewise provided for its
immediate effectivity without need of
publication
Acting on the DBM directive, the Mandaue
City Auditor issued notices of disallowance
to herein petitioners in excess of the amount
authorized by LBC 55. The petitioner judges
filed with the Office of the City Auditor a
protest against the notices of disallowance.
But the City Auditor treated the protest as a
motion for reconsideration and indorsed the
same to the COA Regional Office No. 7. In
turn, the COA Regional Office referred the
motion to the head office with a
recommendation that the same be denied.
(on the ground Section 1. The Department
of Budget and Management as the lead
administrator of RA No. 6758 shall, through
its Compensation and Position Classification
Bureau, continue to have the following
responsibilities in connection with the
implementation of the Local Government
Code of 1991: a) Provide guidelines on the
classification of local government positions
and on the specific rates of pay therefore; b)
Provide criteria and guidelines for the grant
of all allowances and additional forms of
compensation
to
local
government
employees)
On November 27, 1995, Executive Judge
Mercedes Gozo-Dadole, for and in behalf of
the petitioner judges, filed a motion for
reconsideration of the decision of the COA.
In a resolution dated May 28, 1996, the COA
denied the motion.

ISSUES:
a. whether LBC 55 of the DBM is void for
going beyond the supervisory powers of the
President and for not having been published
b.
whether
the
yearly
appropriation
ordinance enacted by the City of Mandaue
that provides for additional allowances to
judges
contravenes
the
annual
appropriation laws enacted by Congress.
HELD:

within the parameters of the law and the


Constitution.
LBC 55 likewise goes beyond the law it
seeks to implement. Setting a uniform
amount for the grant of additional
allowances is an inappropriate way of
enforcing the criterion found in Section 458,
par. (a)(1)(xi), of RA 7160. The DBM overstepped its power of supervision over local
government units by imposing a prohibition
that did not correspond with the law it
sought to implement. In other words, the
prohibitory nature of the circular had no
legal basis.

a. LBC 55 is null and void.


We recognize that, although our Constitution
guarantees autonomy to local government
units, the exercise of local autonomy
remains subject to the power of control by
Congress and the power of supervision by
the President. Section 4 of Article X of the
1987 Philippine Constitution provides that:
The President of the Philippines shall
exercise general supervision over local
governments.
Under our present system of government,
executive power is vested in the President.
The members of the
Cabinet and other executive officials are
merely alter egos. As such, they are subject
to the power of control of the President, at
whose will and behest they can be removed
from office; or their actions and decisions
changed, suspended or reversed. In
contrast, the heads of political subdivisions
are elected by the people. Their sovereign
powers emanate from the electorate, to
whom they are directly accountable. By
constitutional fiat, they are subject to the
Presidents supervision only, not control, so
long as their acts are exercised within the
sphere of their legitimate powers. By the
same token, the President may not withhold
or alter any authority or power given them
by the Constitution and the law.
Clearly then, the President can only interfere
in the affairs and activities of a local
government unit if he or she finds that the
latter has acted contrary to law. This is the
scope of the Presidents supervisory powers
over local government units. Hence, the
President or any of his or her alter egos
cannot interfere in local affairs as long as
the concerned local government unit acts

Furthermore, LBC 55 is void on account of its


lack of publication, in violation of our ruling
in Taada vs. Tuvera (Administrative rules and
regulations must also be published if their
purpose is to enforce or implement existing
law pursuant to a valid delegation.)
b. No
Respondent COA failed to prove that
Mandaue City used the IRA to spend for the
additional allowances of the judges. There
was no evidence submitted by COA showing
the breakdown of the expenses of the city
government and the funds used for said
expenses. All the COA presented were the
amounts expended, the locally generated
revenues, the deficit, the surplus and the
IRA received each year. Aside from these
items, no data or figures were presented to
show that Mandaue City deducted the
subject allowances from the IRA. In other
words, just because Mandaue Citys locally
generated revenues were not enough to
cover its expenditures, this did not mean
that the additional allowances of petitioner
judges were taken from the IRA and not from
the citys own revenues.
Moreover, the DBM neither conducted a
formal review nor ordered a disapproval of
Mandaue Citys appropriation ordinances, in
accordance with the procedure outlined by
Sections 326 and 327 of RA 7160. Within 90
days from receipt of the copies of the
appropriation ordinance, the DBM should
have taken positive action. Otherwise, such
ordinance was deemed to have been
properly reviewed and deemed to have
taken effect. Inasmuch as, in the instant
case, the DBM did not follow the appropriate
procedure for reviewing the subject
ordinance of Mandaue City and allowed the
90-day period to lapse, it can no longer

question the legality of the provisions in the


said
ordinance
granting
additional
allowances to judges stationed in the said
city.

7. Abbas vs. COMELEC


G.R. No. 89651 November 10, 1989
Facts:
The present controversy relates to the
plebiscite in (13) provinces and (9) cities in
Mindanao and Palawan, scheduled for
November 19, 1989, in implementation of
Republic Act No. 6734, entitled "An Act
Providing for an Organic Act for the
Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao."
These consolidated petitions pray that the
Court: (1) enjoin the (COMELEC) from
conducting the plebiscite and the Secretary
of Budget and Management from releasing
funds to the COMELEC for that purpose; and
(2) declare R.A. No. 6734, or parts thereof,
unconstitutional .
After a consolidated comment was filed by
Solicitor General for the respondents, which
the Court considered as the answer, the
case was deemed submitted for decision,
the issues having been joined.
The arguments against R.A. 6734 raised by
petitioners may generally be categorized
into either of the following:
(a) that R.A. 6734, or parts thereof, violates
the Constitution, and
(b) that certain provisions of R.A. No. 6734
conflict with the Tripoli Agreement.
The Tripoli Agreement, more specifically, the
Agreement Between the government of the
Republic of the Philippines of the Philippines
and Moro National Liberation Front with the
Participation of the Quadripartie Ministerial
Commission Members of the Islamic
Conference and the Secretary General of the
Organization of Islamic Conference" took
effect on December 23, 1976. It provided for
"[t]he establishment of Autonomy in the
southern Philippines within the realm of the
sovereignty and territorial integrity of the
Republic of the Philippines" and enumerated

the thirteen (13) provinces comprising the


"areas of autonomy." 2
In 1987, a new Constitution was ratified,
which the for the first time provided for
regional autonomy, Article X, section 15 of
the charter provides that "[t]here shall be
created autonomous regions in Muslim
Mindanao and in the Cordilleras consisting
of provinces, cities, municipalities, and
geographical areas sharing common and
distinctive historical and cultural heritage,
economic and social structures, and other
relevant
characteristics
within
the
framework of this Constitution and the
national sovereignty as well as territorial
integrity of the Republic of the Philippines."
Issue: Whether or not certain provisions of
the Organic Act are unconstitutional.
Held: NO. The petition has no merit and the
law is constitutional.
1. Petitioner contends that the tenor of a
provision in the Organic Act makes the
creation of an autonomous region absolute,
such that even if only two provinces vote in
favor of autonomy, an autonomous region
would still be created composed of the two
provinces where the favorable votes were
obtained. there is a specific provision in the
Transitory Provisions (Article XIX) of the
Organic
Act,
which
incorporates
substantially
the
same
requirements
embodied in the Constitution and fills in the
details, thus:
SEC. 13. The creation of the Autonomous
Region in Muslim Mindanao shall take effect
when approved by a majority of the votes
cast by the constituent units provided in
paragraph (2) of Sec. 1 of Article II of this
Act in a plebiscite which shall be held not
earlier than ninety (90) days or later than
one hundred twenty (120) days after the
approval of this Act: Provided, That only the
provinces and cities voting favorably in such
plebiscite shall be included in the
Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.
The provinces and cities which in the
plebiscite do not vote for inclusion in the
Autonomous Region shall remain the
existing
administrative
determination,
merge the existing regions.
Thus, under the Constitution and R.A. No
6734, the creation of the autonomous region
shall take effect only when approved by a

majority of the votes cast by the constituent


units in a plebiscite, and only those
provinces and cities where a majority vote in
favor of the Organic Act shall be included in
the autonomous region. The provinces and
cities wherein such a majority is not attained
shall not be included in the autonomous
region. It may be that even if an
autonomous region is created, not all of the
thirteen (13) provinces and nine (9) cities
mentioned in Article II, section 1 (2) of R.A.
No. 6734 shall be included therein. The
single plebiscite contemplated by the
Constitution and R.A. No. 6734 will therefore
be determinative of (1) whether there shall
be an autonomous region in Muslim
Mindanao and (2) which provinces and
cities, among those enumerated in R.A. No.
6734, shall compromise it.
2. The question has been raised as to what
this majority means. Does it refer to a
majority of the total votes cast in the
plebiscite in all the constituent units, or a
majority in each of the constituent units, or
both?
The 1987 Constitution provides: The
creation of the autonomous region shall be
effective when approved by majority of the
votes cast by the constituent units in a
plebiscite called for the purpose, provided
that only provinces, cities and geographic
areas voting favorably in such shall be
included in the autonomous region. [Art. X,
sec, 18, par, 2]. It will readily be seen that
the creation of the autonomous region is
made to depend, not on the total majority
vote in the plebiscite, but on the will of the
majority in each of the constituent units and
the proviso underscores this.
3. Petitioner avers that not all of the thirteen
(13) provinces and nine (9) cities included in
the Organic Act, possess such concurrence
in historical and cultural heritage and other
relevant characteristics. By including areas,
which do not strictly share the same
characteristic as the others, petitioner
claims that Congress has expanded the
scope of the autonomous region which the
constitution itself has prescribed to be
limited.
Petitioner's argument is not tenable. The
Constitution lays down the standards by
which Congress shall determine which areas
should constitute the autonomous region.
Guided by these constitutional criteria, the
ascertainment by Congress of the areas that

share common
exclusive

attributes

is

within

the

realm of the legislature's discretion. Any


review of this ascertainment would have to
go into the wisdom of the law.
4. Both petitions also question the validity of
R.A. No. 6734 on the ground that it violates
the constitutional guarantee on free exercise
of religion [Art. III, sec. 5]. The objection
centers on a provision in the Organic Act
which mandates that should there be any
conflict between the Muslim Code and the
Tribal Code on the one had, and the national
law on the other hand, the Shari'ah courts
created under the same Act should apply
national law. Petitioners maintain that the
islamic law (Shari'ah) is derived from the
Koran, which makes it part of divine law.
Thus it may not be subjected to any "manmade" national law. Petitioner Abbas
supports this objection by enumerating
possible instances of conflict between
provisions of the Muslim Code and national
law, wherein an application of national law
might be offensive to a Muslim's religious
convictions.
In the present case, no actual controversy
between real litigants exists. There are no
conflicting claims involving the application
of national law resulting in an alleged
violation of religious freedom. This being so,
the Court in this case may not be called
upon to resolve what is merely a perceived
potential conflict between the provisions the
Muslim Code and national law.
5. According to petitioners, said provision
grants the President the power to merge
regions, a power which is not conferred by
the Constitution upon the President. While
the power to merge administrative regions
is not expressly provided for in the
Constitution, it is a power which has
traditionally been lodged with the President
to facilitate the exercise of the power of
general supervision over local governments.
There is no conflict between the power of
the President to merge administrative
regions with the constitutional provision
requiring a plebiscite in the merger of local
government units because the requirement
of a plebiscite in a merger expressly applies
only to provinces, cities, municipalities or
barangays, not to administrative regions.
6. Every law has in its favor the presumption
of constitutionality. Based on the grounds

raised by petitioners to challenge the


constitutionality of R.A. No. 6734, the Court
finds that petitioners have failed to
overcome the presumption. The dismissal of
these two petitions is, therefore, inevitable.

8. Cordillera Broad Coalition vs COA


Facts:
EO 220, issued by the President in the
exercise of her legislative powers under Art.
XVIII, sec. 6 of the Constitution, created the
CAR. It was created to accelerate economic
and social growth in the region and to
prepare for the establishment of the
autonomous region in the Cordilleras. Its
main function is to coordinate the planning
and implementation of programs and
services in the region, particularly, to
coordinate with the local government units
as well as with the executive departments of
the National Government in the supervision
of field offices and in identifying, planning,
monitoring, and accepting projects and
activities in the region. It shall also monitor
the implementation of all ongoing national
and local government projects in the region.
The CAR shall have a Cordillera Regional
Assembly as a policy-formulating body and a
Cordillera
Executive
Board
as
an
implementing arm. The CAR and the
Assembly and Executive Board shal exist
until such time as the autonomous regional
government is established and organized. In
these cases, petitioners principally argue
that by issuing E.O. No. 220 the President, in
the exercise of her legislative powers prior
to the convening of the first Congress under
the 1987Constitution, has virtually preempted Congress from its mandated task of
enacting an organic act and created an
autonomous region in the Cordilleras.
Issue: Is EO 220 is valid
Held:
Yes. A reading of E.O. No. 220 will easily
reveal that what it actually envisions is the
consolidation and coordination of the
delivery of services of line departments and
agencies of the National Government in the
areas covered by the administrative region
as a step preparatory to the grant of
autonomy to the Cordilleras. It does not
create the autonomous region contemplated
in the Constitution. It merely provides for

transitory measures in anticipation of the


enactment of an organic act and the
creation of an autonomous region. In short,
it prepares the ground for autonomy. This
does not necessarily conflict with the
provisions
of
the
Constitution
on
autonomous regions, as we shall show later.
Moreover, the transitory nature of the CAR
does not necessarily mean that it is, as
petitioner Cordillera Broad Coalition asserts,
"the interim autonomous region in the
Cordilleras". The Constitution provides for a
basic structure of government in the
autonomous region composed of an elective
executive and legislature and special courts
with personal, family and property law
jurisdiction. Using this as a guide, we find
that E.O. No. 220 did not establish an
autonomous regional government. It created
a region, covering a specified area, for
administrative purposes with the main
objective of coordinating the planning and
implementation of programs and services.
To
determine
policy,
it
created
a
representative assembly, to convene yearly
only for a five-day regular session, tasked
with, among others, identifying priority
projects and development programs. To
serve as an implementing body, it created
the Cordillera Executive Board. The bodies
created by E.O. No. 220 do not supplant the
existing local governmental structure, nor
are they autonomous government agencies.
They merely constitute the mechanism for
an "umbrella" that brings together the
existing local governments, the agencies of
the National Government, the ethnolinguistic groups
or
tribes,
and
non-governmental
organizations in a concerted effort to spur
development in the Cordilleras.
Issue: Is CAR is a territorial and political
subdivision.
Held: No. We have seen earlier that the CAR
is not the autonomous region in the
Cordilleras
contemplated
by
the
Constitution.
Thus,
we
now
address
petitioners'
assertion
that
E.O.
No.
220contravenes the Constitution by creating
a new territorial and political subdivision.
After carefully considering the provisions of
E.O. No. 220, we find that it did not create a
new territorial and political subdivision or
merge
existing
ones
into
a
larger
subdivision. Firstly, the CAR is not a public
corporation or a territorial and political
subdivision. It does not have a separate

juridical personality, unlike provinces, cities


and municipalities. Neither is It vested with
the powers that are normally granted to
public corporations, e.g. the power to sue
and be sued, the power to own and dispose
of property, the power to create its own
sources of revenue, etc. As stated earlier,
the CAR was created primarily to coordinate
the planning and implementation of
programs and services in the covered areas.
The creation of administrative regions for
the purpose of expediting the delivery of
services is nothing new. The Integrated
Reorganization Plan of 1972, which was
made as part of the law of the land by virtue
of PD 1, established 11regions, later
increased to 12, with definite regional
centers and required departments and
agencies of the Executive Branch of the
National Government to set up field offices
therein. The functions of the regional offices
to be established pursuant to the
Reorganization Plan are: (1) to implement
laws, policies, plans, programs, rules and
regulations of the department or agency in
the
regional
areas;
(2)
to
provide
economical, efficient and effective service to
the people in the area; (3) to coordinate
with regional offices of other departments,
bureaus and agencies in the area; (4) to
coordinate with local government units in
the area; and (5) to perform such other
functions as may be provided by law. CAR is
in the same genre as the administrative
regions created under the Reorganization
Plan, albeit under E.O. No. 220 the operation
of the CAR requires the participation not
only of the line departments and agencies of
the National Government but also the local
governments, ethno-linguistic groups and
non-governmental organizations in bringing
about the desired objectives and the
appropriation of funds solely for that
purpose.
Issue: Did the creation of the CAR
contravened the constitutional guarantee of
the local autonomy for the provinces (Abra,
Benguet,
Ifugao,
Kalinga-Apayao
and
Mountain Province) and city (Baguio City)
which compose the CAR.
Held: No. It must be clarified that the
constitutional guarantee of local autonomy
in
the
Constitution
refers
to
the
administrative
autonomy
of
local
government units or, cast in more technical
language,
the
decentralization
of
government authority. Local autonomy is not
unique to the1987 Constitution, it being
guaranteed
also
under
the
1973

Constitution. And while there was no


express
guarantee
under
the
1935
Constitution, the Congress enacted the Local
Autonomy Act(R.A. No. 2264) and the
Decentralization Act (R.A. No. 5185), which
ushered the irreversible march towards
further enlargement of local autonomy in
the country. On the other hand, the creation
of autonomous regions in Muslim Mindanao
and the Cordilleras, which is peculiar to the
1987 Constitution, contemplates the grant
of political autonomy and not just
administrative autonomy to these regions.
Thus, the provision in the Constitution for an
autonomous regional government with a
basic structure consisting of an executive
department and a legislative assembly and
special courts with personal, family and
property law jurisdiction in each of the
autonomous regions. As we have said
earlier, the CAR is a mere transitory
coordinating agency that would prepare the
stage for political autonomy for the
Cordilleras. It fills in the resulting gap in the
process of transforming a group of adjacent
territorial and political subdivisions already
enjoying local or administrative autonomy
into an autonomous region vested with
political autonomy
9. Orlino v Comelec
Doctrine: A region is made up of more than
one constituent unit- province
Facts:
On January 30, 1990, the people of the
provinces of Benguet, Mountain Province,
Ifugao, Abra and Kalinga-Apayao and the
city of Baguio cast their votes in a plebiscite
held pursuant to Republic Act No. 6766
entitled An Act Providing for an Organic Act
for the Cordillera Autonomous Region. The
official Commission on Elections (COMELEC)
results of the plebiscite showed that the
creation of the Region was approved by a
majority of 5,889 votes in only the Ifugao
Province and was overwhelmingly rejected
by 148,676 votes in the rest of the provinces
and city above-mentioned.
Consequently, the COMELEC, on February
14, 1990, issued Resolution No. 2259 stating
that the Organic Act for the Region has been
approved and/or ratified by majority of the
votes cast only in the province of Ifugao; the
petitioner filed a petition with COMELEC to

declare the non-ratification of the Organic


Act for the Region. The petitioners maintain
that there can be no valid Cordillera
Autonomous Region in only one province as
the Constitution and Republic Act No. 6766
require that the said Region be composed of
more than one constituent unit.
Issue: The question raised in this petition is
whether or not the province of Ifugao, being
the only province which voted favorably for
the creation of the Cordillera Autonomous
Region can, alone, legally and validly
constitute such Region.
Held: The sole province of Ifugao cannot
validly constitute the Cordillera Autonomous
Region.
It is explicit in Article X, Section 15 of the
1987
Constitution.
The
keywords

provinces,
cities,
municipalities
and
geographical areas connote that region is
to be made up of more than one constituent
unit. The term region used in its ordinary
sense means two or more provinces. This is
supported by the fact that the thirteen (13)
regions into which the Philippines is divided
for administrative purposes are groupings of
contiguous provinces. Ifugao is a province
by itself. To become part of a region, it must
join other provinces, cities, municipalities,
and geographical areas. It joins other units
because of their common and distinctive
historical and cultural heritage, economic
and social structures and other relevant
characteristics.
The
Constitutional
requirements are not present in this case.
Article III, Sections 1 and 2 of Republic Act
No. 6766 provide that the Cordillera
Autonomous Region is to be administered by
the Cordillera government consisting of the
Regional Government and local government
units. It further provides that:
SECTION 2. The Regional Government shall
exercise powers and functions necessary for
the proper governance and development of
all provinces, cities, municipalities, and
barangay or ili within the Autonomous
Region . . . From these sections, it can be
gleaned that Congress never intended that a
single
province
may
constitute
the
autonomous region. Otherwise, we would be
faced with the absurd situation of having
two sets of officials, a set of provincial
officials and another set of regional officials
exercising their executive and legislative
powers over exactly the same small area.

10. Bai Sandra Sema v Comelec


Facts:
The Province of Maguindanao is part of
ARMM. Cotabato City is part of the province
of Maguindanao but it is not part of ARMM
because Cotabato City voted against its
inclusion in a plebiscite held in 1989.
Maguindanao has two legislative districts.
The 1st legislative district comprises of
Cotabato City and 8 other municipalities.
A law (RA 9054) was passed amending
ARMMs Organic Act and vesting it with
power to create provinces, municipalities,
cities and barangays. Pursuant to this law,
the ARMM Regional Assembly created Shariff
Kabunsuan (Muslim Mindanao Autonomy Act
201) which comprised of the municipalities
of the 1st district of Maguindanao with the
exception of Cotabato City.
For the purposes of the 2007 elections,
COMELEC initially stated that the 1st district
is now only made of Cotabato City (because
of MMA 201). But it later amended this
stating that status quo should be retained;
however, just for the purposes of the
elections, the first district should be called
Shariff Kabunsuan with Cotabato City this
is also while awaiting a decisive declaration
from Congress as to Cotabatos status as a
legislative district (or part of any).
Bai Sandra Sema was a congressional
candidate for the legislative district of S.
Kabunsuan with Cotabato (1st district).
Later, Sema was contending that Cotabato
City should be a separate legislative district
and that votes therefrom should be
excluded in the voting (probably because
her rival Dilangalen was from there and D
was winning in fact he won). She
contended that under the Constitution, upon
creation of a province (S. Kabunsuan), that
province automatically gains legislative
representation and since S. Kabunsuan
excludes Cotabato City so in effect
Cotabato
is
being
deprived
of
a
representative in the HOR.
COMELEC maintained that the legislative
district is still there and that regardless of S.
Kabunsuan being created, the legislative
district is not affected and so is its
representation.

ISSUE: Whether or not RA 9054 is


unconstitutional. Whether or not ARMM can
create validly LGUs.
HELD:
RA 9054 is unconstitutional. The creation of
local government units is governed by
Section 10, Article X of the Constitution,
which provides:
Sec. 10. No province, city, municipality, or
barangay may be created, divided, merged,
abolished or its boundary substantially
altered except in accordance with the
criteria established in the local government
code and subject to approval by a majority
of the votes cast in a plebiscite in the
political units directly affected.
Thus, the creation of any of the four local
government
units
province,
city,
municipality or barangay must comply with
three conditions. First, the creation of a local
government unit must follow the criteria
fixed in the Local Government Code.
Second, such creation must not conflict with
any provision of the Constitution. Third,
there must be a plebiscite in the political
units affected.
There is neither an express prohibition nor
an express grant of authority in the
Constitution for Congress to delegate to
regional or local legislative bodies the power
to create local government units. However,
under its plenary legislative powers,
Congress can delegate to local legislative
bodies the power to create local government
units, subject to reasonable standards and
provided no conflict arises with any
provision of the Constitution. In fact,
Congress has delegated to provincial
boards, and city and municipal councils, the
power to create barangays within their
jurisdiction, subject to compliance with the
criteria established in the Local Government
Code, and the plebiscite requirement in
Section 10, Article X of the Constitution.
Hence, ARMM cannot validly create Shariff
Kabunsuan province.
Note that in order to create a city there
must be at least a population of at least
250k, and that a province, once created,
should have at least one representative in
the HOR. Note further that in order to have a
legislative district, there must at least be
250k (population) in said district. Cotabato

City
did
not
meet
the
population
requirement so Semas contention is
untenable. On the other hand, ARMM cannot
validly create the province of S. Kabunsuan
without first creating a legislative district.
But this can never be legally possible
because the creation of legislative districts
is vested solely in Congress. At most, what
ARMM can create are barangays not cities
and provinces.
11. MIRANDA VS. AGUIRRE
G.R. No. 133064 September 16 1999
FACTS: 1994, RA No. 7720 effected the
conversion of the municipality of Santiago,
Isabela, into an independent component
city. In July 4th, RA No. 7720 was approved
by the people of Santiago in a plebiscite.
1998, RA No. 8528 was enacted and it
amended RA No. 7720 that practically
downgraded the City of Santiago from an
independent
component
city
to
a
component city. Petitioners assail the
constitutionality of RA No. 8528 for the lack
of provision to submit the law for the
approval of the people of Santiago in a
proper plebiscite.
Respondents defended the constitutionality
of RA No. 8528 saying that the said act
merely reclassified the City of Santiago from
an independent component city into a
component city. It allegedly did not involve
any creation, division, merger, abolition, or
substantial alteration of boundaries of local
government units, therefore; a plebiscite of
the people of Santiago is unnecessary. They
also questioned the standing of petitioners
to file the petition and argued that the
petition raises a political question over
which the Court lacks jurisdiction.
ISSUE: Whether or not the Court
jurisdiction over the petition at bar?

has

HELD:Yes. RA No. 8528 is declared


unconstitutional. That Supreme Court has
the jurisdiction over said petition because it
involves not a political question but a
justiciable issue, and of which only the court
could decide whether or not a law passed by
the Congress is unconstitutional.
That when an amendment of the law
involves creation, merger, division, abolition
or substantial alteration of boundaries of

local government units, a plebiscite in the


political units directly affected is mandatory.
Petitioners are directly affected in the implementation of RA No. 8528. Miranda was the
mayor of Santiago City, Afiado was the
President of the Sangguniang Liga, together
with 3 other petitioners were all residents
and voters in the City of Santiago. It is their
right to be heard in the conversion of their
city through a plebiscite to be conducted by
the COMELEC. Thus, denial of their right in
RA No. 8528 gives them proper standing to
strike down the law as unconstitutional.
Sec. 1 of Art. VIII of the Constitution states
that: the judicial power shall be vested in
one Supreme Court and in such lower courts
as may be established by law. Judicial power
includes the duty of the courts of justice to
settle actual controversies involving rights
which
are
legally
demandable
and
enforceable, and to determine whether or
not there has been a grave abuse of
discretion amounting to lack or excess of
jurisdiction on the part of any branch or
instrumentality of the Government
12. TAN VS. COMELEC
G.R. No. 73155, July 11, 1986
DOCTRINE: It can be plainly seen that the
aforecited constitutional provision makes it
imperative that there be first obtained "the
approval of a majority of votes in the
plebiscite in the unit or units affected"
whenever a province is created, divided or
merged and there is substantial alteration of
the boundaries. The first would be the
parent province of Negros Occidental
because
its
boundaries
would
be
substantially altered. The other affected
entity would be composed of those in the
area subtracted from the mother province to
constitute the proposed province of Negros
del Norte. We find no way to reconcile the
holding of a plebiscite that should conform
to said constitutional requirement but
eliminates the participation of either of
these two component political units.
FACTS: NOTA BENE: This case is relevant to
the current buzz regarding the "Sugbuak."
The issue in this case, however, is a bit on
the technical side.
- when the boundaries of a LGU is
substantially altered, there are necessarily

more than one unit affected -- the parent


LGU and the new LGU that was created as a
result of the alteration
This case was prompted by the enactment
of Batas Pambansa Blg. 885, An Act Creating
a New Province in the Island of Negros to be
known as the Province of Negros del Norte,
effective Dec. 3, 1985. (Cities of Silay, Cadiz
and San Carlos and the municipalities of
Calatrava,
Taboso,
Escalante,
Sagay,
Manapla, Victorias, E.R. Magalona, and
Salvador Benedicto.
Pursuant to and in implementation of this
law, the COMELEC scheduled a plebiscite for
January 3, 1986. Petitioners opposed, filing a
case for Prohibition and contending that the
B.P. 885 is unconstitutional and not in
complete accord with the Local Government
Code because:
(1) The voters of the parent province of
Negros Occidental, other than those living
within the territory of the new province of
Negros del Norte, were not included in the
plebiscite
(2) The area which would comprise the new
provinc of Negros del Norte would only be
about 2,856.56 sq. km., which is lesser than
the minimum area prescribed by the
governing statute
The Supreme Court was in recess at the
time so the petition was not timely
considered. Consequently, petitioners filed a
supplemental pleading on January 4, 1986,
after the plebiscite sought to be restrained
was held the previous day, January 3.
ISSUE: W/N the plebiscite was legal and
complied with the constitutional requisites
under Article XI, Sec. 3 of the Consititution,
which states that -"Sec. 3. No province, city, municipality or
barrio may be created, divided, merged,
abolished, or its boundary substantially
altered except in accordance with the
criteria established in the Local Government
Code, and subject to the approval by a
majority of the votes in a plebiscite in the
unit or units affected."
HELD: NO. In interpreting the above
provision, the Supreme Court held that
whenever a province is created, divided or
merged and there is substantial alteration of

the boundaries, "the approval of a majority


of votes in the plebiscite in the unit or units
affected" must first be obtained.
The creation of the proposed new province
of Negros del Norte will necessarily result in
the division and alteration of the existing
boundaries of Negros Occidental.
"Plain and simple logic will demonstrate that
two political units would be affected. The
first would be the parent province of Negros
Occidental because its boundaries would be
substantially altered. The other affected
entity would be composed of those in the
area subtracted from the mother province to
constitute the proposed province of Negros
del Norte."
The Supreme Court further held that the
case of Governor Zosimo Paredes versus the
Honorable Executive Secretary to the
President, et al., G.R. No. 55628, March 2,
1984 (128 SCRA 6), which the respondents
used to support their case, should not be
taken as a doctrinal or compelling
precedent. Rather, it held that the
dissenting view of Justice Vicente Abad
Santos in the aforementioned case is the
forerunner of the applicable ruling, quoting
that:
"...when the Constitution speaks of "the unit
or units affected" it means all of the people
of the municipality if the municipality is to
be divided such as in the case at bar or of
the people of two or more municipalities if
there be a merger. I see no ambiguity in the
Constitutional provision."
It appeared that when Parliamentary Bill NO.
3644, which proposed the creation of the
new province of Negros del Norte was
passed for approval, it recited therein that
"the plebiscite shall be conducted in the
areas affected within a period of one
hundred and twenty days from the approval
of this Act." However, when the bill was
enacted into B.P. 885, tehre was an
unexplained change from "areas affecte" to
"the proposed new province, which are the
areas affected." The Supreme Court held
that it was a self-serving phrase to state that
the new province constitutes the area
affected.
"Such additional statement serves no useful
purpose for the same is misleading,
erroneous, and far from truth. The remaining

portion of the parent province is as much an


area affected. The substantial alteration of
the boundaries of the parent province, not
to mention the adverse economic effects it
might suffer, eloquently argues the points
raised by the petitioners."
Consequently,
the
Supreme
Court
pronounced that the plebscite held on
January 3, 1986 has no legal effect for being
a patent nullity.
"WHEREFORE, Batas Pambansa Blg. 885 is
hereby
declared unconstitutional.
The
proclamation of the new province of Negros
del Norte, as well as the appointment of the
officials thereof is also declared null and
void.
SO ORDERED."
RATIO: The Court is prepared to declare the
said plebiscite held on January 3, 1986 as
null and void and violative of the provisions
of Sec. 3, Article XI of the Constitution. The
Court is not, however, disposed to direct the
conduct of a new plebiscite, because we find
no legal basis to do so. With constitutional
infirmity attaching to the subject Batas
Pambansa Blg. 885 and also because the
creation of the new province of Negros del
Norte is not in accordance with the criteria
established in the Local Government Code,
the factual and legal basis for the creation of
such new province which should justify the
holding of another plebiscite does not exist.
13. PADILLA VS. COMELEC
G.R. No. 103328 October 19, 1992
DOCTRINE Petitioner's contention that our
ruling in Tan vs. COMELEC has been
superseded with the ratification of the 1987
Constitution, thus reinstating our earlier
ruling in Paredes vs. COMELEC is untenable.
Petitioner opines that since Tan vs.
COMELEC was based on Section 3 of Article
XI of the 1973 Constitution our ruling in said
case is no longer applicable under Section
10 of Article X of the 1987 Constitution, 8
especially since the latter provision deleted
the words "unit or." THIS COURT DOES NOT
AGREE.
It stands to reason that when the law states
that the plebiscite shall be conducted in
the political units directly affected, it
means that residents of the political entity

who would be economically dislocated by


the separation of a portion thereof have a
right to vote in said plebiscite. Evidently,
what is contemplated by the phase political
units directly affected, is the plurality of
political units, which would participate in the
plebiscite. 10 Logically, those to be included
in such political areas are the inhabitants of
the 12 barangays of the proposed
Municipality of Tulay-Na-Lupa as well as
those living in the parent Municipality of
Labo, Camarines Norte. Thus, we conclude
that respondent COMELEC did not commit
grave abuse of discretion in promulgating
Resolution No. 2312.
FACTS: Republic Act No. 7155 creates the
Municipality of Tulay-Na-Lupa in the Province
of Camarines Norte to be composed of
Barangays
Tulay-Na-Lupa,
Lugui,
San
Antonio, Mabilo I, Napaod, Benit, BayanBayan, Matanlang, Pag-Asa, Maot, and
Calabasa, all in the Municipality of Labo,
same province.
Pursuant to said law, the COMELEC ssued a
resolution for conduct of a plebiscite. The
said resolution provides that the plebiscite
shall be held in the areas or units affected,
namely the barangays
comprising he proposed Municipality of
Tulay-Na-Lupa and the remaining areas of
the mother Municipality of Labo, Camarines
Norte. In the plebiscite held throughout the
Municipality of Labo, majority of the votes
cast were against the creation of the
Municipality
of
Tulay-Na-Lupa.
Thus,
petitioner as Governor of Camarines Norte,
seeks to set aside the plebiscite conducted
throughout the Municipality of Labo and
prays that a new plebiscite be undertaken. It
is the contention of petitioner that the
plebiscite was a complete failure and that
the results obtained were invalid and illegal
because the plebiscite, as mandated by
COMELEC, should have been conducted only
in the political unit or units affected, i.e. the
12
barangays
comprising
the
new
Municipality of Tulay-Na-Lupa namely TulayNa-Lupa, Lugui, San Antonio, Mabilo I,
Napaod, Benit, Bayan-Bayan, Matanlang,
Pag-Asa, Maot, and Calabasa. Petitioner
stresses that the plebiscite should not have
included the remaining area of the mother
unit of the Municipality of Labo, Camarines
Norte. In support of his stand, petitioner
argues that where a local unit is to be
segregated from a parent unit, only the

voters of the unit to be segregated should


be included in the plebiscite.
14. AURELIO M. UMALI vs. COMMISSION ON
ELECTIONS, JULIUS CESAR V. VERGARA, and
THE CITY GOVERNMENT OF CABANATUAN
Facts:
On July 11, 2011, the Sangguniang
Panglungsod of Cabanatuan City passed
Resolution No. 183-2011, requesting the
President to declare the conversion of
Cabanatuan City into a highly urbanized city
(HUC). The President issued Presidential
Proclamation No. 418, Series of 2012,
proclaiming the City of Cabanatuan as an
HUC subject to "ratification in a plebiscite by
the qualified voters therein, as provided for
in Section 453 of the Local Government
Code of 1991."
Respondent COMELEC issued the assailed
Minute Resolution No. 12-0797 which reads:
WHEREFORE, the Commission RESOLVED, as
it hereby RESOLVES, that for purposes of the
plebiscite for the conversion of Cabanatuan
City from component city to highlyurbanized city, only those registered
residents of Cabanatuan City should
participate in the said plebiscite.
Umali, Governor of Nueva Ecija, filed an
action maintaining that the proposed
conversion in question will necessarily and
directly affect the mother province of Nueva
Ecija. His main argument is that Section 453
of the LGC should be interpreted in
conjunction with Sec. 10, Art. X of the
Constitution. He argues that while the
conversion in question does not involve the
creation of a new or the dissolution of an
existing city, the spirit of the Constitutional
provision calls for the people of the local
government unit (LGU) directly affected to
vote in a plebiscite whenever there is a
material change in their rights and
responsibilities. The phrase "qualified voters
therein" used in Sec. 453 of the LGC should
then be interpreted to refer to the qualified
voters of the units directly affected by the
conversion and not just those in the
component city proposed to be upgraded.
The COMELEC En Banc ruled in favor of
respondent Vergara. Hence, the Petition for
Certiorari with prayer for injunctive relief.

Issue:
Whether the qualified registered voters of
the entire province of Nueva Ecija or only
those in Cabanatuan City can participate in
the plebiscite called for the conversion of
Cabanatuan City from a component city into
an HUC.
Held:
1. Sec. 453 of the LGC should be interpreted
in accordance with Sec. 10, Art. X of the
Constitution. The power to create, divide,
merge, abolish or substantially alter
boundaries
of
provinces,
cities,
municipalities or barangays, which is
pertinent in the case at bar, is essentially
legislative in nature. The framers of the
Constitution have, however, allowed for the
delegation of such power in Sec. 10, Art. X
of the Constitution
as long as (1) the criteria prescribed in the
LGC is met and (2) the creation, division,
merger,
abolition
or
the
substantial
alteration of the boundaries is subject to the
approval by a majority vote in a plebiscite.
With the twin criteria of standard and
plebiscite satisfied, the delegation to LGUs
of the power to create, divide, merge,
abolish or substantially alter boundaries has
become a recognized exception to the
doctrine of non-delegation of legislative
powers.
Likewise, legislative power was delegated to
the President under Sec. 453 of the LGC
quoted earlier, which states:
Section 453. Duty to Declare Highly
Urbanized Status. It shall be the duty of
the President to declare a city as highly
urbanized within thirty (30) days after it
shall have met the minimum requirements
prescribed in the immediately preceding
Section, upon proper application therefor
and ratification in a plebiscite by the
qualified voters therein.
In this case, the provision merely authorized
the President to make a determination on
whether or not the requirements under Sec.
452
of the LGC are complied with. The provision
makes it ministerial for the President, upon

proper application, to declare a component


city as highly urbanized once the minimum
requirements, which are based on certifiable
and measurable indices under Sec. 452, are
satisfied. The mandatory language "shall"
used in the provision leaves the President
with no room for discretion.
The Court concludes that the source of the
delegation of power to the LGUs under Sec.
6 of the LGC and to the President under Sec.
453 of the same code is none other than
Sec. 10, Art. X of the Constitution.
2. In the more recent case of Miranda, the
interpretation in Tan and Padilla was
modified to include not only changes in
economic but also political rights in the
criteria for determining whether or not an
LGU shall be considered "directly affected."
Nevertheless, the requirement that the
plebiscite be participated in by the plurality
of political units directly affected remained.
A component citys conversion into an HUC
and its resultant autonomy from the
province is a threat to the latters economic
viability. Noteworthy is that the income
criterion for a component city to be
converted into an HUC is higher than the
income requirement for the creation of a
province. The ensuing reduction in income
upon separation would clearly leave a
crippling effect on the provinces operations
as there would be less funding to finance
infrastructure projects and to defray
overhead costs. Moreover, the quality of
services being offered by the province may
suffer
because
of
looming
austerity
measures. These are but a few of the social
costs of the decline in the
provinces economic performance, which
Nueva Ecija is bound to experience once its
most progressive city of Cabanatuan attains
independence.
Duties,
privileges
and
obligations
appertaining to HUCs will attach to
Cabanatuan City if it is converted into an
HUC. This includes the right to be outside
the general supervision of the province and
be under the direct supervision of the
President. An HUC is not subject to
provincial oversight because the complex
and varied problems in an HUC due to a
bigger population and greater economic
activity require greater autonomy.29 The
provincial government stands to lose the
power to ensure that the local government

officials of Cabanatuan City act within the


scope of its prescribed powers and
functions,30 to review executive orders
issued by the city mayor, and to approve
resolutions and ordinances enacted by the
city council.31 The province will also be
divested of jurisdiction over disciplinary
cases concerning the elected city officials of
the new HUC, and the appeal process for
administrative
case
decisions
against
barangay officials of the city will also be
modified
accordingly.32
Likewise,
the
registered voters of the city will no longer be
entitled to vote for and be voted upon as
provincial officials.
In view of these changes in the economic
and political rights of the province of Nueva
Ecija and its residents, the entire province
certainly stands to be directly affected by
the conversion of Cabanatuan City into an
HUC. Following the doctrines in Tan and
Padilla, all the qualified registered voters of
Nueva Ecija should then be allowed to
participate in the plebiscite called for that
purpose.

Petitioners assail the constitutionality of


Presidential Decree No. 824. They rely on
this
provision:
"No
province,
city,
municipality, or barrio may be created,
divided, merged, abolished, or its boundary
substantially altered, except in accordance
with the criteria established in the local
government code, and subject to the
approval by a majority of the votes cast in a
plebiscite in the unit or units affected." 8
The Local Government Code was not
enacted until 1983.
The sole petitioner the other case is
Assemblyman Gemiliano C Lopez, Jr, of
Metropolitan Manila. It is a mandamus
petition to require respondent Commission
on Elections to order the elections for
members of the Sangguniang Panglungsod
and Sangguniang Bayan in the four cities
and thirteen towns of Metropolitan Manila.
Issue:
Whether or not P.D. 824 is constitutional.
Held:

ISSUE: Was the plebiscite conducted in the


areas comprising the proposed Municipality
of Tulay-Na-Lupa and theremaining areas of
the mother Municipality of Labo valid?
HELD: Yes.When the law states that the
plebiscite shall be conducted "in the political
units directly affected," it meansthat
residents of the political entity who would be
economically dislocated by the separation of
a portion thereof have a right to vote in said
plebiscite. Evidently, what is contemplated
by the phase "political units directly
affected," is the plurality of political units,
which would participate in the plebiscite.
Logically, those to be included in such
political areas are the inhabitants of the 12
barangays of the proposed Municipality of
Tulay-Na-Lupa as well as those living in the
parent Municipality of Labo, Camarines
Norte. Thus, it was concluded that
respondent COMELEC did not commit grave
abuse of discretion in promulgating the
resolution.
15. GEMILIANO C. LOPEZ, JR. vs. THE
HONORABLE
COMMISSION
ON
ELECTIONS
Facts:

The recognition of the existence to


Metropolitan Manila cannot be expressed
any clearer. There can be no legal
justification then for a declaration of
unconstitutionality. Presidential Decree No.
824 is not tainted with constitutional
infirmity.
Nor is there any question as to the
Presidential authority to issue Presidential
Decree No. 824 creating Metropolitan Manila
in 1975. There was at the time no interim
Batasang Pambansa. It was the President
who was then entrusted with such
responsibility. So it was held in Aquino, Jr. v.
Commission on Elections, decided in January
of 1975. The ponencia of Justice Makasiar
dispelled "all doubts as to the legality of
such law-making authority by the President
during the period of Martial Law, * * *." As
the opinion went on to state: "The entire
paragraph of Section 3(2) is not a grant of
authority to legislate, but a recognition of
such power as already existing in favor of
the incumbent President during the period
of Martial Law."
As was stated in the Memorandum of the
Solicitor General Estelito P. Mendoza, the
fact that it is a suit for mandamus is an
admission of the validity of Presidential

Decree No. 824. 25 Nor would mandamus


lie, it being provided therein that "the
Sangguniang Bayan shall be composed of as
many barangay captains as may be
determined and chosen by the Commission,
and such number of representatives from
other sectors of the society as may be
appointed
by
the
President
upon
recommendation of the Commission." 26
The Solicitor General can,
therefore
plausibly assert: "This demonstrates that
the petition's charge, that there is no duly
constituted Sangguniang Bayan, in Metro
Manila Area is untrue, and that the citizenry
therein do have a
voice in decision-making, through the
respective Sangguniang Bayans of each of
the political units therein." 27 The Decree
itself thus supplies the refutation to the
contention of petitioner.
One last point. It is undeniable, therefore,
that the creation of the Metropolitan Manila
Commission is free from any constitutional
objection. There is, however, a question that
may arise in connection with the powers of
the President over the Commission.
According to Presidential Decree No. 824:
"The Commission, the General Manager and
any official of the Commission shall be
under the direct supervision and control of
the President. Notwithstanding any provision
in this Decree, the President shall the power
to revoke, amend or modify any ordinance,
resolution or act of the Commission, the
General and the Commissioners." 37 It may
give rise to doubts as to its validity insofar
as it confers the power of control on the
President. That control he certainly exercises
under the present Constitution over the
ministries. 38 His power over local
governments does not go that far. It extends
no further than general supervision. 39
These doubts, however, do not suffice to
nullify such a provision. They can be set at
rest.

16. SENATOR BENIGNO SIMEON C.


AQUINO III and MAYOR JESSE ROBREDO,
Petitioners,
vs.
COMMISSION
ON
ELECTIONS
Facts:
In this original action, petitioners Senator
Benigno Simeon C. Aquino III and Mayor
Jesse Robredo, as public officers, taxpayers
and citizens, seek the nullification as

unconstitutional of Republic Act No. 9716,


entitled
An
Act
Reapportioning
the
Composition of the First (1st) and Second
(2nd) Legislative Districts in the Province of
Camarines Sur and Thereby Creating a New
Legislative
District
From
Such
Reapportionment. Petitioners consequently
pray that the respondent Commission on
Elections be restrained from making any
issuances and from taking any steps relative
to the implementation of Republic Act No.
9716.
Republic Act No. 9716 originated from House
Bill No. 4264, and was signed into law by
President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo on 12
October 2009. It took effect on 31 October
2009, or fifteen (15) days following its
publication in the Manila Standard, a
newspaper of general circulation. In
substance, the said law created an
additional legislative district for the Province
of Camarines Sur by reconfiguring the
existing first and second legislative districts
of the province.
Petitioners
contend
that
the
reapportionment introduced by Republic Act
No. 9716, runs afoul of the explicit
constitutional standard that requires a
minimum population of two hundred fifty
thousand (250,000) for the creation of a
legislative district.5 The petitioners claim
that the reconfiguration by Republic Act No.
9716 of the first and second districts of
Camarines Sur is unconstitutional, because
the proposed first district will end up with a
population of less than 250,000 or only
176,383.
Petitioners rely on Section 5(3), Article VI of
the 1987 Constitution as basis for the cited
250,000 minimum population standard. The
petitioners posit that the 250,000 figure
appearing in the provision is the minimum
population requirement for the creation of a
legislative district.7 The petitioners theorize
that, save in the case of a newly created
province, each legislative district created by
Congress must be supported by a minimum
population of at least 250,000 in order to be
valid.8 Under this view, existing legislative
districts may be reapportioned and severed
to form new districts, provided each
resulting district will represent a population
of at least 250,000. On the other hand, if the
reapportionment would result in the creation
of a legislative seat representing a populace
of less than 250,000 inhabitants, the
reapportionment must be stricken down as

invalid
for
non-compliance
with
minimum population requirement.

the

Plainly read, Section 5(3) of the Constitution


requires a 250,000 minimum population
only for a city to be entitled to a
representative, but not so for a province.

Whether or not a population of 250,000 is


an indispensable constitutional requirement
for the creation of a new legislative district
in a province.

Apropos for discussion is the provision of the


Local Government Code on the creation of a
province which, by virtue of and upon
creation, is entitled to at least a legislative
district. Thus, Section 461 of the Local
Government Code states:

Issue:

Held:
Any law duly enacted by Congress carries
with
it
the
presumption
of
constitutionality.24 Before a law may be
declared unconstitutional by this Court,
there must be a clear showing that a
specific provision of the fundamental law
has been violated or transgressed. When
there is neither a violation of a specific
provision of the Constitution nor any proof
showing that there is such a violation, the
presumption of constitutionality will prevail
and the law must be upheld. To doubt is to
sustain.25
There is no specific provision in the
Constitution that fixes a 250,000 minimum
population that must compose a legislative
district.
The second sentence of Section 5(3), Article
VI of the Constitution, succinctly provides:
Each city with a population of at least two
hundred fifty thousand, or each province,
shall have at least one representative.
The provision draws a plain and clear
distinction between the entitlement of a city
to a district on one hand, and the
entitlement of a province to a district on the
other. For while a province is entitled to at
least
a representative,
with nothing
mentioned about population, a city must
first meet a population minimum of 250,000
in order to be similarly entitled.
The use by the subject provision of a comma
to separate the phrase each city with a
population of at least two hundred fifty
thousand from the phrase or each
province point to no other conclusion than
that the 250,000 minimum population is
only required for a city, but not for a
province. 26

Requisites for Creation. (a) A province may


be created if it has an average annual
income, as certified by the Department of
Finance, of not less than Twenty million
pesos (P20,000,000.00) based on 1991
constant prices and either of the following
requisites:
(i) a contiguous territory of at least two
thousand (2,000) square kilometers, as
certified by the Lands Management Bureau;
or
(ii) a population of not less than two
hundred
fifty
thousand
(250,000)
inhabitants as certified by the National
Statistics Office.
Notably, the requirement of population is
not an indispensable requirement, but is
merely analternative addition to the
indispensable income requirement.
17.
MUNICIPALITY OF SAN NARCISO vs
MENDEZ, SR.,
FACTS:
* On 20 August 1959, President Carlos P.
Garcia, issued Executive Order No. 353
creating the municipal district of San
Andres, Quezon, by segregating from the
municipality of San Narciso of the same
province, the barrios of San Andres,
Mangero, Alibijaban, Pansoy, Camflora and
Tala along with their respective sitios. By
virtue of EO No. 174, issued by President
Diosdado Macapagal, the municipal district
of San Andres was later officially recognized
to have gained the status of a fifth class
municipality beginning by operation of RA
No. 1515. 2 The executive order added that
"(t)he conversion of this municipal district
into (a) municipality as proposed in House
Bill No. 4864 was approved by the House of
Representatives."

* On 05 June 1989, the Municipality of San


Narciso filed a petition for quo warranto with
the RTC in Gumaca, Quezon, against the
officials of the Municipality of San Andres.
The petition sought the declaration of nullity
of EO No. 353 and prayed that the
respondent local officials of the Municipality
of San Andres be permanently ordered to
refrain from performing the duties and
functions of their respective offices. The
petitioning municipality contended that EO
No. 353, a presidential act, was a clear
usurpation of the inherent powers of the
legislature
and
in
violation
of
the
constitutional principle of separation of
powers. Hence, petitioner municipality
argued, the officials of the Municipality or
Municipal District of San Andres had no right
to exercise the duties and functions of their
respective offices that righfully belonged to
the
corresponding
officials
of
the
Municipality of San Narciso.
* Respondents asked for the dismissal of the
petition, averring, by way of affirmative and
special defenses, that since it was at the
instance of petitioner municipality that the
Municipality of San Andres was given life
with the issuance of EO No. 353, it should be
deemed estopped from questioning the
creation of the new municipality; 5 that
because the Municipality of San Andres had
been in existence since 1959, its corporate
personality could no longer be assailed; and
that, considering the petition to be one for
quo warranto, petitioner municipality was
not the proper party to bring the action, that
prerogative being reserved to the State
acting through the Solicitor General. The
trial court dismissed the petition 9 for lack of
cause of action on what it felt was a matter
that belonged to the State.Hence, this
petition "for review on certiorari.
ISSUE: WON, the lower court has "acted with
grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack
of or in excess of jurisdiction."
RULING:
* NO. Granting the EO No. 353 was a
complete nullity for being the result of an
unconstitutional delegation of legislative
power, the peculiar circumstances obtaining
in this case hardly could offer a choice other
than to consider the Municipality of San
Andres to have at least attained a status
uniquely of its own closely approximating, if
not in fact attaining, that of a de facto
municipal corporation. Conventional wisdom

cannot allow it to be otherwise. Created in


1959 by virtue of EO No. 353, the
Municipality of San Andres had been in
existence for more than six years when, on
24 December 1965, Pelaez v. Auditor
General was promulgated. The ruling could
have sounded the call for a similar
declaration of the unconstitutionality of
Executive Order No. 353 but it was not to be
the case. On the contrary, certain
governmental acts all pointed to the State's
recognition of the continued existence of the
Municipality of San Andres. Thus, after more
than five years as a municipal district,
Executive Order No. 174 classified the
Municipality of San Andres as a fifth class
municipality after having surpassed the
income requirement laid out in RA No. 1515.
Section 31 of Batas Pambansa Blg. 129,
otherwise
known
as
the
Judiciary
Reorganization Act of 1980, constituted as
municipal circuits, in the establishment of
Municipal Circuit Trial Courts in the country,
certain municipalities that comprised the
municipal
circuits
organized
under
Administrative Order No. 33, dated 13 June
1978, issued by this Court pursuant to
Presidential Decree No. 537. Under this
administrative order, the Municipality of San
Andres had been covered by the 10th
Municipal Circuit Court of San Francisco-San
Andres for the province of Quezon.
* At the present time, all doubts on the de
jure standing of the municipality must be
dispelled. Under the Ordinance (adopted on
15 October 1986) apportioning the seats of
the House of Representatives, appended to
the 1987 Constitution, the Municipality of
San Andres has been considered to be one
of the twelve (12) municipalities composing
the Third District of the province of Quezon.
Equally significant is Section 442(d) of the
Local Government Code to the effect that
municipal districts "organized pursuant to
presidential issuances or executive orders
and which have their respective sets of
elective municipal officials holding office at
the time of the effectivity of (the) Code shall
henceforth be considered as regular
municipalities."
No
pretension
of
unconstitutionality per se of Section 442(d)
of the Local Government Code is proferred.
It is doubtful whether such a pretext, even if
made, would succeed. The power to create
political subdivisions is a function of the
legislature. Congress did just that when it
has incorporated Section 442(d) in the Code.
Curative laws, which in essence are
retrospective, 21 and aimed at giving
"validity to acts done that would have been

invalid under existing laws, as if existing


laws have been complied with," are validly
accepted in this jurisdiction, subject to the
usual qualification against impairment of
vested rights.22
* All considered, the de jure status of the
Municipality of San Andres in the province of
Quezon must now be conceded.
DECISION: The instant petition for certiorari
is hereby DISMISSED.
19. Municipality of Jimenez vs Hon.
Vicente Baz
Facts: * The Municipality of Sinacaban was
created by E.O. 258 by then Pres. Elpidio
Quirino, pursuant to Sec. 68 of the Revised
Administrative Code of 1917. By virtue of
Municipal Council Resolution No. 171,
Sinacaban laid claim to a portion of Barrio
Tabo-o and to Barrios Macabayao, Adorable,
Sinara, Baja, and Sinara Alto, based on the
technical dedcription in E.O. No. 258. The
claim was filed with the Provincial Board of
Misamis Occidental against the Municipality
of Jimenez.
* While conceding that the disputed area is
part of Sinacaban, the Municipality of
Jimenez, in its answer, nonetheless asserted
jurisdiction on the basis of an agreement it
had with the Municipality of Sinacaban. This
agreement, which was approved by the
Provincial Board of Misamis Occidental in its
Resolution No. 77 dated February 18, 1950,
fixed the common boundary of Sinacaban
and Jimenez. On October 11, 1989, the
Provincial Board declared the disputed area
to be part of Sinacaban.
* It held that the previous resolution
approving the agreement between the
parties was void since the Board had no
power to alter the boundaries of Sinacaban
as fixed in E.O. 258, that power being vested
in Congress pursuant to the Constitution and
the LGC of 1983 (BP 337), Sec. 134. The
Provincial Board denied the motion of
Jimenez seeking reconsideration.
* On March 20, 1990, Jimenez filed a petition
for certiorari, prohibition, and mandamus in
the RTC of Oroquieta City, Branch 14 against
Sinacaban,
the
Province
of
Misamis
Occidental and its Provincial Board, the
Commission on Audit, the Departments of
Local
Government,
Budget
and
Management, and the Executive Secretary.
ISSUE:
1. Whether Sinacaban has legal personality
to file a claim

2. Whether R.A. 7160, Sec. 442 (d) is valid


despite not conforming to the constitutional
and statutory requirements for the holding
of plebiscites in the creation of new
municipalities.
3. If it has legal personality, whether it is the
boundary provided for in E.O. 258 or in
Resolution No. 77 of the Provincial board of
Misamis Occidental which should be used as
basis for adjudicating Sinacabans territorial
claim.
RULING:
1.
* The principal basis for the view that
Sinacaban was not validly created as a
municipal corporation is the ruling in Pelaez
vs. Auditor General that the creation of
municipal corporations is essentially a
legislative matter and therefore the
President was without power to create by
executive
order
the
Municipality
of
Sinacaban. However, where a municipality
created as such by executive order is later
impliedly recognized and its acts are
accorded legal validity, its creation can no
longer be questioned.
* A municipality has been conferred the
status of at least a de facto municipal
corporationwhere its legal existence has
been recognized and acquiesced publicly
and officially.
* A quo warranto suit against a corporation
for forfeiture of its charter must be
commenced within 5 years from the act
complained
of
was
done/committed.
Sinacaban has been in existence for 16
years, yet the validity of E.O. No. 258
creating it had never been questioned.
Created in 1949, it was only 40 years later
that its existence was questioned and only
because it had laid claim to an area that is
apparently desired for its revenue. The State
and even the Municipality of Jimenez itself
has recognized Sinacabans corporate
existence. Sinacaban is constituted part of a
municipal circuit for purposes of the
establishment of MTCs in the country.
Jimenez had earlier recognized Sinacaban in
1950 by entering into an agreement with it
regarding their common boundary. * The
Municipality of Sinacaban attained a de jure
status by virtue of the Ordinance appended
to the 1987 Constitution, apportioning
legislative districts throughout the country,
which considered Sinacaban part of the
Second District of Misamis Occidental. Sec.
442(d) of the Local Government Code of
1991 must be deemed to have cured any
defect in the creation of Sinacaban since it
states that:

* Municipalities existing as of the date of


the effectivity of this Code shall continue to
exist and operate as such. Existing
municipal districts organized pursuant to
presidential
issuances/executive orders and which have
their respective set of municipal officials
holding office at the time of the effectivity of
this Code shall henceforth be regular
municipalities.
2.
* Sinacaban is not subject to the plebiscite
requirement since it attained de facto status
at the time the 1987 Constitution took
effect. The plebiscite requirement for the
creation of municipalities applies only to
new municipalities created for the first time
under the Constitution it cannot be applied
to municipalities created before.
3.
* E.O. No. 258 does not say that Sinacaban
comprises only the barrios (now barangays)
therein mentioned. What it says is that
Sinacaban contains those barrios. The
reason for this is that the technical
description, containing the metes and
bounds of a municipalitys territory, is
controlling. The trial court correctly ordered
a relocation survey as the only means of
determining
the
boundaries
of
the
municipality & consequently to which
municipality the barangays in question
belong.

* Any alteration of boundaries that is not in


accordance with the law is not the carrying
into effect of the law but its amendment
and a resolution of a provincial Board
declaring certain barrios part of one or
another municipality that is contrary to the
technical description of the territory of the
municipality is not binding. If Resolution No.
77 of the Provincial Board of Misamis
Occidental is contrary to the technical
description of the territory of Sinacaban, it
cannot be used by Jimenez as basis for
opposing Sinacabans claim.
* In case no settlement of boundary
disputes is made, the dispute should be
elevated to the RTC of the province (Sec. 79,
LGC of 1983). Jimenez properly brought to
the RTC for review the Decision and
Resolution of the Provincial Board. This was
in accordance with the LGC of 1983, the
governing law when the action was brought
by Jimenez in 1989. The governing law now
is Secs. 118-119, LGC of 1991 (RA 7160).
* Jimenezs contention that the RTC failed to
decide the case within 1 yr from the start of
the proceedings as required by Sec. 79 of
the LGC of 1983 and the 90-day period
provided for in Art.VIII, Sec.15 of the
Constitution does not affect the validity of
the decision rendered. Failure of a court to
decide within the period prescribed by law
does not divest it of its jurisdiction to decide
the case but only makes the judge