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League of Cities vs COMELEC

During the 11th Congress, Congress enacted into law 33 bills converting 33
municipalities into cities. However, Congress did not act on bills converting
During the 12th Congress, Congress enacted into law Republic Act No. 9009
(RA 9009), which took effect on 30 June 2001. RA 9009 amended Section 450
of the Local Government Code by increasing the annual income requirement
for conversion of a municipality into a city from P20 million to P100 million.
The rationale for the amendment was to restrain, in the words of Senator
Aquilino Pimentel, the mad rush of municipalities to convert into cities
solely to secure a larger share in the Internal Revenue Allotment despite the
fact that they are incapable of fiscal independence.
After the effectivity of RA 9009, the House of Representatives of the 12th
Congress adopted Joint Resolution No. 29, which sought to exempt from the
P100 million income requirement in RA 9009 the 24 municipalities whose
cityhood bills were not approved in the 11th Congress. However, the 12th
Congress ended without the Senate approving Joint Resolution No. 29.
During the 13th Congress, the House of Representatives re-adopted Joint
Resolution No. 29 as Joint Resolution No. 1 and forwarded it to the Senate for
approval. However, the Senate 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 exempting all the 16 municipalities from
the P100 million income requirement in RA 9009.
On 22 December 2006, the House of Representatives approved the cityhood
bills. The Senate also approved the cityhood bills in February 2007, except
that of Naga, Cebu which was passed on 7 June 2007. The cityhood bills
lapsed into law (Cityhood Laws) on various dates from March to July 2007
without the Presidents signature.
The Cityhood Laws direct the COMELEC to hold plebiscites to determine
whether the voters in each respondent municipality approve of the
conversion of their municipality into a city.
Petitioners filed the present petitions to declare the Cityhood Laws
unconstitutional for violation of Section 10, Article X of the Constitution, as
well as for violation of the equal protection clause. Petitioners also lament
that the wholesale conversion of municipalities into cities will reduce the
share of existing cities in the Internal Revenue Allotment because more cities
will share the same amount of internal revenue set aside for all cities under
Section 285 of the Local Government Code.

Whether or not the cityhood laws converting 16 municipalities into cities

The 16 Cityhood Laws are constitutional. We should not ever lose sight of
the fact that the 16 cities covered by the Cityhood Laws not only had
conversion bills pending during the 11th Congress, but have also complied
with the requirements of the [Local Government Code] LGC prescribed prior
to its amendment by RA No. 9009. Congress undeniably gave these cities all
the considerations that justice and fair play demanded. Hence, this Court
should do no less by stamping its imprimatur to the clear and unmistakable
legislative intent and by duly recognizing the certain collective wisdom of
Congress, the SC said.
The Court stressed that Congress clearly intended that the local government
units covered by the Cityhood Laws be exempted from the coverage of RA
9009, which imposes a higher income requirement of PhP100 million for the
creation of cities.
The Court reiterated that while RA 9009 was being deliberated upon, the
Congress was well aware of the pendency of conversion bills of several
municipalities, including those covered by the Cityhood Laws. It pointed out
that RA 9009 took effect on June 30, 2001, when the 12th Congress was
incipient. By reason of the clear legislative intent to exempt the
municipalities covered by the conversion bills pending during the 11th
Congress, the House of Representatives adopted Joint Resolution No. 29
entitled Joint Resolution to Exempt Certain Municipalities Embodied in Bills
Filed in Congress before June 30, 2001 from the coverage of Republic Act No.
9009. However, the Senate failed to act on the said Joint Resolution. Even so,
the House readopted Joint Resolution No. 29 as Joint Resolution No. 1 during
the 12th Congress, and forwarded the same for approval to the Senate,
which again failed to prove it. Eventually, the conversion bills of respondents
were individually filed in the Lower House and were all unanimously and
favorably voted upon. When forwarded to the Senate, the bills were also
unanimously approved. The acts of both Chambers of Congress show that
the exemption clauses ultimately incorporated in the Cityhood Laws are but
the express articulations of the clear legislative intent to exempt the
respondents, without exception, from the coverage of RA No. 9009. Thereby,
RA 9009, and, by necessity, the LCG, were amended, not by repeal but by
way of the express exemptions being embodied in the exemption clauses
The Court held that the imposition of the income requirement of P100 million
from local sources under RA 9009 was arbitrary. While the Constitution
mandates that the creation of local government units must comply with the

criteria laid down in the LGC, it cannot be justified to insist that the
Constitution must have to yield to every amendment to the LGC despite such
amendment imminently producing effects contrary to the original thrusts of
the LGC to promote autonomy, decentralization, countryside development,
and the concomitant national growth.

David vs Macapagal Arroyo

On February 24, 2006, as the nation celebrated the 20th Anniversary of the
Edsa People Power I, President Arroyo issued PP 1017 declaring a state of
national emergency. On the same day, the President issued G. O. No. 5
implementing PP 1017, caling upon the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP)
and the Philippine National Police (PNP), to prevent and suppress acts of
terrorism and lawless violence in the country. However, on March 3, 2006,
exactly one week after the declaration of a state of national emergency and
after all these petitions had been filed, the President lifted PP 1017, issuing
In the span of one week, from the time the proclamation was declared and
lifted, series of warrantless arrests and raids were made. During the dispersal
of the rallyists along EDSA, police arrested (without warrant) petitioner
Randolf S. David, a professor at the University of the Philippines and
newspaper columnist. Also arrested was his companion, Ronald Llamas,
president of party-list Akbayan.
At around 12:20 in the early morning of February 25, 2006, operatives of the
Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) of the PNP, on the basis of
PP 1017 and G.O. No. 5, raided the Daily Tribune offices in Manila. Also, on
February 25, 2006, the police arrested Congressman Crispin Beltran,
representing the Anakpawis Party and Chairman of Kilusang Mayo Uno
(KMU), while leaving his farmhouse in Bulacan. The police showed a warrant
for his arrest dated 1985. Retired Major General Ramon Montao, former
head of the Philippine Constabulary, was arrested while with his wife and
golfmates and Bayan Muna Representative Josel Virador was arrested at the
PAL Ticket Office in Davao City. All these arrests were made by virtue of
Petitioners alleged that PGMA committed grave abuse of discretion for
issuing Proc. No. 1017 and G.O No. 5. They contended that said issuances
were unconstitutional for it encroaches on the emergency powers of
Congress, it is a subterfuge to avoid the constitutional requirements for the

imposition of martial law, and it violates the constitutional guarantees of

In respondents consolidated comment, the Solicitor General countered that,
among others, the petitions should be dismissed for being moot. He refutes
the existence of such actual case or controversy, contending that the present
petitions were rendered moot and academic by President Arroyos issuance
of PP 1021.


Whether or not the issuance of PP 1021 renders the petitions moot and

No, the issuance of PP 1021 did not render the petitions moot and academic.
The Court held that the lifting of Proc. No. 1017 did not render it moot and
academic because during the 8 days that it was operative, the police officers
already committed acts in implementing it. The Court stressed that an
unconstitutional act is not a law, it confers no rights, it imposes no duties, it
affords no protection; it is in legal contemplation, inoperative. In this case, if
Proc. No. 1017 and G.O No. 5 are proven unconstitutional, then the acts
committed by the police would be illegal. Therefore, the is still and actual
case or controversy and petitions are not moot and academic