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Enrique T. Garcia v.

Commission on Elections and Sangguniang


Bayan of Morong, Bataan
GR No. 111230, Sept. 30, 1994
Ponente: Puno

FACTS:

On May 24, 1993, petitioners filed a petition with the Sangguniang


Bayan of Morong to annul Pambansang Kapasyahan Blg. 10, Serye 1993
which includes the Municipality of Morong as part of the Subic Special
Economic Zone in accord with the RA No. 7227. Nonetheless, the
municipality did not take any action on the petition within 30 days after its
submission; so, the petitioners resorted to their power of initiative under the
Local Government Code of 1991. They solicited the required number of
signatures to repeal the said resolution.
However, the Vice Mayor, Hon. Edilberto de Leon, and the Presiding
Office of the Sangguniang Bayan of Morong wrote a letter dated June 11,
1993 to deny the petition for local initiative and/or referendum. On July 6,
1993, the COMELEC denied the petition for local initiative because its subject
is merely a resolution and not an ordinance. They contend that under the
Local Government Code of 1991 only an ordinance can be the subject of
initiative. They rely on section 120, Chapter 2, Title XI, Book I of the Local
Government Code of 1991 which provides: "Local Initiative Defined. Local
initiative is the legal process whereby the registered voters of a local
government unit may directly propose, enact, or amend any ordinance."

ISSUES:
1. WON the Pambansang Kapasyahan Blg. 10, Serye 1993 is the proper
subject of an initiative.
2. WON the decision of the COMELEC to deny the petition be set aside.

HELD:
YES. The petition is granted and the decision of the COMELEC on July 6,
1993 is annulled and set aside.

RATIO:
The Constitution clearly includes not only ordinances but resolutions as
appropriate subjects of a local initiative. Section 32 of Article VI provides in
luminous language: "The Congress shall, as early as possible, provide for a
system of initiative and referendum, and the exceptions therefrom, whereby
the people can directly propose and enact laws or approve or reject any act
or law or part thereof passed by the Congress, or local legislative body . . ."
An act includes a resolution. It is basic that a law should be construed in
harmony with and not in violation of the constitution.

Under Sec. 32(a) of RA No. 6735 it provided the 3 systems of initiative,


namely:
1. Initiative on the Constitution petition to amend the Constitution
2. Initiative on statutes petition proposing to enact a national legislation
3. Initiative on local legislation petition proposing to enact a regional,
provincial, city, municipal, or barangay law, resolution or ordinance