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DATU MICHAEL ABAS KIDA, et al. v.

SENATE OF THE PHILIPPINES

FACTS: On August 1, 1989 or two years after the effectivity of the 1987 Constitution, Congress acted through
Republic Act (RA) No. 6734 entitled "An Act Providing for an Organic Act for the Autonomous Region in
Muslim Mindanao."The initially assenting provinces were Lanao del Sur,Maguindanao, Sulu and Tawi-tawi.RA
No. 6734 scheduled the first regular elections for the regional officials of the ARMM on a date not earlier than
60 days nor later than 90 days after its ratification.

Thereafter, R.A. No. 9054 was passed to further enhance the structure of ARMM under R.A. 6734. Along with
it is the reset of the regular elections for the ARMM regional officials to the second Monday of September
2001.

RA No. 9333was subsequently passed by Congress to reset the ARMM regional elections to the 2ndMonday
of August 2005, and on the same date every 3 years thereafter. Unlike RA No. 6734 and RA No. 9054, RA No.
9333 was not ratified in a plebiscite.

Pursuant to RA No. 9333, the next ARMM regional elections should have been held on August 8, 2011.
COMELEC had begun preparations for these elections and had accepted certificates of candidacies for the
various regional offices to be elected. But on June 30, 2011, RA No. 10153 was enacted, resetting the ARMM
elections to May 2013, to coincide with the regular national and local elections of the country. With the
enactment into law of RA No. 10153, the COMELEC stopped its preparations for the ARMM elections.

Several cases for certiorari, prohibition and mandamus originating from different parties arose as a
consequence of the passage of R.A. No. 9333 and R.A. No. 10153 questioning the validity of said laws.

On September 13, 2011, the Court issued a temporary restraining order enjoining the implementation of RA
No. 10153 and ordering the incumbent elective officials of ARMM to continue to perform their functions should
these cases not be decided by the end of their term on September 30, 2011.

The petitioners assailing RA No. 9140, RA No. 9333 and RA No. 10153 assert that these laws amend RA No.
9054 and thus, have to comply with the supermajority vote and plebiscite requirements prescribed under
Sections 1 and 3, Article XVII of RA No. 9094 in order to become effective.

The petitions assailing RA No. 10153 further maintain that it is unconstitutional for its failure to comply with the
three-reading requirement of Section 26(2), Article VI of the Constitution. Also cited as grounds are the alleged
violations of the right of suffrage of the people of ARMM, as well as the failure to adhere to the "elective and
representative" character of the executive and legislative departments of the ARMM. Lastly, the petitioners
challenged the grant to the President of the power to appoint OICs to undertake the functions of the elective
ARMM officials until the officials elected under the May 2013 regular elections shall have assumed office.
Corrolarily, they also argue that the power of appointment also gave the President the power of control over
the ARMM, in complete violation of Section 16, Article X of the Constitution.

ISSUE:
Does the 1987 Constitution mandate the synchronization of elections?
Does the passage of RA No. 10153 violate the provisions of the 1987 Constitution?

HELD: Court dismissed the petition and affirmed the constitutionality of R.A. 10153 in toto. The Court agreed
with respondent Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) on its position that the Constitution mandates
synchronization, citing Sections 1, 2 and 5, Article XVIII (Transitory Provisions) of the 1987 Constitution. While

2. Furthermore. XVIII) is likewise evident from the x x x records of the proceedings in the Constitutional Commission. by deliberately making adjustments to the terms of the incumbent officials. done among others through the shortening the terms of the twelve winning senators with the least number of votes. p. as evident from Article X of the Constitution entitled "Local Government. Congress. This intention finds full support in the discussions during the Constitutional Commission deliberations. since they pertain to the elected officials who will serve within the limited region of ARMM. therefore. in passing RA No. sought to attain synchronization of elections. to achieve synchronization. 10153. Members of the House of Representatives. the Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines. the ARMM elections should be included among the elections to be synchronized as it is a "local" election based on the wording and structure of the Constitution. Commission on Elections. both autonomy and the synchronization of national and local elections are recognized and established constitutional mandates. Second issue: Congress. while regional autonomy as the term suggests directly carries a narrower regional effect although its national effect cannot be discounted. which show the extent to which the Constitutional Commission. Art. Art. 5. the President and the Vice-President have been synchronized to end on the same hour. cannot be accused of any evasion of a positive duty or of a refusal to perform its duty nor is there reason to accord merit to the petitioners claims of grave abuse of discretion. the clear intent towards this objective can be gleaned from the Transitory Provisions (Article XVIII) of the Constitution. In Osme v. . it acted within due constitutional bounds and with marked reasonableness in light of the necessary adjustments that synchronization demands. date and year noon of June 30. synchronization operates on and affects the whole country. The objective behind setting a common termination date for all elective officials. 1992. 7166 to be held in May 2013). Members of the House of Representatives and the local officials (under Sec. 9333) with the fixed schedule of the national and local elections (fixed by RA No. with one being as compelling as the other. Congress necessarily has to reconcile the schedule of the ARMMs regular elections (which should have been held in August 2011 based on RA No. 605). Vol.the Constitution does not expressly state that Congress has to synchronize national and local elections. Although called regional elections. From the perspective of the Constitution. That the election for Senators. vice-governor and regional assembly representatives fall within the classification of "local" elections." Autonomous regions are established and discussed under Sections 15 to 21 of this Article the article wholly devoted to Local Government. In relation with synchronization. It is likewise evident from the wording of the above-mentioned Sections that the term of synchronization is used synonymously as the phrase holding simultaneously since this is the precise intent in terminating their Office Tenure on the same day or occasion. the local officials. the difference is in their coverage. XVIII) will have to be synchronized with the election for President and Vice President (under Sec. This common termination date will synchronize future elections to once every three years (Bernas. Regional elections in the ARMM for the positions of governor. II. acted strictly within its constitutional mandate. the court thus explained: It is clear from the aforequoted provisions of the 1987 Constitution that the terms of office of Senators. autonomous regions are considered one of the forms of local governments.If their compelling force differs at all. is to synchronize the holding of all future elections whether national or local to once every three years. Given an array of choices.

In the case of the terms of local officials. does not in any way amend what the organic law of the ARMM(RA No. However. the holdover contained in R. the term of three years for local officials should stay at three (3) years as fixed by the Constitution and cannot be extended by holdover by Congress.In all these. RA No. 9054) sets outs in terms of structure of governance. out-of-the-way arrangements and approaches were adopted or used in order to adjust to the goal or objective in sight in a manner that does not do violence to the Constitution and to reasonably accepted norms. for those who were elected in executive and legislative positions in the ARMM during the 2008-2011 term as an option that Congress could have chosen because a holdover violates Section 8. 10153 in fact only does is to "appoint officers-in-charge for the Office of the Regional Governor. Article X of the Constitution. Under these limitations. their term has been fixed clearly and unequivocally. . No. What RA No." This power is far different from appointing elective ARMM officials for the abbreviated term ending on the assumption to office of the officials elected in the May 2013 elections. Thus. allowing no room for any implementing legislation with respect to the fixed term itself and no vagueness that would allow an interpretation from this Court. the need for interim measures is dictated by necessity. Regional Vice Governor and Members of the Regional Legislative Assembly who shall perform the functions pertaining to the said offices until the officials duly elected in the May 2013 elections shall have qualified and assumed office. 10153. the choice of measures was a question of wisdom left to congressional discretion. It must be therefore emphasized that the law must be interpreted as an interim measure to synchronize elections and must not be interpreted otherwise. 10153.A.