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BAGABUYO vs COMELEC (2008)

Cagayan de Oro used to have only one legislative district. But in 2006, CdO Congressman Constantino
Jaraula sponsored a bill to have two legislative districts in CdO instead. The law was passed (RA 9371)
hence two legislative districts were created. Rogelio Bagabuyo assailed the validity of the said law and he
went immediately to the Supreme Court to enjoin the COMELEC from enforcing the law in the upcoming
elections. Bagabuyo was contending that the 2nd district was created without a plebiscite which he averred
was required by the Constitution.

ISSUE: Whether or not a plebiscite was required in the case at bar.

HELD: No, a plebiscite is not required in the case at bar.

RA 9371 merely increased the representation of CDO in the House of Representatives and Sangguniang
Panglungsod pursuant to Sec 5 Art 6 of the Constitution.

The criteria established under Sec 10, Art 10 of the 1987 Constitution only apply when there is a creation,
division, merger, abolition or substantial alteration of boundaries of a province, city, municipality, or
barangay.

In the case at bar, no such creation, division, merger, abolition or alteration of boundaries of a local
government unit took place. R.A. No. 9371 did not bring about any change in CDOs territory, population
and income classification; hence, no plebiscite is required.

What happened here was a reapportionment of a single legislative district into two legislative
districts. Reapportionment is the realignment or change in legislative districts brought about by changes
in population and mandated by the constitutional requirement of equality of representation.

Before, CDOo had only one congressman and 12 city council members citywide for its population of
approximately 500,000. By having 2 legislative districts, each of them with one congressman, CDO now
effectively has 2 congressmen, each one representing 250,000 of the citys population. This easily means
better access to their congressman since each one now services only 250,000 constituents as against the
500,000.