MANILA, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / July 3, 2011) - It is final! The Supreme Court said it has ordered its Clerk of Court to issue an entry of judgment on the case of the cityhood of 16 municipalities in the Philippines and sealing with finality its constitutionality, state media reported.
In an eight-page resolution penned by Associate Justice Lucas Bersamin, the SC said it cannot entertain the April 12 motion for reconsideration of the League of Cities of the Philippines filed with the High Court.
“Accordingly, the finality of the resolutions upholding the constitutionality of the 16 Cityhood Laws now absolutely warrants the granting of respondents’ Motion for Entry of Judgment,” the SC ruled.In its April 12, 2011 resolution, the SC reiterated that the said Cityhood Laws were not violative of the Constitution and the Local Government Code.
“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 LGC prescribed prior to its amendment by R.A.(Republic Act) 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 ruled.Declared as constitutional were RA Nos. 9389 (Baybay City in Leyte), 9390 (Bogo City in Cebu), 9391 (Catbalogan City in Samar), 9392 (Tandag City in Surigao del Sur), 9393 (Lamitan City in Basilan), 9394 (Borongan City in Samar), 9398 (Tayabas City in Quezon), 9404 (Tabuk City in Kalinga), 9405 (Bayugan City in Agusan del Sur), 9407 (Batac City in Ilocos Norte), 9408 (Mati City in Davao Oriental), 9409 (Guihulngan City in Negros Oriental), 9434 (Cabadbaran City in Agusan del Norte), 9435 (El Salvador City in Misamis Oriental), 9436 (Carcar City in Cebu), and 9491 (Naga City in Cebu).
Lamitan City Mayor Roderick Furigay was elated with the SC decision and expressed gratitude to the High Court for its fair ruling. "We are really happy and most especially the people of Lamitan, and now we can move forward and continue working hard for the people and future of this beautiful city...of our home," Furigay told the regional newspaper Mindanao Examiner. (Mindanao Examiner)