SC ends dispute on 16 cities

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 01 2011 11:20 PM | Updated as of Jul 02 2011 07:20 AM

MANILA, Philippines - The Supreme Court has ended the legal dispute on the cityhood of 16 former towns in the country.

The high court ordered its clerk of court to issue an entry of judgment on the case, thus sealing with finality the constitutionality of the 16 cityhood laws.

Declared as constitutional were Republic Acts (RA) 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).

In an 8-page resolution penned by Justice Lucas Bersamin, the court said it cannot entertain the motion for reconsideration of petitioner League of Cities of the Philippines, et al. of its April 12, 2011 resolution.

It said it was already a second motion for reconsideration based on Section 2 of Rule 51 of the Rules of Court.

It stressed that a second motion for reconsideration is a prohibited pleading.

"Only for extraordinarily persuasive reasons and only after an express leave has been first obtained may a second motion for reconsideration be entertained. Thus, it granted the respondent cities' motion for entry of judgment," the high tribunal said in a press statement Friday.

The court noted that the petitioners' motion merely rehashed earlier issues.

In an April 12, 2011 resolution, the court reiterated that the cityhood laws did not violate the Constitution and the Local Government Code (LGC).

"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 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 court said.