SC rules with finality on the disqualification of Malolos City as a legislative district

March 18, 2010 10:14 pm 

MANILA, March 18 — The Supreme Court (SC) on Thursday ruled with finality on the disqualification of Malolos City in Bulacan province as a legislative district.

Thus, the SC denied with finality the supplemental motion for reconsideration filed by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) on the SC's ruling on Jan. 25, 2010 that nullified Republic Act 9591, the law creating a congressional district for Malolos City.

In an en banc resolution penned by Associate Justice Antonio Carpio, the SC held as justiciable the reliability and authoritativeness of the population indicators used by Congress in enacting Republic Act 9591.

The SC also ruled as justiciable subsidiary questions impacting on the constitutionality of RA 9591 such as compliance with the population requirement under Section 5(3), Article VI of the 1987 Constitution that only cities with at least 250,000 constituents are entitled to representation in Congress.

The SC said: "To deny the Court the exercise of its judicial power over RA 9591 is to contend that this Court has no power to determine whether or not there has been a grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the part of any branch or instrumentality of the Government, a duty mandated under Section 1, Article VIII of the Constitution.

Indeed, if we subscribe to the Comelec's theory, this Court would be reduced to rubber stamping laws creating legislative districts no matter how unreliable and non-authoritative the population indicators Congress used to justify their creation. There can be no surer way to render meaningless the limitation in Section 5(3), Article VI of the 1987 Constitution." (PNA)

DCT/PTR

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