Here are selected April 2011 rulings of the Supreme Court of the Philippines on political law.
Cityhood Laws; Equal protection. The petitioners in this case reiterate their position that the Cityhood Laws violate Section 6 and Section 10 of Article X of the Constitution, the Equal Protection Clause, and the right of local governments to a just share in the national taxes. This was denied by the Supreme Court. Congress clearly intended that the local government units covered by the Cityhood Laws be exempted from the coverage of R.A. No. 9009 (the Cityhood Law). The House of Representatives adopted Joint Resolution No. 29, entitled Joint Resolution to Exempt Certain Municipalities Embodied in Bills Filed in Congress before June 30, 2001 from the coverage of Republic Act No. 9009. However, the Senate failed to act on Joint Resolution No. 29. Even so, the House of Representatives readopted Joint Resolution No. 29 as Joint Resolution No. 1 during the 12th Congress, and forwarded Joint Resolution No. 1 to the Senate for approval. Again, the Senate failed to approve Joint Resolution No. 1. Thereafter, the conversion bills of the respondents were individually filed in the House of Representatives, and were all unanimously and favorably voted upon by the Members of the House of Representatives. The bills, when forwarded to the Senate, were likewise unanimously approved by the Senate. The acts of both Chambers of Congress show that the exemption clauses ultimately incorporated in the Cityhood Laws are but the express articulations of the clear legislative intent to exempt the respondents, without exception, from the coverage of R.A. No. 9009. Thereby, R.A. No. 9009, and, by necessity, the LGC, were amended, not by repeal but by way of the express exemptions being embodied in the exemption clauses. League of Cities of the Philippines etc., et al. v. COMELEC, et al./League of Cities of the Philippines etc., et al. v. COMELEC, et al./League of Cities of the Philippines etc., et al. v. COMELEC, et al., G.R. No. 176951/G.R. No. 177499/G.R. No. 178056. April 12, 2011.
Cityhood Laws; Just share in national taxes. The share of local government units is a matter of percentage under Section 285 of the Local Government Code (LGC), not a specific amount. Specifically, the share of the cities is 23%, determined on the basis of population (50%), land area (25%), and equal sharing (25%). This share is also dependent on the number of existing cities, such that when the number of cities increases, then more will divide and share the allocation for cities. However, the Supreme Court noted that the allocation by the National Government is not a constant, and can either increase or decrease. With every newly converted city becoming entitled to share the allocation for cities, the percentage of internal revenue allotment (IRA) entitlement of each city will decrease, although the actual amount received may be more than that received in the preceding year. That is a necessary consequence of Section 285 and Section 286 of the LGC. In this case, since the conversion by the Cityhood Laws is not violative of the Constitution and the LGC, the respondents are thus also entitled to their just share in the IRA allocation for cities. League of Cities of the Philippines etc., et al. v. COMELEC, et al./League of Cities of the Philippines etc., et al. v. COMELEC, et al./League of Cities of the Philippines etc., et al. v. COMELEC, et al., G.R. No. 176951/G.R. No. 177499/G.R. No. 178056. April 12, 2011.