Friday, February 03, 2012

Aldaba vs. COMELEC, G.R. No. 188078, January 25, 2010

Facts: This case is an original action for Prohibition to declare unconstitutional, R.A. 9591 which creates a legislative district for the City of Malolos, Bulacan. Allegedly, the R.A. violates the minimum population requirement for the creation of a legislative district in a city. Before the May 1, 2009, the province of Bulacan was represented in Congress through 4 legislative districts. Before the passage of the Act through House Bill 3162 (later converted to House Bill 3693) and Senate Bill 1986, Malolos City had a population of 223, 069 in 2007.

House Bill 3693 cites the undated Certification, as requested to be issued to Mayor Domingo (then Mayor of Malolos), by Region III Director Miranda of NSO that the population of Malolos will be as projected, 254,030 by the year 2010.

Petitioners contended that R.A. 9591 is unconstitutional for failing to meet the minimum population threshold of 250,000 for a city to merit representative in Congress.

Issue: Whether or not R.A. 9591, “Án act creating a legislative district for the City of Malolos, Bulacan” is unconstitutional as petitioned. And whether the City of Malolos has at least 250,000 actual or projected. 

Held: It was declared by the Supreme Court that the R.A. 9591 is unconstitutional for being violative of Section 5 (3), Article VI of the 1987 Constitution and Section 3 of the Ordinance appended to the 1987 Constitution on the grounds that, as required by the 1987 Constitution, a city must have at least 250,000 population. In relation with this, Regional Director Miranda issued a Certification which is based on the demographic projections, was declared without legal effect because the Regional Director has no basis and no authority to issue the Certification based on the following statements supported by Section 6 of E.O. 135 as signed by President Fidel V. Ramos, which provides:

The certification on demographic projection can be issued only if such are declared official by the Nat’l Statistics Coordination Board. In this case, it was not stated whether the document have been declared official by the NSCB.

The certification can be issued only by the NSO Administrator or his designated certifying officer, in which case, the Regional Director of Central Luzon NSO is unauthorized.

The population projection must be as of the middle of the year, which in this case, the Certification issued by Director Miranda was undated.

It was also computed that the correct figures using the growth rate, even if compounded, the Malolos population of 223,069 as of August 1, 2007 will grow to only 249,333 as of August 1, 2010.

It was emphasized that the 1935 Constitution, that this Court ruled that the aim of legislative reappointment is to equalize the population and voting power among districts.

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