PIA News Service - Friday, Feb. 18, 2011

Cabadbaran Mayor thankful of SC’s decision

16 municipalities back to cityhood status

By: Robert E. Roperos

BUTUAN CITY, Feb. 18 (PIA) –- Cabadbaran Mayor Dale Corvera is delighted with the higher latest court’s decision its August 24, 2010 ruling of unconstitutional declaration of the cityhood of 16 municipalities, Corvera said that the new decision of the Supreme Court brings joy to the majority of the Cabadbaranons, if not, all of them “because this would spell the difference of the development efforts in the area”.

The official said, there is no truth to the issue saying that since the 16 cities did not meet the income requirements, the cityhood law was declared unconstitutional.

In related development, Mayor Corvera said, the League of 16 headed by Mayor Alexander Pimentel of Tandag City will convene on Thursday afternoon to discuss developments of the issue.

Unfortunately, Mayor Corvera said he cannot attend the meeting because Sen. Miguel Zubiri is in Cabadbaran, Agusan del Norte today for the turn-over of special allotment relief order for the municipalities of Tubay, RTR, Magallanes and Cabadbaran City.

However, the official said the City Administrator will do the representation on his behalf. (PIA-Caraga)

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Bayugan chief exec hopes for SC’s finality of decision in favor of the “League of 16”

By: Robert E. Roperos

BUTUAN CITY, Feb. 18 (PIA) –- Mayor Kim Lope Asis of Bayugan, Agusan del Sur on Thursday said he is hoping that the latest ruling of the Supreme Court favoring the appeal of the League of 16 will be final and executory.

This is the statement of the Mayor following the latest ruling of the Supreme Court upholding the constitutionality of the laws that separately created the 16 new cities.

Asis was pleased with the latest decision of the Supreme Court and thanked those who have supported the cause of the 16 new cities.

Also, the official said income requirements of Bayugan qualified with the cityhood requirements. “In fact, income of the area is increasing as well as the population and area,” he said.

Asis added members of the League of 16 are waiting and hoping for the finality of the SC’s decision as soon as possible. However, he said problem will arise if the League of Cities of the Philippines (LCP) will again file a motion for reconsideration.

“We cannot influence the decision of the Supreme Court so we just pray that said ruling will have its finality as soon as possible in favor to us,” Asis said.

In related development, chief executives of the municipalities allowed by Supreme court to be converted back to cities will meet to discuss the next move of the league, it was learned.

Said municipalities were Baybay, Leyte; Naga, Bogo and Carcar in Cebu; Catbalogan and Borongan in Samar; Tandag, Surigao del Sur; Lamitan, Basilan; Tayabas, Quezon; Tabuk, Kalinga; Bayugan, Agusan del Sur; Batac, Ilocos Norte; Mati, Davao Oriental; Guihulngan, Negros Oriental; Cabadbaran, Agusan del Norte; and El Salvador, Misamis Oriental.

It can be recalled that in its original petition, LCP argued that the cityhood laws infringed on the stipulation of RA 9009 that a town or municipality applying to become a city should have minimum annual earnings of P100 million. (PIA-Caraga)

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Tandag Mayor elated over SC ruling reversing 16 municipalities back to cityhood status

By: Robert E. Roperos

BUTUAN CITY, Feb. 18 (PIA) – Tandag, Surigao del Sur Mayor Alexander Pimentel on Thursday expressed gratitude over the latest ruling of the Supreme Court reversing the August 24, 2010 ruling of unconstitutional declaration of the cityhood of the 16 municipalities including Tandag, Surigao del Sur; Bayugan, Agusan del Sur and; Cabadbaran, Agusan del Norte, all in Caraga Region.

Being the President of the League of 16 (the group created by the 16 affected municipalities), Pimentel said “this is a very unusual case… Although we won, the League of Cities of the Philippines (LCP) is expected to file again a motion for consideration”.

Pimentel also said with the latest decision of the Supreme Court justices, many projects that were stopped because of the August 24 ruling will now be continued, he said.

Further, Pimentel appealed to LCP not to file a motion for reconsideration so that the case will be put to an end.

According to Pimentel, the internal revenue allotment of the members of the LCP will be decreased to around P3 billion, which was why the league opposes the creation of the 16 municipalities to cities.

Pimentel admitted, however that with the requirements of Republic Act No. 9009 (the Local Government Code) particularly on the income of a certain area to qualify for the cityhood status, Tandag was not able to comply but he said, the bill was filed in 1999 and it was in 2002 where provisions came out changing the income requirement from P20 million to P100 million.

“Basing on the previous income requirement, Tandag will qualify since we have earned more than the required,” he said.

When asked if coordinations were made with LCP officials, he said they tried to meet with officials including LCP President and Mandaluyong Mayor Benjamin Abalos Jr. however, he said Abalos and other LCP officials only said “walang personalan” (no personal motives) and they are only protecting the interest of the league, Pimentel said.

With these developments, Pimentel and the other 15 members of the League of 16 will meet today in Manila to discuss their next move, he said. (PIA-Caraga)