Tobias vs. Abalos

September 13, 2017 | Author: John Byron Jakes Lasam | Category: United States Government, United States Congress, Common Law, Government, Politics
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TITLE: TOBIAS vs. ABALOS Nature of the case: petition to render RA No. 7675 unconstitutional Petitioner: Robert Tobias Ramon Guzman, Terry Lim, Gregorio Gabriel and Roberto R. Tobias, Jr. Respondents: Hon City Mayor Benjamin Abalos, City Treasurer William Marcelino and the Sangguniang Panlungsod, all of the city of Mandaluyong Facts: As taxpayers and residents of mandaluyong, petitioners assail the constitutionality of RA No. 7675 otherwise known as “An Act Converting the Municipality of Mandaluyong into a Highly Urbanized City to be known as City of Mandaluyong. Prior to the enactment of the statute, Mandaluyong and San Juan belonged to one legislative district. Hon Congressional representative Hon. Ronaldo Zamora sponsored the bill and signed by pres. Fidel Ramos becoming RA No. 7675. A plebiscite was held on April 10, 1994. The turnout of the plebiscite was only 14.41% of the voting population: 18, 621 voted “yes” while 7,911 voted “no”. Thus, RA 7675 was deemed ratified and in effect. Issue: 1) RA No 7675 specifically Art VIII Sec 49 thereof is unconstitutional for being violative of three specific provisions of the Constitution. First objection is that it contravenes the “one-subject-one bill” rule as enunciated in Art VI section 26(1) of the Constitution (every bill passed by the Congress shall embrace only one subject which shall be expressed in the title thereof.) this section embraces two principal subjects 1) the conversion of Mandaluyong into a HUC and 2) the division of the congressional district of San Juan/Mandaluyong into two separate districts. 2) Second and third objection involve Art VI, Sec 5 (1) and (4) of the COnsti. Petitioners argue that division of San Juan and Mandaluyong into separate congressional districts has resulted in increase in the composition of the House of representatives and that it preempts the right of Congress to reapportion legislatives districts pursuant to Sec 5(4). Held: Contentions are devoid of merit. The petition is DISMISED for lack of merit. Ratio: 1) The creation of separate congressional district for Mandaluyong is not a subject separate and distinct from the subject of conversion into a HUC but is a natural and logical consequence of its conversion into a HUC. A liberal construction of the “one titleone subject” rule, it should be given a practical rather than a technical construction. It should be sufficient compliance with such requirement is the title expresses the general subject and all the provisions germane to that general subject 2) Statutory conversion of Mandaluyong into HUC with a population of not less than 250 thousand indubitably ordains compliance with the one city, one representative proviso in the constitution—the said Act enjoys the presumption of having passed through the regular congressional processes including due consideration by the members of

Congress of the minimum requirements for the establishment of separate legislative districts. 3) The present limit of 250 members is not absolute. The phrase “unless otherwise provided by law” indicates that composition of Congress may be increased if Congress itself so mandates through a legislative enactment—therefore increase is not unconstitutional 4) Congress drafted and deliberated upon and enacted the assailed law- Congress cannot possibly preempt itself on a right which pertains to itself (reapportioning of legislative districts 5) The principal subject involved in the plebiscite was the conversion of Mandaluyong into a highly urbanized city—the inhabitants of san juan were properly excluded from the said plebiscite as they had nothing to do with the change of status of mandaluyong 6) On the issue of GERRYMANDERING: (practice of creating legislative districts to favor a particular candidate or party)—rep Ronald Zamora, author of the law is the incumbent representative of the former San Juan/mandaluyong district-by dividing the district his constituency has in fact been diminished and not favorable to him

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