TABUK CITY, Kalinga – There is no error in the dateline of this news article. Tabuk, along with the 15 other new cities, is still a city.
That’s the clarification made by the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) through a memorandum dated November 25, 2010 but which only reached the Tabuk LGU this week.
The memorandum signed by Secretary Jessie Robredo cited a letter from the Supreme Court (SC) stating that the August 24, 2010 resolution of the court which reinstated the November 18, 2008 decision declaring unconstitutional the cityhood laws of the 16 erstwhile towns “has not attained finality.”
According to Robredo, the clarification from the SC meant that the latest resolution could not as yet be enforced.
Robredo further said that on that basis, “all the affected local government units shall still be referred to as cities and the two (2) additional members in the Sangguniang Panlungsod may still validly discharge their duties and functions appurtenant to the position.”
During the last elections, the Commission on Elections allowed the 16 new cities to elect 10 councilors because of the December 2009 ruling declaring the constitutionality of the cityhood laws of the 16 erstwhile towns. As towns, they only had eight councilors.
The DILG sought clarification from the SC on the issue due to a lot of queries on the legal implications of the latest resolution of the court on the cityhood case.
The 16 new cities have filed a motion for reconsideration of the August 24, 2010 decision of the SC. This has been set for hearing each Tuesday for months now but for some reasons, the agendum has been deferred up to now. **Estanislao Albano Jr.