Iloilo Rep. Jerry Trenas, Chairman of the House Committee on Good Government and Public Accountability, today expressed deep concern over what seems to be flip-flopping rulings by the Supreme Court following its latest decision on the cityhood case of some 16 municipalities.
“Why this flip-flopping? This could be a dangerous precedent,” asked Trenas, a former president of the League of Cities of the Philippines.
Just in August last year, the High Tribunal declared as unconstitutional the laws that separately created the 16 new cities. The decision revealed to media yesterday by court spokesman and administrator Midas Marquez was a 360-degree turnaround – it’s constitutional!
The ruling, the third reversal of the original ruling since 2008, Trenas said, could lead anybody to ask questions.
Spokesman Marquez, however, noted that he had “yet to hear of another case that has gone this way.”
Trenas recalled that in 2007, the 16 municipalities were converted into cities. Upon petition by the LCP, the Supreme Court on November 18, 2008, voted 6-5 declaring the cityhood laws as unconstitutional.
Subsequently, on April 28 the following year, the court upheld its 2008 ruling with a 6- 6 vote, denying a second motion for reconsideration filed by the towns that lost their city status.
On December 22, 2009 the High court restored the validity of the cityhood laws that converted the 16 towns into cities. But on Aug., 2010 the high court, voting 7-6 reinstated its 2008 ruling stripping the towns their cityhood status.
“This apparent fickle-mindedness of the Supreme Court is drawing some doubts as to the correctness of its rulings which is very important because as the highest court of the land, the Supreme Court is perceived to be beyond doubt. Reversing itself four times on a
single case is absolutely unusual and questionable,” Trenas said as he expressed support on LCP’s plan to file a motion for reconsideration on SC’s latest ruling. 30.