‘No opposition to Mabalacat cityhood’-A A +A
Wednesday, May 23, 2012
CITY OF SAN FERNANDO — The president of the League of Cities of the Philippines (LCP) assured Wednesday that the organization of the country’s existing cities has no opposition to the cityhood bid of the Municipality of Mabalacat.
Mabalacat is now set to hold its upcoming plebiscite.
Rodriguez, in an exclusive interview, said the conversion of Mabalacat into a city will greatly help in the development of the town and the region as well as affect commercial activity around surrounding local government units.
“We congratulate Mayor Marino Morales for coming this far in the cityhood bid and we hope that everything will turn out well for the municipality in their upcoming plebiscite,” Rodriguez said.
Rodriguez assured that the cityhood bid of Mabalacat will not be affected by the Supreme Court’s flip-flopping decision on the cityhood of 16 cities, which the LCP blocked.
The Supreme Court in 2011 upheld with finality the constitutionality of the laws converting 16 municipalities into cities.
The new cities are: Baybay in Leyte; Bogo in Cebu; Catbalogan in Samar; Tandag in Surigao del Sur; Borongan in Eastern Samar; Tayabas in Quezon province; Lamitan in Basilan; Tabuk in Kalinga; Bayugan in Agusan del Sur; Batac in Ilocos Norte; Mati in Davao Oriental; Guihulngan in Negros Oriental; Cabadbaran in Agusan del Norte; Carcar in Cebu; El Salvador in Misamis Oriental; and Naga in Cebu.
The LCP members criticized the high tribunal for its alleged "flip-flopping." In 2008, the court declared the same laws unconstitutional, saying the municipalities had failed to meet the criteria set by law in creating new cities.
In 2009, the court reversed itself, giving its nod to the 16 cityhood laws. In 2010, the tribunal reversed itself again.
For Mabalacat, however, Rodriguez said the town was able to meet the requirements for its cityhood bid as evidence by the support given by President Benigno Aquino III.
It could be recalled that President Benigno Aquino III signed Republic Act 10164 last 15, declaring Mabalacat as the third city of Pampanga.
Mabalacat Mayor Marino Morales said a plebiscite will be held within a month to know if the people will accept or refuse the cityhood proposal.
LCP officer and Angeles City Mayor Edgardo Pamintuan is also supporting the cityhood bid of Mabalacat.
“Mabalacat through Mayor Morales, unlike the 16 small towns which were converted through an illegal, nay, surreptitiously and abbreviated means of doing it in the House of Congress, and later upheld rather suspiciously by the Supreme Court in the new controversial three time flip-flopping decision, merited our approval,” Pamintuan said.
Pamintuan added that Morales complied with the requirements of the Local Government Code in converting towns into cities: income, population and land area.
Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on May 24, 2012.