THE Supreme Court stood pat on its decision affirming the validity of the conversion of 16 municipalities into cities and turned down a motion of a former solon to intervene in the case.

In a resolution, the SC found no merit in the motion of former Negros Oriental Representative Jacinto Paras, seeking a reconsideration of the High Court decision dismissing the bid of the League of Cities of the Philippines to block the conversion.

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Paras was the principal author of the contentious law that supported the changing of status of Guihulngan town in Negros Oriental into a city.

But he later expressed support to the LCP’s bid, saying that the premature upgrade into cityhood only resulted upsurge of graft and corruption by its local officials.

The LCP, led by Mandaluyong Mayor Benhur Abalos, has earlier asked the High Court to reverse its December 21, 2009 decision declaring valid the laws converting 16 municipalities into cities.

The league claimed the existing cities would suffer a reduced share in the Internal Revenue Allotment – a subsidy given by the National Government to local government units – with the creation of additional cities presumably with low income.

The assailed December 21, 2009 decision of the SC reversed its November 18, 2008 penned by Associate Justice Antonio Carpio, which ruled that the so-called cityhood laws violate the constitutional requirements.

Aside from Guihulngan, the 15 other towns that benefited from the December 2009 ruling of the Court are Baybay in Leyte; Bogo in Cebu; Catbalogan in Samar; Tandag in Surigao del Sur; Borongan in Eastern Samar; Tayabas in Quezon; Lamitan in Basilan; Tabuk in Kalinga; Bayugan in Agusan del Sur; Batac in Ilocos Norte; Mati in Davao Oriental; Cabadbaran in Agusan del Norte; Carcar in Cebu; El Salvador in Misamis Oriental; and Naga in Cebu. (JCV/Sunnex)