Dinagat Islands had been a part of the First District of Surigao del Norte Province until becoming a province on its own on December 2, 2006 with the approval of Republic Act No. 9355, the Charter of the Province of Dinagat Islands, in a plebiscite.
On February 11, 2010, the Supreme Court of the Philippines declared the creation of Dinagat Islands Province null and void on grounds of failure to meet land area and population requirements for the creation of local government units. Dinagat Islands then reverted to Surigao del Norte Province. On March 30, 2011, however, the Supreme Court reversed its ruling from the previous year, and upheld the constitutionality of RA 9355 and the creation of Dinagat Islands as a province.
Dinagat Islands case
In February 2010, the SC nullifed RA 9355 because Dinagat Islands failed to comply with the LGC’s requirements of population size and land area for it to become a province. Dinagat Islands used to be part of Surigao del Norte province before it was classified as a province in December 2006.
“Republic Act No. 9355, otherwise known as An Act Creating the Province of Dinagat Islands, is hereby declared unconstitutional. The proclamation of the Province of Dinagat Islands and the election of the officials thereof are declared null and void,” said the SC then.
In May that year, the high court upheld as final and executory the Feb. 2010 ruling.
Dinagat Islands is perceived to be a stronghold of the Ecleo family, which is allegedly allied with former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
The province’s representative, Ruben Ecleo, is also facing arrest. Earlier this year, the anti-graft court Sandiganbayan ordered his arrest over graft charges.
Last Jan. 28, 2011, the Sandiganbayan’s First Division issued a new arrest warrant after the SC affirmed last November the anti-graft court’s decision to convict Ecleo and two other local officials for graft.
Addressing imminent criticisms that the court has once again “flip-flopped” on a case, Marquez on Wednesday said: “In the greater interest of justice, you can always consider each particular case.”
Second motions for reconsideration are prohibited pleadings under Section 5, Rule 37 of the Rules of Court. “No party shall be allowed a second motion for reconsideration of a judgment or final order,” the rule states.
However, Section 3, Rule 5 of the Internal Rules of Court provides that a second motion for reconsideration may still be admitted “in the higher interest of justice.”
The SC was recently criticized for its Feb. 16, 2011 decision on the legality of the 16 cityhood laws which converted 16 towns into cities. The Feb. 16 ruling was its fourth decision on the case, which means that the court had reversed itself three times – GMAnetwork.com
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