It’s final: Dinagat Islands a province, SC rules
The Supreme Court (SC) has ruled with finality that the law creating Dinagat Islands province out of Surigao del Norte in 2006 was constitutional.
The high tribunal denied the motion for reconsideration filed by Surigao political leaders Rodolfo Navarro, Victor Bernal and Rene Medina, which asked the Supreme Court to reinstate its Feb. 10, 2010, ruling which said that Republic Act No. 9355 creating Dinagat Islands, the country’s 80th province, was unconstitutional.
On April 12, 2011, the high court reversed itself and declared RA 9355 valid.
The reversal was described by critics as “flip flopping” and accused the court of favoring the island’s Gov. Glenda Ecleo and her son, Rep. Ruben Ecleo Jr., who were members of the then ruling administration party Lakas-Kampi-CMD headed by ex-President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
The younger Ecleo remains in hiding from a warrant of arrest issued for the murder of his wife years ago. He heads the Philippine Benevolent Missionaries Association cult that was founded by his late father and most of whose members are from the Dinagat Islands.
“The court resolved to deny with finality the said motion for reconsideration as no substantial arguments were presented to warrant the reversal of the questioned resolution,” read the Sept. 11 resolution signed by clerk of court Enriqueta Vidal.
Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio wrote a dissenting opinion that was joined in by Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno and Justices Arturo Brion, Diosdado Peralta, Martin Villarama Jr. and Estela Perlas-Bernabe.