SC ruling opens issue on Taguig House seats
Makati City may lose its second seat in the House of Representatives while Taguig City may gain its third because of the Supreme Court’s ruling on the jurisdiction of the former military facility, called Fort Bonifacio, which is now one of the most modern urban sprawls in the country.
Parañaque Rep. Gus Tambunting, chair of the House legislative franchises committee, said the high court’s decision transferred more than 300,000 residents of Makati’s second district to Taguig.
“This sets the stage for the potential abolition of a legislative district,” Tambunting said, because Makati’s second district will consequently have “less than the constitutional requirement of 250,000 residents.”
Makati City’s second district was originally composed of the barangays of Cembo, Comembo, East Rembo, Guadalupe Nuevo, Guadalupe Viejo, Pembo, Pinagkaisahan, Pitogo, Post Proper Northside, Post Proper Southside, Rizal, South Cembo and West Rembo.
Makati’s second legislative district is represented in the House by Rep. Luis Campos Jr., the husband of Makati Mayor Abigail Binay.
Binay herself said the SC decision would transfer more than 300,000 residents to the jurisdiction of Taguig, whose more than 800,000 residents (2020 census) are represented solely by Rep. Amparo Ma. Zamora.
The city’s congressional representation is unique because it continues to share a congressional district with the town of Pateros. The Pateros-Taguig seat is currently held by Taguig-Pateros Rep. Ricardo Cruz.
Section 5, Article VI of the Constitution, includes a provision stating that Congress should “make a reapportionment of legislative districts” within three years following the return of every census.
There has been no reapportionment of the Pateros-Taguig legislative districts.
Tambunting maintained that the “apportionment of legislative districts is inherently a matter that should be decided by the political branches of government” as it “directly affects the representation and democratic rights of our citizens.”
“Given the political nature of legislative district apportionment, it is our firm belief that the elected representatives in Congress, who are directly accountable to the people, are best suited to make decisions on this matter. The power to apportion legislative districts is a prerogative vested by the Constitution on Congress. This must be respected,” the lawmaker said.
Tambunting called on Congress, the executive branch and all relevant stakeholders to “carefully assess the implications of this ruling and take appropriate measures to address any potential deviation from the constitutional mandate.”