2016 (Political Law) Bar Exam Questions: Question 3

[Answer/discuss the question below, or see 2016 bar exam Political Law Instructions; 2016 Political Law Questions: 1, 24, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, and 20; See also 2016 Bar Exam: Information, Discussions, Tips, Questions and Results]


A law converted the component city of Malumanay, Laguna into a highly urbanized city. The Local Government Code (LGC) provides that the conversion “shall take effect only after it is approved by the majority of votes cast in a plebiscite to be held in the political units directly affected.”

Before the COMELEC, Mayor Xenon of Malumanay City insists that only the registered voters of the city should vote in the plebiscite because the city is the only political unit directly affected by the conversion. Governor Yuri asserts that all the registered voters of the entire province ofLaguna should participate in the plebiscite, because when the LGC speaks of the “qualified voters therein,” it means all the voters of all the political units affected by such conversion, and that includes all the voters of the entire province. He argues that the income, population and area of Laguna will be reduced. Who, between Mayor Xenon and Governor Yuri, is correct? Explain your answer. (5%)


  1. Mayor Xenon is correct. Under the principle of Constitutional supremacy, every law should be interpreted in harmony, and not inconsistent with the Constitution. While the LGC is silent about what “political unit” is involved in the plebiscite, the Constitution provides that all units directly affected. In this case, the entire voters of Laguna province should vote.

  2. Gov. is correct. Under the provision of R.A 7160, the decrease in the population, income and land area of the province affects directly the province of Laguna as a whole as a result of such conversion. Hence, all registered and qualified voters in the province should participate and vote to the plebiscite in order to determine majority.

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