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ARTICLE II - FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLES AND STATE POLICIES

SECTION 25
(51) LIMBONA V. MANGELIN G.R. NO. 80391, FEBRUARY 28, 1989

FACTS: Sultan AlimbusarLimbona is the elected speaker of the Regional


Legislative Assembly or BatasangPampook of Central Mindanao (Assembly for
brevity), while Conte Mangelin, et al., are members therein.
Cong. Matalam, House of Representatives Committee on Muslim Affairs
Chair invited Limbona in his capacity as speaker of the Assembly to participate
in consultation and dialogue regarding the charting of the autonomous
government of Muslim Mindanao to be held in Manila.
Limbona sent a telegram to all the Assembly members informing that
“there will be no session this November” in view of the invitation of Cong.
Matalam. This notwithstanding, the Assembly held session and declared the
seat of the Speaker vacant, thereby prompting Limbona to file this petition,
assailing the Acts of the Assembly.

ISSUE: Are the so-called autonomous governments of Mindanao subject to the


jurisdiction of the national courts?

HELD: YES. The autonomous governments of Mindanao were organized in


Regions IX and XII by P.D. No.1618.
It requires the autonomous regional governments to “undertake all
internal administrative matters which are within the jurisdiction and
competence of the National Government.”
There is decentralization of administration when the central government
delegates administrative powers to political subdivisions in order to broaden
the base of government power and in the process to make local government
“more responsive and accountable,” and “ensure their fullest development as
self-reliant communities and make them more effective partners in the pursuit
of national development and social progress.”
It relieves the government of the burden of managing local affairs and
enables it to concentrate on national concerns.
The President exercises “general supervision” over them, but only to
“ensure that local affairs are administered according to law.” He has no control
over their acts in the sense that he can substitute their judgments with his
own.
Decentralization of power, on the other hand, involves an abdication of
political power in the favor of local government units declared to be
autonomous. In that case, the autonomous government is free to chart its own
destiny and shape its future with minimum intervention from central
authorities.
Under the said P.D., the autonomous governments were never meant to
exercise autonomy in the second sense, that is, in which the government
commits an act of self-immolation. The P.D. mandates that “the President shall
have the power of general supervision and control over Autonomous Regions.”
In the 2nd place, the SangguniangPampookI, their legislative arm, is made to
discharge chiefly administrative services.
There is Decentralization of administration when the central government
delegates administrative powers to political subdivisions in order to broaden
the base of government power and in the process to make local governments
"more responsive and accountable," and "ensure their fullest development as
self-reliant communities and make them more effective partners in the pursuit
of national development and social progress." At the same time, it relieves the
central government of the burden of managing local affairs and enables it to
concentrate on national concerns. The President exercises "general
supervision" over them, but only to "ensure that local affairs are administered
according to law." He has no control over their acts in the sense that he can
substitute their judgments with his own. Decentralization of power, on the
other hand, involves an abdication of political power in the favor of local
governments units declared to be autonomous.
In that case, the autonomous government is free to chart its own destiny
and shape its future with minimum intervention from central authorities. An
examination of the very Presidential Decree creating the autonomous
governments of Mindanao persuades us that they were never meant to exercise
autonomy in the second sense, that is, in which the central government
commits an act of self-immolation. Presidential Decree No. 1618, in the first
place, mandates that "the President shall have the power of general supervision
and control over Autonomous Regions." In the second place, the Sangguniang
Pampook, their legislative arm, is made to discharge chiefly administrative
services.