Cityhood – the Struggle
In 2008, El Salvador lost its cityhood, along with 15 other cities in the Philippines, after the Supreme Court of the Philippines granted a petitionfiled by the League of Cities of the Philippines, and declared the Cityhood Law RA 9435 which allowed the town to acquire its city status, unconstitutional. The said cities, the court ruled, did not meet the requirements for cityhood. On December 10, 2008, El Salvador and the other 15 cities affected filed a motion for reconsideration with the Supreme Court.
More than a year later, on December 22, 2009, acting on said appeal, the court reversed its earlier ruling as it ruled that “at the end of the day, the passage of the amendatory law (regarding the criteria for cityhood as set by Congress) is no different from the enactment of a law, i.e., the cityhood laws specifically exempting a particular political subdivision from the criteria earlier mentioned. Congress, in enacting the exempting laws, effectively decreased the already codified indicators.” As such, the cityhood status of El Salvador is effectively restored.
But on August 24, 2010, in a 16-page resolution, the Supreme Court reinstated its November 18, 2008 decision striking down the Cityhood laws making El Salvador a municipality again.
Voting 7-6, with two justices not taking part, the SC reinstated its Nov. 18, 2008 decision declaring as unconstitutional the Republic Acts (RAs) converting 16 municipalities into cities.
On February 15, 2011, the supreme court upheld for the 3rd time the cityhood of El Salvador and 15 other towns in the Philippines.
After a struggle to uphold its cityhood, on June 28, 2011, the finality of the decision to endorse RA 9435, was entered in the Supreme Court’s book of judgment, therefore after some sleepless nights, the El Salvadorians found peace for El Salvador was officially recognized as a component city of Misamis Oriental.