In the SOLGEN’s prayer, they asked the Court to “Clarify and include in the dispositive that the LGUs would start receiving the adjusted IRA in 2022.” The SOLGEN, thus, admits in its Prayer that the Court has, in fact, not included in its final dispositive ruling that its decision will be implemented only in 2022.
So, the nagging question now keeping all of us in suspense is: When will the SC ruling be “prospectively implemented”?
In its last-ditch effort, however, the Office of the Solicitor General (SOLGEN) still managed to file a Motion for Clarification on April 10, 2019, and another Manifestation and Motion on Sept. 2, 2019, to hold in abeyance the issuance of the Final Entry of Judgment. Garcia filed its Comment and cited that this instant motion is “clearly barred by the rules of court”. Since the Court already issued its Entry of Final Judgment on September 2, 2019, their new motions are moot and academic.
DBM and DOF, however, still insists that we await the SC Resolution on the SOLGEN’s new motions even if the Court may opt not respond to these anymore! In the SOLGEN’s prayer, they asked the Court to “Clarify and include in the dispositive that the LGUs would start receiving the adjusted IRA in 2022.” The SOLGEN, thus, admits in its Prayer that the Court has, in fact, not included in its final dispositive ruling that its decision will be implemented only in 2022. Hence, the April 11 press statement of Brian Hosaka, the SC Spokesman, that the implementation “will be in 2022” does not bind the decision of the SC en banc specially if what he said runs counter to the actual decision. Hosaka’s ‘saka na lang bayaran’ in 2022 has been the source of the ‘misinformation’ which even led others, including top key officials and legislators to actually believe this wrong “haka-haka” or personal opinion of Hosaka. We should always rely on what was officially written in the Court’s final decision. Hosaka did not even have an official copy of the decision at the time he made that personal interpretation of the decision.
Gov. Presbitero Velasco, retired Supreme Court Justice who was one of the Justices who concurred with this Decision, and is now elected Governor of Marinduque and President of the League of Provinces (LPP), said during the ‘Talakayan sa Manila Hotel’ hosted by former Sen. Joey Lina last Sept 24, that Hosaka should “retract his statement”. Velasco said that he can “personally vouch that their en banc decision stated otherwise”. In the April 10, 2019 SC Resolution, the Court ruled:
“The adjusted amounts can be deemed effective only after this ruling has lapsed into finality, which is procedurally to be reckoned only from the denial of the OSG’s motion for reconsideration through this resolution. From then onwards, and as ruled herein, the just share should be based on all national taxes collected on “the third fiscal year preceding.” In the absence of any amendment by Congress, the rates fixed in Section 284 of the LGC, as herein modified, shall control. WHEREFORE, the Court DENIES the motion for reconsideration of the respondents, and the motion for partial reconsideration of the petitioner in G.R. No. 208488.” (underscoring supplied for emphasis)
Clearly, when the decision “lapsed into finality” on June 10, 2019, its “prospective implementation” should immediately take effect the following day, i.e. June 11, 2019. Sec. 1 of Rule 39 of the Rules of Court on execution and effect of judgments states that: “Execution shall issue as a matter of right, on motion, upon a judgment or order that disposes of the action or proceeding upon the expiration of the period to appeal therefrom if no appeal has been duly perfected.” LGUs are, therefore, well within their rights to demand for its immediate implementation. This is the fiscal space of LGUs as guaranteed by the Constitution no less! Whatever is left after its “automatic appropriation”, is what Congress should legislate on to apportion the budget of the National Government.
Once the Court issues its reply to the SOLGEN’s Motion for Clarification, if it so desires, then the National Government has no recourse but to comply.
(To be continued….)