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TATEL VS.

MUNICIPALITY OF VIRAC [207 SCRA 157;


G.R. No. 40243; 11 Mar 1992]
Friday, January 30, 2009 Posted by Coffeeholic Writes
Labels: Case Digests, Political Law

Facts:

Petitioner Celestino Tatel owns a warehouse in barrio Sta.

Elena, Municipality of Virac. Complaints were received by the municipality


concerning the disturbance caused by the operation of the abaca bailing
machine inside petitioners warehouse. A committee was then appointed
by the municipal council, and it noted from its investigation on the matter
that an accidental fire within the warehouse of the petitioner created a
danger to the lives and properties of the people in the neighborhood.
Resolution No. 29 was then passed by the Municipal council declaring said
warehouse as a public nuisance within a purview of Article 694 of the New
Civil Code. According to respondent municipal officials, petitioners
warehouse was constructed in violation of Ordinance No. 13, series of
1952, prohibiting the construction of warehouses near a block of houses
either in the poblacion or barrios without maintaining the necessary
distance of 200 meters from said block of houses to avoid loss of lives
and properties by accidental fire. On the other hand, petitioner contends
that

Ordinance

No.

13

is

unconstitutional.

Issues:
(1) Whether or not petitioners warehouse is a nuisance within the
meaning

Article

694

of

the

Civil

Code

(2) Whether or not Ordinance No. 13, series of 1952 of the Municipality of
Virac

Held: The

is

unconstitutional

and

void.

storage of abaca and copra in petitioners warehouse is a

nuisance under the provisions of Article 694 of the Civil Code. At the
same time, Ordinance No. 13 was passed by the Municipal Council of
Virac in the exercise of its police power. It is valid because it meets the
criteria for a valid municipal ordinance: 1) must not contravene the
Constitution or any statute, 2) must not be unfair or oppressive, 3) must
not be partial or discriminatory, 4) must not prohibit but may regulate
trade, 5) must be general and consistent with public policy, and 6) must
not be unreasonable. The purpose of the said ordinance is to avoid the
loss of property and life in case of fire which is one of the primordial
obligation of government. The lower court did not err in its decision.