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TAN vs. COMELEC - G.R. No. 73155. July 11, 1986

Governing law: Art XI Sec. 3 of Constitution in relation to Sec. 197 of Local Government Code

Facts: This case was prompted by the enactment of Batas Pambansa Blg. 885, An Act Creating a New Province in the Island of Negros to be known as the Province of Negros del Norte, effective Dec. 3, 1985. (Cities of Silay, Cadiz and San Carlos and the municipalities of Calatrava, Taboso, Escalante, Sagay, Manapla, Victorias, E.R. Magalona, and Salvador Benedicto proposed to belong to the new province).

Pursuant to and in implementation of this law, the COMELEC scheduled a plebiscite for January 3, 1986. Petitioners opposed, filing a case for Prohibition and contending that the B.P. 885 is unconstitutional and not in complete accord with the Local Government Code because:

• The voters of the parent province of Negros Occidental, other than those living within the territory of the new province of Negros del Norte, were not included in the plebiscite.

• The area which would comprise the new province of Negros del Norte would only be about

2,856.56 sq. km., which is lesser than the minimum area prescribed by the governing statute, Sec.

197 of LGC.

Issue: Whether or not the plebiscite was legal and complied with the constitutional requisites of the Consititution, which states that — “Sec. 3. No province, city, municipality or barrio may be created, divided, merged, abolished, or its boundary substantially altered except in accordance with the criteria established in the Local Government Code, and subject to the approval by a majority of the votes in a plebiscite in the unit or units affected”? ---- NO.

Held: Whenever a province is created, divided or merged and there is substantial alteration of the boundaries, “the approval of a majority of votes in the plebiscite in the unit or units affected” must first be obtained. The creation of the proposed new province of Negros del Norte will necessarily result in the division and alteration of the existing boundaries of Negros Occidental (parent province).

Plain and simple logic will demonstrate that two political units would be affected. The first would be the parent province of Negros Occidental because its boundaries would be substantially altered. The other affected entity would be composed of those in the area subtracted from the mother province to constitute the proposed province of Negros del Norte.

Paredes vs. Executive (G.R. No. 55628) should not be taken as a doctrinal or compelling precedent. Rather, the dissenting view of Justice Abad Santos is applicable, to wit:

“…when the Constitution speaks of “the unit or units affected” it means all of the people of the municipality if the municipality is to be divided such as in the case at bar or of the people of two or more municipalities if there be a merger.”

The remaining portion of the parent province is as much an area affected. The substantial alteration of the boundaries of the parent province, not to mention the adverse economic effects it might suffer, eloquently argue the points raised by the petitioners.” SC pronounced that the plebscite has no legal effect for being a patent nullity.

Padilla vs. COMELEC

FACTS: Pursuant to RA 7155, creating the Municipality of Tulay na Lupa in the province of Camarines Norte to be composed of Barangays Tulay-naLupa, Lugui, San Antonio, Mabilo I, Napaod, Bayan-bayn, Mataulang, Pag-asa, Maot, and Calabasa, all in the Municipalty of Labo, some province, COMELEC scheduled a plebiscite was conducted throughout the municipality of Labo and majority voted against the creation of the Municipality of Tulay-na-Lupa. Petitioner prayed that the plebiscite conducted to set aside with the contention that such plebiscite was a complete failure.

ISSUE: Whether or not the plebiscite conducted in the areas comprising the proposed Municipality of Tulay na Lupa and the remaining areas of the mother Municipality of Labo is valid.

RULING: COMELEC did not commit grave abuse of discretion and the result of the plebiscite rejecting the creation of the new municipality of Tulay-na-Lupa is valid.

It stands to reason that when the law states that the plebiscite shall be conducted “in the political units directly affected,” it means that residents of the political entity who would be economically dislocated by the separation of a portion thereof have a right to vote in said plebiscite. Evidently, what is contemplated by the phrase “political units directly affected” is the plurality of the political units which would participate in the plebiscite

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 petitioner’s 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, petitioner’s 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 petitioner’s 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 is unconstitutional and void.

Held: The storage of abaca and copra in petitioner’s 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.

Magtajas Vs Pryce Properties

G.R. No. 111097 July 20, 1994

FACTS: There was instant opposition when PAGCOR announced the opening of a casino in Cagayan de Oro City. Civic organizations angrily denounced the project.The trouble arose when in 1992, flush with its tremendous success in several cities, PAGCOR decided to expand its operations to Cagayan de Oro City.he reaction of the Sangguniang Panlungsod of Cagayan de Oro City was swift and hostile. On December 7, 1992, it enacted Ordinance No. 3353.Nor was this all. On January 4, 1993, it adopted a sterner Ordinance No. 3375-93Pryce assailed the ordinances before the Court of Appeals, where it was joined by PAGCOR as intervenor and supplemental petitioner. Their challenge succeeded. On March 31, 1993, the Court of Appeals declared the ordinances invalid and issued the writ prayed for to prohibit their enforcement

ISSUE: WON Ordinance 3353 and 3375-93 valid

HELD: No Local Government Code, local government units are authorized to prevent or suppress, among others, "gambling and other prohibited games of chance." Obviously, this provision excludes games of chance which are not prohibited but are in fact permitted by law.The rationale of the requirement that the ordinances should not contravene a statute is obvious.Casino gambling is authorized by P.D. 1869. This decree has the status of a statute that cannot be amended or nullified by a mere ordinance. Hence, it was not competent for the Sangguniang Panlungsod of Cagayan de Oro City to enact Ordinance No. 3353 prohibiting the use of buildings for the operation of a casino and Ordinance No. 3375-93 prohibiting the operation of casinos. For all their praiseworthy motives, these ordinances are contrary to P.D. 1869 and the public policy announced therein and are therefore ultra vires and void.

LIM VS. PACQUING G.R. No. 115044. January 27, 1995

FACTS: The Charter of the City of Manila was enacted by Congress on 18 June 1949 (R.A. No. 409).

On 1 January 1951, Executive Order No. 392 was issued transferring the authority to regulate jai- alais from local government to the Games and Amusements Board (GAB).

On 07 September 1971, however, the Municipal Board of Manila nonetheless passed Ordinance No. 7065 entitled “An Ordinance Authorizing the Mayor To Allow And Permit The Associated

Development Corporation To Establish, Maintain And Operate A Jai-Alai In The City Of Manila, Under Certain Terms And Conditions And For Other Purposes.”

On 20 August 1975, Presidential Decree No. 771 was issued by then President Marcos. The decree, entitled “Revoking All Powers and Authority of Local Government(s) To Grant Franchise, License or Permit And Regulate Wagers Or Betting By The Public On Horse And Dog Races, Jai-Alai Or Basque Pelota, And Other Forms Of Gambling”, in Section 3 thereof, expressly revoked all existing franchises and permits issued by local governments.

In May 1988, Associated Development Corporation (ADC) tried to operate a Jai-Alai. The government through Games and Amusement Board intervened and invoked Presidential Decree No. 771 which expressly revoked all existing franchises and permits to operate all forms of gambling facilities (including Jai-Alai) by local governments. ADC assails the constitutionality of P.D. No. 771.

ISSUE: Whether or not P.D. No. 771 is violative of the equal protection and non-impairment clauses of the Constitution.

HELD: NO. P.D. No. 771 is valid and constitutional.

RATIO: Presumption against unconstitutionality. There is nothing on record to show or even suggest that PD No. 771 has been repealed, altered or amended by any subsequent law or presidential issuance (when the executive still exercised legislative powers). Neither can it be tenably stated that the issue of the continued existence of ADC’s franchise by reason of the unconstitutionality of PD No. 771 was settled in G.R. No. 115044, for the decision of the Court’s First Division in said case, aside from not being final, cannot have the effect of nullifying PD No. 771 as unconstitutional, since only the Court En Banc has that power under Article VIII, Section 4(2) of the Constitution.

And on the question of whether or not the government is estopped from contesting ADC’s possession of a valid franchise, the well-settled rule is that the State cannot be put in estoppel by the mistakes or errors, if any, of its officials or agents. (Republic v. Intermediate Appellate Court, 209 SCRA 90)

BINAY vs DOMINGO, G.R. NO. 92389, September 11, 1991 (201 SCRA 508)

Facts: The Burial Assistance Program (Resolution No. 60 assisting those who only earn less than P2,000/month of burial assistance in the amount of P500.00) made by Makati Mayor Jejomar Binay, in the exercise of the police power granted to him by the municipal charter, was referred to the Commission on Audit after the municipal secretary certified the disbursement of four hundred thousand pesos for its implementation was disallowed by said commission of such disbursements because there cannot be seen any perceptible connection or relation between the objective sought to be attained and the alleged public safety, general welfare, etc. of its inhabitants.

Hence, this petition revolving around the pivotal issue on whether or not Resolution No. 60 of the Municipality of Makati is a valid exercise of police power under the general welfare clause.

Held: Resolution No. 60 of the Municipality of Makati is a valid exercise of police power under the general welfare clause. The police power is a governmental function, an inherent attribute of sovereignty, which was born with civilized government. It is founded largely on the maxims, “Sic utere tuo et ahenum non laedas” (use your property so as not to impair others) and “Salus populi est suprema lex” (the welfare of the people is the supreme law). Its fundamental purpose is securing the general welfare, comfort and convenience of the people. Police power is the power to prescribe regulations to promote the health, morals, peace, education, good order or safety and general welfare of the people. It is the most essential, insistent, and illimitable of powers. In a sense it is the greatest and most powerful attribute of the government. It is elastic and must be responsive to various social conditions. The care for the poor is generally recognized as a public duty. The support for the poor has long been an accepted exercise of police power in the promotion of the common good.




Dagupan City.










The said ordinance was imposing additional requirements to that of the national law Act 496. Ordinance 22 was annulled by the Court of First Instance of Pangasinan and was affirmed by the Court of Appeals whose decision reads as follows: Section 1 of said ordinance clearly conflicts with Section 44 of Act 496, because the latter law does not require subdivision plans to be submitted to the City Engineer before the same is submitted for approval to and verification by the General Land Registration Office or by the Director of Lands as provided for in Section 58 of said Act.

Section 2 of the same ordinance also contravenes the provisions of Section 44 of Act 496, the latter being silent on a service fee of PO.03 per square meter of every lot subject of such subdivision application; Section 3 of the ordinance in question also conflicts with Section 44 of Act 496, because the latter law does not mention of a certification to be made by the City Engineer before the Register of Deeds allows registration of the subdivision plan; and the last section of said ordinance imposes a penalty for its violation, which Section 44 of Act 496 does not impose. In other words, Ordinance 22 of the City of Dagupan imposes upon a subdivision owner additional conditions.

ISSUE: Whether or not the decisions of the CFI and CA to annul the said ordinance was correct?

HELD: Yes. To sustain the ordinance would be to open the floodgates to other ordinances amending and so violating national laws in the guiseof implementing them. Thus, ordinances could be passed imposing additional requirements for the issuance of marriage licenses, to preventbigamy; the registration of vehicles, to minimize carnaping; the execution of contracts, to forestall fraud; the validation of passports, to deter imposture; the exercise of freedom of speech, to reduce disorder; and so on.This advice is especially addressed to the local governments which exercise the police power only by virtue of a valid delegation from thenational legislature under the general welfare clause. In the

instant case, Ordinance No. 22 suffers from the additional defect of violating thisauthority for legislation in contravention of the national law by adding to its requirements

Cruz v. Paras, 123 SCRA 569 (1983)

Facts: The petitioners are operators or nightclubs in Bocaue, Bulacan. they filed prohibition suits to stop the Mun. of Bocaue from enforcing an ordinance prohibiting the operation of nightclubs, cabarets, and dance h alls in that mun. or the renewal of licenses to operate them. The CFI upheld the validity of the ordinance and dismissed the petition. Hence, this petition for certiorari.

ISSUE: Whether or not a municipal corporation can prohibit the operation of nightclubs

HELD: A mun. corp. cannot prohibit the operation of nightclubs. Nightclubs may be regulated but not prevented from carrying on their business. RA 938, as orginally enacted, granted municipalities the power to regulate the establishment, maintenance and operation of nightclubs and the like. While it is true that on 5/21/54, the law was amended by RA 979 w/c purported to give municipalities the power not only to regulate but likewise to prohibit the operation of nightclubs, the fact is that the title of the law remained the same so that the power granted to municipalities remains that of regulation, not prohibition. To construe the amendatory act as granting mun. corporations the power to prohibit the operation of nightclubs would be to construe it in a way that it violates the constitutional provision that "every bill shall embrace only one subject which shall be expressed in the title thereof." Moreover, the recently-enacted LGC (BP 337) speaks simply of the power to regulate the establishment, and operation of billiard pools, theatrical performances, circuses and other forms of entertainment. Granted - Certiorari

Facts: Section 9 of Ordinance No. 6118, S-64, entitled "Ordinance Regulating The Establishment, Maintenance And Operation Of Private Memorial Type Cemetery Or Burial Ground Within The Jurisdiction Of Quezon City And Providing Penalties For The Violation Thereof" provides:

Sec. 9. At least six (6) percent of the total area of the memorial park cemetery shall be set aside for charity burial of deceased persons who are paupers and have been residents of Quezon City for at least 5 years prior to their death, to be determined by competent City Authorities. The area so designated shall immediately be developed and should be open for operation not later than six months from the date of approval of the application.

For several years, the aforequoted section of the Ordinance was not enforced but seven years after the enactment of the ordinance, the Quezon City Council passed a resolution to request the City Engineer, Quezon City, to stop any further selling and/or transaction of memorial park lots in Quezon City where the owners thereof have failed to donate the required 6% space intended for paupers burial. The Quezon City Engineer then notified respondent Himlayang Pilipino, Inc. in writing that Section 9 of the ordinance would be enforced.

Respondent Himlayang Pilipino reacted by filing a petition for declaratory relief, prohibition and mandamus with preliminary injunction seeking to annul Section 9 of the Ordinance in question. Respondent alleged that the same is contrary to the Constitution, the Quezon City Charter, the Local Autonomy Act, and the Revised Administrative Code.

Issue: Whether or Not Section 9 of the ordinance in question is a valid exercise of police power.

Held: Section 9 of the City ordinance in question is not a valid exercise of police power. Section 9 cannot be justified under the power granted to Quezon City to tax, fix the license fee, and regulate such other business, trades, and occupation as may be established or practiced in the City.

Bill of rights states that 'no person shall be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law' (Art. Ill, Section 1 subparagraph 1, Constitution). On the other hand, there are three inherent powers of government by which the state interferes with the property rights, namely-. (1) police power, (2) eminent domain, (3) taxation.

The police power of Quezon City is defined in sub-section 00, Sec. 12, Rep. Act 537 that reads as follows:

“To make such further ordinance and regulations not repugnant to law as may be necessary to carry into effect and discharge the powers and duties conferred by this act and such as it shall deem necessary and proper to provide for the health and safety, …, and for the protection of property therein; and enforce obedience thereto with such lawful fines or penalties as the City Council may prescribe under the provisions of subsection (jj) of this section.”

The power to regulate does not include the power to prohibit. The power to regulate does not include the power to confiscate. The ordinance in question not only confiscates but also prohibits the operation of a memorial park cemetery, because under Section 13 of said ordinance, 'Violation of the provision thereof is punishable with a fine and/or imprisonment and that upon conviction thereof the permit to operate and maintain a private cemetery shall be revoked or cancelled’. The confiscatory clause and the penal provision in effect deter one from operating a memorial park cemetery.

Moreover, police power is defined by Freund as 'the power of promoting the public welfare by restraining and regulating the use of liberty and property'. It is usually exerted in order to merely regulate the use and enjoyment of property of the owner. If he is deprived of his property outright, it is not taken for public use but rather to destroy in order to promote the general welfare.

It seems to the court that Section 9 of Ordinance No. 6118, Series of 1964 of Quezon City is not a mere police regulation but an outright confiscation. It deprives a person of his private property without due process of law, nay, even without compensation.

Ortigasand Co.vs.FeatiBank

Facts:Ortigas and Co. Ltd. Partnership sold Lots 5 & 6 located at Block 31 of the Highway hills Subd., Mandaluyong, Rizal to Emma Chavez. The contract contained a stipulation that the lands will be exclusively used for residential purposes. Later on, these two lots titled TCT Nos. 101509 and 10511 were sold to Feati Bank and Trust Co., and Republic Flour Mills free from the stipulation stated. When Feati Bank and Trust Co. started constructing a building devoted to banking purposes, Ortigas andC o . , d e m a n d e d i t t o s t o p .


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restraining and enjoining the continuation and completion of the building.

The RTC dismissed the case. The subject restrictions were subordinate to Municipal Resolution No. 27. Upheld the classification of the area along EDSA as commercial and industrial zone. Ortigas and Co. appealed to the Supreme Court.

Issue: Whether or not Resolution. No. 27-S-1960 is a valid exercise of police power and whether the said resolution can nullify or supersede the contractual obligations assumed by Feati Bank Trust

Held: Resol. No. 27-S-1960 is a valid exercise of police power to safeguard and promote the health, morals, peace, education, good order or safety and general welfare of the people. EDSA is the main artery of traffic, noise pollution, and it is hardly conducive to the health, safety or welfare of the residents in its route. Municipality of Mandaluyong is perfectly justified under the circumstances in passing the subject resolution. Non- impairment of contracts is constitutionally guarded but the rule is not absolute since it has to be reconciled with the legitimate exercise of police power. Contractual obligations so assumed cannot prevail over Resol. No. 27 which validlyexercised itsPolicePower through thesaid resolution.

Balaquit vs. CFI of Agusan del Norte and Butuan City G.R. No. L-38429


Aggrieved petitioner filed a complaint for declaration of nullity of said ordinance being unconstitutional.

Issue: Is the ordinance valid?

Ruling: The ordinance is not justified with any necessity of public interest. Moreover, it is detrimental to the public good and the general welfare of society for it encourages children of tender age to frequent the movies, rather than attend to their studies in school or be in their homes. The court said “How can the

municipal authorities consider the movies an attractive nuisance and yet encourage parents and children to patronize them by lowering the price of admission for children?”

Clearly such ordinance invades the personal and property rights of petitioners because it has been fully shown that it is an unwarranted and unlawful curtailment of the property and personal rights.

Sanggalang vs. IAC

FACTS: The Mayor of Makati directed Bel-Air Village Association (BAVA) to opening of several streets to the general public, after a series of developments in zoning regulations. All but Jupiter St. was voluntarily opened. The strong opposition later gave way when the municipal officials force-opened the gates of said street for public use. The area ceased to be purely residential. Action for damages was brought against Ayala Corporation and BAVA for alleged breach of contract, to maintain the purely residential status of the area. Other similarly situated also filed their respective cases. All were dismissed in the trial court. The Court of Appeals affirmed the said dismissals.

ISSUE: Whether or not there is a contract between homeowners and Ayala Corporation violated in opening the Jupiter street for public use.

HELD: No. There was no contract to speak of in the case, hence nothing was violated.

RATIO: Petitioners cannot successfully rely on the alleged promise by Ayala Corporation, to build a “[f]ence along Jupiter [street] with gate for entrance and/or exit as evidence of Ayala’s alleged continuing obligation to maintain a wall between the residential and commercial sections. Assuming there was a contract violated, it was still overtaken by the passage of zoning ordinances which represent a legitimate exercise of police power. The petitioners have not shown why Courts should hold otherwise other than for the supposed “non-impairment” guaranty of the Constitution, which is secondary to the more compelling interests of general welfare. The Ordinance has not been shown to be capricious or arbitrary or unreasonable to warrant the reversal of the judgments so appealed.

Heirs of Juancho Ardona v. Reyes 123 SCRA 220

Facts: The Philippine Tourism Authority sought the expropriation of 282 Ha of land in Barangay Malubog and Babag in Cebu City. upon deposit of an amount equivalent to 10% of the value of the property, the CFI authorized the PTA to take immediate possession of the property. The charter of the PTA authorizes it to acquire through condemnation proceedings lands for tourist zone development of a sports complex. The petitioners who are occupants of the lands, filed a petition for certiorari in the SC. They contended that (1) the taking was not for public use; (2) the land was covered by the land reform program; and (3) expropriation would impair the obligation of contracts.

HELD: The concept of public use is not limited to traditional purposes for the construction of roads, bridges, and the like. The idea that "public use" means "use by the public" has been discarded. As long as the purpose of the taking is public, then the power of eminent domain comes into play. It is accurate to

state then that at present whatever may be beneficially employed for the general welfare satisfies the requirement of public use. The petitioners have not shown that the area being developed is land reform area and that the affected persons have been given emancipation patents and certificates of land transfer. The contract clause has never been regarded as a barrier to the exercise of the police power and likewise eminent domain.

Municipality of Parańaque vs V.M. Realty Corporation GR 127820 (July 20, 1998) G.R. No. 127820 - 292 SCRA 676. July 20, 1998

Facts: Pursuant to Sangguniang Bayan Resolution No. 93-95, Series of 1993, the Municipality of Parañaque filed a Complaint for expropriation against V.M. Realty Corporation, over two parcels of land. Allegedly, the complaint was filed “for the purpose of alleviating the living conditions of the underprivileged by providing homes for the homeless through a socialized housing project.” Petitioner, pursuant to its Sangguniang Bayan Resolution No. 577, Series of 1991, previously made an offer to enter into a negotiated sale of the property with private respondent, which the latter did not accept. The RTC authorized petitioner to take possession of the subject property upon its deposit with the clerk of court of an amount equivalent to 15% of its fair market value. Private Respondent filed an answer alleging that (a) the complaint failed to state a cause of action because it was filed pursuant to a resolution and not to an ordinance as required by RA 7160; and (b) the cause of action, if any, was barred by a prior judgment or res judicata. On private respondent’s motion, its answer was treated as a motion to dismiss. The trial court dismissed the complaint

Issue: Whether a Local Government Unit can exercise its power of eminent domain pursuant to a resolution by its law-making body.

Held: Under Section 19, of the present Local Government Code (RA 7160), it is stated as the first requisite that LGUs can exercise its power of eminent domain if there is an ordinance enacted by its legislative body enabling the municipal chief executive. A resolution is not an ordinance, the former is only an opinion of a law-making body, the latter is a law. The case cited by Petitioner involves BP 337, which was the previous Local Government Code, which is obviously no longer in effect. RA 7160 prevails over the Implementing Rules, the former being the law itself and the latter only an administrative rule which cannot amend the former.



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