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Mabelle O.

Nebres | Local Governments Case Digests

Alvarez v. Guingona  Availment of such resources is effectuated through the

Facts: HB 8817, entitled "An Act Converting the Municipality of vesting in every LG unit of (1) the right to create and
Santiago into an Independent Component City to be known as the broaden its own source of revenue; (2) the right to be
City of Santiago," was filed in the HoR, subsequently passed by the allocated a just share in national taxes, such share being
HoR, and transmitted to the Senate. A counterpart of HB 8817, SB in the form of internal revenue allotments (IRAs); and (3)
1243 was filed in the Senate, and was passed as well. The enrolled the right to be given its equitable share in the proceeds
bill was submitted to and signed by the Chief Executive as RA of the utilization and development of the national
7720. When a plebiscite on the Act was held on July 13, 1994, a wealth, if any, within its territorial boundaries.
great majority of the registered voters of Santiago voted in favor of  The court held that the IRAs were properly included
the conversion of Santiago into a city. because they are items of income and form part of the
Issue: Constitutionality of RA 7720. SC: YES, petition denied, gross accretion of the funds of the LGU. The IRAs
presumption of constitutionality, no clear and unequivocal breach regularly and automatically accrue to the local treasury
of the Consti. without need of any further action on the part of the LG
1. WON Internal Revenue Allotments (IRAs) must be included unit. They thus constitute income which the LG can
in determining the average annual income for purposes of invariably rely upon as the source of much needed
conversion.YES funds.
 For a municipality to be converted into an independent  LGC, Sec 450 (c): "the average annual income shall
component city, its average annual income for the last include the income accruing to the general fund,
two consecutive years (at that time, based on 1991 exclusive of special funds, transfers, and non-recurring
constant prices) must be at least 20M. Petitioners income."
contend that the IRAs must be deducted from the  DOF Order 35-93: ANNUAL INCOME: revenues and
municipality’s income because they are not income but receipts realized by provinces, cities and municipalities
transfers and/or budgetary aid from the NG and that from regular sources of the Local General Fund including
they fluctuate depending on different factors. the internal revenue allotment and other shares
 The court in its discussion of what an LGU is said that: provided for in Secs 284, 290 and 291 of the Code, but
a. it is a political subdivision of the State which is exclusive of non-recurring receipts, such as other
constituted by law and possessed of substantial national aids, grants, financial assistance, loan proceeds,
control over its own affairs. sales of fixed assets, and similar others.
b. It is an intra sovereign subdivision of one sovereign
nation, but not intended, however, to be an imperium 1. WON considering that the Senate passed SB 1243, its own
in imperio version of HB 8817, RA 7720 can be said to have originated
c. It is autonomous in the sense that it is given more in the HoR. YES
powers, authority, responsibilities and resources.  Bills of local application are required to originate
 Since the LGU is given broadened powers and increased exclusively in the HoR. Petitioners contend that since a
responsibilities, it now operates on a much wider scale. bill of the same import was passed in the Senate, it
More extensive operations, in turn, entail more cannot be said to have originated in the HoR.
expenses. The vesting of duty, responsibility and  Such is untenable because it cannot be denied that the
accountability in every LGU is accompanied with a HB was filed first (18 Apr 1993). The SB was filed 19
provision for reasonably adequate resources to May. The HB was approved on third reading 17 Dec, and
discharge its powers and effectively carry out its was transmitted to the Senate 28 Jan 1994.
functions.  The filing in the Senate of a substitute bill in anticipation
of its receipt of the bill from the House, does not
Mabelle O. Nebres | Local Governments Case Digests

contravene the constitutional requirement that a bill of Thus, "the Charter or statute must plainly show an intent
local application should originate in the House of to confer that power or the municipality cannot assume
Representatives, for as long as the Senate does not act it." Its "power to tax" therefore must always yield to a
thereupon until it receives the House bill. legislative act which is superior having been passed
 The filing in the Senate of a substitute bill in anticipation upon by the state itself which has the "inherent power to
of its receipt of the bill from the HoR, does not tax"
contravene the constitutional requirement that a bill of  The Charter of the City of Manila is subject to control by
local application should originate in the HoR, for as long Congress. It should be stressed that "municipal
as the Senate does not act thereupon until it receives corporations are mere creatures of Congress" which has
the House bill. the power to "create and abolish municipal corporations"
 Tolentino v. SoF: “what the Constitution simply means is due to its "general legislative powers." Congress,
that the initiative for filing revenue, tariff, or tax bills, therefore, has the power of control over LGs. And if
bills authorizing an increase of the public debt, private Congress can grant the City of Manila the power to tax
bills and bills of local application must come from the certain matters, it can also provide for exemptions or
HoR on the theory that, elected as they are from the even take back the power.
districts, the members of the House can be expected to  The City of Manila's power to impose license fees on
be more sensitive to the local needs and problems. On gambling, has long been revoked. As early as 1975, the
the other hand, the senators, who are elected at large, power of LGs to regulate gambling thru the grant of
are expected to approach the same problems from the "franchise, licenses or permits" was withdrawn by PD
national perspective. Both views are thereby made to 771 and was vested exclusively on the NG. Only the NG
bear on the enactment of such laws. Nor does the has the power to issue "licenses or permits" for the
Constitution prohibit the filing in the Senate of a operation of gambling. Necessarily, the power to
substitute bill in anticipation of its receipt of the bill from demand or collect license fees which is a consequence of
the House, so long as action by the Senate as a body is the issuance of "licenses or permits" is no longer vested
withheld pending receipt of the House bill.” in the City of Manila.
Basco v. PAGCOR  LGs have no power to tax instrumentalities of the NG.
Facts: PAGCOR was created under PD 1869 to enable the PAGCOR is a government owned or controlled
Government to regulate and centralize all games of chance corporation with an original charter, PD 1869. All of its
authorized by existing franchise or permitted by law. To attain its shares of stocks are owned by the NG. In addition to its
objectives (centralize and integrate the right and authority to corporate powers (Sec. 3, Title II, PD 1869) it also
operate and conduct games of chance, generate additional revenue exercises regulatory powers. PAGCOR has a dual role, to
to fund infrastructure and socio-civic project, expand tourism, operate and to regulate gambling casinos. The latter role
minimize evils prevalent in conduct and operation of gambling is governmental, which places it in the category of an
clubs) PAGCOR is given territorial jurisdiction all over the agency or instrumentality of the Government. Being an
Philippines. Under its Charter's repealing clause, all laws, decrees, instrumentality of the Government, PAGCOR should be
executive orders, rules and regulations, inconsistent therewith, are and actually is exempt from local taxes. Otherwise, its
accordingly repealed, amended or modified. operation might be burdened, impeded or subjected to
Issues: control by a mere LG.
1. WON PD 1869 constitutes a waiver of the right of the City of  The states have no power by taxation or otherwise, to
Manila to impose taxes and legal fees. NO retard, impede, burden or in any manner control the
 The City of Manila, being a mere Municipal operation of constitutional laws enacted by Congress to
corporation has no inherent right to impose taxes.
Mabelle O. Nebres | Local Governments Case Digests

carry into execution the powers vested in the federal the Government of the PI is the same juristic person and liable
government.--> "supremacy" of the NG over LGs. upon the obligations of the old city. PI SC: different entity.
 Holmes: absence of power on the part of the States to Issue: WON notwithstanding the cession of the PI to the US followed
touch, in that way (taxation) at least, the by a reincorporation of the city, present municipality liable for
instrumentalities of the United States obligations of old city. YES
 mere creatures of the State can defeat National policies  The city as now incorporated has succeeded to all of the
thru extermination of what local authorities may property rights of the old city and to the right to enforce
perceive to be undesirable activities or enterprise using all its causes of action. There is identity of purpose
the power to tax as "a tool for regulation" between Sp and Am charters and substantial identity of
municipal powers, area, and inhabitants.
1. WON the Local Autonomy Clause of the Constitution will be  Argument against liability: ayuntamiento of Manila was a
violated by PD 1869. NO. corporation entity created by the Sp government . when
 Art x Sec 5, Consti: Each LG unit shall have the power to the sovereignty of Sp ceased, municipality, ceased as
create its own source of revenue and to levy taxes, fees, well.--> analogy to doctrine of principal and agent, death
and other charges subject to such guidelines and of principal=death of agent
limitation as the congress may provide, consistent with  Dual Character of Municipal Corporations:
the basic policy on local autonomy. Such taxes, fees and 1. Governmental: exercises by delegation a part of the
charges shall accrue exclusively to the LG. sovereignty of the state
 power of LG to "impose taxes and fees" is subject to 2. Private/Business: mere legal entity or juristic person.
"limitations" which Congress may provide by law. Since Stands for the community in the administration of
PD 1869 remains an "operative" law until "amended, local affairs wholly beyond the sphere of the public
repealed or revoked" (Sec. 3, Art. XVIII, 1987 purposes for which its governmental powers are
Constitution), its "exemption clause" remains as an conferred
exception to the exercise of the power of LGs to impose  In view of the dual character of municipal corporations,
taxes and fees. It cannot therefore be violative but there is no public reason for presuming their total
rather is consistent with the principle of local autonomy. dissolution as a mere consequence of military
 principle of local autonomy under the 1987 Constitution occupation or territorial cession.
simply means "decentralization." It does not make LGs  McKinley’s instruction: relinquishment or cession…
sovereign within the state or an "imperium in imperio." cannot in any respect impair the property or rights which
 LG: political subdivision of a nation or state which by law belong to the peaceful possession of property of
is constituted by law and has substantial control all kinds…
of local affairs. In a unitary system of government,  Property rights of municipal corporations and individuals
such as the government under the Philippine were safeguarded. The cession did not operate as an
Constitution, LGs can only be an intra sovereign extinction or dissolution of corporations. The legal entity
subdivision of one sovereign nation, it cannot be an survived both military occupation and cession. The
imperium in imperio. LG in such a system can only mean corporate identity and liability of the city was not
a measure of decentralization of the function of extinguished.
government.  TVA: entitled to proceed to judgment.
Vilas v. City of Manila Lidasan v. COMELEC
Facts: Vilas, Trigas, and aguado are creditors of Manila as it existed Facts: RA 4790 (An Act Creating the Municipality of Dianaton in the
before the cession of the Philippine Islands (PI) to the US by the Province of Lanao del Sur) was signed into law. Dianaton is
treaty of Paris. According to them, under its present charter from composed of Barrios Togaig, Madalum, Bayanga, Langkong,
Mabelle O. Nebres | Local Governments Case Digests

Sarakan, Kat-bo, Digakapan, Magabo, Tabangao, Tiongko, Colodan, of area, population and income of the first and the
Kabamakawan, Kapatagan, Bongabong, Aipang, Dagowan, Bakikis, corresponding increase of those of the other. This is as
Bungabung, Losain,Matimos and Magolatung. It was later found out important as the creation of a municipality. And yet, the
that Barrios Togaig, Madalum, Bayanga, Langkong, Sarakan, Kat- title did not reflect this fact.
bo, Digakapan, Magabo, Tabangao, Tiongko, Colodan,  Felwa case: cannot be considered by the court, in this
Kabamakawan were not within Lanao del Sur but within Cotabato. case, while no reference to elective officials were made,
The COMELEC adopted a resolution recognizing the new such were incidental to the creation of B, MP,I, and K-A.
municipality for purposes of election. Meanwhile, the Office of the  Hume v. Village of Fruitport: An act to incorporate the
President recommended that the COMELEC that the operation of village of Fruitport, in the County of Muskegon but
the statute be suspended until clarified by correcting legislation. statute included Ottawa. Declared unconstitutional for
This triggered petitioner to file action. having more than one subject. Contention: “in the
Issue: WON RA 4790 is unconstitutional. YES County of Muskegon” a mere surplusage. SC: the court
 The constitution requires that no bill must be enacted cannot reject a part of the title for the purpose of saving
which shall embrace more than one subject which shall the act.
be expressed in the title of the bill. While the  RA 4790 cannot be salvaged with reference to the nine
Constitution does not require Congress to employ in the remaining towns. While where a portion of a statute is
title of an enactment, language of such precision as to rendered unconstitutional and the remainder valid, the
mirror, fully index or catalogue all the contents and the parts will be separated, and the constitutional portion
minute details therein, the title should serve the purpose upheld, it is not so when the parts of the statute are so
of the constitutional demand that it inform the mutually dependent and connected, as conditions,
legislators, the persons interested in the subject of the considerations, inducements, or compensations for each
bill, and the public, of the nature, scope and other, as to warrant a belief that the legislature intended
consequences of the proposed law and its operation. them as a whole, and that if all could not be carried into
 Test of the sufficiency of a title: whether or not it is effect, the legislature would not pass the residue
misleading; technical accuracy is not essential, and the independently, then, if some parts are unconstitutional,
subject need not be stated in express terms where it is all the provisions which are thus dependent, conditional,
clearly inferable from the details set forth. or connected, must fall with them.
 In this case, not the slightest intimation is there that  Municipal corporations perform twin functions.
communities in the adjacent province of Cotabato are Firstly. They serve as an instrumentality of the
incorporated in this new Lanao del Sur town. The phrase State in carrying out the functions of government.
"in the Province of Lanao del Sur," read without subtlety Secondly. They act as an agency of the community
or contortion, makes the title misleading, deceptive. For, in the administration of local affairs. It is in the
the known fact is that the legislation has a two-pronged latter character that they are a separate entity
purpose combined in one statute: (1) it creates the acting for their own purposes and not a
municipality of Dianaton purportedly from twenty-one subdivision of the State.
barrios in the towns of Butig and Balabagan, both in the  several factors come to the fore in the consideration of
province of Lanao del Sur; and (2) it also dismembers whether a group of barrios is capable of maintaining
two municipalities in Cotabato, a province different from itself as an independent municipality. Amongst these are
Lanao del Sur. population, territory, and income
 Respondents: change in boundaries merely incidental.  Speaking of the original twenty-one barrios which
SC: NO! Transfer of a sizeable portion of territory from comprise the new municipality, the explanatory note
one province to another of necessity involves reduction reads: the territory is now a progressive community; the
Mabelle O. Nebres | Local Governments Case Digests

aggregate population is large; and the collective income advancement of the public good or welfare as affecting
is sufficient to maintain an independent municipality. the public generally.  LGU is an agency of the NG (2)
This bill, if enacted into law, will enable the inhabitants Proprietary functions are those that seek to obtain
concerned to govern themselves and enjoy the blessings special corporate benefits or earn pecuniary profit and
of municipal autonomy. Obviously, what was in the mind intended for private advantage and benefit. LGU agent
of the proponent was the 21 barrios, and not the nine of the community in the administration of local affairs.
remaining.  Sec 16 LGC: duty of the LGUs to promote the people’s
Republic v. City of Davao right to a balanced ecology. As a body politic endowed
Facts: Davao filed an application for a Certificate of Non-Coverage with governmental functions, an LGU has the duty to
(CNC) for its proposed project, the Davao City Artica Sports Dome, ensure the quality of the environment, which is the very
with the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB), Region XI. The same objective of PD 1586.
EMB denied the application after finding that the proposed project  Sec 4 of PD 1586 clearly states that “no person,
was within an environmentally critical area and ruled that, pursuant partnership or corporation shall undertake or operate
to Sec 2, PD 1586 (Environmental Impact Statement System), in any such declared environmentally critical project or
relation to Sec 4, PD 1151, (Philippine Environment Policy), Davao area without first securing an ECC issued by the
must undergo the environmental impact assessment (EIA) process President or his duly authorized representative.” The CC
to secure an Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC), before it defines a person as either natural or juridical. The state
can proceed with the construction of its project. Davao filed a and its political subdivisions, LGUs are juridical persons.
petition for mandamus and injunction with the RTC of Davao Undoubtedly therefore, LGUs are not excluded from the
alleging that its proposed project was neither an environmentally coverage of PD 1586.
critical project nor within an environmentally critical area; thus  State policy: achieve a balance between socio-economic
outside the scope of the EIS system. Hence, it was the ministerial development and environmental protection, which are
duty of the DENR, through the EMB, to issue a CNC in favor of the twin goals of sustainable development. This can only
respondent upon submission of the required documents. be possible if we adopt a comprehensive and integrated
RTC: for Davao. LGUs not required by PDs 1586 & 1511 to comply environmental protection program where all the
with the EIS law. Only agencies and instrumentalities of the NG, sectors of the community are involved, i.e., the
including GOCCs, as well as private corporations, firms and entities government and the private sectors. The LGUs, as part
are mandated to go through the EIA process for their proposed of the machinery of the government, cannot therefore
projects which have significant effect on the quality of the be deemed as outside the scope of the EIS system.
environment. An LGU, not being an agency or instrumentality of
the NG, is deemed excluded under the principle of expressio unius *other issue: Davao must be granted ECC, it has duly proven that
est exclusio alterius. MR: denied the dome will not be constructed in an environmentally critical
Issue: WON Davao is required to comply with the EIS law. YES. area, hence, it becomes the ministerial duty of the DENR to issue
**Davao already expressed agreement that it must secure an ECC the CNC.
for proposed project, hence moot and academic, but the SC
decided to still discuss issues to educate the bench and bar.
 Davao cannot claim exemption from coverage of PD San Juan v. CSC
1586. Facts: When the Provinicial Board Officer position was left vacant,
 LGU a body politic and corporate endowed with Rizal Governor San Juan informed Director Abella of the
powers to be exercised by it in conformity with law. It Department of Budget and Management that a certain Santos had
performs dual functions: (1) Governmental functions are assumed office as acting PBO and requested Abella to endorse
those that concern the health, safety and the Santos’ appointment. Abella, however recommended Almajose on
Mabelle O. Nebres | Local Governments Case Digests

the basis of a comparative study of all MBOs which included San  1935 Constitution: limited the executive power over
Juan’s nominees. According to Abella, Almajose was the most local governments to "general supervision . . . as
qualified since she was the only CPA among the contenders. DMB may be provided by law."
Usec Cabuquit signed Almajose’s appointment papers upon Abella’s  Tecson v. Salas: presidential competence is not
recommendation. Unaware of Almajose’s appointment, San Juan even supervision in general, but general supervision
reiterated his request for Santos’ appointment in a letter to Sec. as may be provided by law. He could not thus go
Carague. DBM Reg. Dir. Galvez wrote San Jose that Santos and his beyond the applicable statutory provisions, which
other recommendees did not meet the minimum requirements bind and fetter his discretion on the matter.
under Local Budget Circular 31 for the position of local budget ○ Supervision goes no further than "overseeing
officer and required San Jose to submit at least three other or the power or authority of an officer to see
nominees. After finding out about Almajose’s appointment San Juan that subordinate officers perform their duties.
wrote Carague protesting against the said appointment on the If the latter fail or neglect to fulfill them the
grounds that Cabuquit is not legally authorized to appoint the PBO; former may take such action or step as
that Almajose lacks the required three years work experience as prescribed by law to make them perform their
provided in LBC 31; and that under EO 112, it is the Gov., not the duties."
RD or a Congressman, who has the power to recommend nominees ○ Control "means the power of an officer to
for the position of PBO. DBM, through its Director of the Bureau of alter or modify or nullify or set aside what a
Legal & Legislative Affairs (BLLA) Afurung, issued a Memorandum subordinate had done in the performance of
ruling that the San Juan's letter-protest is not meritorious their duties and to substitute the judgment of
considering that DBM validly exercised its prerogative in filling-up the former for that of the latter."
the contested position since none of the his nominees met the  RA 2264, "An Act Amending the Law Governing Local
prescribed requirements. San Juan then moved for a Governments by Increasing Their Autonomy and
reconsideration of the BLLA ruling. Such was denied. He then wrote Reorganizing Local Governments" was passed. It was
the CSC which issued resolutions upholding Almajose’s followed in 1967 when Republic Act No. 5185, the
appointment. Decentralization Law was enacted, giving "further
Issue: WON the DBM can appoint anyone in the event that the autonomous powers to local governments governments."
Governor recommends unqualified persons. NO.  1973 Constitution: the state shall guarantee and promote
 issue is not merely about validity of appointment of the autonomy of LGUs, especially the barangay to ensure
PBO, but involves the application of a most their fullest development as self-reliant communities.
important constitutional policy and principle, local  article on Local Government was incorporated into the
autonomy. Constitution. It called for a LGC defining more responsive
 Where a law is capable of two interpretations, one in and accountable local government structures.
favor of centralized power in Malacañang and the The exercise of greater local autonomy is even more marked in the
other beneficial to local autonomy, the scales must present Constitution.
be weighed in favor of autonomy. Article II, Section 25 on State Policies provides:
 McKinley's Instructions: establishment of municipal Sec. 25. The State shall ensure the autonomy of local
governments, natives afforded the opportunity to governments
manage their own local officers to the fullest extent The 14 sections in Article X on Local Government not only reiterate
of which they are capable and subject to the least earlier doctrines but give in greater detail the provisions making
degree of supervision and control local autonomy more meaningful. Thus, Sections 2 and 3 of Article
X provide:

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Sec. 2. The territorial and political subdivisions shall should be a genuine interplay, a balancing of viewpoints, and a
enjoy local autonomy. harmonization of proposals from both the local and national
Sec. 3. The Congress shall enact a LGC which shall officials. It is for this reason that the nomination and appointment
provide for a more responsive and accountable local process involves a sharing of power between the two levels of
government structure instituted through a system of government.
decentralization with effective mechanisms of recall, It may not be amiss to give by way of analogy the procedure
initiative, and referendum, allocate among the followed in the appointments of Justices and Judges. Under Article
different LGUs their powers, responsibilities, and VIII of the Constitution, nominations for judicial positions are made
resources, and provide for the qualifications, by the Judicial and Bar Council. The President makes the
election, appointment and removal, term, salaries, appointments from the list of nominees submitted to her by the
powers and functions and duties of local officials, and Council. She cannot apply the DBM procedure, reject all the Council
all other matters relating to the organization and nominees, and appoint another person whom she feels is better
operation of the local units. qualified. There can be no reservation of the right to fill up a
When the Civil Service Commission interpreted the recommending position with a person of the appointing power's personal choice.
power of the Provincial Governor as purely directory, it went The public respondent's grave abuse of discretion is aggravated by
against the letter and spirit of the constitutional provisions on local the fact that Director Galvez required the Provincial Governor to
autonomy. If the DBM Secretary jealously hoards the entirety of submit at least three other names of nominees better qualified
budgetary powers and ignores the right of local governments to than his earlier recommendation. It was a meaningless exercise.
develop self-reliance and resoluteness in the handling of their own The appointment of the private respondent was formalized before
funds, the goal of meaningful local autonomy is frustrated and set the Governor was extended the courtesy of being informed that his
back. nominee had been rejected. The complete disregard of the local
The right given by Local Budget Circular No. 31 which states: government's prerogative and the smug belief that the DBM has
Sec. 6.0 — The DBM reserves the right to fill up any absolute wisdom, authority, and discretion are manifest.
existing vacancy where none of the nominees of the In his classic work "Philippine Political Law" Dean Vicente G. Sinco
local chief executive meet the prescribed stated that the value of local governments as institutions of
requirements. democracy is measured by the degree of autonomy that they
is ultra vires and is, accordingly, set aside. The DBM may enjoy. Citing Tocqueville, he stated that "local assemblies of
appoint only from the list of qualified recommendees citizens constitute the strength of free nations. . . . A people may
nominated by the Governor. If none is qualified, he must establish a system of free government but without the spirit of
return the list of nominees to the Governor explaining why municipal institutions, it cannot have the spirit of liberty." (Sinco,
no one meets the legal requirements and ask for new Philippine Political Law, Eleventh Edition, pp. 705-706).
recommendees who have the necessary eligibilities and Our national officials should not only comply with the constitutional
qualifications. provisions on local autonomy but should also appreciate the spirit
The PBO is expected to synchronize his work with DBM. More of liberty upon which these provisions are based.
important, however, is the proper administration of fiscal affairs at
the local level. Provincial and municipal budgets are prepared at 
the local level and after completion are forwarded to the national 
officials for review. They are prepared by the local officials who Pimentel v. Aguirre
must work within the constraints of those budgets. They are not Facts:
formulated in the inner sanctums of an all-knowing DBM and Tan v. COMELEC
unilaterally imposed on local governments whether or not they are Facts:
relevant to local needs and resources. It is for this reason that there Ganzon v. CSC
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Cordillera Broad Coalition v. COA
Limbona v. Mangelin

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Mabelle O. Nebres | Local Governments Case Digests

him, as well as his representatives and agents, from passing in

audit any expenditure of public funds in implementation of said EOs
and/or any disbursement by said municipalities. Pelaez claims that
RA 2370 had already impliedly repealed Sec 68. RA 2370, Sec
3:Barrios shall not be created or their boundaries altered nor their
names changed except under the provisions of this Act or by Act of
Congress; All barrios existing at the time of the passage of this Act
shall come under the provisions hereof. When RA 2370 became
effective, barrios may "not be created or their boundaries altered
nor their names changed" except by Act of Congress or of the
corresponding provincial board "upon petition of a majority of the
voters in the areas affected" and the "recommendation of the
council of the municipality or municipalities in which the proposed
barrio is situated."
ISSUE: If the President, under this new law, cannot even create a
barrio, can he create a municipality which is composed of several
barrios, since barrios are units of municipalities? NO.
 The statutory denial of the presidential authority to
create a new barrio implies a negation of the bigger
power to create municipalities, each of which
consists of several barrios.
On delegation of legislative power:
 While the power to fix such common boundary, in
order to avoid or settle conflicts of jurisdiction
between adjoining municipalities, may partake of an
administrative nature — involving, as it does, the
adoption of means and ways to carry into effect the
law creating said municipalities — the authority to
create municipal corporations is essentially
legislative in nature. In the language of other courts,
it is "strictly a legislative function" or "solely and
exclusively the exercise of legislative power. "
Municipal corporations are purely the creatures of
 Although Congress may delegate to another branch
of the Government the power to fill in the details in
the execution, enforcement or administration of a
Pelaez v. Auditor General law, it is essential, to forestall a violation of the
Facts: Pursuant to Sec 68 of the RAC, the President issued EOs 93- principle of separation of powers, that said law: (a)
121, 124, and 126-129 which created 33 provinces. Pelaez be complete in itself — it must set forth therein the
instituted the present special civil action, for a writ of prohibition policy to be executed, carried out or implemented
with preliminary injunction, against the Auditor General, to restrain by the delegate — and (b) fix a standard — the
Mabelle O. Nebres | Local Governments Case Digests

limits of which are sufficiently determinate or of the powers of Congress in favor of the Executive,
determinable — to which the delegate must conform and would bring about a total collapse of the
in the performance of his functions. Section 68 of democratic system established by our Constitution,
the Revised Administrative Code does not meet which it is the special duty and privilege of this
these well settled requirements for a valid Court to uphold.
delegation of the power to fix the details in the  the executive orders in question were issued after
enforcement of a law. It does not enunciate any the legislative bills for the creation of the
policy to be carried out or implemented by the municipalities involved in this case had failed to
President. Neither does it give a standard pass Congress. A better proof of the fact that the
sufficiently precise to avoid the evil effects above issuance of said executive orders entails the
referred to. exercise of purely legislative functions can hardly be
 Schechter case: NIRA unconstitutional. It supplies given.
no standards for any trade, industry or activity. It On the President’s power of control:
does not undertake to prescribe rules of conduct to Sec 10 (1), Art. VII, Consti: The President shall have control of all
be applied to particular states of fact determined by the executive departments, bureaus, or offices, exercise general
appropriate administrative procedure. Instead of supervision over all local governments as may be provided by law,
prescribing rules of conduct, it authorizes the and take care that the laws be faithfully executed.
making of codes to prescribe them. For that  The power of control under this provision implies the
legislative undertaking, Sec. 3 sets up no standards, right of the President to interfere in the exercise of
aside from the statement of the general aims of such discretion as may be vested by law in the
rehabilitation, correction and expansion described in officers of the executive departments, bureaus, or
Sec. 1. In view of the scope of that broad offices of the national government, as well as to act
declaration, and of the nature of the few restrictions in lieu of such officers. This power is denied by
that are imposed, the discretion of the President in the Constitution to the Executive, insofar as
approving or prescribing codes, and thus enacting local governments are concerned.
laws for the government of trade and industry  LGUs: fundamental law permits him to wield no
throughout the country, is virtually unfettered. We more authority than that of checking whether said
think that the code making authority thus conferred local governments or the officers thereof perform
is an unconstitutional delegation of legislative their duties as provided by statutory enactments.
power. The President cannot interfere with local
 If the term "unfair competition" is so broad as to governments, so long as the same or its officers act
vest in the President a discretion that is "virtually Within the scope of their authority.
unfettered." and, consequently, tantamount to a  Upon the other hand if the President could create a
delegation of legislative power, it is obvious that municipality, he could, in effect, remove any of its
"public welfare," which has even a broader officials, by creating a new municipality and
connotation, leads to the same result. In fact, if the including therein the barrio in which the official
validity of the delegation of powers made in Section concerned resides, for his office would thereby
68 were upheld, there would no longer be any legal become vacant.6 Thus, by merely brandishing the
impediment to a statutory grant of authority to the power to create a new municipality (if he had it),
President to do anything which, in his opinion, may without actually creating it, he could compel local
be required by public welfare or public interest. officials to submit to his dictation, thereby, in effect,
Such grant of authority would be a virtual abdication
Mabelle O. Nebres | Local Governments Case Digests

exercising over them the power of control denied to party to any civil action, and as such, Judge Moya
him by the Constitution. should have dismissed the case, since further
 Then, also, the power of control of the President proceedings would be pointless. The Rules of Court
over executive departments, bureaus or offices expressly provides that only "entities authorized by
implies no more than the authority to assume law may be parties in a civil action.
directly the functions thereof or to interfere in the
exercise of discretion by its officials. Manifestly, Alvarez v. Guingona (supra, see p.1)
such control does not include the authority either to Cawaling v. COMELEC
abolish an executive department or bureau, or to Facts: President Estrada signed into law RA 8806 (Act Creating The
create a new one. As a consequence, the alleged City Of Sorsogon By Merging The Municipalities Of Bacon And
power of the President to create municipal Sorsogon In The Province Of Sorsogon, And Appropriating Funds
corporations would necessarily connote the exercise Therefor). The COMELEC conducted a plebiscite in Bacon and
by him of an authority even greater than that of Sorsogon and submitted the matter for ratification. The Plebiscite
control which he has over the executive City Board of Canvassers (PCBC) then proclaimed the creation of
departments, bureaus or offices. In other words, Sec the City of Sorsogon as having been ratified and approved by the
68 of the Revised Administrative Code does not majority of the votes cast in the plebiscite. Cawaling, invoking his
merely fail to comply with the constitutional rights as a taxpayer, filed a petition for certiorari seeking the
mandate above quoted. Instead of giving the annulment of the plebiscite and challenging RA 8806.
President less power over local governments than Issues:
that vested in him over the executive departments, 1. WON the creation of Sorsogon City by merging two
bureaus or offices, it reverses the process and does municipalities violates Section 450(a) LGC (in relation to
the exact opposite, by conferring upon him more Section 10, Article X of the Constitution) which requires that
power over municipal corporations than that which only "a municipality or a cluster of barangays may be
he has over said executive departments, bureaus or converted into a component city" NO.
offices.  Criteria for the creation of a city:
 In short, even if it did entail an undue delegation of SECTION 450. Requisites for Creation. — (a) A
legislative powers, as it certainly does, said Section municipality or a cluster of barangays may be
68, as part of the Revised Administrative Code, converted into a component city if it has an average
approved on March 10, 1917, must be deemed annual income, as certified by the Department of
repealed by the subsequent adoption of the Finance, of at least Twenty million (P20,000,000.00)
Constitution, in 1935, which is utterly incompatible for the last two (2) consecutive years based on 1991
and inconsistent with said statutory enactment. constant prices, and if it has either of the following
Municipality of Kapalong v. Moya requisites: (i) a contiguous territory of at least one
Facts: Pres. Garcia created the Municipality of Santo Tomas from hundred (100) square kilometers, as certified by the
portions of the Municipality of Kapalong. Sto. Tomas now asserts Lands Management Bureau; or (ii) a population of not
jurisdiction over eight barrios of Kapalong. Sto. Tomas then filed a less than one hundred fifty thousand (150,000)
complaint against Kapalong for settlement of the municipal inhabitants, as certified by the National Statistics
boundary dispute. Office: Provided, That, the creation thereof shall not
Issue: WON Santo Tomas legally exists. NO. reduce the land area, population, and income of the
 As ruled in the Pelaez case, the President has no original unit or units at the time of said creation to
power to create a municipality. Since private less than the minimum requirements prescribed
respondent has no legal personality, it can not be a herein. (b) The territorial jurisdiction of a newly-
Mabelle O. Nebres | Local Governments Case Digests

created city shall be properly identified by metes and put, it is the necessary means by which the City of
bounds. The requirement on land area shall not apply Sorsogon was created. Hence, the title of the law,
where the city proposed to be created is composed "An Act Creating the City of Sorsogon by Merging
of one (1) or more islands. The territory need not be the Municipalities of Bacon and Sorsogon in the
contiguous if it comprises two (2) or more islands. (c) Province of Sorsogon, and Appropriating Funds
The average annual income shall include the income Therefor," cannot be said to exclude the incidental
accruing to the general fund, exclusive of specific effect of abolishing the two municipalities, nor can it
funds, transfers, and non-recurring income." be considered to have deprived the public of fair
 Petitioner's constricted reading of Section 450(a) of information on this consequence.
the Code is erroneous. The phrase "A municipality or 1. WON the plebiscite was timely conducted. YES.
a cluster of barangays may be converted into a  The law was first published in the August 25, 2000
component city" is not a criterion but simply one of issue of TODAY a newspaper of general circulation.
the modes by which a city may be created. Section Then on September 01, 2000, it was published in a
10, Article X of the Constitution, quoted earlier and newspaper of local circulation in the Province of
which petitioner cited in support of his posture, Sorsogon. Thus, the publication of the law was
allows the merger of LGUs to create a province city, completed on September 1, 2000, which date,
municipality or barangay in accordance with the according to the COMELEC, should be the reckoning
criteria established by the Code. point in determining the 120-day period within
 The creation of an entirely new LGU through a which to conduct the plebiscite, not from the date of
division or a merger of existing LGUs is recognized its approval (August 16, 2000) when the law had not
under the Constitution, provided that such merger yet been published. The COMELEC argues that since
or division shall comply with the requirements publication is indispensable for the effectivity of a
prescribed by the Code. law, citing the landmark case of Tañada vs. Tuvera,
1. WON it violates the “one bill one subject” rule. NO. it could only schedule the plebiscite after the Act
 Petitioner contends that R.A. No. 8806 actually took effect. Thus, the COMELEC concludes, the
embraces two principal subjects which are: (1) the December 16, 2000 plebiscite was well within the
creation of the City of Sorsogon, and (2) the 120-day period from the effectivity of the law on
abolition of the Municipalities of Bacon and September 1, 2000
Sorsogon. While the title of the Act sufficiently  the plebiscite shall be conducted within 120 days
informs the public about the creation of Sorsogon from the date of the effectivity of the law, not from
City, petitioner claims that no such information has its approval. While the same provision allows a law
been provided on the abolition of the Municipalities or ordinance to fix "another date" for conducting a
of Bacon and Sorsogon. plebiscite, still such date must be reckoned from the
 Contrary to petitioner's assertion, there is only one date of the effectivity of the law.
subject embraced in the title of the law, that is, the  Consequently, the word "approval" in Section 54 of
creation of the City of Sorsogon. The R.A. No. 8806, which should be read together with
abolition/cessation of the corporate existence of the Section 65 (effectivity of the Act) thereof, could only
Municipalities of Bacon and Sorsogon due to their mean "effectivity" as used and contemplated in
merger is not a subject separate and distinct from Section 10 of the Code. This construction is in
the creation of Sorsogon City. Such accord with the fundamental rule that all provisions
abolition/cessation was but the logical, natural and of the laws relating to the same subject should be
inevitable consequence of the merger. Otherwise
Mabelle O. Nebres | Local Governments Case Digests

read together and reconciled to avoid inconsistency Municipality of Alicia. Neither do they show that Barrio
or repugnancy to established jurisprudence Pagahat forms part of plaintiff-appellant Municipality of
Pelaez v. Auditor General (supra, see p.14) Candijay."
Municipality of Candijay v. CA 4. CA: there is an equiponderance of evidence When the
Facts: The Municipalities of Alicia and Candijay were in dispute over scale shall stand upon an equipoise and there is nothing in
barrio/barangay Pagahat. The RTC ruled in favor of Candijay. the evidence which shall incline it to one side or the other,
CA : the court will find for the defendant. Under said principle,
1. Court rejected the boundary line being claimed by petitioner the plaintiff must rely on the strength of his evidence and
since it would in effect place "practically all of Barrio not on the weakness of defendant's claim. Even if the
Pagahat . . . , part of Barrio Cagongcagong and portions of evidence of the plaintiff may be stronger than that of the
Barrio Putlongcam and La Hacienda and all of Barrio defendant, there is no preponderance of evidence on his
Mahayag and Barrio del Monte within the territorial side if such evidence is insufficient in itself to establish his
jurisdiction of Candijay." Candijay will not only engulf the cause of action
entire barrio of Pagahat, but also of the barrios of Issues:
Putlongcam, Mahayag, Del Monte, Cagongcagong, and a 1. WON the CA erred in its application of the principle of
part of the Municipality of Mabini. Candijay will eat up a big "equiponderance of evidence", for having based its ruling against
chunk of territories far exceeding her territorial jurisdiction petitioner on documentary evidence which, petitioner claims, are
under the law creating her. void,
2. Trial court erred in relying on Exh. X-Commissioner [exhibit 2. that the challenged Decision "does not solve the problem of both
for petitioner], because, in effect, it included portions of towns but throws them back again to their controversy."
Barrios Putlongcam and La Hacienda within the jurisdiction  With respect to the first and second grounds, we find
of Candijay when said barrios are undisputedly part of that the issues of fact in this case had been adequately
Alicia’s territory under EO265 creating the latter" passed upon by respondent Court in its Decision, which
3. After an examination of the respective survey plans of is well-supported by the evidence on record. The
petitioner and respondent submitted as exhibits, court: determination of equiponderance of evidence by the
"both plans are inadequate insofar as identifying the respondent Court involves the appreciation of evidence
monuments of the boundary line between Candijay and the by the latter tribunal, which will not be reviewed by this
Municipality of Mabini (which is not a party to this case) as Court unless shown to be whimsical or capricious; here,
declared by the Provincial Board of Bohol. Neither plan there has been no such showing.
shows where Looc-Tabasan, Lomislis Island, Tagtang  Neither party was able to make out a case; neither side
Canlirong, mentioned in the aforequoted boundary line could establish its cause of action and prevail with the
declared by the Provincial Board of Bohol, are actually evidence it had. As a consequence thereof, the courts
located." The respondent Court, after weighing and can only leave them as they are. In such cases, courts
considering the import of certain official acts, including EO. have no choice but to dismiss the complaints/petitions.
265 dated September 16, 1949 (which created the 3.Alicia’s purported lack of juridical personality, as a result of
municipality of Alicia from out of certain barrios of the having been created under a void executive order
municipality of Mabini), and Act 968 of the Philippine  Candijay commenced its collateral attack on the
Commission dated October 31, 1903 (which set forth the juridical personality of Alicia some thirty five years
respective component territories of the municipalities of after it first came into existence in 1949. It appears
Mabini and Candijay), concluded that "Barrio Bulawan from that, after presentation of its evidence, Candijay
where barrio Pagahat originated is not mentioned as one of asked the trial court to bar Alicia from presenting its
the barrios constituted as part of defendant-appellant evidence on the ground that it had no juridical
Mabelle O. Nebres | Local Governments Case Digests

personality. Candijay contended that EO 265 issued 3. Under the Ordinance (adopted on 15 October
by is null and void ab initio, inasmuch as Sec 68 of 1986) apportioning the seats of the House of
the RAC, on which said EO was based, constituted Representatives, appended to the 1987
an undue delegation of legislative powers to the Constitution, the Municipality of San Andres has
President of the Philippines, and was therefore been considered to be one of the twelve (12)
declared unconstitutional, per this Court's ruling in municipalities composing the Third District of the
Pelaez vs. Auditor General. province of Quezon.
 Municipality of San Narciso, Quezon vs. Mendez, Sr: 4. Section 442 (d) of the LGC to the effect that
EO 353 creating the municipal district of San Andres municipal districts "organized pursuant to
was issued on 20 August 1959 but it was only after presidential issuances or executive orders and
almost thirty (30) years, or on 05 June 1989, that which have their respective sets of elective
the municipality of San Narciso finally decided to municipal officials holding office at the time of
challenge the legality of the executive order. In the the effectivity of (the) Code shall henceforth be
meantime, the Municipal district, and later the considered as regular municipalities."
Municipality of San Andres, began and continued to  No pretension of unconstitutionality per se of
exercise the powers and authority of a duly created Section 442 (d) of the LGC is proffered. It is doubtful
LGU. Granting that EO 353 was a complete nullity whether such a pretext, even if made, would
for being the result of an unconstitutional delegation succeed. The power to create political subdivisions
of legislative power, the peculiar circumstances is a function of the legislature. Congress did just
obtaining in this case hardly could offer a choice that when it has incorporated Section 442 (d) in the
other than to consider the Municipality of San Code. Curative laws, which in essence are
Andres to have at least attained a status uniquely of retrospective, and aimed at giving "validity to acts
its own closely approximating, if not in fact done that would have been invalid under existing
attaining, that of a de facto municipal corporation. laws, as if existing laws have been complied with,"
Conventional wisdom cannot allow it to be are validly accepted in this jurisdiction, subject to
otherwise. Created in 1959 by virtue of EO 353, the the usual qualification against impairment of vested
Municipality of San Andres had been in existence for rights. All considered, the de jure status of the
more than six years when, on 24 December 1965, Municipality of San Andres in the province of
Pelaez vs. Auditor General was promulgated. The Quezon must now be conceded.
ruling could have sounded the call for a similar
declaration of the unconstitutionality of EO 353 but  Alicia's situation in the instant case is strikingly
it was not to be the case. On the contrary, certain similar to that of the municipality of San Andres.
governmental acts all pointed to the State's Alicia was created by virtue of EO 265 in 1949, or
recognition of the continued existence of the ten years ahead of the municipality of San Andres,
Municipality of San Andres: and therefore had been in existence for all of
1. EO 174 classified the Municipality of San Andres sixteen years when Pelaez vs. Auditor General was
as a fifth class municipality after having promulgated. And various governmental acts
surpassed the income requirement. throughout the years all indicate the State's
2. Under AO 33, the Municipality of San Andres had recognition and acknowledgment of the existence
been covered by the 10th Municipal Circuit Court thereof.
of San Francisco-San Andres for the province of  For instance, under AO 33 above-mentioned, the
Quezon. Municipality of Alicia was covered by the 7th
Mabelle O. Nebres | Local Governments Case Digests

Municipal Circuit Court of Alicia-Mabini for the  Political units directly affected: residents of the
province of Bohol. Likewise, under the Ordinance political entity who would be economically
appended to the 1987 Constitution, the Municipality dislocated by the separation of a portion thereof =
of Alicia is one of twenty municipalities comprising units which would participate in the plebiscite.
the Third District of Bohol. Tan v. COMELEC (supra, see p.8)
 Inasmuch as respondent municipality of Alicia is Miranda v. Aguirre
similarly situated as the municipality of San Andres, Facts: In 1994, RA 7720 converting the municipality of Santiago to
it should likewise benefit from the effects of Sec 442 an independent component city was signed into law and thereafter
(d) of the LGC, and should henceforth be considered ratified in a plebiscite. Four years later, RA 8528 which amended
as a regular, de jure municipality. RA 7720 was enacted, changing the status of Santiago from an ICC
to a component city. Petitioners assail the constitutionality of RA
8528 because it does not provide for submitting the law for
ratification by the people of Santiago City in a proper plebiscite.
1. WON petitioners have standing. YES.
 Rule: constitutionality of law can be challenged by
one who will sustain a direct injury as a result of its
 Miranda was mayor when he filed the petition, his
Vilas v. City of Manila (supra, see p.3) rights would have been greatly affected. Other
Padilla v. COMELEC petitioners are residents and voters of Santiago.
Facts: A plebiscite in the matter of the creation of the Municipality 1. WON petition involves a political question. NO.
of Tulay-Na-Lupa was held in the municipality of Labo pursuant to  PQ: concerned with issues dependent upon the
RA 7155 and the Constitution. Only 2890 favored its creation while wisdom, not legality, of a particular measure,
339 voted against it. The Plebiscite Board of Canvassers declared  Justiciable issue: implies a given right, legally
the rejection and disapproval of the independent Municipality of demandable and enforceable, an act or omission
TNL. Gov. Padilla seeks to set aside the plebiscite and prays that a violative of such right, and a remedy granted and
new plebiscite be undertaken because the previous one was a sanctioned by law, for said breach of right
complete failure and the results obtained were invalid and illegal  Case at bar=justiciable. WON petitioners have right
because the plebiscite should have been conducted only in the to a plebiscite is a legal question. WON laws passed
political units affected, i.e., the 12 barangays comprising TNL, to by Congress comply with the requirements of the
the exclusion of the remaining areas of the mother unit. Consti pose questions that this court alone can
Issue: WON the plebiscite conducted is valid. YES. decide.
 Padilla’s contention that the Tan ruling has been 1. WON the change involved any creation, division, merger,
superseded by the ratification of the 1987 abolition or substantial alteration of boundaries. YES.
Constitution, hence reinstating the Paredes ruling is 2. WON a plebiscite is necessary considering the change
untenable. Old law: “political unit or units” New law: was a mere reclassification from ICC to CC. YES.
“political units” The deletion of the words “unit or”  A close analysis of the said constitutional provision
does not affect the Tan ruling. will reveal that the creation, division, merger,
 Concom debates: Davide asked for deletion of abolition or substantial alteration of boundaries of
“unit or” because the plebiscite is to be conducted LGUs involve a common denominator — material
in all units affected. change in the political and economic rights of the
Mabelle O. Nebres | Local Governments Case Digests

LGUs directly affected as well as the people therein. reason to consult the people when a law
It is precisely for this reason that the Constitution substantially diminishes their right.
requires the approval of the people "in the political  Rule II, Art 6, paragraph (f) (1) of the IRRs of the
units directly affected." LGC is in accord with the Constitution when it
 Sec 10, Art X addressed the undesirable practice in provides that no creation, conversion, division,
the past whereby LGUs were created, abolished, merger, abolition, or substantial alteration of
merged or divided on the basis of the vagaries of boundaries of LGUS shall take effect unless
politics and not of the welfare of the people. Thus, approved by a majority of the votes cast in a
the consent of the people of the LGU directly plebiscite called for the purpose in the LGU or
affected was required to serve as a checking LGUs affected. The plebiscite shall be conducted
mechanism to any exercise of legislative power by the Commission on Elections (COMELEC)
creating, dividing, abolishing, merging or altering within one hundred twenty (120) days from the
the boundaries of LGUs. It is one instance where the effectivity of the law or ordinance prescribing
people in their sovereign capacity decide on a such action, unless said law or ordinance fixes
matter that affects them — direct democracy of the another date.
people as opposed to democracy thru people's  The rules cover all conversions, whether upward
representatives. This plebiscite requirement is also or downward in character, so long as they result
in accord with the philosophy of the Constitution in a material change in the LGU directly affected,
granting more autonomy to LGUs. especially a change in the political and economic
 The changes that will result from the downgrading rights of its people.
of the city of Santiago from an independent Tobias v. Abalos
component city to a component city are many and Facts: Prior to the enactment of RA 7675 (An Act Converting the
cannot be characterized as insubstantial. Municipality of Mandaluyong into a Highly Urbanized City to be
• The independence of the city as a political unit known as the City of Mandaluyong) the municipalities of
will be diminished: Mandaluyong and San Juan belonged to only one legislative district.
– The city mayor will be placed under the Pursuant to the LGC, a plebiscite was held where the people of
administrative supervision of the Mandaluyong were asked whether they approved of the conversion
provincial governor. of the Municipality of Mandaluyong into a highly urbanized city. The
– The resolutions and ordinances of the city turnout at the plebiscite was only 14.41% of the voting population.
council of Santiago will have to be Nevertheless, 18,621 voted "yes" whereas 7,911 voted "no." By
reviewed by the Provincial Board of virtue of these results, RA 7675 was deemed ratified and in effect.
Isabela. Petitioners, invoking their rights as taxpayers and as residents of
– Taxes that will be collected by the city will Mandaluyong, come before the court to assail the constitutionality
now have to be shared with the province. of RA 7675.
 When RA 7720 upgraded the status of Santiago Issue: WON RA 7675 unconstitutional. YES.
City from a municipality to an independent 1. RA 7675 contravenes the "one subject-one bill" rule.
component city, it required the approval of its  Sec. 26(1), Consti: Every bill passed by the Congress
people thru a plebiscite called for the purpose. shall embrace only one subject which shall be
There is neither rhyme nor reason why this expressed in the title thereof.
plebiscite should not be called to determine the  Petitioners: inclusion of the assailed Section 49 in
will of the people of Santiago City when RA 8528 the subject law resulted in the latter embracing two
downgrades the status of their city. There is more principal subjects: (1) the conversion of
Mabelle O. Nebres | Local Governments Case Digests

Mandaluyong into a highly urbanized city; and (2) the nature, scope and consequences of the
the division of the congressional district of San proposed law and its operation"
Juan/Mandaluyong into two separate districts. 1. WON the division of San Juan and Mandaluyong into
 the statutory conversion of Mandaluyong into a separate congressional districts under Section 49 of the
highly urbanized city with a population of not less assailed law resulting in an increase in the composition of
than two hundred fifty thousand indubitably ordains the House of Representatives beyond that provided in
compliance with the "one city-one representative" Article VI, Sec. 5(1) of the Constitution.
proviso in the Constitution: Each city with a  Sec. 5(1). The House of Representatives shall be
population of at least two hundred fifty thousand, or composed of not more than two hundred and fifty
each province, shall have at least one members, unless otherwise fixed by law, who shall
representative" (Article VI, Section 5(3), be elected from legislative districts apportioned
Constitution). Hence, it is in compliance with the among the provinces, cities, and the Metropolitan
aforestated constitutional mandate that the creation Manila area in accordance with the number of their
of a separate congressional district for the City of respective inhabitants, and on the basis of a uniform
Mandaluyong is decreed under Article VIII, Section and progressive ratio, and those who, as provided
49 of R..A. No. 7675. by law, shall be elected through a party list system
 The creation of a separate congressional district for of registered national, regional and sectoral parties
Mandaluyong is not a subject separate and distinct or organizations.
from the subject of its conversion into a highly  Limit of 250 members is not absolute. The
urbanized city but is a natural and logical Constitution clearly provides that the House of
consequence of its conversion into a highly Representatives shall be composed of not more
urbanized city. Verily, the title of R.A. No. 7675, "An than 250 members, "unless otherwise provided by
Act Converting the Municipality of Mandaluyong Into law." The inescapable import of the latter clause is
a Highly Urbanized City of Mandaluyong" necessarily that the present composition of Congress may be
includes and contemplates the subject treated increased, if Congress itself so mandates through a
under Section 49 regarding the creation of a legislative enactment. Therefore, the increase in
separate congressional district for Mandaluyong. congressional representation mandated by RA 7675
 Sumulong v. Comelec: the constitutional is not unconstitutional.
requirement as now expressed in Article VI, Section 1. WON the division was made pursuant to a census showing
26(1) "should be given a practical rather than a that the subject municipalities have attained the minimum
technical construction. It should be sufficient population requirements. NO.
compliance with such requirement if the title  Petitioners: there is no mention in the assailed law
expresses the general subject and all the provisions of any census to show that Mandaluyong and San
are germane to that general subject." Juan had each attained the minimum requirement of
 Lidasan v. Comelec: Of course, the Constitution 250,000 inhabitants to justify their separation into
does not require Congress to employ in the title of two legislative districts.
an enactment, language of such precision as to  Such does not suffice to strike down the validity of
mirror, fully index or catalogue all the contents and RA 7675. The said Act enjoys the presumption of
the minute details therein. It suffices if the title having passed through the regular congressional
should serve the purpose of the constitutional processes, including due consideration by the
demand that it inform the legislators, the persons members of Congress of the minimum requirements
interested in the subject of the bill and the public, of for the establishment of separate legislative
Mabelle O. Nebres | Local Governments Case Digests

districts. At any rate, it is not required that all laws Facts: Ordinance 84 was passed by the Municipality of Bocaue.
emanating from the legislature must contain all Petitioners are business owners who had been previously issued
relevant data considered by Congress in the licenses by the Municipal Mayor of Bocaue
enactment of said laws. Issues:
1. WON Section 49 has the effect of preempting the right of 1. WON a municipality may rely on its police power to justify
Congress to reapportion legislative districts. NO. the enactment of the assailed ordinance. NO.
 Sec. 5(4): Within three years following the return of  Police power granted to municipal corporations:
every census, the Congress shall make a "General power of council to enact ordinances and
reapportionment of legislative districts based on the make regulations.- The municipal council shall enact
standard provided in this section. such ordinances and make such regulations, not
 Petitioners: Section 49 of RA 7675 preempts the repugnant to law, as may be necessary to carry into
right of Congress to reapportion legislative districts effect and discharge the powers and duties
 argument borders on the absurd since petitioners conferred upon it by law and such as shall seem
overlook the glaring fact that it was Congress itself necessary and proper to provide for the health and
which drafted, deliberated upon and enacted the safety, promote the prosperity, improve the morals,
assailed law, including Section 49 thereof. Congress peace, good order, comfort, and convenience of the
cannot possibly preempt itself on a right which municipality and the inhabitants thereof, and for the
pertains to itself. protection of property therein."
1. WON the people of San Juan should have been made to  US v. Abendan: An ordinance enacted by virtue of
participate in the plebiscite on R.A. No. 7675 as the same police power is valid unless it contravenes the
involved a change in their legislative district. fundamental law, an act of the legislature, against
 The contention is bereft of merit since the principal public policy, or is unreasonable, partial,
subject involved in the plebiscite was the conversion discriminating or in derogation of a common right.
of Mandaluyong into a highly urbanized city. The  US v. Salaveria: The general welfare clause has two
matter of separate district representation was only branches: 1. attaches itself to the main trunk of
ancillary thereto. Thus, the inhabitants of San Juan municipal authority, and relates to such ordinances
were properly excluded from the said plebiscite as and regulations as may be necessary to carry into
they had nothing to do with the change of status of effect and discharge the powers and duties
neighboring Mandaluyong. conferred upon the municipal council by law.
1. WON the subject law has resulted in "gerrymandering," 2.It authorizes such ordinances as shall seem
which is the practice of creating legislative districts to favor necessary and proper to provide for the health and
a particular candidate or party. NO. safety, promote the prosperity, improve the morals,
 As correctly observed by the Solicitor General, it peace, good order, comfort, and convenience of the
should be noted that Rep. Ronaldo Zamora, the municipality and the inhabitants thereof, and for the
author of the assailed law, is the incumbent protection of property therein. It is a general rule
representative of the former San Juan/Mandaluyong that ordinances passed by virtue of the implied
district, having consistently won in both localities. power found in the general welfare clause must be
By dividing San Juan/Mandaluyong, Rep. Zamora's reasonable, consonant with the general powers and
constituency has in fact been diminished, which purposes of the corporation, and not inconsistent
development could hardly be considered as with the laws or policy of the State.
favorable to him.  If night clubs were merely then regulated and not
Dela Cruz v. Paras prohibited, certainly the assailed ordinance would
Mabelle O. Nebres | Local Governments Case Digests

pass the test of validity. **reasonableness, Facts: TD received a letter from acting mayor Cruz, ordering the full
consonance with the general powers and purposes cessation of the operation of its plant located at Guyong, Sta.
of municipal corporations, consistency with the laws Maria, Bulacan, until further order. The letter likewise requested its
or policy of the State. plant manager to bring with him to the office of the mayor the
 It is clear that in the guise of a police regulation, following: a) Building permit; b) Mayor's permit; c) Region III-
there was in this instance a clear invasion of Pollution of Environment and Natural Resources Anti-Pollution
personal or property rights, personal in the case of Permit. In compliance with said undertaking, petitioner commenced
those individuals desirous of patronizing those night to secure "Region III-Department of Environmental and Natural
clubs and property in terms of the investments Resources Anti-Pollution Permit," although among the permits
made and salaries to be earned by those therein previously secured prior to the operation of petitioner's plant was a
employed. "Temporary Permit to Operate Air Pollution Installation" issued by
1. WON a municipality has no authority to prohibit a lawful the then National Pollution Control Commission (now Environmental
business, occupation or calling. NO. Management Bureau) and is now at a stage where the
 RA 938: the municipal or city board or council of Environmental Management Bureau is trying to determine the
each chartered city shall have the power to regulate correct kind of anti-pollution devise to be installed as part of
by ordinance the establishment, maintenance and petitioner's request for the renewal of its permit.
operation of night clubs, cabarets, dancing schools, TD's attention having been called to its lack of mayor's
pavilions, cockpits, bars, saloons, bowling alleys, permit, it sent its representatives to the office of the mayor to
billiard pools, and other similar places of secure the same but were not entertained. On April 6, 1989,
amusement within its territorial jurisdiction: . . . without previous and reasonable notice upon petitioner, respondent
Then on May 21, 1954, the first section was acting mayor ordered the Municipality's station commander to
amended to include not merely "the power to padlock the premises of petitioner's plant, thus effectively causing
regulate, but likewise "prohibit . . ." The title, the stoppage of its operation.
however, remained the same and the exact wording RTC: action for certiorari, prohibition, mandamus with
was followed. The power granted remains that of preliminary injunction. Closure order was issued in grave abuse of
regulation, not prohibition. There is thus support for discretion. Judge issued of the writ of preliminary mandatory
the view advanced by petitioners that to construe injunction.
RA 938 as allowing the prohibition of the operation MR: RTC issued an order (a) setting aside the order which
of night clubs would give rise to a constitutional granted a Writ of Preliminary Mandatory Injunction, and (b)
question. dissolving the writ consequently issued.
 There is a wide gap between the exercise of a CA: certiorari and prohibition with preliminary injunction. In
regulatory power "to provide for the health and due course the petition was denied for lack of merit.
safety, promote the prosperity, improve the MR: denied.
morals," in the language of the Administrative Code,
such competence extending to all "the great public Issue: WON the appellate court committed a grave abuse of
needs," and to interdict any calling, occupation, or discretion in rendering its question decision and resolution. NO.
enterprise.  The authority of the local executive to protect the
 It is clear that municipal corporations cannot community from pollution is the center of this
prohibit the operation of might clubs. They may be controversy.
regulated, but not prevented from carrying on their  The following circumstances militate against the
business. maintenance of the writ of preliminary injunction
Technology Developers v. CA sought by petitioner:
Mabelle O. Nebres | Local Governments Case Digests

1. No mayor's permit had been secured. While it is 6. While petitioner was able to present a temporary
true that the matter of determining whether there permit to operate by the then National Pollution
is a pollution of the environment that requires Control Commission on December 15, 1987, the
control if not prohibition of the operation of a permit was good only up to May 25, 1988.
business is essentially addressed to the then Petitioner had not exerted any effort to extend or
National Pollution Control Commission of the validate its permit much less to install any device
Ministry of Human Settlements, now the to control the pollution and prevent any hazard to
Environmental Management Bureau of the the health of the residents of the community.
Department of Environment and Natural  TD: huge investment. SC: such is concomitant
Resources, it must be recognized that the mayor with the need to promote investment and
of a town has as much responsibility to protect its contribute to the growth of the economy is
inhabitants from pollution, and by virture of his the equally essential imperative of protecting
police power, he may deny the application for a the health, nay the very lives of the people,
permit to operate a business or otherwise close from the deleterious effect of the pollution of
the same unless appropriate measures are taken the environment.
to control and/or avoid injury to the health of the
residents of the community from the emissions in Chua Huat v. CA
the operation of the business.
2. The Acting Mayor, in a letter of February 16, Facts: Manuel Uy and Sons, Inc., requested the City Engineer and
1989, called the attention of petitioner to the Building Official of Manila, to condemn the dilapidated structures
pollution emitted by the fumes of its plant whose located at 1271 to 1277 Pedro Gil St. and 1553 to 1557 Paz St.,
offensive odor "not only pollute the air in the Paco, Manila, all occupied by petitioners. Notices of condemnation
locality but also affect the health of the residents were issued, stating that the subject buildings were found to be in
in the area," so that petitioner was ordered to dangerous condition and therefore condemned, subject to the
stop its operation until further orders and it was confirmation of the Mayor as required by Section 276 of the
required to bring its permits (see facts) Compilation of Ordinances of the City of Manila. The orders were
3. This action of the Acting Mayor was in response based on the inspection reports made by Architect Oscar D. Andres
to the complaint of the residents of Barangay and the Memorandum-Reports made by the Evaluation Committee
Guyong, Sta. Maria, Bulacan, directed to the of the Office of the City Engineer, which all showed that the subject
Provincial Governor through channels. buildings suffer from structural deterioration by more than 50% and
4. The closure order of the Acting Mayor was issued as much as 80%.
only after an investigation was made by Marivic Civil Engineer Romulo C. Molas, a private practitioner,
Guina who in her report of December 8, 1988 inspected the abovementioned structures upon the request of
observed that the fumes emitted by the plant of petitioners herein. In his evaluation report, he stated that although
petitioner goes directly to the surrounding houses the buildings are old, they are still structurally sound and have a
and that no proper air pollution device has been remaining economic life of at least eight years.
installed. Three months after the notices of condemnation were
5. Petitioner failed to produce a building permit from issued, petitioners formally protested against said notices of
the municipality of Sta. Maria, but instead condemnation on the ground that the buildings are still in good
presented a building permit issued by an official physical condition and are structurally sound based on the
of Makati on March 6,1987. abovementioned certification of Civil Engineer Romulo C. Molas.

Mabelle O. Nebres | Local Governments Case Digests

On 26 April 1983, Maria Gamboa, one of the petitioners Compilation of Ordinances of the City of Manila. Moreover, under
herein, was informed of the issuance by the City Engineer of the Section 5.3, Rule VII of the Implementing Rules and Regulations of
demolition order with respect to the building located at 1565 Paz P.D. No. 1096, the owner of a building may appeal to the Secretary
St., Paco, Manila, and was told to vacate the premises within 15 of Public Works and Communications, whose decision is final, the
days from notice. finding or declaration of the Building Official and ask that a re-
On 2 May 1983, petitioners filed the instant Petition for inspection or re-investigation of the building or structure be made;
Prohibition, with Preliminary Injunction and/or Restraining Order, for not availing of this remedy, petitioners failed to exhaust
against City Mayor Ramon Bagatsing, City Engineer and Building administrative remedies.
Officer Romulo del Rosario and Manuel Uy and Sons, Inc., praying
that a restraining order or preliminary injunction be issued Issue: WON the mayor and city engineer committed grave abuse of
enjoining respondents from proceeding with the announced discretion amounting to lack of jurisdiction in issuing the
demolition of the subject buildings, this petition be given due condemnation orders. NO.
course, and after hearing, respondents be prohibited from
demolishing said buildings. They alleged a grave abuse of  It is patently obvious that petitioners have no valid
discretion amounting to lack of jurisdiction and that there is no grievance for the remedy of certiorari under Rule 65
other plain, speedy, and adequate remedy. of the Rules of Court to be available to them. It is
The Mayor confirmed the rest of the condemnation orders explicitly clear from Section 1 of Rule 65 of the
issued by the respondent City Engineer. Rules of Court that for certiorari to be available: (a)
City Mayor and City Engineer: petition should be dismissed a tribunal, board or office exercising judicial function
on the following grounds: (a) that it involves questions of facts acted without or in excess of its or his jurisdiction, or
which should be ventilated before the Regional Trial Court of with grave abuse of discretion, and (b) that there is
Manila; (b) the subject buildings were condemned and ordered no appeal, nor any plain, speedy, and adequate
removed after it was established that they had suffered from remedy in the ordinary course of law. Petitioners
defects or deterioration thereby posing perils to the lives and limbs failed to show the presence of both elements.
not only of petitioners but also to the public in general; (c) the  The power to condemn buildings and structures in
power to condemn buildings and structures in the City of Manila the City of Manila falls within the exclusive
falls within the exclusive domain of the City Engineer pursuant to jurisdiction of the City Engineer, who is at the same
Sections 275 and 276 of its Compilation of Ordinances (also time the Building Official (Sec. 206, P.D. 1096).
Revised Ordinances 1600); (d) the power to condemn and remove  Sections 275 and 276 of the Compilation of
buildings and structures is an exercise of the police power granted Ordinances of the City of Manila (also Revised
the City of Manila to promote public safety; and (e) administrative Ordinances 1600), provide: "SEC. 275. Deterioration
decisions falling within the executive jurisdiction cannot be set and Defects. All buildings or parts of buildings
aside by courts of justice except on proof of grave abuse of which show defects in any essential parts shall be
discretion, fraud or error of law. repaired and put in safe condition at once, or if the
Manuel Uy and Sons, Inc: petition is premature, deterioration be greater than fifty per centum of the
unreasonable and deserves no consideration as petitioners have value of the building, as estimated by the city
not exhausted readily-available administrative remedies and that engineer, they shall be removed.
the validity of the questioned condemnation and demolition orders  SEC. 276. Condemnation Proceedings. Whenever in
entails questions of facts not entertainable in this petition. It the judgment of the City Engineer any building or
alleges that the condemnation orders were not immediately portion of building has been damaged by any cause
executory, as the finding of the City Engineer/Building Official is still to such an extent as to be dangerous for use, he
subject to the approval of the Mayor per Section 276 of the may condemn the same and shall immediately
Mabelle O. Nebres | Local Governments Case Digests

notify the owner and the Mayor of his action. If the  It is a settled doctrine that there is grave abuse of
owner or his agent be not willing to abide by thus discretion amounting to lack of jurisdiction "when
order of condemnation, he may make formal there is a capricious and whimsical exercise of
objection within the period of seven days following judgment as is equivalent to lack of jurisdiction,
such notification. The Mayor shall hear the owner or such as where the power is exercised in an arbitrary
his agent and his experts and also the city engineer, or despotic manner by reason of passion or personal
deciding the case on the evidence presented. If the hostility, and it must be so patent and gross so as to
Mayor confirms the action of the city engineer, the amount to an evasion of positive duty or to a virtual
owner or his agent shall immediately proceed to refusal to perform the duty enjoined or to act at all
remove the building within fifteen days from the in contemplation of law."
date on which he was notified of such final action.  We find no grave abuse of discretion on the part of
Should the owner or his agent not comply with the the respondent City Engineer because the orders
decision of the Mayor the building shall be removed were made only after thorough ocular inspections
at his expense and the city will proceed to recover were conducted by the City's Building Inspectors.
against him for the amount expended." The results of the inspections were set forth in a
 Section 215 of P.D. 1096, otherwise known as the memorandum dated 16 November 1982 where it
National Building Code, also states the authority of was shown that all the buildings had architectural,
the Building Official with respect to dangerous structural, sanitary, plumbing and electrical defects
buildings, to wit: "When any building or structure is of up to 80%.
found or declared to be dangerous or ruinous, the  The Mayor's act of approving the condemnation
Building official shall order its repair, vacation or orders was likewise done in accordance with law.
demolition depending upon the degree of danger to The protest made by petitioners was submitted only
life, health, or safety. This is without prejudice to on 22 February 1983, or three months after the
further action that may be taken under the notices of condemnation were issued, and clearly
provisions of Articles 482 and 694 to 707 of the Civil beyond the seven days prescribed under Section
Code of the Philippines." 276 of the Compilation of Ordinances of the City of
 From the abovementioned provisions, it is Manila.
unquestionable that the Building Official has the  Moreover, appeal was likewise available to
authority to order the condemnation and demolition petitioners. The Implementing Rules and
of buildings which are found to be in a dangerous or Regulations promulgated by the then Ministry of
ruinous condition. It is also clear from the Public Works to implement P.D. No. 1096, under the
Compilation of Ordinances of the City of Manila that title Abatement/Demolition of Buildings, provide: "5.
the Mayor has the power to confirm or deny the Procedure for Demolition of Buildings. The following
action taken by the Building Official with respect to steps shall be observed in the abatement/demolition
the dangerous or ruinous buildings. of buildings under this Rule: 5.1. There must be a
 City Engineer and Building Official, Romulo M. del finding or declaration by the Building Official that
Rosario, can, therefore, validly issue the questioned the building or structure is a nuisance, ruinous or
condemnation and demolition orders. This is also dangerous . . .5.3. Within the fifteen-day period, the
true with the respondent Mayor who can approve or owner may, if he so desires, appeal to the Secretary
deny the condemnation orders as provided in the finding or declaration of the Building Official and
Section 276 of the Compilation of Ordinances of the ask that a re-inspection or re-investigation of the
City of Manila.
Mabelle O. Nebres | Local Governments Case Digests

building or structure be made . . .5.6. The decision implementation thereof. The program was stayed by COA Decision
of the Secretary on the appeal shall be final." No. 1159.
 Certiorari will not be then because petitioners failed
to exhaust all the administrative remedies. This Issues:
Court has long upheld the doctrine of exhaustion of 1. WON R 60 is a valid exercise of police power under the
administrative remedies because it rests on the general welfare clause. YES.
assumption that the administrative body, board or  Police power is inherent in the state but not in
officer, if given the chance to correct its/his mistake municipal corporations. Before a municipal
or error, may amend its/his decision on a given corporation may exercise such power, there must be
matter. Where the enabling statute indicates a a valid delegation of such power by the legislature
procedure for administrative review, and provides a which is the repository of the inherent powers of the
system of administrative appeal, or reconsideration, State. A valid delegation of police power may arise
the courts, for reasons of law, comity and from express delegation, or be inferred from the
convenience, will not entertain a case unless the mere fact of the creation of the municipal
available administrative remedies have been corporation; and as a general rule, municipal
resorted to and the appropriate authorities have corporations may exercise police powers within the
been given opportunity to act and correct the errors fair intent and purpose of their creation which are
committed in the administrative forum. There are, of reasonably proper to give effect to the powers
course, exceptions to this rule, but none is available expressly granted, and statutes conferring powers
to petitioners. on public corporations have been construed as
empowering them to do the things essential to the
enjoyment of life and desirable for the safety of the
 Municipal governments exercise this power under
the general welfare clause: authority to "enact such
ordinances and issue such regulations as may be
necessary to carry out and discharge the
responsibilities conferred upon it by law, and such
as shall be necessary and proper to provide for the
Binay v. Domingo health, safety, comfort and convenience, maintain
peace and order, improve public morals, promote
Facts: Resolution 60 confirming the ongoing burial assistance the prosperity and general welfare of the
program initiated by the mayor’s office. Under this program, municipality and the inhabitants thereof, and insure
bereaved families whose gross family income does not exceed the protection of property therein."
2k/month will receive a 500php cash relief to be taken out of  Sec 7 of BP 337: every LGU shall exercise the
unappropriated available funds existing in the municipal treasury. powers expressly granted, those necessarily implied
The Metro Manila Commission approved Resolution 60. Thereafter, therefrom, as well as powers necessary and proper
the municipal secretary certified a disbursement of P400,000 for for governance such as to promote health and
the implementation of the Burial Assistance Program. R 60 was safety, enhance prosperity, improve morals, and
referred to the Commission on Audit for its expected allowance in maintain peace and order in the LGU, and preserve
audit. Based on its preliminary findings, COA disapproved R 60 and the comfort and convenience of the inhabitants
disallowed in audit the disbursement of funds for the therein."
Mabelle O. Nebres | Local Governments Case Digests

 Police power: power to prescribe regulations to (Section 5, Ibid) social justice (Section 10, Ibid) as
promote the health, morals, peace, education, good well as human dignity and respect for human rights.
order or safety and general welfare of the people. It (Section 11, Ibid."
is the most essential, insistent, and illimitable of  The care for the poor is generally recognized as a
powers; greatest and most powerful attribute of the public duty. The support for the poor has long been
government; elastic and must be responsive to an accepted exercise of police power in the
various social conditions. promotion of the common good.
 COA: there is no perceptible connection or relation  There is no violation of the equal protection clause
between the objective sought to be attained under in classifying paupers as subject of legislation.
R 60 and the alleged public safety, general welfare. Paupers may be reasonably classified. Different
etc. of the inhabitants of Makati groups may receive varying treatment. Precious to
 Apparently, COA tries to re-define the scope of the hearts of our legislators, down to our local
police power by circumscribing its exercise to councilors, is the welfare of the paupers. Thus,
"public safety, general welfare, etc. of the statutes have been passed giving rights and
inhabitants of Makati ." benefits to the disabled, emancipating the tenant-
 Police power of a municipal corporation: broad, and farmer from the bondage of the soil, housing the
has been said to be commensurate with, but not to urban poor, etc.
exceed, the duty to provide for the real needs of the  The resolution is a paragon of the continuing
people in their health, safety, comfort, and program of our government towards social justice.
convenience as consistently as may be with private The Burial Assistance Program is a relief of
rights. It extends to all the great public needs, and, pauperism, though not complete. The loss of a
in a broad sense includes all legislation and almost member of a family is a painful experience, and it is
every function of the municipal government. It more painful for the poor to be financially burdened
covers a wide scope of subjects, and, while it is by such death. Resolution No. 60 vivifies the very
especially occupied with whatever affects the words of the late President Ramon Magsaysay
peace, security, health, morals, and general welfare 'those who have less in life, should have more in
of the community, it is not limited thereto, but is law."
broadened to deal with conditions which exists so as
to bring out of them the greatest welfare of the Tatel v. Municipality of Virac
people by promoting public convenience or general Facts: Based on complaints received by the residents of barrio Sta.
prosperity, and to everything worthwhile for the Elena against the disturbance caused by the operation of the abaca
preservation of comfort of the inhabitants of the bailing machine inside Tatel’s warehouse, Resolution 291 was
corporation. Thus, it is deemed inadvisable to enacted by the Municipal Council of Virac declaring Tatel’s
attempt to frame any definition which shall warehouse a public nuisance within the purview of Article 694 of
absolutely indicate the limits of police power. the Civil Code and directing the petitioner to remove and transfer
 COA is not attuned to the changing of the times. said warehouse to a more suitable place within two months from
Public purpose is not unconstitutional merely receipt of the said resolution. The municipal officials contend that
because it incidentally benefits a limited number of petitioner's warehouse was constructed in violation of Ordinance
persons. OSG: "the drift is towards social welfare 13, prohibiting the construction of warehouses near a block of
legislation geared towards state policies to provide houses either in the poblacion or barrios without maintaining the
adequate social services (Section 9, Art. II, necessary distance of 200 meters from said block of houses to
Constitution), the promotion of the general welfare avoid loss of lives and properties by accidental fire. Tatel contends
Mabelle O. Nebres | Local Governments Case Digests

that said ordinance is unconstitutional, contrary to the due process meters from a block of houses and not the
and equal protection clause of the Constitution and null and void construction per se of a warehouse. The purpose is
for not having been passed in accordance with law. to avoid the loss of life and property in case of fire
which is one of the primordial obligation of the
Issue: 1. WON Ordinance No. 13 is unconstitutional. NO government.
 Ordinance 13, was passed by the Municipal Council  The objections interposed by the petitioner to the
of Virac in the exercise of its police power. It is a validity of the ordinance have not been
settled principle of law that municipal corporations substantiated. Its purpose is well within the
are agencies of the State for the promotion and objectives of sound government. No undue restraint
maintenance of local self-government and as such is placed upon the petitioner or for anybody to
are endowed with the police powers in order to engage in trade but merely a prohibition from
effectively accomplish and carry out the declared storing inflammable products in the warehouse
objects of their creation. because of the danger of fire to the lives and
 Its authority emanates from the general welfare properties of the people residing in the vicinity. As
clause under the Administrative Code, which reads: far as public policy is concerned, there can be no
The municipal council shall enact such ordinances better policy than what has been conceived by the
and make such regulations, not repugnant to law, as municipal government.
may be necessary to carry into effect and discharge
the powers and duties conferred upon it by law and Tamin v. CA
such as shall seem necessary and proper to provide Facts: The municipality of Dumingag file d a case for the ejectment
for the health and safety, promote the prosperity, of Medina and Rosellon. According to the municipality, it is the
improve the morals, peace, good order, comfort and owner of a parcel of residential land located at Poblacion,
convenience of the municipality and the inhabitants Dumingag, Zamboanga del Sur with an area of 5,894 square
thereof, and for the protection of property therein. meters more or less; that the parcel of land was reserved for public
 For an ordinance to be valid, it must not only be plaza under PP 365 and that the incumbency of the late Mayor
within the corporate powers of the municipality to Isidoro E. Real, Sr. or in 1958, the municipality leased an Area of
enact but must also be passed according to the 1,350 square meters to M&R subject to the condition that they
procedure prescribed by law. should vacate the place in case it is needed for public purposes;
 These principles require that a municipal ordinance that the defendants religiously paid the rentals until 1967. M&R,
(1) must not contravene the Constitution or any however refused to pay the rentals as well as vacate the area.
statute Hence, despite the national government’s allotment for the
(2) must not be unfair or oppressive construction of a municipal gymnasium within the public plaza,
(3) must not be partial or discriminatory such construction which was already started could not continue
(4) must not prohibit but may regulate trade because of the presence of the buildings constructed by the
(5) must be general and consistent with public policy, defendants. According to the municipality, the appropriation for the
and construction of the gymnasium might be reverted back to the
(6) must not be unreasonable. national government which would result to "irreparable damage,
Ordinance 13 meets these criteria. injury and prejudice" to the municipality and its people who are
 In spite of its fractured syntax, what is regulated by expected to derive benefit from the accomplishment of the project.
the ordinance is the construction of warehouses RTC: Judge Tamin issued an order setting the preliminary hearing
wherein inflammable materials are stored where for the issuance of a writ of preliminary mandatory injunction
such warehouses are located at a distance of 200 and/or writ of possession, and instead of filing an answer, the
Mabelle O. Nebres | Local Governments Case Digests

respondents filed an MTD alleging the lack of jurisdiction of the TC, petitioner municipality; that Proclamation 365 issued on March 15,
since the complaint is for illegal detainer which is within the original 1968 recognized "private rights"; and, that a case is pending before
jurisdiction of the municipal court and the pendency of a cadastral the Cadastral court between respondent Medina and petitioner
case between the parties over the ownership of the same parcel of municipality as regards the ownership of the subject parcel of land.
land. Tamin denied the MTD and granted the municipality's motion Before the petitioner Judge could further act on the case, the
for a writ of possession "with the ancillary writ of demolition to private respondents filed a petition for certiorari with the CA
place in possession the plaintiff on the land subject of this case, to questioning the orders of the petitioner Judge. Petition was given
the end that the public construction thereon will not be due course and a TRO was issued enjoining the petitioner Judge
jeopardized." According to Tamin, the municipality alleges that from proceeding with the hearing of the case and from enforcing
M&R are claiming ownership over the land which was previously the orders.
rented to them. This action is, therefore, an accion de CA: RTC committed an error when it applied by analogy the rule on
reivindicacion, a real action within the jurisdiction of this court. As eminent domain to justify the issuance of the writ of possession
the complaint is for recovery of ownership of the land not to and writ of demolition. The appellate court pointed out that under
enforce the contract, the Statute of Fraud does not apply. The land this rule: (i) There is clear statutory authority for the taking of
subject of this case is covered by PD 365, withdrawing this land possession by the government and (ii) The authority is premised on
from sale of settlement and reserving the same for school site the government depositing the value of the land to be taken. In the
purposes under the administration of the Director of Public School case at bar, there is neither statutory authority for the trial court's
and public plaza under the administration of the Municipality of action nor bond given to compensate the petitioners for the
Dumingag, therefore the Cadastral court has no jurisdiction over deprivation of their possession and the destruction of their houses
the land involved in this case. Tamin justified his granting the if it turns out that the land belongs to them. For this reason, we
motion for a writ of possession with the ancillary writ of think the trial courts order is arbitrary and void. For the fact is that
demolition by applying the rule an eminent domain in petitioners claim ownership of the land in question and until that
analogy in that under this Rule the complainant is given the question is resolved either in the case pending before the
right to the writ of possession in order that public respondent judge or in the cadastral proceeding, it would be unjust
construction and projects will not be delayed. According to to deprive petitioners of its possession.
him, the necessity of a writ of possession is greater in the instant
case considering that the parcel of land is covered by a PP and the Issue:
on-going construction thereon is being endangered to be left 1. WON the allegations in the complaint constitute a cause of
unfinished on account of the buildings standing on the parcel of action for abatement of public nuisance under Article 694 of
land because the appropriation for the construction might be the Civil Code.
reverted back to the national treasury. M&R filed an omnibus MR  Applying these criteria, we agree with the
with motion to set aside order and to quash writ of possession and petitioners that the complaint alleges factual
demolition but this was denied. The municipality implemented the circumstances of a complaint for abatement of
writ of possession and ancillary writ of demolition issued by the public nuisance.
petitioner Judge resulting in the dispossession of the private  Art. 694, CC A nuisance is any act, omission,
respondents from the parcel of land and the demolition of establishment, business, condition of property or
structures and buildings thereon owned by the respondents. anything else which: (5) Hinders or impairs the use
M&R’s answer: The parcel of land has been owned, occupied and of property.
possess by respondent Vicente Medina since 1947 when he bought  Art. 695, CC Nuisance is either public or private. A
the subject parcel from a Subanan native; that the other public nuisance affects a community or
respondent Fortunata Rosellon leased from Medina a portion of the neighborhood or any considerable number of
parcel of land; that the respondents were never lessees of the persons, although the extent of the annoyance,
Mabelle O. Nebres | Local Governments Case Digests

danger or damage upon individuals may be unequal. summarily by the municipality, citing a case:
.. Exactly in point is Espiritu v. Municipal Council
 Thus, the complaint states: that petitioner of Pozorrubio, (102 Phil. 869-870) where the
municipality is the owner of a parcel of land covered Supreme Court declared: There is absolutely
by Presidential Proclamation No 365 which is no question that the town plaza cannot be
reserved for a public plaza; that the private used for the construction of market stalls,
respondents by virtue of a contract of lease entered specially of residences, and that such
into by the former mayor occupied a portion of the structures constitute a nuisance subject to
parcel of land constructing buildings thereon; that abatement according to law. Town plazas are
the private respondents refused to vacate the properties of public dominion, to be devoted
premises despite demands; that the municipality is to public use and to be made available to the
constructing a municipal gymnasium in the area public in general. They are outside the
financed by appropriations provided by the national commerce of man and cannot be disposed of
government; and that the appropriations are in or even leased by the municipality to private
danger of being reverted to the national treasury parties.
because the construction had to be stopped in view  Applying this well-settled doctrine, we rule
of the refusal of the private respondents to vacate that petitioners had no right in the first place
the area. to occupy the disputed premises and cannot
1. WON the municipality is entitled to a writ of possession and insist in remaining there now on the strength
a writ of demolition even before the trial of the case starts. of their alleged lease contracts. They should
 Article 699 of the Civil Code provides for the have realized and accepted this earlier,
following remedies against a public nuisance: considering that even before Civil Case No.
(1) A prosecution under the Penal Code or any 2040 was decided, the municipal council of
local ordinance; or(2) A civil action; or (3) San Fernando had already adopted Resolution
Abatement, without judicial proceedings. No. 29, series of 1964, declaring this area as
 The petitioner municipality had three the parking place and public plaza of the
remedies from which to select its cause of municipality.
action. It chose to file a civil action for the  It is the decision in Civil Case No. 2040 and
recovery of possession of the parcel of land the said resolution of the municipal council of
occupied by the private respondents. San Fernando that respondent Macalino was
Obviously, petitioner municipality was aware seeking to enforce when he ordered the
that under the then LGC (B.P. Blg. 337) the demolition of the stalls constructed in the
Sangguniang Bayan has to first pass an disputed area. As officer-in-charge of the
ordinance before the municipality may office of the mayor, he had the duty to clear
summarily abate a public nuisance. (Sec. the area and restore it to its intended use as a
149(z) (ee). parking place and public plaza of the
 On the premise that the parcel of land forms municipality of San Fernando, conformably to
part of a public plaza, the petitioners now the aforementioned orders from the court and
contend that the Judge was justified in issuing the council. It is, therefore, not correct to say
the writ of possession and writ of demolition. that he had acted without authority or taken
 A public plaza is outside the commerce of the law into his hands in issuing his order.
man and constructions thereon can be abated
Mabelle O. Nebres | Local Governments Case Digests

 The Court observes that even without such of the Municipal Government of Dumingag,
investigatiom and recommendation, the subject to private rights, if any there be,
respondent mayor was justified in ordering certain parcels of land of the public domain
the area cleared on the strength alone of its situated in the Municipality of Dumingag,
status as a public plaza as declared by the Province of Zamboanga del Sur, Island of
judicial and legislative authorities. . Mindanao,¦
 If, therefore, the allegations in the complaint  It is to be noted that even before the
are true and that the parcel of land being Proclamation, the parcel of land was the
occupied by the private respondents is indeed subject of cadastral proceedings before
a public plaza, then the writ of possession and another branch of the Regional Trial Court of
writ of demolition would have been justified. Zamboanga del Sur. At the time of the filing of
In fact, under such circumstances, there the instant case, the cadastral proceedings
would have been no need for a writ of intended to settle the ownership over the
possession in favor of the petitioner questioned portion of the parcel of land under
municipality since the private respondents' Proclamation No. 365 were still pending. One
occupation over the subject parcel of land can of the claimants in the cadastral proceedings
not be recognized by any law. A writ of is private respondent Vicente Medina who
demolition would have been sufficient to eject traced his ownership over the subject parcel
the private respondents. of land as far back as 1947 when he allegedly
 However, not only did the municipality avoid bought the same from a Subanan native.
the use of abatement without judicial  Under the cadastral system, the government
proceedings, but the status of the subject through the Director of Lands initiates the
parcel of land has yet to be decided. proceedings by filing a petition in court after
 We have to consider the fact that which all owners or claimants are compelled
Proclamation No. 365 dated March 15, 1968 to act and present their answers otherwise
recognizes private rights which may have they lose their right to their own property. The
been vested on other persons, to wit: BY THE purpose is to serve the public interests by
PRESIDENT OF THE PHILIPPINES requiring that the titles to any lands "be
PROCLAMATION NO. 365 RESERVING FOR settled and adjudicated." (Section 1 Cadastral
SCHOOL SITE, PUBLIC PLAZA AND Act [No. 22593] Government of the Philippine
PLAYGROUND PURPOSES CERTAIN PARCELS Islands v. Abural, 39 Phil. 996 [1919]. It is a
OF LAND OF THE PUBLIC DOMAIN SITUATED proceeding in rem somewhat akin to a judicial
IN THE MUNICIPALITY OF DUMINGAG, inquiry and investigation leading to a judicial
PROVINCE OF ZAMBOANGA DEL SUR, ISLAND decree. (Director of Lands v. Roman
OF MINDANAO. Archbishop of Manila, 41 Phil. 120 [1920])
 Upon recommendation of the Secretary of  Considering therefore, the nature and purpose
Agriculture and Natural Resources and of the Cadastral proceedings, the outcome of
pursuant to the authority vested in me by law, said proceedings becomes a prejudicial
I FERDINAND E. MARCOS, PRESIDENT OF THE question which must be addressed in the
PHILIPPINES, do hereby withdraw from sale or resolution of the instant case. We apply by
settlement and under the administration of analogy the ruling in the case of Quiambao v.
the Director of Public Schools administration Osorio (158 SCRA 674 [1988]), to wit: The
Mabelle O. Nebres | Local Governments Case Digests

instant controversy boils down to the sole For while it may be true that private
question of whether or not the administrative respondents had prior possession of the lot in
case between the private parties involving the question, at the time of the institution of the
lot subject matter of the ejectment case ejectment case, such right of possession had
constitutes a prejudicial question which would been terminated, or at the very least,
operate as a bar to said ejectment case. suspended by the cancellation by the Land
 A prejudicial question is understood in law to Authority of the Agreement to Sell executed
be that which arises in a case the resolution in their favor. Whether or not private
of which is a logical antecedent of the issue respondents can continue to exercise their
involved in said case and the cognizance of right of possession is but a necessary, logical
which pertains to another tribunal. (Zapanta consequence of the issue involved in the
v. Montesa, 4 SCRA 510 [1962]; People v. pending administrative case assailing the
Aragon, 50 O.G.. No. 10, 4863) The doctrine of validity of the cancellation of the Agreement
prejudicial question comes as in to play to Sell and the subsequent award of the
generally in a situation where civil and disputed portion to petitioner. If the
criminal actions are pending and the issues cancellation of the agreement, to Sell and the
involved in bath cases are similar or so subsequent award to petitioner are voided,
closely-related that an issue must be pre- then private respondent's right of possession
emptively resolved in the civil case before the is lost and so would their right to eject
criminal action can proceed. Thus, the petitioner from said portion.
existence it a prejudicial question in a civil  Faced with these distinct possibilities, the
case is alleged in the criminal case to cause more prudent course for the trial court to
the suspension of the latter pending final have taken is to hold the ejectment
determination of the former. proceedings in abeyance until after a
 The essential elements of a prejudicial determination of the administrative case.
question as provided under Section 5, Rule Indeed, logic and pragmatism, if not
111 of the Revised Rules of Court area: [a] the jurisprudence, dictate such move. To allow
civil action involves an issue similar or the parties to undergo trial notwithstanding
intimately related to the issue in the criminal the possibility of petitioner's right of
action; and [b] the resolution of such issue possession being upheld in the pending
determines whether or not the criminal action administrative case is to needlessly require
may proceed. not only the parties but the court as well to
 The actions involved in the case at bar being expend time, effort in what may turn out to
respectively civil and administrative in be a sheer exercise in futility. Thus, 1 Am Jur
character, it is obvious that technically, there 2d tells us: The court in which an action is
is no prejudicial question to speak of. Equally pending may, in the exercise of a sound
apparent, however, is the intimate correlation discretion, upon proper application for a stay
between said two [2] proceedings, stemming of that action, hold the action in abeyance to
from the fact that the right of private abide the outcome of another pending in
respondents to eject petitioner from the another court, especially where the parties
disputed portion depends primarily on the and the issues are the same, for there is
resolution of the pending administrative case. power inherent in every court to control the
Mabelle O. Nebres | Local Governments Case Digests

disposition of causes an its dockets with Upon prior approval and certification of zoning compliance by
economy of time and effort for itself, for Zoning Administrator issued on February 10, 1987 Building Permit
counsel, and for litigants. Where the rights of No. 870254 in favor of petitioner for the construction of a funeral
parties in the record action cannot be parlor in the name and style of Metropolitan Funeral Parlor at
properly determined until the questions raised Cabaguio Avenue, Agdao, Davao City.
in the first action are settled the second Thereafter, petitioner commenced the construction of his funeral
action should be stayed. parlor.
 While this rule is properly applicable to Acting on the complaint of several residents of Barangay Agdao,
instances involving two [2] court actions, the Davao City that the construction of petitioner's funeral parlor
existence in the instant case of the same violated Ordinance
considerations of identity of parties and No. 363, since it was allegedly situated within a 50-meter radius
issues, economy of time and effort for the from the Iglesia ni Kristo Chapel and several residential structures,
court, the counsels and the parties as well as the Sangguniang Panlungsod conducted an investigation and found
the need to resolve the parties' right of that "the nearest residential structure, owned by Wilfred G. Tepoot
possession before the ejectment case may be is only 8 inches to the south. . . . ."
properly determined, justifies the rule's Notwithstanding the findings of the Sangguniang Panlungsod,
analogous application to the case at bar. petitioner continued to construct his funeral parlor which was
 Technically, a prejudicial question shall not finished on November 3, 1987.
rise in the instant case since the two actions Consequently, private respondents filed on September 6, 1988 a
involved are both civil in nature. However, we case for the declaration of nullity of a building permit with
have to consider the fact that the cadastral preliminary prohibitory and mandatory injunction and/or restraining
proceedings will ultimately settle the real order with the trial court.
owner/s of the disputed parcel of land. In case
respondent Vicente Medina is adjudged the Issue:
real owner of the parcel of land, then the writ 1. WON the CA erred in concluding that the Tepoot building
of possession and writ of demolition would adjacent to petitioner's funeral parlor is residential simply
necessarily be null and void. Not only that. because it was allegedly declared as such for taxation
The demolition of the constructions in the purposes, in complete disregard of Ordinance 363 declaring
parcel of land would prove truly unjust to the the subject area as dominantly for commercial and
private respondents. compatible industrial uses. YES.
 A tax declaration is not conclusive of the nature of the
Patalinhug v. CA property for zoning purposes. A property may have been
Facts: The Sangguniang Panlungsod of Davao City enacted declared by its owner as residential for real estate taxation
Ordinance 363, series of 1982 otherwise known as the "Expanded purposes but it may well be within a commercial zone. A
Zoning Ordinance of Davao City," Section 8 of which states: Sec. 8. discrepancy may thus exist in the determination of the
USE REGULATIONS IN C-2 DISTRICTS (Shaded light red in the nature of property for real estate taxation purposes vis-a-vis
Expanded Zoning Map) AC-2 District shall be dominantly for the determination of a property for zoning purposes.
commercial and compatible industrial uses as provided hereunder:  Even if we are to examine the evidentiary value of a tax
3.1 Funeral Parlors/Memorial Homes with adequate off street declaration under the Real Property Tax Code, a tax
parking space (see parking standards of P.D. 1096) and provided declaration only enables the assessor to identify the same
that they shall be established not less than 50 meters from any for assessment levels. In fact, a tax declaration does not
residential structures, churches and other institutional buildings. bind a provincial/city assessor, for under Sec. 22 of the Real
Mabelle O. Nebres | Local Governments Case Digests

Estate Tax Code, appraisal and assessment are based on Camacho family, which donated to the Municipality of Balanga the
the actual use irrespective of "any previous assessment or present site of the Balanga Public Market. The lot in dispute lies
taxpayer's valuation thereon," which is based on a behind the Balanga Public Market. In 1987, GBDC conducted a
taxpayer's declaration. In fact, a piece of land declared by a relocation survey of the area. It discovered that certain portions of
taxpayer as residential may be assessed by the provincial or the property had been "unlawfully usurped and invaded" by the
city assessor as commercial because its actual use is Municipality of Balanga, which had "allowed/tolerated/abetted" the
commercial. construction of shanties and market stalls while charging market
 The trial court's determination that Mr. Tepoot's building is fees and market entrance fees from the occupants and users of the
commercial and, therefore, Sec. 8 is inapplicable, is area. GBDC then applied with the Office of the Mayor of Balanga for
strengthened by the fact that the Sangguniang Panlungsod a business permit to engage in business in the said area. On the
has declared the questioned area as commercial or C-2. same day, Mayor Melanio S. Banzon, Jr. issued Mayor's Permit No.
Consequently, even if Tepoot's building was declared for 2729, granting petitioner the privilege of a "real estate
taxation purposes as residential, once a local government dealer/privately-owned public market operator" under the trade
has reclassified an area as commercial, that determination name of Balanga Public Market.
for zoning purposes must prevail. While the commercial However, the Sangguniang Bayan of Balanga passed Resolution No.
character of the questioned vicinity has been declared thru 12, s-88 annulling the Mayor's permit issued to petitioner and
the ordinance, private respondents have failed to present advising the Mayor to revoke the permit "to operate a public
convincing arguments to substantiate their claim that market." Pursuant to said Resolution, Mayor Banzon, on March 7,
Cabaguio Avenue, where the funeral parlor was constructed, 1988, issued Executive Order No. 1, s-88 revoking the permit
was still a residential zone. Unquestionably, the operation of insofar as it authorized the operation of a public market.
a funeral parlor constitutes a "commercial purpose," as GBDC filed the instant petition with a prayer for the issuance of a
gleaned from Ordinance 363. writ of preliminary mandatory and prohibitory injunction or
 The declaration of the said area as a commercial zone thru a restraining order aimed at the reinstatement of the Mayor's permit
municipal ordinance is an exercise of police power to and the curtailment of the municipality's collection of market fees
promote the good order and general welfare of the people in and market entrance fees. The Court did not issue the preliminary
the locality. Corollary thereto, the state, in order to promote reliefs prayed for.
the general welfare, may interfere with personal liberty, with
property, and with business and occupations. Issue: WON the Mayor may issue, deny or revoke municipal
 Persons may be subjected to certain kinds of restraints and licenses and permits.
burdens in order to secure the general welfare of the state  Respondent: as the local chief executive, the Mayor may
and to this fundamental aim of government, the rights of issue, deny or revoke municipal licenses and permits. They
the individual may be subordinated. The ordinance which contended that Resolution No. 12, s-88 of the Sangguniang
regulates the location of funeral homes has been adopted as Bayan, the basis of Executive Order No. 1, s-88, was a
part of comprehensive zoning plans for the orderly legitimate exercise of local legislative authority and, as
development of the area covered thereunder. such, the revocation of petitioner's permit was not tainted
Greater Balanga Development Corp. v. Municipality of with any grave abuse of discretion. GBDC asserted that the
Balanga executive order and the resolution in question were quasi-
judicial acts and not mere exercises of police power. It
Facts: This case involves a parcel of land situated in Barrio San questioned respondents' failure to observe due process in
Jose, Municipality of Balanga, Province of Bataan. It is registered in revoking the permit and challenged the legality of the
the name of petitioner Greater Balanga Development Corporation. collection of the market and entrance fees by the
GBDC is a domestic corporation owned and controlled by the municipality.
Mabelle O. Nebres | Local Governments Case Digests

 The authority of the Mayor to revoke a permit he issued is profession, occupation and/or calling privileges" is being
premised on a violation by the grantee of any of the applied for. Petitioner left this entry bank in its application
conditions for which the permit had been granted. form (Rollo, p. 324). It is only in the Mayor's permit itself
Respondents claimed that petitioner had violated the that petitioner's lines of business appear, which in this case
provisions of Section 3A-06(b) of the Balanga Revenue Code are two separate types, one as real estate dealer and
when it failed to inform the Mayor that the lot in controversy another as public market operator.
was the subject of adverse claims for which a civil case was  The permit should not have been issued without the
filed. required information given in the application form itself.
 Section 3A-06(b) of the Balanga Revenue Code reads: (b) Revoking the permit, however, because of a false statement
The application for a Mayor's permit shall state the name, in the application form cannot be justified under the
residence and citizenship of (sic) the applicant's full aforementioned provision. There must be proof of willful
description of the business, the particular place where (sic) misrepresentation and deliberate intent to make a false
the same shall be conducted, and such other pertinent statement. Good faith is always presumed, and as it
information and date (sic) as any (sic) be required. If the happened, petitioner did not make any false statement in
applicant deliberately makes a false statement in the the pertinent entry. Neither was petitioner's applying for two
application form, the Municipal Mayor may revoke the businesses in one permit a ground for revocation.
permit and the applicant may be prosecuted and penalized  The question of ownership over Lot 261-B had already been
in accordance with the pertinent provisions of penal laws. settled with finality by the Supreme Court in 1983 in G.R.
 In case a person desires to conduct the same kind or line of No. 62223. Entry of judgment was likewise, made in the
business in another place within the Municipality, in addition same year. When the Mayor's permit was revoked on
to or aside from the establishment specified in his permit, February 19, 1988, five years had already elapsed since the
he shall secure a separate permit for each business and pay case was decided. Petitioner was able to survey the land
the corresponding fee imposed in this article. If a person and have the survey approved on March 21, 1984 (Rollo, pp.
desires to engage in more than one kind or line of business, 15-16), and on January 11, 1988, petitioner obtained in its
he shall pay the fee imposed on each separate business, name TCT No. 120152 "without any memorandum of
notwithstanding the fact that he may conduct or operate all encumbrance or encumbrances pertaining to any decision
distinct business (sic), trades or occupation in one place rendered in any civil case" Clearly, for all intents and
only purposes, petitioner appeared to be the true owner of Lot
 (h) Revocation of Permit. — The Municipal Mayor may 261-B-6-A-3 when respondents revoked its permit to
revoke a permit, in effect close the establishment, upon a engaged in business on its own land.
violation of existing ordinance regulating business  Assuming arguendo that Lot 261-B-6-A-3 was actually one of
establishments or any provisions of this article, in addition those awarded to the plaintiffs in Civil Case No. 3803 and
to the fine and imprisonment that they (sic) may be the Transfer Certificate of Title of petitioner is spurious, this
imposed by the court for violation of this article still does not justify the revocation of the Mayor's permit. A
 Respondents claim that petitioner (1) deliberately made a close scrutiny of the records reveals that the Sangguniang
false statement in the application form when it failed to Bayan did not establish or maintain any public market on
provide the information that their place of business is the the subject lot. The resolution merely mentioned the plan to
subject of adverse claims; and (2) failed to apply for two acquire the lot for expansion of the public market adjacent
separate permits for the two lines of business it proposed to thereto. Until expropriation proceedings are instituted in
engage in. court, the landowner cannot be deprived of its right over the
 The application for Mayor's permit in the case at bench land.
requires the applicant to state what type of "business",
Mabelle O. Nebres | Local Governments Case Digests

 Of course, the Sangguniang Bayan has the duty in the Section 2, Article XII and Sections 2 and 7 of Article XIII of the 1987
exercise of its police powers to regulate any business Constitution. Second, Office Order No. 23 contained no regulation
subject to municipal license fees and prescribe the nor condition under which the Mayor’s permit could be granted or
conditions under which a municipal license already issued denied; in other words, the Mayor had the absolute authority to
may be revoked (B.P. Blg. 337, Sec. 149 [1] [r]). But the determine whether or not to issue permit. Third, as the Ordinance
"anxiety, uncertainty, restiveness" among the stallholders No. 2 altogether prohibited the catching, gathering, possession,
and traders cannot be a valid ground for revoking the permit buying, selling and shipping of live marine coral dwelling
of petitioner. After all, the stallholders and traders were organisms, without any distinction whether it was caught or
doing business on property not belonging to the Municipal gathered through lawful fishing method, the Ordinance took away
government. Indeed, the claim that the executive order and the right of petitioners-fishermen to earn their livelihood in lawful
resolution were measures "designed to promote peace and ways. Finally, as Ordinance No. 2 of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan
order and protect the general welfare of the people of is null and void, the criminal cases based thereon against
Balanga" is too amorphous and convenient an excuse to petitioners Tano and the others have to be dismissed.
justify respondents' acts (Villacorta v. Bernardo, 143 SCRA Governor Socrates and Members of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan
480 [1986]). of Palawan defended the validity of Ordinance No.2 as a valid
 In view of the undisputed fact that the respondent exercise of the Provincial Government power under the general
Municipality is not the owner of Lot 261-B-6-A-3, then there welfare clause (Section 16 of the LGC of 1991 [hereafter, LGC]),
is no legal basis for it to impose and collect market fees and and its specific power to protect the environment and impose
market entrance fees. Only the owner has the right to do so. appropriate penalties for acts which endanger the environment,
such as dynamite fishing and other forms of destructive fishing
Tano v. Socrates under Section 447 (a) (1) (vi), Section 458 (a) (1) (vi), and Section
Facts: Sangguniang Panlungsod ng Puerto Princesa City enacted 468 (a) (1) (vi), of the LGC. They claimed that in the exercise of
Ordinance No. 15-92 which banned the shimpment of live fisha and such powers, the Province of Palawan had the right and
lobster outside Puerto Princesa City from 01 Jan 1993-1998. While responsibilty to insure that the remaining coral reefs, where fish
the Sangguniang Panlalawigan, Provincial Government of Palawan dwells [sic], within its territory remain healthy for the future
enacted Resolution No. 33 which prohibited the catching, generation. The Ordinance, they further asserted, covered only live
gathering, possessing, buying, selling, and shipment of love marine marine coral dwelling aquatic organisms which were enumerated in
coral dwelling aquatic organisms for a period of 5 years in and the ordinance and excluded other kinds of live marine aquatic
coming from Palawan waters. Ordinance No. 2 Ordinance organisms not dwelling in coral reefs; besides the prohibition was
Prohibiting the catching, gathering, possessing, buying, selling and for only five (5) years to protect and preserve the pristine coral and
shipment of live marine coral dwelling aquatic organisms was also allow those damaged to regenerate.
enacted. The respondents implemented the said ordinances, They likewise maintained that there was no violation of due
depriving all the fishermen of the whole province of Palawan and process and equal protection clauses of the Constitution. As to the
the City of Puerto Princesa of their only means of livelihood and the former, public hearings were conducted before the enactment of
petitioners Airline Shippers Association of Palawan and other the Ordinance which, undoubtedly, had a lawful purpose and
marine merchants from performing their lawful occupation and employed reasonable means; while as to the latter, a substantial
trade. Petitioners Alfredo Tano, Baldomero Tano, Teocenes Midello, distinction existed between a fisherman who catches live fish with
Angel de Mesa, Eulogio Tremocha, and Felipe Ongonion, Jr. were the intention of selling it live, and a fisherman who catches live fish
charged criminally on the basis of the ordinances. with no intention at all of selling it live, i.e., the former uses sodium
The petitioners filed this action claiming that first, the Ordinances cyanide while the latter does not. Further, the Ordinance applied
deprived them of due process of law, their livelihood, and unduly equally to all those belonging to one class.
restricted them from the practice of their trade, in violation of
Mabelle O. Nebres | Local Governments Case Digests

There are actually two sets of petitioners in this case. The their enjoyment may be guaranteed not only for the present
primary interest of the first set of petitioners is to prevent the generation, but also for the generations to come.
prosecution, trial and determination of the criminal cases until the  The so-called "preferential right" of subsistence or marginal
constitutionality or legality of the Ordinances they allegedly fishermen to the use of marine resources is not at all
violated shall have been resolved. The second set of petitioners absolute. In accordance with the Regalian Doctrine, marine
merely claim that they being fishermen or marine merchants, they resources belong to the State, and, pursuant to the first
would be adversely affected by the ordinances. The petitioners paragraph of Section 2, Article XII of the Constitution, their
claim that as subsistence or marginal fishermen, they are entitled "exploration, development and utilization . . . shall be under
to the protection of the State as enshrined in Section 2 of Article XII the full control and supervision of the State."
of the Constitution. 1. Whether the ordinances in question are unconstitutional?
Issue:  Moreover, Section 5(c) of the LGC explicitly mandates that
1. Whether petitioners are subsistence or marginal the general welfare provisions of the LGC "shall be liberally
fishermen? NO. interpreted to give more powers to the LGUs in accelerating
 Since the Constitution does not specifically provide a economic development and upgrading the quality of life for
definition of the terms "subsistence" or "marginal" the people of the community."
fishermen, they should be construed in their general and  The LGC vests municipalities with the power to grant fishery
ordinary sense. A marginal fisherman is an individual privileges in municipal waters and impose rentals, fees or
engaged in fishing whose margin of return or reward in his charges therefor; to penalize, by appropriate ordinances,
harvest of fish as measured by existing price levels is barely the use of explosives, noxious or poisonous substances,
sufficient to yield a profit or cover the cost of gathering the electricity, muro-ami, and other deleterious methods of
fish, while a subsistence fisherman is one whose catch fishing; and to prosecute any violation of the provisions of
yields but the irreducible minimum for his livelihood. Section applicable fishery laws. Further, the sangguniang bayan, the
131(p) of the LGC (R.A. No. 7160) defines a marginal farmer sangguniang panlungsod and the sangguniang panlalawigan
or fisherman as "an individual engaged in subsistence are directed to enact ordinances for the general welfare of
farming or fishing which shall be limited to the sale, barter the municipality and its inhabitants, which shall include,
or exchange of agricultural or marine products produced by inter alia, ordinances that "[p]rotect the environment and
himself and his immediate family." It bears repeating that impose appropriate penalties for acts which endanger the
nothing in the record supports a finding that any petitioner environment such as dynamite fishing and other forms of
falls within these definitions. destructive fishing . . . and such other activities which result
 Besides, Section 2 of Article XII aims primarily not to bestow in pollution, acceleration of eutrophication of rivers and
any right to subsistence fishermen, but to lay stress on the lakes, or of ecological imbalance."
duty of the State to protect the nation's marine wealth.  Finally, the centerpiece of LGC is the system of
What the provision merely recognizes is that the State may decentralization as expressly mandated by the Constitution..
allow, by law, cooperative fish farming, with priority to Indispensable to decentralization is devolution and the LGC
subsistence fishermen and fishworkers in rivers, lakes, bays expressly provides that "[a]ny provision on a power of a LGU
and lagoons. shall be liberally interpreted in its favor, and in case of
 Anent Section 7 of Article XIII, it speaks not only of the use doubt, any question thereon shall be resolved in favor of
of communal marine and fishing resources, but of their devolution of powers and of the lower LGU. Any fair and
protection, development and conservation. As hereafter reasonable doubt as to the existence of the power shall be
shown, the ordinances in question are meant precisely to interpreted in favor of the LGU concerned." Devolution
protect and conserve our marine resources to the end that refers to the act by which the National Government confers
Mabelle O. Nebres | Local Governments Case Digests

power and authority upon the various LGUs to perform Secretary of the Department of Agriculture (not DENR) of
specific functions and responsibilities. municipal ordinances affecting fishing and fisheries in
 In light then of the principles of decentralization and municipal waters has been dispensed with in view of the
devolution enshrined in the LGC and the powers granted following reason: (1) As discussed earlier, under the general
therein to LGUs under Section 16 (the General Welfare welfare clause of the LGC, LGUs have the power, inter alia,
Clause), and under Sections 149, 447(a) (1) (vi), 458 (a) (1) to enact ordinances to enhance the right of the people to a
(vi) and 468 (a) (1) (vi), which unquestionably involve the balanced ecology. It likewise specifically vests municipalities
exercise of police power, the validity of the questioned with the power to grant fishery privileges in municipal
Ordinances cannot be doubted. waters, and impose rentals, fees or charges therefor; to
 Parenthetically, we wish to add that these Ordinances find penalize, by appropriate ordinances, the use of explosives,
full support under R.A. No. 7611, otherwise known as the noxious or poisonous substances, electricity, muro-ami, and
Strategic Environmental Plan (SEP) for Palawan Act, other deleterious methods of fishing; and to prosecute any
approved on 19 June 1992. This statute adopts a violation of the provisions of applicable fishery laws. Finally,
"comprehensive framework for the sustainable development it imposes upon the sangguniang bayan, the sangguniang
of Palawan compatible with protecting and enhancing the panlungsod, and the sangguniang panlalawigan the duty to
natural resources and endangered environment of the enact ordinances to "[p]rotect the environment and impose
province". appropriate penalties for acts which endanger the
 It is clear to the Court that the Ordinances have two environment such as dynamite fishing and other forms of
principal objectives or purposes: (1) to establish a "closed destructive fishing . . . and such other activities which result
season" for the species of fish or aquatic animals covered in pollution, acceleration of eutrophication of rivers and
therein for a period of five years; and (2) to protect the coral lakes or of ecological imbalance.
in the marine waters of the City of Puerto Princesa and the
Province of Palawan from further destruction due to illegal
fishing activities.
 The accomplishment of the first objective is well within the
devolved power to enforce fishery laws in municipal waters,
such as P.D. No. 1015, which allows the establishment of
"closed seasons." The devolution of such power has been
expressly confirmed in the Memorandum of Agreement of 5
April 1994 between the Department of Agriculture and the
Department of Interior and Local Government.
 The realization of the second objective clearly falls within
both the general welfare clause of the LGC and the express
mandate to cities and provinces to protect the environment
and impose appropriate penalties for acts which endanger
the environment.
 Therefore, it is incorrect to say that the challenged
Ordinance of the City of Puerto Princesa is invalid or
unenforceable because it was not approved by the
Secretary of the DENR. If at all, the approval that should be
sought would be that of the Secretary of the Department of
Agriculture. However, the requirement of approval by the
Mabelle O. Nebres | Local Governments Case Digests

Mabelle O. Nebres | Local Governments Case Digests

Mabelle O. Nebres | Local Governments Case Digests

Sangalang v. IAC

Facts: Studies were made by Mayor Yabut et al, on the feasibility of

opening streets in Bel-Air calculated to alleviate traffic congestion
along the public streets adjacent to Bel-Air. Based on the studies, it
was deemed necessary, in the interest of the general public to
open to traffic Amapola, Mercedes, Zodia, Jupiter, Neptune, Orbit,
and Paseo de Roxas streets. According to Bel-Air they own the
streets and as such, should not be deprived of them without just

Issue: WON the mayor acted arbitrarily in opening up Jupiter and

Orbit streets. NO.
Mabelle O. Nebres | Local Governments Case Digests

 The opening of Jupiter was warranted by the demands of the for their own respective properties, on which was subsequently laid
common good, in terms of traffic decongestion and public a new concrete road leading to the Capitol Building. In 1978, part of
convenience. The same is upheld in the case of Orbit street. the northern end of the old road fronting the petitioner's house was
 There is not merit in BAVA’s claims that the demolition of planted to vegetables in 1977 by Eulogia Alejandro. Anselmo Peña,
the gates at Orbit and Jupiter amounts to deprivation of who had bought Angeles Vargas's share, also in the same part of
property without due process of law or expropriation without the road, converted it into a piggery farm. Learning about
just compensation. There is no taking involved in this case. Resolution 158, the petitioner filed on December 29, 1978, a
The act of the mayor is in the concept of police power. complaint with the Court of First Instance of Catanduanes for
 PASEI v. Drilon: Police Power: state authority to enact "Restoration of Public Road and/or Abatement of Nuisance,
legislation that may interfere with personal liberty or Annulment of Resolutions and Documents with Damages." He
property in order to promote the general welfare. Consists alleged that the land fronting his house was a public road owned by
of: 1. An imposition of restraint upon liberty or property 2. In the Province of Catanduanes in its governmental capacity and
order to foster the common good The police power of the therefore beyond the commerce of man. He contended that
state is a power coextensive with self-protection and it is not Resolution No. 158 and the deeds of exchange were invalid, as so
inaptly termed the law of overwhelming necessity. It may be too was the closure of the northern portion of the said road.
said to be that inherent and plenary power in the state In a decision dated November 21, 1980, Judge Graciano P. Gayapa,
which enables it to prohibit all things hurtful to the comfort, Jr., while holding that the land in question was not a declared public
safety, and welfare of society. road but a mere "passageway" or "short-cut," nevertheless
 Bill of rights: even liberty itself, the greatest of all rights, is sustained the authority of the provincial board to enact Resolution
not unrestricted license to act accordingly to one’s will. It is No. 158 under existing law. 1 Appeal was taken to the respondent
subject to the far more overriding demands and court, 2 which found that the road was a public road and not a trail
requirements of the greater number. but just the same also upheld Resolution 158. It declared:
 However, it may not be done arbitrarily or unreasonably. Pursuant to Republic Act No. 5185, municipal authorities can close,
Burden of showing that it is unjustified lies on aggrieved subject to the approval or direction of the Provincial Board,
party. In the case at bar. BAVA has failed to show that the thoroughfares under Section 2246 of the Revised Administrative
opening was unjustified or that the mayor acted Code. Although in this case the road was not closed by the
unreasonably. municipality of Catanduanes but by the provincial board of
 Art. 701: summary abatement may be carried out by the Catanduanes, the closure, nevertheless, is valid since it was
mayor himself ordered by the approving authority itself. However, while it could
do so, the provincial government of Catanduanes could close the
Cabrera v. CA road only if the persons prejudiced thereby were indemnified,
Section 2246 of the Revised Administrative Code being very explicit
Facts: The Provincial Board of Catanduanes adopted Resolution No. on this.
158 closing the old road leading to the new Capitol Building of this Before us now, the petitioner insists that Sec. 2246 is not
province to traffic and giving the owners of the properties traversed applicable because Resolution No. 158 is not an order for the
by the new road equal area as per survey by the Highway District closure of the road in question but an authority to barter or
Engineer's office from the old road adjacent to the respective exchange it with private properties. He maintains that the public
remaining portion of their properties. Pursuant thereto, Deeds of road was owned by the province in its governmental capacity and,
Exchange were executed under which the Province of Catanduanes without a prior order of closure, could not be the subject of a
conveyed to Remedios R. Bagadiong, Fredeswindo F. Alcala, Elena barter. Control over public roads, he insists, is with Congress and
S. Latorre, Baldomero Tolentino, Eulogia T. Alejandro, Angeles S. not with the provincial board.
Vargas, and Juan S. Reyes portions of the closed road in exchange
Mabelle O. Nebres | Local Governments Case Digests

The petitioner alleges that the closure of the road has especially council, it would seem to us, is the authority competent to
injured him and his family as they can no longer use it in going to determine whether or not a certain property is still
the national road leading to the old capitol building but must necessary for public use. Such power to vacate a street or
instead pass through a small passageway. For such inconvenience, alley is discretionary. And the discretion will not ordinarily
he is entitled to damages in accordance with law. be controlled or interfered with by the courts, absent a plain
case of abuse or fraud or collusion. Faithfulness to the public
Issue: WON the provincial board can order the closure of a road and trust will be presumed. So the fact that some private
use/ convey it for other purposes. YES. interests may be served incidentally will not invalidate the
 The authority of the provincial board to close that road and vacation ordinance.
use or convey it for other purposes is derived from the  While it is true that the above cases dealt with city councils
following provisions of Republic Act No. 5185 in relation to and not the provincial board, there is no reason for not
Section 2246 of the Revised Administrative Code: R.A. No. applying the doctrine announced therein to the provincial
5185, Section 11 (II) (a): II. The following actions by board in connection with the closure of provincial roads. The
municipal officials or municipal councils, as provided for in provincial board has, after all, the duty of maintaining such
the pertinent sections of the Revised Administrative Code roads for the comfort and convenience of the inhabitants of
shall take effect without the need of approval or direction the province. Moreover, this authority is inferable from the
from any official of the national government: Provided, That grant by the national legislature of the funds to the Province
such actions shall be subject to approval or direction by the of Catanduanes for the construction of provincial roads.
Provincial Board: (a) Authority to close thoroughfare under  The lower court found the petitioner's allegation of injury
Section 2246; Sec. 2246. Authority to close thoroughfare. — and prejudice to be without basis because he had "easy
With the prior authorization of the Department Head, a access anyway to the national road, for in fact the vehicles
municipal council may close any municipal road, street, used by the Court and the parties during the ocular
alley, park, or square; but no such way or place aforesaid or inspection easily passed and used it, reaching beyond
any part thereof, shall be closed without indemnifying any plaintiff's house." However, the CA ruled that the he "was
person prejudiced thereby. prejudiced by the closure of the road which formerly fronted
 Property thus withdrawn from public servitude may be used his house. He and his family were undoubtedly
or conveyed for any purpose for which other real property inconvenienced by the loss of access to their place of
belonging to the municipality might be lawfully used or residence for which we believe they should be
conveyed. compensated."
 Cebu Oxygen and Acetylene Co., Inc. v. Bercilles: closure of  Favis: The general rule is that one whose property does not
a city street is within the powers of the city council under abut on the closed section of a street has no right to
the Revised Charter of Cebu City. It sustained the compensation for the closing or vacation of the street, if he
subsequent sale of the land as being in accordance not only still has reasonable access to the general system of streets.
with the charter but also with Article 422 of the Civil Code, The circumstances in some cases may be such as to give a
which provides: "Property of public dominion, when no right to damages to a property owner, even though his
longer intended for public use or for public service, shall property does not abut on the closed section. But to warrant
form part of the patrimonial property of the State." recovery in any such case the property owner must show
 Favis vs. City of Baguio: appellant may not challenge the that the situation is such that he has sustained special
city council's act of withdrawing a strip of Lapu-Lapu Street damages differing in kind, and not merely in degree, from
at its dead end from public use and converting the those sustained by the public generally.
remainder thereof into an alley. These are acts well within  Richmond v. City of Hinton : The Constitution does not
the ambit of the power to close a city street. The city undertake to guarantee to a property owner the public
Mabelle O. Nebres | Local Governments Case Digests

maintenance of the most convenient route to his door. The deputies, praying the court to issue a writ of preliminary injunction
law will not permit him to be cut off from the public ordering these city officials to discontinue the demolition of their
thoroughfares, but he must content himself with such route stalls during the pendency of the action..
for outlet as the regularly constituted public authority may LC: PI Granted. But petition was later dismissed. (1) Observed that
deem most compatible with the public welfare. When he MMC Ordinance No. 79-02 expressly provides that the use of
acquires city property, he does so in tacit recognition of certain streets as flee markets are subject to the approval of the
these principles. If, subsequent to his acquisition, the city Metropolitan Manila Commission. (2) Found that Heroes del '96,
authorities abandon a portion of the street to which his Gozon and Gonzales streets are of public dominion, hence, outside
property is not immediately adjacent, he may suffer loss the commerce of man. This means that they cannot be alienated or
because of the inconvenience imposed, but the public leased or otherwise be the subject matter of contracts (Municipality
treasury cannot be required to recompense him. Such case of Cavite vs. Rojas). Such lease, if ever, is null and void. This
is damnum absque injuria. principle was supported by City of Manila vs. Gerardo Garcia, which
 petitioner is not entitled to damages because the injury he stated that: œThe property being a public one, the Manila Mayors
has incurred, such as it is, is the price he and others like him did not have the authority to give permits, written or oral, to the
must pay for the welfare of the entire community. This is not squatters, and that the permits granted are therefore considered
a case where his property has been expropriated and he is null and void. (3) Opined that the officials have the right to
entitled to just compensation. The construction of the new demolish the subject stalls of the plaintiffs, more so due to Section
road was undertaken under the general welfare clause. As 185, par. 4 of Batas Pambansa Blg. 337, otherwise known as the
the trial judge acutely observed, whatever inconvenience LGC. However, shortly after the LC decision came out, the city
the petitioner has suffered "pales in significance compared administration in Caloocan City changed hands. City Mayor Asistio,
to the greater convenience the new road, which is wide and Jr., as successor of Mayor Martinez, did not pursue the latter's
concrete, straight to the veterans fountain and down to the policy of clearing and cleaning up the city streets. Invoking the trial
pier, has been giving to the public, plus the fact that the court's decision in Civil Case No. C-12921, Dacanay wrote a letter
new road adds beauty and color not only to the town of to Mayor Asistio, Jr., calling his attention to the illegally-constructed
Virac but also to the whole province of Catanduanes." For stalls on Heroes del '96 Street and asked for their demolition.
the enjoyment of those benefits, every individual in the Followed up but to no avail. Hence, this case.
province, including the petitioner, must be prepared to give
his share Issue: WON public streets or thoroughfares may be leased or
Dacanay v. Asistio licensed to market stallholders by virtue of a city ordinance or
resolution of the Metro Manila Commission. NO.
Facts: MMC Ordinance No. 79-02 was enacted by the Metropolitan  There is no doubt that the disputed areas from which the
Manila Commission, designating certain city and municipal streets, private respondents' market stalls are sought to be evicted
roads and open spaces as sites for flea markets. Pursuant, thereto, are public streets, as found by the trial court in Civil Case
the Caloocan City mayor opened up seven (7) flea markets in that No. C-12921. A public street is property for public use hence
city. One of those streets was the "Heroes del '96" where the outside the commerce of man. Being outside the commerce
petitioner lives. Upon application of vendors, the respondents city of man, it may not be the subject of lease or other contract.
mayor and city engineer, issued them licenses to conduct vending  As the stallholders pay fees to the City Government for the
activities on said street. Antonio Martinez, as OIC city mayor of right to occupy portions of the public street, the City
Caloocan City, caused the demolition of the market stalls on Heroes Government, contrary to law, has been leasing portions of
del '96, V. Gozon and Gonzales streets. To stop Mayor Martinez' the streets to them. Such leases or licenses are null and
efforts, stallowners filed an action for prohibition against the City of void for being contrary to law. The right of the public to use
Caloocan, the OIC City Mayor and the City Engineer and/or their the city streets may not be bargained away through
Mabelle O. Nebres | Local Governments Case Digests

contract. The interests of a few should not prevail over the operation, maintenance and management of flea markets and/or
good of the greater number in the community whose health, vending areas.
peace, safety, good order and general welfare, the On August 8, 1990, respondent municipality and respondent
respondent city officials are under legal obligation to Palanyag, a service cooperative, entered into an agreement
protect. whereby the latter shall operate, maintain and manage the flea
 The Executive Order issued by Acting Mayor Robles market in the aforementioned streets with the obligation to remit
authorizing the use of Heroes del '96 Street as a vending dues to the treasury of the municipal government of Parañaque.
area for stallholders who were granted licenses by the city Consequently, market stalls were put up by respondent Palanyag
government contravenes the general law that reserves city on the said streets.
streets and roads for public use. Mayor Robles' Executive On September 13, 1990, petitioner Brig. Gen. Macasiano, PNP
Order may not infringe upon the vested right of the public to Superintendent of the Metropolitan Traffic Command, ordered the
use city streets for the purpose they were intended to serve: destruction and confiscation of stalls along G.G. Cruz and J. Gabriel
i.e., as arteries of travel for vehicles and pedestrians. St. in Baclaran. These stalls were later returned to respondent
On October 16, 1990, petitioner Brig. General Macasiano wrote a
Macasiano v. Diokno letter to respondent Palanyag giving the latter ten (10) days to
discontinue the flea market; otherwise, the market stalls shall be
Facts: Paranaque passed Ordinance No. 86, Series of 1990 which dismantled.
authorized the closure of J. Gabriel, G.G. Cruz, Bayanihan, Lt. Garcia Hence, on October 23, 1990, respondents municipality and
Extension and Opena Streets located at Baclaran, Parañaque, Metro Palanyag filed with the trial court a joint petition for prohibition and
Manila and the establishment of a flea market thereon. The said mandamus with damages and prayer for preliminary injunction, to
ordinance was approved by the municipal council pursuant to MMC which the petitioner filed his memorandum/opposition to the
Ordinance No. 2, Series of 1979, authorizing and regulating the use issuance of the writ of preliminary injunction.
of certain city and/or municipal streets, roads and open spaces On October 24, 1990, the trial court issued a temporary restraining
within Metropolitan Manila as sites for flea market and/or vending order to enjoin petitioner from enforcing his letter-order of October
areas, under certain terms and conditions. 16, 1990 pending the hearing on the motion for writ of preliminary
On July 20, 1990, the Metropolitan Manila Authority approved injunction.
Ordinance No. 86, s. 1990 of the municipal council of respondent On December 17, 1990, the trial court issued an order upholding
municipality subject to the following conditions: 1. That the the validity of Ordinance No. 86 s. 1990 of the Municipality' of
aforenamed streets are not used for vehicular traffic, and that the Parañaque and enjoining petitioner Brig. Gen. Macasiano from
majority of the residents do not oppose the establishment of the enforcing his letter-order against respondent Palanyag.
flea market/vending areas thereon; 2. That the 2-meter middle Issue: WON the ordinance authorizing the flea markets on public
road to be used as flea market/vending area shall be marked streets is valid NO.
distinctly, and that the 2 meters on both sides of the road shall be  The property of provinces, cities and municipalities is
used by pedestrians; 3. That the time during which the vending divided into property for public use and patrimonial property
area is to be used shall be clearly designated; 4. That the use of (Art. 423, Civil Code). As to what consists of property for
the vending areas shall be temporary and shall be closed once the public use, Article 424 of Civil Code states: Art. 424.
reclaimed areas are developed and donated by the Public Estate Property for public use, in the provinces, cities and
Authority. municipalities, consists of the provincial roads, city streets,
On June 20, 1990, the municipal council of Parañaque issued a the squares, fountains, public waters, promenades, and
resolution authorizing Parañaque Mayor Walfrido N. Ferrer to enter public works for public service paid for by said provinces,
into contract with any service cooperative for the establishment, cities or municipalities. All other property possessed by any
Mabelle O. Nebres | Local Governments Case Digests

of them is patrimonial and shall be governed by this Code, of the LGU concerned (Article 422, Civil Code; Cebu Oxygen,
without prejudice to the provisions of special laws. etc. et al. v. Bercilles, et al., G.R. No. L--40474, August 29,
 J. Gabriel G.G. Cruz, Bayanihan, Lt. Garcia Extension and 1975, 66 SCRA 481). It is only then that the respondent
Opena streets are local roads used for public service and are municipality can "use or convey them for any purpose for
therefore considered public properties of respondent which other real property belonging to the local unit
municipality. Properties of the local government which are concerned might be lawfully used or conveyed" in
devoted to public service are deemed public and are under accordance with the last sentence of Section 10, Chapter II
the absolute control of Congress. Hence, local governments of Blg. 337, known as LGC. In one case, the City Council of
have no authority whatsoever to control or regulate the use Cebu, through a resolution, declared the terminal road of M.
of public properties unless specific authority is vested upon Borces Street, Mabolo, Cebu City as an abandoned road, the
them by Congress. One such example of this authority given same not being included in the City Development Plan.
by Congress to the local governments is the power to close Thereafter, the City Council passes another resolution
roads as provided in Section 10, Chapter II of the LGC, which authorizing the sale of the said abandoned road through
states: Sec. 10. Closure of roads. - A LGU may likewise, public bidding. We held therein that the City of Cebu is
through its head acting pursuant to a resolution of its empowered to close a city street and to vacate or withdraw
sangguniang and in accordance with existing law and the the same from public use. Such withdrawn portion becomes
provisions of this Code, close any barangay, municipal, city patrimonial property which can be the object of an ordinary
or provincial road, street, alley, park or square. No such way contract (Cebu Oxygen and Acetylene Co., Inc. v. Bercilles,
or place or any part of thereof shall be close without et al., G.R. No.L-40474, August 29, 1975, 66 SCRA 481).
indemnifying any person prejudiced thereby. A property However, those roads and streets which are available to the
thus withdrawn from public use may be used or conveyed public in general and ordinarily used for vehicular traffic are
for any purpose for which other real property belonging to still considered public property devoted to public use. In
the local unit concerned might be lawfully used or such case, the local government has no power to use it for
conveyed. another purpose or to dispose of or lease it to private
 However, the aforestated legal provision which gives persons.
authority to LGUs to close roads and other similar public  Even assuming, in gratia argumenti, that respondent
places should be read and interpreted in accordance with municipality has the authority to pass the disputed
basic principles already established by law. These basic ordinance, the same cannot be validly implemented
principles have the effect of limiting such authority of the because it cannot be considered approved by the
province, city or municipality to close a public street or Metropolitan Manila Authority due to non-compliance by
thoroughfare. Article 424 of the Civil Code lays down the respondent municipality of the conditions imposed by the
basic principle that properties of public dominion devoted to former for the approval of the ordinance.
public use and made available to the public in general are  Respondent municipality has not shown any iota of proof
outside the commerce of man and cannot be disposed of or that it has complied with the foregoing conditions precedent
leased by the LGU to private persons. Aside from the to the approval of the ordinance. The allegations of
requirement of due process, which should be complied with respondent municipality that the closed streets were not
before closing a road, street or park, the closure should be used for vehicular traffic and that the majority of the
for the sole purpose of withdrawing the road or other public residents do not oppose the establishment of a flea market
property from public use when circumstances show that on said streets are unsupported by any evidence that will
such property is no longer intended or necessary for public show that this first condition has been met. Likewise, the
use or public service. When it is already withdrawn from designation by respondents of a time schedule during which
public use, the property then becomes patrimonial property the flea market shall operate is absent.
Mabelle O. Nebres | Local Governments Case Digests

 Further, it is of public notice that the streets along Baclaran national highway exists while the Pilapils deny such fact. The
area are congested with people, houses and traffic brought Colomidas tried to improve the camino for the public’s convenience
about by the proliferation of vendors occupying the streets. but such was met with threats from the Pilapils. The Pilapils also
To license and allow the establishment of a flea market threatened to fence off the camino vecinal. The Colomidas then
along J. Gabriel, G.G. Cruz, Bayanihan, Lt. Garcia Extension filed a petition for injunction and damages with a prayer for a writ
and Opena streets in Baclaran would not help in solving the of PM or prohibitory injunction which sought to prevent the Pilapils
problem of congestion. from harassing them as well as fencing off the camino vecinal. The
 The powers of a LGU are not absolute. They are subject to Pilapils also filed a case against the Colomidas alleging that no such
limitations laid down by toe Constitution and the laws such camino exists on their land. In trial, the Municipal Planning and
as our Civil Code. Moreover, the exercise of such powers Development Coordinator of Liloan testified that according to the
should be subservient to paramount considerations of health zoning map of Liloan, the camino does not traverse, but runs along
and well-being of the members of the community. Every the side of the Pilapils’ property
LGU has the sworn obligation to enact measures that will
enhance the public health, safety and convenience, Issue: WON the Municipality of Liloan has authority to close or
maintain peace and order, and promote the general abandon the camino vecinal. YES.
prosperity of the inhabitants of the local units. Based on this  It is beyond dispute that the establishment, closure or
objective, the local government should refrain from acting abandonment of the camino vecinal is the sole prerogative
towards that which might prejudice or adversely affect the of the Municipality of Liloan. No private party can interfere
general welfare. with such a right. Thus, even if We are to agree with both
 Dacanay case: the general public have a legal right to the trial court and public respondent that Longakit and
demand the demolition of the illegally constructed stalls in Pepito were telling the truth, the decision of the Municipality
public roads and streets and the officials of respondent of Liloan with respect to the said camino vecinal in sitio
municipality have the corresponding duty arising from Bahak must prevail. It is thus pointless to concentrate on
public office to clear the city streets and restore them to the testimonies of both witnesses since the same have, for
their specific public purpose. The instant case as well as the all intents and purposes, become irrelevant.
Dacanay case, involves an ordinance which is void and  The property of provinces, cities and municipalities is
illegal for lack of basis and authority in laws applicable divided into property for public use and patrimonial
during its time. However, at this point, We find it worthy to property. The first consists of the provincial roads, city
note that Batas Pambansa Blg. 337, known as Local streets, municipal streets, squares, fountains, public waters,
Government Lode, has already been repealed by Republic promenades, and public works for public service paid for by
Act No. 7160 known as LGC of 1991 which took effect on the said provinces, cities or municipalities. They are
January 1, 1992. Section 5(d) of the new Code provides that governed by the same principles as property of public
rights and obligations existing on the date of effectivity of dominion of the same character. 42 Under the applicable
the new Code and arising out of contracts or any other law in this case, Batas Pambansa Blg. 337 (The LGC), the
source of prestation involving a LGU shall be governed by Sangguniang Bayan, the legislative body of the municipality,
the original terms and conditions of the said contracts or the 43 had the power to adopt zoning and subdivision
law in force at the time such rights were vested. ordinances or regulations subject to the provisions of
Pilapil v. CA existing laws, and to provide for the construction,
improvement, repair and maintenance of municipal streets,
Facts: The Colomidas own a parcel of land which has a road right of avenues, alleys, sidewalks, bridges, parks and other public
way leading to the national highway. Such road ends at the Pilapils’ places, regulate the use thereof and prohibit the
land. According to the Colomidas, a camino vecinal leading to the construction or placing of obstacles or encroachments on
Mabelle O. Nebres | Local Governments Case Digests

them 44 Section 10, Chapter 2, Title One, Book I of said who actually prepared it, but its approval by the
Code provided: 45 Sec. 10. Closure of roads. — A LGU may Sangguniang Bayan. Furthermore, with or without the order
likewise, through its head acting pursuant to a resolution of of the Mayor or Sangguniang Bayan, Engineer Jordan, as the
its Sangguniang and in accordance with existing law and the then Municipal Planning and Development Coordinator, had
provisions of this Code, close any barangay, municipal, city the authority to prepare the plan and admit it to the
or provincial road, street, alley, park or square. No such way Sangguniang Bayan for approval. Among his functions under
or place or any part thereof shall be closed without the governing law at the time was to formulate an
indemnifying any person prejudiced thereby. A property integrated economic, social, physical and other
thus withdrawn from public use may be used or conveyed development objectives and policies for the consideration
for any purpose for which other real property belonging to and approval of the sangguniang bayan and the municipal
the local unit concerned might be lawfully used or mayor, and prepare municipal comprehensive plans and
conveyed. other development planning document. 50 Thus, even if he
 A camino vecinal is a municipal road. It is also property for had not been instructed by anyone to prepare the map, he
public use. Pursuant, therefore, to the above powers of a could nevertheless, on his own initiative and by virtue of his
LGU, the Municipality of Liloan had the unassailable functions, make one. The trial court and public respondent
authority to (a) prepare and adopt a land use map, (b) then failed to appreciate the role and function of a Municipal
promulgate a zoning ordinance which may consider, among Planning and Development Coordinator.
other things, the municipal roads to be constructed,  As further declared by Engineer Jordan, this camino vecinal
maintained, improved or repaired and (c) close any in sitio Bahak "passes the side of the land of Socrates Pilapil.
municipal road. This is the proposed road leading to the national highway."
 In the instant case, the Municipality of Liloan, through the The Colomidas presented no rebuttal witness to show that
Sangguniang Bayan, approved the Urban Land Use Plan; this by the approval of the zoning map by the Sangguniang
plan was duly signed by the Municipal Mayor (Exhibit "1"). Bayan, they were effectively deprived of access to the
By doing so, the said legislative body determined, among national highway from their property. Of course, they may
others, the location of the camino vecinal in sitio Bahak. The argue that the zoning map was prepared for and approved
unrebutted testimony of Engineer Epifanio Jordan shows by the Sangguniang Bayan after the filing of their petition in
that the same was approved by the Sangguniang Bayan. Civil Case No. R-20732. Be that as it may, this preparation
The reluctance of the trial court and public respondent to and approval, clearly a supervening event, was relied upon,
give due weight to the testimony of Engineer Jordan introduced in evidence without objection on the part of the
stemmed from a doubt as to his authority to prepare the Colomidas and evaluated by the trial court. In short, the
plan. There is also some confusion regarding the party who latter allowed the issue raised by the supervening event to
directed him to do so. Both courts observed that while on be tried. There was nothing procedurally objectionable to
direct examination, he testified that the Sangguniang Bayan this; on the contrary, Section 5, Rule 10 of the Rules of
instructed him to prepare the zoning map, 47 during cross- Court allows it. Said section reads: Sec. 5. Amendment to
examination, he stated that he prepared it upon the Mayor's conform to or authorize presentation of evidence. — When
oral order. 48 Such inconsistency is quite trivial and hence, issues not raised by the pleadings are tried by express or
did not affect the preparation and subsequent approval of implied consent of the parties, they shall be treated in all
the zoning map. In the first place, under the applicable law, respects, as if they had been raised in the pleadings. Such
the mayor was both a member and the presiding officer of amendment of the pleadings as may be necessary to cause
the Sangguniang Bayan. Secondly, what invested the zoning them to conform to the evidence and to raise these issues
map with legal effect was neither the authority of the person may be made upon motion of any party at any time, even
who ordered its preparation nor the authority of the person after judgment, but failure to amend does not affect the
Mabelle O. Nebres | Local Governments Case Digests

result of the trial of these issues. If evidence is objected to perimeter walls. It held that the authority is lodged in the City
at the trial on the ground that it is not within the issues Council of Makati by ordinance.
made by the pleadings, the court may allow the pleading, to
be amended and shall do so freely when the presentation on Issue: WON the MMDA has the mandate to open Neptune Street to
the merits of the action will be subserved thereby and the public traffic pursuant to its regulator and police powers.
objecting party fails to satisfy the court that the admission  MMDA: it has the authority to open Neptune Street to public
of such evidence would prejudice him in maintaining his traffic because it is an agent of the state endowed with
action or defense upon the merits. The court may grant a police power in the delivery of basic services in Metro
continuance to enable the objecting party to meet such Manila. One of these basic services is traffic management
evidence. which involves the regulation of the use of thoroughfares to
 Such supervening fact, duly proved to be an official act of insure the safety, convenience and welfare of the general
the Municipality of Liloan, binds not only the Pilapils and the public. It is alleged that the police power of MMDA was
Colomidas, but also the general public. The solemn affirmed by this Court in the consolidated cases of
declarations of old people like Sesenando Longakit and Sangalang v. Intermediate Appellate Court. From the
Florentino Pepito cannot overturn the decision of the premise that it has police power, it is now urged that there
Municipality of Liloan. is no need for the City of Makati to enact an ordinance
opening Neptune street to the public.
MMDA v. Bel-Air  Police power is an inherent attribute of sovereignty. It has
Facts: BAVA is the registered owner of Neptune Street, a road been defined as the power vested by the Constitution in the
inside Bel-Air Village. Neptune runs parallel to Kalayaan Avenue, a legislature to make, ordain, and establish all manner of
national road open to the general public. Dividing the two (2) wholesome and reasonable laws, statutes and ordinances,
streets is a concrete perimeter wall approximately fifteen (15) feet either with penalties or without, not repugnant to the
high. The western end of Neptune Street intersects Nicanor Garcia, Constitution, as they shall judge to be for the good and
formerly Reposo Street, a subdivision road open to public vehicular welfare of the commonwealth, and for the subjects of the
traffic, while its eastern end intersects Makati Avenue, a national same. The power is plenary and its scope is vast and
road. Both ends of Neptune Street are guarded by iron gates. pervasive, reaching and justifying measures for public
On December 30, 1995, respondent received from petitioner, health, public safety, public morals, and the general welfare.
through its Chairman, a notice dated December 22, 1995  It bears stressing that police power is lodged primarily in the
requesting respondent to open Neptune Street to public vehicular National Legislature. It cannot be exercised by any group or
traffic starting January 2, 1996. On the same day, respondent was body of individuals not possessing legislative power. The
apprised that the perimeter wall separating the subdivision from National Legislature, however, may delegate this power to
the adjacent Kalayaan Avenue would be demolished. the President and administrative boards as well as the
On January 2, 1996, respondent instituted against petitioner before lawmaking bodies of municipal corporations or LGUs. Once
the Regional Trial Court, Branch 136, Makati City, Civil Case No. 96- delegated, the agents can exercise only such legislative
001 for injunction. Respondent prayed for the issuance of a powers as are conferred on them by the national lawmaking
temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction enjoining body.
the opening of Neptune Street and prohibiting the demolition of the  A local government is a "political subdivision of a nation or
perimeter wall. state which is constituted by law and has substantial control
RTC: issued TRO, after due hearing, the trial court denied issuance of local affairs." The LGC of 1991 defines a LGU as a "body
of a preliminary injunction. politic and corporate", one endowed with powers as a
CA: MMDA has no authority to order the opening of Neptune political subdivision of the National Government and as a
Street, a private subdivision road and cause the demolition of its corporate entity representing the inhabitants of its territory.
Mabelle O. Nebres | Local Governments Case Digests

LGUs are the provinces, cities, municipalities and (5) urban renewal, zoning and land use planning, and
barangays. They are also the territorial and political shelter services; (6) health and sanitation, urban protection
subdivisions of the state. and pollution control; and (7) public safety. The basic
 Our Congress delegated police power to the LGUs in the LGC service of transport and traffic management includes the
of 1991. LGUs exercise police power through their following: "(b) Transport and traffic management which
respective legislative bodies. The legislative body of the include the formulation, coordination, and monitoring of
provincial government is the sangguniang panlalawigan, policies, standards, programs and projects to rationalize the
that of the city government is the sangguniang panlungsod, existing transport operations, infrastructure requirements,
that of the municipal government is the sangguniang bayan, the use of thoroughfares, and promotion of safe and
and that of the barangay is the sangguniang barangay. The convenient movement of persons and goods; provision for
LGC of 1991 empowers the sangguniang panlalawigan, the mass transport system and the institution of a system to
sangguniang panlungsod and sangguniang bayan to "enact regulate road users; administration and implementation of
ordinances, approve resolutions and appropriate funds for all traffic enforcement operations, traffic engineering
the general welfare of the [province, city or municipality, as services and traffic education programs, including the
the case may be], and its inhabitants pursuant to Section 16 institution of a single ticketing system in Metropolitan
of the Code and in the proper exercise of the corporate Manila;"
powers of the [province, city municipality] provided under  The scope of the MMDA’s function is limited to the delivery
the Code. The same Code gives the sangguniang barangay of the seven (7) basic services. One of these is transport and
the power to "enact ordinances as may be necessary to traffic management which includes the formulation and
discharge the responsibilities conferred upon it by law or monitoring of policies, standards and projects to rationalize
ordinance and to promote the general welfare of the the existing transport operations, infrastructure
inhabitants thereon." requirements, the use of thoroughfares and promotion of
 Metropolitan or Metro Manila is a body composed of several the safe movement of persons and goods. It also covers the
LGUs - i.e., twelve (12) cities and five (5) municipalities, mass transport system and the institution of a system of
namely, the cities of Caloocan, Manila, Mandaluyong, road regulation, the administration of all traffic enforcement
Makati, Pasay, Pasig, Quezon, Muntinlupa, Las Pinas, operations, traffic engineering services and traffic education
Marikina, Paranaque and Valenzuela, and the municipalities programs, including the institution of a single ticketing
of Malabon, , Navotas, , Pateros, San Juan and Taguig. With system in Metro Manila for traffic violations. Under this
the passage of Republic Act (R. A.) No. 7924 [24] in 1995, service, the MMDA is expressly authorized "to set the
Metropolitan Manila was declared as a "special development policies concerning traffic" and "coordinate and regulate the
and administrative region" and the Administration of implementation of all traffic management programs." In
"metro-wide" basic services affecting the region placed addition, the MMDA may "install and administer a single
under "a development authority" referred to as the MMDA. ticketing system," fix, impose and collect fines and penalties
 "Metro-wide services" are those "services which have metro- for all traffic violations.
wide impact and transcend local political boundaries or  It will be noted that the powers of the MMDA are limited to
entail huge expenditures such that it would not be viable for the following acts: formulation, coordination, regulation,
said services to be provided by the individual LGUs implementation, preparation, management, monitoring,
comprising Metro Manila." There are seven (7) basic metro- setting of policies, installation of a system and
wide services and the scope of these services cover the administration. There is no syllable in R. A. No. 7924 that
following: (1) development planning; (2) transport and grants the MMDA police power, let alone legislative power.
traffic management; (3) solid waste disposal and Even the Metro Manila Council has not been delegated any
management; (4) flood control and sewerage management; legislative power. Unlike the legislative bodies of the LGUs,
Mabelle O. Nebres | Local Governments Case Digests

there is no provision in R. A. No. 7924 that empowers the enact or approve ordinances, resolutions and fix penalties
MMDA or its Council to "enact ordinances, approve for violation of such ordinances and resolutions. It also had
resolutions and appropriate funds for the general welfare" of the power to review, amend, revise or repeal all ordinances,
the inhabitants of Metro Manila. The MMDA is, as termed in resolutions and acts of any of the four (4) cities and thirteen
the charter itself, a "development authority."It is an agency (13) municipalities comprising Metro Manila.
created for the purpose of laying down policies and  It was the MMC itself that possessed legislative powers. All
coordinating with the various national government agencies, ordinances, resolutions and measures recommended by the
people’s organizations, non-governmental organizations and Sangguniang Bayan were subject to the MMC’s approval.
the private sector for the efficient and expeditious delivery Moreover, the power to impose taxes and other levies, the
of basic services in the vast metropolitan area. All its power to appropriate money, and the power to pass
functions are administrative in nature. ordinances or resolutions with penal sanctions were vested
 Contrary to petitioner’s claim, the two Sangalang cases do exclusively in the MMC. Thus, Metropolitan Manila had a
not apply to the case at bar. Firstly, both involved zoning "central government," i.e., the MMC which fully possessed
ordinances passed by the municipal council of Makati and legislative and police powers. Whatever legislative powers
the MMC. In the instant case, the basis for the proposed the component cities and municipalities had were all subject
opening of Neptune Street is contained in the notice of to review and approval by the MMC.
December 22, 1995 sent by petitioner to respondent BAVA,  Under the 1987 Constitution, the LGUs became primarily
through its president. The notice does not cite any responsible for the governance of their respective political
ordinance or law, either by the Sangguniang Panlungsod of subdivisions. The MMA’s jurisdiction was limited to
Makati City or by the MMDA, as the legal basis for the addressing common problems involving basic services that
proposed opening of Neptune Street. Petitioner MMDA transcended local boundaries. It did not have legislative
simply relied on its authority under its charter "to rationalize power. Its power was merely to provide the LGUs technical
the use of roads and/or thoroughfares for the safe and assistance in the preparation of local development plans.
convenient movement of persons." Rationalizing the use of Any semblance of legislative power it had was confined to a
roads and thoroughfares is one of the acts that fall within "review [of] legislation proposed by the local legislative
the scope of transport and traffic management. By no assemblies to ensure consistency among local governments
stretch of the imagination, however, can this be interpreted and with the comprehensive development plan of Metro
as an express or implied grant of ordinance-making power, Manila," and to "advise the local governments accordingly."
much less police power. Secondly, the MMDA is not the  When R.A. No. 7924 took effect, Metropolitan Manila
same entity as the MMC in Sangalang. Although the MMC is became a "special development and administrative region"
the forerunner of the present MMDA, an examination of and the MMDA a "special development authority" whose
Presidential Decree (P. D.) No. 824, the charter of the MMC, functions were "without prejudice to the autonomy of the
shows that the latter possessed greater powers which were affected LGUs." The character of the MMDA was clearly
not bestowed on the present MMDA. defined in the legislative debates enacting its charter.
 The MMC was the "central government" of Metro Manila for  Clearly, the MMDA is not a political unit of government. The
the purpose of establishing and administering programs power delegated to the MMDA is that given to the Metro
providing services common to the area. As a "central Manila Council to promulgate administrative rules and
government" it had the power to levy and collect taxes and regulations in the implementation of the MMDA’s functions.
special assessments, the power to charge and collect fees; There is no grant of authority to enact ordinances and
the power to appropriate money for its operation, and at the regulations for the general welfare of the inhabitants of the
same time, review appropriations for the city and municipal metropolis. It is thus beyond doubt that the MMDA is not a
units within its jurisdiction. It was bestowed the power to LGU or a public corporation endowed with legislative power.
Mabelle O. Nebres | Local Governments Case Digests

It is not even a "special metropolitan political subdivision" as RTC at Prosperidad, Agusan del Sur. The municipality filed a Motion
contemplated in Section 11, Article X of the Constitution. to Take or Enter Upon the Possession of Subject Matter of This Case
The creation of a "special metropolitan political subdivision" stating that it had already deposited with the municipal treasurer
requires the approval by a majority of the votes cast in a the necessary amount in accordance with Section 2, Rule 67 of the
plebiscite in the political units directly affected. R. A. No. Revised Rules of Court and that it would be in the government's
7924 was not submitted to the inhabitants of Metro Manila best interest for public respondent to be allowed to take possession
in a plebiscite. The Chairman of the MMDA is not an official of the property.
elected by the people, but appointed by the President with RTC: granted respondent municipality's motion to take possession
the rank and privileges of a cabinet member. In fact, part of of the land, held that the Sangguniang Panlalawigan's failure to
his function is to perform such other duties as may be declare the resolution invalid leaves it effective. It added that the
assigned to him by the President, whereas in LGUs, the duty of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan is merely to review the
President merely exercises supervisory authority. This ordinances and resolutions passed by the Sangguniang Bayan
emphasizes the administrative character of the MMDA. under Section 208 (1) of B.P. Blg. 337, old LGC and that the
 Clearly then, the MMC under P. D. No. 824 is not the same exercise of eminent domain is not one of the two acts enumerated
entity as the MMDA under R. A. No. 7924. Unlike the MMC, in Section 19 thereof requiring the approval of the Sangguniang
the MMDA has no power to enact ordinances for the welfare Panlalawigan. MR: denied.
of the community. It is the LGUs, acting through their CA: the public purpose for the expropriation is clear from R 43-89
respective legislative councils, that possess legislative and that since the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Agusan del Sur did
power and police power. In the case at bar, the Sangguniang not declare R 43-89 invalid, expropriation of petitioners' property
Panlungsod of Makati City did not pass any ordinance or could proceed. MR: denied.
resolution ordering the opening of Neptune Street, hence, Meanwhile, the Municipality of Bunawan had erected three
its proposed opening by petitioner MMDA is illegal and the buildings on the subject property: the Association of Barangay
respondent CA did not err in so ruling. Councils (ABC) Hall, the Municipal Motorpool, both wooden
structures, and the Bunawan Municipal Gymnasium, which is made
of concrete.
Pet: seeks the reversal of the decision and resolution of the CA and
a declaration that R 43-89 of the Municipality of Bunawan is null
Moday v. CA and void.
Court issued TRO enjoining and restraining public respondent Judge
Facts: The Sangguniang Bayan of the Municipality of Bunawan in from enforcing her order and respondent municipality from using
Agusan del Sur passed R 43-89, "Authorizing the Municipal Mayor and occupying all the buildings constructed and from further
to Initiate the Petition for Expropriation of a One (1) Hectare Portion constructing any building on the land subject of this petition. Acting
of Lot No. 6138-Pls-4 Along the National Highway Owned by on petitioners' Omnibus Motion for Enforcement of Restraining
Percival Moday for the Site of Bunawan Farmers Center and Other Order and for Contempt, the Court issued a Resolution citing
Government Sports Facilities." R 43-89 was approved by then incumbent municipal mayor Anuncio C. Bustillo for contempt,
Municipal Mayor Anuncio C. Bustillo and transmitted to the ordering him to pay the fine and to demolish the "blocktiendas"
Sangguniang Panlalawigan for its approval. The Sangguniang which were built in violation of the restraining order. Bustillo paid
Panlalawigan disapproved said Resolution and returned it with the the fine and manifested that he lost in the election. The incumbent
comment that "expropriation is unnecessary considering that there Mayor Leonardo Barrios, filed a Manifestation, Motion to Resolve
are still available lots in Bunawan for the establishment of the "Urgent Motion for Immediate Dissolution of the Temporary
government center." Bunawan filed a petition for Eminent Domain Restraining Order" and Memorandum on June 11, 1996 for the
against petitioner Percival Moday, as well as his parents before the Municipality of Bunawan.
Mabelle O. Nebres | Local Governments Case Digests

Pet: contend that the CA erred in upholding the legality of the  Section 153 of B.P. Blg. 337: Sangguniang Panlalawigan
condemnation proceedings initiated by the municipality. According Review. (1) Within thirty days after receiving copies of
to petitioners, the expropriation was politically motivated and R 43- approved ordinances,
89 was correctly disapproved by the Sangguniang Panlalawigan, resolutions and executive orders promulgated by the
there being other municipal properties available for the purpose. municipal mayor, the sangguniang panlalawigan shall
Petitioners also pray that the former Mayor Bustillo be ordered to examine the documents or transmit them to the provincial
pay damages for insisting on the enforcement of a void municipal attorney, or if there be none, to the provincial fiscal, who
resolution. shall examine them promptly and inform the sangguniang
CA: declared that the Sangguniang Panlalawigan's reason for panlalawigan in writing of any defect or impropriety which
disapproving the resolution "could be baseless, because it failed to he may discover therein and make such comments or
point out which and where are those available lots.'" Respondent recommendations as shall appear to him proper. (2) If the
court also concluded that since the Sangguniang Panlalawigan did sangguniang panlalawigan shall find that any municipal
not declare the municipal board's resolution as invalid, ordinance, resolution or executive order is beyond the
expropriation of petitioners' property could proceed. power conferred upon the sangguniang bayan or the mayor,
it shall declare such ordinance, resolution or executive order
Issue: WON a municipality may expropriate private property by invalid in whole or in part, entering its actions upon the
virtue of a municipal resolution which was disapproved by the minutes and advising the proper municipal authorities
Sangguniang Panlalawigan. NO. thereof. The effect of such an action shall be to annul the
 Eminent domain, the power which the Municipality of ordinance, resolution or executive order in question in whole
Bunawan exercised in the instant case, is a fundamental or in part. The action of the sangguniang panlalawigan shall
State power that is inseparable from sovereignty. It is be final.
government's right to appropriate, in the nature of a  The Sangguniang Panlalawigan's disapproval of Municipal
compulsory sale to the State, private property for public use R 43-89 is an infirm action which does not render said
or purpose. Inherently possessed by the national legislature, resolution
the power of eminent domain may be validly delegated to null and void. The law, as expressed in Section 153 of B.P.
local governments, other public entities and public utilities. Blg. 337, grants the Sangguniang Panlalawigan the power to
For the taking of private property by the government to be declare a municipal resolution invalid on the sole ground
valid, the taking must be for public use and there must be that it is beyond the power of the Sangguniang Bayan or the
just compensation. Mayor to issue. Although pertaining to a similar provision of
 The Municipality of Bunawan's power to exercise the right of law but different factual milieu then obtaining, the Court's
eminent domain is not disputed as it is expressly provided pronouncements in Velazco v. Blas, where we cited
for in Batas Pambansa Blg. 337, the LGC 18 in force significant early jurisprudence, are applicable to the case at
at the time expropriation proceedings were initiated. Section bar. The only ground upon which a provincial board may
9 of said law states: A LGU may, through its head and acting declare any municipal resolution, ordinance, or order invalid
pursuant to a resolution of its sanggunian, exercise the right is when such resolution, ordinance, or order is "beyond the
of eminent domain and institute condemnation proceedings powers conferred upon the council or president making the
for public use or purpose. same." Absolutely no other ground is recognized by the law.
 What petitioners question is the lack of authority of the A strictly legal question is before the provincial board in its
municipality to exercise this right since the Sangguniang consideration of a municipal resolution, ordinance, or order.
Panlalawigan The provincial (board's) disapproval of any resolution,
disapproved R 43-89. ordinance, or order must be premised specifically upon the
fact that such resolution, ordinance, or order is outside the
Mabelle O. Nebres | Local Governments Case Digests

scope of the legal powers conferred by law. If a provincial the same purpose." The accusations of political reprisal are
board passes these limits, it usurps the legislative function likewise
of the municipal council or president. Such has been the unsupported by competent evidence. Consequently, the
consistent course of executive authority. Court holds that petitioners' demand that the former
 Sangguniang Panlalawigan was without the authority to municipal mayor be personally liable for damages is without
disapprove Municipal R 43-89 for the Municipality of basis.
Bunawan clearly has the power to exercise the right of
eminent domain and its Sangguniang Bayan the capacity to Camarines Sur v. CA
promulgate said resolution, pursuant to the earlier-quoted
Section 9 of B.P. Blg. 337. Perforce, it follows that Resolution Facts: The Sangguniang Panlalawigan of the Province of Camsur
No. 43-89 is valid and binding and could be used as lawful passed Resolution No. 129, Series of 1988, authorizing the
authority to petition for the condemnation of petitioners' Provincial Governor to purchase or expropriate property contiguous
property. to the provincial capitol site, in order to establish a pilot farm for
 Accusation of political oppression: it is alleged that Percival non-food and non-traditional agricultural crops and a housing
Moday incurred the ire of then Mayor Bustillo when he project for provincial government employees. Camsur filed
refused to support the latter's candidacy for mayor in expropriation cases against the San Joaquins as well as a motion for
previous elections. Petitioners claim that then incumbent the issuance of writ of possession. The SJs failed to appear at the
Mayor C. Bustillo used the expropriation to retaliate by hearing of the motion. They moved to dismiss the complaints on
expropriating their land even if there were other properties the ground of inadequacy of the price offered for their property.
belonging to the municipality and available for the purpose. RTC: denied the motion to dismiss and authorized the Camsur to
Specifically, they allege that the municipality owns a vacant take possession of the property upon the deposit with the Clerk of
seven-hectare property adjacent to petitioners' land, Court of the amount of P5,714.00, the amount provisionally fixed
evidenced by a sketch plan. by the trial court to answer for damages that private respondents
 The limitations on the power of eminent domain are that the may suffer in the event that the expropriation cases do not
use must be public, compensation must be made and due prosper. Issued a writ of possession. The San Joaquins filed a
process of law must be observed. The Supreme Court, motion for relief from the order and a motion to admit an amended
taking cognizance of such issues as the adequacy of motion to dismiss. Both motions were denied.
compensation, necessity of the taking and the public use CA: SJs asked: (a) that the Res. be declared null and void; (b) that
character or the purpose of the taking, 23 has ruled that the the complaints for expropriation be dismissed; and (c) that the
necessity of exercising eminent domain must be genuine order denying the motion to dismiss and allowing Camsur to take
and of a public character. Government may not capriciously possession of the property subject of the expropriation and the
choose what private property should be taken. After a order denying the motion to admit the amended motion to dismiss,
careful study of the records of the case, however, we find no be set aside. They also asked that an order be issued to restrain
evidentiary support for petitioners' allegations. The the trial court from enforcing the writ of possession, and thereafter
uncertified photocopy of the sketch plan does not to issue a writ of injunction. Camsur: claimed that it has the
conclusively prove that the municipality does own vacant authority to initiate the expropriation proceedings under Sections 4
land adjacent to petitioners' property suited to the purpose and 7 of LGC (B.P. Blg. 337) and that the expropriations are for a
of the expropriation. In the questioned decision, respondent public purpose. SG: under Section 9 of the LGC (B.P. Blg. 337),
appellate court similarly held that the pleadings and there was no need for the approval by the Office of the President of
documents on record have not pointed out any of the exercise by the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of the right of
respondent municipality's "other available properties eminent domain. Expressed the view that the Province of Camsur
available for must first secure the approval of the Department of Agrarian
Mabelle O. Nebres | Local Governments Case Digests

Reform of the plan to expropriate the lands of petitioners for use as complex for tourists or housing project (Heirs of Juancho
a housing project. Ardano v. Reyes, 125 SCRA 220 [1983]; Sumulong v.
CA: set aside the order of the trial court, allowing the Province of Guerrero, 154 SC.RA 461 [1987]).
Camsur to take possession of private respondents' lands and the  The expropriation of the property authorized by the
order denying the admission of the amended motion to dismiss. It questioned resolution is for a public purpose. The
also ordered the trial court to suspend the expropriation establishment of a pilot development center would inure to
proceedings until after Camsur shall have submitted the requisite the direct benefit and advantage of the people of the
approval of the Department of Agrarian Reform to convert the Province of Camsur. Once operational, the center would
classification of the property of the private respondents from make available to the community invaluable information
agricultural to non-agricultural land. and technology on agriculture, fishery and the cottage
Camsur: its exercise of the power of eminent domain cannot be industry. Ultimately, the livelihood of the farmers, fishermen
restricted by the provisions of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform and craftsmen would be enhanced.. The housing project also
Law (R.A. No. 6657), particularly Section 65 thereof, which requires satisfies the public purpose requirement of the Constitution.
the approval of the Department of Agrarian Reform before a parcel As held in Sumulong v. Guerrero, 154 SCRA 461, "Housing is
of land can be reclassified from an agricultural to a non-agricultural a basic human need. Shortage in housing is a matter of
land. state concern since it directly and significantly affects public
CA, following the recommendation of the Solicitor General, held health, safety, the environment and in sum the general
that the Province of Camsur must comply with the provision of welfare."
Section 65 of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law and must  The Solicitor General denigrated the power to expropriate
first secure the approval of the Department of Agrarian Reform of by the Province of Camsur by stressing the fact that LGUs
the plan to expropriate the lands of the SJs exercise such power only by delegation. (Comment, pp. 14-
15; Rollo, pp. 128-129)
Issue: WON the expropriation of agricultural lands by LGUs is  Heirs of Juancho Ardana v. Reyes: Court said that there was
subject, to the prior approval of the Secretary of the Agrarian "no need under the facts of this petition to rule on whether
Reform, as the implementator of the agrarian reform program. the public purpose is superior or inferior to another purpose
 When the CA ordered the suspension of the proceedings or engage in a balancing of competing public interest," it
until the Province of Camsur shall have obtained the upheld the expropriation after noting that petitioners had
authority of the Department of Agrarian Reform to change failed to overcome the showing that the taking of 8,970
the classification of the lands sought to be expropriated square meters formed part of the resort complex. A fair and
from agricultural to non-agricultural use, it assumed that the reasonable reading of the decision is that this Court viewed
resolution is valid and that the expropriation is for a public the power of expropriation as superior to the power to
purpose or public use. distribute lands under the land reform program.
 Modernly, there has been a shift from the literal to a broader  It is true that LGUs have no inherent power of eminent
interpretation of "public purpose" or "public use" for which domain and can exercise it only when expressly authorized
the power of eminent domain may be exercised. The old by the legislature. It is also true that in delegating the power
concept was that the condemned property must actually be to expropriate, the legislature may retain certain control or
used by the general public (e.g. roads, bridges, public impose certain restraints on the exercise thereof by the
plazas, etc.) before the taking thereof could satisfy the local governments. While such delegated power may be a
constitutional requirement of "public use". Under the new limited authority, it is complete within its limits. Moreover,
concept, "public use" means public advantage, convenience the limitations on the exercise of the delegated power must
or benefit, which tends to contribute to the general welfare be clearly expressed, either in the law conferring the power
and the prosperity of the whole community, like a resort or in other legislations.
Mabelle O. Nebres | Local Governments Case Digests

 Resolution No. 129, Series of 1988, was promulgated applications for reclassification submitted by the land
pursuant to Section 9 of B.P. Blg. 337, the LGC, which owners or tenant beneficiaries.
provides: A LGU may, through its head and acting pursuant  Statutes conferring the power of eminent domain to political
to a resolution of its sanggunian exercise the right of subdivisions cannot be broadened or constricted by
eminent domain and institute condemnation proceedings for implication.
public use or purpose. Section 9 of B.P. Blg. 337 does not  To sustain the CA would mean that the LGUs can no longer
intimate in the least that local government, units must first expropriate agricultural lands needed for the construction of
secure the approval of the Department of Land Reform for roads, bridges, schools, hospitals, etc, without first applying
the conversion of lands from agricultural to non-agricultural for conversion of the use of the lands with the Department
use, before they can institute the necessary expropriation of Agrarian Reform, because all of these projects would
proceedings. Likewise, there is no provision in the naturally involve a change in the land use. In effect, it would
Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law which expressly then be the Department of Agrarian Reform to scrutinize
subjects the expropriation of agricultural lands by LGUs to whether the expropriation is for a public purpose or public
the control of the Department of Agrarian Reform. The use.
closest provision of law that the CA could cite to justify the  Ordinarily, it is the legislative branch of the LGU that shall
intervention of the Department of Agrarian Reform in determine whether the use of the property sought to be
expropriation matters is Section 65 of the Comprehensive expropriated shall be public, the same being an expression
Agrarian Reform Law, which reads: Sec. 65. Conversion of of legislative policy. The courts defer to such legislative
Lands. After the lapse of five (5) years from its award, when determination and will intervene only when a particular
the land ceases to be economically feasible and sound for, undertaking has no real or substantial relation to the public
agricultural purposes, or the locality has become urbanized use.
and the land will have a greater economic value for  There is also an ancient rule that restrictive statutes, no
residential, commercial or industrial purposes, the DAR, matter how broad their terms are, do not embrace the
upon application of the beneficiary or the landowner, with sovereign unless the sovereign is specially mentioned as
due notice to the affected parties, and subject to existing subject thereto. The Republic of the Philippines, as
laws, may authorize the reclassification or conversion of the sovereign, or its political subdivisions, as holders of
land and its disposition: Provided, That the beneficiary shall delegated sovereign powers, cannot be bound by provisions
have fully paid his obligation. of law couched in general term.
 The opening, adverbial phrase of the provision sends signals
that it applies to lands previously placed under the agrarian Meycauayan v. IAC
reform program as it speaks of "the lapse of five (5) years
from its award." The rules on conversion of agricultural Facts: The Philippine Pipes and Merchandising Corporation filed
lands found in Section 4 (k) and 5 (1) of Executive Order No. with the Office of the Municipal Mayor of Meycauayan, Bulacan, an
129-A, Series of 1987, cannot be the source of the authority application for a permit to fence a parcel of land. The fencing of
of the Department of Agrarian Reform to determine the said property was allegedly to enable the storage of the
suitability of a parcel of agricultural land for the purpose to respondent's heavy equipment and various finished products such
which it would be devoted by the expropriating authority. as large diameter steel pipes, pontoon pipes for ports, wharves,
While those rules vest on the Department of Agrarian and harbors, bridge components, pre-stressed girders and piles,
Reform the exclusive authority to approve or disapprove large diameter concrete pipes, and parts for low cost housing. In
conversions of agricultural lands for residential, commercial the same year, the Municipal Council of Meycauayan, headed by
or industrial uses, such authority is limited to the then Mayor Celso R. Legaspi, passed Resolution No. 258, Series of
1975, manifesting the intention to expropriate the respondent's
Mabelle O. Nebres | Local Governments Case Digests

parcel of land. The Special Committee recommended that the traffic in the area of vehicles coming from MacArthur
Provincial Board of Bulacan disapprove or annul the resolution in Highway.
question because there was no genuine necessity for the  The records, however, reveals that there are other
Municipality of Meycauayan to expropriate the respondent's connecting links between the aforementioned roads. The
property for use as a public road. On the basis of this report, the petitioner itself admits that there are four such cross roads
Provincial Board of Bulacan passed Resolution No. 238, Series of in existence. The respondent court stated that with the
1976, disapproving and annulling Resolution No. 258, Series of proposed road, there would be seven.
1975, of the Municipal Council of Meycauayan. PPMC, then,  The Sketch Plan clearly and conclusively shows that
reiterated to the Office of the Mayor its petition for the approval of petitioner does not need this strip of land as a private road.
the permit to fence the aforesaid parcels of land. The Municipal The Sketch Plan clearly shows that petitioner's factory site is
Council of Meycauayan, now headed by Mayor Adriano D. Daez, adjacent to Bulac Road which has a width of about seven
passed Resolution No. 21, Series of 1983, for the purpose of meters, more or less. Petitioner can use Bulac Road in
expropriating anew the respondent's land. The Provincial Board of reaching McArthur Highway on the west or in reaching the
Bulacan approved the aforesaid resolution on January 25, 1984. Manila North Expressway on the east for the purpose of
Thereafter, the petitioner, on February 14, 1984, filed with the transporting its products. Petitioner does not need to go to
Regional Trial Court of Malolos, Bulacan, Branch VI, a special civil Malhacan Road via this so-called private road before going
action for expropriation. Upon deposit of the amount of P24,025.00, to McArthur Highway or to the Manila North Expressway.
which is the market value of the land, with the Philippine National Why should petitioner go first to Malhacan Road via this so
Bank, the trial court on March 1, 1984 issued a writ of possession in called "private road" before going to McArthur Highway or to
favor of the petitioner. On August 27, 1984, the trial court issued the Manila North Expressway when taking the Bulac Road in
an order declaring the taking of the property as lawful and going to McArthur Highway or to the Manila North
appointing the Provincial Assessor of Bulacan as court Expressway is more direct, nearer and more advantageous.
commissioner who shall hold the hearing to ascertain the just Hence, it is beyond doubt that petitioner acquired this strip
compensation for the property. The respondent went to the of land for the storage of its heavy equipments and various
Intermediate Appellate Court on petition for review. On January 10, finished products and for growth and expansion and never
1985, the appellate court affirmed the trial court's decision. to use it as a private road. This is the very reason why
However, upon motion for reconsideration by the respondent, the petitioner filed an application with the Office of the
decision was re-examined and reversed. The appellate court held Municipal Mayor of Meycauayan, Bulacan to fence with
that there is no genuine necessity to expropriate the land for use hollow blocks this strip of land.
as a public road as there were several other roads for the same  From the foregoing facts, it appears obvious to this Special
purpose and another more appropriate lot for the proposed public Committee that there is no genuine necessity for the
road. The court, taking into consideration the location and size of Municipality of' Meycauayan to expropriate the aforesaid
the land, also opined that the land is more Ideal for use as storage property of the Philippine Pipes and Merchandising
area for respondent's heavy equipment and finished products. MR: Corporation for use as a public road. Considering that in the
denied. vicinity there are other available road and vacant lot offered
for sale situated similarly as the lot in question and lying
Issue: WON there is a genuine necessity to expropriate this strip of Idle, unlike the lot sought to be expropriated which was
land for use as a public road. NO. found by the Committee to be badly needed by the
 The petitioner's purpose in expropriating the respondent's company as a site for its heavy equipment after it is fenced
property is to convert the same into a public road which together with the adjoining vacant lot, the justification to
would provide a connecting link between Malhacan Road condemn the same does not appear to be very imperative
and Bulac Road in Valenzuela, Bulacan and thereby ease the and necessary and would only cause unjustified damage to
Mabelle O. Nebres | Local Governments Case Digests

the firm. The desire of the Municipality of Meycauayan to allegation does not merit consideration absent a showing of
build a public road to decongest the volume of traffic can be concrete evidence attesting to it.
fully and better attained by acquiring the other available  There is no question here as to the right of the State to take
roads in the vicinity maybe at lesser costs without causing private property for public use upon payment of just
harm to an establishment doing legitimate business therein. compensation. What is questioned is the existence of a
Or, the municipality may seek to expropriate a portion of the genuine necessity therefor.
vacant lot also in the vicinity offered for sale for a wider  City of Manila v. Chinese Community of Manila: this Court
public road to attain decongest (sic) of traffic because as held that the foundation of the right to exercise the power of
observed by the Committee, the lot of the Corporation eminent domain is genuine necessity and that necessity
sought to be taken will only accommodate a one-way traffic must be of a public character. Condemnation of private
lane and therefore, will not suffice to improve and property is justified only if it is for the public good and there
decongest the flow of traffic and pedestrians in the is a genuine necessity of a public character. Consequently,
Malhacan area. ... the courts have the power to inquire into the legality of the
 It must be noted that this strip of land covered by Transfer exercise of the right of eminent domain and to determine
Certificates of Titles Nos. 215165 and 37879 were acquired whether there is a genuine necessity therfor.
by petitioner from Dr. Villacorta. The lot for sale and lying  De Knecht v. Bautista, this court further ruled that the
Idle with an area of 16,071 square meter which is adjacent government may not capriciously choose what private
and on the western side of the aforesaid strip of land and property should be taken. Citing the case of J.M. Tuason &
extends likewise from Bulac Road to Malhacan Road belongs Co., Inc. v. Land Tenure Administration (supra), the Court
also to Dr. Villacorta. This lot for sale and lying Idle is most held: With due recognition then of the power of Congress to
Ideal for use as a public road because it is more than three designate the particular property to be taken and how much
(3) times wider that the said strip of land. thereof may be condemned in the exercise of the power of
 Since there is another lot ready for sale and lying Idle, expropriation, it is still a judicial question whether in the
adjacent and on the western side of the strip of land, and exercise of such competence, the party adversely affected
extending also from Malhacan Road to Bulac Road and most is the victim of partiality and prejudice. That the equal
Ideal for a public road because it is very much wider than protection clause will not allow.
the lot sought to be expropriated, it seems that it is more  There is absolutely no showing in the petition why the more
just, fair, and reasonable if this lot is the one to be appropriate lot for the proposed road which was offered for
expropriated. sale has not been the subject of the petitioner's attempt to
 The petitioner objects to the appellate court's findings expropriate assuming there is a real need for another
contending that they were based on facts obtaining long connecting road.
before the present action to expropriate took place. We
note, however, that there is no evidence on record which Napocor v. Jocson
shows a change in the factual circumstances of the case.
There is no showing that some of the six other available Facts: The NPC filed for the acquisition of a right-of-way easement
cross roads have been closed or that the private roads in over portions of the parcels of land described in the complaints for
the subdivision may not be used for municipal purposes. its Negros-Panay Interconnection Project, particularly the Bacolod-
What is more likely is that these roads have already been Tomonton Transmission Line. Provisional values were fixed on the
turned over to the government. The petitioner alleges that basis of the market value and the daily opportunity profit petitioner
surely the environmental progress during the span of seven may derive. Respondents sought a re-evaluation. Judge increased
years between the first and second attempts to expropriate value without hearing and directing the defendants to manifest
has brought about a change in the facts of the case. This within twenty-four (24) hours whether or not they are accepting
Mabelle O. Nebres | Local Governments Case Digests

and withdrawing the amounts, representing the provisional values, the possession of the property involved upon compliance
deposited by the plaintiff for each of them as "final and full with P.D. No. 42 which requires the petitioner, after due
satisfaction of the value of their respective property (sic); " Judge notice to the defendant, to deposit with the Philippine
declared the provisional values as the final values and directing the National Bank in its main office or any of its branches or
release of the amounts deposited, in full satisfaction thereof, to the agencies, "an amount equivalent to the assessed value of
defendants even if not all of them made the manifestation; and the property for purposes of taxation." This assessed value
suspended the issuance of the writ of possession until after the is that indicated in the tax declaration.
suspending the amounts shall have been released to and received  P.D. No. 42 repealed the "provisions of Rule 67 of the Rules
by defendants. of Court and of any other existing law contrary to or
inconsistent" with it. Accordingly, it repealed Section 2 of
Issue: WON Judge Jocson committed grave abuse of discretion Rule 67 insofar as the determination of the provisional
amounting to lack of jurisdiction. YES. value, the form of payment and the agency with which the
 Municipality of Biñan vs. Hon. Jose Mar Garcia, et al: there deposit shall be made, are concerned. Said section reads in
are two (2) stages in every action of expropriation: The first full as follows: Sec. 2. Entry of plaintiff upon depositing
is concerned with the determination of the authority of the value with National or Provisional Treasurer. — Upon the
plaintiff to exercise the power of eminent domain and the filing of the complaint or at any time thereafter the plaintiff
propriety of its exercise in the context of the facts involved shall have the right to take or enter upon the possession of
in the suit. It ends with an order, if not of dismissal of the the real or personal property involved if he deposits with the
action, "of condemnation declaring that the plaintiff has a National or Provincial Treasurer its value, as provisionally
lawful right to take the property sought to be condemned, and promptly ascertained and fixed by the court having
for the public use or purpose described in the complaint, jurisdiction of the proceedings, to be held by such treasurer
upon the payment of just compensation to be determined as subject to the orders and final disposition of the court. Such
of the date of the filing of the complaint." An order of deposit shall be in money, unless in lieu thereof the court
dismissal, if this be ordained, would be a final one, of authorizes the deposit of a certificate of deposit of a
course, since it finally disposes of the action and leaves depository of the Republic of the Philippines payable on
nothing more to be done by the Court on the merits. So, too, demand to the National or Provincial Treasurer, as the case
would an order of condemnation be a final one, for may be, in the amount directed by the court to be
thereafter as the Rules expressly state, in the proceedings deposited. After such deposit is made the court shall order
before the Trial Court, "no objection to the exercise of the the sheriff or other proper officer to forthwith place the
right of condemnation (or the propriety thereof) shall be plaintiff in possession of the property involved.
filed or heard." The second phase of the eminent domain  It will be noted that under the aforequoted section, the court
action is concerned with the determination by the Court of has the discretion to determine the provisional value which
the "just compensation for the property sought to be taken." must be deposited by the plaintiff to enable it "to take or
This is done by the Court with the assistance of not more enter upon the possession of the property." Notice to the
than three (3) commissioners. The order fixing the just parties is not indispensable. In interpreting a similar
compensation on the basis of the evidence before, and provision of Act No. 1592, this Court, in the 1915 case of
findings of, the commissioners would be final, too. It would Manila Railroad Company, et al. vs. Paredes, et al., 45 held:
finally dispose of the second stage of the suit, and leave The statute directs that, at the very outset, "when
nothing more to be done by the Court regarding the condemnation proceedings are brought by any railway
issue. . . . corporation" the amount of the deposit is to be
 However, upon the filing of the complaint or at any time "provisionally and promptly ascertained and fixed by the
thereafter, the petitioner has the right to take or enter upon court." It is very clear that it was not the intention of the
Mabelle O. Nebres | Local Governments Case Digests

legislator that before the order fixing the amount of the 5938 is dated 11 July 1990 while the Order granting both
deposit could lawfully be entered the court should finally motions was issued the next day, 12 July 1990. The motion
and definitely determine who are the true owners of the for reconsideration in Civil Case No. 5938 does not even
land; and after doing so, give them a hearing as to its value, contain a notice of hearing. It is then a mere scrap of paper;
and assess the true value of the land accordingly. In effect, it presents no question which merits the attention and
that would amount to a denial of the right of possession of consideration of the court. It is not even a mere motion for it
the lands involved until the conclusion of the proceedings, does not comply with the rules, more particularly Sections 4
when there would no need for the filing of the deposit. Of and 5, Rule 15 of the Rules of Court; the Clerk of Court then
course, there is nothing in the statute which denies the right had no right to receive it. 50
of the judge to hear all persons claiming an interest in the  There was, moreover, a much stronger reason why the
land, and courts should ordinarily give all such persons an respondent Court should not have issued the 12 July 1990
opportunity to be heard if that be practicable, and will cause Order increasing the provisional values of the Gonzaga lots
no delay in the prompt and provisional ascertainment of the in Civil Cases Nos. 5938 and 5939. After having fixed these
value of the land. But the scope and extent of the inquiry is provisional values, albeit erroneously, and upon deposit by
left wholly in the discretion of the court, and a failure to petitioner of the said amounts, respondent Judge lost, as
hear the owners and claimants of the land, who may or may was held in Manila Railroad Company vs. Paredes, "plenary
not be known at the time of the entry of the order, in no control over the order fixing the amount of the deposit, and
wise effects the validity of the order. . . . has no power to annul, amend or modify it in matters of
 P.D. No. 42, however, effectively removes the discretion of substance pending the course of the condemnation
the court in determining the provisional value. What is to be proceedings." The reason for this is that a contrary ruling
deposited is an amount equivalent to the assessed value for would defeat the very purpose of the law which is to provide
taxation purpose. No hearing is required for that purpose. a speedy and summary procedure whereby the peaceable
All that is needed is notice to the owner of the property possession of the property subject of the expropriation
sought to be condemned. proceedings "may be secured without the delays incident to
 Clearly, therefore, respondent Judge either deliberately prolonged and vexatious litigation touching the ownership
disregarded P.D. No. 42 or was totally unaware of its and value of such lands, which should not be permitted to
existence and the cases applying the same. delay the progress of the work."
 In any event, petitioner deposited the provisional value fixed  Compounding the above error and the capriciousness with
by the court. As a matter of right, it was entitled to be which it was committed is respondent Judge's refusal to
placed in possession of the property involved in the place the petitioner in possession of the property or issue
complaints at once, pursuant to both Section 2 of Rule 67 the writ of possession despite the fact that the latter had
and P.D. No. 42. Respondent Court had the corresponding likewise deposited the additional amount called for by the
duty to order the sheriff or any other proper officer to 12 July 1990 Order. Instead, respondent Judge issued the 16
forthwith place the petitioner in such possession. Instead of July 1990 Order directing the defendants to state in writing
complying with the clear mandate of the law, respondent within twenty-four (24) hours whether or not they would
Judge chose to ignore and overlook it. Moreover, upon accept and withdraw the amounts deposited by the
separate motions for reconsideration filed by the defendants petitioner for each of them " as final and full satisfaction of
in Civil Cases Nos. 5938 and 5939, he issued a new Order the value of their respective property (sic) affected by the
increasing the provisional values of the properties involved expropriation" and stating at the same time that the writ will
therein. No hearing was held on the motions. As a matter of be issued after such manifestation and acceptance and
fact, as the records show, the motion for reconsideration receipt of the amounts. The above Order has absolutely no
filed by defendants Jesus Gonzaga, et al. in Civil Case No. legal basis even as it also unjustly, oppressively and
Mabelle O. Nebres | Local Governments Case Digests

capriciously compels the petitioner to accept the respondent  As may be gleaned from the 25 June 1990 Order, the
Judge's determination of the provisional value as the just respondent Judge found that the petitioner has that right
compensation after the defendants shall have manifested and that "there will be a (sic) paramount public interest to
their conformity thereto. He thus subordinated his own be served by the expropriation of the defendants'
judgment to that of the defendants' because he made the properties." Accordingly, considering that the parties
latter the final authority to determine such just submitted neither a compromise agreement as to the just
compensation. This Court ruled in Export Processing Zone compensation nor a stipulation to dispense with the
Authority vs. Dulay, et al. 52 that the determination of just appointment of commissioners and to leave the
compensation in eminent domain cases is a judicial determination of just compensation to the court on the basis
function; accordingly, We declared as unconstitutional and of certain criteria, respondent Judge was duty bound to set
void, for being, inter alia, impermissible encroachment on in motion Section 5 of Rule 67; said section directs the court
judicial prerogatives which tends to render the Court inutile to appoint not more than three (3) competent and
in a matter which, under the Constitution, is reserved to it disinterested persons as commissioners to ascertain and
for final determination, the method of ascertaining just report to it regarding the just compensation for the property
compensation prescribed in P.D. Nos. 76 464, 794 and 1533, sought to be taken. Such commissioners shall perform their
to wit: the market value as declared by the owner or duties in the manner provided for in Section 6; upon the
administrator or such market value as determined by the filing of their report, the court may, after a period of ten (10)
assessor, whichever is lower in the first three (3) decrees, days which it must grant to the parties in order that the
and the value declared by the owner or administrator or latter may file their objections to such report, and after
anyone having legal interest in the property or the value as hearing pursuant to Section 8, accept and render judgment
determined by the assessor, pursuant to the Real Property in accordance therewith or, for cause shown, recommit the
Tax Code, whichever is lower, prior to the recommendation same to the commissioners for further report of facts. The
or decision of the appropriate Government office to acquire court may also set aside the report and appoint new
the property, in the last mentioned decree. If the legislature commissioners, or it may accept the report in part and
or the executive department cannot even impose upon the reject it in part; and it may make such order or render such
court how just compensation should be determined, it would judgment as shall secure to the petitioner the property
be far more objectionable and impermissible for respondent essential to the exercise of its right of condemnation, and to
Judge to grant the defendants in an eminent domain case the defendant just compensation for the property so taken.
such power and authority.  Not satisfied with the foregoing violations of law and
 Without perhaps intending it to be so, there is not only a insisting upon his own procedure, respondent Judge
clear case of abdication of judicial prerogative, but also a declared in his Order of 18 July 1990 that the provisional
complete disregard by respondent Judge of the provisions of amounts he fixed, later increased with respect to the
Rule 67 as to the procedure to be followed after the properties of the Gonzagas, shall be considered as the full
petitioner has deposited the provisional value of the payment of the value of the properties after the defendants
property. It must be recalled that three (3) sets of in Civil Cases Nos. 5938, 5939, 5940, 5942 and 5943 shall
defendants filed motions to dismiss pursuant to Section 3, have filed their manifestations; he also ruled that the writ of
Rule 67 of the Rules of Court; Section 4 of the same rule possession will be issued only after the latter shall have
provides that the court must rule on them and in the event received the said amounts. This Order and the records
that it overrules the motions or, when any party fails to before this Court do not disclose that the defendants in Civil
present a defense as required in Section 3, it should enter Cases Nos. 5941 and 5944 filed any manifestation; yet, in
an order of condemnation declaring that the petitioner has a the Order, respondent Judge whimsically and arbitrarily
lawful right to take the property sought to be condemned. considered the so-called provisional values fixed therein as
Mabelle O. Nebres | Local Governments Case Digests

the final values. By such Order, the case was in fact

terminated and the writ of execution then became a mere Issue: WON the ordinance is authorized under QC Charter and a
incident of an execution of a judgment. The right of the valid exercise of police power. NO.
petitioner to take or enter into possession of the property  Restatement of certain basic principles: Occupying the
upon the filing of the complaint granted by Section 2 of Rule forefront in the bill of rights is the provision which states
67 and P.D. No. 42 was totally negated despite compliance that 'no person shall be deprived of life, liberty or property
with the deposit requirement under the latter law. without due process of law' (Art. Ill, Section 1 subparagraph
 City Government of Toledo City vs. Fernandos, et al: does 1, Constitution). On the other hand, there are three
not apply to the instant petition because at the pre-trial inherent powers of government by which the state
conference held therein, the petitioner submitted to the interferes with the property rights, namely-. (1) police
discretion of the court as to the correct valuation, private power, (2) eminent domain, (3) taxation. These are said to
respondents stated that they have no objections and are in exist independently of the Constitution as necessary
conformity with the price of P30.00 per square meter as attributes of sovereignty.
reasonable compensation for their land and the City  Police power is defined by Freund as 'the power of
Assessor informed the court of the current market and promoting the public welfare by restraining and regulating
appraisal values of the properties in the area and the factors the use of liberty and property' (Quoted in Political Law by
to be considered in the determination of such. The parties Tanada and Carreon, V-11, p. 50). It is usually exerted in
presented their documentary exhibits. In effect, therefore, order to merely regulate the use and enjoyment of property
the parties themselves agreed to submit to a judicial of the owner. If he is deprived of his property outright, it is
determination on the matter of just compensation and that not taken for public use but rather to destroy in order to
judgment be rendered based thereon. In the instant case, promote the general welfare. In police power, the owner
no pre-trial was conducted; the proceedings were still at does not recover from the government for injury sustained
that state where the provisional value was yet to be in consequence thereof (12 C.J. 623). It has been said that
determined; and the parties made no agreement on just police power is the most essential of government powers, at
compensation. times the most insistent, and always one of the least
limitable of the powers of government (Ruby vs. Provincial
Quezon City v. Ericta Board, 39 PhiL 660; Ichong vs. Hernandez, 1,7995, May 31,
1957). This power embraces the whole system of public
Facts: QC passed an Ordinance regulating the establishment, regulation (U.S. vs. Linsuya Fan, 10 PhiL 104). The Supreme
maintenance and operation of private memorial type cemetery or Court has said that police power is so far-reaching in scope
burial ground within the jurisdiction of QC. Section 9 of the that it has almost become impossible to limit its sweep. As it
Ordinance provides that at least 6% of the total area of a memorial derives its existence from the very existence of the state
park cemetery shall be set aside for charity burial of deceased itself, it does not need to be expressed or defined in its
persons who are paupers & have been residents of QC for at least 5 scope. Being coextensive with self-preservation and survival
years prior to their death. Seven years after the enactment of the itself, it is the most positive and active of all governmental
Ordinance, the QC Council passed a resolution requesting the City processes, the most essential insistent and illimitable
Engineer to stop any further selling of memorial parks in QC where Especially it is so under the modern democratic framework
the owners have failed to donate the required 6% cemetery space. where the demands of society and nations have multiplied
The City Engineer notified Himlayang Pilipino, Inc. that the to almost unimaginable proportions. The field and scope of
Ordinance would be enforced, so Himlayan filed a petition with the police power have become almost boundless, just as the
CFI seeking to annul Sec 9 of the Ordinance. CFI declared Sec 9 fields of public interest and public welfare have become
null and void. MR: denied almost all embracing and have transcended human
Mabelle O. Nebres | Local Governments Case Digests

foresight. Since the Courts cannot foresee the needs and general law regulating burial grounds and cemeteries. When
demands of public interest and welfare, they cannot delimit the LGC, Batas Pambansa Blg. 337 provides in Section 177
beforehand the extent or scope of the police power by which (q) that a Sangguniang panlungsod may "provide for the
and through which the state seeks to attain or achieve burial of the dead in such place and in such manner as
public interest and welfare. (Ichong vs. Hernandez, L-7995, prescribed by law or ordinance" it simply authorizes the city
May 31, 1957). to provide its own city owned land or to buy or expropriate
 The police power being the most active power of the private properties to construct public cemeteries. This has
government and the due process clause being the broadest been the law and practise in the past. It continues to the
station on governmental power, the conflict between this present. Expropriation, however, requires payment of just
power of government and the due process clause of the compensation. The questioned ordinance is different from
Constitution is oftentimes inevitable. laws and regulations requiring owners of subdivisions to set
 It will be seen from the foregoing authorities that police aside certain areas for streets, parks, playgrounds, and
power is usually exercised in the form of mere regulation or other public facilities from the land they sell to buyers of
restriction in the use of liberty or property for the promotion subdivision lots. The necessities of public safety, health, and
of the general welfare. It does not involve the taking or convenience are very clear from said requirements which
confiscation of property with the exception of a few cases are intended to insure the development of communities with
where there is a necessity to confiscate private property in salubrious and wholesome environments. The beneficiaries
order to destroy it for the purpose of protecting the peace of the regulation, in turn, are made to pay by the
and order and of promoting the general welfare as for subdivision developer when individual lots are sold to home-
instance, the confiscation of an illegally possessed article, owners.
such as opium and firearms.  As a matter of fact, the petitioners rely solely on the general
 It seems to the court that Section 9 of Ordinance No. 6118, welfare clause or on implied powers of the municipal
Series of 1964 of Quezon City is not a mere police regulation corporation, not on any express provision of law as statutory
but an outright confiscation. It deprives a person of his basis of their exercise of power. The clause has always
private property without due process of law, nay, even received broad and liberal interpretation but we cannot
without compensation. stretch it to cover this particular taking. Moreover, the
 There is no reasonable relation between the setting aside of questioned ordinance was passed after Himlayang Pilipino,
at least six (6) percent of the total area of an private Inc. had incorporated. received necessary licenses and
cemeteries for charity burial grounds of deceased paupers permits and commenced operating. The sequestration of six
and the promotion of health, morals, good order, safety, or percent of the cemetery cannot even be considered as
the general welfare of the people. The ordinance is actually having been impliedly acknowledged by the private
a taking without compensation of a certain area from a respondent when it accepted the permits to commence
private cemetery to benefit paupers who are charges of the operations.
municipal corporation. Instead of building or maintaining a
public cemetery for this purpose, the city passes the burden City of Manila v. Arellano College
to private cemeteries.
 The expropriation without compensation of a portion of Facts: Section 1 of Republic Act No. 267 authorizes cities and
private cemeteries is not covered by Section 12(t) of municipalities to contract loans from the Reconstruction Finance
Republic Act 537, the Revised Charter of Quezon City which Corporation, the Philippine National Bank, and/or other entity or
empowers the city council to prohibit the burial of the dead person at the rate of interest not exceeding eight per cent annum
within the center of population of the city and to provide for for the purpose of purchasing or expropriating homesites within
their burial in a proper place subject to the provisions of their respective territorial jurisdiction and reselling them at cost to
Mabelle O. Nebres | Local Governments Case Digests

residents of the said cities and municipalities. The court below public benefit, etc., especially where the interest involved
ruled that this provision empowers cities to purchase but not to are of considerable magnitude.
expropriate lands for the purpose of subdivision and resale, and so  In some instances, slumsites have been acquired by
dismissed the present action, which seeks to condemn, for the condemnation. The highest court of New York State has
purpose just stated, several parcels of land having a combined area ruled that slum clearance and erection of houses for low-
of 7,270 square meters and situated on Legarda Street, City of income families were public purpose for which New York City
Manila. Housing authorities could exercise the power of
condemnation. and this decision was followed by similar
Issue: WON Act 267 empowers cities to expropriate as well as to ones in other states. The underlying reasons for these
purchase lands for homesites. YES. decisions are that the destruction of congested areas and
 The word "expropriating," taken singly or with the text, is unsanitary dwellings diminished the potentialities of
susceptible of only meaning. But this power to expropriate is epidemics, crime and waste, prevents the spread of crime
necessarily subject to the limitations and conditions noted in and diseases to unaffected areas, enhances the physical
the decisions above cited. (See below.) The National and moral value of the surrounding communities, and
Government may not confer its instrumentalities authority promote the safety and welfare of the public in general.
which itself may not exercise.  The condemnation of a small property in behalf of 10, 20 or
 Guido vs. Rural Progress Administration: extent of the 50 persons and their families does not insure to the benefit
Philippine Government's power to condemn private property of the public to a degree sufficient to give the use public
for resale: It has been truly said that the assertion of the character. The expropriation proceedings at bar have been
right on the part of the legislature to take the property of instituted for the economic relief of a few families devoid of
one citizen and transfer it to another, even for a full any consideration of public peace and order, or other public
compensation, when the public interest is not promoted advantage.
thereby, is claiming a despotic power, and one inconsistent  No fixed line of demarcation between what taking is for
with every just principle and fundamental maxim of a free public use and what is not can made; each case has to be
government. judged according to its peculiar circumstances. It suffices to
 In a broad sense, expropriation of large estates, trusts in say for the purpose of this decision that the case under
perpetuity, and land that embraces a whole town, or large consideration is far wanting in those elements which make
section of a town or city, bears direct relation to the public for public convenience or public use. If upheld, this case
welfare. The size of the land expropriated, the large number would open the gates to more oppressive expropriations. If
of people benefited, and the extent of social and economic this expropriation be constitutional, we see no reason why a
reform secured by the condemnation, clothes the 10-, 15-, or 25-hectare farm land might not be expropriated
expropriation with public interest and public use. The and subdivided, and sold to those who want to own a
expropriation in such cases tends to abolish economic portion of it. to make the analogy closer, we find no reason
slavery, feudalistic practices, endless conflicts between why the Rural Progress Administration could not take by
landlords and tenants, and other evils inimical to community condemnation an urban lot containing and area of 1,000 or
prosperity and contentment and public peace and order. 2,000 square meters for subdivision into tiny lots for resale
 Although courts are not in agreement as to the tests to to its occupations or those who want to build thereon.
applied in determining whether the use is public or not,  Viewed from another angle, the case at bar is weaker for the
some go so far in the direction of a liberal construction as to condemnor. In the first place, the land that is the subject of
hold that public use is synonymous with public benefit, the present expropriation is only one-third of the land
public utility, or public advantage, and to authorize the sought to be taken in the Guido case, and about two-thirds
exercise of the power of eminent domain to promote such of that involved in the Borja condemnation proceeding. In
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the second place, the Arellano Colleges' land is situated in a accrue to the public from providing homes to a few families
highly commercial section of the city and is occupied by fades into insignificance in comparison with the preparation
persons who are not bona fide tenants. Lastly, this land was of a young men and young women for useful citizenship and
brought by the defendant for a university site to take the for service to the government and the community, a task
place of rented buildings that are unsuitable for schools of which the government alone is not in a position to
higher learning. undertake. As the Rural Progress Administration, the
 To authorize the condemnation of any particular land by a national agency lands for resale as homesites and to which
grantee of the power of eminent domain, a necessity must the petition to purchase the land in question on behalf of the
exist for the taking thereof for the proposed uses and occupants was referred by the President, turning down the
purposes. In City of Manila vs. Manila Chinese Community, occupants request after proper investigation, commented
this Court, citing American decision, laid done this rule: The that "the necessity of the Arellano Law College to acquire a
very foundation of the right to exercise eminent domain is a permanent site of its own is imperative not only because
genuine necessity, and that necessity must be of a public denial of the same would hamper the objectives of that
character. The ascertainment of the necessity must precede educational institution, but it would likewise be taking a
or accompany, and not follow, the taking of the land. "So property intended already for public benefit." The Mayor of
great is the regard of the law for private property that it will the City of Manila himself confessed that he believes the
not authorize the least violation of it, even for the public plaintiff is entitled to keep this land.
good, unless there exist a very great necessity thereof."
Necessity within the rule that the particular property to be
expropriated must be necessary, does not mean an absolute
but only a reasonable or practical necessity, such as would
combine the greatest benefit to the public with the least
inconvenience and expense to the condemning party and
property owner consistent with such benefits.
 But measured even by this standard, and forgetting for a
moment the private character of the intended use, necessity
for the condemnation has not been shown. The land in
question has cost the owner P140,000. The people for
whose benefit the condemnation is being undertaken are so
poor they could ill afford to meet this high price, unless they
intend to borrow the money with a view to disposing of the
property later for a profits. Cheaper lands not dedicated to a
purpose so worthy as a school and more suited to the
occupants' needs and means, if really they only want to own
their own homes, are plenty elsewhere. On the other hand,
the defendant not only has invested a considerable amount
for its property but had the plans for construction ready and
would have completed the project a long time ago had it not
been stopped by the city authorities. And again, while a
handful of people stand to profits by the expropriation, the
development of a university that has a present enrollment
of 9,000 students would be sacrificed. Any good that would
Mabelle O. Nebres | Local Governments Case Digests

City of Manila v. Chinese Community of Manila

Facts: The City of Manila alleged that for the purpose of

constructing the extension of Rizal Avenue, Manila , it is necessary
for it to acquire ownership of certain parcels of land situated in
Binondo, some of which were owned and used by the Chinese
Community of Manila for cemetery purposes. The Chinese
Community of Manila denied that it was necessary or expedient
that the said parcels be expropriated for street purposes; that if the
construction of the street or road should be considered a public
necessity, other routes were available, which would fully satisfy the
plaintiff's purposes, at much less expense and without disturbing
the resting places of the dead; that it had a Torrens title for the
lands in question; that the lands in question had been used by the
defendant for cemetery purposes; that a great number of Chinese
were buried in said cemetery; that if said expropriation be carried
into effect, it would disturb the resting places of the dead, would
require the expenditure of a large sum of money in the transfer or
removal of the bodies to some other place or site and in the
purchase of such new sites, would involve the destruction of
existing monuments and the erection of new monuments in their
stead, and would create irreparable loss and injury to the
defendant and to all those persons owning and interested in the
graves and monuments which would have to be destroyed; that the
plaintiff was without right or authority to expropriate said cemetery
or any part or portion thereof for street purposes; and that the
expropriation, in fact, was not necessary as a public improvement.
The theory of the plaintiff is, that once it has established the fact,
under the law, that it has authority to expropriate land, it may
expropriate any land it may desire; that the only function of the
court in such proceedings is to ascertain the value of the land in
question; that neither the court nor the owners of the land can
inquire into the advisible purpose of purpose of the expropriation or
ask any questions concerning the necessities therefor; that the
courts are mere appraisers of the land involved in expropriation
Mabelle O. Nebres | Local Governments Case Digests

proceedings, and, when the value of the land is fixed by the cannot authorize the taking of private property against the
method adopted by the law, to render a judgment in favor of the will of the owner, notwithstanding compensation may be
defendant for its value. required."
 But, as long as there is a constitutional or statutory
Issue: WON the courts may inquire into, and hear proof upon, the provision denying the right to take land for any use other
necessity of the expropriation? YES. than a public use, it occurs to us that the question whether
 It cannot be denied, if the legislature under proper authority any particular use is a public one or not is ultimately, at
should grant the expropriation of a certain or particular least, a judicial question. The legislative may, it is true, in
parcel of land for some specified public purpose, that the effect declare certain uses to be public, and, under the
courts would be without jurisdiction to inquire into the operation of the well-known rule that a statute will not be
purpose of that legislation. If, upon the other hand, however, declared to be unconstitutional except in a case free, or
the legislature should grant general authority to a municipal comparatively free, from doubt, the courts will certainly
corporation to expropriate private land for public purposes, sustain the action of the legislature unless it appears that
the courts have ample authority in this jurisdiction, under the particular use is clearly not of a public nature.
the provisions above quoted, to make inquiry and to hear  Article 349 of the Civil Code provides that: "No one may be
proof, upon an issue properly presented, concerning deprived of his property unless it be by competent
whether or not the lands were private and whether the authority, for some purpose of proven public utility, and
purpose was, in fact, public. after payment of the proper compensation. Unless this
 The right of expropriation is not an inherent power in a requisite (proven public utility and payment) has been
municipal corporation, and before it can exercise the right complied with, it shall be the duty of the courts to protect
some law must exist conferring the power upon it. When the the owner of such property in its possession or to restore its
courts come to determine the question, they must not only possession to him, as the case may be."
find (a) that a law or authority exists for the exercise of the  The very foundation of the right to exercise eminent domain
right of eminent domain, but (b) also that the right or is a genuine necessity, and that necessity must be of a
authority is being exercised in accordance with the law. In public character. The ascertainment of the necessity must
the present case there are two conditions imposed upon the precede or accompany, and not follow, the taking of the
authority conceded to the City of Manila : First, the land land.
must be private; and, second, the purpose must be public.  The necessity for conferring the authority upon a municipal
 The legislative department of the government was rarely corporation to exercise the right of eminent domain is
undertakes to designate the precise property which should admittedly within the power of the legislature. But whether
be taken for public use. It has generally, like in the present or not the municipal corporation or entity is exercising the
case, merely conferred general authority to take land for right in a particular case under the conditions imposed by
public use when a necessity exists therefor. We believe that the general authority, is a question which the courts have
it can be confidently asserted that, under such statute, the the right to inquire into.
allegation of the necessity for the appropriation is an  The City of Manila can only expropriate private property. It is
issuable allegation which it is competent for the courts to a well known fact that cemeteries may be public or private.
decide. The former is a cemetery used by the general community,
 "It is erroneous to suppose that the legislature is beyond the or neighborhood, or church, while the latter is used only by
control of the courts in exercising the power of eminent a family, or a small portion of the community or
domain, either as to the nature of the use or the necessity neighborhood. Where a cemetery is open to public, it is a
to the use of any particular property. For if the use be not public use and no part of the ground can be taken for other
public or no necessity for the taking exists, the legislature public uses under a general authority. The cemetery in
Mabelle O. Nebres | Local Governments Case Digests

question seems to have been established under Issues: 1. WON a resolution duly approved by the municipal council
governmental authority by the Spanish Governor-General. has the same force and effect of an ordinance. NO
The cemetery in question may be used by the general  Pque: a resolution approved by the municipal council for the
community of Chinese, which fact, in the general purpose of initiating an expropriation case "substantially
acceptation of the definition of a public cemetery, would complies with the requirements of the law" because the
make the cemetery in question public property. If that is terms "ordinance" and "resolution" are synonymous for "the
true, then, of course, the petition of the plaintiff must be purpose of bestowing authority [on] the LGU through its
denied, for the reason that the city of Manila has no chief executive to initiate the expropriation proceedings in
authority or right under the law to expropriate public court in the exercise of the power of eminent domain."
property. Article 36, Rule VI of the Rules and Regulations
 Even granting that a necessity exists for the opening of the Implementing the LGC: "If the LGU fails to acquire a private
street in question, the record contains no proof of the property for public use, purpose, or welfare through
necessity of opening the same through the cemetery. The purchase, the LGU may expropriate said property through a
record shows that adjoining and adjacent lands have been resolution of the Sanggunian authorizing its chief executive
offered to the city free of charge, which will answer every to initiate expropriation proceedings."
purpose of the plaintiff.  The Court disagrees. The power of eminent domain is
lodged in the legislative branch of government, which may
Camarines Sur v. CA (supra, see p. 51) delegate the exercise thereof to LGUs, other public entities
and public utilities. An LGU may therefore exercise the
Municipality of Paranaque v. V.M. Realty Corporation power to expropriate private property only when authorized
by Congress and subject to the latter's control and
Facts: Pursuant to Sangguniang Bayan Resolution No. 93-95, restraints, imposed "through the law conferring the power or
Series of 1993, the Municipality of Parañaque filed a Complaint for in other legislations." In this case, Section 19 of RA 7160,
expropriation against V.M. Realty Corporation over two parcels of which delegates to LGUs the power of eminent domain, also
land. Allegedly, the complaint was filed "for the purpose of lays down the parameters for its exercise. It provides as
alleviating the living conditions of the underprivileged by providing follows: Sec. 19. Eminent Domain. A LGU may, through its
homes for the homeless through a socialized housing project." chief executive and acting pursuant to an ordinance,
Parenthetically, it was also for this stated purpose that petitioner, exercise the power of eminent domain for public use, or
pursuant to its Sangguniang Bayan Resolution No. 577, Series of purpose, or welfare for the benefit of the poor and the
1991, previously made an offer to enter into a negotiated sale of landless, upon payment of just compensation, pursuant to
the property with private respondent, which the latter did not the provisions of the Constitution and pertinent laws:
accept. Provided, however, That the power of eminent domain may
RTC: gave due course to petition and authorized petitioner to take not be exercised unless a valid and definite offer has been
possession of the subject property upon deposit with its clerk of previously made to the owner, and such offer was not
court of an amount equivalent to 15 percent of its fair market value accepted: Provided, further, That the LGU may immediately
based on its current tax declaration. VM alleged that (a) the take possession of the property upon the filing of the
complaint failed to state a cause of action because it was filed expropriation proceedings and upon making a deposit with
pursuant to a resolution and not to an ordinance as required by the the proper court of at least fifteen percent (15%) of the fair
LGC and (b) the cause of action, if any, was barred by a prior market value of the property based on the current tax
judgment or res judicata. Case dismissed, MR denied. declaration of the property to be expropriated: Provided,
CA: affirmed. finally, That, the amount to be paid for the expropriated
property shall be determined by the proper court, based on
Mabelle O. Nebres | Local Governments Case Digests

the fair market value at the time of the taking of the "[l]egislative intent is determined principally from the
property. language of a statute. Where the language of a statute is
 Essential requisites for the exercise the power of eminent clear and unambiguous, the law is applied according to its
domain: (1) An ordinance is enacted by the local legislative express terms, and interpretation would be resorted to only
council authorizing the local chief executive, in behalf of the where a literal interpretation would be resorted to only
LGU, to exercise the power of eminent domain or pursue where a literal interpretation would be either impossible or
expropriation proceedings over a particular private property. absurd or would lead to an injustice." In the instant case,
(2) The power of eminent domain is exercised for public use, there is no reason to depart from this rule, since the law
purpose or welfare, or for the benefit of the poor and the requiring an ordinance is not at all impossible, absurd, or
landless. (3) There is payment of just compensation, as unjust.
required under Section 9, Article III of the Constitution, and  Moreover, the power of eminent domain necessarily involves
other pertinent laws. (4) A valid and definite offer has been a derogation of a fundamental or private right of the people.
previously made to the owner of the property sought to be Accordingly, the manifest change in the legislative language
expropriated, but said offer was not accepted. — from "resolution" under BP 337 to "ordinance" under RA
 In the case at bar, the local chief executive sought to 7160 — demands a strict construction. "No species of
exercise the power of eminent domain pursuant to a property is held by individuals with greater tenacity, and is
resolution of the municipal council. Thus, there was no guarded by the Constitution and laws more sedulously, than
compliance with the first requisite that the mayor be the right to the freehold of inhabitants. When the legislature
authorized through an ordinance. Pque cites Camarines Sur interferes with that right and, for greater public purposes,
vs. CA to show that a resolution may suffice to support the appropriates the land of an individual without his consent,
exercise of eminent domain by an LGU. This case, however, the plain meaning of the law should not be enlarged by
is not in point because the applicable law at that time was doubtful interpretation."
BP 337, the previous LGC, which had provided that a mere  Pque relies on Article 36, Rule VI of the Implementing Rules,
resolution would enable an LGU to exercise eminent which requires only a resolution to authorize an LGU to
domain. In contrast, RA 7160, 31 the present LGC which was exercise eminent domain. This is clearly misplaced, because
already in force when the Complaint for expropriation was Section 19 of RA 7160, the law itself, surely prevails over
filed, explicitly required an ordinance for this purpose. said rule which merely seeks to implement it. It is axiomatic
 A municipal ordinance is different from a resolution. An that the clear letter of the law is controlling and cannot be
ordinance is a law, but a resolution is merely a declaration amended by a mere administrative rule issued for its
of the sentiment or opinion of a lawmaking body on a implementation. Besides, what the discrepancy seems to
specific matter. An ordinance possesses a general and indicate is a mere oversight in the wording of the
permanent character, but a resolution is temporary in implementing rules, since Article 32, Rule VI thereof, also
nature. Additionally, the two are enacted differently — a requires that, in exercising the power of eminent domain,
third reading is necessary for an ordinance, but not for a the chief executive of the LGU act pursuant to an ordinance.
resolution, unless decided otherwise by a majority of all the  In this ruling, the Court does not diminish the policy
Sanggunian members. embodied in Section 2, Article X of the Constitution, which
 If Congress intended to allow LGUs to exercise eminent provides that "territorial and political subdivisions shall
domain through a mere resolution, it would have simply enjoy local autonomy." It merely upholds the law as worded
adopted the language of the previous LGC. But Congress did in RA 7160. We stress that an LGU is created by law and all
not. In a clear divergence from the previous LGC, Section 19 its powers and rights are sourced therefrom. It has therefore
of RA 7160 categorically requires that the local chief no power to amend or act beyond the authority given and
executive act pursuant to an ordinance. Indeed, the limitations imposed on it by law. Strictly speaking, the
Mabelle O. Nebres | Local Governments Case Digests

power of eminent domain delegated to an LGU is in reality a prior expropriation case involving identical interests,
not eminent but "inferior" domain, since it must conform to subject matter and cause of action, which has been
the limits imposed by the delegation, and thus partakes only rendered by a court having jurisdiction over it.
of a share in eminent domain. 38 Indeed, "the national  However, RJ which finds application in generally all cases
legislature is still the principal of the LGUs, which cannot and proceedings, cannot bar the right of the State or its
defy its will or modify or violate it." agent to expropriate private property. The very nature of
2. WON the complaint states a cause of action. NO. eminent domain, as an inherent power of the State, dictates
 In its Brief filed before Respondent Court, petitioner argues that the right to exercise the power be absolute and
that its Sangguniang Bayan passed an ordinance on October unfettered even by a prior judgment or res judicata. The
11, 1994 which reiterated its Resolution No. 93-35, Series of scope of eminent domain is plenary and, like police power,
1993, and ratified all the acts of its mayor regarding the can "reach every form of property which the State might
subject expropriation. need for public use." "All separate interests of individuals in
 This argument is bereft of merit. In the first place, petitioner property are held of the government under this tacit
merely alleged the existence of such an ordinance, but it did agreement or implied reservation. Notwithstanding the
not present any certified true copy thereof. In the second grant to individuals, the eminent domain, the highest and
place, petitioner did not raise this point before this Court. In most exact idea of property, remains in the government, or
fact, it was mentioned by private respondent, and only in in the aggregate body of the people in their sovereign
passing. In any event, this allegation does not cure the capacity; and they have the right to resume the possession
inherent defect of petitioner's Complaint for expropriation of the property whenever the public interest requires it."
filed on September 23, 1993. It is hornbook doctrine that in Thus, the State or its authorized agent cannot be forever
a motion to dismiss based on the ground that the complaint barred from exercising said right by reason alone of
fails to state a cause of action, the question submitted previous non-compliance with any legal requirement.
before the court for determination is the sufficiency of the  While the principle of res judicata does not denigrate the
allegations in the complaint itself. Whether those allegations right of the State to exercise eminent domain, it does apply
are true or not is beside the point, for their truth is to specific issues decided in a previous case. For example, a
hypothetically admitted by the motion. The issue rather is: final judgment dismissing an expropriation suit on the
admitting them to be true, may the court render a valid ground that there was no prior offer precludes another suit
judgment in accordance with the prayer of the complaint? raising the same issue; it cannot, however, bar the State or
 The fact that there is no cause of action is evident from the its agent from thereafter complying with this requirement,
face of the Complaint for expropriation which was based on as prescribed by law, and subsequently exercising its power
a mere resolution. The absence of an ordinance authorizing of eminent domain over the same property. By the same
the same is equivalent to lack of cause of action. token, our ruling that petitioner cannot exercise its
Consequently, the Court of Appeals committed no reversible delegated power of eminent domain through a mere
error in affirming the trial court's Decision which dismissed resolution will not bar it from reinstituting similar
the expropriation suit. proceedings, once the said legal requirement and, for that
2. WON the principle of res judicata as a ground for dismissal matter, all others are properly complied with.
of case is not applicable when public interest is primarily Parenthetically and by parity of reasoning, the same is also
involved. YES. true of the principle of "law of the case." In Republic vs. De
 Eminent Domain Not Barred by Res Judicata. As correctly Knecht, the Court ruled that the power of the State or its
found by the Court of Appeals and the trial court, all the agent to exercise eminent domain is not diminished by the
requisites for the application of res judicata are present in mere fact that a prior final judgment over the property to be
this case. There is a previous final judgment on the merits in expropriated has become the law of the case as to the
Mabelle O. Nebres | Local Governments Case Digests

parties. The State or its authorized agent may still 3. That in the meantime the SECOND PARTY agrees to
subsequently exercise its right to expropriate the same receive the amount of ONE MILLION SEVEN HUNDRED EIGHTY SIX
property, once all legal requirements are complied with. To THOUSAND FOUR HUNDRED PESOS (1,786,400.00) as provisional
rule otherwise will not only improperly diminish the power of payment for the subject parcels of land, without prejudice to the
eminent domain, but also clearly defeat social justice. final valuation as maybe determined by the court;
4. That the FIRST PARTY in the light of the issuance of the
City of Cebu v. Spouses Dedamo Writ of Possession Order dated September 21, 1994 issued by the
Honorable Court, agreed to take possession over that portion of the
Facts: The City of Cebu filed in Civil Case No. CEB-14632 a lot sought to be expropriated where the house of the SECOND
complaint for eminent domain against respondents spouses PARTY was located only after fifteen (15) days upon the receipt of
Apolonio and Blasa Dedamo for a public purpose, i.e., for the the SECOND PARTY of the amount of P1,786,400.00;
construction of a public road which shall serve as an access/relief 5. That the SECOND PARTY upon receipt of the aforesaid
road of Gorordo Avenue to extend to the General Maxilum Avenue provisional amount, shall turn over to the FIRST PARTY the title of
and the back of Magellan International Hotel Roads in Cebu City. the lot and within the lapse of the fifteen (15) days grace period will
The lots are the most suitable site for the purpose. The total area voluntarily demolish their house and the other structure that may
sought to be expropriated is 1,624 square meters with an assessed be located thereon at their own expense;
value of P1,786.400. Petitioner deposited with the Philippine 6. That the FIRST PARTY and the SECOND PARTY jointly
National Bank the amount of P51,156 representing 15% of the fair petition the Honorable Court to render judgment in said Civil Case
market value of the property to enable the petitioner to take No. CEB-14632 in accordance with this AGREEMENT;
immediate possession of the property pursuant to Section 19 of 7. That the judgment sought to be rendered under this
R.A. No. 7160. The Dedamos filed a motion to dismiss the agreement shall be followed by a supplemental judgment fixing the
complaint because the purpose for which their property was to be just compensation for the property of the SECOND PARTY after the
expropriated was not for a public purpose but for benefit of a single Commissioners appointed by this Honorable Court to determine the
private entity, the Cebu Holdings, Inc. Cebu could simply buy same shall have rendered their report and approved by the court.
directly from them the property at its fair market value if it wanted Pursuant to said agreement, the trial court appointed three
to, just like what it did with the neighboring lots. Besides, the price commissioners to determine the just compensation of the lots
offered was very low in light of the consideration of P20,000 per sought to be expropriated. The commissioners were Palermo M.
square meter, more or less, which petitioner paid to the Lugo, who was nominated by petitioner and who was designated as
neighboring lots. Finally, the Dedamos alleged that they have no Chairman; Alfredo Cisneros, who was nominated by respondents;
other land in Cebu City. Cebu filed a motion for the issuance of a and Herbert E. Buot, who was designated by the trial court. The
writ of possession pursuant to Section 19 of R.A. No. 7160. The parties agreed to their appointment. Thereafter, the commissioners
motion was granted by the trial court. submitted their report, which contained their respective
The parties executed and submitted to the trial court an Agreement assessments of and recommendation as to the valuation of the
wherein they declared that they have partially settled the case and property.
in consideration thereof they agreed: 1. That the SECOND PARTY On the basis of the commissioners' report and after due
hereby conforms to the intention to [sic] the FIRST PARTY in deliberation thereon, the trial court rendered its decision ordering
expropriating their parcels of land in the above-cited case as for Cebu to pay the Dedamos P24,865.930.00 representing the
public purpose and for the benefit of the general public; compensation mentioned in the Complaint. Petitioner filed a motion
2. That the SECOND PARTY agrees to part with the for reconsideration on the ground that the commissioners' report
ownership of the subject parcels of land in favor of the FIRST PARTY was inaccurate since it included an area which was not subject to
provided the latter will pay just compensation for the same in the expropriation. More specifically, it contended that Lot No. 1528
amount determined by the court after due notice and hearing; contains 793 square meters but the actual area to be expropriated
Mabelle O. Nebres | Local Governments Case Digests

is only 478 square meters. The remaining 315 square meters is the expressly provides that just compensation shall be
subject of a separate expropriation proceeding in Civil Case No. determined as of the time of actual taking. The Section
CEB-8348, then pending before Branch 9 of the Regional Trial Court reads as follows: SECTION 19. Eminent Domain. – A local
of Cebu City. The commissioners submitted an amended government unit may, through its chief executive and acting
assessment for the 478 square meters of Lot No. 1528 and fixed it pursuant to an ordinance, exercise the power of eminent
at P12,824.10 per square meter, or in the amount of domain for public use, or purpose or welfare for the benefit
P20,826,339.50. The assessment was approved as the just of the poor and the landless, upon payment of just
compensation thereof by the trial court in its Order of 27 December compensation, pursuant to the provisions of the Constitution
1996. Accordingly, the dispositive portion of the decision was and pertinent laws: Provided, however, That the power of
amended to reflect the new valuation. eminent domain may not be exercised unless a valid and
Petitioner elevated the case to the Court of Appeals, which definite offer has been previously made to the owner, and
docketed the case as CA-G.R. CV No. 59204. Petitioner alleged that such offer was not accepted: Provided, further, That the
the lower court erred in fixing the amount of just compensation at local government unit may immediately take possession of
P20,826,339.50. The just compensation should be based on the the property upon the filing of the expropriation proceedings
prevailing market price of the property at the commencement of and upon making a deposit with the proper court of at least
the expropriation proceedings. CA Affirmed RTC. fifteen percent (15%) of the fair market value of the
property based on the current tax declaration of the
Issue: WON just compensation should be determined as of the date property to be expropriated: Provided finally, That, the
of the filing of the complaint. It asserts that it should be, which in amount to be paid for the expropriated property shall be
this case should be 17 September 1993 and not at the time the determined by the proper court, based on the fair market
property was actually taken in 1994, pursuant to the decision in value at the time of the taking of the property.
NPC vs. CA  NPC Ruling misread! We did not categorically rule in that
 Dedamos: Court of Appeals did not err in affirming the case that just compensation should be determined as of the
decision of the trial court because (1) the trial court decided filing of the complaint. We explicitly stated therein that
the case on the basis of the agreement of the parties that although the general rule in determining just compensation
just compensation shall be fixed by commissioners in eminent domain is the value of the property as of the
appointed by the court; (2) petitioner did not interpose any date of the filing of the complaint, the rule "admits of an
serious objection to the commissioners' report of 12 August exception: where this Court fixed the value of the property
1996 fixing the just compensation of the 1,624-square as of the date it was taken and not at the date of the
meter lot at P20,826,339.50; hence, it was estopped from commencement of the expropriation proceedings." Also, the
attacking the report on which the decision was based; and trial court followed the then governing procedural law on the
(3) the determined just compensation fixed is even lower matter, which was Section 5 of Rule 67 of the Rules of Court,
than the actual value of the property at the time of the which provided as follows: SEC. 5. Ascertainment of
actual taking in 1994. compensation. – Upon the entry of the order of
 Eminent domain is a fundamental State power that is condemnation, the court shall appoint not more than three
inseparable from sovereignty. It is the Government's right to (3) competent and disinterested persons as commissioners
appropriate, in the nature of a compulsory sale to the State, to ascertain and report to the court the just compensation
private property for public use or purpose.9 However, the for the property sought to be taken. The order of
Government must pay the owner thereof just compensation appointment shall designate the time and place of the first
as consideration therefor. In the case at bar, the applicable session of the hearing to be held by the commissioners and
law as to the point of reckoning for the determination of just specify the time within which their report is to be filed with
compensation is Section 19 of R.A. No. 7160, which the court.
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 More than anything else, the parties, by a solemn document given copies of the approved Ordinance and were informed that it
freely and voluntarily agreed upon by them, agreed to be shall be enforced in January, 1998. On December 8, 1997, the
bound by the report of the commission and approved by the petitioner’s President filed an appeal with the Secretary of Justice
trial court. The agreement is a contract between the parties. assailing the constitutionality of the tax ordinance. Petitioner
It has the force of law between them and should be claimed it was unaware of the posting of the ordinance.
complied with in good faith. Article 1159 and 1315 of the Respondent opposed the appeal. It contended that the ordinance
Civil Code explicitly provides: Art. 1159. Obligations arising took effect on October 6, 1996 and that the ordinance, as
from contracts have the force of law between the approved, was posted as required by law. Hence, it was pointed
contracting parties and should be complied with in good out that petitioner’s appeal, made over a year later, was already
faith. Art. 1315. Contracts are perfected by mere consent, time-barred.
and from that moment the parties are bound not only to the The Secretary of Justice dismissed the appeal on the ground that it
fulfillment of what has been expressly stipulated but also to was filed out of time, i.e., beyond 30 days from the effectivity of
all the consequences which, according to their nature, may the Ordinance on October 1, 1996, as prescribed under Section 187
be in keeping with good faith, usage and law. of the 1991 LGC. Citing the case of Tañada vs. Tuvera, the
 Furthermore, during the hearing on 22 November 1996, Secretary of Justice held that the date of effectivity of the subject
petitioner did not interpose a serious objection. It is ordinance retroacted to the date of its approval in October 1996,
therefore too late for petitioner to question the valuation after the required publication or posting has been complied with,
now without violating the principle of equitable estoppel. pursuant to Section 3 of said ordinance. After its motion for
Estoppel in pais arises when one, by his acts, reconsideration was denied, petitioner appealed to the Court of
representations or admissions, or by his own silence when Appeals. Petitioner did not assail the finding of the Secretary of
he ought to speak out, intentionally or through culpable Justice that their appeal was filed beyond the reglementary period.
negligence, induces another to believe certain facts to exist Instead, it urged that the Secretary of Justice should have
and such other rightfully relies and acts on such belief, so overlooked this “mere technicality” and ruled on its petition on the
that he will be prejudiced if the former is permitted to deny merits. Unfortunately, its petition for review was dismissed by the
the existence of such facts. Records show that petitioner Court of Appeals for being formally deficient as it was not
consented to conform with the valuation recommended by accompanied by certified true copies of the assailed Resolutions of
the commissioners. It cannot detract from its agreement the Secretary of Justice.
now and assail correctness of the commissioners' Undaunted, the petitioner moved for reconsideration but it was
assessment. denied.
 Finally, while Section 4, Rule 67 of the Rules of Court
provides that just compensation shall be determined at the Issues: 1. WON the CA was correct in dismissing the petition for
time of the filing of the complaint for expropriation, such law review for petitioner’s failure to attach certified true copies of the
cannot prevail over R.A. 7160, which is a substantive law. assailed Resolutions of the Secretary of Justice. YES.
 In its Motion for Reconsideration before the Court of
Hagonoy Market Vendors Ass’n v. Municipality of Hagonoy Appeals, the petitioner satisfactorily explained the
circumstances relative to its failure to attach to its appeal
Facts: On October 1, 1996, the Sangguniang Bayan of Hagonoy, certified true copies of the assailed Resolutions of the
Bulacan, enacted an ordinance, Kautusan Blg. 28, which increased Secretary of Justice, thus: during the preparation of the
the stall rentals of the market vendors in Hagonoy. Article 3 petition on October 21, 1998, it was raining very hard due to
provided that it shall take effect upon approval. The subject (t)yphoon “Loleng.” When the petition was completed, copy
ordinance was posted from November 4-25, 1996. In the last week was served on the Department of Justice at about (sic) past
of November, 1997, the petitioner’s members were personally 4:00 p.m. of October 21, 1998, with (the) instruction to have
Mabelle O. Nebres | Local Governments Case Digests

the Resolutions of the Department of Justice be stamped as decision within sixty (60) days from the receipt of
“certified true copies. However, due to bad weather, the the appeal: Provided, however, That such appeal
person in charge (at the Department of Justice) was no shall not have the effect of suspending the
longer available to certify to (sic) the Resolutions. “The effectivity of the ordinance and accrual and
following day, October 22, 1998, was declared a non- payment of the tax, fee or charge levied therein:
working holiday because of (t)yphoon “Loleng.” Thus, Provided, finally, That within thirty (30) days after
petitioner was again unable to have the Resolutions of the receipt of the decision or the lapse of the sixty-day
Department of Justice stamped “certified true copies.” In period without the Secretary of Justice acting upon
the morning of October 23, 1998, due to time constraint(s) , the appeal, the aggrieved party may file appropriate
herein counsel served a copy by personal service on proceedings.
(r)espondent’s lawyer at (sic) Malolos, Bulacan, despite the  The aforecited law requires that an appeal of a tax
flooded roads and heavy rains. However, as the herein ordinance or revenue measure should be made to
counsel went back to Manila, (official business in) the Secretary of Justice within thirty (30) days from
government offices were suspended in the afternoon and effectivity of the ordinance and even during its
the personnel of the Department of Justice tasked with pendency, the effectivity of the assailed ordinance
issuing or stamping “certified true copies” of their shall not be suspended. In the case at bar,
Resolutions were no longer available. “To avoid being time- Municipal Ordinance No. 28 took effect in October
barred in the filing of the (p)etition, the same was filed with 1996. Petitioner filed its appeal only in December
the Court of Appeals “as is.” 1997, more than a year after the effectivity of the
 CA erred in dismissing petitioner’s appeal on the ground ordinance in 1996. Clearly, the Secretary of Justice
that it was formally deficient. It is clear from the records correctly dismissed it for being time-barred. At this
that the petitioner exerted due diligence to get the copies of point, it is apropos to state that the timeframe fixed
its appealed Resolutions certified by the Department of by law for parties to avail of their legal remedies
Justice, but failed to do so on account of typhoon “Loleng.” before competent courts is not a “mere technicality”
Under the circumstances, respondent appellate court should that can be easily brushed aside. The periods
have tempered its strict application of procedural rules in stated in Section 187 of the LGC are mandatory.
view of the fortuitous event considering that litigation is not Ordinance No. 28 is a revenue measure adopted by
a game of technicalities the municipality of Hagonoy to fix and collect public
2. WON the appeal was time-barred. YES. market stall rentals. Being its lifeblood, collection of
 The applicable law is Section 187 of the 1991 LGC revenues by the government is of paramount
which provides: “SEC. 187. Procedure for Approval importance. The funds for the operation of its
and Effectivity of Tax Ordinances and Revenue agencies and provision of basic services to its
Measures; Mandatory Public Hearings. - The inhabitants are largely derived from its revenues
procedure for the approval of local tax ordinances and collections. Thus, it is essential that the validity
and revenue measures shall be in accordance with of revenue measures is not left uncertain for a
the provisions of this Code: Provided, That public considerable length of time. Hence, the law
hearings shall be conducted for the purpose prior to provided a time limit for an aggrieved party to assail
the enactment thereof: Provided, further, That any the legality of revenue measures and tax
question on the constitutionality or legality of tax ordinances.
ordinances or revenue measures may be raised on 2. WON the period to appeal should be counted not from the
appeal within thirty (30) days from the effectivity time the ordinance took effect in 1996 but from the time its
thereof to the Secretary of Justice who shall render a
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members were personally given copies of the approved Tax Ordinance and Revenue Measures. Within ten
ordinance in November 1997. NO (10) days after their approval, certified true copies
 Petitioner insists that it was unaware of the approval of all provincial, city, and municipal tax ordinances
and effectivity of the subject ordinance in 1996 on or revenue measures shall be published in full for
two (2) grounds: first, no public hearing was three (3) consecutive days in a newspaper of local
conducted prior to the passage of the ordinance circulation; Provided, however, That in provinces,
and, second, the approved ordinance was not cities and municipalities where there are no
posted. newspapers of local circulation, the same may be
 Petitioner’s bold assertion that there was no public posted in at least two (2) conspicuous and publicly
hearing conducted prior to the passage of Kautusan accessible places.”
Blg. 28 is belied by its own evidence. In petitioner’s  Sangguniang Bayan of the Municipality of Hagonoy,
two (2) communications with the Secretary of Bulacan, presented evidence which clearly shows
Justice, it enumerated the various objections raised that the procedure for the enactment of the assailed
by its members before the passage of the ordinance ordinance was complied with. Municipal Ordinance
in several meetings called by the Sanggunian for No. 28 was enacted by the Sangguniang Bayan of
the purpose. These show beyond doubt that Hagonoy on October 1, 1996. Then Acting Municipal
petitioner was aware of the proposed increase and Mayor Maria Garcia Santos approved the Ordinance
in fact participated in the public hearings therefor. on October 7, 1996. After its approval, copies of the
The respondent municipality likewise submitted the Ordinance were given to the Municipal Treasurer on
Minutes and Report of the public hearings the same day. On November 9, 1996, the
conducted by the Sangguniang Bayan’s Committee Ordinance was approved by the Sangguniang
on Appropriations and Market on February 6, July 15 Panlalawigan. The Ordinance was posted during the
and August 19, all in 1996, for the proposed period from November 4 - 25, 1996 in three (3)
increase in the stall rentals. public places, viz: in front of the municipal building,
 Petitioner cannot gripe that there was practically no at the bulletin board of the Sta. Ana Parish Church
public hearing conducted as its objections to the and on the front door of the Office of the Market
proposed measure were not considered by the Master in the public market. Posting was validly
Sangguniang Bayan. To be sure, public hearings are made in lieu of publication as there was no
conducted by legislative bodies to allow interested newspaper of local circulation in the municipality of
parties to ventilate their views on a proposed law or Hagonoy. This fact was known to and admitted by
ordinance. These views, however, are not binding petitioner. Thus, petitioner’s ambiguous and
on the legislative body and it is not compelled by unsupported claim that it was only “sometime in
law to adopt the same. Sanggunian members are November 1997” that the Provincial Board approved
elected by the people to make laws that will Municipal Ordinance No. 28 and so the posting could
promote the general interest of their constituents. not have been made in November 1996 was
They are mandated to use their discretion and best sufficiently disproved by the positive evidence of
judgment in serving the people. Parties who respondent municipality. Given the foregoing
participate in public hearings to give their opinions circumstances, petitioner cannot validly claim lack
on a proposed ordinance should not expect that of knowledge of the approved ordinance. The filing
their views would be patronized by their lawmakers. of its appeal a year after the effectivity of the
 On the issue of publication or posting, Section 188 subject ordinance is fatal to its cause.
of the LGC provides: “Section 188. Publication of
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**Even on the substantive points raised, the petition must fail. meter or, in the alternative, to cause the return to them of the
Section 6c.04 of the 1993 Municipal Revenue Code and Section 191 expropriated property.
of the LGC limiting the percentage of increase that can be imposed Assailing the finding of prescription by the trial court, petitioner
apply to tax rates, not rentals. Neither can it be said that the rates here posited that a motion which respondents had filed on 17
were not uniformly imposed or that the public markets included in February 1984, followed up by other motions subsequent thereto,
the Ordinance were unreasonably determined or classified. To be was made within the reglementary period that thereby interrupted
sure, the Ordinance covered the three (3) concrete public markets: the 5-year prescriptive period within which to enforce the 1979
the two-storey Bagong Palengke, the burnt but reconstructed judgment. Furthermore, petitioner claimed, the receipt by
Lumang Palengke and the more recent Lumang Palengke with wet respondents of partial compensation in the sum of P72,683.55 on
market. However, the Palengkeng Bagong Munisipyo or Gabaldon 23 July 1984 constituted partial compliance on the part of
was excluded from the increase in rentals as it is only a makeshift, petitioners and effectively estopped respondents from invoking
dilapidated place, with no doors or protection for security, intended prescription expressed in Section 6, Rule 39, of the Rules of Court.
for transient peddlers who used to sell their goods along the In opposing the petition, respondents advanced the view that
sidewalk. pursuant to Section 6, Rule 39, of the Rules of Court, the failure of
petitioner to execute the judgment, dated 26 February 1979, within
Republic v. CA five years after it had become final and executory, rendered it
unenforceable by mere motion. The motion for payment, dated 09
Facts: Petitioner instituted expropriation proceedings covering May 1984, as well as the subsequent disbursement to them of the
contiguous land situated along MacArthur Highway, Malolos, sum of P72,683.55 by the provincial treasurer of Bulacan, could not
Bulacan, to be utilized for the continued broadcast operation and be considered as having interrupted the five-year period, since a
use of radio transmitter facilities for the “Voice of the Philippines” motion, to be considered otherwise, should instead be made by the
project. Petitioner, through the Philippine Information Agency, took prevailing party, in this case by petitioner. Respondents maintained
over the premises after the previous lessee, the “Voice of that the P72,683.55 paid to them by the provincial treasurer of
America,” had ceased its operations thereat. The national Bulacan pursuant to the 1984 order of the trial court was part of
government failed to pay to herein respondents the compensation the initial deposit made by petitioner when it first entered
pursuant to the foregoing decision, such that a little over five years possession of the property in 1969 and should not be so regarded
later, respondents filed a manifestation with a motion seeking as a partial payment. Respondents further questioned the right of
payment for the expropriated property. In the meantime, President PIA to transfer ownership of a portion of the property to the
Estrada issued Proclamation No. 22, transferring 20 hectares of the Bulacan State University even while the just compensation due the
expropriated property to the Bulacan State University for the heirs had yet to be finally settled.
expansion of its facilities and another 5 hectares to be used
exclusively for the propagation of the Philippine carabao. The Issue: WON the expropriated property may be returned. NO.
remaining portion was retained by the PIA. The Santos heirs  The right of eminent domain is usually understood
remained unpaid, and no action was taken on their case until to be an ultimate right of the sovereign power to
petitioner filed its manifestation and motion to permit the deposit appropriate any property within its territorial
in court of the amount of P4,664,000.00 by way of just sovereignty for a public purpose. Fundamental to
compensation for the expropriated property of the late Luis Santos the independent existence of a State, it requires no
subject to such final computation as might be approved by the recognition by the Constitution, whose provisions
court. This time, the Santos heirs, opposing the manifestation and are taken as being merely confirmatory of its
motion, submitted a counter-motion to adjust the compensation presence and as being regulatory, at most, in the
from P6.00 per square meter previously fixed in the 1979 decision due exercise of the power. In the hands of the
to its current zonal valuation pegged at P5,000.00 per square legislature, the power is inherent, its scope
Mabelle O. Nebres | Local Governments Case Digests

matching that of taxation, even that of police power line with the requirements of public purpose.
itself, in many respects. It reaches to every form of Respondents question the public nature of the
property the State needs for public use and, as an utilization by petitioner of the condemned property,
old case so puts it, all separate interests of pointing out that its present use differs from the
individuals in property are held under a tacit purpose originally contemplated in the 1969
agreement or implied reservation vesting upon the expropriation proceedings. The argument is of no
sovereign the right to resume the possession of the moment. The property has assumed a public
property whenever the public interest so requires it. character upon its expropriation. Surely, petitioner,
 The ubiquitous character of eminent domain is as the condemnor and as the owner of the property,
manifest in the nature of the expropriation is well within its rights to alter and decide the use of
proceedings. Expropriation proceedings are not that property, the only limitation being that it be for
adversarial in the conventional sense, for the public use, which, decidedly, it is.
condemning authority is not required to assert any  In insisting on the return of the expropriated
conflicting interest in the property. Thus, by filing property, respondents would exhort on the
the action, the condemnor in effect merely serves pronouncement in Provincial Government of
notice that it is taking title and possession of the Sorsogon vs. Vda. de Villaroya where the unpaid
property, and the defendant asserts title or interest landowners were allowed the alternative remedy of
in the property, not to prove a right to possession, recovery of the property there in question. It might
but to prove a right to compensation for the taking. be borne in mind that the case involved the
 Obviously, however, the power is not without its municipal government of Sorsogon, to which the
limits: first, the taking must be for public use, and power of eminent domain is not inherent, but
second, that just compensation must be given to the merely delegated and of limited application. The
private owner of the property. These twin grant of the power of eminent domain to local
proscriptions have their origin in the recognition of governments under Republic Act No. 7160 cannot
the necessity for achieving balance between the be understood as being the pervasive and all-
State interests, on the one hand, and private rights, encompassing power vested in the legislative
upon the other hand, by effectively restraining the branch of government. For local governments to be
former and affording protection to the latter. In able to wield the power, it must, by enabling law, be
determining “public use,” two approaches are delegated to it by the national legislature, but even
utilized - the first is public employment or the actual then, this delegated power of eminent domain is
use by the public, and the second is public not, strictly speaking, a power of eminent, but only
advantage or benefit. It is also useful to view the of inferior, domain or only as broad or confined as
matter as being subject to constant growth, which is the real authority would want it to be.
to say that as society advances, its demands upon  The exercise of such rights vested to it as the
the individual so increases, and each demand is a condemnee indeed has amounted to at least a
new use to which the resources of the individual partial compliance or satisfaction of the 1979
may be devoted. judgment, thereby preempting any claim of bar by
 The expropriated property has been shown to be for prescription on grounds of non-execution. In arguing
the continued utilization by the PIA, a significant for the return of their property on the basis of non-
portion thereof being ceded for the expansion of the payment, respondents ignore the fact that the right
facilities of the Bulacan State University and for the of the expropriatory authority is far from that of an
propagation of the Philippine carabao, themselves in unpaid seller in ordinary sales, to which the remedy
Mabelle O. Nebres | Local Governments Case Digests

of rescission might perhaps apply. An in rem  A city, like Zamboanga, may impose, in lieu of the
proceeding, condemnation acts upon the property. graduated fixed tax prescribed under Section 19 of
After condemnation, the paramount title is in the the Local Tax Code, a percentage tax on the gross
public under a new and independent title; thus, by sales for the preceding calendar year of non-
giving notice to all claimants to a disputed title, essential commodities at the rate of not exceeding
condemnation proceedings provide a judicial two per cent and on the gross sales of essential
process for securing better title against all the world commodities at the rate of not exceeding one per
than may be obtained by voluntary conveyance. cent.
 Private respondents, although not entitled to the  The Ordinance is ultra vires as it is not within the
return of the expropriated property, deserve to be authority of the City to impose said tax. The
paid promptly on the yet unpaid award of just authority of the City is limited to the imposition of a
compensation already fixed by final judgment of the percentage tax on the gross sales or receipts of said
Bulacan RTC on 26 February 1979 at P6.00 per product which, being non-essential, shall be at the
square meter, with legal interest thereon at 12% per rate of not exceeding 2% of the gross sales or
annum computed from the date of "taking" of the receipts of the softdrinks for the preceding calendar
property, i.e., 19 September 1969 (institution of year. The tax being imposed under said Ordinance is
condemnation proceedings) , until the due amount based on the output or production and not on the
shall have been fully paid. gross sales or receipts as authorized under the Local
Tax Code.
 Even if the Secretary of Finance failed to review or
act on the Ordinance within the prescribed period of
120 days it does not follow as a legal consequence
thereof that an otherwise invalid ordinance is
thereby validated.
 Much less can it be interpreted to mean that the
Secretary of Finance can no longer act by
Estanislao v. Costales suspending and/or revoking an invalid ordinance
even after the lapse of the 120-day period. All that
Facts: The Sangguniang Panglunsod of Zamboanga City passed the law says is that after said period, the tax
Ordinance No. 44 which imposes a P0.01 tax per liter of softdrinks ordinance shall remain in force. The prescribed
produced, manufactured, and/or bottled within the city. The period for review is only directory and the Secretary
Minister of Finance sent a letter to the Sanggunian suspending the of Finance may still review the ordinance and act
effectivity of the Ordinance on the ground that it contravenes Sec accordingly even after the lapse of the said period
19 (a) of the Local Tax Code. Zamboanga appealed the suspension provided he acts within a reasonable time.
in the RTC.  Consequently even after the prescribed period has
RTC: the tax imposed by the Ordinance is not among those that the lapsed, should the Secretary of Finance, upon
Sanggunian may impose under the Local Tax Code, but upheld its review, find that the tax or fee levied or imposed is
validity saying that the Finance Minister did not act on it w/in 120 unjust, excessive, oppressive, confiscatory, or not
days from receipt of the petition. among those that the particular local government
Finance Secretary appealed. may impose in the exercise of its power in
accordance with this Code; or when the tax
Issue: WON Ordinance 44 is valid. NO. ordinance is, in whole or in part, contrary to the
Mabelle O. Nebres | Local Governments Case Digests

declared national economic policy; or when the storage permit fee for flammable, combustible, or explosive
ordinance is discriminatory in nature on the conduct substances
of business or calling or in restraint of trade, the On April 13, 1974, P.D. 436 was promulgated increasing the
Secretary of Finance may certainly suspend the specific tax on lubricating oils, gasoline, bunker fuel oil, diesel fuel
effectivity of such ordinance and revoke the same, oil and other similar petroleum products levied under Sections 142,
without prejudice to the right to appeal to the courts 144 and 145 of the NIRC, as amended, and granting provinces,
within 30 days after receipt of the notice of cities and municipalities certain shares in the specific tax on such
suspension. The same rule should apply to the products in lieu of local taxes imposed on petroleum products.
provincial and city treasurers, as the case may be, The questioned Municipal Tax Ordinance No. 1 was reviewed and
under Section 44 of the Local Tax Code. approved by the Provincial Treasurer of Rizal on January 13, 1975
 Ordinance No. 44: null and void. Any taxes paid (Rollo, p. 143), but was not implemented and/or enforced by the
under protest thereunder should be accordingly Municipality of Pililla because of its having been suspended up to
refunded to the taxpayers concerned. now in view of Provincial Circular Nos. 26-73 and 26 A-73.
Provincial Circular No. 6-77 dated March 13, 1977 was also issued
Philippine Petroleum Corporation v. Municipality of Pililia directing all city and municipal treasurers to refrain from collecting
the so-called storage fee on flammable or combustible materials
Facts: PPC is engaged in the manufacture of lubricated oil imposed under the local tax ordinance of their respective locality,
basestock which is a petroleum product with its refinery plant in said fee partaking of the nature of a strictly revenue measure or
Malaya, Pililia, Rizal. Sec. 142 (NIRC of 1939): Manufactured oils service charge. On June 3, 1977, P.D. 1158 otherwise known as the
and other fuels are subject to specific tax. PD 231: Local Tax Code: NIRC of 1977 was enacted, Section 153 of which specifically
Municipality may impose taxes on business, except those for which imposes specific tax on refined and manufactured mineral oils and
fixed taxes are provided on manufacturers, importers or producers motor fuels.
of any article of commerce of whatever kind or nature, including Enforcing the provisions of the above-mentioned ordinance, the
brewers, distillers, rectifiers, and compounders of liquors, distilled respondent filed a complaint against PPC for the collection of the
spirits, and/ or wines. Finance Secretary issued Provincial Circular business tax from 1979 to 1986; storage permit fees from 1975 to
No. 26-73 which directed all LGU treasurers to refrain from 1986; mayor's permit and sanitary inspection fees from 1975 to
collecting any local tax imposed in old or new ordinances in the 1984. PPC, however, have already paid the last-named fees starting
business of manufacturing, wholesaling, retailing or dealing in 1985.
petroleum products subject to specific tax under the NIRC; and RTC: PPC to pay business tax, storage permit fee, mayor’s permit
Provincial Circular No. 26 A-73: Instructed treasurers to stop fee, sanitary inspection fee, as well as costs of suit. MR denied.
collecting any local tax imposed on the businesses of
manufacturing, wholesaling, retailing, or dealing in, petroleum Issue: WON PPC whose oil products are subject to specific tax under
products subject to the specific tax under the NIRC pursuant to the NIRC, is still liable to pay tax on business and storage fees, and
ordinances enacted before or after the effectivity of the Local Tax mayor's permit and sanitary inspection fee unto Pililla based on
Code on 1 July 1973. Municipality of Pililia imposed Municipal Tax Municipal Ordinance No. 1.
Ordinance No. 1 (Pililia Tax Code) Sec 9&10 imposed a tax on  PPC: (a) Provincial Circular No. 2673 declared as
business, except for those which fixed taxes are provided in the contrary to national economic policy the imposition
LTC on manufacturers, importers or producers of any article of of local taxes on the manufacture of petroleum
commerce of whatever kind or nature, including brewers, distillers, products as they are already subject to specific tax
rectifiers, and compounders of liquors, distilled spirits, and/ or under the NIRC; (b) the above declaration covers
wines as well as mayor’s permit, sanitary inspection fee and not only old tax ordinances but new ones, as well as
those which may be enacted in the future; (c) both
Mabelle O. Nebres | Local Governments Case Digests

Provincial Circulars (PC) 26-73 and 26 A-73 are still 231. That intention to terminate is very apparent
effective, hence, unless and until revoked, any effort and in fact it is expressed in clear and unequivocal
on the part of the respondent to collect the terms in the effectivity and repealing clause of P.D.
suspended tax on business from the petitioner 426
would be illegal and unauthorized; and (d) Section 2  Furthermore, while Section 2 of P.D. 436 prohibits
of P.D. 436 prohibits the imposition of local taxes on the imposition of local taxes on petroleum products,
petroleum products. PC No. 26-73 and PC No. 26 A- said decree did not amend Sections 19 and 19 (a) of
73 suspended the effectivity of local tax ordinances P.D. 231 as amended by P.D. 426, wherein the
imposing a tax on business under Section 19 (a) of municipality is granted the right to levy taxes on
the Local Tax Code (P.D. No. 231), with regard to business of manufacturers, importers, producers of
manufacturers, retailers, wholesalers or dealers in any article of commerce of whatever kind or nature.
petroleum products subject to the specific tax under A tax on business is distinct from a tax on the article
the NIRC NIRC, in view of Section 22 (b) of the Code itself. Thus, if the imposition of tax on business of
regarding non-imposition by municipalities of taxes manufacturers, etc. in petroleum products
on articles, subject to specific tax under the contravenets a declared national policy, it should
provisions of the NIRC. have been expressly stated in P.D. No. 436.
 There is no question that Pililla's Municipal Tax  The exercise by local governments of the power to
Ordinance No. 1 imposing the assailed taxes, fees tax is ordained by the present Constitution. To allow
and charges is valid especially Section 9 (A) which the continuous effectivity of the prohibition set forth
according to the trial court "was lifted in toto and/or in PC No. 26-73 (1) would be tantamount to
is a literal reproduction of Section 19 (a) of the Local restricting their power to tax by mere administrative
Tax Code as amended by P.D. No. 426." It conforms issuances. Under Section 5, Article X of the 1987
with the mandate of said law. But P.D. No. 426 Constitution, only guidelines and limitations that
amending the Local Tax Code is deemed to have may be established by Congress can define and
repealed Provincial Circular Nos. 26-73 and 26 A-73 limit such power of local governments. Thus:
issued by the Secretary of Finance when Sections 19  Each local government unit shall have the power to
and 19 (a), were carried over into P.D. No. 426 and create its own sources of revenues and to levy
no exemptions were given to manufacturers, taxes, fees, and charges subject to such guidelines
wholesalers, retailers, or dealers in petroleum and limitations as the Congress may provide,
products. consistent with the basic policy of local autonomy . .
 Well-settled is the rule that administrative .
regulations must be in harmony with the provisions  Provincial Circular No. 6-77 enjoining all city and
of the law. In case of discrepancy between the basic municipal treasurers to refrain from collecting the
law and an implementing rule or regulation, the so-called storage fee on flammable or combustible
former prevails. As aptly held by the court a quo: materials imposed in the local tax ordinance of their
Necessarily, there could not be any other logical respective locality frees petitioner PPC from the
conclusion than that the framers of P.D. No. 426 payment of storage permit fee.
really and actually intended to terminate the  The storage permit fee being imposed by Pililla's tax
effectivity and/or enforceability of Provincial ordinance is a fee for the installation and keeping in
Circulars Nos. 26-73 and 26 A-73 inasmuch as storage of any flammable, combustible or explosive
clearly these circulars are in contravention with Sec. substances. Inasmuch as said storage makes use of
19 (a) of P.D. 426-the amendatory law to P.D. No. tanks owned not by the municipality of Pililla, but by
Mabelle O. Nebres | Local Governments Case Digests

petitioner PPC, same is obviously not a charge for paid by PPC (for the storage tanks are owned by PPC
any service rendered by the municipality as what is and not by the municipality, and therefore cannot
envisioned in Section 37 of the same Code. be a charge for service by the municipality), the
 Section 10 (z) (13) of Pililla's Municipal Tax assailed DECISION is hereby AFFIRMED.
Ordinance No. 1 prescribing a permit fee is a permit
fee allowed under Section 36 of the amended Code.
 As to the authority of the mayor to waive payment Floro Cement Corp. v. Gorospe
of the mayor's permit and sanitary inspection fees,
the trial court did not err in holding that "since the Facts: Municipality of Lugait, Misamis Oriental filed a complaint for
power to tax includes the power to exempt thereof collection of manufacturer’s and exporter’s taxes plus surcharges
which is essentially a legislative prerogative, it against Floro Cement Corporation. Lugait based it on Municipal
follows that a municipal mayor who is an executive Ordinance No. 5 (Municipal Revenue Code), passed pursuant to PD
officer may not unilaterally withdraw such an 231; and Ordinance No. 10.
expression of a policy thru the enactment of a tax." Floro’s defense: not liable since the plaintiff’s power to levy fees on
The waiver partakes of the nature of an exemption. “Mines, Mining Corporations and Mineral Products” was limited by
It is an ancient rule that exemptions from taxation Sec. 52 of PD 463, and that it was granted by the Secretary of
are construed in strictissimi juris against the Agriculture and Natural Resources a certificate of tax exemption for
taxpayer and liberally in favor of the taxing a period of 5 years, which covers all taxes except income tax.
authority. Tax exemptions are looked upon with
disfavor. Thus, in the absence of a clear and express Issues: 1. WON cement is a mineral product. NO.
exemption from the payment of said fees, the  this Court has consistently held that it is not a
waiver cannot be recognized. As already stated, it is mineral product but rather a manufactured product.
the law-making body, and not an executive like the While cement is composed of 80% minerals, it is not
mayor, who can make an exemption. Under Section merely an admixture or blending of raw materials,
36 of the Code, a permit fee like the mayor's permit, as lime, silica, shale and others. It is the result of a
shall be required before any individual or juridical definite process-the crushing of minerals, grinding,
entity shall engage in any business or occupation mixing, calcining adding of retarder or raw gypsum
under the provisions of the Code. In short, before cement reaches its saleable form,
 However, since the Local Tax Code does not provide the minerals had already undergone a chemical
the prescriptive period for collection of local taxes, change through manufacturing process.
Article 1143 of the Civil Code applies. Said law 2. WON PPC may claim exemption from paying manufacturer’s
provides that an action upon an obligation created and exporter’s taxes. NO.
by law prescribes within ten (10) years from the  the power of taxation is a high prerogative of
time the right of action accrues. The Municipality of sovereignty, the relinquishment is never presumed
Pililla can therefore enforce the collection of the tax and any reduction or diminution thereof with
on business of petitioner PPC due from 1976 to respect to its mode or its rate, must be strictly
1986, and NOT the tax that had accrued prior to construed, and the same must be coached in clear
1976. and unmistakable terms in order that it may be
 PREMISES CONSIDERED, with the MODIFICATION applied. More specifically stated, the general rule is
that business taxes accruing PRIOR to 1976 are not that any claim for exemption from the tax statute
to be paid by PPC (because the same have should be strictly construed against the taxpayer.
prescribed) and that storage fees are not also to be He who claims an exemption must be able to point
Mabelle O. Nebres | Local Governments Case Digests

out some provision of law creating the right; it payment through postal money order. His payment was returned
cannot be allowed to exist upon a mere vague on the ground that he failed to comply with Res 9. Jurado filed a
implication or inference. It must be shown special civil action for mandamus w/ damages to compel the
indubitably to exist, for every presumption is issuance of the mayor’s permit and license and a petition for
against it, and a well-founded doubt is fatal to the declaratory judgment against Res 9 and the implementing
claim. The petitioner failed to meet this agreement for being illegal either as a donation/tax measure
requirement. RTC: Upheld Res 9 and implementing agreement, and dismissed
 As held by the lower court, the exemption claims for damages
mentioned in Sec. 52 of P.D. No. 463 refers only to CA: Affirmed validity of Res 9 and implementing agreement, but
machineries, equipment, tools for production, etc., found Mayor Tuzon and Treasurer Mapagu to have acted
as provided in Sec. 53 of the same decree. The maliciously and in bad faith when they denied Jurado’s application.
manufacture and the export of cement does not fall
under the said provision for it is not a mineral Issue: WON the tax measure contravenes the limitations on the
product. It is not cement that is mined only the taxing powers of LGUs under Sec 5 of the LGC.
mineral products composing the finished product.  SC will not rule on validity of Res 9 and the
 Furthermore, by the parties' own stipulation of facts implementing agreement because the issue has not
submitted before the court a quo, it is admitted that been raised as an assigned error.
Floro Cement Corporation is engaged in the  However, it observes that that CA said no more than
manufacturing and selling, including exporting of Res 9 was passed by the Sangguniang Bayan in the
cement. As such, and since the taxes sought to be lawful exercise of its legislative powers in pursuance
collected were levied on these activities pursuant to to (1) Art. XI, Sec. 5 1973 Consti “subject to such
Sec. 19 of P.D. No. 231, Ordinances Nos. 5 and 10, limitation as may be provided by law” and (2) Art. 4,
which were enacted pursuant to P.D. No. 231 and Sec. 29 of PD 231 “…the barrio council may solicit
P.D. No. 426, respectively, properly apply to monies, materials, and other contributions from …
petitioner Floro Cement Corporation. private agencies and individuals”. The SC said that
this was an oversimplification. The CA failed to offer
Tuzon and Mapagu v. CA any explanation for its conclusion nor does it discuss
its own concept of the nature of the resolution.
Facts: The Sangguniang Bayan of Camalaniugan, Cagayan adopted  If Res. 9 is claimed to be a “solicitation”:
Resolution No. 9 which solicits a 1% donation from thresher Implementing agreement makes the
operators who apply for a “permit to thresh” within the “donation”obligatory and a condition precedent to
municipality’s jurisdiction to help finance the construction of the the issuance of a mayor’s permit. Therefore, it goes
municipality’s Sports and Nutrition Center. Such 1% shall come against the nature of a donation.
from the value of the palay threshed by them in the area. To  If it is to be considered as a tax ordinance, it must
implement the resolution, Municipal Treasurer Mapagu prepared an be shown to have been enacted in accordance with
agreement to donate for signature of all thresher/owner/ operators the requirements of the Local Tax Code. It would
applying for a mayor’s permit. Jurado sent his agent to the include the holding of a public hearing on the
Treasurer’s office to pay the license fee for thresher operators. measure, its subsequent approval by the Secretary
Mapagu refused to accept payment and required Jurado to first of Finance, in addition to the requisites for
secure a mayor’s permit. Mayor Tuzon said that Jurado should first publication of ordinances in general
comply with Res 9 and sign the agreement before the permit could
be issued. Jurado ignored the requirement and sent his license fee
Mabelle O. Nebres | Local Governments Case Digests

Drilon v. Lim a basis for its annulment. He did not say that in his
judgment it was a bad law. What he found only was
Facts: Pursuant to Sec 187, LGC1, the Secretary of Justice had, on that it was illegal. All he did in reviewing the said
appeal to him of four oil companies and a taxpayer, declared measure was determine if the petitioners were
Ordinance No. 7794, otherwise known as the Manila Revenue Code, performing their functions in accordance with law,
null and void for non-compliance with the prescribed procedure in that is, with the prescribed procedure for the
the enactment of tax ordinances and for containing certain enactment of tax ordinances and the grant of
provisions contrary to law and public policy. In Manila’s petition for powers to the city government under the LGC. As
certiorari, the Manila RTC sustained the ordinance. It also declared we see it, that was an act not of control but of mere
Section 187 of the LGC as unconstitutional since it vests in the supervision.
Justice Secretary the power of control over LGUs in violation of the  An officer in control lays down the rules in the doing
policy of local autonomy mandated in the Constitution. of an act. If they are not followed, he may, in his
Justice Secretary: It is constitutional and the procedural discretion, order the act undone or re-done by his
requirements for the enactment of tax ordinances as specified in subordinate or he may even decide to do it himself.
the LGC had indeed not been observed. Supervision does not cover such authority. The
supervisor or superintendent merely sees to it that
Issue: WON Sec 187 of the LGC is constitutional. YES. the rules are followed, but he himself does not lay
 Section 187 authorizes the Secretary of Justice to down such rules, nor does he have the discretion to
review only the constitutionality or legality of the modify or replace them. If the rules are not
tax ordinance and, if warranted, to revoke it on observed, he may order the work done or re-done
either or both of these grounds. When he alters or but only to conform to the prescribed rules. He may
modifies or sets aside a tax ordinance, he is not also not prescribe his own manner for the doing of the
permitted to substitute his own judgment for the act. He has no judgment on this matter except to
judgment of the local government that enacted the see to it that the rules are followed. In the opinion of
measure. Secretary Drilon did set aside the Manila the Court, Secretary Drilon did precisely this, and no
Revenue Code, but he did not replace it with his more nor less than this, and so performed an act not
own version of what the Code should be. He did not of control but of mere supervision.
pronounce the ordinance unwise or unreasonable as  Taule v. Santos cited in the decision has no
application here because the jurisdiction claimed by
the Secretary of Local Governments over election
1 Procedure For Approval And Effectivity Of Tax Ordinances And Revenue Measures;
Mandatory Public Hearings. — The procedure for approval of local tax ordinances
contests in the Katipunan ng Mga Barangay was
and revenue measures shall be in accordance with the provisions of this Code: held to belong to the Commission on Elections by
Provided, That public hearings shall be conducted for the purpose prior to the constitutional provision. The conflict was over
enactment thereof; Provided, further, That any question on the constitutionality or jurisdiction, not supervision or control.
legality of tax ordinances or revenue measures may be raised on appeal within
thirty (30) days from the effectivity thereof to the Secretary of Justice who shall
 Significantly, a rule similar to Section 187 appeared
render a decision within sixty (60) days from the date of receipt of the appeal: in the Local Autonomy Act, which provided in its
Provided, however, That such appeal shall not have the effect of suspending the Section 2 as follows: A tax ordinance shall go into
effectivity of the ordinance and the accrual and payment of the tax, fee, or charge effect on the fifteenth day after its passage, unless
levied therein: Provided, finally, That within thirty (30) days after receipt of the
decision or the lapse of the sixty-day period without the Secretary of Justice acting
the ordinance shall provide otherwise: Provided,
upon the appeal, the aggrieved party may file appropriate proceedings with a court however, That the Secretary of Finance shall have
of competent jurisdiction. authority to suspend the effectivity of any ordinance
within one hundred and twenty days after receipt by
Mabelle O. Nebres | Local Governments Case Digests

him of a copy thereof, if, in his opinion, the tax or public hearings on the proposed Manila Revenue
fee therein levied or imposed is unjust, excessive, Code that were sent to interested parties as
oppressive, or confiscatory, or when it is contrary to required by Art. 276(b) of the Implementing Rules of
declared national economy policy, and when the the LGC nor were copies of the proposed ordinance
said Secretary exercises this authority the effectivity published in three successive issues of a newspaper
of such ordinance shall be suspended, either in part of general circulation pursuant to Art. 276(a). No
or as a whole, for a period of thirty days within minutes were submitted to show that the obligatory
which period the local legislative body may either public hearings had been held. Neither were copies
modify the tax ordinance to meet the objections of the measure as approved posted in prominent
thereto, or file an appeal with a court of competent places in the city in accordance with Sec. 511(a) of
jurisdiction; otherwise, the tax ordinance or the part the LGC. Finally, the Manila Revenue Code was not
or parts thereof declared suspended, shall be translated into Pilipino or Tagalog and disseminated
considered as revoked. Thereafter, the local among the people for their information and
legislative body may not reimpose the same tax or guidance, conformably to Sec. 59(b) of the Code.
fee until such time as the grounds for the  Judge Palattao found otherwise. He declared that all
suspension thereof shall have ceased to exist. the procedural requirements had been observed in
 That section allowed the Secretary of Finance to the enactment of the Manila Revenue Code and that
suspend the effectivity of a tax ordinance if, in his the City of Manila had not been able to prove such
opinion, the tax or fee levied was unjust, excessive, compliance before the Secretary only because he
oppressive or confiscatory. Determination of these had given it only five days within which to gather
flaws would involve the exercise of judgment or and present to him all the evidence (consisting of 25
discretion and not merely an examination of exhibits) later submitted to the trial court.
whether or not the requirements or limitations of  To get to the bottom of this question, the Court
the law had been observed; hence, it would smack acceded to the motion of the respondents and
of control rather than mere supervision. That power called for the elevation to it of the said exhibits. We
was never questioned before this Court but, at any have carefully examined every one of these exhibits
rate, the Secretary of Justice is not given the same and agree with the trial court that the procedural
latitude under Section 187. All he is permitted to do requirements have indeed been observed. Notices
is ascertain the constitutionality or legality of the of the public hearings were sent to interested
tax measure, without the right to declare that, in his parties as evidenced by Exhibits G-1 to 17. The
opinion, it is unjust, excessive, oppressive or minutes of the hearings are found in Exhibits M, M-
confiscatory. He has no discretion on this matter. In 1, M-2, and M-3. Exhibits B and C show that the
fact, Secretary Drilon set aside the Manila Revenue proposed ordinances were published in the Balita
Code only on two grounds, to with, the inclusion and the Manila Standard on April 21 and 25, 1993,
therein of certain ultra vires provisions and non- respectively, and the approved ordinance was
compliance with the prescribed procedure in its published in the July 3, 4, 5, 1993 issues of the
enactment. These grounds affected the legality, not Manila Standard and in the July 6, 1993 issue of
the wisdom or reasonableness, of the tax measure. Balita, as shown by Exhibits Q, Q-1, Q-2, and Q-3.
 The issue of non-compliance with the prescribed  The only exceptions are the posting of the ordinance
procedure in the enactment of the Manila Revenue as approved but this omission does not affect its
Code is another matter. In his resolution, Secretary validity, considering that its publication in three
Drilon declared that there were no written notices of successive issues of a newspaper of general
Mabelle O. Nebres | Local Governments Case Digests

circulation will satisfy due process. It has also not same code. MCIAA paid the tax account under protest but it filed a
been shown that the text of the ordinance has been petition for declaratory relief saying that the powers of LGUs do not
translated and disseminated, but this requirement extend to the levy of taxes or fees of any kind on an
applies to the approval of local development plans instrumentality of the national government. TC: dismissed the
and public investment programs of the local petition for declaratory relief. MR denied.
government unit and not to tax ordinances. MCIAA: It is a GOCC mandated to perform functions in the same
category as an instrumentality of the government and it is an
attached agency of the DOTC. Thus, it may stand in the same
footing as an agency or instrumentality of the national government.
Hence, its tax exemption privilege under its charter cannot be
considered as withdrawn with the passage of the LGC because Sec
133 specifically states that the taxing powers of LGUs shall not
extend to the levy of taxes or fees or charges of any kind on the
national government, its agencies or instrumentalities.
Cebu has no power nor authority to impose realty taxes upon it
based on Sec 133 of the LGC, cites Basco v. PAGCOR. In relation to
Section 234, of the LGC that the legislature meant to exclude
instrumentalities of the national government from the taxing power
of the local government units.
Cebu: as local a government unit and a political subdivision, it has
the power to impose, levy, assess, and collect taxes within its
jurisdiction. Such power is guaranteed by the Constitution and
enhanced further by the LGC. While it may be true that under its
Charter MCIAA was exempt from the payment of reality taxes, this
exemption was withdrawn by Sec. 234 of the LGC. Sec. 234 does
not distinguish between GOCCs performing governmental and
purely proprietary functions.

Issue 1. WON MCIAA is exempt from paying taxes. NO.

 As a general rule, the power to tax is an incident
of sovereignty and is unlimited in its range,
Mactan Cebu International Airport Authority v. Marcos acknowledging in its very nature no limits, so that
security against its abuse is to be found only in the
Facts: MCIAA was created by RA 6958 which provided that it be responsibility of the legislature which imposes the
exempted from payment of realty taxes. The Office of the tax on the constituency who are to pay it.
Treasurer of Cebu City demanded payment for realty taxes on Nevertheless, effective limitations thereon may be
several parcels of land belonging to MCIAA. MCIAA objected, imposed by the people through their Constitutions.
claiming that it is exempt from payment of reality taxes. It also Our Constitution, for instance, provides that the rule
said that as it is an instrumentality of the government performing of taxation shall be uniform and equitable and
governmental functions, it is exempted as provided for by Sec. 133 Congress shall evolve a progressive system of
of the LGC. The City insisted that MCIAA is not tax exempt as its taxation. So potent indeed is the power that it was
exemption had been withdrawn by Sections 193 and 234 of the once opined that "the power to tax involves the
Mabelle O. Nebres | Local Governments Case Digests

power to destroy." Verily, taxation is a destructive becomes contractual and is thus covered by the
power which interferes with the personal and non-impairment clause of the Constitution.
property for the support of the government.  The LGC, enacted pursuant to Section 3, Article X of
Accordingly, tax statutes must be construed strictly the constitution provides for the exercise by local
against the government and liberally in favor of the government units of their power to tax, the scope
taxpayer. But since taxes are what we pay for thereof or its limitations, and the exemption from
civilized society, or are the lifeblood of the nation, taxation.
the law frowns against exemptions from taxation  Section 133 of the LGC prescribes the common
and statutes granting tax exemptions are thus limitations on the taxing powers of local government
construed strictissimi juris against the taxpayers units. The "taxes, fees or charges" referred to are
and liberally in favor of the taxing authority. A claim "of any kind", hence they include all of these, unless
of exemption from tax payment must be clearly otherwise provided by the LGC. The term "taxes" is
shown and based on language in the law too plain to well understood so as to need no further
be mistaken. Elsewise stated, taxation is the rule, elaboration, especially in the light of the above
exemption therefrom is the exception. However, if enumeration. The term "fees" means charges fixed
the grantee of the exemption is a political by law or Ordinance for the regulation or inspection
subdivision or instrumentality, the rigid rule of of business activity, while "charges" are pecuniary
construction does not apply because the practical liabilities such as rents or fees against person or
effect of the exemption is merely to reduce the property.
amount of money that has to be handled by the  Among the "taxes" enumerated in the LGC is real
government in the course of its operations. property tax, which is governed by Section 232.
 The power to tax is primarily vested in the Section 234 of LGC provides for the exemptions
Congress; however, in our jurisdiction, it may be from payment of real property taxes and withdraws
exercised by local legislative bodies, no longer previous exemptions therefrom granted to natural
merely by virtue of a valid delegation as before, but and juridical persons, including government owned
pursuant to direct authority conferred by Section 5, and controlled corporations, except as provided
Article X of the Constitution. Under the latter, the therein. These exemptions are based on the
exercise of the power may be subject to such ownership, character, and use of the property. Thus;
guidelines and limitations as the Congress may (a) Ownership Exemptions. Exemptions from real
provide which, however, must be consistent with the property taxes on the basis of ownership are real
basic policy of local autonomy. properties owned by: (i) the Republic, (ii) a province,
 There can be no question that under Section 14 of (iii) a city, (iv) a municipality, (v) a barangay, and
R.A. No. 6958 the petitioner is exempt from the (vi) registered cooperatives. (b) Character
payment of realty taxes imposed by the National Exemptions. Exempted from real property taxes on
Government or any of its political subdivisions, the basis of their character are: (i) charitable
agencies, and instrumentalities. Nevertheless, since institutions, (ii) houses and temples of prayer, and
taxation is the rule and exemption therefrom the (iii) non profit or religious cemeteries. (c) Usage
exception, the exemption may thus be withdrawn at exemptions. Exempted from real property taxes on
the pleasure of the taxing authority. The only the basis of the actual, direct and exclusive use to
exception to this rule is where the exemption was which they are devoted are: (i) all lands buildings
granted to private parties based on material and improvements which are actually, directed and
consideration of a mutual nature, which then exclusively used for religious, charitable or
Mabelle O. Nebres | Local Governments Case Digests

educational purpose; (ii) all machineries and retention of the exemption in so far as the real
equipment actually, directly and exclusively used or property taxes are concerned by limiting the
by local water districts or by government-owned or retention only to those enumerated there-in; all
controlled corporations engaged in the supply and others not included in the enumeration lost the
distribution of water and/or generation and privilege upon the effectivity of the LGC. Moreover,
transmission of electric power; and (iii) all even as the real property is owned by the Republic
machinery and equipment used for pollution control of the Philippines, or any of its political subdivisions
and environmental protection. covered by item (a) of the first paragraph of Section
 Section 193 of the LGC is the general provision on 234, the exemption is withdrawn if the beneficial
withdrawal of tax exemption privileges. On the other use of such property has been granted to taxable
hand, the LGC authorizes local government units to person for consideration or otherwise. Since the last
grant tax exemption privileges. paragraph of Section 234 unequivocally withdrew,
 Reading together Section 133, 232 and 234 of the upon the effectivity of the LGC, exemptions from
LGC, we conclude that as a general rule, as laid real property taxes granted to natural or juridical
down in Section 133 the taxing powers of local persons, including government-owned or controlled
government units cannot extend to the levy of inter corporations, except as provided in the said section,
alia, "taxes, fees, and charges of any kind of the and the petitioner is, undoubtedly, a government-
National Government, its agencies and owned corporation, it necessarily follows that its
instrumentalties, and local government units"; exemption from such tax granted it in Section 14 of
however, pursuant to Section 232, provinces, cities, its charter, R.A. No. 6958, has been withdrawn. Any
municipalities in the Metropolitan Manila Area may claim to the contrary can only be justified if the
impose the real property tax except on, inter alia, petitioner can seek refuge under any of the
"real property owned by the Republic of the exceptions provided in Section 234, but not under
Philippines or any of its political subdivisions except Section 133, as it now asserts, since, as shown
when the beneficial used thereof has been granted, above, the said section is qualified by Section 232
for consideration or otherwise, to a taxable person", and 234. In short, the petitioner can no longer
as provided in item (a) of the first paragraph of invoke the general rule in Section 133 that the
Section 234. taxing powers of the local government units cannot
 As to tax exemptions or incentives granted to or extend to the levy of: (o) taxes, fees, or charges of
presently enjoyed by natural or juridical persons, any kind on the National Government, its agencies,
including government-owned and controlled or instrumentalities, and local government units.
corporations, Section 193 of the LGC prescribes the  In light of the petitioner's theory that it is an
general rule, viz., they are withdrawn upon the "instrumentality of the Government", it could only
effectivity of the LGC, except upon the effectivity of be within be first item of the first paragraph of the
the LGC, except those granted to local water section by expanding the scope of the terms
districts, cooperatives duly registered under R.A. No. Republic of the Philippines" to embrace . . . . . .
6938, non stock and non-profit hospitals and "instrumentalities" and "agencies" or expediency we
educational institutions, and unless otherwise quote: (a) real property owned by the Republic of
provided in the LGC. The latter proviso could refer to the Philippines, or any of the Philippines, or any of
Section 234, which enumerates the properties its political subdivisions except when the beneficial
exempt from real property tax. But the last use thereof has been granted, for consideration or
paragraph of Section 234 further qualifies the otherwise, to a taxable person. This view does not
Mabelle O. Nebres | Local Governments Case Digests

persuade us. In the first place, the petitioner's claim through a charter. This term includes regulatory
that it is an instrumentality of the Government is agencies, chartered institutions and government-
based on Section 133(o), which expressly mentions owned and controlled corporations".
the word "instrumentalities"; and in the second  If Section 234(a) intended to extend the exception
place it fails to consider the fact that the legislature therein to the withdrawal of the exemption from
used the phrase "National Government, its agencies payment of real property taxes under the last
and instrumentalities" "in Section 133(o),but only sentence of the said section to the agencies and
the phrase "Republic of the Philippines or any of its instrumentalities of the National Government
political subdivision "in Section 234(a). mentioned in Section 133(o), then it should have
 The terms "Republic of the Philippines" and restated the wording of the latter. Yet, it did not
"National Government" are not interchangeable. The Moreover, that Congress did not wish to expand the
former is boarder and synonymous with scope of the exemption in Section 234(a) to include
"Government of the Republic of the Philippines" real property owned by other instrumentalities or
which the Administrative Code of the 1987 defines agencies of the government including government-
as the "corporate governmental entity though which owned and controlled corporations is further borne
the functions of the government are exercised out by the fact that the source of this exemption is
through at the Philippines, including, saves as the Section 40(a) of P.D. No. 646, otherwise known as
contrary appears from the context, the various arms the Real Property Tax Code, which reads:
through which political authority is made effective in Sec 40. Exemption from Real Property Tax. — The
the Philippines, whether pertaining to the exemption shall be as follows: (a) Real property
autonomous reason, the provincial, city, municipal owned by the Republic of the Philippines or any of its
or barangay subdivision or other forms of local political subdivisions and any government-owned or
government." These autonomous regions, provincial, controlled corporations so exempt by is charter:
city, municipal or barangay subdivisions" are the Provided, however, that this exemption shall not
political subdivision. apply to real property of the above mentioned
 On the other hand, "National Government" refers "to entities the beneficial use of which has been granted,
the entire machinery of the central government, as for consideration or otherwise, to a taxable person.
distinguished from the different forms of local  Note that as a reproduced in Section 234(a), the
Governments." The National Government then is phrase "and any government-owned or controlled
composed of the three great departments the corporation so exempt by its charter" was excluded.
executive, the legislative and the judicial. The justification for this restricted exemption in
 An "agency" of the Government refers to "any of the Section 234(a) seems obvious: to limit further tax
various units of the Government, including a exemption privileges, especially in light of the
department, bureau, office instrumentality, or general provision on withdrawal of exemption from
government-owned or controlled corporation, or a payment of real property taxes in the last paragraph
local government or a distinct unit therein;" while of property taxes in the last paragraph of Section
an "instrumentality" refers to "any agency of the 234. These policy considerations are consistent with
National Government, not integrated within the the State policy to ensure autonomy to local
department framework, vested with special governments 33 and the objective of the LGC that
functions or jurisdiction by law, endowed with some they enjoy genuine and meaningful local autonomy
if not all corporate powers, administering special to enable them to attain their fullest development
funds, and enjoying operational autonomy; usually as self-reliant communities and make them effective
Mabelle O. Nebres | Local Governments Case Digests

partners in the attainment of national goals. The to penalty at the rate of two per cent (2%) for every month of
power to tax is the most effective instrument to delinquency, provided that the total penalty for one tax year shall
raise needed revenues to finance and support not exceed twenty-four percent (24%). (b) Failure to pay on time at
myriad activities of local government units for the least the first quarter installment of the real property tax shall
delivery of basic services essential to the promotion constitute a waiver on the part of the property owner or
of the general welfare and the enhancement of administrator to avail of the privilege granted by law for him to pay
peace, progress, and prosperity of the people. It without penalty his annual realty tax obligation in four (4) equal
may also be relevant to recall that the original installment on or before the end of every quarter of the tax year.
reasons for the withdrawal of tax exemption Accordingly, if the portion of the real property tax due for the first
privileges granted to government-owned and quarter of tax year is not paid on or before the thirty-first day of
controlled corporations and all other units of March of the same year, the penalty shall be reckoned from the
government were that such privilege resulted in first day of January at the rate of two per cent (2%) for every month
serious tax base erosion and distortions in the tax of delinquency on the basis of the total amount due for the entire
treatment of similarly situated enterprises, and year and not only on the amount due for the said first quarter of
there was a need for this entities to share in the the tax year. (c) The penalty of two percent (2%) per month of
requirements of the development, fiscal or delinquency, or twenty-four percent (24%) per annum, as the case
otherwise, by paying the taxes and other charges may be, shall continue to be imposed on the unpaid tax from the
due from them. time the delinquency was incurred up to the time that it is paid for
in full.
Secretary of Finance v. Ilarde Cabaluna filed a Petition for Declaratory Relief with Damages on 06
July 1993 before the sala of respondent Judge, assailing Joint
Facts: Cabaluna failed to pay land taxes. A breakdown of the Assessment Regulations No. 1-85 and Local Treasury Regulations
computation of the delinquent taxes and penalties on his lots and No. 2-85 which, according to him, flouted Section 66 of P.D. No. 464
residential house as reflected in the various receipts issued by the which fixed the maximum penalty for delinquency in the payment
City Treasurer's Office of Iloilo City, shows that more than twenty- of real estate taxes at 24% of the delinquent tax.
four percent (24%) of the delinquent taxes were charged and RTC: Section 4(c) of Joint Assessment Regulation No. 1-85 and Local
collected by way of penalties. Cabaluna paid his land taxes and the Treasury Regulation No. 2-85 null and void. Penalty that should be
corresponding receipts were issued to him by the City Treasurer's imposed for delinquency in the payment of real property taxes
Office with the notation "paid under protest." Cabaluna filed a should be two per centum on the amount of the delinquent tax for
formal letter of protest with the City Treasurer of Iloilo City wherein each month of delinquency or fraction thereof, until the delinquent
he contends that the City Treasurer's computation of penalties was tax is fully paid but in no case shall the total penalty exceed
erroneous since the rate of penalty applied exceeded twenty-four twenty-four per centum of the delinquent tax as provided for in
percent (24%) in contravention of Section 66 of P.D. No. 464, Section 66 of P.D. 464 otherwise known as the Real Property Tax
otherwise known as the Real Property Tax Code, as amended. In Code.
response, however, Assistant City Treasurer Tulio, for and in behalf
of the City Treasurer of Iloilo, turned down private respondent's Issue: WON Joint Assessment Regulations No. 1-85 and Local
protest, citing Sec. 4(c) of Joint Assessment Regulations No. 1-85 Treasury Regulations No. 2-85 are valid. NO.
and Local Treasury Regulations No. 2-85 of the then Ministry (now  The subject Regulations must be struck down for
Department) of Finance. which reads: Sec. 4. Computation of being repugnant to Section 66 of P.D. No. 464 or the
Penalties on Delinquent Real Property Taxes. – (a) Unless Real Property Tax Code, which provides: “That in no
condoned, wholly or partially, in a duly approved resolution of the case shall the total penalty exceed twenty-four per
Local Sanggunian, delinquent real property taxes shall be subject centum of the delinquent tax. The rate of penalty for
Mabelle O. Nebres | Local Governments Case Digests

tax delinquency fixed herein shall be uniformly not put him in estoppel from seeking the nullification of said
applied in all provinces and cities.” Regulations at this point.
 Upon the other hand, Section 4(c) of the challenged
Joint Assessment Regulations No. 1-85 and Local
Treasury Regulations No. 2-85 issued by respondent
Secretary (formerly Minister) of Finance provides Benguet Corporation v. Central Board of Assessment
that "the penalty of two percent (2%) per month of Appeals
delinquency or twenty-four percent (24%) per
annum as the case may be, shall continue to be Facts: BC seeks to annul and set aside the Decision of the CBAA of
imposed on the unpaid tax from the time the May 28, 1991, as well as the Resolution of July 1, 1991, denying its
delinquency was incurred up to the time that the motion for reconsideration, which affirmed the decision of
delinquency is paid for in full." As adeptly observed respondent Local Board of Assessment Appeals of the Province of
by the trial court, the penalty imposed under the Benguet declaring as valid the tax assessments made by the
assailed Regulations has no limit inasmuch as the Municipal Assessor of Itogon, Benguet, on the bunkhouses of
24% penalty per annum shall be continuously petitioner occupied as dwelling by its rank and file employees
imposed on the unpaid tax until it is paid for in full based on Tax Declarations Nos. 8471 and 10454. The Provincial
unlike that imposed under Section 66 of the Real Assessor of Benguet, through the Municipal Assessor of Itogon,
Property Tax Code where the total penalty is limited assessed real property tax on the bunkhouses of petitioner Benguet
only to twenty-four percent of the delinquent tax. Corporation occupied for residential purposes by its rank and file
* The secretary anchors his claim on EO73 "The Minister of Finance employees under Tax Declarations Nos. 8471 (effective 1985) and
shall promulgate the necessary rules and regulations to implement 10454 (effective 1986). According to the Provincial Assessor, the
this Executive Order." E.O. No. 73 did not touch at all on the topic tax exemption of bunkhouses under Sec. 3 (a), P.D. 7452
of amendment of rates of delinquent taxes or the amendment of (Liberalizing the Financing and Credit Terms for Low Cost Housing
rates of penalty on delinquent taxes. Neither did E.O. No. 1019 Projects of Domestic Corporations and Partnerships) , was
directly or indirectly vest upon the Department of Finance the right withdrawn by P.D. 19553 (Withdrawing, Subject to Certain
to fiddle with the rates of penalty to be assessed on delinquency Conditions, the Duty and Tax Privileges Granted to Private Business
taxes as contained in the Real Property Tax Code. Enterprises and/or Persons Engaged in Any Economic Activity, and
Despite the promulgation of E.O. No. 73, P.D. No. 464 in general Other Purposes). Petitioner appealed the assessment on Tax
and Section 66 in particular, remained to be good law. NO repeal by
implication itcab! Assuming argumenti that E.O. No. 73 has
authorized the petitioner to issue the objected Regulations, such
2 "Section 3. Pursuant to the above incentive, such domestic corporations and
partnerships shall enjoy tax exemption on: (a) real estate taxes on the
conferment of powers is void for being repugnant to the well- improvements which will be used exclusively for housing their employees and
encrusted doctrine in political law that the power of taxation is workers . . ."
generally vested with the legislature. The power delegated to the
executive branch, in this case the Ministry of Finance, to lay down
implementing rules must, nevertheless, be germane to the general 3 "Section 1. The provisions of any special or general law to the contrary
law it seeks to apply. The implementing rules cannot add to or notwithstanding, all exemptions from or any preferential treatment in the payment
of duties, taxes, fees, imposts and other charges heretofore granted to private
detract from the provisions of the law it is designed to implement. business enterprises and/or persons engaged in any economic activity are
* the fact that private respondent Cabaluna was responsible for the hereby withdrawn, except those enjoyed by the following: . . . (e)
issuance and implementation of Regional Office Memorandum Those that will be approved by the President of the Philippines upon the
Circular No. 04-89 which implemented Joint Assessment recommendation of the Minister of Finance,"
Regulations No. 1-85 and Local Treasury Regulations No. 2-85 does
Mabelle O. Nebres | Local Governments Case Digests

Declarations Nos. 8471 and 10454 to the Local Board of

Assessment Appeals (LBAA) of the Province of Benguet, docketed Issues: 1. WON respondent Assessors may validly assess real
as LBAA Cases Nos. 42 and 43, respectively. Both were heard property tax on the properties of petitioner considering the
jointly. Meanwhile, the parties agreed to suspend hearings in LBAA proscription in The Local Tax Code (P.D 231) and the Mineral
Cases Nos. 42 and 43 to await the outcome of another case, LBAA Resources Development Decree of 1974 (P.D. 463) against
Case No. 41, covering Tax Declaration No. 3534 (effective 1984), imposition of taxes on mines by local governments. YES.
which involved the same parties and issue until the appeal was  On the first issue, petitioner contends that local
decided by the Central Board of Assessment Appeals (CBAA). On government units are without any authority to levy
July 15, 1986, CBAA handed down its decision in LBAA Case No. 41 realty taxes on mines pursuant to Sec. 52 of P.D.
holding that the buildings of petitioner used as dwellings by its rank 463, which states: Sec. 52. Power to Levy Taxes on
and file employees were exempt from real property tax pursuant to Mines Mining Operations and Mineral Products. Any
P.D. 745. Thereafter, the proceedings in LBAA Cases Nos. 42 and law to the contrary notwithstanding, no province,
43 proceeded after which a decision was rendered affirming the city, municipality, barrio or municipal district shall
taxability of subject property of petitioner. On appeal, CBAA levy and collect taxes, fees, rentals, royalties or
sustained the decision holding that the realty tax exemption under charges of any kind whatsoever on mines, mining
P.D. 745 was withdrawn by P.D. 1955 and E.O. 93, so that claims, mineral products, or any operation, process
petitioner should have applied for restoration of the exemption with or activity connected, therewith, and Sec. 5 (m) of
the Fiscal Incentives Review Board (FIRB) The decision of CBAA The Local Tax Code, as amended by P.D. 426
clarified that Case No. 41 was different because it was effective (reiterated in Secs. 17 [d] and 22 [c], same Code),
prior to 1985, hence, was not covered by P.D. 1955 nor by E.O. 93. which provides: Sec. 5. Common limitations on the
Petitioner moved for reconsideration but was denied with CBAA taxing powers of local governments. The exercise of
holding that petitioner's "classification" of P.D. 745 is unavailing the taxing powers of provinces, cities, municipalities
because P.D. 1955 and E.O. 93 do not discriminate against the so- and barrios shall not extend to the imposition of the
called "social statutes". Hence, this petition. following: . . . (m) Taxes on mines, mining
SC: should be read in connection with Ministry Order No. 39-84, operations; and minerals, mineral products, and
Sec. 1 (d), of the then Ministry of Finance, which took effect their by-products when sold domestically by the
October 15, 1984, states: "Section 1. The withdrawal of exemptions operator.
from, or any preferential treatment in, the payment of duties,  The Solicitor General observes that the petitioner is
taxes, fees, imposts and other charges as provided for under estopped from raising the question of lack of
Presidential Decree No. 1955, does not apply to exemptions or authority to issue the challenged assessments
preferential treatment embodied in the following laws: . . . (d) The inasmuch as it was never raised before, hence, not
Real Property Tax Code . . ." passed upon by, the municipal and provincial
Executive Order No. 93, promulgated December 17, 1986, is also to assessors, LBAA and CBAA. This observation is well
the same effect. Both P.D. 1955 and F.O. 93 operate as wholesale taken. The rule that the issue of jurisdiction over
withdrawal of tax incentives granted to private entities so that the subject matter may be raised anytime, even during
government may re-examine existing tax exemptions and restore appeal, has been qualified where its application
through the "review mechanism" of the Fiscal Incentives Review results in mockery of the tenets of fair play, as in
Board only those that are consistent with declared economic policy. this case when the issue could have been disposed
Thus wise, the chief revenue source of the government will not be of earlier and more authoritatively by any of the
greatly, if not unnecessarily, eroded since tax exemptions that respondents who are supposed to be experts in the
were granted on piecemeal basis, and which have lost relevance to field of realty tax assessment. As We held in Suarez
existing programs, are eliminated. v. Court of Appeals: . . . It is settled that any
Mabelle O. Nebres | Local Governments Case Digests

decision rendered. without jurisdiction is a total raise the issue of jurisdiction in any of the
nullity and may be struck down at any time, even on administrative bodies to which the case may have
appeal before this Court. The only exception is been brought.
where the party raising the issue is barred by  BC: realty taxes are local taxes because they are
estoppel. levied by local government units; citing Sec. 39 of
 Tijam v. Sibonghanoy: While petitioner could have P.D. 464, which provides: Sec. 39. Rates of Levy.
prevented the trial court from exercising jurisdiction The provincial, city or municipal board or council
over the case by seasonably taking exception shall fix a uniform rate of real property tax
thereto, they instead involved the very same applicable to their respective localities . . .
jurisdiction by filing an answer and seeking  While local government units are charged with fixing
affirmative relief from it. What is more, they the rate of real property taxes, it does not
participated in the trial of the case by cross- necessarily follow from that authority the
examining respondent. Upon the premises, determination of whether or not to impose the tax.
petitioner cannot now be allowed belatedly to adopt In fact, local governments have no alternative but to
an inconsistent posture by attacking the jurisdiction collect taxes as mandated in Sec. 38 of the Real
of the court to which they had submitted Property Tax Code, which states: Sec. 38. Incidence
themselves voluntarily of Real Property Tax. There shall be levied, assessed
 Aguinaldo Industries Corporation v. Commissioner of and collected in all provinces, cities and
Internal Revenue and the Court of Tax Appeals:"To municipalities an annual ad valorem tax on real
allow a litigant to assume a different posture when property, such as land, buildings, machinery and
he comes before the court and challenge the other improvements affixed or attached to real
position he had accepted at the administrative level, property not hereinafter specifically exempted."
would be to sanction a procedure whereby the court  It is thus clear from the foregoing that it is the
which is supposed to review administrative national government, expressing itself through the
determinations would not review, but determine and legislative branch, that levies the real property tax.
decide for the first time, a question not raised at the Consequently, when local governments are required
administrative forum. This cannot be permitted, for to fix the rates, they are merely constituted as
the same reason that underlies the requirement of agents of the national government in the
prior exhaustion of administrative remedies to give enforcement of the Real Property Tax Code. The
administrative authorities the prior opportunity to delegation of taxing power is not even involved here
decide controversies within its competence, and in because the national government has already
much the same way that, on the judicial level, imposed realty tax in Sec. 38 above-quoted, leaving
issues not raised in the lower court cannot be raised only the enforcement to be done by local
for the first time on appeal." governments.
 Besides, the special civil action of certiorari is  The challenge of petitioner against the applicability
available to pass upon the determinations of of Meralco Securities Industrial Corporation v.
administrative bodies where patent denial of due Central Board of Assessment Appeals, et al., 3 is
process is alleged as a consequence of grave abuse unavailing, absent any cogent reason to overturn
of discretion or lack of jurisdiction, or question of the same. Thus "Meralco Securities argues that the
law is raised and no appeal is available. In this case, realty tax is a local tax or levy and not a tax of
petitioner may not complain of denial of due process general application. This argument is untenable
since it had enough opportunity, but opted not, to because the realty tax has always been imposed by
Mabelle O. Nebres | Local Governments Case Digests

the lawmaking body and later by the President of Tax. The exemption shall be as follows: . . . (g) Real
the Philippines in the exercise of his lawmaking property exempt under other laws, and concluding
powers, as shown in Sections 342 et seq. of the that P.D. 745 is one of the "other laws" referred to.
Revised Administrative Code, Act No. 3995,  We do not agree. If We are to sanction this
Commonwealth Act No 470 and Presidential Decree interpretation, then necessarily all real properties
No. 464. "The realty tax is enforced throughout the exempt by any law would be covered, and there
Philippines and not merely in a particular would be no need for the legislature to specify "Real
municipality or city but the proceeds of the tax Property Tax Code, as amended", instead of stating
accrue to the province, city, municipality and barrio clearly "realty tax exemption laws". Indubitably, the
where the realty taxed is situated (Sec. 86, P.D. No. intention is to limit the application of the "exception
464). In contrast, a local tax is imposed by the clause" only to those conferred by the Real Property
municipal or city council by virtue of the Local Tax Tax Code. This is not only a logical construction of
Code, Presidential Decree No. 231, which took effect the provisions but more so in keeping with the
on July 1, 1973 (69 O.G. 6197)." principle of statutory construction that tax
 Consequently, the provisions of Sec. 52 of the exemptions are construed strictly against taxpayers,
Mineral Resources Development Decree of 1974 hence, they cannot be created by mere implication
(P.D. 463), and Secs. 5 (m), 17 (d) and 22 (c) of The but must be clearly provided by law. Non-
Local Tax Code (P.D. 231) cited by petitioner are exemption, in case of doubt, is favored.
mere limitations on the taxing power of local  Quite obviously, the exception in Sec. 1 (e), (iv), of
government units, they are not pertinent to the E.O. 93, refers to "those conferred under . . . Real
issue before Us and, therefore, cannot and should Property Tax Code, as amended", and that the
not affect the imposition of real property tax by the exemption claimed by petitioner is granted not by
national government. the Real Property Tax Code but by P.D. 745. When
2. WON the real tax exemption granted under P.D. 745 Sec. 40 (g) of the Property Tax Code provides that
(promulgated July 15, 1975) was withdrawn by P.D. 1955 "[T]he exemption shall be as follows: . . . Real
(took effect October 15, 1984) and E.O. 93. YES. Property exempt under other laws". the Code
 Court held that it has no recourse but to apply the merely recognizes realty tax exemptions provided
express provision of P.D. No. 1955 and rule in favor by other laws, otherwise, it may unwittingly repeal
of the withdrawal of the real property tax exemption those "other laws".
provided under P.D. No. 745.  The argument of petitioner that P.D. 745 is a social
 As regards the second issue, petitioner, which statute to give flesh to the Constitutional provisions
claims that E.O. 93 does not repeal social statutes on housing, hence, not covered by P.D. 1955, was
like P.D. 745, in the same breath takes refuge in squarely met by respondent CBAA in its Resolution
Sec. 1 (e) of the same E.O. 93, to wit: Section 1. The of July 1, 1991, to which We fully agree "The phrase
provisions of any general or special law to the 'any special or general law' explicitly indicates that
contrary notwithstanding, all tax and duty incentives P.D. No. 1955 did not distinguish between a social
granted to government and private entities are statute and an economic or tax legislation. Hence,
hereby withdrawn except: . . . (e) those conferred where the law does not distinguish, we cannot
under the four basic codes, namely: . . . (iv) the Real distinguish.
Property Tax Code, as amended . . . in relation to  In view thereof, we have no recourse but to apply
Sec. 40 of the Real Property Tax Code, which the express provision of P.D. No. 1955 and rule in
provides: Sec. 40. Exemptions from Real Property favor of the withdrawal of the real property tax
Mabelle O. Nebres | Local Governments Case Digests

exemption provided under P.D. No. 745. We also

find without merit the contention of Petitioner- CA: certified the case to SC as one involving pure questions of law,
Appellan t that B.P. No. 391 (Investment Incentives pursuant to Sec. 17, R.A. 296.
Policy Act of 1983) is the source and reason for the
existence of P.D. No. 1955; therefore, the scope of Issue: WON NDC is exempted from payment of the real estate
P.D. No. 1955 is limited to investment incentives. taxes on the land reserved by the President for warehousing
Although Section 20 of said B.P. which authorizes purposes as well as the warehouse constructed thereon, and in the
the President to restructure investment incentives affirmative, whether NDC may recover in refund unprotested real
systems/legislation s to align them with the overall estate taxes it paid from 1948 to 1970.
economic development objectives is one of the  Section, 3 par. (a), of the Assessment Law, on which
declared policies of P.D. No. 1955, its primary aim is NDC claims real estate tax exemption, provides —
the formulation of national recovery program to Section 3. Property exempt from tax. — The
meet and overcome the grave emergency arising exemptions shall be as follows: (a) Property owned
from the current economic crisis. Hence, it cannot by the United States of America, the Commonwealth
be maintained that its provisions apply only to of the Philippines, any province, city, municipality at
investment incentives. Besides, even granting that municipal district . . .
its scope is limited, it is noted that P.D. No. 745 also  The same opinion of NDC was passed upon in
speaks of investment incentives in Sections 2 and 3 National Development Co. v. Province of Nueva Ecija
thereof . . ." where We held that its properties were not
comprehended in Sec. 3, par (a), of the Assessment
National Development Co. v. Cebu City Law. In part, We stated: 1. Commonwealth Act No.
182 which created NDC contains no provision
Facts: Proclamation No. 430 was issued by the President which exempting it from the payment of real estate tax on
reserved Block no. 4, Reclamation Area No. 4, of Cebu City, properties it may acquire . . . There is justification in
consisting of 4,599 square meters, for warehousing purposes under the contention of plaintiff-appellee that . . . [I]t is
the administration of National Warehousing Corporation. undeniable that to any municipality the principal
Subsequently, a warehouse with a floor area of 1,940 square source of revenue with which it would defray its
meters more or less, was constructed thereon. NWC dissolved, NDC operation will came from real property taxes. If the
took over. Commencing 1948, Cebu assessed and collected from National Development Company would be exempt
NDC real estate taxes on the land and the warehouse thereon. By from paying real property taxes over these
the first quarter of 1970, a total of P100,316.31 was paid by NDC properties, the town of Gabaldon will be deprived of
of which only P3,895.06 was under protest. On 20 March 1970, much needed revenues with which it will maintain
NDC wrote the City Assessor demanding full refund of the real itself and finance the compelling needs of its
estate taxes paid claiming that the land and the warehouse inhabitants 2. Defendant-appellant NDC does not
standing thereon belonged to the Republic and therefore exempt come under classification of municipal or public
from taxation. Cebu did not acquiesce in the demand, hence, the corporation in the sense that it may sue and be
present suit filed 25 October 1972 in the Court of First Instance of sued in the same manner as any other private
Manila. corporations, and in this sense, it is an entity
CFI: Cebu to refund the real estate taxes paid by NDC for the parcel different from the government, defendant
of land covered by Presidential Proclamation No. 430 of August 10, corporation may be sued without its consent, and is
1939, and the warehouse erected thereon from and after October subject to taxation. In the case NDC vs. Jose Yulo
25, 1966 Tobias, 7 SCRA 692, it was held that . . . plaintiff is
Mabelle O. Nebres | Local Governments Case Digests

neither the Government of the Republic nor a  The conflict between NDC v. Nueva Ecija, supra, and
branch or subdivision thereof, but a government BAA v. CTA and NWSA, supra, is more superficial
owned and controlled corporation which cannot be than real. The NDC decision speaks of properties
said to exercise a sovereign function. it is a business owned by NDC, while the BAA ruling concerns
corporation, and as such, its causes of action are properties belonging to the Republic. The latter case
subject to the statute of limitations. . . . That plaintiff appears to be exceptional because the parties
herein does not exercise sovereign powers — and, therein stipulated 1. That the petitioner National
hence, cannot invoke the exemptions thereof –– but Waterworks and Sewerage Authority (NAWASA) is a
is an agency for the performance of purely public corporation created by virtue of Republic Act.
corporate, proprietary or business functions, is No. 1383, and that it is owned by the Government of
apparent from its Organic Act (Commonwealth Act the Philippines as well as all property comprising
182, as amended by Commonwealth Act 311) waterworks and sewerage systems placed under it
pursuant to Section 3 of which it "shall be subject to (Emphasis supplied). There, the Court observed: "It
the provisions of the Corporation Law insofar as is conceded, in the stipulation of facts, that the
they are not inconsistent" with the provisions of said property involved in this case "is owned by the
Commonwealth Act, "and shall have the general Government of the Philippines. " Hence, it belongs
powers mentioned in said" Corporation Law, and, to the Republic of the Philippines and falls squarely
hence, "may engage in commercial, industrial, within letter of the above provision."
mining, agricultural, and other enterprises which  In the case at bar, no similar statement appears in
may be necessary or contributory to the economic the stipulation of facts, hence, ownership of subject
development of the country, or important in the properties should first be established. For, while it
public interest," as well as "acquire, hold, mortgage may be stated that the Republic owns NDC, it does
and alienate personal and real property in the not necessary follow that properties owned by NDC,
Philippines or elsewhere; . . . make contracts of any are also owned by Republic — in the same way that
kind and description" , and "perform any and all acts stockholders are not ipso factoowners of the
which a corporation or natural persons is authorized properties of their corporation.
to perform under the laws now existing or which  The Republic, like any individual, may form a
may be enacted hereafter." corporation with personality and existence distinct
 We find no compelling reason why the foregoing from its own. The separate personality allows a
ruling, although referring to lands which would GOCC to hold and possess properties in its own
eventually be transferred to private individuals, name and, thus, permit greater independence and
should not apply equally to this case. flexibility in its operations. It may, therefore, be
 NDC cites Board of Assessment Appeals, Province of stated that tax exemption of property owned by the
Laguna v. Court of Tax Appeal and National Republic of the Philippines "refers to properties
Waterworks and Sewerage Authority (NWSA). In that owned by the Government and by its agencies
case, We held that properties of NWSA, a GOCC, which do not have separate and distinct
were exempt from real estate tax because Sec. 3, personalities (unincorporated entities).
par (c), of R.A. 470 did not distinguish between  The foregoing discussion does not mean that
those possessed by the government in because NDC, like most GOCC's engages in
sovereign/governmen tal/political capacity and commercial enterprises all properties of the
those in private/proprietary /patrimonial character. government and its unincorporated agencies
possessed in propriety character are taxable.
Mabelle O. Nebres | Local Governments Case Digests

Similarly, in the case at bar, NDC proceeded on the transform it into non-alienable or non-disposable
premise that the BAA ruling declared all properties under the Public Land Act. Section 115, on the other
owed by GOCC's as properties in the name of the hand, applies to disposable public lands. Clearly,
Republic, hence, exempt under Sec. 3 of the therefore, Sec. 115 does not apply to lands reserved
Assessment Law. under Sec. 83. Consequently, the subject reserved
 To come within the ambit of the exemption provided public land remains tax exempt.
in Art. 3, par. (a), of the Assessment Law, it is  As regards the warehouse constructed on a public
important to establish that the property is owned by reservation, a different rule should apply because
the government or its unincorporated agency, and "[t]he exemption of public property from taxation
once government ownership is determined, the does not extend to improvements on the public
nature of the use of the property, whether for lands made by pre-emptioners, homesteaders and
proprietary or sovereign purposes, becomes other claimants, or occupants, at their own expense,
immaterial. What appears to have been ceded to and these are taxable by the state . . ."
NWC (later transferred to NDC), in the case before Consequently, the warehouse constructed on the
Us, is merely the administration of the property reserved land by NWC (now under administration by
while the government retains ownership of what has NDC), indeed, should properly be assessed real
been declared reserved for warehousing purposes estate tax as such improvement does not appear to
under Proclamation No. 430. belong to the Republic.
 Incidentally, the parties never raised the issued the  Since the reservation is exempt from realty tax, the
issue of ownership from the court a quo to this erroneous tax payments collected by Cebu should
Court. A reserved land is defined as a "[p]ublic land be refunded to NDC. This is in consonance with Sec.
that has been withheld or kept back from sale or 40, par. (a) of the former Real Property Tax Code
disposition. " The land remains "absolute property which exempted from taxation real property owned
of the government." The government "does not part by the Republic of the Philippines or any of its
with its title by reserving them (lands), but simply political subdivisions, as well as any GOCC so
gives notice to all the world that it desires them for exempt by its charter.
a certain purpose." Absolute disposition of land is  As regards the requirement of paying under protest
not implied from reservation; it merely means "a before judicial recourse, CEBU argues that in any
withdrawal of a specified portion of the public case NDC is not entitled to refund because Sec. 75
domain from disposal under the land laws and the of R.A. 3857, the Revised Charter of the City of
appropriation thereof, for the time being, to some Cebu, requires paymentunder protest before
particular use or purpose of the general resorting to judicial action for tax refund; that it
government." As its title remains with the Republic, could not have acted on the first demand letter of
the reserved land is clearly recovered by the tax NDC of 20 May 1970 because it was sent to the City
exemption provision. Assessor and not to the City Treasurer; that,
 Cebu: reservation of the property in favor of NWC or consequently, there having been no appropriate
NDC is a form of disposition of public land which, prior demand, resort to judicial remedy is
subjects the recipient (NDC ) to real estate taxation premature; and, that even on the premise that there
under Sec. 115 of the Public Land Act. as amended was proper demand, NDC has yet to exhaust
by R.A. 436. administrative remedies by way of appeal to the
 As We view it, the effect of reservation under Sec. Department of Finance and/or Auditor General
83 is to segregate a piece of public land and before taking judicial action.
Mabelle O. Nebres | Local Governments Case Digests

 NDC exempt from real estate tax on the reserved  Sec. 40(g) of P.D. No. 464, the Real Property Tax
land but liable for the warehouse erected thereon. Code: SEC. 40. Exemptions from Real Property Tax. -
The exemption shall be as follows:(g) Real property
Province of Tarlac v. Judge Alcantara exempt under other laws. TE contends that the
"other laws" referred to in this Section is P.D. No.
Facts: Tarlac Enterprises is the owner of a parcel of land, an ice 551 (Lowering the Cost to Consumers of Electricity
drop factory, a machinery shed all located at Mabini, Tarlac, Tarlac, by Reducing the Franchise Tax Payable by Electric
machinery of Diesel Elect.. Sets. Franchise Holders and the Tariff on Fuel Oils for the
Real estate taxes of the aforesaid properties from 1974 to Generation of Electric Power by Public Utilities). Its
December 31, 1982, in the total amount of P532,435.55 including pertinent provisions state: SECTION 1. Any provision
principals and penalties has not been paid. Tarlac now prays for of law or local ordinance to the contrary
payment as well as damages and costs of suit. TE moved to notwithstanding, the franchise tax payable by all
dismiss. LC denied. MR denied. Thereafter, Tarlac set the auction grantees of franchises to generate, distribute and
sale of TE's properties to satisfy the real estate taxes due. This sell electric current for light, heat and power shall
prompted TE to file a motion praying that petitioner be directed to be two (2%) of their gross receipts received from
desist from proceeding with the public auction sale. LC: issued an the sale of electric current and from transactions
order granting said motion to prevent mootness of the case incident to the generation, distribution and sale of
considering that the properties to be sold were the, subjects of the electric current.
complaint.  Such franchise tax shall be payable to the
TE’s answer: demands for the payment of, real property taxes had Commissioner of Internal Revenue or his duly
been made but it refused to pay the same for the reason that under authorized representative on or before the twentieth
Sec. 40, paragraph (g) of PD 464 in relation to P.D. No.. 551, as day of the month following the end of each calendar
amended, it was exempt from paying said tax. It also raised as quarter or month as may be provided in the
affirmative defenses that the complaint stated no cause of action respective franchise or pertinent municipal
and that the claims had been waived, abandoned or otherwise regulation and shall, any provision of the Local Tax
extinguished or barred by the statute of limitations. Code or any other law to the contrary
LC: dismissed the complaint. It ruled that P.D. No. 551 expressly notwithstanding, be in lieu of all taxes assessments
exempts private respondent from paying the real property taxes of whatever nature imposed by any national or
demanded, it being a grantee of a franchise to generate, distribute authority on earnings, receipts, income and
and sell electric current for light. The court held that in lieu of said privilege of generation, distribution and sale of
taxes, private respondent had been required to pay two percent electric current."
(2%) franchise tax in line with the intent of the law to give  P.D. No. 551 was amended on December 19. 1975
assistance to operators such as the private respondent to enable by P.D. No. 852 10 with the insertion of the phrase
the consumers to enjoy cheaper rates. Butuan Sawmill, Inc. v. City "and for the manufacture, distribution and sale of
of Butuan: the court ruled that local-governments are without city gas" between the phrases ". . . light, heat and
power to tax the electric companies already subject to franchise power" and "shall be two (2%) . . . ."
tax unless their franchise allows the imposition of additional tax.  We do not agree with the lower court that the
MR: denied. phrase "in lieu of all taxes and assessments of
whatever nature" in the second paragraph of Sec. 1
ISSUE: WON TE is exempt from the payment of real property tax of P.D. No. 551 expressly exempts private
under Sec. 40 (g) of P.D. No. 464 in relation to P.D. No. 551, as respondent from paying real property taxes. As
amended. NO. correctly observed by the petitioner, said proviso is
Mabelle O. Nebres | Local Governments Case Digests

modified and delimited by the phrase "on earnings, from payment of real property tax would unduly
receipts. income and privilege of generation, extend the ambit of exemptions beyond the purview
distribution and sale" which specifies the kinds of of the law.
taxes and assessments which shall not be collected  The annexes attached to private respondent's
in view of the imposition of the franchise tax. Said comment on the petition to prove by
enumerated items upon which taxes shall not be contemporaneous interpretation its claimed tax
imposed, have no relation at all to, and are entirely exemption are not of much help to it. Department
different from. real properties subject to tax. Order No. 35-74 dated September 16, 1974
 If the intention of the law is to exempt electric regulating the implementation of P.D. No. 551
franchise grantees from paying real property tax merely reiterates the "in lieu of all taxes" proviso.
and to make the two (2%) percent franchise tax the Local Tax Regulations 3-75 12 issued by then
only imposable tax, then said enumerated items Secretary of Finance Cesar Virata and addressed to
would not have been added when P.D. No. 852 was all Provincial and City Treasurers enjoins strict
enacted to amend P.D. No. 551. The legislative compliance with the directive that "the franchise tax
authority would have simply stopped after the imposed under Local Tax Ordinances pursuant to
phrase "national or local authority" by putting Section 19 of the Local Tax Code, as amended, shall
therein a period. On the contrary, it went on to be collected from business holding franchises but
enumerate what should not be subject to tax not from establishments whose franchise contains
thereby delimiting the extent of the exemption. the in lieu of all taxes' proviso," thereby clearly
 We likewise do not find merit in private respondent's indicating that said proviso exempts taxpayers like
contention that the real properties being taxed, viz., private respondent from paying the franchise tax
the machinery for the generation and distribution of collected by the provinces under the Local Tax
electric power, the building housing said machinery, Code. Lastly, the letter of the then BIR Acting
and the land on which said building is constructed, Commissioner addressed to the Matic Law Office
are necessary for the operation of its business of granting exemption to the latter's client from paying
generation, distribution and sale of electric current the "privilege tax which is an excise tax on the
and, therefore, they should be exempted from privilege of engaging in business" clearly excludes
taxation. Private respondent apparently does not realty tax from such exemption.
quite comprehend the distinction among the subject  We also find misplaced the lower court's and the
matters or objects of the taxes involved. It bears private respondent's reliance on Butuan Sawmill. v.
emphasis that P.D. No. 551 as amended by P.D. No. City of Butuan. In that case, the questioned tax is a
852 deals with franchise tax and tariff on fuel oils tax on the gross sales or receipts of said sawmill
and the "earnings, receipts, income and privilege of while the tax involved herein is a real property tax.
generation, distribution and sale of electric current" The City of Butuan is categorically prohibited therein
are the items exempted from taxation by the by Sec. 2(j) of the Local Autonomy Act from
imposition of said tax or tariff duty. On the other imposing "taxes of any kind…on person paying
hand, the collection complaint filed by petitioner franchise tax." On the other hand, P.D. No. 551 is
specified only taxes due on real properties. While not as all-encompassing as said provision of the
P.D. No. 551 was intended to give "assistance to the Local Autonomy Act for it enumerates the items
franchise holders by reducing some of their tax and which are not taxable by virtue of the payment of
tariff obligations, " to construe said decree as franchise tax.
having granted such franchise holders exemption
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 It has always been the rule that "exemptions from

taxation are construed in strictissimi juris against Casiño v. CA
the taxpayer and liberally in favor of the taxing
authority" primarily because "taxes are the lifeblood Facts: The Sangguniang Panglungsod of Gingoog passed Resolution
of government and their prompt and certain 49 which classified certain areas, including Casiño’s coliseum which
availability is an imperious need." Thus, to be was licensed as a cockpit. The classification led to the cancellation
exempted from payment of taxes, it is the of Casiño’s license to operate such cockpit.
taxpayer's duty to justify the exemption "by words The ordinance provides that changes in the zoning ordinance as a
too plain to be mistaken and too categorical to be result of the review by the Local Review Committee shall be treated
misinterpreted. Private respondent has utterly failed as an amendment provided that such is carried out through a
to discharge this duty. resolution of three fourths vote of the SP. Said amendments shall
 Lower court erred in exempting TE from paying real take effect only after approval and authentication by the HSRC. On
property tax on its properties which are enumerated August 13, 1985, Resolution No. 378, Code Ordinance, Series of
in the complaint. However, in its decision, the lower 1985, reclassified Block 125 as within the recreational zone, thus
court found that private respondent owns only three allegedly amending Resolution No. 49. Nine (9) members of the
real properties consisting of the parcel of land, said SP, participated, with four (4) members voting for the
machinery shed and machinery, noticeably omitting amendment, while four (4) voted against, and with one (1)
the ice drop factory mentioned in its complaint by abstention. The vice-mayor, as presiding officer, broke the
the petitioner. In view, however, of the petitioner's deadlock by voting for the amendment. When Resolution No. 378
failure to assign such omission as an error, the same was transmitted to then City Mayor Miguel Paderanga for approval,
should be considered waived. he returned the same to the SP within ten days, without any action,
stating that his approval thereof was not necessary since it did not
involve a disposition of city government funds, as provided by
Section 180 of the LGC and Section 14 of the charter of Gingoog
City. By virtue of said Resolution No. 378, Mayor Lugod, issued to
petitioner the aforestated permit to operate a cockpit dated April 2,
1986, which was renewed by another permit issued on January 5,
1987. Gingoog Gallera protested the operation of Coliseum before
the Philippine Gamefowl Commission. The protest was founded on
the fact that no certificate of registration had as yet been issued by
the PGC, although city mayor's permits were issued to petitioner.
On April 11, 1986, the PGC, through OIC Orog sent a telegram to
the Station Commander of Gingoog City to suspend in the
meantime the operation of the cockpit. On April 24, 1986, the PGC
eventually sent a telegram to the city mayor to stop any cockfight
in the Coliseum in view of its failure to register with the PGC.
Thereafter, an action for prohibition and mandamus with
preliminary injunction was filed by Gallera before the RTC against
petitioner, on the ground that Resolution No. 378, purportedly
amending zoning Ordinance No. 49, is invalid. It asserted that the
classification of Coliseum's site as still within the residential zone of
Gingoog City was accordingly maintained and unchanged, thereby
Mabelle O. Nebres | Local Governments Case Digests

rendering the mayor's permits issued to the latter null and void for regard to the primacy of the power/authority
being in violation of Section 6 of the Rules and Regulations of the between the local officials of the City of Gingoog
PGC. On April 25, 1986, the trial court issued a writ of preliminary and the PGC. Both decisions are in accord with one
injunction enjoining petitioner to desist from operating the another. The decision of the First Division that it is
Coliseum until the PGC shall have finally decided the controversy the Municipal/City Mayor with the authorization of
between petitioner and private respondent Gallera. the Sangguniang Bayan that has the primary power
RTC: declared the aforesaid mayor's permits null and void and to issue licenses for the operation of ordinary
ordered Casiño and all persons representing him or acting in his cockpits is of the same tenor and effect as the
behalf from further operating the cockpit in question. decision of this case as can be seen in the following
MR denied. wordings: The task of granting licenses to operate
cockpits is lodged with City and Municipal Mayor
Issues: 1. WON the PGC controls the operations of the Don Romulo with the concurrence of their respective
Rodriguez Coliseum with respect to the local/ordinary cockfights Sanggunians. This is specifically granted to them by
during Sundays, holidays and fiestas in Gingoog City, despite the Section 4 of Presidential Decree No. 1802 as
fact that the Mayor of Gingoog City issued a mayor's permit for amended by Presidential Decree No. 1802-A which
1986 and 1987 with the concurrence of the sangguniang states: Sec. 4. City and Municipal Mayors with the
panlungsod. YES. concurrence of their respective Sanggunians shall
 PGC has the power not of control but only of review have the authority to license and regulate regular
and supervision. This power was validly exercised cockfighting pursuant to the rules and regulations
by said commission over Coliseum when it sought to promulgated by the Commission and subject to its
stop the former's operations through the local review and supervision.
officials. It did not whimsically order the suspension  While this Court agrees with the movant that a
and the consequent stoppage of Coliseum's mayor's permit/ license is a condition precedent to
operations. Rather, PGC only exercised its power of the issuance of the PGC Registration Certificate, in
review over the acts performed by the local the case at bar, the city mayor's permits issued to
authorities in relation to or which affect the exercise movant were null and void as they were granted
of its functions. pursuant to Resolution No. 578 which never took
 The power of review is exercised to determine effect because of non-compliance with the
whether it is necessary to correct the acts of the procedure prescribed in Resolution No. 49. And
subordinate and to see to it that he performs his because of the nullity of the Mayor's permit, the
duties in accordance with law. This the PGC did by Registration Certificate No. C-86816 issued to
bringing to the attention of the local authorities the movant is likewise null and void. The spring cannot
non-compliance by petitioner with the rules involved rise higher than its source
in this case which we find reasonable and necessary 2. WON the mayor's permits issued by the Mayor of Gingoog
in the discharge of the regulatory functions of PGC. City for the years 1986 and 1987 are null and void because
PGC may, for that purpose and as it did here, Resolution 378 did not amend Section 6.44 of Resolution
indicate its disapproval of the acts of the local 49, Code Ordinance of 1984, the three-fourths (3/4) votes
officials concerned to stress and perform its role not having been obtained in passing said Resolution 378.
with respect to the regulation of cockpits. YES.
 The decision of the First Division of this Court in  Petitioner: legal because the same was passed by
Gingoog Gallera, Inc. vs. PGC is not "diametrically the sanggunian by a majority of five affirmative
opposed to" the decision rendered in this case in votes as against four negative votes. He contends
Mabelle O. Nebres | Local Governments Case Digests

that the three-fourths vote requirement under apprehended contingency for, to borrow the words
Section 6.44, Resolution No. 49, aside from its being of respondent court, "in an apparent attempt to get
merely a formal requirement, is an enactment of the rid of this legal stumbling block (the prohibition
sanggunian which is ultra vires. against a cockpit in a residential zone under
 SC: Resolution No. 378 was declared invalid by the Proclamation 49), the Sangguniang Panglunsod of
Court of Appeals for failure to comply with the Gingoog City passed Resolution No. 378, Code
required votes necessary for its validity. Although Ordinance, series of 1985," . . . "thereby
the charter of the City of Gingoog and the LGC reclassifying Block 125 into a recreational zone."
require only a majority for the enactment of an Withal, it is legally permissible, as exceptions to the
ordinance, Resolution No. 49 cannot be validly general provisions on measures covered by city
amended by the resolution in question without charters and the LGC, that the vote requirement in
complying with the categorical requirement of a certain ordinances may be specially provided for, as
three-fourths vote incorporated in the very same in the case of Section 6.44 of Resolution No. 49,
ordinance sought to be amended. The pertinent instead of the usual majority Vote.
provisions in the aforesaid city charter and the LGC  Block 125 where Coliseum is located remains
obviously are of general application and embrace a classified as a residential area, hence the operation
wider scope or subject matter. In the enactment of of a cockpit therein is prohibited. This weighty
ordinances in general, the application of the consideration, which should actually be the principal
aforementioned laws cannot be disputed. basis for the nullification by respondent court of the
Undeniably, however, Section 6.44 of said ordinance two mayor's permits issued.
regarding amendments thereto is a specific and  In the case at bar, there was no registration
particular provision for said ordinance and explicitly certificate issued, much less authorization to
provides for a different number of votes. Where operate given by the PGC to the private respondent-
there is in the same statute a particular enactment appellant, a condition precedent before a grant of
and also a general one which in its most mayors permit or license to conduct cockfighting.
comprehensive sense would include what is Therefore, the mayor's permits issued to private
embraced in the former, the particular enactment respondent are null and void. Obviously, the PGC did
must be operative, and the general statement must not grant the private respondent-appellant the
be taken to affect only such cases within its proper registration certificate to operate his cockpit
language as are not within the provisions of the because the same was not constructed within the
particular enactment. appropriate areas as prescribed in zoning laws or
 In the instant case, although the general law on the ordinances of Gingoog City pursuant to Section 6 of
matter requires a mere majority, the higher Rules and Regulation of the PGC.
requisite vote in Resolution No. 49 shall govern
since municipal authorities are in a better position Gamboa v. Aguirre
to determine the evils sought to be prevented by
the inclusion or incorporation of particular provisions Facts: In the 1995 elections, Coscolluela, Gamboa, Jr. and Aguirre,
in enacting a particular statute and, therefore, to Jr., and Araneta were elected Negros Occidental Governor, Vice-
pass the appropriate ordinance to attain the main Governor and SP members, respectively. Sometime in August of
object of the law. This more stringent requirement 1995, the governor designated Gamboa as Acting Governor for the
on the necessary votes for amendments to duration of the former's official trip abroad until his return. When
Resolution No. 49 apparently forestalled the the SP held its regular session on September 6, 1995, Aguirre and
Mabelle O. Nebres | Local Governments Case Digests

Araneta questioned the authority of petitioner to preside therein in position as the Vice-Governor. Necessarily, he does
view of his designation as Acting Governor and asked him to vacate not relinquish nor abandon his position and title as
the Chair. Gamboa, however, refused to do so. In another session, Vice-Governor by merely becoming an Acting
seven (7) members of the SP voted to allow petitioner to continue Governor, (not Governor) or by merely exercising
presiding while four (4) others voted against with one (1) the powers and duties of the higher officer. But the
abstention. On September 22, 1995, A&A filed before the lower problem is, while in such capacity, does he
court a petition for declatory relief and prohibition. In the temporarily relinquish the powers, functions, duties
meantime, on October 2, 1995, the Governor re-assumed his office. and responsibilities of the Vice-Governor, including
Later, the trial court rendered a decision and declared petitioner as the power to preside over the sessions of the SP?
"temporarily legally incapacitated to preside over the sessions of LGC silent, but YES. A Vice-Governor who is
the SP during the period that he is the Acting Governor." concurrently an Acting Governor is actually a quasi-
Aggrieved, Gamboa filed a petition for review raising the issue Governor. This means, that for purposes of
earlier mentioned. exercising his legislative prerogatives and powers,
he is deemed as a non-member of the SP for the
Issue: WON an incumbent Vice-Governor, while concurrently the time being. By tradition, the offices of the provincial
Acting Governor, continue to preside over the sessions of the Governor and Vice-Governor are essentially
Sangguniang Panlalawigan. executive in nature, whereas plain members of the
 Sec. 49(a) and 466(a) (1) of the LGC provide that provincial board perform functions partaking of a
the Vice-Governor shall be the presiding officer of legislative character. This is because the authority
the SP. In addition to such function, he "become(s)" vested by law in the provincial boards involves
the Governor and "assume(s)" the higher office for primarily a delegation of some legislative powers of
the unexpired term of his predecessor, in case of Congress. Unlike under the old Code, where the
"permanent vacancy" therein. When the vacancy, Governor is not only the provincial Chief Executive,
however, is merely temporary, the Vice-Governor but also the presiding officer of the local legislative
"shall automatically exercise the powers (subject to body, the new Code delineated the union of the
certain limitations) and perform the duties and executive-legislative powers in the provincial, city
functions" of the Governor. It may be noted that the and municipal levels except in the Barangay. Under
code provides only for modes of succession in case R.A. 7160, the Governor was deprived of the power
of permanent vacancy in the office of the Governor to preside over the SP and is no longer considered a
and the Vice-Governor (whether single or member thereof. This is clear from the law, when it
simultaneously) as well as in case of a temporary provides that "local legislative power shall be vested
vacancy in the office of the Governor. But, no such in the SP," which is "the legislative body of the
contingency is provided in case of temporary province," and enumerates therein membership
vacancy in the office of the Vice-Governor, just like consisting of the: Vice-Governor, as presiding
the 1983 LGC. officer, regular elective SP members, three elective
 It is correct that when the Vice-Governor exercises sectoral representatives, and those ex-officio
the "powers and duties" of the Office of the members, namely president of the provincial
Governor, he does not assume the latter office. He chapter of the liga ng mga barangay, president of
only "acts" as the Governor but does not "become" the panlalawigang pederasyon ng mga sangguniang
the Governor. His assumption of the powers, duties kabataan, president of the provincial federation of
and functions of the provincial Chief Executive does sangguniang members of municipalities and
not create a permanent vacuum or vacancy in his component cities. None being included in the
Mabelle O. Nebres | Local Governments Case Digests

enumeration, the Governor is deemed excluded to exercise the duties of the office of the Vice-
applying the rule in legal hermeneutics that when Governor.
the law enumerates, the law necessarily excludes.  Being the Acting Governor, the Vice-Governor
On the contrary, local executive power in the cannot continue to simultaneously exercise the
province is vested alone in the Governor. 13 duties of the latter office, since the nature of the
Consequently, the union of legislative-executive duties of the provincial Governor call for a full-time
powers in the office of the local chief executive occupant to discharge them. Such is not only
under the former Code has been disbanded, so that consistent with but also appears to be the clear
either department now comprises different and non- rationale of the new Code wherein the policy of
intermingling official personalities with the end in performing dual functions in both offices has already
view of ensuring a better delivery of public service been abandoned. To repeat, the creation of a
and provide a system of check and balance between temporary vacancy in the office of the Governor
the two. creates a corresponding temporary vacancy in the
 It has been held that if a Mayor who is out of the office of the Vice-Governor whenever the latter acts
contrary is considered "effectively absent", the Vice- as Governor by virtue of such temporary vacancy.
Mayor should discharge the duties of the mayor This event constitutes an "inability" on the part of
during the latter's absence. This doctrine should the regular presiding officer (Vice Governor) to
equally apply to the Vice-Governor since he is preside during the SP sessions, which thus calls for
similarly situated as the Vice-Mayor. Although it is the operation of the remedy set in Article 49(b) of
difficult to lay down a definite rule as to what the LGC — concerning the election of a temporary
constitutes absence, yet this term should be presiding officer. The continuity of the Acting
reasonably construed to mean "effective" absence, Governor's (Vice Governor) powers as presiding
that is, one that renders the officer concerned officer of the SP is suspended so long as he is in
powerless, for the time being, to discharge the such capacity. Under Section 49(b), "(i)n the event
powers and prerogatives of his office. There is no of the inability of the regular presiding officer to
vacancy whenever the office is occupied by a legally preside at the sanggunian session, the members
qualified incumbent. A sensu contrario, there is a present and constituting a quorum shall elect from
vacancy when there is no person lawfully authorized among themselves a temporary presiding officer."
to assume and exercise at present the duties of the
office. By virtue of the foregoing definition, it can be Garcia v. COMELEC
said that the designation, appointment or
assumption of the Vice-Governor as the Acting Facts: In its Pambayang Kapasyahan Blg. 10, Serye 1993, the
Governor creates a corresponding temporary Sangguniang Bayan ng Morong, Bataan agreed to the inclusion of
vacancy in the office of the Vice-Governor during the municipality of Morong as part of the Subic Special Economic
such contingency. Considering the silence of the law Zone in accord with RA 7227. On May 24, 1993, petitioners filed a
on the matter, the mode of succession provided for petition with the Sangguniang Bayan of Morong to annul
permanent vacancies, under the new Code, in the Pambayang Kapasyahan Blg. 10, Serye 1993 and sought to allow
office of the Vice-Governor may likewise be the inclusion of Morong subject to certain conditions. The
observed in the event of temporary vacancy municipality of Morong did not take any action on the petition
occurring in the same office. This is so because in within 30 days after its submission. Petitioners then resorted to
the eyes of the law, the office to which he was their power of initiative under the LGC. They started to solicit the
elected was left barren of a legally qualified person required number of signatures to cause the repeal of said
Mabelle O. Nebres | Local Governments Case Digests

resolution. Unknown to the petitioners, however, the Vice Mayor necessary, for this purpose, to disregard the more
and Presiding Officer of the Sangguniang Bayan ng Morong, wrote a usual or apparent import of the language used."
letter dated June 11, 1993 to the Executive Director of COMELEC  The constitutional command to include acts (i.e.,
requesting the denial of the petition for a local initiative and/or resolutions) as appropriate subjects of initiative was
referendum because the exercise will just promote divisiveness, implemented by Congress when it enacted Republic
counter productivity and futility. In its session of July 6, 1993, the Act No. 6735 entitled "An Act Providing for a System
COMELEC en banc resolved to deny the petition for local initiative of Initiative and Referendum and Appropriating
on the ground that its subject is "merely a resolution (pambayang Funds Therefor." Thus, its section 3(a) expressly
kapasyahan) and not an ordinance." On July 13, 1993, the includes resolutions as subjects of initiatives on
COMELEC en banc further resolved to direct Provincial Election local legislations, viz: Sec. 3. Definition of Terms: For
Supervisor to hold action on the authentication of signatures being purposes of this Act, the following terms shall mean;
gathered by petitioners. COMELEC opposed the petition. Through (a) "Initiative" is the power of the people to propose
the Solicitor General, it contends that under the LGC, a resolution amendments to the Constitution or to propose and
cannot be the subject of a local initiative. The same stance is enact legislations through an election called for the
assumed by the Sangguniang Bayan of Morong. purpose.
 There are three (3) systems of initiative, namely:
Issue: WON Pambayang Kapasyahan Blg. 10, serye 1993 of the a.1. Initiative on the Constitution which refers to a
Sangguniang Bayan of Morong, Bataan is the proper subject of an petition proposing amendments to the Constitution.
initiative. a.2. Initiative on statutes which refers to a petition
Resp: under the LGC, only an ordinance can be the subject of proposing to enact a national legislation; and a.3.
initiative. section 120, Chapter 2, Title XI, Book I: Local initiative is Initiative on local legislation which refers to a
the legal process whereby the registered voters of a local petition proposing to enact a regional, provincial,
government unit may directly propose, enact, or amend any city, municipal, or barangay law, resolution, or
ordinance. ordinance.
SC: The Constitution clearly includes not only ordinances but  Section 16: "Limitations Upon Local Legislative
resolutions as appropriate subjects of a local initiative. Section 32 Bodies ” Any proposition on ordinance or resolution
of Article VI: "The Congress shall, as early as possible, provide for a approved through the system of initiative and
system of initiative and referendum, and the exceptions therefrom, referendum as herein provided shall not be
whereby the people can directly propose and enact laws or approve repealed, modified or amended, by the local
or reject any act or law or part thereof passed by the Congress, or legislative body concerned within six (6) months
local legislative body . . ." An act includes a resolution. Black: from the date therefrom.
defines an act as "an expression of will or purpose . . . it may  On January 16, 1991, the COMELEC also
denote something done . . . as a legislature, including not merely promulgated its Resolution No. 2300 entitled "In Re
physical acts, but also decrees, edicts, laws, judgments, resolves, Rules and Regulations Governing the Conduct of
awards, and determinations . . . ." It is basic that a law should be Initiative on the Constitution, and Initiative and
construed in harmony with and not in violation of the constitution. Referendum, on National and Local Laws." It
 In Re Guarina that "if there is doubt or uncertainty likewise recognized resolutions as proper subjects of
as to the meaning of the legislative, if the words or initiatives. Section 5, Article I of its Rules states:
provisions are obscure, or if the enactment is fairly "Scope of power of initiative” The power of initiative
susceptible of two or more constructions, that may be exercised to amend the Constitution, or to
interpretation will be adopted which will avoid the enact a national legislation, a regional, provincial,
effect of unconstitutionality, even though it may be
Mabelle O. Nebres | Local Governments Case Digests

city, municipal or barangay law, resolution or The legislative power shall be vested in the
ordinance.." Congress of the Philippines which shall consist of a
 There can hardly be any doubt that when Congress Senate and a House of Representatives except to
enacted Republic Act No. 6735 it intend resolutions the extent reserved to the people by the provisions
to be proper subjects of local initiatives. on initiative and referendum. Sec. 32. The Congress
Respondents do not give any reason why resolutions shall, as early as possible, provide for a system of
should not be the subject of a local initiative. initiative and referendum, and the exceptions
 Distinction between a resolution and an ordinance: a therefrom, whereby the people can directly propose
resolution is used whenever the legislature wishes and enact laws or approve or reject any act or law
to express an opinion which is to have only a or part thereof passed by the Congress or local
temporary effect while an ordinance is intended to legislative body after the registration of a petition
permanently direct and control matters applying to therefor signed by at least ten per centum of the
persons or things in general. Thus, resolutions are total number of registered voters, of which every
not normally subject to referendum for it may legislative district must be represented by at least
destroy the efficiency necessary to the successful three per centum of the registered voters thereto.
administration of the business affairs of a city.
 In the case at bench, however, it cannot be argued Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority v. COMELEC
that the subject matter of the resolution of the
municipality of Morong merely temporarily affects Facts: On March 13, 1992, Congress enacted the BCDA (RA 7227)
the people of Morong for it directs a permanent rule which provided for the creation of the Subic Economic Zone. In April
of conduct or government. The inclusion of Morong 1993, the Sangguniang Bayan of Morong, Bataan passed
as part of the Subic Special Economic Zone has far Pambayang Kapasyahan Bilang 10, Serye 1993, expressing therein
reaching implications in the governance of its its absolute concurrence, as required by said Sec. 12 of RA 7227, to
people. This is apparent from a reading of section join the Subic Special Economic Zone. On September 5, 1993, the
12 of Republic Act No. 7227 entitled "An Act Sangguniang Bayan of Morong submitted Pambayang Kapasyahan
Accelerating the Conversion of Military Reservations Bilang 10, Serye 1993 to the Office of the President. On May 24,
Into Other Productive Uses, Creating the Bases 1993, respondents Garcia, Calimbas and their companions filed a
Conversion and Development Authority For This petition with the Sangguniang Bayan of Morong to annul
Purpose, Providing Funds Therefor and For Other Pambayang Kapasyahan Blg. 10, Serye 1993. The Sangguniang
Purposes." Bayan ng Morong acted upon the petition of respondents Garcia,
 Considering the lasting changes that will be wrought Calimbas, et al. by promulgating Pambayang Kapasyahan Blg. 18,
in the social, political, and economic existence of Serye 1993, requesting Congress of the Philippines so amend
the people of Morong by the inclusion of their certain provisions of RA 7227. Not satisfied, and within 30 days
municipality in the Subic Special Economic Zone, it from submission of their petition, herein respondents resorted to
is but logical to hear their voice on the matter via an their power initiative under the LGC Sec. 122 paragraph (b) which
initiative. It is not material that the decision of the provides that if no favorable action thereon is taken by the
municipality of Morong for the inclusion came in the sanggunian concerned, the proponents, through their duly
form of a resolution for what matters is its enduring authorized and registered representatives, may invoke their power
effect on the welfare of the people of Morong. of initiative, giving notice thereof to the sangguniang concerned.
 Through an initiative, the people were also endowed On July 6, 1993, respondent Commission En Banc in Comelec
with the power to enact or reject any act or law by Resolution No. 93-1623 denied the petition for local initiative by
congress or local legislative body. Article VI: Sec. 1. herein private respondents on the ground that the subject thereof
Mabelle O. Nebres | Local Governments Case Digests

was merely a resolution (pambayang kapasyahan) and not an bears emphasizing, the submission of which to the
ordinance. On July 13, 1993, public respondent Comelec En Banc people of Morong, Bataan is now sought to be
(thru Comelec Resolution no. 93-1676) further directed its enjoined by petitioner.
Provincial Election Supervisor to hold action on the authentication  SC: The only issue resolved in the earlier Garcia
of signatures being solicited by private respondents. On August 15, case is whether a municipal resolution as contra-
1993, private respondents instituted a petition for certiorari and distinguished from an ordinance may be the proper
mandamus before this Court against the Commission on Elections subject of an initiative and/or referendum. The sole
and the Sangguniang Bayan of Morong, Bataan, to set aside issue presented by the pleadings was the question
Comelec Resolution No. 93-1623 insofar as it disallowed the of "whether or not a Sangguniang Bayan Resolution
conduct of a local initiative to annul Pambayang Kapasyahan Bilang can be the subject of a valid initiative or
10, Serye 1993, and Comelec Resolution No. 93-1676 insofar as it referendum"
prevented the Provincial Election Supervisor of Bataan from  In the present case, petitioner is not contesting the
proceeding with the authentication of the required number of propriety of a municipal resolution as the form by
signatures in support of the initiative and the gathering of which these two new constitutional prerogatives of
signatures. On February 1, 1995, pursuant to Sec. 12 of RA 7227, the people may be validly exercised. What is at
the President of the Philippines issued Proclamation No. 532 issue here is whether Pambayang Kapasyahan Blg.
defining the metes and bounds of the SSEZ. Said proclamation 10, Serye 1993, as worded, is sufficient in form and
included in the SSEZ all the lands within the former Subic Naval substance for submission to the people for their
Base, including Grande Island and that portion of the former naval approval; in fine, whether the Comelec acted
base within the territorial jurisdiction of the Municipality of Morong. properly and juridically in promulgating and
On June 18, 19956, respondent Comelec issued Resolution No. implementing Resolution No. 2848.
2845, adopting therein a "Calendar of Activities for local  WON the COMELEC committed a grave abuse of discretion
referendum on certain municipal ordinance passed by the in promulgating and implementing Resolution No. 2848.
Sangguniang Bayan of Morong, Bataan", and which indicated, YES.
among others, the scheduled Referendum Day (July 27, 1996,  To begin with, the process started by private
Saturday). On June 27, 1996, the Comelec promulgated the respondents was an INITIATIVE but Comelec made
assailed Resolution No. 2848 providing for "the rules and guidelines preparations for a REFERENDUM only. In fact, in the
to govern the conduct of the referendum proposing to annul or body of the Resolution 11 as reproduced in the
repeal Kapasyahan Blg. 10, Serye 1993 of the Sangguniang Bayan footnote below, the word "referendum" is repeated
of Morong, Bataan". On July 10, 1996, petitioner instituted the at least 27 times, but "initiative" is not mentioned at
present petition for certiorari and prohibition contesting the validity all. The Comelec labeled the exercise as a
of Resolution No. 2848 and alleging, inter alia, that public "Referendum"; the counting of votes was entrusted
respondent "is intent on proceeding with a local initiative that to a "Referendum Committee"; the documents were
proposes an amendment of a national law. . . . called "referendum returns"; the canvassers,
"Referendum Board of Canvassers" and the ballots
Issues: 1. WON a bar by final judgment exists. themselves bore the description "referendum". To
 Garcia contends that this Court had already ruled repeat, not once was the word "initiative" used in
with finality in Enrique T. Garcia, et al. vs. said body of Resolution No. 2848. And yet, this
Commission on Elections, et al. on "the very issue exercise is unquestionably an INITIATIVE.
raised in (the) petition: whether or not there can be  "Initiative" is the power of the people to propose
an initiative by the people of Morong, Bataan on the amendments to the Constitution or to propose and
subject proposition ” the very same proposition, it enact legislations through an election called for the
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purpose. 3 systems: 1. Initiative on the Constitution  SC: initiative is resorted to (or initiated) by the
which refers to a petition proposing amendments to people directly either because the law-making body
the Constitution; 2. Initiative on statutes which fails or refuses to enact the law, ordinance,
refers to a petition proposing to enact a national resolution or act that they desire or because they
legislation; and 3. Initiative on local legislation which want to amend or modify one already existing.
refers to a petition proposing to enact a regional, Under Sec. 13 of R.A. 6735, the local legislative
provincial, city, municipal, or barangay law, body is given the opportunity to enact the proposal.
resolution or ordinance. If it refuses/neglects to do so within thirty (30) days
 "Indirect initiative" is exercise of initiative by the from its presentation, the proponents through their
people through a proposition sent to Congress or duly-authorized and registered representatives may
the local legislative body for action. invoke their power of initiative, giving notice thereof
 "Referendum" is the power of the electorate to to the local legislative body concerned. Should the
approve or reject a legislation through an election proponents be able to collect the number of signed
called for the purpose. It may be of two classes, conformities within the period granted by said
namely: 1. Referendum on statutes which refers to a statute, the Commission on Elections "shall then set
petition to approve or reject an act or law, or part a date for the initiative (not referendum) at which
thereof, passed by Congress; and 2. Referendum on the proposition shall be submitted to the registered
local law which refers to a petition to approve or voters in the local government unit concerned .
reject a law, resolution or ordinance enacted by  On the other hand, in a local referendum, the law-
regional assemblies and local legislative bodies. making body submits to the registered voters of its
 Cruz: Initiative - "power of the people to propose territorial jurisdiction, for approval or rejection, any
bills and laws, and to enact or reject them at the ordinance or resolution which is duly enacted or
polls independent of the legislative assembly." approved by such law-making authority. Said
referendum - "is the right reserved to the people to referendum shall be conducted also under the
adopt or reject any act or measure which has been control and direction of the Commission on
passed by a legislative body and which in most Elections.
cases would without action on the part of electors  While initiative is entirely the work of the electorate,
become a law." referendum is begun and consented to by the law-
 LGC: Local initiative is the legal process whereby the making body. Initiative is a process of law-making
registered voters of local government unit may by the people themselves without the participation
directly propose, enact, or amend any ordinance. and against the wishes of their elected
Local referendum is the legal process whereby the representatives, while referendum consists merely
registered voters of the local government units may of the electorate approving or rejecting what has
approve, amend or reject any ordinance enacted by been drawn up or enacted by a legislative body.
the sanggunian. The local referendum shall be held Hence, the process and the voting in an initiative
under the control and direction of the Comelec are understandably more complex than in a
within sixty (60) days in case of provinces and cities, referendum where expectedly the voters will simply
forty-five (45) days in case of municipalities and write either "Yes" of "No" in the ballot.
thirty (30) days in case of baranggays. The Comelec  From the above differentiation, it follows that there
shall certify and proclaim the results of the said is need for the Comelec to supervise an initiative
referendum. more closely, its authority thereon extending not
only to the counting and canvassing of votes but
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also to seeing to it that the matter or act submitted of Ordinance No. 25, concerning cockpits, and six members voted
to the people is in the proper form and language so against the ordinance, with three members absent.
it may be easily understood and voted upon by the
electorate. This is especially true where the ISSUE: WON the ordinance is valid. NO.
proposed legislation is lengthy and complicated, and  Section 224 of the Administrative Code reads as
should thus be broken down into several follows: Journal of Proceedings ” Majorities
autonomous parts, each such part to be voted upon necessary for transaction of business. ” The council
separately. Care must also be exercised that "(n)o shall keep a journal of its own proceedings. The
petition embracing more than one subject shall be ayes and noes shall be taken upon the passage of
submitted to the electorate," although "two or more all ordinances, upon all propositions to create any
propositions may be submitted in an initiative". liability against the municipality, and upon any other
 In initiative and referendum, the Comelec exercises proposition, upon the request of any member, and
administration and supervision of the process itself, they shall be entered upon the journal. The
akin to its powers over the conduct of elections. affirmative vote of a majority of all the members of
These law-making powers belong to the people, the municipal council shall be necessary to the
hence the respondent Commission cannot control or passage of any ordinance or of any proposition
change the substance or the content of legislation. creating indebtedness; but other measures, except
In the exercise of its authority, it may (in fact it as otherwise specially provided, shall prevail upon
should have done so already) issue relevant and the majority vote of the members present at any
adequate guidelines and rules for the orderly meeting duly called and held.
exercise of these "people-power" features of our  The law is clear. It needs only application, not
Constitution. interpretation. While the Spanish text may be
ambiguous, the English text which governs is not.
 WON Withdrawal of Adherence and Imposition of The law is entirely consistent in context. The ayes
Conditionalities are Ultra Vires. and noes are taken upon (1) the passage of all
 SC: premature! The municipal resolution is still in ordinances, (2) all propositions to create any liability
the proposal stage. It is not yet an approved law. against the municipality, and (3) any other
Should the people reject it, then there would be proposition, upon the request of any member. The
nothing to contest and to adjudicate. It is only when same idea is carried into the succeeding sentence.
the people have voted for it and it has become an For the passage of (1) any ordinance or (2) any
approved ordinance or resolution that rights and proposition creating indebtedness , the affirmative
obligations can be enforced or implemented vote of a majority of all the members of the
thereunder. At this point, it is merely a proposal and municipal council shall be necessary. Other
the writ or prohibition cannot issue upon a mere measures prevail upon the majority vote of the
conjecture or possibility. Constitutionally speaking, members present "Creating indebtedness" refers to
courts may decide only actual controversies, not "proposition" and not to "ordinance." The contention
hypothetical questions or cases. that only ordinances creating indebtedness require
the approval of a majority of all the members of the
Ortiz v. Posadas municipal council, is devoid of merit.
 Corroborative authority is really superfluous.
Facts: Seven of the thirteen members present, including the Nevertheless we would invite attention to the case
president, of the municipal council of Tabaco, Albay, voted in favor of McLean vs. City of East St. Louis ([1906], 222 Ill.,
Mabelle O. Nebres | Local Governments Case Digests

510). Section 13 of the Act for the incorporation of the passage of all ordinances, and the concurrence
cities and villages in the State of Illinois provided: of a majority of the legislative body is necessary to
"The yeas and nays shall be taken upon the passage their passage. We recognized that construction of
of all ordinances and on all propositions to create the statute in Hibbard & Co. vs. City of Chicago, 173
any liability against the city, or for the expenditure Ill., 91. If a proposition not in the form of an
or appropriation of its money, and in all other cases ordinance creates any liability or provides for the
at the request of any member, which shall be expenditure or appropriation of money, the
entered on the journal of its proceedings; and the requirement is the same, while as to other
concurrence of a majority of all the members propositions, whether the yeas and nays are
elected in the city council shall be necessary to the entered upon the journal or not, the majority of a
passage of any such ordinance or proposition: quorum is sufficient.
Provided, it shall require two-thirds of all the  The basic idea of the legislative body to make
aldermen elect to sell any city or school property" impossible the approval of ordinances or of
Commenting on this provision of law, the Supreme propositions creating indebtedness by minority
Court of Illinois, through Justice Cartwright, votes of municipal councils, at meetings hastily
observed: Some of the counsel for appellee argue called is wise. Legislative intention should be
that section 13 relates only to ordinances and effectuated.
propositions creating a liability against a city or Section 2224 of the Administrative Code, requiring in mandatory
providing for the expenditure or appropriation of its language the affirmative vote of a majority of all the members of
money, and that all other ordinances may be passed the municipal council for the passage of any ordinance, whether or
by a majority of a quorum. They say that it is not not an ordinance creating indebtedness, an ordinance passed by
unusual for courts, in the construction of statutes, to less than that majority is invalid. Ordinance No. 25 of Tabaco,
substitute one word for another where the plain Albay, is void.
meaning of the statute will justify it, and that by
eliminating some words and substituting others this City of Manila v. Laguio
section will express what they think was the
intention of the legislature. It is the rule that where Facts: The Malate Tourist Development Corporation (MTDC) built
the intention of the legislature is ascertained with and opened Victoria Court in Malate which was licensed as a motel
reasonable certainty and it appears that words have although duly accredited with the DOTC as a hotel. MTDC filed a
been used inconsistent with such intention, a word petition for declaratory relief against the City of Manila, Lim
erroneously used for another may be eliminated and (mayor), Atienza (vice-mayor), and the members of the city council
the proper word substituted. Where the context of Manila, praying that the Ordinance they enacted which
affords the means of correcting a mistake in the use prohibited motels and inns be declared unconstitutional. The
of language, the correction may be made for the Ordinance prohibited the establishment or operation of businesses
purpose of giving effect to the intention plainly providing amusement, services, or entertainment where women
manifested in the act as a whole. But we do not are used as tools in entertainment and which tend to disturb the
agree with the theory that the legislature, in this community, annoy the inhabitants, and adversely affect the social
instance, intended to limit the requirement of a and moral welfare of the community in the Ermita-Malate area.
majority vote to ordinances creating a liability or Such businesses include sauna parlors, massage parlors, karaoke
appropriating money. In our opinion, to make the bars, clubs, dance halls, motels and inns.
changes suggested would be merely juggling with MTDC: Motels and inns should not have been prohibited as they are
the words of the statute to give it a different not establishments for amusement or entertainment; neither were
meaning from that which was intended. The law
Mabelle O. Nebres | Local Governments Case Digests

they services or facilities for entertainment and did not use women guarantees of a person's fundamental right to
as tools, etc. Also, the Ordinance was unconstitutional and void liberty and property. Motel patrons who are single
because (1) The City Council has no power to prohibit the operation and unmarried may invoke this right to autonomy to
of motels as the LGC granted only the power to regulate the consummate their bonds in intimate be it stressed
establishment, operation and maintenance of motels, etc. (2) It is that their sexual conduct within the motel's
violative of PD 499 which declared portions of the Ermita-Malate premises consensual sexual behavior does not
area as a commercial zone, with restrictions (3) It is not a proper contravene any fundamental state policy as
exercise of police power as there is no relation to legitimate contained in the Constitution. Adults have a right to
municipal interests sought to be protected, (4) It is an ex post facto choose to forge such relationships with others in the
law, and (5) It violates MTDC’s constitutional rights, confiscatory confines of their own private lives and still retain
and is an invasion of property rights, also violates the equal their dignity as free persons. Their right to liberty
protection clause. under the due process clause gives them the full
Manila: The City Council had the power to prohibit certain forms of right to engage in their conduct without intervention
entertainment in order to protect the social and moral welfare of of the government, as long as they do not run afoul
the community, as provided in Sec. 458 (a) 4 (vii) of the LGC. of the law. Liberty should be the rule and restraint
Kwong Sing vs. City of Manila: power of regulation includes the the exception.
power to control, govern, and restrain places of exhibition and  Liberty in the constitutional sense not only means
amusement. This is also in conjunction with its police power as freedom from unlawful government restraint; it
found in Revised Charter of Manila. must include privacy as well, if it is to be a
Judge Laguio issued an ex-parte TRO against the enforcement of repository of freedom. The right to be let alone it is
the Ordinance. After trial, he rendered a decision enjoining the City the most comprehensive of rights and is the
of Manila from implementing the Ordinance. The City of Manila then beginning of all freedom and the right most valued
filed a petition assailing the Decision rendered by Laguio. by civilized men. The right to privacy is a
constitutional right, the invasion of which should be
Issue: WON the Ordinance is unconstitutional. YES. justified by a compelling state interest.
 To be valid, an ordinance must conform to the  The Ordinance was passed by the City Council in the
following substantive requirements: (1) It must not exercise of its police power as found in Sec. 16 of
contravene the Constitution or any statute; (2) Must the LGC. This police power, while far-reaching, is
not be unfair or oppressive; (3) Must not be partial subordinate to constitutional limitations the exercise
or discriminatory; (4) Must not prohibit but may must be reasonable and for the public good. The
regulate trade; (5) Must be general and consistent Ordinance violates the 1987 Constitution, the
with public policy; (5) Must not be unreasonable. relevant provisions of which are Art. II, Secs. 5 and
 As regards the first criterion, there are 2 14, and Art. III, Secs. 1 and 9.
requirements: It must pass muster under the test of  To be constitutional, the exercise of police power,
constitutionality and the test of consistency with not only must it appear that the interests of the
prevailing laws. LGUs are able to legislate only by public generally, as distinguished from those of a
virtue of their derivative legislative power, a particular class, require an interference with private
delegation of legislative power from Congress. The rights, but the means adopted must be reasonably
delegate cannot be superior to the principal. necessary for the accomplishment of the purpose
 The means employed by the Ordinance for the and not unduly oppressive upon individuals. It must
achievement of its purposes, the governmental be evident that no other alternative for the
interference itself, infringes on the constitutional accomplishment of the purpose less intrusive of
Mabelle O. Nebres | Local Governments Case Digests

private rights can work. A reasonable relation must  The closing down and transfer of businesses or their
exist between the purposes of the police measure conversion into businesses allowed under the
and the means employed for its accomplishment. In Ordinance have no reasonable relation to the
this case, the means employed is oppressive and accomplishment of its purposes. The City Council
unreasonable. instead should regulate human conduct that occurs
 The Ordinance was enacted to address and arrest inside the establishments, but not to the detriment
the social ills purportedly spawn as it substantially of liberty and privacy which are covenants,
divests the respondent of the beneficial use of its premiums and blessings of democracy.
property. The Ordinance in Section 1 forbids the  Due process furnishes a standard to which
running of the enumerated businesses in the Ermita- governmental action should conform in order that
Malate area and in Section 3 instructs its deprivation of life, liberty, or property is valid.
owners/operators to wind up business operations or  The Ordinance fails to set up any standard to guide
to transfer outside the area or convert said or limit the petitioners' actions. It in no way controls
businesses into allowed businesses. An ordinance or guides the discretion vested in them. It provides
which permanently restricts the use of property that no definition of the establishments covered by it and
it cannot be used for any reasonable purpose goes it fails to set forth the conditions when the
beyond regulation and must be recognized as a establishments come within its ambit of prohibition.
taking of the property without just compensation. It The Ordinance confers upon the mayor arbitrary and
is intrusive and violative of the private property unrestricted power to close down establishments.
rights of individuals.  Ordinances placing restrictions upon the lawful use
 The City of Manila cannot take refuge in classifying of property must, in order to be valid and
the measure as a zoning ordinance. A zoning constitutional, specify the rules and conditions to be
ordinance, although a valid exercise of police power, observed and conduct to avoid; and must not admit
which limits a "wholesome" property to a use which of the exercise, or of an opportunity for the
cannot reasonably be made of it constitutes the exercise, of unbridled discretion by the law
taking of such property without just compensation. enforcers in carrying out its provisions. Similarly, the
Private property which is not noxious or intended for Ordinance does not specify the standards to
noxious purposes may not, by zoning, be destroyed ascertain which establishments "tend to disturb the
without compensation. community," "annoy the inhabitants," and
 Distinction should be made between destruction "adversely affect the social and moral welfare of the
from necessity and eminent domain. Property taken community." There are no comprehensible
in the exercise of police power is destroyed because standards to guide the law enforcers in carrying out
it is noxious or intended for a noxious purpose while its provisions.
the property taken under the power of eminent  Equal protection requires that all persons or things
domain is intended for a public use or purpose and similarly situated should be treated alike, both as to
is therefore "wholesome." If it be of public benefit rights conferred and responsibilities imposed.
that a wholesome property remains unused or Similar subjects, in other words, should not be
relegated to a particular purpose, then certainly the treated differently, so as to give undue favor to
public should bear the cost of reasonable some and unjustly discriminate against others.
compensation for the condemnation of private Legislative bodies are allowed to classify the
property for public used by the establishments in subjects of legislation. If the classification is
the Ermita-Malate area. reasonable, the law may operate only on some and
Mabelle O. Nebres | Local Governments Case Digests

not all of the people without violating the equal establishments is to regulate them to promote the
protection clause. The classification must, as an general welfare. The Code still withholds from cities
indispensable requisite, not be arbitrary. To be the power to suppress and prohibit altogether the
valid, it must conform to the following establishment, operation and maintenance of such
requirements:1) It must be based on substantial establishments. The word regulate includes the
distinctions. 2) It must be germane to the purposes power to control, govern, and restrain, but it should
of the law. 3) It must not be limited to existing not be construed as synonymous with suppress or
conditions only. 4) It must apply equally to all prohibit. As a general rule when a municipal
members of the class. corporation is specifically given authority or power
 According to the SC: (1) No substantial distinctions to regulate or to license and regulate the liquor
between motels, inns, pension houses, hotels, traffic, power to prohibit is impliedly withheld.
lodging houses, and other similar establishments. All  Congress unequivocably specified the
are commercial establishments providing lodging. establishments and forms of amusement or
The classification is thus invalid (similar subjects are entertainment subject to regulation among which
not similarly treated) and arbitrary (it does not rest are beerhouses, hotels, motels, inns, pension
on substantial distinctions bearing a just and fair houses, lodging houses, and other similar
relation to the purpose of the Ordinance) (2) No establishments (Section 458 (a) 4 (iv)), public
logic for prohibiting the business and operation of dancing schools, public dance halls, sauna baths,
motels in the Ermita-Malate area but not outside of massage parlors, and other places for entertainment
this area. (3) The standard "where women are used or amusement (Section 458 (a) 4 (vii)). This
as tools for one of the hinted entertainment" is also enumeration therefore cannot be included as among
discriminatory as prostitution ills the Ordinance is "other events or activities for amusement or
not a profession exclusive aims to banish to women. entertainment, particularly those which tend to
Both men and women have an equal propensity to disturb the community or annoy the inhabitants" or
engage in prostitution. This discrimination based on "certain forms of amusement or entertainment"
gender violates equal protection as it is not which the City Council may suspend, suppress or
substantially related to important government prohibit.
objectives.  The rule is that the City Council has only such
 As to consistency with prevailing laws: (1) The powers as are expressly granted to it and those
Ordinance contravenes the LGC. Under the LGC, which are necessarily implied or incidental to the
LGUs are empowered to regulate, and not prohibit exercise thereof. By reason of its limited powers and
the establishments enumerated in Sec. 1 of the the nature thereof, said powers are to be construed
Ordinance. The power of the City Council to regulate strictissimi juris and any doubt or ambiguity arising
by ordinances the establishment, operation, and out of the terms used in granting said powers must
maintenance of motels, hotels and other similar be construed against the City Council. Moreover, it
establishments is found in Section 458 (a) 4 (iv), is a general rule in statutory construction that the
while its power to regulate the establishment, express mention of one person, thing, or
operation and maintenance of any entertainment or consequence is tantamount to an express exclusion
amusement facilities, and to prohibit certain forms of all others.
of amusement or entertainment is provided under  Also, the Code being a later expression of the
Section 458 (a) 4 (vii). Clearly, then, the only power legislative will must necessarily prevail and override
of the City Council to legislate relative to these the earlier law, the Revised Charter of Manila. As
Mabelle O. Nebres | Local Governments Case Digests

between two laws on the same subject matter, the Code in an effort to overreach its prohibitory
which are irreconcilably inconsistent, that which is powers. It is evident that these establishments may
passed later prevails, since it is the latest only be regulated in their establishment, operation
expression of legislative will. In addition, Section and maintenance.
534(f) of the Code states that "All general and  It is important to distinguish the punishable
special laws, acts, city charters, decrees, executive activities from the establishments themselves. That
orders, proclamations and administrative these establishments are recognized legitimate
regulations, or part or parts thereof which are enterprises can be gleaned from another Section of
inconsistent with any of the provisions of this Code the Code. Section 131 under the Title on Local
are hereby repealed or modified accordingly." Thus, Government Taxation expressly mentioned
submitting to petitioners' interpretation that the proprietors or operators of massage clinics, sauna,
Revised Charter of Manila empowers the City Turkish and Swedish baths, hotels, motels and
Council to prohibit motels, that portion of the lodging houses as among the "contractors" defined
Charter stating such must be considered repealed in paragraph (h) thereof. The same Section also
by the Code as it is at variance with the latter's defined "amusement" as a "pleasurable diversion
provisions granting the City Council mere regulatory and entertainment," "synonymous to relaxation,
powers. avocation, pastime or fun;" and "amusement
 Manila also cannot seek cover under the general places" to include "theaters, cinemas, concert halls,
welfare clause authorizing the abatement of circuses and other places of amusement where one
nuisances without judicial proceedings. That tenet seeks admission to entertain oneself by seeing or
applies to a nuisance per se, or one which affects viewing the show or performances." Thus, it can be
the immediate safety of persons and property and inferred that the Code considers these
may be summarily abated under the undefined law establishments as legitimate enterprises and
of necessity. It cannot be said that motels are activities. (2) The Ordinance also contravenes the
injurious to the rights of property, health or comfort provisions of P.D. 499. As correctly argued by MTDC,
of the community. It is a legitimate business. If it be the statute had already converted the residential
a nuisance per accidens it may be so proven in a Ermita-Malate area into a commercial area. The
hearing conducted for that purpose. A motel is not decree allowed the establishment and operation of
per se a nuisance warranting its summary all kinds of commercial establishments except
abatement without judicial intervention. warehouse or open storage depot, dump or yard,
 The City Council was conferred powers to prevent motor repair shop, gasoline service station, light
and prohibit certain activities and establishments in industry with any machinery or funeral
Section 458 (1) (v). If it were the intention of establishment. The rule is that for an ordinance to
Congress to confer upon the City Council the power be valid and to have force and effect, it must not
to prohibit the establishments enumerated in only be within the powers of the council to enact but
Section 1 of the Ordinance, it would have so the same must not be in conflict with or repugnant
declared in uncertain terms by adding them to the to the general law.
list of the matters it may prohibit under the above-
quoted Section. The Ordinance now vainly attempts Perez v. de la Cruz
to lump these establishments with houses of ill-
repute and expand the City Council's powers in the Facts: In 1968 during a private conference held at the office of the
second and third clauses of Section 458 (a) 4 (vii) of petitioner Naga vice-mayor Perez with 7 councilors , the matter of
Mabelle O. Nebres | Local Governments Case Digests

selecting the secretary of the municipal board of the city as well as creating the position of vice-mayor who was made
the chairmen of the various standing committees came up for the presiding officer, the vice-mayor simply replaced
discussion. At the indication by the 4 Nacionalista Party councilors the mayor as "presiding officer" of the municipal
of their desire to vote for a particular person as secretary of the board, the vice-mayor acquired all the rights and
board and to hold the chairmanship of the committee on markets prerogatives of the presiding officer under the
for one of them, Perez expressed her intention to vote, in the charter, one of which is "membership in the
deliberation of such matters, to create a tie vote and to then municipal board."
exercise her power to break such deadlock. The four aforesaid  Quiem v. Seriña: the silence of Rep. Act 2259 on
councilors filed with the Court of First Instance of Camarines Sur a whether the vice-mayor, the presiding officer, is a
petition for prohibition with writ of preliminary injunction to prevent member of the board, was not enough ground for
Perez from casting her vote in the selection of the secretary of the excluding the vice-mayor from membership in the
municipal board and in the choice of chairmen and members of the board. But the legal setting and premises in Quiem
different standing committees, except in the event of a tie vote, are widely disparate from those in the case at bar.
and from voting on any legislative proposal or measure or in any In the first place, in Quiem we found that "by
proceeding of the said board except when the members thereof are express legal mandate, the vice-mayor of Cagayan
equally divided. Respondents alleged that the vice-mayor of Naga de Oro City is a member of the board" because "that
City is not a member of the municipal board but only its presiding city's original charters calls for an appointive Vice-
officer. A writ was issued hence vice-mayor Perez assailed the Mayor who 'shall be a member of the Municipal
issuance of the writ as undue interference in matters purely Board'." In the case at bar, however, in contrast with
legislative in character, at the same time that she denied the sec. 11 of Republic Act 521 creating the city of
existence of a threatened invasion of the rights of the four Cagayan de Oro which explicitly made the vice-
councilors. Subsequently, Liberal councilors passed an amendment mayor a member of the municipal board, section 11
to the Rules of Procedure of the Naga municipal board granting the of Republic Act 305 creating the City of Naga failed
chairman thereof the right to vote as a member, and as presiding to provide even for the position of vice-mayor. In the
officer the right to vote again in case of a tie. second place, Republic Act 1325, 10 particularly
section 1 thereof, amending the Cagayan de Oro
Issues: 1. WON the vice-mayor of Naga city, besides being the charter, expressly reiterated that the vice-mayor
presiding officer of the municipal board, also a member thereof? "shall be a member of the Municipal Board;" as such
NO. similar statutory basis can be cogently invoked for
 upon approval of Republic Act 2259 3 making the petitioner Perez.
elective the offices of mayor, vice-mayor and  Bagasao, et al. vs. Tumangan: the vice-mayor "as
councilors in chartered cities, the position of vice- the presiding officer of the Municipal Board of the
mayor, among others was created. Thus section 3 of City of Cabanatuan is a member thereof" and "he
said law provides: The position of Vice-Mayor is may exercise his right to vote as a member on any
hereby created in chartered cities which at present proposed ordinance, resolution or motion." But we
have no position for Vice-Mayor by provision of their so held because "both the unamended and
corporate charters: Provided, That the Vice-Mayor amended provisions of section 11 of the Charter of
shall be the presiding officer of the City Council or the City of Cabanatuan provide that the presiding
Municipal Board in all chartered cities. officer of the Municipal Board is a member thereof.
 Perez now contends that since under the Naga City And as we have re repeatedly stated, there is no
charter the mayor was the presiding officer of the provision whatever in Republic Act 305 creating the
municipal board, and since under Republic Act 2259 City of Naga that provides for the position of vice-
Mabelle O. Nebres | Local Governments Case Digests

mayor; and the amendatory provisions of Republic officer" thereof, the vice-mayor acquired all the
Act 2259 making the vice-mayor the presiding rights and prerogatives of the presiding officer, one
officer of the municipal board does not make him a of which is membership in the board. This
constituent member thereof. contention finds no support either in law or logic.
 Paragraph (g) of Rule III of the Rules of Procedure For, section 3 of Rep. Act 2259 simply installs the
adopted by the municipal board of Naga City, which vice-mayor as the presiding officer of the board in
recites: (g) The chairman cannot vote, except in all chartered cities. It does not install the vice-mayor
case of a tie. However, a member of the Board as a member thereof. This is especially true in the
acting as chairman may vote as a member and as case of Naga where the position of vice-mayor
chairman to break a tie. (whether appointive or elective) was originally not
 The petitioner insists, however, that the above even provided for in its charter — the official next-
provision was amended by the 6th municipal board, in-rank to the mayor being the city treasurer.
headed by her, to read as follows: (g) The Chairman,
as member of the Board can vote and as a Presiding 2. WON she can vote twice: to create a deadlock and then to break
Officer may vote again in case of a tie. In the same it. NO.
manner, a member of the Board acting as chairman,  The petitioner now argues that as vice-mayor she merely
may vote as a member and as Chairman, to break stepped into the shoes of the mayor as presiding officer of
the tie. Such insistence is a sheer exercise in futility the board, and since the mayor was considered a member
because (1) the amended rule presupposes that the thereof, she too became a member entitled to the same
chairman is a "member of the Board" — an rights, powers and prerogatives of voting as the mayor.
assumption that is without legal basis; (2) the said There is no gainsaying the fact that prior, to the approval of
amendatory rule was passed on March 5, 1968, Rep. Act 2259, the mayor of a municipality was a member of
almost two months after the filing on January 15, the municipal council, 25 besides being the presiding officer
1968, by the private respondents of their petition in thereof, but his right to vote could be exercised only in
civil case 6504, that is, pendente lite; and (3) "case of a tie." 26 Certainly, the vice-mayor who merely
although on the date the said amendment was stepped into the shoes of the mayor could have no greater
passed, that restraining order dated February 20, power than that possessed by the mayor who could not
1968 of the Court of Appeals was in force, there was create a tie vote and then break it.
no quorum in the board, as the four respondents
councilors had walked out of the session hall, 3. WON the judge has jurisdiction to issue the writ of prohibitory
leaving only the three Liberal Party councilors and injunction against Perez. YES.
the petitioner. The proposed amendment was,  The petitioner's final contention is that as a legislative
therefore, a complete nullity. official, performing legislative functions, she is not subject to
 Petitioner’s theory that since the mayor of Naga any prohibitory process by the courts. She invokes Vera, et
City, who was a member of the municipal board al. vs. Avelino, et al. (77 Phil. 192) where we held:
under Rep. Act 305, was replaced by the vice-mayor Petitioners pray for a writ of prohibition. Under the law,
as presiding officer thereof, the vice-mayor must, prohibition refers only to proceedings of any tribunal,
perforce, be deemed a member of the municipal corporation, board or person exercising functions, judicial or
board. Pressing her bid, she asserts that Republic ministerial. As respondents do not exercise such kind of
Act 2259 effected a mere change in the officer who functions, theirs being legislative, it is clear that the dispute
will preside the meetings of the board, and since the falls beyond the scope of such special remedy.
vice-mayor replaced the mayor as "presiding
Mabelle O. Nebres | Local Governments Case Digests

 Invocation of this ruling is completely inapposite. The which may justify the regulation of house rentals; that said
doctrine therein laid down is based on the principle of ordinance constitutes an unreasonable and unjustified limitation on
separation of powers and cheeks and balances and is not the use of private properties and arbitrarily encroaches on the
applicable to local governments. Moreover, executives at constitutional rights of property owners"; that the power of the City
the local or municipal level are vested with both legislative of Manila to "regulate the business of ... letting or subletting of
and sometimes judicial functions, in addition to their purely lands and buildings" does not include the authority to prohibit what
executive duties. By explicit statutory command, courts are is forbidden in said ordinance; and that the same cannot be
given authority to determine the validity of municipal deemed sanctioned by the general welfare clause in the City
proceedings. It is not disputed that the present proceeding Charter.
for prohibition has for its objective to prevent the petitioner
from "participating in the election of Secretary of the Board, Issue: WON the Ordinance is valid. NO.
chairmanship of different committees and in voting in other  The authority of municipal corporations to regulate
legislative matters, proposals and proceedings, other than is essentially police power. Inasmuch as the same
to break a tie." It is our view that the petitioner, in insisting generally entails a curtailment of the liberty, the
to exercise the right to vote twice in the municipal board, rights and/or the property of persons, which are
acted without jurisdiction and power to do so, and may be protected and even guaranteed by the Constitution,
validly prevented and restrained by a writ of prohibition. the exercise of police power is necessarily subject to
 In reply to the petitioner's assertion that the acts sought to a qualification, limitation or restriction demanded by
be restrained are mere "probable individual actuations" the regard, the respect and the obedience due to
beyond the reach of a prohibitory writ, suffice it to state that the prescriptions of the fundamental law,
prohibition is essentially a "preventive remedy" and is "not particularly those forming part of the Constitution of
intended to provide for a remedy for acts already Liberty, otherwise known as the Bill of Rights — the
accomplished." Withal, petitioner's threat of voting twice in police power measure must be "reasonable". In
the municipal board was not an empty or meaningless other words, individual rights may be adversely
gesture, for the record shows that on March 5, 1968, soon affected by the exercise of police power to the
after the writ complained of was lifted by the Court of extent only — and only to the extent — that may
Appeals through the latter's restraining order of February fairly be required by the legitimate demands of
20, 1968, the petitioner proceeded to act by voting twice for public interest or public welfare. If such demands
the approval of an alleged amendment to the rules of are brought about by a state of emergency, the
procedure of the municipal board. interference upon individual rights, resulting from
the regulations adopted to meet the situation, must
Homeowners Association of the Philippines v. Municipal be, by and large, co-extensive, co-equal or co-
Board of Manila terminous with the existence thereof. And, since an
emergency is by nature temporary in character, so
Facts: The City of Manila passed Municipal Ordinance No. 4841 must the regulations promulgated therefor be. In
which regulates rentals of lots and buildings for residential the language of Justice Holmes,"circumstances may
purposes. The Homeowners' Association of the Philippines, Inc. and so change in time or differ in space as to clothe with
its President sought to nullify the ordinance. CFI: ordinance is ultra such an interest what at other times or in other
vires, unconstitutional, illegal and void ab initio. places would be a matter of purely private concern."
LC: struck down the questioned ordinance upon the ground that  As a consequence a law or ordinance affecting the
the power to "declare a state of emergency ... exclusively pertains rights of individuals, as a means to tide over a
to Congress"; that "there is no longer any state of emergency" critical condition, to be valid and legal, must be for a
Mabelle O. Nebres | Local Governments Case Digests

"definite" period of time, the length of which must principle, patterned after that of the United States,
be "reasonable", in relation to the nature and the rule therein, to the effect that "in a proper case,
duration of the crisis it seeks to overcome or emergency legislation, limited in time, may be
surmount. enacted under the police power" of a municipal
 The practical reason for the requirement that a corporation, should be considered a part of our legal
statute passed to meet a given emergency, should system.
limit the period of its effectivity, is that, otherwise, a  Appellant assails the validity of the proceedings in
new and different law would be necessary to repeal the lower court upon the round that, although
it, and said period would, accordingly, be "unlimited, petitioners herein had assailed Municipal Ordinance
indefinite, negative and uncertain", so that "that No. 4841, not merely as ultra vires, but, also, as
which was intended to meet a temporary unconstitutional, the Solicitor General had been
emergency may become a permanent law", because neither heard nor notified in connection therewith,
"Congress might not enact the repeal, and, even if it in violation of Section 4 of Rule 64 of the Rules of
would, the repeal might not meet with the approval Court.
of the President, and the Congress might not be  It should be noted, however, that appellant did not
able to override the veto". In line with the basic raise this question or invoke said Section 4, either in
philosophy underlying the authority to affect his answer or in a motion to dismiss in the lower
individual rights, this Court felt that Commonwealth court. Upon the other hand, the City Fiscal of Manila
Act No. 671, otherwise known as the Emergency was notified therein. In fact, he filed a
Powers Act, was meant to be and "became memorandum, apart from the memorandum
inoperative when Congress met in regular session submitted by counsel for appellant herein. Neither
on May 25, 1946," and that Executive Orders Nos. did his motion for reconsideration of the appealed
62, 192, 225 and 226 — promulgated subsequently decision touch upon said question, which was
thereto — "were issued without authority of law", raised, for the first time, in a "supplement" to said
because, otherwise, said emergency regulations motion for reconsideration.
would purport to be in force for an indefinite and  At any rate, the determination of the question
unlimited period of time, and, hence, would be whether or not the Solicitor General should be
unconstitutional. required to appear "in any action involving the
 The same considerations impelled the Court to validity of any treaty, law, ordinance or executive
invalidate Executive Order Nos. 545 and 546, issued order, rules or regulation" is a matter left to the
on November 10, 1952. Indeed, otherwise "the "discretion" of the Court, pursuant to Section 23 of
result would be obvious unconstitutionality", by Rule 3 of the Rules of Court. Inasmuch as said
making permanent a law intended to afford a relief requirement is not mandatory, but discretionary,
for a temporary emergency, the length of which non-compliance therewith and with Section 4 of Rule
should be "fixed in the law itself and not dependent 64 — the interpretation of which should be
upon the arbitrary or elastic will of either Congress harmonized with said Section 23 of Rule 3 —
or the President". affected neither the jurisdiction of the trial court nor
 The powers of municipal corporations delegated the validity of the proceedings therein, in
thereto by the National Government cannot escape connection with the present case. Thus, in San
the inherent limitations to which the latter — as the Buenaventura vs. Municipality of San Jose, we held:
source of said powers — is subject. Then, again, that the requirement regarding notification to the
since our law on municipal corporations is, in Provincial Fiscal of the pendency of an action
Mabelle O. Nebres | Local Governments Case Digests

involving the validity of a municipal ordinance, as

provided in Sec. 5, Rule 66 of the Rules of Court
(now See. 4, Rule 64 of the Revised Rules of Court),
is not jurisdictional; and failure on the part of
petitioner to notify the Provincial Fiscal will not be a
sufficient ground to throw the case out of court. We
believe the purpose of the above-quoted rule is
simply to give the Provincial Fiscal, who is the legal
officer of the local governments, a chance to
participate in the deliberation to determine the
validity of a questioned municipal ordinance before
the competent court. If it appears, however, that the
ordinance in question is patently illegal, as in the
present case, and the matter had already been
passed upon by a competent court, the
requirements of Sec. 5 of Rule 66 of the Rules of
Court (now See. 4 of Rule 64 of the Revised Rules of
Court) may be dispensed with.

Mabelle O. Nebres | Local Governments Case Digests

Actions coupled with provisional remedies such as

preliminary injunction, attachment, delivery of personal
property and support pendente lite; and [4] Where the
action may otherwise be barred by the Statute of
 Section 2 of the law defines the scope of authority of the
Lupon thus: Subject matters for amicable settlement.—The
Lupon of each barangay shall have authority to bring
together the parties actually residing in the same city or
municipality for amicable settlement of all disputes except:
[1] Where one party is the government ,or any subdivision
or instrumentality thereof; [2] Where one party is a public
officer or employee, and the dispute relates to the
performance of his official functions; [3] Offenses punishable
by imprisonment exceeding 30 days, or a fine exceeding
Morata v. Go P200.00; [4] Offenses where there is no private offended
party; [5] Such other classes of disputes which the Prime
Facts: Victor and Flora Go filed a complaint with the CFI against Minister may in the interest of justice determine upon
Julius and Ma. Luisa Morata for recovery of a sum of money plus recommendation of the Minister of Justice and the Minister
damages. The parties are all residents of Cebu City. The Moratas of Local Government.
filed a motion to dismiss, citing as grounds the failure of the  Thus, except in the instances enumerated in sections 2 and
complaint to allege prior availment by the Gos of the barangay 6 of the law, the Lupon has the authority to settle amicably
conciliation process required by P.D. 1508, as well as the absence all types of disputes involving parties who actually reside in
of a certification by the Lupon or Pangkat Secretary that no the same city or municipality. The law, as written, makes no
conciliation or settlement had been reached by the parties. The distinction whatsoever with respect to the classes of civil
motion was opposed. MTD denied. MR denied. disputes that should be compromised at the barangay level,
in contradistinction to the limitation imposed upon the
Issue: WON the Katarungang Pambarangay law apply to cases Lupon by paragraph (3), section 2 thereof as regards its
heard by the Regional Trial Courts. YES. authority over criminal cases. In fact, in defining the Lupon's
 SECTION 6. No complaint, petition, action for proceeding authority, Section 2 of said law employed the universal and
involving any matter within the authority of the Lupon as comprehensive term "all", to which usage We should neither
provided in Section 2 hereof shall be filed or instituted in add nor subtract in consonance with the rudimentary
court or any other government office for adjudication unless precept in statutory construction that "where the law does
there has been a confrontation of the parties before the not distinguish, We should not distinguish.
Lupon Chairman or the Pangkat and no conciliation or  By compelling the disputants to settle their differences
settlement has been reached as certified by the Lupon through the intervention of the barangay leader and other
Secretary or the Pangkat Secretary attested by the Lupon or respected members of the barangay, the animosity
Pangkat Chairman, or unless the settlement has been generated by protracted court litigations between members
repudiated. However, the parties may go directly to court in of the same political unit, a disruptive factor toward unity
the following cases: [1] Where the accused is under and cooperation, is avoided. It must be borne in mind that
detention; [2] Where a person has otherwise been deprived the conciliation process at the barangay level is likewise
of personal liberty calling for habeas corpus proceedings; [3] designed to discourage indiscriminate filing of cases in court
Mabelle O. Nebres | Local Governments Case Digests

in order to decongest its clogged dockets and, in the sections to justify the thesis that the mandated conciliation
process, enhance the quality of justice dispensed by it. process in other types of cases applies exclusively to said
Thus, to say that the authority of the Lupon is limited to inferior courts.
cases exclusively cognizable by the inferior courts is to lose  Any doubt on the issue before Us should be dispelled by
sight of this objective. Worse, it would make the law a self- Circular No. 22 issued by Chief Justice Enrique M. Fernando:
defeating one. For what would stop a party, say in an action “Effective upon your receipt of the certification by the
for a sum of money or damages, as in the instant case, from Minister of Local Government and Community Development
bloating up his claim in order to place his case beyond the that all the barangays within your respective jurisdictions
jurisdiction of the inferior court and thereby avoid the have organized their Lupons provided for in Presidential
mandatory requirement of P.D. 1508? And why, indeed, Decree No. 1508, otherwise known as the Katarungang
should the law seek to ease the congestion of dockets only Pambarangay Law, in implementation of the barangay
in inferior courts and not in the regional trial courts where system of settlement of disputes, you are hereby directed to
the log-jam of cases is much more serious? Indeed, the desist from receiving complaints, petitions, actions or
lawmakers could not have intended such half-measure and proceedings in cases falling within the authority of said
self-defeating legislation. Lupons.
 There can be no question that when the law conferred upon  It is significant that the above-quoted circular embodying
the Lupon "the authority to bring together the parties the directive "to desist from receiving complaints, petitions,
actually residing in the same city or municipality for actions and proceedings in cases falling within the authority
amicable settlement of all disputes, ... ," its obvious of said Lupons," has been addressed not only to judges of
intendment was to grant to the Lupon as broad and city and municipal courts, but also to all the judges of the
comprehensive an authority as possible as would bring courts of first instance, circuit criminal courts, juvenile and
about the optimum realization of the aforesaid objectives. domestic courts and courts of agrarian relations, now known
These objectives would only be half-met and easily thwarted as regional trial courts under B.P. No. 129. The said circular
if the Lupon's authority is exercised only in cases falling was noted by president Ferdinand E. Marcos in a Letter of
within the exclusive jurisdiction of inferior courts. Implementation, dated November 12, 1979, the first
 Moreover, if it is the intention of the law to restrict its paragraph of which reads as follows: "with the view to
coverage only to cases cognizable by the inferior courts, easing up the log-jam of cases and solving the backlogs in
then it would not have provided in Section 3 thereof the the case of dockets of all government offices involved in the
following rule on Venue, to wit: However, all disputes which investigation, trial and adjudication of cases, it is hereby
involve real property or any interest therein shall be brought ordered that immediate implementation be made by all
in the Barangay where the real property or and part thereof government officials and offices concerned of the system of
is situated. amicably settling disputes at the barangay level as provided
 The authority of the Lupon is clearly established in Section 2 for in the Katarungang Pambarangay Law [Presidential
of the law; whereas Sections 11, 12 and 14, relied upon by Decree No. 1508]."
respondent judge, deal with the nullification or execution of  The conciliation process at the barangay level, prescribed by
the settlement or arbitration awards obtained at the P.D. 1508 as a pre-condition for filing a complaint in court, is
barangay level. These sections conferred upon the city and compulsory not only for cases falling under the exclusive
municipal courts the jurisdiction to pass upon and resolve competence of the metropolitan and municipal trial courts,
petitions or actions for nullification or enforcement of but for actions cognizable by the regional trial courts as
settlement/arbitration awards issued by the Lupon, well.
regardless of the amount involved or the nature of the
original dispute. But there is nothing in the context of said Uy v. Contreras
Mabelle O. Nebres | Local Governments Case Digests

workplace where the contending parties are employed or at

Facts: Uy subleased from Atayde the other half of the second floor the institution where such parties are enrolled for study,
of a building located at corner Reposo and Oliman Streets, Makati. shall be brought in the barangay where such workplace or
She operated and maintained therein a beauty parlor. The sublease institution is located. (3) It provides for the suspension of
contract expired. However, the Uy was not able to remove all her the prescriptive periods of offenses during the pendency of
movable properties. An argument arose between the Uy and the mediation, conciliation, or arbitration process.
Atayde when the former sought to withdraw from the subleased  Paragraph (c) of Section 410 of the law, however, suffers
premises her remaining movable properties such as cabinets, from some ambiguity when it provides that the prescriptive
shelves, frames, a mirror, a shampoo bowl, and an airconditioning periods "shall resume upon receipt by the complainant of
casing. The argument degenerated into a scuffle between the the complaint or the certificate of repudiation or of the
petitioner, on the one hand, and Atayde and several of Atayde's certification to file action issued by the lupon or pangkat
employees, including private respondent Javier on the other. The secretary." What is referred to as receipt by the complainant
private respondent had themselves medically examined for the of the complaint is unclear; obviously, it could have been a
alleged injuries inflicted on them by Uy. They then filed a complaint drafting oversight. Accordingly, in the above quoted Section
with the barangay captain of Valenzuela, Makati. The confrontation 11 of the Rules and Regulations issued by the Secretary of
of the parties was scheduled by the barangay captain, but only Uy Justice, the phrase "the complaint or" is not found, such that
appeared. The confrontation was reset. The Office of the Provincial the resumption of the running of the prescriptive period
Prosecutor of Rizal filed two informations for slight physical injuries shall, properly, be from receipt by the complainant of the
against Uy. Judge Contreras ordered the petitioner to submit her certificate of repudiation or the certification to file action
counter-affidavit and those of her witnesses. Uy submitted the issued by the lupon or the pangkat secretary. Such
required counter-affidavits where she specifically alleged the suspension, however, shall not exceed sixty days.
prematurity of the filing of the criminal cases for failure to undergo  The first feature has necessarily broadened the jurisdiction
conciliation proceedings as she and the private respondents are of the lupon and if the mediation and conciliation process at
residents of Manila. She also attached to it a certification by the that level would be effectively pursued, few cases would
barangay captain of Valenzuela, Makati, that there was an ongoing reach the regular courts, justice would be achieved at less
conciliation between the parties. Uy then filed an MTD for non- expense to the litigants, cordial relationships among
compliance with the requirement of P.D. No. 1508 on prior referral protagonists in a small community would be restored, and
to the Lupong Tagapamayapa and pursuant to Section 18 of the peace and order therein enhanced.
1991 Revised Rule on Summary Procedure. MTD denied, MR  The second feature, which is covered by paragraph (d),
denied. Section 409 of the LGC, also broadens the authority of the
lupon in the sense that appropriate civil and criminal cases
Issue:WON it is mandatory for the parties herein to submit to the arising from incidents occurring in workplaces or institutions
mediation of the katarungang pambarangay before a case in court. of learning shall be brought in the barangay where such
YES. workplace or institution is located. That barangay may not
 The law on the katarungang pambarangay was originally be the appropriate venue in either paragraph (a) or
governed by P.D. No. 1508, now repealed by LGC. Three paragraph (b) of the said section. This rule provides
new features: (1) It increased the authority of the lupon in convenience to the parties. Procedural rules including those
criminal offenses from those punishable by imprisonment relating to venue are designed to insure a fair and
not exceeding thirty days or a fine not exceeding P200.00 in convenient hearing to the parties with complete justice
P.D. No. 1508 to those offenses punishable by imprisonment between them as a result. Elsewise stated, convenience is
not exceeding one year or a fine not exceeding P5,000.00. the raison d'etre of the rule on venue.
(2) As to venue, it provides that disputes arising at the
Mabelle O. Nebres | Local Governments Case Digests

 The third feature is aimed at maximizing the effectiveness technical effect of failure to comply with the requirement of
of the mediation, conciliation, or arbitration process. It P.D. 1508 where applicable is much the same effect
discourages any intentional delay of the referral to a date produced by non-exhaustion of administrative remedies; the
close to the expiration of the prescriptive period and then complaint becomes afflicted with the vice of pre-maturity;
invoking the proximity of such expiration as the reason for the controversy there alleged is not ripe for judicial
immediate recourse to the courts. It also affords the parties determination. The complaint becomes vulnerable to a
sufficient time to cool off and face each other with less motion to dismiss.
emotionalism and more objectivity which are essential  There were, of course, cases where this Court ruled that the
ingredients in the resolution of their dispute. The sixty-day failure of the defendant to seasonably invoke non-referral to
suspension of the prescriptive period could spell the the appropriate lupon operated as a waiver thereof.
difference between peace and a full-blown, wearisome, and Furthermore, when such defect was initially present when
expensive litigation between the parties. the case was first filed in the trial court, the subsequent
 While P.D. No. 1508 has been repealed by the LGC of 1991, issuance of the certification to file action by the barangay,
the jurisprudence built thereon regarding prior referral to which constituted substantial compliance with the said
the lupon as a pre-condition to the filing of an action in court requirement, cured the defect.
remains applicable because its provisions on prior referral  Revised Rule on Summary Procedure: Sec. 18 Cases
were substantially reproduced in the Code. requiring referral to the Lupon for conciliation under the
 Peregrina vs. Panis: Thus, Morata vs. Go, 125 SCRA 444 provisions of Presidential Decree No. 1508 where there is no
(1983), and Vda. de Borromeo vs. Pogoy, 126 SCRA 217 showing of compliance with such requirement, shall be
(1983) have held that P.D. No. 1508 makes the conciliation dismissed without prejudice, and may be revived only after
process at the Barangay level a condition precedent for the such requirement shall have been complied with. This
filing of a complaint in Court. Non-compliance with that provision shall not apply to criminal cases where the
condition precedent could affect the sufficiency of the accused was arrested without a warrant.
plaintiff's cause of action and make his complaint vulnerable  In the proceeding before the court a quo, the petitioner and
to dismissal on the ground of lack of cause of action or the respondent had in mind only P.D. No. 1508. The
prematurity. The condition is analogous to exhaustion of petitioner further invoked the aforequoted Section 18. None
administrative remedies, or the lack of earnest efforts to knew of the repeal of the decree by the LGC of 1991. Even
compromise suits between family members, lacking which in her instant petition, the petitioner invokes the decree and
the case can be dismissed. The parties herein fall squarely Section 18 of the Revised Rule on Summary Procedure.
within the ambit of P.D. No. 1508. They are actual residents However, the private respondents, realizing the weakness of
in the same barangay and their disputes does not fall under their position under P.D. No. 1508 since they did refer their
any of the excepted cases." grievances to what might be a wrong forum under the
 Such non-compliance is not, however, jurisdictional. This decree, changed tack. In their Comment, they assert that on
Court said so in Garces vs. Court of Appeals: prior recourse 20 April 1993 Atayde "filed a complaint against petitioner
to the conciliation procedure required under P.D. 1508 is not before the barangay council of Barangay Valenzuela,
a jurisdictional requirement, non-compliance with which Makati, in compliance with the requirement of the
would deprive a court of its jurisdiction either over the Katarungang Pambarangay Law under the LGC." Yet, in a
subject matter or over the person of the defendant. Where, deliberate effort to be cunning or shrewd, which is
however, the fact of non-compliance with and non- condemnable for it disregards the virtue of candor, they
observance of such procedure has been seasonably raised assert that the said law is not applicable to their cases
as an issue before the court first taking cognizance of the before the court a quo because (a) the petitioner and
complaint, dismissal of the action is proper. The precise respondent Atayde are not residents of barangays in the
Mabelle O. Nebres | Local Governments Case Digests

same city or municipality; (b) the law does not apply when  Moreover, having brought the dispute before the lupon of
the action, as in the said cases, may otherwise be barred by barangay Valenzuela, Makati, the private respondents are
the statute of limitations; and (c) even assuming that the estopped from disavowing the authority of the body which
law applies insofar as Atayde is concerned, she has they themselves had sought. Their act of trifling with the
substantially complied with it. authority of the lupon by unjustifiably failing to attend the
 The Office of the Provincial Prosecutor of Rizal should have scheduled mediation hearings and instead filing the
exerted enough diligence to inquire from the private complaint right away with the trial court cannot be
respondents if prior referral to the lupon was necessary countenanced for to do so would wreak havoc on the
before filing the informations. barangay conciliation system.
 Respondent judge did not do any better. His total  Granting arguendo that the petitioner did inflict the alleged
unawareness of the LGC of 1991, more specifically on the physical injuries, the offense for which she may be liable
provisions on the Katarungang pambarangay, is distressing. would only be slight physical injuries under paragraph (2),
He should have taken judicial notice thereof, ever mindful Article 266 of the Revised Penal Code, considering that per
that under Section 1, Rule 129 of the Rules of Court, courts the medical certificates 22 the injuries sustained by the
are mandatorily required to take judicial notice of "the private respondents would "heal" in nine days "in the
official acts of the legislative, executive and judicial absence of complication" and there is no showing that the
departments of the Philippines." We have ruled that a judge said injuries incapacitated them for labor or would require
is called upon to exhibit more than just a cursory medical attendance for such period. The penalty therefor
acquaintance with the statutes and procedural rules. 21 He would only be "arresto menor or a fine not exceeding 200
should have applied the revised katarungang pambarangay pesos and censure." These penalties are light under Article
law under the LGC. Had he done so, this petition would not 25 of the Revised Penal Code and would prescribe in two
have reached us and taken valuable attention and time months pursuant to Article 90.
which could have been devoted to more important cases.  Accordingly, since the slight physical injuries charged in
 In view of the private respondents' failure to appear at the Criminal Cases Nos. 145233 and 145234 were allegedly
first scheduled mediation on 28 April 1993 for which the inflicted on 17 April 1993, the prescriptive period therefor
mediation was reset to 26 May 1993, no complaint for slight would have expired two months thereafter. Nevertheless, its
physical injuries could be validly filed with the MTC of Makati running was tolled by the filing of the private respondents'
at any time before such date. The filing then of Criminal complaints with the lupon of Valenzuela, Makati, on 23 April
Cases Nos. 145233 and 145234 with the said court on 11 1993 and automatically suspended for a period of sixty
May 1993 was premature and, pursuant to paragraph (a), days, or until 22 June 1993. If no mediation or conciliation
Section 412 of the LGC, respondent Judge Contreras should could be reached within the said period of suspension and,
have granted the motion to dismiss the criminal cases. He accordingly, a certification to file action is issued, the
cannot justify its denial by taking refuge under Section 6 of private respondents would still have fifty-six days within
P.D. No. 1508 (more properly, Section 412(b)(4) of the LGC) which to file their separate criminal complaints for such
which states that the parties may go directly to court where offense. Evidently, there was no basis for the invocation by
the action is about to prescribe. This is because, as earlier the respondent judge of the exception provided for in
stated, pursuant to paragraph (c), Section 410 of the Code, paragraph (b), Section 412 of the LGC.
the prescriptive period was automatically suspended for a  Neither are we persuaded by the reasoning of the
maximum period of sixty days from 23 April 1993 when the respondent Judge that the petitioner "had already waived
private respondents filed their complaints with the lupon of the right to a reconciliation proceedings before the
Valenzuela Makati. barangay of Valenzuela, Makati, considering that the
accused and the complainant are residents of different
Mabelle O. Nebres | Local Governments Case Digests

barangays." The petitioner did not waive the reconciliation Chapter 7, Title One, Book III, LocGov Code, offenses punishable by
proceedings before the lupon of Valenzuela, Makati; she imprisonment not exceeding 1 year or a fine not exceeding P5,000
submitted to it and attended the scheduled conciliation on require prior barangay conciliation. that the crime of grave threats
28 April 1993 and invoked the pre-condition of referral to falls within the purview of this section. that Art. 412(a) likewise
the lupon in her counter-affidavit. provided the following: CONCILIATION - (a) Precondition to filing of
 Nor would this Court accept the contention of the private Complaint in Court - No complaint, petition, action or proceeding
respondent that the parties could not agree on a involving any matter within the authority of the lupon shall be filled
compromise and that they had to request the barangay (SIC) or instituted directly in court or any other government office
captain to issue a certification to file action. The request is for adjudication unless there has been a confrontation between the
dated 23 June 1993, or nearly one and a half months after parties before the lupon chairman or the pangkat, and that no
Criminal Cases Nos. 145233 and 145234 were filed with the conciliation or settlement has been reached as certified by the
court a quo. Evidently, this was done to support their lupon secretary or pangkat secretary as attested to by the lupon or
contention in the said court that, in any event, there was pangkat chairman or unless the settlement has been repudiated by
substantial compliance with the requirement of referral to the parties thereto. The Court Administrator later concluded the
the lupon. It must be stressed that the private respondents, following: "Had respondent Judge observed the mandate of the
after failing to appear at the initial confrontation and long aforequoted provision of law he could have remanded the case to
after the criminal cases were filed, had no right to demand the lupon instead of taking cognizance thereof and prematurely
the issuance of a certification to file action. issuing the warrant of arrest against the accused. Such an
 The respondent judge thus acted with grave abuse of actuation, however, does not appear to be tainted with malice or
discretion in refusing to dismiss Criminal Cases Nos. 145233 evil intent. As can be gleaned from the records, respondent Judge
and 145234. dismissed Criminal Case No. 2664 in his Order of April 16, 1993
 Parties to disputes cognizable by the lupon should, with upon motion of the defense counsel. This notwithstanding,
sincerity, exhaust the remedies provided by that law, administrative sanction is warranted against respondent Judge.
government prosecutors should exercise due diligence in
ascertaining compliance with it, and trial courts should not Issue: WON Judge Mejia is liable for incompetence and gross
hesitate to impose the appropriate sanctions for non- ignorance of the law for taking cognizance of the case when such
compliance thereof. was not first submitted to the Katarungang Pambarangay for
conciliation. YES.
Wingarts v. Mejia  Although there is no clear proof of malice, bad faith, bias or
partiality on his part, Judge Mejia should have exercised the
Facts: Administrative complaints were filed against Judge Mejia in requisite prudence, especially under the environmental
connection with 3 criminal cases decided by him. One of them is circumstances of the aforesaid criminal case where personal
Crim. Case 2664 which was filed by Col. Munar against Johan liberty was involved. He should have carefully examined all
Wingarts for grave threats. Initially, Judge Mejia took cognizance of relevant facts and issues and avoided the improvident
the case and issued a warrant of arrest against Wingart. However, issuance of the warrant of arrest without a circumspect
he later dismissed the same and indorsed it to the barangay official review of the case which, after all, did not exhibit abstruse
concerned for barangay conciliation. In the present case, Wingarts factual matters or complicated legal questions. The present
charges Judge Mejia with incompetence, ignorance of the law and controversy could have been avoided had he kept faith with
abuse of authority for taking cognizance of Crim Case 2664 and the injunction that a member of the bench must
issuing a warrant of arrest despite the lack of prior barangay continuously keep himself abreast of legal and
conciliation. In its Memorandum, the Office of the Court jurisprudential developments because the learning process
Administrator made the following findings:that under Art. 408(c), in law never ceases. Absence of bad faith & fact that Judge
Mabelle O. Nebres | Local Governments Case Digests

Mejia subsequently issued an order to recall the warrant of by Alvarado and Barredo was a forgery. Consequently, it ordered
arrest mitigates but will not altogether exculpate him from the dismissal of the case for unlawful detainer, and ruled that
the charge. Judge Mejia was order to pay a P2,000 fine with Alvarado cannot be legally expelled from the subject premises. MR
stern warning. denied. CA affirmed. MR denied.
 Judges are directed to desist from improvidently receiving
and desultorily acting on complaints, petitions, actions or Issues: 1. WON Corpuz' unlawful detainer suit filed before the
proceedings in cases falling within the authority of the MTC against Alvarado should be suspended until the resolution of
Lupon Tagapamayapa. Proceedings before the lupon are a the case lodged in the NHA impugning the sale of said property
precondition to the filing of any action or proceeding in court 2. WON the "Affidavit of Waiver" between Corpuz and Barredo
or other government office. Such an initiatory pleading, if was authentic
filed without compliance with the precondition, may be  It is elementary that the MTC has exclusive jurisdiction over
dismissed on motion of any interested party on the ground ejectment cases. As the law now stands, the only issue to be
that it fails to state a cause of action. resolved in forcible entry and unlawful detainer cases is the
physical or material possession over the real property, that
Corpuz v. CA is, possession de facto.
 Refugia v.CA: "In the case of De la Santa vs. Court of
Facts: Corpuz filed an action for unlawful detainer against private Appeals, et al., this Court, in making a distinction between
respondent Alvarado with the Metropolitan Trial Court of Manila, the reception of evidence and the resolution of the issue of
Branch 6, for recovery of possession of the room being occupied by ownership, held that the inferior court may look into the
the latter, which Corpuz' children allegedly needed for their own evidence of title or ownership and possession de jure insofar
use. Alvarado and Corpuz were two of the tenants of a certain as said evidence would indicate or determine the nature of
Lorenzo Barredo who, in May 1988, decided to sell his property to possession. It cannot, however, resolve the issue of
the tenants. Due to economic difficulties, however, Alvarado and ownership, that is, by declaring who among the parties is
the other lessees executed an "Affidavit of Waiver" granting the true and lawful owner of the subject property, because
Barredo the right to sell his house to any person who can afford to the resolution of said issue would effect an adjudication on
purchase the same. Consequently, Barredo sold his house to ownership which is not sanctioned in the summary action for
Corpuz for P37,500.00. As a result of the sale, a tenancy unlawful detainer. With this as a premise and taking into
relationship was established between Corpuz and Alvarado. In consideration the amendment introduced by Batas
October 1991, Corpuz sent a written notice to Alvarado demanding Pambansa Blg. 129, it may be suggested that inferior courts
that he vacate the room which he was occupying because the are now conditionally vested with adjudicatory power over
children of Corpuz needed it for their own use. Alvarado refused to the issue of title or ownership raised by the parties in an
vacate the room as demanded, prompting Corpuz to seek his ejectment suit."
ejectment. In his answer, Alvarado raised two major defenses, to  Since the present petition involves the issue of possession
wit: (1) the alleged "Affidavit of Waiver" executed between him and intertwined with the issue of ownership (i.e., the controversy
Barredo was a forgery; and (2) the dispute was not referred to the pending in the NHA), the doctrinal pronouncement in
Lupong Tagapayapa. Finding the defenses of Alvarado to be Refugia is applicable.
without merit, the MTC of Manila handed down on a decision  The prevailing doctrine is that suits or actions for the
ordering Alvarado to vacate the room. On appeal, the RTC reversed annulment of sale, title or document do not abate any
and decided that the purported sale between Corpuz and Barredo ejectment action respecting the same property.
was the subject of a controversy pending before the National  Wilmor Auto Supply Construction Company Corporations, et
Housing Authority (NHA) which must be resolved first by said al. v. CA: outlined the following cases involving the
agency. It also concluded that the "Affidavit of Waiver" executed annulment of the title or document over the property which
Mabelle O. Nebres | Local Governments Case Digests

should not be considered in the abatement of an ejectment

suit, to wit: "Neither do suits for annulment of sale, or title,
or document affecting property operate to abate ejectment
actions respecting the same property. Clearly, the
underlying reason for the above rulings is for the defendant
not to trifle with the ejectment suit, which is summary in
nature, by the simple expedient of asserting ownership
thereon. Thus, the controversy pending before the NHA for
the annulment of the Deed of Sale and assailing the
authenticity of the "Affidavit of Joint Waiver" cannot deter
the MTC from taking cognizance of the ejectment suit
merely for the purpose of determining who has a better
possessory right among the parties.
 It may be stressed that Alvarado is not without remedy. We
have ruled that a judgment rendered in an ejectment case
shall not bar an action between the same parties
respecting title to the land or building nor shall it be
conclusive as to the facts therein found in a case between
the same parties upon a different cause of action involving
 Furthermore, Alvarado raises the issue in the instant petition
that the ejectment suit was not referred to the Lupon
Tagapayapa as required by Presidential Decree No. 1508.
 We are not persuaded. This defense was only stated in a
single general short sentence in Alvarado's answer. We
have held in Dui v. Court of Appeals that failure of a party to
specifically allege the fact that there was no compliance
with the Barangay conciliation procedure constitutes a
waiver of that defense. A perusal of Alvarado's answer
reveals that no reason or explanation was given to support
his allegation, which is deemed a mere general averment.
 In any event, the proceeding outlined in P.D. 1508 is not a
jurisdictional requirement and non-compliance therewith
cannot affect the jurisdiction which the lower court had
already acquired over the subject matter and the parties

Mabelle O. Nebres | Local Governments Case Digests

behind such order and he was advised that perhaps he should

submit the minutes of the hearings held in the barangay. Following
said advice, he filed a compliance with respondent’s court
attaching therewith a copy of his complaint filed before the
barangay and the minutes of the proceedings held thereat. After
the filing of said compliance, no action was taken by the court
despite the fact that the case falls under the Rule on Summary
Procedure and respondent judge has still to come up with a
determination as to whether summons should be issued or not. He
then inquired personally with the court about the status of the case
and he was told that no action could be taken unless the Order of
April 2, 1996 had been complied with. Dismayed by the Court’s
insistence of referring the case to the barangay though it had
already gone through all the requisite proceedings thereat, he
decided not to pursue the case and filed a notice to withdraw
complaint dated August 20, 1996. Said withdrawal however was
denied by respondent on the basis of the action already taken
thereon as contained in the questioned Order dated April 2, 1996.
He then filed a Notice of Dismissal but the same was still unacted
upon by respondent. It was only after a year from the time the
complaint was filed that respondent ordered that summons be
served on defendants. When defendants failed to file an Answer,
he (complainant) filed a Motion to Render Judgment in accordance
with the provisions of Sec.5 of the Rule on Summary Procedure.
However, instead of rendering judgment, respondent merely
required defendants to comment on the motion to render
Bonifacio Law Office v. Bellosillo judgment. After defendants filed their comment, respondent still
did not act on the said motion. The inordinate delay of respondent
Facts: In a letter-complaint dated August 28, 1997, Atty. Ricardo M. on acting upon said case has caused him so much suffering as his
Salomon Jr. of the Bonifacio Law Office charged then acting Judge family is forced to rent a house to live in at a monthly rental rate of
Reynaldo B. Bellosillo of the Metropolitan Trial Court of Quezon P19,000.00.
City, Branch 34, with ignorance of the law, grave abuse of
discretion, and obvious partiality. Salomon assails the Order dated Respondent’s argument: In all cases where there is failure of
April 2, 1996 referring the said ejectment case back to the settlement of mediation proceedings before the Barangay
barangay for conciliation proceedings despite the fact that it was Chairman, it is necessary that the Pangkat be constituted by the
alleged in the verified complaint, that the matter had already been parties from the Lupon members in order that they may have a
referred to the barangay and that a copy of the Certification to File second opportunity to amicably settle their dispute. It is a
Motion was attached [to] the verified complaint as ANNEX E mandatory duty of the Barangay Chairman to set the meeting of
thereof. Bewildered with such Order, he tried to talk with the parties for the constitution of the Pangkat upon failure of
respondent judge but was prevented to do so because of the strict parties to amicably settle otherwise there is no compliance with the
and extremely tight ‘cordon sanitaire’ of the latter. He then requirements of P.D. 1508, now Sec. 412, 1991 LGC. In the case of
inquired from the respondent’s branch clerk of court the reason complainant, it appears from the records thereof that there was
Mabelle O. Nebres | Local Governments Case Digests

premature issuance of the Certificate to File Action considering that its effectiveness undermined by indiscriminate, improper
there is no proof to show that the Pangkat was duly constituted and/or premature issuance of certifications to file actions in
before the said certificate was issued. Moreover, the belated court by the Lupon or Pangkat Secretaries, attested by the
submission by complainant of the Minutes of Proceedings before Lupon/Pangkat Chairmen, respectively, the following
the Barangay Chairman, which was inaccurate and difficult to guidelines are hereby issued for the information of trial
decipher glaringly reveals the non-compliance of complainant with court judges in cases brought before them coming from the
the requirement of the aforecited law. Barangay. “[II] 4. If mediation or conciliation efforts before
the Punong Barangay proved unsuccessful, there having
Issue: WON Judge was correct inreferring the case back to the been no agreement to arbitrate (Sec. 410-{b}, Revised Rule
barangay for conciliation proceedings. YES. Katarungang Pambarangay Law; Sec. 1,c,[1], Rule III,
 Complainant contends that he has complied with the Katarungang Pambarangay Rules), or where the respondent
mandatory barangay conciliation proceedings as evidenced fails to appear at the mediation proceeding before the
by the Certification to File Action attached to the Complaint Punong Barangay (3rd par. Sec. 8,a, Rule VI, Katarungang
for ejectment. The records, however, reveal that such Pambarangay Rules), the Punong Barangay shall not cause
Certification was improperly and prematurely issued. In the issuance of this stage of a certification to file action,
what appears to be a pre-printed standard form thereof, the because it is now mandatory for him to constitute the
“x” before the second enumerated statement clearly shows Pangkat before whom mediation, conciliation, or arbitration
that no personal confrontation before a duly constituted proceedings shall be held. III. All complaints and/or
Pangkat ng Tagapagkasundo took place. Respondent’s informations filed or raffled to your sala/branch of the
position that the Pangkat was not constituted, and that no Regional Trial Court, Metropolitan Trial Court or Municipal
face to face conciliation of the parties had taken place Trial Court shall be carefully read and scrutinized to
before it is substantiated by the Minutes submitted by determine if there has been compliance with prior Barangay
complainant. Evidently, complainant failed to complete the conciliation procedure under the Revised Katarungang
barangay conciliation proceedings. We also note that the Pambarangay Law and its Implementing Rules and
Complaint before the barangay was dated February 16, Regulations, as a pre-condition to judicial action, particularly
1996. Records show that the hearing was scheduled for whether the certification to file action attached to the
February 26, 1996 and was reset for February 29, 1996. records of the case comply with the requirements
And yet, the Certification to File Action [8] was issued on hereinabove enumerated in part II; (Emphasis and italics
March 1, 1996, less than fifteen days after the first supplied) IV. A case filed in court without compliance with
scheduled hearing before the barangay chairman. prior Barangay conciliation which is a pre-condition for
 Section 410 (b) of the LGC is quoted hereunder: “Mediation formal adjudication x x x may be dismissed upon motion of
by lupon chairman. – Upon receipt of the complaint, the the defendant/s or the court may suspend proceedings upon
lupon chairman shall within the next working day summon petition of any partyand refer the case motu proprio to the
the respondent(s), with notice to the complainant(s) for appropriate Barangay authority.
them and their witnesses to appear before him for a  Evidently, the barangay failed to exert enough effort
mediation of their conflicting interests. If he fails in his required by law to conciliate between the parties and to
mediation effort within fifteen (15) days from the first settle the case before it. Hence, respondent judge was not
meeting of the parties before him, he shall forthwith set a incorrect in remanding the case to it for completion of the
date for the constitution of the pangkat in accordance with mandated proceedings. We cannot fault him for seeking to
the provisions of this Chapter.” promote the objectives of barangay conciliation and for
 Administrative Circular No. 14-93 provides: “In order that taking to heart the provisions of Supreme Court Circular No.
the laudable purpose of the law may not be subverted and 14-93. His referral of the case back to the barangay cannot
Mabelle O. Nebres | Local Governments Case Digests

be equated with gross ignorance of the law. Neither does it complaint that on February 18, 1998 he filed with the Office of the
constitute grave abuse of discretion or obvious partiality. Barangay Chairman of Poblacion San Julian, Eastern Samar a
 Thereafter, complainant filed a Motion praying that the complaint for slight physical injuries against Robert Palada.
proceedings already held before the barangay be Barangay Chairman Ronie D. Quintua, in his Certification dated
considered as substantial compliance with the requirements April 19, 1999, [1] confirmed such fact. Pangkat Chairman Eufemia
of the law. Acting on the Motion, respondent judge issued L. Cabago also certified in an undated “Minutes In Settling
the summons and opted to continue with the court Disputes” that the case was set for hearing on March 16, 22 and
proceedings without insisting on strict compliance with the 29, 1998, but the parties failed to reach an amicable settlement.
mandated barangay proceedings. He did so after noting On May 4, 1998, complainant filed with the Municipal Circuit Trial
that complainant was apparently not making any move to Court of San Julian–Sulat, Eastern Samar a complaint for slight
complete the barangay proceedings after the case had been physical injuries against Palada, docketed as Criminal Case No.
remanded to the barangay, and that the case fell under the 2198-98. On November 3, 1998, respondent judge rendered his
Rules on Summary Procedure. Decision dismissing the case on the ground of prescription, thus:
 Section 18 of the Rules on Summary Procedure, however, "Complaint in this case dated April 20, 1998 was filed with this
provides that such cases may be revived only after the Court on May 4, 1998. The affidavits of complainant as well as
requirement for conciliation has been complied with. prosecution witness Melvin C. Quiloña were subscribed and sworn
Nevertheless, respondent judge’s error is judicial in nature to before the undersigned also on May 4, 1998.
and cannot be corrected in administrative proceedings. At “The alleged offense took place on February 15, 1998. From the
any rate, because he chose to continue with the date of the commission of the alleged offense, more than two
proceedings of the case, and because respondents failed to months have elapsed.
answer the ejectment Complaint on time, he should have “This is for slight physical injuries and is therefore a light offense.
rendered judgment within thirty (30) days from the “Under Art. 89 of the Revised Penal Code, criminal liability is totally
expiration of the period to file an answer. This action is extinguished by presciption of the crime. “Article 90 of the same
required under the Rules on Summary Proceedings, which Code provides that light offenses prescribe in two months. This
state: “Sec. 6. Effect of failure to answer. - Should the being a light offense, the same should be considered as already
defendant fail to answer the complaint within the period having prescribed because the case against the accused was filed
above provided, the court, motu proprio, or on motion of the after two months.
plaintiff, shall render judgment as may be warranted by the “LET, THEREFORE, this case be DISMISSED, the crime having
facts alleged in the complaint and limited to what is prayed already prescribed.
for therein “SO ORDERED.” On July 7, 1999, complainant filed with the Office
 “Sec. 10. Rendition of judgment. – Within thirty (30) days of the Court Administrator an administrative complaint against
after receipt of the last affidavits and position papers, or the respondent judge. He alleged that in dismissing the case,
expiration of the period for filing the same, the court shall respondent judge showed his ignorance of the law when he did not
render judgment.” apply the provisions of Section 410(c) of Republic Act No. 7160
Mendova v. Afable (The LGC), which state: Section 410. Procedure for Amicable
Settlement (c) Suspension of prescriptive period of offenses. –
Facts: In an affidavit-complaint dated July 1, 1999, Abraham L. While the dispute is under mediation, conciliation or arbitration, the
Mendova charged Judge Crisanto B. Afable of the Municipal Circuit prescriptive periods for offenses and causes of action under
Trial Court of San Julian–Sulat, Eastern Samar, with ignorance of the existing laws shall be interrupted upon filing of the complaint with
law relative to Criminal Case No. 2198-98, “People of the the Punong Barangay. The prescriptive periods shall resume upon
Philippines, Plaintiff, vs. Roberto Q. Palada, Accused,” for slight receipt by the complainant of the complaint or the certificate of
physical injuries. Complainant Mendova alleged in his affidavit- repudiation or of the certification to file action issued by the Lupon
Mabelle O. Nebres | Local Governments Case Digests

or Pangkat Secretary: Provided, however, That such interruption gross, deliberate and malicious, or incurred with evident bad
shall not exceed sixty (60) days from the filing of the complaint faith that administrative sanctions may be imposed against
with the punong barangay." Complainant further alleged that the erring judge.
respondent's conduct caused him injury and grave injustice. In his  Flores vs. Abesamis: “As everyone knows, the law provides
comment dated September 13, 1999, respondent admitted that his ample judicial remedies against errors or irregularities being
Decision being assailed by complainant “was wrong.” According to committed by a Trial Court in the exercise of its jurisdiction.
him, “(w)hen I rendered the questioned decision, what entered my The ordinary remedies against errors or irregularities which
mind was the rule on prescription as provided under the Revised may be regarded as normal in nature (i.e., error in
Penal Code. There was a mental lapse on my part caused by heavy appreciation or admission of evidence, or in construction or
workload,” as he was likewise designated the Acting Presiding application of procedural or substantive law or legal
Judge of MCTC Llorente-Hernani, Eastern Samar. He begged for principle) include a motion for reconsideration (or after
kindness and understanding, stating that he has been a trial judge rendition of a judgment or final order, a motion for new
for 10 years and that this is the “first kind of mistake” he has ever trial), and appeal. The extraordinary remedies against error
committed. or irregularities which may be deemed extraordinary in
In its Evaluation and Recommendation, the Office of the Court character (i.e., whimsical, capricious, despotic exercise of
Administrator, through Deputy Court Administrator Zenaida N. power or neglect of duty, etc.) are inter alia the special civil
Elepaño, found respondent guilty as charged and recommended actions of certiorari, prohibition or mandamus, or a motion
that he be fined P3,000.00 with a warning that a commission of for inhibition, a petition for change of venue, as the case
similar acts will be dealt with more severely. Both parties filed their may be. “Now, the established doctrine and policy is that
respective manifestations that they are willing to have the case so disciplinary proceedings and criminal actions against Judges
decided. In his manifestation, respondent judge made the are not complementary or suppletory of, nor a substitute
additional comment that the complainant did not allege bad faith or for, these judicial remedies, whether ordinary or
malice on his (respondent’s) part in rendering the questioned extraordinary. Resort to and exhaustion of these judicial
decision. remedies, as well as the entry of judgment in the
corresponding action or proceeding, are pre-requisites for
Issue: 1. WON respondent Judge is liable for dismissing the case on the taking of other measures against the persons of the
the ground of prescription. judges concerned, whether of civil, administrative, or
 It is axiomatic, as this Court has repeatedly stressed, that an criminal nature. It is only after the available judicial
administrative complaint is not the appropriate remedy for remedies have been exhausted and the appellate tribunals
every irregular or erroneous order or decision issued by a have spoken with finality, that the door to an inquiry into his
judge where a judicial remedy is available, such as a motion criminal, civil or administrative liability may be said to have
for reconsideration, or an appeal. For, obviously, if opened, or closed. “Flores (complainant) resorted to
subsequent developments prove the judge’s challenged act administrative prosecution (or institution of criminal actions)
to be correct, there would be no occasion to proceed against as a substitute for or supplement to the specific modes of
him at all. Besides, to hold a judge administratively appeals or review provided by law from court judgments or
accountable for every erroneous ruling or decision he orders, on the theory that the Judges’ orders had caused
renders, assuming he has erred, would be nothing short of him ‘undue injury.’ This is impermissible, as this Court has
harassment and would make his position doubly unbearable. already more than once ruled. Law and logic decree that
To hold otherwise would be to render judicial office ‘administrative or criminal remedies are neither alternative
untenable, for no one called upon to try the facts or nor cumulative to judicial review where such review is
interpret the law in the process of administering justice can available, and must wait on the result thereof. Indeed, since
be infallible in his judgment. It is only where the error is so judges must be free to judge, without pressure or influence
Mabelle O. Nebres | Local Governments Case Digests

from external forces or factors, they should not be subject to

intimidation, the fear of civil, criminal or administrative ALU v. Letrondo-Montejo
sanctions for acts they may do and dispositions they may
make in the performance of their duties and functions; and Facts: The President of the Philippines declared December 4, 1992
it is sound rule, which must be recognized independently of a "special day" for the holding of election for Sangguniang
statute, that judges are not generally liable for acts done Kabataan (SK) throughout the nation. Employees, pursuant to their
within the scope of their jurisdiction and in good faith; and CBA subsequently filed claims for the payment to them of holiday
that exceptionally, prosecution of a judge can be had only if pay for that day. Private respondent, however, refused their claims
‘there be a final declaration by a competent court in some on the ground that December 4, 1992 was not a regular holiday
appropriate proceeding of the manifestly unjust character of within the contemplation of the CBA.
the challenged judgment or order, and x x x also evidence
of malice or bad faith, ignorance or inexcusable negligence, Issue: WON the Sangguniang Kabataan Election Day considered a
on the part of the judge in rendering said judgment or order’ regular holiday for purpose of the CBA.
or under the stringent circumstances set out in Article 32 of  We hold that it is and that, in denying petitioner's claim,
the Civil Code. respondent Voluntary Arbitrator denied members of
 In the present case, we noticed from the records before us petitioner union substantial justice as a result of her
that the complainant did not bother at all to file a motion for erroneous interpretation of the CBA, thereby justifying
reconsideration of respondent judge’s decision dismissing judicial review.
the criminal case. No reason was advanced by complainant  First. The Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) is part of the local
why he failed to do so. Thus, following our settled government structure. The LGC (Rep. Act. No. 7160) creates
pronouncements cited above, his instant administrative in every barangay a Sangguniang Kabataan composed of a
complaint is premature. chairman, seven (7) members, a secretary and a treasurer.
 According to complainant, Robert Palada committed the 3 The chairman and the seven members are elected by the
crime of slight physical injuries on February 15, 1998. On Katipunan ng Kabataan, which is composed of citizens of the
February 18, 1998, complainant filed his complaint with the Philippines residing in the barangay for at least six (6)
Office of the Barangay Chairman at Poblacion, San Julian, months, who are between the ages of 15 and 21 and who
Eastern Samar. Pursuant to the provisions of Section 410(c) are registered as members. The chairman of the SK is an ex
of The LGC, quoted earlier, such filing interrupted the officio member of the Sangguniang Baranggay with the
prescriptive period [8] and started to run again upon receipt same powers duties, functions and privileges as the regular
by the complainant of the Certification to File Action issued members of the Sangguniang Barangay. 5 The President of
by the Pangkat Secretary. Here, records fail to show when the Pederasyon ng mga Sangguniang Kabataan, which is
complainant received the Barangay Certification to File imposed of the SK chairmen of the sangguniang kabataan of
Action. The undated certification he submitted merely the barangays in the province, city, or municipality, is an ex
states that the case was set for hearing before the barangay officio member of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan,
on March 16, 22 and 29, 1998, but the parties failed to Sangguniang Panlungsod, and Sangguniang Bayan. Hence,
reach an amicable settlement. When he filed on May 4, as the Solicitor General points out, the election for members
1998 Criminal Case No. 2198-98 for slight physical injuries of the SK may properly be considered a "local election"
with respondent's court, until the dismissal of the case on within the meaning of Art. VII, sec 3 of the CBA and the day
November 3, 1998, he still failed to present proof of his on which it is held to be a holiday, thereby entitling
receipt of the Barangay Certification to File Action. Clearly, petitioners members at the AMS Farming Corp. to the
he cannot now fault respondent judge for dismissing the payment of holiday on such day.
case on the ground of prescription.
Mabelle O. Nebres | Local Governments Case Digests

 Second. The Voluntary Arbitrator held, however, that the Tellers (BET) acting as the Board of Canvassers, on the basis of its
election for members of the SK cannot be considered a local tally which showed Mercado winning by one vote over his rival,
election as the election for Governors , Vice Governors, private respondent Crisanto P. Pangilinan. Mercado' s victory was,
Mayors and Vice Mayors and the various local legislative however, short-lived. Immediately after Mercado's proclamation as
assemblies (sanggunians) because the SK election is the winner by the BET, Pangilinan filed a formal protest questioning
participated in only by the youth who are between the ages the results of the election. He alleged that the BET Chairman,
of 15 and 21 and for this reason the day is not a nonworking drinking gin and Coke during the counting, had invalidated some
holiday. To begin with, it is not true that December 4, 1992 votes without consulting the other board members. The BES
was not a nonworking holiday. It was a nonworking holiday ordered .the reopening of the ballot box and the recount of the
and this was announced in the media. 7 In Proclamation No. votes for SK Chairman. The recount reversed the earlier tally to 51
118 dated December 2, 1992 President Ramos declared the to 49 in favor of Pangilinan, who was thereupon proclaimed the
day as "a special day through the country on the occasion of duly elected SK Chairman by the BES, which issued for that purpose
the Sangguniang Kabataan Elections" and enjoined all "local its own Certificate of Canvass and Proclamation. Mercado then filed
government units through their respective Chief Local with the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Batangas City a petition for
Executives [to] extend all possible assistance and support to certiorari and mandamus praying for the annulment of Pangilinan's
ensure the smooth conduct of the general elections." proclamation by the BES, and for the issuance of an order to
 A "special day" is a "special day", as provided by the compel the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) to
Administrative Code of 1987. 8 On the other hand, the term recognize him as the duly elected SK Chairman of Barangay
"general elections" means, in the context of SK elections, Mabalor and to allow him to take his oath of office and discharge
the regular elections for members of the SK, as his duties as such. In his petition docketed as Civil Case No. 3565,
distinguished from the special elections for such officers. 9 Mercado assailed the jurisdiction of the BES to act on the protest
 Moreover, the fact that only those between 15 and 21 take filed by Pangilinan as the ground cited therein was allegedly in the
part in the election for members of the SK does not make nature of an election protest properly cognizable by the
such election any less a regular local election. The Metropolitan or Municipal Trial Court in accordance with Section
Constitution provides, for example, for the sectoral 252 of the Omnibus Election Code. He further claimed that,
representatives in the House of Representatives of, among assuming that the BES has jurisdiction over the protest, the
others, women and youth. 10 Only voters belonging to the grounds raised therein were deemed waived by Pangilinan's failure
relevant sectors can take part in the election of their to invoke them at the level of the BET, and that the BES acted with
representatives. Yet it cannot be denied that such election is grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of
a regular national election and the day set for its holding, a jurisdiction in denying the petitioner of due process when it ordered
holiday. the reopening of the ballot box and the recounting of the votes
 Third. Indeed, the CBA provision in question merely without affording him the opportunity to be heard.
reiterates the provision on paid holidays. Whether in the In its Order dated 13 January 1993, the RTC dismissed the petition
context of the CBA or the Labor Code, December 4, 1992 for lack of jurisdiction, The trial court stated that it was not aware
was a holiday for which holiday pay should be paid by of any law by which it could act on the matters raised in Mercado's
respondent employer. petition since Resolution No. 2499 of the COMELEC did not vest in
the RTC jurisdiction over controversies affecting Sangguniang
Mercado v. Board of Election Supervisors Kabataan elections; constituting instead the BES, which is under
COMELEC jurisdiction , as the final arbiter of all election
Facts: Jose M. Mercado was proclaimed winner in the 4 December controversies within its level. Mercado moved for a reconsideration
1992 election for chairman of the SK of Barangay Mabalor, Ibaan, of the dismissal order. He argued that the RTC was competent to
Batangas. The proclamation was made by the Board of Election act on his petition because (a) one mode of seeking judicial review
Mabelle O. Nebres | Local Governments Case Digests

is through the writ of certiorari which may be issued by the RTC and the treasurer to be appointed by the SK chairman with
under B.P. Blg. 129;(b) under its Resolutions Nos. 2499 and 2520, the concurrence of the SK. 4 The katipunan ng kabataan is
the COMELEC was to provide only technical assistance in the composed of all citizens of the Philippines actually residing
conduct of the SK election and therefore could not grant any relief in the barangay for at least six months who are 15 but not
from the action of the BES; moreover, under said Resolution No. more than 21 and who are duly registered in the list of the
2499, no appeal to a higher administrative level wash allowed from SK or in the official barangay list in the custody of the
the action of the BES and (c) the principle of exhaustion of barangay secretary. The chairman, upon assumption of
administrative remedies did not apply to the case at bar, the office, shall automatically become an ex-officio member of
jurisdictional and due process issues raised therein being legal in the sangguniang barangay
nature. Unconvinced, the RTC, in its Order dated 2 March 1993,  Under subparagraph (5), paragraph (e) Article 203, Rule
denied the motion for reconsideration for lack of merit. It ruled that XXVII of the Rules and Regulations Implementing the LGC 7
the reopening of the ballot box for Barangay Mabalor and the the conduct and administration of the elections for
recounting of the votes cast therein were perfectly within the ambit sangguniang kabataan members shall be governed by the
of the BES's authority, and that Mercado should have gone to the rules promulgated by the COMELEC.Pursuant to such
DILG which has direct control and supervision of the SK elections. authority and for purposes of the SK election authorized
under Section 532 of R.A. No. 7160, the COMELEC
Issue: WON the BES may take cognizance of Pangilinan’s protest promulgated Resolution No. 2499 which closely followed the
 SK history: the SK was initially organized by P.D. No. 684 (15 pattern set in the Constitution of the Kabataang Barangay
April 1975) as the Kabataang Barangay (KB), a youth providing for a Board of Election Supervisors and Board of
organization composed of all barangay residents who were Election Tellers, with the former having direct general
less than 18 years of age which aims to provide its members supervision in the conduct of such election and as the final
with the opportunity to express their views and opinions on arbiter of all election protests. Article V of Resolution No.
issues of transcendental importance. Its affairs were 2499 expressly provides: There shall be created aboard of
administered by a barangay youth chairman together with election supervisors (BES) in every city or municipality
six barangay youth leaders, who should at least be 15 years composed of the following: a) city/municipal local
of age or over but less than 18 The then Secretary of Local government operations officer as chairman; b)
Government and Community Development was authorized city/municipal election officer as member; and c)
to promulgate the implementing rules and regulations. city/municipal secretary as member. The board shall have
Pursuant to P.D. No. 1191 (1 September 1977), the direct general supervision in the conduct of elections for
Pambansang Katipunan ng Kabataang Barangay ng Pilipinas sangguniang kabataan in the barangay and shall act as final
was constituted as "a body corporate" with "the powers and arbiter in the resolution of all election protests. No pre-
attributes of a corporation" and placed directly under the proclamation cases shall be allowed on matters relating to
Office of the President. Its affairs were to be administered the election of sangguniang kabataan chairman and
by the Executive Committee which was empowered to members.
promulgate rules and regulations governing the KB. This  The petitioner contends that COMELEC Resolution No. 2499
youth organization was recognized in B.P. Blg. 337 (The is illegal and unconstitutional because it makes the BES the
LGC), 2 which raised the maximum age requirement of the final arbiter of election contests involving the SK in
members from 18 to 21. Under R.A. No. 7160 (The LGC), the contravention of Section 252 of the Omnibus Election Code
Kabataang Barangay was changed to the Sangguniang which vests in the proper metropolitan or municipal trial
Kabataan. 3 It remains as a youth organization in every court original jurisdiction over such contests and, on a more
barangay, composed of a chairman and seven members to fundamental ground, in contravention of Section 2, Article
be elected by the katipunan ng kabataan, and the secretary IX-C of the Constitution which lodges on. such courts
Mabelle O. Nebres | Local Governments Case Digests

exclusive original jurisdiction over contests involving balances which restricts the separation of powers and
elective barangay officials. forestalls arbitrary and unjust adjudications.
 This contention is without merit for it assumes that the SK
election is an election involving elective barangay officials Garvida v. Sales
within the purview of the aforesaid statutory and
constitutional provisions. Facts: Petitioner applied for membership in the Katipunan ng
 Section 252 of the Omnibus Election Code and that portion Kabataan but was denied such as she was already 21 years and 10
of paragraph (2), Section 2, Article IX-C of the Constitution months old. She filed a "Petition for Inclusion as Registered
on the COMELEC's exclusive appellate jurisdiction over Kabataang Member and Voter" with the Municipal Circuit Trial
contests involving elective barangay officials refer to the Court, Bangui-Pagudpud-Adams-Damalneg, Ilocos Norte. The court
elective barangay officials under the pertinent laws in force found her qualified. The Board of Election Tellers appealed, but the
at the time the Omnibus Election Code was enacted and RTC judge inhibited himself by reason of his close relation with her.
upon the ratification of the Constitution. That law was B.P. Petitioner filed her certificate of candidacy for the position of
Blg. 337, otherwise known as the LGC, and the elective Chairman, Sangguniang Kabataan. Election Officer Dionisio F. Rios,
barangay officials referred to were the punong barangay per advice of Provincial Election Supervisor Noli Pipo, disapproved
and the six sangguniang bayan members. 9 They were to be petitioner's certificate of candidacy again due to her age.
elected by those qualified to exercise the right of suffrage. Petitioner, however, appealed to COMELEC Regional Director
10 They are also the same officers referred to by the Filemon A. Asperin who set aside the order of respondents and
provisions of the Omnibus Election Code of the Philippines allowed petitioner to run. Rios issued a memorandum to petitioner
on election of barangay officials. Metropolitan and municipal informing her of her ineligibility and giving her 24 hours to explain
trial courts had exclusive original The jurisdiction over why her certificate of candidacy should not be disapproved. Earlier
contests relating to their election . The decisions of these and without the knowledge of the COMELEC officials, private
courts were appealable to the Regional Trial Courts. respondent Florencio G. Sales, Jr., a rival candidate for Chairman of
 The Court recognizes the consequences of the quasi-judicial the Sangguniang Kabataan, filed with the COMELEC en banc a
acts performed by the BES pursuant to Section 24 of "Petition of Denial and/or Cancellation of Certificate of Candidacy"
COMELEC Resolution No. 2499 under the operative fact against petitioner Garvida for falsely representing her age
doctrine; thus, we hold that the Regional Trial Court is qualification in her certificate of candidacy. That same day Rios
competent to review the decision of the BES in election issued the memorandum to petitioner, the COMELEC en banc
controversies within its level. As correctly stated by the issued an order directing the Board of Election Tellers and Board of
petitioner, it is a basic principle in administrative law that Canvassers of Barangay San Lorenzo to suspend the proclamation
the absence of a provision for the review of an of petitioner in the event she won in the election. Petitioner won. In
administrative action does not preclude recourse to the accordance with the May 2, 1996 order of the COMELEC en banc,
courts. the Board of Election Tellers did not proclaim petitioner as the
 It is generally understood that as to administrative agencies winner. Hence, the instant petition for certiorari was filed on May
exercising quasi-judicial or legislative power there is an 27, 1996. On June 2, 1996, however, the Board of Election Tellers
underlying power in the courts to scrutinize the acts of such proclaimed petitioner the winner for the position of SK chairman,
agencies on questions of law and jurisdiction even though Barangay San Lorenzo, Bangui, Ilocos Norte. The proclamation was
no right of review is given by statute. The purpose of judicial "without prejudice to any further action by the Commission on
review is to keep the administrative agency within its Elections or any other interested party." On July 5, 1996, petitioner
jurisdiction and protect substantial rights of parties affected ran in the Pambayang Pederasyon ng mga Sangguniang Kabataan
by its decisions. it is part of the system of checks and for the municipality of Bangui, Ilocos Norte. She won as Auditor and
was proclaimed one of the elected officials of the Pederasyon.
Mabelle O. Nebres | Local Governments Case Digests

1975 and May 6, 1981, inclusive; and (c) a resident of the

Issue: WON the cancellation of her certificate of candidacy on the Philippines for at least one (1) year and an actual resident of
ground that she has exceeded the age requirement to run as an the barangay at least six (6) months immediately preceding
elective official of the SK is valid. YES. the elections. A candidate for the SK must: (a) possess the
 The Katipunan ng Kabataan was originally created by PD foregoing qualifications of a voter; (b) be a resident in the
684 in 1975 as the Kabataang Barangay, a barangay youth barangay at least one (1) year immediately preceding the
organization composed of all residents of the barangay who elections; and (c) able to read and write.
were at least 15 years but less than 18 years of age. The  Except for the question of age, petitioner has all the
Kabataang Barangay sought to provide its members a qualifications of a member and voter in the Katipunan ng
medium to express their views and opinions and participate Kabataan and a candidate for the Sangguniang Kabataan.
in issues of transcendental importance. Its affairs were Petitioner's age is admittedly beyond the limit set in Section
administered by a barangay youth chairman together with 3 [b] of COMELEC Resolution No. 2824. Petitioner, however,
six barangay youth leaders who were actual residents of the argues that Section 3 [b] of Resolution No. 2824 is unlawful,
barangay and were at least 15 years but less than 18 years ultra vires and beyond the scope of Sections 424 and 428 of
of age. In 1983, Batas Pambansa Blg. 337, then the LGC, the LGC. She contends that the Code itself does not provide
raised the maximum age of the Kabataang Barangay that the voter must be exactly 21 years of age on election
members from "less than 18 years of age" to "not more than day. She urges that so long as she did not turn twenty-two
21 years of age." The LGC changed the Kabataang Barangay (22) years old, she was still twenty-one years of age on
into the Katipunan ng Kabataan. It, however, retained the election day and therefore qualified as a member and voter
age limit of the members laid down in B.P. 337 at 15 but not in the Katipunan ng Kabataan and as candidate for the SK
more than 21 years old. The affairs of the Katipunan ng elections.
Kabataan are administered by the Sangguniang Kabataan  A closer look at the LGC will reveal a distinction between the
(SK) composed of a chairman and seven (7) members who maximum age of a member in the Katipunan ng Kabataan
are elected by the Katipunan ng Kabataan. and the maximum age of an elective SK official. Section
 Membership in the Katipunan ng Kabataan is subject to 424 of the Code sets a member's maximum age at 21 years
specific qualifications laid down by the LGC: (a) a Filipino only. There is no further provision as to when the member
citizen; (b) an actual resident of the barangay for at least shall have turned 21 years of age. On the other hand,
six months; (c) 15 but not more than 21 years of age; and Section 428 provides that the maximum age of an elective
(d) duly registered in the list of the Sangguniang Kabataan SK official is 21 years old "on the day of his election." The
or in the official barangay list. Section 428 of the Code addition of the phrase "on the day of his election" is an
requires that an elective official of the Sangguniang additional qualification. The member may be more than 21
Kabataan must be: (a) a Filipino citizen; (b) a qualified years of age on election day or on the day he registers as
voter in the Katipunan ng Kabataan; (c) a resident of the member of the Katipunan ng Kabataan. The elective official,
barangay at least one (1) year immediately preceding the however, must not be more than 21 years old on the day of
election; (d) at least 15 years but not more than 21 years election. The distinction is understandable considering that
of age on the day of his election; (e) able to read and write; the Code itself provides more qualifications for an elective
and (f) must not have been convicted of any crime SK official than for a member of the Katipunan ng Kabataan.
involving moral turpitude. Dissimilum dissimilis est ratio. The courts may distinguish
 A member of the Katipunan ng Kabataan may be a qualified when there are facts and circumstances showing that the
voter in the May 6, 1996 SK elections if he is: (a) a Filipino legislature intended a distinction or qualification.
citizen; (b) 15 but not more than 21 years of age on  The qualification that a voter in the SK elections must not be
election day, i.e., the voter must be born between May 6, more than 21 years of age on the day of the election is not
Mabelle O. Nebres | Local Governments Case Digests

provided in Section 424 of the LGC. In fact the term years and a fraction of a year but should not reach the age
"qualified voter" appears only in COMELEC Resolution No. of eighteen years. When the LGC increased the age limit of
2824. Since a "qualified voter" is not necessarily an elective members of the youth organization to 21 years, it did not
official, then it may be assumed that a "qualified voter" is a reenact the provision in such a way as to make the youth
"member of the Katipunan ng Kabataan." Section 424 of the "at least 15 but less than 22 years old." If the intention of
Code does not provide that the maximum age of a member the Code's framers was to include citizens less than 22
of the Katipunan ng Kabataan is determined on the day of years old, they should have stated so expressly instead of
the election. Section 3 [b] of COMELEC Resolution No. leaving the matter open to confusion and doubt.
2824 is therefore ultra vires insofar as it sets the age limit  The general rule is that an elective official of the
of a voter for the SK elections at exactly 21 years on the Sangguniang Kabataan must not be more than 21 years of
day of the election. age on the day of his election. The only exception is when
 The provision that an elective official of the SK should not be the official reaches the age of 21 years during his
more than 21 years of age on the day of his election is very incumbency. Section 423 [b] of the Code allows him to
clear. The LGC speaks of years, not months nor days. serve the remaining portion of the term for which he was
When the law speaks of years, it is understood that years elected. According to Senator Pimentel, the youth leader
are of 365 days each. One born on the first day of the year must have "been elected prior to his 21st birthday."
is consequently deemed to be one year old on the 365th Conversely, the SK official must not have turned 21 years
day after his birth -- the last day of the year. In computing old before his election. Reading Section 423 [b] together
years, the first year is reached after completing the first 365 with Section 428 of the Code, the latest date at which an SK
days. After the first 365th day, the first day of the second elective official turns 21 years old is on the day of his
365-day cycle begins. On the 365th day of the second election. The maximum age of a youth official must
cycle, the person turns two years old. This cycle goes on therefore be exactly 21 years on election day. Section 3 [b]
and on in a lifetime. A person turns 21 years old on the in relation to Section 6 [a] of COMELEC Resolution No. 2824
365th day of his 21st 365-day cycle. This means on his 21st is not ultra vires insofar as it fixes the maximum age of an
birthday, he has completed the entire span of 21 365-day elective SK official on the day of his election.
cycles. After this birthday, the 365-day cycle for his 22nd  In the case at bar, petitioner was born on June 11, 1974. On
year begins. The day after the 365th day is the first day of March 16, 1996, the day she registered as voter for the May
the next 365-day cycle and he turns 22 years old on the 6, 1996 SK elections, petitioner was twenty-one (21) years
365th day. and nine (9) months old. On the day of the elections, she
 The phrase "not more than 21 years of age" means not over was 21 years, 11 months and 5 days old. When she
21 years, not beyond 21 years. It means 21 365-day cycles. assumed office on June 1, 1996, she was 21 years, 11
It does not mean 21 years and one or some days or a months and 20 days old and was merely ten (10) days away
fraction of a year because that would be more than 21 365- from turning 22 years old. Petitioner may have qualified as
day cycles. "Not more than 21 years old" is not equivalent a member of the Katipunan ng Kabataan but definitely,
to "less than 22 years old," contrary to petitioner's claims. petitioner was over the age limit for elective SK officials set
The law does not state that the candidate be less than 22 by Section 428 of the LGC and Sections 3 [b] and 6 of
years on election day. Comelec Resolution No. 2824. She was ineligible to run as
 In P.D. 684, the law that created the Kabataang Barangay, candidate for the May 6, 1996 Sangguniang Kabataan
the age qualification of a barangay youth official was elections.
expressly stated as "at least fifteen years of age or over but  The requirement that a candidate possess the age
less than eighteen." This provision clearly states that the qualification is founded on public policy and if he lacks the
youth official must be at least 15 years old and may be 17 age on the day of the election, he can be declared ineligible.
Mabelle O. Nebres | Local Governments Case Digests

In the same vein, if the candidate is over the maximum age

limit on the day of the election, he is ineligible. The fact Facts: On February 18, 2002, petitioner Antoniette V.C.
that the candidate was elected will not make the age Montesclaros sent a letter to the Comelec, demanding that the SK
requirement directory, nor will it validate his election. The elections be held as scheduled on May 6, 2002. Montesclaros also
will of the people as expressed through the ballot cannot urged the Comelec to respond to her letter within 10 days upon
cure the vice of ineligibility. receipt of the letter, otherwise, she will seek judicial relief. On
 The ineligibility of petitioner does not entitle private February 20, 2002, Alfredo L. Benipayo, then Comelec Chairman,
respondent, the candidate who obtained the highest number wrote identical letters to the Speaker of the House and the Senate
of votes in the May 6, 1996 elections, to be declared President about the status of pending bills on the SK and Barangay
elected. A defeated candidate cannot be deemed elected to elections. In his letters, the Comelec Chairman intimated that it
the office. Moreover, despite his claims, private respondent was “operationally very difficult” to hold both elections
has failed to prove that the electorate themselves actually simultaneously in May 2002. Instead, the Comelec Chairman
knew of petitioner's ineligibility and that they maliciously expressed support for the bill of Senator Franklin Drilon that
voted for her with the intention of misapplying their proposed to hold the Barangay elections in May 2002 and postpone
franchises and throwing away their votes for the benefit of the SK elections to November 2002. Ten days lapsed without the
her rival candidate. Comelec responding to the letter of Montesclaros. Subsequently,
 Neither can this Court order that pursuant to Section 435 of petitioners received a copy of Comelec En Banc Resolution No.
the LGC petitioner should be succeeded by the Sangguniang 4763 dated February 5, 2002 recommending to Congress the
Kabataan member who obtained the next highest number of postponement of the SK elections to November 2002 but holding
votes in the May 6, 1996 elections. Section 435 applies the Barangay elections in May 2002 as scheduled.
when a Sangguniang Kabataan Chairman "refuses to On March 6, 2002, the Senate and the House of Representatives
assume office, fails to qualify, is convicted of a felony, passed their respective bills postponing the SK elections. On March
voluntarily resigns, dies, is permanently incapacitated, is 11, 2002, the Bicameral Conference Committee (“Bicameral
removed from office, or has been absent without leave for Committee” for brevity) of the Senate and the House came out with
more than three (3) consecutive months." a Report recommending approval of the reconciled bill
 The question of the age qualification is a question of consolidating Senate Bill No. 2050 [14] and House Bill No. 4456.
eligibility. Being "eligible" means being "legally qualified; [15] The Bicameral Committee’s consolidated bill reset the SK and
capable of being legally chosen." Ineligibility, on the other Barangay elections to July 15, 2002 and lowered the membership
hand, refers to the lack of the qualifications prescribed in age in the SK to at least 15 but not more than 18 years of age. On
the Constitution or the statutes for holding public office. March 11, 2002, petitioners filed the instant petition.
Ineligibility is not one of the grounds enumerated in Section On March 11, 2002, the Senate approved the Bicameral
435 for succession of the SK Chairman. Committee’s consolidated bill and on March 13, 2002, the House of
 To avoid a hiatus in the office of SK Chairman, the Court Representatives approved the same. The President signed the
deems it necessary to order that the vacancy be filled by approved bill into law on March 19, 2002.
the SK member chosen by the incumbent SK members of Issues:
Barangay San Lorenzo, Bangui, Ilocos Norte by simple 1. WON there exists a justiciable controversy. NO.
majority from among themselves. The member chosen shall  The Court’s power of judicial review may be exercised in
assume the office of SK Chairman for the unexpired portion constitutional cases only if all the following requisites are
of the term, and shall discharge the powers and duties, and complied with, namely: (1) the existence of an actual and
enjoy the rights and privileges appurtenant to said office. appropriate case or controversy; (2) a personal and
substantial interest of the party raising the constitutional
Montesclaros v. COMELEC question; (3) the exercise of judicial review is pleaded at the
Mabelle O. Nebres | Local Governments Case Digests

earliest opportunity; and (4) the constitutional question is law of the reconciled bills by each chamber of Congress.
the lis mota of the case. Absent a clear violation of specific constitutional limitations
 In the instant case, there is no actual controversy requiring or of constitutional rights of private parties, the Court
the exercise of the power of judicial review. While seeking cannot exercise its power of judicial review over the internal
to prevent a postponement of the May 6, 2002 SK elections, processes or procedures of Congress. The Court has also no
petitioners are nevertheless amenable to a resetting of the power to dictate to Congress the object or subject of bills
SK elections to any date not later than July 15, 2002. RA No. that Congress should enact into law. The judicial power to
9164 has reset the SK elections to July 15, 2002, a date review the constitutionality of laws does not include the
acceptable to petitioners. With respect to the date of the SK power to prescribe to Congress what laws to enact. The
elections, there is therefore no actual controversy requiring Court has no power to compel Congress by mandamus to
judicial intervention. enact a law allowing petitioners, regardless of their age, to
 Petitioners’ prayer to prevent Congress from enacting into vote and be voted for in the July 15, 2002 SK elections. To
law a proposed bill lowering the membership age in the SK do so would destroy the delicate system of checks and
does not present an actual justiciable controversy. A balances finely crafted by the Constitution for the three co-
proposed bill is not subject to judicial review because it is equal, coordinate and independent branches of government.
not a law. A proposed bill creates no right and imposes no 1. WON the postponement of the SK elections amounted to a
duty legally enforceable by the Court. A proposed bill, grave abuse of discretion. NO.
having no legal effect, violates no constitutional right or  RA No. 9164 is now the law that prescribes the
duty. The Court has no power to declare a proposed bill qualifications of candidates and voters for the SK elections.
constitutional or unconstitutional because that would be in This law also fixes the date of the SK elections. Petitioners
the nature of rendering an advisory opinion on a proposed have not shown that the Comelec acted illegally or with
act of Congress. The power of judicial review cannot be grave abuse of discretion in recommending to Congress the
exercised in vacuo. The second paragraph of Section 1, postponement of the SK elections. The very evidence relied
Article VIII of the Constitution states – “Judicial power upon by petitioners contradict their allegation of illegality.
includes the duty of the courts of justice to settle actual The evidence consist of the following: (1) Comelec en banc
controversies involving rights which are legally demandable Resolution No. 4763 dated February 5, 2002 that
and enforceable, and to determine whether or not there has recommended the postponement of the SK elections to
been a grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or 2003; (2) the letter of then Comelec Chairman Benipayo
excess of jurisdiction on the part of any branch or addressed to the Speaker of the House of Representatives
instrumentality of the Government.” and the President of the Senate; and (3) the Conference
 Thus, there can be no justiciable controversy involving the Committee Report consolidating Senate Bill No. 2050 and
constitutionality of a proposed bill. The Court can exercise House Bill No. 4456.
its power of judicial review only after a law is enacted, not  The Comelec exercised its power and duty to “enforce and
before. administer all laws and regulations relative to the conduct of
 Under the separation of powers, the Court cannot restrain an election, plebiscite, initiative, referendum and recall” and
Congress from passing any law, or from setting into motion to “recommend to Congress effective measures to minimize
the legislative mill according to its internal rules. Thus, the election spending.” The Comelec’s acts enjoy the
following acts of Congress in the exercise of its legislative presumption of regularity in the performance of official
powers are not subject to judicial restraint: the filing of bills duties. These acts cannot constitute proof, as claimed by
by members of Congress, the approval of bills by each petitioners, that there “exists a connivance and conspiracy
chamber of Congress, the reconciliation by the Bicameral (among) respondents in contravention of the present law.”
Committee of approved bills, and the eventual approval into
Mabelle O. Nebres | Local Governments Case Digests

 The 1987 Constitution imposes upon the Comelec the duty amendatory law. Petitioners’ remedy is legislation, not
of enforcing and administering all laws and regulations judicial intervention.
relative to the conduct of elections. Petitioners failed to  Petitioners have no personal and substantial interest in
prove that the Comelec committed grave abuse of maintaining this suit. A party must show that he has been,
discretion in recommending to Congress the postponement or is about to be denied some personal right or privilege to
of the May 6, 2002 SK elections. The evidence cited by which he is lawfully entitled. A party must also show that he
petitioners even establish that the Comelec has has a real interest in the suit. By “real interest” is meant a
demonstrated an earnest effort to address the practical present substantial interest, as distinguished from a mere
problems in holding the SK elections on May 6, 2002. The expectancy or future, contingent, subordinate, or
presumption remains that the decision of the Comelec to inconsequential interest.
recommend to Congress the postponement of the elections  In the instant case, petitioners seek to enforce a right
was made in good faith in the regular course of its official originally conferred by law on those who were at least 15
duties. but not more than 21 years old. Now, with the passage of
 Grave abuse of discretion is such capricious and whimsical RA No. 9164, this right is limited to those who on the date of
exercise of judgment that is patent and gross as to amount the SK elections are at least 15 but less than 18 years old.
to an evasion of a positive duty or a virtual refusal to The new law restricts membership in the SK to this specific
perform a duty enjoined by law. Public respondents having age group. Not falling within this classification, petitioners
acted strictly pursuant to their constitutional powers and have ceased to be members of the SK and are no longer
duties, we find no grave abuse of discretion in their assailed qualified to participate in the July 15, 2002 SK elections.
acts. Plainly, petitioners no longer have a personal and
1. WON the exclusion of persons 18-21 from the SK was substantial interest in the SK elections.
unconstitutional. NO.  This petition does not raise any constitutional issue. At the
 Under RA No. 9164, Congress merely restored the age time petitioners filed this petition, RA No. 9164, which reset
requirement in PD No. 684, the original charter of the SK, the SK elections and reduced the age requirement for SK
which fixed the maximum age for membership in the SK to membership, was not yet enacted into law. After the
youths less than 18 years old. Petitioners do not have a passage of RA No. 9164, petitioners failed to assail any
vested right to the permanence of the age requirement provision in RA No. 9164 that could be unconstitutional. To
under Section 424 of the LGC. Every law passed by grant petitioners’ prayer to be allowed to vote and be voted
Congress is always subject to amendment or repeal by for in the July 15, 2002 SK elections necessitates assailing
Congress. The Court cannot restrain Congress from the constitutionality of RA No. 9164. This, petitioners have
amending or repealing laws, for the power to make laws not done. The Court will not strike down a law unless its
includes the power to change the laws. constitutionality is properly raised in an appropriate action
 The Court cannot also direct the Comelec to allow over-aged and adequately argued.
voters to vote or be voted for in an election that is limited 1. WON SK membership is a property right. NO.
under RA No. 9164 to youths at least 15 but less than 18  Congress exercises the power to prescribe the qualifications
years old. A law is needed to allow all those who have for SK membership. One who is no longer qualified because
turned more than 21 years old on or after May 6, 2002 to of an amendment in the law cannot complain of being
participate in the July 15, 2002 SK elections. Youths from 18 deprived of a proprietary right to SK membership. Only
to 21 years old as of May 6, 2002 are also no longer SK those who qualify as SK members can contest, based on a
members, and cannot participate in the July 15, 2002 SK statutory right, any act disqualifying them from SK
elections. Congress will have to decide whether to enact an membership or from voting in the SK elections. SK
membership is not a property right protected by the
Mabelle O. Nebres | Local Governments Case Digests

Constitution because it is a mere statutory right conferred since petitioners are now past the maximum age for
by law. Congress may amend at any time the law to change membership in the SK, they cannot invoke any property
or even withdraw the statutory right. right to cling to their SK membership.
 A public office is not a property right. As the Constitution 1. WON the postponement of the SK elections would allow the
expressly states, a “[P]ublic office is a public trust.” No one incumbent SK officers to perpetuate themselves in power,
has a vested right to any public office, much less a vested depriving other youths of the opportunity to serve in
right to an expectancy of holding a public office. In Cornejo elective SK positions. NO.
v. Gabriel, decided in 1920, the Court already ruled: ”Again,  This argument deserves scant consideration. While RA No.
for this petition to come under the due process of law 9164 contains a hold-over provision, incumbent SK officials
prohibition, it would be necessary to consider an office a can remain in office only until their successors have been
“property.” It is, however, well settled that a public office is elected or qualified. On July 15, 2002, when the SK
not property within the sense of the constitutional elections are held, the hold-over period expires and all
guaranties of due process of law, but is a public trust or incumbent SK officials automatically cease to hold their SK
agency. The basic idea of the government is that of a offices and their ex-officio public offices.
popular representative government, the officers being mere
agents and not rulers of the people, one where no one man Munez v. Ariño
or set of men has a proprietary or contractual right to an
office, but where every officer accepts office pursuant to the Facts: Mayor Irisari of Loreto, Agusan del Sur summoned to his
provisions of the law and holds the office as a trust for the office herein complainant Apolinario S. Muñez for conference
people he represents.” respecting a land dispute which Muñez had with one Tirso Amado.
 Petitioners, who apparently desire to hold public office, As complainant failed to attend the conference, Mayor Irisari issued
should realize from the very start that no one has a a warrant of arrest against him on December 27, 1989. The warrant
proprietary right to public office. While the law makes an SK was served and by virtue of it complainant was brought before
officer an ex-officio member of a local government Mayor Irisari, although no investigation was later
legislative council, the law does not confer on petitioners a conducted.Complainant filed a complaint against Mayor Irisari for
proprietary right or even a proprietary expectancy to sit in grave misconduct and usurpation of judicial function with the Office
local legislative councils. The constitutional principle of a of the Ombudsman as well as administrative complaint for violation
public office as a public trust precludes any proprietary of the Constitution, misconduct in office and abuse of authority with
claim to public office. Even the State policy directing the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Agusan del Sur. After preliminary
“equal access to opportunities for public service” cannot investigation, the investigating officer of the Office of the
bestow on petitioners a proprietary right to SK membership Ombudsman filed a case for usurpation of judicial function against
or a proprietary expectancy to ex-officio public offices. Mayor Asuero Irisari in the Municipal Circuit Trial Court of Loreto,
 Moreover, while the State policy is to encourage the youth’s Agusan del Sur. Originally raffled to the judge of that court, the
involvement in public affairs, this policy refers to those who criminal case was later assigned to respondent Judge Ciriaco Ariño
belong to the class of people defined as the youth. on account of the inhibition of the first judge. Accused Irisari moved
Congress has the power to define who are the youth to quash the information on the ground that the acts complained of
qualified to join the SK, which itself is a creation of did not constitute a crime under the law. He contended that under
Congress. Those who do not qualify because they are past Sec. 143(3) of the former LGC (Batas Pambansa Blg. 337), mayors
the age group defined as the youth cannot insist on being were authorized to issue warrants of arrest. Judge Ariño denied the
part of the youth. In government service, once an employee motion to quash on the ground that the power of mayors to issue
reaches mandatory retirement age, he cannot invoke any warrants of arrest had ceased to exist as of February 2, 1987 when
property right to cling to his office. In the same manner, the Constitution took effect. For its part the Sangguniang
Mabelle O. Nebres | Local Governments Case Digests

Panlalawigan, acting on the administrative complaint against the powers, or obstructs the execution of any order or decision
mayor, found him guilty of misconduct in office and abuse of rendered by any judge within his jurisdiction. These
authority and accordingly ordered him suspended for eight (8) elements were alleged in the information. Mayor Irisari was
months without pay. On appeal, however, the Department of an officer of the executive branch.
Interior and Local Government (DILG) reversed on the ground that  It is not true that what he had issued against the
what the mayor had issued to the complainant, although complainant was not a warrant of arrest. It was. In plain
denominated "Warrant of Arrest," was actually just an invitation or terms it stated: “You are hereby requested/ordered to effect
a summons. Mayor Irisari filed a motion for reconsideration of the the arrest of Apolinario Muñez of Poblacion, Loreto, Agusan
order of denial of respondent judge, invoking the resolution of the del Sur, for his refusal to acknowledge the Summons dated
DILG. Judge Ariño reconsidered his previous order and dismissed December 26, 1989, and bring him before the Office of the
the case. Respondent said in his order: The accused, in his Motion Municipal Mayor to answer an inquiry/investigation in
for Reconsideration, asserts that since the question about the connection with the complaint of one Tirso Amado held
warrant of arrest issued against Apolinario Muñez has been pending before this Office.” (Sgd) ASUERO S. IRISARI,
resolved in an administrative proceedings as not the warrant of Municipal Mayor. For and in the absence of the Municipal
arrest contemplated by law, it would follow then that this case now Circuit Judge.
before this Court against the accused be dismissed. The Court finds  Any one reading the warrant could not have been mistaken
that the subject matter in this case and that in the administrative that it was a warrant for the arrest of the complainant
complaint arose from one and the same incident and it involved the Apolinario Muñez. As a matter of fact Mayor Irisari justified
same parties. Courts are not bound by the findings of his order on the basis of Sec. 143(3) of the former LGC
administrative agencies like the DILG as in this case if such findings which expressly provided that in cases where the mayor
are tainted with unfairness and there is arbitrary action or palpable may conduct preliminary investigation, the mayor shall,
serious error. The Court believes that the resolution by the upon probable cause after examination of witnesses, have
administrative agency in DLG-AC-60-91 is not tainted with the authority to order the arrest of the accused." This
unfairness and arbitrariness neither it shows arbitrary action or provision had, however, been repealed by Art. III, Sec. 2 of
palpable and serious error, therefore, it must be respected the 1987 Constitution
(Mangubat vs. de Castro, G.R. 33892; July 28, 1988; Blue Bar  Ponsica v. Ignalaga: No longer does the mayor have at this
Coconut Philippines vs. Tantuico, Jr., et al., G.R. 47051, July 29, time the power to conduct preliminary investigations, much
1988, Cuerdo vs. Commission on Audit, G.R. 84592, October 27, less issue orders of arrest. Section 143 of the LGC,
1988). Upon receipt of this order, complainant Muñez sent two conferring this power on the mayor has been abrogated,
letters dated July 5 and 12, 1933 to the Presidential Anti-Crime rendered functus officio by the 1987 Constitution which took
Commission charging respondent Judge Ciriaco C. Ariño with effect on February 2, 1987, the date of its ratification by the
knowingly rendering an unjust judgment for dismissing the case Filipino people. Section 2, Article III of the 1987 Constitution
against Mayor Irisari. The matter was indorsed to the Office of the pertinently provides that "no search warrant or warrant of
Ombudsman which, as already stated, referred it to this Court for arrest shall issue except upon probable cause to be
possible disciplinary action against respondent judge. determined personally by the judge after examination under
oath or affirmation of the complainant and the witnesses he
Issue: WON the Judge may be held administratively liable. YES. may produce, and particularly describing the place to be
 The acts alleged in the information constitute a crime. searched and the person or things to be seized." The
Under Art. 241 of the Revised Penal Code, the crime of constitutional proscription has thereby been manifested that
usurpation of judicial authority involves the following thenceforth, the function of determining probable cause and
elements: (1) that the offender is an officer of the executive issuing, on the basis thereof, warrants of arrest or search
branch of the government; and (2) that he assumes judicial warrants, may be validly exercised only by judges, this
Mabelle O. Nebres | Local Governments Case Digests

being evidenced by the elimination in the present basis for applying the rule on substantiality of evidence.
Constitution of the phrase, "such other responsible officer as What was before him was a criminal case and he should
may be authorized by law" found in the counterpart have considered solely the facts alleged in the information
provision of said 1973 Constitution - who, aside from judges, in resolving the motion to dismiss of the accused.
might conduct preliminary investigation and issue warrants
of arrest or search warrants. Greater Balanga Development Corporation (supra)
 That there was no pending criminal case against the
complainant did not make the order against him any less an
order of arrest, contrary to the opinion of DILG.
 On the other hand, the issuance of the warrant when there
was before him no criminal case, but only a land dispute as
it is now being made to appear, only made it worse for the
mayor, for it would then appear that he assumed a judicial
function which even a judge could not have done. All the
more, therefore, respondent judge should not have
dismissed the criminal case against the mayor.
 It cannot be pretended that Mayor Irisari merely intended to
invite or summon Muñez to his office because he had
precisely done this the day before he issued the warrant of
arrest, and he ordered the arrest of complainant because
the latter had refused to appear before him. The summons
issued by Mayor Irisari shows clearly that he understood the
difference between a summons and a warrant of arrest. The
summons read: “You are hereby demanded to appear
before the Office of the Municipal Mayor on 27 December
1989 at around 9:30 A.M. then and there to answer in an
inquiry/investigation in connection with a certain complaint
of Mr. Tirso Amado lodged in this office.
 Indeed, respondent had previously denied the motion to
dismiss which the accused Mayor Irisari had filed on the
ground that the authority invoked by him as basis for his
warrant of arrest had been abrogated by the Constitution.
He subsequently reversed himself on the ground that the
decision of the DILG, finding Mayor Irisari not guilty, "must
be respected." He said, "Courts are not bound by findings of
administrative agencies like the DILG as in this case if such
findings are tainted with unfairness and there is arbitrary
action or palpable serious error." Since the DILG decision
was not so tainted, "therefore, it must be respected."
 Judge Ciriaco Ariño should have known that the case of
Mayor Irisari was not before him on review from the decision
of an administrative agency and, therefore, there was no
Mabelle O. Nebres | Local Governments Case Digests

Mabelle O. Nebres | Local Governments Case Digests

Facts: On December 7, 1992 Bistro filed before the trial court a

petition for mandamus and prohibition, with prayer for temporary
restraining order or writ of preliminary injunction, against Lim in his
capacity as Mayor of the City of Manila. Bistro filed the case
because policemen under Lim’s instructions inspected and
investigated Bistro’s license as well as the work permits and health
certificates of its staff. This caused the stoppage of work in Bistro’s
night club and restaurant operations. Lim also refused to accept
Bistro’s application for a business license, as well as the work
permit applications of Bistro’s staff, for the year 1993. TC: issued
first assailed TRO, after hearing, court granted Bistro’s application
for a writ of prohibitory preliminary injunction. Despite the trial
court’s order, Lim still issued a closure order on Bistro’s operations,
even sending policemen to carry out his closure order. Bistro filed
an "Urgent Motion for Contempt" against Lim and the policemen
who stopped Bistro’s operations. At the hearing of the motion for
contempt, Bistro withdrew its motion on condition that Lim would
respect the court’s injunction. Lim, acting through his agents and
policemen, again disrupted Bistro’s business operations.
Meanwhile, Lim filed a motion to dissolve the injunctive order and
to dismiss the case. Lim insisted that the power of a mayor to
inspect and investigate commercial establishments and their staff
is implicit in the statutory power of the city mayor to issue, suspend
or revoke business permits and licenses. This statutory power is
expressly provided for in Section 11 (l), Article II of the Revised
Charter of the City of Manila and in Section 455, paragraph 3 (iv) of
the LGC. TC denied. Lim filed with the CA a petition for certiorari,
prohibition and mandamus against Bistro and Judge Wilfredo
Reyes. Lim claimed that the trial judge committed grave abuse of
discretion amounting to lack of jurisdiction in issuing the writ of
prohibitory preliminary injunction. CA denied. MR denied. Manila
City Ordinance No. 778314 took effect. On the same day, Lim
ordered the Western Police District Command to permanently close
down the operations of Bistro, which order the police implemented
at once.

Issue: WON Lim, as Mayor of the City of Manila, properly closed

down the operations of Bistro. NO.
 The authority of mayors to issue business licenses and
permits is beyond question. The law expressly provides for
Lim and Garayblas v. CA such authority. Section 11 (l), Article II of the Revised
Mabelle O. Nebres | Local Governments Case Digests

Charter of the City of Manila, reads: The general duties and establishments for the purpose of enforcing sanitary rules
powers of the mayor shall be: (l) To grant and refuse and regulations, inspecting licenses and permits, and/or
municipal licenses or permits of all classes and to revoke enforcing internal revenue and customs laws and
the same for violation of the conditions upon which they regulations. This responsibility should be properly exercised
were granted, or if acts prohibited by law or municipal by Local Government Authorities and other concerned
ordinances are being committed under the protection of agencies."
such licenses or in the premises in which the business for  Lim has no authority to close down Bistro’s business or any
which the same have been granted is carried on, or for any business establishment in Manila without due process of
other reason of general interest." On the other hand, law. Lim cannot take refuge under the Revised Charter of
Section 455 (3) (iv) of theLGC provides: (b) For efficient, the City of Manila and the LGC. There is no provision in
effective and economical governance the purpose of which these laws expressly or impliedly granting the mayor
is the general welfare of the City and its inhabitants authority to close down private commercial establishments
pursuant to Section 16 of this Code, the City Mayor shall: without notice and hearing, and even if there is, such
(iv) Issue licenses and permits and suspend or revoke the provision would be void. The due process clause of the
same for any violation of the condition upon which said Constitution requires that Lim should have given Bistro an
licenses or permits had been issued, pursuant to law or opportunity to rebut the allegations that it violated the
ordinance." conditions of its licenses and permits.
 From the language of the two laws, it is clear that the power  The regulatory powers granted to municipal corporations
of the mayor to issue business licenses and permits must always be exercised in accordance with law, with
necessarily includes the corollary power to suspend, revoke utmost observance of the rights of the people to due
or even refuse to issue the same. However, the power to process and equal protection of the law. Such power cannot
suspend or revoke these licenses and permits is expressly be exercised whimsically, arbitrarily or despotically. In the
premised on the violation of the conditions of these permits instant case, we find that Lim’s exercise of this power
and licenses. The laws specifically refer to the "violation of violated Bistro’s property rights that are protected under the
the condition(s)" on which the licenses and permits were due process clause of the Constitution.
issued. Similarly, the power to refuse to issue such licenses  Lim did not charge Bistro with any specific violation of the
and permits is premised on non-compliance with the conditions of its business license or permits. Still, Lim closed
prerequisites for the issuance of such licenses and permits. down Bistro’s operations even before the expiration of its
The mayor must observe due process in exercising these business license on December 31, 1992. Lim also refused to
powers, which means that the mayor must give the accept Bistro’s license application for 1993, in effect
applicant or licensee notice and opportunity to be heard. denying the application without examining whether it
 True, the mayor has the power to inspect and investigate complies with legal prerequisites.
private commercial establishments for any violation of the
conditions of their licenses and permits. However, the mayor Disomancop v. Datumanong
has no power to order a police raid on these establishments
in the guise of inspecting or investigating these commercial Facts: RA 6734, "An Act Providing for An Organic Act for the
establishments. Lim acted beyond his authority when he Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao," was enacted and signed
directed policemen to raid the New Bangkok Club and the into law. Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi,
Exotic Garden Restaurant. Such act of Lim violated pursuant to a plebiscite became the ARMM. In accordance with R.A.
Ordinance No. 771618 which expressly prohibits police raids 6734, then President Aquino issued E.O. 426, "Placing the Control
and inspections, to wit: No member of the Western Police and Supervision of the Offices of the Department of Public Works
District shall conduct inspection of food and other business and Highways within the ARMM under the Autonomous Regional
Mabelle O. Nebres | Local Governments Case Digests

Government, and for other purposes." ARMM was formally sustained or will sustain direct injury as a result of the
organized on 6 November 1990. President Corazon C. Aquino flew governmental act that is being challenged. The term
to Cotabato, the seat of the Regional Government, for the "interest" means a material interest, an interest in issue
inauguration. At that point, she had already signed 7 EOs devolving affected by the decree, as distinguished from a mere
to ARMM the powers of 7 cabinet departments, namely: (1) local interest in the question involved, or a mere incidental
government; (2) labor and employment; (3) science and interest.
technology; (4) public works and highways; (5) social welfare and  A party challenging the constitutionality of a law, act, or
development; (6) tourism; and (7) environment and national statute must show "not only that the law is invalid, but also
resources. Nearly nine years later, then DPWH Secretary Vigilar that he has sustained or is in immediate, or imminent
issued D.O. 119, which provides that a DPWH Marawi Sub-District danger of sustaining some direct injury as a result of its
Engineering Office shall have jurisdiction over all national enforcement, and not merely that he suffers thereby in
infrastructure projects and facilities under the DPWH within Marawi some indefinite way." He must show that he has been, or is
City and the province of Lanao del Sur. The headquarters of the about to be, denied some right or privilege to which he is
Marawi Sub-District Engineering Office shall be at the former lawfully entitled, or that he is about to be subjected to some
quarters of the Marawi City Engineering Office. Personnel of the burdens or penalties by reason of the statute complained of.
above-mentioned Sub-District Engineering Office shall be made up  But following the new trend, this Court is inclined to take
of employees of the National Government Section of the former cognizance of a suit although it does not satisfy the
Marawi City Engineering Office who are now assigned with the requirement of legal standing when paramount interests are
Iligan City Sub-District Engineering Office as may be determined by involved. In several cases, the Court has adopted a liberal
the DPWH Region XII Regional Director. Almost 2 years later, then stance on the locus standi of a petitioner where the
President Estrada approved and signed into law R.A. 8999 which petitioner is able to craft an issue of transcendental
constituted the City of Marawi and the municipalities comprising significance to the people.
the First District of the Province of Lanao del Sur into an  In the instant case, petitioner Disomangcop holds the
engineering district to be known as the First Engineering District of position of Engineer IV. When he filed this petition, he was
the Province of Lanao del Sur. Congress later passed R.A. 9054, "An the Officer-in-Charge, Office of the District Engineer of the
Act to Strengthen and Expand the Organic Act for the Autonomous First Engineering District of DPWH-ARMM, Lanao del Sur. On
Region in Muslim Mindanao, Amending for the Purpose Republic Act the other hand, petitioner Dimalotang is an Engineer II and
No. 6734, entitled An Act Providing for the ARMM, as Amended." President of the rank and file employees also of the First
Like its forerunner, R.A. 9054 contains detailed provisions on the Engineering District of DPWH-ARMM in Lanao del Sur. Both
powers of the Regional Government and the retained areas of are charged with the duty and responsibility of supervising
governance of the National Government. R.A. 9054 lapsed into law. and implementing all public works projects to be undertaken
It was ratified in a plebiscite. The province of Basilan and the City of and being undertaken in Lanao del Sur which is the area of
Marawi also voted to join ARMM on the same date. R.A. 6734 and their jurisdiction.
R.A. 9054 are collectively referred to as the ARMM Organic Acts. On  It is thus not far-fetched that the creation of the Marawi Sub-
23 July 2001, petitioners Disomangcop and Dimalotang addressed a District Engineering Office under D.O. 119 and the creation
petition to then DPWH Secretary Datumanong, seeking the of and appropriation of funds to the First Engineering
revocation of D.O. 119 and the non-implementation of R.A. 8999. District of Lanao del Sur as directed under R.A. 8999 will
No action, however, was taken on the petition. affect the powers, functions and responsibilities of the
petitioners and the DPWH-ARMM. As the two offices have
Issues: 1. WON petitioners have legal standing. YES. apparently been endowed with functions almost identical to
 Legal standing or locus standi is defined as a personal and those of DPWH-ARMM First Engineering District in Lanao del
substantial interest in the case such that the party has Sur, it is likely that petitioners are in imminent danger of
Mabelle O. Nebres | Local Governments Case Digests

being eased out of their duties and, not remotely, even their reestablish the National Government's jurisdiction over
jobs. Their material and substantial interests will definitely infrastructure programs in Lanao del Sur. R.A. 8999 is
be prejudiced by the enforcement of D.O. 119 and R.A. patently inconsistent with R.A. 9054, and it destroys the
8999. Such injury is direct and immediate. Thus, they can latter law's objective.
legitimately challenge the validity of the enactments subject  Clearly, R.A. 8999 is antagonistic to and cannot be
of the instant case. reconciled with both ARMM Organic Acts, R.A. 6734 and R.A.
2. WON R.A. 8999 is constitutional. 9054. The kernel of the antagonism and disharmony lies in
 The challenged law never became operative and was the regional autonomy which the ARMM Organic Acts ordain
superseded or repealed by a subsequent enactment. The pursuant to the Constitution. On the other hand, R.A. 8999
ARMM Organic Acts are deemed a part of the regional contravenes true decentralization which is the essence of
autonomy scheme. While they are classified as statutes, the regional autonomy.
Organic Acts are more than ordinary statutes because they  Regional Autonomy Under R.A. 6734 and R.A. 9054: The
enjoy affirmation by a plebiscite. Hence, the provisions 1987 Constitution mandates regional autonomy to give a
thereof cannot be amended by an ordinary statute, such as bold and unequivocal answer to the cry for a meaningful,
R.A. 8999 in this case. The amendatory law has to be effective and forceful autonomy.42 According to
submitted to a plebiscite. Commissioner Jose Nolledo, Chairman of the Committee
 The first ARMM Organic Act, R.A. 6074, as implemented by which drafted the provisions, it "is an indictment against the
E.O. 426, devolved the functions of the DPWH in the ARMM status quo of a unitary system that, to my mind, has
which includes Lanao del Sur (minus Marawi City at the ineluctably tied the hands of progress in our country . . . our
time)38 to the Regional Government. By creating an office varying regional characteristics are factors to capitalize on
with previously devolved functions, R.A. 8999, in essence, to attain national strength through decentralization. The
sought to amend R.A. 6074. The amendatory law should idea behind the Constitutional provisions for autonomous
therefore first obtain the approval of the people of the regions is to allow the separate development of peoples
ARMM before it could validly take effect. Absent compliance with distinctive cultures and traditions. These cultures, as a
with this requirement, R.A. 8999 has not even become matter of right, must be allowed to flourish.
operative.  Autonomy, as a national policy, recognizes the wholeness of
 From another perspective, R.A. 8999 was repealed and the Philippine society in its ethnolinguistic, cultural, and
superseded by R.A. 9054. Where a statute of later date even religious diversities. It strives to free Philippine society
clearly reveals an intention on the part of the legislature to of the strain and wastage caused by the assimilationist
abrogate a prior act on the subject, that intention must be approach. Policies emanating from the legislature are
given effect. Of course, the intention to repeal must be clear invariably assimilationist in character despite channels
and manifest. Implied repeal by irreconcilable inconsistency being open for minority representation. As a result,
takes place when the two statutes cover the same subject democracy becomes an irony to the minority group.
matter; they are clearly inconsistent and incompatible with  The need for regional autonomy is more pressing in the case
each other that they cannot be reconciled or harmonized; of the Filipino Muslims and the Cordillera people who have
and both cannot be given effect, that is, that one law cannot been fighting for it. Their political struggle highlights their
be enforced without nullifying the other. unique cultures and the unresponsiveness of the unitary
 R.A. 9054 is anchored on the 1987 Constitution. It advances system to their aspirations. The Moros' struggle for self-
the constitutional grant of autonomy by detailing the powers determination dates as far back as the Spanish conquest in
of the ARG covering, among others, Lanao del Sur and the Philippines. Even at present, the struggle goes on.
Marawi City, one of which is its jurisdiction over regional Perforce, regional autonomy is also a means towards solving
urban and rural planning. R.A. 8999, however, ventures to existing serious peace and order problems and secessionist
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movements. Parenthetically, autonomy, decentralization and resources for the performance of certain functions from
and regionalization, in international law, have become the central government to local government units. This is a
politically acceptable answers to intractable problems of more liberal form of decentralization since there is an actual
nationalism, separatism, ethnic conflict and threat of transfer of powers and responsibilities. It aims to grant
secession. greater autonomy to local government units in cognizance
 However, the creation of autonomous regions does not of their right to self-government, to make them self-reliant,
signify the establishment of a sovereignty distinct from that and to improve their administrative and technical
of the Republic, as it can be installed only "within the capabilities.
framework of this Constitution and the national sovereignty  The diminution of Congress' powers over autonomous
as well as territorial integrity of the Republic of the regions was confirmed in Ganzon v. Court of Appeals: "the
Philippines." Regional autonomy is the degree of self- omission (of "as may be provided by law") signifies nothing
determination exercised by the local government unit vis-à- more than to underscore local governments' autonomy from
vis the central government. Congress and to break Congress' 'control' over local
 The objective of the autonomy system is to permit government affairs." This is true to subjects over which
determined groups, with a common tradition and shared autonomous regions have powers, as specified in Sections
social-cultural characteristics, to develop freely their ways of 18 and 20, Article X of the 1987 Constitution. Expressly not
life and heritage, exercise their rights, and be in charge of included therein are powers over certain areas. Worthy of
their own business. This is achieved through the note is that the area of public works is not excluded and
establishment of a special governance regime for certain neither is it reserved for the National Government. More
member communities who choose their own authorities importantly, Congress itself through R.A. 9054 transferred
from within the community and exercise the jurisdictional and devolved the administrative and fiscal management of
authority legally accorded to them to decide internal public works and funds for public works to the ARG. Unless
community affairs. approved by the Regional Assembly, no public works funds
 Decentralization is a decision by the central government allocated by the central government or national government
authorizing its subordinates, whether geographically or for the Regional Government or allocated by the Regional
functionally defined, to exercise authority in certain areas. It Government from its own revenues may be disbursed,
involves decision-making by subnational units. It is typically distributed, realigned, or used in any manner.
a delegated power, wherein a larger government chooses to  The aim of the Constitution is to extend to the autonomous
delegate certain authority to more local governments. peoples, the people of Muslim Mindanao in this case, the
Federalism implies some measure of decentralization, but right to self-determination—a right to choose their own path
unitary systems may also decentralize. Decentralization of development; the right to determine the political, cultural
differs intrinsically from federalism in that the sub-units that and economic content of their development path within the
have been authorized to act (by delegation) do not possess framework of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the
any claim of right against the central government. Philippine Republic.80 Self-determination refers to the need
 Decentralization comes in two forms—deconcentration and for a political structure that will respect the autonomous
devolution. Deconcentration is administrative in nature; it peoples' uniqueness and grant them sufficient room for self-
involves the transfer of functions or the delegation of expression and self-construction.
authority and responsibility from the national office to the  In treading their chosen path of development, the Muslims
regional and local offices. This mode of decentralization is in Mindanao are to be given freedom and independence
also referred to as administrative decentralization. with minimum interference from the National Government.
Devolution, on the other hand, connotes political This necessarily includes the freedom to decide on, build,
decentralization, or the transfer of powers, responsibilities, supervise and maintain the public works and infrastructure
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projects within the autonomous region. The devolution of all other such areas shall be exercised by the Autonomous
the powers and functions of the DPWH in the ARMM and Regional Government ("ARG") of the Autonomous Region in
transfer of the administrative and fiscal management of Muslim Mindanao. It is noted that programs relative to
public works and funds to the ARG are meant to be true, infrastructure facilities, health, education, women in
meaningful and unfettered. This unassailable conclusion is development, agricultural extension and watershed
grounded on a clear consensus, reached at the management do not fall under any of the exempted areas
Constitutional Commission and ratified by the entire Filipino listed in the abovequoted provision of law. Thus, the
electorate, on the centrality of decentralization of power as inevitable conclusion is that all these spheres of executive
the appropriate vessel of deliverance for Muslim Filipinos responsibility have been transferred to the ARG.
and the ultimate unity of Muslims and Christians in this  Reinforcing the above view are the various executive orders
country. issued by the President providing for the devolution of the
 With R.A. 8999, however, this freedom is taken away, and powers and functions of specified executive departments of
the National Government takes control again. The hands, the National Government to the ARG. These are E.O. Nos.
once more, of the autonomous peoples are reined in and 425 (Department of Labor and Employment, Local
tied up. Government, Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources,
 The challenged law creates an office with functions and Social Welfare and Development and Science and
powers which, by virtue of E.O. 426, have been previously Technology), 426 (Department of Public Works and
devolved to the DPWH-ARMM, First Engineering District in Highways), 459 (Department of Education, Culture and
Lanao del Sur. E.O. 426 clearly ordains the transfer of the Sports) and 460 (Department of Agriculture). The execution
control and supervision of the offices of the DPWH within the of projects on infrastructure, education, women, agricultural
ARMM, including their functions, powers and responsibilities, extension and watershed management within the
personnel, equipment, properties, and budgets to the ARG. Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao normally fall within
Among its other functions, the DPWH-ARMM, under the the responsibility of one of the aforementioned executive
control of the Regional Government shall be responsible for departments of the National Government, but by virtue of
highways, flood control and water resource development the aforestated EOs, such responsibility has been
systems, and other public works within the ARMM. Its scope transferred to the ARG.
of power includes the planning, design, construction and  E.O. 426 was issued to implement the provisions of the first
supervision of public works. According to R.A. 9054, the ARMM Organic Act, R.A. 6734—the validity of which this
reach of the Regional Government enables it to appropriate, Court upheld in the case of Abbas v. Commission on
manage and disburse all public work funds allocated for the Elections.83 In Section 4, Article XVIII of said Act, "central
region by the central government. government or national government offices and agencies in
 The use of the word "powers" in E.O. 426 manifests an the autonomous region which are not excluded under
unmistakable case of devolution. In this regard, it is not Section 3, Article IV84 of this Organic Act, shall be placed
amiss to cite Opinion No. 120, S. 199182 of the Secretary of under the control and supervision of the Regional
Justice on whether the national departments or their Government pursuant to a schedule prescribed by the
counterpart departments in the ARG are responsible for oversight committee."
implementation of roads, rural water supply, health,  Evidently, the intention is to cede some, if not most, of the
education, women in development, agricultural extension powers of the national government to the autonomous
and watershed management. Referring to Section 2, Article government in order to effectuate a veritable autonomy.
V of R.A. 6734 which enumerates the powers of the ARG, he The continued enforcement of R.A. 8999, therefore, runs
states:It is clear from the foregoing provision of law that afoul of the ARMM Organic Acts and results in the recall of
except for the areas of executive power mentioned therein, powers which have previously been handed over. This
Mabelle O. Nebres | Local Governments Case Digests

should not be sanctioned, elsewise the Organic Acts' desire Government. In particular, it identified four (4) District
for greater autonomy for the ARMM in accordance with the Engineering Offices in each of the four (4) provinces,
Constitution would be quelled. It bears stressing that namely: Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi.89
national laws are subject to the Constitution one of whose Accordingly, the First Engineering District of the DPWH-
state policies is to ensure the autonomy of autonomous ARMM in Lanao del Sur has jurisdiction over the public works
regions. (Section 25, Article II of the 1987 Constitution) within the province.
 R.A. 8999 has made the DPWH-ARMM effete and rendered  The office created under D.O. 119, having essentially the
regional autonomy illusory with respect to infrastructure same powers, is a duplication of the DPWH-ARMM First
projects. The Congressional Record shows, on the other Engineering District in Lanao del Sur formed under the aegis
hand, that the "lack of an implementing and monitoring of E.O. 426. The department order, in effect, takes back
body within the area" has hindered the speedy powers which have been previously devolved under the said
implementation, of infrastructure projects.85 Apparently, in executive order. D.O. 119 runs counter to the provisions of
the legislature's estimation, the existing DPWH-ARMM E.O. 426. The DPWH's order, like spring water, cannot rise
engineering districts failed to measure up to the task. But if higher than its source of power—the Executive.
it was indeed the case, the problem could not be solved  E.O. No. 124, upon which D.O. 119 is based, is a general law
through the simple legislative creation of an incongruous reorganizing the Ministry of Public Works and Highways
engineering district for the central government in the ARMM. while E.O. 426 is a special law transferring the control and
As it was, House Bill No. 995 which ultimately became R.A. supervision of the DPWH offices within ARMM to the
8999 was passed in record time on second reading (not Autonomous Regional Government. The latter statute
more than 10 minutes), absolutely without the usual specifically applies to DPWH-ARMM offices. E.O. 124 should
sponsorship speech and debates.86 The precipitate speed therefore give way to E.O. 426 in the instant case.
which characterized the passage of R.A. 8999 is difficult to  In any event, the ARMM Organic Acts and their ratification in
comprehend since R.A. 8999 could have resulted in the a plebiscite in effect superseded E.O. 124. In case of an
amendment of the first ARMM Organic Act and, therefore, irreconcilable conflict between two laws of different
could not take effect without first being ratified in a vintages, the later enactment prevails because it is the later
plebiscite. What is more baffling is that in March 2001, or legislative will. Further, in its repealing clause, R.A. 9054
barely two (2) months after it enacted R.A. 8999 in January states that "all laws, decrees, orders, rules and regulations,
2001, Congress passed R.A. 9054, the second ARMM and other issuances or parts thereof, which are inconsistent
Organic Act, where it reaffirmed the devolution of the DPWH with this Organic Act, are hereby repealed or modified
in ARMM, including Lanao del Sur and Marawi City, to the accordingly."93 With the repeal of E.O. 124 which is the
Regional Government and effectively repealed R.A. 8999. basis of D.O. 119, it necessarily follows that D.O. 119 was
2. WON DO 119 is constitutional. also rendered functus officio by the ARMM Organic Acts.
 DPWH Department Order No. 119: D.O. 119 creating the
Marawi Sub-District Engineering Office which has jurisdiction Abbas v. COMELEC
over infrastructure projects within Marawi City and Lanao
del Sur is violative of the provisions of E.O. 426. The Facts: The present controversy relates to the plebiscite in 13
Executive Order was issued pursuant to R.A. 6734—which provinces and nine 9 cities in Mindanao and Palawan in
initiated the creation of the constitutionally- mandated implementation of RA 6734, "An Act Providing for an Organic Act
autonomous region87 and which defined the basic structure for the ARMM." These consolidated petitions pray that the Court:
of the autonomous government.88 E.O. 426 sought to (1) enjoin the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) from conducting
implement the transfer of the control and supervision of the the plebiscite and the Secretary of Budget and Management from
DPWH within the ARMM to the Autonomous Regional releasing funds to the COMELEC for that purpose; and (2) declare
Mabelle O. Nebres | Local Governments Case Digests

R.A. No. 6734, or parts thereof, unconstitutional. In 1987, a new with the provision on the creation of the autonomous region,
Constitution was ratified, which the for the first time provided for which reads: The creation of the autonomous region shall be
regional autonomy, Article X, section 15 of the charter provides effective when approved by majority of the votes cast by
that "[t]here shall be created autonomous regions in Muslim the constituent units in a plebiscite called for the purpose,
Mindanao and in the Cordilleras consisting of provinces, cities, provided that only provinces, cities and geographic areas
municipalities, and geographical areas sharing common and voting favorably in such plebiscite shall be included in the
distinctive historical and cultural heritage, economic and social autonomous region. [Art. X, sec, 18, para, 2].
structures, and other relevant characteristics within the framework  It will readily be seen that the creation of the autonomous
of this Constitution and the national sovereignty as well as region is made to depend, not on the total majority vote in
territorial integrity of the Republic of the Philippines. Pursuant to the plebiscite, but on the will of the majority in each of the
the constitutional mandate, R.A. No. 6734 was enacted and signed constituent units and the proviso underscores this. for if the
into law on August 1, 1989. intention of the framers of the Constitution was to get the
majority of the totality of the votes cast, they could have
Issues: 1. WON certain provisions of R.A. No. 6734 conflict with the simply adopted the same phraseology as that used for the
provisions of the Tripoli Agreement. ratification of the Constitution, i.e. "the creation of the
 In the first place, it is now the Constitution itself that autonomous region shall be effective when approved by a
provides for the creation of an autonomous region in Muslim majority of the votes cast in a plebiscite called for the
Mindanao. The standard for any inquiry into the validity of purpose."
R.A. No. 6734 would therefore be what is so provided in the  It is thus clear that what is required by the Constitution is a
Constitution. Thus, any conflict between the provisions of simple majority of votes approving the organic Act in
R.A. No. 6734 and the provisions of the Tripoli Agreement individual constituent units and not a double majority of the
will not have the effect of enjoining the implementation of votes in all constituent units put together, as well as in the
the Organic Act. Assuming for the sake of argument that the individual constituent units.
Tripoli Agreement is a binding treaty or international  More importantly, because of its categorical language, this
agreement, it would then constitute part of the law of the is also the sense in which the vote requirement in the
land. But as internal law it would not be superior to R.A. No. plebiscite provided under Article X, section 18 must have
6734, an enactment of the Congress of the Philippines, been understood by the people when they ratified the
rather it would be in the same class as the latter. Thus, if at Constitution.
all, R.A. No. 6734 would be amendatory of the Tripoli 2. WON only those areas which, to his view, share common
Agreement, being a subsequent law. Only a determination and distinctive historical and cultural heritage, economic
by this Court that R.A. No. 6734 contravened the and social structures, and other relevant characteristics
Constitution would result in the granting of the reliefs should be properly included within the coverage of the
sought. autonomous region.
2. WON majority refers to a majority of the total votes cast in  Mama-o insists that R.A. No. 6734 is unconstitutional
the plebiscite in all the constituent units, or a majority in because only the provinces of Basilan, Sulu, Tawi-Tawi,
each of the constituent units, or both? Lanao del Sur, Lanao del Norte and Maguindanao and the
 If the framers of the Constitution intended to require cities of Marawi and Cotabato, and not all of the 13
approval by a majority of all the votes cast in the plebiscite provinces and 9 cities included in the Organic Act, possess
they would have so indicated. Thus, in Article XVIII, section such concurrence in historical and cultural heritage and
27, it is provided that "[t]his Constitution shall take effect other relevant characteristics. By including areas which do
immediately upon its ratification by a majority of the votes not strictly share the same characteristic as the others,
cast in a plebiscite held for the purpose ... Comparing this petitioner claims that Congress has expanded the scope of
Mabelle O. Nebres | Local Governments Case Digests

the autonomous region which the constitution itself has the Muslim Code [P.D. No. 1083] and the Tribal Code (still be
prescribed to be limited. enacted) on the one had, and the national law on the other
 Petitioner's argument is not tenable. The Constitution lays hand, the Shari'ah courts created under the same Act
down the standards by which Congress shall determine should apply national law. Petitioners maintain that the
which areas should constitute the autonomous region. islamic law (Shari'ah) is derived from the Koran, which
Guided by these constitutional criteria, the ascertainment by makes it part of divine law. Thus it may not be subjected to
Congress of the areas that share common attributes is any "man-made" national law. Petitioner Abbas supports this
within the exclusive realm of the legislature's discretion. objection by enumerating possible instances of conflict
Any review of this ascertainment would have to go into the between provisions of the Muslim Code and national law,
wisdom of the law. This the Court cannot do without doing wherein an application of national law might be offensive to
violence to the separation of governmental powers. a Muslim's religious convictions.
2. WON other non-Muslim areas in Mindanao should likewise  As enshrined in the Constitution, judicial power includes the
be covered. duty to settle actual controversies involving rights which are
 He argues that since the Organic Act covers several non- legally demandable and enforceable. In the present case, no
Muslim areas, its scope should be further broadened to actual controversy between real litigants exists. There are
include the rest of the non-Muslim areas in Mindanao in no conflicting claims involving the application of national
order for the other non-Muslim areas denies said areas law resulting in an alleged violation of religious freedom.
equal protection of the law, and therefore is violative of the This being so, the Court in this case may not be called upon
Constitution. to resolve what is merely a perceived potential conflict
 Petitioner's contention runs counter to the very same between the provisions the Muslim Code and national law.
constitutional provision he had earlier invoked. Any 2. WON RA 6734 grants the President the power to merge
determination by Congress of what areas in Mindanao regions.
should compromise the autonomous region, taking into  What is referred to in R.A. No. 6734 is the merger of
account shared historical and cultural heritage, economic administrative regions, i.e. Regions I to XII and the National
and social structures, and other relevant characteristics, Capital Region, which are mere groupings of contiguous
would necessarily carry with it the exclusion of other areas. provinces for administrative purposes Administrative
As earlier stated, such determination by Congress of which regions are not territorial and political subdivisions like
areas should be covered by the organic act for the provinces, cities, municipalities and barangays. While the
autonomous region constitutes a recognized legislative power to merge administrative regions is not expressly
prerogative, whose wisdom may not be inquired into by this provided for in the Constitution, it is a power which has
Court. traditionally been lodged with the President to facilitate the
 Moreover, equal protection permits of reasonable exercise of the power of general supervision over local
classification. The Court ruled that once class may be governments [see Art. X, sec. 4 of the Constitution]. There is
treated differently from another where the groupings are no conflict between the power of the President to merge
based on reasonable and real distinctions. The guarantee of administrative regions with the constitutional provision
equal protection is thus not infringed in this case, the requiring a plebiscite in the merger of local government
classification having been made by Congress on the basis of units because the requirement of a plebiscite in a merger
substantial distinctions as set forth by the Constitution itself. expressly applies only to provinces, cities, municipalities or
2. WON RA 6734 violates the constitutional guarantee on free barangays, not to administrative regions.
exercise of religion. 2. WON provisions in the Organic Act which create an
 The objection centers on a provision in the Organic Act Oversight Committee to supervise the transfer to the
which mandates that should there be any conflict between autonomous region of the powers, appropriations, and
Mabelle O. Nebres | Local Governments Case Digests

properties vested upon the regional government by the APGH, Lanao del Sur. Saber filed with the Court of Appeals a
organic Act are unconstitutional because while the petition for quo warranto with prayer for preliminary injunction,
Constitution states that the creation of the autonomous claiming that he is the lawfully designated Officer-in-Charge of the
region shall take effect upon approval in a plebiscite, the IPHO-APGH, Lanao del Sur. President Ramos issued Executive Order
requirement of organizing an Oversight committee tasked No. 133 transferring the powers and functions of the Department of
with supervising the transfer of powers and properties to the Health in the region to the Regional Government of the ARMM. On
regional government would in effect delay the creation of November 6, 1993, Macacua, again in her capacity as DOH-ARMM
the autonomous region. Secretary-Designate , issued a Memorandum reiterating Pandi’s
 Under the constitution, the creation of the autonomous designation as Officer-in-Charge of the IPHO-APGH, Lanao del Sur,
region hinges only on the result of the plebiscite. if the as well as Sani’s detail to the Regional Office of the DOH-ARMM in
Organic Act is approved by majority of the votes cast by Cotabato City . CA: Saber is the lawfully designated Officer-in-
constituent units in the scheduled plebiscite, the creation of Charge of the IPHO-APGH, Lanao del Sur, and that Governor Mahid
the autonomous region immediately takes effect. The Mutilan has the power and authority to appoint the provincial
questioned provisions in R.A. No. 6734 requiring an health officer. CA maintained that the Organic Act of 1989 and the
oversight Committee to supervise the transfer do not ARMM Local Code could not prevail over the LGC. CA interpreted
provide for a different date of effectivity. Much less would Section 457 (b) and (d) of the ARMM Local Code to mean that it is
the organization of the Oversight Committee cause an the ARMM Regional Governor, and not the Provincial Governor, who
impediment to the operation of the Organic Act, for such is exercises a recommendatory prerogative in the appointment of the
evidently aimed at effecting a smooth transition period for provincial health officer.
the regional government. The constitutional objection on
this point thus cannot be sustained as there is no bases Issues: 1. WON an incumbent provincial health officer of Lanao del
therefor. Sur can be assigned to another province and if so, who can order
such assignment.
2. Who can designate the Officer-in-Charge in the provincial
Pandi v. CA health office of Lanao del Sur - the Provincial Governor or
the ARMM Secretary of Health?
Facts: Macacua, in her capacity as Regional Director and as 3. Who is empowered to appoint the provincial health officer
Secretary of the Department of Health of the Autonomous Region of Lanao del Sur - the Provincial Governor, the Regional
in Muslim Mindanao, issued a Memorandum designating Pandi, who Governor or the ARMM Secretary of Health?
was then DOH-ARMM Assistant Regional Secretary, as Officer-in- First Period: Prior to the Organic Act of 1989
Charge of the Integrated Provincial Health Office-Amai Pakpak  The provincial health office was an agency of the Ministry of
General Hospital (IPHO-APGH), Lanao del Sur. In the same Health, and the Minister of Health was the appointing power
Memorandum, Macacua detailed Dr. Mamasao Sani, then the of provincial health officers.
provincial health officer of the IPHO-APGH, Lanao del Sur, to the Second Period: After the Organic Act of 1989
DOH-ARMM Regional Office in Cotabato City. Lanao del Sur  It was not until October 29, 1993, when then President Fidel
Provincial Governor Mahid M. Mutilan issued Office Order No. 07 V. Ramos issued Executive Order No. 133, that the regional
designating Saber also as Officer-in-Charge of the IPHO-APGH, offices of the Department of Health in the ARMM were
Lanao del Sur. Sani filed a complaint with the Regional Trial Court placed under the supervision and control of the Regional
of Lanao del Sur, Branch 10, Marawi City challenging the August 9, Government. Executive Order No. 133 was the operative act
1993 Memorandum transferring him to the DOH-ARMM Regional that actually transferred the powers and functions of the
Office in Cotabato City , alleging that he is the holder of a Department of Health, together with its regional personnel,
permanent appointment as provincial health officer of the IPHO-
Mabelle O. Nebres | Local Governments Case Digests

equipment, properties, and budgets, to the Regional  Upon the effectivity of Executive Order No. 133, the
Government. administrative authority of the Secretary of Health to assign
 Thus, until the effectivity of Executive Order No. 133, the provincial health officers to any province within a region was
Secretary of Health of the National Government continued transferred to the ARMM Secretary of Health as the regional
to appoint provincial health officers in the ARMM, with the counterpart of the national Secretary of Health. This transfer
authority to assign a provincial health officer to any of administrative authority to the Regional Secretary was
province within the region. This was the state of the law essential to insure the continuation of vital health services
after the passage of the Organic Act of 1989 until the to residents in the ARMM. On the other hand, the power to
effectivity of Executive Order No. 133. appoint provincial health officers, previously conferred by
Third Period: After the LGC of 1991 law on the Secretary of Health, was devolved to the
 Unlike the 1984 LGU Code, the 1991 LGU Code made, for Regional Governor.
the first time, the provincial health officers one of the  The power to appoint provincial health officers is one that
officials of the provincial government to be appointed by the the Regional Assembly could thus grant by law to the
provincial governor if his salary came mainly from provincial Regional Secretary of Health. However, the Regional
funds. Assembly has not enacted a law authorizing the Regional
 Even after the passage of the 1991 LGU Code, the Secretary Secretary of Health to appoint provincial health officers.
of Health continued to be the appointing power of provincial Since the power to appoint must be expressly conferred by
health officers who remained national government officials. law, and cannot be implied from the power of supervision
The Secretary of Health also continued to exercise the and control, this ruled out the Regional Secretary of Health
authority to assign provincial health officers to any province as the appointing power of provincial health officers.
within the region. This situation, however, was only Significantly, the power to appoint provincial health officers
temporary, arising from the need for a phased transfer of is not one of the powers transferred to the Regional
the personnel, equipment, properties and budgets of the Secretary of Health under Executive Order No. 133. There
Department of Health in the ARMM to the Regional could be no gap or lacuna in the devolution of powers from
Government pursuant to Section 4, Article XIX of the the National Government to the Regional Government
Organic Act of 1989. because the exercise of these powers was essential to the
 On October 29, 1993, Executive Order No. 133 was issued, maintenance of basic services for the general welfare.
finally transferring the powers and functions of the Fourth Period: After the ARMM Local Code
Department of Health in the autonomous region to the  Under the ARMM Local Code, the provincial health officer in
Regional Government. the ARMM, previously a regional official, has also become a
 The devolved powers under the Organic Act of 1989, as provincial government official, catching up with the status of
implemented by Executive Order No. 133, included the provincial health officers outside of the ARMM. The Regional
power of supervision and control over provincial health Governor appoints the provincial health officer from a list of
officers, as well as the power to appoint provincial health three recommendees of the Provincial Governor. The ARMM
officers. The power of supervision and control, previously Local Code provides that the salary of the provincial health
exercised by the Secretary of Health, carried with it the officer shall be paid from regional funds.
authority to assign provincial health officers to any province  The ARMM Local Code also states that if the salary of the
within the region pursuant to Section 17 of Executive Order provincial health officer comes mainly from provincial funds,
No. 119. Assignment within a region of personnel appointed the Provincial Governor is the appointing power. The power
to a region is an administrative matter exercised by the of the Regional Governor to appoint provincial officials
head of office who is vested with the power of supervision applies only to provincial officials "paid by regional funds."
and control over the office.
Mabelle O. Nebres | Local Governments Case Digests

 Section 459 of the ARMM Local Code vests in the Provincial Governor is the appointing power but he must appoint only
Governor the power to exercise supervision and control over from among the three nominees of the Provincial Governor.
all provincial government officials. The conversion of the Moreover, the Provincial Governor exercises supervision and
provincial health officer from a regional government official control over the provincial health officer because the ARMM
to a provincial government official under Section 457 of the Local Code has classified him as a provincial government
ARMM Local Code placed the provincial health officer under official. This is now the present state of the law on the
the supervision and control of the Provincial Governor. appointment of provincial health officers in the ARMM.
Consequently, with the passage of the ARMM Local Code the
Regional Secretary of Health lost the authority to assign  Re: Saber: Lanao del Sur Provincial Governor Mahid M.
provincial health officers to other provinces within the Mutilan designated Saber as Officer-in-Charge of the IPHO-
region. APGH, Lanao del Sur, on September 15, 1993. On this date
 The state of the law after the enactment of the ARMM Local the provincial health officer of Lanao del Sur was still a
Code became more favorable to Provincial Governors, at national government official paid entirely from national
least with respect to the appointment and assignment of funds. The provincial health officer was still appointed by
provincial health officers. While before the appointment of the national Secretary of Health to a region and not to a
provincial health officers was solely the prerogative of the province. The Secretary of Health exercised supervision and
Regional Governor, now a Provincial Governor has the power control over the provincial health officer. The Secretary of
to recommend three nominees. The Regional Governor can Health was also the official authorized by law to assign the
appoint only from among the three nominees of the provincial health officer to any province within the region.
Provincial Governor even though the salary of the provincial Indisputably, on September 15, 1993, Provincial Governor
health officer comes from regional funds. Likewise, while Mutilan had no power to designate Saber as Officer-in-
before the Regional Secretary of Health could assign Charge of IPHO-APGH, Lanao del Sur. Consequently, the
provincial health officers to other provinces within the designation of Saber as such Officer-in-Charge is void.
region, this authority of the Regional Secretary ceased to  The Court of Appeals’ reliance on Section 478 of the 1991
exist. Since a provincial health officer was now appointed to LGU Code as Provincial Governor Mutilan’s authority to
a specific province, he could no longer be assigned to appoint Saber is misplaced. Section 478 of the 1991 LGU
another province without his consent. Moreover, the Code, which provides that "[T]he appointment of a health
Provincial Governor now exercises supervision and control officer shall be mandatory for provincial, city and municipal
over the provincial health officer who has become a governments, " is not a grant of power to governors and
provincial government official. Finally, if the provincial mayors to appoint local health officers. It is simply a
government assumes payment of the salary of the directive that those