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2.6 Rubi v.

Provincial Board, 39 PHIL 660 (1918-1919)

Facts:
This case is an application for habeas corpus in favor of Rubi and other Manguianes of the
Province of Mindoro. It is alleged that the Manguianes are being illegally deprived of their liberty by
the provincial officials of that province. Rubi and his companions are said to be held on the
reservation established at Tigbao, Mindoro, against their will, and one Dabalos is said to be held
under the custody of the provincial sheriff in the prison at Calapan for having run away from the
reservation.
The provincial governor of Mindoro and the provincial board thereof directed the Manguianes
in question to take up their habitation in Tigbao, a site on the shore of Lake Naujan, selected by the
provincial governor and approved by the provincial board. The action was taken in accordance with
section 2145 of the Administrative Code of 1917, and was duly approved by the Secretary of the
Interior as required by said action. Petitioners, however, challenge the validity of this section of the
Administrative Code.
Section 2145 of the Administrative Code of 1917 reads as follows:
Establishment of non-Christina upon sites selected by provincial governor. — With the prior
approval of the Department Head, the provincial governor of any province in which non-Christian
inhabitants are found is authorized, when such a course is deemed necessary in the interest of law
and order, to direct such inhabitants to take up their habitation on sites on unoccupied public lands to
be selected by him an approved by the provincial board.

Issue/s:
Whether or not Section 2145 of the administrative code constitutes undue delegation.
Whether or not the Manguianes are being deprived of their liberty.

Ruling:
No. It is known that legislative power must remain where the people have lodged it. However,
there are two exceptions to this rule: (1) by immemorial practice legislative power may be delegated
to local governments; (2) the constitution itself might in specific instances allow delegation of
legislative power. In this case, the former exceptional rule is applied.
An exception to the general rule sanctioned by immemorial practice, permits the central
legislative body to delegate legislative powers to local authorities. The Philippine Legislature has here
conferred authority upon the Province of Mindoro, to be exercised by the provincial governor and the
provincial board. Who but the provincial governor and the provincial board, as the official
representatives of the province, are better qualified to judge "when such as course is deemed
necessary in the interest of law and order?" As officials charged with the administration of the
province and the protection of its inhabitants, who but they are better fitted to select sites which
have the conditions most favorable for improving the people who have the misfortune of being in a
backward state?
Section 2145 of the Administrative Code of 1917 is not an unlawful delegation of legislative
power by the Philippine Legislature to provincial official and a department head.

No. Petitioners are not unlawfully imprisoned or restrained of their liberty. The Court have the
opinion that, action pursuant to section 2145 of the Administrative Code does not deprive a person of
his liberty without due process of law and does not deny to him the equal protection of the laws, and
that confinement in reservations in accordance with said section does not constitute slavery and
involuntary servitude. We are further of the opinion that section 2145 of the Administrative Code is a
legitimate exertion of the police power, somewhat analogous to the Indian policy of the United States.
Section 2145 of the Administrative Code of 1917 is constitutional. This is the true ruling of the court.
Costs shall be taxes against petitioners.

Main point:
The legislative body can delegate power to local government if it is necessary.