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1. Gr No.

150936 Aug 18 2004 350 KV Leyte-Luzon HVDC Power Transmission Project


NATIONAL POWER CORPORATION, petitioner, would impose a limitation on the use of the land for an
vs. indefinite period of time, thereby justifying the payment
MANUBAY AGRO-INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT
of the full value of the property.
CORPORATION, respondents.
Further, the RTC held that it was not bound by the
FACTS: In 1996, [Petitioner] NATIONAL POWER provision cited by petitioner -- Section 3-A6 of Republic
Act 63957 , as amended by Presidential Decree 938. This
CORPORATION, a government-owned and controlled
corporation created for the purpose of undertaking the law prescribes as just compensation for the acquired
easement of a right of way over an expropriated
development and generation of hydroelectric power,
commenced its 350 KV Leyte-Luzon HVDC Power property an easement fee in an amount not exceeding
10 percent of the market value of such property. The
Transmission Project. The project aims to transmit the
excess electrical generating capacity coming from Leyte trial court relied on the earlier pronouncements of this
Court that the determination of just compensation in
Geothermal Plant to Luzon and various load centers in
its vision to interconnect the entire country into a single eminent domain cases is a judicial function. Thus,
valuations made by the executive branch or the
power grid. Apparently, the project is for a public
purpose. legislature are at best initial or preliminary only.

Affirming the RTC, the CA held that RA 6395, as


In order to carry out this project, it is imperative for the
[petitioner’s] transmission lines to cross over certain amended by PD No. 938, did not preclude
expropriation. Section 3-A thereof allowed the power
lands owned by private individuals and entities. One of
these lands, [where] only a portion will be traversed by company to acquire not just an easement of a right of
way, but even the land itself. Such easement was
the transmission lines, is owned by [respondent]
MANUBAY AGRO-INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT deemed by the appellate court to be a "taking" under
the power of eminent domain.
CORPORATION.

Hence, on 03 December 1996, [petitioner] filed a The CA observed that, given their nature, high-powered
electric lines traversing respondent’s property would
complaint for expropriation before the Regional Trial
Court of Naga City against [respondent] in order to necessarily diminish -- if not damage entirely -- the
value and the use of the affected property; as well as
acquire an easement of right of way over the land which
the latter owns. endanger lives and limbs because of the high-tension
current conveyed through the lines. Respondent was
On 02 January 1997, [respondent] filed its answer. therefore deemed entitled to a just compensation,
Thereafter, the court a quo issued an order dated 20 which should be neither more nor less than the
January 1997 authorizing the immediate issuance of a monetary equivalent of the property taken. Accordingly,
writ of possession and directing Ex-Officio Provincial the appellate found the award of P550 per square meter
Sheriff to immediately place [petitioner] in possession to be proper and reasonable.
of the subject land.
Hence, this Petition.
Subsequently, the court a quo directed the issuance of a
writ of condemnation in favor of [petitioner] through an ISSUE: Whether or not the Honorable Court of Appeals
gravely erred in affirming the Decision dated June 24,
order dated 14 February 1997. Likewise, for the purpose
of determining the fair and just compensation due to 1998 of the Regional Trial Court, Branch 26, Naga City
considering that its Decision dated November 23, 2001
[respondent], the court appointed three commissioners
composed of one representative of the petitioner, one is not in accord with law and the applicable decisions of
this Honorable Court.
for the respondent and the other from the court,
namely: OIC-Branch Clerk of Court Minda B. Teoxon as RULING: Just compensation is defined as the full and
Chairperson and Philippine National Bank-Naga City fair equivalent of the property taken from its owner by
Loan Appraiser Mr. Isidro Virgilio Bulao, Jr. and City the expropriator. The measure is not the taker’s gain,
Assessor Ramon R. Albeus as members. but the owner’s loss. The word "just" is used to intensify
Taking into consideration the condition, the the meaning of the word "compensation" and to convey
thereby the idea that the equivalent to be rendered for
surroundings and the potentials of respondent’s
expropriated property, the RTC approved Chairperson the property to be taken shall be real, substantial, full
and ample.17
Minda B. Teoxon’s recommended amount of P550 per
square meter as just compensation for the property. The In eminent domain or expropriation proceedings, the
trial court opined that the installation thereon of the just compensation to which the owner of a condemned
property is entitled is generally the market value. FACTS:
Market value is "that sum of money which a person
desirous but not compelled to buy, and an owner willing The instant case involves a rich tract of mineral land
situated in the Agusan-Davao-Surigao Forest Reserve
but not compelled to sell, would agree on as a price to
be given and received therefor."18 Such amount is not known as the “Diwalwal Gold Rush Area.” Located at Mt.
Diwata in the municipalities of Monkayo and Cateel in
limited to the assessed value of the property or to the
schedule of market values determined by the provincial Davao Del Norte, the land has been embroiled in
controversy since the mid-80’s due to the scramble over
or city appraisal committee. However, these values may
serve as factors to be considered in the judicial gold deposits found within its bowels.
valuation of the property. On March 10, 1988, Marcopper Mining Corporation
The chairperson of the Board of Commissioners, in (Marcopper) was granted Exploration Permit No. 133
(EP No. 133) over 4,491 hectares of land, which included
adopting the recommendation of Commissioner Bulaos,
made a careful study of the property. Factors considered the hotly-contested Diwalwal area.
in arriving at a reasonable estimate of just Not long thereafter, Congress enacted on June 27, 1991
compensation for respondent were the location; the Republic Act No. 7076, or the People’s Small-Scale
most profitable likely use of the remaining area; and the Mining Act. The law established a People’s Small-Scale
size, shape, accessibility as well as listings of other Mining Program to be implemented by the Secretary of
properties within the vicinity. Averments pertaining to the DENR and created the Provincial Mining Regulatory
these factors were supported by documentary evidence. Board (PMRB) under the DENR Secretary’s direct
supervision and control. The statute also authorized the
The price of P550 per square meter appears to be the
closest approximation of the market value of the lots in PMRB to declare and set aside small-scale mining areas
subject to review by the DENR Secretary and award
the adjoining, fully developed San Francisco Village
Subdivision. Considering that the parcels of land in mining contracts to small-scale miners under certain
conditions.
question are still undeveloped raw land, it appears to
the Court that the just compensation of P550 per On December 21, 1991, DENR Secretary Fulgencio S.
square meter is justified. Factoran issued Department Administrative Order (DAO)
Inasmuch as the determination of just compensation in No. 66, declaring 729 hectares of the Diwalwal area as
non-forest land open to small-scale mining The issuance
eminent domain cases is a judicial function,25 and the
trial court apparently did not act capriciously or was made pursuant to the powers vested in the DENR
Secretary by Proclamation No. 369, which established
arbitrarily in setting the price at P550 per square meter
-- an award affirmed by the CA -- we see no reason to the Agusan-Davao-Surigao Forest Reserve.
disturb the factual findings as to the valuation of the On June 24, 1997, the DENR Secretary issued
property. Both the Report of Commissioner Bulao and Memorandum Order No. 97-03 which directs the DENR
the commissioners’ majority Report were based on to study thoroughly and exhaustively the option of
uncontroverted facts supported by documentary direct state utilization of the mineral resources in the
evidence and confirmed by their ocular inspection of Diwalwal Gold-Rush Area. Such study shall include, but
the property. As can be gleaned from the records, they shall not be limited to, studying and weighing the
did not abuse their authority in evaluating the evidence feasibility of entering into management agreements or
submitted to them; neither did they misappreciate the operating agreements, or both, with the appropriate
clear preponderance of evidence. The amount fixed and government instrumentalities or private entities, or
agreed to by the trial court and respondent appellate both, in carrying out the declared policy of rationalizing
court has not been grossly exorbitant or otherwise the mining operations in the Diwalwal Gold Rush Area;
unjustified. such agreements shall include provisions for profit-
sharing between the state and the said parties,
2. G.R. No. 135190. April 3, 2002
including profit-sharing arrangements with small-scale
SOUTHEAST MINDANAO GOLD MINING miners, as well as the payment of royalties to
CORPORATION, petitioner, vs. BALITE PORTAL MINING indigenous cultural communities, among others. The
COOPERATIVE and others similarly situated; and THE Undersecretary for Field Operations, as well as the
HONORABLE ANTONIO CERILLES, in his capacity as Undersecretary for Legal and Legislative Affairs and
Secretary of the Department of Environment and Attached Agencies, and the Director of the Mines and
Natural Resources (DENR), PROVINCIAL MINING Geo-sciences Bureau are hereby ordered to undertake
REGULATORY BOARD OF DAVAO (PMRB-Davao), such studies.
respondents.
Petitioner filed a special civil action for certiorari, On hearing the RTC appointed 3 commissioners to
prohibition and mandamus before the Court of Appeals determine the fair market value of the property as of 15
against PMRB-Davao, the DENR Secretary and Balite April 2002. The first two commissioners appraised the
Communal Portal Mining Cooperative (BCPMC), which property at P1,900.00 per square meter or a total of
represented all the OTP grantees. It prayed for the P1,179,000.00. While the third commissioner peg the
nullification of the above-quoted Memorandum Order value of the property at P875.00 per square meter.
No. 97-03 on the ground that the “direct state
The RTC rendered its Partial Decision, wherein it
utilization” espoused therein would effectively impair its
vested rights under EP No. 133. declared the validity of the expropriation and ordered
petitioner to pay the sum of P1,179,000.00, with
The Court of Appeals dismissed the petition. It ruled interest at 6% per annum beginning April 15, 2002, the
that the DENR Secretary did not abuse his discretion in date of actual taking, until full payment.
issuing Memorandum Order No. 97-03 since the same
was merely a directive to conduct studies on the various Not satisfied with the ruling of lower court NPC elevate
the case to CA, which the appellate court also rendered
options available to the government for solving the
Diwalwal conflict. Decision holding petitioner liable to pay the full fair
market value at the time of actual taking, with interest
ISSUE: Whether the Court of Appeals erred when it at 6% per annum from 15 April 2002.
concluded that the assailed memorandum order did not
Aggrieved with the order NPC appealed to SC hence this
adopt the “direct state utilization scheme” in resolving
the Diwalwal dispute. case.

RULING:
Held: No, We agree with the Court of Appeals’ ruling
that the challenged MO 97-03 did not conclusively
adopt “direct state utilization” as a policy in resolving
the Diwalwal dispute. The terms of the memorandum • Eminent domain "is the inherent power of a
clearly indicate that what was directed thereunder was sovereign state to appropriate private property to
merely a study of this option and nothing else. Contrary particular use to promote public welfare." In the
to petitioner’s contention, it did not grant any exercise of its power of eminent domain, just
management/operating or profit-sharing agreement to compensation must be given to the property owner to
small-scale miners or to any party, for that matter, but satisfy the requirements of Sec. 9, Art. III of the
simply instructed the DENR officials concerned to Constitution. Just compensation is the fair market value
undertake studies to determine its feasibility. of the property.

3. Gr no 166973 feb 10 2009

NPC v. Co, G.R. No. 166973, February 10, 2009 • Fair market value is that "sum of money which a
person desirous but not compelled to buy, and an
FACTS: The petitioner herein, NPC, is a government owner willing but not compelled to sell, would agree on
corporation created under R.A. No. 6395 to undertake as a price to be given and received therefor." Judicial
the development of hydroelectric generation of power determination is needed to arrive at the exact amount
and the production of electricity from nuclear, due to the property owner.
geothermal and other sources, as well as the
transmission of electric power on a nationwide basis. Its
charter grants to petitioner, among others, the power to
• The power to expropriate is legislative in
exercise the right to eminent domain.
character and must be expressly conferred by statute.
Sometime in June 27, 2001, petitioner filed a complaint
with the RTC of San Fernando, Pampanga, for the
acquisition of an easement of right-of-way over three • 2 Aspects in determining compensation:
(3) lots at Barangay Cabalantian, Bacolor, Pampanga
belonging to respondent herein for purposes of
construction of its transmission lines for its Lahar
1. The first aspect of the compensation issue is the
Affected Transmission Line Project.
amount to be paid – whether the full fair market value
On March 25, 2002, NPC obtained a writ of possession of the property or a mere easement fee. (In this case,
and on April 15, 2002 they took possession of the Petitioner is thus liable to pay respondent the full
property. market value of the property because the presence of
transmission lines undoubtedly restricts the latter’s use Defendant, on the other hand, filed a motion to dismiss
of his property.) on the ground that the complaint had no cause of action
against him and that it raises a political question.

The RTC Judge sustained the motion to dismiss, further


2. The second aspect of the compensation issue ruling that granting of the relief prayed for would result
relates to the reckoning date for the determination of in the impairment of contracts which is prohibited by
just compensation. the Constitution.
a. GENERAL RULE: the value of just compensation Plaintiffs (petitioners) thus filed the instant special civil
shall "be determined as of the date of the taking of the action for certiorari and asked the court to rescind and
property or the filing of the complaint, whichever came set aside the dismissal order on the ground that the
first." (Rule 67) respondent RTC Judge gravely abused his discretion in
b. Exceptions: dismissing the action.

i. grave injustice to the property owner ISSUES:

ii. the taking did not have color of legal authority (1) Whether or not the plaintiffs have a cause of action.

iii. the taking of the property was not initially for (2) Whether or not the complaint raises a political issue.
expropriation (3) Whether or not the original prayer of the plaintiffs
iv. the owner will be given undue increment result in the impairment of contracts.
advantages because of the expropriation. RULING:
c. In this case, since none of the exceptions above First Issue: Cause of Action.
are present, the reckoning date for the determination of
the amount of just compensation is 27 June 2001, the Respondents aver that the petitioners failed to allege in
date when petitioner filed its expropriation complaint. their complaint a specific legal right violated by the
respondent Secretary for which any relief is provided by
• The determination of "just compensation" in law. The Court did not agree with this. The complaint
eminent domain cases is a judicial function. focuses on one fundamental legal right -- the right to a
4. Oposa vs. Factoran G.R. No. 101083, July 30, 1993 balanced and healthful ecology which is incorporated in
Section 16 Article II of the Constitution. The said right
FACTS: The plaintiffs in this case are all minors duly carries with it the duty to refrain from impairing the
represented and joined by their parents. The first environment and implies, among many other things, the
complaint was filed as a taxpayer's class suit at the judicious management and conservation of the
Branch 66 (Makati, Metro Manila), of the Regional Trial country's forests. Section 4 of E.O. 192 expressly
Court, National capital Judicial Region against defendant mandates the DENR to be the primary government
(respondent) Secretary of the Department of agency responsible for the governing and supervising
Environment and Natural Reasources (DENR). Plaintiffs the exploration, utilization, development and
alleged that they are entitled to the full benefit, use and conservation of the country's natural resources. The
enjoyment of the natural resource treasure that is the policy declaration of E.O. 192 is also substantially re-
country's virgin tropical forests. They further asseverate stated in Title XIV Book IV of the Administrative Code of
that they represent their generation as well as 1987. Both E.O. 192 and Administrative Code of 1987
generations yet unborn and asserted that continued have set the objectives which will serve as the bases for
deforestation have caused a distortion and disturbance policy formation, and have defined the powers and
of the ecological balance and have resulted in a host of functions of the DENR. Thus, right of the petitioners
environmental tragedies. (and all those they represent) to a balanced and
healthful ecology is as clear as DENR's duty to protect
Plaintiffs prayed that judgement be rendered ordering
and advance the said right.
the respondent, his agents, representatives and other
persons acting in his behalf to cancel all existing Timber A denial or violation of that right by the other who has
License Agreement (TLA) in the country and to cease the correlative duty or obligation to respect or protect
and desist from receiving, accepting, processing, or respect the same gives rise to a cause of action.
renewing or approving new TLAs. Petitioners maintain that the granting of the TLA, which
they claim was done with grave abuse of discretion,
violated their right to a balance and healthful ecology.
Hence, the full protection thereof requires that no • The Administrative Code of 1987 and Executive
further TLAs should be renewed or granted. Order No. 192 entrust the DENR with the guardianship
and safekeeping of the Marikina Watershed Reservation
After careful examination of the petitioners' complaint, and our other natural treasures. However, although the
the Court finds it to be adequate enough to show, prima DENR, an agency of the government, owns the
facie, the claimed violation of their rights.
Facts: At the height of the garbage crisis plaguing Metro
Second Issue: Political Issue. Manila and its environs, the Office of the President,
Second paragraph, Section 1 of Article VIII of the through Proclamation No. 635 dated 28 August 1995 set
constitution provides for the expanded jurisdiction aside parts of the Marikina Watershed Reservation for
vested upon the Supreme Court. It allows the Court to use as a sanitary landfill and similar waste disposal
rule upon even on the wisdom of the decision of the applications. The site extending to more or less 18
Executive and Legislature and to declare their acts as hectares, had already been in operation since 19
invalid for lack or excess of jurisdiction because it is February 1990 for the solid wastes of Quezon City,
tainted with grave abuse of discretion. Marikina, San Juan, Mandaluyong, Pateros, Pasig, and
Taguig.
Third Issue: Violation of the non-impairment clause.
On 24 November 1995, the petitioners Municipality of
The Court held that the Timber License Agreement is an San Mateo and the residents of Pintong Bocaue,
instrument by which the state regulates the utilization represented by former Senator Jovita Salonga, sent a
and disposition of forest resources to the end that letter to President Fidel Ramos requesting him to
public welfare is promoted. It is not a contract within reconsider Proclamation No. 635. Receiving no reply,
the purview of the due process clause thus, the non- they sent another letter on 02 January 1996 reiterating
impairment clause cannot be invoked. It can be validly their previous request. They filed before the Court of
withdraw whenever dictated by public interest or public Appeals a civil action for certiorari, prohibition and
welfare as in this case. The granting of license does not mandamus with application for a temporary restraining
create irrevocable rights, neither is it property or order/writ of preliminary injunction.
property rights.
On 19 July 1999, President Joseph E. Estrada, taking
Moreover, the constitutional guaranty of non- cognizance of the gravity of the problems in the affected
impairment of obligations of contract is limit by the areas and the likelihood that violence would erupt
exercise by the police power of the State, in the interest among the parties involved, issued a Memorandum
of public health, safety, moral and general welfare. In ordering the closure of the dumpsite on 31 December
short, the non-impairment clause must yield to the 2000. Accordingly, on 20 July 1999, the Presidential
police power of the State. Committee on Flagship Programs and Projects and the
Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) entered
The instant petition, being impressed with merit, is
into a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the
hereby GRANTED and the RTC decision is SET ASIDE
Provincial Government of Rizal, the Municipality of San
5. Gr no 129546 dec 13 2005 Mateo, and the City of Antipolo, wherein the latter
agreed to further extend the use of the dumpsite until
PROVINCE OF RIZAL VS EXECUTIVE SECRETARY its permanent closure on 31 December 2000.

Petitioners : Municipality of San Mateo and On 11 January 2001, President Estrada directed
Concerned Citizens of Rizal et. Al Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG)
Secretary Alfredo Lim and MMDA Chairman Binay to
Respondent : EXECUTIVE SECRETARY,
reopen the San Mateo dumpsite "in view of the
SECRETARY OF ENVIRONMENT & NATURAL RESOURCES,
emergency situation of uncollected garbage in Metro
LAGUNA LAKE
Manila, resulting in a critical and imminent health and
DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY
sanitation epidemic."
SANITARY LANDFILL
Claiming the above events constituted a "clear and
Principles : present danger of violence erupting in the affected
areas," the petitioners filed an Urgent Petition for
Restraining Order on 19 January 2001.

• The Reorganization Act of the DENR Defines and On 24 January 2001, the Supreme Court issued the
Limits Its Powers over the Country'sNatural Resources Temporary Restraining Order prayed for, "effective
immediately and until further orders." Meanwhile, on
26 January 2001, President Estrada signed Republic Act sangguniang bayan the power to, among other things,
No. 9003, otherwise known as "The Ecological Solid enact ordinances, approve resolutions and appropriate
Waste Management Act of2000," into law. funds for the general welfare of the municipality and its
inhabitants pursuant to Section 16 of th(e) Code. These
Lower Court's Ruling: The Court of Appeals ruled in include:
favor of Executive Secretary, et al. The CA denied, for
lack of cause of action, the petition for certiorari, (1) Approving ordinances and passing resolutions to
prohibition and mandamus with application for a protect the environment and impose appropriate
temporary restraining order/writ of preliminary penalties for acts which endanger the environment,
injunction assailing the legality and constitutionality of such as dynamite fishing and other forms of destructive
Proclamation No. 635. fishing, illegal logging and smuggling of logs, smuggling
of natural resources products and of endangered
Issue: Whether or not the consultation and approval of species of flora and fauna, slash and burn farming, and
the Province of Rizal and municipality of San Mateo is such other activities which result in pollution,
needed before the implementation of the project.. acceleration of eutrophication of rivers and lakes, or of
Held: Yes. Under the Local Government Code, two ecological imbalance; [Section 447 (1)(vi)]
requisites must be met before a national project that (2) Prescribing reasonable limits and restraints on the
affects the environmental and ecological balance of use of property within the jurisdiction of the
local communities can be implemented: municipality, adopting a comprehensive land use plan
• prior consultation with the affected local for the municipality, reclassifying land within the
communities, and jurisdiction of the city, subject to the pertinent
provisions of this Code, enacting integrated zoning
• prior approval of the project by the appropriate ordinances in consonance with the approved
sanggunian. comprehensive land use plan, subject to existing laws,
rules and regulations; establishing fire limits or zones,
Absent either of these mandatory requirements, the
particularly in populous centers; and regulating the
projects implementation is illegal.
construction, repair or modification of buildings within
In Lina , Jr. v. Pao,[49] we held that Section 2 (c), said fire limits or zones in accordance with the
requiring consultations with the appropriate local provisions of this Code; [Section 447 (2)(vi-ix)]
government units, should apply to national government
(3) Approving ordinances which shall ensure the
projects affecting the environmental or ecological
efficient and effective delivery of the basic services and
balance of the particular community implementing the
facilities as provided for under Section 17 of this Code,
project. Rejecting the petitioners contention that
and in addition to said services and facilities, providing
Sections 2(c) and 27 of the Local Government Code
for the establishment, maintenance, protection, and
applied mandatorily in the setting up of lotto outlets
conservation of communal forests and watersheds, tree
around the country, we held that:
parks, greenbelts, mangroves, and other similar forest
From a careful reading of said provisions, we find that development projects .and, subject to existing laws,
these apply only to national programs and/or projects establishing and providing for the maintenance, repair
which are to be implemented in a particular local and operation of an efficient waterworks system to
community. Lotto is neither a program nor a project of supply water for the inhabitants and purifying the
the national government, but of a charitable institution, source of the water supply; regulating the construction,
the PCSO. Though sanctioned by the national maintenance, repair and use of hydrants, pumps,
government, it is far fetched to say that lotto falls within cisterns and reservoirs; protecting the purity and
the contemplation of Sections 2 (c) and 27 of the Local quantity of the water supply of the municipality and, for
Government Code. this purpose, extending the coverage of appropriate
ordinances over all territory within the drainage area of
In the recent case of Bangus Fry Fisherfolk v. Lanzanas, said water supply and within one hundred (100) meters
[50] where we held that there was no statutory of the reservoir, conduit, canal, aqueduct, pumping
requirement for the sangguniang bayan of Puerto station, or watershed used in connection with the water
Galera to approve the construction of a mooring facility, service; and regulating the consumption, use or wastage
as Sections 26 and 27 are inapplicable to projects which of water. [Section 447 (5)(i) & (vii)]
are not environmentally critical.
The Supreme Court ruled in favor of the Province of
Moreover, Section 447, which enumerates the powers, Rizal, et al. and reversed and set aside the decision of
duties and functions of the municipality, grants the
the Court of Appeals. The San Mateo Landfill will must exhaust all administrative remedies before he can
remain permanently closed. resort to the courts.

6.Dagudag v. Paderanga In the instant case, Edma did not resort to, or avail of,
any administrative remedy. He went straight to court
A.M. No. RTJ-06-2017, June 19, 2008, 555 SCRA 217 and filed a complaint for replevin and damages. Section
Syllabus: 8 of PD No. 705, as amended, states that (1) all actions
and decisions of the Bureau of Forest Development
Forest products, conveyances and effects which were Director are subject to review by the DENR Secretary;
seized by DENR officials pursuant to PD No. 705 are (2) the decisions of the DENR Secretary are appealable
considered in custodia legis and cannot be the subject to the President; and (3) the courts cannot review the
of an action for replevin. decisions of the DENR Secretary except through a
special civil action for certiorari or prohibition. In Dy, the
Facts: The Region VII Philippine National Police Regional
Court held that all actions seeking to recover forest
Maritime Group (PNPRMG) received information that
products in the custody of the DENR shall be directed to
MV General Ricarte of NMC Container Lines, Inc. was
that agency – not the courts.
shipping container vans containing illegal forest
products from Cagayan de Oro to Cebu. The shipments Second, under the doctrine of primary jurisdiction,
were falsely declared as cassava meal and corn grains to courts cannot take cognizance of cases pending before
avoid inspection by the DENR. Upon inspection, the administrative agencies of special competence. The
crew of MV General Ricarte failed to produce the DENR is the agency responsible for the enforcement of
Certificate of Origin and other pertinent transport forestry laws. The complaint for replevin itself stated
documents covering the forest products, as required by that members of DENR’s Task Force Sagip Kalikasan
DAO No. 07-94. After due notice, the illegal forest took over the forest products and brought them to the
products were confiscated in favor of the government. DENR Community Environment and Natural Resources
Office. This should have alerted Judge Paderanga that
In a complaint dated March 16, 2005 and filed before
the DENR had custody of the forest products.
Judge Paderanga, a certain Roger Edma
Third, the forest products are already in custodia legis
(Edma) prayed that a writ of replevin be issued ordering
and thus cannot be the subject of replevin. There was a
the defendants DENR, CENRO, Gen. Dagudag, and
violation of the Revised Forestry Code and the DENR
others to deliver the forest products to him and that
seized the forest products in accordance with law.
judgment be rendered ordering the defendants to pay
him moral damages, attorney’s fees, and litigation 7. Tano vs Socrates
expenses. During the hearing for the writ of replevin,
Judge Paderanga showed manifest partiality in favor of Natural and Environmental Laws; Constitutional Law;
Edma. Judge Paderanga issued a writ of replevin Regalian Doctrine
ordering Sheriff Reynaldo Salceda to take possession of GR No. 110249; August 21, 1997
the forest products.
FACTS: On Dec 15, 1992, the Sangguniang Panglungsod
Gen. Dagudag filed with the Office of the Court ng Puerto Princesa enacted an ordinance banning the
Administrator an affidavit-complaint charging Judge shipment of all live fish and lobster outside Puerto
Paderanga with gross ignorance of the law and conduct Princesa City from January 1, 1993 to January 1, 1998.
unbecoming of a judge. Subsequently the Sangguniang Panlalawigan, Provincial
Issue: Whether the issuance of the writ of replevin is Government of Palawan enacted a resolution
proper. prohibiting the catching , gathering, possessing, buying,
selling, and shipment of a several species of live marine
Ruling: No. The issuance of the writ of replevin was coral dwelling aquatic organisms for 5 years, in and
improper. coming from Palawan waters.

Judge Paderanga should have dismissed the replevin Petitioners filed a special civil action for certiorari and
suit outright for three reasons. First, as cited in prohibition, praying that the court declare the said
Factoran, Jr. v. Court of Appeals, under the doctrine of ordinances and resolutions as unconstitutional on the
exhaustion of administrative remedies, courts cannot ground that the said ordinances deprived them of the
take cognizance of cases pending before administrative due process of law, their livelihood, and unduly
agencies. Similarly in Dy v. Court of Appeals and Paat vs. restricted them from the practice of their trade, in
Court of Appeals, the Supreme Court held that a party
violation of Section 2, Article XII and Sections 2 and 7 of used by the Buyer exclusively for residential purposes”.
Article XIII of the 1987 Constitution. The restrictions were later annotated in the Transfer
Certificates of Titles covering the said lots issued in the
ISSUE: Are the challenged ordinances unconstitutional? name of Chavez.
HELD: No. The Supreme Court found the petitioners Eventually, defendant-appellee acquired Lots No. 5 and
contentions baseless and held that the challenged 6 with the building restrictions also annotated in their
ordinances did not suffer from any infirmity, both under corresponding TCTs. Lot No.5 was bought directly from
the Constitution and applicable laws. There is absolutely Chavez “free from all liens and encumbrances” while Lot
no showing that any of the petitioners qualifies as a No.6 was acquired through a “Deed of Exchange” from
subsistence or marginal fisherman. Besides, Section 2 of Republic Flour Mills.
Article XII aims primarily not to bestow any right to
subsistence fishermen, but to lay stress on the duty of Plaintiff claims that the restrictions were imposed as
the State to protect the nation’s marine wealth. The so- part of its general building scheme designed for the
called “preferential right” of subsistence or marginal beautification and development of the Highway Hills
fishermen to the use of marine resources is not at all Subdivision which forms part of its big landed estate
absolute. where commercial and industrial sites are also
designated or established.
In accordance with the Regalian Doctrine, marine
resources belong to the state and pursuant to the first Defendant maintains that the area along the western
paragraph of Section 2, Article XII of the Constitution, part of EDSA from Shaw Boulevard to the Pasig River,
their “exploration, development and utilization...shall be has been declared a commercial and industrial zone, per
under the full control and supervision of the State. Resolution No.27 of the Municipal Council of
Mandaluyong. It alleges that plaintiff “completely sold
In addition, one of the devolved powers of the LCG on and transferred to third persons all lots in said
devolution is the enforcement of fishery laws in subdivision facing EDSA” and the subject lots
municipal waters including the conservation of thereunder were acquired by it “only on June 23, 1962
mangroves. This necessarily includes the enactment of or more than 2 years after the area xxx had been
ordinances to effectively carry out such fishery laws declared a commercial and industrial zone”.
within the municipal waters. In light of the principles of
decentralization and devolution enshrined in the LGC On or about May 5, 1963, defendant-appellee began
and the powers granted therein to LGUs which construction of a building devoted to banking purposes
unquestionably involve the exercise of police power, the but which it claims could also be used exclusively for
validity of the questioned ordinances cannot be residential purposes. The following day, the plaintiff
doubted. demanded in writing that the construction of the
commercial building be stopped but the defendant
8. Gr no L- 24670 Dec 14 1979 refused to comply contending that the construction was
Ortigas & Co., Limited Partnership vs. Feati Bank and in accordance with the zoning regulations.
Trust Co. L-24670 (December 14, 1979) Issues: 1. Whether Resolution No. 27 s-1960 is a valid
94 SCRA 533, December 14, 1979 exercise of police power.

Facts: Plaintiff is engaged in real estate business, 2. Whether the said Resolution can nullify or supersede
developing and selling lots to the public, particularly the the contractual obligations assumed by defendant-
Highway Hills Subdivision along EDSA, Mandaluyong, appellee.
Rizal. Held: 1. Yes. The validity of Resolution No.27 was never
On March 4, 1952, plaintiff entered into separate questioned. In fact, it was impliedly admitted in the
agreements of sale with Augusto Padilla y Angeles and stipulation of facts, when plaintiff-appellant did not
Natividad Angeles over 2 parcels of land (Lots Nos. 5 dispute the same. Having admitted the validity of the
and 6, Block 31, of the Highway Hills Subdivision). On subject resolution, plaintiff-appellant cannot now
July 19, 1962 the vendees transferred their rights and change its position on appeal.
interests over the said lots to Emma Chavez. The However, assuming that it is not yet too late to question
plaintiff executed the corresponding deeds of sale in the validity of the said resolution, the posture is
favor of Emma Chavez upon payment of the purchase unsustainable.
price. Both the agreements and the deeds of sale
thereafter executed contained the stipulation that the Municipalities are empowered by law through Sec.3 of
parcels of land subject of the deeds of sale “shall be RA 2264 (Local Autonomy Act) to to adopt zoning and
subdivision ordinances or regulations for the FACTS: June 13, 2002, the Government of the
municipality. The law does not restrict the exercise of Philippines, acting through the DOE, entered into a
the power through an ordinance. Therefore, granting Geophysical Survey and Exploration Contract-102 (GSEC-
that Resolution No.27 is not an ordinance, it certainly is 102) with JAPEX. This contract involved geological and
a regulatory measure within the intendment of the geophysical studies of the Tañon Strait.
word “regulation” under the provision.
May 9 to 18, 2005, JAPEX conducted seismic surveys in
An examination of Sec.12 of the same law reveals that and around the Tañon Strait. A multi-channel sub-
the implied power of a municipality should be “liberally bottom profiling covering approximately 751 kilometers
construed in its favor” and that “any fair and reasonable was also done to determine the area's underwater
doubt as to the existence of the power should be composition.
interpreted in favor of the local government and it shall
January 31, 2007, the Protected Area Management
be presumed to exist.” An exception to the general
welfare powers delegated to municipalities is when the Board of the Tañon Strait (PAMB-Tañon Strait) issued
Resolution No. 2007-001, wherein it adopted the Initial
exercise of its powers will conflict with vested rights
arising from contracts. The exception does not apply to Environmental Examination (IEE) commissioned by
JAPEX, and favorably recommended the approval of
the case at bar.
JAPEX's application for an ECC.
2. While non-impairment of contacts is constitutionally
March 6, 2007, the EMB of DENR Region VII granted an
guaranteed, the rule is not absolute since it has to be
reconciled with the legitimate exercise of police power. ECC to the DOE and JAPEX for the offshore oil and gas
exploration project in Tañon Strait. Months later, on
Invariably described as the “most essential, insistent
and illimitable of powers” and the “greatest and most November 16, 2007, JAPEX began to drill an exploratory
well, with a depth of 3,150 meters, near Pinamungajan
powerful attribute of government”, the exercise of
police power may be judicially inquired into and town in the western Cebu Province. This drilling lasted
until February 8, 2008.
corrected only if it is capricious, whimsical, unjust or
unreasonable, there having been a denial of due Petitioners then applied to this Court for redress, via
process or a violation of any other applicable two separate original petitions both dated December
constitutional guarantee. 17, 2007, wherein they commonly seek that
respondents be enjoined from implementing SC-46 for,
Resolution No.27, S-1960 declaring the western part of
EDSA from Shaw Boulevard to the Pasig River as an among others, violation of the 1987 Constitution.
industrial or commercial zone was passed by the ISSUE: Whether or not the service contract is prohibited
Municipal Council of Mandaluyong in the exercise of on the ground that there is no general law prescribing
police power to safeguard/promote the health, safety, the standard or uniform terms, conditions, and
peace, good order and general welfare of the people in requirements for service contracts involving oil
the locality. Judicial notice may be taken of the exploration and extraction.
conditions prevailing in the area, especially where Lots
Nos. 5 and 6 are located. EDSA supports an endless HELD: No, the disposition, exploration, development,
stream of traffic and the resulting activity, noise and exploitation, and utilization of indigenous petroleum in
pollution which are hardly conducive to the health, the Philippines are governed by Presidential Decree No.
safety or welfare of the residents in its route. The 87 or the Oil Exploration and Development Act of 1972.
Municipality of Mandaluyong was reasonably justified This was enacted by then President Ferdinand Marcos
under the circumstances in passing the subject to promote the discovery and production of indigenous
resolution. petroleum through the utilization of government and/or
local or foreign private resources to yield the maximum
Thus, the state, in order to promote the general welfare, benefit to the Filipino people and the revenues to the
may interfere with personal liberty, with property, and Philippine Government.
with business and occupations. Persons may be
subjected to all kinds of restraint and burdens, in order Contrary to the petitioners' argument, Presidential
to secure the general comfort, health and prosperity of Decree No. 87, although enacted in 1972, before the
the state, and to this fundamental aim of the adoption of the 1987 Constitution, remains to be a valid
Government, the rights of the individual are law unless otherwise repealed.
subordinated.
Moreover, in cases where the statute seems to be in
9. Resident Marine Mammals v. Reyes conflict with the Constitution, but a construction that it
is in harmony with the Constitution is also possible, that
GR 180771, April 21, 2015
construction should be preferred. This Court, in
Pangandaman v. Commission on Elections expounding
on this point, pronounced: It is a basic precept in
statutory construction that a statute should be
interpreted in harmony with the Constitution and that
the spirit, rather than the letter of the law determines
its construction; for that reason, a statute must be read
according to its spirit and intent.

Note that while Presidential Decree No. 87 may serve as


the general law upon which a service contract for
petroleum exploration and extraction may be
authorized, as will be discussed below, the exploitation
and utilization of this energy resource in the present
case may be allowed only through a law passed by
Congress, since the Tañon Strait is a NIPAS area.