Constitutional Law Case Digest Matrix Set 1 – Stef Macapagal

FUNDAMENTAL POWERS OF THE STATE Title Gerochi v. DOE GR No. 159796 17 July 2007 Nachura, J. Facts RA 9136, otherwise known as the Electric Power Industry Reform Act of 2001 (EPIRA), which sought to impose a universal charge on all end-users of electricity for the purpose of funding NAPOCOR’s projects, was enacted and took effect in 2001. Petitioners contest the constitutionality of the EPIRA, stating that the imposition of the universal charge on all end-users is oppressive and confiscatory and amounts to taxation without representation for not giving the consumers a chance to be heard and be represented. Chavez v. Romulo GR No. 157036 9 June 2004 Sandoval-Gutierrez, J. Pursuant to PGMA’s speech stressing the need for a nationwide gun ban in all public places, PNP Chief Ebdane issued the “Guidelines in the Implementation of the Ban on the Carrying of Firearms Outside of Residence.” It revoked all existing Permits to Carry Firearms Outside of Residence (PTCFOR), subject to renewal. Francisco Chavez, a licensed gun owner to whom a PTCFOR has been issued, requested the DILG to reconsider the implementation of the assailed Guidelines. His request was denied. Thus, he went to court to challenge the constitutionality of the W/N the revocation of the PTCFORs pursuant to the Guidelines is a violation of the people’s right to property. Issue/s W/N the universal charge is a tax. Ruling NO. The assailed universal charge is not a tax, but an exaction in the exercise of the State’s police power. That public welfare is promoted may be gleaned from Sec. 2 of the EPIRA, which enumerates the policies of the State regarding electrification. Moreover, the Special Trust Fund feature of the universal charge reasonably serves and assures the attainment and perpetuity of the purposes for which the universal charge is imposed (e.g. to ensure the viability of the country’s electric power industry), further boosting the position that the same is an exaction primarily in pursuit of the State’s police objectives. NO. The right to bear arms is a mere statutory privilege, not a constitutional right. Being a mere statutory creation, the right to bear arms cannot be considered an inalienable or absolute right. A license authorizing a person to enjoy a certain privilege is neither a property nor property right. YES. It is apparent from the assailed Guidelines that the basis for its issuance was the need for peace and order in the society. Undeniably, the motivating factor in the issuance of the Guidelines is the interest of the public in general. Doctrine If generation of revenue is the primary purpose and regulation is merely incidental, the imposition is a tax; but if regulation is the primary purpose, the fact that revenue is incidentally raised does not make the imposition a tax. The taxing power may be used as an implement of police power. The theory behind the exercise of the power to tax emanates from necessity; without taxes, government cannot fulfill its mandate of promoting the general welfare and well-being of the people. A license authorizing a person to enjoy a certain privilege is neither a property nor property right.

W/N the issuance of the assailed Guidelines is a valid exercise of police power.


Constitutional Law Case Digest Matrix Set 1 – Stef Macapagal

PRC v. de Guzman GR No. 144681 21 June 2004 Tinga, J.

Guidelines. 79 successful examinees of the Physician Licensure Examination from Fatima College obtained unusual and exceptionally high scores in the two most difficult subjects of the exam, which aroused the suspicion of the Board of Medicine. They had the results surveyed by a statistician and investigated by the NBI. Subsequently, they adopted a Resolution which withheld the registration as physicians of the Fatima examinees. After the results of the investigation of the NBI and the survey of Fr. Nebres, the Board issued another Resolution charging the said examinees with immorality, dishonest conduct, fraud, and deceit. The Fatima examinees, on the other hand, filed the special civil action of mandamus against the PRC so that they would be allowed to take their physician’s oath. Malate Tourist Development Corporation (MTDC) owned a Victoria Court motel in the Ermita-Malate area, which was being threatened to be closed down by an Ordinance passed by the City of Manila, which prohibited the operation of any business which adversely affected the social and moral welfare of the community in the said area. The said ordinance provided that these said establishments were to be either

W/N the Board has discretion to hold in abeyance the administration of the Hippocratic oath and the issuance of the certificates to successful board examinees.

YES. The practice of medicine is a privilege, subject to qualifications and disqualifications. It must appear that the applicant has fully complied with all the conditions and requirements imposed by the law and the licensing authority. Should doubt taint or mar the compliance as being less than satisfactory, then the privilege will not issue. Until the moral and mental fitness of de Guzman, et al. could be ascertained, the Board has discretion to hold in abeyance the administration of the Hippocratic oath and the issuance of the certificates to them. The writ of mandamus does not lie to compel performance of an act which is not duly authorized.

The power to regulate the exercise of a profession or pursuit of an occupation cannot be exercised by the State or its agents in an arbitrary, despotic, or oppressive manner.

City of Manila v. Laguio GR No. 118127 12 April 2005 Tinga, J.

W/N the ordinance is an oppressive exercise of police power.

YES. Although the object of the ordinance was the promotion of the social and moral values of the community, the means employed for the accomplishment thereof were unreasonable and unduly oppressive.

An ordinance which permanently restricts the use of property that it cannot be used for any reasonable purpose goes beyond regulation and must be recognized as a taking of the property without just compensation. The due process clause is a limitation upon the exercise of police power. The police power granted to


Constitutional Law Case Digest Matrix Set 1 – Stef Macapagal

closed down, transformed wholesome establishments.

relocated, or into other types of

MTDC sought to have the ordinance declared unconstitutional. The Court agreed with MTDC, and enjoined the City of Manila from implementing the ordinance.

government units must always be exercised with utmost observance of the rights of the people to due process and equal protection of the law. Individual rights may be adversely affected only to the extent that may fairly be required by the legitimate demands of public interest or public welfare. Obiter: There are no pure places where there are impure men. – Justice Tinga Nyahahaha.  Police power rests primarily with the legislature, but it may be delegated. Measures calculated to promote the safety and convenience of the people using the thoroughfares by the regulation of vehicular traffic present a proper subject for the exercise of police power.

MMDA v. Viron Transportation GR No. 170656 15 August 2007

PGMA issued EO 179, which provided for the establishment of a Mass Transport System for Greater Manila. Pursuant to this EO, the Metro Manila Council of the MMDA cited the need to remove the bus terminals located along major thoroughfares of Metro Manila. Viron, and later Mencorp, both provincial bus operators who had bus terminals that were threatened to be removed, filed petitions alleging that the EO should be declared unconstitutional and illegal for transgressing the possessory rights of owners and operators of public land transportation units over their respective terminals.

W/N the EO is a valid exercise of police power.

NO. As to the alleged confiscatory character of the EO, it need only be stated that the respondents’ certificates of public convenience confer no property right, and are mere licenses or privileges. As such, they must yield to legislation safeguarding the people’s interest. However, although the authority of the President over the implementation of the Project cannot be questioned, the designation of the MMDA as the implementing agency for the Project may not be sustained. MMDA has no police power, let alone legislative power. In light of the administrative nature of its powers and functions, the MMDA is devoid of authority to implement the Project as envisioned by the EO; hence, it could not have been validly designated by the President to undertake the Project. It follows that the MMDA cannot validly order the elimination of the respondents’ terminals.


Constitutional Law Case Digest Matrix Set 1 – Stef Macapagal

Exec. Secretary v. Southwing Heavy Industries GR Nos. 164171-2, 168741 20 February 2006 Ynares-Santiago, J.

EO 156 was issued by PGMA in 2002, prohibiting the importation into the country of used motor vehicles, subject to a few exceptions. Article 2, Section 3.1 enumerates the vehicles excluded/exempted from the prohibition. Three separate actions for declaratory relief were filed before an Olongapo RTC, asserting that Article 2, Section 3.1 is unconstitutional and illegal. The RTC granted all the petitions and declared the EO unconstitutional.

W/N EO 156 is a valid exercise of police power.

Lucero v. City Government of Pasig GR No. 132834 24 November 2006 Corona, J.

The brothers Lucero and one Tenorio were granted lease contracts to occupy stalls in the public market if Pasig in 1983. In 1993, Pasig renovated its market facilities and passed Municipal Ordinance No. 56 which mandated all stall occupants to fill up and submit application forms which would serve as their lease contracts if approved.

W/N the Luceros may claim a vested right to the market stalls they were occupying.

EO 156 is VALID insofar as it applies to the Philippine territory outside the presently fenced-in former Subic because 1. Its promulgation is actually authorized by the legislature (Tariff and Customs Code, Omnibus Investment Code, Safeguard Measures Act); and 2. It is presumed that the EO duly complied with the procedures and limitations imposed by law, absent any strong evidence to the contrary. However, the proscription in the importation of used motor vehicles should be operative only outside the Freeport and he inclusion of said zone within the ambit of prohibition is an invalid modification of RA 7227 (Bases Conversion and Development Act of 1992). When the application of an administrative issuance modifies existing laws or exceeds the intended scope, the issuance becomes void, not only for being ultra vires but also for being unreasonable. NO. The 1983 lease contracts did not give petitioners irrefutable rights to the market stalls. They were mere grantees of a privilege to occupy and operate such booths. YES. The operation of a market stall by virtue of a license is always subject to the police power of a city government. An application for this privilege may

For an administrative issuance to be valid, it must comply with the following: 1. Its promulgation must be authorized by the legislature; 2. It must be promulgated in accordance with the prescribed procedure; 3. It must be within the scope of the authority given by the legislature; and 4. It must be reasonable.

W/N the Municipal Ordinance was a valid exercise of police power.

A public market is one dedicated to the service of the general public and operated under government control and supervision as a public utility. Hence, the operation of a public market and its facilities is imbued with public interest.


Constitutional Law Case Digest Matrix Set 1 – Stef Macapagal

The Luceros and Tenorio, however, refused to apply for a new lease on their stalls. The Pasig government filed a case for ejectment against them. The MTC ruled in favor of the Luceros, but was reversed by the RTC and the CA. AFC and HPI owned agricultural lands which they voluntarily offered to sell to the government. However, they did not agree to the LBP’s valuation of the land, stating that the valuations were unreasonably low and inadequate as just compensation for the properties. DAR then requested LBP to deposit the amounts equivalent to the LBP valuations in the names of both AFC and HPI. The latter both withdrew several millions from the said accounts. Thereafter, new TCTs over the lands were issued in the name of the Republic of the Philippines, and CLOAs were subsequently issued to farmer-beneficiaries. AFC and HPI both filed complaints for determination of just compensation. PIATCO won the bid for the construction and development of the NAIA IPT III under a buildoperate-transfer arrangement. A Concession Agreement was then entered into. Subsequently, the ARCA and Supplement contracts were entered into as well, modifying the original terms of the Concession Agreement.

be granted or refused for reasons of public policy and sound public administration.

Apo Fruits Corp. v. CA GR No. 164195 6 February 2007 Chico-Nazario, J.

W/N LBP may determine the amount of just compensation.

NO. The valuation of property in eminent domain is essentially a judicial function which is vested with the RTC acting as a Special Agrarian Court. NO. In the determination of just compensation, all the facts as to the condition of the property and its surroundings, its improvements and capabilities, may be shown and considered in estimating its value.

The determination of just compensation is essentially a judicial function. The determination of just compensation cannot be made to the prejudice of the sellers or of the government. Requirements for a proper exercise of eminent domain: 1. Public use 2. Just compensation

If so, W/N it correctly determined the value of the lands in question.

Agan v. PIATCO GR Nos. 155001, 155547, and 155661 21 January 2004 Puno, J.

W/N the temporary takeover clause is constitutional.

NO. The section which provides that PIATCO shall be entitled to reasonable compensation for the duration of the temporary takeover by the government clearly obligates the government in the exercise of its police power to compensate PIATCO and this obligation is offensive to the Constitution.

The police power of the State cannot be negated by any party nor should its exercise be a source of obligation for the State. Police power cannot be diminished, let alone defeated by any contract for its paramount consideration is public welfare and interest.


Constitutional Law Case Digest Matrix Set 1 – Stef Macapagal

Various petitions were filed to annul the CA, ARCA, and the Supplements; and to prohibit the DOTC, and MIAA from implementing them. Southern Cross Cement v. Cement Manufacturers Assoc. GR No. 158540 3 August 2005 Tinga, J. Philcemcor filed a petition seeking the imposition of safeguard measures on gray Portland cement with the DTI. The DTI Secretary then issued a provisional safeguard measure and referred the petition to the Tariff Commission. After the Tariff Commission’s investigation, it reported that there was no need for definitive safeguard measures. The DTI Secretary then denied Philcemcor’s petition but expressed his opinion that he disagreed with the Tariff Commission’s findings. Philcemcor challenged this Decision in the CA. The CA ruled that the DTI Secretary was not bound by the Tariff Commission’s report since it was merely recommendatory. Based on this decision, the DTI Secretary then imposed a definitive safeguard measure on the importation of gray Portland cement for 3 years. Southern Cross challenges both the CA and DTI Secretary decisions. Gopuco owned a parcel of land which was subjected to expropriation proceedings for the purpose of the expansion of the

W/N the PIATCO Contracts themselves are constitutional.

W/N the DTI Secretary is barred from imposing a general safeguard measure absent a positive final determination rendered by the Tariff Commission.

NO. The PIATCO contracts run afoul of the Constitution. This is because the ARCA provides for a direct government guaranty in the form of taking over of the loans of PIATCO should they become due and unpaid. YES. The DTI Secretary cannot impose a general safeguard measure without a positive final determination rendered by the Tariff Commission because it is a constitutional limitation imposed on the delegation of legislative power to impose tariffs and imposts to the President. The authorization to the President can be exercised only within the specified limits set in the law and is further subject to limitations and restrictions which Congress may impose.

It is Congress, not the President, which possesses inherent powers to impose tariffs and imposts. Without legislative authorization through statute, the President has no power, authority or right to impose such safeguard measures because taxation is inherently legislative, not executive. Section 28(2) Article VI of the Constitution shields the delegation of the taxing power to the President by the Legislature from constitutional infirmity, and should be recognized as an exceptional grant of legislative power to the President, rather than the affirmation of an inherent executive power.

ATO v. Gopuco GR No. 158563 30 June 2005 Chico-Nazario, J.

When private land is expropriated for a particular public use, and that particular public use is abandoned, does the

IT DEPENDS. If the land is expropriated for a particular purpose, with the condition that when that purpose is ended or

Eminent domain described as “the most exact idea remaining in the

is generally highest and of property government”


Constitutional Law Case Digest Matrix Set 1 – Stef Macapagal

Lahug Airport in Cebu. Subsequently, the Mactan International Airport commenced operations, and Lahug Airport was shut down. Gopuco sought the reconveyance of his lot and offered to pay for the value of his former land. He maintained that the original purpose for which the property was expropriated had ceased, and title to the property should therefore revert to him.

land so expropriated return to its former owner?

abandoned the property shall return to its former owner, then when the purpose is terminated or abandoned the former owner reacquires the property so expropriated. On the other hand, when land has been acquired for public use in fee simple, unconditionally, either by the exercise of eminent domain or by purchase, the former owner retains no rights in the land, and the public use may be abandoned or the land may be devoted to a different use, without any impairment of the estate or title acquired, or any reversion to the former owner. In this case, the terms of judgment regarding the expropriation of the property granted title in fee simple to the Republic of the Philippines. Therefore, no rights either express or implied, have been retained by Gopuco. NO. In expropriation proceedings, the condemnor merely serves notice that it is taking title and possession of the property, and the defendant asserts title or interest in the property, not to prove a right to possession, but to prove a right to compensation for the taking. Thus, no such contract exists. NO. NIA has occupied, utilized, and for all intents and purposes, exercised dominion over the property. Further, it is undisputed that the access road was taken for public use. Hence, such taking even in the absence of an order of expropriation or memorandum of agreement, shall

that may be acquired for some public purpose through a method in the nature of a forced purchase by the State. It is a right to reassert dominion over property within the State for public use or to meet a public exigency and is said to be an essential part of governance even in its most primitive form and thus inseparable from sovereignty. Notwithstanding the grant to individuals, the eminent domain, the highest and most exact idea of property, remains in the government, or in the aggregate body of people in their sovereign capacity; and they have the right to resume the possession of the property whenever the public interest so requires it.

W/N in cases of expropriation, an “implied contract” that the properties will be used only for the public purpose for which they were acquired.

Palileo v. NIA GR No. 148574 11 October 2005 Chico-Nazario, J.

The Palileos collectively own three parcels of land, on certain portions of which NIA had built a canal in 1956, and an access road in 1983. The canal appears to have been expropriated by virtue of a court order as early as 1958. However, it does not appear whether payment of just

W/N the Palileos could claim compensation for the affected portions of their property or recover the said property from NIA.

The unpaid landowner cannot recover possession of property taken for public use even while no requisite expropriation proceedings were first instituted. The right of eminent domain is usually understood to be an ultimate right of the sovereign


Constitutional Law Case Digest Matrix Set 1 – Stef Macapagal

compensation had been made. In 1994, NIA assessed the Palileos an irrigation service fee. Shortly thereafter, the Palileos demanded reasonable rentals from NIA for occupying their property. When NIA refused to pay, the Palileos sued for recovery of possession, arguing that there was no payment of just compensation, nor was there expropriation proceedings filed with respect to the acquisition of the property used as an access road.

not entitle the owner to the recovery of possession but only to just compensation, following existing case law. However, with respect to the claim of just compensation, PD 552 has barred their claims. With respect to the irrigation canal, the action accrued 18 years prior to the PD’s approval. The PD provides that actions for recovery of compensation and damages against NIA which have accrued for 10 or more years prior to the decree’s approval are deemed to have prescribed and are barred forever. As for the access road, the action was commenced only after 12 years. The PD also provides that claims should be taken within 5 years from the time the property was taken. Thus, the actions of the Palileos have already prescribed. They cannot recover just compensation anymore.

power to appropriate any property within its territorial sovereignty for a public purpose.


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