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SECOND DIVISION [G.R. No. 106296. July 5, 1996] ISABELO T. CRISOSTOMO, petitioner, vs.

THE COURT OF APPEALS and the PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, respondents.* DECISION MENDOZA, J.: This is a petition to review the decision of the Court of Appeals dated July 15, 1992, the dispositive portion of which reads: WHEREFORE, the present petition is partially granted. The questioned Orders and writs directing (1) reinstatement of responden t Isabelo T. Crisostomo to the position of President of the Polytechnic University of the Philippines, and (2) payment of salaries and benefits which said respondent failed to receive during his suspension insofar as such payment includes those accruing after the abolition of the PCC and its transfer to the PUP, are hereby set aside. Accordingly, further proceedings consistent with this decision may be taken by the court a quo to determine the correct amounts due and payable to said respondent by the said university. The background of this case is as follows: Petitioner Isabelo Crisostomo was President of the Philippine College of Commerce (PCC), having been appointed to that position by the President of the Philippines on July 17, 1974. During his incumbency as president of the PCC, two administrative cases were filed against petitioner for illegal use of government vehicles, misappropriation of construction materials belonging to the college, oppression and harassment, grave misconduct, nepotism and dishonesty. The administrative cases, which were filed with the Office of the President, were subsequently referred to the Office of the Solicitor General for investigation. Charges of violations of R.A. No. 3019, 3 (e) and R.A. No. 992, 20-21 and R.A. No. 733, 14 were likewise filed against him with the Office of Tanodbayan. On June 14, 1976, three (3) informations for violation of Sec. 3 (e) of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act (R.A. No. 3019, as amended) were filed against him. The informations alleged that he appropriated for himself a bahay kubo, which was intended for the College, and construction materials worth P250,000.00, more or less. Petitioner was also accused of using a driver of the College as his personal and family driver. [1] On October 22, 1976, petitioner was preventively suspended from office pursuant to R.A. No. 3019, 13, as amended. In his place Dr. Pablo T. Mateo, Jr. was designated as officer-in-charge on November 10, 1976, and then as Acting President on May 13, 1977. On April 1, 1978, P.D. No. 1341 was issued by then President Ferdinand E. Marcos, CONVERTING THE PHILIPPINE COLLEGE OF COMMERCE INTO A POLYTECHNIC UNIVERSITY, DEFINING ITS OBJECTIVES, ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE AND FUNCTIONS, AND EXPANDING ITS CURRICULAR OFFERINGS. Mateo continued as the head of the new University. On April 3, 1979, he was appointed Acting President and on March 28, 1980, as President for a term of six (6) years. On July 11, 1980, the Circuit Criminal Court of Manila rendered judgment acquitting petitioner of the charges against him. The dispositive portion of the decision reads: WHEREFORE, the Court finds the accused, Isabelo T. Crisostomo, not guilty of the violations charged in all these three cases and hereby acquits him therefrom, with costs de oficio. The bail bonds filed by said accused for his provisional liberty are hereby cancelled and released. Pursuant to the provisions of Section 13, R.A. No. 3019, as amended, otherwise known as The Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, and under which the accused has been suspended by this Court in an Order dated October 22, 1976, said accused is hereby ordered reinstated to the position of President of the Philippine College of Commerce, now known as the Polytechnic University of the Philippines, from which he has been suspended. By virtue of said reinstatement, he is entitled to receive the salaries and other benefits which he failed to receive during suspension, unless in the meantime administrative proceedings have been filed against him. The bail bonds filed by the accused for his provisional liberty in these cases are hereby cancelled and released. SO ORDERED. The cases filed before the Tanodbayan (now the Ombudsman) were likewise dismissed on August 8, 1991 on the ground that they had become moot and academic. On the other hand, the administrative cases were dismissed for failure of the complainants to prosecute them. On February 12, 1992, petitioner filed with the Regional Trial Court a motion for execution of the judgment, particularly the part ordering his reinstatement to the position of president of the PUP and the payment of his salaries and other benefits during the period of suspension. The motion was granted and a partial writ of execution was issued by the trial court on March 6, 1992. On March 26, 1992, however, President Corazon C. Aquino appointed Dr. Jaime Gellor as acting president of the PUP, following the expiration of the term of office of Dr. Nemesio Prudente, who had succeeded Dr. Mateo. Petitioner was one of the five nominees considered by the President of the Philippines for the position.

On April 24, 1992, the Regional Trial Court, through respondent Judge Teresita Dy-Liaco Flores, issued another order, reiterating her earlier order for the reinstatement of petitioner to the position of PUP president. A writ of execution, ordering the sheriff to implement the order of reinstatement, was issued. In his return dated April 28, 1992, the sheriff stated that he had executed the writ by installing petitioner as President of the PUP, although Dr. Gellor did not vacate the office as he wanted to consult with the President of the Philippines first. This led to a contempt citation against Dr. Gellor. A hearing was set on May 7, 1992. On May 5, 1992, petitioner also moved to cite Department of Education, Culture and Sports Secretary Isidro Cario in contempt of court. Petitioner assumed the office of president of the PUP. On May 18, 1992, therefore, the People of the Philippines filed a petition for certiorari and prohibition (CA G.R. No. 27931), assailing the two orders and the writs of execution issued by the trial court. It also asked for a temporary restraining order. On June 25, 1992, the Court of Appeals issued a temporary restraining order, enjoining petitioner to cease and desist from acting as president of the PUP pursuant to the reinstatement orders of the trial court, and enjoining further proceedings in Criminal Cases Nos. VI-2329-2331. On July 15, 1992, the Seventh Division of the Court of Appeals rendered a decision, [2] the dispositive portion of which is set forth at the beginning of this opinion. Said decision set aside the orders and writ of reinstatement issued by the trial court. The payment of salaries and benefits to petitioner accruing after the conversion of the PCC to the PUP was disallowed. Recovery of salaries and benefits was limited to those accruing from the time of petitioners suspension until the conversion of the PCC to the PUP. The case was remanded to the trial court for a determination of the amounts due and payable to petitioner. Hence this petition. Petitioner argues that P.D. No. 1341, which converted the PCC into the PUP, did not abolish the PCC. He contends that if the law had intended the PCC to lose its existence, it would have specified that the PCC was being abolished rather than converted and that if the PUP was intended to be a new institution, the law would have said it was being created. Petitioner claims that the PUP is merely a con tinuation of the existence of the PCC, and, hence, he could be reinstated to his former position as president. In part the contention is well taken, but, as will presently be explained, reinstatement is no longer possible because of the promulgation of P.D. No. 1437 by the President of the Philippines on June 10, 1978. P.D. No. 1341 did not abolish, but only changed, the former Philippine College of Commerce into what is now the Polytechnic University of the Philippines, in the same way that earlier in 1952, R.A. No. 778 had converted what was then the Philippine School of Commerce into the Philippine College of Commerce. What took place was a change in academic status of the educational institution, not in its corporate life. Hence the change in its name, the expansion of its curricular offerings, and the changes in its structure and organization. As petitioner correctly points out, when the purpose is to abolish a department or an office or an organization and to replace it with another one, the lawmaking authority says so. He cites the following examples: E.O. No. 709: 1. There is hereby created a Ministry of Trade and Industry, hereinafter referred to as the Ministry. The existing Ministry of Trade established pursuant to Presidential Decree No. 721 as amended, and the existing Ministry established pursuant to Presidential Decree No. 488 as amended, are abolished together with their services, bureaus and similar agencies, regional offices, and all other entities under their supervision and control. . . . E.O. No. 710: 1. There is hereby created a Ministry of Public Works and Highways, hereinafter referred to as the Ministry. The existing Ministry of Public Works established pursuant to Executive Order No. 546 as amended, and the existing Ministry of Public Highways established pursuant to Presidential Decree No. 458 as amended, are abolished together with their services, bureaus and similar agencies, regional offices, and all other entities within their supervision and control. . . . R.A. No. 6975: 13. Creation and Composition. - A National Police Commission, hereinafter referred to as the Commission, is hereby created for the purpose of effectively discharging the functions prescribed in the Constitution and provided in this Act. The Commission shall be a collegial body within the Department. It shall be composed of a Chairman and four (4) regular commissioners, one (1) of whom shall be designated as Vice-Chairman by the President. The Secretary of the Department shall be the ex-officio Chairman of the Commission, while the Vice-Chairman shall act as the executive officer of the Commission. xxx xxx xxx

90. Status of Present NAPOLCOM, PC-INP. - Upon the effectivity of this Act, the present National Police Commission, and the Philippine ConstabularyIntegrated National Police shall cease to exist. The Philippine Constabulary, which is the nucleus of the integrated Philippine Constabulary-Integrated National Police, shall cease to be a major service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. The Integrated National Police, which is the civilian component of the Philippine Constabulary-Integrated National Police, shall cease to be the national police force and in lieu thereof, a new police force shall be established and constituted pursuant to this Act. In contrast, P.D. No. 1341, provides: 1. The present Philippine College of Commerce is hereby converted into a university to be known as the Polytechnic University of the Philippines, hereinafter referred to in this Decree as the University. As already noted, R.A. No. 778 earlier provided: 1. The present Philippine School of Commerce, located in the City of Manila, Philippines, is hereby granted full college status and converted into the Philippine College of Commerce, which will offer not only its present one-year and two-year vocational commercial curricula, the latter leading to the

titles of Associate in Business Education and/or Associate in Commerce, but also four-year courses leading to the degrees of Bachelor of Science in Business in Education and Bachelor of Science in Commerce, and five-year courses leading to the degrees of Master of Arts in Business Education and Master of Arts in Commerce, respectively. The appellate court ruled, however, that the PUP and the PCC are not one and the same institution but two different entities and that since petitioner Crisostomos term was coterminous with the legal existence of the PCC, petitioners term expired upon the abolitio n of the PCC. In reaching this conclusion, the Court of Appeals took into account the following: a) After respondent Crisostomos suspension, P.D. No. 1341 (entitled CONVERTING THE PHILIPPINE COLLEGE OF COMMERCE INTO A POLYTECHNIC UNIVERSITY, DEFINING ITS OBJECTIVES, ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE AND FUNCTIONS, AND EXPANDING ITS CURRICULAR OFFERINGS) was issued on April 1, 1978. This decree explicitly provides that PUPs objectives and purposes cover not only PCCs offering of programs in the field of commerce and business administration but also programs in other polytechnic areas and in other fields such as a griculture, arts and trades and fisheries . . . (section 2). Being a university, PUP was conceived as a bigger institution absorbing, merging and integrating the entire PCC and other national schools as may be transferred to this new state university . b) The manner of selection and appointment of the university head is substantially different from that provided by the PCC Charter. The PUP President shall be appointed by the President of the Philippines upon recommendation of the Secretary of Education and Culture after consultation with the University Board of Regents (section 4, P.D. 1341). The President of PCC, on the other hand, was appointed by the President of the Philippines upon recommendation of the Board of Trustees (Section 4, R.A. 778). c) The composition of the new universitys Board of Regents is likewise different from that of the PCC Board of Trustees (whi ch included the chairman of the Senate Committee on Education and the chairman of the House Committee on Education, the President of the PCC Alumni Association as well as the President of the Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines). Whereas, among others, the NEDA Director-General, the Secretary of Industry and the Secretary of Labor are members of the PUP Board of Regents. (Section 6, P.D. 1341). d) The decree moreover transferred to the new university all the properties including equipment and facilities: . . . owned by the Philippine College of Commerce and such their obligations and appropriations . . . (Sec. 12; Italics supplied).[3] other National Schools as may be integrated . . . including

But these are hardly indicia of an intent to abolish an existing institution and to create a new one. New course offerings can be added to the curriculum of a school without affecting its legal existence. Nor will changes in its existing structure and organization bring about its abolition and the creation of a new one. Only an express declaration to that effect by the lawmaking authority will. The Court of Appeals also cites the provision of P.D. No. 1341 as allegedly implying the abolition of the PCC and the creation of a new one the PUP in its stead: 12. All parcels of land, buildings, equipment and facilities owned by the Philippine College of Commerce and such other national schools as may be integrated by virtue of this decree, including their obligations and appropriations thereof, shall stand transferred to the Polytechnic University of the Philippines, provided, however, that said national schools shall continue to receive their corresponding shares from the special education fund of the municipal/provincial/city government concerned as are now enjoyed by them in accordance with existing laws and/or decrees. The law does not state that the lands, buildings and equipment owned by the PCC were being transferred to the PUP but only that they stand transferred to it. Stand transferred simply means, for example, that lands transferred to the PCC were to be understood as transferred to the PUP as the new name of the institution. But the reinstatement of petitioner to the position of president of the PUP could not be ordered by the trial court because on June 10, 1978, P.D. No. 1437 had been promulgated fixing the term of office of presidents of state universities and colleges at six (6) years, renewable for another term of six (6) years, and authorizing the President of the Philippines to terminate the terms of incumbents who were not reappointed. P.D. No. 1437 provides: 6. The head of the university or college shall be known as the President of the university or college. He shall be qualified for the position and appointed for a term of six (6) years by the President of the Philippines upon recommendation of the Secretary of Education and Culture after consulting with the Board which may be renewed for another term upon recommendation of the Secretary of Education and Culture after consulting the Board. In case of vacancy by reason of death, absence or resignation, the Secretary of Education and Culture shall have the authority to designate an officer in charge of the college or university pending the appointment of the President. The powers and duties of the President of the university or college, in addition to those specifically provided for in this Decree shall be those usually pertaining to the office of the president of a university or college. 7. The incumbent president of a chartered state college or university whose term may be terminated according to this Decree, shall be entitled to full retirement benefits: provided that he has served the government for at least twenty (20) years; and provided, further that in case the number of years served is less than 20 years, he shall be entitled to one month pay for every year of service. In this case, Dr. Pablo T. Mateo Jr., who had been acting president of the university since April 3, 1979, was appointed president of PUP for a term of six (6) years on March 28, 1980, with the result that petitioners term was cut short. In accordance with 7 of the law, therefore, petitioner became entitled only to retirement benefits or the payment of separation pay. Petitioner must have recognized this fact, that is why in 1992 he asked then President Aquino to consider him for appointment to the same position after it had become vacant in consequence of the retirement of Dr. Prudente. WHEREFORE, the decision of the Court of Appeals is MODIFIED by SETTING ASIDE the questioned orders of the Regional Trial Court directing the reinstatement of the petitioner Isabelo T. Crisostomo to the position of president of the Polytechnic University of the Philippines and the payment to him of salaries and benefits which he failed to receive during his suspension in so far as such payment would include salaries accruing after March 28, 1980 when petitioner Crisostomos term was terminated. Further proceedings in accordance with this decision may be taken by the trial court to determine the amount due and payable to petitioner by the university up to March 28, 1980.

SO ORDERED. Regalado, (Chairman), Romero, and Torres, Jr., JJ., concur. Puno, J., took no part. Counsel for petitioner is his brother. EN BANC [G.R. No. 115844. August 15, 1997] CESAR G. VIOLA, Chairman, Bgy. 167, Zone 15, District II, Manila, petitioner, vs. HON. RAFAEL M. ALUNAN III, Secretary, DILG, ALEX L. DAVID, President/Secretary General, National Liga ng mga Barangay, LEONARDO L. ANGAT, President, City of Manila, Liga ng mga Barangay, respondents. DECISION MENDOZA, J.: This is a petition for prohibition challenging the validity of Art. III, 1-2 of the Revised Implementing Rules and Guidelines for the General Elections of the Liga ng mga Barangay Officers so far as they provide for the election of first, second and third vice presidents and for auditors for the National Liga ng mga Barangay and its chapters. The provisions in question read: 1. Local Liga Chapters. The Municipal, City, Metropolitan and Provincial Chapters shall directly elect the following officers and directors to constitute their respective Board of Directors, namely: 1.1 President 1.2 Executive Vice-President 1.3 First Vice-President 1.4 Second Vice-President 1.5 Third Vice-President 1.6 Auditor 1.7 Five (5) Directors 2. National Liga. The National Liga shall directly elect the following officers and directors to constitute the National Liga Board of Directors namely: 2.1 President 2.2 Executive Vice-President 2.3 First Vice-President 2.4 Second Vice-President 2.5 Third Vice-President 2.6 Secretary General 2.7 Auditor 2.8 Five (5) Directors Petitioner Cesar G. Viola brought this action as barangay chairman of Bgy. 167, Zone 15, District II, Manila against then Secretary of Interior and Local Government Rafael M. Alunan III, Alex L. David, president/secretary general of the National Liga ng mga Barangay, and Leonardo L. Angat, president of the City of Manila Liga ng mga Barangay, to restrain them from carrying out the elections for the questioned positions on July 3, 1994. Petitioners contention is that the positions in question are in excess of those provided in the Local Government Code (R.A. No. 7160), 493 of which mentions as elective positions only those of president, vice president, and five members of the board of directors in each chapter at the municipal, city, provincial, metropolitan political subdivision, and national levels. Petitioner argues that, in providing for the positions of first, second and third vice presidents and auditor for each chapter, 1-2 of the Implementing Rules expand the number of positions authorized in 493 of the Local Government Code in violation of the principle that implementing rules and regulations cannot add or detract from the provisions of the law they are designed to implement. Although the elections are now over, the issues raised in this case are likely to arise again in future elections of officers of the Liga ng mga Barangay. For one thing, doubt may be cast on the validity of the acts of those elected. For another, this comes within the rule that courts will decide a question which is otherwise moot and academic if it is capable of repetition, yet evading review.[1] We will therefore proceed to the merits of this case. Petitioners contention that the additional positions in question have been created without authority of law is untenable. To begin with, the creation of these positions was actually made in the Constitution and By-laws of the Liga ng Mga Barangay, which was adopted by the First Barangay National Assembly on January 11, 1994. This Constitution and By-laws provide in pertinent parts:

ARTICLE VI OFFICERS AND DIRECTORS

Section 1. Organization of Board of Directors of Local Chapters. - The chapters shall directly elect their respective officers, namely, a president; executive vice president; first, second, and third vice presidents; auditor; and five (5) members to constitute the Board of Directors of their respective chapter. Thereafter, the Board shall appoint a secretary, treasurer, and public relations officer from among the five (5) members, with the rest serving as Directors of Board. The Board may create such other positions as it may deem necessary for the management of the chapter. Pending elections of the president of the municipal, city, provincial and metropolitan chapters of the Liga, the incumbent presidents of the ABCs of the municipality, city province and Metropolitan Manila shall continue to act as presidents of the corresponding Liga chapters, subject to the provisions of the Local Government Code of 1991. Section 2. Organization of Board of Directors of the National Liga. - The National Liga shall be composed of the presidents of the provincial Liga chapters, highly urbanized and independent component city chapters, and the metropolitan chapter who shall directly elect their respective officers, namely, a president, executive vice president; first, second, and third vice president, auditor, secretary general; and five (5) members to constitute the Board of Directors of the National Liga. Thereafter, the Board shall appoint a treasurer, secretary and public relations officers from among the five (5) members with the rest serving as directors of the Board. The Board may create such other positions as it may deem necessary for the management of the National Liga. Pending election of Secretary-General, the incumbent president of the Pambansang Katipunan ng mga Barangay (PKB) shall act as the Secretary-General. The incumbent members of the Board of the PKB, headed by the Secretary-General who continue to be presidents of the respective chapters of the Liga to which they belong, shall constitute a committee to exercise the powers and duties of the National Liga and with the primordial responsibility of drafting a Constitution and By-Laws needed for the organization of the Liga as a whole pursuant to the provisions of the Local Government Code of 1991. The post of executive vice president is in reality that of the vice president in 493 of the LGC, so that the only additional positions created for each chapter in the Constitution and By-laws are those of first, second and third vice presidents and auditor. Contrary to petitioners contention, the creation of the additional positions is authorized by the LGC which provides as follows: 493. Organization. The liga at the municipal, city, provincial, metropolitan political subdivision, and national levels directly elect a president, a vice-president, and five (5) members of the board of directors. The board shall appoint its secretary and treasurer and create such other positions as it may deem necessary for the management of the chapter. A secretary-general shall be elected from among the members of the national liga and shall be charged with the overall operation of the liga on the national level. The board shall coordinate the activities of the chapters of the liga. (emphasis added) This provision in fact requires and not merely authorizes the board of directors to create such other positions as it may deem necessary for the management of the chapter and belies petitioners claim that said provision (493) limits the officer s of a chapter to the president, vice president, five members of the board of directors, secretary, and treasurer. That Congress can delegate the power to create positions such as these has been settled by our decisions upholding the validity of reorganization statutes authorizing the President of the Philippines to create, abolish or merge offices in the executive department. [2] The question is whether, in making a delegation of this power to the board of directors of each chapter of the Liga ng Mga Barangay, Congress provided a sufficient standard so that, in the phrase of Justice Cardozo, administrative discretion may be canalized within proper banks that keep it from overflowing.[3] Statutory provisions authorizing the President of the Philippines to make reforms and changes in government owned or controlled corporations for the purpose of promoting simplicity, economy and efficiency[4] in their operations and empowering the Secretary of Education to prescribe minimum standards of adequate and efficient instruction[5] in private schools and colleges have been found to be sufficient for the purpose of valid delegation. Judged by these cases, we hold that 493 of the Local Government Code, in directing the board of directors of the liga to create such other positions as may be deemed necessary for the management of the chapter[s], embodies a fairly intelligible standard. There is no undue delegation of power by Congress. Justice Davide contends in dissent, however, that only the Board of Director s and not any other body is vested with the power to create other positions as may be necessary for the management of the chapter and that, in any case, there is no showing t hat the Barangay National Assembly was authorized to draft the Constitution and By-laws because he is unable to find any law creating it. The Barangay National Assembly is actually the Pambansang Katipunan ng mga Barangay (PKB) referred to in Art. 210(f)(2)(3) of the Rules and Regulations Implementing the Local Government Code of 1991, which Justice Davides dissent cites. It will be helpful to quote these provisions: (2) A secretary-general shall be elected from among the members of the national liga who shall be responsible for the overall operation of the liga. Pending election of a secretary-general under this rule, the incumbent president of the pambansang katipunan ng mga barangay shall act as the secretary-general. The incumbent members of the board of the pambansang katipunan ng mga barangay, headed by the secretary-general, who continue to be presidents of the respective chapters of the liga to which they belong, shall constitute a committee to exercise the powers and duties of the national liga and draft or amend the constitution and by-laws of the national liga to conform to the provisions of this Rule. (3) The board of directors shall coordinate the activities of the various chapters of the liga. (Emphasis added) Pursuant to these provisions, pending the organization of the Liga ng mga Barangay, the board of directors of the PKB was constituted into a committee, headed by the PKB president, who acted as secretary general, with a two-fold mandate: [1] exercise the powers and duties of the national liga and [2] draft or amend the constitution and by-laws of the national liga to conform to the provisions of this Rule. The board of directors of the PKB, functioning in place of the board of directors of the National L iga ng mga Barangay, exercised one of these powers of the National Liga board, namely, to create additional positions which it deemed necessary for the management of a chapter. There is therefore no basis for the claim that because the power to create additional positions in the Liga or its chapters is vested only in the board of directors the exercise of this power by the Barangay National Assembly is unauthorized and

illegal and the positions created are void. The Barangay National Assembly was actually the Pambansang Katipunan ng mga Barangay or PKB. Pending the organization of the Liga ng mga Barangay, it served as the Liga. But it is contended in the dissent that Section 493 of the LGC . . . vests the power to create additional positions in the B oard of Directors of the chapter. The implication seems to be that the board of the directors at t he national level did not have that power. It is necessary to consider the organizational structure of the Liga ng mga Barangay as provided in the LGC, as follows: 492. Representation, Chapters, National Liga. - Every barangay shall be represented in said liga by the punong barangay, or in his absence or incapacity, by a sanggunian member duly elected for the purpose among its members, who shall attend all meetings or deliberations called by the different chapters of the liga. The liga shall have chapters at the municipal, city, provincial and metropolitan political subdivision levels. The municipal and city chapters of the liga shall be composed of the barangay representatives of municipal and city barangays, respectively. The duly elected presidents of component municipal and city chapters shall constitute the provincial chapter or the metropolitan political subdivision chapter. The duly elected presidents of highly-urbanized cities, provincial chapters, the Metropolitan Manila chapter and metropolitan political subdivision chapters shall constitute the National Liga ng mga Barangay. 493. Organization. The liga at the municipal, city, provincial, metropolitan political subdivision, and national levels directly elect a president, a vice-president, and five (5) members of the board of directors. The board shall appoint its secretary and treasurer and create such other positions as it may deem necessary for the management of the chapter. A secretary-general shall be elected from among the members of the national liga and shall be charged with the overall operation of the liga on the national level. The board shall coordinate the activities of the chapters of the liga. (Emphasis added) While the board of directors of a local chapter can create additional positions to provide for the needs of the chapter, the board of directors of the National Liga must be deemed to have the power to create additional positions not only for its management but also for that of all the chapters at the municipal, city, provincial and metropolitan political subdivision levels. Otherwise the National Liga would be no different from the local chapters. There would then be only so many local chapters without a national one, when what is contemplated in the above-quoted provisions of the LGC is that there should be one Liga ng mga Barangay with local chapters at all levels of local government units. The dissent, by denying to the board of directors at the National Liga the power to create additional positions in the local chapters, would reduce such board to a board of a local chapter. The fact is that 493 grants the power to create positions not only to the boards of the local chapters but to the board of the Liga at the national level as well. Indeed what was done in the Constitution and By-laws of their liga was to create additional positions in each chapter, whether national or local, without however precluding the boards of directors of the chapters as well as that of the national liga from creating other positions for their peculiar needs. The creation by the board of the National Liga of the positions of first, second and third vice presidents, auditors and public relations officers was intended to provide uniform officers for the various chapters in line with the mandate in Art. 210(g)(2) of the Rules and Regulations Implementing the Local Government Code of 1991 to the Barangay National Assembly to formulate uniform constitution and by-laws applicable to the national liga and all local chapters. The various chapters could have different minor officers depending on their local needs, but they must have the same major elective officers, meaning to say, the additional vice presidents and auditors. The dissent further argues that, following the rule of ejusdem generis, what may be created as additional positions can only be appointive ones because the positions of secretary and treasurer are appointive positions. The rule might apply if what is involved is the appointment of other officers. But what we are dealing with in this case is the creationof additional positions. Section 493 actually gives the board the power to [1] appoint its secretary and treasurer and [2] create such other positions as it may deem necessary for the management of the chapter. The additional positions to be created need not therefore be appointive positions. Nor is it correct to say that 493, in providing that additional positions to be created must be those which are deemed nece ssary for the management of the chapter, contemplates only appointive positions. Management positions are not necessarily limited to appointive positions. Elective officers, such as the president and vice president, can be expected to be involved in the general administration or management of the chapter. Hence, the creation of other elective positions which may be deemed necessary for the management of the chapter is within the purview of 493. WHEREFORE, the petition for prohibition is DISMISSED for lack of merit. SO ORDERED.

Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila EN BANC G.R. No. 192935 December 7, 2010 LOUIS "BAROK" C. BIRAOGO, Petitioner, vs. THE PHILIPPINE TRUTH COMMISSION OF 2010, Respondent. x - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -x

G.R. No. 193036 REP. EDCEL C. LAGMAN, REP. RODOLFO B. ALBANO, JR., REP. SIMEON A. DATUMANONG, and REP. ORLANDO B. FUA, SR., Petitioners, vs. EXECUTIVE SECRETARY PAQUITO N. OCHOA, JR. and DEPARTMENT OF BUDGET AND MANAGEMENT SECRETARY FLORENCIO B. ABAD, Respondents. DECISION MENDOZA, J.: When the judiciary mediates to allocate constitutional boundaries, it does not assert any superiority over the other departments; it does not in reality nullify or invalidate an act of the legislature, but only asserts the solemn and sacred obligation assigned to it by the Constitution to determine conflicting claims of authority under the Constitution and to establish for the parties in an actual controversy the rights which that instrument secures and guarantees to them. --- Justice Jose P. Laurel1 The role of the Constitution cannot be overlooked. It is through the Constitution that the fundamental powers of government are established, limited and defined, and by which these powers are distributed among the several departments. 2 The Constitution is the basic and paramount law to which all other laws must conform and to which all persons, including the highest officials of the land, must defer.3 Constitutional doctrines must remain steadfast no matter what may be the tides of time. It cannot be simply made to sway and accommodate the call of situations and much more tailor itself to the whims and caprices of government and the people who run it.4 For consideration before the Court are two consolidated cases 5 both of which essentially assail the validity and constitutionality of Executive Order No. 1, dated July 30, 2010, entitled "Creating the Philippine Truth Commission of 2010." The first case is G.R. No. 192935, a special civil action for prohibition instituted by petitioner Louis Biraogo (Biraogo) in his capacity as a citizen and taxpayer. Biraogo assails Executive Order No. 1 for being violative of the legislative power of Congress under Section 1, Article VI of the Constitution6 as it usurps the constitutional authority of the legislature to create a public office and to appropriate funds therefor.7 The second case, G.R. No. 193036, is a special civil action for certiorari and prohibition filed by petitioners Edcel C. Lagman, Rodolfo B. Albano Jr., Simeon A. Datumanong, and Orlando B. Fua, Sr. (petitioners-legislators) as incumbent members of the House of Representatives. The genesis of the foregoing cases can be traced to the events prior to the historic May 2010 elections, when then Senator Benigno Simeon Aquino III declared his staunch condemnation of graft and corruption with his slogan, "Kung walang corrupt, walang mahirap." The Filipino people, convinced of his sincerity and of his ability to carry out this noble objective, catapulted the good senator to the presidency. To transform his campaign slogan into reality, President Aquino found a need for a special body to investigate reported cases of graft and corruption allegedly committed during the previous administration. Thus, at the dawn of his administration, the President on July 30, 2010, signed Executive Order No. 1 establishing the Philippine Truth Commission of 2010 (Truth Commission). Pertinent provisions of said executive order read: EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 1 CREATING THE PHILIPPINE TRUTH COMMISSION OF 2010 WHEREAS, Article XI, Section 1 of the 1987 Constitution of the Philippines solemnly enshrines the principle that a public office is a public trust and mandates that public officers and employees, who are servants of the people, must at all times be accountable to the latter, serve them with utmost responsibility, integrity, loyalty and efficiency, act with patriotism and justice, and lead modest lives; WHEREAS, corruption is among the most despicable acts of defiance of this principle and notorious violation of this mandate; WHEREAS, corruption is an evil and scourge which seriously affects the political, economic, and social life of a nation; in a very special way it inflicts untold misfortune and misery on the poor, the marginalized and underprivileged sector of society; WHEREAS, corruption in the Philippines has reached very alarming levels, and undermined the peoples trust and confidence in the Government and its institutions; WHEREAS, there is an urgent call for the determination of the truth regarding certain reports of large scale graft and corruption in the government and to put a closure to them by the filing of the appropriate cases against those involved, if warranted, and to deter others from committing the evil, restore the peoples faith and confidence in the Government and in their public servants; WHEREAS, the Presidents battlecry during his campaign for the Presidency in the last elections "kung walang corrupt, walang m ahirap" expresses a solemn pledge that if elected, he would end corruption and the evil it breeds; WHEREAS, there is a need for a separate body dedicated solely to investigating and finding out the truth concerning the reported cases of graft and corruption during the previous administration, and which will recommend the prosecution of the offenders and secure justice for all; WHEREAS, Book III, Chapter 10, Section 31 of Executive Order No. 292, otherwise known as the Revised Administrative Code of the Philippines, gives the President the continuing authority to reorganize the Office of the President. NOW, THEREFORE, I, BENIGNO SIMEON AQUINO III, President of the Republic of the Philippines, by virtue of the powers vested in me by law, do hereby order:

SECTION 1. Creation of a Commission. There is hereby created the PHILIPPINE TRUTH COMMISSION, hereinafter referred to as the "COMMISSION," which shall primarily seek and find the truth on, and toward this end, investigate reports of graft and corruption of such scale and magnitude that shock and offend the moral and ethical sensibilities of the people, committed by public officers and employees, their co-principals, accomplices and accessories from the private sector, if any, during the previous administration; and thereafter recommend the appropriate action or measure to be taken thereon to ensure that the full measure of justice shall be served without fear or favor. The Commission shall be composed of a Chairman and four (4) members who will act as an independent collegial body. SECTION 2. Powers and Functions. The Commission, which shall have all the powers of an investigative body under Section 37, Chapter 9, Book I of the Administrative Code of 1987, is primarily tasked to conduct a thorough fact-finding investigation of reported cases of graft and corruption referred to in Section 1, involving third level public officers and higher, their co-principals, accomplices and accessories from the private sector, if any, during the previous administration and thereafter submit its finding and recommendations to the President, Congress and the Ombudsman. In particular, it shall: a) Identify and determine the reported cases of such graft and corruption which it will investigate; b) Collect, receive, review and evaluate evidence related to or regarding the cases of large scale corruption which it has chosen to investigate, and to this end require any agency, official or employee of the Executive Branch, including government-owned or controlled corporations, to produce documents, books, records and other papers; c) Upon proper request or representation, obtain information and documents from the Senate and the House of Representatives records of investigations conducted by committees thereof relating to matters or subjects being investigated by the Commission; d) Upon proper request and representation, obtain information from the courts, including the Sandiganbayan and the Office of the Court Administrator, information or documents in respect to corruption cases filed with the Sandiganbayan or the regular courts, as the case may be; e) Invite or subpoena witnesses and take their testimonies and for that purpose, administer oaths or affirmations as the case may be; f) Recommend, in cases where there is a need to utilize any person as a state witness to ensure that the ends of justice be fully served, that such person who qualifies as a state witness under the Revised Rules of Court of the Philippines be admitted for that purpose; g) Turn over from time to time, for expeditious prosecution, to the appropriate prosecutorial authorities, by means of a special or interim report and recommendation, all evidence on corruption of public officers and employees and their private sector co-principals, accomplices or accessories, if any, when in the course of its investigation the Commission finds that there is reasonable ground to believe that they are liable for graft and corruption under pertinent applicable laws; h) Call upon any government investigative or prosecutorial agency such as the Department of Justice or any of the agencies under it, and the Presidential Anti-Graft Commission, for such assistance and cooperation as it may require in the discharge of its functions and duties; i) Engage or contract the services of resource persons, professionals and other personnel determined by it as necessary to carry out its mandate; j) Promulgate its rules and regulations or rules of procedure it deems necessary to effectively and efficiently carry out the objectives of this Executive Order and to ensure the orderly conduct of its investigations, proceedings and hearings, including the presentation of evidence; k) Exercise such other acts incident to or are appropriate and necessary in connection with the objectives and purposes of this Order. SECTION 3. Staffing Requirements. x x x. SECTION 4. Detail of Employees. x x x. SECTION 5. Engagement of Experts. x x x SECTION 6. Conduct of Proceedings. x x x. SECTION 7. Right to Counsel of Witnesses/Resource Persons. x x x. SECTION 8. Protection of Witnesses/Resource Persons. x x x. SECTION 9. Refusal to Obey Subpoena, Take Oath or Give Testimony. Any government official or personnel who, without lawful excuse, fails to appear upon subpoena issued by the Commission or who, appearing before the Commission refuses to take oath or affirmation, give testimony or produce documents for inspection, when required, shall be subject to administrative disciplinary action. Any private person who does the same may be dealt with in accordance with law. SECTION 10. Duty to Extend Assistance to the Commission. x x x.

SECTION 11. Budget for the Commission. The Office of the President shall provide the necessary funds for the Commission to ensure that it can exercise its powers, execute its functions, and perform its duties and responsibilities as effectively, efficiently, and expeditiously as possible. SECTION 12. Office. x x x. SECTION 13. Furniture/Equipment. x x x. SECTION 14. Term of the Commission. The Commission shall accomplish its mission on or before December 31, 2012. SECTION 15. Publication of Final Report. x x x. SECTION 16. Transfer of Records and Facilities of the Commission. x x x. SECTION 17. Special Provision Concerning Mandate. If and when in the judgment of the President there is a need to expand the mandate of the Commission as defined in Section 1 hereof to include the investigation of cases and instances of graft and corruption during the prior administrations, such mandate may be so extended accordingly by way of a supplemental Executive Order. SECTION 18. Separability Clause. If any provision of this Order is declared unconstitutional, the same shall not affect the validity and effectivity of the other provisions hereof. SECTION 19. Effectivity. This Executive Order shall take effect immediately. DONE in the City of Manila, Philippines, this 30th day of July 2010. (SGD.) BENIGNO S. AQUINO III By the President: (SGD.) PAQUITO N. OCHOA, JR. Executive Secretary Nature of the Truth Commission As can be gleaned from the above-quoted provisions, the Philippine Truth Commission (PTC) is a mere ad hoc body formed under the Office of the President with the primary task to investigate reports of graft and corruption committed by third-level public officers and employees, their co-principals, accomplices and accessories during the previous administration, and thereafter to submit its finding and recommendations to the President, Congress and the Ombudsman. Though it has been described as an "independent collegial body," it is essentially an entity within the Office of the President Proper and subject to his control. Doubtless, it constitutes a public office, as an ad hoc body is one.8 To accomplish its task, the PTC shall have all the powers of an investigative body under Section 37, Chapter 9, Book I of the Administrative Code of 1987. It is not, however, a quasi-judicial body as it cannot adjudicate, arbitrate, resolve, settle, or render awards in disputes between contending parties. All it can do is gather, collect and assess evidence of graft and corruption and make recommendations. It may have subpoena powers but it has no power to cite people in contempt, much less order their arrest. Although it is a fact-finding body, it cannot determine from such facts if probable cause exists as to warrant the filing of an information in our courts of law. Needless to state, it cannot impose criminal, civil or administrative penalties or sanctions. The PTC is different from the truth commissions in other countries which have been created as official, transitory and non-judicial factfinding bodies "to establish the facts and context of serious violations of human rights or of international humani tarian law in a countrys past."9 They are usually established by states emerging from periods of internal unrest, civil strife or authoritarianism to serve as mechanisms for transitional justice. Truth commissions have been described as bodies that share the following characteristics: (1) they examine only past events; (2) they investigate patterns of abuse committed over a period of time, as opposed to a particular event; (3) they are temporary bodies that finish their work with the submission of a report containing conclusions and recommendations; and (4) they are officially sanctioned, authorized or empowered by the State.10"Commissions members are usually empowered to conduct research, support victims, and propose policy recommendations to prevent recurrence of crimes. Through their investigations, the commissions may aim to discover and learn more about past abuses, or formally acknowledge them. They may aim to prepare the way for prosecutions and recommend institutional reforms."11 Thus, their main goals range from retribution to reconciliation. The Nuremburg and Tokyo war crime tribunals are examples of a retributory or vindicatory body set up to try and punish those responsible for crimes against humanity. A form of a reconciliatory tribunal is the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of South Africa, the principal function of which was to heal the wounds of past violence and to prevent future conflict by providing a cathartic experience for victims. The PTC is a far cry from South Africas model. The latter placed more emphasis on reconciliation than on judicial retribution, while the marching order of the PTC is the identification and punishment of perpetrators. As one writer 12 puts it: The order ruled out reconciliation. It translated the Draconian code spelled out by Aquino in his inaugural speech: "To those who talk about reconciliation, if they mean that they would like us to simply forget about the wrongs that they have committed in the past, we have this to say: There can be no reconciliation without justice. When we allow crimes to go unpunished, we give consent to their occurring over and over again." The Thrusts of the Petitions Barely a month after the issuance of Executive Order No. 1, the petitioners asked the Court to declare it unconstitutional and to enjoin the PTC from performing its functions. A perusal of the arguments of the petitioners in both cases shows that they are essentially the same. The petitioners-legislators summarized them in the following manner:

(a) E.O. No. 1 violates the separation of powers as it arrogates the power of the Congress to create a public office and appropriate funds for its operation. (b) The provision of Book III, Chapter 10, Section 31 of the Administrative Code of 1987 cannot legitimize E.O. No. 1 because the delegated authority of the President to structurally reorganize the Office of the President to achieve economy, simplicity and efficiency does not include the power to create an entirely new public office which was hitherto inexistent like the "Truth Commission." (c) E.O. No. 1 illegally amended the Constitution and pertinent statutes when it vested the "Truth Commission" with quasijudicial powers duplicating, if not superseding, those of the Office of the Ombudsman created under the 1987 Constitution and the Department of Justice created under the Administrative Code of 1987. (d) E.O. No. 1 violates the equal protection clause as it selectively targets for investigation and prosecution officials and personnel of the previous administration as if corruption is their peculiar species even as it excludes those of the other administrations, past and present, who may be indictable. (e) The creation of the "Philippine Truth Commission of 2010" violates the consistent and general international practice of four decades wherein States constitute truth commissions to exclusively investigate human rights violations, which customary practice forms part of the generally accepted principles of international law which the Philippines is mandated to adhere to pursuant to the Declaration of Principles enshrined in the Constitution. (f) The creation of the "Truth Commission" is an exercise in futility, an adventure in partisan hostility, a launching pad for trial/conviction by publicity and a mere populist propaganda to mistakenly impress the people that widespread poverty will altogether vanish if corruption is eliminated without even addressing the other major causes of poverty. (g) The mere fact that previous commissions were not constitutionally challenged is of no moment because neither laches nor estoppel can bar an eventual question on the constitutionality and validity of an executive issuance or even a statute." 13 In their Consolidated Comment,14 the respondents, through the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG), essentially questioned the legal standing of petitioners and defended the assailed executive order with the following arguments: 1] E.O. No. 1 does not arrogate the powers of Congress to create a public office because the Presidents executive power and power of control necessarily include the inherent power to conduct investigations to ensure that laws are faithfully executed and that, in any event, the Constitution, Revised Administrative Code of 1987 (E.O. No. 292), 15 Presidential Decree (P.D.) No. 141616 (as amended by P.D. No. 1772), R.A. No. 9970,17 and settled jurisprudence that authorize the President to create or form such bodies. 2] E.O. No. 1 does not usurp the power of Congress to appropriate funds because there is no appropriation but a mere allocation of funds already appropriated by Congress. 3] The Truth Commission does not duplicate or supersede the functions of the Office of the Ombudsman (Ombudsman) and the Department of Justice (DOJ), because it is a fact-finding body and not a quasi-judicial body and its functions do not duplicate, supplant or erode the latters jurisdiction. 4] The Truth Commission does not violate the equal protection clause because it was validly created for laudable purposes. The OSG then points to the continued existence and validity of other executive orders and presidential issuances creating similar bodies to justify the creation of the PTC such as Presidential Complaint and Action Commission (PCAC) by President Ramon B. Magsaysay, Presidential Committee on Administrative Performance Efficiency (PCAPE) by President Carlos P. Garcia and Presidential Agency on Reform and Government Operations(PARGO) by President Ferdinand E. Marcos.18 From the petitions, pleadings, transcripts, and memoranda, the following are the principal issues to be resolved: 1. Whether or not the petitioners have the legal standing to file their respective petitions and question Executive Order No. 1; 2. Whether or not Executive Order No. 1 violates the principle of separation of powers by usurping the powers of Congress to create and to appropriate funds for public offices, agencies and commissions; 3. Whether or not Executive Order No. 1 supplants the powers of the Ombudsman and the DOJ; 4. Whether or not Executive Order No. 1 violates the equal protection clause; and 5. Whether or not petitioners are entitled to injunctive relief. Essential requisites for judicial review Before proceeding to resolve the issue of the constitutionality of Executive Order No. 1, the Court needs to ascertain whether the requisites for a valid exercise of its power of judicial review are present. Like almost all powers conferred by the Constitution, the power of judicial review is subject to limitations, to wit: (1) there must be an actual case or controversy calling for the exercise of judicial power; (2) the person challenging the act must have the standing to question the validity of the subject act or issuance; otherwise stated, he must have a personal and substantial interest in the case such that he has sustained, or will sustain, direct injury as a result of its enforcement; (3) the question of constitutionality must be raised at the earliest opportunity; and (4) the issue of constitutionality must be the very lis mota of the case.19 Among all these limitations, only the legal standing of the petitioners has been put at issue. Legal Standing of the Petitioners

The OSG attacks the legal personality of the petitioners-legislators to file their petition for failure to demonstrate their personal stake in the outcome of the case. It argues that the petitioners have not shown that they have sustained or are in danger of sustaining any personal injury attributable to the creation of the PTC. Not claiming to be the subject of the commissions investigations, p etitioners will not sustain injury in its creation or as a result of its proceedings. 20 The Court disagrees with the OSG in questioning the legal standing of the petitioners-legislators to assail Executive Order No. 1. Evidently, their petition primarily invokes usurpation of the power of the Congress as a body to which they belong as members. This certainly justifies their resolve to take the cudgels for Congress as an institution and present the complaints on the usurpation of their power and rights as members of the legislature before the Court. As held in Philippine Constitution Association v. Enriquez, 21 To the extent the powers of Congress are impaired, so is the power of each member thereof, since his office confers a right to participate in the exercise of the powers of that institution. An act of the Executive which injures the institution of Congress causes a derivative but nonetheless substantial injury, which can be questioned by a member of Congress. In such a case, any member of Congress can have a resort to the courts. Indeed, legislators have a legal standing to see to it that the prerogative, powers and privileges vested by the Constitution in their office remain inviolate. Thus, they are allowed to question the validity of any official action which, to their mind, infringes on their prerogatives as legislators.22 With regard to Biraogo, the OSG argues that, as a taxpayer, he has no standing to question the creation of the PTC and the budget for its operations.23 It emphasizes that the funds to be used for the creation and operation of the commission are to be taken from those funds already appropriated by Congress. Thus, the allocation and disbursement of funds for the commission will not entail congressional action but will simply be an exercise of the Presidents power over contingent funds. As correctly pointed out by the OSG, Biraogo has not shown that he sustained, or is in danger of sustaining, any personal and direct injury attributable to the implementation of Executive Order No. 1. Nowhere in his petition is an assertion of a clear right that may justify his clamor for the Court to exercise judicial power and to wield the axe over presidential issuances in defense of the Constitution. The case of David v. Arroyo24 explained the deep-seated rules on locus standi. Thus: Locus standi is defined as "a right of appearance in a court of justice on a given question." In private suits, standing is governed by the "real-parties-in interest" rule as contained in Section 2, Rule 3 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure, as amended. It provides that " every action must be prosecuted or defended in the name of the real party in interest." Accordingly, the "real-party-in interest" is "the party who stands to be benefited or injured by the judgment in the suit or the party entitled to the avails of the suit." Succinctly put, the plaintiffs standing is based on his own right to the relief sought. The difficulty of determining locus standi arises in public suits. Here, the plaintiff who asserts a "public right" in assailing an allegedly illegal official action, does so as a representative of the general public. He may be a person who is affected no differently from any other person. He could be suing as a "stranger," or in the category of a "citizen," or taxpayer." In either case, he has to adequa tely show that he is entitled to seek judicial protection. In other words, he has to make out a sufficient interest in the vindication of the public order and the securing of relief as a "citizen" or "taxpayer. Case law in most jurisdictions now allows both "citizen" and "taxpayer" standing in public actions. The distinction was first laid down in Beauchamp v. Silk, where it was held that the plaintiff in a taxpayers suit is in a different category from the plaintiff in a citizens suit . In the former, the plaintiff is affected by the expenditure of public funds, while in the latter, he is but the mere instrument of the public concern. As held by the New York Supreme Court in People ex rel Case v. Collins: "In matter of mere public right, howeverthe people are the real partiesIt is at least the right, if not the duty, of every citizen to interfere and see that a public offence be properly pursued and punished, and that a public grievance be remedied." With respect to taxpayers suits, Terr v. Jordan held that "the right of a citizen and a taxpayer to maintain an action in courts to restrain the unlawful use of public funds to his injury cannot be denied." However, to prevent just about any person from seeking judicial interference in any official policy or act with which he disagreed with, and thus hinders the activities of governmental agencies engaged in public service, the United State Supreme Court laid down the more stringent "direct injury" test in Ex Parte Levitt, later reaffirmed inTileston v. Ullman. The same Court ruled that for a private individual to invoke the judicial power to determine the validity of an executive or legislative action, he must show that he has sustained a direct injury as a result of that action, and it is not sufficient that he has a general interest common to all members of the public. This Court adopted the "direct injury" test in our jurisdiction. In People v. Vera, it held that the person who impugns the validity of a statute must have "a personal and substantial interest in the case such that he has sustained, or will sustain direct injury as a result." The Vera doctrine was upheld in a litany of cases, such as, Custodio v. President of the Senate, Manila Race Horse Trainers Association v. De la Fuente, Pascual v. Secretary of Public Works and Anti-Chinese League of the Philippines v. Felix. [Emphases included. Citations omitted] Notwithstanding, the Court leans on the doctrine that "the rule on standing is a matter of procedure, hence, can be relaxed for nontraditional plaintiffs like ordinary citizens, taxpayers, and legislators when the public interest so requires, such as when the matter is of transcendental importance, of overreaching significance to society, or of paramount public interest." 25 Thus, in Coconut Oil Refiners Association, Inc. v. Torres, 26 the Court held that in cases of paramount importance where serious constitutional questions are involved, the standing requirements may be relaxed and a suit may be allowed to prosper even where there is no direct injury to the party claiming the right of judicial review. In the first Emergency Powers Cases, 27 ordinary citizens and taxpayers were allowed to question the constitutionality of several executive orders although they had only an indirect and general interest shared in common with the public. The OSG claims that the determinants of transcendental importance28 laid down in CREBA v. ERC and Meralco29are non-existent in this case. The Court, however, finds reason in Biraogos assertion that the petition covers matters of transcendental importance t o justify the exercise of jurisdiction by the Court. There are constitutional issues in the petition which deserve the attention of this Court in view of

their seriousness, novelty and weight as precedents. Where the issues are of transcendental and paramount importance not only to the public but also to the Bench and the Bar, they should be resolved for the guidance of all. 30 Undoubtedly, the Filipino people are more than interested to know the status of the Presidents first effort to bring about a promised change to the country. The Court take s cognizance of the petition not due to overwhelming political undertones that clothe the issue in the eyes of the public, but because the Court stands firm in its oath to perform its constitutional duty to settle legal controversies with overreaching significance to society. Power of the President to Create the Truth Commission In his memorandum in G.R. No. 192935, Biraogo asserts that the Truth Commission is a public office and not merely an adjunct body of the Office of the President.31 Thus, in order that the President may create a public office he must be empowered by the Constitution, a statute or an authorization vested in him by law. According to petitioner, such power cannot be presumed 32 since there is no provision in the Constitution or any specific law that authorizes the President to create a truth commission. 33 He adds that Section 31 of the Administrative Code of 1987, granting the President the continuing authority to reorganize his office, cannot serve as basis for the creation of a truth commission considering the aforesaid provision merely uses verbs such as "reorganize," "transfer," "consolidate," "merge," and "abolish."34 Insofar as it vests in the President the plenary power to reorganize the Office of the President to the extent of creating a public office, Section 31 is inconsistent with the principle of separation of powers enshrined in the Constitution and must be deemed repealed upon the effectivity thereof.35 Similarly, in G.R. No. 193036, petitioners-legislators argue that the creation of a public office lies within the province of Congress and not with the executive branch of government. They maintain that the delegated authority of the President to reorganize under Section 31 of the Revised Administrative Code: 1) does not permit the President to create a public office, much less a truth commission; 2) is limited to the reorganization of the administrative structure of the Office of the President; 3) is limited to the restructuring of the internal organs of the Office of the President Proper, transfer of functions and transfer of agencies; and 4) only to achieve simplicity, economy and efficiency.36 Such continuing authority of the President to reorganize his office is limited, and by issuing Executive Order No. 1, the President overstepped the limits of this delegated authority. The OSG counters that there is nothing exclusively legislative about the creation by the President of a fact-finding body such as a truth commission. Pointing to numerous offices created by past presidents, it argues that the authority of the President to create public offices within the Office of the President Proper has long been recognized. 37 According to the OSG, the Executive, just like the other two branches of government, possesses the inherent authority to create fact-finding committees to assist it in the performance of its constitutionally mandated functions and in the exercise of its administrative functions. 38 This power, as the OSG explains it, is but an adjunct of the plenary powers wielded by the President under Section 1 and his power of control under Section 17, both of Article VII of the Constitution.39 It contends that the President is necessarily vested with the power to conduct fact-finding investigations, pursuant to his duty to ensure that all laws are enforced by public officials and employees of his department and in the exercise of his authority to assume directly the functions of the executive department, bureau and office, or interfere with the discretion of his officials. 40 The power of the President to investigate is not limited to the exercise of his power of control over his subordinates in the executive branch, but extends further in the exercise of his other powers, such as his power to discipline subordinates, 41 his power for rule making, adjudication and licensing purposes42 and in order to be informed on matters which he is entitled to know. 43 The OSG also cites the recent case of Banda v. Ermita,44 where it was held that the President has the power to reorganize the offices and agencies in the executive department in line with his constitutionally granted power of control and by virtue of a valid delegation of the legislative power to reorganize executive offices under existing statutes. Thus, the OSG concludes that the power of control necessarily includes the power to create offices. For the OSG, the President may create the PTC in order to, among others, put a closure to the reported large scale graft and corruption in the government. 45 The question, therefore, before the Court is this: Does the creation of the PTC fall within the ambit of the power to reorganize as expressed in Section 31 of the Revised Administrative Code? Section 31 contemplates "reorganization" as limited by the following functional and structural lines: (1) restructuring the internal organization of the Office of the President Proper by abolishing, consolidating or merging units thereof or transferring functions from one unit to another; (2) transferring any function under the Office of the President to any other Department/Agency or vice versa; or (3) transferring any agency under the Office of the President to any other Department/Agency or vice versa. Clearly, the provision refers to reduction of personnel, consolidation of offices, or abolition thereof by reason of economy or redundancy of functions. These point to situations where a body or an office is already existent but a modification or alteration thereof has to be effected. The creation of an office is nowhere mentioned, much less envisioned in said provision. Accordingly, the answer to the question is in the negative. To say that the PTC is borne out of a restructuring of the Office of the President under Section 31 is a misplaced supposition, even in the plainest meaning attributable to the term "restructure" an "alteration of an existing structure." Evidently, the PTC was not part of the structure of the Office of the President prior to the enactment of Executive Order No. 1. As held in Buklod ng Kawaning EIIB v. Hon. Executive Secretary,46 But of course, the list of legal basis authorizing the President to reorganize any department or agency in the executive branch does not have to end here. We must not lose sight of the very source of the power that which constitutes an express grant of power. Under Section 31, Book III of Executive Order No. 292 (otherwise known as the Administrative Code of 1987), "the President, subject to the policy in the Executive Office and in order to achieve simplicity, economy and efficiency, shall have the continuing authority to reorganize the administrative structure of the Office of the President." For this purpose, he may transfer the functions of other Departments or Agencies to the Office of the President. In Canonizado v. Aguirre [323 SCRA 312 (2000)], we ruled that reorganization "involves the reduction of personnel, consolidation of offices, or abolition thereof by reason of economy or redundancy of functions." It takes place when there is an alteration of the existing structure of government offices or units therein, including the lines of control, authority and responsibility between them. The EIIB is a bureau attached to the Department of Finance. It falls under the Office of the President. Hence, it is subject to the Presidents continuing authority to reorganize. [Emphasis Supplied]

In the same vein, the creation of the PTC is not justified by the Presidents power of control. Control is essentially the po wer to alter or modify or nullify or set aside what a subordinate officer had done in the performance of his duties and to substitute the judgment of the former with that of the latter.47 Clearly, the power of control is entirely different from the power to create public offices. The former is inherent in the Executive, while the latter finds basis from either a valid delegation from Congress, or his inherent duty to faithfully execute the laws. The question is this, is there a valid delegation of power from Congress, empowering the President to create a public office? According to the OSG, the power to create a truth commission pursuant to the above provision finds statutory basis under P.D. 1416, as amended by P.D. No. 1772.48 The said law granted the President the continuing authority to reorganize the national government, including the power to group, consolidate bureaus and agencies, to abolish offices, to transfer functions, to create and classify functions, services and activities, transfer appropriations, and to standardize salaries and materials. This decree, in relation to Section 20, Title I, Book III of E.O. 292 has been invoked in several cases such as Larin v. Executive Secretary.49 The Court, however, declines to recognize P.D. No. 1416 as a justification for the President to create a public office. Said decree is already stale, anachronistic and inoperable. P.D. No. 1416 was a delegation to then President Marcos of the authority to reorganize the administrative structure of the national government including the power to create offices and transfer appropriations pursuant to one of the purposes of the decree, embodied in its last "Whereas" clause: WHEREAS, the transition towards the parliamentary form of government will necessitate flexibility in the organization of the national government. Clearly, as it was only for the purpose of providing manageability and resiliency during the interim, P.D. No. 1416, as amended by P.D. No. 1772, became functus oficio upon the convening of the First Congress, as expressly provided in Section 6, Article XVIII of the 1987 Constitution. In fact, even the Solicitor General agrees with this view. Thus: ASSOCIATE JUSTICE CARPIO: Because P.D. 1416 was enacted was the last whereas clause of P.D. 1416 says "it was enacted to prepare the transition from presidential to parliamentary. Now, in a parliamentary form of government, the legislative and executive powers are fused, correct? SOLICITOR GENERAL CADIZ: Yes, Your Honor. ASSOCIATE JUSTICE CARPIO: That is why, that P.D. 1416 was issued. Now would you agree with me that P.D. 1416 should not be considered effective anymore upon the promulgation, adoption, ratification of the 1987 Constitution. SOLICITOR GENERAL CADIZ: Not the whole of P.D. [No.] 1416, Your Honor. ASSOCIATE JUSTICE CARPIO: The power of the President to reorganize the entire National Government is deemed repealed, at least, upon the adoption of the 1987 Constitution, correct. SOLICITOR GENERAL CADIZ: Yes, Your Honor.50 While the power to create a truth commission cannot pass muster on the basis of P.D. No. 1416 as amended by P.D. No. 1772, the creation of the PTC finds justification under Section 17, Article VII of the Constitution, imposing upon the President the duty to ensure that the laws are faithfully executed. Section 17 reads: Section 17. The President shall have control of all the executive departments, bureaus, and offices. He shall ensure that the laws be faithfully executed. (Emphasis supplied). As correctly pointed out by the respondents, the allocation of power in the three principal branches of government is a grant of all powers inherent in them. The Presidents power to conduct investigations to aid him in ensuring the faithful execution of laws in this case, fundamental laws on public accountability and transparency is inherent in the Presidents powers as the Chief Executive. That the authority of the President to conduct investigations and to create bodies to execute this power is not explicitly mentioned in the Constitution or in statutes does not mean that he is bereft of such authority. 51 As explained in the landmark case of Marcos v. Manglapus:52 x x x. The 1987 Constitution, however, brought back the presidential system of government and restored the separation of legislative, executive and judicial powers by their actual distribution among three distinct branches of government with provision for checks and balances. It would not be accurate, however, to state that "executive power" is the power to enforce the laws, for the President is head of state as well as head of government and whatever powers inhere in such positions pertain to the office unless the Constitution itself withholds it. Furthermore, the Constitution itself provides that the execution of the laws is only one of the powers of the President. It also grants the President other powers that do not involve the execution of any provision of law, e.g., his power over the country's foreign relations. On these premises, we hold the view that although the 1987 Constitution imposes limitations on the exercise of specific powers of the President, it maintains intact what is traditionally considered as within the scope of "executive power." Corollarily, the powers of the President cannot be said to be limited only to the specific powers enumerated in the Constitution. In other words, executive power is more than the sum of specific powers so enumerated. It has been advanced that whatever power inherent in the government that is neither legislative nor judicial has to be executive. x x x. Indeed, the Executive is given much leeway in ensuring that our laws are faithfully executed. As stated above, the powers of the President are not limited to those specific powers under the Constitution. 53 One of the recognized powers of the President granted pursuant to this constitutionally-mandated duty is the power to create ad hoc committees. This flows from the obvious need to ascertain facts and determine if laws have been faithfully executed. Thus, in Department of Health v. Camposano,54 the authority of the President to issue

Administrative Order No. 298, creating an investigative committee to look into the administrative charges filed against the employees of the Department of Health for the anomalous purchase of medicines was upheld. In said case, it was ruled: The Chief Executives power to create the Ad hoc Investigating Committee cannot be doubted . Having been constitutionally granted full control of the Executive Department, to which respondents belong, the President has the obligation to ensure that all executive officials and employees faithfully comply with the law. With AO 298 as mandate, the legality of the investigation is sustained. Such validity is not affected by the fact that the investigating team and the PCAGC had the same composition, or that the former used the offices and facilities of the latter in conducting the inquiry. [Emphasis supplied] It should be stressed that the purpose of allowing ad hoc investigating bodies to exist is to allow an inquiry into matters which the President is entitled to know so that he can be properly advised and guided in the performance of his duties relative to the execution and enforcement of the laws of the land. And if history is to be revisited, this was also the objective of the investigative bodies created in the past like the PCAC, PCAPE, PARGO, the Feliciano Commission, the Melo Commission and the Zenarosa Commission. There being no changes in the government structure, the Court is not inclined to declare such executive power as non-existent just because the direction of the political winds have changed. On the charge that Executive Order No. 1 transgresses the power of Congress to appropriate funds for the operation of a public office, suffice it to say that there will be no appropriation but only an allotment or allocations of existing funds already appropriated. Accordingly, there is no usurpation on the part of the Executive of the power of Congress to appropriate funds. Further, there is no need to specify the amount to be earmarked for the operation of the commission because, in the words of the Solicitor General, "whatever funds the Congress has provided for the Office of the President will be the very source of the funds for the commission." 55 Moreover, since the amount that would be allocated to the PTC shall be subject to existing auditing rules and regulations, there is no impropriety in the funding. Power of the Truth Commission to Investigate The Presidents power to conduct investigations to ensure that laws are faithfully executed is well recognized. It flows from the faithfulexecution clause of the Constitution under Article VII, Section 17 thereof. 56 As the Chief Executive, the president represents the government as a whole and sees to it that all laws are enforced by the officials and employees of his department. He has the authority to directly assume the functions of the executive department.57 Invoking this authority, the President constituted the PTC to primarily investigate reports of graft and corruption and to recommend the appropriate action. As previously stated, no quasi-judicial powers have been vested in the said body as it cannot adjudicate rights of persons who come before it. It has been said that "Quasi-judicial powers involve the power to hear and determine questions of fact to which the legislative policy is to apply and to decide in accordance with the standards laid down by law itself in enforcing and administering the same law."58 In simpler terms, judicial discretion is involved in the exercise of these quasi-judicial power, such that it is exclusively vested in the judiciary and must be clearly authorized by the legislature in the case of administrative agencies. The distinction between the power to investigate and the power to adjudicate was delineated by the Court in Cario v. Commission on Human Rights.59 Thus: "Investigate," commonly understood, means to examine, explore, inquire or delve or probe into, research on, study. The dictionary definition of "investigate" is "to observe or study closely: inquire into systematically: "to search or inquire into: x x to subject to an official probe x x: to conduct an official inquiry." The purpose of investigation, of course, is to discover, to find out, to learn, obtain information. Nowhere included or intimated is the notion of settling, deciding or resolving a controversy involved in the facts inquired into by application of the law to the facts established by the inquiry. The legal meaning of "investigate" is essentially the same: "(t)o follow up step by step by patient inquiry or observation. To trace or track; to search into; to examine and inquire into with care and accuracy; to find out by careful inquisition; examination; the taking of evidence; a legal inquiry;" "to inquire; to make an investigation," "investigation" being in turn described as "(a)n administrative function, the exercise of which ordinarily does not require a hearing. 2 Am J2d Adm L Sec. 257; x x an inquiry, judicial or otherwise, for the discovery and collection of facts concerning a certain matter or matters." "Adjudicate," commonly or popularly understood, means to adjudge, arbitrate, judge, decide, determine, resolve, rule on, settle. The dictionary defines the term as "to settle finally (the rights and duties of the parties to a court case) on the merits of issues raised: x x to pass judgment on: settle judicially: x x act as judge." And "adjudge" means "to decide or rule upon as a judge or with judicial or quasijudicial powers: x x to award or grant judicially in a case of controversy x x." In the legal sense, "adjudicate" means: "To settle in the exercise of judicial authority. To determine finally. Synonymous with adjudge in its strictest sense;" and "adjudge" means: "To pass on judicially, to decide, settle or decree, or to sentence or condemn. x x. Implies a judicial determination of a fact, and the entry of a judgment." [Italics included. Citations Omitted] Fact-finding is not adjudication and it cannot be likened to the judicial function of a court of justice, or even a quasi-judicial agency or office. The function of receiving evidence and ascertaining therefrom the facts of a controversy is not a judicial function. To be considered as such, the act of receiving evidence and arriving at factual conclusions in a controversy must be accompanied by the authority of applying the law to the factual conclusions to the end that the controversy may be decided or resolved authoritatively, finally and definitively, subject to appeals or modes of review as may be provided by law. 60 Even respondents themselves admit that the commission is bereft of any quasi-judicial power.61 Contrary to petitioners apprehension, the PTC will not supplant the Ombudsman or the DOJ or erode their respective powers. I f at all, the investigative function of the commission will complement those of the two offices. As pointed out by the Solicitor General, the recommendation to prosecute is but a consequence of the overall task of the commission to conduct a fact-finding investigation."62 The actual prosecution of suspected offenders, much less adjudication on the merits of the charges against them,63 is certainly not a function given to the commission. The phrase, "when in the course of its investigation," under Section 2(g), highlights this fact and gives credence

to a contrary interpretation from that of the petitioners. The function of determining probable cause for the filing of the appropriate complaints before the courts remains to be with the DOJ and the Ombudsman. 64 At any rate, the Ombudsmans power to investigate under R.A. No. 6770 is not exclusive but is shared with other similarly authorized government agencies. Thus, in the case of Ombudsman v. Galicia, 65 it was written: This power of investigation granted to the Ombudsman by the 1987 Constitution and The Ombudsman Act is not exclusive but is shared with other similarly authorized government agencies such as the PCGG and judges of municipal trial courts and municipal circuit trial courts. The power to conduct preliminary investigation on charges against public employees and officials is likewise concurrently shared with the Department of Justice. Despite the passage of the Local Government Code in 1991, the Ombudsman retains concurrent jurisdiction with the Office of the President and the local Sanggunians to investigate complaints against local elective officials. [Emphasis supplied]. Also, Executive Order No. 1 cannot contravene the power of the Ombudsman to investigate criminal cases under Section 15 (1) of R.A. No. 6770, which states: (1) Investigate and prosecute on its own or on complaint by any person, any act or omission of any public officer or employee, office or agency, when such act or omission appears to be illegal, unjust, improper or inefficient. It has primary jurisdiction over cases cognizable by the Sandiganbayan and, in the exercise of its primary jurisdiction, it may take over, at any stage, from any investigatory agency of government, the investigation of such cases. [Emphases supplied] The act of investigation by the Ombudsman as enunciated above contemplates the conduct of a preliminary investigation or the determination of the existence of probable cause. This is categorically out of the PTCs sphere of functions. Its power to in vestigate is limited to obtaining facts so that it can advise and guide the President in the performance of his duties relative to the execution and enforcement of the laws of the land. In this regard, the PTC commits no act of usurpation of the Ombudsmans primordial dutie s. The same holds true with respect to the DOJ. Its authority under Section 3 (2), Chapter 1, Title III, Book IV in the Revised Administrative Code is by no means exclusive and, thus, can be shared with a body likewise tasked to investigate the commission of crimes. Finally, nowhere in Executive Order No. 1 can it be inferred that the findings of the PTC are to be accorded conclusiveness. Much like its predecessors, the Davide Commission, the Feliciano Commission and the Zenarosa Commission, its findings would, at best, be recommendatory in nature. And being so, the Ombudsman and the DOJ have a wider degree of latitude to decide whether or not to reject the recommendation. These offices, therefore, are not deprived of their mandated duties but will instead be aided by the reports of the PTC for possible indictments for violations of graft laws. Violation of the Equal Protection Clause Although the purpose of the Truth Commission falls within the investigative power of the President, the Court finds difficulty in upholding the constitutionality of Executive Order No. 1 in view of its apparent transgression of the equal protection clause enshrined in Section 1, Article III (Bill of Rights) of the 1987 Constitution. Section 1 reads: Section 1. No person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law, nor shall any person be denied the equal protection of the laws. The petitioners assail Executive Order No. 1 because it is violative of this constitutional safeguard. They contend that it does not apply equally to all members of the same class such that the intent of singling out the "previous administration" as its sole object makes the PTC an "adventure in partisan hostility."66 Thus, in order to be accorded with validity, the commission must also cover reports of graft and corruption in virtually all administrations previous to that of former President Arroyo. 67 The petitioners argue that the search for truth behind the reported cases of graft and corruption must encompass acts committed not only during the administration of former President Arroyo but also during prior administrations where the "same magnitude of controversies and anomalies"68 were reported to have been committed against the Filipino people. They assail the classification formulated by the respondents as it does not fall under the recognized exceptions because first, "there is no substantial distinction between the group of officials targeted for investigation by Executive Order No. 1 and other groups or persons who abused their public office for personal gain; and second, the selective classification is not germane to the purpose of Executive Order No. 1 to end corruption."69 In order to attain constitutional permission, the petitioners advocate that the commission should deal with "graft and grafters prior and subsequent to the Arroyo administration with the strong arm of the law with equal force." 70 Position of respondents According to respondents, while Executive Order No. 1 identifies the "previous administration" as the initial subject of the investigation, following Section 17 thereof, the PTC will not confine itself to cases of large scale graft and corruption solely during the said administration.71 Assuming arguendo that the commission would confine its proceedings to officials of the previous administration, the petitioners argue that no offense is committed against the equal protection clause for "the segregation of the transactions of public officers during the previous administration as possible subjects of investigation is a valid classification based on substantial distinctions and is germane to the evils which the Executive Order seeks to correct." 72 To distinguish the Arroyo administration from past administrations, it recited the following: First. E.O. No. 1 was issued in view of widespread reports of large scale graft and corruption in the previous administration which have eroded public confidence in public institutions. There is, therefore, an urgent call for the determination of the truth regarding certain reports of large scale graft and corruption in the government and to put a closure to them by the filing of the appropriate cases against those involved, if warranted, and to deter others from committing the evil, restore the peoples f aith and confidence in the Government and in their public servants.

Second. The segregation of the preceding administration as the object of fact-finding is warranted by the reality that unlike with administrations long gone, the current administration will most likely bear the immediate consequence of the policies of the previous administration. Third. The classification of the previous administration as a separate class for investigation lies in the reality that the evidence of possible criminal activity, the evidence that could lead to recovery of public monies illegally dissipated, the policy lessons to be learned to ensure that anti-corruption laws are faithfully executed, are more easily established in the regime that immediately precede the current administration. Fourth. Many administrations subject the transactions of their predecessors to investigations to provide closure to issues that are pivotal to national life or even as a routine measure of due diligence and good housekeeping by a nascent administration like the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG), created by the late President Corazon C. Aquino under Executive Order No. 1 to pursue the recovery of ill-gotten wealth of her predecessor former President Ferdinand Marcos and his cronies, and the Saguisag Commission created by former President Joseph Estrada under Administrative Order No, 53, to form an ad-hoc and independent citizens committee to investigate all the facts and circumstances surrounding "Philippine Centennial projects" of his predecessor, former President Fidel V. Ramos.73 [Emphases supplied] Concept of the Equal Protection Clause One of the basic principles on which this government was founded is that of the equality of right which is embodied in Section 1, Article III of the 1987 Constitution. The equal protection of the laws is embraced in the concept of due process, as every unfair discrimination offends the requirements of justice and fair play. It has been embodied in a separate clause, however, to provide for a more specific guaranty against any form of undue favoritism or hostility from the government. Arbitrariness in general may be challenged on the basis of the due process clause. But if the particular act assailed partakes of an unwarranted partiality or prejudice, the sharper weapon to cut it down is the equal protection clause.74 "According to a long line of decisions, equal protection simply requires that all persons or things similarly situated should be treated alike, both as to rights conferred and responsibilities imposed." 75 It "requires public bodies and institutions to treat similarly situated individuals in a similar manner."76 "The purpose of the equal protection clause is to secure every person within a states jurisdiction against intentional and arbitrary discrimination, whether occasioned by the express terms of a statue or by its improper execution through the states duly constituted authorities."77 "In other words, the concept of equal justice under the law requires the state to govern impartially, and it may not draw distinctions between individuals solely on differences that are irrelevant to a legitimate governmental objective."78 The equal protection clause is aimed at all official state actions, not just those of the legislature. 79 Its inhibitions cover all the departments of the government including the political and executive departments, and extend to all actions of a state denying equal protection of the laws, through whatever agency or whatever guise is taken. 80 It, however, does not require the universal application of the laws to all persons or things without distinction. What it simply requires is equality among equals as determined according to a valid classification. Indeed, the equal protection clause permits classification. Such classification, however, to be valid must pass the test ofreasonableness. The test has four requisites: (1) The classification rests on substantial distinctions; (2) It is germane to the purpose of the law; (3) It is not limited to existing conditions only; and (4) It applies equally to all members of the same class.81 "Superficial differences do not make for a valid classification."82 For a classification to meet the requirements of constitutionality, it must include or embrace all persons who naturally belong to the class.83 "The classification will be regarded as invalid if all the members of the class are not similarly treated, both as to rights conferred and obligations imposed. It is not necessary that the classification be made with absolute symmetry, in the sense that the members of the class should possess the same characteristics in equal degree. Substantial similarity will suffice; and as long as this is achieved, all those covered by the classification are to be treated equally. The mere fact that an individual belonging to a class differs from the other members, as long as that class is substantially distinguishable from all others, does not justify the non-application of the law to him."84 The classification must not be based on existing circumstances only, or so constituted as to preclude addition to the number included in the class. It must be of such a nature as to embrace all those who may thereafter be in similar circumstances and conditions. It must not leave out or "underinclude" those that should otherwise fall into a certain classification. As elucidated in Victoriano v. Elizalde Rope Workers' Union85 and reiterated in a long line of cases,86 The guaranty of equal protection of the laws is not a guaranty of equality in the application of the laws upon all citizens of the state. It is not, therefore, a requirement, in order to avoid the constitutional prohibition against inequality, that every man, woman and child should be affected alike by a statute. Equality of operation of statutes does not mean indiscriminate operation on persons merely as such, but on persons according to the circumstances surrounding them. It guarantees equality, not identity of rights. The Constitution does not require that things which are different in fact be treated in law as though they were the same. The equal protection clause does not forbid discrimination as to things that are different. It does not prohibit legislation which is limited either in the object to which it is directed or by the territory within which it is to operate. The equal protection of the laws clause of the Constitution allows classification. Classification in law, as in the other departments of knowledge or practice, is the grouping of things in speculation or practice because they agree with one another in certain particulars. A law is not invalid because of simple inequality. The very idea of classification is that of inequality, so that it goes without saying that the mere fact of inequality in no manner determines the matter of constitutionality. All that is required of a valid classification is that it be reasonable, which means that the classification should be based on substantial distinctions which make for real differences, that it must be germane to the purpose of the law; that it must not be limited to existing conditions only; and that it must apply equally to each member of the class. This Court has held that the standard is satisfied if the classification or distinction is based on a reasonable foundation or rational basis and is not palpably arbitrary. [Citations omitted]

Applying these precepts to this case, Executive Order No. 1 should be struck down as violative of the equal protection clause. The clear mandate of the envisioned truth commission is to investigate and find out the truth "concerning the reported cases of graft and corruption during the previous administration"87 only. The intent to single out the previous administration is plain, patent and manifest. Mention of it has been made in at least three portions of the questioned executive order. Specifically, these are: WHEREAS, there is a need for a separate body dedicated solely to investigating and finding out the truth concerning the reported cases of graft and corruption during the previous administration, and which will recommend the prosecution of the offenders and secure justice for all; SECTION 1. Creation of a Commission. There is hereby created the PHILIPPINE TRUTH COMMISSION, hereinafter referred to as the "COMMISSION," which shall primarily seek and find the truth on, and toward this end, investigate reports of graft and corruption of such scale and magnitude that shock and offend the moral and ethical sensibilities of the people, committed by public officers and employees, their co-principals, accomplices and accessories from the private sector, if any, during the previous administration; and thereafter recommend the appropriate action or measure to be taken thereon to ensure that the full measure of justice shall be served without fear or favor. SECTION 2. Powers and Functions. The Commission, which shall have all the powers of an investigative body under Section 37, Chapter 9, Book I of the Administrative Code of 1987, is primarily tasked to conduct a thorough fact-finding investigation of reported cases of graft and corruption referred to in Section 1, involving third level public officers and higher, their co-principals, accomplices and accessories from the private sector, if any, during the previous administration and thereafter submit its finding and recommendations to the President, Congress and the Ombudsman. [Emphases supplied] In this regard, it must be borne in mind that the Arroyo administration is but just a member of a class, that is, a class of past administrations. It is not a class of its own. Not to include past administrations similarly situated constitutes arbitrariness which the equal protection clause cannot sanction. Such discriminating differentiation clearly reverberates to label the commission as a vehicle for vindictiveness and selective retribution. Though the OSG enumerates several differences between the Arroyo administration and other past administrations, these distinctions are not substantial enough to merit the restriction of the investigation to the "previous administration" only. The reports of widespread corruption in the Arroyo administration cannot be taken as basis for distinguishing said administration from earlier administrations which were also blemished by similar widespread reports of impropriety. They are not inherent in, and do not inure solely to, the Arroyo administration. As Justice Isagani Cruz put it, "Superficial differences do not make for a valid classification." 88 The public needs to be enlightened why Executive Order No. 1 chooses to limit the scope of the intended investigation to the previous administration only. The OSG ventures to opine that "to include other past administrations, at this point, may unnecessarily overburden the commission and lead it to lose its effectiveness."89 The reason given is specious. It is without doubt irrelevant to the legitimate and noble objective of the PTC to stamp out or "end corruption and the evil it breeds." 90 The probability that there would be difficulty in unearthing evidence or that the earlier reports involving the earlier administrations were already inquired into is beside the point. Obviously, deceased presidents and cases which have already prescribed can no longer be the subjects of inquiry by the PTC. Neither is the PTC expected to conduct simultaneous investigations of previous administrations, given the bodys limited time and resources. "The law does not require the impossible" (Lex non cogit ad impossibilia).91 Given the foregoing physical and legal impossibility, the Court logically recognizes the unfeasibility of investigating almost a century s worth of graft cases. However, the fact remains that Executive Order No. 1 suffers from arbitrary classification. The PTC, to be true to its mandate of searching for the truth, must not exclude the other past administrations. The PTC must, at least, have the authority to investigate all past administrations. Whilereasonable prioritization is permitted, it should not be arbitrary lest it be struck down for being unconstitutional. In the often quoted language of Yick Wo v. Hopkins, 92 Though the law itself be fair on its face and impartial in appearance, yet, if applied and administered by public authority with an evil eye and an unequal hand, so as practically to make unjust and illegal discriminations between persons in similar circumstances, material to their rights, the denial of equal justice is still within the prohibition of the constitution. [Emphasis supplied] It could be argued that considering that the PTC is an ad hoc body, its scope is limited. The Court, however, is of the considered view that although its focus is restricted, the constitutional guarantee of equal protection under the laws should not in any way be circumvented. The Constitution is the fundamental and paramount law of the nation to which all other laws must conform and in accordance with which all private rights determined and all public authority administered. 93 Laws that do not conform to the Constitution should be stricken down for being unconstitutional.94 While the thrust of the PTC is specific, that is, for investigation of acts of graft and corruption, Executive Order No. 1, to survive, must be read together with the provisions of the Constitution. To exclude the earlier administrations in the guise of "substantial distinctions" would only confirm the petitioners lament that the subject executive order is only a n "adventure in partisan hostility." In the case of US v. Cyprian,95 it was written: "A rather limited number of such classifications have routinely been held or assumed to be arbitrary; those include: race, national origin, gender, political activity or membership in a political party, union activity or membership in a labor union, or more generally the exercise of first amendment rights." To reiterate, in order for a classification to meet the requirements of constitutionality, it must include or embrace all persons who naturally belong to the class.96 "Such a classification must not be based on existing circumstances only, or so constituted as to preclude additions to the number included within a class, but must be of such a nature as to embrace all those who may thereafter be in similar circumstances and conditions. Furthermore, all who are in situations and circumstances which are relative to the discriminatory legislation and which are indistinguishable from those of the members of the class must be brought under the influence of the law and treated by it in the same way as are the members of the class."97 The Court is not unaware that "mere underinclusiveness is not fatal to the validity of a law under the equal protection clause."98 "Legislation is not unconstitutional merely because it is not all-embracing and does not include all the evils within its reach."99 It has been written that a regulation challenged under the equal protection clause is not devoid of a rational predicate simply

because it happens to be incomplete.100 In several instances, the underinclusiveness was not considered a valid reason to strike down a law or regulation where the purpose can be attained in future legislations or regulations. These cases refer to the "step by step" process.101 "With regard to equal protection claims, a legislature does not run the risk of losing the entire remedial scheme simply because it fails, through inadvertence or otherwise, to cover every evil that might conceivably have been attacked." 102 In Executive Order No. 1, however, there is no inadvertence. That the previous administration was picked out was deliberate and intentional as can be gleaned from the fact that it was underscored at least three times in the assailed executive order. It must be noted that Executive Order No. 1 does not even mention any particular act, event or report to be focused on unlike the investigative commissions created in the past. "The equal protection clause is violated by purposeful and intentional discrimination." 103 To disprove petitioners contention that there is deliberate discrimination, the OSG clarifies that the commission does not only confine itself to cases of large scale graft and corruption committed during the previous administration. 104 The OSG points to Section 17 of Executive Order No. 1, which provides: SECTION 17. Special Provision Concerning Mandate. If and when in the judgment of the President there is a need to expand the mandate of the Commission as defined in Section 1 hereof to include the investigation of cases and instances of graft and corruption during the prior administrations, such mandate may be so extended accordingly by way of a supplemental Executive Order. The Court is not convinced. Although Section 17 allows the President the discretion to expand the scope of investigations of the PTC so as to include the acts of graft and corruption committed in other past administrations, it does not guarantee that they would be covered in the future. Such expanded mandate of the commission will still depend on the whim and caprice of the President. If he would decide not to include them, the section would then be meaningless. This will only fortify the fears of the petitioners that the Executive Order No. 1 was "crafted to tailor-fit the prosecution of officials and personalities of the Arroyo administration." 105 The Court tried to seek guidance from the pronouncement in the case of Virata v. Sandiganbayan,106 that the "PCGG Charter (composed of Executive Orders Nos. 1, 2 and 14) does not violate the equal protection clause." The decision, however, was devoid of any discussion on how such conclusory statement was arrived at, the principal issue in said case being only the sufficiency of a cause of action. A final word The issue that seems to take center stage at present is - whether or not the Supreme Court, in the exercise of its constitutionally mandated power of Judicial Review with respect to recent initiatives of the legislature and the executive department, is exercising undue interference. Is the Highest Tribunal, which is expected to be the protector of the Constitution, itself guilty of violating fundamental tenets like the doctrine of separation of powers? Time and again, this issue has been addressed by the Court, but it seems that the present political situation calls for it to once again explain the legal basis of its action lest it continually be accused of being a hindrance to the nations thrust to progress. The Philippine Supreme Court, according to Article VIII, Section 1 of the 1987 Constitution, is vested with Judicial Power that "includes the duty of the courts of justice to settle actual controversies involving rights which are legally demandable and enforceable, and to determine whether or not there has been a grave of abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the part of any branch or instrumentality of the government." Furthermore, in Section 4(2) thereof, it is vested with the power of judicial review which is the power to declare a treaty, international or executive agreement, law, presidential decree, proclamation, order, instruction, ordinance, or regulation unconstitutional. This power also includes the duty to rule on the constitutionality of the application, or operation of presidential decrees, proclamations, orders, instructions, ordinances, and other regulations. These provisions, however, have been fertile grounds of conflict between the Supreme Court, on one hand, and the two co-equal bodies of government, on the other. Many times the Court has been accused of asserting superiority over the other departments. To answer this accusation, the words of Justice Laurel would be a good source of enlightenment, to wit: "And when the judiciary mediates to allocate constitutional boundaries, it does not assert any superiority over the other departments; it does not in reality nullify or invalidate an act of the legislature, but only asserts the solemn and sacred obligation assigned to it by the Constitution to determine conflicting claims of authority under the Constitution and to establish for the parties in an actual controversy the rights which that instrument secures and guarantees to them."107 Thus, the Court, in exercising its power of judicial review, is not imposing its own will upon a co-equal body but rather simply making sure that any act of government is done in consonance with the authorities and rights allocated to it by the Constitution. And, if after said review, the Court finds no constitutional violations of any sort, then, it has no more authority of proscribing the actions under review. Otherwise, the Court will not be deterred to pronounce said act as void and unconstitutional. It cannot be denied that most government actions are inspired with noble intentions, all geared towards the betterment of the nation and its people. But then again, it is important to remember this ethical principle: "The end does not justify the means." No matter how noble and worthy of admiration the purpose of an act, but if the means to be employed in accomplishing it is simply irreconcilable with constitutional parameters, then it cannot still be allowed. 108 The Court cannot just turn a blind eye and simply let it pass. It will continue to uphold the Constitution and its enshrined principles. "The Constitution must ever remain supreme. All must bow to the mandate of this law. Expediency must not be allowed to sap its strength nor greed for power debase its rectitude."109 Lest it be misunderstood, this is not the death knell for a truth commission as nobly envisioned by the present administration. Perhaps a revision of the executive issuance so as to include the earlier past administrations would allow it to pass the test of reasonableness and not be an affront to the Constitution. Of all the branches of the government, it is the judiciary which is the most interested in knowing the truth and so it will not allow itself to be a hindrance or obstacle to its attainment. It must, however, be emphasized that the search for the truth must be within constitutional bounds for "ours is still a government of laws and not of men." 110

WHEREFORE, the petitions are GRANTED. Executive Order No. 1 is hereby declared UNCONSTITUTIONAL insofar as it is violative of the equal protection clause of the Constitution. As also prayed for, the respondents are hereby ordered to cease and desist from carrying out the provisions of Executive Order No. 1. SO ORDERED. CERTIFICATION Pursuant to Section 13, Article VIII of the Constitution, I certify that the conclusions in the above Decision had been reached in consultation before the case was assigned to the writer of the opinion of the Court. RENATO C. CORONA Chief Justice

Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila SECOND DIVISION G.R. No. 150974 June 29, 2007 KAPISANAN NG MGA KAWANI NG ENERGY REGULATORY BOARD, petitioner, vs. COMMISSIONER FE B. BARIN, DEPUTY COMMISSIONERS CARLOS R. ALINDADA, LETICIA V. IBAY, OLIVER B. BUTALID, and MARY ANNE B. COLAYCO, of the ENERGY REGULATORY COMMISSION, respondent. DECISION CARPIO, J.: The Case This is a special civil action for certiorari and prohibition1 of the selection and appointment of employees of the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) by the ERC Board of Commissioners. Petitioner Kapisanan ng mga Kawani ng Energy Regulatory Board (KERB) seeks to declare Section 38 of Republic Act No. 9136 (RA 9136), which abolished the Energy Regulatory Board (ERB) and created the ERC, as unconstitutional and to prohibit the ERC Commissioners from filling up the ERCs plantilla. The Facts RA 9136, popularly known as EPIRA (for Electric Power Industry Reform Act of 2001), was enacted on 8 June 2001 and took effect on 26 June 2001. Section 38 of RA 9136 provides for the abolition of the ERB and the creation of the ERC. The pertinent portions of Section 38 read: Creation of the Energy Regulatory Commission. There is hereby created an independent, quasi-judicial regulatory board to be named the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC). For this purpose, the existing Energy Regulatory Board (ERB) created under Executive Order No. 172, as amended, is hereby abolished. The Commission shall be composed of a Chairman and four (4) members to be appointed by the President of the Philippines. x x x Within three (3) months from the creation of the ERC, the Chairman shall submit for the approval of the President of the Philippines the new organizational structure and plantilla positions necessary to carry out the powers and functions of the ERC. xxxx The Chairman and members of the Commission shall assume office at the beginning of their terms: Provided,That, if upon the effectivity of this Act, the Commission has not been constituted and the new staffing pattern and plantilla positions have not been approved and filled-up, the current Board and existing personnel of ERB shall continue to hold office. The existing personnel of the ERB, if qualified, shall be given preference in the filling up of plantilla positions created in the ERC, subject to existing civil service rules and regulations. At the time of the filing of this petition, the ERC was composed of Commissioner Fe B. Barin and Deputy Commissioners Carlos R. Alindada, Leticia V. Ibay, Oliver B. Butalid, and Mary Anne B. Colayco (collectively, Commissioners). The Commissioners assumed office on 15 August 2001. Pursuant to Section 38 of RA 9136, the Commissioners issued the proposed Table of Organization, Staffing Pattern, and Salary Structure on 25 September 2001 which the President of the Philippines approved on 13 November 2001. Meanwhile, KERB submitted to the Commissioners its Resolution No. 2001-02 on 13 September 2001. Resolution No. 2001-02 requested the Commissioners for an opportunity to be informed on the proposed plantilla positions with their equivalent qualification standards. On 17 October 2001, the Commissioners issued the guidelines for the selection and hiring of ERC employees. A portion of the guidelines reflects the Commissioners view on the selection and hiring of the ERC employees vis-a-vis Civil Service rules, thus:

Since R.A. 9136 has abolished the Energy Regulatory Board (ERB), it is the view of the Commission that the provisions of Republic Act No. 6656 (An Act to Protect the Security of [Tenure of] Civil Service Officers and Employees in the Implementation of Government Reorganization) will not directly apply to ERCs current efforts to establish a new organization. Civil Service laws, rules and regulations, however, will have suppletory application to the extent possible in regard to the selection and placement of employees in the ERC.2 (Emphasis supplied) On 5 November 2005, KERB sent a letter to the Commissioners stating the KERB members objection to the Commissioners stand t hat Civil Service laws, rules and regulations have suppletory application in the selection and placement of the ERC employees. KERB asserted that RA 9136 did not abolish the ERB or change the ERBs character as an economic regulator of the electric power industry. K ERB insisted that RA 9136 merely changed the ERBs name to the ERC and expanded the ERBs functions and objectives. KERB sent the Commissioners yet another letter on 13 November 2001. KERB made a number of requests: (1) the issuance of a formal letter related to the date of filing of job applications, including the use of Civil Service application form no. 212; (2) the creation of a placement/recruitment committee and setting guidelines relative to its functions, without prejudice to existing Civil Service rules and regulations; and (3) copies of the plantilla positions and their corresponding qualification standards duly approved by either the President of the Philippines or the Civil Service Commission (CSC). Commissioner Barin replied to KERBs letter on 15 November 2001. She stated that Civil Service application form no. 212 and the ERCprescribed application format are substantially the same. Furthermore, the creation of a placement/recruitment committee is no longer necessary because there is already a prescribed set of guidelines for the recruitment of personnel. The ERC hired an independent consultant to administer the necessary tests for the technical and managerial levels. Finally, the ERC already posted the plantilla positions, which prescribe higher standards, as approved by the Department of Budget and Management. Commissioner Barin stated that positions in the ERC do not need the prior approval of the CSC, as the ERC is only required to submit the qualification standards to the CSC. On 5 December 2001, the ERC published a classified advertisement in the Philippine Star. Two days later, the CSC received a list of vacancies and qualification standards from the ERC. The ERC formed a Selection Committee to process all applications. KERB, fearful of the uncertainty of the employment status of its members, filed the present petition on 20 December 2001. KERB later filed an Urgent Ex Parte Motion to Enjoin Termination of Petitioner ERB Employees on 2 January 2002. However, before the ERC received KERBs pleadings, the Selection Committee already presented its list of proposed appointees to the Commissioners. In their Comment, the Commissioners describe the status of the ERB employees appointment in the ERC as follows: As of February 1, 2002, of the two hundred twelve (212) ERB employees, one hundred thirty eighty [sic] (138) were rehired and appointed to ERC plantilla positions and sixty six (66) opted to retire or be separated from the service. Those who were rehired and those who opted to retire or be separated constituted about ninety six (96%) percent of the entire ERB employees. The list of the ERB employees appointed to new positions in the ERC is attached hereto as Annex 1. Only eight (8) ERB employees could not be appointed to new positions due to the reduction of the ERC plantilla and the absence of positions appropriate to their respective qualifications and skills. The appropriate notice was issued to each of them informing them of their separation from the service and assuring them of their entitlement to "separation pay and other benefits in accordance with existing laws."3 The Issues KERB raises the following issues before this Court: 1. Whether Section 38 of RA 9136 abolishing the ERB is constitutional; and 2. Whether the Commissioners of the ERC were correct in disregarding and considering merely suppletory in character the protective mantle of RA 6656 as to the ERB employees or petitioner in this case.4 The Ruling of the Court The petition has no merit. We disregard the procedural defects in the petition, such as KERBs personality to file the peti tion on behalf of its alleged members and Elmar Agirs authority to institute the action, because of the demands of public interest. 5 Constitutionality of the ERBs Abolition and the ERCs Creation All laws enjoy the presumption of constitutionality. To justify the nullification of a law, there must be a clear and unequivocal breach of the Constitution. KERB failed to show any breach of the Constitution. A public office is created by the Constitution or by law or by an officer or tribunal to which the power to create the office has been delegated by the legislature.6 The power to create an office carries with it the power to abolish. President Corazon C. Aquino, then exercising her legislative powers, created the ERB by issuing Executive Order No. 172 on 8 May 1987. The question of whether a law abolishes an office is a question of legislative intent. There should not be any controversy if there is an explicit declaration of abolition in the law itself.7 Section 38 of RA 9136 explicitly abolished the ERB. However, abolition of an office and its related positions is different from removal of an incumbent from his office. Abolition and removal are mutually exclusive concepts. From a legal standpoint, there is no occupant in an abolished office. Where there is no occupant, there is no tenure to speak of. Thus, impairment of the constitutional guarantee of security of tenure does not arise in the abolition of an office. On the other hand, removal implies that the office and its related positions subsist and that the occupants are merely separated from their positions. 8 A valid order of abolition must not only come from a legitimate body, it must also be made in good faith. An abolition is made in good faith when it is not made for political or personal reasons, or when it does not circumvent the constitutional security of tenure of civil

service employees.9 Abolition of an office may be brought about by reasons of economy, or to remove redundancy of functions, or a clear and explicit constitutional mandate for such termination of employment.10 Where one office is abolished and replaced with another office vested with similar functions, the abolition is a legal nullity. 11 When there is a void abolition, the incumbent is deemed to have never ceased holding office. KERB asserts that there was no valid abolition of the ERB but there was merely a reorganization done in bad faith. Evidences of bad faith are enumerated in Section 2 of Republic Act No. 6656 (RA 6656), 12 Section 2 of RA 6656 reads: No officer or employee in the career service shall be removed except for a valid cause and after due notice and hearing. A valid cause for removal exists when, pursuant to a bona fide reorganization, a position has been abolished or rendered redundant or there is a need to merge, divide, or consolidate positions in order to meet the exigencies of the service, or other lawful causes allowed by the Civil Service Law. The existence of any or some of the following circumstances may be considered as evidence of bad faith in the removals made as a result of reorganization, giving rise to a claim for reinstatement or reappointment by an aggrieved party: (a) Where there is a significant increase in the number of positions in the new staffing pattern of the department or agency concerned; (b) Where an office is abolished and another performing substantially the same functions is created; (c) Where incumbents are replaced by those less qualified in terms of status of appointment, performance and merit; (d) Where there is a reclassification of offices in the department or agency concerned and the reclassified offices perform substantially the same function as the original offices; (e) Where the removal violates the order of separation provided in Section 3 hereof. KERB claims that the present case falls under the situation described in Section 2(b) of RA 6656. We thus need to compare the provisions enumerating the powers and functions of the ERB and the ERC to see whether they have substantially the same functions. Under Executive Order No. 172, the ERB has the following powers and functions: SEC. 3. Jurisdiction, Powers and Functions of the Board. When warranted and only when public necessity requires, the Board may regulate the business of importing, exporting, re-exporting, shipping, transporting, processing, refining, marketing and distributing energy resources. Energy resource means any substance or phenomenon which by itself or in combination with others, or after processing or refining or the application to it of technology, emanates, generates or causes the emanation or generation of energy, such as but not limited to, petroleum or petroleum products, coal, marsh gas, methane gas, geothermal and hydroelectric sources of energy, uranium and other similar radioactive minerals, solar energy, tidal power, as well as non-conventional existing and potential sources. The Board shall, upon proper notice and hearing, exercise the following, among other powers and functions: (a) Fix and regulate the prices of petroleum products; (b) Fix and regulate the rate schedule or prices of piped gas to be charged by duly franchised gas companies which distribute gas by means of underground pipe system; (c) Fix and regulate the rates of pipeline concessionaires under the provisions of Republic Act No. 387, as amended, otherwise known as the "Petroleum Act of 1949," as amended by Presidential Decree No. 1700; (d) Regulate the capacities of new refineries or additional capacities of existing refineries and license refineries that may be organized after the issuance of this Executive Order, under such terms and conditions as are consistent with the national interest; (e) Whenever the Board has determined that there is a shortage of any petroleum product, or when public interest so requires, it may take such steps as it may consider necessary, including the temporary adjustment of the levels of prices of petroleum products and the payment to the Oil Price Stabilization Fund created under Presidential Decree No. 1956 by persons or entities engaged in the petroleum industry of such amounts as may be determined by the Board, which will enable the importer to recover its cost of importation. SEC. 4. Reorganized or Abolished Agency. (a) The Board of Energy is hereby reconstituted into the Energy Regulatory Board, and the formers powers and functions under Republic Act No. 6173, as amended by Presidential Decree No. 1208, as amended, are transf erred to the latter. (b) The regulatory and adjudicatory powers and functions exercised by the Bureau of Energy Utilization under Presidential Decree No. 1206, as amended, are transferred to the Board, the provisions of Executive Order No. 131 notwithstanding. SEC. 5. Other Transferred Powers and Functions. The power of the Land Transportation Commission to determine, fix and/or prescribe rates or charges pertaining to the hauling of petroleum products are transferred to the Board. The power to fix and regulate the rates or charges pertinent to shipping or transporting of petroleum products shall also be exercised by the Board. The foregoing transfer of powers and functions shall include applicable funds and appropriations, records, equipment, property and such personnel as may be necessary; Provided, That with reference to paragraph (b) of Section 4 hereof, only such amount of funds and appropriations of the Bureau of Energy Utilization, as well as only the personnel thereof who are completely or primarily involved in the exercise by said Bureau of its regulatory and adjudicatory powers and functions, shall be affected by such transfer: Provided, further, That the funds and appropriations as well as the records, equipment, property and all personnel of the reorganized Board of Energy shall be transferred to the Energy Regulatory Board. SEC. 6. Power to Promulgate Rules and Perform Other Acts. The Board shall have the power to promulgate rules and regulations relevant to procedures governing hearings before it and enforce compliance with any rule, regulation, order or other requirements: Provided, That said rules and regulations shall take effect fifteen (15) days after publication in the Official Gazette. It shall also perform such other acts as may be necessary or conducive to the exercise of its powers and functions, and the attainment of the purposes of this Order.

On the other hand, Section 43 of RA 9136 enumerates the basic functions of the ERC. SEC. 43. Functions of the ERC. The ERC shall promote competition, encourage ma rket development, ensure customer choice and discourage/penalize abuse of market power in the restructured electricity industry. In appropriate cases, the ERC is authorized to issue cease and desist order after due notice and hearing. Towards this end, it shall be responsible for the following key functions in the restructured industry: (a) Enforce the implementing rules and regulations of this Act; (b) Within six (6) months from the effectivity of this Act, promulgate and enforce, in accordance with law, a National Grid Code and a Distribution Code which shall include, but not limited to, the following: (i) Performance standards for TRANSCO O & M Concessionaire, distribution utilities and suppliers: Provided, That in the establishment of the performance standards, the nature and function of the entities shall be considered; and (ii) Financial capability standards for the generating companies, the TRANSCO, distribution utilities and suppliers: Provided, That in the formulation of the financial capability standards, the nature and function of the entity shall be considered: Provided, further, That such standards are set to ensure that the electric power industry participants meet the minimum financial standards to protect the public interest. Determine, fix, and approve, after due notice and public hearings the universal charge, to be imposed on all electricity end-users pursuant to Section 34 hereof; (c) Enforce the rules and regulations governing the operations of the electricity spot market and the activities of the spot market operator and other participants in the spot market, for the purpose of ensuring a greater supply and rational pricing of electricity; (d) Determine the level of cross subsidies in the existing retail rate until the same is removed pursuant to Section 73 hereof; (e) Amend or revoke, after due notice and hearing, the authority to operate of any person or entity which fails to comply with the provisions hereof, the IRR or any order or resolution of the ERC. In the event a divestment is required, the ERC shall allow the affected party sufficient time to remedy the infraction or for an orderly disposal, but shall in no case exceed twelve (12) months from the issuance of the order; (f) In the public interest, establish and enforce a methodology for setting transmission and distribution wheeling rates and retail rates for the captive market of a distribution utility, taking into account all relevant considerations, including the efficiency or inefficiency of the regulated entities. The rates must be such as to allow the recovery of just and reasonable costs and a reasonable return on rate base (RORB) to enable the entity to operate viably. The ERC may adopt alternative forms of internationally-accepted rate setting methodology as it may deem appropriate. The rate-setting methodology so adopted and applied must ensure a reasonable price of electricity. The rates prescribed shall be non-discriminatory. To achieve this objective and to ensure the complete removal of cross subsidies, the cap on the recoverable rate of system losses prescribed in Section 10 of Republic Act No. 7832, is hereby amended and shall be replaced by caps which shall be determined by the ERC based on load density, sales mix, cost of service, delivery voltage and other technical considerations it may promulgate. The ERC shall determine such form of rate-setting methodology, which shall promote efficiency. In case the rate setting methodology used is RORB, it shall be subject to the following guidelines: (i) For purposes of determining the rate base, the TRANSCO or any distribution utility may be allowed to revalue its eligible assets not more than once every three (3) years by an independent appraisal company: Provided, however, That ERC may give an exemption in case of unusual devaluation: Provided, further, That the ERC shall exert efforts to minimize price shocks in order to protect the consumers; (ii) Interest expenses are not allowable deductions from permissible return on rate base; (iii) In determining eligible cost of services that will be passed on to the end-users, the ERC shall establish minimum efficiency performance standards for the TRANSCO and distribution utilities including systems losses, interruption frequency rates, and collection efficiency; (iv) Further, in determining rate base, the TRANSCO or any distribution utility shall not be allowed to include management inefficiencies like cost of project delays not excused by force majeure, penalties and related interest during construction applicable to these unexcused delays; and (v) Any significant operating costs or project investments of TRANSCO and distribution utilities which shall become part of the rate base shall be subject to the verification of the ERC to ensure that the contracting and procurement of the equipment, assets and services have been subjected to transparent and accepted industry procurement and purchasing practices to protect the public interest. (g) Three (3) years after the imposition of the universal charge, ensure that the charges of the TRANSCO or any distribution utility shall bear no cross subsidies between grids, within grids, or between classes of customers, except as provided herein; (h) Review and approve any changes on the terms and conditions of service of the TRANSCO or any distribution utility; (i) Allow the TRANSCO to charge user fees for ancillary services to all electric power industry participants or self-generating entities connected to the grid. Such fees shall be fixed by the ERC after due notice and public hearing; (j) Set a lifeline rate for the marginalized end-users; (k) Monitor and take measures in accordance with this Act to penalize abuse of market power, cartelization, and anti-competitive or discriminatory behavior by any electric power industry participant; (l) Impose fines or penalties for any non-compliance with or breach of this Act, the IRR of this Act and the rules and regulations which it promulgates or administers; (m) Take any other action delegated to it pursuant to this Act;

(n) Before the end of April of each year, submit to the Office of the President of the Philippines and Congress, copy furnished the DOE, an annual report containing such matters or cases which have been filed before or referred to it during the preceding year, the actions and proceedings undertaken and its decision or resolution in each case. The ERC shall make copies of such reports available to any interested party upon payment of a charge which reflects the printing costs. The ERC shall publish all its decisions involving rates and anticompetitive cases in at least one (1) newspaper of general circulation, and/or post electronically and circulate to all interested electric power industry participants copies of its resolutions to ensure fair and impartial treatment; (o) Monitor the activities of the generation and supply of the electric power industry with the end in view of promoting free market competition and ensuring that the allocation or pass through of bulk purchase cost by distributors is transparent, non-discriminatory and that any existing subsidies shall be divided pro rata among all retail suppliers; (p) Act on applications for or modifications of certificates of public convenience and/or necessity, licenses or permits of franchised electric utilities in accordance with law and revoke, review and modify such certificates, licenses or permits in appropriate cases, such as in cases of violations of the Grid Code, Distribution Code and other rules and regulations issued by the ERC in accordance with law; (q) Act on applications for cost recovery and return on demand side management projects; (r) In the exercise of its investigative and quasi-judicial powers, act against any participant or player in the energy sector for violations of any law, rule and regulation governing the same, including the rules on cross ownership, anticompetitive practices, abuse of market positions and similar or related acts by any participant in the energy sector, or by any person as may be provided by law, and require any person or entity to submit any report or data relative to any investigation or hearing conducted pursuant to this Act; (s) Inspect, on its own or through duly authorized representatives, the premises, books of accounts and records of any person or entity at any time, in the exercise of its quasi-judicial power for purposes of determining the existence of any anticompetitive behavior and/or market power abuse and any violation of rules and regulations issued by the ERC; (t) Perform such other regulatory functions as are appropriate and necessary in order to ensure the successful restructuring and modernization of the electric power industry, such as, but not limited to, the rules and guidelines under which generation companies, distribution utilities which are not publicly listed shall offer and sell to the public a portion not less than fifteen percent (15%) of their common shares of stocks: Provided, however, That generation companies, distribution utilities or their respective holding companies that are already listed in the PSE are deemed in compliance. For existing companies, such public offering shall be implemented not later than five (5) years from the effectivity of this Act. New companies shall implement their respective public offerings not later than five (5) years from the issuance of their certificate of compliance; and (u) The ERC shall have the original and exclusive jurisdiction over all cases contesting rates, fees, fines and penalties imposed by the ERC in the exercise of the abovementioned powers, functions and responsibilities and over all cases involving disputes between and among participants or players in the energy sector. All notices of hearings to be conducted by the ERC for the purpose of fixing rates or fees shall be published at least twice for two successive weeks in two (2) newspapers of nationwide circulation. Aside from Section 43, additional functions of the ERC are scattered throughout RA 9136: 1. SEC. 6. Generation Sector. Generation of electric power, a business affected with public interest, shall be competitive and open. Upon the effectivity of this Act, any new generation company shall, before it operates, secure from the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) a certificate of compliance pursuant to the standards set forth in this Act, as well as health, safety and environmental clearances from the appropriate government agencies under existing laws. xxxx 2. SEC. 8. Creation of the National Transmission Company. x x x That the subtransmission assets shall be operated and maintained by TRANSCO until their disposal to qualified distribution utilities which are in a position to take over the responsibility for operating, maintaining, upgrading, and expanding said assets. x x x In case of disagreement in valuation, procedures, ownership participation and other issues, the ERC shall resolve such issues. xxxx 3. SEC. 23. Functions of Distribution Utilities. x x x Distribution utilities shall submit to the ERC a statement of their compliance with the technical specifications prescribed in the Distribution Code and the performance standards prescribed in the IRR of this Act. Distribution utilities which do not comply with any of the prescribed technical specifications and performance standards shall submit to the ERC a plan to comply, within three (3) years, with said prescribed technical specifications and performance standards. The ERC shall, within sixty (60) days upon receipt of such plan, evaluate the same and notify the distribution utility concerned of its action. Failure to submit a feasible and credible plan and/or failure to implement the same shall serve as grounds for the imposition of appropriate sanctions, fines or penalties. xxxx 4. SEC. 28. De-monopolization and Shareholding Dispersal. In compliance with the constitutional mandate for dispersal of ownership and de-monopolization of public utilities, the holdings of persons, natural or juridical, including directors, officers, stockholders and related interests, in a distribution utility and their respective holding companies shall not exceed twenty-five (25%) percent of the voting shares of stock unless the utility or the company holding the shares or its controlling stockholders are already listed in the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE): Provided, That controlling stockholders of small distribution utilities are hereby required to list in the PSE within five (5) years from the enactment of this Act if they already own the stocks. New controlling stockholders shall undertake such listing

within five (5) years from the time they acquire ownership and control. A small distribution company is one whose peak demand is equal to Ten megawatts (10MW). The ERC shall, within sixty (60) days from the effectivity of this Act, promulgate the rules and regulations to implement and effect this provision. xxxx 5. SEC. 29. Supply Sector. x x x all suppliers of electricity to the contestable market shall require a license from the ER C. For this purpose, the ERC shall promulgate rules and regulations prescribing the qualifications of electricity suppliers which shall include, among other requirements, a demonstration of their technical capability, financial capability, and creditworthiness: Provided, That the ERC shall have authority to require electricity suppliers to furnish a bond or other evidence of the ability of a supplier to withstand market disturbances or other events that may increase the cost of providing service. xxxx 6. SEC. 30. Wholesale Electricity Spot Market. x x x Subject to the compliance with the membership criteria, all generating companies, distribution utilities, suppliers, bulk consumers/endusers and other similar entities authorized by the ERC shall be eligible to become members of the wholesale electricity spot market. The ERC may authorize other similar entities to become eligible as members, either directly or indirectly, of the wholesale electricity spot market. xxxx 7. SEC. 31. Retail Competition and Open Access. x x x Upon the initial implementation of open access, the ERC shall allow all electricity end-users with a monthly average peak demand of at least one megawatt (1MW) for the preceding twelve (12) months to be the contestable market. xxx Subsequently and every year thereafter, the ERC shall evaluate the performance of the market. x x x 8. SEC. 32. NPC Stranded Debt and Contract Cost Recovery. x x x The ERC shall verify the reasonable amounts and determine the manner and duration for the full recovery of stranded debt and stranded contract costs as defined herein x x x x 9. SEC. 34. Universal Charge. Within one (1) year from the effectivity of this Act, a universal charge to be determined, fi xed and approved by the ERC, shall be imposed on all electricity end-users x x x x 10. SEC. 35. Royalties, Returns and Tax Rates for Indigenous Energy Resources. x x x To ensure lower rates for end-users, the ERC shall forthwith reduce the rates of power from all indigenous sources of energy. 11. SEC. 36. Unbundling of Rates and Functions. x x x each distribution utility shall file its revised rates for the approval by the ERC. x x x x 12. SEC. 40. Enhancement of Technical Competence. The ERC shall establish rigorous training programs for its sta ff for the purpose of enhancing the technical competence of the ERC in the following areas: evaluation of technical performance and monitoring of compliance with service and performance standards, performance-based rate-setting reform, environmental standards and such other areas as will enable the ERC to adequately perform its duties and functions. 13. SEC. 41. Promotion of Consumer Interests. The ERC shall handle consumer complaints and ensure the adequate promotion of consumer interests. 14. SEC. 45. Cross Ownership, Market Power Abuse and Anti-Competitive Behavior. No participant in the electricity industry may engage in any anti-competitive behavior including, but not limited to, cross-subsidization, price or market manipulation, or other unfair trade practices detrimental to the encouragement and protection of contestable markets. xxxx (c) x x x The ERC shall, within one (1) year from the effectivity of this Act, promulgate rules and regulations to promote competition, encourage market development and customer choice and discourage/penalize abuse of market power, cartelization and any anticompetitive or discriminatory behavior, in order to further the intent of this Act and protect the public interest. Such rules and regulations shall define the following: (a) the relevant markets for purposes of establishing abuse or misuse of monopoly or market position; (b) areas of isolated grids; and (c) the periodic reportorial requirements of electric power industry participants as may be necessary to enforce the provisions of this Section. The ERC shall, motu proprio, monitor and penalize any market power abuse or anticompetitive or discriminatory act or behavior by any participant in the electric power industry. 15. SEC. 51. Powers. The PSALM Corp. shall, in the performance of its functions and for the attainment of its objective, ha ve the following powers: x x x

(e) To liquidate the NPC stranded contract costs utilizing proceeds from sales and other property contributed to it, including the proceeds from the universal charge; xxxx 16. SEC. 60. Debts of Electric Cooperatives. x x x The ERC shall ensure a reduction in the rates of electric cooperatives c ommensurate with the resulting savings due to the removal of the amortization payments of their loans. x x x x 17. SEC. 62. Joint Congressional Power Commission. x x x x x x the Power Commission is hereby empowered to require the DOE, ERC, NEA, TRANSCO, generation companies, distribution utilities, suppliers and other electric power industry participants to submit reports and all pertinent data and information relating to the performance of their respective functions in the industry. xxx xxxx 18. SEC. 65. Environmental Protection. Participants in the generation, distribution and transmission sub-sectors of the industry shall comply with all environmental laws, rules, regulations and standards promulgated by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources including, in appropriate cases, the establishment of an environmental guarantee fund. 19. SEC. 67. NPC Offer of Transition Supply Contracts. Within six (6) months from the effectivity of this Act, NPC shall fi le with the ERC for its approval a transition supply contract duly negotiated with the distribution utilities containing the terms and conditions of supply and a corresponding schedule of rates, consistent with the provisions hereof, including adjustments and/or indexation formulas which shall apply to the term of such contracts. xxxx 20. SEC. 69. Renegotiation of Power Purchase and Energy Conversion Agreements between Government Entities. Within three (3) months from the effectivity of this Act, all power purchase and energy conversion agreements between the PNOC-Energy Development Corporation (PNOC-EDC) and NPC, including but not limited to the Palimpinon, Tongonan and Mt. Apo Geothermal complexes, shall be reviewed by the ERC and the terms thereof amended to remove any hidden costs or extraordinary mark-ups in the cost of power or steam above their true costs. All amended contracts shall be submitted to the Joint Congressional Power Commission for approval. The ERC shall ensure that all savings realized from the reduction of said mark-ups shall be passed on to all end-users. After comparing the functions of the ERB and the ERC, we find that the ERC indeed assumed the functions of the ERB. However, the overlap in the functions of the ERB and of the ERC does not mean that there is no valid abolition of the ERB. The ERC has new and expanded functions which are intended to meet the specific needs of a deregulated power industry. Indeed, National Land Titles and Deeds Registration Administration v. Civil Service Commission stated that: [I]f the newly created office has substantially new, different or additional functions, duties or powers, so that it may be said in fact to create an office different from the one abolished, even though it embraces all or some of the duties of the old office it will be considered as an abolition of one office and the creation of a new or different one. The same is true if one office is abolished and its duties, for reasons of economy are given to an existing officer or office. 13 KERB argues that "RA 9136 did not abolish the ERB nor did it alter its essential character as an economic regulator of the electric power industry. x x x RA 9136 rather changed merely ERBs name and title to that of the ERC even as it exp anded its functions and objectives to keep pace with the times." To uphold KERBs argument regarding the invalidity of the ERBs abolition is to ignore the develop ments in the history of energy regulation. The regulation of public services started way back in 1902 with the enactment of Act No. 520 which created the Coastwise Rate Commission. In 1906, Act No. 1507 was passed creating the Supervising Railway Expert. The following year, Act No. 1779 was enacted creating the Board of Rate Regulation. Then, Act No 2307, which was patterned after the Public Service Law of the State of New Jersey, was approved by the Philippine Commission in 1914, creating the Board of Public Utility Commissioners, composed of three members, which absorbed all the functions of the Coastwise Rate Commission, the Supervising Railway Expert, and the Board of Rate Regulation. Thereafter, several laws were enacted on public utility regulation. On November 7, 1936, Commonwealth Act No. 146, otherwise known as the Public Service Law, was enacted by the National Assembly. The Public Service Commission (PSC) had jurisdiction, supervision, and control over all public services, including the electric power service. After almost four decades, significant developments in the energy sector changed the landscape of economic regulation in the country. April 30, 1971 R.A. No. 6173 was passed creating the Oil Industry Commission (OIC), which was tasked to regulate the oil industry and to ensure the adequate supply of petroleum products at reasonable prices. September 24, 1972 then President Ferdinand E. Marcos issued Presidential Decree No. 1 which ordered the preparation of the Integrated Reorganization Plan by the Commission on Reorganization. The Plan abolished the PSC and transferred the regulatory and adjudicatory functions pertaining to the electricity industry and water resources to then Board of Power and Waterworks (BOPW). October 6, 1977 the government created the Department of Energy (DOE) and consequently abolished the OIC, which was replaced by the creation of the Board of Energy (BOE) through Presidential Decree No. 1206. The BOE, in addition, assumed the powers and functions of the BOPW over the electric power industry. May 8, 1987 the BOE was reconstituted into the Energy R egulatory Board (ERB), pursuant to Executive Order No. 172 issued by then President Corazon C. Aquino as part of her governments reorganization program. The rationale was to consolidate and entrust into a single body all the regulatory and adjudicatory functions pertaining to the energy sector. Thus, the power to regulate the power rates and services of private electric utilities was transferred to the ERB.

December 28, 1992 Republic Act No. 7638 signed, where the power to fix the rates of the National Power Corporation (NPC) and the rural electric cooperatives (RECs) was passed on to the ERB. Non-pricing functions of the ERB with respect to the petroleum industry were transferred to the DOE, i.e., regulating the capacities of new refineries. February 10, 1998 enactment of Republic Act 8479: Downstream Oil Industry Deregulation Act of 1998, which prescribed a five month transition period, before full deregulation of the oil industry, during which ERB would implement an automatic pricing mechanism (APM) for petroleum products every month. June 12, 1998 the Philippine oil industry was fully deregulated, thus, ERBs focus of responsibility centered on the electric industry. June 8, 2001 enactment of Republic Act No. 9136, otherwise known as the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA) of 2001. The Act abolished the ERB and created in its place the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) which is a purely independent regulatory body performing the combined quasi-judicial, quasi-legislative and administrative functions in the electric industry. 14 Throughout the years, the scope of the regulation has gradually narrowed from that of public services in 1902 to the electricity industry and water resources in 1972 to the electric power industry and oil industry in 1977 to the electric industry alone in 1998. The ERC retains the ERBs traditional rate and servic e regulation functions. However, the ERC now also has to promote competitive operations in the electricity market. RA 9136 expanded the ERCs concerns to encompass both the consumers and the utility investors. Thus, the EPIRA provides a framework for the restructuring of the industry, including the privatization of the assets of the National Power Corporation (NPC), the transition to a competitive structure, and the delineation of the roles of various government agencies and the private entities. The law ordains the division of the industry into four (4) distinct sectors, namely: generation, transmission, distribution and supply. Corollarily, the NPC generating plants have to privatized and its transmission business spun off and privatized thereafter. In tandem with the restructuring of the industry is the establishment of "a strong and purely independent regulatory body." Thus, the law created the ERC in place of the Energy Regulatory Board (ERB). To achieve its aforestated goal, the law has reconfigured the organization of the regulatory body. x x x 15 There is no question in our minds that, because of the expans ion of the ERCs functions and concerns, there was a valid abolition of the ERB. Thus, there is no merit to KERBs allegation that there is an impairment of the security of tenure of the ERBs employee s. WHEREFORE, we DISMISS the petition. No costs. SO ORDERED Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila SECOND DIVISION G.R. No. 155336 November 25, 2004 COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS EMPLOYEES' ASSOCIATION (CHREA) Represented by its President, MARCIAL A. SANCHEZ, JR., petitioner, vs. COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS, respondent. DECISION CHICO-NAZARIO, J.: Can the Commission on Human Rights lawfully implement an upgrading and reclassification of personnel positions without the prior approval of the Department of Budget and Management? Before this Court is a petition for review filed by petitioner Commission on Human Rights Employees' Association (CHREA) challenging the Decision1 dated 29 November 2001 of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP No. 59678 affirming the Resolutions2 dated 16 December 1999 and 09 June 2000 of the Civil Service Commission (CSC), which sustained the validity of the upgrading and reclassification of certain personnel positions in the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) despite the disapproval thereof by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM). Also assailed is the resolution dated 11 September 2002 of the Court of Appeals denying the motion for reconsideration filed by petitioner. The antecedent facts which spawned the present controversy are as follows: On 14 February 1998, Congress passed Republic Act No. 8522, otherwise known as the General Appropriations Act of 1998. It provided for Special Provisions Applicable to All Constitutional Offices Enjoying Fiscal Autonomy. The last portion of Article XXXIII covers the appropriations of the CHR. These special provisions state: 1. Organizational Structure. Any provision of law to the contrary notwithstanding and within the limits of their respective appropriations as authorized in this Act, the Constitutional Commissions and Offices enjoying fiscal autonomy are authorized to formulate and implement the organizational structures of their respective offices, to fix and determine the salaries, allowances, and other benefits of their personnel, and whenever public interest so requires, make adjustments in their personal services itemization including, but not limited to, the transfer of item or creation of new positions in their respective offices: PROVIDED, That officers and employees whose positions are affected by such reorganization or adjustments shall be granted retirement gratuities and separation pay in accordance with existing laws, which shall be payable from any

unexpended balance of, or savings in the appropriations of their respective offices: PROVIDED, FURTHER, That the implementation hereof shall be in accordance with salary rates, allowances and other benefits authorized under compensation standardization laws. 2. Use of Savings. The Constitutional Commissions and Offices enjoying fiscal autonomy are hereby authorized to use savings in their respective appropriations for: (a) printing and/or publication of decisions, resolutions, and training information materials; (b) repair, maintenance and improvement of central and regional offices, facilities and equipment; (c) purchase of books, journals, periodicals and equipment; (d) necessary expenses for the employment of temporary, contractual and casual employees; (e) payment of extraordinary and miscellaneous expenses, commutable representation and transportation allowances, and fringe benefits for their officials and employees as may be authorized by law; and (f) other official purposes, subject to accounting and auditing rules and regulations. (Emphases supplied) Number of Position Positions Title From 12 To Salary Grade Total Salary Requirements

From 26

To 28 P229,104.00

Attorney VI (In Director IV the Regional Field Offices) Director III Director IV

4 1

27 24

28 28

38,928.00 36,744.00

Financial & Director IV Management Officer II

1 1 1 1

Budget Officer Budget Officer 18 III IV Accountant III Chief Accountant Cashier III Information Officer V Cashier V Director IV 18 18 24

24 24 24 28

51,756.00 51,756.00 51,756.00 36,744.006

on the strength of these special provisions, the CHR, through its then Chairperson Aurora P. Navarette-Recia and Commissioners Nasser A. Marohomsalic, Mercedes V. Contreras, Vicente P. Sibulo, and Jorge R. Coquia, promulgated Resolution No. A98-047 on 04 September 1998, adopting an upgrading and reclassification scheme among selected positions in the Commission, to wit: WHEREAS, the General Appropriations Act, FY 1998, R.A. No. 8522 has provided special provisions applicable to all Constitutional Offices enjoying Fiscal Autonomy, particularly on organizational structures and authorizes the same to formulate and implement the organizational structures of their respective offices to fix and determine the salaries, allowances and other benefits of their personnel and whenever public interest so requires, make adjustments in the personnel services itemization including, but not limited to, the transfer of item or creation of new positions in their respective offices: PROVIDED, That officers and employees whose positions are affected by such reorganization or adjustments shall be granted retirement gratuities and separation pay in accordance with existing laws, which shall be payable from any unexpanded balance of, or savings in the appropriations of their respective offices; Number of Positions Position Title Salary Grade Total Salary Requirements 684,780.00

Security Officer (Coterminous)

II 15

Whereas, the Commission on Human Rights is a member of the Constitutional Fiscal Autonomy Group (CFAG) and on July 24, 1998, CFAG passed an approved Joint Resolution No. 49 adopting internal rules implementing the special provisions heretoforth mentioned; NOW THEREFORE, the Commission by virtue of its fiscal autonomy hereby approves and authorizes the upgrading and augmentation of the commensurate amount generated from savings under Personal Services to support the implementation of this resolution effective Calendar Year 1998; Let the Human Resources Development Division (HRDD) prepare the necessary Notice of Salary Adjustment and other appropriate documents to implement this resolution; . . . . 3 (Emphasis supplied)

Annexed to said resolution is the proposed creation of ten additional plantilla positions, namely: one Director IV position, with Salary Grade 28 for the Caraga Regional Office, four Security Officer II with Salary Grade 15, and five Process Servers, with Salary Grade 5 under the Office of the Commissioners. 4 On 19 October 1998, CHR issued Resolution No. A98-0555 providing for the upgrading or raising of salary grades of the following positions in the Commission: It, likewise, provided for the creation and upgrading of the following positions: A. Creation B. Upgrading To support the implementation of such scheme, the CHR, in the same resolution, authorized the augmentation of a commensurate amount generated from savings under Personnel Services. By virtue of Resolution No. A98-062 dated 17 November 1998, the CHR "collapsed" the vacant positions in the body to provide additional source of funding for said staffing modification. Among the positions collapsed were: one Attorney III, four Attorney IV, one Chemist III, three Special Investigator I, one Clerk III, and one Accounting Clerk II.8 The CHR forwarded said staffing modification and upgrading scheme to the DBM with a request for its approval, but the then DBM secretary Benjamin Diokno denied the request on the following justification: Based on the evaluations made the request was not favorably considered as it effectively involved the elevation of the fiel d units from divisions to services. The present proposal seeks further to upgrade the twelve (12) positions of Attorney VI, SG-26 to Director IV, SG-28. This would elevate the field units to a bureau or regional office, a level even higher than the one previously denied. The request to upgrade the three (3) positions of Director III, SG-27 to Director IV, SG-28, in the Central Office in effect would elevate the services to Office and change the context from support to substantive without actual change in functions. In the absence of a specific provision of law which may be used as a legal basis to elevate the level of divisions to a bureau or regional office, and the services to offices, we reiterate our previous stand denying the upgrading of the twelve (12) positions of Attorney VI, SG26 to Director III, SG-27 or Director IV, SG-28, in the Field Operations Office (FOO) and three (3) Director III, SG-27 to Director IV, SG-28 in the Central Office. As represented, President Ramos then issued a Memorandum to the DBM Secretary dated 10 December 1997, directing the latter to increase the number of Plantilla positions in the CHR both Central and Regional Offices to implement the Philippine Decade Plan on Human Rights Education, the Philippine Human Rights Plan and Barangay Rights Actions Center in accordance with existing laws. (Emphasis in the original) Pursuant to Section 78 of the General Provisions of the General Appropriations Act (GAA) FY 1998, no organizational unit or changes in key positions shall be authorized unless provided by law or directed by the President, thus, the creation of a Finance Management Office and a Public Affairs Office cannot be given favorable recommendation. Moreover, as provided under Section 2 of RA No. 6758, otherwise known as the Compensation Standardization Law, the Department of Budget and Management is directed to establish and administer a unified compensation and position classification system in the government. The Supreme Court ruled in the case of Victorina Cruz vs. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 119155, dated January 30, 1996, that this Department has the sole power and discretion to administer the compensation and position classification system of the National Government. Being a member of the fiscal autonomy group does not vest the agency with the authority to reclassify, upgrade, and create positions without approval of the DBM. While the members of the Group are authorized to formulate and implement the organizational structures of their respective offices and determine the compensation of their personnel, such authority is not absolute and must be exercised within the parameters of the Unified Position Classification and Compensation System established under RA 6758 more popularly known as the Compensation Standardization Law. We therefore reiterate our previous stand on the matter. 9 (Emphases supplied) In light of the DBM's disapproval of the proposed personnel modification scheme, the CSC-National Capital Region Office, through a memorandum dated 29 March 1999, recommended to the CSC-Central Office that the subject appointments be rejected owing to the DBM's disapproval of the plantilla reclassification. Meanwhile, the officers of petitioner CHREA, in representation of the rank and file employees of the CHR, requested the CSC-Central Office to affirm the recommendation of the CSC-Regional Office. CHREA stood its ground in saying that the DBM is the only agency with appropriate authority mandated by law to evaluate and approve matters of reclassification and upgrading, as well as creation of positions. The CSC-Central Office denied CHREA's request in a Resolution dated 16 December 1999, and reversed the recommendation of the CSCRegional Office that the upgrading scheme be censured. The decretal portion of which reads: WHEREFORE, the request of Ronnie N. Rosero, Hubert V. Ruiz, Flordeliza A. Briones, George Q. Dumlao [and], Corazon A. Santos-Tiu, is hereby denied.10 CHREA filed a motion for reconsideration, but the CSC-Central Office denied the same on 09 June 2000. Given the cacophony of judgments between the DBM and the CSC, petitioner CHREA elevated the matter to the Court of Appeals. The Court of Appeals affirmed the pronouncement of the CSC-Central Office and upheld the validity of the upgrading,

retitling, and reclassification scheme in the CHR on the justification that such action is within the ambit of CHR's fiscal autonomy. The fallo of the Court of Appeals decision provides: IN VIEW OF ALL THE FOREGOING, the instant petition is ordered DISMISSED and the questioned Civil Service Commission Resolution No. 99-2800 dated December 16, 1999 as well as No. 001354 dated June 9, 2000, are hereby AFFIRMED. No cost. 11 Unperturbed, petitioner filed this petition in this Court contending that: A. THE COURT OF APPEALS GRAVELY ERRED WHEN IT HELD THAT UNDER THE 1987 CONSTITUTION, THE CO MMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS ENJOYS FISCAL AUTONOMY. B. THE COURT OF APPEALS SERIOUSLY ERRED IN UPHOLDING THE CONSTRUCTION OF THE COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS OF REPUBLIC ACT NO. 8522 (THE GENERAL APPROPRIATIONS ACT FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1998) DESPITE ITS BEING IN SHARP CONFLICT WITH THE 1987 CONSTITUTION AND THE STATUTE ITSELF. C. THE COURT OF APPEALS SERIOUSLY AND GRAVELY ERRED IN AFFIRMING THE VALIDITY OF THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION RESOLUTION NOS. 992800 AND 001354 AS WELL AS THAT OF THE OPINION OF THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE IN STATING THAT THE COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS ENJOYS FISCAL AUTONOMY UNDER THE 1987 CONSTITUTION AND THAT THIS FISCAL AUTONOMY INCLUDES THE ACTION TAKEN BY IT IN COLLAPSING, UPGRADING AND RECLASSIFICATION OF POSITIONS THEREIN.12 The central question we must answer in order to resolve this case is: Can the Commission on Human Rights validly implement an upgrading, reclassification, creation, and collapsing of plantilla positions in the Commission without the prior approval of the Department of Budget and Management? Petitioner CHREA grouses that the Court of Appeals and the CSC-Central Office both erred in sanctioning the CHR's alleged blanket authority to upgrade, reclassify, and create positions inasmuch as the approval of the DBM relative to such scheme is still indispensable. Petitioner bewails that the CSC and the Court of Appeals erroneously assumed that CHR enjoys fiscal autonomy insofar as financial matters are concerned, particularly with regard to the upgrading and reclassification of positions therein. Respondent CHR sharply retorts that petitioner has no locus standi considering that there exists no official written record in the Commission recognizing petitioner as a bona fide organization of its employees nor is there anything in the records to show that its president, Marcial A. Sanchez, Jr., has the authority to sue the CHR. The CHR contends that it has the authority to cause the upgrading, reclassification, plantilla creation, and collapsing scheme sans the approval of the DBM because it enjoys fiscal autonomy. After a thorough consideration of the arguments of both parties and an assiduous scrutiny of the records in the case at bar, it is the Court's opinion that the present petition is imbued with merit. On petitioner's personality to bring this suit, we held in a multitude of cases that a proper party is one who has sustained or is in immediate danger of sustaining an injury as a result of the act complained of. 13 Here, petitioner, which consists of rank and file employees of respondent CHR, protests that the upgrading and collapsing of positions benefited only a select few in the upper level positions in the Commission resulting to the demoralization of the rank and file employees. This sufficiently meets the injury test. Indeed, the CHR's upgrading scheme, if found to be valid, potentially entails eating up the Commission's savings or that portion of its budgetary pie otherwise allocated for Personnel Services, from which the benefits of the employees, including those in the rank and file, are derived. Further, the personality of petitioner to file this case was recognized by the CSC when it took cognizance of the CHREA's request to affirm the recommendation of the CSC-National Capital Region Office. CHREA's personality to bring the suit was a non-issue in the Court of Appeals when it passed upon the merits of this case. Thus, neither should our hands be tied by this technical concern. Indeed, it is settled jurisprudence that an issue that was neither raised in the complaint nor in the court below cannot be raised for the first time on appeal, as to do so would be offensive to the basic rules of fair play, justice, and due process.14 We now delve into the main issue of whether or not the approval by the DBM is a condition precedent to the enactment of an upgrading, reclassification, creation and collapsing of plantilla positions in the CHR. Germane to our discussion is Rep. Act No. 6758, An Act Prescribing a Revised Compensation and Position Classification System in the Government and For Other Purposes, or the Salary Standardization Law, dated 01 July 1989, which provides in Sections 2 and 4 thereof that it is the DBM that shall establish and administer a unified Compensation and Position Classification System. Thus: SEC. 2. Statement of Policy. -- It is hereby declared the policy of the State to provide equal pay for substantially equal work and to base differences in pay upon substantive differences in duties and responsibilities, and qualification requirements of the positions. In determining rates of pay, due regard shall be given to, among others, prevailing rates in the private sector for comparable work. For this purpose, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) is hereby directed to establish and administer a unified Compensation and Position Classification System, hereinafter referred to as the System as provided for in Presidential Decree No. 985, as amended, that shall be applied for all government entities, as mandated by the Constitution. (Emphasis supplied.) SEC. 4. Coverage. The Compensation and Position Classification System herein provided shall apply to all positions, appointive or elective, on full or part-time basis, now existing or hereafter created in the government, including governmentowned or controlled corporations and government financial institutions.

The term "government" refers to the Executive, the Legislative and the Judicial Branches and the Constitutional Commissions and shall include all, but shall not be limited to, departments, bureaus, offices, boards, commissions, courts, tribunals, councils, authorities, administrations, centers, institutes, state colleges and universities, local government units, and the armed forces. The term "governmentowned or controlled corporations and financial institutions" shall include all corporations and financial institutions owned or controlled by the National Government, whether such corporations and financial institutions perform governmental or proprietary functions. (Emphasis supplied.) The disputation of the Court of Appeals that the CHR is exempt from the long arm of the Salary Standardization Law is flawed considering that the coverage thereof, as defined above, encompasses the entire gamut of government offices, sans qualification. This power to "administer" is not purely ministerial in character as erroneously held by the Court of Appeals. The word to administer means to control or regulate in behalf of others; to direct or superintend the execution, application or conduct of; and to manage or conduct public affairs, as to administer the government of the state. 15 The regulatory power of the DBM on matters of compensation is encrypted not only in law, but in jurisprudence as well. In the recent case of Philippine Retirement Authority (PRA) v. Jesusito L. Buag,16 this Court, speaking through Mr. Justice Reynato Puno, ruled that compensation, allowances, and other benefits received by PRA officials and employees without the requisite approval or authority of the DBM are unauthorized and irregular. In the words of the Court Despite the power granted to the Board of Directors of PRA to establish and fix a compensation and benefits scheme for its employees, the same is subject to the review of the Department of Budget and Management. However, in view of the express powers granted to PRA under its charter, the extent of the review authority of the Department of Budget and Management is limited. As stated in Intia, the task of the Department of Budget and Management is simply to review the compensation and benefits plan of the government agency or entity concerned and determine if the same complies with the prescribed policies and guidelines issued in this regard. The role of the Department of Budget and Management is supervisorial in nature, its main duty being to ascertain that the proposed compensation, benefits and other incentives to be given to PRA officials and employees adhere to the policies and guidelines issued in accordance with applicable laws. In Victorina Cruz v. Court of Appeals,17 we held that the DBM has the sole power and discretion to administer the compensation and position classification system of the national government. In Intia, Jr. v. Commission on Audit,18 the Court held that although the charter19 of the Philippine Postal Corporation (PPC) grants it the power to fix the compensation and benefits of its employees and exempts PPC from the coverage of the rules and regulations of the Compensation and Position Classification Office, by virtue of Section 6 of P.D. No. 1597, the compensation system established by the PPC is, nonetheless, subject to the review of the DBM. This Court intoned: It should be emphasized that the review by the DBM of any PPC resolution affecting the compensation structure of its personnel should not be interpreted to mean that the DBM can dictate upon the PPC Board of Directors and deprive the latter of its discretion on the matter. Rather, the DBM's function is merely to ensure that the action taken by the Board of Directors complies with the requirements of the law, specifically, that PPC's compensation system "conforms as closely as possible with that provided for under R.A. No. 6758." (Emphasis supplied.) As measured by the foregoing legal and jurisprudential yardsticks, the imprimatur of the DBM must first be sought prior to implementation of any reclassification or upgrading of positions in government. This is consonant to the mandate of the DBM under the Revised Administrative Code of 1987, Section 3, Chapter 1, Title XVII, to wit: SEC. 3. Powers and Functions. The Department of Budget and Management shall assist the President in the preparation of a national resources and expenditures budget, preparation, execution and control of the National Budget, preparation and maintenance of accounting systems essential to the budgetary process, achievement of more economy and efficiency in the management of government operations, administration of compensation and position classification systems, assessment of organizational effectiveness and review and evaluation of legislative proposals having budgetary or organizational implications. (Emphasis supplied.) Irrefragably, it is within the turf of the DBM Secretary to disallow the upgrading, reclassification, and creation of additional plantilla positions in the CHR based on its finding that such scheme lacks legal justification. Notably, the CHR itself recognizes the authority of the DBM to deny or approve the proposed reclassification of positions as evidenced by its three letters to the DBM requesting approval thereof. As such, it is now estopped from now claiming that the nod of approval it has previously sought from the DBM is a superfluity. The Court of Appeals incorrectly relied on the pronouncement of the CSC-Central Office that the CHR is a constitutional commission, and as such enjoys fiscal autonomy.20 Palpably, the Court of Appeals' Decision was based on the mistaken premise that the CHR belongs to the species of constitutional commissions. But, Article IX of the Constitution states in no uncertain terms that only the CSC, the Commission on Elections, and the Commission on Audit shall be tagged as Constitutional Commissions with the appurtenant right to fiscal autonomy. Thus: Sec. 1. The Constitutional Commissions, which shall be independent, are the Civil Service Commission, the Commission on Elections, and the Commission on Audit. Sec. 5. The Commission shall enjoy fiscal autonomy. Their approved annual appropriations shall be automatically and regularly released. Along the same vein, the Administrative Code, in Chapter 5, Sections 24 and 26 of Book II on Distribution of Powers of Government, the constitutional commissions shall include only the Civil Service Commission, the Commission on Elections, and the Commission on Audit,

which are granted independence and fiscal autonomy. In contrast, Chapter 5, Section 29 thereof, is silent on the grant of similar powers to the other bodies including the CHR. Thus: SEC. 24. Constitutional Commissions. The Constitutional Commissions, which shall be independent, are the Civil Service Commission, the Commission on Elections, and the Commission on Audit. SEC. 26. Fiscal Autonomy. The Constitutional Commissions shall enjoy fiscal autonomy. The approved annual appropriations shall be automatically and regularly released. SEC. 29. Other Bodies. There shall be in accordance with the Constitution, an Office of the Ombudsman, a Commission on Human Rights, and independent central monetary authority, and a national police commission. Likewise, as provided in the Constitution, Congress may establish an independent economic and planning agency. (Emphasis ours.) From the 1987 Constitution and the Administrative Code, it is abundantly clear that the CHR is not among the class of Constitutional Commissions. As expressed in the oft-repeated maxim expressio unius est exclusio alterius, the express mention of one person, thing, act or consequence excludes all others. Stated otherwise, expressium facit cessare tacitum what is expressed puts an end to what is implied.21 Nor is there any legal basis to support the contention that the CHR enjoys fiscal autonomy. In essence, fiscal autonomy entails freedom from outside control and limitations, other than those provided by law. It is the freedom to allocate and utilize funds granted by law, in accordance with law, and pursuant to the wisdom and dispatch its needs may require from time to time. 22 In Blaquera v. Alcala and Bengzon v. Drilon,23 it is understood that it is only the Judiciary, the Civil Service Commission, the Commission on Audit, the Commission on Elections, and the Office of the Ombudsman, which enjoy fiscal autonomy. Thus, in Bengzon, 24 we explained: As envisioned in the Constitution, the fiscal autonomy enjoyed by the Judiciary, the Civil Service Commission, the Commission on Audit, the Commission on Elections, and the Office of the Ombudsman contemplates a guarantee of full flexibility to allocate and utilize their resources with the wisdom and dispatch that their needs require. It recognizes the power and authority to levy, assess and collect fees, fix rates of compensation not exceeding the highest rates authorized by law for compensation and pay plans of the government and allocate and disburse such sums as may be provided by law or prescribed by them in the course of the discharge of their functions. ... The Judiciary, the Constitutional Commissions, and the Ombudsman must have the independence and flexibility needed in the discharge of their constitutional duties. The imposition of restrictions and constraints on the manner the independent constitutional offices allocate and utilize the funds appropriated for their operations is anathema to fiscal autonomy and violative not only of the express mandate of the Constitution but especially as regards the Supreme Court, of the independence and separation of powers upon which the entire fabric of our constitutional system is based. In the interest of comity and cooperation, the Supreme Court, [the] Constitutional Commissions, and the Ombudsman have so far limited their objections to constant reminders. We now agree with the petitioners that this grant of autonomy should cease to be a meaningless provision. (Emphasis supplied.) Neither does the fact that the CHR was admitted as a member by the Constitutional Fiscal Autonomy Group (CFAG) ipso facto clothed it with fiscal autonomy. Fiscal autonomy is a constitutional grant, not a tag obtainable by membership. We note with interest that the special provision under Rep. Act No. 8522, while cited under the heading of the CHR, did not specifically mention CHR as among those offices to which the special provision to formulate and implement organizational structures apply, but merely states its coverage to include Constitutional Commissions and Offices enjoying fiscal autonomy. In contrast, the Special Provision Applicable to the Judiciary under Article XXVIII of the General Appropriations Act of 1998 specifically mentions that such special provision applies to the judiciary and had categorically authorized the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court to formulate and implement the organizational structure of the Judiciary, to wit: 1. Organizational Structure. Any provision of law to the contrary notwithstanding and within the limits of their respective appropriations authorized in this Act, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court is authorized to formulate and implement organizational structure of the Judiciary, to fix and determine the salaries, allowances, and other benefits of their personnel, and whenever public interest so requires, make adjustments in the personal services itemization including, but not limited to, the transfer of item or creation of new positions in the Judiciary; PROVIDED, That officers and employees whose positions are affected by such reorganization or adjustments shall be granted retirement gratuities and separation pay in accordance with existing law, which shall be payable from any unexpended balance of, or savings in the appropriations of their respective offices: PROVIDED, FURTHER, That the implementation hereof shall be in accordance with salary rates, allowances and other benefits authorized under compensation standardization laws. (Emphasis supplied.) All told, the CHR, although admittedly a constitutional creation is, nonetheless, not included in the genus of offices accorded fiscal autonomy by constitutional or legislative fiat. Even assuming en arguendo that the CHR enjoys fiscal autonomy, we share the stance of the DBM that the grant of fiscal autonomy notwithstanding, all government offices must, all the same, kowtow to the Salary Standardization Law. We are of the same mind with the DBM on its standpoint, thusBeing a member of the fiscal autonomy group does not vest the agency with the authority to reclassify, upgrade, and create positions without approval of the DBM. While the members of the Group are authorized to formulate and implement the organizational structures of their respective offices and determine the compensation of their personnel, such authority is not absolute and must be exercised within the parameters of the Unified Position Classification and Compensation System established under RA 6758 more popularly known as the Compensation Standardization Law.25 (Emphasis supplied.)

The most lucid argument against the stand of respondent, however, is the provision of Rep. Act No. 8522 "that the implementation hereof shall be in accordance with salary rates, allowances and other benefits authorized under compensation standardization laws." 26 Indeed, the law upon which respondent heavily anchors its case upon has expressly provided that any form of adjustment in the organizational structure must be within the parameters of the Salary Standardization Law. The Salary Standardization Law has gained impetus in addressing one of the basic causes of discontent of many civil servants. 27 For this purpose, Congress has delegated to the DBM the power to administer the Salary Standardization Law and to ensure that the spirit behind it is observed. This power is part of the system of checks and balances or system of restraints in our government. The DBM's exercise of such authority is not in itself an arrogation inasmuch as it is pursuant to the paramount law of the land, the Salary Standardization Law and the Administrative Code. In line with its role to breathe life into the policy behind the Salary Standardization Law of "providing equal pay for substantially equal work and to base differences in pay upon substantive differences in duties and responsibilities, and qualification requirements of the positions," the DBM, in the case under review, made a determination, after a thorough evaluation, that the reclassification and upgrading scheme proposed by the CHR lacks legal rationalization. The DBM expounded that Section 78 of the general provisions of the General Appropriations Act FY 1998, which the CHR heavily relies upon to justify its reclassification scheme, explicitly provides that "no organizational unit or changes in key positions shall be authorized unless provided by law or directed by the President." Here, the DBM discerned that there is no law authorizing the creation of a Finance Management Office and a Public Affairs Office in the CHR. Anent CHR's proposal to upgrade twelve positions of Attorney VI, SG-26 to Director IV, SG-28, and four positions of Director III, SG-27 to Director IV, SG-28, in the Central Office, the DBM denied the same as this would change the context from support to substantive without actual change in functions. This view of the DBM, as the law's designated body to implement and administer a unified compensation system, is beyond cavil. The interpretation of an administrative government agency, which is tasked to implement a statute is accorded great respect and ordinarily controls the construction of the courts. In Energy Regulatory Board v. Court of Appeals, 28 we echoed the basic rule that the courts will not interfere in matters which are addressed to the sound discretion of government agencies entrusted with the regulation of activities coming under the special technical knowledge and training of such agencies. To be sure, considering his expertise on matters affecting the nation's coffers, the Secretary of the DBM, as the President's alter ego, knows from where he speaks inasmuch as he has the front seat view of the adverse effects of an unwarranted upgrading or creation of positions in the CHR in particular and in the entire government in general. WHEREFORE, the petition is GRANTED, the Decision dated 29 November 2001 of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP No. 59678 and its Resolution dated 11 September 2002 are hereby REVERSED and SET ASIDE. The ruling dated 29 March 1999 of the Civil Service Commision-National Capital Region is REINSTATED. The Commission on Human Rights Resolution No. A98-047 dated 04 September 1998, Resolution No. A98-055 dated 19 October 1998 and Resolution No. A98-062 dated 17 November 1998 without the approval of the Department of Budget and Management are disallowed. No pronouncement as to costs. SO ORDERED. EN BANC ANAK MINDANAO PARTY-LIST GROUP, as represented by Rep. Mujiv S. Hataman, and MAMALO DESCENDANTS ORGANIZATION, INC., as represented by its Chairman Romy Pardi, Petitioners, G.R. No. 166052 Present: PUNO, C.J., QUISUMBING, YNARES-SANTIAGO, SANDOVAL-GUTIERREZ, CARPIO, AUSTRIAMARTINEZ, CORONA, CARPIO MORALES, AZCUNA, TINGA, CHICO-NAZARIO, GARCIA, VELASCO, JR., NACHURA, and REYES, JJ. Promulgated:

- versus -

THE EXECUTIVE SECRETARY, THE HON. EDUARDO R. ERMITA, and THE SECRETARY OF AGRARIAN/LAND REFORM, THE HON. RENE C. VILLA, Respondents.

August 29, 2007 x------------------------------------------------------------------------x DECISION

CARPIO MORALES, J.: Petitioners Anak Mindanao Party-List Group (AMIN) and Mamalo Descendants Organization, Inc. (MDOI) assail the constitutionality of Executive Order (E.O.) Nos. 364 and 379, both issued in 2004, via the present Petition for Certiorari and Prohibition with prayer for injunctive relief. E.O. No. 364, which President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo issued on September 27, 2004, reads: EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 364 TRANSFORMING THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRARIAN REFORM INTO THE DEPARTMENT OF LAND REFORM WHEREAS, one of the five reform packages of the Arroyo administration is Social Justice and Basic [N]eeds; WHEREAS, one of the five anti-poverty measures for social justice is asset reform; WHEREAS, asset reforms covers [sic] agrarian reform, urban land reform, and ancestral domain reform; WHEREAS, urban land reform is a concern of the Presidential Commission [for] the Urban Poor (PCUP) and ancestral domain reform is a concern of the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP); WHEREAS, another of the five reform packages of the Arroyo administration is Anti-Corruption and Good Government; WHEREAS, one of the Good Government reforms of the Arroyo administration is rationalizing the bureaucracy by consolidating related functions into one department; WHEREAS, under law and jurisprudence, the President of the Philippines has broad powers to reorganize the offices under her supervision and control; NOW[,] THEREFORE[,] I, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, by the powers vested in me as President of the Republic of the Philippines, do hereby order: SECTION 1. The Department of Agrarian Reform is hereby transformed into the Department of Land Reform. It shall be responsible for all land reform in the country, including agrarian reform, urban land reform, and ancestral domain reform. SECTION 2. The PCUP is hereby placed under the supervision and control of the Department of Land Reform. The Chairman of the PCUP shall be ex-officio Undersecretary of the Department of Land Reform for Urban Land Reform. SECTION 3. The NCIP is hereby placed under the supervision and control of the Department of Land Reform. The Chairman of the NCIP shall be ex-officio Undersecretary of the Department of Land Reform for Ancestral Domain Reform. SECTION 4. The PCUP and the NCIP shall have access to the services provided by the Departments Finance, Management and Administrative Office; Policy, Planning and Legal Affairs Office, Field Operations and Support Services Office, and all other offices of the Department of Land Reform. SECTION 5. All previous issuances that conflict with this Executive Order are hereby repealed or modified accordingly. SECTION 6. This Executive Order takes effect immediately. (Emphasis and underscoring supplied) E.O. No. 379, which amended E.O. No. 364 a month later or on October 26, 2004, reads: EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 379 AMENDING EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 364 ENTITLED TRANSFORMING THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRARIAN REFORM INTO THE DEPARTMENT OF LAND REFORM WHEREAS, Republic Act No. 8371 created the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples; WHEREAS, pursuant to the Administrative Code of 1987, the President has the continuing authority to reorganize the administrative structure of the National Government.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, GLORIA MACAPAGAL-ARROYO, President of the Republic of the Philippines, by virtue of the powers vested in me by the Constitution and existing laws, do hereby order: Section 1. Amending Section 3 of Executive Order No. 364. Section 3 of Executive Order No. 364, dated September 27, 2004 shall now read as follows: Section 3. The National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) shall be an attached agency of the Department of Land Reform. Section 2. Compensation. The Chairperson shall suffer no diminution in rank and salary. Section 3. Repealing Clause. All executive issuances, rules and regulations or parts thereof which are inconsistent with this Executive Order are hereby revoked, amended or modified accordingly. Section 4. Effectivity. This Executive Order shall take effect immediately. the original) Petitioners contend that the two presidential issuances are unconstitutional for violating: THE CONSTITUTIONAL PRINCIPLES OF SEPARATION OF POWERS AND OF THE RULE OF LAW[;] THE CONSTITUTIONAL SCHEME AND POLICIES FOR AGRARIAN REFORM, URBAN LAND REFORM, INDIGENOUS PEOPLES RIGHTS AND ANCESTRAL DOMAIN[; AND] THE CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT OF THE PEOPLE AND THEIR ORGANIZATIONS TO EFFECTIVE AND REASONABLE PARTICIPATION IN DECISION-MAKING, INCLUDING THROUGH ADEQUATE CONSULTATION[.][1] (Emphasis and underscoring in

By Resolution of December 6, 2005, this Court gave due course to the Petition and required the submission of memoranda, with which petitioners and respondents complied on March 24, 2006 and April 11, 2006, respectively. The issue on the transformation of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) into the Department of Land Reform (DLR) became moot and academic, however, the department having reverted to its former name by virtue of E.O. No. 456 [2] which was issued on August 23, 2005. The Court is thus left with the sole issue of the legality of placing the Presidential Commission [3] for the Urban Poor (PCUP) under the supervision and control of the DAR, and the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) under the DAR as an attached agency. Before inquiring into the validity of the reorganization, petitioners locus standi or legal standing, inter alia,[4] becomes a preliminary question. The Office of the Solicitor General (OSG), on behalf of respondents, concedes that AMIN[5] has the requisite legal standing to file this suit as member[6] of Congress. Petitioners find it impermissible for the Executive to intrude into the domain of the Legislature. They posit that an act of the Executive which injures the institution of Congress causes a derivative but nonetheless substantial injury, which can be questioned by a member of Congress.[7] They add that to the extent that the powers of Congress are impaired, so is the power of each member thereof, since his office confers a right to participate in the exercise of the powers of that institution. [8] Indeed, a member of the House of Representatives has standing to maintain inviolate the prerogatives, powers and privileges vested by the Constitution in his office.[9] The OSG questions, however, the standing of MDOI, a registered peoples organization of Teduray and Lambangian tribesfolk of (North) Upi and South Upi in the province of Maguindanao. As co-petitioner, MDOI alleges that it is concerned with the negative impact of NCIPs becoming an attached agency of the DAR on the processing of ancestral domain claims. It fears that transferring the NCIP to the DAR would affect the processing of ancestral domain claims filed by its members. Locus standi or legal standing has been defined as a personal and substantial interest in a case such that the party has sustained or will sustain direct injury as a result of the governmental act that is being challenged. The gist of the question of standing is whether a party alleges such personal stake in the outcome of the controversy as to assure that concrete adverseness which sharpens the presentation of issues upon which the court depends for illumination of difficult constitutional questions. [10] It has been held that a party who assails the constitutionality of a statute must have a direct and personal interest. It must show not only that the law or any governmental act is invalid, but also that it sustained or is in immediate danger of sustaining some direct injury as a result of its enforcement, and not merely that it suffers thereby in some indefinite way. It must show that it has been or is about to be denied some right or privilege to which it is lawfully entitled or that it is about to be subjected to some burdens or penalties by reason of the statute or act complained of.[11]

For a concerned party to be allowed to raise a constitutional question, it must show that (1) it has personally suffered some actual or threatened injury as a result of the allegedly illegal conduct of the government, (2) the injury is fairly traceable to the challenged action, and (3) the injury is likely to be redressed by a favorable action. [12] An examination of MDOIs nebulous claims of negative impact and probable setbacks[13] shows that they are too abstract to be considered judicially cognizable. And the line of causation it proffers between the challenged action and alleged injury is too attenuated. Vague propositions that the implementation of the assailed orders will work injustice and violate the rights of its members cannot clothe MDOI with the requisite standing. Neither would its status as a peoples organization vest it with the legal standing to assail the validity of the executive orders.[14] La Bugal-Blaan Tribal Association, Inc. v. Ramos,[15] which MDOI cites in support of its claim to legal standing, is inapplicable as it is not similarly situated with the therein petitioners who alleged personal and substantial injury resulting from the mining activities permitted by the assailed statute. And so is Cruz v. Secretary of Environment and Natural Resources,[16] for the indigenous peoples leaders and organizations were not the petitioners therein, who necessarily had to satisfy thelocus standi requirement, but were intervenors who sought and were allowed to be impleaded, not to assail but to defend the constitutionality of the statute. Moreover, MDOI raises no issue of transcendental importance to justify a relaxation of the rule on legal standing. To be accorded standing on the ground of transcendental importance, Senate of the Philippines v. Ermita[17] requires that the following elements must be established: (1) the public character of the funds or other assets involved in the case, (2) the presence of a clear case of disregard of a constitutional or statutory prohibition by the public respondent agency or instrumentality of government, and (3) the lack of any other party with a more direct and specific interest in raising the questions being raised. The presence of these elements MDOI failed to establish, much less allege. Francisco, Jr. v. Fernando[18] more specifically declares that the transcendental importance of the issues raised must relate to the merits of the petition. This Court, not being a venue for the ventilation of generalized grievances, must thus deny adjudication of the matters raised by MDOI. Now, on AMINs position. AMIN charges the Executive Department with transgression of the principle of separation of powers. Under the principle of separation of powers, Congress, the President, and the Judiciary may not encroach on fields allocated to each of them. The legislature is generally limited to the enactment of laws, the executive to the enforcement of laws, and the judiciary to their interpretation and application to cases and controversies. The principle presupposes mutual respect by and between the executive, legislative and judicial departments of the government and calls for them to be left alone to discharge their duties as they see fit.[19] AMIN contends that since the DAR, PCUP and NCIP were created by statutes, [20] they can only be transformed, merged or attached by statutes, not by mere executive orders. While AMIN concedes that the executive power is vested in the President[21] who, as Chief Executive, holds the power of control of all the executive departments, bureaus, and offices,[22] it posits that this broad power of control including the power to reorganize is qualified and limited, for it cannot be exercised in a manner contrary to law, citing the constitutional duty [23] of the President to ensure that the laws, including those creating the agencies, be faithfully executed. AMIN cites the naming of the PCUP as a presidential commission to be clearly an extension of the President, and the creation of the NCIP as an independent agency under the Office of the President.[24] It thus argues that since the legislature had seen fit to create these agencies at separate times and with distinct mandates, the President should respect that legislative disposition. In fine, AMIN contends that any reorganization of these administrative agencies should be the subject of a statute. AMINs position fails to impress. The Constitution confers, by express provision, the power of control over executive departments, bureaus and offices in the President alone. And it lays down a limitation on the legislative power. The line that delineates the Legislative and Executive power is not indistinct. Legislative power is the authority, under the Constitution, to make laws, and to alter and repeal them. The Constitution, as the will of the people in their original, sovereign and unlimited capacity, has vested this power in the Congress of the Philippines. The grant of legislative power to Congress is broad, general and comprehensive. The legislative body possesses plenary power for all purposes of civil government. Any power, deemed to be legislative by usage and tradition, is necessarily possessed by Congress, unless the Constitution has lodged it elsewhere. In fine, except as limited by the Constitution, either expressly or impliedly, legislative power embraces all subjects and extends to matters of general concern or common interest. While Congress is vested with the power to enact laws, the President executes the laws. The executive power is vested in the President. It is generally defined as the power to enforce and administer the laws. It is the power of carrying the laws into practical operation and enforcing their due observance.

As head of the Executive Department, the President is the Chief Executive. He represents the government as a whole and sees to it that all laws are enforced by the officials and employees of his department. He has control over the executive department, bureaus and offices. This means that he has the authority to assume directly the functions of the executive department, bureau and office, or interfere with the discretion of its officials. Corollary to the power of control, the President also has the duty of supervising and enforcement of laws for the maintenance of general peace and public order. Thus, he is granted administrative power over bureaus and offices under his control to enable him to discharge his duties effectively. [25] (Italics omitted, underscoring supplied) The Constitutions express grant of the power of control in the President justifies an executive action to carry out reorgani zation measures under a broad authority of law.[26] In enacting a statute, the legislature is presumed to have deliberated with full knowledge of all existing laws and jurisprudence on the subject.[27] It is thus reasonable to conclude that in passing a statute which places an agency under the Office of the President, it was in accordance with existing laws and jurisprudence on the Presidents power to reorganize. In establishing an executive department, bureau or office, the legislature necessarily ordains an executive agencys position in the scheme of administrative structure. Such determination is primary,[28] but subject to the Presidents continuing authority to reorganize the administrative structure. As far as bureaus, agencies or offices in the executive department are concerned, the power of control may justify the President to deactivate the functions of a particular office. Or a law may expressly grant the President the broad authority to carry out reorganization measures.[29] The Administrative Code of 1987 is one such law:[30] SEC. 30. Functions of Agencies under the Office of the President. Agencies under the Office of the President shall continue to operate and function in accordance with their respective charters or laws creating them, except as otherwise provided in this Code or by law. SEC. 31. Continuing Authority of the President to Reorganize his Office. The President, subject to the policy in the Executive Office and in order to achieve simplicity, economy and efficiency, shall have continuing authority to reorganize the administrative structure of the Office of the President. For this purpose, he may take any of the following actions: (1) Restructure the internal organization of the Office of the President Proper, including the immediate Offices, the Presidential Special Assistants/Advisers System and the Common Staff Support System, by abolishing, consolidating, or merging units thereof or transferring functions from one unit to another; (2) Transfer any function under the Office of the President to any other Department or Agency as well as transfer functions to the Office of the President from other Departments and Agencies; and (3) Transfer any agency under the Office of the President to any other department or agency as well as transfer agencies to the Office of the President from other departments or agencies.[31] (Italics in the original; emphasis and underscoring supplied) In carrying out the laws into practical operation, the President is best equipped to assess whether an executive agency ought to continue operating in accordance with its charter or the law creating it. This is not to say that the legislature is incapable of making a similar assessment and appropriate action within its plenary power. The Administrative Code of 1987 merely underscores the need to provide the President with suitable solutions to situations on hand to meet the exigencies of the service that may call for the exercise of the power of control. x x x The law grants the President this power in recognition of the recurring need of every President to reorganize his office to achieve simplicity, economy and efficiency. The Office of the President is the nerve center of the Executive Branch. To remain effective and efficient, the Office of the President must be capable of being shaped and reshaped by the President in the manner he deems fit to carry out his directives and policies. After all, the Office of the President is the command post of the President. This is the rationale behind the Presidents continuing authority to reorganize the administrative structure of the Office of the President. [32] The Office of the President consists of the Office of the President proper and the agencies under it. [33] It is not disputed that PCUP and NCIP were formed as agencies under the Office of the President. [34] The Agencies under the Office of the President refer to those offices placed under the chairmanship of the President, those under the supervision and control of the President, those under the administrative supervision of the Office of the President, those attached to the Office for policy and program coordination, and those that are not placed by law or order creating them under any special department. [35] As thus provided by law, the President may transfer any agency under the Office of the President to any other department or agency, subject to the policy in the Executive Office and in order to achieve simplicity, economy and efficiency. Gauged against these guidelines,[36] the challenged executive orders may not be said to have been issued with grave abuse of discretion or in violation of the rule of law.

The references in E.O. 364 to asset reform as an anti-poverty measure for social justice and to rationalization of the bureaucracy in furtherance of good government[37] encapsulate a portion of the existing policy in the Executive Office. As averred by the OSG, the President saw it fit to streamline the agencies so as not to hinder the delivery of crucial social reforms. [38] The consolidation of functions in E.O. 364 aims to attain the objectives of simplicity, economy and efficiency as gathered from the provision granting PCUP and NCIP access to the range of services provided by the DARs technical offices and support systems. [39] The characterization of the NCIP as an independent agency under the Office of the President does not remove said body from the Presidents control and supervision with respect to its performance of administrative functions. So it has been opined: That Congress did not intend to place the NCIP under the control of the President in all instances is evident in the IPRA itself, which provides that the decisions of the NCIP in the exercise of its quasi-judicial functions shall be appealable to the Court of Appeals, like those of the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Nevertheless, the NCIP, although independent to a certain degree, was placed by Congress under the office of the President and, as such, is still subject to the Presidents power of control and supervision granted under Section 17, Article VII of the Constitution with respect to its performance of administrative functions[.][40] (Underscoring supplied) In transferring the NCIP to the DAR as an attached agency, the President effectively tempered the exercise of presidential authority and considerably recognized that degree of independence. The Administrative Code of 1987 categorizes administrative relationships into (1) supervision and control, (2) administrative supervision, and (3) attachment.[41] With respect to the third category, it has been held that an attached agency has a larger measure of independence from the Department to which it is attached than one which is under departmental supervision and control or administrative supervision. This is borne out by the lateral relationship between the Department and the attached agency. The attachment is merely for policy and program coordination.[42] Indeed, the essential autonomous character of a board is not negated by its attachment to a commission.[43] AMIN argues, however, that there is an anachronism of sorts because there can be no policy and program coordination between conceptually different areas of reform. It claims that the new framework subsuming agrarian reform, urban land reform and ancestral domain reform is fundamentally incoherent in view of the widely different contexts. [44] And it posits that it is a substantive transformation or reorientation that runs contrary to the constitutional scheme and policies. AMIN goes on to proffer the concept of ordering the law[45] which, so it alleges, can be said of the Constitutions distinct trea tment of these three areas, as reflected in separate provisions in different parts of the Constitution. [46] It argues that the Constitution did not intend an over-arching concept of agrarian reform to encompass the two other areas, and that how the law is ordered in a certain way should not be undermined by mere executive orders in the guise of administrative efficiency. The Court is not persuaded.

The interplay of various areas of reform in the promotion of social justice is not something implausible or unlikely.[47] Their interlocking nature cuts across labels and works against a rigid pigeonholing of executive tasks among the members of the Pre sidents official family. Notably, the Constitution inhibited from identifying and compartmentalizing the composition of the Cabinet. In vesting executive power in one person rather than in a plural executive, the evident intention was to invest the power holder with energy.[48] AMIN takes premium on the severed treatment of these reform areas in marked provisions of the Constitution. It is a precept, however, that inferences drawn from title, chapter or section headings are entitled to very little weight. [49] And so must reliance on subheadings,[50] or the lack thereof, to support a strained deduction be given the weight of helium. Secondary aids may be consulted to remove, not to create doubt. [51] AMINs thesis unsettles, more than settles the order of things in construing the Constitution. Its interpretation fails to clearly establish that the so-called ordering or arrangement of provisions in the Constitution was consciously adopted to imply a signification in terms of government hierarchy from where a constitutional mandate can per se be derived or asserted. It fails to demonstrate that the ordering or layout was not simply a matter of style in constitutional drafting but one of intention in government structuring. With its inherent ambiguity, the proposed interpretation cannot be made a basis for declaring a law or governmental act unconstitutional. A law has in its favor the presumption of constitutionality. For it to be nullified, it must be shown that there is a clear and unequivocal breach of the Constitution. The ground for nullity must be clear and beyond reasonable doubt. [52] Any reasonable doubt should, following the universal rule of legal hermeneutics, be resolved in favor of the constitutionality of a law. [53] Ople v. Torres[54] on which AMIN relies is unavailing. In that case, an administrative order involved a system of identification that required a delicate adjustment of various contending state policies properly lodged in the legislative arena. It was declared unconstitutional for dealing with a subject that should be covered by law and for violating the right to privacy. In the present case, AMIN glaringly failed to show how the reorganization by executive fiat would hamper the exercise of citi zens rights and privileges. It rested on the ambiguous conclusion that the reorganization jeopardizes economic, social and cultural rights. It

intimated, without expounding, that the agendum behind the issuances is to weaken the indigenous peoples rights in favor of the mining industry. And it raised concerns about the possible retrogression in DARs performance as the added workload may impede the implementation of the comprehensive agrarian reform program. AMIN has not shown, however, that by placing the NCIP as an attached agency of the DAR, the President altered the nature and dynamics of the jurisdiction and adjudicatory functions of the NCIP concerning all claims and disputes involving rights of indigenous cultural communities and indigenous peoples. Nor has it been shown, nay alleged, that the reorganization was made in bad faith. [55] As for the other arguments raised by AMIN which pertain to the wisdom or soundness of the executive decision, the Court finds it unnecessary to pass upon them. The raging debate on the most fitting framework in the delivery of social services is endless in the political arena. It is not the business of this Court to join in the fray. Courts have no judicial power to review cases involving political questions and, as a rule, will desist from taking cognizance of speculative or hypothetical cases, advisory opinions and cases that have become moot.[56] Finally, a word on the last ground proffered for declaring the unconstitutionality of the assailed issuances that they violate Section 16, Article XIII of the Constitution[57] on the peoples right to participate in decision-making through adequate consultation mechanisms. The framers of the Constitution recognized that the consultatio n mechanisms were already operating without the States action by law, such that the role of the State would be mere facilitation, not necessarily creation of these consultation mechanisms. The State provides the support, but eventually it is the people, properly organized in their associations, who can assert the right and pursue the objective. Penalty for failure on the part of the government to consult could only be reflected in the ballot box and would not nullify government action.[58]

WHEREFORE, the petition is DISMISSED. Executive Order Nos. 364 and 379 issued on September 27, 2004 and October 26, 2004, respectively, are declared not unconstitutional. SO ORDERED. FIRST DIVISION [G.R. No. 152845. August 5, 2003] DRIANITA BAGAOISAN, FELY MADRIAGA, SHIRLY TAGABAN, RICARDO SARANDI, SUSAN IMPERIAL, BENJAMIN DEMDEM, RODOLFO DAGA, EDGARDO BACLIG, GREGORIO LABAYAN, HILARIO JEREZ, and MARIA CORAZON CUANANG, petitioners, vs. NATIONAL TOBACCO ADMINISTRATION, represented by ANTONIO DE GUZMAN and PERLITA BAULA, respondents. DECISION VITUG, J.: President Joseph Estrada issued on 30 September 1998 Executive Order No. 29, entitled Mandating the Streamlining of the National Tobacco Administration (NTA), a government agency under the Department of Agriculture. The order was followed by another issuance, on 27 October 1998, by President Estrada of Executive Order No. 36, amending Executive Order No. 29, insofar as the new staffing pattern was concerned, by increasing from four hundred (400) to not exceeding seven hundred fifty (750) the positions affected thereby. In compliance therewith, the NTA prepared and adopted a new Organization Structure and Staffing Pattern (OSSP) which, on 29 October 1998, was submitted to the Office of the President. On 11 November 1998, the rank and file employees of NTA Batac, among whom included herein petitioners, filed a letter-appeal with the Civil Service Commission and sought its assistance in recalling the OSSP. On 04 December 1998, the OSSP was approved by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) subject to certain revisions. On even date, the NTA created a placement committee to assist the appointing authority in the selection and placement of permanent personnel in the revised OSSP. The results of the evaluation by the committee on the individual qualifications of applicants to the positions in the new OSSP were then disseminated and posted at the central and provincial offices of the NTA. On 10 June 1996, petitioners, all occupying different positions at the NTA office in Batac, Ilocos Norte, received individual notices of termination of their employment with the NTA effective thirty (30) days from receipt thereof. Finding themselves without any immediate relief from their dismissal from the service, petitioners filed a petition for certiorari, prohibition and mandamus, with prayer for preliminary mandatory injunction and/or temporary restraining order, with the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Batac, Ilocos Norte, and prayed 1) that a restraining order be immediately issued enjoining the respondents from enforcing the notice of termination addressed individually to the petitioners and/or from committing further acts of dispossession and/or ousting the petitioners from their respective offices; 2) that a writ of preliminary injunction be issued against the respondents, commanding them to maintain the status quo to protect the rights of the petitioners pending the determination of the validity of the implementation of their dismissal from the service; and

3) that, after trial on the merits, judgment be rendered declaring the notice of termination of the petitioners illegal and the reorganization null and void and ordering their reinstatement with backwages, if applicable, commanding the respondents to desist from further terminating their services, and making the injunction permanent.[1] The RTC, on 09 September 2000, ordered the NTA to appoint petitioners in the new OSSP to positions similar or comparable to their respective former assignments. A motion for reconsideration filed by the NTA was denied by the trial court in its order of 28 February 2001. Thereupon, the NTA filed an appeal with the Court of Appeals, raising the following issues: I. II. Whether or not respondents submitted evidence as proof that petitioners, individually, were not the best qualified and most deserving among the incumbent applicant-employees. Whether or not incumbent permanent employees, including herein petitioners, automatically enjoy a preferential right and the right of first refusal to appointments/reappointments in the new Organization Structure And Staffing Pattern (OSSP) of respondent NTA. Whether or not respondent NTA in implementing the mandated reorganization pursuant to E.O. No. 29, as amended by E.O. No. 36, strictly adhere to the implementing rules on reorganization, particularly RA 6656 and of the Civil Service Commission Rules on Government Reorganization.

III.

IV. Whether or not the validity of E.O. Nos. 29 and 36 can be put in issue in the instant case/appeal. [2] On 20 February 2002, the appellate court rendered a decision reversing and setting aside the assailed orders of the trial court. Petitioners went to this Court to assail the decision of the Court of Appeals, contending that I. The Court of Appeals erred in making a finding that went beyond the issues of the case and which are contrary to those of the trial court and that it overlooked certain relevant facts not disputed by the parties and which, if properly considered, would justify a different conclusion; The Court of Appeals erred in upholding Executive Order Nos. 29 and 36 of the Office of the President which are mere administrative issuances which do not have the force and effect of a law to warrant abolition of positions and/or effecting total reorganization; The Court of Appeals erred in holding that petitioners removal from the service is in accordance with law;

II.

III.

IV. The Court of Appeals erred in holding that respondent NTA was not guilty of bad faith in the termination of the services of petitioners; (and) V. The Court of Appeals erred in ignoring case law/jurisprudence in the abolition of an office.[3]

In its resolution of 10 July 2002, the Court required the NTA to file its comment on the petition. On 18 November 2002, after the NTA had filed its comment of 23 September 2002, the Court issued its resolution denying the petition for failure of petitioners to sufficiently show any reversible error on the part of the appellate court in its challenged decision so as to warrant the exercise by this Court of its discretionary appellate jurisdiction. A motion for reconsideration filed by petitioners was denie d in the Courts resolution of 20 January 2002. On 21 February 2003, petitioners submitted a Motion to Admit Petition For En Banc Resolution of the case allegedly to address a basic question, i.e., the legal and constitutional issue on whether the NTA m ay be reorganized by an executive fiat, not by legislative action.[4] In their Petition for an En Banc Resolution petitioners would have it that 1. The Court of Appeals decision upholding the reorganization of the National Tobacco Administration sets a dangerous precedent in that: a) A mere Executive Order issued by the Office of the President and procured by a government functionary would have the effect of a blanket authority to reorganize a bureau, office or agency attached to the various executive departments; b) The President of the Philippines would have the plenary power to reorganize the entire government Bureaucracy through the issuance of an Executive Order, an administrative issuance without the benefit of due deliberation, debate and discussion of members of both chambers of the Congress of the Philippines; c) The right to security of tenure to a career position created by law or statute would be defeated by the mere adoption of an Organizational Structure and Staffing Pattern issued pursuant to an Executive Order which is not a law and could thus not abolish an office created by law; 2. The case law on abolition of an office would be disregarded, ignored and abandoned if the Court of Appeals decision subject matter of this Petition would remain undisturbed and untouched. In other words, previous doctrines and precedents of this Highest Court would in effect be reversed and/or modified with the Court of Appeals judgment, should it remain unchallenged. 3. Section 4 of Executive Order No. 245 dated July 24, 1987 (Annex D, Petition), issued by the Revolutionary government of for mer President Corazon Aquino, and the law creating NTA, which provides that the governing body of NTA is the Board of Directors, would be rendered meaningless, ineffective and a dead letter law because the challenged NTA reorganization which was erroneously upheld by the Court of Appeals was adopted and implemented by then NTA Administrator Antonio de Guzman without the corresponding authority from the Board of Directors as mandated therein. In brief, the reorganization is an ultra vires act of the NTA Administrator. 4. The challenged Executive Order No. 29 issued by former President Joseph Estrada but unsigned by then Executive Secretary Ronaldo Zamora would in effect be erroneously upheld and given legal effect as to supersede, amend and/or modify Executive Order No.

245, a law issued during the Freedom Constitution of President Corazon Aquino. In brief, a mere executive order would amend, supersede and/or render ineffective a law or statute.[5] In order to allow the parties a full opportunity to ventilate their views on the matter, the Court ultimately resolved to hear the parties in oral argument. Essentially, the core question raised by them is whether or not the President, through the issuance of an executive order, can validly carry out the reorganization of the NTA. Notwithstanding the apparent procedural lapse on the part of petitioner to implead the Office of the President as party respondent pursuant to Section 7, Rule 3, of the 1997 Revised Rules of Civil Procedure, [6] this Court resolved to rule on the merits of the petition. Buklod ng Kawaning EIIB vs. Zamora[7] ruled that the President, based on existing laws, had the authority to carry out a reorganization in any branch or agency of the executive department. In said case, Buklod ng Kawaning EIIB challenged the issuance, and sought the nullification, of Executive Order No. 191 (Deactivation of the Economic Intelligence and Investigation Bureau) and Executive Order No. 223 (Supplementary Executive Order No. 191 on the Deactivation of the Economic Intelligence and Investigation Bureau and for Other Matters) on the ground that they were issued by the President with grave abuse of discretion and in violation of their constitutional right to security of tenure. The Court explained: The general rule has always been that the power to abolish a public office is lodged with the legislature. This proceeds from the legal precept that the power to create includes the power to destroy. A public office is either created by the Constitution, by statute, or by authority of law. Thus, except where the office was created by the Constitution itself, it may be abolished by the same legislature that brought it into existence. The exception, however, is that as far as bureaus, agencies or offices in the executive department are concerned, the Presidents power of control may justify him to inactivate the functions of a particular office, or certain laws may grant him the broad authority to carry out reorganization measures. The case in point is Larin v. Executive Secretary [280 SCRA 713]. In this case, it was argued that there is no law which empowers the President to reorganize the BIR. In decreeing otherwise, this Court sustained the following legal basis, thus: `Initially, it is argued that there is no law yet which empowers the President to issue E.O. No. 132 or to reorganize the BIR. `We do not agree. `x x x `Section 48 of R.A. 7645 provides that: ``Sec. 48. Scaling Down and Phase Out of Activities of Agencies Within the Executive Branch. The heads of departments, bureaus and offices and agencies are hereby directed to identify their respective activities which are no longer essential in the delivery of public services and which may be scaled down, phased out or abolished, subject to civil service rules and regulations. x x x. Actual scaling down, phasing out or abolition of the activities shall be effected pursuant to Circulars or Orders issued for the purpose by the Office of the President. `Said provision clearly mentions the acts of `scaling down, phasing out and abolition of offices only and does not cover the creation of offices or transfer of functions. Nevertheless, the act of creating and decentralizing is included in the subsequent provision of Section 62 which provides that: ``Sec. 62. Unauthorized organizational changes. Unless otherwise created by law or directed by the President of the Philippines, no organizational unit or changes in key positions in any department or agency shall be authorized in their respective organization structures and be funded from appropriations by this Act. `The foregoing provision evidently shows that the President is authorized to effect organizational changes including the creation of offices in the department or agency concerned. `x x x xxx xxx

`Another legal basis of E.O. No. 132 is Section 20, Book III of E.O. No. 292 which states: ``Sec. 20. Residual Powers. Unless Congress provides otherwise, the President shall exercise such other powers and functions vested in the President which are provided for under the laws and which are not specifically enumerated above or which are not delegated by the President in accordance with law. `This provision speaks of such other powers vested in the President under the law. What law then gives him the power to reorganize? It is Presidential Decree No. 1772 which amended Presidential Decree No. 1416. These decrees expressly grant the President of the Philippines the continuing authority to reorganize the national government, which includes the power to group, consolidate bureaus and agencies, to abolish offices, to transfer functions, to create and classify functions, services and activities and to standardize salaries and materials. The validity of these two decrees are unquestionable. The 1987 Constitution clearly provides that `all laws, decrees, executive orders, proclamations, letter of instructions and other executive issuances not inconsistent with this Constitution shall remain operative until amended, repealed or revoked. So far, there is yet no law amending or repealing said decrees. Now, let us take a look at the assailed executive order. In the whereas clause of E.O. No. 191, former President Estrada anchored his authority to deactivate EIIB on Section 77 of Republic Act 8745 (FY 1999 General Appropriations Act), a provision similar to Section 62 of R.A. 7645 quoted in Larin, thus: `Sec. 77. Organized Changes. Unless otherwise provided by law or directed by the President of the Philippines, no changes in key positions or organizational units in any department or agency shall be authorized in their respective organizational structures and funded from appropriations provided by this Act.

We adhere to the x x x ruling in Larin that this provision recognizes the authority of the President to effect organizational changes in the department or agency under the executive structure. Such a ruling further finds support in Section 78 of Republic Act No. 8760. Under this law, the heads of departments, bureaus, offices and agencies and other entities in the Executive Branch are directed (a) to conduct a comprehensive review of this respective mandates, missions, objectives, functions, programs, projects, activities and systems and procedures; (b) identify activities which are no longer essential in the delivery of public services and which may be scaled down, phasedout or abolished; and (c) adopt measures that will result in the streamlined organization and improved overall performance of their respective agencies. Section 78 ends up with the mandate that the actual streamlining and productivity improvement in agency organization and operation shall be effected pursuant to Circulars or Orders issued for the purpose by the Office of the President. The law has spoken clearly. We are left only with the duty to sustain. But of course, the list of legal basis authorizing the President to reorganize any department or agency in the executive branch does not have to end here. We must not lose sight of the very source of the power that which constitutes an express grant of power. Under Section 31, Book III of Executive Order No. 292 (otherwise known as the Administrative Code of 1987), the President, subject to the policy in the Executive Office and in order to achieve simplicity, economy and efficiency, shall have the continuing authority to reorganize the administrative structure of the Office of the President. For this purpose, he may transfer the functions of other Departments or Agencies to the Office of the President. In Canonizado vs. Aguirre [323 SCRA 312], we ruled that reorganization involves the reduction of personnel, consolidation of offices, or abolition thereof by reason of economy or redundancy of functions. It takes place when there is an alteration of the existing structure of government offices or units therein, including the lines of control, authority and responsibility between them. The EIIB is a bureau attached to the Department of Finance. It falls under the Office of the President. Hence, it is subject to the Presidents continuing authority to reorganize. It having been duly established that the President has the authority to carry out reorganization in any branch or agency of the executive department, what is then left for us to resolve is whether or not the reorganization is valid. In this jurisdiction, reorganizations have been regarded as valid provided they are pursued in good faith. Reorganization is carried out in `good faith if it is for the purpose of economy or to make bureaucracy more efficient. Pertinently, Republic Act No. 6656 provides for the circumstances which may be considered as evidence of bad faith in the removal of civil service employees made as a result of reorganization, to wit: (a) where there is a significant increase in the number of positions in the new staffing pattern of the department or agency concerned; (b) where an office is abolished and another performing substantially the same functions is created; (c) where incumbents are replaced by those less qualified in terms of status of appointment, performance and merit; (d) where there is a classification of offices in the department or agency concerned and the reclassified offices perform substantially the same functions as the original offices, and (e) where the removal violates the order of separation.[8] The Court of Appeals, in its now assailed decision, has found no evidence of bad faith on the part of the NTA; thus In the case at bar, we find no evidence that the respondents committed bad faith in issuing the notices of non-appointment to the petitioners. Firstly, the number of positions in the new staffing pattern did not increase. Rather, it decreased from 1,125 positions to 750. It is thus natural that ones position may be lost through the removal or abolition of an office. Secondly, the petitioners failed to specifically show which offices were abolished and the new ones that were created performing substantially the same functions. Thirdly, the petitioners likewise failed to prove that less qualified employees were appointed to the positions to which they applied. x x x xxx x x x.

Fourthly, the preference stated in Section 4 of R.A. 6656, only means that old employees should be considered first, but it does not necessarily follow that they should then automatically be appointed. This is because the law does not preclude the infusion of new blood, younger dynamism, or necessary talents into the government service, provided that the acts of the appointing power are bonafide for the best interest of the public service and the person chosen has the needed qual ifications.[9] These findings of the appellate court are basically factual which this Court must respect and be held bound. It is important to emphasize that the questioned Executive Orders No. 29 and No. 36 have not abolished the National Tobacco Administration but merely mandated its reorganization through the streamlining or reduction of its personnel . Article VII, Section 17,[10] of the Constitution, expressly grants the President control of all executive departments, bureaus, agencies and offices which may justify an executive action to inactivate the functions of a particular office or to carry out reorganization measures under a broad authority of law.[11] Section 78 of the General Provisions of Republic Act No. 8522 (General Appropriations Act of FY 1998) has decreed that the President may direct changes in the organization and key positions in any department, bureau or agency pursuant to Article VI, Section 25,[12] of the Constitution, which grants to the Executive Department the authority to recommend the budget necessary for its operation. Evidently, this grant of power includes the authority to evaluate each and every government agency, including the determination of the most economical and efficient staffing pattern, under the Executive Department. In the recent case of Rosa Ligaya C. Domingo, et al. vs. Hon. Ronaldo D. Zamora, in his capacity as the Executive Secretary, et al.,[13] this Court has had occasion to also delve on the Presidents power to reorganize the Office of the President under Section 31(2) and (3) of Executive Order No. 292 and the power to reorganize the Office of the President Proper. The Court has there observed: x x x. Under Section 31(1) of EO 292, the President can reorganize the Office of the President Proper by abolishing, consolidating or merging units, or by transferring functions from one unit to another. In contrast, under Section 31(2) and (3) of EO 292, the Presidents power to reorganize offices outside the Office of the President Proper but still within the Office of the President is limited to merely transferring functions or agencies from the Office of the President to Departments or Agencies, and vice versa.

The provisions of Section 31, Book III, Chapter 10, of Executive Order No. 292 (Administrative Code of 1987), above-referred to, reads thusly: SEC. 31. Continuing Authority of the President to Reorganize his Office. The President, subject to the policy in the Executive Office and in order to achieve simplicity, economy and efficiency, shall have continuing authority to reorganize the administrative structure of the Office of the President. For this purpose, he may take any of the following actions: (1) Restructure the internal organization of the Office of the President Proper, including the immediate Offices, the Presidential Special Assistants/Advisers System and the Common Staff Support System, by abolishing, consolidating or merging units thereof or transferring functions from one unit to another; (2) Transfer any function under the Office of the President to any other Department or Agency as well as transfer functions to the Office of the President from other Departments and Agencies; and (3) Transfer any agency under the Office of the President to any other department or agency as well as transfer agencies to the Office of the President from other departments and agencies. The first sentence of the law is an express grant to the President of a continuing authority to reorganize the administrative structure of the Office of the President. The succeeding numbered paragraphs are not in the nature of provisos that unduly limit the aim and scope of the grant to the President of the power to reorganize but are to be viewed in consonance therewith. Section 31(1) of Executive Order No. 292 specifically refers to the Presidents power to restructure the internal organization of the Office of the Pres identProper, by abolishing, consolidating or merging units hereof or transferring functions from one unit to another, while Section 31(2) and (3) concern executive offices outside the Office of the President Proper allowing the President to transfer any function under the Office of the President to any other Department or Agency and vice-versa, and the transfer of any agency under the Office of the President to any other department or agency and vice-versa.[14] In the present instance, involving neither an abolition nor transfer of offices, the assailed action is a mere reorganization under the general provisions of the law consisting mainly of streamlining the NTA in the interest of simplicity, economy and efficiency. It is an act well within the authority of President motivated and carried out, according to the findings of the appellate court, in good faith, a factual assessment that this Court could only but accept. [15] In passing, relative to petitioners Motion for an En Banc Resolution of the Case, it may be well to remind counsel, that the Court En Banc is not an appellate tribunal to which appeals from a Division of the Court may be taken. A Division of the Court is the Supreme Court as fully and veritably as the Court En Banc itself and a decision of its Division is as authoritative and final as a decision of the Court En Banc. Referrals of cases from a Division to the Court En Banc do not take place as just a matter of routine but only on such specified grounds as the Court in its discretion may allow.[16] WHEREFORE, the Motion to Admit Petition for En Banc resolution and the Petition for an En Banc Resolution are DENIED for lack of merit. Let entry of judgment be made in due course. No costs. SO ORDERED. Davide, Jr., C.J., (Chairman), Ynares-Santiago, Carpio, and Azcuna, JJ., concur. Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila EN BANC

G.R. No. 84301. April 7, 1993. NATIONAL LAND TITLES AND DEEDS REGISTRATION ADMINISTRATION, petitioner, vs. CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION and VIOLETA L. GARCIA, respondents. The Solicitor General for petitioner. Raul R. Estrella for private respondent. SYLLABUS 1. ADMINISTRATIVE LAW; EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 649; REORGANIZED LAND REGISTRATION COMMISSION TO NALTDRA; EXPRESSLY PROVIDED THE ABOLITION OF EXISTING POSITIONS. Executive Order No. 649 authorized the reorganization of the Land Registration Commission (LRC) into the National Land Titles and Deeds Registration Administration (NALTDRA). It abolished all the positions in the now defunct LRC and required new appointments to be issued to all employees of the NALTDRA. The question of whether or not a law abolishes an office is one of legislative intent about which there can be no controversy whatsoever if there is an explicit declaration in the law itself. A closer examination of Executive Order No. 649 which authorized the reorganization of the Land Registration Commission (LRC) into the National Land Titles and Deeds Registration Administration (NALTDRA), reveals that said law in express terms, provided for the abolition of existing positions. Thus, without need of any interpretation, the law mandates that from the moment an implementing order is issued, all positions in the Land Registration Commission are deemed non-existent. This, however, does not mean removal. Abolition of a position does not involve or mean removal for the reason that removal implies that the post subsists and that one is merely

separated therefrom. (Arao vs. Luspo, 20 SCRA 722 [1967]) After abolition, there is in law no occupant. Thus, there can be no tenure to speak of. It is in this sense that from the standpoint of strict law, the question of any impairment of security of tenure does not arise. (De la Llana vs. Alba, 112 SCRA 294 [1982]) 2. ID.; ID.; ID.; REORGANIZATION, VALID WHEN PURSUED IN GOOD FAITH; CASE AT BAR. Nothing is better settled in our law than that the abolition of an office within the competence of a legitimate body if done in good faith suffers from no infirmity. Two questions therefore arise: (1) was the abolition carried out by a legitimate body?; and (2) was it done in good faith? There is no dispute over the authority to carry out a valid reorganization in any branch or agency of the Government. Under Section 9, Article XVII of the 1973 Constitution. The power to reorganize is, however; not absolute. We have held in Dario vs. Mison that reorganizations in this jurisdiction have been regarded as valid provided they are pursued in good faith. This court has pronounced that if the newly created office has substantially new, different or additional functions, duties or powers, so that it may be said in fact to create an office different from the one abolished, even though it embraces all or some of the duties of the old office it will be considered as an abolition of one office and the creation of a new or different one. The same is true if one office is abolished and its duties, for reasons of economy are given to an existing officer or office. Executive Order No. 649 was enacted to improve the services and better systematize the operation of the Land Registration Commission. A reorganization is carried out in good faith if it is for the purpose of economy or to make bureaucracy more efficient. To this end, the requirement of Bar membership to qualify for key positions in the NALTDRA was imposed to meet the changing circumstances and new development of the times. Private respondent Garcia who formerly held the position of Deputy Register of Deeds II did not have such qualification. It is thus clear that she cannot hold any key position in the NALTDRA, The additional qualification was not intended to remove her from office. Rather, it was a criterion imposed concomitant with a valid reorganization measure. 3. ID.; ID.; ID.; THERE IS NO VESTED PROPERTY RIGHT TO BE RE-EMPLOYED IN A REORGANIZED OFFICE; CASE AT BAR. There is no such thing as a vested interest or an estate in an office, or even an absolute right to hold it. Except constitutional offices which provide for special immunity as regards salary and tenure, no one can be said to have any vested right in an office or its salary. None of the exceptions to this rule are obtaining in this case. To reiterate, the position which private respondent Garcia would like to occupy anew was abolished pursuant to Executive Order No. 649, a valid reorganization measure. There is no vested property right to be re employed in a reorganized office. Not being a member of the Bar, the minimum requirement to qualify under the reorganization law for permanent appointment as Deputy Register of Deeds II, she cannot be reinstated to her former position without violating the express mandate of the law. DECISION CAMPOS, JR., J p: The sole issue for our consideration in this case is whether or not membership in the bar, which is the qualification requirement prescribed for appointment to the position of Deputy Register of Deeds under Section 4 of Executive Order No. 649 (Reorganizing the Land Registration Commission (LRC) into the National Land Titles and Deeds Registration Administration or NALTDRA) should be required of and/or applied only to new applicants and not to those who were already in the service of the LRC as deputy register of deeds at the time of the issuance and implementation of the abovesaid Executive Order. The facts, as succinctly stated in the Resolution ** of the Civil Service Commission, are as follows: "The records show that in 1977, petitioner Garcia, a Bachelor of Laws graduate and a first grade civil service eligible was appointed Deputy Register of Deeds VII under permanent status. Said position was later reclassified to Deputy Register of Deeds III pursuant to PD 1529, to which position, petitioner was also appointed under permanent status up to September 1984. She was for two years, more or less, designated as Acting Branch Register of Deeds of Meycauayan, Bulacan. By virtue of Executive Order No. 649 (which took effect on February 9, 1981) which authorized the restructuring of the Land Registration Commission to National Land Titles and Deeds Registration Administration and regionalizing the Offices of the Registers therein, petitioner Garcia was issued an appointment as Deputy Register of Deeds II on October 1, 1984, under temporary status, for not being a member of the Philippine Bar. She appealed to the Secretary of Justice but her request was denied. Petitioner Garcia moved for reconsideration but her motion remained unacted. On October 23, 1984, petitioner Garcia was administratively charged with Conduct Prejudicial to the Best Interest of the Service. While said case was pending decision, her temporary appointment as such was renewed in 1985. In a Memorandum dated October 30, 1986, the then Minister, now Secretary, of Justice notified petitioner Garcia of the termination of her services as Deputy Register of Deeds II on the ground that she was "receiving bribe money". Said Memorandum of Termination which took effect on February 9, 1987, was the subject of an appeal to the Inter-Agency Review Committee which in turn referred the appeal to the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB). In its Order dated July 6, 1987, the MSPB dropped the appeal of petitioner Garcia on the ground that since the termination of her services was due to the expiration of her temporary appointment, her separation is in order. Her motion for reconsideration was denied on similar ground." 1 However, in its Resolution 2 dated June 30, 1988, the Civil Service Commission directed that private respondent Garcia be restored to her position as Deputy Register of Deeds II or its equivalent in the NALTDRA. It held that "under the vested right theory the new requirement of BAR membership to qualify for permanent appointment as Deputy Register of Deeds II or higher as mandated under said Executive Order, would not apply to her (private respondent Garcia) but only to the filling up of vacant lawyer positions on or after February 9, 1981, the date said Executive Order took effect." 3 A fortiori, since private respondent Garcia had been holding the position of Deputy Register of Deeds II from 1977 to September 1984, she should not be affected by the operation on February 1, 1981 of Executive Order No. 649. Petitioner NALTDRA filed the present petition to assail the validity of the above Resolution of the Civil Service Commission. It contends that Sections 8 and 10 of Executive Order No. 649 abolished all existing positions in the LRC and transferred their functions to the appropriate new offices created by said Executive Order, which newly created offices required the issuance of new appointments to qualified office holders. Verily, Executive Order No. 649 applies to private respondent Garcia, and not being a member of the Bar, she cannot be reinstated to her former position as Deputy Register of Deeds II. We find merit in the petition.

Executive Order No. 649 authorized the reorganization of the Land Registration Commission (LRC) into the National Land Titles and Deeds Registration Administration (NALTDRA). It abolished all the positions in the now defunct LRC and required new appointments to be issued to all employees of the NALTDRA. The question of whether or not a law abolishes an office is one of legislative intent about which there can be no controversy whatsoever if there is an explicit declaration in the law itself. 4 A closer examination of Executive Order No. 649 which authorized the reorganization of the Land Registration Commission (LRC) into the National Land Titles and Deeds Registration Administration (NALTDRA), reveals that said law in express terms, provided for the abolition of existing positions, to wit: Sec. 8. Abolition of Existing Positions in the Land Registration Commission . . . All structural units in the Land Registration Commission and in the registries of deeds, and all Positions therein shall cease to exist from the date specified in the implementing order to be issued by the President pursuant to the preceding paragraph. Their pertinent functions, applicable appropriations, records, equipment and property shall be transferred to the appropriate staff or offices therein created. (Emphasis Supplied.) Thus, without need of any interpretation, the law mandates that from the moment an implementing order is issued, all positions in the Land Registration Commission are deemed non-existent. This, however, does not mean removal. Abolition of a position does not involve or mean removal for the reason that removal implies that the post subsists and that one is merely separated therefrom. 5 After abolition, there is in law no occupant. Thus, there can be no tenure to speak of. It is in this sense that from the standpoint of strict law, the question of any impairment of security of tenure does not arise. 6 Nothing is better settled in our law than that the abolition of an office within the competence of a legitimate body if done in good faith suffers from no infirmity. Two questions therefore arise: (1) was the abolition carried out by a legitimate body?; and (2) was it done in good faith? There is no dispute over the authority to carry out a valid reorganization in any branch or agency of the Government. Under Section 9, Article XVII of the 1973 Constitution, the applicable law at that time: Sec. 9. All officials and employees in the existing Government of the Republic of the Philippines shall continue in office until otherwise provided by law or decreed by the incumbent President of the Philippines, but all officials whose appointments are by this Constitution vested in the Prime Minister shall vacate their respective offices upon the appointment and qualifications of their successors. The power to reorganize is, however; not absolute. We have held in Dario vs. Mison 7 that reorganizations in this jurisdiction have been regarded as valid provided they are pursued in good faith. This court has pronounced 8 that if the newly created office has substantially new, different or additional functions, duties or powers, so that it may be said in fact to create an office different from the one abolished, even though it embraces all or some of the duties of the old office it will be considered as an abolition of one office and the creation of a new or different one. The same is true if one office is abolished and its duties, for reasons of economy are given to an existing officer or office. Executive Order No. 649 was enacted to improve the services and better systematize the operation of the Land Registration Commission. 9 A reorganization is carried out in good faith if it is for the purpose of economy or to make bureaucracy more efficient. 10 To this end, the requirement of Bar membership to qualify for key positions in the NALTDRA was imposed to meet the changing circumstances and new development of the times. 11 Private respondent Garcia who formerly held the position of Deputy Register of Deeds II did not have such qualification. It is thus clear that she cannot hold any key position in the NALTDRA, The additional qualification was not intended to remove her from office. Rather, it was a criterion imposed concomitant with a valid reorganization measure. A final word, on the "vested right theory" advanced by respondent Civil Service Commission. There is no such thing as a vested interest or an estate in an office, or even an absolute right to hold it. Except constitutional offices which provide for special immunity as regards salary and tenure, no one can be said to have any vested right in an office or its salary. 12 None of the exceptions to this rule are obtaining in this case. To reiterate, the position which private respondent Garcia would like to occupy anew was abolished pursuant to Executive Order No. 649, a valid reorganization measure. There is no vested property right to be re employed in a reorganized office. Not being a member of the Bar, the minimum requirement to qualify under the reorganization law for permanent appointment as Deputy Register of Deeds II, she cannot be reinstated to her former position without violating the express mandate of the law. WHEREFORE, premises considered, We hereby GRANT the petition and SET ASIDE the questioned Resolution of the Civil Service Commission reinstating private respondent to her former position as Deputy Register of Deeds II or its equivalent in the National Land Titles and Deeds Registration Administration. SO ORDERED. Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila EN BANC G.R. No. 101251 November 5, 1992 ELISEO A. SINON, petitioner, vs. CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE-REORGANIZATION APPEALS BOARD AND JUANA BANAN, respondents.

CAMPOS, JR., J.: This petition for certiorari seeks to annul the following Resolutions of the public respondents Civil Service Commission (the "CSC") * and Department of Agriculture Reorganization Appeals Board (the "DARAB"), ** to wit: 1. Resolution No. 97 dated August 23, 1989, issued by respondent DARAB which revoked petitioner's permanent appointment as Municipal Agriculture Officer (MAO) and appointed, in his stead, private respondent Juana Banan (Rollo 17); 2. Resolution dated February 8, 1991 issued by the respondent CSC affirming the aforementioned Resolution of respondent DARAB (Rollo 22); 3. Resolution dated July 11, 1991 issued by the respondent CSC which denied petitioner's motion for the reconsideration of the respondent Commission's Resolution dated February 8, 1991. 1 The antecedent facts are as follows: Prior to the reorganization of the then Minister of Agriculture and Food (the "MAF"), the private respondent Juana Banan was the incumbent Municipal Agricultural Officer (MAO) of the aforesaid Minister in Region II, Cagayan, while the petitioner Eliseo Sinon occupied the position of Fisheries Extension Specialist (FES) II in the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) in the same region. However, the reorganization of the MAF into the Department of Agriculture (the "DA"), with the issuance of Executive Order No. 116 dated 30 January 1987, called for the evaluation of the following employees for twenty nine position of MAO in Region II, Cagayan. The list as prepared by the Placement Committee included the herein petitioner Sinon but excluded the respondent Banan: Thus, respondents Banan filed an appeal with the DARAB for re-evaluation of the qualification of all those included in the aforementioned list made by the Placement Committee. On August 23, 1989, the DARAB released Resolution No. 97 in which the ranking for 29 MAO prepared by the Placement Committee was re-evaluated as follows: In this re-evaluation, petitioner Sinon was displaced by the respondent Banan and this same resolution was duly approved by the Secretary of the Department of Agriculture, Carlos G. Dominguez, who also affixed his signature on the same date. However, on August 30, 1988, Sinon received an appointment as MAO for Region II in Cagayan as approved by Regional Director Gumersindo D. Lasam on the basis of the first evaluation made by the Placement Committee. Thus, Sinon filed an appeal docketed as Civil Service Case No. 573 on November 22, 1989 to the CSC. This appeal was granted mainly for two reasons: first, the respondent DARAB failed to file its Comment within the period required; and second, the evaluation of the qualification of the employees is a question of fact which the appointing authority or the Placement Committee assisting him is in a better position to determine. Hence, the Resolution dated 28 February 1989 of the DARAB was set aside. 4 On March 19, 1990, Banan filed a Motion for Reconsideration in which she pitted her qualifications against Sinon for the last slot in the 29 available MAO positions. At the same time, she pointed out that to allow the findings of the Placement Committee to supersede the DARAB resolution which the Secretary of Agriculture had approved would be tantamount to giving precedence to the Placement Committee over the head of the agency. Finally, on February 8, 1991, CSC, after reviewing the Comment filed by the DARAB which had not been considered earlier in the Civil Service Case No. 573, the CSC granted respondent Banan's Motion for Reconsideration and gave due course to her appointment by the DARAB. On March 21, 1991, Sinon filed a Motion for Reconsideration of the February 8, 1991 Resolution which however was denied by the CSC in its assailed Resolution dated July 11, 1991. According to the respondent CSC: Mr. Sinon strongly argued that the findings of the Placement Committee on the qualifications of the parties should be accorded deference and greater weight over that of the RAB. Under the Placement Committee's evaluation, Mr. Sinon garnered 60.66 while Ms. Juana Banan earned 57.32 after assessing the contending parties qualification in education, relevant experience, eligibility and other factors. Following the request of several parties for reevaluation, the RAB in their decision gave Mr. Sinon 57.66 while Ms. Banan obtained 59.32. Seemingly the findings of the two bodies are in conflict. Mr. Sinon argues that the findings of the Placement Committee should prevail since it is specially mandated by RA 6656. We disagree. The Placement Committee's function is recommendatory in nature. The agency's Reorganization Appeals Board was specially created by the Circular of the Office of the President dated October 2, 1987 and conferred with authority to review appeals and complaints of officials and employees affected by the reorganization. the decision of the agency RAB has the imprimatur of the Secretary of that agency and is therefore controlling in matters of and is therefore controlling in matters of appointment. Under this principle, the decision of the DARAB in this case enjoys precedence over the Placement Committee. 5 Hence, this petition was filed with a prayer for a writ of preliminary injunction and/or restraining order to enjoin the execution of the assailed resolutions. Without giving due course to the petition for a writ of preliminary injunction, the court required the parties to file their respective Comments. 6

On 12 November 1991, the Court gave due course to the petition and required the parties to submit their respective Memoranda. 7 The main issue for Our consideration is this: whether or not the CSC committed grave abuse discretion in reviewing and re-evaluating the ring or qualification of the petitioner Sinon. The arguments of the petitioner can be summed up as follows: 1). In issuing the Resolution of 8 February 1991, the CSC in effect revoked the appointment that the petitioner received as early as 30 August 1989 and which was deemed permanent by virtue of the approval of the Regional Director of the Department of Agriculture: 2). In giving petitioner a rating of only 57.66%, 8 from his previous rating of 60.66% and at the same time according a rating of 59.32% to private respondent from a rating of only 57.32%, the CSC departed from its power which is limited only to that of "review", and hence encroached upon the power of appointment exclusively lodged in the appointment authority; 3) In giving due course to the appointment of respondent Banan in its Resolution of 8 February 1991, CSC was directing the appointment of a substitute of their own choice when the power to appoint was exclusively lodged in the appointing authority. We rule as follows. By grave abuse of discretion is meant such capricious and whimsical exercise of judgment as is equivalent to lack of jurisdiction. The abuse of discretion must be patent and gross as to amount to an evasion of positive duty or a virtual refusal to perform a duty enjoined by law, or to act at all in contemplation of law, as where the power is exercised in an arbitrary and despotic manner by reason of passion or hostility. 9 Contrary to the allegations of the petitioner, We do not find any evidence of grave abuse of discretion on the part of the CSC when it issued Resolution dated 8 February 1991 which in effect approved the appointment of respondent Banan over petitioner Sinon. With the reorganization of the MAF into the DA with Executive order No. 116, it became imperative to "protect the security of tenure of Civil Service Officers and employees in the implementation of government reorganization". Thus, Congress passed Republic Act No. 6656. 10 It was under the same law of R.A. 6656 that the Placement Committee was created: Section 6. In order that the best qualified and mot deserving persons shall be appointed in any reorganization, there shall be created a Placement Committee in each department or agency to assist the appointing authority in the judicious selection and placement of personnel. The Committee shall consist of two (2) members appointed by the head of the department or agency, a representative of the appointing authority, and two (2) members duly elected by the employees holding positions in the first and second levels of the career service: Provided, that if there is a registered employee association with a majority of the employees as members, that employee association shall also have a representative in the Committee: Provided, Further, that immediately upon the approval of the staffing pattern of the department or agency concerned, such staffing pattern shall be made known to all officers and employees of the agency who shall be invited to apply for any of the positions authorized therein. Such application shall be considered by the committee in the placement and selection of personnel. (Emphasis supplied). To "assist" mean to lend an aid to, 11 or to contribute effort in the complete accomplishment of an ultimate purpose intended to be effected by those engaged. 12 In contrast, to "recommend" 13 is to present one's advice or choice as having one's approval or to represent or urge as advisable or expedient. It involves the Idea that another has the final decision. Clearly, the Placement Committee was charged with the duty of exercising the same discretionary functions as the appointing authority in the judicious selection and placement of personnel when the law empowered it to "assist" the appointment authority. The same law also allows any officer or employee aggrieved by the appointments to file an appeal with the appointing authority who shall made a decision within thirty (30) days from the filing thereof. If the same employee is still not satisfied with the decision of the appointing authority, he may further appeal within ten (10) days from the receipt thereof the CSC. 14 In the case at bar, the Circular dated October 2, 1987 of the Office of the President created the agency Reorganization Appeals Board to address the problem of the employees affected by the reorganizations. The foregoing legal measures spell out the remedies of aggrieved parties which make it impossible to give the status of finality to any appointment until all protests or oppositions are duly heard. Thus, while it is true that the appointment paper received by petitioner Sinon on 30 August 1989 for the position of MAO had not conferred any permanent status and was still subject to the following conditions attached to any appointment in the civil service: Provided that there is no pending administrative case against the appointee, no pending protest against the appointment, nor any decision by competent authority that will adversely affect the approval of the appointment . 15 Hence, for as long as the re-evaluation of the qualification filed by Banan was pending, the petitioner cannot claim that he had been issued with a "complete" appointment. Neither is there any point in asserting that his appointment had "cured" whatever changes was subsequently recommended by the DARAB. 16 The fact that the DARAB is capable of re-evaluating the findings of the Placement Committed only to find that Sinon is not qualified should no be taken as a grave abuse of discretion.

We cannot subscribe to petitioner Sinon's insistence that the public respondent CSC had disregarded the findings of the Placement Committee. The truth is, these findings of the Placement Committee. The truth is, these findings were re-evaluated and the report after such re-evaluation was submitted to and approved by the Secretary of Agriculture. The CSC affirmed the findings of the DARAB. Because of all the foregoing circumstances, the jurisprudence cited by the petitioner Sinon appears to be incorrect. 17 Neither do we find in the Resolution of 8 February 1991, any statement by the CSC directing the appointment of the respondent Banan. Hence, there was no directive from the CSC that may be misinterpreted as a usurpation of any appointing power. 18 Besides, in affirming the appointment of Banan as recommended by the DARAB and approved by the Secretary of Agriculture, the CSC is only being consistent with the law. Section 4 or R.A. 6656 mandates that officers and employees holding permanent appointments shall be given preference for appointment to the new positions in the approved staffing pattern comparable to their former positions. Also, the term incumbent officer and the privileges generally accorded to them would more aptly refer to Banan and not to petitioner Sinon whose appointment was never confirmed completely. 19 There is no dispute that the position of MAO in the old staffing pattern is most comparable to the MAO in the new staffing pattern. Finally, the Solicitor General in behalf of the CSC correctly noted that the petitioner Sinon had conveniently omitted the then Secretary of Agriculture who had affixed his approval on the findings of the DARAB. Petitioner Sinon knew fully well that as head of the agency, the Secretary of Agriculture was the appointing authority. It must be recalled that the whole purpose of reorganization is that is it is a "process of restructuring the bureaucracy's organizational and functional set-up, to make it more viable in terms of the economy, efficiency, effectiveness and make it more responsive to the needs of its public clientele as authorized by law." 20 For as long as the CSC confines itself within the limits set out by law and does not encroach upon the prerogatives endowed to other authorities, this Court must sustain the Commission. WHEREFORE, the petition is DENIED with costs against the petitioner. SO ORDERED. Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila EN BANC G.R. No. 93355 April 7, 1992 LUIS B. DOMINGO, petitioner, vs. DEVELOPMENT BANK OF THE PHILIPPINES and CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION, respondents. REGALADO, J.: This special civil action impugns the resolution 1 of respondent Civil Service Commission (CSC) promulgated on April 10, 1990 in CSC Case No. 473 setting aside its earlier resolution of November 27, 1989 and affirming the separation of petitioner Luis B. Domingo as Senior Training and Career Development Officer of the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP). Petitioner was employed by DBP as Senior Training and Career Development Officer on permanent status from February, 1979 to December 1986. On December 3, 1986, Executive Order No 81 (The Revised Charter of DBP) was passed authorizing the reorganization of DBP in this wise: Sec. 32. Authority to Reorganize. In view of the new scope of operations of the Bank, a reorganization of the Bank and a reduction in force are hereby authorized to achieve simplicity and economy in operations, including adopting a new staffing pattern to suit the reduced operations envisioned. The formulation of the program of reorganization shall be completed within six months after the approval of this Charter, and the full implementation of the reorganization program within thirty months thereafter. Further, Sections 33 and 34 thereof provide: Sec. 33. Implementing Details; Organization and Staffing of the Bank. xxx xxx xxx In the implementation of the reorganization of the Bank, as authorized under the preceding section, qualified personnel of the Bank may be appointed to appropriate positions in the new staffing pattern thereof and those not so appointed are deemed separated from the service. No preferential or priority rights shall be given to or enjoyed by any officer or personnel of the Bank for appointment to any position in the new staffing pattern nor shall any officer or personnel be considered as having prior or vested rights with respect to retention in the Bank or in any position as may have been created in its new staffing pattern, even if he should be the incumbent of a similar position therein. xxx xxx xxx Sec. 34. Separation Benefits. All those who shall retire from the service or are separated therefrom on account of the reorganization of the Bank under the provisions of this Charter shall be entitled to all gratuities and benefits provided for under existing laws and/or supplementary retirement plans adopted by and effective in the Bank: . . .

Pursuant thereto, DBP issued Board Resolution No. 304-87 allowing the issuance of temporary appointments to all DBP personnel in order to fully implement the reorganization. The resolution states in part: It is understood that pursuant to Section 32 of the new DBP Charter full implementation of the reorganization program shall be completed within a period of thirty-six (36) months from the approval of this Charter. In this connection, the plantilla approved and appointments issued are purely interim and the Bank is reserving its right to put in place the permanent structure of the Bank as well as the permanent appointments thereto until the end of the 36-month period. 2 In effect, said resolution authorized the issuance of temporary appointments to all DBP personnel to allow maximum flexibility in the implementation of the reorganization. Such temporary appointments issued had a maximum period of twelve (12) months during which period the performance of the incumbents were assessed on the basis of the results of their evaluation. With the passage of Executive Order No. 81 and Board Resolution No. 304 87, DBP undertook the evaluation and comparative assessment of all its personnel under the CSC approved New Performance Appraisal System, a peer and control rating process which served as an assessment tool of DBP's screening process. Petitioner Domingo was issued a temporary appointment on January 2, 1987 for a period of one (1) year, which was renewed for another period up to November 30, 1988. Thereafter, in a memorandum 3 dated November 23, 1988 issued by the Final Review Committee, petitioner got a performance rating of "below average," by reason of which his appointment was "made to lapse." Consequently, petitioner, together with a certain Evangeline Javier, filed with the CSC a joint verified complaint 4against DBP for illegal dismissal. The complainants therein alleged that their dismissal constituted a violation of the Civil Service Law against the issuance of temporary appointments to permanent employees, as well as of their right to security of tenure and due process. On November 27, 1989, CSC issued a resolution 5 in CSC Case No. 473 directing "the reappointment of Mr. Domingo and Ms. Javier as Senior Training and Career Development Officer and Research Analyst or any such equivalent rank under the staffing pattern of DBP." The order for reappointment was premised on the findings of the CSC that "(t)he action of the DBP to issue temporary appointments to all DBP personnel in order to allow for the maximum flexibility in evaluating the performance of incumbents is not in accord with civil service law rules," in that "(t)o issue a temporary appointment to one who has been on permanent status before will deprive the employee of benefits accorded permanent employees and will adversely affect his security of tenure," aside from the fact that such an act is contrary to Section 25 (a) of Presidential Decree No. 807. DBP filed a motion for reconsideration 6 on December 27, 1989 alleging, inter alia, that the issuance of temporary appointments to all the DBP employees was purely an interim arrangement; that in spite of the temporary appointment, they continued to enjoy the salary, allowances and other benefits corresponding to permanent employees; that there can be no impairment of herein petitioner's security of tenure since the new DBP charter expressly provides that "qualified personnel of the bank may be appointed to appropriate positions in the new staffing pattern and those not so appointed are deemed separated from the service;" that petitioner was evaluated and comparatively assessed under a rating system approved by the respondent commission; and that petitioner cannot claim that he was denied due process of law considering that, although several appeals were received by the Final Review Committee from other employees similarly situated, herein petitioner never appealed his rating or the extension of his temporary appointment although he was advised to do so by his direct supervisor. On April 10, 1990, CSC rendered the questioned resolution setting aside its previous decision and affirming the separation of herein petitioner. In so ruling, CSC explained that: While it is true that this Commission ruled that the issuance of temporary appointment to all DBP personnel in order to allow "for maximum flexibility" in evaluating the performance of incumbents is not in accord with civil service laws and rules, however it cannot lose sight of the fact that appellants are among those who indeed got a below average rating (unsatisfactory) when their performance were reevaluated and comparatively reassessed by the Final Review Committee of the Bank approved by the Vice Chairman. xxx xxx xxx In effect, the determinative factor for retention and the separation from the service is the individual performance rating. While the Commission supports the principle of merit and fitness and strongly protects the security of tenure of civil service officials and employees which are the essence of careerism in the civil service, it does not however, sanction the reappointment of said officials and employees who have fallen short of the performance necessary in order to maintain at all times efficiency and effectiveness in the Office. It bears stressing that the DBP submitted the records and documents in support of its allegations that Mr. Domingo and Ms. Javier have indeed got(ten) a below average rating (unsatisfactory) during the filing of the instant motion for reconsideration. Had DBP promptly submitted the records/documents supporting its allegations, this Commission at the outset should have sustained the separation of the appellants from the service on ground of poor performance (below average rating, unsatisfactory) after the reassessment and re-evaluation by the Bank through the Final Review Committee. The CSC could not have guessed that such was the basis of the DBP's termination of Domingo and Javier until the papers were submitted to it. . . . It must be pointed out that appellants' separation from the service was the lapse of their temporary appointment. The non-extension or non-issuance of permanent appointments were principally based on their below average rating (unsatisfactory) performance after they were reevaluated and comparatively reassessed by the Final Review Committee of the Bank. After all, the 1986 DBP Revised Charter (E.O. No. 81) gives the Bank a wide latitude of discretion in the reappointment of its personnel, subject to existing civil service laws, rules and regulations.

There is no doubt that the DBP conducted a reevaluation and comparative reassessment of its employees for placement/retention (for permanent) and for separation from the service and found out that appellants are wanting of performance, having been rated as "Below Average." 7 Hence this petition, whereby petitioner raises the following issues: 1. Petitioner's tenure of office was violated by respondents; 2. Petitioner was not afforded a day in court and was denied procedural due process in the unilateral evaluation by his peers of his efficiency ratings for the years 1987 and 1988; 3. Average and below average efficiency ratings are not valid grounds for termination of the service of petitioner; 4. Section 5 of the rules implementing Republic Act No. 6656 is repugnant to the constitutional mandate that "no officer or employee of the Civil Service be removed or suspended except for cause provided by law;" and 5. Section 16, Article XVIII, Transitory Provisions of the New Constitution was also violated by respondents. 8 I. Petitioner puts in issue the validity of the reorganization implemented by DBP in that the same violates his right to security of tenure. He contends that government reorganization cannot be a valid ground to terminate the services of government employees, pursuant to the ruling in the case of Dario vs. Mison, et al. 9 This statement of petitioner is incomplete and inaccurate, if not outright erroneous. Either petitioner misunderstood or he totally overlooked what was stated in the aforecited decision which held that "reorganizations in this jurisdiction have been regarded as valid provided they are pursued in good faith." As we said in Dario: Reorganizations in this jurisdiction have been regarded as valid provided they are pursued in good faith. As a general rule, a reorganization is carried out in "good faith" if it is for the purpose of economy or to make bureaucracy more efficient. In that event, no dismissal (in case of dismissal) or separation actually occurs because the position itself ceases to exist. And in that case, security of tenure would not be a Chinese wall. Clearly, from our pronouncements in Dario, reorganization is a recognized valid ground for separation of civil service employees, subject only to the condition that it be done in good faith. No less than the Constitution itself in Section 16 of the Transitory Provisions, together with Sections 33 and 34 of Executive Order No. 81 and Section 9 of Republic Act No. 6656, support this conclusion with the declaration that all those not so appointed in the implementation of said reorganization shall be deemed separated from the service with the concomitant recognition of their entitlement to appropriate separation benefits and/or retirement plans of the reorganized government agency. The facts of this case, particularly the evaluation process adopted by DBP, bear out the existence of good faith in the course of reorganization. As a tool in the assessment process, a bank-wide peer and control rating process was implemented. Under this process, the peers and supervisors rated the DBP employees. 10 To make the reorganization as open, representative and fair as possible, two principal groups were formed: (1) the Group Placement Screening Committee (GPSC) and (2) the Central Placement Screening Committee (CPSC), to review all recommendations (for retention or separation) prior to submissions to the Chairman an the Board of Directors. The members of the two screening committees were the Department and Group Heads and representatives from the Career Officials Association and the DBP Employees Union. The CPSC was further represented by the DBP Civil Service Officer, who sat as consultant to help resolve questions on Civil Service rules and regulations. As an assessment tool to the Bank's screening process, a peer and control rating process was implemented bank-wide, the results of which were used as a gauge to determine the suitability of an employee to stay in the Bank. Through this rating, the Bank determines the value of the individual employee to the Bank with the help of his peers (peer rating) and his supervisors (control rating). 11 Also, as part of the evaluation process, a Final Review Committee, composed of the group, department or unit head, the heads of the Human Resource Center and of the Personnel Services, and representatives from the Career Officials Association and the Employees Union, was created to screen further and to recommend the change in status of the employee's appointment from temporary to permanent beginning 1988. For the rank and file level, the committee was chaired by the Vice-Chairman while the officer level was presided over by the Chairman of the Bank. 12 The performance rating system used and adopted by DBP was duly approved by the Civil Service Commission. Herein petitioner was evaluated and comparatively assessed under this approved rating system. This is shown by the memorandum to the Vice-Chairman from the DBP Final Review Committee wherein petitioner, among other DBP employees, was evaluated and rated on his performance, and was shown to have gotten a rating of "below average." 13 In the comment 14 filed by DBP with the CSC, respondent bank explained the procedure it adopted in the evaluation of herein petitioner, together with one Evangeline Javier, to wit: xxx xxx xxx 4. During the second phase of the screening process, the Bank used several instruments for determining proficiency or skills on the job. More than skills, however, the evaluation also covered trait factors to determine a positive work attitude. The Bank placed a premium on work attitude because it believes that technical and professional skills can easily be acquired by an ordinary normal individual as long as he has the right attitude towards learning.

5. These attitudes are part of the new corporate culture outlined in the corporate philosophy instituted for the Bank and disseminated thru the various corporate culture seminars, monthly tertulias, speeches of the Chairman and numerous various internal communications and bulletins. One of the most important values emphasized was TEAMWORK due to the very lean personnel force that the Bank was left with and the competition it has to contend with in the industry. 6. Mr. Domingo and Miss Javier were subjected to this rating process as all other employees of the Bank were. xxx xxx xxx 8. Mr. Domingo and Miss Javier were recommended for a renewal of temporary status after assessment of their performance because of several indications of lack of skill and their inability to work with others in the department where they were stationed. In a compassionate stance, it was considered in the Central Personnel Committee to transfer them to another department or unit of the Bank where they may be more effective and productive, but they expressed preference to stay in the training unit of the Bank, the Human Resource Center. 9. Along with others whose performance for 1987 was found wanting, Mr. Domingo and Miss Javier were recommended for reappointment as temporary for another period from January to November 1988 to give the Bank sufficient time to consider their cases. However, in an evaluation of performance for all extendees in November 1988, Mr. Domingo and Miss Javier were again found wanting having both acquired a rating of "Below Average." In addition, it is not disputed that DBP now has less than 2,000 employees from a former high level of around 4,000 employees in 1986. And, under Section 27 of Presidential Decree No. 807, the Government is authorized to lay off employees in case of a reduction due to reorganization, thus: Sec. 27. Reduction in Force. Whenever it becomes necessary because of lack of work or funds or due to a change in the scope or nature of an agency's program, or as a result of reorganization, to reduce the staff of any department or agency, those in the same group or class of positions in one or more agencies within the particular department or agency wherein the reduction is to be effected shall be reasonably compared in terms of relative fitness, efficiency and length of service, and those found to be least qualified for the remaining positions shall be laid off. Lastly, petitioner failed to invoke the presence of any of the circumstances enumerated under Section 2 of Republic Act No. 6656 which would show or tend to show the existence of bad faith in the implementation of the reorganization. Quintessentially, the reorganization having been conducted in accordance with the mandate of Dario, it can safely be concluded that indeed the reorganization was attended by good faith, ergo, valid. The dismissal of herein petitioner is a removal for cause which, therefore, does not violate his security of tenure. As a final note on this issue, we quote with approval the statement of Mme. Justice Ameurfina A. Melencio-Herrera in her dissenting opinion in the above-cited case: To be sure, the reorganization could affect the tenure of members of the career service as defined in Section 5, Article IV of Presidential Decree No. 807, and may even result in the separation from office of some meritorious employees. But even then, the greater good of the greatest number and the right of the citizenry to a good government, and as they themselves have mandated through the vehicle of Proclamation No. 3, provide the justification for the said injury to the individual. In terms of values, the interest of an employee to security of tenure must yield to the interest of the entire populace and to an efficient and honest government. II. Petitioner also maintains that "average" and "below average" efficiency ratings are not valid grounds for his termination from the service. It has become a basic and primordial concern of the State to insure and promote the constitutional mandate that appointments in the civil service shall be made only according to merit and fitness pursuant to its adopted policy of requiring public officers and employees to serve with the highest degree of responsibility, integrity, loyalty and efficiency. 15 As a matter of fact, the development and retention of a competent and efficient work force in the public service is considered as a primary concern of the Government. 16 Hence, employees are selected on the basis of merit and fitness to perform the duties and assume the responsibilities of the position to which they are appointed. 17 Concomitantly, the government has committed itself to engender a continuing program of career and personnel development for all government employees, 18 by establishing a performance evaluation system to be administered in such manner as to continually foster the improvement of individual employee efficiency and organizational effectiveness. 19 All these abundantly show that the State puts a premium on an individual's efficiency, merit and fitness before one is accepted into the career service. A civil service employee's efficiency rating, therefore, is a decisive factor for his continued service with the Government. The inescapable conclusion is that a "below average" efficiency rating is sufficient justification for the termination of a government employee such as herein petitioner. This is the reason why, painful as it may be, petitioner's separation must be affirmed if public good is to be subserved. In the words of respondent commission in its questioned resolution, it cannot "sanction the reappointment of said officials and employees who have fallen short of the performance necessary in order to maintain at all times efficiency and effectiveness in the Office." 20 III. Petitioner finally contends that where the purpose of the evaluation proceeding is to ascertain whether he should be retained or separated from the service, it is a proceeding to determine the existence of a ground for his termination and, therefore, he should be afforded a day in court, pursuant to the requirements of procedural due process, to defend himself against any adverse findings in the process of evaluation of his performance. Petitioner's contention cannot be sustained.

Section 2 of Republic Act No. 6656 provides that "no officer or employee in the career service shall be removed except for a valid cause and after due notice and hearing." Thus, there is no question that while dismissal due to abona fide reorganization is recognized as a valid cause, this does not justify a detraction from the mandatory requirement of notice and hearing. However, it is equally true and it is a basic rule of due process that "what the law prohibits is not the absence of previous notice but the absolute absence thereof and the lack of opportunity to be heard." 21 There is no violation of procedural due process even where no hearing was conducted for as long as the party was given a chance to present his evidence and defend himself. The records show that petitioner had the opportunity to present his side and/or to contest the results of the evaluation proceedings. In DBP's motion for the reconsideration of the original decision of respondent commission, respondent bank averred: It may be stated that although several appeals were received by the Final Review Committee from other employees similarly situated (i.e., also given temporary appointments for 1988), Mr. Domingo and Miss Javier never appealed their ratings or the extension of their temporary appointments in 1988. Even at this writing, the Bank has not received any formal appeal from them although they were advised to do so by their direct supervisor. 22 The fact that petitioner made no appeal to the Final Review Committee was duly considered by respondent commission in resolving said motion for reconsideration and in affirming the separation of petitioner from the service, noting that "appellants Mr. Domingo, and Miss Javier did not file or submit their opposition to the motion for reconsideration." Consequently, petitioner cannot, by his own inaction, legally claim that he was denied due process of law. Considering petitioner's years of service, despite the unfortunate result of the reorganization insofar as he is concerned, he should be allowed separation and other retirement benefits accruing to him by reason of his termination, as provided for in Section 16, Article XVIII of the 1987 Constitution, as well as in Section 9 of Republic Act No. 6656 and Section 34 of Executive Order No. 81. WHEREFORE, no grave abuse of discretion having been committed by respondent Civil Service Commission, its challenged resolution of April 10, 1990 is hereby AFFIRMED. SO ORDERED. Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila EN BANC G.R. No. 115863 March 31, 1995 AIDA D. EUGENIO, petitioner, vs. CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION, HON. TEOFISTO T. GUINGONA, JR. & HON. SALVADOR ENRIQUEZ, JR.,respondents. PUNO, J.: The power of the Civil Service Commission to abolish the Career Executive Service Board is challenged in this petition for certiorari and prohibition. First the facts. Petitioner is the Deputy Director of the Philippine Nuclear Research Institute. She applied for a Career Executive Service (CES) Eligibility and a CESO rank on August 2, 1993, she was given a CES eligibility. On September 15, 1993, she was recommended to the President for a CESO rank by the Career Executive Service Board. 1 All was not to turn well for petitioner. On October 1, 1993, respondent Civil Service Commission 2 passed Resolution No. 93-4359, viz: RESOLUTION NO. 93-4359 WHEREAS, Section 1(1) of Article IX-B provides that Civil Service shall be administered by the Civil Service Commission, . . .; WHEREAS, Section 3, Article IX-B of the 1987 Philippine Constitution provides that "The Civil Service Commission, as the central personnel agency of the government, is mandated to establish a career service and adopt measures to promote morale, efficiency, integrity, responsiveness, progresiveness and courtesy in the civil service, . . ."; WHEREAS, Section 12 (1), Title I, Subtitle A, Book V of the Administrative Code of 1987 grants the Commission the power, among others, to administer and enforce the constitutional and statutory provisions on the merit system for all levels and ranks in the Civil Service; WHEREAS, Section 7, Title I, Subtitle A, Book V of the Administrative Code of 1987 Provides, among others, that The Career Service shall be characterized by (1) entrance based on merit and fitness to be determined as far as practicable by competitive examination, or based highly technical qualifications; (2) opportunity for advancement to higher career positions; and (3) security of tenure; WHEREAS, Section 8 (c), Title I, Subtitle A, Book V of the administrative Code of 1987 provides that "The third level shall cover Positions in the Career Executive Service"; WHEREAS, the Commission recognizes the imperative need to consolidate, integrate and unify the administration of all levels of positions in the career service.

WHEREAS, the provisions of Section 17, Title I, Subtitle A. Book V of the Administrative Code of 1987 confers on the Commission the power and authority to effect changes in its organization as the need arises. WHEREAS, Section 5, Article IX-A of the Constitution provides that the Civil Service Commission shall enjoy fiscal autonomy and the necessary implications thereof; NOW THEREFORE, foregoing premises considered, the Civil Service Commission hereby resolves to streamline reorganize and effect changes in its organizational structure. Pursuant thereto, the Career Executive Service Board, shall now be known as the Office for Career Executive Service of the Civil Service Commission. Accordingly, the existing personnel, budget, properties and equipment of the Career Executive Service Board shall now form part of the Office for Career Executive Service. The above resolution became an impediment. to the appointment of petitioner as Civil Service Officer, Rank IV. In a letter to petitioner, dated June 7, 1994, the Honorable Antonio T. Carpio, Chief Presidential legal Counsel, stated: xxx xxx xxx On 1 October 1993 the Civil Service Commission issued CSC Resolution No. 93-4359 which abolished the Career Executive Service Board. Several legal issues have arisen as a result of the issuance of CSC Resolution No. 93-4359, including whether the Civil Service Commission has authority to abolish the Career Executive Service Board. Because these issues remain unresolved, the Office of the President has refrained from considering appointments of career service eligibles to career executive ranks. xxx xxx xxx You may, however, bring a case before the appropriate court to settle the legal issues arising from issuance by the Civil Service Commission of CSC Resolution No. 93-4359, for guidance of all concerned. Thank You. Finding herself bereft of further administrative relief as the Career Executive Service Board which recommended her CESO Rank IV has been abolished, petitioner filed the petition at bench to annul, among others, resolution No. 93-4359. The petition is anchored on the following arguments: A. IN VIOLATION OF THE CONSTITUTION, RESPONDENT COMMISSION USURPED THE LEGISLATIVE FUNCTIONS OF CONGRESS WHEN IT ABOLISHED THE CESB, AN OFFICE CREATED BY LAW, THROUGH THE ISSUANCE OF CSC: RESOLUTION NO. 93-4359; B. ALSO IN VIOLATION OF THE CONSTITUTION, RESPONDENT CSC USURPED THE LEGISLATIVE FUNCTIONS OF CONGRESS WHEN IT ILLEGALLY AUTHORIZED THE TRANSFER OF PUBLIC MONEY, THROUGH THE ISSUANCE OF CSC RESOLUTION NO. 93-4359. Required to file its Comment, the Solicitor General agreed with the contentions of petitioner. Respondent Commission, however, chose to defend its ground. It posited the following position: ARGUMENTS FOR PUBLIC RESPONDENT-CSC I. THE INSTANT PETITION STATES NO CAUSE OF ACTION AGAINST THE PUBLIC RESPONDENT-CSC. II. THE RECOMMENDATION SUBMITTED TO THE PRESIDENT FOR APPOINTMENT TO A CESO RANK OF PETITIONER EUGENIO WAS A VALID ACT OF THE CAREER EXECUTIVE SERVICE BOARD OF THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION AND IT DOES NOT HAVE ANY DEFECT. III. THE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT IS ESTOPPED FROM QUESTIONING THE VALIDITY OF THE RECOMMENDATION OF THE CESB IN FAVOR OF PETITIONER EUGENIO SINCE THE PRESIDENT HAS PREVIOUSLY APPOINTED TO CESO RANK FOUR (4) OFFICIALS SIMILARLY SITUATED AS SAID PETITIONER. FURTHERMORE, LACK OF MEMBERS TO CONSTITUTE A QUORUM. ASSUMING THERE WAS NO QUORUM, IS NOT THE FAULT OF PUBLIC RESPONDENT CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION BUT OF THE PRESIDENT WHO HAS THE POWER TO APPOINT THE OTHER MEMBERS OF THE CESB. IV. THE INTEGRATION OF THE CESB INTO THE COMMISSION IS AUTHORIZED BY LAW (Sec. 12 (1), Title I, Subtitle A, Book V of the Administrative Code of the 1987). THIS PARTICULAR ISSUE HAD ALREADY BEEN SETTLED WHEN THE HONORABLE COURT DISMISSED THE PETITION FILED BY THE HONORABLE MEMBERS OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, NAMELY: SIMEON A. DATUMANONG, FELICIANO R. BELMONTE, JR., RENATO V. DIAZ, AND MANUEL M. GARCIA IN G.R. NO. 114380. THE AFOREMENTIONED PETITIONERS ALSO QUESTIONED THE INTEGRATION OF THE CESB WITH THE COMMISSION. We find merit in the petition. 3 The controlling fact is that the Career Executive Service Board (CESB) was created in the Presidential Decree (P.D.) No. 1 on September 1, 1974 4 which adopted the Integrated Plan. Article IV, Chapter I, Part of the III of the said Plan provides: Article IV Career Executive Service

1. A Career Executive Service is created to form a continuing pool of well-selected and development oriented career administrators who shall provide competent and faithful service. 2. A Career Executive Service hereinafter referred to in this Chapter as the Board, is created to serve as the governing body of the Career Executive Service. The Board shall consist of the Chairman of the Civil Service Commission as presiding officer, the Executive Secretary and the Commissioner of the Budget as ex-officio members and two other members from the private sector and/or the academic community who are familiar with the principles and methods of personnel administration. xxx xxx xxx 5. The Board shall promulgate rules, standards and procedures on the selection, classification, compensation and career development of members of the Career Executive Service. The Board shall set up the organization and operation of the service. (Emphasis supplied) It cannot be disputed, therefore, that as the CESB was created by law, it can only be abolished by the legislature. This follows an unbroken stream of rulings that the creation and abolition of public offices is primarily a legislative function. As aptly summed up in AM JUR 2d on Public Officers and Employees, 5 viz: Except for such offices as are created by the Constitution, the creation of public offices is primarily a legislative function. In so far as the legislative power in this respect is not restricted by constitutional provisions, it supreme, and the legislature may decide for itself what offices are suitable, necessary, or convenient. When in the exigencies of government it is necessary to create and define duties, the legislative department has the discretion to determine whether additional offices shall be created, or whether these duties shall be attached to and become ex-officio duties of existing offices. An office created by the legislature is wholly within the power of that body, and it may prescribe the mode of filling the office and the powers and duties of the incumbent, and if it sees fit, abolish the office. In the petition at bench, the legislature has not enacted any law authorizing the abolition of the CESB. On the contrary, in all the General Appropriations Acts from 1975 to 1993, the legislature has set aside funds for the operation of CESB. Respondent Commission, however, invokes Section 17, Chapter 3, Subtitle A. Title I, Book V of the Administrative Code of 1987 as the source of its power to abolish the CESB. Section 17 provides: Sec. 17. Organizational Structure. Each office of the Commission shall be headed by a Director with at least one Assistant Director, and may have such divisions as are necessary independent constitutional body, the Commission may effect changes in the organization as the need arises. But as well pointed out by petitioner and the Solicitor General, Section 17 must be read together with Section 16 of the said Code which enumerates the offices under the respondent Commission, viz: Sec. 16. Offices in the Commission. The Commission shall have the following offices: (1) The Office of the Executive Director headed by an Executive Director, with a Deputy Executive Director shall implement policies, standards, rules and regulations promulgated by the Commission; coordinate the programs of the offices of the Commission and render periodic reports on their operations, and perform such other functions as may be assigned by the Commission. (2) The Merit System Protection Board composed of a Chairman and two (2) members shall have the following functions: xxx xxx xxx (3) The Office of Legal Affairs shall provide the Chairman with legal advice and assistance; render counselling services; undertake legal studies and researches; prepare opinions and ruling in the interpretation and application of the Civil Service law, rules and regulations; prosecute violations of such law, rules and regulations; and represent the Commission before any court or tribunal. (4) The Office of Planning and Management shall formulate development plans, programs and projects; undertake research and studies on the different aspects of public personnel management; administer management improvement programs; and provide fiscal and budgetary services. (5) The Central Administrative Office shall provide the Commission with personnel, financial, logistics and other basic support services. (6) The Office of Central Personnel Records shall formulate and implement policies, standards, rules and regulations pertaining to personnel records maintenance, security, control and disposal; provide storage and extension services; and provide and maintain library services. (7) The Office of Position Classification and Compensation shall formulate and implement policies, standards, rules and regulations relative to the administration of position classification and compensation. (8) The Office of Recruitment, Examination and Placement shall provide leadership and assistance in developing and implementing the overall Commission programs relating to recruitment, execution and placement, and formulate policies, standards, rules and regulations for the proper implementation of the Commission's examination and placement programs.

(9) The Office of Career Systems and Standards shall provide leadership and assistance in the formulation and evaluation of personnel systems and standards relative to performance appraisal, merit promotion, and employee incentive benefit and awards. (10) The Office of Human Resource Development shall provide leadership and assistance in the development and retention of qualified and efficient work force in the Civil Service; formulate standards for training and staff development; administer service-wide scholarship programs; develop training literature and materials; coordinate and integrate all training activities and evaluate training programs. (11) The Office of Personnel Inspection and Audit shall develop policies, standards, rules and regulations for the effective conduct or inspection and audit personnel and personnel management programs and the exercise of delegated authority; provide technical and advisory services to Civil Service Regional Offices and government agencies in the implementation of their personnel programs and evaluation systems. (12) The Office of Personnel Relations shall provide leadership and assistance in the development and implementation of policies, standards, rules and regulations in the accreditation of employee associations or organizations and in the adjustment and settlement of employee grievances and management of employee disputes. (13) The Office of Corporate Affairs shall formulate and implement policies, standards, rules and regulations governing corporate officials and employees in the areas of recruitment, examination, placement, career development, merit and awards systems, position classification and compensation, performing appraisal, employee welfare and benefit, discipline and other aspects of personnel management on the basis of comparable industry practices. (14) The Office of Retirement Administration shall be responsible for the enforcement of the constitutional and statutory provisions, relative to retirement and the regulation for the effective implementation of the retirement of government officials and employees. (15) The Regional and Field Offices. The Commission shall have not less than thirteen (13) Regional offices each to be headed by a Director, and such field offices as may be needed, each to be headed by an official with at least the rank of an Assistant Director. As read together, the inescapable conclusion is that respondent Commission's power to reorganize is limited to offices under its control as enumerated in Section 16, supra. From its inception, the CESB was intended to be an autonomous entity, albeit administratively attached to respondent Commission. As conceptualized by the Reorganization Committee "the CESB shall be autonomous. It is expected to view the problem of building up executive manpower in the government with a broad and positive outlook." 6 The essential autonomous character of the CESB is not negated by its attachment to respondent Commission. By said attachment, CESB was not made to fall within the control of respondent Commission. Under the Administrative Code of 1987, the purpose of attaching one functionally inter-related government agency to another is to attain "policy and program coordination." This is clearly etched out in Section 38(3), Chapter 7, Book IV of the aforecited Code, to wit: (3) Attachment. (a) This refers to the lateral relationship between the department or its equivalent and attached agency or corporation for purposes of policy and program coordination. The coordination may be accomplished by having the department represented in the governing board of the attached agency or corporation, either as chairman or as a member, with or without voting rights, if this is permitted by the charter; having the attached corporation or agency comply with a system of periodic reporting which shall reflect the progress of programs and projects; and having the department or its equivalent provide general policies through its representative in the board, which shall serve as the framework for the internal policies of the attached corporation or agency. Respondent Commission also relies on the case of Datumanong, et al., vs. Civil Service Commission, G. R. No. 114380 where the petition assailing the abolition of the CESB was dismissed for lack of cause of action. Suffice to state that the reliance is misplaced considering that the cited case was dismissed for lack of standing of the petitioner, hence, the lack of cause of action. IN VIEW WHEREOF, the petition is granted and Resolution No. 93-4359 of the respondent Commission is hereby annulled and set aside. No costs. SO ORDERED. Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila EN BANC G.R. No. 112745 October 16, 1997 AQUILINO T. LARIN, petitioner, vs. THE EXECUTIVE SECRETARY, SECRETARY OF FINANCE, COMMISSIONER OF THE BUREAU OF INTERNAL REVENUE AND THE COMMITTEE CREATED TO INVESTIGATE THE ADMINISTRATIVE COMPLAINT AGAINST AQUILINO T. LARIN, COMPOSED OF FRUMENCIO A. LAGUSTAN, JOSE B. ALEJANDRINO AND JAIME M. MAZA, respondents. TORRES, JR., J.:

Challenged in this petition is the validity of petitioner's removal from service as Assistant Commissioner of the Excise Tax Service of the Bureau of Internal Revenue. Incidentally, he questions Memorandum Order No. 164 issued by the Office of the President, which provides for the creation of "A Committee to Investigate the Administrative Complaint Against Aquilino T. Larin, Assistant Commissioner, Bureau of Internal Revenue" as well as the investigation made in pursuance thereto, and Administrative Order No. 101 dated December 2, 1993 which found him guilty of grave misconduct in the administrative charge and imposed upon him the penalty of dismissal from office. Likewise, petitioner seeks to assail the legality of Executive Order No. 132, issued by President Ramos on October 26, 1993, which provides for the "Streamlining of the Bureau of Internal Revenue," and of its implementing rules issued by the Bureau of Internal Revenue, namely: a) Administrative Order No. 4-93, which provides for the "Organizational Structure and Statement of General Functions of Offices in the National Office" and b) Administrative Order No. 5-93, which provides for "Redefining the Areas of Jurisdiction and Renumbering of Regional And District Offices." The antecedent facts of the instant case as succinctly related by the Solicitor General are as follows: On September 18, 1992, 1 a decision was rendered by the Sandiganbayan convicting herein petitioner Aquilino T. Larin, Revenue Specific Tax Officer, then Assistant Commissioner of the Bureau of Internal Revenue and his co-accused (except Justino E. Galban, Jr.) of the crimes of violation of Section 268 (4) of the National Internal Revenue Code and Section 3 (e) of R.A. 3019 in Criminal Cases Nos. 1420814209, entitled "People of the Philippines, Plaintiff vs. Aquilino T. Larin, Teodoro T. Pareno, Justino E. Galban, Jr. and Potenciana N. Evangelista, Accused," the dispositive portion of the judgment reads: WHEREFORE, judgment is now rendered in Criminal Cases Nos. 14208 and 14209 convicting accused Assistant Commissioner for Specific Tax AQUILINO T. LARIN, Chief of the Alcohol Tax Division TEODORO P. PARENO, and Chief of the Revenue Accounting Division POTENCIANA M. EVANGELISTA: xxx xxx xxx SO ORDERED. The fact of petitioner's conviction was reported to the President of the Philippines by the then Acting Finance Secretary Leong through a memorandum dated June 4, 1993. The memorandum states, inter alia: This is a report in the case of Assistant Commissioner AQUILINO T. LARIN of the Excise Tax Service, Bureau of Internal Revenue, a presidential appointee, one of those convicted in Criminal Case Nos. 14208-14209, entitled "People of the Philippines vs. Aquilino T. Larin, et. al." referred to the Department of Finance by the Commissioner of Internal Revenue. The cases against Pareno and Evangelista are being acted upon by the Bureau of Internal Revenue as they are nonpresidential appointees. xxx xxx xxx It is clear from the foregoing that Mr. Larin has been found beyond reasonable doubt to have committed acts constituting grave misconduct. Under the Civil Service Laws and Rules which require only preponderance of evidence, grave misconduct is punishable by dismissal. Acting by authority of the President, Sr. Deputy Executive Secretary Leonardo A. Quisumbing issued Memorandum Order No. 164 dated August 25, 1993 which provides for the creation of an Executive Committee to investigate the administrative charge against herein petitioner Aquilino T. Larin. It states thus: A Committee is hereby created to investigate the administrative complaint filed against Aquilino T. Larin, Assistant Commissioner, Bureau of Internal Revenue, to be composed of: Atty. Frumencio A. Assistant Executive Secretary for Legislation Mr. Jose Presidential Assistant B. Lagustan Alejandro Maza Inspector Chairman Member Member Services

Atty. Jaime M. Assistant Commissioner Bureau of Internal Revenue

for

The Committee shall have all the powers and prerogatives of (an) investigating committee under the Administrative Code of 1987 including the power to summon witnesses, administer oath or take testimony or evidence relevant to the investigation by subpoena ad testificandum and subpoenaduces tecum. xxx xxx xxx The Committee shall convene immediately, conduct the investigation in the most expeditious manner, and terminate the same as soon as practicable from its first scheduled date of hearing. xxx xxx xxx Consequently, the Committee directed the petitioner to respond to the administrative charge leveled against him through a letter dated September 17, 1993, thus: Presidential Memorandum Order No. 164 dated August 25, 1993, a xerox copy of which is hereto attached for your ready reference, created an Investigation Committee to look into the charges against you which are also the subject of the Criminal Cases No. 14208 and 14209 entitled People of the Philippines vs. Aquilino T . Larin, et. al.

The Committee has in its possession a certified true copy of the Decision of the Sandiganbayan in the abovementioned cases. Pursuant to Presidential Memorandum Order No. 164, you are hereby directed to file your position paper on the aforementioned charges within seven (7) days from receipt hereof . . . . Failure to file the required position paper shall be considered as a waiver on your part to submit such paper or to be heard, in which case, the Committee shall deem the case submitted on the basis of the documents and records at hand. In compliance, petitioner submitted a letter dated September 30, 1993 which was addressed to Atty. Frumencio A. Lagustan, the Chairman of the Investigating Committee. In said latter, he asserts that, The case being sub-judice, I may not, therefore, comment on the merits of the issues involved for fear of being cited in contempt of Court. This position paper is thus limited to furnishing the Committee pertinent documents submitted with the Supreme Court and other tribunal which took cognizance of the case in the past, as follows: xxx xxx xxx The foregoing documents readily show that am not administratively liable or criminally culpable of the charges leveled against me, and that the aforesaid cases are mere persecutions caused to be filed and are being orchestrated by taxpayers who were prejudiced by multi-million peso assessments I caused to be issued against them in my official capacity as Assistant Commissioner, Excise Tax Office of the Bureau of Internal Revenue. In the same letter, petitioner claims that the administrative complaint against him is already barred: a) on jurisdictional ground as the Office of the Ombudsman had already taken cognizance of the case and had caused the filing only of the criminal charges against him, b) by res judicata, c) by double jeopardy, and d) because to proceed with the case would be redundant, oppressive and a plain persecution against him. Meanwhile, the President issued the challenged Executive Order No. 132 dated October 26, 1993 which mandates for the streamlining of the Bureau of Internal Revenue. Under said order, some positions and functions are either abolished, renamed, decentralized or transferred to other offices, while other offices are also created. The Excise Tax Service or the Specific Tax Service, of which petitioner was the Assistant Commissioner, was one of those offices that was abolished by said executive order. The corresponding implementing rules of Executive Order No. 132, namely, Revenue Administrative Orders Nos. 4-93 and 5-93, were subsequently issued by the Bureau of Internal Revenue. On October 27, 1993, or one day after the promulgation of Executive Order No. 132, the President appointed the following as BIR Assistant Commissioners: 1. Bernardo A. Frianeza 2. Dominador L. Galura 3. Jaime D. Gonzales 4. Lilia C. Guillermo 5. Rizalina S. Magalona 6. Victorino C. Mamalateo 7. Jaime M. Maza 8. Antonio N. Pangilinan 9. Melchor S. Ramos 10. Joel L. Tan-Torres Consequently, the President, in the assailed Administrative Order No. 101 dated December 2, 1993, found petitioner guilty of grave misconduct in the administrative charge and imposed upon him the penalty of dismissal with forfeiture of his leave credits and retirement benefits including disqualification for reappointment in the government service. Aggrieved, petitioner filed directly with this Court the instant petition on December 13, 1993 to question basically his alleged unlawful removal from office. On April 17, 1996 and while the instant petition is pending, this Court set aside the conviction of petitioner in Criminal Case Nos. 14208 and 14209. In his petition, petitioner challenged the authority of the President to dismiss him from office. He argued that in so far as presidential appointees who are Career Executive Service Officers are concerned, the President exercises only the power of control not the power to remove. He also averred that the administrative investigation conducted under Memorandum Order No. 164 is void as it violated his right to due process. According to him, the letter of the Committee dated September 17, 1993 and his position paper dated September 30, 1993 are not sufficient for purposes of complying with the requirements of due process. He alleged that he was not informed of the administrative charges leveled against him nor was he given official notice of his dismissal. Petitioner likewise claimed that he was removed as a result of the reorganization made by the Executive Department in the BIR pursuant to Executive Order No. 132. Thus, he assailed said Executive Order No. 132 and its implementing rules, namely, Revenue Administrative Orders 4-93 and 5-93 for being ultra vires. He claimed that there is yet no law enacted by Congress which authorizes the reorganization

by the Executive Department of executive agencies, particularly the Bureau of Internal Revenue. He said that the reorganization sought to be effected by the Executive Department on the basis of E.O. No. 132 is tainted with bad faith in apparent violation of Section 2 of R.A. 6656, otherwise known as the Act Protecting the Security of Tenure of Civil Service Officers and Employees in the Implementation of Government Reorganization. On the other hand. respondents contended that since petitioner is a presidential appointee, he falls under the disciplining authority of the President. They also contended that E.O. No. 132 and its implementing rules were validly issued pursuant to Sections 48 and 62 of Republic Act No. 7645. Apart from this, the other legal bases of E.O. No. 132 as stated in its preamble are Section 63 of E.O. No. 127 (Reorganizing the Ministry of Finance), and Section 20, Book III of E.O. No. 292, otherwise known as the Administrative Code of 1987. In addition, it is clear that in Section 11 of R.A. No. 6656 future reorganization is expressly contemplated and nothing in said law that prohibits subsequent reorganization through an executive order. Significantly, respondents clarified that petitioner was not dismissed by virtue of EO 132. Respondents claimed that he was removed from office because he was found guilty of grave misconduct in the administrative cases filed against him. The ultimate issue to be resolved in the instant case falls on the determination of the validity of petitioner's dismissal from office. Incidentally, in order to resolve this matter, it is imperative that We consider these questions: a) Who has the power to discipline the petitioner?, b) Were the proceedings taken pursuant to Memorandum Order No. 164 in accord with due process?, c) What is the effect of petitioner's acquittal in the criminal case to his administrative charge?, d) Does the President have the power to reorganize the BIR or to issue the questioned E.O. NO. 132?, and e) Is the reorganization of BIR pursuant to E.O. No. 132 tainted with bad faith? At the outset, it is worthy to note that the position of Assistant Commissioner of the BIR is part of the Career Executive Service. 2 Under the law, 3 Career Executive Service officers, namely, Undersecretary, Assistant Secretary, Bureau Director, Assistant Bureau Director, Regional Director, Assistant Regional Director, Chief of Department Service and other officers of equivalent rank as may be identified by the Career Executive Service Board, are all appointed by the President. Concededly, petitioner was appointed as Assistant Commissioner in January, 1987 by then President Aquino. Thus, petitioner is a presidential appointee who belongs to career service of the Civil Service. Being a presidential appointee, he comes under the direct disciplining authority of the President. This is in line with the well settled principle that the "power to remove is inherent in the power to appoint" conferred to the President by Section 16, Article VII of the Constitution. Thus, it is ineluctably clear that Memorandum Order No. 164, which created a committee to investigate the administrative charge against petitioner, was issued pursuant to the power of removal of the President. This power of removal, however, is not an absolute one which accepts no reservation. It must be pointed out that petitioner is a career service officer. Under the Administrative Code of 1987, career service is characterized by the existence of security of tenure, as contra-distinguished from non-career service whose tenure is co-terminus with that of the appointing authority or subject to his pleasure, or limited to a period specified by law or to the duration of a particular project for which purpose the employment was made. As a career service officer, petitioner enjoys the right to security of tenure. No less than the 1987 Constitution guarantees the right of security of tenure of the employees of the civil service. Specifically, Section 36 of P.D. No. 807, as amended, otherwise known as Civil Service Decree of the Philippines, is emphatic that career service officers and employees who enjoy security of tenure may be removed only for any of the causes enumerated in said law. In other words, the fact that petitioner is a presidential appointee does not give the appointing authority the license to remove him at will or at his pleasure for it is an admitted fact that he is likewise a career service officer who under the law is the recipient of tenurial protection, thus, may only be removed for a cause and in accordance with procedural due process. Was petitioner then removed from office for a legal cause under a valid proceeding? Although the proceedings taken complied with the requirements of procedural due process, this Court, however, considers that petitioner was not dismissed for a valid cause. It should be noted that what precipitated the creation of the investigative committee to look into the administrative charge against petitioner is his conviction by the Sandiganbayan in Criminal Case Nos. 14208 and 14209. As admitted by the respondents, the administrative case against petitioner is based on the Sandiganbayan Decision of September 18, 1992. Thus, in the Administrative Order No. 101 issued by Senior Deputy Executive Secretary Quisumbing which found petitioner guilty of grave misconduct, it clearly states that: This pertains to the administrative charge against Assistant Commissioner Aquilino T. Larin of the Bureau of Internal Revenue, for grave misconduct by virtue of a Memorandum signed by Acting Secretary Leong of the Department of Finance, on the basis of a decision handed down by the Hon. Sandiganbayan convicting Larin, et. al. in Criminal Case Nos. 14208 and 14209. 4 In a nutshell, the criminal cases against petitioner refer to his alleged violation of Section 268 (4) of the National Internal Revenue Code and of Section 3 (e) of R.A. No. 3019 as a consequence of his act of favorably recommending the grant of tax credit to Tanduay Distillery, Inc.. The pertinent portion of the judgment of the Sandiganbayan reads: As above pointed out, the accused had conspired in knowingly preparing false memoranda and certification in order to effect a fraud upon taxes due to the government. By their separate acts which had resulted in an appropriate tax credit of P180,701,682.00 in favor of Tanduay. The government had been defrauded of a tax revenue for the full amount, if one is to look at the availments or utilization thereof (Exhibits "AA" to "AA- 31-a"), or for a substantial portion thereof (P73,000,000.00) if we are to rely on the letter of Deputy Commissioner Eufracio D. Santos (Exhibits "21" for all the accused). As pointed out above, the confluence of acts and omissions committed by accused Larin, Pareno and Evangelista adequately prove conspiracy among them for no other purpose than to bring about a tax credit which Tanduay did not deserve. These misrepresentations as to how much Tanduay had paid in ad valorem taxes obviously constituted a fraud of tax revenue of the government . . . . 5 However, it must be stressed at this juncture that the conviction of petitioner by the Sandiganbayan was set asideby this Court in our decision promulgated on April 17, 1996 in G.R. Nos. 108037-38 and 107119-20. We specifically ruled in no uncertain terms that: a) petitioner can not be held negligent in relying on the certification of a co-equal unit in the BIR, b) it is not incumbent upon Larin to go

beyond the certification made by the Revenue Accounting Division that Tanduay Distillery, Inc. had paid the ad valorem taxes, c) there is nothing irregular or anything false in Larin's marginal note on the memorandum addressed to Pareno, the Chief of Alcohol Tax Division who was also one of the accused, but eventually acquitted, in the said criminal cases, and d) there is no proof of actual agreement between the accused, including petitioner, to commit the illegal acts charged. We are emphatic in our resolution in said cases that there is nothing "illegal with the acts committed by the petitioner(s)." We also declare that "there is no showing that petitioner(s) had acted irregularly, or performed acts outside of his (their) official functions." Significantly, these acts which. We categorically declare to be not unlawful and improper in G.R. Nos. 108037-38 and G.R. Nos. 107119-20 are the very same acts for which petitioner is held to be administratively responsible. Any charge of malfeasance or misfeasance on the part of the petitioner is clearly belied by our conclusion in said cases. In the light of this decisive pronouncement, We see no reason for the administrative charge to continue it must, thus, be dismissed. We are not unaware of the rule that since administrative cases are independent from criminal actions for the same act or omission, the dismissal or acquittal of the criminal charge does not foreclose the institution of administrative action nor carry with it the relief from administrative liability. 6 However, the circumstantial setting of the instant case sets it miles apart from the foregoing rule and placed it well within the exception. Corollarily, where the very basis of the administrative case against petitioner is his conviction in the criminal action which was later on set aside by this Court upon a categorical and clear finding that the acts for which he was administratively held liable are not unlawful and irregular, the acquittal of the petitioner in the criminal case necessarily entails the dismissal of the administrative action against him, because in such a case, there is no more basis nor justifiable reason to maintain the administrative suit. On the aspect of procedural due process, suffice it to say that petitioner was given every chance to present his side. The rule is well settled that the essence of due process in administrative proceedings is that a party be afforded a reasonable opportunity to be heard and to submit any evidence he may have in support of his defense.7 The records clearly show that on October 1, 1993 petitioner submitted his letter-response dated September 30, 1993 to the administrative charge filed against him. Aside from his letter, he also submitted various documents attached as annexes to his letter, all of which are evidences supporting his defense. Prior to this, he received a letter dated September 17, 1993 from the Investigation Committee requiring him to explain his side concerning the charge. It can not therefore be argued that petitioner was denied of due process. Let us now examine Executive Order No. 132. As stated earlier, with the issuance of Executive Order No. 132, some of the positions and offices, including the office of Excise Tax Services of which petitioner was the Assistant Commissioner, were abolished or otherwise decentralized. Consequently, the President released the list of appointed Assistant Commissioners of the BIR. Apparently, petitioner was not included. We do not agree. Under its preamble, E.O. No. 132 lays down the legal bases of its issuance, namely: a) Section 48 and 62 of R.A. No. 7645, b) Section 63 of E.O. No. 127, and c) Section 20, Book III of E.O. No. 292. Section 48 of R.A. 7645 provides that: Sec. 48. Scaling Down and Phase Out of Activities of Agencies Within the Executive Branch. The heads of departments, bureaus and offices and agencies are hereby directed to identify their respective activities which are no longer essential in the delivery of public services and which may bescaled down, phased out or abolished, subject to civil service rules and regulations. . . . Actual scaling down, phasing out or abolition of the activities shall be effected pursuant to Circulars or Orders issued for the purpose by the Office of the President. (emphasis ours) Said provision clearly mentions the acts of "scaling down, phasing out and abolition" of offices only and does not cover the creation of offices or transfer of functions. Nevertheless, the act of creating and decentralizing is included in the subsequent provision of Section 62, which provides that: Sec. 62. Unauthorized organizational charges. Unless otherwise created by law or directed by the President of the Philippines, no organizational unit of charges in key positions in any department or agency shall be authorized in their respective organization structures and be funded from appropriations by this Act. (emphasis ours) The foregoing provision evidently shows that the President is authorized to effect organizational charges including the creation of offices in the department or agency concerned. The contention of petitioner that the two provisions are riders deserves scant consideration. Well settled is the rule that every law has in its favor the presumption of constitutionality. 8 Unless and until a specific provision of the law is declared invalid and unconstitutional, the same is valid and biding for all intents and purposes. Another legal basis of E.O. No. 132 is Section 20, Book III of E.O. No. 292 which states: Sec. 20. Residual Powers. Unless Congress provides otherwise, the President shall exercise such other powers and functions vested in the President which are provided for under the laws and which are not specifically enumerated above or which are not delegated by the President in accordance with law. (emphasis ours) This provision speaks of such other powers vested in the President under the law. What law then which gives him the power to reorganize? It is Presidential Decree No. 1772 9 which amended Presidential Decree No. 1416. These decrees expressly grant the President of the Philippines the continuing authority to reorganize the national government, which includes the power to group, consolidate bureaus and agencies, to abolish offices, to transfer functions, to create and classify functions, services and activities and to standardize salaries and materials. The validity of these two decrees are unquestionable. The 1987 Constitution clearly provides that "all laws, decrees, executive orders, proclamations, letters of instructions and other executive issuances not inconsistent with this Constitution shall remain operative until amended, repealed or revoked." 10 So far, there is yet no law amending or repealing said

decrees. Significantly, the Constitution itself recognizes future reorganizations in the government as what is revealed in Section 16 of Article XVIII, thus: Sec. 16. Career civil service employees separated from service not for cause but as a result of the . . . reorganization following the ratification of this Constitution shall be entitled to appropriate separation pay . . . However, We can not consider E.O. No. 127 signed on January 30, 1987 as a legal basis for the reorganization of the BIR. E.O. No. 127 should be related to the second paragraph of Section 11 of Republic Act No. 6656. Section 11 provides inter alia: xxx xxx xxx In the case of the 1987 reorganization of the executive branch, all departments and agencies which are authorized by executive orders promulgated by the President to reorganize shall have ninety daysfrom the approval of this act within which to implement their respective reorganization plans in accordance with the provisions of this Act. (emphasis ours) Executive Order No. 127 was part of the 1987 reorganization contemplated under said provision. Obviously, it had become stale by virtue of the expiration of the ninety day deadline period. It can not thus be used as a proper basis for the reorganization of the BIR. Nevertheless, as shown earlier, there are other legal bases to sustain the authority of the President to issue the questioned E.O. NO. 132. While the President's power to reorganize can not be denied, this does not mean however that the reorganization itself is properly made in accordance with law. Well-settled is the rule that reorganization is regarded as valid provided it is pursued in good faith. Thus, in Dario vs. Mison, this Court has had the occasion to clarify that: As a general rule, a reorganization is carried out in "good faith" if it is for the purpose of economy or to make bureaucracy more efficient. In that event no dismissal or separation actually occurs because the position itself ceases to exist. And in that case the security of tenure would not be a Chinese wall. Be that as it may, if the abolition which is nothing else but a separation or removal, is done for political reasons or purposely to defeat security of tenure, or otherwise not in good faith, no valid abolition takes place and whatever abolition is done is void ab initio. There is an invalid abolition as where there is merely a change of nomenclature of positions or where claims of economy are belied by the existence of ample funds. 11 In this regard, it is worth mentioning that Section 2 of R. A. No. 6656 lists down the circumstances evidencing bad faith in the removal of employees as a result of the reorganization, thus: Sec. 2. No officer or employee in the career service shall be removed except for a valid cause and after due notice and hearing. A valid cause for removal exists when, pursuant to a bona fide reorganization, a position has been abolished or rendered redundant or there is a need to merge, divide, or consolidate positions in order to meet the exigencies of the service, or other lawful causes allowed by the Civil Service Law. The existence of any or some of the following circumstances may be considered as evidence of bad faith in the removals made as a result of the reorganization, giving rise to a claim for reinstatement or reappointment by an aggrieved party: a) Where there is a significant increase in the number of positions in the new staffing pattern of the department or agency concerned; b) Where an office is abolished and another performing substantially the same functions is created; c) Where incumbents are replaced by those less qualified in terms of status of appointment, performance and merit; d) Where there is a reclassification of offices in the department or agency concerned and the reclassified offices perform substantially the same functions as the original offices; e) Where the removal violates the order of separation provided in Section 3 hereof. A reading of some of the provisions of the questioned E.O. No. 132 clearly leads us to an inescapable conclusion that there are circumstances considered as evidences of bad faith in the reorganization of the BIR. Section 1.1.2 of said executive order provides that: 1.1.2 The Intelligence and Investigation Office and the Inspection Service are abolished. An Intelligence and Investigation Service is hereby created to absorb the same functions of the abolished office and service. . . . (emphasis ours) This provision is a clear illustration of the circumstance mentioned in Section 2 (b) of R.A. No. 6656 that an office is abolished and another one performing substantially the same function is created. Another circumstance is the creation of services and divisions in the BIR resulting to a significant increase in the number of positions in the said bureau as contemplated in paragraph (a) of Section 2 of R.A. No. 6656. Under Section 1.3 of E.O. No. 132, the Information Systems Group has two newly created Systems Services. Aside from this, six new divisions are also created. Under Section 1.2.1, three more divisions of the Assessment Service are formed. With these newly created offices, there is no doubt that a significant increase of positions will correspondingly follow. Furthermore, it is perceivable that the non-reappointment of the petitioner as Assistant Commissioner violates Section 4 of R.A. No. 6656. Under said provision, officers holding permanent appointments are given preference for appointment to the new positions in the approved staffing pattern comparable to their former positions or in case there are not enough comparable positions to positions next lower in rank. It is undeniable that petitioner is a career executive officer who is holding a permanent position. Hence, he should have

been given preference for appointment in the position of Assistant Commissioner. As claimed by petitioner, Antonio Pangilinan who was one of those appointed as Assistant Commissioner, "is an outsider of sorts to the Bureau, not having been an incumbent officer of the Bureau at the time of the reorganization." We should not lose sight of the second paragraph of Section 4 of R.A. No. 6656 which explicitly states that no new employees shall be taken in until all permanent officers shall have been appointed for permanent position. IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING, the petition is granted, and petitioner is hereby reinstated to his position as Assistant Commissioner without loss of seniority rights and shall be entitled to full backwages from the time of his separation from service until actual reinstatement unless, in the meanwhile, he would have reached the compulsory retirement age of sixty-five years in which case, he shall be deemed to have retired at such age and entitled thereafter to the corresponding retirement benefits. SO ORDERED. Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila EN BANC G.R. No. L-23004 June 30, 1965 MAKATI STOCK EXCHANGE, INC., petitioner, vs. SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION and MANILA STOCK EXCHANGE, respondents. Hermenegildo B. Reyes for petitioner. Office of the Solicitor General for respondent Securities and Exchange Commission. Norberto J. Quisumbing and Emma Quisumbing-Fernando for respondent Manila Stock Exchange. BENGZON, C.J.: This is a review of the resolution of the Securities and Exchange Commission which would deny the Makati Stock Exchange, Inc., permission to operate a stock exchange unless it agreed not to list for trading on its board, securities already listed in the Manila Stock Exchange. Objecting to the requirement, Makati Stock Exchange, Inc. contends that the Commission has no power to impose it and that, anyway, it is illegal, discriminatory and unjust. Under the law, no stock exchange may do business in the Philippines unless it is previously registered with the Commission by filing a statement containing the information described in Sec. 17 of the Securities Act (Commonwealth Act 83, as amended). It is assumed that the Commission may permit registration if the section is complied with; if not, it may refuse. And there is now no question that the section has been complied with, or would be complied with, except that the Makati Stock Exchange, upon challenging this particular requirement of the Commission (rule against double listing) may be deemed to have shown inability or refusal to abide by its rules, and thereby to have given ground for denying registration. [Sec. 17 (a) (1) and (d)]. Such rule provides: "... nor shall a security already listed in any securities exchange be listed anew in any other securities exchange ... ." The objection of Makati Stock Exchange, Inc., to this rule is understandable. There is actually only one securities exchange The Manila Stock Exchange that has been operating alone for the past 25 years; and all or presumably all available or worthwhile securities for trading in the market are now listed there. In effect, the Commission permits the Makati Stock Exchange, Inc., to deal only with other securities. Which is tantamount to permitting a store to open provided it sells only those goods not sold in other stores. And if there's only one existing store, 1 the result is a monopoly. It is not farfetched to assert as petitioner does 2 that for all practical purposes, the Commission's order or resolution would make it impossible for the Makati Stock Exchange to operate. So, its "permission" amounted to a "prohibition." Apparently, the Commission acted "in the public interest." 3 Hence, it is pertinent to inquire whether the Commission may "in the public interest" prohibit (or make impossible) the establishment of another stock exchange (besides the Manila Stock Exchange), on the ground that the operation of two or more exchanges adversely affects the public interest. At first glance, the answer should be in the negative, because the law itself contemplated, and, therefore, tacitly permitted or tolerated at least, the operation of two or more exchanges. Wherever two or more exchanges exist, the Commission, by order, shall require and enforce uniformity of trading regulations in and/or between said exchanges. [Emphasis Ours] (Sec. 28b-13, Securities Act.) In fact, as admitted by respondents, there were five stock exchanges in Manila, before the Pacific War (p. 10, brief), when the Securities Act was approved or amended. (Respondent Commission even admits that dual listing was practiced then.) So if the existence of more than one exchange were contrary to public interest, it is strange that the Congress having from time to time enacted legislation amending the Securities Act, 4 has not barred multiplicity of exchanges. Forgetting for the moment the monopolistic aspect of the Commission's resolution, let us examine the authority of the Commission to promulgate and implement the rule in question. It is fundamental that an administrative officer has only such powers as are expressly granted to him by the statute, and those necessarily implied in the exercise thereof. In its brief and its resolution now subject to review, the Commission cites no provision expressly supporting its rule. Nevertheless, it suggests that the power is "necessary for the execution of the functions vested in it"; but it makes no explanation, perhaps relying on the

reasons advanced in support of its position that trading of the same securities in two or more stock exchanges, fails to give protection to the investors, besides contravening public interest. (Of this, we shall treat later) . On the legality of its rule, the Commission's argument is that: (a) it was approved by the Department Head before the War; and (b) it is not in conflict with the provisions of the Securities Act. In our opinion, the approval of the Department, 5 by itself, adds no weight in a judicial litigation; and the test is not whether the Act forbids the Commission from imposing a prohibition, but whether it empowers the Commission to prohibit. No specific portion of the statute has been cited to uphold this power. It is not found in sec. 28 (of the Securities Act), which is entitled "Powers (of the Commission) with Respect to Exchanges and Securities." 6 According to many court precedents, the general power to "regulate" which the Commission has (Sec. 33) does not imply authority to prohibit." 7 The Manila Stock Exchange, obviously the beneficiary of the disputed rule, contends that the power may be inferred from the express power of the Commission to suspend trading in a security, under said sec. 28 which reads partly: And if in its opinion, the public interest so requires, summarily to suspend trading in any registered security on any securities exchange ... . (Sec. 28[3], Securities Act.) However, the Commission has not acted nor claimed to have acted in pursuance of such authority, for the simple reason that suspension under it may only be for ten days. Indeed, this section, if applicable, precisely argues against the position of the Commission because the "suspension," if it is, and as applied to Makati Stock Exchange, continues for an indefinite period, if not forever; whereas this Section 28 authorizes suspension for ten days only. Besides, the suspension of trading in the security should not be on one exchange only, but on allexchanges; bearing in mind that suspension should be ordered "for the protection of investors" (first par., sec. 28) in all exchanges, naturally, and if "the public interest so requires" [sec. 28(3)]. This brings up the Commission's principal conclusions underlying its determination viz.: (a) that the establishment of another exchange in the environs of Manila would be inimical to the public interest; and (b) that double or multiple listing of securities should be prohibited for the "protection of the investors." (a) Public Interest Having already adverted to this aspect of the matter, and the emerging monopoly of the Manila Stock Exchange, we may, at this juncture, emphasize that by restricting free competition in the marketing of stocks, and depriving the public of the advantages thereof the Commission all but permits what the law punishesas monopolies as "crimes against public interest." 8 "A stock exchange is essentially monopolistic," the Commission states in its resolution (p. 14-a, Appendix, Brief for Petitioner). This reveals the basic foundation of the Commission's process of reasoning. And yet, a few pages afterwards, it recalls the benefits to be derived "from the existence of two or more exchanges," and the desirability of "a healthy and fair competition in the securities market," even as it expresses the belief that "a fair field of competition among stock exchanges should be encouraged only to resolve, paradoxically enough, that Manila Stock Exchange shall, in effect, continue to be the only stock exchange in Manila or in the Philippines. "Double listing of a security," explains the Commission, "divides the sellers and the buyers, thus destroying the essence of a stock exchange as a two-way auction market for the securities, where all the buyers and sellers in one geographical area converge in one defined place, and the bidders compete with each other to purchase the security at the lowest possible price and those seeking to sell it compete with each other to get the highest price therefor. In this sense, a stock exchange is essentially monopolistic." Inconclusive premises, for sure. For it is debatable whether the buyer of stock may get the lowest price where all the sellers assemble in only one place. The price there, in one sale, will tend to fix the price for the succeeding, sales, and he has no chance to get a lower price except at another stock exchange. Therefore, the arrangement desired by the Commission may, at most, be beneficial to sellers of stock not to buyers although what applies to buyers should obtain equally as to sellers (looking for higher prices). Besides, there is the brokerage fee which must be considered. Not to mention the personality of the broker. (b) Protection of investors. At any rate, supposing the arrangement contemplated is beneficial to investors (as the Commission says), it is to be doubted whether it is "necessary" for their "protection" within the purview of the Securities Act. As the purpose of the Act is to give adequate and effective protection to the investing public against fraudulent representations, or false promises and the imposition of worthless ventures, 9 it is hard to see how the proposed concentration of the market has a necessary bearing to the prevention of deceptive devices or unlawful practices. For it is not mere semantics to declare that acts for the protection of investors are necessarily beneficial to them; but not everything beneficial to them is necessary for their protection. And yet, the Commission realizes that if there were two or more exchanges "the same security may sell for more in one exchange and sell for less in the other. Variance in price of the same security would be the rule ... ." Needless to add, the brokerage rates will also differ. This, precisely, strengthens the objection to the Commission's ruling. Such difference in prices and rates gives the buyer of shares alternative options, with the opportunity to invest at lower expense; and the seller, to dispose at higher prices. Consequently, for the investors' benefit (protection is not the word), quality of listing 10 should be permitted, nay, encouraged, and other exchanges allowed to operate. The circumstance that some people "made a lot of money due to the difference in prices of securities traded in the stock exchanges of Manila before the war" as the Commission noted, furnishes no sufficient reason to let one exchange corner the market. If there was undue manipulation or unfair advantage in exchange trading the Commission should have other means to correct the specific abuses. Granted that, as the Commission observes, "what the country needs is not another" market for securities already listed on the Manila Stock Exchange, but "one that would focus its attention and energies on the listing of new securities and thus effectively help in raising capital sorely needed by our ... unlisted industries and enterprises." Nonetheless, we discover no legal authority for it to shore up (and stifle) free enterprise and individual liberty along channels leading to that economic desideratum. 11

The Legislature has specified the conditions under which a stock exchange may legally obtain a permit (sec. 17, Securities Act); it is not for the Commission to impose others. If the existence of two competing exchanges jeopardizes public interest which is doubtful let the Congress speak. 12 Undoubtedly, the opinion and recommendation of the Commission will be given weight by the Legislature, in judging whether or not to restrict individual enterprise and business opportunities. But until otherwise directed by law, the operation of exchanges should not be so regulated as practically to create a monopoly by preventing the establishment of other stock exchanges and thereby contravening: (a) the organizers' (Makati's) Constitutional right to equality before the law; (b) their guaranteed civil liberty to pursue any lawful employment or trade; and (c) the investor's right to choose where to buy or to sell, and his privilege to select the brokers in his employment. 13 And no extended elucidation is needed to conclude that for a licensing officer to deny license solely on the basis of what he believes is best for the economy of the country may amount to regimentation or, in this instance, the exercise of undelegated legislative powers and discretion. Thus, it has been held that where the licensing statute does not expressly or impliedly authorize the officer in charge, he may not refuse to grant a license simply on the ground that a sufficient number of licenses to serve the needs of the public have already been issued. (53 C.J.S. p. 636.) Concerning res judicata. Calling attention to the Commission's order of May 27, 1963, which Makati Stock did not appeal, the Manila Stock Exchange pleads the doctrine of res judicata. 14 (The order now reviewed is dated May 7, 1964.) It appears that when Makati Stock Exchange, Inc. presented its articles of incorporation to the Commission, the latter, after making some inquiries, issued on May 27, 1963, an order reading as follows. Let the certificate of incorporation of the MAKATI STOCK EXCHANGE be issued, and if the organizers thereof are willing to abide by the foregoing conditions, they may file the proper application for the registration and licensing of the said Exchange. In that order, the Commission advanced the opinion that "it would permit the establishment and operation of the proposed Makati Stock Exchange, provided ... it shall not list for trading on its board, securities already listed in the Manila Stock Exchange ... ." Admittedly, Makati Stock Exchange, Inc. has not appealed from that order of May 27, 1963. Now, Manila Stock insists on res judicata. Why should Makati have appealed? It got the certificate of incorporation which it wanted. The condition or proviso mentioned would only apply if and when it subsequently filed the application for registration as stock exchange. It had not yet applied. It was not the time to question the condition; 15 Makati was still exploring the convenience of soliciting the permit to operate subject to that condition. And it could have logically thought that, since the condition did not affect its articles of incorporation, it should not appeal the order (of May 27, 1963) which after all, granted the certificate of incorporation (corporate existence) it wanted at that time. And when the Makati Stock Exchange finally found that it could not successfully operate with the condition attached, it took the issue by the horns, and expressing its desire for registration and license, it requested that the condition (against double listing) be dispensed with. The order of the Commission denying, such request is dated May 7, 1964, and is now under, review. Indeed, there can be no valid objection to the discussion of this issue of double listing now, 16 because even if the Makati Stock Exchange, Inc. may be held to have accepted the permission to operate with the condition against double listing (for having failed to appeal the order of May 27, 1963), still it was not precluded from afterwards contesting 17 the validity of such condition or rule: (1) An agreement (which shall not be construed as a waiver of any constitutional right or any right to contest the validity of any rule or regulation) to comply and to enforce so far as is within its powers, compliance by its members, with the provisions of this Act, and any amendment thereto, and any rule or regulation made or to be made thereunder. (See. 17-a-1, Securities Act [Emphasis Ours].) Surely, this petition for review has suitably been coursed. And making reasonable allowances for the presumption of regularity and validity of administrative action, we feel constrained to reach the conclusion that the respondent Commission possesses no power to impose the condition of the rule, which, additionally, results in discrimination and violation of constitutional rights. ACCORDINGLY, the license of the petition to operate a stock exchange is approved without such condition. Costs shall be paid by the Manila Stock Exchange. So ordered. Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila EN BANC G.R. No. 85439 January 13, 1992 KILUSANG BAYAN SA PAGLILINGKOD NG MGA MAGTITINDA NG BAGONG PAMILIHANG BAYAN NG MUNTINLUPA, INC. (KBMBPM), TERESITA A. FAJARDO, NADYESDA B. PONSONES, MA. FE V. BOMBASE, LOIDA D. LUCES, MARIO S. FRANCISCO, AMADO V. MANUEL and ROLANDO G. GARCIA, incumbent members of the Board, AMADO G. PEREZ and MA. FE V. BOMBASE, incumbent General Manager and Secretary-Treasurer, respectively, petitioners, vs. HON. CARLOS G. DOMINGUEZ, Secretary of Agriculture, Regional Director of Region IV of the Department of Agriculture ROGELIO P. MADRIAGA, RECTO CORONADO and Municipal Mayor IGNACIO R. BUNYE, both in his capacity as Municipal Mayor of Muntinlupa, Metro Manila and as Presiding Officer of Sangguniang Bayan ng Muntinglupa, and JOHN DOES, respondents.

G.R. No. 91927 January 13, 1992 IGNACIO R. BUNYE, JAIME R. FRESNEDI, CARLOS G. TENSUAN, VICTOR E. AGUINALDO, ALEJANDRO I. MARTINEZ, EPIFANIO A. ESPELETA, REY E. BULAY, LUCIO B. CONSTANTINO, ROMAN E. NIEFES, NEMESIO O. MOZO, ROGER SMITH, RUFINO B. JOAQUIN, NOLASCO I. DIAZ, RUFINO IBE and NESTOR SANTOS,petitioners, vs. THE SANDIGANBAYAN, THE OMBUDSMAN and ROGER C. BERBANO, Special Prosecutor III, respondents. Jose O. Villanueva and Roberto B. Romanillos for petitioners in G.R. No. 85439. Alampay & Manhit Law Offices for petitioners in G.R. No. 91927. DAVIDE, JR., J.: These cases have been consolidated because they are closely linked with each other as to factual antecedents and issues. The first case, G.R. No. 85439 (hereinafter referred to as the Kilusang Bayan case), questions the validity of the order of 28 October 1988 of then Secretary of Agriculture Hon. Carlos G. Dominguez which ordered: (1) the take-over by the Department of Agriculture of the management of the petitioner Kilusang Bayan sa Paglilingkod Ng Mga Magtitinda ng Bagong Pamilihang Bayan ng Muntilupa, Inc. (KBMBPM) pursuant to the Department's regulatory and supervisory powers under Section 8 of P.D. No. 175, as amended, and Section 4 of Executive Order No. 13, (2) the creation of a Management Committee which shall assume the management of KBMBPM upon receipt of the order, (3) the disbandment of the Board of Directors, and (4) the turn over of all assets, properties and records of the KBMBPM the Management Committee. The second case. G.R. No. 91927 (hereinafter referred to as the Bunye case), seeks the nullification of the Resolution of 4 January 1990 of the Sandiganbayan admitting the Amended Information against petitioners in Criminal Case No. 13966 and denying their motion to order or direct preliminary investigation, and its Resolution of 1 February 1990 denying the motion to reconsider the former. The procedural and factual antecedents are not disputed. On 2 September 1985, the Municipal Government of Muntinlupa (hereinafter, Municipality), Metro Manila, thru its then Mayor Santiago Carlos, Jr., entered into a contract with the KILUSANG BAYAN SA PAGLILINGKOD NG MGA MAGTITINDA SA BAGONG PAMILIHANG BAYAN NG MUNTINLUPA, INC. (KBMBPM) represented by its General Manager, Amado Perez, for the latter's management and operation of the new Muntinlupa public market. The contract provides for a twenty-five (25) year term commencing on 2 September 1985, renewable for a like period, unless sooner terminated and/or rescinded by mutual agreement of the parties, at a monthly consideration of Thirty-Five Thousand Pesos (P35,000) to be paid by the KBMBPM within the first five (5) days of each month which shall, however, be increased by ten percent (10%) each year during the first five (5) years only. 1 The KBMBPM is a service cooperative organized by and composed of vendors occupying the New Muntinlupa Public Market in Alabang, Muntinlupa, Metro Manila pursuant to Presidential Decree No. 175 and Letter of Implementation No. 23; its articles of incorporation and by-laws were registered with the then Office of the Bureau of Cooperatives Development (thereafter the Bureau of Agricultural Cooperatives Development or BACOD and now the Cooperative Development Authority). 2 Following his assumption into office as the new mayor succeeding Santiago Carlos, Jr., petitioner Ignacio Bunye, claiming to be particularly scandalized by the "virtual 50-year term of the agreement, contrary to the provision of Section 143, paragraph 3 of Batas Pambansa Blg. 337," and the "patently inequitable rental," directed a review of the aforesaid contract. 3 He sought opinions from both the Commission on Audit and the Metro Manila Commission (MMC) on the validity of the instrument. In separate letters, these agencies urged that appropriate legal steps be taken towards its rescission. The letter of Hon. Elfren Cruz of the MMC even granted the Municipality authority "to take the necessary legal steps for the cancellation/recission of the above cited contract and make representations with KBMBPM for the immediate transfer/takeover of the possession, management and operation of the New Muntinlupa Market to the Municipal Government of Muntinlupa." 4 Consequently, upon representations made by Bunye with the Municipal Council, the latter approved on 1 August 1988 Resolution No. 45 abrogating the contract. To implement this resolution, Bunye, together with his co-petitioners and elements of the Capital Command of the Philippine Constabulary, proceeded, on 19 August 1986, to the public market and announced to the general public and the stallholders thereat that the Municipality was taking over the management and operation of the facility, and that the stallholders should henceforth pay their market fees to the Municipality, thru the Market Commission, and no longer to the KBMBPM. 5 On 22 August 1988, the KBMBPM filed with Branch 13 of the Regional Trial Court of Makati a complaint for breach of contract, specific performance and damages with prayer for a writ of preliminary injunction against the Municipality and its officers, which was docketed as Civil Case No. 88-1702. 6 The complaint was premised on the alleged illegal take-over of the public market effected "in excess of his (Bunye's) alleged authority" and thus "constitutes breach of contract and duty as a public official." The writ applied for having been denied, 7 the KBMBPM officers resisted the attempts of Bunye and company to complete the take-over; they continued holding office in the KBS building, under their respective official capacities. The matter having been elevated to this Court by way of certiorari, 8 We remanded the same to the Court of Appeals which docketed it as C.A.-G.R. No. L-16930. 9 On 26 August 1988, Amado Perez filed with the Office of the Ombudsman a letter-complaint charging Bunye and his co-petitioners with oppression, harassment, abuse of authority and violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act 10 for taking over the management and operation of the public market from KBMBPM. 11 In a subpoena dated 7 October 1988, prosecutor Mothalib C. Onos of the Office of the Special Prosecutor directed Bunye and his copetitioners to submit within ten (10) days from receipt thereof counter-affidavits, affidavits of their witnesses and other supporting documents. 12 The subpoena and letter-complaint were received on 12 October 1988.

On 20 October 1988, two (2) days before the expiration of the period granted to file said documents, Bunye, et al. filed by mail an urgent motion for extension of "at least fifteen (15) days from October 22, 1988" within which to comply 13 with the subpoena. Thereafter, the following transpired which subsequently gave rise to these petitions: G.R. No. 85439 In the early morning of 29 October 1988, a Saturday, respondent Madriaga and Coronado, allegedly accompanied by Mayor Bunye and the latters' heavily armed men, both in uniform and in civilian clothes, together with other civilians, namely: Romulo Bunye II, Alfredo Bunye, Tomas Osias, Reynaldo Camilon, Benjamin Taguibao, Benjamin Bulos and other unidentified persons, allegedly through force, violence and intimidation, forcibly broke open the doors of the offices of petitioners located at the second floor of the KBS Building, new Muntinlupa Public Market, purportedly to serve upon petitioners the Order of respondent Secretary of Agriculture dated 28 October 1988, and to implement the same, by taking over and assuming the management of KBMBPM, disbanding the then incumbent Board of Directors for that purpose and excluding and prohibiting the General Manager and the other officers from exercising their lawful functions as such. 14 The Order of the Secretary reads as follows: 15 ORDER WHEREAS, the KILUSANG BAYAN SA PAGLILINGKOD NG MGA MAGTITINDA NG BAGONG PAMILIHANG BAYAN NG MUNTINLUPA, INC., (KBMBPM), Alabang, Muntinlupa, Metro Manila is a Cooperative registered under the provisions of Presidential Decree No. 175, as amended; WHEREAS, the Department of Agriculture is empowered to regulate and supervise cooperatives registered under the provisions of Presidential Decree No. 175, as amended; WHEREAS, the general membership of the KBMBPM has petitioned the Department of Agriculture for assistance in the removal of the members of the Board of Directors who were not elected by the general membership of said cooperative; WHEREAS, the on-going financial and management audit of the Department of Agriculture auditors show ( sic) that the management of the KBMBPM is not operating that cooperative in accordance with PD. 175, LOI No. 23, the Circulars issued by DA/BACOD and the provisions of the by-laws of KBMBPM; WHEREAS, the interest of the public so demanding it is evident and urgently necessary that the KBMBPM MUST BE PLACED UNDER MANAGEMENT TAKE-OVER of the Department of Agriculture in order to preserve the financial interest of the members of the cooperative and to enhance the cooperative development program of the government; WHEREAS, it is ordered that the Department of Agriculture in the exercise of its regulatory and supervisory powers under Section 8 of PD 175, as amended, and Section 4 of Executive Order No. 113, take over the management of KBMBPM under the following directives: 1. THAT a Management Committee is hereby created composed of the following: a) Reg. Dir. or OIC RD DA Region IV b) Atty. Rogelio P. Madriaga BACOD c) Mr. Recto Coronado KBMBPM d) Mrs. Nadjasda Ponsones KBMBPM e) One (1) from the Municipal Government of Muntinlupa to be designated by the Sangguniang Pambayan ng Muntinlupa; 2. THAT the Management Committee shall, upon receipt of this Order, assume the management of KBMBPM; 3. THAT the present Board of Directors is hereby disbanded and the officers and Manager of the KBMBPM are hereby directed to turnover all assets, properties and records of the KBMBPM to the Management Committee herein created; 4. THAT the Management Committee is hereby empowered to promulgate rules of procedure to govern its workings as a body; 5. THAT the Management Committee shall submit to the undersigned thru the Director of BACOD monthly reports on the operations of KBMBPM; 6. THAT the Management Committee shall call a General Assembly of all registered members of the KBMBPM within Ninety (90) days from date of this Order to decide such matters affecting the KBMBPM, including the election of a new set of Board of Director (sic). This Order takes effect immediately and shall continue to be in force until the members of the Board of Directors shall have been duly elected and qualified. Done this 28th day of October, 1988 at Quezon City. As claimed by petitioners, the Order served on them was not written on the stationary of the Department, does not bear its seal and is a mere xerox copy.

The so-called petition upon which the Order is based appears to be an unverified petition dated 10 October 1988 signed, according to Mayor Bunye, 16 by 371 members of the KBMBPM. On 2 November 1988, petitioners filed the petition in this case alleging, inter alia, that: (a) Respondent Secretary acted without or in excess of jurisdiction in issuing the Order for he arrogated unto himself a judicial function by determining the alleged guilt of petitioners on the strength of a mere unverified petition; the disbandment of the Board of Directors was done without authority of law since under Letter of Implementation No. 23, removal of officers, directors or committee members could be done only by the majority of the members entitled to vote at an annual or special general assembly and only after an opportunity to be heard at said assembly. (b) Respondent Secretary acted in a capricious, whimsical, arbitrary and despotic manner, so patent and gross that it amounted to a grave abuse of discretion. (c) The Order is a clear violation of the By-Laws of KBMBPM and is likewise illegal and unlawful for it allows or tolerates the violation of the penal provisions under paragraph (c), Section 9 of P.D. No. 175. (d) The Order is a clear violation of the constitutional right of the individual petitioners to be heard. 17 They pray that upon the filing of the petition, respondents, their agents, representatives or persons acting on their behalf be ordered to refrain, cease and desist from enforcing and implementing the questioned Order or from excluding the individual petitioners from the exercise of their rights as such officers and, in the event that said acts sought to be restrained were already partially or wholly done, to immediately restore the management and operation of the public market to petitioners, order respondents to vacate the premises and, thereafter, preserve the status quo; and that, finally, the challenged Order be declared null and void. In the Resolution of 9 October 1988, 18 We required the respondents to Comment on the petition. Before any Comment could be filed, petitioners filed on 2 January 1989 an Urgent Ex-Parte Motion praying that respondent Atty. Rogelio Madriaga, who had assumed the position of Chairman of the Management Committee, be ordered to stop and/or cancel the scheduled elections of the officers of the KBMBPM on 6 January 1989 and, henceforth, desist from scheduling any election of officers or Members of the Board of Directors thereof until further orders on the Court. 19 The elections were, nevertheless, held and a new board of directors was elected. So, on 19 January 1989, petitioners filed a supplemental motion 20 praying that respondent Madriaga and the "newly elected Board of Directors be ordered to cease and desist from assuming, performing or exercising powers as such, and/or from removing or replacing the counsels of petitioners as counsels for KBMBPM and for Atty. Fernando Aquino, Jr., to cease and desist from unduly interfering with the affairs and business of the cooperative." Respondent Bunye, by himself, filed his Comment on 23 January 1989. 21 He denies the factual allegations in the petition and claims that petitioners failed to exhaust administrative remedies. A reply thereto was filed by petitioners on 7 February 1989. 22 Respondent Recto Coronado filed two (2) Comments. The first was filed on 6 February 1989 23 by his counsel, Atty. Fernando Aquino, Jr., and the second, which is for both him and Atty. Madriaga, was filed by the latter on 10 February 1989. 24 On 20 February 1989, petitioners filed a Reply to the first Comment of Coronado 25 and an Ex-Parte Motion for the immediate issuance of a cease and desist order 26 praying that the so-called new directors and officers of KBMBPM, namely: Tomas M. Osias, Ildefonso B. Reyes, Paulino Moldez, Fortunato M. Medina, Aurora P. del Rosario, Moises Abrenica, and Lamberto Casalla, be ordered to immediately cease and desist from filing notices of withdrawals or motions to dismiss cases filed by the Cooperative now pending before the courts, administrative offices and the Ombudsman and Tanodbayan, and that if such motions or notices were already filed, to immediately withdraw and desist from further pursuing the same until further orders of this Court. The latter was precipitated by the Resolution No. 19 of the "new" board of directors withdrawing all cases filed by its predecessors against Bunye, et al., and more particularly the following cases: (a) G.R. No. 85439 (the instant petition), (b) Civil Case No. 88-1702, (c) OSP Case No. 88-2110 before the Ombudsman, (d) IBP Case No. 88-0119 before the Tanodbayan, and Civil Case No. 88-118 for Mandamus. 27 On 1 March 1989, We required the Solicitor General to file his Comment to the petition and the urgent motion for the immediate issuance of a cease and desist order. 28 A motion to dismiss the instant petition was filed on 30 March 1989. 29 On 19 April 1989, We resolved to dismiss the case and consider it closed and terminated. 30 Thereupon, after some petitioners filed a motion for clarification and reconsideration, We set aside the dismissal order and required the new directors to comment on the Opposition to Motion to Dismiss filed by the former. 31 The new board, on 14 June 1989, prayed that its Manifestation of 6 June 1989 and Opposition dated 9 June 1989, earlier submitted it response to petitioners' motion for reconsideration of the order dismissing the instant petition, be treated as its Comment. 32 Both parties then continued their legal fencing, serving several pleadings on each other. In Our Resolution of 9 August 1989, 33 We gave the petition due course and required the parties to submit their respective Memoranda. On 14 August 1989, petitioners filed an urgent ex-parte motion for the immediate issuance of a cease and desist order 34 in view of the new board's plan to enter into a new management contract; the motion was noted by this Court on 23 August 1989. A second exparte motion, noted on 18 October 1989, was filed on 19 September 1989 asking this court to consider the "Invitation to pre-qualify and bid" for a new contract published by respondent Bunye. 35 In a belated Comment 36 for the respondent Secretary of Agriculture filed on 22 September 1989, the Office of the Solicitor General asserts that individual petitioners, who were not allegedly elected by the members or duly designated by the BACOD Director, have no right or authority to file this case; the assailed Order of the Secretary was issued pursuant to P.D. No. 175, more particularly Section 8 thereof which authorizes him "(d) to suspend the operation or cancel the registration of any cooperative after hearing and when in its judgment and based on findings, such cooperative is operating in violation of this Decree, rules and regulations, existing laws as well as the by-laws of the cooperative itself;" the Order is reasonably necessary to correct serious flaws in the cooperative and provide interim

measures until election of regular members to the board and officers thereof; the elections conducted on 6 January 1989 are valid; and that the motion to dismiss filed by the new board of directors binds the cooperative. It prays for the dismissal of the petition. Respondent Secretary of Agriculture manifested on 22 September 1989 that he is adopting the Comment submitted by the Office of the Solicitor General as his memorandum; 37 petitioners and respondents Coronado and Madriaga filed their separate Memoranda on 6 November 1989; 38 while the new board of directors submitted its Memorandum on 11 December 1989. 39 The new KBMBPM board submitted additional pleadings on 16 February 1990 which it deemed relevant to the issues involved herein. Reacting, petitioners filed a motion to strike out improper and inadmissible pleadings and annexes and sought to have the pleaders cited for contempt. Although We required respondents to comment, the latter did not comply. Nevertheless, a manifestation was filed by the same board on 25 February 1991 40 informing this Court of the holding, on 9 January 1991, of its annual general assembly and election of its board of directors for 1991. It then reiterates the prayer that the instant petition be considered withdrawn and dismissed. Petitioners filed a counter manifestation alleging that the instant petition was already given due course on 9 August 1989. 41 In its traverse to the counter manifestation, the new board insists that it "did not derive authority from the October 28, 1988 Order, the acts of the Management Committee, nor ( sic) from the elections held in (sic) January 6, 1989," but rather from the members of the cooperative who elected them into office during the elections. Petitioners filed a rejoinder asserting that the election of new directors is not a supervening event independent of the main issue in the present petition and that to subscribe to the argument that the issues in the instant petition became moot with their assumption into office is to reward a wrong done. G. R. NO. 91927 Petitioners claim that without ruling on their 20 October 1988 motion for an extension of at last 15 days from 22 October 1988 within which to file their counter-affidavits, which was received by the Office of the Special Prosecutor on 3 November 1988, Special Prosecutor Onos promulgated on 11 November 1988 a Resolution finding the evidence on hand sufficient to establish a prima facie case against respondents (herein petitioners) and recommending the filing of the corresponding information against them before the Sandiganbayan. 42Petitioners also claim that they submitted their counter-affidavits on 9 November 1988. 43 In their motion dated 2 December 1988, petitioners move for a reconsideration of the above Resolution, 44 which was denied by Onos 45 in his 18 January 1989 Order. The information against the petitioners was attached to this order. Upon submission of the records for his approval, the Ombudsman issued a first indorsement on 4 April 1989 referring to "Judge Gualberto J. de la Llana, Acting Director , IEO/RSSO, this Office, the within records of OSP Case No. 88-02110 . . . for further preliminary investigation . . ." 46 Thereafter, on 28 April 1989, Bunye and company received a subpoena from de la Llana requiring them to appear before the latter on 25 April 1989, 47 submit a report and file comment. After being granted an extension, Bunye and company submitted their comment on 18 May 1989. 48 On 22 August 1989, de la Llana recommended the filing of an information for violation of section 3 (e) of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act. 49 The case was referred to special prosecuting officer Jose Parentela, Jr. who, in his Memorandum 50 to the Ombudsman through the Acting Special Prosecutor, likewise urged that an information be filed against herein petitioners. On 3 October 1989, the Ombudsman signed his conformity to the Memorandum and approved the 18 January information prepared by Onos, which was then filed with the Sandiganbayan. Consequently, Bunye, et al. were served arrest warrants issued by the Sandiganbayan. Detained at the NBI on 9 October 1989, they claim to have discovered only then the existence of documents recommending and approving the filing of the complaint and a memorandum by special prosecutor Bernardita G. Erum proposing the dismissal of the same. 51 Arraignment was set for 18 October 1989. 52 However, on 14 October 1989, petitioners filed with the Sandiganbayan an "Omnibus Motion to Remand to the Office of the Ombudsman; to Defer Arraignment and to Suspend Proceedings." 53 Subsequently, through new counsel, petitioners filed on 17 October 1989 a Consolidated Manifestation and Supplemental Motion 54 praying, inter alia, for the quashal of the information on the ground that they were deprived of their right to a preliminary investigation and that the information did not charge an offense. The Sandiganbayan issued an order on 18 October 1989 deferring arraignment and directing the parties to submit their respective memoranda, 55 which petitioners complied with on 2 November 1989. 56 On 16 November 1989, special Prosecutor Berbano filed a motion to admit amended information. 57 On 17 November 1989, the Sandiganbayan handed down a Resolution 58 denying for lack of merit the Omnibus Motion to Remand the Case To The Office of the Ombudsman, to Defer Arraignment and to Suspend Proceedings. Petitioners then filed a motion to order a preliminary investigation 59 on the basis of the introduction by the amended information of new, material and substantive allegations, which the special prosecutor opposed,60 thereby precipitating a rejoinder filed by petitioners. 61 On 4 January 1990, the Sandiganbayan handed down a Resolution 62 admitting the Amended Information and denying the motion to direct preliminary investigation. Their motion to reconsider this Resolution having been denied in the Resolution of 1 February 1990, 63 petitioners filed the instant petition on 12 February 1990. Petitioners claim that respondent Sandiganbayan acted without or in excess of jurisdiction or with manifest grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack of jurisdiction in denying petitioners their right to preliminary investigation and in admitting the Amended Information.

They then pray that: (a) the 4 January and 1 February 1990 Resolutions of the Sandiganbayan, admitting the amended information and denying the motion for reconsideration, respectively, be annulled; (b) a writ be issued enjoining the Sandiganbayan from proceeding further in Criminal Case No. 13966; and (c) respondents be enjoined from pursuing further actions in the graft case. We required the respondents to Comment on the petition. On 21 February 1990, petitioners' counsel filed a motion to drop Epifanio Espeleta and Rey E. Dulay as petitioners, 64 and in the Comment they filed on 30 March 1990, in compliance with Our Resolution of 1 March 1990, they state that they do not interpose any objection to the motion. On 20 March 1990, the Office of the Solicitor General moved that it be excused from filing comment for the respondents as it cannot subscribe to the position taken by the latter with respect to the questions of law involved. 65 We granted this motion in the resolution of 8 May 1990. Respondent Berbano filed his comment on 10 September 1991 and petitioners replied on 20 December 1990; Berbano subsequently filed a Rejoinder thereto on 11 January 1991. 66 The Sandiganbayan then filed a manifestation proposing that it be excused from filing comment as its position on the matters in issue is adequately stated in the resolutions sought to be annulled. 67 On 7 March 1991, We resolved to note the manifestation and order the instant petition consolidated with G.R. No. 85439. The present dispute revolves around the validity of the antecedent proceedings which led to the filing of the original information on 18 January 1989 and the amended information afterwards. THE ISSUES AND THEIR RESOLUTION 1. G. R. No. 85439. As adverted to in the introductory portion of this Decision, the principal issue in G.R. No. 85439 is the validity of the 28 October 1988 Order of respondent Secretary of Agriculture. The exordium of said Order unerringly indicates that its basis is the alleged petition of the general membership of the KBMBPM requesting the Department for assistance "in the removal of the members of the Board of Directors who were not elected by the general membership" of the cooperative and that the "ongoing financial and management audit of the Department of Agriculture auditors show (sic) that the management of the KBMBPM is not operating that cooperative in accordance with P.D. 175, LOI 23, the Circulars issued by DA/BACOD and the provisions and by-laws of KBMBPM." It is also professed therein that the Order was issued by the Department "in the exercise of its regulatory and supervisory powers under Section 8 of P.D. 175, as amended, and Section 4 of Executive Order No. 113." Respondents challenge the personality of the petitioners to bring this action, set up the defense of non-exhaustion of administrative remedies, and assert that the Order was lawfully and validly issued under the above decree and Executive Order. We find merit in the petition and the defenses interposed do not persuade Us. Petitioners have the personality to file the instant petition and ask, in effect, for their reinstatement as Section 3, Rule 65 of the Rules of Court, defining an action for mandamus, permits a person who has been excluded from the use and enjoyment of a right or office to which he is entitled, to file suit. 68 Petitioners, as ousted directors of the KBMBPM, are questioning precisely the act of respondent Secretary in disbanding the board of directors; they then pray that this Court restore them to their prior stations. As to failure to exhaust administrative remedies, the rule is well-settled that this requirement does not apply where the respondent is a department secretary whose acts, as an alter ego of the President, bear the implied approval of the latter, unless actually disapproved by him. 69 This doctrine of qualified political agency ensures speedy access to the courts when most needed. There was no need then to appeal the decision to the office of the President; recourse to the courts could be had immediately. Moreover, the doctrine of exhaustion of administrative remedies also yields to other exceptions, such as when the question involved is purely legal, as in the instant case, 70 or where the questioned act is patently illegal, arbitrary or oppressive. 71 Such is the claim of petitioners which, as hereinafter shown, is correct. And now on the validity of the assailed Order. Regulation 34 of Letter of Implementation No. 23 (implementing P.D. No. 175) provides the procedure for the removal of directors or officers of cooperatives, thus: An elected officer, director or committee member may be removed by a vote of majority of the members entitled to vote at an annual or special general assembly. The person involved shall have an opportunity to be heard. A substantially identical provision, found in Section 17, Article III of the KBMBPM's by-laws, reads: Sec. 17. Removal of Directors and Committee Members. Any elected director or committee member may be removed from office for cause by a majority vote of the members in good standing present at the annual or special general assembly called for the purpose after having been given the opportunity to be heard at the assembly. Under the same article are found the requirements for the holding of both the annual general assembly and a special general assembly. Indubitably then, there is an established procedure for the removal of directors and officers of cooperatives. It is likewise manifest that the right to due process is respected by the express provision on the opportunity to be heard. But even without said provision, petitioners cannot be deprived of that right. The procedure was not followed in this case. Respondent Secretary of Agriculture arrogated unto himself the power of the members of the KBMBPM who are authorized to vote to remove the petitioning directors and officers. He cannot take refuge under Section 8 of P.D. No. 175 which grants him authority to supervise and regulate all cooperatives. This section does not give him that right.

An administrative officer has only such powers as are expressly granted to him and those necessarily implied in the exercise thereof. 72 These powers should not be extended by implication beyond what may to necessary for their just and reasonable execution. 73 Supervision and control include only the authority to: (a) act directly whenever a specific function is entrusted by law or regulation to a subordinate; (b) direct the performance of duty; restrain the commission of acts; (c) review, approve, reverse or modify acts and decisions of subordinate officials or units; (d) determine priorities in the execution of plans and programs; and (e) prescribe standards, guidelines, plans and programs. Specifically, administrative supervision is limited to the authority of the department or its equivalent to: (1) generally oversee the operations of such agencies and insure that they are managed effectively, efficiently and economically but without interference with dayto-day activities; (2) require the submission of reports and cause the conduct of management audit, performance evaluation and inspection to determine compliance with policies, standards and guidelines of the department; (3) take such action as may be necessary for the proper performance of official functions, including rectification of violations, abuses and other forms of mal-administration; (4) review and pass upon budget proposals of such agencies but may not increase or add to them. 74 The power to summarily disband the board of directors may not be inferred from any of the foregoing as both P.D. No. 175 and the bylaws of the KBMBPM explicitly mandate the manner by which directors and officers are to be removed. The Secretary should have known better than to disregard these procedures and rely on a mere petition by the general membership of the KBMBPM and an on-going audit by Department of Agriculture auditors in exercising a power which he does not have, expressly or impliedly. We cannot concede to the proposition of the Office of the Solicitor General that the Secretary's power under paragraph (d), Section 8 of P.D. No. 175 above quoted to suspend the operation or cancel the registration of any cooperative includes the "milder authority of suspending officers and calling for the election of new officers." Firstly, neither suspension nor cancellation includes the take-over and ouster of incumbent directors and officers, otherwise the law itself would have expressly so stated. Secondly, even granting that the law intended such as postulated, there is the requirement of a hearing. None was conducted. Likewise, even if We grant, for the sake of argument, that said power includes the power to disband the board of directors and remove the officers of the KBMBPM, and that a hearing was not expressly required in the law, still the Order can be validly issued only after giving due process to the affected parties, herein petitioners. Due process is guaranteed by the Constitution 75 and extends to administrative proceedings. In the landmark case of Ang Tibay vs. Court of Industrial Relations, 76 this Court, through Justice Laurel, laid down the cardinal primary requirements of due process in administrative proceedings, foremost of which is the right to a hearing, which includes the right to present one's case and submit evidence in support thereof. The need for notice and the opportunity to be heard is the heart of procedural due process, be it in either judicial or administrative proceedings. 77 Nevertheless, a plea of a denial of procedural due process does not lie where a defect consisting in an absence of notice of hearing was thereafter cured by the aggrieved party himself as when he had the opportunity to be heard on a subsequent motion for reconsideration. This is consistent with the principle that what the law prohibits is not the absence of previous notice but the absolute absence thereof and lack of an opportunity to be heard. 78 In the instant case, there was no notice of a hearing on the alleged petition of the general membership of the KBMBPM; there was, as well, not even a semblance of a hearing. The Order was based solely on an alleged petition by the general membership of the KBMBPM. There was then a clear denial of due process. It is most unfortunate that it was done after democracy was restored through the peaceful people revolt at EDSA and the overwhelming ratification of a new Constitution thereafter, which preserves for the generations to come the gains of that historic struggle which earned for this Republic universal admiration. If there were genuine grievances against petitioners, the affected members should have timely raise these issues in the annual general assembly or in a special general assembly. Or, if such a remedy would be futile for some reason or another, judicial recourse was available. Be that as it may, petitioners cannot, however, be restored to their positions. Their terms expired in 1989, thereby rendering their prayer for reinstatement moot and academic. Pursuant to Section 13 of the by-laws, during the election at the first annual general assembly after registration, one-half plus one (4) of the directors obtaining the highest number of votes shall serve for two years, and the remaining directors (3) for one year; thereafter, all shall be elected for a term of two years. Hence, in 1988, when the board was disbanded, there was a number of directors whose terms would have expired the next year (1989) and a number whose terms would have expired two years after (1990). Reversion to the status quo preceding 29 October 1988 would not be feasible in view of this turn of events. Besides, elections were held in 1990 and 1991. 79 The affairs of the cooperative are presently being managed by a new board of directors duly elected in accordance with the cooperative's by-laws. 2. G. R. No. 91927. The right of an accused to a preliminary investigation is not among the rights guaranteed him in the Bill of Rights. As stated in Marcos, et al. vs. Cruz, 80 "the preliminary investigation in criminal cases is not a creation of the Constitution; its origin is statutory and it exists and the right thereto can be invoked when so established and granted by law. It is so specifically granted by procedural law. 81 If not waived, absence thereof may amount to a denial of due process. 82 However, lack of preliminary investigation is not a ground to quash or dismiss a complaint or information. Much less does it affect the court's jurisdiction. In People vs. Casiano, 83 this Court ruled: Independently of the foregoing, the absence of such investigation [preliminary] did not impair the validity of the information or otherwise render it defective. Much less did it affect the jurisdiction of the court of first instance over the present case. Hence, had the defendant-appellee been entitled to another preliminary investigation, and had his plea of not guilty upon arraignment not implied a waiver of said right, the court of first instance should have, either conducted such preliminary investigation, or ordered the Provincial Fiscal to make it, in pursuance of section 1687 of the Revised Administrative Code (as amended by Republic Act No. 732), or remanded the record for said investigation to the justice of the peace court, instead of dismissing the case as it did in the order appealed from. This doctrine was thereafter reiterated or affirmed in several case. 84

In the instant case, even if it is to be conceded for argument's sake that there was in fact no preliminary investigation, the Sandiganbayan, per Doromal vs. Sandiganbayan, 85 "should merely suspend or hold in abeyance proceedings upon the questioned Amended Information and remand the case to the Office of the Ombudsman for him to conduct a preliminary investigation." It is Our view, however, that petitioners were not denied the right to preliminary investigation. They, nevertheless, insist that the preliminary investigation conducted by the Office of the Special Prosecutor existed more in form than in substance. This is anchored on the failure by prosecutor Onos to consider the counter-affidavits filed by petitioners. The same sin of omission is ascribed to Acting Director de la Llana who purportedly failed to consider the comments submitted by the petitioners pursuant to a subpoena dated 13 April 1989. The failure of special prosecutor Berbano to conduct a preliminary investigation before amending the information is also challenged. It is finally urged that the Sandiganbayan completely disregarded the "glaring anomaly that on its face the Information filed by the Office of the Special Prosecutor" was prepared and subscribed on 18 January 1989, while the records indicate that the preliminary investigation was concluded on 3 October 1989. In his Comment, respondent Berbano dispassionately traces the genesis of the criminal information filed before the Sandiganbayan. His assessment that a preliminary investigation sufficient in substance and manner was conducted prior to the filing of the information reflects the view of the Sandiganbayan, maintained in both the 17 November 1989 and 4 January 1990 resolutions, that there was compliance with the requirements of due process. Petitioners were provided a reasonable period within which to submit their counter-affidavits; they did not avail of the original period; they moved for an extension of at least fifteen (15) days from 22 October 1988. Despite the urgency of its nature, the motion was sent by mail. The extension prayed for was good up to 6 November 1988. But, as admitted by them, they filed the Counter-Affidavits only on 9 November 1988. Yet, they blamed prosecutor Onos for promulgating the 11 November 1989 Resolution and for, allegedly, not acting on the motion. Petitioners then should not lay the blame on Onos; they should blame themselves for presuming that the motion would be granted. This notwithstanding, petitioners were able to file a Motion for Reconsideration on 13 December 1988 requesting that the reviewing prosecutor consider the belatedly filed documents; 86 thus, there is the recommendation of prosecutor Bernardita Erum calling for the dismissal of the charges on 2 March 1989, which, however, was not sustained upon subsequent review. The Sandiganbayan, in its 17 November 1989 Resolution, succinctly summed up the matter when it asserted that "even granting, for the sake of argument, that prosecutor Onos . . . failed to consider accused-movants' counter-affidavits, such defect was cured when a "Motion for Reconsideration" was filed, and which . . . de la Llana took into account upon review." It may not then be successfully asserted that the counter-affidavits were not considered by the Ombudsman in approving the information. Perusal of the factual antecedents reveals that a second investigation was conducted upon the "1st Indorsement" of the Ombudsman of 4 April 1989. As a result, subpoenas were issued and comments were asked to be submitted, which petitioners did, but only after a further extension of fifteen (15) days from the expiration of the original deadline. From this submission the matter underwent further review. Moreover, in the 18 January 1989 Order of prosecutor Onos, there was an ample discussion of the defenses raised by the petitioners in their counter-affidavits, thus negating the charge that the issues raised by them were not considered at all. 87 It is indisputable that the respondents were not remiss in their duty to afford the petitioners the opportunity to contest the charges thrown their way. Due process does not require that the accused actually file his counter-affidavits before the preliminary investigation is deemed completed. All that is required is that he be given the opportunity to submit such if he is so minded. 88 In any event, petitioners did in fact, although belatedly, submit their counter-affidavits and as a result thereof, the prosecutors concerned considered them in subsequent reviews of the information, particularly in the re-investigation ordered by the Ombudsman. And now, as to the protestation of lack of preliminary investigation prior to the filing of the Amended Information. The prosecution may amend the information without leave of court before arraignment, 89 and such does not prejudice the accused. 90 Reliance on the pronouncements in Doromal vs. Sandiganbayan 91 is misplaced as what obtained therein was the preparation of an entirely new information as contrasted with mere amendments introduced in the amended information, which also charges petitioners with violating Section 3 (e) of the Anti-Graft Law. In Gaspar vs. Sandiganbayan, 92 We held that there is no rule or law requiring the Tanodbayan to conduct another preliminary investigation of a case under review by it. On the contrary, under P.D. No. 911, in relation to Rule 12, Administrative Order No. VII, the Tanodbayan may, upon review, reverse the findings of the investigator and thereafter "where he finds a prima facie case, to cause the filing of an information in court against the respondent, based on the same sworn statements or evidence submitted, without the necessity of conducting another preliminary investigation." Respondent Sandiganbayan did not then commit any grave abuse of discretion in respect to its Resolutions of 4 January 1990 and 1 February 1990. The petition then must fail. CONCLUSION WHEREFORE, judgment is hereby rendered: 1. GRANTING the petition in G.R. No. 85439; declaring null and void the challenged Order of 28 October 1988 of the respondent Secretary of Agriculture; but denying, for having become moot and academic, the prayer of petitioners that they be restored to their positions in the KBMBPM. 2. DISMISSING, for lack of merit, the petition in G.R. No. 91927.

No pronouncement as to costs. IT IS SO ORDERED. EN BANC

[G.R. No. 144463. January 14, 2004]

SENATOR ROBERT S. JAWORSKI, petitioner, vs. PHILIPPINE AMUSEMENT AND GAMING CORPORATION and SPORTS AND GAMES ENTERTAINMENT CORPORATION, respondents.

DECISION YNARES-SANTIAGO, J.: The instant petition for certiorari and prohibition under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court seeks to nullify the Grant of Authority and Agreement for the Operation of Sports Betting and Internet Gaming, executed by respondent Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (hereinafter referred to as PAGCOR) in favor of respondent Sports and Games and Entertainment Corporation (also referred to as SAGE). The facts may be summarized as follows: PAGCOR is a government owned and controlled corporation existing under Presidential Decree No. 1869 issued on July 11, 1983 by then President Ferdinand Marcos. Pertinent provisions of said enabling law read: SECTION 1. Declaration of Policy. It is hereby declared to be the policy of the State to centralize and integrate all games of chance not heretofore authorized by existing franchises or permitted by law in order to attain the following objectives: xxx xxx xxx

b) To establish and operate clubs and casinos, for amusement and recreation, including sports, gaming pools (basketball, football, lotteries, etc.) and such other forms of amusement and recreation including games of chance, which may be allowed by law within the territorial jurisdiction of the Philippines and which will: x x x (3) minimize, if not totally eradicate, the evils, malpractices and corruptions that are normally prevalent in the conduct and operation of gambling clubs and casinos without direct government involvement. xxx xxx TITLE IV GRANT OF FRANCHISE Sec.10. Nature and term of franchise. Subject to the terms and conditions established in this Decree, the Corporation is hereby granted for a period of twenty-five (25) years, renewable for another twenty-five (25) years, the rights, privileges and authority to operate and maintain gambling casinos, clubs, and other recreation or amusement places, sports, gaming pools, i.e. basketball, football, lotteries, etc. whether on land or sea, within the territorial jurisdiction of the Republic of the Philippines. On March 31, 1998, PAGCORs board of directors approved an instrument denominated as Grant of Authority and Agreement for the Operation of Sports Betting and Internet Gaming, which granted SAGE the authority to operate and maintain Sports Betting station in PAGCORs casino locations, and Internet Gaming facilities to service local and international bettors, provided that to the satisfaction of PAGCOR, appropriate safeguards and procedures are established to ensure the integrity and fairness of the games. On September 1, 1998, PAGCOR, represented by its Chairperson, Alicia Ll. Reyes, and SAGE, represented by its Chairman of the Board, Henry Sy, Jr., and its President, Antonio D. Lacdao, executed the above-named document. Pursuant to the authority granted by PAGCOR, SAGE commenced its operations by conducting gambling on the Internet on a trialrun basis, making pre-paid cards and redemption of winnings available at various Bingo Bonanza outlets. Petitioner, in his capacity as member of the Senate and Chairman of the Senate Committee on Games, Amusement and Sports, files the instant petition, praying that the grant of authority by PAGCOR in favor of SAGE be nullified. He maintains that PAGCOR committed grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction when it authorized SAGE to operate gambling on the internet. He contends that PAGCOR is not authorized under its legislative franchise, P.D. 1869, to operate gambling on the internet for the simple reason that the said decree could not have possibly contemplated internet gambling since at the time of its enactment on July 11, 1983 the internet was yet inexistent and gambling activities were confined exclusively to real-space. Further, he argues that the internet, being an international network of computers, necessarily transcends the territorial jurisdiction of the Philippines, and the grant to SAGE xxx

of authority to operate internet gambling contravenes the limitation in PAGCORs franchise, under Section 14 of P.D. No. 1869 which provides: Place. The Corporation [i.e., PAGCOR] shall conduct gambling activities or games of chance on land or water within the territorial jurisdiction of the Republic of the Philippines. x x x Moreover, according to petitioner, internet gambling does not fall under any of the categories of the authorized gambling activities enumerated under Section 10 of P.D. No. 1869 which grants PAGCOR the right, privilege and authority to operate and maintain gambling casinos, clubs, and other recreation or amusement places, sports gaming pools, within the territorial jurisdiction of the Republic of the Philippines.[1] He contends that internet gambling could no t have been included within the commonly accepted definition of gambling casinos, clubs or other recreation or amusement places as these terms refer to a physical structure in real -space where people who intend to bet or gamble go and play games of chance authorized by law. The issues raised by petitioner are as follows: I. WHETHER OR NOT RESPONDENT PAGCOR IS AUTHORIZED UNDER P.D. NO. 1869 TO OPERATE GAMBLING ACTIVITIES ON THE INTERNET; II. WHETHER RESPONDENT PAGCOR ACTED WITHOUT OR IN EXCESS OF ITS JURISDICTION, OR GRAVE ABUSE OF DISCRETION AMOUNTING TO LACK OR EXCESS OF JURISDICTION, WHEN IT AUTHORIZED RESPONDENT SAGE TO OPERATE INTERNET GAMBLING ON THE BASIS OF ITS RIGHT TO OPERATE AND MAINTAIN GAMBLING CASINOS, CLUBS AND OTHER AMUSEMENT PLACES UNDER SECTION 10 OF P.D. 1869; III. WHETHER RESPONDENT PAGCOR ACTED WITHOUT OR IN EXCESS OF ITS JURISDICTION OR WITH GRAVE ABUSE OF DISCRETION AMOUNTING TO LACK OR EXCESS OF JURISDICTION WHEN IT GRANTED AUTHORITY TO SAGE TO OPERATE GAMBLING ACTIVITIES IN THE INTERNET. The above-mentioned issues may be summarized into a single pivotal question: Does PAGCORs legislative franchise include the right to vest another entity, SAGE in this case, with the authority to operate Internet gambling? Otherwise put, does Presidential Decree No. 1869 authorize PAGCOR to contract any part of its franchise to SAGE by authorizing the latter to operate Internet gambling? Before proceeding with our main discussion, let us first try to hurdle a number of important procedural matters raised by the respondents. In their separate Comments, respondents PAGCOR and SAGE insist that petitioner has no legal standing to file the instant petition as a concerned citizen or as a member of the Philippine Senate on the ground that he is not a real party-in-interest entitled to the avails of the suit. In this light, they argue that petitioner does not have the requisite personal and substantial interest to impugn the validity of PAGCORs grant of authority to SAGE. Objections to the legal standing of a member of the Senate or House of Representative to maintain a suit and assail the constitutionality or validity of laws, acts, decisions, rulings, or orders of various government agencies or instrumentalities are not without precedent. Ordinarily, before a member of Congress may properly challenge the validity of an official act of any department of the government there must be an unmistakable showing that the challenged official act affects or impairs his rights and prerogatives as legislator.[2] However in a number of cases,[3] we clarified that where a case involves an issue of utmost importance, or one of overreaching significance to society, the Court, in its discretion, can brush aside procedural technicalities and take cognizance of the petition. Considering that the instant petition involves legal questions that may have serious implications on public interests, we rule that petitioner has the requisite legal standing to file this petition. Respondents likewise urge the dismissal of the petition for certiorari and prohibition because under Section 1, Rule 65 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure, these remedies should be directed to any tribunal, board, officer or person whether exercising judicial, quasijudicial, or ministerial functions. They maintain that in exercising its legally-mandated franchise to grant authority to certain entities to operate a gambling or gaming activity, PAGCOR is not performing a judicial or quasi-judicial act. Neither should the act of granting licenses or authority to operate be construed as a purely ministerial act. According to them, in the event that this Court takes cognizance of the instant petition, the same should be dismissed for failure of petitioner to observe the hierarchy of courts. Practically the same procedural infirmities were raised in Del Mar v. Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation where an almost identical factual setting obtained. Petitioners therein filed a petition for injunction directly before the Court which sought to enjoin respondent from operating the jai-alai games by itself or in joint venture with another corporate entity allegedly in violation of law and the Constitution. Respondents contended that the Court had no jurisdiction to take original cognizance of a petition for injunction because it was not one of the actions specifically mentioned in Section 1 of Rule 56 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure. Respondents likewise took exception to the alleged failure of petitioners to observe the doctrine on hierarchy of courts. In brushing aside the apparent procedural lapse, we held that x x x this Court has the discretionary power to take cognizance of the petition at bar if compelling reasons, or the nature and importance of the issues raised, warrant the immediate exercise of its jurisdiction. [4] In the case at bar, we are not inclined to rule differently. The petition at bar seeks to nullify, via a petition for certiorari and prohibition filed directly before this Court, the Grant of Authority and Agreement for the Operation of Sports Betting and Internet Gaming by virtue of which SAGE was vested by PAGCOR with the authority to operate on-line Internet gambling. It is well settled that averments in the complaint, and not the nomenclature given by the parties, determine the nature of the action.[5] Although the petition alleges grave abuse of discretion on the part of respondent PAGCOR, what it primarily seeks to accomplish is to prevent the enforcement of the Grant of Authority and Agreement for the Operation of Sports Betting and Internet Gaming. Thus, the action may properly be characterized as one for Prohibition under Section 2 of Rule 65, which incidentally, is another remedy resorted to by petitioner.

Granting arguendo that the present action cannot be properly treated as a petition for prohibition, the transcendental importance of the issues involved in this case warrants that we set aside the technical defects and take primary jurisdiction over the petition at bar. One cannot deny that the issues raised herein have potentially pervasive influence on the social and moral well being of this nation, specially the youth; hence, their proper and just determination is an imperative need. This is in accordance with the well-entrenched principle that rules of procedure are not inflexible tools designed to hinder or delay, but to facilitate and promote the administration of justice. Their strict and rigid application, which would result in technicalities that tend to frustrate, rather than promote substantial justice, must always be eschewed.[6] Having disposed of these procedural issues, we now come to the substance of the action. A legislative franchise is a special privilege granted by the state to corporations. It is a privilege of public concern which cannot be exercised at will and pleasure, but should be reserved for public control and administration, either by the government directly, or by public agents, under such conditions and regulations as the government may impose on them in the interest of the public. It is Congress that prescribes the conditions on which the grant of the franchise may be made. Thus the manner of granting the franchise, to whom it may be granted, the mode of conducting the business, the charter and the quality of the service to be rendered and the duty of the grantee to the public in exercising the franchise are almost always defined in clear and unequivocal language. [7] After a circumspect consideration of the foregoing discussion and the contending positions of the parties, we hold that PAGCOR has acted beyond the limits of its authority when it passed on or shared its franchise to SAGE. In the Del Mar case where a similar issue was raised when PAGCOR entered into a joint venture agreement with two other entities in the operation and management of jai alai games, the Court, [8] in an En Banc Resolution dated 24 August 2001, partially granted the motions for clarification filed by respondents therein insofar as it prayed that PAGCOR has a valid franchise, but only by itself (i.e. not in association with any other person or entity), to operate, maintain and/or manage the game of jai-alai. In the case at bar, PAGCOR executed an agreement with SAGE whereby the former grants the latter the authority to operate and maintain sports betting stations and Internet gaming operations. In essence, the grant of authority gives SAGE the privilege to actively participate, partake and share PAGCORs franchise to operate a gambling activity. The grant of franchise is a special privile ge that constitutes a right and a duty to be performed by the grantee. The grantee must not perform its activities arbitrarily and whimsically but must abide by the limits set by its franchise and strictly adhere to its terms and conditionalities. A corporation as a creature of the State is presumed to exist for the common good. Hence, the special privileges and franchises it receives are subject to the laws of the State and the limitations of its charter. There is therefore a reserved right of the State to inquire how these privileges had been employed, and whether they have been abused.[9] While PAGCOR is allowed under its charter to enter into operators and/or management contracts, it is not allowed under the s ame charter to relinquish or share its franchise, much less grant a veritable franchise to another entity such as SAGE. PAGCOR can not delegate its power in view of the legal principle of delegata potestas delegare non potest, inasmuch as there is nothing in the charter to show that it has been expressly authorized to do so. In Lim v. Pacquing,[10] the Court clarified that since ADC has no franchise from Congress to operate the jai-alai, it may not so operate even if it has a license or permit from the City Mayor to operate the jai-alai in the City of Manila. By the same token, SAGE has to obtain a separate legislative franchise and not ride on PAGCORs franchise if it were to legally operate on-line Internet gambling. WHEREFORE, in view of all the foregoing, the instant petition is GRANTED. The Grant of Authority and Agreement to Operate Sports Betting and Internet Gaming executed by PAGCOR in favor of SAGE is declared NULL and VOID. SO ORDERED. Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila FIRST DIVISION G.R. No. 93237 November 6, 1992 RADIO COMMUNICATIONS OF THE PHILIPPINES, INC. (RCPI), petitioner, vs. NATIONAL TELECOMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION (NTC) and JUAN A. ALEGRE, respondents. PADILLA, J.: Private respondent Juan A. Alegre's wife, Dr. Jimena Alegre, sent two (2) RUSH telegrams through petitioner RCPI's facilities in Taft Ave., Manila at 9:00 in the morning of 17 March 1989 to his sister and brother-in-law in Valencia, Bohol and another sister-in-law in Espiritu, Ilocos Norte, with the following identical texts: MANONG POLING DIED INTERMENT TUESDAY 1 Both telegrams did not reach their destinations on the expected dates. Private respondent filed a letter-complaint against the RCPI with the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) for poor service, with a request for the imposition of the appropriate punitive sanction against the company.

Taking cognizance of the complaint, NTC directed RCPI to answer the complaint and set the initial hearing of the case to 2 May 1989. After two (2) resettings, RCPI moved to dismiss the case on the following grounds: 1. Juan Alegre is not the real party in interest; 2. NTC has no jurisdiction over the case; 3. the continued hearing of the case violates its constitutional right to due process of law. 2 RCPI likewise moved for deferment of scheduled hearings until final determination of its motion to dismiss. On 15 June 1989, NTC proceeded with the hearing and received evidence for private respondent Juan Alegre. On 3 October 1989, RCPI's motion to dismiss was denied, thus: The herein complainant is the husband of the sender of the "rush" telegram that respondent allegedly failed to deliver in a manner respondent bound itself to undertake, so his legal interest in this administrative case cannot be seriously called in question. As regards the issue of jurisdiction, the authority of the Commission to hear and decide this case stems from its power of control and supervision over the operation of public communication utilities as conferred upon it by law. Besides, the filing of a motion to dismiss is not allowed by the rules (Section 1, Rule 12, Rules of Practice and Procedures). Following, however, the liberal construction of the rules, respondent ( sic) motion shall be treated as its answer or be passed upon after the conclusion of the hearing on the merits. . . . 3 Hearings resumed in the absence of petitioner RCPI which was, however, duly notified thereof. On 27 November 1989, NTC disposed of the controversy in the following manner: WHEREFORE, in view of all the foregoing, the Commission finds respondent administratively liable for deficient and inadequate service defined under Section 19(a) of C.A. 146 and hereby imposes the penalty of FINE payable within thirty (30) days from receipt hereof in the aggregate amount of ONE THOUSAND PESOS (P1,000.00) for: 1. Rush Telegram sent to Valencia, Bohol on March 17, 1989 and received on March 21, 1989 3 days x P200.00 per day = P600.00 2. Rush Telegram sent to Espiritu, Ilocos Norte on March 17, 1989 and received on March 20, 1989 2 days x P200.00 per day = P400.00 Total = P1,000.00 ENTERED. November 27, 1989. 4 A motion for reconsideration by RCPI reiterating averments in its earlier motion to dismiss was denied for lack of merit; 5 hence, this petition for review invoking C.A. 146 Sec. 19(a) which limits the jurisdiction of the Public Service Commission (precursor of the NTC) to the fixing of rates. RCPI submits that its position finds support in two (2) decided cases 6 identical with the present one. Then Justice (later Chief Justice) Fernando writing for the Court stated: . . . There can be no justification then for the Public Service Commission imposing the fines for these two petitions. The law cannot be any clearer. The only power it possessed over radio companies, as noted was the ( sic ) fix rates. It could not take to task a radio company for negligence or misfeasance. It was bereft of such competence. It was not vested within such authority. . . . The Public Service Commission having been abolished by virtue of a Presidential Decree, as set forth at the outset, and a new Board of Communications having been created to take its place, nothing said in its decision has reference to whatever powers are now lodged in the latter body. . . . . . . (Footnotes omitted) Two (2) later cases, 7 adhering to the above tenet ruled: Even assuming that the respondent Board of Communications has the power of jurisdiction over petitioner in the exercise of its supervision to insure adequate public service, petitioner cannot be subjected to payment of fine under sec. 21 of the Public Service Act, because this provision of the law subjects to a fine every public service that violates or falls (sic) to comply with the terms and conditions of any certificate or any orders, decisions and regulations of the Commission. . . . . The Office of the Solicitor General now claims that the cited cases are no longer applicable, that the power and authority of the NTC to impose fines is incidental to its power to regulate public service utilities and to supervise telecommunications facilities, which are now clearly defined in Section 15, Executive Order No. 546 dated 23 July 1979: thus: Functions of the Commission. The Commission shall exercise the following functions: xxx xxx xxx b. Establish, prescribe and regulate the areas of operation of particular operators of the public service communications; xxx xxx xxx h. Supervise and inspect the operation of radio stations and telecommunications facilities.

Regulatory administrative agencies necessarily impose sanctions, adds the Office of the Solicitor General. RCPI was fined based on the finding of the NTC that it failed to undertake adequate service in delivering two (2) rush telegrams. NTC takes the view that its power of supervision was broadened by E. O. No. 546, and that this development superseded the ruling in RCPI vs. Francisco Santiago and companion cases. The issues of due process and real parties in interest do not have to be discussed in this case. This decision will dwell on the primary question of jurisdiction of the NTC to administratively impose fines on a telegraph company which fails to render adequate service to a consumer. E. O. 546, it will be observed, is couched in general terms. The NTC stepped "into the shoes" of the Board of Communications which exercised powers pursuant to the Public Service Act. The power to impose fines should therefore be read in the light of the Francisco Santiago case because subsequent legislation did not grant additional powers to the Board of Communications. The Board in other words, did not possess the power to impose administrative fines on public services rendering deficient service to customers, ergo its successor cannot arrogate unto itself such power, in the absence of legislation. It is true that the decision in RCPI vs. Board of Communications seems to have modified the Santiago ruling in that the later case held that the Board of Communications can impose fines if the public service entity violates or fails to comply with the terms and conditions of any certificate or any order, decision or regulation of the Commission. But can private respondent's complaint be similarly treated when the complaint seeks redress of a grievance against the company? 8 NTC has no jurisdiction to impose a fine. Globe Wireless Ltd. vs. Public Service Commission (G. R. No. L27250, 21 January 1987, 147 SCRA 269) says so categorically. Verily, Section 13 of Commonwealth Act No. 146, as amended, otherwise known as the Public Service Act, vested in the Public Service Commission jurisdiction, supervision and control over all public services and their franchises, equipment and other properties. xxx xxx xxx The act complained of consisted in petitioner having allegedly failed to deliver the telegraphic message of private respondent to the addressee in Madrid, Spain. Obviously, such imputed negligence has nothing whatsoever to do with the subject matter of the very limited jurisdiction of the Commission over petitioner. Moreover, under Section 21 of C. A. 146, as amended, the Commission was empowered to impose an administrative fine in cases of violation of or failure by a public service to comply with the terms and conditions of any certificate or any orders, decisions or regulations of the Commission. Petitioner operated under a legislative franchise, so there were no terms nor conditions of any certificate issued by the Commission to violate. Neither was there any order, decision or regulation from the Commission applicable to petitioner that the latter had allegedly violated, disobeyed, defied or disregarded. No substantial change has been brought about by Executive Order No. 546 invoked by the Solicitor General's Office to bolster NTC's jurisdiction. The Executive Order is not an explicit grant of power to impose administrative fines on public service utilities, including telegraphic agencies, which have failed to render adequate service to consumers. Neither has it expanded the coverage of the supervisory and regulatory power of the agency. There appears to be no alternative but to reiterate the settled doctrine in administrative law that: Too basic in administrative law to need citation of jurisprudence is the rule that jurisdiction and powers of administrative agencies, like respondent Commission, are limited to those expressly granted or necessarily implied from those granted in the legislation creating such body; and any order without or beyond such jurisdiction is void and ineffective . . . (Globe Wireless case, supra). WHEREFORE, the decision appealed from is REVERSED and SET ASIDE for lack of jurisdiction of the NTC to render it. The temporary restraining order issued on 18 June 1990 is made PERMANENT without prejudice, however, to the filing by the party aggrieved by the conduct of RCPI, of the proper action in the proper forum. No costs. SO ORDERED. Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila THIRD DIVISION G.R. No. L-45839 June 1, 1988 RUFINO MATIENZO, GODOFREDO ESPIRITU, DIOSCORRO FRANCO, AND LA SUERTE TRANSPORTATION CORPORATION, petitioners, vs. HON. LEOPOLDO M. ABELLERA, ACTING CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD OF TRANSPORTATION, HON. GODOFREDO Q. ASUNCION, MEMBER OF THE BOARD OF TRANSPORTATION, ARTURO DELA CRUZ, MS TRANSPORTATION CO., INC., NEW FAMILIA TRANSPORTATION CO., ROBERTO MOJARES, ET AL.,respondents. GUTIERREZ, JR., J.: This is a petition for certiorari and prohibition, with application for preliminary injunction, seeking the annulment and inhibition of the grant or award of provisional permits or special authority by the respondent Board of Transportation (BOT) to respondent taxicab operators, for the operation and legalization of "excess taxicab units" under certain provisions of Presidential Decree No. 101 "despite the lapse of the power to do so thereunder," and "in violation of other provisions of the Decree, Letter of Instructions No. 379 and other relevant rules of the BOT."

The petitioners and private respondents are all authorized taxicab operators in Metro Manila. The respondents, however, admittedly operate "colorum" or "kabit" taxicab units. On or about the second week of February, 1977, private respondents filed their petitions with the respondent Board for the legalization of their unauthorized "excess" taxicab units citing Presidential Decree No. 101, promulgated on January 17, 1973, "to eradicate the harmful and unlawful trade of clandestine operators, by replacing or allowing them to become legitimate and responsible operators." Within a matter of days, the respondent Board promulgated its orders setting the applications for hearing and granting applicants provisional authority to operate their "excess taxicab units" for which legalization was sought. Thus, the present petition. Opposing the applications and seeking to restrain the grant of provisional permits or authority, as well as the annulment of permits already granted under PD 101, the petitioners allege that the BOT acted without jurisdiction in taking cognizance of the petitions for legalization and awarding special permits to the private respondents. Presidential Decree No. 101 vested in the Board of Transportation the power, among others "To grant special permits of limited term for the operation of public utility motor vehicles as may, in the judgment of the Board, be necessary to replace or convert clandestine operators into legitimate and responsible operators." (Section 1, PD 101) Citing, however, Section 4 of the Decree which provides: SEC. 4. Transitory Provision. Six months after the promulgation of this Decree, the Board of Transportation, the Bureau of Transportation, The Philippine Constabulary, the city and municipal forces, and the provincial and city fiscals shall wage a concerted and relentless drive towards the total elimination and punishment of all clandestine and unlawful operators of public utility motor vehicles." the petitioners argue that neither the Board of Transportation chairman nor any member thereof had the power, at the time the petitions were filed (i.e. in 1977), to legitimize clandestine operations under PD 101 as such power had been limited to a period of six (6) months from and after the promulgation of the Decree on January 17, 1973. They state that, thereafter, the power lapses and becomes functus officio. To reinforce their stand, the petitioners refer to certain provisions of the Rules and Regulations implementing PD 101 issued by respondent Board, Letter of Instructions No. 379, and BOT Memorandum Circular No. 76-25 (a). In summary, these rules provide inter alia that (1) only applications for special permits for "colorum" or "kabit" operators filed before July 17, 1973 shall be accepted and processed (Secs. 3 and 16 (c), BOT-LTC-HPG Joint Regulations Implementing PD 101, pp. 33 and 47, Rollo); (2) Every provisional authority given to any taxi operator shall be cancelled immediately and no provisional authority shall thereafter be issued (par. 6, Letter of Instructions No. 379, issued March 10, 1976, p. 58, Rollo); (3) Effective immediately, no provisional authorities on applications for certificates of public convenience shall be granted or existing provisional authorities on new applications extended to, among others, taxi denominations in Metro Manila (BOT Memorandum Circular No. 75-25 (a), August 30, 1976, p. 64, Rollo); (4) All taxis authorized to operate within Metro Manila shall obtain new special permits from the BOT, which permits shall be the only ones recognized within the area (par. 8, LOI No. 379, supra); and (5) No bonafide applicant may apply for special permit to operate, among others, new taxicab services, and, no application for such new service shall be accepted for filing or processed by any LTC agency or granted under these regulations by any LTC Regional Office until after it shall have announced its program of development for these types of public motor vehicles (Sec. 16d, BOT-LTC-HPG Joint Regulations, p. 47, Rollo). The petitioners raise the following issues: I. WHETHER OR NOT THE BOARD OF TRANSPORTATION HAS THE POWER TO GRANT PROVISIONAL PERMITS TO OPERATE DESPITE THE BAN THEREON UNDER LETTER OF INSTRUCTIONS NO. 379; II. WHETHER OR NOT THE BOARD OF TRANSPORTATION HAS THE POWER TO LEGALIZE, AT THIS TIME, CLANDESTINE AND UNLAWFUL TAXICAB OPERATIONS UNDER SECTION 1, P.D. 101; AND III. WHETHER OR NOT THE PROCEDURE BEING FOLLOWED BY THE BOARD IN THE CASES IN QUESTION SATISFIES THE PROCEDURAL DUE PROCESS REQUIREMENTS. (p. 119, Rollo) We need not pass upon the first issue raised anent the grant of provisional authority to respondents. Considering that the effectivity of the provisional permits issued to the respondents was expressly limited to June 30, 1977, as evidenced by the BOT orders granting the same (Annexes G, H, I and J among others) and Memorandum Circular No. 77-4 dated January 20, 1977 (p. 151, Rollo), implementing paragraph 6 of LOI 379 (ordering immediate cancellation of all provisional authorities issued to taxicab operators, supra), which provides: 5. After June 30, 1977, all provisional authorities are deemed cancelled, even if hearings on the main application have not been terminated. the issue is MOOT and ACADEMIC. Only the issue on legalization remains under consideration. Justifying its action on private respondent's applications, the respondent Board emphasizes public need as the overriding concern. It is argued that under PD 101, it is the fixed policy of the State "to eradicate the harmful and unlawful trade of clandestine operators by replacing or allowing them to become legitimate and responsible ones" (Whereas clause, PD 101). In view thereof, it is maintained that respondent Board may continue to grant to "colorum" operators the benefits of legalization under PD 101, despite the lapse of its power, after six (6) months, to do so, without taking punitive measures against the said operators. Indeed, a reading of Section 1, PD 101, shows a grant of powers to the respondent Board to issue provisional permits as a step towards the legalization of colorum taxicab operations without the alleged time limitation. There is nothing in Section 4, cited by the petitioners, to suggest the expiration of such powers six (6) months after promulgation of the Decree. Rather, it merely provides for the withdrawal of the State's waiver of its right to punish said colorum operators for their illegal acts. In other words, the cited section declares when the period of moratorium suspending the relentless drive to eliminate illegal operators shall end. Clearly, there is no impediment to the

Board's exercise of jurisdiction under its broad powers under the Public Service Act to issue certificates of public convenience to achieve the avowed purpose of PD 101 (Sec. 16a, Public Service Act, Nov. 7, 1936). It is a settled principle of law that in determining whether a board or commission has a certain power, the authority given should be liberally construed in the light of the purposes for which it was created, and that which is incidentally necessary to a full implementation of the legislative intent should be upheld as being germane to the law. Necessarily, too, where the end is required, the appropriate means are deemed given (Martin, Administrative Law, 1979, p. 46). Thus, as averred by the respondents: ... [A]ll things considered, the question is what is the best for the interest of the public. Whether PD 101 has lost its effectiveness or not, will in no way prevent this Board from resolving the question in the same candor and spirit that P.D. 101 and LOI 379 were issued to cope with the multifarious ills that plague our transport system. ... (Emphasis supplied) (pp. 91-92, Rollo) This, the private respondents appreciate, as they make reference to PD 101, merely to cite the compassion with which colorum operators were dealt with under the law. They state that it is " in the same vein and spirit that this Honorable Board has extended the Decree of legalization to the operatives of the various PUJ and PUB services along legislative methods," that respondents pray for authorization of their colorum units in actual operation in Metro Manila (Petitions for Legalization, Annexes E & F, par. 7, pp. 65-79, Rollo). Anent the petitioners' reliance on the BOT Rules and Regulations Implementing PD 101 as well as its Memorandum Circular No. 7625(a), the BOT itself has declared: In line with its duty to rationalize the transport industry, the Board shall. from time to time, re- study the public need for public utilities in any area in the Philippines for the purpose of re- evaluating the policies. (p. 64, Rollo) Thus, the respondents correctly argue that "as the need of the public changes and oscillates with the trends of modern life, so must the Memo Orders issued by respondent jibe with the dynamic and flexible standards of public needs. ... Respondent Board is not supposed to 'tie its hands' on its issued Memo Orders should public interest demand otherwise" (Answer of private respondents, p. 121, Rollo). The fate of the private respondent's petitions is initially for the Board to determine. From the records of the case, acceptance of the respondent's applications appears to be a question correctly within the discretion of the respondent Board to decide. As a rule, where the jurisdiction of the BOT to take cognizance of an application for legalization is settled, the Court enjoins the exercise thereof only when there is fraud, abuse of discretion or error of law. Furthermore, the court does not interfere, as a rule, with administrative action prior to its completion or finality . It is only after judicial review is no longer premature that we ascertain in proper cases whether the administrative findings are not in violation of law, whether they are free from fraud or imposition and whether they find substantial support from the evidence. Finally, with respect to the last issue raised by the petitioners alleging the denial of due process by respondent Board in granting the provisional permits to the private respondents and in taking cognizance of their applications for legalization without notice and hearing, suffice it to say that PD 101 does not require such notice or hearing for the grant of temporary authority . The provisional nature of the authority and the fact that the primary application shall be given a full hearing are the safeguards against its abuse. As to the applications for legalization themselves, the Public Service Act does enjoin the Board to give notice and hearing before exercising any of its powers under Sec. 16 thereof. However, the allegations that due process has been denied are negated by the hearings set by the Board on the applications as expressed in its orders resolving the petitions for special permits (Annexes G, H, I, pp. 80-102, Rollo). The Board stated: The grounds involved in the petition are of first impression. It cannot resolve the issue ex-parte. It needs to hear the views of other parties who may have an interest, or whose interest may be affected by any decision that this Board may take. The Board therefore, decides to set the petition for hearing. xxx xxx xxx As to the required notice, it is impossible for the respondent Board to give personal notice to all parties who may be interested in the matter, which parties are unknown to it. Its aforementioned order substantially complies with the requirement. The petitioners having been able to timely oppose the petitions in question, any lack of notice is deemed cured. WHEREFORE. the petition is hereby DISMISSED for lack of merit. The questioned orders of the then Board of Transportation are AFFIRMED. SO ORDERED. Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila SECOND DIVISION G.R. No. 137489 May 29, 2002 COOPERATIVE DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY, petitioner, vs. DOLEFIL AGRARIAN REFORM BENEFICIARIES COOPERATIVE, INC., ESMERALDO A. DUBLIN, ALICIA SAVAREZ, EDNA URETA, ET AL., respondents. DE LEON, JR., J.:

At the core of the instant petition for review on certiorari of the Decision 1 of the Court of Appeals, 13th Division, in CA-G.R. SP. No. 47933 promulgated on September 9, 1998 and its Resolution2 dated February 9, 1999 is the issue of whether or not petitioner Cooperative Development Authority (CDA for brevity) is vested with quasi-judicial authority to adjudicate intra-cooperative disputes. The record shows that sometime in the later part of 1997, the CDA received from certain members of the Dolefil Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Cooperative, Inc. (DARBCI for brevity), an agrarian reform cooperative that owns 8,860 hectares of land in Polomolok, South Cotabato, several complaints alleging mismanagement and/or misappropriation of funds of DARBCI by the then incumbent officers and members of the board of directors of the cooperative, some of whom are herein private respondents. Acting on the complaints docketed as CDA-CO Case No. 97-011, CDA Executive Director Candelario L. Verzosa, Jr. issued an order 3 dated December 8, 1997 directing the private respondents to file their answer within ten (10) days from receipt thereof. Before the private respondents could file their answer, however, CDA Administrator Alberto P. Zingapan issued on December 15, 1997 an order,4 upon the motion of the complainants in CDA-CO Case No. 97-011, freezing the funds of DARBCI and creating a management committee to manage the affairs of the said cooperative. On December 18, 1991, the private respondents filed a Petition for Certiorari 5 with a prayer for preliminary injunction, damages and attorneys fees against the CDA and its officers namely: Candelario L. Verzosa, Jr. and Alberto P. Zingapan, including the DOLE Philippines Inc. before the Regional Trial Court (RTC for brevity) of Polomolok, South Cotabato, Branch 39. The petition which was docketed as SP Civil Case No. 25, primarily questioned the jurisdiction of the CDA to resolve the complaints against the private respondents, specifically with respect to the authority of the CDA to issue the "freeze order" and to create a management committee that would run the affairs of DARBCI. On February 24, 1998, CDA Chairman Jose C. Medina, Jr. issued an order 6 in CDA-CO Case No. 97-011 placing the private respondents under preventive suspension, hence, paving the way for the newly-created management committee7 to assume office on March 10, 1998. On March 27, 1998, the RTC of Polomolok, South Cotabato, Branch 39, issued a temporary restraining order 8(TRO), initially for seventytwo (72) hours and subsequently extended to twenty (20) days, in an Order dated March 31, 1998. The temporary restraining order, in effect, directed the parties to restore status quo ante, thereby enabling the private respondents to reassume the management of DARBCI. The CDA questioned the propriety of the temporary restraining order issued by the RTC of Polomolok, South Cotabato on March 27, 1998 through a petition for certiorari before the Court of Appeals, 12th Division, which was docketed as CA-G.R. SP No. 47318. On April 21, 1998, the Court of Appeals, 12th Division, issued a temporary restraining order9 in CA-G.R. SP No. 47318 enjoining the RTC of Polomolok, South Cotabato, Branch 39, from enforcing the restraining order which the latter court issued on March 27, 1998, and ordered that the proceedings in SP Civil Case No. 25 be held in abeyance. 1wphi1.nt Consequently, the CDA continued with the proceedings in CDA-CO Case No. 97-011. On May 26, 1998 CDA Administrator Arcadio S. Lozada issued a resolution10 which directed the holding of a special general assembly of the members of DARBCI and the creation of an ad hoc election committee to supervise the election of officers and members of the board of directors of DARBCI scheduled on June 14, 1998. The said resolution of the CDA, issued on May 26, 1998 prompted the private respondents to file on June 8, 1998 a Petition for Prohibition11 with a prayer for preliminary mandatory injunction and temporary restraining order with the Court of Appeals, 13th Division, which was docketed as CA-G.R. SP No. 47933. On June 10, 1998, the appellate court issued a resolution 12 restraining the CDA and its administrator, Arcadio S. Lozada, the three (3) members of the ad hoc election committee or any and all persons acting in their behalf from proceeding with the election of officers and members of the board of directors of DARBCI scheduled on June 14, 1998. Incidentally, on the same date that the Court of Appeals issued a temporary restraining order in CA-G.R. SP No. 47933 on June 10, 1998, a corporation by the name of Investa Land Corporation (Investa for brevity) which allegedly executed a "Lease Agreement with Joint Venture" with DARBCI filed a petition13 with the RTC of Polomolok, South Cotabato, Branch 39, docketed as SP Civil Case No. 28, essentially seeking the annulment of orders and resolutions issued by the CDA in CDA-CO Case No. 97-011 with a prayer for temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction. On the following day, June 11, 1998, the trial court issued a temporary restraining order14 enjoining the respondents therein from proceeding with the scheduled special general assembly and the elections of officers and members of the board of directors of DARBCI on June 14, 1998. Thereafter, it also issued a writ of preliminary injunction. With the issuance of the two (2) restraining orders by the Court of Appeals, 13 th Division, and the RTC of Polomolok, South Cotabato, Branch 39, on June 10 and 11, 1998, respectively, the scheduled special general assembly and the election of officers and members of the board of directors of DARBCI on June 14, 1998 did not take place. Nevertheless, on July 12, 1998, the majority of the 7,511 members of DARBCI, on their own initiative, convened a general assembly and held an election of the members of the board of directors and officers of the cooperative, thereby effectively replacing the private respondents. Hence, the private respondents filed a Twin Motions for Contempt of Court and to Nullify Proceedings 15 with the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP No. 47933. On September 9, 1998 the Court of Appeals, 13th Division, promulgated its subject appealed Decision16 granting the petition in CA-G.R. SP No. 47933, the dispositive portion of which reads: Wherefore, the foregoing considered, the Petition is hereby GRANTED. The Orders of the respondent Cooperative Development Authority in CDA-CO case No. 97-011 dated 08 December 1997, 15 December 1997, 26 January 1998, 24 February 1998, 03 March 1998, and the Resolution dated 26 May 1998, are hereby declared NULL AND VOID and of no legal force and effect. Further, the respondents are hereby ORDERED to perpetually CEASE AND DESIST from taking any further proceedings in CDA-CO Case No. 97-011.

Lastly, the respondent CDA is hereby ORDERED to REINSTATE the Board of Directors of DARBCI who were ousted by virtue of the questioned Orders, and to RESTORE the status quo prior to the filing of CDA-CO Case No. 97-011. SO ORDERED. The CDA filed a motion for reconsideration17 of the Decision in CA-G.R. SP No. 47933 but it was denied by the Court of Appeals in its assailed Resolution18 dated February 9, 1999, thus: WHEREFORE, the Motion for Reconsideration is hereby DENIED for being patently without merit. MOREOVER, acting on petitioners Twin Motion, and in view of the Decision in this case dated 09, September 1998, the tenor of which gives it legal effect nunc pro tunc. We therefore hold the 12 July 1998 election of officers, the resolutions passed during the said assembly, and the subsequent oath-taking of the officers elected therein, and all actions taken during the said meeting, being in blatant defiance of a valid restraining order issued by this Court, to be NULL AND VOID AB INITIO AND OF NO LEGAL FORCE AND EFFECT. FURTHERMORE, the private respondents are hereby given thirty (30) days from receipt of this Resolution within which to explain in writing why they should not be held in contempt of this Court for having openly defied the restraining order dated 10 July 1998. The Hon. Jose C. Medina of the CDA is given a like period to explain in writing why he should not be cited in contempt for having administered the oath of the "Board of Officers" pending the effectivity of the restraining order. The respondent Arcadio S. Lozada, Administrator of the CDA, is likewise given the same period to explain why he should not be held in contempt for issuing a resolution on 21 July 1998 validating the proceedings of the assembly, and another resolution on 28 August 1998 confirming the election of the officers thereof. SO ORDERED. Hence, the instant petition19 for review which raises the following assignments of error: I THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS, IN NULLIFYING THE ORDERS AND RESOLUTIONS OF THE COOPERATIVE DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY IN CDA CO CASE NO. 97-011, DECIDED A QUESTION OF SUBSTANCE THAT IS NOT IN ACCORD WITH LAW AND APPLICABLE DECISIONS OF THE SUPREME COURT. II THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS ERRED IN NOT APPLYING THE RULE ON FORUM-SHOPPING. III THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS ERRED IN RENDERING A DECISION ON THE BASIS OF PURE CONJECTURES AND SURMISES AND HAS DEPARTED FROM THE ACCEPTED AND USUAL COURSE OF JUDICIAL PROCEEDINGS WHICH CALL FOR AN EXERCISE OF THIS HONORABLE COURTS SUPERVISION. Petitioner CDA claims that it is vested with quasi-judicial authority to adjudicate cooperative disputes in view of its powers, functions and responsibilities under Section 3 of Republic Act No. 6939.20 The quasi-judicial nature of its powers and functions was confirmed by the Department of Justice, through the then Acting Secretary of Justice Demetrio G. Demetria, in DOJ Opinion No. 10, Series of 1995, which was issued in response to a query of the then Chairman Edna E. Aberina of the CDA, to wit: Applying the foregoing, the express powers of the CDA to cancel certificates of registration of cooperatives for non-compliance with administrative requirements or in cases of voluntary dissolution under Section 3(g), and to mandate and conciliate disputes within a cooperative or between cooperatives under Section 8 of R.A. No. 6939, may be deemed quasi-judicial in nature. The reason is that in the performance of its functions such as cancellation of certificate of registration, it is necessary to establish non-compliance or violation of administrative requirement. To do so, there arises an indispensable need to hold hearings, investigate or ascertain facts that possibly constitute non-compliance or violation and, based on the facts investigated or ascertained, it becomes incumbent upon the CDA to use its official discretion whether or not to cancel a cooperatives certificate of registration, thus, clearly revealing the quasi -judicial nature of the said function. When the CDA acts as a conciliatory body pursuant to Section 8 of R.A. No. 6939, it in effect performs the functions of an arbitrator. Arbitrators are by the nature of their functions act in quasi-judicial capacity xxx. The quasi-judicial nature of the foregoing functions is bolstered by the provisions of Sections 3(o) of R.A. No. 6939 which grants CDA on (sic) the exercise of other functions as may be necessary to implement the provisions of cooperative laws, the power to summarily punish for direct contempt any person guilty of misconduct in the presence thereof who seriously interrupts any hearing or inquiry with a fine or imprisonment prescribed therein, a power usually granted to make effective the exercise of quasi-judicial functions.21 Likewise, the Office of the President, through the then Deputy Executive Secretary, Hon. Leonardo A. Quisumbing, espoused the same view in the case of Alberto Ang, et al. v. The Board of Directors, Metro Valenzuela Transport Services Cooperative, Inc ., O.P. Case No. 51111, when it declared and ruled that: Concededly, Section 3(o) of R.A. No. 6939 and Article 35(4) of R.A. 6938, may not be relied upon by the CDA as authority to resolve internal conflicts of cooperatives, they being general provisions. Nevertheless, this does not preclude the CDA from resolving the instant case. The assumption of jurisdiction by the CDA on matters which partake of cooperative disputes is a logical, necessary and direct consequence of its authority to register cooperatives. Before a cooperative can acquire juridical personality, registration thereof is a condition sine qua non, and until and unless the CDA issues a certificate of registration

under its official seal, any cooperative for that matter cannot be considered as having been legally constituted. To our mind, the grant of this power impliedly carries with it the visitorial power to entertain cooperative conflicts, a lesser power compared to its authority to cancel registration certificates when, in its opinion, the cooperative fails to comply with some administrative requirements (Sec. 2(g), R.A. No. 6939). Evidently, respondents-appellants claim that the CDA is limited to conciliation and mediation proceedings is bereft of legal basis. Simply stated, the CDA, in the exercise of such other function and in keeping with the mandate of the law, could render the decisions and/or resolutions as long as they pertain to the internal affairs of the public service cooperative, such as the rights and privileges of its members, the rules and procedures for meetings of the general assembly, Board of Directors and committees, election and qualifications of officers, directors and committee members, and allocation and distribution of surpluses. 22 The petitioner avers that when an administrative agency is conferred with quasi-judicial powers and functions, such as the CDA, all controversies relating to the subject matter pertaining to its specialization are deemed to be covered within the jurisdiction of said administrative agency. The courts will not interfere in matters which are addressed to the sound discretion of government agencies entrusted with the regulation of activities undertaken upon their special technical knowledge and training. The petitioner added that the decision in the case of CANORECO v. Hon. Ruben D. Torres,23 affirmed the adjudicatory powers and functions of CDA contrary to the view held by the Court of Appeals, when the Supreme Court upheld therein the ruling of the CDA annulling the election of therein respondents Norberto Ochoa, et al. as officers of the Camarines Norte Electric Cooperative. Petitioner CDA also claims that herein private respondents are guilty of forum-shopping by filing cases in three (3) different fora seeking the same relief. Petitioner pointed out that private respondents originally filed a petition with a prayer for preliminary injunction dated December 17, 1997 before the RTC of Polomolok, South Cotabato which was docketed as SP Civil Case No. 25. Subsequently, the same private respondents filed another petition with a prayer for preliminary injunction with the Court of Appeals, 13 th Division, docketed as CA-G.R. SP No. 47933. Thereafter, Investa, also represented by the same counsel of private respondents, Atty. Reni Dublin, filed another case with the RTC of Polomolok, South Cotabato, docketed as SP Civil Case No. 28, likewise praying, among others, for the issuance of preliminary injunction and an application for a temporary restraining order. In effect, petitioner was confronted with three (3) TROs issued in three (3) separate actions enjoining it from enforcing its orders and resolutions in CDA-CO Case No. 97-011. In their Comment,24 private respondents contend that the instant petition for review on certiorari filed by CDA Administrator Alberto Zingapan should be dismissed and struck down as a mere scrap of paper for lack of authority to file the same from the Office of the Solicitor General and for having been filed without approval from the Board of Administrators of CDA. The private respondents also contend that, contrary to the claim of the petitioner, the powers, functions and responsibilities of the CDA show that it was merely granted regulatory or supervisory powers over cooperatives in addition to its authority to mediate and conciliate between parties involving the settlement of cooperative disputes. Private respondents denied that they are guilty of forum-shopping. They clarified that the case filed with the RTC of Polomolok, South Cotabato, Branch 39, docketed as SP Civil Case No. 25, was a petition for certiorari. On the other hand, the case that they filed with the Court of Appeals, 13th Division, docketed therein as CA-G.R. SP No. 47933, was a petition for prohibition to stop the holding of a special general assembly and the election of a new set of DARBCI officers on June 14, 1998 as ordered by the petitioner CDA on May 26, 1998, which events have not yet occurred at the time the petition for certiorari was filed by the private respondents with the RTC of Polomolok, South Cotabato, Branch 39. Private respondents also denied that the filing by Investa of the petition for the declaration of nullity of the orders and resolutions of petitioner CDA, with a prayer for temporary restraining order with the RTC of Polomolok, South Cotabato, docketed therein as SP Civil Case No. 28, constituted forum-shopping on their part. They pointed out that Investa has a separate juridical personality from DARBCI and that, contrary to the claim of petitioner CDA, the former is not represented by the lawyer of the private respondents. By way of reply,25 petitioner claims that Atty. Rogelio P. Madriaga was properly deputized, among other lawyers, as Special Attorney by the Office of the Solicitor General to represent the CDA in the instant petition pursuant to the letter 26 of Assistant Solicitor General Carlos N. Ortega addressed to CDA Chairman Jose C. Medina, Jr. dated April 8, 1999. Likewise, the filing of the instant petition was an official act of CDA Administrator Alberto P. Zingapan who was duly appointed by the CDA Board of Administrators as chairman of the Oversight Committee on Legal Matters per Resolution No. 201, S-1998.27 Meanwhile, on March 26, 1999, certain persons alleging to be incumbent officers and members of the board of directors of DARBCI filed a motion to intervene in the instant petition which was granted by this Court per its Resolution dated July 7, 1999. 28 In the same resolution, this Court required both petitioner CDA and the private respondents in this case to file their respective comments to the petition-inintervention within ten (10) days from notice, but both parties failed to comply to do so up to the present. We note that the instant petition for review on certiorari suffers from a basic infirmity for lack of the requisite imprimatur from the Office of the Solicitor General, hence, it is dismissible on that ground. The general rule is that only the Solicitor General can bring or defend actions on behalf of the Republic of the Philippines and that actions filed in the name of the Republic, or its agencies and instrumentalities for that matter, if not initiated by the Solicitor General, will be summarily dismissed.29 The authority of the Office of the Solicitor General to represent the Republic of the Philippines, its agencies and instrumentalities, is embodied under Section 35(1), Chapter 12, Title III, Book IV of the Administrative Code of 1987 which provides that: SEC. 35. Powers and Functions.The Office of the Solicitor General shall represent the Government of the Philippines, its agencies and instrumentalities and its officials and agents in any litigation, proceeding, investigation or matter requiring the services of lawyers. When authorized by the President or head of the office concerned, it shall also represent government owned or controlled corporations. The Office of the Solicitor General shall constitute the law office of the Government and, as such, shall discharge duties requiring the services of lawyers. It shall have the following specific powers and functions:

(1) Represent the Government in the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeals in all criminal proceedings; represent the Government and its officers in the Supreme Court, Court of Appeals, and all other courts or tribunals in all civil actions and special proceedings in which the Government or any officer thereof in his official capacity is a party. The import of the above-quoted provision of the Administrative Code of 1987 is to impose upon the Office of the Solicitor General the duty to appear as counsel for the Government, its agencies and instrumentalites and its officials and agents before the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeals, and all other courts and tribunals in any litigation, proceeding, investigation or matter requiring the services of a lawyer. Its mandatory character was emphasized by this Court in the case of Gonzales v. Chavez,30 thus: It is patent that the intent of the lawmaker was to give the designated official, the Solicitor General, in this case, the unequivocal mandate to appear for the government in legal proceedings. Spread out in the laws creating the office is the discernible intent which may be gathered from the term "shall", which is invariably employed, from Act No. 136 (1901) to the more recent Executive Order No. 292 (1987). xxx xxx xxx The decision of this Court as early as 1910 with respect to the duties of the Attorney-General well applies to the Solicitor General under the facts of the present case. The Court then declared: In this jurisdiction, it is the duty of the Attorney General to perform the duties imposed upon him by law and he shall prosecute all causes, civil and criminal, to which the Government of the Philippine Islands, or any officer thereof, in his official capacity, is a party xxx. xxx xxx xxx The Court is firmly convinced that considering the spirit and the letter of the law, there can be no other logical interpretation of Sec. 35 of the Administrative Code than that it is, indeed, mandatory upon the OSG to "represent the Government of the Philippines, its agencies and instrumentalities and its officials and agents in any litigation, proceeding, investigation or matter requiring the services of a lawyer." As an exception to the general rule, the Solicitor General, in providing legal representation for the government, is empowered under Section 35(8), Chapter 12, Title III, Book IV of the Administrative Code of 1987 to "deputize legal officers of government departments, bureaus, agencies and offices to assist the Solicitor General and appear or represent the Government in cases involving their respective offices, brought before the courts and exercise supervision and control over such legal officers with respect to such cases." Petitioner claims that its counsel of record, Atty. Rogelio P. Madriaga, was deputized by the Solicitor General to represent the CDA in the instant petition. To prove its claim, the petitioner attached to its Reply to the Comment dated January 31, 2000, a photocopy of the alleged deputation letter31 from the Office of the Solicitor General signed by Hon. Carlos N. Ortega, Assistant Solicitor General, addressed to CDA Chairman Jose C. Medina, Jr. A close scrutiny of the alleged deputation letter from the Office of the Solicitor General shows, however, that said counsel for the petitioner was only "authorized to appear as counsel in all civil cases in the lower courts (RTCs and MTCs) wherein the CDA is a partylitigant". Likewise, the same letter appears to be dated April 8, 1999 while the Petition for Review on Certiorari filed by the petitioner was dated February 26, 1999. Clearly then, when the petition was filed with this Court on March 3, 1999, Atty. Rogelio P. Madriaga was not yet deputized by the Office of the Solicitor General to represent the CDA. Even on the assumption that the alleged letter from the Office of the Solicitor General was intended to validate or ratify the authority of counsel to represent the petitioner in this case, the same contains certain conditions, one of which is that petitioner "shall submit to the Solicitor General, for review, approval and signature, all important pleadings and motions, including motions to withdraw complaints or appeals, as well as compromise agreements." Significantly, one of the major pleadings filed subsequently by the petitioner in this case namely, the Reply to the Respondents Comment on the Petition dated January 31, 2000, does not have any indication that the s ame was previously submitted to the Office of the Solicitor General for review or approval, much less bear the requisite signature of the Solicitor General as required in the alleged deputation letter. Nonetheless, in view of the novelty of the main issue raised in this petition concerning the nature and scope of jurisdiction of the CDA in the settlement of cooperative disputes as well as the long standing legal battle involving the management of DARBCI between two (2) opposing factions that inevitably threatens the very existence of one of the countrys major cooperatives, this Court has dec ided to act on and determine the merits of the instant petition. Section 3 of R.A. No. 6939 enumerates the powers, functions and responsibilities of the CDA, thus: SEC. 3. Powers, Functions and Responsibilities.The Authority shall have the following powers, functions and responsibilities: (a) Formulate, adopt and implement integrated and comprehensive plans and programs on cooperative development consistent with the national policy on cooperatives and the overall socio-economic development plan of the Government; (b) Develop and conduct management and training programs upon request of cooperatives that will provide members of cooperatives with the entrepreneurial capabilities, managerial expertise, and technical skills required for the efficient operation of their cooperatives and inculcate in them the true spirit of cooperativism and provide, when necessary, technical and professional assistance to ensure the viability and growth of cooperatives with special concern for agrarian reform, fishery and economically depressed sectors; (c) Support the voluntary organization and consensual development of activities that promote cooperative movements and provide assistance to wards upgrading managerial and technical expertise upon request of the cooperatives concerned; (d) Coordinate the effects of the local government units and the private sector in the promotion, organization, and development of cooperatives;

(e) Register all cooperatives and their federations and unions, including their division, merger, consolidation, dissolution or liquidation. It shall also register the transfer of all or substantially all of their assets and liabilities and such other matters as may be required by the Authority; (f) Require all cooperatives, their federations and unions to submit their annual financial statements, duly audited by certified public accountants, and general information sheets; (g) Order the cancellation after due notice and hearing of the cooperatives certificate of registration for non -compliance with administrative requirements and in cases of voluntary dissolution; (h) Assist cooperatives in arranging for financial and other forms of assistance under such terms and conditions as are calculated to strengthen their viability and autonomy; (i) Establish extension offices as may be necessary and financially viable to implement this Act. Initially, there shall be extension offices in the Cities of Dagupan, Manila, Naga, Iloilo, Cebu, Cagayan de Oro and Davao; (j) Impose and collect reasonable fees and charges in connection with the registration of cooperatives; (k) Administer all grants and donations coursed through the Government for cooperative development, without prejudice to the right of cooperatives to directly receive and administer such grants and donations upon agreement with the grantors and donors thereof; (l) Formulate and adopt continuing policy initiatives consultation with the cooperative sector through public hearing; (m) Adopt rules and regulations for the conduct of its internal operations; (n) Submit an annual report to the President and Congress on the state of the cooperative movement; (o) Exercise such other functions as may be necessary to implement the provisions of the cooperative laws and, in the performance thereof, the Authority may summarily punish for direct contempt any person guilty of misconduct in the presence of the Authority which seriously interrupts any hearing or inquiry with a fine of not more than five hundred pesos (P500.00) or imprisonment of not more than ten (10) days, or both. Acts constituting indirect contempt as defined under Rule 71 of the Rules of Court shall be punished in accordance with the said Rule. It is a fundamental rule in statutory construction that when the law speaks in clear and categorical language, there is no room for interpretation, vacillation or equivocation there is only room for application.32 It can be gleaned from the above-quoted provision of R.A. No. 6939 that the authority of the CDA is to discharge purely administrative functions which consist of policy-making, registration, fiscal and technical assistance to cooperatives and implementation of cooperative laws. Nowhere in the said law can it be found any express grant to the CDA of authority to adjudicate cooperative disputes. At most, Section 8 of the same law provides that "upon request of either or both parties, the Authority shall mediate and conciliate disputes with a cooperative or between cooperatives" however, with a restriction "that if no mediation or conciliation succeeds within three (3) months from request thereof, a certificate of non-resolution shall be issued by the commission prior to the filing of appropriate action before the proper courts ". Being an administrative agency, the CDA has only such powers as are expressly granted to it by law and those which are necessarily implied in the exercise thereof. 33 Petitioner CDA, however, insists that its authority to conduct hearings or inquiries and the express grant to it of contempt powers under Section 3, paragraphs (g) and (o) of R. A. No. 6939, respectively, necessarily vests upon the CDA quasi-judicial authority to adjudicate cooperative disputes. A review of the records of the deliberations by both chambers of Congress prior to the enactment of R.A. No. 6939 provides a definitive answer that the CDA is not vested with quasi-judicial authority to adjudicate cooperative disputes. During the house deliberations on the then House Bill No. 10787, the following exchange transpired: MR. AQUINO (A.). The response of the sponsor is not quite clear to this humble Representation. Let me just point out other provisions under this particular section, which to the mind of this humble Representation appear to provide this proposed Authority with certain quasi-judicial functions. Would I be correct in this interpretation of paragraphs (f) and (g) under this section which state that among the powers of the Authority are: To administer the dissolution, disposal of assets and settlement of liabilities of any cooperative that has been found to be inoperable, inactive or defunct. To make appropriate action on cooperatives found to be in violation of any provision It appears to the mind of this humble Representation that the proposed Authority may be called upon to adjudicate in these particular instances. Is it therefore vested with quasi-judicial authority? MR. ROMUALDO. No, Mr. Speaker. We have to resort to the courts, for instance, for the dissolution of cooperatives. The Authority only administers once a cooperative is dissolved. It is also the CDA which initiates actions against any group of persons that may use the name of a cooperative to its advantage, that is, if the word "cooperative" is merely used by it in order to advance its intentions, Mr. Speaker. MR. AQUINO (A.). So, is the sponsor telling us that the adjudication will have to be left to the courts of law? MR. ROMUALDO. To the courts, Mr. Speaker.34 xxx xxx xxx MR. ADASA. One final question, Mr. Speaker. On page 4, line 33, it seems that one of the functions given to the Cooperative Development Authority is to recommend the filing of legal charges against any officer or member of a cooperative accused of violating the provisions of this Act, existing laws and cooperative by-laws and other rules and regulations set forth by the government. Would this not conflict with the function of the prosecuting fiscal?

MR. ROMUALDO. No, it will be the provincial fiscal that will file the case. The Authority only recommends the filing of legal charges, that is, of course, after preliminary investigation conducted by the provincial fiscal or the prosecuting arm of the government. MR. ADASA. Does the Gentleman mean to say that the Cooperative Development Authority can take the place of the private complainant or the persons who are the offended party if the latter would not pursue the case? MR. ROMULDO. Yes, Mr. Speaker. The Authority can initiate even the filing of the charges as embraced and defined on line 33 of page 4 of this proposed bill.35 xxx xxx xxx MR. CHIONGBIAN. xxx. Under the same section, line 28, subparagraph (g) says that the Authority can take appropriate action on cooperatives found to be violating any provision of this Act, existing laws and cooperative by-laws, and other rules and regulations set forth by the government by way of withdrawal of Authority assistance, suspension of operation or cancellation of accreditation. My question is: If a cooperative, whose officers are liable for wrongdoing, is found violating any of the provisions of this Act, are we going to sacrifice the existence of that cooperative just because some of the officers have taken advantage of their positions and misused some of the funds? It would be very unfair for the Authority to withdraw its assistance at the expense of the majority. It is not clear as to what the liabilities of the members of these cooperatives are. xxx xxx xxx MR. ROMUALDO. Mr. Speaker, before this action may be taken by the Authority, there will be due process. However, this provision is applicable in cases where the cooperative as a whole violated the provisions of this Act as well as existing laws. In this case, punitive actions may be taken against the cooperative as a body. With respect to the officials, if they themselves should be punished, then Section (h) of this chapter provides that legal charges shall be filed by the Cooperative Development Authority. 36 In like manner, the deliberations on Senate Bill No. 485, which was the counterpart of House Bill No. 10787, yield the same legislative intent not to grant quasi-judicial authority to the CDA as shown by the following discussions during the period of amendments: SEN. ALVAREZ. On page 3, between lines 5 and 6, if I may, insert the following as one of the powers: CONDUCT INQUIRIES, STUDIES, HEARINGS AND INVESTIGATIONS AND ISSUE ORDERS, DECISIONS AND CIRCULARS AS MAY BE NECESSARY TO IMPLEMENT ALL LAWS, RULES AND REGULATIONS RELATING TO COOPERATIVES. THE AGENCY MAY SUMMARILY PUNISH FOR CONTEMPT BY A FINE OF NOT MORE THAN TWO HUNDRED PESOS (P200.00) OR IMPRISONMENT NOT EXCEEDING TEN (10) DAYS, OR BOTH, ANY PERSONS GUILTY OF SUCH MISCONDUCT IN THE PRESENCE OF THE AGENCY WHICH SERIOUSLY INTERRUPTS ANY HEARING OR INVESTIGATION, INCLUDING WILFULL FAILURE OR REFUSAL, WITHOUT JUST CAUSE, COMPLY WITH A SUMMONS, SUBPOENA, SUBPOENA DUCES TECUM, DECISION OR ORDER, RULE OR REGULATION, OR, BEING PRESENT AT A HEARING OR INVESTIGATION, REFUSES TO BE SWORN IN AS A WITNESS OR TO ANSWER QUESTIONS OR TO FURNISH INFORMATION REQUIRED BY THE AGENCY. THE SHERIFF AND/OR POLICE AGENCIES OF THE PLACE WHERE THE HEARING OR INVESTIGATION IS CONDUCTED SHALL, UPON REQUEST OF THE AGENCY, ASSIST IT TO ENFORCE THE PENALTY. THE PRESIDENT. That is quite a long amendment. Does the Gentleman have a written copy of his amendment, so that the Members will have an opportunity to go over it and examine its implications? Anyway, why do we not hold in abeyance the proposed amendment? Do we have that? xxx xxx xxx SEN. ALVAREZ. Mr. President, this is almost an inherent power of a registering body. With the tremendous responsibility that we have assigned to the Authority or the agencyfor it to be able to function and discharge its mandateit will need this authority.1wphi1.nt SEN. AQUINO. Yes, Mr. President, conceptually, we do not like the agency to have quasi-judicial powers. And, we are afraid that if we empower the agency to conduct inquiries, studies, hearings and investigations, it might interfere in the autonomous character of cooperatives. So, I am sorry Mr. President, we dont accept the amendment. 37 The decision to withhold quasi-judicial powers from the CDA is in accordance with the policy of the government granting autonomy to cooperatives. It was noted that in the past 75 years cooperativism failed to flourish in the Philippines. Of the 23,000 cooperatives organized under P.D. No. 175, only 10 to 15 percent remained operational while the rest became dormant. The dismal failure of cooperativism in the Philippines was attributed mainly to the stifling attitude of the government toward cooperatives. While the government wished to help, it invariably wanted to control. 38 Also, in its anxious efforts to push cooperativism, it smothered cooperatives with so much help that they failed to develop self-reliance. As one cooperative expert put it, "The strong embrace of government ends with a kiss of death for cooperatives."39 But then, acknowledging the role of cooperatives as instruments of national development, the framers of the 1987 Constitution directed Congress under Article XII, Section 15 thereof to create a centralized agency that shall promote the viability and growth of cooperatives. Pursuant to this constitutional mandate, the Congress approved on March 10, 1990 Republic Act No. 6939 which is the organic law creating the Cooperative Development Authority. Apparently cognizant of the errors in the past, Congress declared in an unequivocal language that the state shall "maintain the policy of non-interference in the management and operation of cooperatives."40 After ascertaining the clear legislative intent underlying R.A. No. 6939, effect should be given to it by the judiciary. 41 Consequently, we hold and rule that the CDA is devoid of any quasi-judicial authority to adjudicate intra-cooperative disputes and more particularly

disputes as regards the election of the members of the Board of Directors and officers of cooperatives. The authority to conduct hearings or inquiries and the power to hold any person in contempt may be exercised by the CDA only in the performance of its administrative functions under R.A. No. 6939. The petitioners reliance on the case of CANORECO is misplaced for the reason that the central issue raised therein was whether or not the Office of the President has the authority to supplant or reverse the resolution of an administrative agency, specifically the CDA, that had long became final and on which issue we ruled in the negative. In fact, this Court declared in the said case that the CDA has no jurisdiction to adjudicate intra-cooperative disputes thus:42 xxx xxx xxx Obviously there was a clear case of intra-cooperative dispute. Article 121 of the Cooperative Code is explicit on how the dispute should be resolved; thus: ART. 121. Settlement of Disputes. Disputes among members, officers, directors, and committee members, and intracooperative disputes shall, as far as practicable, be settled amicably in accordance with the conciliation or mediation mechanisms embodied in the by-laws of the cooperative, and in applicable laws. Should such a conciliation/mediation proceeding fail, the matter shall be settled in a court of competent jurisdiction. Complementing this Article is Section 8 of R.A. No. 6939, which provides: SEC. 8. Mediation and Conciliation. Upon request of either or both or both parties, the [CDA] shall mediate and conciliate disputes with the cooperative or between cooperatives: Provided, That if no mediation or conciliation succeeds within three (3) months from request thereof, a certificate of non-resolution shall be issued by the request thereof, a certificate of nonresolution shall be issued by the commission prior to the filing of appropriate action before the proper courts. Likewise, we do not find any merit in the allegation of forum-shopping against the private respondents. Forum-shopping exists where the elements of litis pendentia are present or where a final judgment in one case will amount to res judicata in the other.43 The requisites for the existence of litis pendentia, in turn, are (1) identity of parties or at least such representing the same interest in both actions; (2) identity of rights asserted as prayed for, the relief being founded on the same facts; and (3) the identity in both cases is such that the judgment that may be rendered in the pending case, regardless of which party is successful, would amount to res judicata to the other case.44 While there may be identity of parties between SP Civil Case No. 25 filed with the RTC of Polomolok, South Cotabato, Branch 39, and CAG.R. SP No. 47933 before the Court of Appeals, 13th Division, the two (2) other requisites are not present. The Court of Appeals correctly observed that the case filed with the RTC of Polomolok, South Cotabato was a petition for certiorari assailing the orders of therein respondent CDA for having been allegedly issued without or in excess of jurisdiction. On the other hand, the case filed with the Court of Appeals was a petition for prohibition seeking to restrain therein respondent from further proceeding with the hearing of the case. Besides, the filing of the petition for prohibition with the Court of Appeals was necessary after the CDA issued the Order dated May 26, 1998 which directed the holding of a special general assembly for purposes of conducting elections of officers and members of the board of DARBCI after the Court of Appeals, 12th Division, in CA-G.R. SP No. 47318 issued a temporary restraining order enjoining the proceedings in Special Civil Case No. 25 and for the parties therein to maintain the status quo. Under the circumstances, the private respondents could not seek immediate relief before the trial court and hence, they had to seek recourse before the Court of Appeals via a petition for prohibition with a prayer for preliminary injunction to forestall the impending damage and injury to them in view of the order issued by the petitioner on May 26, 1998. The filing of Special Civil Case No. 28 with the RTC of Polomolok, South Cotabato does not also constitute forum-shopping on the part of the private respondents. Therein petitioner Investa, which claims to have a subsisting lease agreement and a joint venture with DARBCI, is an entity whose juridical personality is separate and distinct from that of private respondent cooperative or herein individual private respondents and that they have totally different interests in the subject matter of the case. Moreover, it was incorrect for the petitioner to charge the private respondents with forum-shopping partly based on its erroneous claim that DARBCI and Investa were both represented by the same counsel. A charge of forum-shopping may not be anchored simply on the fact that the counsel for different petitioners in two (2) cases is one and the same.45 Besides, a review of the records of this case shows that the counsel of record of Investa in Special Civil Case No. 28 is a certain Atty. Ignacio D. Debuque, Jr. and not the same counsel representing the private respondents.46 Anent the petition-in-intervention, the intervenors aver that the Resolution of the Court of Appeals dated February 9, 1999 in CA-G.R. SP No. 47933 denying the motion for reconsideration of herein petitioner CDA also invalidated the election of officers and members of the board of directors of DARBCI held during the special general assembly on July 12, 1998, thus adversely affecting their substantial rights including their right to due process. They claim that the object of the order issued by the appellate court on June 10, 1998 was to restrain the holding of the general assembly of DARBCI as directed in the order of CDA Administrator Arcadio Lozada dated May 26, 1998. In compliance with the said order of the Court of Appeals, no general assembly was held on June 14, 1998. However, due to the grave concern over the alleged tyrannical administration and unmitigated abuses of herein private respondents, the majority of the members of DARBCI, on their own initiative and in the exercise of their inherent right to assembly under the law and the 1987 Constitution, convened a general assembly on July 12, 1998. On the said occasion, the majority of the members of DARBCI unanimously elected herein petitioners-in-intervention as new officers and members of the board of directors of DARBCI, 47 and thereby resulting in the removal of the private respondents from their positions in DARBCI. Petitioners-in-intervention pointed out that the validity of the general assembly held on July 12, 1998 was never raised as an issue in CAG.R. SP No. 47933. The petitioners-in-intervention were not even ordered by the Court of Appeals to file their comment on the "Twin Motions For Contempt of Court and to Nullify Proceedings" filed by the private respondents on July 29, 1998. As earlier noted, the Court of Appeals issued a temporary restraining order 48 in CA-G.R. SP No. 47933 on June 10, 1998, the pertinent portion of which reads:

Meanwhile, respondents or any and all persons acting in their behalf and stead are temporarily restrained from proceeding with the election of officers and members of the board of directors of the Dolefil Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Cooperative, Inc. scheduled on June 14, 1998 and or any other date thereafter. It was also noted that as a consequence of the temporary restraining order issued by the appellate court, the general assembly and the election of officers and members of the board of directors of DARBCI, pursuant to the resolution issued by CDA Administrator Arcadio S. Lozada, did not take place as scheduled on June 14, 1998. However, on July 12, 1998 the majority of the members of DARBCI, at their own initiative, held a general assembly and elected a new set of officers and members of the board of directors of the cooperative which resulted in the ouster of the private respondents from their posts in the said cooperative. The incident on July 12, 1998 prompted herein private respondents to file their Twin Motions for Contempt of Court and to Nullify Proceedings on July 26, 1998. The twin motions prayed, among others, that after due notice and hearing, certain personalities, including the petitioners-in-intervention, be cited in indirect contempt for their participation in the subject incident and for the nullification of the election on July 12, 1998 for being illegal, contrary to the by-laws of the cooperative and in defiance of the injunctive processes of the appellate court. On September 9, 1998, the Court of Appeals, 13th Division, rendered a Decision in CA-G.R. SP No. 47933 which declared the CDA devoid of quasi-judicial jurisdiction to settle the dispute in CDA-CO Case No. 97-011 without however, taking any action on the "Twin Motions for Contempt of Court and to Nullify Proceedings" filed by the private respondents. As it turned out, it was only in its Resolution dated February 9, 1999 denying petitioners motion for reconsideration of the Decision in CA -G.R. SP No. 47933 that the Court of Appeals, 13th Division, acted on the "Twin Motions for Contempt of Court and to Nullify Proceedings" by declaring as null and void the election of the petitioners-in-intervention on July 12, 1998 as officers and members of the board of directors of DARBCI. We find, however, that the action taken by the Court of Appeals, 13 th Division, on the "Twin Motions for Contempt of Court and to Nullify Proceedings" insofar as it nullified the election of the officers and members of the Board of Directors of DARBCI, violated the constitutional right of the petitioners-in-intervention to due process. The requirement of due process is satisfied if the following conditions are present, namely: (1) there must be a court or tribunal clothed with judicial power to hear and determine the matter before it; (2) jurisdiction must be lawfully acquired over the person of the defendant or over the property which is the subject of the proceedings; (3) the defendant must be given an opportunity to be heard; and (4) judgment must be rendered upon lawful hearing.49The appellate court should have first required the petitioners-in-intervention to file their comment or opposition to the said "Twin Motions For Contempt Of Court And to Nullify Proceedings" which also refers to the elections held during the general assembly on July 12, 1998. It was precipitate for the appellate court to render judgment against the petitioners-in-intervention in its Resolution dated February 9, 1999 without due notice and opportunity to be heard. Besides, the validity of the general assembly held on July 12, 1998 was not raised as an issue in CA-G.R. SP No. 47933.1wphi1.nt WHEREFORE, judgment is hereby rendered as follows: 1. The petition for review on certiorari is hereby DENIED for lack of merit. The orders, resolutions, memoranda and any other acts rendered by petitioner Cooperative Development Authority in CDA-CO Case No. 97-011 are hereby declared null and void ab initio for lack of quasi-judicial authority of petitioner to adjudicate intra-cooperative disputes; and the petitioner is hereby ordered to cease and desist from taking any further proceedings therein; and 2. In the interest of justice, the dispositive portion of the Resolution of the Court of Appeals, dated February 9, 1999, in CA-G.R. SP No. 47933, insofar as it nullified the elections of the members of the Board of Directors and Officers of DARBCI held during the general assembly of the DARBCI members on July 12, 1998, is hereby SET ASIDE. No pronouncement as to costs. SO ORDERED. Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila THIRD DIVISION G.R. No. 110120 March 16, 1994 LAGUNA LAKE DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY, petitioner, vs. COURT OF APPEALS, HON. MANUEL JN. SERAPIO, Presiding Judge RTC, Branch 127, Caloocan City, HON. MACARIO A. ASISTIO, JR., City Mayor of Caloocan and/or THE CITY GOVERNMENT OF CALOOCAN,respondents. Alberto N. Hidalgo and Ma. Teresa T. Oledan for petitioner. The City Legal Officer & Chief, Law Department for Mayor Macario A. Asistio, Jr. and the City Government of Caloocan. ROMERO, J.: The clash between the responsibility of the City Government of Caloocan to dispose off the 350 tons of garbage it collects daily and the growing concern and sensitivity to a pollution-free environment of the residents of Barangay Camarin, Tala Estate, Caloocan City where these tons of garbage are dumped everyday is the hub of this controversy elevated by the protagonists to the Laguna Lake Development Authority (LLDA) for adjudication.

The instant case stemmed from an earlier petition filed with this Court by Laguna Lake Development Authority (LLDA for short) docketed as G.R. No. 107542 against the City Government of Caloocan, et al. In the Resolution of November 10, 1992, this Court referred G.R. No. 107542 to the Court of Appeals for appropriate disposition. Docketed therein as CA-G.R. SP No. 29449, the Court of Appeals, in a decision 1 promulgated on January 29, 1993 ruled that the LLDA has no power and authority to issue a cease and desist order enjoining the dumping of garbage in Barangay Camarin, Tala Estate, Caloocan City. The LLDA now seeks, in this petition, a review of the decision of the Court of Appeals. The facts, as disclosed in the records, are undisputed. On March 8, 1991, the Task Force Camarin Dumpsite of Our Lady of Lourdes Parish, Barangay Camarin, Caloocan City, filed a lettercomplaint 2 with the Laguna Lake Development Authority seeking to stop the operation of the 8.6-hectare open garbage dumpsite in Tala Estate, Barangay Camarin, Caloocan City due to its harmful effects on the health of the residents and the possibility of pollution of the water content of the surrounding area. On November 15, 1991, the LLDA conducted an on-site investigation, monitoring and test sampling of the leachate 3 that seeps from said dumpsite to the nearby creek which is a tributary of the Marilao River. The LLDA Legal and Technical personnel found that the City Government of Caloocan was maintaining an open dumpsite at the Camarin area without first securing an Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC) from the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, as required under Presidential Decree No. 1586, 4 and clearance from LLDA as required under Republic Act No. 4850, 5 as amended by Presidential Decree No. 813 and Executive Order No. 927, series of 1983. 6 After a public hearing conducted on December 4, 1991, the LLDA, acting on the complaint of Task Force Camarin Dumpsite, found that the water collected from the leachate and the receiving streams could considerably affect the quality, in turn, of the receiving waters since it indicates the presence of bacteria, other than coliform, which may have contaminated the sample during collection or handling. 7 On December 5, 1991, the LLDA issued a Cease and Desist Order 8 ordering the City Government of Caloocan, Metropolitan Manila Authority, their contractors, and other entities, to completely halt, stop and desist from dumping any form or kind of garbage and other waste matter at the Camarin dumpsite. The dumping operation was forthwith stopped by the City Government of Caloocan. However, sometime in August 1992 the dumping operation was resumed after a meeting held in July 1992 among the City Government of Caloocan, the representatives of Task Force Camarin Dumpsite and LLDA at the Office of Environmental Management Bureau Director Rodrigo U. Fuentes failed to settle the problem. After an investigation by its team of legal and technical personnel on August 14, 1992, the LLDA issued another order reiterating the December 5, 1991, order and issued an Alias Cease and Desist Order enjoining the City Government of Caloocan from continuing its dumping operations at the Camarin area. On September 25, 1992, the LLDA, with the assistance of the Philippine National Police, enforced its Alias Cease and Desist Order by prohibiting the entry of all garbage dump trucks into the Tala Estate, Camarin area being utilized as a dumpsite. Pending resolution of its motion for reconsideration earlier filed on September 17, 1992 with the LLDA, the City Government of Caloocan filed with the Regional Trial Court of Caloocan City an action for the declaration of nullity of the cease and desist order with prayer for the issuance of writ of injunction, docketed as Civil Case No. C-15598. In its complaint, the City Government of Caloocan sought to be declared as the sole authority empowered to promote the health and safety and enhance the right of the people in Caloocan City to a balanced ecology within its territorial jurisdiction. 9 On September 25, 1992, the Executive Judge of the Regional Trial Court of Caloocan City issued a temporary restraining order enjoining the LLDA from enforcing its cease and desist order. Subsequently, the case was raffled to the Regional Trial Court, Branch 126 of Caloocan which, at the time, was presided over by Judge Manuel Jn. Serapio of the Regional Trial Court, Branch 127, the pairing judge of the recently-retired presiding judge. The LLDA, for its part, filed on October 2, 1992 a motion to dismiss on the ground, among others, that under Republic Act No. 3931, as amended by Presidential Decree No. 984, otherwise known as the Pollution Control Law, the cease and desist order issued by it which is the subject matter of the complaint is reviewable both upon the law and the facts of the case by the Court of Appeals and not by the Regional Trial Court. 10 On October 12, 1992 Judge Manuel Jn. Serapio issued an order consolidating Civil Case No. C-15598 with Civil Case No. C-15580, an earlier case filed by the Task Force Camarin Dumpsite entitled "Fr. John Moran, et al. vs. Hon. Macario Asistio." The LLDA, however, maintained during the trial that the foregoing cases, being independent of each other, should have been treated separately. On October 16, 1992, Judge Manuel Jn. Serapio, after hearing the motion to dismiss, issued in the consolidated cases an order 11 denying LLDA's motion to dismiss and granting the issuance of a writ of preliminary injunction enjoining the LLDA, its agent and all persons acting for and on its behalf, from enforcing or implementing its cease and desist order which prevents plaintiff City of Caloocan from dumping garbage at the Camarin dumpsite during the pendency of this case and/or until further orders of the court. On November 5, 1992, the LLDA filed a petition for certiorari, prohibition and injunction with prayer for restraining order with the Supreme Court, docketed as G.R. No. 107542, seeking to nullify the aforesaid order dated October 16, 1992 issued by the Regional Trial Court, Branch 127 of Caloocan City denying its motion to dismiss. The Court, acting on the petition, issued a Resolution 12 on November 10, 1992 referring the case to the Court of Appeals for proper disposition and at the same time, without giving due course to the petition, required the respondents to comment on the petition and file the same with the Court of Appeals within ten (10) days from notice. In the meantime, the Court issued a temporary restraining order, effective immediately and continuing until further orders from it, ordering the respondents: (1) Judge Manuel Jn. Serapio, Presiding Judge, Regional Trial Court, Branch 127, Caloocan City to cease and desist from exercising jurisdiction over the case for declaration of

nullity of the cease and desist order issued by the Laguna Lake Development Authority (LLDA); and (2) City Mayor of Caloocan and/or the City Government of Caloocan to cease and desist from dumping its garbage at the Tala Estate, Barangay Camarin, Caloocan City. Respondents City Government of Caloocan and Mayor Macario A. Asistio, Jr. filed on November 12, 1992 a motion for reconsideration and/or to quash/recall the temporary restraining order and an urgent motion for reconsideration alleging that ". . . in view of the calamitous situation that would arise if the respondent city government fails to collect 350 tons of garbage daily for lack of dumpsite (i)t is therefore, imperative that the issue be resolved with dispatch or with sufficient leeway to allow the respondents to find alternative solutions to this garbage problem." On November 17, 1992, the Court issued a Resolution 13 directing the Court of Appeals to immediately set the case for hearing for the purpose of determining whether or not the temporary restraining order issued by the Court should be lifted and what conditions, if any, may be required if it is to be so lifted or whether the restraining order should be maintained or converted into a preliminary injunction. The Court of Appeals set the case for hearing on November 27, 1992, at 10:00 in the morning at the Hearing Room, 3rd Floor, New Building, Court of Appeals. 14 After the oral argument, a conference was set on December 8, 1992 at 10:00 o'clock in the morning where the Mayor of Caloocan City, the General Manager of LLDA, the Secretary of DENR or his duly authorized representative and the Secretary of DILG or his duly authorized representative were required to appear. It was agreed at the conference that the LLDA had until December 15, 1992 to finish its study and review of respondent's technical plan with respect to the dumping of its garbage and in the event of a rejection of respondent's technical plan or a failure of settlement, the parties will submit within 10 days from notice their respective memoranda on the merits of the case, after which the petition shall be deemed submitted for resolution.15 Notwithstanding such efforts, the parties failed to settle the dispute. On April 30, 1993, the Court of Appeals promulgated its decision holding that: (1) the Regional Trial Court has no jurisdiction on appeal to try, hear and decide the action for annulment of LLDA's cease and desist order, including the issuance of a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction in relation thereto, since appeal therefrom is within the exclusive and appellate jurisdiction of the Court of Appeals under Section 9, par. (3), of Batas Pambansa Blg. 129; and (2) the Laguna Lake Development Authority has no power and authority to issue a cease and desist order under its enabling law, Republic Act No. 4850, as amended by P.D. No. 813 and Executive Order No. 927, series of 1983. The Court of Appeals thus dismissed Civil Case No. 15598 and the preliminary injunction issued in the said case was set aside; the cease and desist order of LLDA was likewise set aside and the temporary restraining order enjoining the City Mayor of Caloocan and/or the City Government of Caloocan to cease and desist from dumping its garbage at the Tala Estate, Barangay Camarin, Caloocan City was lifted, subject, however, to the condition that any future dumping of garbage in said area, shall be in conformity with the procedure and protective works contained in the proposal attached to the records of this case and found on pages 152-160 of the Rollo, which was thereby adopted by reference and made an integral part of the decision, until the corresponding restraining and/or injunctive relief is granted by the proper Court upon LLDA's institution of the necessary legal proceedings. Hence, the Laguna Lake Development Authority filed the instant petition for review on certiorari, now docketed as G.R. No. 110120, with prayer that the temporary restraining order lifted by the Court of Appeals be re-issued until after final determination by this Court of the issue on the proper interpretation of the powers and authority of the LLDA under its enabling law. On July, 19, 1993, the Court issued a temporary restraining order 16 enjoining the City Mayor of Caloocan and/or the City Government of Caloocan to cease and desist from dumping its garbage at the Tala Estate, Barangay Camarin, Caloocan City, effective as of this date and containing until otherwise ordered by the Court. It is significant to note that while both parties in this case agree on the need to protect the environment and to maintain the ecological balance of the surrounding areas of the Camarin open dumpsite, the question as to which agency can lawfully exercise jurisdiction over the matter remains highly open to question. The City Government of Caloocan claims that it is within its power, as a local government unit, pursuant to the general welfare provision of the Local Government Code, 17 to determine the effects of the operation of the dumpsite on the ecological balance and to see that such balance is maintained. On the basis of said contention, it questioned, from the inception of the dispute before the Regional Trial Court of Caloocan City, the power and authority of the LLDA to issue a cease and desist order enjoining the dumping of garbage in the Barangay Camarin over which the City Government of Caloocan has territorial jurisdiction. The Court of Appeals sustained the position of the City of Caloocan on the theory that Section 7 of Presidential Decree No. 984, otherwise known as the Pollution Control law, authorizing the defunct National Pollution Control Commission to issue an ex-parte cease and desist order was not incorporated in Presidential Decree No. 813 nor in Executive Order No. 927, series of 1983. The Court of Appeals ruled that under Section 4, par. (d), of Republic Act No. 4850, as amended, the LLDA is instead required "to institute the necessary legal proceeding against any person who shall commence to implement or continue implementation of any project, plan or program within the Laguna de Bay region without previous clearance from the Authority." The LLDA now assails, in this partition for review, the abovementioned ruling of the Court of Appeals, contending that, as an administrative agency which was granted regulatory and adjudicatory powers and functions by Republic Act No. 4850 and its amendatory laws, Presidential Decree No. 813 and Executive Order No. 927, series of 1983, it is invested with the power and authority to issue a cease and desist order pursuant to Section 4 par. (c), (d), (e), (f) and (g) of Executive Order No. 927 series of 1983 which provides, thus: Sec. 4. Additional Powers and Functions. The authority shall have the following powers and functions: xxx xxx xxx (c) Issue orders or decisions to compel compliance with the provisions of this Executive Order and its implementing rules and regulations only after proper notice and hearing.

(d) Make, alter or modify orders requiring the discontinuance of pollution specifying the conditions and the time within which such discontinuance must be accomplished. (e) Issue, renew, or deny permits, under such conditions as it may determine to be reasonable, for the prevention and abatement of pollution, for the discharge of sewage, industrial waste, or for the installation or operation of sewage works and industrial disposal system or parts thereof. (f) After due notice and hearing, the Authority may also revoke, suspend or modify any permit issued under this Order whenever the same is necessary to prevent or abate pollution. (g) Deputize in writing or request assistance of appropriate government agencies or instrumentalities for the purpose of enforcing this Executive Order and its implementing rules and regulations and the orders and decisions of the Authority. The LLDA claims that the appellate court deliberately suppressed and totally disregarded the above provisions of Executive Order No. 927, series of 1983, which granted administrative quasi-judicial functions to LLDA on pollution abatement cases. In light of the relevant environmental protection laws cited which are applicable in this case, and the corresponding overlapping jurisdiction of government agencies implementing these laws, the resolution of the issue of whether or not the LLDA has the authority and power to issue an order which, in its nature and effect was injunctive, necessarily requires a determination of the threshold question: Does the Laguna Lake Development Authority, under its Charter and its amendatory laws, have the authority to entertain the complaint against the dumping of garbage in the open dumpsite in Barangay Camarin authorized by the City Government of Caloocan which is allegedly endangering the health, safety, and welfare of the residents therein and the sanitation and quality of the water in the area brought about by exposure to pollution caused by such open garbage dumpsite? The matter of determining whether there is such pollution of the environment that requires control, if not prohibition, of the operation of a business establishment is essentially addressed to the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) of the DENR which, by virtue of Section 16 of Executive Order No. 192, series of 1987, 18 has assumed the powers and functions of the defunct National Pollution Control Commission created under Republic Act No. 3931. Under said Executive Order, a Pollution Adjudication Board (PAB) under the Office of the DENR Secretary now assumes the powers and functions of the National Pollution Control Commission with respect to adjudication of pollution cases. 19 As a general rule, the adjudication of pollution cases generally pertains to the Pollution Adjudication Board (PAB), except in cases where the special law provides for another forum. It must be recognized in this regard that the LLDA, as a specialized administrative agency, is specifically mandated under Republic Act No. 4850 and its amendatory laws to carry out and make effective the declared national policy 20 of promoting and accelerating the development and balanced growth of the Laguna Lake area and the surrounding provinces of Rizal and Laguna and the cities of San Pablo, Manila, Pasay, Quezon and Caloocan 21 with due regard and adequate provisions for environmental management and control, preservation of the quality of human life and ecological systems, and the prevention of undue ecological disturbances, deterioration and pollution. Under such a broad grant and power and authority, the LLDA, by virtue of its special charter, obviously has the responsibility to protect the inhabitants of the Laguna Lake region from the deleterious effects of pollutants emanating from the discharge of wastes from the surrounding areas. In carrying out the aforementioned declared policy, the LLDA is mandated, among others, to pass upon and approve or disapprove all plans, programs, and projects proposed by local government offices/agencies within the region, public corporations, and private persons or enterprises where such plans, programs and/or projects are related to those of the LLDA for the development of the region. 22 In the instant case, when the complainant Task Force Camarin Dumpsite of Our Lady of Lourdes Parish, Barangay Camarin, Caloocan City, filed its letter-complaint before the LLDA, the latter's jurisdiction under its charter was validly invoked by complainant on the basis of its allegation that the open dumpsite project of the City Government of Caloocan in Barangay Camarin was undertaken without a clearance from the LLDA, as required under Section 4, par. (d), of Republic Act. No. 4850, as amended by P.D. No. 813 and Executive Order No. 927. While there is also an allegation that the said project was without an Environmental Compliance Certificate from the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) of the DENR, the primary jurisdiction of the LLDA over this case was recognized by the Environmental Management Bureau of the DENR when the latter acted as intermediary at the meeting among the representatives of the City Government of Caloocan, Task Force Camarin Dumpsite and LLDA sometime in July 1992 to discuss the possibility of re-opening the open dumpsite. Having thus resolved the threshold question, the inquiry then narrows down to the following issue: Does the LLDA have the power and authority to issue a "cease and desist" order under Republic Act No. 4850 and its amendatory laws, on the basis of the facts presented in this case, enjoining the dumping of garbage in Tala Estate, Barangay Camarin, Caloocan City. The irresistible answer is in the affirmative. The cease and desist order issued by the LLDA requiring the City Government of Caloocan to stop dumping its garbage in the Camarin open dumpsite found by the LLDA to have been done in violation of Republic Act No. 4850, as amended, and other relevant environment laws, 23 cannot be stamped as an unauthorized exercise by the LLDA of injunctive powers. By its express terms, Republic Act No. 4850, as amended by P.D. No. 813 and Executive Order No. 927, series of 1983, authorizes the LLDA to " make, alter or modify order requiring the discontinuance or pollution." 24 (Emphasis supplied) Section 4, par. (d) explicitly authorizes the LLDA to makewhatever order may be necessary in the exercise of its jurisdiction. To be sure, the LLDA was not expressly conferred the power "to issue and ex-parte cease and desist order" in a language, as suggested by the City Government of Caloocan, similar to the express grant to the defunct National Pollution Control Commission under Section 7 of P.D. No. 984 which, admittedly was not reproduced in P.D. No. 813 and E.O. No. 927, series of 1983. However, it would be a mistake to draw therefrom the conclusion that there is a denial of the power to issue the order in question when the power "to make, alter or modify orders requiring the discontinuance of pollution" is expressly and clearly bestowed upon the LLDA by Executive Order No. 927, series of 1983.

Assuming arguendo that the authority to issue a "cease and desist order" were not expressly conferred by law, there is jurisprudence enough to the effect that the rule granting such authority need not necessarily be express. 25 While it is a fundamental rule that an administrative agency has only such powers as are expressly granted to it by law, it is likewise a settled rule that an administrative agency has also such powers as are necessarily implied in the exercise of its express powers. 26 In the exercise, therefore, of its express powers under its charter as a regulatory and quasi-judicial body with respect to pollution cases in the Laguna Lake region, the authority of the LLDA to issue a "cease and desist order" is, perforce, implied. Otherwise, it may well be reduced to a "toothless" paper agency. In this connection, it must be noted that in Pollution Adjudication Board v. Court of Appeals, et al., 27 the Court ruled that the Pollution Adjudication Board (PAB) has the power to issue an ex-parte cease and desist order when there is prima facie evidence of an establishment exceeding the allowable standards set by the anti-pollution laws of the country. The ponente, Associate Justice Florentino P. Feliciano, declared: Ex parte cease and desist orders are permitted by law and regulations in situations like that here presented precisely because stopping the continuous discharge of pollutive and untreated effluents into the rivers and other inland waters of the Philippines cannot be made to wait until protracted litigation over the ultimate correctness or propriety of such orders has run its full course, including multiple and sequential appeals such as those which Solar has taken, which of course may take several years. The relevant pollution control statute and implementing regulations were enacted and promulgated in the exercise of that pervasive, sovereign power to protect the safety, health, and general welfare and comfort of the public, as well as the protection of plant and animal life, commonly designated as the police power. It is a constitutional commonplace that the ordinary requirements of procedural due process yield to the necessities of protecting vital public interests like those here involved, through the exercise of police power. . . . The immediate response to the demands of "the necessities of protecting vital public interests" gives vitality to the statement on ecology embodied in the Declaration of Principles and State Policies or the 1987 Constitution. Article II, Section 16 which provides: The State shall protect and advance the right of the people to a balanced and healthful ecology in accord with the rhythm and harmony of nature. As a constitutionally guaranteed right of every person, it carries the correlative duty of non-impairment. This is but in consonance with the declared policy of the state "to protect and promote the right to health of the people and instill health consciousness among them." 28 It is to be borne in mind that the Philippines is party to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Alma Conference Declaration of 1978 which recognize health as a fundamental human right. 29 The issuance, therefore, of the cease and desist order by the LLDA, as a practical matter of procedure under the circumstances of the case, is a proper exercise of its power and authority under its charter and its amendatory laws. Had the cease and desist order issued by the LLDA been complied with by the City Government of Caloocan as it did in the first instance, no further legal steps would have been necessary. The charter of LLDA, Republic Act No. 4850, as amended, instead of conferring upon the LLDA the means of directly enforcing such orders, has provided under its Section 4 (d) the power to institute "necessary legal proceeding against any person who shall commence to implement or continue implementation of any project, plan or program within the Laguna de Bay region without previous clearance from the LLDA." Clearly, said provision was designed to invest the LLDA with sufficiently broad powers in the regulation of all projects initiated in the Laguna Lake region, whether by the government or the private sector, insofar as the implementation of these projects is concerned. It was meant to deal with cases which might possibly arise where decisions or orders issued pursuant to the exercise of such broad powers may not be obeyed, resulting in the thwarting of its laudabe objective. To meet such contingencies, then the writs of mandamus and injunction which are beyond the power of the LLDA to issue, may be sought from the proper courts. Insofar as the implementation of relevant anti-pollution laws in the Laguna Lake region and its surrounding provinces, cities and towns are concerned, the Court will not dwell further on the related issues raised which are more appropriately addressed to an administrative agency with the special knowledge and expertise of the LLDA. WHEREFORE, the petition is GRANTED. The temporary restraining order issued by the Court on July 19, 1993 enjoining the City Mayor of Caloocan and/or the City Government of Caloocan from dumping their garbage at the Tala Estate, Barangay Camarin, Caloocan City is hereby made permanent. SO ORDERED. Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila EN BANC G.R. No. 4349 September 24, 1908 THE UNITED STATES, plaintiff-appellee, vs. ANICETO BARRIAS, defendant-appellant. Ortigas & Fisher for appellant. Attorney-General Araneta for appellee. TRACEY, J.:

In the Court of First Instance of the city of Manila the defendant was charged within a violation of paragraphs 70 and 83 of Circular No. 397 of the Insular Collector of Customs, duly published in the Official Gazette and approved by the Secretary of Finance and Justice.1 After a demurrer to the complaint of the lighter Maude, he was moving her and directing her movement, when heavily laden, in the Pasig River, by bamboo poles in the hands of the crew, and without steam, sail, or any other external power. Paragraph 70 of Circular No. 397 reads as follows: No heavily loaded casco, lighter, or other similar craft shall be permitted to move in the Pasig River without being towed by steam or moved by other adequate power. Paragraph 83 reads, in part, as follows: For the violation of any part of the foregoing regulations, the persons offending shall be liable to a fine of not less than P5 and not more than P500, in the discretion of the court. In this court, counsel for the appellant attacked the validity of paragraph 70 on two grounds: First that it is unauthorized by section 19 of Act No. 355; and, second, that if the acts of the Philippine Commission bear the interpretation of authorizing the Collector to promulgate such a law, they are void, as constituting an illegal delegation of legislative power. The Attorney-General does not seek to sustain the conviction but joins with the counsel for the defense in asking for the discharge of the prisoner on the first ground stated by the defense, that the rule of the Collector cited was unauthorized and illegal, expressly passing over the other question of the delegation of legislative power. By sections 1, 2, and 3 of Act No. 1136, passed April 29, 1904, the Collector of Customs is authorized to license craft engaged in the lighterage or other exclusively harbor business of the ports of the Islands, and, with certain exceptions, all vessels engaged in lightering are required to be so licensed. Sections 5 and 8 read as follows: SEC. 5. The Collector of Customs for the Philippine Islands is hereby authorized, empowered, and directed to promptly make and publish suitable rules and regulations to carry this law into effect and to regulate the business herein licensed. SEC. 8. Any person who shall violate the provisions of this Act, or of any rule or regulation made and issued by the Collector of Customs for the Philippine Islands, under and by authority of this Act, shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction shall be punished by imprisonment for not more than six months, or by a fine of not more than one hundred dollars, United States currency, or by both such fine and imprisonment, at the discretion of the court; Provided, That violations of law may be punished either by the method prescribed in section seven hereof, or by that prescribed in this section or by both. Under this statute, which was not referred to on the argument, or in the original briefs, there is no difficulty in sustaining the regulation of the Collector as coming within the terms of section 5. Lighterage, mentioned in the Act, is the very business in which this vessel was engaged, and when heavily laden with hemp she was navigating the Pasig River below the Bridge of Spain, in the city of Manila. This spot is near the mouth of the river, the docks whereof are used for the purpose of taking on and discharging freight, and we entertain no doubt that it was in right sense a part of the harbor, without having recourse to the definition of paragraph 8 of Customs Administrative Circular No. 136, which reads as follows: The limits of a harbor for the purpose of licensing vessels as herein prescribed (for the lighterage and harbor business) shall be considered to include its confluent navigable rivers and lakes, which are navigable during any season of the year. The necessity confiding to some local authority the framing, changing, and enforcing of harbor regulations is recognized throughout the world, as each region and each a harbor requires peculiar use more minute than could be enacted by the central lawmaking power, and which, when kept within the proper scope, are in their nature police regulations not involving an undue grant of legislative power. The complaint in this instance was framed with reference, as its authority, to sections 311 and 319 [19 and 311] at No. 355 of the Philippine Customs Administrative Acts, as amended by Act Nos. 1235 and 1480. Under Act No. 1235, the Collector is not only empowered to make suitable regulations, but also to "fix penalties for violation thereof," not exceeding a fine of P500. This provision of the statute does, indeed, present a serious question. One of the settled maxims in constitutional law is, that the power conferred upon the legislature to make laws can not be delegated by that department to any body or authority. Where the sovereign power of the State has located the authority, there it must remain; only by the constitutional agency alone the laws must be made until the constitution itself is changed. The power to whose judgment, wisdom, and patriotism this high prerogative has been intrusted can not relieve itself of the responsibility by choosing other agencies upon which the power shall be developed, nor can its substitutes the judgment, wisdom, and patriotism and of any other body for those to which alone the people have seen fit to confide this sovereign trust. (Cooley's Constitutional limitations, 6th ed., p. 137.) This doctrine is based on the ethical principle that such a delegated power constitutes not only a right but a duty to be performed by the delegate by the instrumentality of his own judgment acting immediately upon the matter of legislation and not through the intervening mind of another. In the case of the United States vs. Breen (40 Fed. Phil. Rep. 402), an Act of Congress allowing the Secretary of War to make such rules and regulations as might be necessary to protect improvements of the Mississipi River, and providing that a violation thereof should constitute a misdemeanor, was sustained on the ground that the misdemeanor was declared not under the delegated power of the Secretary of War, but in the Act of Congress, itself. So also was a grant to him of power to prescribe rules for the use of canals. (U.S. vs. Ormsbee, 74 Fed. Rep. 207.) but a law authorizing him to require alteration of any bridge and to impose penalties for violations of his rules was held invalid, as vesting in him upon a power exclusively lodged in Congress (U.S. vs. Rider, 50 Fed. Rep., 406.) The subject is considered and some cases reviewed by the Supreme Court of the United States, in re Kollock (165 U.S. 526), which upheld the law authorizing a commissioner of internal revenue to designate and stamps on oleomargarine packages, an improper use of which should thereafter constitute a crime or misdemeanor, the court saying (p. 533):

The criminal offense is fully and completely defined by the Act and the designation by the Commissioner of the particular marks and brands to be used was a mere matter of detail. The regulation was in execution of, or supplementary to, but not in conflict with the law itself. . . . In Massachusetts it has been decided that the legislature may delegate to the governor and counsel the power to make pilot regulations. (Martin vs. Witherspoon et al., 135 Mass. 175). In the case of The Board of Harbor Commissioners of the Port of Eureka vs. Excelsior Redwood Company (88 Cal. 491), it was ruled that harbor commissioners can not impose a penalty under statues authorizing them to do so, the court saying: Conceding that the legislature could delegate to the plaintiff the authority to make rules and regulation with reference to the navigation of Humboldt Bay, the penalty for the violation of such rules and regulations is a matter purely in the hands of the legislature. Having reached the conclusion that Act No. 1136 is valid, so far as sections 5 and 8 are concerned, and is sufficient to sustain this prosecution, it is unnecessary that we should pass on the questions discussed in the briefs as to the extend and validity of the other acts. The reference to them in the complaint is not material, as we have frequently held that where an offense is correctly described in the complaint an additional reference to a wrong statute is immaterial. We are also of the opinion that none of the subsequent statutes cited operate to repeal the aforesaid section Act No. 1136. So much of the judgment of the Court of First Instance as convicts the defendant of a violation of Acts Nos. 355 and 1235 is hereby revoked and is hereby convicted of a misdemeanor and punished by a fine of 25 dollars, with costs of both instances. So ordered. Arellano, C.J., Carson, J., reserve his opinion. Torres, Mapa Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila EN BANC G.R. No. L-45685 November 16, 1937 THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS and HONGKONG & SHANGHAI BANKING CORPORATION,petitioners, vs. JOSE O. VERA, Judge . of the Court of First Instance of Manila, and MARIANO CU UNJIENG, respondents. Office of the Solicitor General Tuason and City Fiscal Diaz for the Government. De Witt, Perkins and Ponce Enrile for the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation. Vicente J. Francisco, Feria and La O, Orense and Belmonte, and Gibbs and McDonough for respondent Cu Unjieng. No appearance for respondent Judge. LAUREL, J.: This is an original action instituted in this court on August 19, 1937, for the issuance of the writ of certiorariand of prohibition to the Court of First Instance of Manila so that this court may review the actuations of the aforesaid Court of First Instance in criminal case No. 42649 entitled "The People of the Philippine Islands vs. Mariano Cu Unjieng, et al.", more particularly the application of the defendant Mariano Cu Unjieng therein for probation under the provisions of Act No. 4221, and thereafter prohibit the said Court of First Instance from taking any further action or entertaining further the aforementioned application for probation, to the end that the defendant Mariano Cu Unjieng may be forthwith committed to prison in accordance with the final judgment of conviction rendered by this court in said case (G. R. No. 41200). 1 Petitioners herein, the People of the Philippine and the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation, are respectively the plaintiff and the offended party, and the respondent herein Mariano Cu Unjieng is one of the defendants, in the criminal case entitled "The People of the Philippine Islands vs. Mariano Cu Unjieng, et al.", criminal case No. 42649 of the Court of First Instance of Manila and G.R. No. 41200 of this court. Respondent herein, Hon. Jose O. Vera, is the Judge ad interim of the seventh branch of the Court of First Instance of Manila, who heard the application of the defendant Mariano Cu Unjieng for probation in the aforesaid criminal case. The information in the aforesaid criminal case was filed with the Court of First Instance of Manila on October 15, 1931, petitioner herein Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation intervening in the case as private prosecutor. After a protracted trial unparalleled in the annals of Philippine jurisprudence both in the length of time spent by the court as well as in the volume in the testimony and the bulk of the exhibits presented, the Court of First Instance of Manila, on January 8, 1934, rendered a judgment of conviction sentencing the defendant Mariano Cu Unjieng to indeterminate penalty ranging from four years and two months of prision correccional to eight years of prision mayor, to pay the costs and with reservation of civil action to the offended party, the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation. Upon appeal, the court, on March 26, 1935, modified the sentence to an indeterminate penalty of from five years and six months of prision correccional to seven years, six months and twenty-seven days of prision mayor, but affirmed the judgment in all other respects. Mariano Cu Unjieng filed a motion for reconsideration and four successive motions for new trial which were denied on December 17, 1935, and final judgment was accordingly entered on December 18, 1935. The defendant thereupon sought to have the case elevated on certiorari to the Supreme Court of the United States but the latter denied the petition for certiorari in November, 1936. This court, on November 24, 1936, denied the petition subsequently filed by the defendant for leave to file a second alternative motion for reconsideration or new trial and thereafter remanded the case to the court of origin for execution of the judgment. and Willard, JJ., concur.

The instant proceedings have to do with the application for probation filed by the herein respondent Mariano Cu Unjieng on November 27, 1936, before the trial court, under the provisions of Act No. 4221 of the defunct Philippine Legislature. Herein respondent Mariano Cu Unjieng states in his petition, inter alia, that he is innocent of the crime of which he was convicted, that he has no criminal record and that he would observe good conduct in the future. The Court of First Instance of Manila, Judge Pedro Tuason presiding, referred the application for probation of the Insular Probation Office which recommended denial of the same June 18, 1937. Thereafter, the Court of First Instance of Manila, seventh branch, Judge Jose O. Vera presiding, set the petition for hearing on April 5, 1937. On April 2, 1937, the Fiscal of the City of Manila filed an opposition to the granting of probation to the herein respondent Mariano Cu Unjieng. The private prosecution also filed an opposition on April 5, 1937, alleging, among other things, that Act No. 4221, assuming that it has not been repealed by section 2 of Article XV of the Constitution, is nevertheless violative of section 1, subsection (1), Article III of the Constitution guaranteeing equal protection of the laws for the reason that its applicability is not uniform throughout the Islands and because section 11 of the said Act endows the provincial boards with the power to make said law effective or otherwise in their respective or otherwise in their respective provinces. The private prosecution also filed a supplementary opposition on April 19, 1937, elaborating on the alleged unconstitutionality on Act No. 4221, as an undue delegation of legislative power to the provincial boards of several provinces (sec. 1, Art. VI, Constitution). The City Fiscal concurred in the opposition of the private prosecution except with respect to the questions raised concerning the constitutionality of Act No. 4221. On June 28, 1937, herein respondent Judge Jose O. Vera promulgated a resolution with a finding that "las pruebas no han establecido de unamanera concluyente la culpabilidad del peticionario y que todos los hechos probados no son inconsistentes o incongrentes con su inocencia" and concludes that the herein respondent Mariano Cu Unjieng "es inocente por duda racional" of the crime of which he stands convicted by this court in G.R. No. 41200, but denying the latter's petition for probation for the reason that: . . . Si este Juzgado concediera la poblacion solicitada por las circunstancias y la historia social que se han expuesto en el cuerpo de esta resolucion, que hacen al peticionario acreedor de la misma, una parte de la opinion publica, atizada por los recelos y las suspicacias, podria levantarse indignada contra un sistema de probacion que permite atisbar en los procedimientos ordinarios de una causa criminal perturbando la quietud y la eficacia de las decisiones ya recaidas al traer a la superficie conclusiones enteramente differentes, en menoscabo del interes publico que demanda el respeto de las leyes y del veredicto judicial. On July 3, 1937, counsel for the herein respondent Mariano Cu Unjieng filed an exception to the resolution denying probation and a notice of intention to file a motion for reconsideration. An alternative motion for reconsideration or new trial was filed by counsel on July 13, 1937. This was supplemented by an additional motion for reconsideration submitted on July 14, 1937. The aforesaid motions were set for hearing on July 31, 1937, but said hearing was postponed at the petition of counsel for the respondent Mariano Cu Unjieng because a motion for leave to intervene in the case as amici curiae signed by thirty-three (thirty-four) attorneys had just been filed with the trial court. Attorney Eulalio Chaves whose signature appears in the aforesaid motion subsequently filed a petition for leave to withdraw his appearance as amicus curiae on the ground that the motion for leave to intervene as amici curiae was circulated at a banquet given by counsel for Mariano Cu Unjieng on the evening of July 30, 1937, and that he signed the same "without mature deliberation and purely as a matter of courtesy to the person who invited me (him)." On August 6, 1937, the Fiscal of the City of Manila filed a motion with the trial court for the issuance of an order of execution of the judgment of this court in said case and forthwith to commit the herein respondent Mariano Cu Unjieng to jail in obedience to said judgment. On August 7, 1937, the private prosecution filed its opposition to the motion for leave to intervene as amici curiae aforementioned, asking that a date be set for a hearing of the same and that, at all events, said motion should be denied with respect to certain attorneys signing the same who were members of the legal staff of the several counsel for Mariano Cu Unjieng. On August 10, 1937, herein respondent Judge Jose O. Vera issued an order requiring all parties including the movants for intervention as amici curiae to appear before the court on August 14, 1937. On the last-mentioned date, the Fiscal of the City of Manila moved for the hearing of his motion for execution of judgment in preference to the motion for leave to intervene as amici curiae but, upon objection of counsel for Mariano Cu Unjieng, he moved for the postponement of the hearing of both motions. The respondent judge thereupon set the hearing of the motion for execution on August 21, 1937, but proceeded to consider the motion for leave to intervene as amici curiae as in order. Evidence as to the circumstances under which said motion for leave to intervene as amici curiae was signed and submitted to court was to have been heard on August 19, 1937. But at this juncture, herein petitioners came to this court on extraordinary legal process to put an end to what they alleged was an interminable proceeding in the Court of First Instance of Manila which fostered "the campaign of the defendant Mariano Cu Unjieng for delay in the execution of the sentence imposed by this Honorable Court on him, exposing the courts to criticism and ridicule because of the apparent inability of the judicial machinery to make effective a final judgment of this court imposed on the defendant Mariano Cu Unjieng." The scheduled hearing before the trial court was accordingly suspended upon the issuance of a temporary restraining order by this court on August 21, 1937. To support their petition for the issuance of the extraordinary writs of certiorari and prohibition, herein petitioners allege that the respondent judge has acted without jurisdiction or in excess of his jurisdiction: I. Because said respondent judge lacks the power to place respondent Mariano Cu Unjieng under probation for the following reason: (1) Under section 11 of Act No. 4221, the said of the Philippine Legislature is made to apply only to the provinces of the Philippines; it nowhere states that it is to be made applicable to chartered cities like the City of Manila. (2) While section 37 of the Administrative Code contains a proviso to the effect that in the absence of a special provision, the term "province" may be construed to include the City of Manila for the purpose of giving effect to laws of general application, it is also true that Act No. 4221 is not a law of general application because it is made to apply

only to those provinces in which the respective provincial boards shall have provided for the salary of a probation officer. (3) Even if the City of Manila were considered to be a province, still, Act No. 4221 would not be applicable to it because it has provided for the salary of a probation officer as required by section 11 thereof; it being immaterial that there is an Insular Probation Officer willing to act for the City of Manila, said Probation Officer provided for in section 10 of Act No. 4221 being different and distinct from the Probation Officer provided for in section 11 of the same Act. II. Because even if the respondent judge originally had jurisdiction to entertain the application for probation of the respondent Mariano Cu Unjieng, he nevertheless acted without jurisdiction or in excess thereof in continuing to entertain the motion for reconsideration and by failing to commit Mariano Cu Unjieng to prison after he had promulgated his resolution of June 28, 1937, denying Mariano Cu Unjieng's application for probation, for the reason that: (1) His jurisdiction and power in probation proceedings is limited by Act No. 4221 to the granting or denying of applications for probation. (2) After he had issued the order denying Mariano Cu Unjieng's petition for probation on June 28, 1937, it became final and executory at the moment of its rendition. (3) No right on appeal exists in such cases. (4) The respondent judge lacks the power to grant a rehearing of said order or to modify or change the same. III. Because the respondent judge made a finding that Mariano Cu Unjieng is innocent of the crime for which he was convicted by final judgment of this court, which finding is not only presumptuous but without foundation in fact and in law, and is furthermore in contempt of this court and a violation of the respondent's oath of office as ad interim judge of first instance. IV. Because the respondent judge has violated and continues to violate his duty, which became imperative when he issued his order of June 28, 1937, denying the application for probation, to commit his co-respondent to jail. Petitioners also avers that they have no other plain, speedy and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law. In a supplementary petition filed on September 9, 1937, the petitioner Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation further contends that Act No. 4221 of the Philippine Legislature providing for a system of probation for persons eighteen years of age or over who are convicted of crime, is unconstitutional because it is violative of section 1, subsection (1), Article III, of the Constitution of the Philippines guaranteeing equal protection of the laws because it confers upon the provincial board of its province the absolute discretion to make said law operative or otherwise in their respective provinces, because it constitutes an unlawful and improper delegation to the provincial boards of the several provinces of the legislative power lodged by the Jones Law (section 8) in the Philippine Legislature and by the Constitution (section 1, Art. VI) in the National Assembly; and for the further reason that it gives the provincial boards, in contravention of the Constitution (section 2, Art. VIII) and the Jones Law (section 28), the authority to enlarge the powers of the Court of First Instance of different provinces without uniformity. In another supplementary petition dated September 14, 1937, the Fiscal of the City of Manila, in behalf of one of the petitioners, the People of the Philippine Islands, concurs for the first time with the issues raised by other petitioner regarding the constitutionality of Act No. 4221, and on the oral argument held on October 6, 1937, further elaborated on the theory that probation is a form of reprieve and therefore Act. No. 4221 is an encroachment on the exclusive power of the Chief Executive to grant pardons and reprieves. On October 7, 1937, the City Fiscal filed two memorandums in which he contended that Act No. 4221 not only encroaches upon the pardoning power to the executive, but also constitute an unwarranted delegation of legislative power and a denial of the equal protection of the laws. On October 9, 1937, two memorandums, signed jointly by the City Fiscal and the Solicitor-General, acting in behalf of the People of the Philippine Islands, and by counsel for the petitioner, the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation, one sustaining the power of the state to impugn the validity of its own laws and the other contending that Act No. 4221 constitutes an unwarranted delegation of legislative power, were presented. Another joint memorandum was filed by the same persons on the same day, October 9, 1937, alleging that Act No. 4221 is unconstitutional because it denies the equal protection of the laws and constitutes an unlawful delegation of legislative power and, further, that the whole Act is void: that the Commonwealth is not estopped from questioning the validity of its laws; that the private prosecution may intervene in probation proceedings and may attack the probation law as unconstitutional; and that this court may pass upon the constitutional question in prohibition proceedings. Respondents in their answer dated August 31, 1937, as well as in their oral argument and memorandums, challenge each and every one of the foregoing proposition raised by the petitioners. As special defenses, respondents allege: (1) That the present petition does not state facts sufficient in law to warrant the issuance of the writ of certiorari or of prohibition. (2) That the aforesaid petition is premature because the remedy sought by the petitioners is the very same remedy prayed for by them before the trial court and was still pending resolution before the trial court when the present petition was filed with this court. (3) That the petitioners having themselves raised the question as to the execution of judgment before the trial court, said trial court has acquired exclusive jurisdiction to resolve the same under the theory that its resolution denying probation is unappealable. (4) That upon the hypothesis that this court has concurrent jurisdiction with the Court of First Instance to decide the question as to whether or not the execution will lie, this court nevertheless cannot exercise said jurisdiction while the Court of First Instance has assumed jurisdiction over the same upon motion of herein petitioners themselves.

(5) That upon the procedure followed by the herein petitioners in seeking to deprive the trial court of its jurisdiction over the case and elevate the proceedings to this court, should not be tolerated because it impairs the authority and dignity of the trial court which court while sitting in the probation cases is "a court of limited jurisdiction but of great dignity." (6) That under the supposition that this court has jurisdiction to resolve the question submitted to and pending resolution by the trial court, the present action would not lie because the resolution of the trial court denying probation is appealable; for although the Probation Law does not specifically provide that an applicant for probation may appeal from a resolution of the Court of First Instance denying probation, still it is a general rule in this jurisdiction that a final order, resolution or decision of an inferior court is appealable to the superior court. (7) That the resolution of the trial court denying probation of herein respondent Mariano Cu Unjieng being appealable, the same had not become final and executory for the reason that the said respondent had filed an alternative motion for reconsideration and new trial within the requisite period of fifteen days, which motion the trial court was able to resolve in view of the restraining order improvidently and erroneously issued by this court.lawphi1.net (8) That the Fiscal of the City of Manila had by implication admitted that the resolution of the trial court denying probation is not final and unappealable when he presented his answer to the motion for reconsideration and agreed to the postponement of the hearing of the said motion. (9) That under the supposition that the order of the trial court denying probation is not appealable, it is incumbent upon the accused to file an action for the issuance of the writ ofcertiorari with mandamus, it appearing that the trial court, although it believed that the accused was entitled to probation, nevertheless denied probation for fear of criticism because the accused is a rich man; and that, before a petition for certiorari grounded on an irregular exercise of jurisdiction by the trial court could lie, it is incumbent upon the petitioner to file a motion for reconsideration specifying the error committed so that the trial court could have an opportunity to correct or cure the same. (10) That on hypothesis that the resolution of this court is not appealable, the trial court retains its jurisdiction within a reasonable time to correct or modify it in accordance with law and justice; that this power to alter or modify an order or resolution is inherent in the courts and may be exercise either motu proprio or upon petition of the proper party, the petition in the latter case taking the form of a motion for reconsideration. (11) That on the hypothesis that the resolution of the trial court is appealable as respondent allege, said court cannot order execution of the same while it is on appeal, for then the appeal would not be availing because the doors of probation will be closed from the moment the accused commences to serve his sentence (Act No. 4221, sec. 1; U.S. vs. Cook, 19 Fed. [2d], 827). In their memorandums filed on October 23, 1937, counsel for the respondents maintain that Act No. 4221 is constitutional because, contrary to the allegations of the petitioners, it does not constitute an undue delegation of legislative power, does not infringe the equal protection clause of the Constitution, and does not encroach upon the pardoning power of the Executive. In an additional memorandum filed on the same date, counsel for the respondents reiterate the view that section 11 of Act No. 4221 is free from constitutional objections and contend, in addition, that the private prosecution may not intervene in probation proceedings, much less question the validity of Act No. 4221; that both the City Fiscal and the Solicitor-General are estopped from questioning the validity of the Act; that the validity of Act cannot be attacked for the first time before this court; that probation in unavailable; and that, in any event, section 11 of the Act No. 4221 is separable from the rest of the Act. The last memorandum for the respondent Mariano Cu Unjieng was denied for having been filed out of time but was admitted by resolution of this court and filed anew on November 5, 1937. This memorandum elaborates on some of the points raised by the respondents and refutes those brought up by the petitioners. In the scrutiny of the pleadings and examination of the various aspects of the present case, we noted that the court below, in passing upon the merits of the application of the respondent Mariano Cu Unjieng and in denying said application assumed the task not only of considering the merits of the application, but of passing upon the culpability of the applicant, notwithstanding the final pronouncement of guilt by this court. (G.R. No. 41200.) Probation implies guilt be final judgment. While a probation case may look into the circumstances attending the commission of the offense, this does not authorize it to reverse the findings and conclusive of this court, either directly or indirectly, especially wherefrom its own admission reliance was merely had on the printed briefs, averments, and pleadings of the parties. As already observed by this court in Shioji vs. Harvey ([1922], 43 Phil., 333, 337), and reiterated in subsequent cases, "if each and every Court of First Instance could enjoy the privilege of overruling decisions of the Supreme Court, there would be no end to litigation, and judicial chaos would result." A becoming modesty of inferior courts demands conscious realization of the position that they occupy in the interrelation and operation of the intergrated judicial system of the nation. After threshing carefully the multifarious issues raised by both counsel for the petitioners and the respondents, this court prefers to cut the Gordian knot and take up at once the two fundamental questions presented, namely, (1) whether or not the constitutionality of Act No. 4221 has been properly raised in these proceedings; and (2) in the affirmative, whether or not said Act is constitutional. Considerations of these issues will involve a discussion of certain incidental questions raised by the parties. To arrive at a correct conclusion on the first question, resort to certain guiding principles is necessary. It is a well-settled rule that the constitutionality of an act of the legislature will not be determined by the courts unless that question is properly raised and presented inappropriate cases and is necessary to a determination of the case; i.e., the issue of constitutionality must be the very lis mota presented. (McGirr vs. Hamilton and Abreu [1915], 30 Phil., 563, 568; 6 R. C. L., pp. 76, 77; 12 C. J., pp. 780-782, 783.) The question of the constitutionality of an act of the legislature is frequently raised in ordinary actions. Nevertheless, resort may be made to extraordinary legal remedies, particularly where the remedies in the ordinary course of law even if available, are not plain, speedy and adequate. Thus, in Cu Unjieng vs. Patstone ([1922]), 42 Phil., 818), this court held that the question of the constitutionality of a

statute may be raised by the petitioner inmandamus proceedings (see, also, 12 C. J., p. 783); and in Government of the Philippine Islands vs. Springer([1927], 50 Phil., 259 [affirmed in Springer vs. Government of the Philippine Islands (1928), 277 U. S., 189; 72 Law. ed., 845]), this court declared an act of the legislature unconstitutional in an action of quo warranto brought in the name of the Government of the Philippines. It has also been held that the constitutionality of a statute may be questioned in habeas corpus proceedings (12 C. J., p. 783; Bailey on Habeas Corpus, Vol. I, pp. 97, 117), although there are authorities to the contrary; on an application for injunction to restrain action under the challenged statute (mandatory, see Cruz vs. Youngberg [1931], 56 Phil., 234); and even on an application for preliminary injunction where the determination of the constitutional question is necessary to a decision of the case. (12 C. J., p. 783.) The same may be said as regards prohibition and certiorari.(Yu Cong Eng vs. Trinidad [1925], 47 Phil., 385; [1926], 271 U. S., 500; 70 Law. ed., 1059; Bell vs. First Judicial District Court [1905], 28 Nev., 280; 81 Pac., 875; 113 A. S. R., 854; 6 Ann. Cas., 982; 1 L. R. A. [N. S], 843, and cases cited). The case of Yu Cong Eng vs. Trinidad, supra, decided by this court twelve years ago was, like the present one, an original action forcertiorari and prohibition. The constitutionality of Act No. 2972, popularly known as the Chinese Bookkeeping Law, was there challenged by the petitioners, and the constitutional issue was not met squarely by the respondent in a demurrer. A point was raised "relating to the propriety of the constitutional question being decided in original proceedings in prohibition." This court decided to take up the constitutional question and, with two justices dissenting, held that Act No. 2972 was constitutional. The case was elevated on writ of certiorari to the Supreme Court of the United States which reversed the judgment of this court and held that the Act was invalid. (271 U. S., 500; 70 Law. ed., 1059.) On the question of jurisdiction, however, the Federal Supreme Court, though its Chief Justice, said: By the Code of Civil Procedure of the Philippine Islands, section 516, the Philippine supreme court is granted concurrent jurisdiction in prohibition with courts of first instance over inferior tribunals or persons, and original jurisdiction over courts of first instance, when such courts are exercising functions without or in excess of their jurisdiction. It has been held by that court that the question of the validity of the criminal statute must usually be raised by a defendant in the trial court and be carried regularly in review to the Supreme Court. (Cadwallader-Gibson Lumber Co. vs. Del Rosario, 26 Phil., 192). But in this case where a new act seriously affected numerous persons and extensive property rights, and was likely to cause a multiplicity of actions, the Supreme Court exercised its discretion to bring the issue to the act's validity promptly before it and decide in the interest of the orderly administration of justice. The court relied by analogy upon the cases of Ex parte Young (209 U. S., 123;52 Law ed., 714; 13 L. R. A. [N. S.] 932; 28 Sup. Ct. Rep., 441; 14 Ann. Ca., 764; Traux vs. Raich, 239 U. S., 33; 60 Law. ed., 131; L. R. A. 1916D, 545; 36 Sup. Ct. Rep., 7; Ann. Cas., 1917B, 283; and Wilson vs. New, 243 U. S., 332; 61 Law. ed., 755; L. R. A. 1917E, 938; 37 Sup. Ct. Rep., 298; Ann. Cas. 1918A, 1024). Although objection to the jurisdiction was raise by demurrer to the petition, this is now disclaimed on behalf of the respondents, and both parties ask a decision on the merits. In view of the broad powers in prohibition granted to that court under the Island Code, we acquiesce in the desire of the parties. The writ of prohibition is an extraordinary judicial writ issuing out of a court of superior jurisdiction and directed to an inferior court, for the purpose of preventing the inferior tribunal from usurping a jurisdiction with which it is not legally vested. (High, Extraordinary Legal Remedies, p. 705.) The general rule, although there is a conflict in the cases, is that the merit of prohibition will not lie whether the inferior court has jurisdiction independent of the statute the constitutionality of which is questioned, because in such cases the interior court having jurisdiction may itself determine the constitutionality of the statute, and its decision may be subject to review, and consequently the complainant in such cases ordinarily has adequate remedy by appeal without resort to the writ of prohibition. But where the inferior court or tribunal derives its jurisdiction exclusively from an unconstitutional statute, it may be prevented by the writ of prohibition from enforcing that statute. (50 C. J., 670; Ex parte Round tree [1874, 51 Ala., 42; In re Macfarland, 30 App. [D. C.], 365; Curtis vs. Cornish [1912], 109 Me., 384; 84 A., 799; Pennington vs. Woolfolk [1880], 79 Ky., 13; State vs. Godfrey [1903], 54 W. Va., 54; 46 S. E., 185; Arnold vs. Shields [1837], 5 Dana, 19; 30 Am. Dec., 669.) Courts of First Instance sitting in probation proceedings derived their jurisdiction solely from Act No. 4221 which prescribes in detailed manner the procedure for granting probation to accused persons after their conviction has become final and before they have served their sentence. It is true that at common law the authority of the courts to suspend temporarily the execution of the sentence is recognized and, according to a number of state courts, including those of Massachusetts, Michigan, New York, and Ohio, the power is inherent in the courts (Commonwealth vs. Dowdican's Bail [1874], 115 Mass., 133; People vs. Stickel [1909], 156 Mich., 557; 121 N. W., 497; People ex rel. Forsyth vs. Court of Session [1894], 141 N. Y., 288; Weber vs. State [1898], 58 Ohio St., 616). But, in the leading case of Ex parte United States ([1916], 242 U. S., 27; 61 Law. ed., 129; L. R. A., 1917E, 1178; 37 Sup. Ct. Rep., 72; Ann. Cas. 1917B, 355), the Supreme Court of the United States expressed the opinion that under the common law the power of the court was limited to temporary suspension, and brushed aside the contention as to inherent judicial power saying, through Chief Justice White: Indisputably under our constitutional system the right to try offenses against the criminal laws and upon conviction to impose the punishment provided by law is judicial, and it is equally to be conceded that, in exerting the powers vested in them on such subject, courts inherently possess ample right to exercise reasonable, that is, judicial, discretion to enable them to wisely exert their authority. But these concessions afford no ground for the contention as to power here made, since it must rest upon the proposition that the power to enforce begets inherently a discretion to permanently refuse to do so. And the effect of the proposition urged upon the distribution of powers made by the Constitution will become apparent when it is observed that indisputable also is it that the authority to define and fix the punishment for crime is legislative and includes the right in advance to bring within judicial discretion, for the purpose of executing the statute, elements of consideration which would be otherwise beyond the scope of judicial authority, and that the right to relieve from the punishment, fixed by law and ascertained according to the methods by it provided belongs to the executive department. Justice Carson, in his illuminating concurring opinion in the case of Director of Prisons vs. Judge of First Instance of Cavite (29 Phil., 265), decided by this court in 1915, also reached the conclusion that the power to suspend the execution of sentences pronounced in criminal cases is not inherent in the judicial function. "All are agreed", he said, "that in the absence of statutory authority, it does not lie within the power of the courts to grant such suspensions." (at p. 278.) Both petitioner and respondents are correct, therefore, when they argue that a Court of First Instance sitting in probation proceedings is a court of limited jurisdiction. Its jurisdiction in such proceedings is conferred exclusively by Act No. 4221 of the Philippine Legislature.

It is, of course, true that the constitutionality of a statute will not be considered on application for prohibition where the question has not been properly brought to the attention of the court by objection of some kind (Hill vs. Tarver [1901], 130 Ala., 592; 30 S., 499; State ex rel. Kelly vs. Kirby [1914], 260 Mo., 120; 168 S. W., 746). In the case at bar, it is unquestionable that the constitutional issue has been squarely presented not only before this court by the petitioners but also before the trial court by the private prosecution. The respondent, Hon. Jose O Vera, however, acting as judge of the court below, declined to pass upon the question on the ground that the private prosecutor, not being a party whose rights are affected by the statute, may not raise said question. The respondent judge cited Cooley on Constitutional Limitations (Vol. I, p. 339; 12 C. J., sec. 177, pp. 760 and 762), and McGlue vs. Essex County ([1916], 225 Mass., 59; 113 N. E., 742, 743), as authority for the proposition that a court will not consider any attack made on the constitutionality of a statute by one who has no interest in defeating it because his rights are not affected by its operation. The respondent judge further stated that it may not motu proprio take up the constitutional question and, agreeing with Cooley that "the power to declare a legislative enactment void is one which the judge, conscious of the fallibility of the human judgment, will shrink from exercising in any case where he can conscientiously and with due regard to duty and official oath decline the responsibility" (Constitutional Limitations, 8th ed., Vol. I, p. 332), proceeded on the assumption that Act No. 4221 is constitutional. While therefore, the court a quo admits that the constitutional question was raised before it, it refused to consider the question solely because it was not raised by a proper party. Respondents herein reiterates this view. The argument is advanced that the private prosecution has no personality to appear in the hearing of the application for probation of defendant Mariano Cu Unjieng in criminal case No. 42648 of the Court of First Instance of Manila, and hence the issue of constitutionality was not properly raised in the lower court. Although, as a general rule, only those who are parties to a suit may question the constitutionality of a statute involved in a judicial decision, it has been held that since the decree pronounced by a court without jurisdiction is void, where the jurisdiction of the court depends on the validity of the statute in question, the issue of the constitutionality will be considered on its being brought to the attention of the court by persons interested in the effect to be given the statute.(12 C. J., sec. 184, p. 766.) And, even if we were to concede that the issue was not properly raised in the court below by the proper party, it does not follow that the issue may not be here raised in an original action of certiorari and prohibitions. It is true that, as a general rule, the question of constitutionality must be raised at the earliest opportunity, so that if not raised by the pleadings, ordinarily it may not be raised at the trial, and if not raised in the trial court, it will not considered on appeal. (12 C. J., p. 786. See, also, Cadwallader-Gibson Lumber Co. vs. Del Rosario, 26 Phil., 192, 193-195.) But we must state that the general rule admits of exceptions. Courts, in the exercise of sounds discretion, may determine the time when a question affecting the constitutionality of a statute should be presented. ( In re Woolsey [1884], 95 N. Y., 135, 144.) Thus, in criminal cases, although there is a very sharp conflict of authorities, it is said that the question may be raised for the first time at any stage of the proceedings, either in the trial court or on appeal. (12 C. J., p. 786.) Even in civil cases, it has been held that it is the duty of a court to pass on the constitutional question, though raised for the first time on appeal, if it appears that a determination of the question is necessary to a decision of the case. (McCabe's Adm'x vs. Maysville & B. S. R. Co., [1910], 136 ky., 674; 124 S. W., 892; Lohmeyer vs. St. Louis Cordage Co. [1908], 214 Mo., 685; 113 S. W. 1108; Carmody vs. St. Louis Transit Co., [1905], 188 Mo., 572; 87 S. W., 913.) And it has been held that a constitutional question will be considered by an appellate court at any time, where it involves the jurisdiction of the court below (State vs. Burke [1911], 175 Ala., 561; 57 S., 870.) As to the power of this court to consider the constitutional question raised for the first time before this court in these proceedings, we turn again and point with emphasis to the case of Yu Cong Eng vs. Trinidad, supra. And on the hypotheses that the Hongkong & Shanghai Banking Corporation, represented by the private prosecution, is not the proper party to raise the constitutional question here a point we do not now have to decide we are of the opinion that the People of the Philippines, represented by the Solicitor-General and the Fiscal of the City of Manila, is such a proper party in the present proceedings. The unchallenged rule is that the person who impugns the validity of a statute must have a personal and substantial interest in the case such that he has sustained, or will sustained, direct injury as a result of its enforcement. It goes without saying that if Act No. 4221 really violates the constitution, the People of the Philippines, in whose name the present action is brought, has a substantial interest in having it set aside. Of grater import than the damage caused by the illegal expenditure of public funds is the mortal wound inflicted upon the fundamental law by the enforcement of an invalid statute. Hence, the well-settled rule that the state can challenge the validity of its own laws. In Government of the Philippine Islands vs. Springer ([1927]), 50 Phil., 259 (affirmed in Springer vs. Government of the Philippine Islands [1928], 277 U.S., 189; 72 Law. ed., 845), this court declared an act of the legislature unconstitutional in an action instituted in behalf of the Government of the Philippines. In Attorney General vs. Perkins ([1889], 73 Mich., 303, 311, 312; 41 N. W. 426, 428, 429), the State of Michigan, through its Attorney General, instituted quo warranto proceedings to test the right of the respondents to renew a mining corporation, alleging that the statute under which the respondents base their right was unconstitutional because it impaired the obligation of contracts. The capacity of the chief law officer of the state to question the constitutionality of the statute was though, as a general rule, only those who are parties to a suit may question the constitutionality of a statute involved in a judicial decision, it has been held that since the decree pronounced by a court without jurisdiction in void, where the jurisdiction of the court depends on the validity of the statute in question, the issue of constitutionality will be considered on its being brought to the attention of the court by persons interested in the effect to begin the statute. (12 C.J., sec. 184, p. 766.) And, even if we were to concede that the issue was not properly raised in the court below by the proper party, it does not follow that the issue may not be here raised in an original action of certiorari and prohibition. It is true that, as a general rule, the question of constitutionality must be raised at the earliest opportunity, so that if not raised by the pleadings, ordinarily it may not be raised a the trial, and if not raised in the trial court, it will not be considered on appeal. (12 C.J., p. 786. See, also, Cadwallader-Gibson Lumber Co. vs. Del Rosario, 26 Phil., 192, 193-195.) But we must state that the general rule admits of exceptions. Courts, in the exercise of sound discretion, may determine the time when a question affecting the constitutionality of a statute should be presented. (In re Woolsey [19884], 95 N.Y., 135, 144.) Thus, in criminal cases, although there is a very sharp conflict of authorities, it is said that the question may be raised for the first time at any state of the proceedings, either in the trial court or on appeal. (12 C.J., p. 786.) Even in civil cases, it has been held that it is the duty of a court to pass on the constitutional question, though raised for first time on appeal, if it appears that a determination of the question is necessary to a decision of the case. (McCabe's Adm'x vs. Maysville & B. S. R. Co. [1910], 136 Ky., 674; 124 S. W., 892; Lohmeyer vs. St. Louis, Cordage Co. [1908], 214 Mo. 685; 113 S. W., 1108; Carmody vs. St. Louis Transit Co. [1905], 188 Mo., 572; 87 S. W., 913.) And it has been held that a constitutional question will be considered by an appellate court at any time, where it involves the jurisdiction of the court below (State vs. Burke [1911], 175 Ala., 561; 57 S., 870.) As to the power of this court to consider the constitutional question raised for the first time before this court in these proceedings, we turn again and point with emphasis to the case of Yu Cong Eng. vs. Trinidad, supra. And on the hypothesis that the Hongkong & Shanghai Banking Corporation, represented by the private prosecution, is not the proper party to raise the constitutional question here a point we do not now have to decide we are of the opinion that the People of the Philippines, represented by the Solicitor-General and the Fiscal of the City of Manila, is such a proper party

in the present proceedings. The unchallenged rule is that the person who impugns the validity of a statute must have a personal and substantial interest in the case such that he has sustained, or will sustain, direct injury as a result of its enforcement. It goes without saying that if Act No. 4221 really violates the Constitution, the People of the Philippines, in whose name the present action is brought, has a substantial interest in having it set aside. Of greater import than the damage caused by the illegal expenditure of public funds is the mortal wound inflicted upon the fundamental law by the enforcement of an invalid statute. Hence, the well-settled rule that the state can challenge the validity of its own laws. In Government of the Philippine Islands vs. Springer ([1927]), 50 Phil., 259 (affirmed in Springer vs. Government of the Philippine Islands [1928], 277 U.S., 189; 72 Law. ed., 845), this court declared an act of the legislature unconstitutional in an action instituted in behalf of the Government of the Philippines. In Attorney General vs. Perkings([1889], 73 Mich., 303, 311, 312; 41 N.W., 426, 428, 429), the State of Michigan, through its Attorney General, instituted quo warranto proceedings to test the right of the respondents to renew a mining corporation, alleging that the statute under which the respondents base their right was unconstitutional because it impaired the obligation of contracts. The capacity of the chief law officer of the state to question the constitutionality of the statute was itself questioned. Said the Supreme Court of Michigan, through Champlin, J.: . . . The idea seems to be that the people are estopped from questioning the validity of a law enacted by their representatives; that to an accusation by the people of Michigan of usurpation their government, a statute enacted by the people of Michigan is an adequate answer. The last proposition is true, but, if the statute relied on in justification is unconstitutional, it is statute only in form, and lacks the force of law, and is of no more saving effect to justify action under it than if it had never been enacted. The constitution is the supreme law, and to its behests the courts, the legislature, and the people must bow . . . The legislature and the respondents are not the only parties in interest upon such constitutional questions. As was remarked by Mr. Justice Story, in speaking of an acquiescence by a party affected by an unconstitutional act of the legislature: "The people have a deep and vested interest in maintaining all the constitutional limitations upon the exercise of legislative powers." (Allen vs. Mckeen, 1 Sum., 314.) In State vs. Doane ([1916], 98 Kan., 435; 158 Pac., 38, 40), an original action (mandamus) was brought by the Attorney-General of Kansas to test the constitutionality of a statute of the state. In disposing of the question whether or not the state may bring the action, the Supreme Court of Kansas said: . . . the state is a proper party indeed, the proper party to bring this action. The state is always interested where the integrity of its Constitution or statutes is involved. "It has an interest in seeing that the will of the Legislature is not disregarded, and need not, as an individual plaintiff must, show grounds of fearing more specific injury. (State vs. Kansas City 60 Kan., 518 [57 Pac., 118])." (State vs. Lawrence, 80 Kan., 707; 103 Pac., 839.) Where the constitutionality of a statute is in doubt the state's law officer, its Attorney-General, or county attorney, may exercise his bet judgment as to what sort of action he will bring to have the matter determined, either by quo warranto to challenge its validity (State vs. Johnson, 61 Kan., 803; 60 Pac., 1068; 49 L.R.A., 662), by mandamus to compel obedience to its terms (State vs. Dolley, 82 Kan., 533; 108 Pac., 846), or by injunction to restrain proceedings under its questionable provisions (State ex rel. vs. City of Neodesha, 3 Kan. App., 319; 45 Pac., 122). Other courts have reached the same conclusion (See State vs. St. Louis S. W. Ry. Co. [1917], 197 S. W., 1006; State vs. S.H. Kress & Co. [1934], 155 S., 823; State vs. Walmsley [1935], 181 La., 597; 160 S., 91; State vs. Board of County Comr's [1934], 39 Pac. [2d], 286; First Const. Co. of Brooklyn vs. State [1917], 211 N.Y., 295; 116 N.E., 1020; Bush vs. State {1918], 187 Ind., 339; 119 N.E., 417; State vs. Watkins [1933], 176 La., 837; 147 S., 8, 10, 11). In the case last cited, the Supreme Court of Luisiana said: It is contended by counsel for Herbert Watkins that a district attorney, being charged with the duty of enforcing the laws, has no right to plead that a law is unconstitutional. In support of the argument three decisions are cited, viz.: State ex rel. Hall, District Attorney, vs. Judge of Tenth Judicial District (33 La. Ann., 1222); State ex rel. Nicholls, Governor vs. Shakespeare, Mayor of New Orleans (41 Ann., 156; 6 So., 592); and State ex rel., Banking Co., etc. vs. Heard, Auditor (47 La. Ann., 1679; 18 So., 746; 47 L. R. A., 512). These decisions do not forbid a district attorney to plead that a statute is unconstitutional if he finds if in conflict with one which it is his duty to enforce. In State ex rel. Hall, District Attorney, vs. Judge, etc., the ruling was the judge should not, merely because he believed a certain statute to be unconstitutional forbid the district attorney to file a bill of information charging a person with a violation of the statute. In other words, a judge should not judicially declare a statute unconstitutional until the question of constitutionality is tendered for decision, and unless it must be decided in order to determine the right of a party litigant. Stateex rel. Nicholls, Governor, etc., is authority for the proposition merely that an officer on whom a statute imposes the duty of enforcing its provisions cannot avoid the duty upon the ground that he considers the statute unconstitutional, and hence in enforcing the statute he is immune from responsibility if the statute be unconstitutional. State ex rel. Banking Co., etc., is authority for the proposition merely that executive officers, e.g., the state auditor and state treasurer, should not decline to perform ministerial duties imposed upon them by a statute, on the ground that they believe the statute is unconstitutional. It is the duty of a district attorney to enforce the criminal laws of the state, and, above all, to support the Constitution of the state. If, in the performance of his duty he finds two statutes in conflict with each other, or one which repeals another, and if, in his judgment, one of the two statutes is unconstitutional, it is his duty to enforce the other; and, in order to do so, he is compelled to submit to the court, by way of a plea, that one of the statutes is unconstitutional. If it were not so, the power of the Legislature would be free from constitutional limitations in the enactment of criminal laws. The respondents do not seem to doubt seriously the correctness of the general proposition that the state may impugn the validity of its laws. They have not cited any authority running clearly in the opposite direction. In fact, they appear to have proceeded on the assumption that the rule as stated is sound but that it has no application in the present case, nor may it be invoked by the City Fiscal in behalf of the People of the Philippines, one of the petitioners herein, the principal reasons being that the validity before this court, that the City Fiscal is estopped from attacking the validity of the Act and, not authorized challenge the validity of the Act in its application outside said city. (Additional memorandum of respondents, October 23, 1937, pp. 8,. 10, 17 and 23.)

The mere fact that the Probation Act has been repeatedly relied upon the past and all that time has not been attacked as unconstitutional by the Fiscal of Manila but, on the contrary, has been impliedly regarded by him as constitutional, is no reason for considering the People of the Philippines estopped from nor assailing its validity. For courts will pass upon a constitutional questions only when presented before it in bona fide cases for determination, and the fact that the question has not been raised before is not a valid reason for refusing to allow it to be raised later. The fiscal and all others are justified in relying upon the statute and treating it as valid until it is held void by the courts in proper cases. It remains to consider whether the determination of the constitutionality of Act No. 4221 is necessary to the resolution of the instant case. For, ". . . while the court will meet the question with firmness, where its decision is indispensable, it is the part of wisdom, and just respect for the legislature, renders it proper, to waive it, if the case in which it arises, can be decided on other points." ( Ex parte Randolph [1833], 20 F. Cas. No. 11, 558; 2 Brock., 447. Vide, also Hoover vs. wood [1857], 9 Ind., 286, 287.) It has been held that the determination of a constitutional question is necessary whenever it is essential to the decision of the case (12 C. J., p. 782, citing Long Sault Dev. Co. vs. Kennedy [1913], 158 App. Div., 398; 143 N. Y. Supp., 454 [aff. 212 N.Y., 1: 105 N. E., 849; Ann. Cas. 1915D, 56; and app dism 242 U.S., 272]; Hesse vs. Ledesma, 7 Porto Rico Fed., 520; Cowan vs. Doddridge, 22 Gratt [63 Va.], 458; Union Line Co., vs. Wisconsin R. Commn., 146 Wis., 523; 129 N. W., 605), as where the right of a party is founded solely on a statute the validity of which is attacked. (12 C.J., p. 782, citing Central Glass Co. vs. Niagrara F. Ins. Co., 131 La., 513; 59 S., 972; Cheney vs. Beverly, 188 Mass., 81; 74 N.E., 306). There is no doubt that the respondent Cu Unjieng draws his privilege to probation solely from Act No. 4221 now being assailed. Apart from the foregoing considerations, that court will also take cognizance of the fact that the Probation Act is a new addition to our statute books and its validity has never before been passed upon by the courts; that may persons accused and convicted of crime in the City of Manila have applied for probation; that some of them are already on probation; that more people will likely take advantage of the Probation Act in the future; and that the respondent Mariano Cu Unjieng has been at large for a period of about four years since his first conviction. All wait the decision of this court on the constitutional question. Considering, therefore, the importance which the instant case has assumed and to prevent multiplicity of suits, strong reasons of public policy demand that the constitutionality of Act No. 4221 be now resolved. (Yu Cong Eng vs. Trinidad [1925], 47 Phil., 385; [1926], 271 U.S., 500; 70 Law. ed., 1059. See 6 R.C.L., pp. 77, 78; People vs. Kennedy [1913], 207 N.Y., 533; 101 N.E., 442, 444; Ann. Cas. 1914C, 616; Borginis vs. Falk Co. [1911], 147 Wis., 327; 133 N.W., 209, 211; 37 L.R.A. [N.S.] 489; Dimayuga and Fajardo vs. Fernandez [1922], 43 Phil., 304.) In Yu Cong Eng vs. Trinidad, supra, an analogous situation confronted us. We said: "Inasmuch as the property and personal rights of nearly twelve thousand merchants are affected by these proceedings, and inasmuch as Act No. 2972 is a new law not yet interpreted by the courts, in the interest of the public welfare and for the advancement of public policy, we have determined to overrule the defense of want of jurisdiction in order that we may decide the main issue. We have here an extraordinary situation which calls for a relaxation of the general rule." Our ruling on this point was sustained by the Supreme Court of the United States. A more binding authority in support of the view we have taken can not be found. We have reached the conclusion that the question of the constitutionality of Act No. 4221 has been properly raised. Now for the main inquiry: Is the Act unconstitutional? Under a doctrine peculiarly American, it is the office and duty of the judiciary to enforce the Constitution. This court, by clear implication from the provisions of section 2, subsection 1, and section 10, of Article VIII of the Constitution, may declare an act of the national legislature invalid because in conflict with the fundamental lay. It will not shirk from its sworn duty to enforce the Constitution. And, in clear cases, it will not hesitate to give effect to the supreme law by setting aside a statute in conflict therewith. This is of the essence of judicial duty. This court is not unmindful of the fundamental criteria in cases of this nature that all reasonable doubts should be resolved in favor of the constitutionality of a statute. An act of the legislature approved by the executive, is presumed to be within constitutional limitations. The responsibility of upholding the Constitution rests not on the courts alone but on the legislature as well. "The question of the validity of every statute is first determined by the legislative department of the government itself." (U.S. vs. Ten Yu [1912], 24 Phil., 1, 10; Case vs. Board of Health and Heiser [1913], 24 Phil., 250, 276; U.S. vs. Joson [1913], 26 Phil., 1.) And a statute finally comes before the courts sustained by the sanction of the executive. The members of the Legislature and the Chief Executive have taken an oath to support the Constitution and it must be presumed that they have been true to this oath and that in enacting and sanctioning a particular law they did not intend to violate the Constitution. The courts cannot but cautiously exercise its power to overturn the solemn declarations of two of the three grand departments of the governments. (6 R.C.L., p. 101.) Then, there is that peculiar political philosophy which bids the judiciary to reflect the wisdom of the people as expressed through an elective Legislature and an elective Chief Executive. It follows, therefore, that the courts will not set aside a law as violative of the Constitution except in a clear case. This is a proposition too plain to require a citation of authorities. One of the counsel for respondents, in the course of his impassioned argument, called attention to the fact that the President of the Philippines had already expressed his opinion against the constitutionality of the Probation Act, adverting that as to the Executive the resolution of this question was a foregone conclusion. Counsel, however, reiterated his confidence in the integrity and independence of this court. We take notice of the fact that the President in his message dated September 1, 1937, recommended to the National Assembly the immediate repeal of the Probation Act (No. 4221); that this message resulted in the approval of Bill No. 2417 of the Nationality Assembly repealing the probation Act, subject to certain conditions therein mentioned; but that said bill was vetoed by the President on September 13, 1937, much against his wish, "to have stricken out from the statute books of the Commonwealth a law . . . unfair and very likely unconstitutional." It is sufficient to observe in this connection that, in vetoing the bill referred to, the President exercised his constitutional prerogative. He may express the reasons which he may deem proper for taking such a step, but his reasons are not binding upon us in the determination of actual controversies submitted for our determination. Whether or not the Executive should express or in any manner insinuate his opinion on a matter encompassed within his broad constitutional power of veto but which happens to be at the same time pending determination in this court is a question of propriety for him exclusively to decide or determine. Whatever opinion is expressed by him under these circumstances, however, cannot sway our judgment on way or another and prevent us from taking what in our opinion is the proper course of action to take in a given case. It if is ever necessary for us to make any vehement affirmance during this formative period of our political history, it is that we are independent of the Executive no less than of the Legislative department of

our government independent in the performance of our functions, undeterred by any consideration, free from politics, indifferent to popularity, and unafraid of criticism in the accomplishment of our sworn duty as we see it and as we understand it. The constitutionality of Act No. 4221 is challenged on three principal grounds: (1) That said Act encroaches upon the pardoning power of the Executive; (2) that its constitutes an undue delegation of legislative power and (3) that it denies the equal protection of the laws. 1. Section 21 of the Act of Congress of August 29, 1916, commonly known as the Jones Law, in force at the time of the approval of Act No. 4221, otherwise known as the Probation Act, vests in the Governor-General of the Philippines "the exclusive power to grant pardons and reprieves and remit fines and forfeitures". This power is now vested in the President of the Philippines. (Art. VII, sec. 11, subsec. 6.) The provisions of the Jones Law and the Constitution differ in some respects. The adjective "exclusive" found in the Jones Law has been omitted from the Constitution. Under the Jones Law, as at common law, pardon could be granted any time after the commission of the offense, either before or after conviction ( Vide Constitution of the United States, Art. II, sec. 2; In re Lontok [1922], 43 Phil., 293). The Governor-General of the Philippines was thus empowered, like the President of the United States, to pardon a person before the facts of the case were fully brought to light. The framers of our Constitution thought this undesirable and, following most of the state constitutions, provided that the pardoning power can only be exercised "after conviction". So, too, under the new Constitution, the pardoning power does not extend to "cases of impeachment". This is also the rule generally followed in the United States (Vide Constitution of the United States, Art. II, sec. 2). The rule in England is different. There, a royal pardon can not be pleaded in bar of an impeachment; "but," says Blackstone, "after the impeachment has been solemnly heard and determined, it is not understood that the king's royal grace is further restrained or abridged." (Vide, Ex parte Wells [1856], 18 How., 307; 15 Law. ed., 421; Com. vs. Lockwood [1872], 109 Mass., 323; 12 Am. Rep., 699; Sterling vs. Drake [1876], 29 Ohio St., 457; 23 am. Rep., 762.) The reason for the distinction is obvious. In England, Judgment on impeachment is not confined to mere "removal from office and disqualification to hold and enjoy any office of honor, trust, or profit under the Government" (Art. IX, sec. 4, Constitution of the Philippines) but extends to the whole punishment attached by law to the offense committed. The House of Lords, on a conviction may, by its sentence, inflict capital punishment, perpetual banishment, perpetual banishment, fine or imprisonment, depending upon the gravity of the offense committed, together with removal from office and incapacity to hold office. (Com. vs. Lockwood, supra.) Our Constitution also makes specific mention of "commutation" and of the power of the executive to impose, in the pardons he may grant, such conditions, restrictions and limitations as he may deem proper. Amnesty may be granted by the President under the Constitution but only with the concurrence of the National Assembly. We need not dwell at length on the significance of these fundamental changes. It is sufficient for our purposes to state that the pardoning power has remained essentially the same. The question is: Has the pardoning power of the Chief Executive under the Jones Law been impaired by the Probation Act? As already stated, the Jones Law vests the pardoning power exclusively in the Chief Executive. The exercise of the power may not, therefore, be vested in anyone else. ". . . The benign prerogative of mercy reposed in the executive cannot be taken away nor fettered by any legislative restrictions, nor can like power be given by the legislature to any other officer or authority. The coordinate departments of government have nothing to do with the pardoning power, since no person properly belonging to one of the departments can exercise any powers appertaining to either of the others except in cases expressly provided for by the constitution." (20 R.C.L., pp., , and cases cited.) " . . . where the pardoning power is conferred on the executive without express or implied limitations, the grant is exclusive, and the legislature can neither exercise such power itself nor delegate it elsewhere, nor interfere with or control the proper exercise thereof, . . ." (12 C.J., pp. 838, 839, and cases cited.) If Act No. 4221, then, confers any pardoning power upon the courts it is for that reason unconstitutional and void. But does it? In the famous Killitts decision involving an embezzlement case, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled in 1916 that an order indefinitely suspending sentenced was void. (Ex parte United States [1916], 242 U.S., 27; 61 Law. ed., 129; L.R.A. 1917E, 1178; 37 Sup. Ct. Rep., 72; Ann. Cas. 1917B, 355.) Chief Justice White, after an exhaustive review of the authorities, expressed the opinion of the court that under the common law the power of the court was limited to temporary suspension and that the right to suspend sentenced absolutely and permanently was vested in the executive branch of the government and not in the judiciary. But, the right of Congress to establish probation by statute was conceded. Said the court through its Chief Justice: ". . . and so far as the future is concerned, that is, the causing of the imposition of penalties as fixed to be subject, by probation legislation or such other means as the legislative mind may devise, to such judicial discretion as may be adequate to enable courts to meet by the exercise of an enlarged but wise discretion the infinite variations which may be presented to them for judgment, recourse must be had Congress whose legislative power on the subject is in the very nature of things adequately complete." (Quoted in Riggs vs. United States [1926], 14 F. [2d], 5, 6.) This decision led the National Probation Association and others to agitate for the enactment by Congress of a federal probation law. Such action was finally taken on March 4, 1925 (chap. 521, 43 Stat. L. 159, U.S.C. title 18, sec. 724). This was followed by an appropriation to defray the salaries and expenses of a certain number of probation officers chosen by civil service. (Johnson, Probation for Juveniles and Adults, p. 14.) In United States vs. Murray ([1925], 275 U.S., 347; 48 Sup. Ct. Rep., 146; 72 Law. ed., 309), the Supreme Court of the United States, through Chief Justice Taft, held that when a person sentenced to imprisonment by a district court has begun to serve his sentence, that court has no power under the Probation Act of March 4, 1925 to grant him probation even though the term at which sentence was imposed had not yet expired. In this case of Murray, the constitutionality of the probation Act was not considered but was assumed. The court traced the history of the Act and quoted from the report of the Committee on the Judiciary of the United States House of Representatives (Report No. 1377, 68th Congress, 2 Session) the following statement: Prior to the so-called Killitts case, rendered in December, 1916, the district courts exercised a form of probation either, by suspending sentence or by placing the defendants under state probation officers or volunteers. In this case, however (Ex parte United States, 242 U.S., 27; 61 L. Ed., 129; L.R.A., 1917E, 1178; 37 Sup. Ct. Rep., 72 Ann. Cas. 1917B, 355), the Supreme Court denied the right of the district courts to suspend sentenced. In the same opinion the court pointed out the necessity for action by Congress if the courts were to exercise probation powers in the future . . . Since this decision was rendered, two attempts have been made to enact probation legislation. In 1917, a bill was favorably reported by the Judiciary Committee and passed the House. In 1920, the judiciary Committee again favorably reported a probation bill to the House, but it was never reached for definite action.

If this bill is enacted into law, it will bring the policy of the Federal government with reference to its treatment of those convicted of violations of its criminal laws in harmony with that of the states of the Union. At the present time every state has a probation law, and in all but twelve states the law applies both to adult and juvenile offenders. (see, also, Johnson, Probation for Juveniles and Adults [1928], Chap. I.) The constitutionality of the federal probation law has been sustained by inferior federal courts. In Riggs vs. United States supra, the Circuit Court of Appeals of the Fourth Circuit said: Since the passage of the Probation Act of March 4, 1925, the questions under consideration have been reviewed by the Circuit Court of Appeals of the Ninth Circuit (7 F. [2d], 590), and the constitutionality of the act fully sustained, and the same held in no manner to encroach upon the pardoning power of the President. This case will be found to contain an able and comprehensive review of the law applicable here. It arose under the act we have to consider, and to it and the authorities cited therein special reference is made (Nix vs. James, 7 F. [2d], 590, 594), as is also to a decision of the Circuit Court of Appeals of the Seventh Circuit (Kriebel vs. U.S., 10 F. [2d], 762), likewise construing the Probation Act. We have seen that in 1916 the Supreme Court of the United States; in plain and unequivocal language, pointed to Congress as possessing the requisite power to enact probation laws, that a federal probation law as actually enacted in 1925, and that the constitutionality of the Act has been assumed by the Supreme Court of the United States in 1928 and consistently sustained by the inferior federal courts in a number of earlier cases. We are fully convinced that the Philippine Legislature, like the Congress of the United States, may legally enact a probation law under its broad power to fix the punishment of any and all penal offenses. This conclusion is supported by other authorities. In Ex parte Bates ([1915], 20 N. M., 542; L.R.A. 1916A, 1285; 151 Pac., 698, the court said: "It is clearly within the province of the Legislature to denominate and define all classes of crime, and to prescribe for each a minimum and maximum punishment." And in State vs. Abbott ([1910], 87 S.C., 466; 33 L.R.A. [N. S.], 112; 70 S. E., 6; Ann. Cas. 1912B, 1189), the court said: "The legislative power to set punishment for crime is very broad, and in the exercise of this power the general assembly may confer on trial judges, if it sees fit, the largest discretion as to the sentence to be imposed, as to the beginning and end of the punishment and whether it should be certain or indeterminate or conditional." (Quoted in State vs. Teal [1918], 108 S. C., 455; 95 S. E., 69.) Indeed, the Philippine Legislature has defined all crimes and fixed the penalties for their violation. Invariably, the legislature has demonstrated the desire to vest in the courts particularly the trial courts large discretion in imposing the penalties which the law prescribes in particular cases. It is believed that justice can best be served by vesting this power in the courts, they being in a position to best determine the penalties which an individual convict, peculiarly circumstanced, should suffer. Thus, while courts are not allowed to refrain from imposing a sentence merely because, taking into consideration the degree of malice and the injury caused by the offense, the penalty provided by law is clearly excessive, the courts being allowed in such case to submit to the Chief Executive, through the Department of Justice, such statement as it may deem proper (see art. 5, Revised Penal Code), in cases where both mitigating and aggravating circumstances are attendant in the commission of a crime and the law provides for a penalty composed of two indivisible penalties, the courts may allow such circumstances to offset one another in consideration of their number and importance, and to apply the penalty according to the result of such compensation. (Art. 63, rule 4, Revised Penal Code; U.S. vs. Reguera and Asuategui [1921], 41 Phil., 506.) Again, article 64, paragraph 7, of the Revised Penal Code empowers the courts to determine, within the limits of each periods, in case the penalty prescribed by law contains three periods, the extent of the evil produced by the crime. In the imposition of fines, the courts are allowed to fix any amount within the limits established by law, considering not only the mitigating and aggravating circumstances, but more particularly the wealth or means of the culprit. (Art. 66, Revised Penal Code.) Article 68, paragraph 1, of the same Code provides that "a discretionary penalty shall be imposed" upon a person under fifteen but over nine years of age, who has not acted without discernment, but always lower by two degrees at least than that prescribed by law for the crime which he has committed. Article 69 of the same Code provides that in case of "incomplete selfdefense", i.e., when the crime committed is not wholly excusable by reason of the lack of some of the conditions required to justify the same or to exempt from criminal liability in the several cases mentioned in article 11 and 12 of the Code, "the courts shall impose the penalty in the period which may be deemed proper, in view of the number and nature of the conditions of exemption present or lacking." And, in case the commission of what are known as "impossible" crimes, "the court, having in mind the social danger and the degree of criminality shown by the offender," shall impose upon him either arresto mayor or a fine ranging from 200 to 500 pesos. (Art. 59, Revised Penal Code.) Under our Revised Penal Code, also, one-half of the period of preventive imprisonment is deducted form the entire term of imprisonment, except in certain cases expressly mentioned (art. 29); the death penalty is not imposed when the guilty person is more than seventy years of age, or where upon appeal or revision of the case by the Supreme Court, all the members thereof are not unanimous in their voting as to the propriety of the imposition of the death penalty (art. 47, see also, sec. 133, Revised Administrative Code, as amended by Commonwealth Act No. 3); the death sentence is not to be inflicted upon a woman within the three years next following the date of the sentence or while she is pregnant, or upon any person over seventy years of age (art. 83); and when a convict shall become insane or an imbecile after final sentence has been pronounced, or while he is serving his sentenced, the execution of said sentence shall be suspended with regard to the personal penalty during the period of such insanity or imbecility (art. 79). But the desire of the legislature to relax what might result in the undue harshness of the penal laws is more clearly demonstrated in various other enactments, including the probation Act. There is the Indeterminate Sentence Law enacted in 1933 as Act No. 4103 and subsequently amended by Act No. 4225, establishing a system of parole (secs. 5 to 100 and granting the courts large discretion in imposing the penalties of the law. Section 1 of the law as amended provides; "hereafter, in imposing a prison sentence for an offenses punished by the Revised Penal Code, or its amendments, the court shall sentence the accused to an indeterminate sentence the maximum term of which shall be that which, in view of the attending circumstances, could be properly imposed under the rules of the said Code, and to a minimum which shall be within the range of the penalty next lower to that prescribed by the Code for the offense; and if the offense is punished by any other law, the court shall sentence the accused to an indeterminate sentence, the maximum term of which shall not exceed the maximum fixed by said law and the minimum shall not be less than the minimum term prescribed by the same." Certain classes of convicts are, by section 2 of the law, excluded from the operation thereof. The Legislature has also enacted the Juvenile Delinquency Law (Act No. 3203) which was subsequently amended by Act No. 3559. Section 7 of the original Act and section 1 of the

amendatory Act have become article 80 of the Revised Penal Code, amended by Act No. 4117 of the Philippine Legislature and recently reamended by Commonwealth Act No. 99 of the National Assembly. In this Act is again manifested the intention of the legislature to "humanize" the penal laws. It allows, in effect, the modification in particular cases of the penalties prescribed by law by permitting the suspension of the execution of the judgment in the discretion of the trial court, after due hearing and after investigation of the particular circumstances of the offenses, the criminal record, if any, of the convict, and his social history. The Legislature has in reality decreed that in certain cases no punishment at all shall be suffered by the convict as long as the conditions of probation are faithfully observed. It this be so, then, it cannot be said that the Probation Act comes in conflict with the power of the Chief Executive to grant pardons and reprieves, because, to use the language of the Supreme Court of New Mexico, "the element of punishment or the penalty for the commission of a wrong, while to be declared by the courts as a judicial function under and within the limits of law as announced by legislative acts, concerns solely the procedure and conduct of criminal causes, with which the executive can have nothing to do." ( Ex parte Bates, supra.) In Williams vs. State ([1926], 162 Ga., 327; 133 S.E., 843), the court upheld the constitutionality of the Georgia probation statute against the contention that it attempted to delegate to the courts the pardoning power lodged by the constitution in the governor alone is vested with the power to pardon after final sentence has been imposed by the courts, the power of the courts to imposed any penalty which may be from time to time prescribed by law and in such manner as may be defined cannot be questioned." We realize, of course, the conflict which the American cases disclose. Some cases hold it unlawful for the legislature to vest in the courts the power to suspend the operation of a sentenced, by probation or otherwise, as to do so would encroach upon the pardoning power of the executive. (In re Webb [1895], 89 Wis., 354; 27 L.R.A., 356; 46 Am. St. Rep., 846; 62 N.W., 177; 9 Am. Crim., Rep., 702; State ex rel. Summerfield vs. Moran [1919], 43 Nev., 150; 182 Pac., 927; Ex parte Clendenning [1908], 22 Okla., 108; 1 Okla. Crim. Rep., 227; 19 L.R.A. [N.S.], 1041; 132 Am. St. Rep., 628; 97 Pac., 650; People vs. Barrett [1903], 202 Ill, 287; 67 N.E., 23; 63 L.R.A., 82; 95 Am. St. Rep., 230; Snodgrass vs. State [1912], 67 Tex. Crim. Rep., 615; 41 L. R. A. [N. S.], 1144; 150 S. W., 162; Ex parte Shelor [1910], 33 Nev., 361;111 Pac., 291; Neal vs. State [1898], 104 Ga., 509; 42 L. R. A., 190; 69 Am. St. Rep., 175; 30 S. E. 858; State ex rel. Payne vs. Anderson [1921], 43 S. D., 630; 181 N. W., 839; People vs. Brown, 54 Mich., 15; 19 N. W., 571; States vs. Dalton [1903], 109 Tenn., 544; 72 S. W., 456.) Other cases, however, hold contra. (Nix vs. James [1925; C. C. A., 9th], 7 F. [2d], 590; Archer vs. Snook [1926; D. C.], 10 F. [2d], 567; Riggs. vs. United States [1926; C. C. A. 4th], 14]) [2d], 5; Murphy vs. States [1926], 171 Ark., 620; 286 S. W., 871; 48 A. L. R., 1189; Re Giannini [1912], 18 Cal. App., 166; 122 Pac., 831; Re Nachnaber [1928], 89 Cal. App., 530; 265 Pac., 392; Ex parte De Voe [1931], 114 Cal. App., 730; 300 Pac., 874; People vs. Patrick [1897], 118 Cal., 332; 50 Pac., 425; Martin vs. People [1917], 69 Colo., 60; 168 Pac., 1171; Belden vs. Hugo [1914], 88 Conn., 50; 91 A., 369, 370, 371; Williams vs. State [1926], 162 Ga., 327; 133 S. E., 843; People vs. Heise [1913], 257 Ill., 443; 100 N. E., 1000; Parker vs. State [1893], 135 Ind., 534; 35 N. E., 179; 23 L. R. A., 859; St. Hillarie, Petitioner [1906], 101 Me., 522; 64 Atl., 882; People vs. Stickle [1909], 156 Mich., 557; 121 N. W., 497; State vs. Fjolander [1914], 125 Minn., 529; State ex rel. Bottomnly vs. District Court [1925], 73 Mont., 541; 237 Pac., 525; State vs. Everitt [1913], 164 N. C., 399; 79 S. E., 274; 47 L. R. A. [N. S.], 848; Stateex rel. Buckley vs. Drew [1909], 75 N. H., 402; 74 Atl., 875; State vs. Osborne [1911], 79 N. J. Eq., 430; 82 Atl. 424; Ex parte Bates [1915], 20 N. M., 542; L. R. A., 1916 A. 1285; 151 Pac., 698; People vs. ex rel. Forsyth vs. Court of Session [1894], 141 N. Y., 288; 23 L. R. A., 856; 36 N. E., 386; 15 Am. Crim. Rep., 675; People ex rel. Sullivan vs. Flynn [1907], 55 Misc., 639; 106 N. Y. Supp., 928; People vs. Goodrich [1914], 149 N. Y. Supp., 406; Moore vs. Thorn [1935], 245 App. Div., 180; 281 N. Y. Supp., 49; Re Hart [1914], 29 N. D., 38; L. R. A., 1915C, 1169; 149 N. W., 568; Ex parte Eaton [1925], 29 Okla., Crim. Rep., 275; 233 P., 781; State vs. Teal [1918], 108 S. C., 455; 95 S. E., 69; State vs. Abbot [1910], 87 S. C., 466; 33 L.R.A., [N. S.], 112; 70 S. E., 6; Ann. Cas., 1912B, 1189; Fults vs. States [1854],34 Tenn., 232; Woods vs. State [1814], 130 Tenn., 100; 169 S. W., 558; Baker vs. State [1814], 130 Tenn., 100; 169 S. W., 558; Baker vs. State [1913],70 Tex., Crim. Rep., 618; 158 S. W., 998; Cook vs. State [1914], 73 Tex. Crim. Rep., 548; 165 S. W., 573; King vs. State [1914], 72 Tex. Crim. Rep., 394; 162 S. W., 890; Clare vs. State [1932], 122 Tex. Crim. Rep., 394; 162 S. W., 890; Clare vs. State [1932], 122 Tex. Crim. Rep., 211; 54 S. W. [2d], 127; Re Hall [1927], 100 Vt., 197; 136 A., 24; Richardson vs. Com. [1921], 131 Va., 802; 109 S.E., 460; State vs. Mallahan [1911], 65 Wash., 287; 118 Pac., 42; State ex rel. Tingstand vs. Starwich [1922], 119 Wash., 561; 206 Pac., 29; 26 A. L. R., 393; 396.) We elect to follow this long catena of authorities holding that the courts may be legally authorized by the legislature to suspend sentence by the establishment of a system of probation however characterized. State ex rel. Tingstand vs. Starwich ([1922], 119 Wash., 561; 206 Pac., 29; 26 A. L. R., 393), deserved particular mention. In that case, a statute enacted in 1921 which provided for the suspension of the execution of a sentence until otherwise ordered by the court, and required that the convicted person be placed under the charge of a parole or peace officer during the term of such suspension, on such terms as the court may determine, was held constitutional and as not giving the court a power in violation of the constitutional provision vesting the pardoning power in the chief executive of the state. (Vide, also, Re Giannini [1912], 18 Cal App., 166; 122 Pac., 831.) Probation and pardon are not coterminous; nor are they the same. They are actually district and different from each other, both in origin and in nature. In People ex rel. Forsyth vs. Court of Sessions ([1894], 141 N. Y., 288, 294; 36 N. E., 386, 388; 23 L. R. A., 856; 15 Am. Crim. Rep., 675), the Court of Appeals of New York said: . . . The power to suspend sentence and the power to grant reprieves and pardons, as understood when the constitution was adopted, are totally distinct and different in their nature. The former was always a part of the judicial power; the latter was always a part of the executive power. The suspension of the sentence simply postpones the judgment of the court temporarily or indefinitely, but the conviction and liability following it, and the civil disabilities, remain and become operative when judgment is rendered. A pardon reaches both the punishment prescribed for the offense and the guilt of the offender. It releases the punishment, and blots out of existence the guilt, so that in the eye of the law, the offender is as innocent as if he had never committed the offense. It removes the penalties and disabilities, and restores him to all his civil rights. It makes him, as it were, a new man, and gives him a new credit and capacity. ( Ex parte Garland, 71 U. S., 4 Wall., 333; 18 Law. ed., 366; U. S. vs. Klein, 80 U. S., 13 Wall., 128; 20 Law. ed., 519; Knote vs. U. S., 95 U. S., 149; 24 Law. ed., 442.) The framers of the federal and the state constitutions were perfectly familiar with the principles governing the power to grant pardons, and it was conferred by these instruments upon the executive with full knowledge of the law upon the subject, and the words of the constitution were used to express the authority formerly exercised by the English crown, or by its representatives in the colonies. (Ex parte Wells, 59 U. S., 18 How., 307; 15 Law. ed., 421.) As this power was understood, it did not comprehend any part of the judicial functions to suspend sentence, and it was never intended that the authority to grant

reprieves and pardons should abrogate, or in any degree restrict, the exercise of that power in regard to its own judgments, that criminal courts has so long maintained. The two powers, so distinct and different in their nature and character, were still left separate and distinct, the one to be exercised by the executive, and the other by the judicial department. We therefore conclude that a statute which, in terms, authorizes courts of criminal jurisdiction to suspend sentence in certain cases after conviction, a power inherent in such courts at common law, which was understood when the constitution was adopted to be an ordinary judicial function, and which, ever since its adoption, has been exercised of legislative power under the constitution. It does not encroach, in any just sense, upon the powers of the executive, as they have been understood and practiced from the earliest times. (Quoted with approval in Directors of Prisons vs. Judge of First Instance of Cavite [1915], 29 Phil., 265, Carson, J., concurring, at pp. 294, 295.) In probation, the probationer is in no true sense, as in pardon, a free man. He is not finally and completely exonerated. He is not exempt from the entire punishment which the law inflicts. Under the Probation Act, the probationer's case is not terminated by the mere fact that he is placed on probation. Section 4 of the Act provides that the probation may be definitely terminated and the probationer finally discharged from supervision only after the period of probation shall have been terminated and the probation officer shall have submitted a report, and the court shall have found that the probationer has complied with the conditions of probation. The probationer, then, during the period of probation, remains in legal custody subject to the control of the probation officer and of the court; and, he may be rearrested upon the non-fulfillment of the conditions of probation and, when rearrested, may be committed to prison to serve the sentence originally imposed upon him. (Secs. 2, 3, 5 and 6, Act No. 4221.) The probation described in the act is not pardon. It is not complete liberty, and may be far from it. It is really a new mode of punishment, to be applied by the judge in a proper case, in substitution of the imprisonment and find prescribed by the criminal laws. For this reason its application is as purely a judicial act as any other sentence carrying out the law deemed applicable to the offense. The executive act of pardon, on the contrary, is against the criminal law, which binds and directs the judges, or rather is outside of and above it. There is thus no conflict with the pardoning power, and no possible unconstitutionality of the Probation Act for this cause. (Archer vs. Snook [1926], 10 F. [2d], 567, 569.) Probation should also be distinguished from reprieve and from commutation of the sentence. Snodgrass vs. State ([1912], 67 Tex. Crim. Rep., 615;41 L. R. A. [N. S.], 1144; 150 S. W., 162), is relied upon most strongly by the petitioners as authority in support of their contention that the power to grant pardons and reprieves, having been vested exclusively upon the Chief Executive by the Jones Law, may not be conferred by the legislature upon the courts by means of probation law authorizing the indefinite judicial suspension of sentence. We have examined that case and found that although the Court of Criminal Appeals of Texas held that the probation statute of the state in terms conferred on the district courts the power to grant pardons to persons convicted of crime, it also distinguished between suspensions sentence on the one hand, and reprieve and commutation of sentence on the other. Said the court, through Harper, J.: That the power to suspend the sentence does not conflict with the power of the Governor to grant reprieves is settled by the decisions of the various courts; it being held that the distinction between a "reprieve" and a suspension of sentence is that a reprieve postpones the execution of the sentence to a day certain, whereas a suspension is for an indefinite time. (Carnal vs. People, 1 Parker, Cr. R., 262; In re Buchanan, 146 N. Y., 264; 40 N. E., 883), and cases cited in 7 Words & Phrases, pp. 6115, 6116. This law cannot be hold in conflict with the power confiding in the Governor to grant commutations of punishment, for a commutations is not but to change the punishment assessed to a less punishment. In State ex rel. Bottomnly vs. District Court ([1925], 73 Mont., 541; 237 Pac., 525), the Supreme Court of Montana had under consideration the validity of the adult probation law of the state enacted in 1913, now found in sections 12078-12086, Revised Codes of 1921. The court held the law valid as not impinging upon the pardoning power of the executive. In a unanimous decision penned by Justice Holloway, the court said: . . . . the term "pardon", "commutation", and "respite" each had a well understood meaning at the time our Constitution was adopted, and no one of them was intended to comprehend the suspension of the execution of the judgment as that phrase is employed in sections 12078-12086. A "pardon" is an act of grace, proceeding from the power intrusted with the execution of the laws which exempts the individual on whom it is bestowed from the punishment the law inflicts for a crime he has committed (United States vs. Wilson, 7 Pet., 150; 8 Law. ed., 640); It is a remission of guilt (State vs. Lewis, 111 La., 693; 35 So., 816), a forgiveness of the offense (Cook vs. Middlesex County, 26 N. J. Law, 326; Ex parte Powell, 73 Ala., 517; 49 Am. Rep., 71). "Commutation" is a remission of a part of the punishment; a substitution of a less penalty for the one originally imposed (Lee vs. Murphy, 22 Grat. [Va.] 789; 12 Am. Rep., 563; Rich vs. Chamberlain, 107 Mich., 381; 65 N. W., 235). A "reprieve" or "respite" is the withholding of the sentence for an interval of time (4 Blackstone's Commentaries, 394), a postponement of execution (Carnal vs. People, 1 Parker, Cr. R. [N. Y.], 272), a temporary suspension of execution (Butler vs. State, 97 Ind., 373). Few adjudicated cases are to be found in which the validity of a statute similar to our section 12078 has been determined; but the same objections have been urged against parole statutes which vest the power to parole in persons other than those to whom the power of pardon is granted, and these statutes have been upheld quite uniformly, as a reference to the numerous cases cited in the notes to Woods vs. State (130 Tenn., 100; 169 S. W.,558, reported in L. R. A., 1915F, 531), will disclose. (See, also, 20 R. C. L., 524.) We conclude that the Probation Act does not conflict with the pardoning power of the Executive. The pardoning power, in respect to those serving their probationary sentences, remains as full and complete as if the Probation Law had never been enacted. The President may yet pardon the probationer and thus place it beyond the power of the court to order his rearrest and imprisonment. (Riggs vs. United States [1926], 14 F. [2d], 5, 7.) 2. But while the Probation Law does not encroach upon the pardoning power of the executive and is not for that reason void, does section 11 thereof constitute, as contended, an undue delegation of legislative power?

Under the constitutional system, the powers of government are distributed among three coordinate and substantially independent organs: the legislative, the executive and the judicial. Each of these departments of the government derives its authority from the Constitution which, in turn, is the highest expression of popular will. Each has exclusive cognizance of the matters within its jurisdiction, and is supreme within its own sphere. The power to make laws the legislative power is vested in a bicameral Legislature by the Jones Law (sec. 12) and in a unicamiral National Assembly by the Constitution (Act. VI, sec. 1, Constitution of the Philippines). The Philippine Legislature or the National Assembly may not escape its duties and responsibilities by delegating that power to any other body or authority. Any attempt to abdicate the power is unconstitutional and void, on the principle that potestas delegata non delegare potest. This principle is said to have originated with the glossators, was introduced into English law through a misreading of Bracton, there developed as a principle of agency, was established by Lord Coke in the English public law in decisions forbidding the delegation of judicial power, and found its way into America as an enlightened principle of free government. It has since become an accepted corollary of the principle of separation of powers. (5 Encyc. of the Social Sciences, p. 66.) The classic statement of the rule is that of Locke, namely: "The legislative neither must nor can transfer the power of making laws to anybody else, or place it anywhere but where the people have." (Locke on Civil Government, sec. 142.) Judge Cooley enunciates the doctrine in the following oft-quoted language: "One of the settled maxims in constitutional law is, that the power conferred upon the legislature to make laws cannot be delegated by that department to any other body or authority. Where the sovereign power of the state has located the authority, there it must remain; and by the constitutional agency alone the laws must be made until the Constitution itself is charged. The power to whose judgment, wisdom, and patriotism this high prerogative has been intrusted cannot relieve itself of the responsibilities by choosing other agencies upon which the power shall be devolved, nor can it substitute the judgment, wisdom, and patriotism of any other body for those to which alone the people have seen fit to confide this sovereign trust." (Cooley on Constitutional Limitations, 8th ed., Vol. I, p. 224. Quoted with approval in U. S. vs. Barrias [1908], 11 Phil., 327.) This court posits the doctrine "on the ethical principle that such a delegated power constitutes not only a right but a duty to be performed by the delegate by the instrumentality of his own judgment acting immediately upon the matter of legislation and not through the intervening mind of another. (U. S. vs. Barrias, supra, at p. 330.) The rule, however, which forbids the delegation of legislative power is not absolute and inflexible. It admits of exceptions. An exceptions sanctioned by immemorial practice permits the central legislative body to delegate legislative powers to local authorities. (Rubi vs. Provincial Board of Mindoro [1919], 39 Phil., 660; U. S. vs. Salaveria [1918], 39 Phil., 102; Stoutenburgh vs. Hennick [1889], 129 U. S., 141; 32 Law. ed., 637; 9 Sup. Ct. Rep., 256; State vs. Noyes [1855], 30 N. H., 279.) "It is a cardinal principle of our system of government, that local affairs shall be managed by local authorities, and general affairs by the central authorities; and hence while the rule is also fundamental that the power to make laws cannot be delegated, the creation of the municipalities exercising local self government has never been held to trench upon that rule. Such legislation is not regarded as a transfer of general legislative power, but rather as the grant of the authority to prescribed local regulations, according to immemorial practice, subject of course to the interposition of the superior in cases of necessity." (Stoutenburgh vs. Hennick, supra.) On quite the same principle, Congress is powered to delegate legislative power to such agencies in the territories of the United States as it may select. A territory stands in the same relation to Congress as a municipality or city to the state government. (United States vs. Heinszen [1907], 206 U. S., 370; 27 Sup. Ct. Rep., 742; 51 L. ed., 1098; 11 Ann. Cas., 688; Dorr vs. United States [1904], 195 U.S., 138; 24 Sup. Ct. Rep., 808; 49 Law. ed., 128; 1 Ann. Cas., 697.) Courts have also sustained the delegation of legislative power to the people at large. Some authorities maintain that this may not be done (12 C. J., pp. 841, 842; 6 R. C. L., p. 164, citing People vs. Kennedy [1913], 207 N. Y., 533; 101 N. E., 442; Ann. Cas., 1914C, 616). However, the question of whether or not a state has ceased to be republican in form because of its adoption of the initiative and referendum has been held not to be a judicial but a political question (Pacific States Tel. & Tel. Co. vs. Oregon [1912], 223 U. S., 118; 56 Law. ed., 377; 32 Sup. Cet. Rep., 224), and as the constitutionality of such laws has been looked upon with favor by certain progressive courts, the sting of the decisions of the more conservative courts has been pretty well drawn. (Opinions of the Justices [1894], 160 Mass., 586; 36 N. E., 488; 23 L. R. A., 113; Kiernan vs. Portland [1910], 57 Ore., 454; 111 Pac., 379; 1132 Pac., 402; 37 L. R. A. [N. S.], 332; Pacific States Tel. & Tel. Co. vs. Oregon, supra.) Doubtless, also, legislative power may be delegated by the Constitution itself. Section 14, paragraph 2, of article VI of the Constitution of the Philippines provides that "The National Assembly may by law authorize the President, subject to such limitations and restrictions as it may impose, to fix within specified limits, tariff rates, import or export quotas, and tonnage and wharfage dues." And section 16 of the same article of the Constitution provides that "In times of war or other national emergency, the National Assembly may by law authorize the President, for a limited period and subject to such restrictions as it may prescribed, to promulgate rules and regulations to carry out a declared national policy." It is beyond the scope of this decision to determine whether or not, in the absence of the foregoing constitutional provisions, the President could be authorized to exercise the powers thereby vested in him. Upon the other hand, whatever doubt may have existed has been removed by the Constitution itself. The case before us does not fall under any of the exceptions hereinabove mentioned. The challenged section of Act No. 4221 in section 11 which reads as follows: This Act shall apply only in those provinces in which the respective provincial boards have provided for the salary of a probation officer at rates not lower than those now provided for provincial fiscals. Said probation officer shall be appointed by the Secretary of Justice and shall be subject to the direction of the Probation Office. (Emphasis ours.) In testing whether a statute constitute an undue delegation of legislative power or not, it is usual to inquire whether the statute was complete in all its terms and provisions when it left the hands of the legislature so that nothing was left to the judgment of any other appointee or delegate of the legislature. (6 R. C. L., p. 165.) In the United States vs. Ang Tang Ho ([1922], 43 Phil., 1), this court adhered to the foregoing rule when it held an act of the legislature void in so far as it undertook to authorize the Governor-General, in his discretion, to issue a proclamation fixing the price of rice and to make the sale of it in violation of the proclamation a crime. ( See and cf. Compaia General de Tabacos vs. Board of Public Utility Commissioners [1916], 34 Phil., 136.) The general rule, however, is limited by another rule that to a certain extent matters of detail may be left to be filled in by rules and regulations to be adopted or promulgated by executive officers and administrative boards. (6 R. C. L., pp. 177-179.) For the purpose of Probation Act, the provincial boards may be regarded as administrative bodies endowed with power to determine when the Act should take effect in their respective provinces. They are the agents or delegates of the legislature in this respect.

The rules governing delegation of legislative power to administrative and executive officers are applicable or are at least indicative of the rule which should be here adopted. An examination of a variety of cases on delegation of power to administrative bodies will show that the ratio decidendiis at variance but, it can be broadly asserted that the rationale revolves around the presence or absence of a standard or rule of action or the sufficiency thereof in the statute, to aid the delegate in exercising the granted discretion. In some cases, it is held that the standard is sufficient; in others that is insufficient; and in still others that it is entirely lacking. As a rule, an act of the legislature is incomplete and hence invalid if it does not lay down any rule or definite standard by which the administrative officer or board may be guided in the exercise of the discretionary powers delegated to it. ( See Schecter vs. United States [1925], 295 U. S., 495; 79 L. ed., 1570; 55 Sup. Ct. Rep., 837; 97 A.L.R., 947; People ex rel. Rice vs. Wilson Oil Co. [1936], 364 Ill., 406; 4 N. E. [2d], 847; 107 A.L.R., 1500 and cases cited. See also R. C. L., title "Constitutional Law", sec 174.) In the case at bar, what rules are to guide the provincial boards in the exercise of their discretionary power to determine whether or not the Probation Act shall apply in their respective provinces? What standards are fixed by the Act? We do not find any and none has been pointed to us by the respondents. The probation Act does not, by the force of any of its provisions, fix and impose upon the provincial boards any standard or guide in the exercise of their discretionary power. What is granted, if we may use the language of Justice Cardozo in the recent case of Schecter, supra, is a "roving commission" which enables the provincial boards to exercise arbitrary discretion. By section 11 if the Act, the legislature does not seemingly on its own authority extend the benefits of the Probation Act to the provinces but in reality leaves the entire matter for the various provincial boards to determine. In other words, the provincial boards of the various provinces are to determine for themselves, whether the Probation Law shall apply to their provinces or not at all. The applicability and application of the Probation Act are entirely placed in the hands of the provincial boards. If the provincial board does not wish to have the Act applied in its province, all that it has to do is to decline to appropriate the needed amount for the salary of a probation officer. The plain language of the Act is not susceptible of any other interpretation. This, to our minds, is a virtual surrender of legislative power to the provincial boards. "The true distinction", says Judge Ranney, "is between the delegation of power to make the law, which necessarily involves a discretion as to what it shall be, and conferring an authority or discretion as to its execution, to be exercised under and in pursuance of the law. The first cannot be done; to the latter no valid objection can be made." (Cincinnati, W. & Z. R. Co. vs. Clinton County Comrs. [1852]; 1 Ohio St., 77, 88. See also, Sutherland on Statutory Construction, sec 68.) To the same effect are the decision of this court in Municipality of Cardona vs. Municipality of Binangonan ([1917], 36 Phil., 547); Rubi vs. Provincial Board of Mindoro ([1919],39 Phil., 660) andCruz vs. Youngberg ([1931], 56 Phil., 234). In the first of these cases, this court sustained the validity of the law conferring upon the Governor-General authority to adjust provincial and municipal boundaries. In the second case, this court held it lawful for the legislature to direct non-Christian inhabitants to take up their habitation on unoccupied lands to be selected by the provincial governor and approved by the provincial board. In the third case, it was held proper for the legislature to vest in the Governor-General authority to suspend or not, at his discretion, the prohibition of the importation of the foreign cattle, such prohibition to be raised "if the conditions of the country make this advisable or if deceased among foreign cattle has ceased to be a menace to the agriculture and livestock of the lands." It should be observed that in the case at bar we are not concerned with the simple transference of details of execution or the promulgation by executive or administrative officials of rules and regulations to carry into effect the provisions of a law. If we were, recurrence to our own decisions would be sufficient. (U. S. vs. Barrias [1908], 11 Phil., 327; U.S. vs. Molina [1914], 29 Phil., 119; Alegre vs. Collector of Customs [1929], 53 Phil., 394; Cebu Autobus Co. vs. De Jesus [1931], 56 Phil., 446; U. S. vs. Gomez [1915], 31 Phil., 218; Rubi vs. Provincial Board of Mindoro [1919], 39 Phil., 660.) It is connected, however, that a legislative act may be made to the effect as law after it leaves the hands of the legislature. It is true that laws may be made effective on certain contingencies, as by proclamation of the executive or the adoption by the people of a particular community (6 R. C. L., 116, 170-172; Cooley, Constitutional Limitations, 8th ed., Vol. I, p. 227). In Wayman vs. Southard ([1825], 10 Wheat. 1; 6 Law. ed., 253), the Supreme Court of the United State ruled that the legislature may delegate a power not legislative which it may itself rightfully exercise.(Vide, also, Dowling vs. Lancashire Ins. Co. [1896], 92 Wis., 63; 65 N. W., 738; 31 L. R. A., 112.) The power to ascertain facts is such a power which may be delegated. There is nothing essentially legislative in ascertaining the existence of facts or conditions as the basis of the taking into effect of a law. That is a mental process common to all branches of the government. (Dowling vs. Lancashire Ins. Co., supra; In re Village of North Milwaukee [1896], 93 Wis., 616; 97 N.W., 1033; 33 L.R.A., 938; Nash vs. Fries [1906], 129 Wis., 120; 108 N.W., 210; Field vs. Clark [1892], 143 U.S., 649; 12 Sup. Ct., 495; 36 Law. ed., 294.) Notwithstanding the apparent tendency, however, to relax the rule prohibiting delegation of legislative authority on account of the complexity arising from social and economic forces at work in this modern industrial age (Pfiffner, Public Administration [1936] ch. XX; Laski, "The Mother of Parliaments", foreign Affairs, July, 1931, Vol. IX, No. 4, pp. 569-579; Beard, "Squirt-Gun Politics", in Harper's Monthly Magazine, July, 1930, Vol. CLXI, pp. 147, 152), the orthodox pronouncement of Judge Cooley in his work on Constitutional Limitations finds restatement in Prof. Willoughby's treatise on the Constitution of the United States in the following language speaking of declaration of legislative power to administrative agencies: "The principle which permits the legislature to provide that the administrative agent may determine when the circumstances are such as require the application of a law is defended upon the ground that at the time this authority is granted, the rule of public policy, which is the essence of the legislative act, is determined by the legislature. In other words, the legislature, as it its duty to do, determines that, under given circumstances, certain executive or administrative action is to be taken, and that, under other circumstances, different of no action at all is to be taken. What is thus left to the administrative official is not the legislative determination of what public policy demands, but simply the ascertainment of what the facts of the case require to be done according to the terms of the law by which he is governed." (Willoughby on the Constitution of the United States, 2nd ed., Vol. II, p. 1637.) In Miller vs. Mayer, etc., of New York [1883], 109 U.S., 3 Sup. Ct. Rep., 228; 27 Law. ed., 971, 974), it was said: "The efficiency of an Act as a declaration of legislative will must, of course, come from Congress, but the ascertainment of the contingency upon which the Act shall take effect may be left to such agencies as it may designate." ( See, also, 12 C.J., p. 864; State vs. Parker [1854], 26 Vt., 357; Blanding vs. Burr [1859], 13 Cal., 343, 258.) The legislature, then may provide that a contingencies leaving to some other person or body the power to determine when the specified contingencies has arisen. But, in the case at bar, the legislature has not made the operation of the Prohibition Act contingent upon specified facts or conditions to be ascertained by the provincial board. It leaves, as we have already said, the entire operation or non-operation of the law upon the provincial board. the discretion vested is arbitrary because it is absolute and unlimited. A provincial board need not investigate conditions or find any fact, or await the happening of any specified contingency. It is bound by no rule, limited by no principle of expendiency announced by the legislature. It may take

into consideration certain facts or conditions; and, again, it may not. It may have any purpose or no purpose at all. It need not give any reason whatsoever for refusing or failing to appropriate any funds for the salary of a probation officer. This is a matter which rest entirely at its pleasure. The fact that at some future time we cannot say when the provincial boards may appropriate funds for the salaries of probation officers and thus put the law into operation in the various provinces will not save the statute. The time of its taking into effect, we reiterate, would yet be based solely upon the will of the provincial boards and not upon the happening of a certain specified contingency, or upon the ascertainment of certain facts or conditions by a person or body other than legislature itself. The various provincial boards are, in practical effect, endowed with the power of suspending the operation of the Probation Law in their respective provinces. In some jurisdiction, constitutions provided that laws may be suspended only by the legislature or by its authority. Thus, section 28, article I of the Constitution of Texas provides that "No power of suspending laws in this state shall be exercised except by the legislature"; and section 26, article I of the Constitution of Indiana provides "That the operation of the laws shall never be suspended, except by authority of the General Assembly." Yet, even provisions of this sort do not confer absolute power of suspension upon the legislature. While it may be undoubted that the legislature may suspend a law, or the execution or operation of a law, a law may not be suspended as to certain individuals only, leaving the law to be enjoyed by others. The suspension must be general, and cannot be made for individual cases or for particular localities. In Holden vs. James ([1814], 11 Mass., 396; 6 Am. Dec., 174, 177, 178), it was said: By the twentieth article of the declaration of rights in the constitution of this commonwealth, it is declared that the power of suspending the laws, or the execution of the laws, ought never to be exercised but by the legislature, or by authority derived from it, to be exercised in such particular cases only as the legislature shall expressly provide for. Many of the articles in that declaration of rights were adopted from the Magna Charta of England, and from the bill of rights passed in the reign of William and Mary. The bill of rights contains an enumeration of the oppressive acts of James II, tending to subvert and extirpate the protestant religion, and the laws and liberties of the kingdom; and the first of them is the assuming and exercising a power of dispensing with and suspending the laws, and the execution of the laws without consent of parliament. The first article in the claim or declaration of rights contained in the statute is, that the exercise of such power, by legal authority without consent of parliament, is illegal. In the tenth section of the same statute it is further declared and enacted, that "No dispensation by non obstante of or to any statute, or part thereof, should be allowed; but the same should be held void and of no effect, except a dispensation be allowed of in such statute." There is an implied reservation of authority in the parliament to exercise the power here mentioned; because, according to the theory of the English Constitution, "that absolute despotic power, which must in all governments reside somewhere," is intrusted to the parliament: 1 Bl. Com., 160. The principles of our government are widely different in this particular. Here the sovereign and absolute power resides in the people; and the legislature can only exercise what is delegated to them according to the constitution. It is obvious that the exercise of the power in question would be equally oppressive to the subject, and subversive of his right to protection, "according to standing laws," whether exercised by one man or by a number of men. It cannot be supposed that the people when adopting this general principle from the English bill of rights and inserting it in our constitution, intended to bestow by implication on the general court one of the most odious and oppressive prerogatives of the ancient kings of England. It is manifestly contrary to the first principles of civil liberty and natural justice, and to the spirit of our constitution and laws, that any one citizen should enjoy privileges and advantages which are denied to all others under like circumstances; or that ant one should be subject to losses, damages, suits, or actions from which all others under like circumstances are exempted. To illustrate the principle: A section of a statute relative to dogs made the owner of any dog liable to the owner of domestic animals wounded by it for the damages without proving a knowledge of it vicious disposition. By a provision of the act, power was given to the board of supervisors to determine whether or not during the current year their county should be governed by the provisions of the act of which that section constituted a part. It was held that the legislature could not confer that power. The court observed that it could no more confer such a power than to authorize the board of supervisors of a county to abolish in such county the days of grace on commercial paper, or to suspend the statute of limitations. (Slinger vs. Henneman [1875], 38 Wis., 504.) A similar statute in Missouri was held void for the same reason in State vs. Field ([1853, 17 Mo., 529;59 Am. Dec., 275.) In that case a general statute formulating a road system contained a provision that "if the county court of any county should be of opinion that the provisions of the act should not be enforced, they might, in their discretion, suspend the operation of the same for any specified length of time, and thereupon the act should become inoperative in such county for the period specified in such order; and thereupon order the roads to be opened and kept in good repair, under the laws theretofore in force." Said the court: ". . . this act, by its own provisions, repeals the inconsistent provisions of a former act, and yet it is left to the county court to say which act shall be enforce in their county. The act does not submit the question to the county court as an original question, to be decided by that tribunal, whether the act shall commence its operation within the county; but it became by its own terms a law in every county not excepted by name in the act. It did not, then, require the county court to do any act in order to give it effect. But being the law in the county, and having by its provisions superseded and abrogated the inconsistent provisions of previous laws, the county court is . . . empowered, to suspend this act and revive the repealed provisions of the former act. When the question is before the county court for that tribunal to determine which law shall be in force, it is urge before us that the power then to be exercised by the court is strictly legislative power, which under our constitution, cannot be delegated to that tribunal or to any other body of men in the state. In the present case, the question is not presented in the abstract; for the county court of Saline county, after the act had been for several months in force in that county, did by order suspend its operation; and during that suspension the offense was committed which is the subject of the present indictment . . . ." ( See Mitchell vs. State [1901], 134 Ala., 392; 32 S., 687.) True, the legislature may enact laws for a particular locality different from those applicable to other localities and, while recognizing the force of the principle hereinabove expressed, courts in may jurisdiction have sustained the constitutionality of the submission of option laws to the vote of the people. (6 R.C.L., p. 171.) But option laws thus sustained treat of subjects purely local in character which should receive different treatment in different localities placed under different circumstances. "They relate to subjects which, like the retailing of intoxicating drinks, or the running at large of cattle in the highways, may be differently regarded in different localities, and they are sustained on what seems to us the impregnable ground, that the subject, though not embraced within the ordinary powers of municipalities to make by-laws and ordinances, is nevertheless within the class of public regulations, in respect to which it is proper that the local judgment should control." (Cooley on Constitutional Limitations, 5th ed., p. 148.) So that, while we do not deny the right of local

self-government and the propriety of leaving matters of purely local concern in the hands of local authorities or for the people of small communities to pass upon, we believe that in matters of general of general legislation like that which treats of criminals in general, and as regards the general subject of probation, discretion may not be vested in a manner so unqualified and absolute as provided in Act No. 4221. True, the statute does not expressly state that the provincial boards may suspend the operation of the Probation Act in particular provinces but, considering that, in being vested with the authority to appropriate or not the necessary funds for the salaries of probation officers, they thereby are given absolute discretion to determine whether or not the law should take effect or operate in their respective provinces, the provincial boards are in reality empowered by the legislature to suspend the operation of the Probation Act in particular provinces, the Act to be held in abeyance until the provincial boards should decide otherwise by appropriating the necessary funds. The validity of a law is not tested by what has been done but by what may be done under its provisions. (Walter E. Olsen & Co. vs. Aldanese and Trinidad [1922], 43 Phil., 259; 12 C. J., p. 786.) It in conceded that a great deal of latitude should be granted to the legislature not only in the expression of what may be termed legislative policy but in the elaboration and execution thereof. "Without this power, legislation would become oppressive and yet imbecile." (People vs. Reynolds, 5 Gilman, 1.) It has been said that popular government lives because of the inexhaustible reservoir of power behind it. It is unquestionable that the mass of powers of government is vested in the representatives of the people and that these representatives are no further restrained under our system than by the express language of the instrument imposing the restraint, or by particular provisions which by clear intendment, have that effect. (Angara vs. Electoral Commission [1936], 35 Off. Ga., 23; Schneckenburger vs. Moran [1936], 35 Off. Gaz., 1317.) But, it should be borne in mind that a constitution is both a grant and a limitation of power and one of these time-honored limitations is that, subject to certain exceptions, legislative power shall not be delegated. We conclude that section 11 of Act No. 4221 constitutes an improper and unlawful delegation of legislative authority to the provincial boards and is, for this reason, unconstitutional and void. 3. It is also contended that the Probation Act violates the provisions of our Bill of Rights which prohibits the denial to any person of the equal protection of the laws (Act. III, sec. 1 subsec. 1. Constitution of the Philippines.) This basic individual right sheltered by the Constitution is a restraint on all the tree grand departments of our government and on the subordinate instrumentalities and subdivision thereof, and on many constitutional power, like the police power, taxation and eminent domain. The equal protection of laws, sententiously observes the Supreme Court of the United States, "is a pledge of the protection of equal laws." (Yick Wo vs. Hopkins [1886], 118 U. S., 356; 30 Law. ed., 220; 6 Sup. Ct. Rep., 10464; Perley vs. North Carolina, 249 U. S., 510; 39 Sup. Ct. Rep., 357; 63 Law. ed., 735.) Of course, what may be regarded as a denial of the equal protection of the laws in a question not always easily determined. No rule that will cover every case can be formulated. (Connolly vs. Union Sewer Pipe Co. [1902], 184, U. S., 540; 22 Sup. Ct., Rep., 431; 46 Law. ed., 679.) Class legislation discriminating against some and favoring others in prohibited. But classification on a reasonable basis, and nor made arbitrarily or capriciously, is permitted. (Finely vs. California [1911], 222 U. S., 28; 56 Law. ed., 75; 32 Sup. Ct. Rep., 13; Gulf. C. & S. F. Ry Co. vs. Ellis [1897], 165 U. S., 150; 41 Law. ed., 666; 17 Sup. Ct. Rep., 255; Smith, Bell & Co. vs. Natividad [1919], 40 Phil., 136.) The classification, however, to be reasonable must be based on substantial distinctions which make real differences; it must be germane to the purposes of the law; it must not be limited to existing conditions only, and must apply equally to each member of the class. (Borgnis vs. Falk. Co. [1911], 147 Wis., 327, 353; 133 N. W., 209; 3 N. C. C. A., 649; 37 L. R. A. [N. S.], 489; State vs. Cooley, 56 Minn., 540; 530-552; 58 N. W., 150; Lindsley vs. Natural Carbonic Gas Co.[1911], 220 U. S., 61, 79, 55 Law. ed., 369, 377; 31 Sup. Ct. Rep., 337; Ann. Cas., 1912C, 160; Lake Shore & M. S. R. Co. vs. Clough [1917], 242 U.S., 375; 37 Sup. Ct. Rep., 144; 61 Law. ed., 374; Southern Ry. Co. vs. Greene [1910], 216 U. S., 400; 30 Sup. Ct. Rep., 287; 54 Law. ed., 536; 17 Ann. Cas., 1247; Truax vs. Corrigan [1921], 257 U. S., 312; 12 C. J., pp. 1148, 1149.) In the case at bar, however, the resultant inequality may be said to flow from the unwarranted delegation of legislative power, although perhaps this is not necessarily the result in every case. Adopting the example given by one of the counsel for the petitioners in the course of his oral argument, one province may appropriate the necessary fund to defray the salary of a probation officer, while another province may refuse or fail to do so. In such a case, the Probation Act would be in operation in the former province but not in the latter. This means that a person otherwise coming within the purview of the law would be liable to enjoy the benefits of probation in one province while another person similarly situated in another province would be denied those same benefits. This is obnoxious discrimination. Contrariwise, it is also possible for all the provincial boards to appropriate the necessary funds for the salaries of the probation officers in their respective provinces, in which case no inequality would result for the obvious reason that probation would be in operation in each and every province by the affirmative action of appropriation by all the provincial boards. On that hypothesis, every person coming within the purview of the Probation Act would be entitled to avail of the benefits of the Act. Neither will there be any resulting inequality if no province, through its provincial board, should appropriate any amount for the salary of the probation officer which is the situation now and, also, if we accept the contention that, for the purpose of the Probation Act, the City of Manila should be considered as a province and that the municipal board of said city has not made any appropriation for the salary of the probation officer. These different situations suggested show, indeed, that while inequality may result in the application of the law and in the conferment of the benefits therein provided, inequality is not in all cases the necessary result. But whatever may be the case, it is clear that in section 11 of the Probation Act creates a situation in which discrimination and inequality are permitted or allowed. There are, to be sure, abundant authorities requiring actual denial of the equal protection of the law before court should assume the task of setting aside a law vulnerable on that score, but premises and circumstances considered, we are of the opinion that section 11 of Act No. 4221 permits of the denial of the equal protection of the law and is on that account bad. We see no difference between a law which permits of such denial. A law may appear to be fair on its face and impartial in appearance, yet, if it permits of unjust and illegal discrimination, it is within the constitutional prohibitions. (By analogy, Chy Lung vs. Freeman [1876], 292 U. S., 275; 23 Law. ed., 550; Henderson vs. Mayor [1876], 92 U. S., 259; 23 Law. ed., 543; Ex parte Virginia [1880], 100 U. S., 339; 25 Law. ed., 676; Neal vs. Delaware [1881], 103 U. S., 370; 26 Law. ed., 567; Soon Hing vs. Crowley [1885], 113 U. S., 703; 28 Law. ed., 1145, Yick Wo vs. Hopkins [1886],118 U. S., 356; 30 Law. ed., 220; Williams vs. Mississippi [1897], 170 U. S., 218; 18 Sup. Ct. Rep., 583; 42 Law. ed., 1012; Bailey vs. Alabama [1911], 219 U. S., 219; 31 Sup. Ct. Rep. 145; 55 Law. ed., Sunday Lake Iron Co. vs. Wakefield [1918], 247 U. S., 450; 38 Sup. Ct. Rep., 495; 62 Law. ed., 1154.) In other words, statutes may be adjudged unconstitutional because of their effect in operation (General Oil Co. vs. Clain [1907], 209 U. S., 211; 28 Sup. Ct. Rep., 475; 52 Law. ed., 754; State vs. Clement Nat. Bank [1911], 84 Vt., 167; 78 Atl., 944; Ann. Cas., 1912D, 22). If the law has the effect of denying the equal protection of the law it is unconstitutional. (6 R. C. L. p. 372; Civil Rights Cases, 109 U. S., 3; 3 Sup. Ct. Rep., 18;

27 Law. ed., 835; Yick Wo vs. Hopkins, supra; State vs. Montgomery, 94 Me., 192; 47 Atl., 165; 80 A. S. R., 386; State vs. Dering, 84 Wis., 585; 54 N. W., 1104; 36 A. S. R., 948; 19 L. R. A., 858.) Under section 11 of the Probation Act, not only may said Act be in force in one or several provinces and not be in force in other provinces, but one province may appropriate for the salary of the probation officer of a given year and have probation during that year and thereafter decline to make further appropriation, and have no probation is subsequent years. While this situation goes rather to the abuse of discretion which delegation implies, it is here indicated to show that the Probation Act sanctions a situation which is intolerable in a government of laws, and to prove how easy it is, under the Act, to make the guaranty of the equality clause but "a rope of sand". (Brewer, J. Gulf C. & S. F. Ry. Co. vs. Ellis [1897], 165 U. S., 150 154; 41 Law. ed., 666; 17 Sup. Ct. Rep., 255.)lawph!1.net Great reliance is placed by counsel for the respondents on the case of Ocampo vs. United States ([1914], 234 U. S., 91; 58 Law. ed., 1231). In that case, the Supreme Court of the United States affirmed the decision of this court (18 Phil., 1) by declining to uphold the contention that there was a denial of the equal protection of the laws because, as held in Missouri vs. Lewis (Bowman vs. Lewis) decided in 1880 (101 U. S., 220; 25 Law. ed., 991), the guaranty of the equality clause does not require territorial uniformity. It should be observed, however, that this case concerns the right to preliminary investigations in criminal cases originally granted by General Orders No. 58. No question of legislative authority was involved and the alleged denial of the equal protection of the laws was the result of the subsequent enactment of Act No. 612, amending the charter of the City of Manila (Act No. 813) and providing in section 2 thereof that "in cases triable only in the court of first instance of the City of Manila, the defendant . . . shall not be entitled as of right to a preliminary examination in any case where the prosecuting attorney, after a due investigation of the facts . . . shall have presented an information against him in proper form . . . ." Upon the other hand, an analysis of the arguments and the decision indicates that the investigation by the prosecuting attorney although not in the form had in the provinces was considered a reasonable substitute for the City of Manila, considering the peculiar conditions of the city as found and taken into account by the legislature itself. Reliance is also placed on the case of Missouri vs. Lewis, supra. That case has reference to a situation where the constitution of Missouri permits appeals to the Supreme Court of the state from final judgments of any circuit court, except those in certain counties for which counties the constitution establishes a separate court of appeals called St. Louis Court of Appeals. The provision complained of, then, is found in the constitution itself and it is the constitution that makes the apportionment of territorial jurisdiction. We are of the opinion that section 11 of the Probation Act is unconstitutional and void because it is also repugnant to equalprotection clause of our Constitution. Section 11 of the Probation Act being unconstitutional and void for the reasons already stated, the next inquiry is whether or not the entire Act should be avoided. In seeking the legislative intent, the presumption is against any mutilation of a statute, and the courts will resort to elimination only where an unconstitutional provision is interjected into a statute otherwise valid, and is so independent and separable that its removal will leave the constitutional features and purposes of the act substantially unaffected by the process. (Riccio vs. Hoboken, 69 N. J. Law., 649, 662; 63 L. R. A., 485; 55 Atl., 1109, quoted in Williams vs. Standard Oil Co. [1929], 278 U.S., 235, 240; 73 Law. ed., 287, 309; 49 Sup. Ct. Rep., 115; 60 A. L. R., 596.) In Barrameda vs. Moir ([1913], 25 Phil., 44, 47), this court stated the well-established rule concerning partial invalidity of statutes in the following language: . . . where part of the a statute is void, as repugnant to the Organic Law, while another part is valid, the valid portion, if separable from the valid, may stand and be enforced. But in order to do this, the valid portion must be in so far independent of the invalid portion that it is fair to presume that the Legislative would have enacted it by itself if they had supposed that they could not constitutionally enact the other. (Mutual Loan Co. vs. Martell, 200 Mass., 482; 86 N. E., 916; 128 A. S. R., 446; Supervisors of Holmes Co. vs. Black Creek Drainage District, 99 Miss., 739; 55 Sou., 963.) Enough must remain to make a complete, intelligible, and valid statute, which carries out the legislative intent. (Pearson vs. Bass. 132 Ga., 117; 63 S. E., 798.) The void provisions must be eliminated without causing results affecting the main purpose of the Act, in a manner contrary to the intention of the Legislature. (State vs. A. C. L. R., Co., 56 Fla., 617, 642; 47 Sou., 969; Harper vs. Galloway, 58 Fla., 255; 51 Sou., 226; 26 L. R. A., N. S., 794; Connolly vs. Union Sewer Pipe Co., 184 U. S., 540, 565; People vs. Strassheim, 240 Ill., 279, 300; 88 N. E., 821; 22 L. R. A., N. S., 1135; State vs. Cognevich, 124 La., 414; 50 Sou., 439.) The language used in the invalid part of a statute can have no legal force or efficacy for any purpose whatever, and what remains must express the legislative will, independently of the void part, since the court has no power to legislate. (State vs. Junkin, 85 Neb., 1; 122 N. W., 473; 23 L. R. A., N. S., 839; Vide, also,. U. S., vs. Rodriguez [1918], 38 Phil., 759; Pollock vs. Farmers' Loan and Trust Co. [1895], 158 U. S., 601, 635; 39 Law. ed., 1108, 1125; 15 Sup. Ct. Rep., 912; 6 R.C.L., 121.) It is contended that even if section 11, which makes the Probation Act applicable only in those provinces in which the respective provincial boards provided for the salaries of probation officers were inoperative on constitutional grounds, the remainder of the Act would still be valid and may be enforced. We should be inclined to accept the suggestions but for the fact that said section is, in our opinion, is inseparably linked with the other portions of the Act that with the elimination of the section what would be left is the bare idealism of the system, devoid of any practical benefit to a large number of people who may be deserving of the intended beneficial result of that system. The clear policy of the law, as may be gleaned from a careful examination of the whole context, is to make the application of the system dependent entirely upon the affirmative action of the different provincial boards through appropriation of the salaries for probation officers at rates not lower than those provided for provincial fiscals. Without such action on the part of the various boards, no probation officers would be appointed by the Secretary of Justice to act in the provinces. The Philippines is divided or subdivided into provinces and it needs no argument to show that if not one of the provinces and this is the actual situation now appropriate the necessary fund for the salary of a probation officer, probation under Act No. 4221 would be illusory. There can be no probation without a probation officer. Neither can there be a probation officer without the probation system. Section 2 of the Acts provides that the probation officer shall supervise and visit the probationer. Every probation officer is given, as to the person placed in probation under his care, the powers of the police officer. It is the duty of the probation officer to see that the conditions which are imposed by the court upon the probationer under his care are complied with. Among those conditions, the following are enumerated in section 3 of the Act:

That the probationer (a) shall indulge in no injurious or vicious habits; (b) Shall avoid places or persons of disreputable or harmful character; (c) Shall report to the probation officer as directed by the court or probation officers; (d) Shall permit the probation officer to visit him at reasonable times at his place of abode or elsewhere; (e) Shall truthfully answer any reasonable inquiries on the part of the probation officer concerning his conduct or condition; "(f) Shall endeavor to be employed regularly; "(g) Shall remain or reside within a specified place or locality; (f) Shall make reparation or restitution to the aggrieved parties for actual damages or losses caused by his offense; (g) Shall comply with such orders as the court may from time to time make; and (h) Shall refrain from violating any law, statute, ordinance, or any by-law or regulation, promulgated in accordance with law. The court is required to notify the probation officer in writing of the period and terms of probation. Under section 4, it is only after the period of probation, the submission of a report of the probation officer and appropriate finding of the court that the probationer has complied with the conditions of probation that probation may be definitely terminated and the probationer finally discharged from supervision. Under section 5, if the court finds that there is non-compliance with said conditions, as reported by the probation officer, it may issue a warrant for the arrest of the probationer and said probationer may be committed with or without bail. Upon arraignment and after an opportunity to be heard, the court may revoke, continue or modify the probation, and if revoked, the court shall order the execution of the sentence originally imposed. Section 6 prescribes the duties of probation officers: "It shall be the duty of every probation officer to furnish to all persons placed on probation under his supervision a statement of the period and conditions of their probation, and to instruct them concerning the same; to keep informed concerning their conduct and condition; to aid and encourage them by friendly advice and admonition, and by such other measures, not inconsistent with the conditions imposed by court as may seem most suitable, to bring about improvement in their conduct and condition; to report in writing to the court having jurisdiction over said probationers at least once every two months concerning their conduct and condition; to keep records of their work; make such report as are necessary for the information of the Secretary of Justice and as the latter may require; and to perform such other duties as are consistent with the functions of the probation officer and as the court or judge may direct. The probation officers provided for in this Act may act as parole officers for any penal or reformatory institution for adults when so requested by the authorities thereof, and, when designated by the Secretary of Justice shall act as parole officer of persons released on parole under Act Number Forty-one Hundred and Three, without additional compensation." It is argued, however, that even without section 11 probation officers maybe appointed in the provinces under section 10 of Act which provides as follows: There is hereby created in the Department of Justice and subject to its supervision and control, a Probation Office under the direction of a Chief Probation Officer to be appointed by the Governor-General with the advise and consent of the Senate who shall receive a salary of four eight hundred pesos per annum. To carry out this Act there is hereby appropriated out of any funds in the Insular Treasury not otherwise appropriated, the sum of fifty thousand pesos to be disbursed by the Secretary of Justice, who is hereby authorized to appoint probation officers and the administrative personnel of the probation officer under civil service regulations from among those who possess the qualifications, training and experience prescribed by the Bureau of Civil Service, and shall fix the compensation of such probation officers and administrative personnel until such positions shall have been included in the Appropriation Act. But the probation officers and the administrative personnel referred to in the foregoing section are clearly not those probation officers required to be appointed for the provinces under section 11. It may be said, reddendo singula singulis, that the probation officers referred to in section 10 above-quoted are to act as such, not in the various provinces, but in the central office known as the Probation Office established in the Department of Justice, under the supervision of the Chief Probation Officer. When the law provides that "the probation officer" shall investigate and make reports to the court (secs. 1 and 4); that "the probation officer" shall supervise and visit the probationer (sec. 2; sec. 6, par. d); that the probationer shall report to the "probationer officer" (sec. 3, par. c.), shall allow "the probationer officer" to visit him (sec. 3, par. d), shall truthfully answer any reasonable inquiries on the part of "the probation officer" concerning his conduct or condition (sec. 3, par. 4); that the court shall notify "the probation officer" in writing of the period and terms of probation (sec. 3, last par.), it means the probation officer who is in charge of a particular probationer in a particular province. It never could have been intention of the legislature, for instance, to require the probationer in Batanes, to report to a probationer officer in the City of Manila, or to require a probation officer in Manila to visit the probationer in the said province of Batanes, to place him under his care, to supervise his conduct, to instruct him concerning the conditions of his probation or to perform such other functions as are assigned to him by law. That under section 10 the Secretary of Justice may appoint as many probation officers as there are provinces or groups of provinces is, of course possible. But this would be arguing on what the law may be or should be and not on what the law is. Between is and ought there is a far cry. The wisdom and propriety of legislation is not for us to pass upon. We may think a law better otherwise than it is. But much as has been said regarding progressive interpretation and judicial legislation we decline to amend the law. We are not permitted to read into the law matters and provisions which are not there. Not for any purpose not even to save a statute from the doom of invalidity. Upon the other hand, the clear intention and policy of the law is not to make the Insular Government defray the salaries of probation officers in the provinces but to make the provinces defray them should they desire to have the Probation Act apply thereto. The sum of P50,000, appropriated "to carry out the purposes of this Act", is to be applied, among other things, for the salaries of probation officers in the central office at Manila. These probation officers are to receive such compensations as the Secretary of Justice may fix "until such positions shall have been included in the Appropriation Act". It was the intention of the legislature to empower the Secretary of Justice to fix the salaries of the probation officers in the provinces or later on to include said salaries in an appropriation act. Considering, further, that the sum of P50,000 appropriated in section 10 is to cover, among other things, the salaries of the

administrative personnel of the Probation Office, what would be left of the amount can hardly be said to be sufficient to pay even nominal salaries to probation officers in the provinces. We take judicial notice of the fact that there are 48 provinces in the Philippines and we do not think it is seriously contended that, with the fifty thousand pesos appropriated for the central office, there can be in each province, as intended, a probation officer with a salary not lower than that of a provincial fiscal. If this a correct, the contention that without section 11 of Act No. 4221 said act is complete is an impracticable thing under the remainder of the Act, unless it is conceded that in our case there can be a system of probation in the provinces without probation officers. Probation as a development of a modern penology is a commendable system. Probation laws have been enacted, here and in other countries, to permit what modern criminologist call the "individualization of the punishment", the adjustment of the penalty to the character of the criminal and the circumstances of his particular case. It provides a period of grace in order to aid in the rehabilitation of a penitent offender. It is believed that, in any cases, convicts may be reformed and their development into hardened criminals aborted. It, therefore, takes advantage of an opportunity for reformation and avoids imprisonment so long as the convicts gives promise of reform. (United States vs. Murray [1925], 275 U. S., 347 357, 358; 72 Law. ed., 309; 312, 313; 48 Sup. Ct. Rep., 146; Kaplan vs. Hecht, 24 F. [2d], 664, 665.) The Welfare of society is its chief end and aim. The benefit to the individual convict is merely incidental. But while we believe that probation is commendable as a system and its implantation into the Philippines should be welcomed, we are forced by our inescapable duty to set the law aside because of the repugnancy to our fundamental law. In arriving at this conclusion, we have endeavored to consider the different aspects presented by able counsel for both parties, as well in their memorandums as in their oral argument. We have examined the cases brought to our attention, and others we have been able to reach in the short time at our command for the study and deliberation of this case. In the examination of the cases and in then analysis of the legal principles involved we have inclined to adopt the line of action which in our opinion, is supported better reasoned authorities and is more conducive to the general welfare. (Smith, Bell & Co. vs. Natividad [1919], 40 Phil., 136.) Realizing the conflict of authorities, we have declined to be bound by certain adjudicated cases brought to our attention, except where the point or principle is settled directly or by clear implication by the more authoritative pronouncements of the Supreme Court of the United States. This line of approach is justified because: (a) The constitutional relations between the Federal and the State governments of the United States and the dual character of the American Government is a situation which does not obtain in the Philippines; (b) The situation of s state of the American Union of the District of Columbia with reference to the Federal Government of the United States is not the situation of the province with respect to the Insular Government (Art. I, sec. 8 cl. 17 and 10th Amendment, Constitution of the United States; Sims vs. Rives, 84 Fed. [2d], 871), (c) The distinct federal and the state judicial organizations of the United States do not embrace the integrated judicial system of the Philippines (Schneckenburger vs. Moran [1936], 35 Off. Gaz., p. 1317); (d) "General propositions do not decide concrete cases" (Justice Holmes in Lochner vs. New York [1904], 198 U. S., 45, 76; 49 Law. ed., 937, 949) and, "to keep pace with . . . new developments of times and circumstances" (Chief Justice Waite in Pensacola Tel. Co. vs. Western Union Tel. Co. [1899], 96 U. S., 1, 9; 24 Law. ed., 708; Yale Law Journal, Vol. XXIX, No. 2, Dec. 1919, 141, 142), fundamental principles should be interpreted having in view existing local conditions and environment. Act No. 4221 is hereby declared unconstitutional and void and the writ of prohibition is, accordingly, granted. Without any pronouncement regarding costs. So ordered. Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila EN BANC G.R. No. 88291 May 31, 1991 ERNESTO M. MACEDA, petitioner, vs. HON. CATALINO MACARAIG, JR., in his capacity as Executive Secretary, Office of the President; HON. VICENTE R. JAYME, in his capacity as Secretary of the Department of Finance; HON. SALVADOR MISON, in his capacity as Commissioner, Bureau of Customs; HON. JOSE U. ONG, in his capacity as Commissioner of Internal Revenue; NATIONAL POWER CORPORATION; the FISCAL INCENTIVES REVIEW BOARD; Caltex (Phils.) Inc.; Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corporation; Philippine National Oil Corporation; and Petrophil Corporation, respondents. Villamor & Villamor Law Offices for petitioner. Angara, Abello, Concepcion, Regala & Cruz for Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corporation. Siguion Reyna, Montecillo & Ongsiako for Caltex (Phils.), Inc. GANCAYCO, J.:p This petition seeks to nullify certain decisions, orders, rulings, and resolutions of respondents Executive Secretary, Secretary of Finance, Commissioner of Internal Revenue, Commissioner of Customs and the Fiscal Incentives Review Board FIRB for exempting the National Power Corporation (NPC) from indirect tax and duties. The relevant facts are not in dispute.

On November 3, 1986, Commonwealth Act No. 120 created the NPC as a public corporation to undertake the development of hydraulic power and the production of power from other sources. 1 On June 4, 1949, Republic Act No. 358 granted NPC tax and duty exemption privileges under Sec. 2. To facilitate payment of its indebtedness, the National Power Corporation shall be exempt from all taxes, duties, fees, imposts, charges and restrictions of the Republic of the Philippines, its provinces, cities and municipalities. On September 10, 1971, Republic Act No. 6395 revised the charter of the NPC wherein Congress declared as a national policy the total electrification of the Philippines through the development of power from all sources to meet the needs of industrial development and rural electrification which should be pursued coordinately and supported by all instrumentalities and agencies of the government, including its financial institutions. 2 The corporate existence of NPC was extended to carry out this policy, specifically to undertake the development of hydro electric generation of power and the production of electricity from nuclear, geothermal and other sources, as well as the transmission of electric power on a nationwide basis. 3 Being a non-profit corporation, Section 13 of the law provided in detail the exemption of the NPC from all taxes, duties, fees, imposts and other charges by the government and its instrumentalities. On January 22, 1974, Presidential Decree No. 380 amended section 13, paragraphs (a) and (d) of Republic Act No. 6395 by specifying, among others, the exemption of NPC from such taxes, duties, fees, imposts and other charges imposed "directly or indirectly," on all petroleum products used by NPC in its operation. Presidential Decree No. 938 dated May 27, 1976 further amended the aforesaid provision by integrating the tax exemption in general terms under one paragraph. On June 11, 1984, Presidential Decree No. 1931 withdrew all tax exemption privileges granted in favor of government-owned or controlled corporations including their subsidiaries. 4 However, said law empowered the President and/or the then Minister of Finance, upon recommendation of the FIRB to restore, partially or totally, the exemption withdrawn, or otherwise revise the scope and coverage of any applicable tax and duty. Pursuant to said law, on February 7, 1985, the FIRB issued Resolution No. 10-85 restoring the tax and duty exemption privileges of NPC from June 11, 1984 to June 30, 1985. On January 7, 1986, the FIRB issued resolution No. 1-86 indefinitely restoring the NPC tax and duty exemption privileges effective July 1, 1985. However, effective March 10, 1987, Executive Order No. 93 once again withdrew all tax and duty incentives granted to government and private entities which had been restored under Presidential Decree Nos. 1931 and 1955 but it gave the authority to FIRB to restore, revise the scope and prescribe the date of effectivity of such tax and/or duty exemptions. On June 24, 1987 the FIRB issued Resolution No. 17-87 restoring NPC's tax and duty exemption privileges effective March 10, 1987. On October 5, 1987, the President, through respondent Executive Secretary Macaraig, Jr., confirmed and approved FIRB Resolution No. 1787. As alleged in the petition, the following are the background facts: The following are the facts relevant to NPC's questioned claim for refunds of taxes and duties originally paid by respondents Caltex, Petrophil and Shell for specific and ad valorem taxes to the BIR; and for Customs duties and ad valorem taxes paid by PNOC, Shell and Caltex to the Bureau of Customs on its crude oil importation. Many of the factual statements are reproduced from the Senate Committee on Accountability of Public Officers and Investigations (Blue Ribbon) Report No. 474 dated January 12, 1989 and approved by the Senate on April 21, 1989 (copy attached hereto as Annex "A") and are identified in quotation marks: 1. Since May 27, 1976 when P.D. No. 938 was issued until June 11, 1984 when P.D. No. 1931 was promulgated abolishing the tax exemptions of all government-owned or-controlled corporations, the oil firms never paid excise or specific and ad valorem taxes for petroleum products sold and delivered to the NPC. This non-payment of taxes therefore spanned a period of eight (8) years. (par. 23, p. 7, Annex "A") During this period, the Bureau of Internal Revenue was not collecting specific taxes on the purchases of NPC of petroleum products from the oil companies on the erroneous belief that the National Power Corporation (NPC) was exempt from indirect taxes as reflected in the letter of Deputy Commissioner of Internal Revenue (DCIR) Romulo Villa to the NPC dated October 29, 1980 granting blanket authority to the NPC to purchase petroleum products from the oil companies without payment of specific tax (copy of this letter is attached hereto as petitioner's Annex "B"). 2. The oil companies started to pay specific and ad valorem taxes on their sales of oil products to NPC only after the promulgation of P.D. No. 1931 on June 11, 1984, withdrawing all exemptions granted in favor of government-owned or-controlled corporations and empowering the FIRB to recommend to the President or to the Minister of Finance the restoration of the exemptions which were withdrawn. "Specifically, Caltex paid the total amount of P58,020,110.79 in specific and ad valorem taxes for deliveries of petroleum products to NPC covering the period from October 31, 1984 to April 27, 1985." (par. 23, p. 7, Annex "A") 3. Caltex billings to NPC until June 10, 1984 always included customs duty without the tax portion. Beginning June 11, 1984, when P.D. 1931 was promulgated abolishing NPC's tax exemptions, Caltex's billings to NPC always included both duties and taxes. (Caturla, tsn, Oct. 10, 1988, pp. 1-5) (par. 24, p, 7, Annex "A") 4. For the sales of petroleum products delivered to NPC during the period from October, 1984 to April, 1985, NPC was billed a total of P522,016,77.34 (sic) including both duties and taxes, the specific tax component being valued at P58,020,110.79. (par. 25, p. 8, Annex "A").

5. Fiscal Incentives Review Board (FIRB) Resolution 10-85, dated February 7, 1985, certified true copy of which is hereto attached as Annex "C", restored the tax exemption privileges of NPC effective retroactively to June 11, 1984 up to June 30, 1985. The first paragraph of said resolution reads as follows: 1. Effective June 11, 1984, the tax and duty exemption privileges enjoyed by the National Power Corporation under C.A. No. 120, as amended, are restored up to June 30, 1985. Because of this restoration (Annex "G") the NPC applied on September 11, 1985 with the BIR for a "refund of Specific Taxes paid on petroleum products . . . in the total amount of P58,020,110.79. (par. 26, pp. 8-9, Annex "A") 6. In a letter to the president of the NPC dated May 8, 1985 (copy attached as petitioner's Annex "D"), Acting BIR Commissioner Ruben Ancheta declared: FIRB Resolution No. 10-85 serves as sufficient basis to allow NPC to purchase petroleum products from the oil companies free of specific and ad valorem taxes, during the period in question. The "period in question" is June 1 1, 1 984 to June 30, 1 985. 7. On June 6, 1985The president of the NPC, Mr. Gabriel Itchon, wrote Mr. Cesar Virata, Chairman of the FIRB (Annex "E"), requesting "the FIRB to resolve conflicting rulings on the tax exemption privileges of the National Power Corporation (NPC)." These rulings involve FIRB Resolutions No. 1-84 and 10-85. (par. 40, p. 12, Annex "A") 8. In a letter to the President of NPC (Annex "F"), dated June 26, 1985, Minister Cesar Virata confirmed the ruling of May 8, 1985 of Acting BIR Commissioner Ruben Ancheta, (par. 41, p. 12, Annex "A") 9. On October 22, 1985, however, under BIR Ruling No. 186-85, addressed to Hanil Development Co., Ltd., a Korean contractor of NPC for its infrastructure projects, certified true copy of which is attached hereto as petitioner's Annex "E", BIR Acting Commissioner Ruben Ancheta ruled: In Reply please be informed that after a re-study of Section 13, R.A. 6395, as amended by P.D. 938, this Office is of the opinion, and so holds, that the scope of the tax exemption privilege enjoyed by NPC under said section covers only taxes for which it is directly liable and not on taxes which are only shifted to it. (Phil. Acetylene vs. C.I.R. et al., G.R. L-19707, Aug. 17, 1967) Since contractor's tax is directly payable by the contractor, not by NPC, your request for exemption, based on the stipulation in the aforesaid contract that NPC shall assume payment of your contractor's tax liability, cannot be granted for lack of legal basis." (Annex "H") (emphasis added) Said BIR ruling clearly states that NPC's exemption privileges covers (sic) only taxes for which it is directly liable and does not cover taxes which are only shifted to it or for indirect taxes. The BIR, through Ancheta, reversed its previous position of May 8, 1985 adopted by Ancheta himself favoring NPC's indirect tax exemption privilege. 10. Furthermore, "in a BIR Ruling, unnumbered, "dated June 30, 1986, "addressed to Caltex (Annex "F"), the BIR Commissioner declared that PAL's tax exemption is limited to taxes for which PAL is directly liable, and that the payment of specific and ad valorem taxes on petroleum products is a direct liability of the manufacturer or producer thereof". (par. 51, p. 15, Annex "A") 11. On January 7, 1986, FIRB Resolution No. 1-86 was issued restoring NPC's tax exemptions retroactively from July 1, 1985 to a indefinite period, certified true copy of which is hereto attached as petitioner's Annex "H". 12. NPC's total refund claim was P468.58 million but only a portion thereof i.e. the P58,020,110.79 (corresponding to Caltex) was approved and released by way of a Tax Credit Memo (Annex "Q") dated July 7, 1986, certified true copy of which [is) attached hereto as petitioner's Annex "F," which was assigned by NPC to Caltex. BIR Commissioner Tan approved the Deed of Assignment on July 30, 1987, certified true copy of which is hereto attached as petitioner's Annex "G"). (pars. 26, 52, 53, pp. 9 and 15, Annex "A") The Deed of Assignment stipulated among others that NPC is assigning the tax credit to Caltex in partial settlement of its outstanding obligations to the latter while Caltex, in turn, would apply the assigned tax credit against its specific tax payments for two (2) months. (per memorandum dated July 28, 1986 of DCIR Villa, copy attached as petitioner Annex "G") 13. As a result of the favorable action taken by the BIR in the refund of the P58.0 million tax credit assigned to Caltex, the NPC reiterated its request for the release of the balance of its pending refunds of taxes paid by respondents Petrophil, Shell and Caltex covering the period from June 11, 1984 to early part of 1986 amounting to P410.58 million. (The claim of the first two (2) oil companies covers the period from June 11, 1984 to early part of 1986; while that of Caltex starts from July 1, 1985 to early 1986). This request was denied on August 18, 1986, under BIR Ruling 152-86 (certified true copy of which is attached hereto as petitioner's Annex "I"). The BIR ruled that NPC's tax free privilege to buy petroleum products covered only the period from June 11, 1984 up to June 30, 1985. It further declared that, despite FIRB No. 1-86, NPC had already lost its tax and duty exemptions because it only enjoys special privilege for taxes for which it is directly liable. This ruling, in effect, denied the P410 Million tax refund application of NPC (par. 28, p. 9, Annex "A") 14. NPC filed a motion for reconsideration on September 18, 1986. Until now the BIR has not resolved the motion. (Benigna, II 3, Oct. 17, 1988, p. 2; Memorandum for the Complainant, Oct. 26, 1988, p. 15)." (par. 29, p. 9, Annex "A")

15. On December 22, 1986, in a 2nd Indorsement to the Hon. Fulgencio S. Factoran, Jr., BIR Commissioner Tan, Jr. (certified true copy of which is hereto attached and made a part hereof as petitioner's Annex "J"), reversed his previous position and states this time that all deliveries of petroleum products to NPC are tax exempt, regardless of the period of delivery. 16. On December 17, 1986, President Corazon C. Aquino enacted Executive Order No. 93, entitled "Withdrawing All Tax and Duty Incentives, Subject to Certain Exceptions, Expanding the Powers of the Fiscal Incentives Review Board and Other Purposes." 17. On June 24, 1987, the FIRB issued Resolution No. 17-87, which restored NPC's tax exemption privilege and included in the exemption "those pertaining to its domestic purchases of petroleum and petroleum products, and the restorations were made to retroact effective March 10, 1987, a certified true copy of which is hereto attached and made a part hereof as Annex "K". 18. On August 6, 1987, the Hon. Sedfrey A. Ordoez, Secretary of Justice, issued Opinion No. 77, series of 1987, opining that "the power conferred upon Fiscal Incentives Review Board by Section 2a (b), (c) and (d) of Executive order No. 93 constitute undue delegation of legislative power and, therefore, [are] unconstitutional," a copy of which is hereto attached and made a part hereof as Petitioner's Annex "L." 19. On October 5, 1987, respondent Executive Secretary Macaraig, Jr. in a Memorandum to the Chairman of the FIRB a certified true copy of which is hereto attached and made a part hereof as petitioner's Annex "M," confirmed and approved FIRB Res. No. 17-87 dated June 24, 1987, allegedly pursuant to Sections 1 (f) and 2 (e) of Executive Order No. 93. 20. Secretary Vicente Jayme in a reply dated May 20, 1988 to Secretary Catalino Macaraig, who by letter dated May 2, 1988 asked him to rule "on whether or not, as the law now stands, the National Power Corporation is still exempt from taxes, duties . . . on its local purchases of . . . petroleum products . . ." declared that "NPC under the provisions of its Revised Charter retains its exemption from duties and taxes imposed on the petroleum products purchased locally and used for the generation of electricity," a certified true copy of which is attached hereto as petitioner's Annex "N." (par. 30, pp. 9-10, Annex "A") 21. Respondent Executive Secretary came up likewise with a confirmatory letter dated June 1 5, 1988 but without the usual official form of "By the Authority of the President," a certified true copy of which is hereto attached and made a part hereof as Petitioner's Annex "O". 22. The actions of respondents Finance Secretary and the Executive Secretary are based on the RESOLUTION No. 17-87 of FIRB restoring the tax and duty exemption of the respondent NPC pertaining to its domestic purchases of petroleum products (petitioner's Annex K supra). 23. Subsequently, the newspapers particularly, the Daily Globe, in its issue of July 11, 1988 reported that the Office of the President and the Department of Finance had ordered the BIR to refund the tax payments of the NPC amounting to Pl.58 Billion which includes the P410 Million Tax refund already rejected by BIR Commissioner Tan, Jr., in his BIR Ruling No. 152-86. And in a letter dated July 28, 1988 of Undersecretary Marcelo B. Fernando to BIR Commissioner Tan, Jr. the Pl.58 Billion tax refund was ordered released to NPC (par. 31, p. 1 0, Annex "A") 24. On August 8, 1988, petitioner "wrote both Undersecretary Fernando and Commissioner Tan requesting them to hold in abeyance the release of the Pl.58 billion and await the outcome of the investigation in regard to Senate Resolution No. 227," copies attached as Petitioner's Annexes "P" and "P-1 " (par. 32, p. 10, Annex "A"). Reacting to this letter of the petitioner, Undersecretary Fernando wrote Commissioner Tan of the BIR dated August, 1988 requesting him to hold in abeyance the release of the tax refunds to NPC until after the termination of the Blue Ribbon investigation. 25. In the Bureau of Customs, oil companies import crude oil and before removal thereof from customs custody, the corresponding customs duties and ad valorem taxes are paid. Bunker fuel oil is one of the petroleum products processed from the crude oil; and same is sold to NPC. After the sale, NPC applies for tax credit covering the duties and ad valorem exemption under its Charter. Such applications are processed by the Bureau of Customs and the corresponding tax credit certificates are issued in favor of NPC which, in turn assigns it to the oil firm that imported the crude oil. These certificates are eventually used by the assignee-oil firms in payment of their other duty and tax liabilities with the Bureau of Customs. (par. 70, p. 19, Annex "A") A lesser amount totalling P740 million, covering the period from 1985 to the present, is being sought by respondent NPC for refund from the Bureau of Customs for duties paid by the oil companies on the importation of crude oil from which the processed products sold locally by them to NPC was derived. However, based on figures submitted to the Blue Ribbon Committee of the Philippine Senate which conducted an investigation on this matter as mandated by Senate Resolution No. 227 of which the herein petitioner was the sponsor, a much bigger figure was actually refunded to NPC representing duties and ad valorem taxes paid to the Bureau of Customs by the oil companies on the importation of crude oil from 1979 to 1985. 26. Meantime, petitioner, as member of the Philippine Senate introduced P.S. Res. No. 227, entitled: Resolution Directing the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee, In Aid of Legislation, To conduct a Formal and Extensive Inquiry into the Reported Massive Tax Manipulations and Evasions by Oil Companies, particularly Caltex (Phils.) Inc., Pilipinas Shell and Petrophil, Which Were Made Possible By Their Availing of the Non-Existing Exemption of National Power Corporation

(NPC) from Indirect Taxes, Resulting Recently in Their Obtaining A Tax Refund Totalling P1.55 Billion From the Department of Finance, Their Refusal to Pay Since 1976 Customs Duties Amounting to Billions of Pesos on Imported Crude Oil Purportedly for the Use of the National Power Corporation, the Non-Payment of Surtax on Windfall Profits from Increases in the Price of Oil Products in August 1987 amounting Maybe to as Much as Pl.2 Billion Surtax Paid by Them in 1984 and For Other Purposes. 27. Acting on the above Resolution, the Blue Ribbon Committee of the Senate did conduct a lengthy formal inquiry on the matter, calling all parties interested to the witness stand including representatives from the different oil companies, and in due time submitted its Committee Report No. 474 . . . The Blue Ribbon Committee recommended the following courses of action. 1. Cancel its approval of the tax refund of P58,020,110.70 to the National Power Corporation (NPC) and its approval of Tax Credit memo covering said amount (Annex "P" hereto), dated July 7, 1986, and cancel its approval of the Deed of Assignment (Annex "Q" hereto) by NPC to Caltex, dated July 28, 1986, and collect from Caltex its tax liabilities which were erroneously treated as paid or settled with the use of the tax credit certificate that NPC assigned to said firm.: 1.1. NPC did not have any indirect tax exemption since May 27, 1976 when PD 938 was issued. Therefore, the grant of a tax refund to NPC in the amount of P58 million was illegal, and therefore, null and void. Such refund was a nullity right from the beginning. Hence, it never transferred any right in favor of NPC. 2. Stop the processing and/or release of Pl.58 billion tax refund to NPC and/or oil companies on the same ground that the NPC, since May 27, 1976 up to June 17, 1987 was never granted any indirect tax exemption. So, the P1.58 billion represent taxes legally and properly paid by the oil firms. 3. Start collection actions of specific or excise and ad valorem taxes due on petroleum products sold to NPC from May 27, 1976 (promulgation of PD 938) to June 17, 1987 (issuance of EO 195). B. For the Bureau of Customs (BOC) to do the following: 1. Start recovery actions on the illegal duty refunds or duty credit certificates for purchases of petroleum products by NPC and allegedly granted under the NPC charter covering the years 1978-1988 . . . 28. On March 30, 1989, acting on the request of respondent Finance Secretary for clearance to direct the Bureau of Internal Revenue and of Customs to proceed with the processing of claims for tax credits/refunds of the NPC, respondent Executive Secretary rendered his ruling, the dispositive portion of which reads: IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING, the clearance is hereby GRANTED and, accordingly, unless restrained by proper authorities, that department and/or its line-tax bureaus may now proceed with the processing of the claims of the National Power Corporation for duty and tax free exemption and/or tax credits/ refunds, if there be any, in accordance with the ruling of that Department dated May 20,1988, as confirmed by this Office on June 15, 1988 . . . 5 Hence, this petition for certiorari, prohibition and mandamus with prayer for a writ of preliminary injunction and/or restraining order, praying among others that: 1. Upon filing of this petition, a temporary restraining order forthwith be issued against respondent FIRB Executive Secretary Macaraig, and Secretary of Finance Jayme restraining them and other persons acting for, under, and in their behalf from enforcing their resolution, orders and ruling, to wit: A. FIRB Resolution No. 17-87 dated June 24, 1987 (petitioner's Annex "K"); B. Memorandum-Order of the Office of the President dated October 5, 1987 (petitioner's Annex "M"); C. Order of the Executive Secretary dated June 15, 1988 (petitioner's Annex "O"); D. Order of the Executive Secretary dated March 30, l989 (petitioner's Annex "Q"); and E. Ruling of the Finance Secretary dated May 20, 1988 (petitioner's Annex "N"). 2. Said temporary restraining order should also include respondent Commissioners of Customs Mison and Internal Revenue Ong restraining them from processing and releasing any pending claim or application by respondent NPC for tax and duty refunds. 3. Thereafter, and during the pendency of this petition, to issue a writ or preliminary injunction against abovenamed respondents and all persons acting for and in their behalf. 4. A decision be rendered in favor of the petitioner and against the respondents: A. Declaring that respondent NPC did not enjoy indirect tax exemption privilege since May 27, 1976 up to the present; B. Nullifying the setting aside the following: 1. FIRB Resolution No. 17-87 dated June 24, 1987 (petitioner's Annex "K"); 2. Memorandum-Order of the Office of the President dated October 5, 1987 (petitioner's Annex "M");

3. Order of the Executive Secretary dated June 15, 1988 (petitioner's Annex "O"); 4. Order of the Executive Secretary dated March 30, 1989 (petitioner's Annex "Q"); 5. Ruling of the Finance Secretary dated May 20, 1988 (petitioner's Annex "N" 6. Tax Credit memo dated July 7, 1986 issued to respondent NPC representing tax refund for P58,020,110.79 (petitioner's Annex "F"); 7. Deed of Assignment of said tax credit memo to respondent Caltex dated July 30, 1987 (petitioner's Annex "G"); 8. Application of the assigned tax credit of Caltex in payment of its tax liabilities with the Bureau of Internal Revenue and 9. Illegal duty and tax refunds issued by the Bureau of Customs to respondent NPC by way of tax credit certificates from 1979 up to the present. C. Declaring as illegal and null and void the pending claims for tax and duty refunds by respondent NPC with the Bureau of Customs and the Bureau of Internal Revenue; D. Prohibiting respondents Commissioner of Customs and Commissioner of Internal Revenue from enforcing the abovequestioned resolution, orders and ruling of respondents Executive Secretary, Secretary of Finance, and FIRB by processing and releasing respondent NPC's tax and duty refunds; E. Ordering the respondent Commissioner of Customs to deny as being null and void the pending claims for refund of respondent NPC with the Bureau of Customs covering the period from 1985 to the present; to cancel and invalidate the illegal payment made by respondents Caltex, Shell and PNOC by using the tax credit certificates assigned to them by NPC and to recover from respondents Caltex, Shell and PNOC all the amounts appearing in said tax credit certificates which were used to settle their duty and tax liabilities with the Bureau of Customs. F. Ordering respondent Commissioner of Internal Revenue to deny as being null and void the pending claims for refund of respondent NPC with the Bureau of Internal Revenue covering the period from June 11, 1984 to June 17, 1987. PETITIONER prays for such other relief and remedy as may be just and equitable in the premises. 6 The issues raised in the petition are the following: To determine whether respondent NPC is legally entitled to the questioned tax and duty refunds, this Honorable Court must resolve the following issues: Main issue Whether or not the respondent NPC has ceased to enjoy indirect tax and duty exemption with the enactment of P.D. No. 938 on May 27, 1976 which amended P.D. No. 380, issued on January 11, 1974. Corollary issues 1. Whether or not FIRB Resolution No. 10-85 dated February 7, 1985 which restored NPC's tax exemption privilege effective June 11, 1984 to June 30, 1985 and FIRB Resolution No. 1-86 dated January 7, 1986 restoring NPC's tax exemption privilege effective July 1, 1985 included the restoration of indirect tax exemption to NPC and 2. Whether or not FIRB could validly and legally issue Resolution No. 17-87 dated June 24, 1987 which restored NPC's tax exemption privilege effective March 10, 1987; and if said Resolution was validly issued, the nature and extent of the tax exemption privilege restored to NPC. 7 In a resolution dated June 6, 1989, the Court, without giving due course to the petition, required respondents to comment thereon, within ten (10) days from notice. The respondents having submitted their comment, on October 10, 1989 the Court required petitioner to file a consolidated reply to the same. After said reply was filed by petitioner on November 15, 1989 the Court gave due course to the petition, considering the comments of respondents as their answer to the petition, and requiring the parties to file simultaneously their respective memoranda within twenty (20) days from notice. The parties having submitted their respective memoranda, the petition was deemed submitted for resolution. First the preliminary issues. Public respondents allege that petitioner does not have the standing to challenge the questioned orders and resolution. In the petition it is alleged that petitioner is "instituting this suit in his capacity as a taxpayer and a duly-elected Senator of the Philippines." Public respondent argues that petitioner must show he has sustained direct injury as a result of the action and that it is not sufficient for him to have a mere general interest common to all members of the public. 8 The Court however agrees with the petitioner that as a taxpayer he may file the instant petition following the ruling in Lozada when it involves illegal expenditure of public money. The petition questions the legality of the tax refund to NPC by way of tax credit certificates and the use of said assigned tax credits by respondent oil companies to pay for their tax and duty liabilities to the BIR and Bureau of Customs. Assuming petitioner has the personality to file the petition, public respondents also allege that the proper remedy for petitioner is an appeal to the Court of Tax Appeals under Section 7 of R.A. No. 125 instead of this petition. However Section 11 of said law provides

Sec. 11. Who may appeal; effect of appealAny person, association or corporation adversely affected by a decision or ruling of the Commissioner of Internal Revenue, the Collector of Customs (Commissioner of Customs) or any provincial or City Board of Assessment Appeals may file an appeal in the Court of Tax Appeals within thirty days after receipt of such decision or ruling. From the foregoing, it is only the taxpayer adversely affected by a decision or ruling of the Commissioner of Internal Revenue, the Commissioner of Customs or any provincial or city Board of Assessment Appeal who may appeal to the Court of Tax Appeals. Petitioner does not fall under this category. Public respondents also contend that mandamus does not lie to compel the Commissioner of Internal Revenue to impose a tax assessment not found by him to be proper. It would be tantamount to a usurpation of executive functions. 9 Even in Meralco, this Court recognizes the situation when mandamus can control the discretion of the Commissioners of Internal Revenue and Customs when the exercise of discretion is tainted with arbitrariness and grave abuse as to go beyond statutory authority. 10 Public respondents then assert that a writ of prohibition is not proper as its function is to prevent an unlawful exercise of jurisdiction 11 or to prevent the oppressive exercise of legal authority. 12 Precisely, petitioner questions the lawfulness of the acts of public respondents in this case. Now to the main issue. It may be useful to make a distinction, for the purpose of this disposition, between a direct tax and an indirect tax. A direct tax is a tax for which a taxpayer is directly liable on the transaction or business it engages in. Examples are the custom duties and ad valorem taxes paid by the oil companies to the Bureau of Customs for their importation of crude oil, and the specific and ad valorem taxes they pay to the Bureau of Internal Revenue after converting the crude oil into petroleum products. On the other hand, "indirect taxes are taxes primarily paid by persons who can shift the burden upon someone else ." 13 For example, the excise and ad valorem taxes that oil companies pay to the Bureau of Internal Revenue upon removal of petroleum products from its refinery can be shifted to its buyer, like the NPC, by adding them to the "cash" and/or "selling price." The main thrust of the petition is that under the latest amendment to the NPC charter by Presidential Decree No. 938, the exemption of NPC from indirect taxation was revoked and repealed. While petitioner concedes that NPC enjoyed broad exemption privileges from both direct and indirect taxes on the petroleum products it used, under Section 13 of Republic Act No, 6395 and more so under Presidential Decree No. 380, however, by the deletion of the phrases "directly or indirectly" and "on all petroleum products used by the Corporation in the generation, transmission, utilization and sale of electric power" he contends that the exemption from indirect taxes was withdrawn by P.D. No. 938. Petitioner further states that the exemption of NPC provided in Section 13 of Presidential Decree No. 938 regarding the payments of "all forms of taxes, etc." cannot be interpreted to include indirect tax exemption. He cites Philippine Aceytelene Co. Inc. vs. Commissioner of Internal Revenue. 14 Petitioner emphasizes the principle in taxation that the exception contained in the tax statutes must be strictly construed against the one claiming the exemption, and that the rule that a tax statute granting exemption must be strictly construed against the one claiming the exemption is similar to the rule that a statute granting taxing power is to be construed strictly, with doubts resolved against its existence. 15 Petitioner cites rulings of the BIR that the phrase exemption from "all taxes, etc." from "all forms of taxes" and "in lieu of all taxes" covers only taxes for which the taxpayer is directly liable. 16 On the corollary issues. First, FIRB Resolution Nos. 10-85 and 10-86 issued under Presidential Decree No. 1931, the relevant provision of which are to wit: P.D. No. 1931 provides as follows: Sec. 1. The provisions of special or general law to the contrary notwithstanding, all exemptions from the payment of duties, taxes . . . heretofore granted in favor of government-owned or controlled corporations are hereby withdrawn. (Emphasis supplied.) Sec. 2. The President of the Philippines and/or the Minister of Finance, upon therecommendation of the Fiscal Incentives Review Board . . . is hereby empowered to restore, partially or totally, the exemptions withdrawn by Section 1 above . . . (Emphasis supplied.) The relevant provisions of FIRB resolution Nos. 10-85 and 1-86 are the following: Resolution. No. 10-85 BE IT RESOLVED AS IT IS HEREBY RESOLVED, That: 1. Effective June 11, 1984, the tax and duty exemption privileges enjoyed by the National Power Corporation under C.A. No. 120 as amended are restored up to June 30, 1985. 2. Provided, That to restoration does not apply to the following: a. importations of fuel oil (crude equivalent) and coal as per FIRB Resolution No. 1-84; b. commercially-funded importations; and c. interest income derived from any investment source.

3. Provided further, That in case of importations funded by international financing agreements, the NPC is hereby required to furnish the FIRB on a periodic basis the particulars of items received or to be received through such arrangements, for purposes of tax and duty exemptions privileges. 17 Resolution No. 1-86 BE IT RESOLVED AS IT IS HEREBY RESOLVED: That: 1. Effective July 1, 1985, the tax and duty exemption privileges enjoyed by the National Power Corporation (NPC) under Commonwealth Act No. 120, as amended, are restored: Provided, That importations of fuel oil (crude oil equivalent), and coal of the herein grantee shall be subject to the basic and additional import duties; Provided, further, that the following shall remain fully taxable: a. Commercially-funded importations; and b. Interest income derived by said grantee from bank deposits and yield or any other monetary benefits from deposit substitutes, trust funds and other similar arrangements. 2. The NPC as a government corporation is exempt from the real property tax on land and improvements owned by it provided that the beneficial use of the property is not transferred to another pursuant to the provisions of Sec. 10(a) of the Real Property Tax Code, as amended. 18 Petitioner does not question the validity and enforceability of FIRB Resolution Nos. 10-85 and 1-86. Indeed, they were issued in compliance with the requirement of Section 2, P.D. No. 1931, whereby the FIRB should make the recommendation subject to the approval of "the President of the Philippines and/or the Minister of Finance." While said Resolutions do not appear to have been approved by the President, they were nevertheless approved by the Minister of Finance who is also duly authorized to approve the same. In fact it was the Minister of Finance who signed and promulgated said resolutions. 19 The observation of Mr. Justice Sarmiento in the dissenting opinion that FIRB Resolution Nos. 10-85 and 1-86 which were promulgated by then Acting Minister of Finance Alfredo de Roda, Jr. and Minister of Finance Cesar E.A Virata, as Chairman of FIRB respectively, should be separately approved by said Minister of Finance as required by P.D. 1931 is, a superfluity. An examination of the said resolutions which are reproduced in full in the dissenting opinion show that the said officials signed said resolutions in the dual capacity of Chairman of FIRB and Minister of Finance. Mr. Justice Sarmiento also makes reference to the case National Power Corporation vs. Province of Albay, 20wherein the Court observed that under P.D. No. 776 the power of the FIRB was only recommendatory and requires the approval of the President to be valid. Thus, in said case the Court held that FIRB Resolutions Nos. 10-85 and 1-86 not having been approved by the President were not valid and effective while the validity of FIRB 17-87 was upheld as it was duly approved by the Office of the President on October 5, 1987. However, under Section 2 of P.D. No. 1931 of June 11, 1984, hereinabove reproduced, which amended P.D. No. 776, it is clearly provided for that such FIRB resolution, may be approved by the "President of the Philippines and/or the Minister of Finance." To repeat, as FIRB Resolutions Nos. 10-85 and 1-86 were duly approved by the Minister of Finance, hence they are valid and effective. To this extent, this decision modifies or supersedes the Court's earlier decision in Albay afore-referred to. Petitioner, however, argues that under both FIRB resolutions, only the tax and duty exemption privileges enjoyed by the NPC under its charter, C.A. No. 120, as amended, are restored, that is, only its direct tax exemption privilege; and that it cannot be interpreted to cover indirect taxes under the principle that tax exemptions are construed stricissimi juris against the taxpayer and liberally in favor of the taxing authority. Petitioner argues that the release by the BIR of the P58.0 million refund to respondent NPC by way of a tax credit certificate 21 which was assigned to respondent Caltex through a deed of assignment approved by the BIR 22 is patently illegal. He also contends that the pending claim of respondent NPC in the amount of P410.58 million with respondent BIR for the sale and delivery to it of bunker fuel by respondents Petrophil, Shell and Caltex from July 1, 1985 up to 1986, being illegal, should not be released. Now to the second corollary issue involving the validity of FIRB Resolution No. 17-87 issued on June 24, 1987. It was issued under authority of Executive Order No. 93 dated December 17, 1986 which grants to the FIRB among others, the power to recommend the restoration of the tax and duty exemptions/incentives withdrawn thereunder. Petitioner stresses that on August 6, 1987 the Secretary of Justice rendered Opinion No. 77 to the effect that the powers conferred upon the FIRB by Section 2(a), (b), and (c) and (4) of Executive Order No. 93 "constitute undue delegation of legislative power and is, therefore, unconstitutional." Petitioner observes that the FIRB did not merely recommend but categorically restored the tax and duty exemption of the NPC so that the memorandum of the respondent Executive Secretary dated October 5, 1987 approving the same is a surplusage. Further assuming that FIRB Resolution No. 17-87 to have been legally issued, following the doctrine in Philippine Aceytelene, petitioner avers that the restoration cannot cover indirect taxes and it cannot create new indirect tax exemption not otherwise granted in the NPC charter as amended by Presidential Decree No. 938. The petition is devoid of merit. The NPC is a non-profit public corporation created for the general good and welfare 23 wholly owned by the government of the Republic of the Philippines. 24 From the very beginning of its corporate existence, the NPC enjoyed preferential tax treatment 25 to enable the Corporation to pay the indebtedness and obligation and in furtherance and effective implementation of the policy enunciated in Section one of "Republic Act No. 6395" 26which provides: Sec. 1. Declaration of PolicyCongress hereby declares that (1) the comprehensive development, utilization and conservation of Philippine water resources for all beneficial uses, including power generation, and (2) the total

electrification of the Philippines through the development of power from all sources to meet the need of rural electrification are primary objectives of the nation which shall be pursued coordinately and supported by all instrumentalities and agencies of the government including its financial institutions. From the changes made in the NPC charter, the intention to strengthen its preferential tax treatment is obvious. Under Republic Act No. 358, its exemption is provided as follows: Sec. 2. To facilitate payment of its indebtedness, the National Power Corporation shall be exempt from all taxes, duties, fees, imposts, charges, and restrictions of the Republic of the Philippines, its provinces, cities and municipalities." Under Republic Act No. 6395: Sec. 13. Non-profit Character of the Corporation; Exemption from all Taxes, Duties, Fees, Imposts and other Charges by Government and Governmental Instrumentalities. The Corporation shall be non-profit and shall devote all its returns from its capital investment, as well as excess revenues from its operation, for expansion. To enable the Corporation to pay its indebtedness and obligations and in furtherance and effective implementation of the policy enunciated in Section one of this Act, the Corporation is hereby declared exempt: (a) From the payment of all taxes, duties, fees, imposts, charges, costs and service fees in any court or administrative proceedings in which it may be a party, restrictions and duties to the Republic of the Philippines, its provinces, cities, municipalities and other government agencies and instrumentalities; (b) From all income taxes, franchise taxes and realty taxes to be paid to the National Government, its provinces, cities, municipalities and other government agencies and instrumentalities; (c) From all import duties, compensating taxes and advanced sales tax, and wharfage fees on import of foreign goods required for its operations and projects; and (d) From all taxes, duties, fees, imposts, and all other charges imposed by the Republic of the Philippines , its provinces, cities, municipalities and other government agencies and instrumentalities ,on all petroleum products used by the Corporation in the generation, transmission, utilization, and sale of electric power. (Emphasis supplied.) Under Presidential Decree No. 380: Sec. 13. Non-profit Character of the Corporation: Exemption from all Taxes, Duties, Fees, Imposts and other Charges by the Government and Government Instrumentalities. The Corporation shall be non-profit and shall devote all its returns from its capital investment as well as excess revenues from its operation, for expansion. To enable the Corporation to pay its indebtedness and obligations and in furtherance and effective implementation of the policy enunciated in Section one of this Act, the Corporation, including its subsidiaries, is hereby declared, exempt: (a) From the payment of all taxes, duties, fees, imposts, charges, costs and services fees in any court or administrative proceedings in which it may be a party, restrictions and duties to the Republic of the Philippines, its provinces, cities, municipalities and other government agencies and instrumentalities; (b) From all income taxes, franchise taxes and realty taxes to be paid to the National Government, its provinces, cities, municipalities and other governmental agencies and instrumentalities; (c) From all import duties, compensating taxes and advanced sales tax, and wharfage fees on import of foreign goods required for its operation and projects; and (d) From all taxes, duties, fees, imposts, and all other charges imposed directly or indirectly by the Republic of the Philippines, its provinces, cities, municipalities and other government agencies and instrumentalities, on all petroleum produced used by the Corporation in the generation, transmission,utilization, and sale of electric power. (Emphasis supplied.) Under Presidential Decree No. 938: Sec. 13. Non-profit Character of the Corporation: Exemption from All Taxes, Duties, Fees, Imposts and Other Charges by the Government and Government Instrumentalities.The Corporation shall be non-profit and shall devote all its returns from its capital investment as well as excess revenues from its operation, for expansion. To enable the Corporation to pay the indebtedness and obligations and in furtherance and effective implementation of the policy enunciated in Section One of this Act, the Corporation, including its subsidiaries hereby declared exempt from the payment of all forms of taxes,duties, fees, imposts as well as costs and service fees including filing fees , appeal bonds,supersedeas bonds, in any court or administrative proceedings. (Emphasis supplied.) It is noted that in the earlier law, R.A. No. 358 the exemption was worded in general terms, as to cover "all taxes, duties, fees, imposts, charges, etc. . . ." However, the amendment under Republic Act No. 6395 enumerated the details covered by the exemption. Subsequently, P.D. No. 380, made even more specific the details of the exemption of NPC to cover, among others, both direct and indirect taxes on all petroleum products used in its operation. Presidential Decree No. 938 amended the tax exemption by simplifying the same law in general terms. It succinctly exempts NPC from "all forms of taxes, duties, fees, imposts, as well as costs and service fees including filing fees, appeal bonds, supersedeas bonds, in any court or administrative proceedings." The use of the phrase "all forms" of taxes demonstrate the intention of the law to give NPC all the tax exemptions it has been enjoying before. The rationale for this exemption is that being non-profit the NPC "shall devote all its returns from its capital investment as well as excess revenues from its operation, for expansion. To enable the Corporation to pay the indebtedness and obligations and in furtherance and effective implementation of the policy enunciated in Section one of this Act, . . ." 27

The preamble of P.D. No. 938 states WHEREAS, in the application of the tax exemption provision of the Revised Charter, the non-profit character of the NPC has not been fully utilized because of restrictive interpretations of the taxing agencies of the government on said provisions. . . . (Emphasis supplied.) It is evident from the foregoing that the lawmaker did not intend that the said provisions of P.D. No. 938 shall be construed strictly against NPC. On the contrary, the law mandates that it should be interpreted liberally so as to enhance the tax exempt status of NPC. Hence, petitioner cannot invoke the rule on strictissimi juris with respect to the interpretation of statutes granting tax exemptions to NPC. Moreover, it is a recognized principle that the rule on strict interpretation does not apply in the case of exemptions in favor of a government political subdivision or instrumentality. 28 The basis for applying the rule of strict construction to statutory provisions granting tax exemptions or deductions, even more obvious than with reference to the affirmative or levying provisions of tax statutes, is to minimize differential treatment and foster impartiality, fairness, and equality of treatment among tax payers. The reason for the rule does not apply in the case of exemptions running to the benefit of the government itself or its agencies. In such case the practical effect of an exemption is merely to reduce the amount of money that has to be handled by government in the course of its operations. For these reasons, provisions granting exemptions to government agencies may be construed liberally, in favor of non tax liability of such agencies. 29 In the case of property owned by the state or a city or other public corporations, the express exemption should not be construed with the same degree of strictness that applies to exemptions contrary to the policy of the state, since as to such property "exemption is the rule and taxation the exception." 30 The contention of petitioner that the exemption of NPC from indirect taxes under Section 13 of R.A. No. 6395 and P.D. No. 380, is deemed repealed by P.D. No. 938 when the reference to it was deleted is not well-taken. Repeal by implication is not favored unless it is manifest that the legislature so intended. As laws are presumed to be passed with deliberation and with knowledge of all existing ones on the subject, it is logical to conclude that in passing a statute it is not intended to interfere with or abrogate a former law relating to the same subject matter, unless the repugnancy between the two is not only irreconcilable but also clear and convincing as a result of the language used, or unless the latter Act fully embraces the subject matter of the earlier. 31 The first effort of a court must always be to reconcile or adjust the provisions of one statute with those of another so as to give sensible effect to both provisions. 32 The legislative intent must be ascertained from a consideration of the statute as a whole, and not of an isolated part or a particular provision alone. 33 When construing a statute, the reason for its enactment should be kept in mind and the statute should be construed with reference to its intended scope and purpose 34 and the evil sought to be remedied. 35 The NPC is a government instrumentality with the enormous task of undertaking development of hydroelectric generation of power and production of electricity from other sources, as well as the transmission of electric power on a nationwide basis, to improve the quality of life of the people pursuant to the State policy embodied in Section E, Article II of the 1987 Constitution. It is evident from the provision of P.D. No. 938 that its purpose is to maintain the tax exemption of NPC from all forms of taxes including indirect taxes as provided for under R.A. No. 6895 and P.D. No. 380 if it is to attain its goals. Further, the construction of P.D. No. 938 by the Office charged with its implementation should be given controlling weight. 36 Since the May 8, 1985 ruling of Commissioner Ancheta, to the letter of the Secretary of Finance of June 26, 1985 confirming said ruling, the letters of the BIR of August 18, 1986, and December 22, 1986, the letter of the Secretary of Finance of February 19, 1987, the Memorandum of the Executive Secretary of October 9, 1987, by authority of the President, confirming and approving FIRB Resolution No. 17-87, the letter of the Secretary of Finance of May 20, 1988 to the Executive Secretary rendering his opinion as requested by the latter, and the latter's reply of June 15, 1988, it was uniformly held that the grant of tax exemption to NPC under C.A. No. 120, as amended, included exemption from payment of all taxes relative to NPC's petroleum purchases including indirect taxes. 37 Thus, then Secretary of Finance Vicente Jayme in his letter of May 20, 1988 to the Executive Secretary Macaraig aptly stated the justification for this tax exemption of NPC The issue turns on the effect to the exemption of NPC from taxes of the deletion of the phrase 'taxes imposed indirectly on oil products and its exemption from 'all forms of taxes.' It is suggested that the change in language evidenced an intention to exempt NPC only from taxes directly imposed on or payable by it; since taxes on fuel-oil purchased by it; since taxes on fuel-oil purchased by NPC locally are levied on and paid by its oil suppliers, NPC thereby lost its exemption from those taxes. The principal authority relied on is the 1967 case of Philippine Acetylene Co., Inc. vs. Commissioner of Internal Revenue, 20 SCRA 1056. First of all, tracing the changes made through the years in the Revised Charter , the strengthening of NPC's preferential tax treatment was clearly the intention. To the extent that the explanatory "whereas clauses" may disclose the intent of the law-maker, the changes effected by P.D. 938 can only be read as being expansive rather than restrictive, including its version of Section 13. Our Tax Code does not recognize that there are taxes directly imposed and those imposed indirectly. The textbook distinction between a direct and an indirect tax may be based on the possibility of shifting the incidence of the tax. A direct tax is one which is demanded from the very person intended to be the payor, although it may ultimately be shifted to another. An example of a direct tax is the personal income tax. On the other hand, indirect taxes are those which are demanded from one person in the expectation and intention that he shall indemnify himself at the expense of another. An example of this type of tax is the sales tax levied on sales of a commodity.

The distinction between a direct tax and one indirectly imposed (or an indirect tax) is really of no moment. What is more relevant is that when an "indirect tax" is paid by those upon whom the tax ultimately falls, it is paid not as a tax but as an additional part of the cost or of the market price of the commodity. This distinction was made clear by Chief Justice Castro in the Philippine Acetylene case, when he analyzed the nature of the percentage (sales) tax to determine whether it is a tax on the producer or on the purchaser of the commodity. Under out Tax Code, the sales tax falls upon the manufacturer or producer. The phrase "pass on" the tax was criticized as being inaccurate. Justice Castro says that the tax remains on the manufacturer alone. The purchaser does not pay the tax; he pays an amount added to the price because of the tax. Therefore, the tax is not "passed on" and does not for that reason become an "indirect tax" on the purchaser. It is eminently possible that the law maker in enacting P.D. 938 in 1976 may have used lessons from the analysis of Chief Justice Castro in 1967 Philippine Acetylene case. When P.D. 938 which exempted NPC from "all forms of taxes" was issued in May 1976, the so-called oil crunch had already drastically pushed up crude oil Prices from about $1.00 per bbl in 1971 to about $10 and a peak (as it turned out) of about $34 per bbl in 1981. In 1974-78, NPC was operating the Meralco thermal plants under a lease agreement. The power generated by the leased plants was sold to Meralco for distribution to its customers . This lease and sale arrangement was entered into for the benefit of the consuming public, by reducing the burden on the swiftly rising world crude oil prices.This objective was achieved by the use of NPC's "tax umbrella under its Revised Charter the exemption from specific taxes on locally purchased fuel oil. In this context, I can not interpret P.D. 938 to have withdrawn the exemption from tax on fuel oil to which NPC was already entitled and which exemption Government in fact was utilizing to soften the burden of high crude prices. There is one other consideration which I consider pivotal. The taxes paid by oil companies on oil products sold to NPC, whether paid to them by NPC or no never entered into the rates charged by NPC to its customers not even during those periods of uncertainty engendered by the issuance of P.D. 1931 and E. 0. 93 on NP/Cs tax status. No tax component on the fuel have been charged or recovered by NPC through its rates . There is an import duty on the crude oil imported by the local refineries. After the refining process, specific and ad valorem taxes are levied on the finished products including fuel oil or residue upon their withdrawal from the refinery. These taxes are paid by the oil companies as the manufacturer thereof. In selling the fuel oil to NPC, the oil companies include in their billings the duty and tax component .NPC pays the oil companies' invoices including the duty component but net of the tax component.NPC then applies for drawback of customs duties paid and for a credit in amount equivalent to the tax paid (by the oil companies) on the products purchased. The tax credit is assigned to the oil companiesas payment, in effect, of the tax component shown in the sales invoices. (NOTE: These procedures varied over time There were instances when NPC paid the tax component that was shifted to it and then applied for tax credit. There were also side issues raised because of P.D. 1931 and E.O. 93 which withdrew all exemptions of government corporations. In these latter instances, the resolutions of the Fiscal Incentives Review Board (FIRB) come into play. These incidents will not be touched upon for purposes of this discussion). NPC rates of electricity are structured such that changes in its cost of fuel are automatically (without need of fresh approvals) reflected in the subsequent months billing rates. This Fuel Cost Adjustment clause protects NPC's rate of return. If NPC should ever accept liability to the tax and duty component on the oil products, such amount will go into its fuel cost and be passed on to its customers through corresponding increases in rates. Since 1974, when NPC operated the oil-fired generating stations leased from Meralco (which plants it bought in 1979), until the present time, no tax on fuel oil ever went into NPC's electric rates. That the exemption of NPC from the tax on fuel was not withdrawn by P .D. 938 is impressed upon me by yet another circumstance. It is conceded that NPC at the very least, is exempt from taxes to which it is directly liable. NPC therefore could very well have imported its fuel oil or crude residue for burning at its thermal plants . There would have been no question in such a case as to its exemption from all duties and taxes, even under the strictest interpretation that can be put forward. However, at the time P.D. 938 was issued in 1976, there were already operating in the Philippines three oil refineries. The establishment of these refineries in the Philippines involved heavy investments, were economically desirable and enabled the country to import crude oil and process / refine the same into the various petroleum products at a savings to the industry and the public. The refining process produced as its largest output, in volume, fuel oil or residue, whose conventional economic use was for burning in electric or steam generating plants. Had there been no use locally for the residue, the oil refineries would have become largely unviable. Again, in this circumstances, I cannot accept that P.D. 938 would have in effect forced NPC to by-pass the local oil refineries and import its fossil fuel requirements directly in order to avail itself of its exemption from "direct taxes." The oil refineries had to keep operating both for economic development and national security reasons. In fact, the restoration by the FIRB of NPC's exemption after P.D. 1931 and E.O. 93 expressly excluded direct fuel oil importations, so as not to prejudice the continued operations of the local oil refineries. To answer your query therefore, it is the opinion of this Department that NPC under the provisions of its Revised Charter retains its exemption from duties and taxes imposed on the petroleum products purchased locally and used for the generation of electricity. The Department in issuing this ruling does so pursuant to its power and function to supervise and control the collection of government revenues by the application and implementation of revenue laws. It is prepared to take the measures supplemental to this ruling necessary to carry the same into full effect.

As presented rather extensively above, the NPC electric power rates did not carry the taxes and duties paid on the fuel oil it used. The point is that while these levies were in fact paid to the government , no part thereof was recovered from the sale of electricity produced. As a consequence, as of our most recent information, some P1.55 B in claims represent amounts for which the oil suppliers and NPC are "out-of-pocket. There would have to be specific order to the Bureaus concerned for the resumption of the processing of these claims." 38 In the latter of June 15, 1988 of then Executive Secretary Macaraig to the then Secretary of Finance, the said opinion ruling of the latter was confirmed and its implementation was directed. 39 The Court finds and so holds that the foregoing reasons adduced in the aforestated letter of the Secretary of Finance as confirmed by the then Executive Secretary are well-taken. When the NPC was exempted from all forms of taxes, duties, fees, imposts and other charges, under P.D. No. 938, it means exactly what it says, i.e., all forms of taxes including those that were imposed directly or indirectly on petroleum products used in its operation. Reference is made in the dissenting opinion to contrary rulings of the BIR that the exemption of the NPC extends only to taxes for which it is directly liable and not to taxes merely shifted to it. However, these rulings are predicated on Philippine Acytelene. The doctrine in Philippine Acytelene decided in 1967 by this Court cannot apply to the present case. It involved the sales tax of products the plaintiff sold to NPC from June 2, 1953 to June 30,1958 when NPC was enjoying tax exemption from all taxes under Commonwealth Act No. 120, as amended by Republic Act No. 358 issued on June 4, 1949 hereinabove reproduced. In said case, this Court held, that the sales tax is due from the manufacturer and not the buyer, so plaintiff cannot claim exemptions simply because the NPC, the buyer, was exempt. However, on September 10, 1971, Republic Act No. 6395 was passed as the revised charter of NPC whereby Section 13 thereof was amended by emphasizing its non-profit character and expanding the extent of its tax exemption. As petitioner concedes, Section 13(d) aforestated of this amendment under Republic Act No. 6345 spells out clearly the exemption of the NPC from indirect taxes. And as hereinabove stated, in P.D. No. 380, the exemption of NPC from indirect taxes was emphasized when it was specified to include those imposed "directly and indirectly." Thereafter, under P.D. No. 938 the tax exemption of NPC was integrated under Section 13 defining the same in general terms to cover "all forms of taxes, duties, fees, imposts, etc." which, as hereinabove discussed, logically includes exemption from indirect taxes on petroleum products used in its operation. This is the status of the tax exemptions the NPC was enjoying when P.D. No. 1931 was passed, on the authority of which FIRB Resolution Nos. 10-85 and 1-86 were issued, and when Executive Order No. 93 was promulgated, by which FIRB Resolution 17-87 was issued. Thus, the ruling in Philippine Acetylene cannot apply to this case due to the different environmental circumstances. As a matter of fact, the amendments of Section 13, under R.A. No. 6395, P.D. No, 380 and P.D. No. 838 appear to have been brought about by the earlier inconsistent rulings of the tax agencies due to the doctrine in Philippine Acetylene, so as to leave no doubt as to the exemption of the NPC from indirect taxes on petroleum products it uses in its operation. Effectively, said amendments superseded if not abrogated the ruling inPhilippine Acetylene that the tax exemption of NPC should be limited to direct taxes only. In the light of the foregoing discussion the first corollary issue must consequently be resolved in the affirmative, that is, FIRB Resolution No. 10-85 dated February 7, 1985 and FIRB Resolution No. 1-86 dated January 7, 1986 which restored NPC's tax exemption privileges included the restoration of the indirect tax exemption of the NPC on petroleum products it used. On the second corollary issue as to the validity of FIRB resolution No. 17-87 dated June 24, 1987 which restored NPC's tax exemption privilege effective March 10, 1987, the Court finds that the same is valid and effective. It provides as follows: BE IT RESOLVED, AS IT IS HEREBY RESOLVED, That the tax and duty exemption privileges of the National Power Corporation, including those pertaining to its domestic purchases of petroleum and petroleum products, granted under the terms and conditions of Commonwealth Act No. 120 (Creating the National Power Corporation, defining its powers, objectives and functions, and for other purposes), as amended, are restored effective March 10, 1987, subject to the following conditions: 1. The restoration of the tax and duty exemption privileges does not apply to the following: 1.1. Importation of fuel oil (crude equivalent) and coal; 1.2. Commercially-funded importations (i.e., importations which include but are not limited to those financed by the NPC's own internal funds, domestic borrowings from any source whatsoever, borrowing from foreign-based private financial institutions, etc.); and 1.3. Interest income derived from any source. 2. The NPC shall submit to the FIRB a report of its expansion program, including details of disposition of relieved tax and duty payments for such expansion on an annual basis or as often as the FIRB may require it to do so. This report shall be in addition to the usual FIRB reporting requirements on incentive availment. 40 Executive Order No. 93 provides as follows Sec. 1. The provisions of any general or special law to the contrary notwithstanding, all tax and duty incentives granted " to government and private entities are hereby withdrawn, except: a) those covered by the non-impairment clause of the Constitution;

b) those conferred by effective international agreements to which the Government of the Republic of the Philippines is a signatory; c) those enjoyed-by enterprises registered with: (i) the Board of Investments pursuant to Presidential Decree No. 1789, as amended; (ii) the Export Processing Zone Authority, pursuant to Presidential Decree No. 66, as amended; (iii) the Philippine Veterans Investment Development Corporation Industrial Authority pursuant to Presidential Decree No. 538, as amended; d) those enjoyed by the copper mining industry pursuant to the provisions of Letter of Instruction No. 1416; e) those conferred under the four basic codes namely: (i) the Tariff and Customs Code, as amended; (ii) the National Internal Revenue Code, as amended; (iii) the Local Tax Code, as amended; (iv) the Real Property Tax Code, as amended; f) those approved by the President upon the recommendation of the Fiscal Incentives Review Board . Sec. 2. The Fiscal Incentives Review Board created under Presidential Decree No. 776, as amended, is hereby authorized to: a) restore tax and/or duty exemptions withdrawn hereunder in whole or in part; b) revise the scope and coverage of tax and/of duty exemption that may be restored. c) impose conditions for the restoration of tax and/or duty exemption; d) prescribe the date or period of effectivity of the restoration of tax and/or duty exemption; e) formulate and submit to the President for approval, a complete system for the grant of subsidies to deserving beneficiaries, in lieu of or in combination with the restoration of tax and duty exemptions or preferential treatment in taxation, indicating the source of funding therefor, eligible beneficiaries and the terms and conditions for the grant thereof taking into consideration the international commitments of the Philippines and the necessary precautions such that the grant of subsidies does not become the basis for countervailing action. Sec. 3. In the discharge of its authority hereunder, the Fiscal Incentives Review Board shall take into account any or all of the following considerations: a) the effect on relative price levels; b) relative contribution of the beneficiary to the revenue generation effort; c) nature of the activity the beneficiary is engaged; d) in general, the greater national interest to be served. True it is that the then Secretary of Justice in Opinion No. 77 dated August 6, 1977 was of the view that the powers conferred upon the FIRB by Sections 2(a), (b), (c), and (d) of Executive Order No. 93 constitute undue delegation of legislative power and is therefore unconstitutional. However, he was overruled by the respondent Executive Secretary in a letter to the Secretary of Finance dated March 30, 1989. The Executive Secretary, by authority of the President, has the power to modify, alter or reverse the construction of a statute given by a department secretary. 41 A reading of Section 3 of said law shows that it set the policy to be the greater national interest. The standards of the delegated power are also clearly provided for. The required "standard" need not be expressed. In Edu vs. Ericta 42 and in De la Llana vs. Alba 43 this Court held: "The standard may be either express or implied. If the former, the non-delegated objection is easily met. The standard though does not have to be spelled out specifically. It could be implied from the policy and purpose of the act considered as a whole." In People vs. Rosenthal 44 the broad standard of "public interest" was deemed sufficient. In Calalang vs. Williams,45, it was "public welfare" and in Cervantes vs. Auditor General, 46 it was the purpose of promotion of "simplicity, economy and efficiency." And, implied from the purpose of the law as a whole, "national security" was considered sufficient standard 47 and so was "protection of fish fry or fish eggs. 48 The observation of petitioner that the approval of the President was not even required in said Executive Order of the tax exemption privilege approved by the FIRB unlike in previous similar issuances, is not well-taken. On the contrary, under Section l(f) of Executive Order No. 93, aforestated, such tax and duty exemptions extended by the FIRB must be approved by the President. In this case, FIRB Resolution No. 17-87 was approved by the respondent Executive Secretary, by authority of the President, on October 15, 1987. 49 Mr. Justice Isagani A. Cruz commenting on the delegation of legislative power stated The latest in our jurisprudence indicates that delegation of legislative power has become the rule and its nondelegation the exception. The reason is the increasing complexity of modern life and many technical fields of governmental functions as in matters pertaining to tax exemptions. This is coupled by the growing inability of the

legislature to cope directly with the many problems demanding its attention. The growth of society has ramified its activities and created peculiar and sophisticated problems that the legislature cannot be expected reasonably to comprehend. Specialization even in legislation has become necessary. To many of the problems attendant upon present day undertakings, the legislature may not have the competence, let alone the interest and the time, to provide the required direct and efficacious, not to say specific solutions. 50 Thus, in the case of Tablarin vs. Gutierrez, 51 this Court enunciated the rationale in favor of delegation of legislative functions One thing however, is apparent in the development of the principle of separation of powers and that is that the maxim of delegatus non potest delegare or delegati potestas non potest delegare, adopted this practice (Delegibus et Consuetudiniis Anglia edited by G.E. Woodline, Yale University Press, 1922, Vol. 2, p. 167) but which is also recognized in principle in the Roman Law d. 17.18.3) has been made to adapt itself to the complexities of modern government, giving rise to the adoption, within certain limits, of the principle of subordinate legislation, not only in the United States and England but in practically all modern governments. (People vs. Rosenthal and Osmea, 68 Phil. 318, 1939).Accordingly, with the growing complexities of modern life, the multiplication of the subjects of governmental regulation, and the increased difficulty of administering the laws, there is a constantly growing tendency toward the delegation of greater power by the legislative, and toward the approval of the practice by the Courts . (Emphasis supplied.) The legislative authority could not or is not expected to state all the detailed situations wherein the tax exemption privileges of persons or entities would be restored. The task may be assigned to an administrative body like the FIRB. Moreover, all presumptions are indulged in favor of the constitutionality and validity of the statute. Such presumption can be overturned if its invalidity is proved beyond reasonable doubt. Otherwise, a liberal interpretation in favor of constitutionality of legislation should be adopted. 52 E.O. No. 93 is complete in itself and constitutes a valid delegation of legislative power to the FIRB And as above discussed, the tax exemption privilege that was restored to NPC by FIRB Resolution No. 17-87 of June 1987 includes exemption from indirect taxes and duties on petroleum products used in its operation. Indeed, the validity of Executive Order No. 93 as well as of FIRB Resolution No. 17-87 has been upheld in Albay.53 In the dissenting opinion of Mr. Justice Cruz, it is stated that P.D. Nos. 1931 and 1955 issued by President Marcos in 1984 are invalid as they were presumably promulgated under the infamous Amendment No. 6 and that as they cover tax exemption, under Section 17(4), Article VIII of the 1973 Constitution, the same cannot be passed "without the concurrence of the majority of all the members of the Batasan Pambansa." And, even conceding that the reservation of legislative power in the President was valid, it is opined that it was not validly exercised as there is no showing that such presidential encroachment was justified under the conditions then existing. Consequently, it is concluded that Executive Order No. 93, which was intended to implement said decrees, is also illegal. The authority of the President to sub-delegate to the FIRB powers delegated to him is also questioned. In Albay, 54 as above stated, this Court upheld the validity of P.D. Nos. 776 and 1931. The latter decree withdrew tax exemptions of government-owned or controlled corporations including their subsidiaries but authorized the FIRB to restore the same. Nevertheless, in Albay, as above-discussed, this Court ruled that the tax exemptions under FIRB Resolution Nos. 10-85 and 1-86 cannot be enforced as said resolutions were only recommendatory and were not duly approved by the President of the Philippines as required by P.D. No. 776. 55 The Court also sustained in Albay the validity of Executive Order No. 93, and of the tax exemptions restored under FIRB Resolution No. 17-87 which was issued pursuant thereto, as it was duly approved by the President as required by said executive order. Moreover, under Section 3, Article XVIII of the Transitory Provisions of the 1987 Constitution, it is provided that: All existing laws, decrees, executive orders, proclamation, letters of instructions, and other executive issuances not inconsistent with this constitution shall remain operative until amended, repealed or revoked. Thus, P.D. Nos. 776 and 1931 are valid and operative unless it is shown that they are inconsistent with the Constitution. Even assuming arguendo that P.D. Nos. 776, 1931 and Executive Order No. 93 are not valid and are unconstitutional, the result would be the same, as then the latest applicable law would be P.D. No. 938 which amended the NPC charter by granting exemption to NPC from all forms of taxes. As above discussed, this exemption of NPC covers direct and indirect taxes on petroleum products used in its operation. This is as it should be, if We are to hold as invalid and inoperative the withdrawal of such tax exemptions under P.D. No. 1931 as well as under Executive Order No. 93 and the delegation of the power to restore these exemptions to the FIRB. The Court realizes the magnitude of the consequences of this decision. To reiterate, in Albay this Court ruled that the NPC is liable for real estate taxes as of June 11, 1984 (the date of promulgation of P.D. No. 1931) when NPC had ceased to enjoy tax exemption privileges since FIRB Resolution Nos. 1085 and 1-86 were not validly issued. The real estate tax liability of NPC from June 11, 1984 to December 1, 1990 is estimated to amount to P7.49 billion plus another P4.76 billion in fuel import duties the firm had earlier paid to the government which the NPC now proposed to pass on to the consumers by another 33-centavo increase per kilowatt hour in power rates on top of the 17centavo increase per kilowatt hour that took effect just over a week ago., 56 Hence, another case has been filed in this Court to stop this proposed increase without a hearing. As above-discussed, at the time FIRB Resolutions Nos. 10-85 and 1-86 were issued, P.D. No. 776 dated August 24, 1975 was already amended by P.D. No. 1931 , 57 wherein it is provided that such FIRB resolutions may be approved not only by the President of the Philippines but also by the Minister of Finance. Such resolutions were promulgated by the Minister of Finance in his own right and also in his capacity as FIRB Chairman. Thus, a separate approval thereof by the Minister of Finance or by the President is unnecessary. As earlier stated a reexamination of the ruling in Albay on this aspect is therefore called for and consequently, Albay must be considered superseded to this extent by this decision. This is because P.D. No. 938 which is the latest amendment to the NPC charter granting the NPC exemption from all forms of taxes certainly covers real estate taxes which are direct taxes.

This tax exemption is intended not only to insure that the NPC shall continue to generate electricity for the country but more importantly, to assure cheaper rates to be paid by the consumers. The allegation that this is in effect allowing tax evasion by oil companies is not quite correct. There are various arrangements in the payment of crude oil purchased by NPC from oil companies. Generally, the custom duties paid by the oil companies are added to the selling price paid by NPC. As to the specific and ad valorem taxes, they are added a part of the seller's price, but NPC pays the price net of tax, on condition that NPC would seek a tax refund to the oil companies. No tax component on fuel had been charged or recovered by NPC from the consumers through its power rates. 58 Thus, this is not a case of tax evasion of the oil companies but of tax relief for the NPC. The billions of pesos involved in these exemptions will certainly inure to the ultimate good and benefit of the consumers who are thereby spared the additional burden of increased power rates to cover these taxes paid or to be paid by the NPC if it is held liable for the same. The fear of the serious implication of this decision in that NPC's suppliers, importers and contractors may claim the same privilege should be dispelled by the fact that (a) this decision particularly treats of only the exemption of the NPC from all taxes, duties, fees, imposts and all other charges imposed by the government on the petroleum products it used or uses for its operation; and (b) Section 13(d) of R.A. No. 6395 and Section 13(d) of P.D. No. 380, both specifically exempt the NPC from all taxes, duties, fees, imposts and all other charges imposed by the government on all petroleum products used in its operation only, which is the very exemption which this Court deems to be carried over by the passage of P.D. No. 938. As a matter of fact in Section 13(d) of P.D. No. 380 it is specified that the aforesaid exemption from taxes, etc. covers those "directly or indirectly" imposed by the "Republic of the Philippines, its provincies, cities, municipalities and other government agencies and instrumentalities" on said petroleum products. The exemption therefore from direct and indirect tax on petroleum products used by NPC cannot benefit the suppliers, importers and contractors of NPC of other products or services. The Court realizes the laudable objective of petitioner to improve the revenue of the government. The amount of revenue received or expected to be received by this tax exemption is, however, not going to any of the oil companies. There would be no loss to the government. The said amount shall accrue to the benefit of the NPC, a government corporation, so as to enable it to sustain its tremendous task of providing electricity for the country and at the least cost to the consumers. Denying this tax exemption would mean hampering if not paralyzing the operations of the NPC. The resulting increased revenue in the government will also mean increased power rates to be shouldered by the consumers if the NPC is to survive and continue to provide our power requirements. 59The greater interest of the people must be paramount. WHEREFORE, the petition is DISMISSED for lack of merit. No pronouncement as to costs. SO ORDERED. Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila FIRST DIVISION G.R. No. 76633 October 18, 1988 EASTERN SHIPPING LINES, INC., petitioner, vs. PHILIPPINE OVERSEAS EMPLOYMENT ADMINISTRATION (POEA), MINISTER OF LABOR AND EMPLOYMENT, HEARING OFFICER ABDUL BASAR and KATHLEEN D. SACO, respondents. Jimenea, Dala & Zaragoza Law Office for petitioner. The Solicitor General for public respondent. Dizon Law Office for respondent Kathleen D. Saco. CRUZ, J.: The private respondent in this case was awarded the sum of P192,000.00 by the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) for the death of her husband. The decision is challenged by the petitioner on the principal ground that the POEA had no jurisdiction over the case as the husband was not an overseas worker. Vitaliano Saco was Chief Officer of the M/V Eastern Polaris when he was killed in an accident in Tokyo, Japan, March 15, 1985. His widow sued for damages under Executive Order No. 797 and Memorandum Circular No. 2 of the POEA. The petitioner, as owner of the vessel, argued that the complaint was cognizable not by the POEA but by the Social Security System and should have been filed against the State Insurance Fund. The POEA nevertheless assumed jurisdiction and after considering the position papers of the parties ruled in favor of the complainant. The award consisted of P180,000.00 as death benefits and P12,000.00 for burial expenses. The petitioner immediately came to this Court, prompting the Solicitor General to move for dismissal on the ground of non-exhaustion of administrative remedies. Ordinarily, the decisions of the POEA should first be appealed to the National Labor Relations Commission, on the theory inter alia that the agency should be given an opportunity to correct the errors, if any, of its subordinates. This case comes under one of the exceptions, however, as the questions the petitioner is raising are essentially questions of law. 1 Moreover, the private respondent himself has not objected to the petitioner's direct resort to this Court, observing that the usual procedure would delay the disposition of the case to her prejudice. The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration was created under Executive Order No. 797, promulgated on May 1, 1982, to promote and monitor the overseas employment of Filipinos and to protect their rights. It replaced the National Seamen Board created earlier under Article 20 of the Labor Code in 1974. Under Section 4(a) of the said executive order, the POEA is vested with "original and

exclusive jurisdiction over all cases, including money claims, involving employee-employer relations arising out of or by virtue of any law or contract involving Filipino contract workers, including seamen." These cases, according to the 1985 Rules and Regulations on Overseas Employment issued by the POEA, include "claims for death, disability and other benefits" arising out of such employment. 2 The petitioner does not contend that Saco was not its employee or that the claim of his widow is not compensable. What it does urge is that he was not an overseas worker but a 'domestic employee and consequently his widow's claim should have been filed with Social Security System, subject to appeal to the Employees Compensation Commission. We see no reason to disturb the factual finding of the POEA that Vitaliano Saco was an overseas employee of the petitioner at the time he met with the fatal accident in Japan in 1985. Under the 1985 Rules and Regulations on Overseas Employment, overseas employment is defined as "employment of a worker outside the Philippines, including employment on board vessels plying international waters, covered by a valid contract. 3 A contract worker is described as "any person working or who has worked overseas under a valid employment contract and shall include seamen" 4 or "any person working overseas or who has been employed by another which may be a local employer, foreign employer, principal or partner under a valid employment contract and shall include seamen." 5 These definitions clearly apply to Vitaliano Saco for it is not disputed that he died while under a contract of employment with the petitioner and alongside the petitioner's vessel, the M/V Eastern Polaris, while berthed in a foreign country. 6 It is worth observing that the petitioner performed at least two acts which constitute implied or tacit recognition of the nature of Saco's employment at the time of his death in 1985. The first is its submission of its shipping articles to the POEA for processing, formalization and approval in the exercise of its regulatory power over overseas employment under Executive Order NO. 797. 7 The second is its payment 8 of the contributions mandated by law and regulations to the Welfare Fund for Overseas Workers, which was created by P.D. No. 1694 "for the purpose of providing social and welfare services to Filipino overseas workers." Significantly, the office administering this fund, in the receipt it prepared for the private respondent's signature, described the subject of the burial benefits as "overseas contract worker Vitaliano Saco." 9 While this receipt is certainly not controlling, it does indicate, in the light of the petitioner's own previous acts, that the petitioner and the Fund to which it had made contributions considered Saco to be an overseas employee. The petitioner argues that the deceased employee should be likened to the employees of the Philippine Air Lines who, although working abroad in its international flights, are not considered overseas workers. If this be so, the petitioner should not have found it necessary to submit its shipping articles to the POEA for processing, formalization and approval or to contribute to the Welfare Fund which is available only to overseas workers. Moreover, the analogy is hardly appropriate as the employees of the PAL cannot under the definitions given be considered seamen nor are their appointments coursed through the POEA. The award of P180,000.00 for death benefits and P12,000.00 for burial expenses was made by the POEA pursuant to its Memorandum Circular No. 2, which became effective on February 1, 1984. This circular prescribed a standard contract to be adopted by both foreign and domestic shipping companies in the hiring of Filipino seamen for overseas employment. A similar contract had earlier been required by the National Seamen Board and had been sustained in a number of cases by this Court. 10 The petitioner claims that it had never entered into such a contract with the deceased Saco, but that is hardly a serious argument. In the first place, it should have done so as required by the circular, which specifically declared that "all parties to the employment of any Filipino seamen on board any ocean-going vessel are advised to adopt and use this employment contract effective 01 February 1984 and to desist from using any other format of employment contract effective that date." In the second place, even if it had not done so, the provisions of the said circular are nevertheless deemed written into the contract with Saco as a postulate of the police power of the State. 11 But the petitioner questions the validity of Memorandum Circular No. 2 itself as violative of the principle of non-delegation of legislative power. It contends that no authority had been given the POEA to promulgate the said regulation; and even with such authorization, the regulation represents an exercise of legislative discretion which, under the principle, is not subject to delegation. The authority to issue the said regulation is clearly provided in Section 4(a) of Executive Order No. 797, reading as follows: ... The governing Board of the Administration (POEA), as hereunder provided shall promulgate the necessary rules and regulations to govern the exercise of the adjudicatory functions of the Administration (POEA). Similar authorization had been granted the National Seamen Board, which, as earlier observed, had itself prescribed a standard shipping contract substantially the same as the format adopted by the POEA. The second challenge is more serious as it is true that legislative discretion as to the substantive contents of the law cannot be delegated. What can be delegated is the discretion to determine how the law may be enforced, notwhat the law shall be. The ascertainment of the latter subject is a prerogative of the legislature. This prerogative cannot be abdicated or surrendered by the legislature to the delegate. Thus, in Ynot v. Intermediate Apellate Court 12 which annulled Executive Order No. 626, this Court held: We also mark, on top of all this, the questionable manner of the disposition of the confiscated property as prescribed in the questioned executive order. It is there authorized that the seized property shall be distributed to charitable institutions and other similar institutions as the Chairman of the National Meat Inspection Commission may see fit, in the case of carabaos.' (Italics supplied.) The phrase "may see fit" is an extremely generous and dangerous condition, if condition it is. It is laden with perilous opportunities for partiality and abuse, and even corruption. One searches in vain for the usual standard and the reasonable guidelines, or better still, the limitations that the officers must observe when they make their distribution. There is none. Their options are apparently boundless. Who shall be the fortunate beneficiaries of their generosity and by what criteria shall they be chosen? Only the officers named can supply the answer, they and they alone may choose the grantee as they see fit, and in their own exclusive discretion. Definitely, there is here a 'roving commission a wide and sweeping authority that is not canalized within banks that keep it from overflowing,' in short a clearly profligate and therefore invalid delegation of legislative powers.

There are two accepted tests to determine whether or not there is a valid delegation of legislative power, viz, the completeness test and the sufficient standard test. Under the first test, the law must be complete in all its terms and conditions when it leaves the legislature such that when it reaches the delegate the only thing he will have to do is enforce it. 13 Under the sufficient standard test, there must be adequate guidelines or stations in the law to map out the boundaries of the delegate's authority and prevent the delegation from running riot. 14 Both tests are intended to prevent a total transference of legislative authority to the delegate, who is not allowed to step into the shoes of the legislature and exercise a power essentially legislative. The principle of non-delegation of powers is applicable to all the three major powers of the Government but is especially important in the case of the legislative power because of the many instances when its delegation is permitted. The occasions are rare when executive or judicial powers have to be delegated by the authorities to which they legally certain. In the case of the legislative power, however, such occasions have become more and more frequent, if not necessary. This had led to the observation that the delegation of legislative power has become the rule and its non-delegation the exception. The reason is the increasing complexity of the task of government and the growing inability of the legislature to cope directly with the myriad problems demanding its attention. The growth of society has ramified its activities and created peculiar and sophisticated problems that the legislature cannot be expected reasonably to comprehend. Specialization even in legislation has become necessary. To many of the problems attendant upon present-day undertakings, the legislature may not have the competence to provide the required direct and efficacious, not to say, specific solutions. These solutions may, however, be expected from its delegates, who are supposed to be experts in the particular fields assigned to them. The reasons given above for the delegation of legislative powers in general are particularly applicable to administrative bodies. With the proliferation of specialized activities and their attendant peculiar problems, the national legislature has found it more and more necessary to entrust to administrative agencies the authority to issue rules to carry out the general provisions of the statute. This is called the "power of subordinate legislation." With this power, administrative bodies may implement the broad policies laid down in a statute by "filling in' the details which the Congress may not have the opportunity or competence to provide. This is effected by their promulgation of what are known as supplementary regulations, such as the implementing rules issued by the Department of Labor on the new Labor Code. These regulations have the force and effect of law. Memorandum Circular No. 2 is one such administrative regulation. The model contract prescribed thereby has been applied in a significant number of the cases without challenge by the employer. The power of the POEA (and before it the National Seamen Board) in requiring the model contract is not unlimited as there is a sufficient standard guiding the delegate in the exercise of the said authority. That standard is discoverable in the executive order itself which, in creating the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration, mandated it to protect the rights of overseas Filipino workers to "fair and equitable employment practices." Parenthetically, it is recalled that this Court has accepted as sufficient standards "Public interest" in People v. Rosenthal 15 "justice and equity" in Antamok Gold Fields v. CIR 16 "public convenience and welfare" in Calalang v. Williams 17 and "simplicity, economy and efficiency" in Cervantes v. Auditor General, 18 to mention only a few cases. In the United States, the "sense and experience of men" was accepted in Mutual Film Corp. v. Industrial Commission, 19 and "national security" in Hirabayashi v. United States. 20 It is not denied that the private respondent has been receiving a monthly death benefit pension of P514.42 since March 1985 and that she was also paid a P1,000.00 funeral benefit by the Social Security System. In addition, as already observed, she also received a P5,000.00 burial gratuity from the Welfare Fund for Overseas Workers. These payments will not preclude allowance of the private respondent's claim against the petitioner because it is specifically reserved in the standard contract of employment for Filipino seamen under Memorandum Circular No. 2, Series of 1984, that Section C. Compensation and Benefits. 1. In case of death of the seamen during the term of his Contract, the employer shall pay his beneficiaries the amount of: a. P220,000.00 for master and chief engineers b. P180,000.00 for other officers, including radio operators and master electrician c. P 130,000.00 for ratings. 2. It is understood and agreed that the benefits mentioned above shall be separate and distinct from, and will be in addition to whatever benefits which the seaman is entitled to under Philippine laws. ... 3. ... c. If the remains of the seaman is buried in the Philippines, the owners shall pay the beneficiaries of the seaman an amount not exceeding P18,000.00 for burial expenses. The underscored portion is merely a reiteration of Memorandum Circular No. 22, issued by the National Seamen Board on July 12,1976, providing an follows: Income Benefits under this Rule Shall be Considered Additional Benefits. All compensation benefits under Title II, Book Four of the Labor Code of the Philippines (Employees Compensation and State Insurance Fund) shall be granted, in addition to whatever benefits, gratuities or allowances that the seaman or his beneficiaries may be entitled to under the employment contract approved by the NSB. If applicable,

all benefits under the Social Security Law and the Philippine Medicare Law shall be enjoyed by the seaman or his beneficiaries in accordance with such laws. The above provisions are manifestations of the concern of the State for the working class, consistently with the social justice policy and the specific provisions in the Constitution for the protection of the working class and the promotion of its interest. One last challenge of the petitioner must be dealt with to close t case. Its argument that it has been denied due process because the same POEA that issued Memorandum Circular No. 2 has also sustained and applied it is an uninformed criticism of administrative law itself. Administrative agencies are vested with two basic powers, the quasi-legislative and the quasi-judicial. The first enables them to promulgate implementing rules and regulations, and the second enables them to interpret and apply such regulations. Examples abound: the Bureau of Internal Revenue adjudicates on its own revenue regulations, the Central Bank on its own circulars, the Securities and Exchange Commission on its own rules, as so too do the Philippine Patent Office and the Videogram Regulatory Board and the Civil Aeronautics Administration and the Department of Natural Resources and so on ad infinitumon their respective administrative regulations. Such an arrangement has been accepted as a fact of life of modern governments and cannot be considered violative of due process as long as the cardinal rights laid down by Justice Laurel in the landmark case of Ang Tibay v. Court of Industrial Relations 21 are observed. Whatever doubts may still remain regarding the rights of the parties in this case are resolved in favor of the private respondent, in line with the express mandate of the Labor Code and the principle that those with less in life should have more in law. When the conflicting interests of labor and capital are weighed on the scales of social justice, the heavier influence of the latter must be counter-balanced by the sympathy and compassion the law must accord the underprivileged worker. This is only fair if he is to be given the opportunity and the right to assert and defend his cause not as a subordinate but as a peer of management, with which he can negotiate on even plane. Labor is not a mere employee of capital but its active and equal partner. WHEREFORE, the petition is DISMISSED, with costs against the petitioner. The temporary restraining order dated December 10, 1986 is hereby LIFTED. It is so ordered. Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila EN BANC G.R. No. 111812 May 31, 1995 DIONISIO M. RABOR, petitioner, vs. CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION, respondent. FELICIANO, J.: Petitioner Dionisio M. Rabor is a Utility Worker in the Office of the Mayor, Davao City. He entered the government service as a Utility worker on 10 April 1978 at the age of 55 years. Sometime in May 1991, 1 Alma, D. Pagatpatan, an official in the Office of the Mayor of Davao City, advised Dionisio M. Rabor to apply for retirement, considering that he had already reached the age of sixty-eight (68) years and seven (7) months, with thirteen (13) years and one (1) month of government service. Rabor responded to this advice by exhibiting a "Certificate of Membership" 2 issued by the Government Service Insurance System ("GSIS") and dated 12 May 1988. At the bottom of this "Certificate of Membership" is a typewritten statement of the following tenor: "Service extended to comply 15 years service reqts." This statement is followed by a nonlegible initial with the following date "2/28/91." Thereupon, the Davao City Government, through Ms. Pagatpatan, wrote to the Regional Director of the Civil Service Commission, Region XI, Davao City ("CSRO-XI"), informing the latter of the foregoing and requesting advice "as to what action [should] be taken on this matter." In a letter dated 26 July 1991, Director Filemon B. Cawad of CSRO-XI advised Davao City Mayor Rodrigo R. Duterte as follows: Please be informed that the extension of services of Mr. Rabor is contrary to M.C. No. 65 of the Office of the President, the relevant portion of which is hereunder quoted: Officials and employees who have reached the compulsory retirement age of 65 years shall not be retained the service, except for extremely meritorious reasons in which case the retention shall not exceed six (6) months. IN VIEW WHEREFORE, please be advised that the services of Mr. Dominador [M.] Rabor as Utility Worker in that office, is already non-extend[i]ble. 3 Accordingly, on 8 August l991, Mayor Duterte furnished a copy of the 26 July 1991 letter of Director Cawad to Rabor and advised him "to stop reporting for work effective August 16, 1991." 4 Petitioner Rabor then sent to the Regional Director, CSRO-XI, a letter dated 14 August 1991, asking for extension of his services in the City Government until he "shall have completed the fifteen (15) years service [requirement] in the Government so that [he] could also avail of the benefits of the retirement laws given to employees of the Government." The extension he was asking for was about two (2) years. Asserting that he was "still in good health and very able to perform the duties and functions of [his] position as Utility Worker," Rabor sought "extension of [his] service as an exception to Memorandum Circular No. 65 of the Office of the President." 5 This request was denied by Director Cawad on 15 August 1991.

Petitioner Rabor next wrote to the Office of the President on 29 January 1992 seeking reconsideration of the decision of Director Cawad, CSRO-XI. The Office of the President referred Mr. Rabor's letter to the Chairman of the Civil Service Commission on 5 March 1992. In its Resolution No. 92-594, dated 28 April 1992, the Civil Service Commission dismissed the appeal of Mr. Rabor and affirmed the action of Director Cawad embodied in the latter's letter of 26 July 1991. This Resolution stated in part: In his appeal, Rabor requested that he be allowed to continue rendering services as Utility Worker in order to complete the fifteen (15) year service requirement under P.D. 1146. CSC Memorandum Circular No. 27, s. 1990 provides, in part: 1. Any request for extension of service of compulsory retirees to complete the fifteen years service requirement for retirement shall be allowed only to permanent appointees in the career service who are regular members of the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) and shall be granted for a period of not exceeding one (1) year. Considering that as early as October 18, 1988, Rabor was already due for retirement, his request for further extension of service cannot be given due course. 6 (Emphasis in the original) On 28 October 1992, Mr. Rabor sought reconsideration of Resolution No. 92-594 of the Civil Service Commission this time invoking the Decision of this Court in Cena v. Civil Service Commission. 7 Petitioner also asked for reinstatement with back salaries and benefits, having been separated from the government service effective 16 August 1991. Rabor's motion for reconsideration was denied by the Commission. Petitioner Rabor sent another letter dated 16 April 1993 to the Office of the Mayor, Davao City, again requesting that he be allowed to continue rendering service to the Davao City Government as Utility Worker in order to complete the fifteen (15) years service requirement under P.D. No. 1146. This request was once more denied by Mayor Duterte in a letter to petitioner dated 19 May 1993. In this letter, Mayor Duterte pointed out that, under Cena grant of the extension of service was discretionary on the part of the City Mayor, but that he could not grant the extension requested. Mayor Duterte's letter, in relevant part, read: The matter was referred to the City Legal Office and the Chairman of the Civil Service Commission, in the advent of the decision of the Supreme Court in the Cena vs. CSC, et al. (G.R. No. 97419 dated July 3, 1992), for legal opinion. Both the City Legal Officer and the Chairman of the Civil Service Commission are one in these opinion that extending you an appointment in order that you may be able to complete the fifteen-year service requirement is discretionary [on the part of] the City Mayor. Much as we desire to extend you an appointment but circumstances are that we can no longer do so. As you are already nearing your 70th birthday may no longer be able to perform the duties attached to your position. Moreover, the position you had vacated was already filled up. We therefore regret to inform you that we cannot act favorably on your request. 8 (Emphases supplied) At this point, Mr. Rabor decided to come to this Court. He filed a Letter/Petition dated 6 July 1993 appealing from Civil Service Resolution No. 92-594 and from Mayor Duterte's letter of 10 May 1993. The Court required petitioner Rabor to comply with the formal requirements for instituting a special civil action of certiorari to review the assailed Resolution of the Civil Service Commission. In turn, the Commission was required to comment on petitioner's Letter/Petition. 9 The Court subsequently noted petitioner's Letter of 13 September 1993 relating to compliance with the mentioned formal requirements and directed the Clerk of Court to advise petitioner to engage the services of counsel or to ask for legal assistance from the Public Attorney's Office (PAO).10 The Civil Service Commission, through the Office of the Solicitor General, filed its comment on 16 November 1993. The Court then resolved to give due course to the Petition and required the parties to file memoranda. Both the Commission and Mr. Rabor (the latter through PAO counsel) did so. In this proceeding, petitioner Rabor contends that his claim falls squarely within the ruling of this Court in Cena v. Civil Service Commission. 11 Upon the other hand, the Commission seeks to distinguish this case from Cena. The Commission, through the Solicitor General, stressed that in Cena, this Court had ruled that the employer agency, the Land Registration Authority of the Department of Justice, was vested with discretion to grant to Cena the extension requested by him. The Land Registration Authority had chosen not to exercise its discretion to grant or deny such extension. In contrast, in the instant case, the Davao City Government did exercise its discretion on the matter and decided to deny the extension sought by petitioner Rabor for legitimate reasons. While the Cena decision is barely three (3) years old, the Court considers that it must reexamine the doctrine of Cena and the theoretical and policy underpinnings thereof. 12 We start by recalling the factual setting of Cena. Gaudencio Cena was appointed Registrar of the Register of Deeds of Malabon, Metropolitan Manila, on 16 July 1987. He reached the compulsory retirement age of sixty-five (65) years on 22 January 1991. By the latter date, his government service would have reached a total of eleven (11) years, nine (9) months and six (6) days. Before reaching his 65th birthday, Cena requested the Secretary of Justice, through the Administrator of the Land Registration Authority ("LRA") that he be allowed to extend his service to complete the fifteenyear service requirement to enable him to retire with the full benefit of an Old-Age Pension under Section 11 (b) of P.D. No. 1146. If Cena's request were granted, he would complete fifteen (15) years of government service on 15 April 1994, at the age of sixty-eight (68) years.

The LRA Administrator sought a ruling from the Civil Service Commission on whether or not Cena's request could be granted considering that Cena was covered by Civil Service Memorandum No. 27, Series of 1990. On 17 October 1990, the Commission allowed Cena a one (1) year extension of his service from 22 January 1991 to 22 January 1992 under its Memorandum Circular No. 27. Dissatisfied, Cena moved for reconsideration, without success. He then came to this Court, claiming that he was entitled to an extension of three (3) years, three (3) months and twenty-four (24) days to complete the fifteen-year service requirement for retirement with full benefits under Section 11 (b) of P.D. No. 1146. This Court granted Cena' s petition in its Decision of 3 July 1992. Speaking through Mr. Justice Medialdea, the Court held that a government employee who has reached the compulsory retirement age of sixty-five (65) years, but at the same time has not yet completed fifteen (15) years of government service required under Section 11 (b) of P.D. No. 1146 to qualify for the Old-Age Pension Benefit, may be granted an extension of his government service for such period of time as may be necessary to "fill up" or comply with the fifteen (15)-year service requirement. The Court also held that the authority to grant the extension was a discretionary one vested in the head of the agency concerned. Thus the Court concluded: Accordingly, the Petition is GRANTED. The Land Registration Authority (LRA) and Department of Justice has the discretion to allow petitioner Gaudencio Cena to extend his 11 years, 9 months and 6 days of governmentto complete the fifteen-year service so that he may retire with full benefits under Section 11, paragraph (b) of P.D. 1146. 13 (Emphases supplied) The Court reached the above conclusion primarily on the basis of the "plain and ordinary meaning" of Section 11 (b) of P.D. No. 1146. Section 11 may be quoted in its entirety: Sec. 11 Conditions for Old-Age Pension. (a) Old-Age Pension shall be paid to a member who (1) has at least fifteen (15) years of service; (2) is at least sixty (60) years of age; and (3) is separated from the service. (b) unless the service is extended by appropriate authorities, retirement shall be compulsory for an employee at sixty-five-(65) years of age with at least fifteen (15) years of service; Provided, that if he has less than fifteen (15) years of service, he shall he allowed to continue in the service to completed the fifteen (15) years. (Emphases supplied) The Court went on to rely upon the canon of liberal construction which has often been invoked in respect of retirement statutes: Being remedial in character, a statute granting a pension or establishing [a] retirement plan should be liberally construed and administered in favor of persons intended to be benefitted thereby. The liberal approach aims to achieve the humanitarian purposes of the law in order that efficiency, security and well-being of government employees may be enhanced. 14 (Citations omitted) While Section 11 (b) appeared cast in verbally unqualified terms, there were (and still are) two (2) administrative issuances which prescribe limitations on the extension of service that may be granted to an employee who has reached sixty-five (65) years of age. The first administrative issuance is Civil Service Commission Circular No. 27, Series of 1990, which should be quoted in its entirety: TO : ALL HEADS OF DEPARTMENTS, BUREAUS AND AGENCIES OF THE NATIONAL/LOCAL GOVERNMENTS INCLUDING GOVERNMENT- OWNED AND/OR CONTROLLED CORPORATIONS WITH ORIGINAL CHARTERS. SUBJECT : Extension of Service of Compulsory Retiree to Complete the Fifteen Years Service Requirement for Retirement Purposes. Pursuant to CSC Resolution No. 90-454 dated May 21, 1990, the Civil Service Commission hereby adopts and promulgates the following policies and guidelines in the extension of services of compulsory retirees to complete the fifteen years service requirement for retirement purposes: 1. Any request for the extension of service of compulsory retirees to complete the fifteen (15) years service requirement for retirement shall be allowed only to permanent appointees in the career service who are regular members of the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS), and shall be granted for a period not exceeding one (1) year. 2. Any request for the extension of service of compulsory retiree to complete the fifteen (15) years service requirement for retirement who entered the government service at 57 years of age or over upon prior grant of authority to appoint him or her, shall no longer be granted. 3. Any request for the extension of service to complete the fifteen (15) years service requirement of retirement shall be filled not later than three (3) years prior to the date of compulsory retirement. 4. Any request for the extension of service of a compulsory retiree who meets the minimum number of years of service for retirement purposes may be granted for six (6) months only with no further extension. This Memorandum Circular shall take effect immediately. (Emphases supplied) The second administrative issuance Memorandum Circular No. 65 of the Office of the President, dated 14 June 1988 provides: xxx xxx xxx

WHEREAS, this Office has been. receiving requests for reinstatement and/or retention in the service of employees who have reached the compulsory retirement age of 65 years , despite the strict conditions provided for in Memorandum Circular No. 163, dated March 5, 1968, as amended. WHEREAS, the President has recently adopted a policy to adhere more strictly to the law providing for compulsory retirement age of 65 years and, in extremely meritorious cases, to limit the service beyond the age of 65 years to six (6) months only. WHEREFORE, the pertinent provision of Memorandum Circular No. 163 or on the retention in the service of officials or employees who have reached the compulsory retirement age of 65 years, is hereby amended to read as follows: Officials or employees who have reached the compulsory retirement age of 65 yearsshall not be retained in the service, except for extremely meritorious reasons in which case the retention shall not exceed six (6) months. All heads of departments, bureaus, offices and instrumentalities of the government including government-owned or controlled corporations, are hereby enjoined to require their respective offices to strictly comply with this circular. This Circular shall take effect immediately.y Manila, June 14, 1988. 15 (Emphasis supplied) Medialdea, J. resolved the challenges posed by the above two (2) administrative regulations by, firstly, considering as invalid Civil Service Memorandum No. 27 and, secondly, by interpreting the Office of the President's Memorandum Circular No. 65 as inapplicable to the case of Gaudencio T. Cena. We turn first to the Civil Service Commission's Memorandum Circular No. 27. Medialdea, J. wrote: The Civil Service Commission Memorandum Circular No. 27 being in the nature of an administrative regulation, must be governed by the principle that administrative regulations adopted under legislative authority by a particular department must be in harmony with the provisions of the law, and should be for the sole purpose of carrying into effect its general provisions (People v. Maceren, G.R. No. L-32166, October 18, 1977, 79 SCRA 450; Teoxon v. Members of the Board of Administrators, L-25619, June 30, 1970, 33 SCRA 585; Manuel v. General Auditing Office, L-28952, December 29, 1971, 42 SCRA 660; Deluao v. Casteel, L-21906, August 29, 1969, 29 SCRA 350). . . . . The rule on limiting to one the year the extension of service of an employee who has reached the compulsory retirement age of sixty-five (65) years, but has less than fifteen (15) years of service under Civil Service Memorandum Circular No. 27, S. 1990, cannot likewise be accorded validity because it has no relationship or connection with any provision of P.D. 1146 supposed to be carried into effect. The rule was an addition to or extension of the law, not merely a mode of carrying it into effect. The Civil Service Commission has no power to supply perceived omissions in P.D. 1146. 16 (Emphasis supplied) It will be seen that Cena, in striking down Civil Service Commission Memorandum No. 27, took a very narrow view on the question of what subordinate rule-making by an administrative agency is permissible and valid. That restrictive view must be contrasted with this Court's earlier ruling in People v. Exconde, 17 where Mr. Justice J.B.L. Reyes said: It is well established in this jurisdiction that, while the making of laws is a non-delegable activity that corresponds exclusively to Congress, nevertheless, the latter may constitutionally delegate authority and promulgate rules and regulations to implement a given legislation and effectuate its policies, for the reason that the legislature often finds it impracticable (if not impossible) to anticipate and provide for the multifarious and complex situations that may be met in carrying the law into effect. All that is required is that the regulation should be germane to the objects and purposes of the law; that the regulation be not in contradiction with it, but conform to standards that the law prescribes. 18 (Emphasis supplied) In Tablarin v. Gutierrez, 19 the Court, in sustaining the validity of a MECS Order which established passing a uniform admission test called the National Medical Admission Test (NMAT) as a prerequisite for eligibility for admission into medical schools in the Philippines, said: The standards set for subordinate legislation in the exercise of rule making authority by an administrative agency like the Board of Medical Education are necessarily broad and highly abstract. As explained by then Mr. Justice Fernando in Edu v. Ericta (35 SCRA 481 [1970]) The standards may be either expressed or implied. If the former, the non-delegation objection is easily met. The Standard though does not have to be spelled out specifically. It could be implied from the policy and purpose of the act considered as a whole. In the Reflector Law, clearly the legislative objective is public safety. What is sought to be attained in Calalang v. William is "safe transit upon the roads." We believe and so hold that the necessary standards are set forth in Section 1 of the 1959 Medical Act: "the standardization and regulation of medical education" and in Section 5 (a) and 7 of the same Act, the body of the statute itself, and that these considered together are sufficient compliance with the requirements of the non-delegation principle. 20 (Citations omitted; emphasis partly in the original and partly supplied) In Edu v. Ericta, 21 then Mr. Justice Fernando stressed the abstract and very general nature of the standards which our Court has in prior case law upheld as sufficient for purposes of compliance with the requirements for validity of subordinate or administrative rule-making: This Court has considered as sufficient standards, "public welfare," (Municipality of Cardona v. Municipality of Binangonan, 36 Phil. 547 [1917]); "necessary in the interest of law and order," (Rubi v. Provincial Board, 39 Phil. 660

[1919]); "public interest," (People v. Rosenthal, 68 Phil. 328 [1939]); and "justice and equity and substantial merits of the case," (International Hardwood v. Pangil Federation of Labor, 17 Phil. 602 [1940]). 22(Emphasis supplied) Clearly, therefore, Cena when it required a considerably higher degree of detail in the statute to be implemented, went against prevailing doctrine. It seems clear that if the governing or enabling statute is quite detailed and specific to begin with, there would be very little need (or occasion) for implementing administrative regulations. It is, however, precisely the inability of legislative bodies to anticipate all (or many) possible detailed situations in respect of any relatively complex subject matter, that makes subordinate, delegated rule-making by administrative agencies so important and unavoidable. All that may be reasonably; demanded is a showing that the delegated legislation consisting of administrative regulations are germane to the general purposes projected by the governing or enabling statute. This is the test that is appropriately applied in respect of Civil Service Memorandum Circular No. 27, Series of 1990, and to this test we now turn. We consider that the enabling statute that should appropriately be examined is the present Civil Service law found in Book V, Title I, Subtitle A, of Executive Order No. 292 dated 25 July 1987, otherwise known as the Administrative Code of 1987 and not alone P.D. No. 1146, otherwise known as the "Revised Government Service Insurance Act of 1977." For the matter of extension of service of retirees who have reached sixty-five (65) years of age is an area that is covered by both statutes and not alone by Section 11 (b) of P.D. 1146. This is crystal clear from examination of many provisions of the present civil service law. Section 12 of the present Civil Service law set out in the 1987 Administrative Code provides, in relevant part, as follows: Sec. 12 Powers and Functions. The [Civil Service] Commission shall have the following powers and functions: xxx xxx xxx (2) Prescribe, amend and enforce rules and regulations for carrying into effect the provisions of the Civil Service Law and other pertinent laws; (3) Promulgate policies, standards and guidelines for the Civil Service and adopt plans and programsto promote economical, efficient and effective personnel administration in the government; xxx xxx xxx (10) Formulate, administer and evaluate programs relative to the development and retention of aqualified and competent work force in the public service; xxx xxx xxx (14) Take appropriate action on all appointments and other personnel matters in the Civil Service including extension of service beyond retirement age; xxx xxx xxx (17) Administer the retirement program for government officials and employees , and accredit government services and evaluate qualifications for retirement; xxx xxx xxx (19) Perform all functions properly belonging to a central personnel agency and such other functions as may be provided by law. (Emphasis supplied) It was on the bases of the above quoted provisions of the 1987 Administrative Code that the Civil Service Commission promulgated its Memorandum Circular No. 27. In doing so, the Commission was acting as "the central personnel agency of the government empowered to promulgate policies, standards and guidelines for efficient, responsive and effective personnel administration in the government." 23 It was also discharging its function of "administering the retirement program for government officials and employees" and of "evaluat[ing] qualifications for retirement." In addition, the Civil Service Commission is charged by the 1987 Administrative Code with providing leadership and assistance "in the development and retention of qualified and efficient work force in the Civil Service" (Section 16 [10]) and with the "enforcement of the constitutional and statutory provisions, relative to retirement and the regulation for the effective implementation of the retirement of government officials and employees" (Section 16 [14]). We find it very difficult to suppose that the limitation of permissible extensions of service after an employee has reached sixty-five (65) years of age has no reasonable relationship or is not germane to the foregoing provisions of the present Civil Service Law. The physiological and psychological processes associated with ageing in human beings are in fact related to the efficiency and quality of the service that may be expected from individual persons. The policy considerations which guided the Civil Service Commission in limiting the maximum extension of service allowable for compulsory retirees, were summarized by Grio-Aquino, J. in her dissenting opinion in Cena: Worth pondering also are the points raised by the Civil Service Commission that extending the service of compulsory retirees for longer than one (1) year would: (1) give a premium to late-comers in the government service and in effect discriminate against those who enter the service at a younger age; (2) delay the promotion of the latter and of next-in-rank employees; and (3) prejudice the chances for employment of qualified young civil service applicants who have already passed the various government examination but must wait for jobs to be vacated by "extendees" who have long passed the mandatory retirement age but are enjoying extension of their government service to complete 15 years so they may qualify for old-age pension. 24 (Emphasis supplied). Cena laid heavy stress on the interest of retirees or would be retirees, something that is, in itself, quite appropriate. At the same time, however, we are bound to note that there should be countervailing stress on the interests of the employer agency and of other

government employees as a whole. The results flowing from the striking down of the limitation established in Civil Service Memorandum Circular No. 27 may well be "absurd and inequitable," as suggested by Mme. Justice Grio-Aquino in her dissenting opinion. An employee who has rendered only three (3) years of government service at age sixty-five (65) can have his service extended for twelve (12) years and finally retire at the age of seventy-seven (77). This reduces the significance of the general principle of compulsory retirement at age sixty-five (65) very close to the vanishing point. The very real difficulties posed by the Cena doctrine for rational personnel administration and management in the Civil Service, are aggravated when Cena is considered together with the case of Toledo v. Civil Service Commission. 25 Toledo involved the provisions of Rule III, Section 22, of the Civil Service Rules on Personnel Action and Policies (CSRPAP) which prohibited the appointment of persons fiftyseven (57) years old or above in government service without prior approval of the Civil Service Commission. Civil Service Memorandum Circular No. 5, Series of 1983 provided that a person fifty-seven (57) years of age may be appointed to the Civil Service provided that the exigencies of the government service so required and provided that the appointee possesses special qualifications not possessed by other officers or employees in the Civil Service and that the vacancy cannot be filled by promotion of qualified officers or employees of the Civil Service. Petitioner Toledo was appointed Manager of the Education and Information Division of the Commission on Elections when he was almost fifty-nine (59) years old. No authority for such appointment had been obtained either from the President of the Philippines or from the Civil Service Commission and the Commission found that the other conditions laid down in Section 22 of Rule III, CSRPAP, did not exist. The Court nevertheless struck down Section 22, Rule III on the same exceedingly restrictive view of permissible administrative legislation that Cena relied on. 26 When one combines the doctrine of Toledo with the ruling in Cena, very strange results follow. Under these combined doctrines, a person sixty-four (64) years of age may be appointed to the government service and one (1) year later may demand extension of his service for the next fourteen (14) years; he would retire at age seventy-nine (79). The net effect is thus that the general statutory policy of compulsory retirement at sixty-five (65) years is heavily eroded and effectively becomes unenforceable. That general statutory policy may be seen to embody the notion that there should be a certain minimum turn-over in the government service and that opportunities for government service should be distributed as broadly as possible, specially to younger people, considering that the bulk of our population is below thirty (30) years of age. That same general policy also reflects the life expectancy of our people which is still significantly lower than the life expectancy of, e.g., people in Northern and Western Europe, North America and Japan. Our conclusion is that the doctrine of Cena should be and is hereby modified to this extent: that Civil Service Memorandum Circular No. 27, Series of 1990, more specifically paragraph (1) thereof, is hereby declared valid and effective. Section 11 (b) of P.D. No. 1146 must, accordingly, be read together with Memorandum Circular No. 27. We reiterate, however, the holding in Cena that the head of the government agency concerned is vested with discretionary authority to allow or disallow extension of the service of an official or employee who has reached sixty-five (65) years of age without completing fifteen (15) years of government service; this discretion is, nevertheless, to be exercised conformably with the provisions of Civil Service Memorandum Circular No. 27, Series of 1990. We do not believe it necessary to deal specifically with Memorandum Circular No. 65 of the Office of the President dated 14 June 1988. It will be noted from the text quoted supra (pp. 11-12) that the text itself of Memorandum Circular No. 65 (and for that matter, that of Memorandum Circular No. 163, also of the Office of the President, dated 5 March 1968) 27 does not purport to apply only to officers or employees who have reached the age of sixty-five (65) years and who have at least fifteen (l5) years of government service. We noted earlier that Cenainterpreted Memorandum Circular No. 65 as referring only to officers and employees who have both reached the compulsory retirement age of sixty-five (65) and completed the fifteen (15) years of government service. Cena so interpreted this Memorandum Circular precisely because Cena had reached the conclusion that employees who have reached sixty-five (65) years of age, but who have less than fifteen (15) years of government service, may be allowed such extension of service as may be needed to complete fifteen (15) years of service. In other words,Cena read Memorandum Circular No. 65 in such a way as to comfort with Cena's own conclusion reached without regard to that Memorandum Circular. In view of the conclusion that we today reached in the instant case, this last ruling of Cena is properly regarded as merely orbiter. We also do not believe it necessary to determine whether Civil Service Memorandum Circular No. 27 is fully compatible with Office of the President's Memorandum Circular No. 65; this question must be reserved for detailed analysis in some future justiciable case. Applying now the results of our reexamination of Cena to the instant case, we believe and so hold that Civil Service Resolution No. 92-594 dated 28 April 1992 dismissing the appeal of petitioner Rabor and affirming the action of CSRO-XI Director Cawad dated 26 July 1991, must be upheld and affirmed. ACCORDINGLY, for all the foregoing, the Petition for Certiorari is hereby DISMISSED for lack of merit. No pronouncement as to costs. SO ORDERED. Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila EN BANC G.R. Nos. L-8895 and L-9191 April 30, 1957 SALVADOR A. ARANETA, ETC., ET AL., petitioners, vs. THE HON. MAGNO S. GATMAITAN, ETC., ET AL., respondents. EXEQUIEL SORIANO, ET AL., petitioners-appellees, vs. SALVADOR ARANETA, ETC., ET AL., respondents-appellants.

Office of the Solicitor General Ambrosio Padilla, Assistant Solicitor General Jose G. Bautista and Solicitor Troadio T. Quiazon for petitioners. San Juan, Africa and Benedicto for respondents. FELIX, J.: San Miguel Bay, located between the provinces of Camarines Norte and Camarines Sur, a part of the National waters of the Philippines with an extension of about 250 square miles and an average depth of approximately 6 fathoms (Otter trawl explorations in Philippine waters p. 21, Exh. B), is considered as the most important fishing area in the Pacific side of the Bicol region. Sometime in 1950, trawl1 operators from Malabon, Navotas and other places migrated to this region most of them settling at Sabang, Calabanga, Camarines Sur, for the purpose of using this particular method of fishing in said bay. On account of the belief of sustenance fishermen that the operation of this kind of gear caused the depletion of the marine resources of that area, there arose a general clamor among the majority of the inhabitants of coastal towns to prohibit the operation of trawls in San Miguel Bay. This move was manifested in the resolution of December 18, 1953 (Exh. F), passed by the Municipal Mayors' League condemning the operation of trawls as the cause of the wanton destruction of the shrimp specie and resolving to petition the President of the Philippines to regulate fishing in San Miguel Bay by declaring it closed for trawl fishing at a certain period of the year. In another resolution dated March 27, 1954, the same League of Municipal Mayor, prayed the President to protect them and the fish resources of San Miguel Bay by banning the operation of trawls therein (Exh. 4). The Provincial Governor also made proper presentations to this effect and petitions in behalf of the non-trawl fishermen were likewise presented to the President by social and civic organizations as the NAMFREL (National Movement for Free Elections) and the COMPADRE (Committee for Philippine Action in Development, Reconstruction and Education), recommending the cancellation of the licenses of trawl operators after investigation, if such inquiry would substantiate the charges that the operation of said fishing method was detrimental to the welfare of the majority of the inhabitants (Exh. 2). In response to these pleas, the President issued on April 5, 1954, Executive Order No. 22 (50 Off. Gaz., 1421) prohibiting the use of trawls in San Miguel Bay, but said executive order was amended by Executive Order No. 66, issued on September 23, 1954 (50 Off. Gaz., 4037), apparently in answer to a resolution of the Provincial Board of Camarines Sur recommending the allowance of trawl fishing during the typhoon season only. On November 2, 1954, however, Executive Order No. 80 (50 Off. Gaz., 5198) was issued reviving Executive Order No. 22, to take effect after December 31, 1954. A group of Otter trawl operators took the matter to the court by filing a complaint for injunction and/or declaratory relief with preliminary injunction with the Court of First Instance of Manila, docketed as Civil Case No. 24867, praying that a writ of preliminary injunction be issued to restrain the Secretary of Agriculture and Natural Resources and the Director of Fisheries from enforcing said executive order; to declare the same null and void, and for such other relief as may be just and equitable in the premises. The Secretary of Agriculture and Natural Resources and the Director of Fisheries, represented by the Legal Adviser of said Department and a Special Attorney of the Office of the Solicitor General, answered the complaint alleging, among other things, that of the 18 plaintiff (Exequiel Soriano, Teodora Donato, Felipe Concepcion, Venancio Correa, Santo Gaviana, Alfredo General, Constancio Gutierrez, Arsenio de Guzman, Pedro Lazaro, Porfirio Lazaro, Deljie de Leon, Jose Nepomuceno, Bayani Pingol, Claudio Salgado, Porfirio, San Juan, Luis Sioco, Casimiro Villar and Enrique Voluntad), only 11 were issued license to operate fishing boats for the year 1954 (Annex B, petition L-8895); that the executive orders in question were issued accordance with law; that the encouragement by the Bureau of Fisheries of the use of Otter trawls should not be construed to mean that the general welfare of the public could be disregarded, and set up the defenses that since plaintiffs question the validity of the executive orders issued by the President, then the Secretary of Agriculture and Natural Resources and the Director of Fisheries were not the real parties in interest; that said executive orders do not constitute a deprivation of property without due process of law, and therefore prayed that the complaint be dismissed (Exh. B, petition, L-8895). During the trial of the case, the Governor of Camarines Sur appearing for the municipalities of Siruma, Tinambac, Calabanga, Cabusao and Sipocot, in said province, called the attention of the Court that the Solicitor General had not been notified of the proceeding. To this manifestation, the Court ruled that in view of the circumstances of the case, and as the Solicitor General would only be interested in maintaining the legality of the executive orders sought to be impugned, section 4 of Rule 66 could be interpreted to mean that the trial could go on and the Solicitor General could be notified before judgement is entered. After the evidence for both parties was submitted and the Solicitor General was allowed to file his memorandum, the Court rendered decision on February 2, 1955, the last part of which reads as follows: The power to close any definite area of the Philippine waters, from the fact that Congress has seen fit to define under what conditions it may be done by the enactment of the sections cited, in the mind of Congress must be of transcendental significance. It is primarily within the fields of legislation not of execution: for it goes far and says who can and who can not fish in definite territorial waters. The court can not accept that Congress had intended to abdicate its inherent right to legislate on this matter of national importance. To accept respondents' view would be to sanction the exercise of legislative power by executive decrees. If it is San Miguel Bay now, it may be Davao Gulf tomorrow, and so on. That may be done only by Congress. This being the conclusion, there is hardly need to go any further. Until the trawler is outlawed by legislative enactment, it cannot be banned from San Miguel Bay by executive proclamation. The remedy for respondents and population of the coastal towns of Camarines Sur is to go to the Legislature. The result will be to issue the writ prayed for, even though this be to strike at public clamor and to annul the orders of the President issued in response therefor. This is a task unwelcome and unpleasant; unfortunately, courts of justice use only one measure for both the rich and poor, and are not bound by the more popular cause when they give judgments. IN VIEW WHEREOF, granted; Executive Order Nos. 22, 66 and 80 are declared invalid; the injunction prayed for is ordered to issue; no pronouncement as to costs. Petitioners immediately filed an ex-parte motion for the issuance of a writ of injunction which was opposed by the Solicitor General and after the parties had filed their respective memoranda, the Court issued an order dated February 19, 1955, denying respondents' motion to set aside judgement and ordering them to file a bond in the sum of P30,000 on or before March 1, 1955, as a condition for the nonissuance of the injunction prayed for by petitioners pending appeal. The Solicitor General filed a motion for reconsideration which was

denied for lack of merit, and the Court, acting upon the motion for new trial filed by respondents, issued another order on March 3, 1965, denying said motion and granting the injunction prayed for by petitioners upon the latter's filing a bond for P30,000 unless respondents could secure a writ of preliminary injunction from the Supreme Court on or before March 15, 1955. Respondents, therefore, brought the matter to this Court in a petition for prohibition and certiorariwith preliminary injunction, docketed as G.R. No. L-8895, and on the same day filed a notice to appeal from the order of the lower court dated February 2, 1955, which appeal was docketed in this Court as G.R. No. L-9191. In the petition for prohibition and certiorari, petitioners (respondents therein) contended among other things, that the order of, the respondent Judge requiring petitioners Secretary of Agriculture and Natural Resources and the Director of Fisheries to post a bond in the sum of P30,000 on or before March 1, 1955, had been issued without jurisdiction or in excess thereof, or at the very least with grave abuse of discretion, because by requiring the bond, the Republic of the Philippines was in effect made a party defendant and therefore transformed the suit into one against the Government which is beyond the jurisdiction of the respondent Judge to entertain; that the failure to give the Solicitor General the opportunity to defend the validity of the challenged executive orders resulted in the receipt of objectionable matters at the hearing; that Rule 66 of the Rules of Court does not empower a court of law to pass upon the validity of an executive order in a declaratory relief proceeding; that the respondent Judge did not have the power to grant the injunction as Section 4 of Rule 39 does not apply to declaratory relief proceedings but only to injunction, receivership and patent accounting proceedings; and prayed that a writ of preliminary injunction be issued to enjoin the respondent Judge from enforcing its order of March 3, 1955, and for such other relief as may be deem just and equitable in the premises. This petition was given due course and the hearing on the merits was set by this Court for April 12, 1955, but no writ of preliminary injunction was issued. Meanwhile, the appeal (G.R. No. L-9191) was heard on October 3, 1956, wherein respondents-appellants ascribed to the lower court the commission of the following errors: 1. In ruling that the President has no authority to issue Executive Orders Nos. 22, 66 and 80 banning the operation of trawls in San Miguel Bay; 2. In holding that the power to declare a closed area for fishing purposes has not been delegated to the President of the Philippines under the Fisheries Act; 3. In not considering Executive Orders Nos. 22, 66 and 80 as declaring a closed season pursuant to Section 7, Act 4003, as amended, otherwise known as the Fisheries Act; 4. In holding that to uphold the validity of Executive Orders Nos. 22 and 80 would be to sanction the exercise of legislative power by executive decrees; 5. In its suggestion that the only remedy for respondents and the people of the coastal towns of Camarines Sur and Camarines Norte is to go to the Legislature; and 6. In declaring Executive Orders Nos. 22, 66 and 80 invalid and in ordering the injunction prayed for to issue. As Our decision in the prohibition and certiorari case (G.R. No. L-8895) would depend, in the last analysis, on Our ruling in the appeal of the respondents in case G.R. No. L-9191, We shall first proceed to dispose of the latter case. It is indisputable that the President issued Executive Orders Nos. 22, 66 and 80 in response to the clamor of the inhabitants of the municipalities along the coastline of San Miguel Bay. They read as follows: EXECUTIVE ORDER No. 22 PROHIBITING THE USE OF TRAWLS IN SAN MIGUEL BAY In order to effectively protect the municipal fisheries of San Miguel Bay, Camarines Norte and Camarines Sur, and to conserve fish and other aquatic resources of the area, I, RAMON MAGSAYSAY, President of the Philippines, by virtue of the powers vested in me by law, do hereby order that: 1. Fishing by means of trawls (utase, otter and/or perenzella) of any kind, in the waters comprised within San Miguel Bay, is hereby prohibited. 2. Trawl shall mean, for the purpose of this Order, a fishing net made in the form of a bag with the mouth kept open by a device, the whole affair being towed, dragged, trailed or trawled on the bottom of the sea to capture demersal, ground or bottom species. 3. Violation of the provisions of this Order shall subject the offender to the penalty provided under Section 83 of Act 4993, or more than six months, or both, in the discretion of the Court. Done in the City of Manila, this 5th day of April, nineteen hundred and fifty-four and of the Independence of the Philippines, the eighth. (50 Off. Gaz. 1421) EXECUTIVE ORDER No. 66 AMENDING EXECUTIVE ORDER No. 22, DATED APRIL 5, 1954, ENTITLED "PROHIBITING THE USE OF TRAWLS IN SAN MIGUEL BAY" By virtue of the powers voted in me by law, I, RAMON MAGSAYSAY, President of the Philippines, do hereby amend Executive Order No. 22, dated April 5, 1954, so as to allow fishing by means of trawls, as defined in said Executive Order, within that portion of San Miguel Bay north of a straight line drawn from Tacubtacuban Hill in the Municipality of Tinambac, Province of Camarines Sur. Fishing by means of trawls south of said line shall still be absolutely prohibited.

Done in the City of Manila, this 23rd day of September, in the year of our Lord, nineteen hundred and fifty-four, and of the Independence of the Philippines, the ninth." (50 Off. Gaz. 4037). EXECUTIVE ORDER No. 80. FURTHER AMENDING EXECUTIVE ORDER No. 22, DATED APRIL 5, 1954, AS AMENDED BY EXECUTIVE ORDER No. 66, DATED SEPTEMBER 23, 1954. By virtue of the powers vested in me by law, I, RAMON MAGSAYSAY, President of the Philippines, do hereby amend Executive Order No. 66 dated September 23, 1954, so as to allow fishing by means of trawls, as defined in Executive Order No. 22, dated April 5, 1954, within the portion of San Miguel Bay North of a straight line drawn from Tacubtacuban Hill in the Municipality of Mercedes, Province of Camarines Norte to Balocbaloc Point in the Municipality of Tinambac, Province of Camarines Sur, until December 31, 1954, only. Thereafter, the provisions of said Executive Order No. 22 absolutely prohibiting fishing by means of trawls in all the waters comprised within the San Miguel Bay shall be revived and given full force and effect as originally provided therein. Done in the City of Manila, this 2nd day of November, in the year of Our Lord, nineteen hundred and fifty-four and of the Independence of the Philippines, the ninth. (50 Off. Gaz. 5198) It is likewise admitted that petitioners assailed the validity of said executive orders in their petition for a writ of injunction and/or declaratory relief filed with the Court of First Instance of Manila, and that the lower court, upon declaring Executive Orders Nos. 22, 66 and 80 invalid, issued an order requiring the Secretary of Agriculture and Natural Resources and the Director of Fisheries to post a bond for P30,000 if the writ of injunction restraining them from enforcing the executive orders in question must be stayed. The Solicitor General avers that the constitutionality of an executive order cannot be ventilated in a declaratory relief proceeding. We find this untenable, for this Court taking cognizance of an appeal from the decision of the lower court in the case of Hilado vs. De la Costa, et al., 83 Phil., 471, which involves the constitutionality of another executive order presented in an action for declaratory relief, in effect accepted the propriety of such action. This question being eliminated, the main issues left for Our determination with respect to defendants' appeal (G.R. No. L-9191), are: (1) Whether the Secretary of an Executive Department and the Director of a Bureau, acting in their capacities as such Government officials, could lawfully be required to post a bond in an action against them; (2) Whether the President of the Philippines has authority to issue Executive Orders Nos. 22, 66 and 80, banning the operation of trawls in San Miguel Bay, or, said in other words, whether said Executive Orders Nos. 22, 66 and 80 were issued in accordance with law; and. (3) Whether Executive Orders Nos. 22, 66 and 80 were valid, for the issuance thereof was not in the exercise of legislative powers unduly delegated to the President. Counsel for both parties presented commendable exhaustive defenses in support of their respective stands. Certainly, these cases deserve such efforts, not only because the constitutionality of an act of a coordinate branch in our tripartite system of Government is in issue, but also because of the number of inhabitants, admittedly classified as "subsistence fishermen", that may be affected by any ruling that We may promulgate herein. I. As to the first proposition, it is an elementary rule of procedure that an appeal stays the execution of a judgment. An exception is offered by section 4 of Rule 39 of the Rules of Court which provides that: SEC. 4. INJUNCTION, RECEIVERSHIP AND PATENT ACCOUNTING, NOT STAYED. Unless otherwise ordered by the court, a judgment in an action for injunction or in a receivership action, or a judgment or order directing an accounting in an action for infringement of letter patent, shall not be stayed after its rendition and before an appeal is taken or during the pendency of an appeal. The trial court, however, in its discretion, when an appeal is taken from a judgement granting, dissolving or denying an injunction, may make an order suspending, modifying, restoring, or granting such injunction during the pendency of an appeal, upon such terms as to bond or otherwise as it may consider proper for the security of the rights of the adverse party. This provision was the basis of the order of the lower court dated February 19, 1955, requiring the filing by the respondents of a bond for P30,000 as a condition for the non-issuance of the injunction prayed for by plaintiffs therein, and which the Solicitor General charged to have been issued in excess of jurisdiction. The State's counsel, however, alleges that while judgment could be stayed in injunction, receivership and patent accounting cases and although the complaint was styled "Injunction, and/or Declaratory Relief with Preliminary Injunction", the case is necessarily one for declaratory relief, there being no allegation sufficient to convince the Court that the plaintiffs intended it to be one for injunction. But aside from the title of the complaint, We find that plaintiffs pray for the declaration of the nullity of Executive Order Nos. 22, 66 and 80; the issuance of a writ of preliminary injunction, and for such other relief as may be deemed just and equitable. This Court has already held that there are only two requisites to be satisfied if an injunction is to issue, namely, the existence of the right sought to be protected, and that the acts against which the injunction is to be directed are violative of said right (North Negros Sugar Co., Inc.vs. Serafin Hidalgo, 63 Phil., 664). There is no question that at least 11 of the complaining trawl operators were duly licensed to operate in any of the national waters of the Philippines, and it is undeniable that the executive enactment's sought to be annulled are detrimental to their interests. And considering further that the granting or refusal of an injunction, whether temporary or permanent, rests in the sound discretion of the Court, taking into account the circumstances and the facts of the particular case (Rodulfa vs. Alfonso, 76 Phil,, 225, 42 Off. Gaz., 2439), We find no abuse of discretion when the trial Court treated the complaint as one for injunction and declaratory relief and executed the judgment pursuant to the provisions of section 4 of Rule 39 of the Rules of Court. On the other hand, it shall be remembered that the party defendants in Civil Case No. 24867 of the Court of First Instance of Manila are Salvador Araneta, as Secretary of Agriculture and Natural Resources, and, Deogracias Villadolid, as Director of Fisheries, and were sued in such capacities because they were the officers charged with duty of carrying out the statutes, orders and regulations on fishing and fisheries. In its order of February 19, 1955, the trial court denied defendants' motion to set aside judgment and they were required to file

a bond for P30,000 to answer for damages that plaintiffs were allegedly suffering at that time, as otherwise the injunction prayed for by the latter would be issued. Because of these facts, We agree with the Solicitor General when he says that the action, being one against herein petitioners as such Government officials, is essentially one against the Government, and to require these officials to file a bond would be indirectly a requirement against the Government for as regards bonds or damages that may be proved, if any, the real party in interest would be the Republic of the Philippines (L. S. Moon and Co.vs. Harrison, 43 Phi., 39; Salgado vs. Ramos, 64 Phil., 724-727, and others). The reason for this pronouncement is understandable; the State undoubtedly is always solvent (Tolentino vs. Carlos 66 Phil., 140; Government of the P. I. vs. Judge of the Court of First Instance of Iloilo, 34 Phil., 167, cited in Joaquin Gutierrez et al. vs. Camus et al. * G.R. No. L-6725, promulgated October 30, 1954). However, as the records show that herein petitioners failed to put up the bond required by the lower court, allegedly due to difficulties encountered with the Auditor General's Office (giving the impression that they were willing to put up said bond but failed to do so for reasons beyond their control), and that the orders subjects of the prohibition and certiorari proceedings in G.R. No. L-8895, were enforced, if at all,2 in accordance with section 4 of Rule 39, which We hold to be applicable to the case at bar, the issue as to the regularity or adequacy of requiring herein petitioners to post a bond, becomes moot and academic. II. Passing upon the question involved in the second proposition, the trial judge extending the controversy to the determination of which between the Legislative, and Executive Departments of the Government had "the power to close any definite area of the Philippine waters" instead of limiting the same to the real issue raised by the enactment of Executive Orders No. 22, 26 and 80, especially the first and the last "absolutely prohibiting fishing by means trawls in all the waters comprised within the San Miguel Bay", ruled in favor of Congress had not intended to abdicate its power to legislate on the matter, he maintained as stated before, that "until the trawler is outlawed by legislative enactment, it cannot be banned from San Miguel Bay by executive proclamation", and that "the remedy for respondents and population of the coastal towns of Camarines Sur is to go to Legislature," and thus declared said Executive Orders Nos. 22, 66 and 80 invalid". The Solicitor General, on the contrary, asserts that the President is empowered by law to issue the executive enactment's in question. Sections 6, 13 and 75 of Act No. 4003, known as the Fisheries Law, the latter two sections as amended by section 1 of Commonwealth Act No. 471, read as follows: SEC. 6. WORDS AND PHRASES DEFINED. Words and terms used in this Act shall be construed as follows: xxx xxx xxx TAKE or TAKING includes pursuing, shooting, killing, capturing, trapping, snaring, and netting fish and other aquatic animals, and all lesser acts, such as disturbing, wounding, stupefying; or placing, setting, drawing, or using any net or other device commonly used to take or collect fish and other aquatic animals, whether they result in taking or not, and includes every attempt to take and every act of assistance to every other person in taking or attempting to take or collect fish and other aquatic animals: PROVIDED, That whenever taking is allowed by law, reference is had to taking by lawful means and in lawful manner. xxx xxx xxx SEC. 13. PROTECTION OF FRY OR FISH EGGS. Except for scientific or educational purpose or for propagation, it shall be unlawful to take or catch fry or fish eggs and the small fish, not more than three (3) centimeters long, known as siliniasi, in the territorial waters of the Philippines. Towards this end, the Secretary of Agriculture and Commerce shall be authorized to provide by regulations such restrictions as may be deemed necessary to be imposed on THE USE OF ANY FISHING NET OR FISHING DEVICE FOR THE PROTECTION OF FRY OR FISH EGGS; Provided, however, That the Secretary of Agriculture and Commerce shall permit the taking of young of certain species of fish known as hipon under such restrictions as may be deemed necessary. SEC. 75. FISH REFUGEES AND SANCTUARIES. Upon the recommendation of the officer or chief of the bureau, office or service concerned, the Secretary of Agriculture and Commerce may set aside and establish fishery reservation or fish refuges and sanctuaries to be administered in the manner to be prescribed by him. All streams, ponds and waters within the game refuge, birds, sanctuaries, national parks, botanical gardens, communal forest and communal pastures are hereby declared fishing refuges and sanctuaries. It shall be unlawful for any person, to take, destroy or kill in any of the places aforementioned, or in any manner disturb or drive away or take therefrom, any fish fry or fish eggs. Act No. 4003 further provides as follows: SEC. 83. OTHER VIOLATIONS. Any other violation of the provisions of this Act or any rules and regulations promulgated thereunder shall subject the offender to a fine of not more than two hundred pesos, or imprisonment for not more than six months, or both, in the discretion of the Court. As may be seen from the just quoted provisions, the law declares unlawful and fixes the penalty for the taking (except for scientific or educational purposes or for propagation), destroying or killing of any fish fry or fish eggs, and the Secretary of Agriculture and Commerce (now the Secretary of Agriculture and Natural Resources) is authorized to promulgate regulations restricting the use of any fish net or fishing device (which includes the net used by trawl fishermen) for the protection of fry or fish eggs, as well as to set aside and establish fishery reservations or fish refuges and sanctuaries to be administered in the manner prescribed by him, from which no person could lawfully take, destroy or kill in any of the places aforementioned, or in any manner disturb or drive away or take therefrom any small or immature fish, fry or fish eggs. It is true that said section 75 mentions certain streams, ponds and waters within the game refuges, . . . communal forest, etc., which the law itself declares fish refuges and sanctuaries, but this enumeration of places does not curtail the general and unlimited power of the Secretary of Agriculture and Natural Resources in the first part of section 75, to set aside and establish fishery reservations or fish refuges and sanctuaries, which naturally include seas or bays, like the San Miguel Bay in Camarines.

From the resolution passed at the Conference of Municipal Mayors held at Tinambac, Camarines Sur, on December 18, 1953 (Exh. F), the following manifestation is made: WHEREAS, the continuous operation of said trawls even during the close season as specified in said Executive Order No. 20 caused the wanton destruction of the mother shrimps laying their eggs and the millions of eggs laid and the inevitable extermination of the shrimps specie; in order to save the shrimps specie from eventual extermination and in order to conserve the shrimps specie for posterity; In the brief submitted by the NAMFREL and addressed to the President of the Philippines (Exh. 2), in support of the petition of San Miguel Bay fishermen (allegedly 6, 175 in number), praying that trawlers be banned from operating in San Miguel Bay, it is stated that: The trawls ram and destroy the fish corrals. The heavy trawl nets dig deep into the ocean bed. They destroy the fish foods which lies below the ocean floor. Their daytime catches net millions of shrimps scooped up from the mud. In their nets they bring up the life of the sea: algea, shell fish and star fish . . . The absence of some species or the apparent decline in the catch of some fishermen operating in the bay may be due to several factors, namely: the indiscriminate catching of fry and immature sizes of fishes, the wide-spread use of explosives inside as well as at the mouth and approaches of the bay, and the extensive operation of the trawls. (p.9, Report of Santos B. Rasalan, Exh. A) Extensive Operation of Trawls: The strenuous effect of the operations of the 17 TRAWLS of the demersal fisheries of San Miguel Bay is better appreciated when we consider the fact that out of its about 850 square kilometers area, only about 350 square kilometers of 5 fathoms up could be trawled. With their continuous operation, is greatly strained. This is shown by the fact that in view of the non-observance of the close season from May to October, each year, majority of their catch are immature. If their operation would continue unrestricted, the supply would be greatly depleted. (p. 11), Report of Santos B. Rasalan, Exh. A) San Miguel Bay can sustain 3 to 4 small trawlers (Otter Trawl Explorations in Philippine Waters, Research Report 25 of the Fish and Wildlife Service, United States Department of the Interior, p. 9 Exhibit B). According to Annex A of the complaint filed in the lower court in Civil Case No. 24867 G.R. No. L-9191 (Exh. D, p. 53 of the folder of Exhibits), the 18 plaintiffs-appellees operate 29 trawling boats, and their operation must be in a big scale considering the investments plaintiffs have made therefore, amounting to P387,000 (Record on Appeal, p. 16-17). In virtue of the aforementioned provisions of law and the manifestation just copied, We are of the opinion that with or without said Executive Orders, the restriction and banning of trawl fishing from all Philippine waters come, under the law, within the powers of the Secretary of Agriculture and Natural Resources, who in compliance with his duties may even cause the criminal prosecution of those who in violation of his instructions, regulations or orders are caught fishing with trawls in the Philippine waters. Now, if under the law the Secretary of Agriculture and Natural Resources has authority to regulate or ban the fishing by trawl which, it is claimed, obnoxious for it carries away fish eggs and fry's which should be preserved, can the President of the Philippines exercise that same power and authority? Section 10(1), Article VII of the Constitution of the Philippines prescribes: SEC. 10 (1). The President shall have control of all the executive departments, bureaus or offices, exercises general supervision over all local governments as may be provided by law, and take care that the laws be faithfully executed. Section 63 of the Revised Administrative Code reads as follows: SEC. 63. EXECUTIVE ORDERS AND EXECUTIVE PROCLAMATION. Administrative acts and commands of the President of the Philippines touching the organization or mode of operation of the Government or rearranging or readjusting any of the district, divisions, parts or ports of the Philippines, and all acts and commands governing the general performance of duties by public employees or disposing of issues of general concern shall be made in executive orders. xxx xxx xxx Regarding department organization Section 74 of the Revised Administrative Code also provides that: All executive functions of the government of the Republic of the Philippines shall be directly under the Executive Departments subject to the supervision and control of the President of the Philippines in matters of general policy. The Departments are established for the proper distribution of the work of the Executive, for the performance of the functions expressly assigned to them by law, and in order that each branch of the administration may have a chief responsible for its direction and policy. Each Department Secretary shall assume the burden of, and responsibility for, all activities of the Government under his control and supervision. For administrative purposes the President of the Philippines shall be considered the Department Head of the Executive Office. One of the executive departments is that of Agriculture and Natural Resources which by law is placed under the direction and control of the Secretary, who exercises its functions subject to the general supervision and control of the President of the Philippines (Sec. 75, R. A. C.). Moreover, "executive orders, regulations, decrees and proclamations relative to matters under the supervision or jurisdiction of a Department, the promulgation whereof is expressly assigned by law to the President of the Philippines, shall as a general rule, be issued upon proposition and recommendation of the respective Department" (Sec. 79-A, R.A.C.), and there can be no doubt that the promulgation of the questioned Executive Orders was upon the proposition and recommendation of the Secretary of Agriculture and Natural Resources and that is why said Secretary, who was and is called upon to enforce said executive Orders, was made a party defendant in one of the cases at bar (G.R. No. L-9191). For the foregoing reasons We do hesitate to declare that Executive Orders Nos. 22, 66 and 80, series of 1954, of the President, are valid and issued by authority of law.

III. But does the exercise of such authority by the President constitute and undue delegation of the powers of Congress? As already held by this Court, the true distinction between delegation of the power to legislate and the conferring of authority or discretion as to the execution of law consists in that the former necessary involves a discretion as to what the law shall be, wile in the latter the authority or discretion as to its execution has to be exercised under and in pursuance of the law. The first cannot be done; to the latter no valid objection can be made (Cruz vs.Youngberg, 56 Phil., 234, 239. See also Rubi, et al. vs. The Provincial Board of Mindoro, 39 Phil., 660). In the case of U. S. vs. Ang Tang Ho, 43 Phil. 1, We also held: THE POWER TO DELEGATE. The Legislature cannot delegate legislative power to enact any law. If Act No. 2868 is a law unto itself, and it does nothing more than to authorize the Governor-General to make rules and regulations to carry it into effect, then the Legislature created the law. There is no delegation of power and it is valid. On the other hand, if the act within itself does not define a crime and is not complete, and some legislative act remains to be done to make it a law or a crime, the doing of which is vested in the Governor-General, the act is delegation of legislative power, is unconstitutional and void. From the provisions of Act No. 4003 of the Legislature, as amended by Commonwealth Act No. 471, which have been aforequoted, We find that Congress (a) declared it unlawful "to take or catch fry or fish eggs in the territorial waters of the Philippines; (b) towards this end, it authorized the Secretary of Agriculture and Natural Resources to provide by the regulations such restrictions as may be deemed necessary to be imposed on the use of any fishing net or fishing device for the protection of fish fry or fish eggs (Sec. 13); (c) it authorized the Secretary of Agriculture and Natural Resources to set aside and establish fishery reservations or fish refuges and sanctuaries to be administered in the manner to be prescribed by him and declared it unlawful for any person to take, destroy or kill in any of said places, or, in any manner disturb or drive away or take therefrom, any fish fry or fish eggs(See. 75); and (d) it penalizes the execution of such acts declared unlawful and in violation of this Act (No. 4003) or of any rules and regulations promulgated thereunder, making the offender subject to a fine of not more than P200, or imprisonment for not more than 6 months, or both, in the discretion of the court (Sec. 83). From the foregoing it may be seen that in so far as the protection of fish fry or fish egg is concerned, the Fisheries Act is complete in itself, leaving to the Secretary of Agriculture and Natural Resources the promulgation of rules and regulations to carry into effect the legislative intent. It also appears from the exhibits on record in these cases that fishing with trawls causes "a wanton destruction of the mother shrimps laying their eggs and the millions of eggs laid and the inevitable extermination of the shrimps specie" (Exh. F), and that, "the trawls ram and destroy the fish corrals. The heavy trawl nets dig deep into the ocean bed. They destroy the fish food which lies below the ocean floor. Their daytime catches net millions of shrimps scooped up from the mud. In their nets they bring up the life of the sea" (Exh2). In the light of these facts it is clear to Our mind that for the protection of fry or fish eggs and small and immature fishes, Congress intended with the promulgation of Act No. 4003, to prohibit the use of any fish net or fishing device like trawl nets that could endanger and deplete our supply of sea food, and to that end authorized the Secretary of Agriculture and Natural Resources to provide by regulations such restrictions as he deemed necessary in order to preserve the aquatic resources of the land. Consequently, when the President, in response to the clamor of the people and authorities of Camarines Sur issued Executive Order No. 80 absolutely prohibiting fishing by means of trawls in all waters comprised within the San Miguel Bay, he did nothing but show an anxious regard for the welfare of the inhabitants of said coastal province and dispose of issues of general concern (Sec. 63, R.A.C.) which were in consonance and strict conformity with the law. Wherefore, and on the strength of the foregoing considerations We render judgement, as follows: (a) Declaring that the issues involved in case G.R. No. L-8895 have become moot, as no writ of preliminary injunction has been issued by this Court the respondent Judge of the Court of First Instance of Manila Branch XIV, from enforcing his order of March 3, 1955; and (b) Reversing the decision appealed from in case G. R. No. L-9191; dissolving the writ of injunction prayed for in the lower court by plaintiffs, if any has been actually issued by the court a quo; and declaring Executive Orders Nos. 22, 66 and 80, series of 1954, valid for having been issued by authority of the Constitution, the Revised Administrative Code and the Fisheries Act. Without pronouncement as to costs. It is so ordered. Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila EN BANC G.R. No. L-32096 October 24, 1970 ROMEO F. EDU, in his capacity as Land Transportation Commissioner, petitioner, vs. HON. VICENTE G. ERICTA in his capacity as Judge of the Court of First Instance of Rizal, Br. XVIII, Quezon City, and TEDDY C. GALO respondents. Office of the Solicitor General Felix Q. Antonio, Acting Assistant Solicitor General Hector C. Fule and Solicitor Vicente A. Torres for petitioner. Teddy C. Galo in his own behalf. Judge Vicente Ericta in his own behalf. FERNANDO, J.:. Petitioner Romeo F. Edu, the Land Transportation Commissioner, would have us rule squarely on the constitutionality of the Reflector Law1 in this proceeding for certiorari and prohibition against respondent Judge, the Honorable Vicente G. Ericta of the Court of First

Instance of Rizal, Quezon City Branch, to annul and set aside his order for the issuance of a writ of preliminary injunction directed against Administrative Order No. 2 of petitioner for the enforcement of the aforesaid statute, in a pending suit in his court for certiorari and prohibition, filed by the other respondent Teddy C. Galo assailing; the validity of such enactment as well as such administrative order. Respondent Judge, in his answer, would join such a plea asking that the constitutional and legal questions raised be decided "once and for all." Respondent Teddy C. Galo who was quite categorical in his assertion that both the challenged legislation and the administrative order transgress the constitutional requirements of due process and non-delegation, is not averse either to such a definitive ruling. Considering the great public interest involved and the reliance by respondent Galo and the allegation that the repugnancy to the fundamental law could be discerned on the face of the statute as enacted and the executive order as promulgated, this Court, sees no obstacle to the determination in this proceeding of the constitutional questions raised. For reasons to be hereafter stated, we sustain the validity of the Reflector Law and Administrative Order No. 2 issued in the implementation thereof, the imputation of constitutional infirmity being at best flimsy and insubstantial. As noted in the answer of respondent Judge, respondent Galo on his behalf and that of other motorist filed on May 20, 1970 a suit for certiorari and prohibition with preliminary injunction assailing the validity of the challenged Act as an invalid exercise of the police power, for being violative of the due process clause. This he followed on May 28, 1970 with a manifestation wherein he sought as an alternative remedy that, in the event that respondent Judge would hold said statute constitutional, Administrative Order No. 2 of the Land Transportation Commissioner, now petitioner, implementing such legislation be nullified as an undue exercise of legislative power. There was a hearing on the plea for the issuance of a writ of preliminary injunction held on May 27. 1970 where both parties were duly represented, but no evidence was presented. The next day, on May 28, 1970, respondent Judge ordered the issuance of a preliminary injunction directed against the enforcement of such administrative order. There was the day after, a motion for its reconsideration filed by the Solicitor General representing petitioner. In the meanwhile, the clerk of court of respondent Judge issued, on June 1, 1970 the writ of preliminary injunction upon the filing of the required bond. The answer before the lower court was filed by petitioner Edu on June 4, 1970. Thereafter, on June 9, 1970, respondent Judge denied the motion for reconsideration of the order of injunction. Hence this petition for certiorari and prohibition filed with this court on June 18, 1970. In a resolution of June 22, 1970, this Court required respondents to file an answer to the petition for certiorari and prohibition. Respondent Judge, the Honorable Vicente G. Ericta, did file his answer on June 30, 1970 explaining why he restrained the enforcement of Administrative Order No. 2 and, as noted at the outset, joining the Solicitor General in seeking that the legal questions raised namely the constitutionality of the Reflector Law and secondly the validity of Administrative Order No. 2 alleged to be in excess of the authority conferred on petitioner and therefore violative of the principle of non-delegation of legislative power be definitely decided. It was on until July 6, 1970 that respondent Galo filed his answer seeking the dismissal of this petition concentrating on what he considered to be the patent invalidity of Administrative Order No. 2 as it went beyond the authority granted by the Reflector Law, even assuming that it is constitutional. In the meanwhile, on July 2, 1970, the petition was called for hearing with Solicitor Vicente Torres appearing for petitioner and respondent Galo for himself. It was made clear during the course of such argumentation that the matter of the constitutionality of the Reflector Law was likewise under consideration by this Court. The case is thus ripe for decision. We repeat that we find for petitioner and sustain the Constitutionality of the Reflector Law as well as the validity of Administrative Order No. 2. 1. The threshold question is whether on the basis of the petition, the answers, and the oral argument, it would be proper for this Court to resolve the issue of the constitutionality of the Reflector Law. Our answer, as indicated, is in the affirmative. It is to be noted that the main thrust of the petition before us is to demonstrate in a rather convincing fashion that the challenged legislation does not suffer from the alleged constitutional infirmity imputed to it by the respondent Galo. Since the special civil action for certiorari and prohibition filed before him before respondent Judge would seek a declaration of nullity of such enactment by the attribution of the violation the face thereof of the due process guarantee in the deprivation of property rights, it would follow that there is sufficient basis for us to determine which view should prevail. Moreover, any further hearing by respondent Judge would likewise to limited to a discussion of the constitutional issues raised, no allegations of facts having made. This is one case then where the question of validity is ripe for determination. If we do so, further effort need not be wasted and time is saved moreover, the officials concerned as well as the public, both vitally concerned with a final resolution of questions of validity, could know the definitive answer and could act accordingly. There is a great public interest, as was mentioned, to be served by the final disposition of such crucial issue, petitioner praying that respondent Galo be declared having no cause of action with respondent Judge being accordingly directed to dismiss his suit. There is another reinforcement to this avenue of approach. We have done so before in a suit, Climaco v. Macadaeg, 2 involving the legality of a presidential directive. That was a petition for the review and reversal of a writ of preliminary injunction issued by the then Judge Macadaeg. We there announced that we "have decided to pass upon the question of the validity of the presidential directive ourselves, believing that by doing so we would be putting an end to a dispute, a delay in the disposition of which has caused considerable damage and injury to the Government and to the tobacco planters themselves." There is no principle of constitutional adjudication that bars this Court from similarly passing upon the question of the validity of a legislative enactment in a proceeding before it to test the propriety of the issuance of a preliminary injunction. The same felt need for resolving once and for all the vexing question as to the constitutionality of a challenged enactment and thus serve public interest exists. What we have done in the case of an order proceeding from one of the coordinate branches, the executive, we can very well do in the matter before us involving the alleged nullity of a legislative act. Accordingly, there is nothing to preclude the grant of the writs prayed for, the burden of showing the constitutionality of the act having proved to be as will now be shown too much for respondent Galo. 2. The Reflector Law reads in full: "(g) Lights and reflector when parked or disabled. Appropriate parking lights or flares visible one hundred meters away shall be displayed at a corner of the vehicle whenever such vehicle is parked on highways or in places that are not well-lighted or is placed in such manner as to endanger passing traffic. Furthermore, every motor vehicle shall be provided at all times with built-in reflectors or other similar warning devices either pasted, painted or attached to its front and back which shall likewise be visible at light at least one hundred meters away. No vehicle not provided with any of the requirements mentioned in this subsection shall be registered."3 It is thus obvious that the challenged statute is a legislation enacted under the police power to promote public safety.

Justice Laurel, in the first leading decision after the Constitution came to force, Calalang v. Williams,4 identified police power with state authority to enact legislation that may interfere with personal liberty or property in order to promote the general welfare. Persons and property could thus "be subjected to all kinds of restraints and burdens in order to secure the general comfort, health and prosperity of the state." Shortly after independence in 1948,Primicias v. Fugoso,5 reiterated the doctrine, such a competence being referred to as "the power to prescribe regulations to promote the health, morals, peace, education, good order or safety, and general welfare of the people." The concept was set forth in negative terms by Justice Malcolm in a pre-Commonwealth decision as "that inherent and plenary power in the State which enables it to prohibit all things hurtful to the comfort, safety and welfare of society."6 In that sense it could be hardly distinguishable as noted by this Court in Morfe v. Mutuc7 with the totality of legislative power. It is in the above sense the greatest and most powerful attribute of government. It is to quote Justice Malcolm anew "the most essential, insistent, and at least illimitable of powers," 8 extending as Justice Holmes aptly pointed out "to all the great public needs." 9 Its scope, ever-expanding to meet the exigencies of the times, even to anticipate the future where it could be done, provides enough room for an efficient and flexible response to conditions and circumstances thus assuring the greatest benefits. In the language of Justice Cardozo: "Needs that were narrow or parochial in the past may be interwoven in the present with the well-being of the nation. What is critical or urgent changes with the time." 10 The police power is thus a dynamic agency, suitably vague and far from precisely defined, rooted in the conception that men in organizing the state and imposing upon its government limitations to safeguard constitutional rights did not intend thereby to enable an individual citizen or a group of citizens to obstruct unreasonably the enactment of such salutary measures calculated to insure communal peace, safety, good order, and welfare. It would then be to overturn a host of decisions impressive for their number and unanimity were this Court to sustain respondent Galo. 11 That we are not disposed to do, especially so as the attack on the challenged statute ostensibly for disregarding the due process safeguard is angularly unpersuasive. It would be to close one's eyes to the hazards of traffic in the evening to condemn a statute of this character. Such an attitude betrays lack of concern for public safety. How can it plausibly alleged then that there was no observance of due process equated as it has always been with that is reasonable? The statute assailed is not infected with arbitrariness. It is not the product of whim or caprice. It is far from oppressive. It is a legitimate response to a felt public need. It can stand the test of the most unsymphatetic appraisal. Respondent Galo is of a different mind, having been unable to resist the teaching of many American State Court decisions referred to in the secondary source, American Jurisprudence principally relied upon by him. He ought to have been cautioned against an indiscriminate acceptance of such doctrines predicated on what was once a fundamental postulate in American public law, laissez faire. It is to be admitted that there was a period when such a concept did influence American court decisions on constitutional law. As was explicitly stated by Justice Cardozo speaking of that era: "Laissez-faire was not only a counsel of caution which would do well to heed. It was a categorical imperative which statesmen as well as judges must obey." 12 For a long time legislation tending to reduce economic inequality foundered on the rock that was the due process clause, enshrining as it did the liberty of contract, based on such a basic assumption. The New Deal administration of President Roosevelt more responsive to the social and economic forces at work changed matters greatly. By 1937, there was a greater receptivity by the American Supreme Court to an approach not too reverential of property rights. Even earlier, in 1935, Professor Coker of Yale, speaking as a historian, could already discern a contrary drift. He did note the expending range of governmental activity in the United States. 13 What is undeniable is that by 1943, laissez-faire was no longer the dominant theory. In the language of Justice Jackson in the leading case of West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette: 14 "We must, transplant these rights to a soil in which the laissez-faire concept or non-interference has withered at least as to economic affairs, and social advancements are increasingly sought through closer integration of society and through expanded and strengthened governmental controls." While authoritative precedents from the United States federal and state jurisdictions were deferred to when the Philippines was still under American rule, it cannot be said that the laissez-faire principle was invariably adhered to by us even then As early as 1919, in the leading case of Rubi v. Provincial Board of Mindoro, 15 Justice Malcolm already had occasion to affirm: "The doctrines of laissez-faire and of unrestricted freedom of the individual, as axioms of economic and political theory, are of the past. The modern period has shown a widespread belief in the amplest possible demonstration of government activity. The Courts unfortunately have sometimes seemed to trail after the other two branches of the Government in this progressive march." People v. Pomar, 16 a 1924 decision which held invalid under the due process clause a provision providing for maternity leave with pay thirty days before and thirty days after confinement could be cited to show that such a principle did have its day. It is to be remembered though that our Supreme Court had no other choice as the Philippines was then under the United States, and only recently the year before, the American Supreme Court in Adkins v. Children's Hospital, 17 in line with the laissez-faire theory, did hold that a statute providing for minimum wages was constitutionally infirm. What is more, to erase any doubts, the Constitutional Convention saw to it that the concept of laissez-faire was rejected. It entrusted to our government the responsibility of coping with social and economic problems with the commensurate power of control over economic affairs. Thereby it could live up to its commitment to promote the general welfare through state action. No constitutional objection to regulatory measures adversely affecting property rights, especially so when public safety is the aim, is likely to be heeded, unless of course on the clearest and most satisfactory proof of invasion of rights guaranteed by the Constitution. On such a showing, there may be a declaration of nullity, but not because the laissez-faire principle was disregarded but because the due process, equal protection, or nonimpairment guarantees would call for vindication. To repeat, our Constitution which took effect in 1935 erased whatever doubts there might be on that score. Its philosophy is a repudiation of laissez-faire. One of the leading members of the Constitutional Convention, Manuel A. Roxas, later the first President of the Republic, made it clear when he disposed of the objection of Delegate Jose Reyes of Sorsogon, who noted the "vast extensions in the sphere of governmental functions" and the "almost unlimited power to interfere in the affairs of industry and agriculture as well as to compete with existing business" as "reflections of the fascination exerted by [the then] current tendencies" in other jurisdictions. 18 He

spoke thus: "My answer is that this constitution has definite and well defined philosophy not only political but social and economic. ... If in this Constitution the gentlemen will find declarations of economic policy they are there because they are necessary to safeguard the interests and welfare of the Filipino people because we believe that the days have come when in self-defense, a nation may provide in its constitution those safeguards, the patrimony, the freedom to grow, the freedom to develop national aspirations and national interests, not to be hampered by the artificial boundaries which a constitutional provision automatically imposes. 19 It was not expected then when in a concurring opinion, Justice Laurel, who likewise sat in the Constitutional Convention and was one of its leading lights, explicitly affirmed in a concurring opinion, later quoted with approval in the leading case of Antamok Goldfields Mining Co. v. Court of Industrial Relations, 20 that the Constitution did away with the laissez-faire doctrine. In the course of such concurring opinion and after noting the changes that have taken place calling for a more affirmative role by the government and its undeniable power to curtail property rights, he categorically declared the doctrine in People v. Pomar no longer retains "its virtuality as a living principle." 21 It is in the light of such rejection of the laissez-faire principle that during the Commonwealth era, no constitutional infirmity was found to have attached to legislation covering such subjects as collective bargaining, 22 security of tenure, 23 minimum wages, 24 compulsory arbitration, 25 the regulation of tenancy 26 as well as the issuance of securities, 27 and control of public services. 28 So it is likewise under the Republic this Court having given the seal of approval to more favorable tenancy laws, 29 nationalization of the retail trade, 30 limitation of the hours of labor,31 imposition of price control, 32 requirement of separation pay for one month, 33 and social security scheme. 34 Respondent Galo thus could have profited by a little more diligence in the scrutiny of Philippine decisions rendered with not unexpected regularity, during all the while our Constitution has been in force attesting to the demise of such a shibboleth as laissez-faire. It was one of those fighting faiths that time and circumstances had upset, to paraphrase Holmes. Yet respondent Galo would seek to vivify and resurrect it. That, it would appear, is a vain quest, a futile undertaking. The Reflector Law is thus immune from the attack so recklessly hurled against it. It can survive, and quite easily too, the constitutional test. 3. The same lack of success marks the effort of respondent Galo to impugn the validity of Administrative Order No. 2 issued by petitioner in his official capacity, duly approved by the Secretary of Public Works and Communications, for being contrary to the principle of nondelegation of legislative power. Such administrative order, which took effect on April 17, 1970, has a provision on reflectors in effect reproducing what was set forth in the Act. Thus: "No motor vehicles of whatever style, kind, make, class or denomination shall be registered if not equipped with reflectors. Such reflectors shall either be factory built-in-reflector commercial glass reflectors, reflection tape or luminous paint. The luminosity shall have an intensity to be maintained visible and clean at all times such that if struck by a beam of light shall be visible 100 meters away at night." 35 Then came a section on dimensions, placement and color. As to dimensions the following is provided for: "Glass reflectors Not less than 3 inches in diameter or not less than 3 inches square; Reflectorized Tape At least 3 inches wide and 12 inches long. The painted or taped area may be bigger at the discretion of the vehicle owner." 36 Provision is then made as to how such reflectors are to be "placed, installed, pasted or painted." 37 There is the further requirement that in addition to such reflectors there shall be installed, pasted or painted four reflectors on each side of the motor vehicle parallel to those installed, pasted or painted in front and those in the rear end of the body thereof. 38 The color required of each reflectors, whe