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[G.R. No. 112497. August 4, 1994.] HON. FRANKLIN M. DRILON, in his capacity as SECRETARY OF JUSTICE, Petitioner, v.

MAYOR ALFREDO S. LIM, VICE-MAYOR JOSE L. ATIENZA, CITY TREASURER ANTHONY ACEVEDO, SANGGUNIANG PANGLUNSOD AND THE CITY OF MANILA, Respondents. The principal issue in this case is the constitutionality of Section 187 of the Local Government Code reading as follows:
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Procedure For Approval And Effectivity Of Tax Ordinances And Revenue Measures; Mandatory Public Hearings. The procedure for approval of local tax ordinances and revenue measures shall be in accordance with the provisions of this Code: Provided, That public hearings shall be conducted for the purpose prior to the enactment thereof; Provided, further, That any question on the constitutionality or legality of tax ordinances or revenue measures may be raised on appeal within thirty (30) days from the effectivity thereof to the Secretary of Justice who shall render a decision within sixty (60) days from the date of receipt of the appeal: Provided, however, That such appeal shall not have the effect of suspending the effectivity of the ordinance and the accrual and payment of the tax, fee, or charge levied therein: Provided, finally, That within thirty (30) days after receipt of the decision or the lapse of the sixty-day period without the Secretary of Justice acting upon the appeal, the aggrieved party may file appropriate proceedings with a court of competent jurisdiction. Pursuant thereto, the Secretary of Justice had, on appeal to him of four oil companies and a taxpayer, declared Ordinance No. 7794, otherwise known as the Manila Revenue Code, null and void for non-compliance with the prescribed procedure in the enactment of tax ordinances and for containing certain provisions contrary to law and public policy. 1 In a petition for certiorari filed by the City of Manila, the Regional Trial Court of Manila revoked the Secretarys resolution and sustained the ordinance, holding inter alia that the procedural requirements had been observed. More importantly, it declared Section 187 of the Local Government Code as unconstitutional because of its vesture in the Secretary of Justice of the power of control over local governments in violation of the policy of local autonomy mandated in the Constitution and of the specific provision therein conferring on the President of the Philippines only the power of supervision over local governments. The present petition would have us reverse that decision. The Secretary argues that the annulled Section 187 is constitutional and that the procedural requirements for the enactment of tax ordinances as specified in the Local Government Code has indeed not been observed. Parenthetically, this petition was originally dismissed by the Court for non-compliance with Circular 1-88, the Solicitor General having failed to submit a certified true copy of the challenged decision. 3 However, on motion for reconsideration with the required certified true copy of the decision attached, the petition was reinstated in view of the importance of the issues raised therein. We stress at the outset that the lower court had jurisdiction to consider the constitutionality of Section 187, this authority being embraced in the general definition of the judicial power to determine what are the valid and binding laws by the criterion of their conformity to the fundamental law. Specifically, BP 129 vests in the regional trial courts jurisdiction over all civil cases in which the subject of the litigation is incapable of pecuniary estimation, 4 even as the accused in a criminal action has the right to question in his defense the co institutionality of a law he is charged with violating and of the proceedings taken against him, particularly as they contravene the Bill of Rights. Moreover, Article

X, Section 5(2), of the Constitution vests in the Supreme Court appellate jurisdiction over final judgments and orders of lower courts in all cases in which the constitutionality or validity of any treaty, international or executive agreement, law, presidential decree, proclamation, order, instruction, ordinance, or regulation is in question.
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In the exercise of this jurisdiction, lower courts are advised to act with the utmost circumspection, bearing in mind the consequences of a declaration of unconstitutionality upon the stability of laws, no less than on the doctrine of separation of powers. As the questioned act is usually the handiwork of the legislative or the executive departments, or both, it will be prudent for such courts, if only out of a becoming modesty, to defer to the higher judgment of this Court in the consideration of its validity, which is better determined after a thorough deliberation by a collegiate body and with the concurrence of the majority of those who participated in its discussion. 5 It is also emphasized that every court, including this Court, is charged with the duty of a purposeful hesitation before declaring a law unconstitutional, on the theory that the measure was first carefully studied by the executive and the legislative departments and determined by them to be in accordance with the fundamental law before it was finally approved. To doubt is to sustain. The presumption of constitutionality can be overcome only by the clearest showing that there was indeed an infraction of the Constitution, and only when such a conclusion is reached by the requipped majority may the Court pronounce, in the discharge of the duty it cannot escape, that the challenged act must be struck down.
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In the case before us, Judge Rodolfo C. Palattao declared Section 187 of the Local Government Code unconstitutional insofar as it empowered the Secretary of Justice to review tax ordinances and, inferentially, to annul them. He cited the familiar distinction between control and supervision, the first being "the power of an officer to alter or modify or set aside what a subordinate officer had done in the performance of his duties and to substitute the judgment of the former for the latter," while the second is "the power of a superior officer to see to it that lower officers perform their functions is accordance with law." 6 His conclusion was that the challenged section gave to the Secretary the power of control and not of supervision only as vested by the Constitution in the President of the Philippines. This was, in his view, a violation not only of Article X, specifically Section 4 thereof, 7 and of Section 5 on the taxing powers of local governments, 8 and the policy of local autonomy in general. We do not share that view. The lower court was rather hasty in invalidating the provision. Section 187 authorizes the Secretary of Justice to review only the constitutionality or legality of the tax ordinance and, if warranted, to revoke it on either or both of these grounds. When he alters or modifies or sets aside a tax ordinance, he is not also permitted to substitute his own judgment for the judgment of the local government that enacted the measure. Secretary Drilon did set aside the Manila Revenue Code, but he did not replace it with his own version of what the Code should be. He did not pronounce the ordinance unwise or unreasonable as a basis for its annulment. He did not say that in his judgment it was a bad law. What he found only was that it was illegal. All he did in reviewing the said measure was determine if the petitioners were performing their functions is accordance with law, that is, with the prescribed procedure for the enactment of tax ordinances and the grant of powers to the city government under the Local Government Code. As we see it, that was an act not of control but of mere supervision.
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An officer in control lays down the rules in the doing of an act. It they are not followed, he may, in his discretion, order the act undone or re-done by his subordinate or he may even decide to do it himself. Supervision does not cover such authority. The supervisor or superintendent merely sees to it that the rules are followed, but he himself does not lay down such rules, nor does he have the discretion to modify or replace them. If the rules are not observed, he may order the work done or re-done but only to conform to the prescribed rules. He may not prescribe

his own manner for the doing of the act. He has no judgment on this matter except to see to it that the rules are followed. In the opinion of the Court, Secretary Drilon did precisely this, and no more nor less than this, and so performed an act not of control but of mere supervision. The case of Taule v. Santos 9 cited in the decision has no application here because the jurisdiction claimed by the Secretary of Local Governments over election contests in the Katipunan ng Mga Barangay was held to belong to the Commission on Elections by constitutional provision. The conflict was over jurisdiction, not supervision or control.
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Significantly, a rule similar to Section 187 appeared in the Local Autonomy Act, which provided in its Section 2 as follows:
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A tax ordinance shall go into effect on the fifteenth day after its passage, unless the ordinance shall provide otherwise: Provided, however, That the Secretary of Finance shall have authority to suspend the effectivity of any ordinance within one hundred and twenty days after receipt by him of a copy thereof, if, in his opinion, the tax or fee therein levied or imposed is unjust, excessive, oppressive, or confiscatory, or when it is contrary to declared national economy policy, and when the said Secretary exercises this authority the effectivity of such ordinance shall suspended, either in part or as a whole, for a period of thirty days within which period the local legislative body may either modify the tax ordinance to meet the objections thereto, or file an appeal with a court of competent jurisdiction; otherwise, the tax ordinance or the part or parts thereof declared suspended, shall be considered as revoked. Thereafter, the local legislative body may not reimposed the same tax or fee until such time as the grounds for the suspension thereof shall have ceased to exist. That section allowed the Secretary of Finance to suspend the effectivity of a tax ordinance if, in his opinion, the tax or fee levied was unjust, excessive, oppressive or confiscatory. Determination of these flaws would involve the exercise of judgment or discretion and not merely an examination of whether or not the requirements or limitations of the law had been observed; hence, it would smack of control rather than mere supervision. That power was never questioned before this Court but, at any rate, the Secretary of Justice is not given the same latitude under Section 187. All he is permitted to do is ascertain the constitutionality or legality of the tax measure, without the right to declare that, in his opinion, it is unjust, excessive, oppressive or confiscatory. He has no discretion on this matter. In fact, Secretary Drilon set aside the Manila Revenue Code only on two grounds, to wit, the inclusion therein of certain ultra vires provisions and non-compliance with the prescribed procedure in its enactment. These grounds affected the legality, not the wisdom or reasonableness of the tax measure.
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The issue of non-compliance with the prescribed procedure in the enactment of the Manila Revenue Code is another matter. In his resolution, Secretary Drilon declared that there were no written notices of public hearings on the proposed Manila Revenue Code that were sent to interested parties as required by Art. 276(b) of the Implementing Rules of the Local Government Code nor were copies of the proposed ordinance published in three successive issues of a newspaper of general circulation pursuant to Art. 276(a). No minutes were submitted to show that the obligatory public hearings had been held. Neither were copies of the measure as approved posted in prominent places in the city in accordance with Sec. 511(a) of the Local Government Code. Finally, the Manila Revenue Code was not translated into Pilipino or Tagalog and disseminated among the people for their information and guidance, conformably to Sec. 59(b) of the Code.
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Judge Palattao found otherwise. He declared that all the procedural requirements had been observed in the enactment

of the Manila Revenue Code and that the City of Manila had not been able to prove such compliance before the Secretary only because he had given it only five days within which to gather and present to him all the evidence (consisting of 25 exhibits) later submitted to the trial court. To get to the bottom of his question, the Court acceded to the motion of the respondents and called for the elevation to it of the said exhibits. We have carefully examined every one of these exhibits and agree with the trial court that the procedural requirements have indeed been observed. Notices of the public hearings were sent to interested parties as evidenced by Exhibits G-1 to 17. The minutes of the hearings are found in Exhibits M, M-1, M-2, and M-3. Exhibits B and C show that the proposed ordinances were published in the Balita and the Manila Standard on April 21 and 25, 1993, respectively, and the approved ordinance was published in the July 3, 4, 5 1993 issues of the Manila Standard and in the July 6, 1993 issue of Balita, as shown by Exhibits Q, Q-1, Q-2, and Q-3.
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The only exceptions are the posting of the ordinance as approved but this omission does not affect its validity, considering that its publication in three successive issues of a newspaper of general circulation will satisfy due process. It has also not been shown that the text of the ordinance has been translated and disseminated, but this requirement applies to the approval of local development plans and public investment programs of the local government unit and not to tax ordinances. We make no ruling on the substantive provisions of the Manila Revenue Code as their validity has not been raised in issue in the present petition. WHEREFORE, the judgment is hereby rendered REVERSING the challenged decision of the Regional Trial Court insofar as it declared Section 187 of the Local Government Code unconstitutional but AFFIRMING its finding that the procedural requirements in the enactment of the Manila Revenue Code have been observed. No pronouncement as to costs.
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[G.R. No. 93252. August 5, 1991.] RODOLFO T. GANZON, Petitioner, v. THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS, and LUIS T. SANTOS, in his capacity as the Secretary of the Department of Local Government, Respondents. SYLLABUS 1. CONSTITUTIONAL LAW; 1987 CONSTITUTION; LOCAL AUTONOMY, NATURE OF; LOCAL OFFICIALS REMAIN ACCOUNTABLE TO CENTRAL GOVERNMENT. Local autonomy, under the Constitution, involves a mere decentralization of administration, not of power, in which local officials remain accountable to the central government in the manner the law may provide. Autonomy does not contemplate making mini-states out of local government units. Autonomy, in the constitutional sense, is subject to the guiding star, though not control, of the legislature, albeit the legislative responsibility under the Constitution and as the "supervision clause" itself suggests is to wean local government units from overdependence on the central government. It is noteworthy that under the Charter , "local autonomy" is not instantly self executing, but subject to, among other things, the passage of a local government code, a local tax law, income distribution legislation, and a national representation law, and measures designed to realize autonomy at the local level. It is also noteworthy that in spite of autonomy, the Constitution places the local governments under the general supervision of the Executive. It is noteworthy finally, that the Charter allows Congress to include in the local government code provisions for removal of local officials, which suggests that Congress may exercise removal powers, and as the existing Local Government Code has done, delegate its exercise to the President. 2. ID.; ID.; ID.; NEW CONSTITUTION DOES NOT PRESCRIBE FEDERALISM. As the Constitution itself declares, local autonomy means "a more responsive and accountable local government structure instituted through a system of decentralization." The Constitution, as we observed, does nothing more that to break up the monopoly of the national government over the affairs of local governments and as put by political adherents, to "liberate the local governments from the imperialism of Manila." Autonomy, however, is not meant to end the relation of partnership and interdependence between the central administration and local government units, or otherwise, to usher in a regime of federalism. The Charter has not taken such a radical step. Local governments, under the Constitution, are subject to regulation, however limited, and for no other purpose than precisely, albeit paradoxically, to enhance selfgovernment. 3. ID.; ID.; ID.; CHANGED SUPERVISION CLAUSE DOES NOT EXEMPT LOCAL GOVERNMENTS FROM LEGISLATIVE REGULATION. The 1987 Constitution provides in Art. X, Sec. 4 that" [T]he President of the Philippines shall exercise general supervision over local governments." It modifies a counterpart provision appearing in the 1935 Constitution, Art. VII, Sec. 10(1), stating that" [T]he President shall . . . exercise general supervision over all local governments as may be provided by law." It is the considered opinion of the Court that notwithstanding the change in the constitutional language, the Charter did not intend to divest the legislature of its right or the President of her prerogative as conferred by existing legislation to provide administrative sanctions against local officials. It is our opinion that the omission (of "as may be provided by law") signifies nothing more than to underscore local governments autonomy from Congress and to break Congress "control" over local government affairs. The Constitution did not, however, intend, for the sake of local autonomy, to deprive the legislature of all authority over municipal corporations, in particular, concerning discipline. The change in constitutional language did not exempt local governments from legislative regulation provided regulation is consistent with the fundamental premise of autonomy. 4. ID.; ID.; ID.; NATIONAL AUTHORITY CAN DISCIPLINE LOCAL OFFICIALS. Since local governments remain accountable to the national authority, the latter may, by law, and in the manner set forth therein, impose disciplinary

action against local officials. In the case at bar, the Secretary of Local Government, the Presidents alter ego, in consonance with the specific legal provisions of Batas Blg. 337, the existing Local Government Code, can suspend petitioner Mayor of Iloilo City (G.R. Nos. 93252 and 95245) and petitioner member of the Sangguniang Panglunsod (G.R. No. 93746). 5. ID.; ID.; ID.; ID.; "SUPERVISION" NOT INCOMPATIBLE WITH DISCIPLINARY AUTHORITY. "Supervision" is not incompatible with disciplinary authority. As this Court held in Ganzon v. Cayanan, 104 Phil. 484, "in administration law supervision means overseeing or the power or authority of an officer to see that subordinate officers perform their duties. If the latter fail or neglect to fulfill them the former may take such action or step as prescribed by law to make them perform their duties."
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6. ID.; ID.; ID.; ID.; POWER TO SUSPEND LOCAL OFFICIALS MUST NOT BE EXERCISED OPPRESSIVELY. While the respondent Secretary of Interior, as alter ego of the President, under the existing Local Government Code, has the Power to suspend the petitioner Iloilo City Mayor, such power cannot be exercised oppressively. Ten administrative cases have been successively filed against the City Mayor. The Mayor has been made to serve a total of 120 days of suspension for the first two cases and the respondent Secretary has issued another order preventively suspending the former for another 60 days, the third time in twenty months. We are allowing the Mayor to suffer the duration of his third suspension. Insofar as the seven remaining charges are concerned, we are urging the Department of Local Government, upon finality of this decision, to undertake steps to expedite the same, subject to the Mayors usual remedies of appeal, judicial or administrative, or certiorari, if warranted, and meanwhile, we are precluding the Secretary from meting out further suspensions based on those remaining complaints, notwithstanding findings of prima facie evidence. The petitioners take common issue on the power of the President (acting through the Secretary of Local Government), to suspend and/or remove local officials. The petitioners are the Mayor of Iloilo City (G.R. Nos. 93252 and 95245) and a member of the Sangguniang Panglunsod thereof (G.R. No. 93746), respectively.
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The petitions of Mayor Ganzon originated from a series of administrative complaints, ten in number, filed against him by various city officials sometime in 1988, on various charges, among them, abuse of authority, oppression, grave misconduct, disgraceful and immoral conduct, intimidation, culpable violation of the Constitution, and arbitrary detention. 1 The personalities involved are Joceleehn Cabaluna, a clerk at the city health office; Salvador Cabaluna, her husband; Dr. Felicidad Ortigoza, Assistant City Health Officer; Mansueto Malabor, Vice-Mayor; Rolando Dabao, Dan Dalido, German Gonzales, Larry Ong, and Eduardo Pea Redondo, members of the Sangguniang Panglunsod; and Pancho Erbite, a barangay tanod. The complaints against the Mayor are set forth in the opinion of the respondent Court of Appeals. 2 We quote:
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In her verified complaint (Annex A), Mrs. Cabaluna, a clerk assigned to the City Health, Office of Iloilo City charged that due to political reasons, having supported the rival candidate, Mrs. Rosa O. Caram, the petitioner City Mayor, using as an excuse the exigency of the service and the interest of the public, pulled her out from rightful office where her qualification are best suited and assigned her to e work that should be the function of a non-career service employee. To make matters worse, a utility worker in the office of the Public Services, whose duties are alien to the complainants duties and functions, has been detailed to take her place. The petitioners act are pure harassments aimed at luring her away from her permanent position or force her to resign. In the case of Dra. Felicidad Ortigoza, she claims that the petitioner handpicked her to perform task not befitting her

position as Assistant City Health Officer of Iloilo City; that her office was padlocked without any explanation or justification; that her salary was withheld without cause since April 1, 1988; that when she filed her vacation leave, she was given the run-around treatment in the approval of her leave in connivance with Dr. Rodolfo Villegas and that she was the object of a well-engineered trumped-up charge in an administrative complaint filed by Dr. Rodolfo Villegas (Annex B). On the other hand, Mansuelo Malabor is the duty elected Vice Mayor of Iloilo City and complainants Rolando Dabao, Dan Dalido, German Gonzales, Larry Ong and Eduardo Pea Redondo are members of the Sangguniang Panglunsod of the City of Iloilo. Their complaint arose out from the case where Councilor Larry Ong, whose key to his office was unceremoniously and without previous notice, taken by petitioner. Without an office, Councilor Ong had to hold office at Plaza Libertad. The Vice-Mayor and the other complainants sympathized with him and decided to do the same. However, the petitioner, together with his fully-armed security men, forcefully drove them away from Plaza Libertad. Councilor Ong denounced the petitioners actuations the following day in the radio station and decided to hold of fice at the Freedom Grandstand at Iloilo City and there were so many people who gathered to witness the incident. However, before the group could reach the area, the petitioner, together with his security men, led the firemen using a firetruck in dozing water to the people and the bystanders. Another administrative case was filed by Pancho Erbite, a barangay tanod, appointed by former mayor Rosa O. Caram. On March 13, 1988, without the benefit of charge} filed against him and no warrant of arrest was issued, Erbite was arrested and detained at the City Jail of Iloilo City upon orders of petitioner. In jail, he was allegedly mauled by other detainees thereby causing injuries. He was released only the following day. 3 The Mayor thereafter answered, 4 and the cases were set for hearing. The opinion of the Court of Appeals also set forth the succeeding events:
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The initial hearing in the Cabaluna and Ortigoza cases were set for hearing on June 20-21, 1988 at the Regional Office of the Department of Local Government in Iloilo City. Notices, through telegrams, were sent to the parties (Annex L) and the parties received them, including the petitioner. The petitioner asked for a postponement before the scheduled date of hearing and was represented by counsel, Atty. Samuel Castro. The hearing officers, Atty. Salvador Quebral and Atty. Marino Bermudez had to come all the way from Manila for the two-day hearings but was actually held only on June 20, 1988 in view of the inability and unpreparedness of petitioners counsel. The next hearings were re-set to July 25, 26, 27, 1988 in the same venue Iloilo City. Again, the petitioner attempted to delay the proceedings and moved for a postponement under the excuse that he had just hired his counsel. Nonetheless, the hearing officers denied the motion to postpone, in view of the fact that the parties were notified by telegrams of the scheduled hearings (Annex M). In the said hearings, petitioners counsel cross-examined the complainants and their witnesses. Finding probable grounds and reasons, the respondent issued a preventive suspension order on August 11, 1988 to last until October 11, 1988 for a period of sixty (60) days. Then the next investigation was set on September 21, 1988 and the petitioner again asked for a postponement to September 26, 1988. On September 26, 1988, the complainants and petitioner were present, together with their respective counsel. The petitioner sought for a postponement which was denied. In these hearings which were held in Manila, the petitioner testified in Adm. Case No. C-10298 and 10299.

The investigation was continued regarding the Malabor case and the complainants testified including their witnesses. On October 10, 1988, petitioners counsel, Atty. Onginal moved for a postponement of the October 24, 1988 hearing to November 7 to 11, 1988 which was granted. However, the motion for change of venue was denied due to lack of funds. At the hearing on November 7, 1988, the parties and counsel were present. Petitioner reiterated his motion to change venue and moved for postponement anew. The counsel discussed a proposal to take the deposition of witnesses in Iloilo City so the hearing was indefinitely postponed. However, the parties failed to come to terms and after the parties were notified of the hearing, the investigation was set to December 13 to 15, 1988. The petitioner sought for another postponement on the ground that his witnesses were sick or cannot attend the investigation due to lack of transportation. The motion was denied and the petitioner was given up to December 14, 1988 to present his evidence.
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On December 14, 1988, petitioners counsel insisted on his motion for postponement and the hearing officers gave petitioner up to December 15, 1988 to present his evidence. On December 15, 1988, the petitioner failed to present evidence and the cases were considered submitted for resolution. In the meantime, a prima facie evidence was found to exist in the arbitrary detention case filed by Pancho Erbite so the respondent ordered the petitioners second preventive suspension dated October 11, 1988 for another sixty (60) days. The petitioner was able to obtain a restraining order and a writ of preliminary injunction in the Regional Trial Court, Branch 33 of Iloilo City. The second preventive suspension was not enforced. 5 Amidst the two successive suspensions, Mayor Ganzon instituted an action for prohibition against the respondent Secretary of Local Government (now, Interior) in the Regional Trial Court, Iloilo City, where he succeeded in obtaining a writ of preliminary injunction. Presently, he instituted CA-G.R. SP No. 16417, an action for prohibition, in the respondent Court of Appeals. Meanwhile, on May 3, 1990, the respondent Secretary issued another order, preventively suspending Mayor Ganzon for another sixty days, the third time in twenty months, and designating meantime Vice-Mayor Mansueto Malabor as acting mayor. Undaunted, Mayor Ganzon commenced CA-G.R. SP No. 20736 of the Court of Appeals, a petition for prohibition, 6 (Malabor, it is to be noted, is one of the complainants, and hence, he is interested in seeing Mayor Ganzon ousted.) On September 7, 1989, the Court of Appeals rendered judgment, dismissing CA-G.R. SP No. 16417. On July 5, 1990, it likewise promulgated a decision, dismissing CA-G.R. SP No. 20736. In a Resolution dated January 24, 1990, it issued a Resolution certifying the petition of Mary Ann Artieda, who had been similary charged by the respondent Secretary, to this Court. On June 26, 1990, we issued a Temporary Restraining Order, barring the respondent Secretary from implementing the suspension orders, and restraining the enforcement of the Court of Appeals two decisions. In our Resolution of November 29, 1990, we consolidated all three cases. In our Resolutions of January 15, 1991, we gave due course thereto. Mayor Ganzon claims as a preliminary (G.R. No. 93252), that the Department of Local Government in hearing the ten cases against him, had denied him due process of law and that the respondent Secretary had been "biased, prejudicial

and hostile" towards him 7 arising from his (Mayor Ganzons) alleged refusal to join the Laban ng Demokratikong Pilipino party 8 and the running political rivalry they maintained in the last congressional and local elections; 9 and his alleged refusal to operate a lottery in Iloilo City. 10 He also alleges that he requested the Secretary to life his suspension since it had come ninety days prior to an election (the barangay elections of November 14, 1988), 11 notwithstanding which, the latter proceeded with the hearing and meted out two more suspension orders of the aforementioned cases. 12 He likewise contends that he sought to bring the cases to Iloilo City (they were held in Manila) in order to reduce the costs of proceeding, but the Secretary rejected his request. 13 He states that he asked for postponement on valid and justifiable" 14 grounds, among them, that he was suffering from a heart ailment which required confinement; that his "vital" 15 witness was also hospitalized 16 but that the latter unduly denied his request. Mayor Ganzons primary argument (G.R. Nos. 93252 and 95245) is that the Secretary of Local Government is devoid, in any event, of any authority to suspend and remove local officials, an argument reiterated by the petitioner Mary Ann Rivera Artieda (G.R. No. 93746). As to Mayor Ganzons charges of denial of due process, the records do not show very clearly in what manner the Mayor might have been deprived of his rights by the respondent Secretary. His claims that he and Secretary Luis Santos were (are) political rivals and that his "persecution" was politically motivated are pure speculation and although the latter does not appear to have denied these contentions (as he, Mayor Ganzon, claims), we can not take his word for it the way we would have under less political circumstances, considering furthermore that "political feud" has often been a good excuse in contesting complaints. The Mayor has failed furthermore to substantiate his say-sos that Secretary Santos had attempted to seduce him to join the administration party and to operate a lottery in Iloilo City. Again, although the Secretary failed to rebut his allegations, we can not accept them at face value, much more, as judicial admissions as he would have us accept them, 18 for the same reasons above-stated and furthermore, because his say-sos were never corroborated by independent testimonies. As a responsible public official, Secretary Santos, in pursuing an official function, is presumed to be performing his duties regularly and in the absence of contrary evidence, no ill motive can be ascribed to him. As to Mayor Ganzons contention that he had requested the respondent Secretary to defer the hearing on ac count of the ninety-day ban prescribed by Section 62 of Batas Blg. 337, the Court finds the question to be moot and academic since we have in fact restrained the Secretary from further hearing the complaints against the petitioners. 19 As to his request, finally, for postponements, the Court is afraid that he has not given any compelling reason why we should overturn the Court of Appeals, which found no convincing reason to overrule Secretary Santos in denying his requests. Besides, postponements are a matter of discretion on the part of the hearing officer, and based on Mayor Ganzons above story, we are not convinced that the Secretary has been guilty of a grave abuse of discretion. The Court can not say, under these circumstances, that Secretary Santos actuations deprived Mayor Ganzon of due process of law. We come to the core question: Whether or not the Secretary of Local Government, as the Presidents alter ego, can suspend and or remove local officials. It is the petitioners argument that the 1987 Constitution 20 no longer allows the President, as the 1935 and 1973

Constitutions did, to exercise the power of suspension and/or removal over local officials. According to both petitioners, the Constitution is meant, first, to strengthen self-rule by local government units and second, by deleting the phrase "as may be provided by law," 21 to strip the President of the power of control over local governments. It is a view, so they contend, that finds support in the debates of the Constitutional Commission. The provision in question reads as follows:

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SECTION 4. The President of the Philippines shall exercise general supervision over local governments. Provinces with respect to component cities and municipalities, and cities and municipalities with respect to component barangays shall ensure that the acts of their component units are within the scope of their prescribed powers and functions. 22 It modifies a counterpart provision appearing in the 1935 Constitution, which we quote:

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SECTION 10. The President shall have control of all the executive departments, bureaus, or offices, exercise general supervision over all local governments as may be provided by law, and take care that the laws be faithfully executed. 23 The petitioners submit that the deletion (of "as may be provided by law") is significant, as their argument goes, since: (1) the power of the President is "provided by law" and (2) hence, no law may provide for it any longer.
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It is to be noted that in meting out the suspensions under question, the Secretary of Local Government acted in consonance with the specific legal provisions of Batas Blg. 337, the Local Government Code, we quote:
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SECTION 62. Notice of Hearing. Within seven days after the complaint is filed, the Minister of Local Government, or the sanggunian concerned, as the case may be, shall require the respondent to submit his verified answer within seven days from receipt of said complaint, and commence the hearing and investigation of the case within ten days after receipt of such answer of the Respondent. No investigation shall be held within ninety days immediately prior to an election, and no preventive suspension shall be imposed within the said period. If preventive suspension has been imposed prior to the aforesaid period, the preventive suspension shall be lifted. 24 SECTION 63. Preventive Suspension. (1) Preventive suspension may be imposed by the Minister of Local Government if the respondent is a provincial or city official, by the provincial governor if the respondent is an elective municipal official, or by the city or municipal mayor if the respondent is an elective barangay official. (2) Preventive suspension may be imposed at any time after the issues are joined, when there is reasonable ground to believe that the respondent has committed the act or acts complained of, when the evidence of culpability is strong, when the gravity of the offense so warrants, or when the continuance in office of the respondent could influence the witnesses or pose a threat to the safety and integrity of the records and other evidence. In all cases, preventive suspension shall not extend beyond sixty days after the start of said suspension. (3) At the expiration of sixty days, the suspended official shall be deemed reinstated in office without prejudice to the continuation of the proceedings against him until its termination. However, if the delay in the proceedings of the case is due to his fault, neglect or request, the time of the delay shall not be counted in computing the time of suspension.25
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The issue, as the Court understands it, consists of three questions: (1) Did the 1987 Constitution, in deleting the

phrase "as may be provided by law" intend to divest the President of the power to investigate, suspend, discipline, and or remove local officials? (2) Has the Constitution repealed Sections 62 and 63 of the Local Government Code? (3) What is the significance of the change in the constitutional language? It is the considered opinion of the Court that notwithstanding the change in the constitutional language, the charter did not intend to divest the legislature of its right or the President of her prerogative as conferred by existing legislation to provide administrative sanctions against local officials. It is our opinion that the omission (of "as may be provided by law") signifies nothing more than to underscore local governments autonomy from cong ress and to break Congress "control" over local government affairs. The Constitution did not, however, intend, for the sake of local autonomy, to deprive the legislature of all authority over municipal corporations, in particular, concerning discipline. Autonomy does not, after all, contemplate making mini-states out of local government units, as in the federal governments of the United States of America (or Brazil or Germany), although Jefferson is said to have compared municipal corporations euphemistically to "small republics." 26 Autonomy, in the constitutional sense, is subject to the guiding star, though not control, of the legislature, albeit the legislative responsibility under the Constitution and as the "supervision clause" itself suggest is to wean local government units from over dependence on the central government. It is noteworthy that under the Charter, "local autonomy" is not instantly self-executing, but subject to, among other things, the passage of a local government code, 27 a local tax law, 28 income distribution legislation, 29 and a national representation law, 30 and measures 31 designed to realize autonomy at the local level. It is also noteworthy that in spite of autonomy, the Constitution places the local government under the general supervision of the Executive. It is noteworthy finally, that the Charter allows Congress to include in the local government code provisions for removal of local officials, which suggest that Congress may exercise removal powers, and as the existing Local Government Code has done, delegate its exercise to the President. Thus:
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SECTION 3. The Congress shall enact a local government code which shall provide for a more responsive and accountable local government structure instituted through a system of decentralization with effective mechanisms of recall, initiative, and referendum, allocate among the different local government units their powers, responsibilities and resources, and provide for the qualifications, election, appointment and removal, term, salaries, powers and functions and duties of local officials, and all other matters relating to the organization and operation of the local units. 32 As hereinabove indicated, the deletion of "as may be provided by law" was meant to stress, sub silencio, the objective of the framers to strengthen local autonomy by severing congressional control of its affairs, as observed by the Court of Appeals, like the power of local legislation. 33 The Constitution did nothing more, however, and insofar as existing legislation authorizes the President (through the Secretary of Local Government) to proceed against local officials administratively, the Constitution contains no prohibition. The petitioners are under the impression that the Constitution has left the President mere supervisory powers, which supposedly excludes the power of investigation, and denied her control, which allegedly embraces disciplinary authority. It is a mistaken impression because legally, "supervision" is not incompatible with disciplinary authority as this Court has held, 34 thus:
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It is true that in the case of Mondano v. Silvosa, 51 Off. Gaz., No. 6 p. 2884, this Court had occasion to discuss this scope and extent of the power of supervision by the President over local government officials in contrast to the power of control given to him over executive officials of our government wherein it was emphasized that the two terms,

control and supervision, are two different things which differ one from the other in meaning and extent. Thus in that case the Court has made the following digression: "In administration law supervision means overseeing or the power or authority of an officer to see that subordinate officers perform their duties. If the latter fail or neglect to fulfill them the former may take such action or step as prescribed by law to make them perform their duties. Control, on the other hand, means the power of an officer to alter or modify or nullify of set aside what a subordinate officer had done in the performance of his duties and to substitute the judgment of the former for that of the latter." But from this pronouncement it cannot be reasonably inferred that the power of supervision of the President over local government officials does not include the power of investigation when in his opinion the good of the public service so requires, as postulated in Section 64(c) of the Revised Administrative Code. "Control" has been defined as "the power of an officer 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 for test of the latter." 36 "Supervision" on the other hand means "overseeing or the power or authority of an officer to see that subordinate officers perform their duties." 37 As we held, 38 however, "investigating" is not inconsistent with "overseeing", although it is a lesser power than "altering." The impression is apparently exacerbated by the Courts pronouncements in at least three cases, Lacson v. Roque, 39 Hebron v. Reyes, 40 and Mondano v. Silvosa, 41 and possibly, a fourth one, Pelaez v. Auditor General. 42 In Lacson, this Court said that the President enjoyed no control powers but only supervision "as may be provided by law," 43 a rule we reiterated in Hebron, and Mondano. In Pelaez, we stated that the President "may not . . . suspend an elective official of a regular municipality or take any disciplinary action against him, except on appeal from a decision of the corresponding provincial board." 44 However, neither Lacson nor Hebron nor Mondano categorically banned the Chief Executive from exercising acts of disciplinary authority because she did not exercise control powers, but because no law allowed her to exercise disciplinary authority. Thus, according to Lacson:
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The contention that the President has inherent power to remove or suspend municipal officers is without doubt not well taken. Removal and suspension of public officers are always controlled by the particular law applicable and its proper construction subject to constitutional limitations. 45 In Hebron, we stated:

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Accordingly, when the procedure for the suspension of an officer is specified by law, the same must be deemed mandatory and adhered to strictly, in the absence of express or clear provision to the contrary which does not exist with respect to municipal officers. In Mondano, the Court held:

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. . . The Congress has expressly and specifically lodged the provincial supervision over municipal officials in the provincial governor who is authorized to "receive and investigate complaints made under oath against municipal officers for neglect of duty, oppression, corruption or other form of mal administration of office, and conviction by final judgment of any crime involving moral turpitude." And if the charges are serious, "he shall submit written charges touching the matter to the provincial board, furnishing a copy of such charges to the accused either personally or by registered mail, and he may in such case suspend the officer (not being the municipal treasurer) pending action by the board, if in his opinion the charge by one effecting the official integrity of the officer in question." Section 86 of the Revised Administration Code adds nothing to the power of supervision to be exercised by the Department Head over the administration of . . . municipalities. . . . If it be construed that it does and such additional power is the same

authority as that vested in the Department Head by section 79(c) of the Revised Administrative Code, then such additional power must be deemed to have been abrogated by Section 110(1), Article VII, of the Constitution." In Pelaez, we stated that the President can not impose disciplinary measures on local officials except on appeal from the provincial board pursuant to the Administrative Code. Thus, in those case that this Court denied the President the power (to suspend remove) it was not because we did not think that the President can not exercise it on account of his limited power, but because the law lodged the power elsewhere. But in those cases in which the law gave him the power, the Court, as in Ganzon v. Kayanan, found little difficulty in sustaining him. The Court does not believe that the petitioners can rightfully point to the debates of the Constitutional Commission to defeat the Presidents powers. The Court believes that the deliberations are by themselv es inconclusive, because although Commissioner Jose Nolledo would exclude the power of removal from the President, 50 Commissioner Blas Ople would not. The Court is consequently reluctant to say that the new Constitution has repealed the Local Government Code, Batas Blg. 37. As we said, "supervision" and "removal" are not incompatible terms and one may stand with the other notwithstanding the stronger expression of local autonomy under the new Charter. We have indeed held that in spite of the approval of the Charter, Batas Blg. 337 is still in force and effect. 52 As the Constitution itself declares, local autonomy means "a more responsive and accountable local government structure instituted through a system of decentralization." 53 The Constitution, as we observed, does nothing more than to break up the monopoly of the national government over the affairs of local governments and as put by political adherents, to "liberate the local governments from the imperialism of Manila." Autonomy, however, is not meant to end the relation of partnership and interdependence between the central administration and local government units, or otherwise, to usher in a regime of federalism. The Charter has not taken such a radical step. Local governments, under the Constitution, are subject to regulation, however limited, and for no other purpose than precisely, albeit paradoxically, to enhance self-government. As we observed in one case, 54 decentralization means devolution of national administration but not power to the local levels. Thus:
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Now, autonomy is either decentralization of administration or decentralization of power. There is decentralization of administration when the central government delegates administrative powers to political subdivisions in order to broaden the base of government power and in the process to make local governments "more responsive and accountable," and "ensure their fullest development as self-reliant communities and make them more effective partners in the pursuit of national development and social progress." At the same time, it relieves the central government of the burden of managing local affairs and enables it to concentrate on national concerns. The President exercises "general supervision" over them, but only to "ensure that local affairs are administered according to law." He has no control over their acts in the sense that he can substitute their judgments with his own. Decentralization of power, on the other hand, involves an abdication of political power in the favor of local governments units declared to be autonomous, In that case, the autonomous government is free to chart its own destiny and shape its future with minimum intervention from central authorities. According to a constitutional author, decentralization of power amounts to "self-immolation," since in that event, the autonomous government becomes accountable not to the central authorities but to its contituency. 55

The successive sixty-day suspensions imposed on Mayor Rodolfo Ganzon is albeit another matter. What bothers the Court, and what indeed looms very large, is the fact that since the Mayor is facing ten administrative charges, the Mayor is in fact facing the possibility of 600 days of suspension, in the event that all ten cases yield prima facie findings. The Court is not of course tolerating misfeasance in public office (assuming that Mayor Ganzon is guilty of misfeasance) but it is certainly another question to make him serve 600 days of suspension, which is effectively, to suspend him out of office. As we held: 2. Petitioner is a duly elected municipal mayor of Lianga, Surigao del Sur. His term of office does not expire until 1986. Were it not for this information and the suspension decreed by the Sandiganbayan according to the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, he would have been all this while in the full discharge of his functions as such municipal mayor. He was elected precisely to do so. As of October 26, 1983, he has been unable to. It is a basic assumption of the electoral process implicit in the right of suffrage that the people are entitled to the services of elective officials of their choice. For misfeasance or malfeasance, any of them could, of course, be proceeded against administratively or, as in this instance, criminally. In either case, his culpability must be established. Moreover, if there be a criminal action, he is entitled to the constitutional presumption of innocence. A preventive suspension may be justified. Its continuance, however, for an unreasonable length of time raises a due process question. For even if thereafter he were acquitted, in the meanwhile his right to hold office had been nullified. Clearly, there would be in such a case an injustice suffered by him. Nor is he the only victim. There is injustice inflicted likewise on the people of Lianga. They were deprived of the services of the man they had elected to serve as mayor. In that sense, to paraphrase Justice Cardozo, the protracted continuance of this preventive suspension had outrun the bonds of reason and resulted in sheer oppression. A denial of due process is thus quite manifest. It is to avoid such an unconstitutional application that the order of suspension should be lifted. The plain truth is that this Court has been ill at ease with suspensions, for the above reasons, 58 and so also, because it is out of the ordinary to have a vacancy in local government. The sole objective of a suspension, as we have held, 59 is simply "to prevent the accused from hampering the normal cause of the investigation with his influence and authority over possible witnesses" 60 or to keep him off "the records and other evidence." 61 It is a means, and no more, to assist prosecutors in firming up a case, if any, against an erring local official. Under the Local Government Code, it can not exceed sixty days, 62 which is to say that it need not be exactly sixty days long if a shorter period is otherwise sufficient, and which is also to say that it ought to be lifted if prosecutors have achieved their purpose in a shorter span. Suspension is not a penalty and is not unlike preventive imprisonment in which the accused is held to insure his presence at the trial. In both cases, the accused (the respondent) enjoys a presumption of innocence unless and until found guilty. Suspension finally is temporary, and as the Local Government Code provides, it may be imposed for no more than sixty days. As we held, 63 a longer suspension is unjust and unreasonable, and we might add, nothing less than tyranny. As we observed earlier, imposing 600 days of suspension which is not a remote possibility on Mayor Ganzon is to all intents and purposes, to make him spend the rest of his term in inactivity. It is also to make, to all intents and purposes, his suspension permanent. It is also, in fact, to mete out punishment in spite of the fact that the Mayors guilt has not been proven. Worse, any absolution will be for naught because needless to say, the length of his suspension would have, by the time he is

reinstated, wiped out his tenure considerably. The Court is not to be mistaken for obstructing the efforts of the respondent Secretary to see that justice is done in Iloilo City, yet it is hardly any argument to inflict on Mayor Ganzon successive suspensions when apparently, the respondent Secretary has had sufficient time to gather the necessary evidence to build a case against the Mayor without suspending him a day longer. What is intriguing is that the respondent Secretary has been cracking down, so to speak, on the Mayor piecemeal apparently, to pin him down ten times the pain, when he, the respondent Secretary, could have pursued a consolidated effort. We reiterate that we are not precluding the President, through the Secretary of Interior from exercising a legal power, yet we are of the opinion that the Secretary of Interior is exercising that power oppressively, and needless to say, with a grave abuse of discretion. The Court is aware that only the third suspension is under questions, and that any talk of future suspensions is in fact premature. The fact remains, however, that Mayor Ganzon has been made to serve a total of 120 days of suspension and the possibility of sixty days more is arguably around the corner (which amounts to a violation of the Local Government Code) which brings to light a pattern of suspensions intended to suspend the Mayor the rest of his natural tenure. The Court is simply foreclosing what appears to us as a concerted effort of the State to perpetuate an arbitrary act. As we said, we can not tolerate such a state of affairs. We are therefore allowing Mayor Rodolfo Ganzon to suffer the duration of his third suspension and lifting, for the purpose, the Temporary Restraining Order earlier issued. Insofar as the sever pertaining charges are concerned, we are urging the Department of Local Government, upon the finality of this Decision, to undertake steps to expedite the same, subject to Mayor Ganzons usual remedies of appeal, judicial or administrative, or certiorari, if warranted, and meanwhile, we are precluding the Secretary from meting out further suspensions based on those remaining complaints, notwithstanding findings of prima facie evidence. In resum, the Court is laying down the following rules:

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1. Local autonomy, under the Constitution, involves a mere decentralization of administration, not of power, in which local officials remain accountable to the central government in the manner the law may provide; 2. The new Constitution does not prescribe federalism; 3. The change in constitutional language (with respect to the supervision clause) was meant but to deny legislative control over local governments; it did not exempt the latter from legislative regulations provided regulation is consistent with the fundamental premise of autonomy; 4. Since local governments remain accountable to the national authority, the latter may, by law, and in the manner set forth therein, impose disciplinary action against local officials; 5. "Supervision" and "investigation" are not inconsistent terms; "investigation" does not signify "control" (which the President does not have); 6. The petitioner, Mayor Rodolfo Ganzon, may serve the suspension so far ordered, but may no longer be suspended for the offenses he was charged originally; provided:
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a) that delays in the investigation of those charges "due to his fault, neglect or request, (the time of the delay) shall not be counted in computing the time of suspension." [Supra, sec. 63(3)]

b) that if during, or after the expiration of, his preventive suspension, the petitioner commits another or other crimes and abuses for which proper charges are fled against him by the aggrieved party or parties, his previous suspension shall not be a bar to his being preventively suspended again, if warranted under subpar. (2), Section 63 of the Local Government Code. WHEREFORE, premises considered, the petitions are DISMISSED. The Temporary Restraining Order issued is LIFTED. The suspensions of the petitioners are AFFIRMED, provided that the petitioner, Mayor Rodolfo Ganzon, may not be made to serve future suspensions on account of any of the remaining administrative charges pending against him for acts committed prior to August 11, 1988. The Secretary of Interior is ORDERED to consolidate all such administrative cases pending against Mayor Ganzon.
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The sixty-day suspension against the petitioner, Mary Ann Rivera Artieda, is AFFIRMED. No costs.

[G.R. No. 102782. December 11, 1991.] THE SOLICITOR GENERAL, RODOLFO A. MALAPIRA, STEPHEN A. MONSANTO, DAR. CALDERON, and GRANDY N. TRIESTE, Petitioners, v. THE METROPOLITAN MANILA AUTHORITY and the MUNICIPALITY OF MANDALUYONG SYLLABUS 1. REMEDIAL LAW; PROCEDURAL RULES; MAY BE RELAXED OR SUSPENDED IN THE INTEREST OF SUBSTANTIAL JUSTICE. Unquestionably, the Court has the power to suspend procedural rules in the exercise of its inherent power, as expressly recognized in the Constitution, to promulgate rules concerning "pleading, practice and procedure in all courts." In proper cases, procedural rules may be relaxed or suspended in the interest of substantial justice, which otherwise may be miscarried because of a rigid and formalistic adherence to such rules. The Court has taken this step in a number of such cases, notably Araneta v. Dinglasan, 84 Phil. 368, where Justice Tuason justified the deviation on the ground that "the transcendental importance to the public of these cases demands that they be settled promptly and definitely brushing aside, if we must, technicalities of procedure."
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2. CONSTITUTIONAL LAW; DELEGATION OF LEGISLATIVE POWER; HELD VALID IN CASE AT BAR. The Metro Manila Authority sustains Ordinance No. 11-Series of 1991, under the specific authority conferred upon it by EO 392, while Ordinance No. 7, Series of 1988, is justified on the basis of the General Welfare Clause embodies in the Local Government Code. It is not disputed that both measures were enacted to promote the comfort and convenience of the public and to alleviate the worsening traffic problems in Metropolitan Manila due in large part to violations of traffic rules. The Court holds that there is a valid delegation of legislative power to promulgate such measures, it appearing that the requisites of such delegation are present. These requisites are: 1) the completeness of the statute making the delegation; and 2) the presence of a sufficient standard. 3. ID.; ID.; ID.; Under the first requirement, the statute must leave the legislature complete in all its terms and provisions such that all the delegate will have to do when the statute reaches it is to implement it. What only can be delegated is not the discretion to determine what the law shall be but the discretion to determine how the law shall be enforced. This has been done in the case at bar. As a second requirement, the enforcement may be effected only in accordance with a sufficient standard, the function of which is to map out t he boundaries of the delegates authority and thus "prevent the delegation from running riot." This requirement has also been met. It is settled that the "convenience and welfare" of the public, particularly the motorists and passengers in the case at bar, is an acceptable sufficient standard to delimit the delegates authority. 4. ID.; ID.; QUESTION POSED IS THE VALIDITY OF THE EXERCISE OF SUCH DELEGATED POWER; TEST TO DETERMINE VALIDITY OF MUNICIPAL ORDINANCE. The measures in question are enactments of local governments acting only as agents of the national legislature. Necessarily, the acts of these agents must reflect and conform to the will of their principal. To test the validity of such acts in the specific case now before us, we apply the particular requisites of a valid ordinance as laid down by the accepted principles governing municipal corporations. According to Elliot, a municipal ordinance, to be valid: 1) must not contravene the Constitution or any statute; 2) must not be unfair or oppressive; 3) must not be partial or discriminatory; 4) must not prohibit but may regulate trade; 5) must not be unreasonable; and 6) must be general and consistent with public policy. 5. ID.; ID.; ID.; MUNICIPAL ORDINANCE DOES NOT CONFORM TO EXISTING LAW. A careful study of the Gonong decision will show that the measures under consideration do not pass the first criterion because they do not conform to existing law. The pertinent law is PD 1605. PD 1605 does not allow either the removal of license plates or the

confiscation of drivers licenses for traffic violations committed in Metropolitan Manila. There is nothing in the provisions of Secs. 1, 3, 5 and 8 of the decree authorizing the Metropolitan Manila Commission (and now the Metropolitan Manila Authority) to impose such sanctions. In fact, the said provisions prohibit the imposition of such sanctions in Metropolitan Manila. The Commission was allowed to "impose fines and otherwise discipline" traffic violators only "in such amounts and under such penalties as are herein prescribed," that is, by the decree itself. Nowhere is the removal of license plates directly imposed by the decree or at least allowed by it to be imposed by the Commission. Notably, Section 5 thereof expressly provides that "in case of traffic violations, the drivers license shall not be confiscated." These restrictions are applicable to the Metropolitan Manila Authority and all other local political subdivisions comprising Metropolitan Manila, including the Municipality of Mandaluyong. 6. ID.; ID.; ID.; CASE AT BAR. The requirement that the municipal enactment must not violate existing law explains itself. Local political subdivisions are able to legislate only by virtue of a valid delegation of legislative power from the national legislature (except only that the power to create their own sources of revenue and to levy taxes is conferred by the Constitution itself). They are mere agents vested with what is called the power of subordinate legislation. As delegates of the Congress, the local government unit cannot contravene but must obey at all times the will of their principal. In the case before us, the enactments in question, which are merely local in origin, cannot prevail against the decree, which has the force and effect of a statute. The self-serving language of Section 2 of the challenged ordinance is worth nothing. Curiously, it is the measure itself, which was enacted by the Metropolitan Manila Authority, that authorizes the Metropolitan Manila Authority to impose the questioned sanction. The measures in question do not merely add to the requirement of PD 1605 but, worse, impose sanctions the decree does not allow and in fact actually prohibits. In so doing, the ordinances disregard and violate and in effect partially repeal the law. 7. ID.; ID.; ID.; PD 1605 APPLIES ONLY TO METROPOLITAN MANILA AREA AND AN EXCEPTION TO THE GENERAL AUTHORITY CONFERRED BY REPUBLIC ACT. 4136 ON THE COMMISSIONER OF LAND TRANSPORTATION. We here emphasize the ruling in the Gonong Case that PD 1605 applies only to the Metropolitan Manila area. It is an exception to the general authority conferred by R.A. No. 4136 on the Commissioner of Land Transportation to punish violations of traffic rules elsewhere in the country with the sanctions therein prescribed, including those here question. The Court agrees that the challenged ordinances were enacted with the best of motives and shares the concern of the rest of the public for the effective reduction of traffic problems in Metropolitan Manila through the imposition and enforcement of more deterrent penalties upon traffic violators. At the same time, it must also reiterate the public misgivings over the abuses that may attend the enforcement of such sanctions, including the illicit practices described in detail in the Gonong decision. At any rate, the fact is that there is no statutory authority for and indeed there is a statutory prohibition against the imposition of such penalties in the Metropolitan Manila area. 8. ID.; ID.; IT IS FOR CONGRESS TO EXERCISE ITS DISCRETION TO DETERMINE WHETHER OR NOT TO IMPOSE THE QUESTIONED SANCTIONS. It is for Congress to determine, in the exercise of its own discretion, whether or not to impose such sanctions, either directly through a statute or by simply delegating authority to this effect to the local governments in Metropolitan Manila. Without such action, PD 1605 remains effective and continues to prohibit the confiscation of license plates of motor vehicles (except under the conditions prescribed in LOI 43) and of dr ivers licenses as well for traffic violations in Metropolitan Manila. In Metropolitan Traffic Command, West Traffic District v. Hon. Arsenio M. Gonong, G.R. No. 91023, promulgated on July 13, 1990, 1 the Court held that the confiscation of the license plates of motor vehicles for traffic violations was not among the sanctions that could be imposed by the Metro Manila Commission under PD 1605 and was permitted only under the conditions laid down by LOI 43 in the case of stalled vehicles obstructing the public streets. It was there also observed that even the confiscation of drivers licenses for traffic violations was not directly prescribed by

the decree nor was it allowed by the decree to be imposed by the Commission. No motion for reconsideration of that decision was submitted. The judgment became final and executory on August 6, 1990, and it was duly entered in the Book of Entries of Judgments on July 13, 1990. Subsequently, the following developments transpired:

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In a letter dated October 17, 1990, Rodolfo A. Malapira complained to the Court that when he was stopped for an alleged traffic violation, his drivers license was confiscated by Traffic Enforcer Angel de los Reyes in Quezon City. On December 18, 1990, the Caloocan-Manila Drivers and Operators Association sent a letter to the Court asking who should enforce the decision in the above-mentioned case, whether they could seek damages for confiscation of their drivers licenses, and where they should file their complaints. Another letter was received by the Court on February 14, 1991, from Stephen L. Monsanto, complaining against the confiscation of his drivers license by Traffic Enforcer A.D. Martinez for an alleged traffic violation in Mandaluyong. This was followed by a letter-complaint filed on March 7, 1991, from Dan R. Calderon, a lawyer, also for confiscation of his drivers license by Pat. R.J. Tano-an of the Makati Police Force.
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Still another complaint was received by the Court dated April 29, 1991, this time from Grandy N. Trieste, another lawyer, who also protested the removal of his front license plate by E. Ramos of the Metropolitan Manila AuthorityTraffic Operations Center and the confiscation of his drivers license by Pat. A.V. Emmanuel of the Metropolitan Police Command-Western Police District. Required to submit a Comment on the complaint against him, Allan D. Martinez invoked Ordinance No. 7, Series of 1988, of Mandaluyong, authorizing the confiscation of drivers licenses and the removal of license plates of motor vehicles for traffic violations. For his part, A.V. Emmanuel said he confiscated Triestes drivers license pursuant to a memorandum dated February 27, 1991, from the District Commander of the Western Traffic District of the Philippine National Police, authorizing such sanction under certain conditions. Director General Cesar P. Nazareno of the Philippine National Police assured the Court in his own Comment that his office had never authorized the removal of the license plates of illegally parked vehicles and that he had in fact directed full compliance with the above-mentioned decision in a memorandum, copy of which he attached, entitled Removal of Motor Vehicle License Plates and dated February 28, 1991.
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Pat. R.J. Tano-an, on the other hand, argued that the Gonong decision prohibited only the removal of license plates and not the confiscation of drivers licenses. On May 24, 1990, the Metropolitan Manila Authority issued Ordinance No. 11, Series of 1991, authorizing itself "to detach the license plate/tow and impound attended/unattended/abandoned motor vehicles illegally parked or obstructing the flow of traffic in Metro Manila."
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On July 2, 1991, the Court issued the following resolution:

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The attention of the Court has been called to the enactment by the Metropolitan Manila Authority of Ordinance No. 11, Series of 1991, providing inter alia that:
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SECTION 2. Authority to Detach Plate / Tow and Impound. The Metropolitan Manila Authority, thru the Traffic Operations Center, is authorized to detach the license plate/tow and impound attended unattended abandoned motor vehicles illegally parked or obstructing the flow of traffic in Metro Manila.
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The provision appears to be in conflict with the decision of the Court in the case at bar (as reported in 187 SCRA 432), where it was held that the license plates of motor vehicles may not be detached except only under the conditions prescribed in LOI 43. Additionally, the Court has received several complaints against the confiscation by police authorities of drivers licenses for alleged traffic violations, which sanction is, according to the said decision, not among those that may be imposed under PD 1605. To clarify these matters for the proper guidance of law-enforcement officers and motorists, the Court Resolved to require the Metropolitan Manila Authority and the Solicitor General to submit, within ten (10) days from notice hereof, separate COMMENTS on such sanctions in light of the said decision. In its Comment, the Metropolitan Manila Authority defended the said ordinance on the ground that it was adopted pursuant to the powers conferred upon it by EO 392. It particularly cited Section 2 thereof vesting in the Council (its governing body) the responsibility among others of:
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1. Formulation of policies on the delivery of basic services requiring coordination or consolidation for the Authority; and 2. Promulgation of resolutions and other issuances of metropolitan wide application, approval of a code of basic services requiring coordination, and exercise of its rule-making powers. (Emphasis supplied) The Authority argued that there was no conflict between the decision and the ordinance because the latter was meant to supplement and not supplant the latter. It stressed that the decision itself said that the confiscation of license plates was invalid in the absence of a valid law or ordinance, which was why Ordinance No. 11 was enacted. The Authority also pointed out that the ordinance could not be attacked collaterally but only in a direct action challenging its validity. For his part, the Solicitor General expressed the view that the ordinance was null and void because it represented an invalid exercise of a delegated legislative power. The fee in the measure was that it violated existing law, specifically PD 1605, which does not permit, and so impliedly prohibits, the removal of license plates and the confiscation of drivers licenses for traffic violations in Metropolitan Manila. He made no mention, however, of the alleged impropriety of examining the said ordinance in the absence of a formal challenge to its validity.
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On October 24, 1991, the Office of the Solicitor General submitted a motion for the early resolution of the questioned sanctions, to remove once and for all the uncertainty of their validity. A similar motion was filed by the Metropolitan Manila Authority, which reiterated its contention that the incidents in question should be dismissed because there was no actual case or controversy before the Court. The Metropolitan Manila Authority is correct in invoking the doctrine that the validity of a law or act can be challenged only in a direct action and not collaterally. That is indeed the settled principle. However, that rule is not inflexible and may be relaxed by the Court under exceptional circumstances, such as those in the present controversy.
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The Solicitor General notes that the practices complained of have created a great deal of confusion among motorists about the state of the law on the questioned sanctions. More importantly, he maintains that these sanctions are illegal, being violative of law and the Gonong decision, and should therefore be stopped. We also note the disturbing report that one policeman who confiscated a drivers license dismissed the Gonong decision as "wrong" and said the police would not stop their "habit" unless they received orders "from the top." Regrettably, not one of the complainants has filed a formal challenge to the ordinances, including Monsanto and Trieste, who are lawyers and could have been more assertive of their rights. Given these considerations, the Court feels it must address the problem squarely presented to it and decide it as categorically rather than dismiss the complaints on the basis of the technical objection raised and thus, through its inaction, allow them to fester. The step we now take is not without legal authority or judicial precedent. Unquestionably, the Court has the power to suspend procedural rules in the exercise of its inherent power, as expressly recognized in the Constitution, to promulgate rules concerning "pleading, practice and procedure in all courts." 2 In proper cases, procedural rules may be relaxed or suspended in the interest of substantial justice, which otherwise may be miscarried because of a rigid and formalistic adherence to such rules. The Court has taken this step in a number of such cases, notably Araneta v. Dinglasan, 3 where Justice Tuason justified the donation on the ground that "the transcendental importance to the public of these cases demands that they be settled promptly and definitely, brushing aside, if we must, technicalities of procedure." We have made similar rulings in other cases, thus:
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Be it remembered that rules of procedure are but mere tools designed to facilitate the attainment of justice. Their strict and rigid application, which would result in technicalities that tend to frustrate rather than promote substantial justice, must always be avoided. (Aznar III v. Bernad, G.R. No. 81190, May 9, 1988, 161 SCRA 276.) Time and again, this Court has suspended its own rules and excepted a particular case from their operation whenever the higher interests of justice so require. In the instant petition, we forego a lengthy disquisition of the proper procedure that should have been taken by the parties involved and proceed directly to the merits of the case. (Piczon v. Court of Appeals, 190 SCRA 31)
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Three of the cases were consolidated for argument and the other two were argued separately on other dates. Inasmuch as all of them present the same fundamental question which, in our view, is decisive, they will be disposed of jointly. For the same reason we will pass up the objection to the personality or sufficiency of interest of the petitioners in case G.R. No. L-3054 and case G.R. No. L 3056 and the question whether prohibition lies in cases G.R. Nos. L-2044 and L2756. No practical benefit can be gained from a discussion of these procedural matters, since the decision in the cases wherein the petitioners cause of action or the propriety of the procedure followed is not in dispute, will be controlling authority on the others. Above all, the transcendental importance to the public of these cases demands that they be settled promptly and definitely, brushing aside, if we must, technicalities of procedure. (Avelino v. Cuenco, G.R. No. L-2821 cited in Araneta v. Dinglasan, 84 Phil. 368.) Accordingly, the Court will consider the motion to resolve filed by the Solicitor General a petition for prohibition against the enforcement of Ordinance No. 11 -Series of 1991, of the Metropolitan Manila Authority, and Ordinance No. 7, Series of 1988, of the Municipality of Mandaluyong. Stephen A. Monsanto, Rodolfo A. Malapira, Dan R. Calderon, and Grandy N. Trieste are considered co-petitioners and the Metropolitan Manila Authority and the Municipality of

Mandaluyong are hereby impleaded as respondents. This petition is docketed as G.R. No. 102782. The comments already submitted are duly noted and shall be taken into account by the Court in the resolution of the substantive issues raised. It is stressed that this action is not intended to disparage procedural rules, which the Court has recognized often enough as necessary to the orderly administration of justice. If we are relaxing them in this particular case, it is because of the failure of the proper parties to file the appropriate proceeding against the acts complained of, and the necessity of resolving, in the interest of the public, the important substantive issues raised. Now to the merits. The Metro Manila Authority sustains Ordinance No. 11-Series of 1991, under the specific authority conferred upon it by EO 392, while Ordinance No. 7, Series of 1988, is justified on the basis of the General Welfare Clause embodied in the Local Government Code. 4 It is not disputed that both measures were enacted to promote the comfort and convenience of the public and to alleviate the worsening traffic problems in Metropolitan Manila due in large part to violations of traffic rules.
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The Court holds that there is a valid delegation of legislative power to promulgate such measures, it appearing that the requisites of such delegation are present. These requisites are: 1) the completeness of the statute making the delegation; and 2) the presence of a sufficient standard. 5 Under the first requirement, the statute must leave the legislature complete in all its terms and provisions such that all the delegate will have to do when the statute reaches it is to implement it. What only can be delegated is not the discretion to determine what the law shall be but the discretion to determine how the law shall be enforced. This has been done in the case at bar. As a second requirement, the enforcement may be effected only in accordance with a sufficient standard, the function of which is to map out the boundaries of the delegates authority and thus "prevent the delegation from running riot." This requirement has also been met. It is settled that the "convenience and welfare" of the public, particularly the motorists and passengers in the case at bar, is an acceptable sufficient standard to delimit the delegates authority. 6 But the problem before us is not the validity of the delegation of legislative power. The question we must resolve is the validity of the exercise of such delegated power.
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The measures in question are enactments of local governments acting only as agents of the national legislature. Necessarily, the acts of these agents must reflect and conform to the will of their principal. To test the validity of such acts in the specific case now before us, we apply the particular requisites of a valid ordinance as laid down by the accepted principles governing municipal corporations. According to Elliot, a municipal ordinance, to be valid: 1) must not contravene the Constitution or any statute; 2) must not be unfair or oppressive; 3) must not be partial or discriminatory; 4) must not prohibit but may regulate trade; 5) must not be unreasonable; and 6) must be general and consistent with public policy. 7 A careful study of the Gonong decision will show that the measures under consideration do not pass the first criterion because they do not conform to existing law. The pertinent law is PD 1605. PD 1605 does not allow either the removal of license plates or the confiscation of drivers licenses for traffic violations committed in Metropolitan Manila. There is

nothing in the following provisions of the decree authorizing the Metropolitan Manila Commission (and now the Metropolitan Manila Authority) to impose such sanctions:
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SECTION 1. The Metropolitan Manila Commission shall have the power to impose fines and otherwise discipline drivers and operators of motor vehicles for violations of traffic laws, ordinances, rules and regulations in Metropolitan Manila in such amounts and under such penalties as are herein prescribed. For this purpose, the powers of the Land Transportation Commission and the Board of Transportation under existing laws over such violations and punishment thereof are hereby transferred to the Metropolitan Manila Commission. When the proper penalty to be imposed is suspension or revocation of drivers license or certificate of public convenience, the Metropolitan Manila Commission or its representatives shall suspend or revoke such license or cert ificate. The suspended or revoked drivers license or the report of suspension or revocation of the certificate of public convenience shall be sent to the Land Transportation Commission or the Board of Transportation, as the case may be, for their records update. SECTION 3. Violations of traffic laws, ordinances, rules and regulations, committed with a twelve-month period, reckoned from the date of birth of the licensee, shall subject the violator to graduated fines as follows: P10.00 for the first offense, P20.00 for the second offense, P50.00 for the third offense, a one-year suspension of drivers license for the fourth offense, and a revocation of the drivers license for the fifth offense: Provided, That the Metropolitan Manila Commission may impose higher penalties as it may deem proper for violations of its ordinances prohibiting or regulating the use of certain public roads, streets and thoroughfares in Metropolitan Manila. SECTION 5. In case of traffic violations, the drivers license shall not be confiscated but the erring driver shall be immediately issued a traffic citation ticket prescribed by the Metropolitan Manila Commission which shall state the violation committed, the amount of fine imposed for the violation and an advice that he can make payment to the city or municipal treasurer where the violation was committed or to the Philippine National Bank or Philippine Veterans Bank or their branches within seven days from the date of issuance of the citation ticket. If the offender fails to pay the fine imposed within the period herein prescribed, the Metropolitan Manila Commission or the law enforcement agency concerned shall endorse the case to the proper fiscal for appropriate proceedings preparatory to the filing of the case with the competent traffic court, city or municipal court.
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If at the time a driver renews his drivers license and records show that he has an unpaid fine, his drivers license shall not be renewed until he has paid the fine and corresponding surcharges. x x x

SECTION 8. Insofar as the Metropolitan manila area is concerned, all laws, decrees, orders, ordinances, rules and regulations, or parts thereof inconsistent herewith are hereby repealed or modified accordingly. ( Emphasis supplied). In fact, the above provisions prohibit the imposition of such sanctions in Metropolitan Manila. The Commission was allowed to "impose fines and otherwise discipline" traffic violators only "in such amounts and under such penalties as are herein prescribed," that is, by the decree itself. Nowhere is the removal of license plates directly imposed by the decree or at least allowed by it to be imposed by the Commission. Notably, Section 5 thereof expressly provides that "in case of traffic violations, the drivers license shall not be confiscated." These restrictions are applicable to the Metropolitan Manila Authority and all other local political subdivisions comprising Metropolitan Manila, including the Municipality of Mandaluyong.
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The requirement that the municipal enactment must not violate existing law explains itself. Local political subdivisions are able to legislate only by virtue of a valid delegation of legislative power from the national legislature (except only that the power to create their own sources of revenue and to levy taxes is conferred by the Constitution itself.) 8 They are mere agents vested with what is called the power of subordinate legislation. As delegates of the Congress, the local government unit cannot contravene but must obey at all times the will of their principal. In the case before us, the enactments in question, which are merely local in origin, cannot prevail against the decree, which has the force and effect of a statute. The self-serving language of Section 2 of the challenged ordinance is worth noting. Curiously, it is the measure itself, which was enacted by the Metropolitan Manila Authority, that authorizes the Metropolitan Manila Authority to impose the questioned sanction.
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In Villacorta v. Bernardo, 9 the Court nullified an ordinance enacted by the Municipal Board of Dagupan City for being violative of the Land Registration Act. The decision held in part:
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In declaring the said ordinance null and void, the court a quo declared:

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"From the above-recited requirements, there is no showing that would justify the enactment of the questioned ordinance. Section 1 of said ordinance clearly conflicts with Section 44 of Act 496, because the latter law does not require subdivision plans to be submitted to the City Engineer before the same is submitted for approval to and verification by the General Land Registration Office or by the Director of Lands as provided for in Section 58 of said Act. Section 2 of the same ordinance also contravenes the provisions of Section 44 of Act 496, the latter being silent on a service fee of P0.03 per square meter of every lot subject of such subdivision application; Section 3 of the ordinance in question also conflicts with Section 44 of Act 496, because the latter law does not mention of a certification to be made by the City Engineer before the Register of Deeds allows registration of the subdivision plan; and the last section of said ordinance imposes a penalty for its violation, which Section 44 of Act 496 does not impose. In other words, Ordinance 22 of the City of Dagupan imposes upon a subdivision owner additional conditions. x x x

"The Court takes note of the laudable purpose of the ordinance in bringing to a halt the surreptitious registration of lands belonging to the government. But as already intimated above, the powers of the board in enacting such a laudable ordinance cannot be held valid when it shall impede the exercise of rights granted in a general law and/or make a general law subordinated to a local ordinance." We affirm. To sustain the ordinance would be to open the floodgates to other ordinances amending and so violating national laws in the guise of implementing them. Thus, ordinances could be passed imposing additional requirements for the issuance of marriage licenses, to prevent bigamy; the registration of vehicles, to minimize carnapping; the execution of contracts, to forestall fraud; the validation of passports, to deter imposture; the exercise of freedom of speech, to reduce disorder; and so on. The list is endless, but the means, even if the end be valid, would be ultra vires.
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The measures in question do not merely add to the requirement of PD 1605 but, worse, impose sanctions the decree does not allow end in fact actually prohibits. In so doing, the ordinances disregard and violate and in effect partially repeal the law.

We here emphasize the ruling in the Gonong Case that PD 1605 applies only to the Metropolitan Manila area. It is an exception to the general authority conferred by R.A. No. 4136 on the Commissioner of Land Transportation to punish violations of traffic rules elsewhere in the country with the sanctions therein prescribed, including those here questioned. The Court agrees that the challenged ordinances were enacted with the best of motives and shares the concern of the rest of the public for the effective reduction of traffic problems in Metropolitan Manila through the imposition and enforcement of more deterrent penalties upon traffic violators. At the same time, it must also reiterate the public misgivings over the abuses that may attend the enforcement of such sanctions, including the illicit practices described in detail in the Gonong decision. At any rate, the fact is that there is no statutory authority for and indeed there is a statutory prohibition against the imposition of such penalties in the Metropolitan Manila area. Hence, regardless of their merits, they cannot be imposed by the challenged enactments by virtue only of the delegated legislative powers.
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It is for Congress to determine, in the exercise of its own discretion, whether or not to impose such sanctions, either directly through a statute or by simply delegating authority to this effect to the local governments in metropolitan Manila. Without such action, PD 1605 remains effective and continues to prohibit the confiscation of license plates of motor vehicles (except under the conditions prescribed in LOI 43) and of drivers licenses as well for traffic violations in Metropolitan Manila. WHEREFORE, judgment is hereby rendered:

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(1) declaring Ordinance No. 11, Series of 1991, of the Metropolitan Manila Authority and Ordinance No. 7, Series of 1988, of the Municipality of Mandaluyong, NULL and VOID; and (2) enjoining all law-enforcement authorities in Metropolitan Manila from removing the license plates of motor vehicles (except when authorized under LOI 43) and confiscating drivers licenses for traffic violations within the said area.

[G.R. No. 96409. February 14, 1992.] CITIZEN J. ANTONIO M. CARPIO, Petitioner, v. THE EXECUTIVE SECRETARY, THE SECRETARY OF LOCAL GOVERNMENTS, THE SECRETARY OF NATIONAL DEFENSE, and THE NATIONAL TREASURER, Respondents. SYLLABUS 1. POLITICAL LAW; STATUTES; REPUBLIC ACT NO. 6975; DATE OF EFFECTIVITY. With the aforequoted provision in mind, Congress passed Republic Act No. 6975 entitled "AN ACT ESTABLISHING THE PHILIPPINE NATIONAL POLICE UNDER A REORGANIZED DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES" as the consolidated version of House Bill No. 23614 and Senate Bill No. 463. The Act took effect after fifteen days following its publication, or on January 1, 1991. 2. CONSTITUTIONAL LAW; THE PRESIDENT HAS CONTROL POWERS OVER THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH OF THE GOVERNMENT; DOCTRINE OF QUALIFIED POLITICAL AGENCY AS COROLLARY RULE THERETO. It is a fundamentally accepted principle in Constitutional Law that the President has control of all executive departments, bureaus, and offices. Equally well accepted, as a corollary rule to the control powers of the President, is the "Doctrine of Qualified Political Agency." As the President cannot be expected to exercise his control powers all at the same time and in person, he will have to delegate some of them to his Cabinet members, who in turn and by his authority, control the bureaus and other offices under their respective jurisdictions in the executive department. 3. ID.; ID.; THE PRESIDENT, AS COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF, IS NOT A MEMBER OF THE ARMED FORCES. The President, as Commander-in-Chief, is not a member of the Armed Forces. He remains a civilian whose duties under the Commander-in-Chief provision "represent only a part of the organic duties imposed upon him. All his other functions are clearly civil in nature." His position as a civilian Commander-in-Chief is consistent with, and a testament to, the constitutional principle that "civilian authority is, at all times, supreme over the military." (Article II, Section 3, 1987 Constitution.) 4. POLITICAL LAW; PLACEMENT OF NAPOLCOM AND PHILIPPINE NATIONAL POLICE (PNP) UNDER THE DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT, MERELY AN ADMINISTRATIVE REALIGNMENT. The circumstance that the NAPOLCOM and the PNP are placed under the reorganized Department of the Interior and Local Government is merely an administrative realignment that would bolster a system of coordination and cooperation among the citizenry, local executives and the integrated law enforcement agencies and public safety agencies created under the assailed Act, the funding of the PNP being in large part subsidized by the national government. 5. ID.; NATIONAL POLICE FORCE; ADMINISTERED AND CONTROLLED BY NATIONAL POLICE COMMISSION; LOCAL EXECUTIVES ACT ONLY AS REPRESENTATIVES OF NAPOLCOM. The national police force shall be administered and controlled by a national police commission as at any rate, and in fact, the Act in question adequately provides for administration and control at the commission level. We agree, that "there is no usurpation of the power of control of the NAPOLCOM under Section 51 because under this very same provision, it is clear that the local executives are only acting as representatives of the NAPOLCOM. As such deputies, they are answerable to the NAPOLCOM for their actions in the exercise of their functions under that section. Thus, unless countermanded by the NAPOLCOM, their acts are valid and binding as acts of the NAPOLCOM." It is significant to note that the local officials, as NAPOLCOM representatives, will choose the officers concerned from a list of eligibles (those who meet the general qualifications for appointment to the PNP) to be recommended by PNP officials. The same holding is true with respect to the contention on the operational supervision and control exercised by the local officials. These officials would simply be acting as representatives of the Commission.

6. ID.; ID.; INVOLVEMENT OF CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION UNDERSCORES ITS CIVILIAN CHARACTER. As regards the assertion involving the Civil Service Commission, suffice it to say that the questioned provisions, which read: "Sec. 31. Appointment of PNP Officers and Members. The Appointment of the officers and members of the PNP shall be effected in the following manner: a.) Police Officer I to Senior Police Officer IV. Appointed by the PNP regional director for regional personnel or by the Chief of the PNP for national headquarters personnel and attested by the Civil Service Commission; b.) Inspector to Superintendent Appointed by the Chief of the PNP, as recommended by their immediate superiors, and attested by the Civil Service Commission; c.) Senior Superintendent to Deputy DirectorGeneral Appointed by the President upon recommendation of the Chief of the PNP, with proper endorsement by the Chairman of the Civil Service Commission . . . . Sec. 32. Examinations for Policemen. The Civil Service Commission shall administer the qualifying entrance examinations for policemen on the basis of the standards set by the NAPOLCOM." precisely underscore the civilian character of the national police force, and will undoubtedly professionalize the same. 7. ID.; ID.; DOES NOT FALL UNDER THE COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF POWERS OF THE PRESIDENT; REASON AND CONSEQUENCE THEREOF. It thus becomes all too apparent then that the provision herein assailed precisely gives muscle to and enforces the proposition that the national police force does not fall under the Commander-in-Chief powers of the President. This is necessarily so since the police force, not being integrated with the military, is not a part of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. As a civilian agency of the government, it properly comes within, and is subject to, the exercise by the President of the power of executive control. Consequently, Section 12 does not constitute abdication of commander-in-chief powers. It simply provides for the transition period or process during which the national police would gradually assume the civilian function of safeguarding the internal security of the State. Under this instance, the President, to repeat, abdicates nothing of his war powers. 8. ID.; NATIONAL POLICE COMMISSION (NAPOLCOM); EXERCISES APPELLATE JURISDICTION THRU REGIONAL APPELLATE BOARDS. Pursuant to the Act, the Commission exercises appellate jurisdiction, thru the regional appellate boards, over decisions of both the PLEB and the said mayors. This is so under Section 20(c). Furthermore, it is the Commission which shall issue the implementing guidelines and procedures to be adopted by the PLEB for the conduct of its hearings, and it may assign NAPOLCOM hearing officers to act as legal consultants of the PLEBs (Section 43-d4, d5). 9. ID.; CONSTITUTIONAL CONSTRUCTION; EVERY PRESUMPTION INDULGED IN FAVOR OF CONSTITUTIONALITY. We find light in the principle of constitutional construction that every presumption should be indulged in favor of constitutionality and the court in considering the validity of the statute in question should give it such reasonable construction as can be reached to bring it within the fundamental law."
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10. ID.; PEOPLES LAW ENFORCEMENT BOARDS (PLEB); PURPOSE FOR ITS CREATION. As a disciplinary board primarily created to hear and decide citizens complaints against erring officers and members of the PNP, the establishment of PLEBs in every city and municipality would all the more help professionalize the police force. 11. ID.; SPECIAL OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE; SOLE FUNCTION THEREOF. The Special Oversight Committee is simply an ad hoc or transitory body, established and tasked solely with planning and overseeing the immediate "transfer, merger and/or absorption" into the Department of the Interior and Local Governments of the "involved agencies." This it will undertake in accordance with the phases of implementation already laid down in Section 85 of the Act and once this is carried out, its functions as well as the committee itself would cease altogether. As an ad hoc body, its creation and the functions it exercises, decidedly do not constitute an encroachment and in diminution of the power of control which properly belongs to the President. What is more, no executive department, bureau or office is placed under the

control or authority of the committee. 12. CONSTITUTIONAL LAW; INDEPENDENT CONSTITUTIONAL COMMISSIONS; NOT UNDER THE CONTROL OF THE CHIEF EXECUTIVE. Under the Constitution, there are the so-called independent Constitutional Commissions, namely: The Civil Service Commission, Commission on Audit, and the Commission on Elections. (Article IX-A, Section 1). As These Commissions perform vital governmental functions, they have to be protected from external influences and political pressures. Hence, they were made constitutional bodies, independent of and not under any department of the government. Certainly, they are not under the control of the President. The Constitution also created an independent office called the "Commission on Human Rights." (Article XIII, Section 17[1]). However, this Commission is not on the same level as the Constitutional Commissions under Article IX, although it is independent like the latter Commissions. It still had to be constituted thru Executive Order No. 163 (dated May 5, 1987). In contrast, Article XVI, Section 6 thereof, merely mandates the statutory creation of a national police commission that will administer and control the national police force to be established thereunder. This commission is, for obvious reasons, not in the same category as the independent Constitutional Commissions of Article IX and the other constitutionally created independent Office, namely, the Commission on Human Rights. At the very outset, it should be well to set forth the constitutional provision that is at the core of the controversy now confronting us, thus:
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Article XVI, Section 6:

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"The State shall establish and maintain one police force, which shall be national in scope and civilian in character, to be administered and controlled by a national police commission. The authority of local executives over the police units in their jurisdiction shall be provided by law." 1 With the aforequoted provision in mind, Congress passed Republic Act No. 6975 entitled "AN ACT ESTABLISHING THE PHILIPPINE NATIONAL POLICE UNDER A REORGANIZED DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES" as the consolidated version of House Bill No. 23614 and Senate Bill No. 463.
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Following the said Acts approval by President Corazon C. Aquino on December 13, 1990, it was published on December 17, 1990. 2 Presently, however, petitioner as citizen, taxpayer and member of the Philippine Bar sworn to defend the Constitution, filed the petition now at bar on December 20, 1990, seeking this Courts declaration of unconstitutionality of RA 6975 with prayer for temporary restraining order.
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But in an en banc resolution dated December 27, 1990, We simply required the public respondents to file their Comment, without however giving due course to the petition and the prayer therein. Hence, the Act took effect after fifteen days following its publication, or on January 1, 1991. 3 Before we settle down on the merits of the petition, it would likewise be well to discuss albeit briefly the history of our police force and the reasons for the ordination of Section 6, Article XVI in our present Constitution. During the Commonwealth period, we had the Philippine Constabulary as the nucleus of the Philippine Ground Force (PGF), now the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP). The PC was made part of the PGF but its administrative, supervisory and directional control was handled by the then Department of the Interior. After the war, it remained as the "National Police" under the Department of National Defense, as a major service component of the AFP. 4

Later, the Integration Act of 1975 5 created the Integrated National Police (INP) under the Office of the President, with the PC as the nucleus, and the local police forces as the civilian components. The PC-INP was headed by the PC Chief who, as concurrent Director-General of the INP, exercised command functions over the INP. 6 The National Police Commission 7 (NAPOLCOM) exercised administrative control and supervision while the local executives exercised operational supervision and direction over the INP units assigned within their respective localities. 8 The set-up whereby the INP was placed under the command of the military component, which is the PC, severely eroded the INPs civilian character and the multiplicity in the governance of the PC-INP resulted in inefficient police service. 9 Moreover, the integration of the national police forces with the PC also resulted in inequities since the military component had superior benefits and privileges. 10 The Constitutional Commission of 1986 was fully aware of the structural errors that beset the system. Thus, Com. Teodulo C. Natividad explained that:
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"MR. NATIVIDAD. . . . The basic tenet of a modern police organization is to remove it from the military. 11 Here in our draft Constitution, we have already made a constitutional postulate that the military cannot occupy any civil service position [in Section 6 of the Article on the Civil Service 12 ]. Therefore, in keeping with this and because of the universal acceptance that a police force is a civilian function, a public service, and should not be performed by military force, one of the basic reforms we are presenting here is that it should be separated from the military force which is the PC. 13 Furthermore:

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. . . the civilian police cannot blossom into full profession because most of the key positions are being occupied by the military. So, it is up to this Commission to remove the police from such a situation so that it can develop into a truly professional civilian police . . ." Hence, the "one police force, national in scope, and civilian in character" provision that is now Article XVI, Section 6 of the 1987 Constitution. And so we now come to the merits of the petition at hand. In the main, petitioner herein respectfully advances the view that RA 6975 emasculated the National Police Commission by limiting its power "to administrative control" over the Philippine National Police (PNP), thus, "control" remained with the Department Secretary under whom both the National Police Commission and the PNP were placed. We do not share this view. To begin with, one need only refer to the fundamentally accepted principle in Constitutional Law that the President has control of all executive departments, bureaus, and offices 16 to lay at rest petitio ners contention on the matter. This presidential power of control over the executive branch of government extends over all executive officers from Cabinet Secretary to the lowliest clerk 17 and has been held by us, in the landmark case of Mondano v. Silvosa, 18 to mean "the power of [the President] 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." It is said to be at the very "heart of the meaning of Chief Executive." 19 Equally well accepted, as a corollary rule to the control powers of the President, is the "Doctrine of Qualified Political Agency." As the President cannot be expected to exercise his control powers all at the same time and in person, 20 he will have to delegate some of them to his Cabinet members. Under this doctrine, which recognizes the establishment of a single executive, 21 "all executive and administrative organizations are adjuncts of the Executive Department, the heads of the various executive departments are assistants and agents of the Chief Executive, and, except in cases where the Chief Executive is required by the Constitution or law to act in person on the exigencies of the situation demand that he act personally, the multifarious executive and administrative functions of the Chief Executive are performed by and through the executive departments, and the acts of the Secretaries of such departments, performed and promulgated in the regular course of business, are, unless disapproved or reprobated by the Chief Executive presumptively the acts of the Chief Executive." 22 (Emphasis ours). Thus, and in short, "the Presidents power of control is directly exercised by him over the members of the Cabin et who, in turn, and by his authority, control the bureaus and other offices under their respective jurisdictions in the executive department." Additionally, the circumstance that the NAPOLCOM and the PNP are placed under the reorganized Department of the Interior and Local Government is merely an administrative realignment that would bolster a system of coordination and cooperation among the citizenry, local executives and the integrated law enforcement agencies and public safety agencies created under the assailed Act, 24 the funding of the PNP being in large part subsidized by the national government.
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Such organizational set-up does not detract from the mandate of the Constitution that the national police force shall be administered and controlled by a national police commission as at any rate, and in fact, the Act in question adequately provides for administration and control at the commission level, as shown in the following provisions, to wit:
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"Sec. 14. Powers and Functions of the Commission. The Commission shall exercise the following powers and functions:
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(i) Approve or modify plans and programs on education and training, logistical requirements, communications, records, information systems, crime laboratory, crime prevention and crime reporting; (j) Affirm, reverse or modify, through the National Appellate Board, personnel disciplinary actions involving demotion or dismissal from the service imposed upon members of the Philippine National Police by the Chief of the PNP; (k) Exercise appellate jurisdiction through the regional appellate boards over administrative cases against policemen and over decisions on claims for police benefits; Sec. 26. The Command and direction of the PNP shall be vested in the Chief of the PNP. . . . Such command and direction of the Chief of the PNP may be delegated to subordinate officials with respect to the units under their respective commands, in accordance with the rules and regulations prescribed by the Commission. . . . .

Sec. 35. . . . To enhance police operational efficiency and effectiveness, the Chief of the PNP may constitute such other support units as may be necessary subject to the approval of the Commission . . . Sec. 37. . . . There shall be established a performance evaluation system which shall be administered in accordance with the rules, regulations and standards, and a code of conduct promulgated by the Commission for members of the PNP . Petitioner further asserts that in manifest derogation of the power of control of the NAPOLCOM over the PNP, RA 6975 vested the power to choose the PNP Provincial Director and the Chiefs of Police in the Governors and Mayors, respectively; the power of "operational supervision and control" over police units in city and municipal mayors; in the Civil Service Commission, participation in appointments to the positions of Senior Superintendent to Deputy DirectorGeneral as well as the administration of qualifying entrance examinations; disciplinary powers over PNP members in the "Peoples Law Enforcement Boards" and in city and municipal mayors. Once more, we find no real controversy upon the foregoing assertions. It is true that when the Constitutional Commissioners of 1986 provided that the authority of local executives over the police units in their jurisdiction shall be provided by law, they intended that the day-to-day functions of police work like crime investigation, crime prevention activities, traffic control, etc., would be under the operational control of the local executives as it would not be advisable to give full control of the police to the local executives. 26 They reasoned that in the past, this gave rise to warlordism, bossism, and sanctuaries for vices and abuses. It would appear then that by vesting in the local executives the power to choose the officers in question, the Act went beyond the bounds of the Constitutions intent. Not so. We find light in the principle of constitutional construction that every presumption should be indulged in favor of constitutionality and the court in considering the validity of the statute in question should give it such reasonable construction as can be reached to bring it within the fundamental law. " Under the questioned provisions, which read as follows:
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"D. PARTICIPATION OF LOCAL EXECUTIVES IN THE ADMINISTRATION OF THE PNP. Sec. 51. Powers of Local Government Officials over the PNP Units or Forces. Governors and mayors shall be deputized as representatives of the Commission in their respective territorial jurisdictions. As such, the local executives shall discharge the following functions: a.) Provincial Governor (1) . . . . The provincial governor shall choose the provincial director from a list of three (3) eligibles recommended by the PNP Regional Director. 4) . . . City and municipal mayors shall have the following authority over the PNP units in their respective jurisdictions:
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i.) Authority to choose the chief of police from a list of five (5) eligibles recommended by the Provincial Police Director.

Full control remains with the National Police Commission. We agree, and so hold, with the view of the Solicitor General that "there is no usurpation of the power of control of the NAPOLCOM under Section 51 because under this very same provision, it is clear that the local executives are only acting as representatives of the NAPOLCOM. . . . As such deputies, they are answerable to the NAPOLCOM for their actions in the exercise of their functions under that section. Thus, unless countermanded by the NAPOLCOM, their acts are valid and binding as acts of the NAPOLCOM." 29 It is significant to note that the local officials, as NAPOLCOM representatives, will choose the officers concerned from a list of eligibles (those who meet the general qualifications for appointment to the PNP) 30 to be recommended by PNP officials. The same holding is true with respect to the contention on the operational supervision and control exercised by the local officials. These officials would simply be acting as representatives of the Commission. As regards the assertion involving the Civil Service Commission, suffice it to say that the questioned provisions, which read: "Sec. 31. Appointment of PNP Officers and Members. The Appointment of the officers and members of the PNP shall be effected in the following manner:
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a.) Police Officer I to Senior Police Officer IV. Appointed by the PNP regional director for regional personnel or by the Chief of the PNP for national headquarters personnel and attested by the Civil Service Commission; b.) Inspector to Superintendent Appointed by the Chief of the PNP, as recommended by their immediate superiors, and attested by the Civil Service Commission; c.) Senior Superintendent to Deputy Director-General Appointed by the President upon recommendation of the Chief of the PNP, with proper endorsement by the Chairman of the Civil Service Commission . . . Sec. 32. Examinations for Policemen. The Civil Service Commission shall administer the qualifying entrance examinations for policemen on the basis of the standards set by the NAPOLCOM."
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precisely underscore the civilian character of the national police force, and will undoubtedly professionalize the same. The grant of disciplinary powers over PNP members to the "Peoples Law Enforcement Boards" (or the PLEB) and city and municipal mayors is also not in derogation of the Commissions powe r of control over the PNP. Pursuant to the Act, the Commission exercises appellate jurisdiction, thru the regional appellate boards, over decisions of both the PLEB and the said mayors. This is so under Section 20(c). Furthermore, it is the Commission which shall issue the implementing guidelines and procedures to be adopted by the PLEB for the conduct of its hearings, and it may assign NAPOLCOM hearing officers to act as legal consultants of the PLEBs (Section 43-d4, d5). As a disciplinary board primarily created to hear and decide citizens complaints against erring officers and members of the PNP, the establishment of PLEBs in every city and municipality would all the more help professionalize the

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police force. Petitioner would likewise have this Court imagine that Section 12 of the questioned Act, the pertinent portion of which reads: "Section 12. Relationship of the Department with the Department of National Defense. During a period of twentyfour (24) months from the effectivity of this Act, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) shall continue its present role of preserving the internal and external security of the State: Provided, that said period may be extended by the President, if he finds it justifiable, for another period not exceeding twenty-four (24) months, after which, the Department shall automatically take over from the AFP the primary role of preserving internal security, leaving to the AFP its primary role of preserving external security."
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constitutes an "encroachment upon, interference with, and an abdication by the President of, executive control and commander-in-chief powers."
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That We are not disposed to do for such is not the case at all here. A rejection thus o f petitioners submission anent Section 12 of the Act should be in order in the light of the following exchanges during the CONCOM deliberations of Wednesday, October 1, 1986:
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"MR. RODRIGO. Just a few questions. The President of the Philippines is the Commander-in-Chief of all the armed forces. MR. NATIVIDAD.Yes, Madam President. MR. RODRIGO. Since the national police is not integrated with the armed forces, I do not suppose they come under the Commander-in-Chief powers of the President of the Philippines. Philippines. MR. RODRIGO. Yes, but the President is not the Commander-in-Chief of the national police. MR. NATIVIDAD. He is the President. MR. RODRIGO. Yes, the Executive. But they do not come under that specific provision that the President is Commander-in-Chief of all the armed forces. MR. NATIVIDAD. No, not under the Commander-in-Chief provision. MR. RODRIGO. There are two other powers of the President. The President has control over departments, bureaus and offices, and supervision over local governments. Under which does the police fall, under control or under supervision? MR. NATIVIDAD. Both, Madam President. MR. RODRIGO.Control and Supervision. MR. NATIVIDAD.Yes, in fact, the National Police Commission is under the Office of the President." It thus becomes all too apparent then that the provision herein assailed precisely gives muscle to and enforces the proposition that the national police force does not fall under the Commander-in-Chief powers of the President. This is necessarily so since the police force, not being integrated with the military, is not a part of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. As a civilian agency of the government, it properly comes within, and is subject to, the exercise by the President of the power of executive control. Consequently, Section 12 does not constitute abdication of commander-in-chief powers. It simply provides for the transition period or process during which the national police would gradually assume the civilian function of safeguarding the internal security of the State. Under this instance, the President, to repeat, abdicates nothing of his war powers. It would bear to here state, in reiteration of the preponderant view, that the President, as Commanderin-Chief, is not a member of the Armed Forces. He remains a civilian whose duties under the Commander-in-Chief
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MR. NATIVIDAD. They do, Madam President. By law they are under the supervision and control of the President of the

provision "represent only a part of the organic duties imposed upon him. All his other functions are clearly civil in nature." 31 His position as a civilian Commander-in-Chief is consistent with, and a testament to, the constitutional principle that "civilian authority is, at all times, supreme over the military." (Article II, Section 3, 1987 Constitution.). Finally, petitioner submits that the creation of a "Special Oversight Committee" under Section 84 of the Act, especially the inclusion therein of some legislators as members (namely: the respective Chairman of the Committee on Local Government and the Committee on National Defense and Security in the Senate, and the respective Chairman of the Committee on Public Order and Security and the Committee on National Defense in the House of Representatives) is an "unconstitutional encroachment upon and a diminution of, the Presidents power of control over all executive departments, bureaus and offices."
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But there is not the least interference with the Presidents power of control under Section 84. The Special Oversight Committee is simply an ad hoc or transitory body, established and tasked solely with planning and overseeing the immediate "transfer, merger and/or absorption" into the Department of the Interior and Local Governments of the "involved agencies." This it will undertake in accordance with the phases of implementation already laid down in Section 85 of the Act and once this is carried out, its functions as well as the committee itself would cease altogether. 32 As an ad hoc body, its creation and the functions it exercises, decidedly do not constitute an encroachment and in diminution of the power of control which properly belongs to the President. What is more, no executive department, bureau or office is placed under the control or authority of the committee. As a last word, it would not be amiss to point out here that under the Constitution, there are the so-called independent Constitutional Commissions, namely: The Civil Service Commission, Commission on Audit, and the Commission on Elections. (Article IX-A, Section 1). As These Commissions perform vital governmental functions, they have to be protected from external influences and political pressures. Hence, they were made constitutional bodies, independent of and not under any department of the government. 34 Certainly, they are not under the control of the President. The Constitution also created an independent office called the "Commission on Human Rights." (Article XIII, Section 17[1]). However, this Commission is not on the same level as the Constitutional Commissions under Article IX, although it is independent like the latter Commissions. 35 It still had to be constituted thru Executive Order No. 163 (dated May 5, 1987). In contrast, Article XVI, Section 6 thereof, merely mandates the statutory creation of a national police commission that will administer and control the national police force to be established thereunder. This commission is, for obvious reasons, not in the same category as the independent Constitutional Commissions of Article IX and the other constitutionally created independent Office, namely, the Commission on Human Rights. By way of resume, the three Constitutional Commissions (Civil Service, Audit, Elections) and the additional commission created by the Constitution (Human Rights) are all independent of the Executive; but the National Police Commission is not. 36 In fact, it was stressed during the CONCOM deliberations that this commission would be under the President, and hence may be controlled by the President, thru his or her alter ego, the Secretary of the Interior and Local Government. WHEREFORE, having in view all of the foregoing holdings, the instant petition is hereby DISMISSED for lack of merit.
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