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G.R. No.

17122 February 27, 1922


THE UNITED STATES, plaintiff-appellee,
vs.
ANG TANG HO, defendant-appellant.
Williams & Ferrier for appellant.
Acting Attorney-General Tuason for appellee.
JOHNS, J.:
At its special session of 1919, the Philippine Legislature passed Act No. 2868, entitled "An Act penalizing the monopoly and holding
of, and speculation in, palay, rice, and corn under extraordinary circumstances, regulating the distribution and sale thereof, and
authorizing the Governor-General, with the consent of the Council of State, to issue the necessary rules and regulations therefor,
and making an appropriation for this purpose," the material provisions of which are as follows:
Section 1. The Governor-General is hereby authorized, whenever, for any cause, conditions arise resulting in an
extraordinary rise in the price of palay, rice or corn, to issue and promulgate, with the consent of the Council of State,
temporary rules and emergency measures for carrying out the purpose of this Act, to wit:
(a) To prevent the monopoly and hoarding of, and speculation in, palay, rice or corn.
(b) To establish and maintain a government control of the distribution or sale of the commodities referred to or have
such distribution or sale made by the Government itself.
(c) To fix, from time to time the quantities of palay rice, or corn that a company or individual may acquire, and the
maximum sale price that the industrial or merchant may demand.
(d) . . .
SEC. 2. It shall be unlawful to destroy, limit, prevent or in any other manner obstruct the production or milling of palay,
rice or corn for the purpose of raising the prices thereof; to corner or hoard said products as defined in section three of
this Act; . . .
Section 3 defines what shall constitute a monopoly or hoarding of palay, rice or corn within the meaning of this Act, but does not
specify the price of rice or define any basic for fixing the price.
SEC. 4. The violations of any of the provisions of this Act or of the regulations, orders and decrees promulgated in
accordance therewith shall be punished by a fine of not more than five thousands pesos, or by imprisonment for not
more than two years, or both, in the discretion of the court: Provided, That in the case of companies or corporations
the manager or administrator shall be criminally liable.
SEC. 7. At any time that the Governor-General, with the consent of the Council of State, shall consider that the public
interest requires the application of the provisions of this Act, he shall so declare by proclamation, and any provisions of
other laws inconsistent herewith shall from then on be temporarily suspended.
Upon the cessation of the reasons for which such proclamation was issued, the Governor-General, with the consent of
the Council of State, shall declare the application of this Act to have likewise terminated, and all laws temporarily
suspended by virtue of the same shall again take effect, but such termination shall not prevent the prosecution of any
proceedings or cause begun prior to such termination, nor the filing of any proceedings for an offense committed
during the period covered by the Governor-General's proclamation.
August 1, 1919, the Governor-General issued a proclamation fixing the price at which rice should be sold.
August 8, 1919, a complaint was filed against the defendant, Ang Tang Ho, charging him with the sale of rice at an excessive price
as follows:
The undersigned accuses Ang Tang Ho of a violation of Executive Order No. 53 of the Governor-General of the
Philippines, dated the 1st of August, 1919, in relation with the provisions of sections 1, 2 and 4 of Act No. 2868,
committed as follows:
That on or about the 6th day of August, 1919, in the city of Manila, Philippine Islands, the said Ang Tang Ho, voluntarily,
illegally and criminally sold to Pedro Trinidad, one ganta of rice at the price of eighty centavos (P.80), which is a price
greater than that fixed by Executive Order No. 53 of the Governor-General of the Philippines, dated the 1st of August,
1919, under the authority of section 1 of Act No. 2868. Contrary to law.
Upon this charge, he was tried, found guilty and sentenced to five months' imprisonment and to pay a fine of P500, from which he
appealed to this court, claiming that the lower court erred in finding Executive Order No. 53 of 1919, to be of any force and effect,
in finding the accused guilty of the offense charged, and in imposing the sentence.
The official records show that the Act was to take effect on its approval; that it was approved July 30, 1919; that the Governor-
General issued his proclamation on the 1st of August, 1919; and that the law was first published on the 13th of August, 1919; and
that the proclamation itself was first published on the 20th of August, 1919.
The question here involves an analysis and construction of Act No. 2868, in so far as it authorizes the Governor-General to fix the
price at which rice should be sold. It will be noted that section 1 authorizes the Governor-General, with the consent of the Council
of State, for any cause resulting in an extraordinary rise in the price of palay, rice or corn, to issue and promulgate temporary rules
and emergency measures for carrying out the purposes of the Act. By its very terms, the promulgation of temporary rules and
emergency measures is left to the discretion of the Governor-General. The Legislature does not undertake to specify or define
under what conditions or for what reasons the Governor-General shall issue the proclamation, but says that it may be issued "for
any cause," and leaves the question as to what is "any cause" to the discretion of the Governor-General. The Act also says: "For
any cause, conditions arise resulting in an extraordinary rise in the price of palay, rice or corn." The Legislature does not specify or
define what is "an extraordinary rise." That is also left to the discretion of the Governor-General. The Act also says that the
Governor-General, "with the consent of the Council of State," is authorized to issue and promulgate "temporary rules and
emergency measures for carrying out the purposes of this Act." It does not specify or define what is a temporary rule or an
emergency measure, or how long such temporary rules or emergency measures shall remain in force and effect, or when they
shall take effect. That is to say, the Legislature itself has not in any manner specified or defined any basis for the order, but has left
it to the sole judgement and discretion of the Governor-General to say what is or what is not "a cause," and what is or what is not
"an extraordinary rise in the price of rice," and as to what is a temporary rule or an emergency measure for the carrying out the
purposes of the Act. Under this state of facts, if the law is valid and the Governor-General issues a proclamation fixing the
minimum price at which rice should be sold, any dealer who, with or without notice, sells rice at a higher price, is a criminal. There
may not have been any cause, and the price may not have been extraordinary, and there may not have been an emergency, but, if
the Governor-General found the existence of such facts and issued a proclamation, and rice is sold at any higher price, the seller
commits a crime.
By the organic law of the Philippine Islands and the Constitution of the United States all powers are vested in the Legislative,
Executive and Judiciary. It is the duty of the Legislature to make the law; of the Executive to execute the law; and of the Judiciary
to construe the law. The Legislature has no authority to execute or construe the law, the Executive has no authority to make or
construe the law, and the Judiciary has no power to make or execute the law. Subject to the Constitution only, the power of each
branch is supreme within its own jurisdiction, and it is for the Judiciary only to say when any Act of the Legislature is or is not
constitutional. Assuming, without deciding, that the Legislature itself has the power to fix the price at which rice is to be sold, can
it delegate that power to another, and, if so, was that power legally delegated by Act No. 2868? In other words, does the Act
delegate legislative power to the Governor-General? By the Organic Law, all Legislative power is vested in the Legislature, and the
power conferred upon the Legislature to make laws cannot be delegated to the Governor-General, or any one else. The
Legislature cannot delegate the legislative power to enact any law. If Act no 2868 is a law unto itself and within itself, and it does
nothing more than to authorize the Governor-General to make rules and regulations to carry the law into effect, then the
Legislature itself created the law. There is no delegation of power and it is valid. On the other hand, if the Act within itself does not
define crime, and is not a law, and some legislative act remains to be done to make it a law or a crime, the doing of which is vested
in the Governor-General, then the Act is a delegation of legislative power, is unconstitutional and void.
The Supreme Court of the United States in what is known as the Granger Cases (94 U.S., 183-187; 24 L. ed., 94), first laid down the
rule:
Railroad companies are engaged in a public employment affecting the public interest and, under the decision in
Munn vs. Ill., ante, 77, are subject to legislative control as to their rates of fare and freight unless protected by their
charters.
The Illinois statute of Mar. 23, 1874, to establish reasonable maximum rates of charges for the transportation of
freights and passengers on the different railroads of the State is not void as being repugnant to the Constitution of the
United States or to that of the State.
It was there for the first time held in substance that a railroad was a public utility, and that, being a public utility, the State had
power to establish reasonable maximum freight and passenger rates. This was followed by the State of Minnesota in enacting a
similar law, providing for, and empowering, a railroad commission to hear and determine what was a just and reasonable rate.
The constitutionality of this law was attacked and upheld by the Supreme Court of Minnesota in a learned and exhaustive opinion
by Justice Mitchell, in the case of State vs. Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul ry. Co. (38 Minn., 281), in which the court held:
Regulations of railway tariffs Conclusiveness of commission's tariffs. Under Laws 1887, c. 10, sec. 8, the
determination of the railroad and warehouse commission as to what are equal and reasonable fares and rates for the
transportation of persons and property by a railway company is conclusive, and, in proceedings by mandamus to
compel compliance with the tariff of rates recommended and published by them, no issue can be raised or inquiry had
on that question.
Same constitution Delegation of power to commission. The authority thus given to the commission to
determine, in the exercise of their discretion and judgement, what are equal and reasonable rates, is not a delegation
of legislative power.
It will be noted that the law creating the railroad commission expressly provides
That all charges by any common carrier for the transportation of passengers and property shall be equal and
reasonable.
With that as a basis for the law, power is then given to the railroad commission to investigate all the facts, to hear and determine
what is a just and reasonable rate. Even then that law does not make the violation of the order of the commission a crime. The
only remedy is a civil proceeding. It was there held
That the legislative itself has the power to regulate railroad charges is now too well settled to require either argument
or citation of authority.
The difference between the power to say what the law shall be, and the power to adopt rules and regulations, or to
investigate and determine the facts, in order to carry into effect a law already passed, is apparent. The true distinction
is between the delegation of power to make the law, which necessarily involves a discretion as to what it shall be, and
the conferring an authority or discretion to be exercised under and in pursuance of the law.
The legislature enacts that all freights rates and passenger fares should be just and reasonable. It had the undoubted
power to fix these rates at whatever it deemed equal and reasonable.
They have not delegated to the commission any authority or discretion as to what the law shall be, which would not
be allowable, but have merely conferred upon it an authority and discretion, to be exercised in the execution of the
law, and under and in pursuance of it, which is entirely permissible. The legislature itself has passed upon the
expediency of the law, and what is shall be. The commission is intrusted with no authority or discretion upon these
questions. It can neither make nor unmake a single provision of law. It is merely charged with the administration of the
law, and with no other power.
The delegation of legislative power was before the Supreme Court of Wisconsin in Dowling vs. Lancoshire Ins. Co. (92 Wis., 63).
The opinion says:
"The true distinction is between the delegation of power to make the law, which necessarily involves a discretion as to
what it shall be, and conferring authority or discretion as to its execution, to be exercised under and in pursuance of
the law. The first cannot be done; to the latter no valid objection can be made."
The act, in our judgment, wholly fails to provide definitely and clearly what the standard policy should contain, so that it could be
put in use as a uniform policy required to take the place of all others, without the determination of the insurance commissioner in
respect to maters involving the exercise of a legislative discretion that could not be delegated, and without which the act could
not possibly be put in use as an act in confirmity to which all fire insurance policies were required to be issued.
The result of all the cases on this subject is that a law must be complete, in all its terms and provisions, when it leaves the
legislative branch of the government, and nothing must be left to the judgement of the electors or other appointee or delegate of
the legislature, so that, in form and substance, it is a law in all its details in presenti, but which may be left to take effect in futuro,
if necessary, upon the ascertainment of any prescribed fact or event.
The delegation of legislative power was before the Supreme Court in United States vs. Grimaud (220 U.S., 506; 55 L. ed., 563),
where it was held that the rules and regulations of the Secretary of Agriculture as to a trespass on government land in a forest
reserve were valid constitutional. The Act there provided that the Secretary of Agriculture ". . . may make such rules and
regulations and establish such service as will insure the object of such reservations; namely, to regulate their occupancy and use,
and to preserve the forests thereon from destruction;and any violation of the provisions of this act or such rules and regulations
shall be punished, . . ."
The brief of the United States Solicitor-General says:
In refusing permits to use a forest reservation for stock grazing, except upon stated terms or in stated ways, the
Secretary of Agriculture merely assert and enforces the proprietary right of the United States over land which it owns.
The regulation of the Secretary, therefore, is not an exercise of legislative, or even of administrative, power; but is an
ordinary and legitimate refusal of the landowner's authorized agent to allow person having no right in the land to use it
as they will. The right of proprietary control is altogether different from governmental authority.
The opinion says:
From the beginning of the government, various acts have been passed conferring upon executive officers power to
make rules and regulations, not for the government of their departments, but for administering the laws which did
govern. None of these statutes could confer legislative power. But when Congress had legislated power. But when
Congress had legislated and indicated its will, it could give to those who were to act under such general provisions
"power to fill up the details" by the establishment of administrative rules and regulations, the violation of which could
be punished by fine or imprisonment fixed by Congress, or by penalties fixed by Congress, or measured by the injury
done.
That "Congress cannot delegate legislative power is a principle universally recognized as vital to the integrity and
maintenance of the system of government ordained by the Constitution."
If, after the passage of the act and the promulgation of the rule, the defendants drove and grazed their sheep upon the
reserve, in violation of the regulations, they were making an unlawful use of the government's property. In doing so
they thereby made themselves liable to the penalty imposed by Congress.
The subjects as to which the Secretary can regulate are defined. The lands are set apart as a forest reserve. He is required to make
provisions to protect them from depredations and from harmful uses. He is authorized 'to regulate the occupancy and use and to
preserve the forests from destruction.' A violation of reasonable rules regulating the use and occupancy of the property is made a
crime, not by the Secretary, but by Congress."
The above are leading cases in the United States on the question of delegating legislative power. It will be noted that in the
"Granger Cases," it was held that a railroad company was a public corporation, and that a railroad was a public utility, and that, for
such reasons, the legislature had the power to fix and determine just and reasonable rates for freight and passengers.
The Minnesota case held that, so long as the rates were just and reasonable, the legislature could delegate the power to ascertain
the facts and determine from the facts what were just and reasonable rates,. and that in vesting the commission with such power
was not a delegation of legislative power.
The Wisconsin case was a civil action founded upon a "Wisconsin standard policy of fire insurance," and the court held that "the
act, . . . wholly fails to provide definitely and clearly what the standard policy should contain, so that it could be put in use as a
uniform policy required to take the place of all others, without the determination of the insurance commissioner in respect to
matters involving the exercise of a legislative discretion that could not be delegated."
The case of the United States Supreme Court, supra dealt with rules and regulations which were promulgated by the Secretary of
Agriculture for Government land in the forest reserve.
These decisions hold that the legislative only can enact a law, and that it cannot delegate it legislative authority.
The line of cleavage between what is and what is not a delegation of legislative power is pointed out and clearly defined. As the
Supreme Court of Wisconsin says:
That no part of the legislative power can be delegated by the legislature to any other department of the government,
executive or judicial, is a fundamental principle in constitutional law, essential to the integrity and maintenance of the
system of government established by the constitution.
Where an act is clothed with all the forms of law, and is complete in and of itself, it may be provided that it shall
become operative only upon some certain act or event, or, in like manner, that its operation shall be suspended.
The legislature cannot delegate its power to make a law, but it can make a law to delegate a power to determine some
fact or state of things upon which the law makes, or intends to make, its own action to depend.
The Village of Little Chute enacted an ordinance which provides:
All saloons in said village shall be closed at 11 o'clock P.M. each day and remain closed until 5 o'clock on the following
morning, unless by special permission of the president.
Construing it in 136 Wis., 526; 128 A. S. R., 1100,
1
the Supreme Court of that State says:
We regard the ordinance as void for two reasons; First, because it attempts to confer arbitrary power upon an
executive officer, and allows him, in executing the ordinance, to make unjust and groundless discriminations among
persons similarly situated; second, because the power to regulate saloons is a law-making power vested in the village
board, which cannot be delegated. A legislative body cannot delegate to a mere administrative officer power to make a
law, but it can make a law with provisions that it shall go into effect or be suspended in its operations upon the
ascertainment of a fact or state of facts by an administrative officer or board. In the present case the ordinance by its
terms gives power to the president to decide arbitrary, and in the exercise of his own discretion, when a saloon shall
close. This is an attempt to vest legislative discretion in him, and cannot be sustained.
The legal principle involved there is squarely in point here.
It must be conceded that, after the passage of act No. 2868, and before any rules and regulations were promulgated by the
Governor-General, a dealer in rice could sell it at any price, even at a peso per "ganta," and that he would not commit a crime,
because there would be no law fixing the price of rice, and the sale of it at any price would not be a crime. That is to say, in the
absence of a proclamation, it was not a crime to sell rice at any price. Hence, it must follow that, if the defendant committed a
crime, it was because the Governor-General issued the proclamation. There was no act of the Legislature making it a crime to sell
rice at any price, and without the proclamation, the sale of it at any price was to a crime.
The Executive order
2
provides:
(5) The maximum selling price of palay, rice or corn is hereby fixed, for the time being as follows:
In Manila
Palay at P6.75 per sack of 57 kilos, or 29 centavos per ganta.
Rice at P15 per sack of 57 kilos, or 63 centavos per ganta.
Corn at P8 per sack of 57 kilos, or 34 centavos per ganta.
In the provinces producing palay, rice and corn, the maximum price shall be the Manila price less the cost of
transportation from the source of supply and necessary handling expenses to the place of sale, to be determined by
the provincial treasurers or their deputies.
In provinces, obtaining their supplies from Manila or other producing provinces, the maximum price shall be the
authorized price at the place of supply or the Manila price as the case may be, plus the transportation cost, from the
place of supply and the necessary handling expenses, to the place of sale, to be determined by the provincial treasurers
or their deputies.
(6) Provincial treasurers and their deputies are hereby directed to communicate with, and execute all instructions
emanating from the Director of Commerce and Industry, for the most effective and proper enforcement of the above
regulations in their respective localities.
The law says that the Governor-General may fix "the maximum sale price that the industrial or merchant may demand." The law is
a general law and not a local or special law.
The proclamation undertakes to fix one price for rice in Manila and other and different prices in other and different provinces in
the Philippine Islands, and delegates the power to determine the other and different prices to provincial treasurers and their
deputies. Here, then, you would have a delegation of legislative power to the Governor-General, and a delegation by him of that
power to provincial treasurers and their deputies, who "are hereby directed to communicate with, and execute all instructions
emanating from the Director of Commerce and Industry, for the most effective and proper enforcement of the above regulations
in their respective localities." The issuance of the proclamation by the Governor-General was the exercise of the delegation of a
delegated power, and was even a sub delegation of that power.
Assuming that it is valid, Act No. 2868 is a general law and does not authorize the Governor-General to fix one price of rice in
Manila and another price in Iloilo. It only purports to authorize him to fix the price of rice in the Philippine Islands under a law,
which is General and uniform, and not local or special. Under the terms of the law, the price of rice fixed in the proclamation must
be the same all over the Islands. There cannot be one price at Manila and another at Iloilo. Again, it is a mater of common
knowledge, and of which this court will take judicial notice, that there are many kinds of rice with different and corresponding
market values, and that there is a wide range in the price, which varies with the grade and quality. Act No. 2868 makes no
distinction in price for the grade or quality of the rice, and the proclamation, upon which the defendant was tried and convicted,
fixes the selling price of rice in Manila "at P15 per sack of 57 kilos, or 63 centavos per ganta," and is uniform as to all grades of
rice, and says nothing about grade or quality. Again, it will be noted that the law is confined to palay, rice and corn. They are
products of the Philippine Islands. Hemp, tobacco, coconut, chickens, eggs, and many other things are also products. Any law
which single out palay, rice or corn from the numerous other products of the Islands is not general or uniform, but is a local or
special law. If such a law is valid, then by the same principle, the Governor-General could be authorized by proclamation to fix the
price of meat, eggs, chickens, coconut, hemp, and tobacco, or any other product of the Islands. In the very nature of things, all of
that class of laws should be general and uniform. Otherwise, there would be an unjust discrimination of property rights, which,
under the law, must be equal and inform. Act No. 2868 is nothing more than a floating law, which, in the discretion and by a
proclamation of the Governor-General, makes it a floating crime to sell rice at a price in excess of the proclamation, without
regard to grade or quality.
When Act No. 2868 is analyzed, it is the violation of the proclamation of the Governor-General which constitutes the crime.
Without that proclamation, it was no crime to sell rice at any price. In other words, the Legislature left it to the sole discretion of
the Governor-General to say what was and what was not "any cause" for enforcing the act, and what was and what was not "an
extraordinary rise in the price of palay, rice or corn," and under certain undefined conditions to fix the price at which rice should
be sold, without regard to grade or quality, also to say whether a proclamation should be issued, if so, when, and whether or not
the law should be enforced, how long it should be enforced, and when the law should be suspended. The Legislature did not
specify or define what was "any cause," or what was "an extraordinary rise in the price of rice, palay or corn," Neither did it specify
or define the conditions upon which the proclamation should be issued. In the absence of the proclamation no crime was
committed. The alleged sale was made a crime, if at all, because the Governor-General issued the proclamation. The act or
proclamation does not say anything about the different grades or qualities of rice, and the defendant is charged with the sale "of
one ganta of rice at the price of eighty centavos (P0.80) which is a price greater than that fixed by Executive order No. 53."
We are clearly of the opinion and hold that Act No. 2868, in so far as it undertakes to authorized the Governor-General in his
discretion to issue a proclamation, fixing the price of rice, and to make the sale of rice in violation of the price of rice, and to make
the sale of rice in violation of the proclamation a crime, is unconstitutional and void.
It may be urged that there was an extraordinary rise in the price of rice and profiteering, which worked a severe hardship on the
poorer classes, and that an emergency existed, but the question here presented is the constitutionality of a particular portion of a
statute, and none of such matters is an argument for, or against, its constitutionality.
The Constitution is something solid, permanent an substantial. Its stability protects the life, liberty and property rights of the rich
and the poor alike, and that protection ought not to change with the wind or any emergency condition. The fundamental question
involved in this case is the right of the people of the Philippine Islands to be and live under a republican form of government. We
make the broad statement that no state or nation, living under republican form of government, under the terms and conditions
specified in Act No. 2868, has ever enacted a law delegating the power to any one, to fix the price at which rice should be sold.
That power can never be delegated under a republican form of government.
In the fixing of the price at which the defendant should sell his rice, the law was not dealing with government property. It was
dealing with private property and private rights, which are sacred under the Constitution. If this law should be sustained, upon the
same principle and for the same reason, the Legislature could authorize the Governor-General to fix the price of every product or
commodity in the Philippine Islands, and empower him to make it a crime to sell any product at any other or different price.
It may be said that this was a war measure, and that for such reason the provision of the Constitution should be suspended. But
the Stubborn fact remains that at all times the judicial power was in full force and effect, and that while that power was in force
and effect, such a provision of the Constitution could not be, and was not, suspended even in times of war. It may be claimed that
during the war, the United States Government undertook to, and did, fix the price at which wheat and flour should be bought and
sold, and that is true. There, the United States had declared war, and at the time was at war with other nations, and it was a war
measure, but it is also true that in doing so, and as a part of the same act, the United States commandeered all the wheat and
flour, and took possession of it, either actual or constructive, and the government itself became the owner of the wheat and flour,
and fixed the price to be paid for it. That is not this case. Here the rice sold was the personal and private property of the
defendant, who sold it to one of his customers. The government had not bought and did not claim to own the rice, or have any
interest in it, and at the time of the alleged sale, it was the personal, private property of the defendant. It may be that the law was
passed in the interest of the public, but the members of this court have taken on solemn oath to uphold and defend the
Constitution, and it ought not to be construed to meet the changing winds or emergency conditions. Again, we say that no state or
nation under a republican form of government ever enacted a law authorizing any executive, under the conditions states, to fix
the price at which a price person would sell his own rice, and make the broad statement that no decision of any court, on principle
or by analogy, will ever be found which sustains the constitutionality of the particular portion of Act No. 2868 here in question. By
the terms of the Organic Act, subject only to constitutional limitations, the power to legislate and enact laws is vested exclusively
in the Legislative, which is elected by a direct vote of the people of the Philippine Islands. As to the question here involved, the
authority of the Governor-General to fix the maximum price at which palay, rice and corn may be sold in the manner power in
violation of the organic law.
This opinion is confined to the particular question here involved, which is the right of the Governor-General, upon the terms and
conditions stated in the Act, to fix the price of rice and make it a crime to sell it at a higher price, and which holds that portions of
the Act unconstitutional. It does not decide or undertake to construe the constitutionality of any of the remaining portions of the
Act.
The judgment of the lower court is reversed, and the defendant discharged. So ordered


MAXIMO CALALANG,
Petitioner,
-versus- G.R. No. 47800
December 2, 1940
A. D. WILLIAMS, ET AL.,
Respondents.
x--------------------------------------------------x
D E C I S I O N
LAUREL, J.:
Maximo Calalang, in his capacity as a private citizen and as a taxpayer of Manila, brought before this court this petition for a writ
of prohibition against the respondents, A. D. Williams, as Chairman of the National Traffic Commission; Vicente Fragante, as
Director of Public Works; Sergio Bayan, as Acting Secretary of Public Works and Communications; Eulogio Rodriguez, as Mayor of
the City of Manila; and Juan Dominguez, as Acting Chief of Police of Manila.

It is alleged in the petition that the National Traffic Commission, in its resolution of July 17, 1940, resolved to recommend to the
Director of Public Works and to the Secretary of Public Works and Communications that animal-drawn vehicles be prohibited from
passing along Rosario Street extending from Plaza Calderon de la Barca to Dasmarias Street, from 7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and
from 1:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.; and along Rizal Avenue extending from the railroad crossing at Antipolo Street to Echague Street,
from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m., from a period of one year from the date of the opening of the Colgante Bridge to traffic; that the Chairman
of the National Traffic Commission, on July 18, 1940 recommended to the Director of Public Works the adoption of the measure
proposed in the resolution aforementioned, in pursuance of the provisions of Commonwealth Act No. 548 which authorizes said
Director of Public Works, with the approval of the Secretary of Public Works and Communications, to promulgate rules and
regulations to regulate and control the use of and traffic on national roads; that on August 2, 1940, the Director of Public Works, in
his first indorsement to the Secretary of Public Works and Communications, recommended to the latter the approval of the
recommendation made by the Chairman of the National Traffic Commission as aforesaid, with the modification that the closing of
Rizal Avenue to traffic to animal-drawn vehicles be limited to the portion thereof extending from the railroad crossing at Antipolo
Street to Azcarraga Street; that on August 10, 1940, the Secretary of Public Works and Communications, in his second
indorsement addressed to the Director of Public Works, approved the recommendation of the latter that Rosario Street and Rizal
Avenue be closed to traffic of animal-drawn vehicles, between the points and during the hours as above indicated, for a period of
one year from the date of the opening of the Colgante Bridge to traffic; that the Mayor of Manila and the Acting Chief of Police of
Manila have enforced and caused to be enforced the rules and regulations thus adopted; that as a consequence of such
enforcement, all animal-drawn vehicles are not allowed to pass and pick up passengers in the places above-mentioned to the
detriment not only of their owners but of the riding public as well.

It is contended by the petitioner that Commonwealth Act No. 548 by which the Director of Public Works, with the approval of the
Secretary of Public Works and Communications, is authorized to promulgate rules and regulations for the regulation and control
of the use of and traffic on national roads and streets is unconstitutional because it constitutes an undue delegation of legislative
power. This contention is untenable. As was observed by this court in Rubi vs. Provincial Board of Mindoro (39 Phil, 660, 700),
The rule has nowhere been better stated than in the early Ohio case decided by Judge Ranney, and since followed in a multitude
of cases, namely: The true distinction therefore is between the delegation of power to make the law, which necessarily involves a
discretion as to what it shall be, and conferring an authority or discretion as to its execution, to be exercised under and in
pursuance of the law. The first cannot be done; to the latter no valid objection can be made. (Cincinnati, W. & Z. R. Co. vs.
Commrs. Clinton County, 1 Ohio St., 88.) Discretion, as held by Chief Justice Marshall in Wayman vs. Southard (10 Wheat., 1) may
be committed by the Legislature to an executive department or official. The Legislature may make decisions of executive
departments or subordinate officials thereof, to whom it has committed the execution of certain acts, final on questions of fact.
(U.S. vs. Kinkead, 248 Fed., 141.) The growing tendency in the decisions is to give prominence to the necessity of the case.

Section 1 of Commonwealth Act No. 548 reads as follows:
SECTION 1. To promote safe transit upon, and avoid obstructions on, roads and streets designated as national roads
by acts of the National Assembly or by executive orders of the President of the Philippines, the Director of Public
Works, with the approval of the Secretary of Public Works and Communications, shall promulgate the necessary rules
and regulations to regulate and control the use of and traffic on such roads and streets. Such rules and regulations,
with the approval of the President, may contain provisions controlling or regulating the construction of buildings or
other structures within a reasonable distance from along the national roads. Such roads may be temporarily closed to
any or all classes of traffic by the Director of Public Works and his duly authorized representatives whenever the
condition of the road or the traffic thereon makes such action necessary or advisable in the public convenience and
interest, or for a specified period, with the approval of the Secretary of Public Works and Communications.

The above provisions of law do not confer legislative power upon the Director of Public Works and the Secretary of Public Works
and Communications. The authority therein conferred upon them and under which they promulgated the rules and regulations
now complained of is not to determine what public policy demands but merely to carry out the legislative policy laid down by the
National Assembly in said Act, to wit, to promote safe transit upon and avoid obstructions on, roads and streets designated as
national roads by acts of the National Assembly or by executive orders of the President of the Philippines and to close them
temporarily to any or all classes of traffic whenever the condition of the road or the traffic makes such action necessary or
advisable in the public convenience and interest. The delegated power, if at all, therefore, is not the determination of what the
law shall be, but merely the ascertainment of the facts and circumstances upon which the application of said law is to be
predicated. To promulgate rules and regulations on the use of national roads and to determine when and how long a national
road should be closed to traffic, in view of the condition of the road or the traffic thereon and the requirements of public
convenience and interest, is an administrative function which cannot be directly discharged by the National Assembly. It must
depend on the discretion of some other government official to whom is confided the duty of determining whether the proper
occasion exists for executing the law. But it cannot be said that the exercise of such discretion is the making of the law. As was
said in Lockes Appeal (72 Pa. 491): To assert that a law is less than a law, because it is made to depend on a future event or act,
is to rob the Legislature of the power to act wisely for the public welfare whenever a law is passed relating to a state of affairs not
yet developed, or to things future and impossible to fully know. The proper distinction the court said was this: The Legislature
cannot delegate its power to make the law; but it can make a law to delegate a power to determine some fact or state of things
upon which the law makes, or intends to make, its own action depend. To deny this would be to stop the wheels of government.
There are many things upon which wise and useful legislation must depend which cannot be known to the law-making power,
and, must, therefore, be a subject of inquiry and determination outside of the halls of legislation. (Field vs. Clark, 143 U. S. 649,
694; 36 L. Ed. 294.)

In the case of People vs. Rosenthal and Osmea, G.R. Nos. 46076 and 46077, promulgated June 12, 1939, and in Pangasinan
Transportation vs. The Public Service Commission, G.R. No. 47065, promulgated June 26, 1940, this Court had occasion to observe
that the principle of separation of powers has been made to adapt itself to the complexities of modern governments, giving rise to
the adoption, within certain limits, of the principle of subordinate legislation, not only in the United States and England but in
practically all modern governments. Accordingly, with the growing complexity of modern life, the multiplication of the subjects of
governmental regulations, and the increased difficulty of administering the laws, the rigidity of the theory of separation of
governmental powers has, to a large extent, been relaxed by permitting the delegation of greater powers by the legislative and
vesting a larger amount of discretion in administrative and executive officials, not only in the execution of the laws, but also in the
promulgation of certain rules and regulations calculated to promote public interest.

The petitioner further contends that the rules and regulations promulgated by the respondents pursuant to the provisions of
Commonwealth Act No. 548 constitute an unlawful interference with legitimate business or trade and abridge the right to
personal liberty and freedom of locomotion. Commonwealth Act No. 548 was passed by the National Assembly in the exercise of
the paramount police power of the state.

Said Act, by virtue of which the rules and regulations complained of were promulgated, aims to promote safe transit upon and
avoid obstructions on national roads, in the interest and convenience of the public. In enacting said law, therefore, the National
Assembly was prompted by considerations of public convenience and welfare. It was inspired by a desire to relieve congestion of
traffic. which is, to say the least, a menace to public safety. Public welfare, then, lies at the bottom of the enactment of said law,
and the state in order to promote the general welfare may interfere with personal liberty, with property, and with business and
occupations. Persons and property may be subjected to all kinds of restraints and burdens, in order to secure the general comfort,
health, and prosperity of the state (U.S. vs. Gomez Jesus, 31 Phil., 218). To this fundamental aim of our Government the rights of
the individual are subordinated. Liberty is a blessing without which life is a misery, but liberty should not be made to prevail over
authority because then society will fall into anarchy. Neither should authority be made to prevail over liberty because then the
individual will fall into slavery. The citizen should achieve the required balance of liberty and authority in his mind through
education and personal discipline, so that there may be established the resultant equilibrium, which means peace and order and
happiness for all. The moment greater authority is conferred upon the government, logically so much is withdrawn from the
residuum of liberty which resides in the people. The paradox lies in the fact that the apparent curtailment of liberty is precisely the
very means of insuring its preservation.

The scope of police power keeps expanding as civilization advances. As was said in the case of Dobbins vs. Los Angeles (195 U.S.
223, 238; 49 L. ed. 169), the right to exercise the police power is a continuing one, and a business lawful today may in the future,
because of the changed situation, the growth of population or other causes, become a menace to the public health and welfare,
and be required to yield to the public good. And in People vs. Pomar (46 Phil., 440), it was observed that advancing civilization is
bringing within the police power of the state today things which were not thought of as being within such power yesterday. The
development of civilization, the rapidly increasing population, the growth of public opinion, with an increasing desire on the part
of the masses and of the government to look after and care for the interests of the individuals of the state, have brought within
the police power many questions for regulation which formerly were not so considered.

The petitioner finally avers that the rules and regulations complained of infringe upon the constitutional precept regarding the
promotion of social justice to insure the well-being and economic security of all the people. The promotion of social justice,
however, is to be achieved not through a mistaken sympathy towards any given group. Social justice is neither communism, nor
despotism, nor atomism, nor anarchy, but the humanization of laws and the equalization of social and economic forces by the
State so that justice in its rational and objectively secular conception may at least be approximated. Social justice means the
promotion of the welfare of all the people, the adoption by the Government of measures calculated to insure economic stability of
all the competent elements of society, through the maintenance of a proper economic and social equilibrium in the interrelations
of the members of the community, constitutionally, through the adoption of measures legally justifiable, or extra-constitutionally,
through the exercise of powers underlying the existence of all governments on the time-honored principle of salus populi est
suprema lex.

Social justice, therefore, must be founded on the recognition of the necessity of interdependence among divers and diverse units
of a society and of the protection that should be equally and evenly extended to all groups as a combined force in our social and
economic life, consistent with the fundamental and paramount objective of the state of promoting the health, comfort, and quiet
of all persons, and of bringing about the greatest good to the greatest number.

IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING, the Writ of Prohibition Prayed for is hereby denied, with costs against the petitioner. So ordered.


G.R. No. L-37878 November 25, 1932
MANILA ELECTRIC COMPANY, petitioner,
vs.
PASAY TRANSPORTATION COMPANY, INC., ET AL., respondents.
MALCOLM, J.:
The preliminary and basic question presented by the petition of the Manila Electric Company, requesting the members of
the Supreme Court, sitting as a board of arbitrators, to fix the terms upon which certain transportation companies shall be
permitted to use the Pasig bridge of the Manila Electric Company and the compensation to be paid to the Manila Electric
Company by such transportation companies, relates to the validity of section 11 of Act No. 1446 and to the legal right of the
members of the Supreme Court, sitting as a board of arbitrators, to act on the petition. Act No. 1446 above referred to is entitled.
"An Act granting a franchise to Charles M. Swift to construct, maintain, and operate an electric railway, and to construct, maintain,
and operate an electric light, heat, and power system from a point in the City of Manila in an easterly direction to the town of
Pasig, in the Province of Rizal." Section 11 of the Act provides: "Whenever any franchise or right of way is granted to any other
person or corporation, now or hereafter in existence, over portions of the lines and tracks of the grantee herein, the terms on
which said other person or corporation shall use such right of way, and the compensation to be paid to the grantee herein by such
other person or corporation for said use, shall be fixed by the members of the Supreme Court, sitting as a board of arbitrators, the
decision of a majority of whom shall be final."
When the petition of the Manila Electric Company was filed in this court, it was ordered that the petitioner be required to
serve copies on the Attorney-General and the transportation companies affected by the petition. Thereafter, the Attorney-General
disclaimed any interest in the proceedings, and opposition was entered to the petition by a number of public utility operators. On
the submission of memoranda after an oral hearing, the petition was made ready for resolution.
Examining the statutory provision which is here invoked, it is first noted that power is attempted to be granted to the
members of the Supreme Court sitting as a board of arbitrators and to the Supreme Court as an entity. It is next seen that the
decision of a majority of the members of the Supreme Court is made final. And it is finally observed that the franchise granted the
Manila Electric Company by the Government of the Philippine Islands, although only a contract between the parties to it, is now
made to effect the rights of persons not signatories to the covenant.
The law calls for arbitration which represents a method of the parties' own choice. A submission to arbitration is a contract.
The parties to an arbitration agreement may not oust the courts of jurisdiction of the matters submitted to arbitration. These are
familiar rules which find support in articles 1820 and 1821 of the Civil Code. Citation of authority is hardly necessary, except that it
should be recalled that in the Philippines, and in the United States for that matter, it has been held that a clause in a contract,
providing that all matters in dispute between the parties shall be referred to arbitrators and to them alone, is contrary to public
policy and cannot oust the courts of jurisdiction (Wahl and Wahl vs. Donaldson, Sims & Co. [1903], 2 Phil., 301;
Puentebella vs. Negros Coal Co. [1927], 50 Phil., 69; Vega vs. San Carlos Milling Co. [1924], 51 Phil., 908; District of
Columbia vs. Bailey [1897], 171 U. S., 161.)
We would not be understood as extending the principles governing arbitration and award too far. Unless the arbitration
agreement is such as absolutely to close the doors of the courts against the parties, the courts should look with favor upon such
amicable arrangements. We can also perceive a distinction between a private contract for submission to arbitration and
agreements to arbitrate falling within the terms of a statute enacted for such purpose and affecting others than the parties to a
particular franchise. Here, however, whatever else may be said in extenuation, it remains true that the decision of the board of
arbitrators is made final, which if literally enforced would leave a public utility, not a party to the contract authorized by Act No.
1446, without recourse to the courts for a judicial determination of the question in dispute.
Counsel for the petitioner rely principally on the case of Tallassee Falls Mfg. Co. vs. Commissioner's Court[1908], 158 Ala.,
263. It was there held that an Act of a state legislature authorizing the commissioners' court of a certain county to regulate and fix
the rate of toll to be charged by the owners of a bridge is not unconstitutional as delegating legislative power to the courts. But
that is not the question before us. Here the question is not one of whether or not there has been a delegation of legislative
authority to a court. More precisely, the issue concerns the legal right of the members of the Supreme Court, sitting as a board of
arbitrators the decision of a majority of whom shall be final, to act in that capacity.
We run counter to this dilemma. Either the members of the Supreme Court, sitting as a board of arbitrators, exercise judicial
functions, or the members of the Supreme Court, sitting as board of arbitrators, exercise administrative or quasi judicial functions.
The first case would appear not to fall within the jurisdiction granted the Supreme Court. Even conceding that it does, it would
presuppose the right to bring the matter in dispute before the courts, for any other construction would tend to oust the courts of
jurisdiction and render the award a nullity. But if this be the proper construction, we would then have the anomaly of a decision
by the members of the Supreme Court, sitting as a board of arbitrators, taken therefrom to the courts and eventually coming
before the Supreme Court, where the Supreme Court would review the decision of its members acting as arbitrators. Or in the
second case, if the functions performed by the members of the Supreme Court, sitting as a board of arbitrators, be considered as
administrative or quasi judicial in nature, that would result in the performance of duties which the members of the Supreme Court
could not lawfully take it upon themselves to perform. The present petition also furnishes an apt illustration of another anomaly,
for we find the Supreme Court as a court asked to determine if the members of the court may be constituted a board of
arbitrators, which is not a court at all.lawphil.net
The Supreme Court of the Philippine Islands represents one of the three divisions of power in our government. It is judicial
power and judicial power only which is exercised by the Supreme Court. Just as the Supreme Court, as the guardian of
constitutional rights, should not sanction usurpations by any other department of the government, so should it as strictly confine
its own sphere of influence to the powers expressly or by implication conferred on it by the Organic Act. The Supreme Court and
its members should not and cannot be required to exercise any power or to perform any trust or to assume any duty not
pertaining to or connected with the administering of judicial functions.
The Organic Act provides that the Supreme Court of the Philippine Islands shall possess and exercise jurisdiction as
heretofore provided and such additional jurisdiction as shall hereafter be prescribed by law (sec. 26). When the Organic Act speaks
of the exercise of "jurisdiction" by the Supreme Court, it could not only mean the exercise of "jurisdiction" by the Supreme Court
acting as a court, and could hardly mean the exercise of "jurisdiction" by the members of the Supreme Court, sitting as a board of
arbitrators. There is an important distinction between the Supreme Court as an entity and the members of the Supreme Court. A
board of arbitrators is not a "court" in any proper sense of the term, and possesses none of the jurisdiction which the Organic Act
contemplates shall be exercised by the Supreme Court.lawph!l.net
In the last judicial paper from the pen of Chief Justice Taney, it was said:
The power conferred on this court is exclusively judicial, and it cannot be required or authorized to exercise any
other. . . . Its jurisdiction and powers and duties being defined in the organic law of the government, and being all
strictly judicial, Congress cannot require or authorize the court to exercise any other jurisdiction or power, or perform
any other duty. . . . The award of execution is a part, and an essential part of every judgment passed by a court
exercising judicial power. It is no judgment, in the legal sense of the term, without it. Without such an award the
judgment would be inoperative and nugatory, leaving the aggrieved party without a remedy. It would be merely an
opinion, which would remain a dead letter, and without any operation upon the rights of the parties, unless Congress
should at some future time sanction it, and pass a law authorizing the court to carry its opinion into effect. Such is not
the judicial power confided to this court, in the exercise of its appellate jurisdiction; yet it is the whole power that the
court is allowed to exercise under this act of Congress. . . . And while it executes firmly all the judicial powers entrusted
to it, the court will carefully abstain from exercising any power that is not strictly judicial in its character, and which is
not clearly confided to it by the Constitution. . . . (Gordon vs. United States [1864], 2 Wall., 561; 117 U. S., 697
Appendix.)
Confirming the decision to the basic question at issue, the Supreme Court holds that section 11 of Act No. 1446 contravenes
the maxims which guide the operation of a democratic government constitutionally established, and that it would be improper
and illegal for the members of the Supreme Court, sitting as a board of arbitrators, the decision of a majority of whom shall be
final, to act on the petition of the Manila Electric Company. As a result, the members of the Supreme Court decline to proceed
further in the matter.


May 31, 1971
A.M. No. 198-
PAZ M. GARCIA, complainant,
vs.
HON. CATALINO MACARAIG, JR., respondent.
R E S O L U T I O N
Barredo, J.:
Administrative complaint filed by one Paz M. Garcia against the Honorable Catalino Macaraig, Jr., formerly Judge of the Court of
First Instance of Laguna, Branch VI, now Undersecretary of Justice, in his former capacity as judge, for alleged dishonesty,
violation of his oath of office as judge gross incompetence, violation of Republic Act 296 or the Judiciary Act of 1948, as
amended, (particularly) Sections 5, 55 and 58 thereof, committed (allegedly) as follows:
2. That from July 1, 1970 up to February 28, 1971 inclusive, as such incumbent Judge, respondent herein, has not submitted his
monthly reports containing the number of cases filed, disposed of, decided and/or resolved, the number of cases pending
decisions for one month, two months to over three months, together with the title, number, number of hours of court session
held a day, etc., as evidenced by the certificate issued by Hon. Eulalio D. Pichay, Judicial Superintendent, Dept. of Justice, copy of
which is hereto attached as Annex A, Item No. 1, in violation of Circular No. 10 of the Dept. of Justice dated February 6, 1952,
copy of which is hereto attached as Annex B;
3. That he has not submitted his certificate of service (New Judicial Form No. 86, Revised 1966) from July to December, 1970 and
from January to February, 1971 inclusive as evidenced by the certificate issued by Judge Pichay, Judicial Superintendent, Dept. of
Justice Annex A, Item No. 2 thereof;
4. That as incumbent Judge of Branch VI, Court of First Instance of Laguna and San Pablo and knowing fully well that he has never
performed his official duties or discharged the duties appertaining to his office, he has collected and was paid his salaries from July
to December, 1970 and from January to February 1971 as evidenced by the certificate issued by the cashier Mrs. Santos of the
Department of Justice hereto attached as Annex C and the certificate of Mr. Pichay Annex A, last paragraph thereof,
aggravated by his repeated failure to submit the certificate of service in flagrant violation of action 5 of the Judiciary Act of 1948 as
amended which provides as follows:
District judges, judges of City Courts, and municipal Judges shall certify on their application for leave, and upon salary vouchers
presented by them for payment, or upon the payrolls upon which their salaries are paid, that all special proceedings, applications,
petitions, motions, and all civil and criminal cases which have been under submission for decision or determination for a period of
ninety days or more have been determined and decided on or before the date of making the certificate and no salary shall be
paid without such certificate (Emphasis supplied).
5. That his deliberate failure to submit the monthly reports from July to December, 1970 and from January, 1971 to February,
1971 stating therein the number of hours of session that the Court holds daily, the accomplishments of the Court constitutes a
clear violation of Sections 55 and 58 of the Judiciary Act of 1948, as amended.
6. That by his deliberate violation of his Oath of Office as a District Judge of the Court of First Instance of Laguna and San Pablo,
Branch VI he has manifested such moral bankruptcy as to deny his fitness to perform or discharge official duties in the
administration of justice.
7. That on June 29, 1970, respondent Judge wrote to the Honorable Secretary of Justice informing him that he was entering upon
the performance of his duties, which letter of his reads in full:
I have the honor to inform you that I am entering upon the performance of the duties of the office of Judge of the Court of First
Instance of Laguna and San Pablo City (Branch VI) today, June 29, 1970.
That such actuation of deliberately telling a deliberate falsehood aggravates his moral bankruptcy incompatible to the
requirements of the highest degree of honesty, integrity and good moral character appertaining to holding the position of Judge in
the administration of justice.
Upon being so required, in due time, respondent filed an answer alleging pertinently that:
THE FACTS
Respondent took his oath as Judge of the Court of First Instance of Laguna and San Pablo City with station at Calamba on June 29,
1970. The court, being one of the 112 newly created CFI branches, had to be organized from scratch. After consultations with the
officials of the province of Laguna, the municipality of Calamba and the Department of Justice, respondent decided to accept the
offer of the Calamba Municipal Government to supply the space for the courtroom and offices of the court; to utilize the financial
assistance promised by the Laguna provincial government for the purchase of the necessary supplies and materials; and to rely on
the national government for the equipment needed by the court (Under Section 190 of the Revised Administrative Code, all these
items must be furnished by the provincial government. The provincial officials of Laguna, however, informed the respondent that
the province was not in a position to do so).
As to the space requirements of the court, the Municipal Mayor of Calamba assured the respondent that the court could be
accommodated in the west wing of the Calamba municipal building as soon as the office of the municipal treasurer and his
personnel are transferred to another location. When the projected transfer of the municipal treasurers office was about to be
effected, the treasurer and several municipal councilors objected. The municipal mayor then requested the respondent to look
over some of the office spaces for rent in Calamba, with the commitment that the municipal government will shoulder the
payment of the rentals. Respondents first choice was the second floor of the Republic Bank branch in Calamba, but the
negotiations failed when the owner of the building refused to reduce the rent to P300 a month. The next suitable space selected
by respondent was the second floor of the Laguna Development Bank. After a months negotiations, the municipality finally signed
a lease agreement with the owner on October 26, 1970. Another month passed before the municipal government could release
the amount necessary for the improvements to convert the space that was rented, which was a big hall without partitions, into a
courtroom and offices for the personnel of the court and for the assistant provincial fiscal. Thereafter, upon respondents
representations, the provincial government appropriated the amount of P5,000 for the purchase of the supplies and materials
needed by the court. Early in December, 1970 respondent also placed his order for the necessary equipment with the Property
Officer of the Department of Justice but, unfortunately, the appropriation for the equipment of courts of first instance was
released only on December 23, 1970 and the procurement of the equipment chargeable against this allotment is still under way
(please see enclosed certification of the Financial Officer of the Department of Justice marked Annex A).
When respondent realized that it would be sometime before he could actually preside over his court, he applied for an extended
leave (during the 16 years he had worked in the Department of Justice, respondent had, due to pressure of duties, never gone on
extended leave, resulting in his forfeiting all the leave benefits he had earned beyond the maximum ten months allowed by the
law). The Secretary of Justice, however, prevailed upon respondent to forego his leave and instead to assist him, without being
extended a formal detail, whenever respondent was not busy attending to the needs of his court.
Charges Have No Basis .
Complainant has charged respondent with dishonesty, violation of his oath of office, grave incompetence and violation of
Sections 5, 55 and 58 of the Judiciary Act.
It is respectfully submitted that .
A. Respondents inability to perform his judicial duties under the circumstances mentioned above does not constitute
incompetence. Respondent was like every lawyer who gets his first appointment to the bench, eager to assume his judicial duties
and rid himself of the stigma of being a judge without a sala, but forces and circumstances beyond his control prevented him
from discharging his judicial duties.
B. Respondents collection of salaries as judge does not constitute dishonesty because aside from the time, effort and money he
spent in organizing the CFI at Calamba, he worked in the Department of Justice (please see enclosed certification of
Undersecretary of Justice Guillermo S. Santos marked Annex B). Indeed, even if respondent did no more than exert efforts to
organize his court, he could, as other judges have done, have collected his salaries as judge without being guilty of dishonesty.
Incidentally, when respondent took his oath as CFI judge which position then carried a salary of P19,000 per annum, he
automatically ceased to be Chief of the Technical Staff of the Department of Justice and Member of the Board of Pardons and
Parole, positions from which he was receiving P16,200 and P8,000 per annum, respectively. Also, in anticipation of the judicial
duties which he was about to assume, respondent took a leave of absence from his professorial lecturers duties in the U.P.
College of Law where he was receiving approximately P600 a month.
C. Sections 5, 55 and 58 of the Judiciary Act and Circular No. 10 dated February 6, 1952 of the Department of Justice are not
applicable to a Judge not actually discharging his judicial duties.
The Department of Justice has never required judges who have not actually started, to perform their judicial duties to comply
with the abovementioned statutory-provisions and circular (please see enclosed certification of Judge Eulalio D. Pichay, Judicial
Superintendent, marked Annex C).
Moreover, a reading of these sections and circular makes evident the folly of requiring a judge who has not entered into the
Performance of his judicial duties to comply with them. Taking Section 5, how could a judge who has not started to discharge his
judicial duties certify that all special proceedings, applications, petitions, motions, and all civil and criminal cases, which have
been under submission for decision or determination for a period of ninety days or more have been determined and decided on or
before the date of making the certificate. And bow could such a judge hold court in his place of permanent station as required by
Section 55; observe the hours of daily sessions of the court as prescribed by Section 58; and render the reports required by
Circular No. 10 when his court is not yet in physical existence Clearly, therefore, Sections 5, 55 and 58 of the Judiciary Act and
Circular No. 10 cannot apply to such a judge. .
In view of the nature of the allegations of complainant and respondent in their respective complaint and answer and considering,
in the light thereof, that the material facts are more or less undisputed, the Court feels that this case can be disposed of without
any further proceeding.
After mature study and deliberation, the Court is convinced that the complaint must be dismissed. To begin with, We cannot
discern any tinge of dishonesty in the actuations for the respondent complained of. As We see it, the situation is not exactly as
complainant has attempted to portray it. Complainants theory is that respondent collected or received salaries as judge when in
fact he has never acted as such, since the date he took his oath up to the filing of the complaint. In the sense that respondent has
not yet performed any judicial function, it may be admitted that respondent has not really performed the duties of judge. What is
lost sight of, however, is that after taking his oath and formally assuming this position as judge, respondent had a perfect right to
earn the salary of a judge even in the extreme supposition that he did not perform any judicial function for he could, while
preparing himself for his new job or for any good reason, take a leave, as in fact, he had planned to do, were it not for the request
of the Secretary of Justice for him to forego the idea and, instead, help the Department in whatever way possible which would
not, it must be presumed, impair his position as a judge. This is more so, when, as in this case, the government officials or officers
in duty bound to furnish him the necessary place and facilities for his court and the performance of his functions have failed to
provide him therewith without any fault on his part. That respondent took it upon himself to personally work for early action on
the part of the corresponding officials in this direction and, in his spare time, made himself available to the Department of Justice
to assist the Secretary, what with his vast experience, having worked therein for sixteen years, is, far from being dishonesty, to his
credit. In the circumstances, it was certainly not improper that he rendered some kind of service to the government, since he was
receiving salaries, while being unable to perform his regular duties as judge without any fault on, his part. As to whether or not in
doing so he, placed in jeopardy the independence of the judiciary and failed to act according to the correct norm of conduct which
a judge should observe vis-a-vis service to the other departments of the government will be discussed a non. At this juncture, the
only point We settle is that complainants theory of dishonesty cannot hold water.
Admittedly respondent has not prepared and submitted any of the reports of accomplishments and status of cases in his sala
which are usually required of judges under existing laws as well as the corresponding circulars of the Department of Justice. The
reason is simple. He has not yet started performing any judicial functions. None of those laws and circulars apply to him for all of
them contemplate judges who are actually holding trials and hearings and making decisions and others. On the other hand,
respondent Could not be blamed for taking his oath as he did, for he had a valid confirmed appointment in his favor. In other
words, he simply made himself available for the purpose for which he was appointed. That he could not actually hold office in the
court to which he was appointed was not of his making. The other officials in charge of providing him therewith seem to have
been caught unprepared and have not had enough time to have it read. Conceivably, under the law, with the permission of this
Court, respondent could have been assigned to another court pending all these preparations, but that is something within the
initiative control of the Secretary of Justice and nor of the respondent.
Of course, none of these is to be taken as meaning that this Court looks with favor at the practice of long standing to be sure, of
judges being detailed in the Department of Justice to assist the Secretary even if it were only in connection with his work of
exercising administrative authority over the courts. The line between what a judge may do and what he may not do in
collaborating or working with other offices or officers under the other great departments of the government must always be kept
clear and jealously observed, least the principle of separation of powers on which our government rests by mandate of the people
thru the Constitution be gradually eroded by practices purportedly motivated by good intentions in the interest of the public
service. The fundamental advantages and the necessity of the independence of said three departments from each other, limited
only by the specific constitutional precepts a check and balance between and among them, have long been acknowledged as more
paramount than the serving of any temporary or passing governmental conveniences or exigencies. It is thus of grave importance
to the judiciary under our present constitutional scheme of government that no judge or even the lowest court in this Republic
should place himself in a position where his actuations on matters submitted to him for action or resolution would be subject to
review and prior approval and, worst still, reversal, before they can have legal effect, by any authority other than the Court of
Appeals or this Supreme Court, as the case may be. Needless to say, this Court feels very strongly that, it is best that this practice
is discontinued.
WHEREFORE, the herein administrative complaint is hereby dismissed. Let a copy of this resolution be furnished the Secretary of
Justice.


G.R. No. L-32096 October 24, 1970
ROMEO F. EDU, in his capacity as Land Transportation Commissioner, petitioner,
vs.
HON. VICENTE G. ERICTA in his capacity as Judge of the Court of First Instance of Rizal, Br. XVIII, Quezon City, and TEDDY C.
GALO respondents.
FERNANDO, J.:.
Petitioner Romeo F. Edu, the Land Transportation Commissioner, would have us rule squarely on the constitutionality of the
Reflector Law
1
in this proceeding for certiorari and prohibition against respondent Judge, the Honorable Vicente G. Ericta of the
Court of First Instance of Rizal, Quezon City Branch, to annul and set aside his order for the issuance of a writ of preliminary
injunction directed against Administrative Order No. 2 of petitioner for the enforcement of the aforesaid statute, in a pending suit
in his court for certiorari and prohibition, filed by the other respondent Teddy C. Galo assailing; the validity of such enactment as
well as such administrative order. Respondent Judge, in his answer, would join such a plea asking that the constitutional and legal
questions raised be decided "once and for all." Respondent Teddy C. Galo who was quite categorical in his assertion that both the
challenged legislation and the administrative order transgress the constitutional requirements of due process and non-delegation,
is not averse either to such a definitive ruling. Considering the great public interest involved and the reliance by respondent Galo
and the allegation that the repugnancy to the fundamental law could be discerned on the face of the statute as enacted and the
executive order as promulgated, this Court, sees no obstacle to the determination in this proceeding of the constitutional
questions raised. For reasons to be hereafter stated, we sustain the validity of the Reflector Law and Administrative Order No. 2
issued in the implementation thereof, the imputation of constitutional infirmity being at best flimsy and insubstantial.
As noted in the answer of respondent Judge, respondent Galo on his behalf and that of other motorist filed on May 20, 1970 a suit
for certiorari and prohibition with preliminary injunction assailing the validity of the challenged Act as an invalid exercise of the
police power, for being violative of the due process clause. This he followed on May 28, 1970 with a manifestation wherein he
sought as an alternative remedy that, in the event that respondent Judge would hold said statute constitutional, Administrative
Order No. 2 of the Land Transportation Commissioner, now petitioner, implementing such legislation be nullified as an undue
exercise of legislative power. There was a hearing on the plea for the issuance of a writ of preliminary injunction held on May 27.
1970 where both parties were duly represented, but no evidence was presented. The next day, on May 28, 1970, respondent
Judge ordered the issuance of a preliminary injunction directed against the enforcement of such administrative order. There was
the day after, a motion for its reconsideration filed by the Solicitor General representing petitioner. In the meanwhile, the clerk of
court of respondent Judge issued, on June 1, 1970 the writ of preliminary injunction upon the filing of the required bond. The
answer before the lower court was filed by petitioner Edu on June 4, 1970. Thereafter, on June 9, 1970, respondent Judge denied
the motion for reconsideration of the order of injunction. Hence this petition for certiorari and prohibition filed with this court on
June 18, 1970.
In a resolution of June 22, 1970, this Court required respondents to file an answer to the petition for certiorari and prohibition.
Respondent Judge, the Honorable Vicente G. Ericta, did file his answer on June 30, 1970 explaining why he restrained the
enforcement of Administrative Order No. 2 and, as noted at the outset, joining the Solicitor General in seeking that the legal
questions raised namely the constitutionality of the Reflector Law and secondly the validity of Administrative Order No. 2 alleged
to be in excess of the authority conferred on petitioner and therefore violative of the principle of non-delegation of legislative
power be definitely decided. It was on until July 6, 1970 that respondent Galo filed his answer seeking the dismissal of this petition
concentrating on what he considered to be the patent invalidity of Administrative Order No. 2 as it went beyond the authority
granted by the Reflector Law, even assuming that it is constitutional. In the meanwhile, on July 2, 1970, the petition was called for
hearing with Solicitor Vicente Torres appearing for petitioner and respondent Galo for himself. It was made clear during the
course of such argumentation that the matter of the constitutionality of the Reflector Law was likewise under consideration by
this Court. The case is thus ripe for decision.
We repeat that we find for petitioner and sustain the Constitutionality of the Reflector Law as well as the validity of Administrative
Order No. 2.
1. The threshold question is whether on the basis of the petition, the answers, and the oral argument, it would be proper for this
Court to resolve the issue of the constitutionality of the Reflector Law. Our answer, as indicated, is in the affirmative. It is to be
noted that the main thrust of the petition before us is to demonstrate in a rather convincing fashion that the challenged
legislation does not suffer from the alleged constitutional infirmity imputed to it by the respondent Galo. Since the special civil
action for certiorari and prohibition filed before him before respondent Judge would seek a declaration of nullity of such
enactment by the attribution of the violation the face thereof of the due process guarantee in the deprivation of property rights, it
would follow that there is sufficient basis for us to determine which view should prevail. Moreover, any further hearing by
respondent Judge would likewise to limited to a discussion of the constitutional issues raised, no allegations of facts having made.
This is one case then where the question of validity is ripe for determination. If we do so, further effort need not be wasted and
time is saved moreover, the officials concerned as well as the public, both vitally concerned with a final resolution of questions of
validity, could know the definitive answer and could act accordingly. There is a great public interest, as was mentioned, to be
served by the final disposition of such crucial issue, petitioner praying that respondent Galo be declared having no cause of action
with respondent Judge being accordingly directed to dismiss his suit.
There is another reinforcement to this avenue of approach. We have done so before in a suit, Climaco v. Macadaeg, 2 involving
the legality of a presidential directive. That was a petition for the review and reversal of a writ of preliminary injunction issued by
the then Judge Macadaeg. We there announced that we "have decided to pass upon the question of the validity of the
presidential directive ourselves, believing that by doing so we would be putting an end to a dispute, a delay in the disposition of
which has caused considerable damage and injury to the Government and to the tobacco planters themselves."
There is no principle of constitutional adjudication that bars this Court from similarly passing upon the question of the validity of a
legislative enactment in a proceeding before it to test the propriety of the issuance of a preliminary injunction. The same felt need
for resolving once and for all the vexing question as to the constitutionality of a challenged enactment and thus serve public
interest exists. What we have done in the case of an order proceeding from one of the coordinate branches, the executive, we can
very well do in the matter before us involving the alleged nullity of a legislative act. Accordingly, there is nothing to preclude the
grant of the writs prayed for, the burden of showing the constitutionality of the act having proved to be as will now be shown too
much for respondent Galo.
2. The Reflector Law reads in full: "(g) Lights and reflector when parked or disabled. Appropriate parking lights or flares visible
one hundred meters away shall be displayed at a corner of the vehicle whenever such vehicle is parked on highways or in places
that are not well-lighted or is placed in such manner as to endanger passing traffic. Furthermore, every motor vehicle shall be
provided at all times with built-in reflectors or other similar warning devices either pasted, painted or attached to its front and
back which shall likewise be visible at light at least one hundred meters away. No vehicle not provided with any of the
requirements mentioned in this subsection shall be registered."
3
It is thus obvious that the challenged statute is a legislation
enacted under the police power to promote public safety.
Justice Laurel, in the first leading decision after the Constitution came to force, Calalang v. Williams,
4
identified police power with
state authority to enact legislation that may interfere with personal liberty or property in order to promote the general welfare.
Persons and property could thus "be subjected to all kinds of restraints and burdens in order to secure the general comfort, health
and prosperity of the state." Shortly after independence in 1948,Primicias v. Fugoso,
5
reiterated the doctrine, such a competence
being referred to as "the power to prescribe regulations to promote the health, morals, peace, education, good order or safety,
and general welfare of the people." The concept was set forth in negative terms by Justice Malcolm in a pre-Commonwealth
decision as "that inherent and plenary power in the State which enables it to prohibit all things hurtful to the comfort, safety and
welfare of society."
6
In that sense it could be hardly distinguishable as noted by this Court in Morfe v. Mutuc
7
with the totality of
legislative power.
It is in the above sense the greatest and most powerful attribute of government. It is to quote Justice Malcolm anew "the most
essential, insistent, and at least illimitable of powers," 8 extending as Justice Holmes aptly pointed out "to all the great public
needs." 9 Its scope, ever-expanding to meet the exigencies of the times, even to anticipate the future where it could be done,
provides enough room for an efficient and flexible response to conditions and circumstances thus assuring the greatest benefits.
In the language of Justice Cardozo: "Needs that were narrow or parochial in the past may be interwoven in the present with the
well-being of the nation. What is critical or urgent changes with the
time."
10
The police power is thus a dynamic agency, suitably vague and far from precisely defined, rooted in the conception that
men in organizing the state and imposing upon its government limitations to safeguard constitutional rights did not intend
thereby to enable an individual citizen or a group of citizens to obstruct unreasonably the enactment of such salutary measures
calculated to insure communal peace, safety, good order, and welfare.
It would then be to overturn a host of decisions impressive for their number and unanimity were this Court to sustain respondent
Galo.
11
That we are not disposed to do, especially so as the attack on the challenged statute ostensibly for disregarding the due
process safeguard is angularly unpersuasive. It would be to close one's eyes to the hazards of traffic in the evening to condemn a
statute of this character. Such an attitude betrays lack of concern for public safety. How can it plausibly alleged then that there
was no observance of due process equated as it has always been with that is reasonable? The statute assailed is not infected with
arbitrariness. It is not the product of whim or caprice. It is far from oppressive. It is a legitimate response to a felt public need. It
can stand the test of the most unsymphatetic appraisal.
Respondent Galo is of a different mind, having been unable to resist the teaching of many American State Court decisions referred
to in the secondary source, American Jurisprudence principally relied upon by him. He ought to have been cautioned against an
indiscriminate acceptance of such doctrines predicated on what was once a fundamental postulate in American public law, laissez
faire.
It is to be admitted that there was a period when such a concept did influence American court decisions on constitutional law. As
was explicitly stated by Justice Cardozo speaking of that era: "Laissez-faire was not only a counsel of caution which would do well
to heed. It was a categorical imperative which statesmen as well as judges must obey."
12
For a long time legislation tending to
reduce economic inequality foundered on the rock that was the due process clause, enshrining as it did the liberty of contract,
based on such a basic assumption.
The New Deal administration of President Roosevelt more responsive to the social and economic forces at work changed matters
greatly. By 1937, there was a greater receptivity by the American Supreme Court to an approach not too reverential of property
rights. Even earlier, in 1935, Professor Coker of Yale, speaking as a historian, could already discern a contrary drift. He did note the
expending range of governmental activity in the United States.
13
What is undeniable is that by 1943, laissez-faire was no longer
the dominant theory. In the language of Justice Jackson in the leading case of West Virginia State Board of Education v.
Barnette:
14
"We must, transplant these rights to a soil in which the laissez-faire concept or non-interference has withered at least
as to economic affairs, and social advancements are increasingly sought through closer integration of society and through
expanded and strengthened governmental controls."
While authoritative precedents from the United States federal and state jurisdictions were deferred to when the Philippines was
still under American rule, it cannot be said that the laissez-faire principle was invariably adhered to by us even then As early as
1919, in the leading case of Rubi v. Provincial Board of Mindoro,
15
Justice Malcolm already had occasion to affirm: "The doctrines
of laissez-faire and of unrestricted freedom of the individual, as axioms of economic and political theory, are of the past. The
modern period has shown a widespread belief in the amplest possible demonstration of government activity. The Courts
unfortunately have sometimes seemed to trail after the other two branches of the Government in this progressive march." People
v. Pomar,
16
a 1924 decision which held invalid under the due process clause a provision providing for maternity leave with pay
thirty days before and thirty days after confinement could be cited to show that such a principle did have its day. It is to be
remembered though that our Supreme Court had no other choice as the Philippines was then under the United States, and only
recently the year before, the American Supreme Court in Adkins v. Children's Hospital,
17
in line with the laissez-faire theory, did
hold that a statute providing for minimum wages was constitutionally infirm.
What is more, to erase any doubts, the Constitutional Convention saw to it that the concept of laissez-faire was rejected. It
entrusted to our government the responsibility of coping with social and economic problems with the commensurate power of
control over economic affairs. Thereby it could live up to its commitment to promote the general welfare through state action. No
constitutional objection to regulatory measures adversely affecting property rights, especially so when public safety is the aim, is
likely to be heeded, unless of course on the clearest and most satisfactory proof of invasion of rights guaranteed by the
Constitution. On such a showing, there may be a declaration of nullity, but not because the laissez-faire principle was disregarded
but because the due process, equal protection, or non-impairment guarantees would call for vindication.
To repeat, our Constitution which took effect in 1935 erased whatever doubts there might be on that score. Its philosophy is a
repudiation of laissez-faire. One of the leading members of the Constitutional Convention, Manuel A. Roxas, later the first
President of the Republic, made it clear when he disposed of the objection of Delegate Jose Reyes of Sorsogon, who noted the
"vast extensions in the sphere of governmental functions" and the "almost unlimited power to interfere in the affairs of industry
and agriculture as well as to compete with existing business" as "reflections of the fascination exerted by [the then] current
tendencies" in other jurisdictions.
18
He spoke thus: "My answer is that this constitution has definite and well defined philosophy
not only political but social and economic. ... If in this Constitution the gentlemen will find declarations of economic policy they are
there because they are necessary to safeguard the interests and welfare of the Filipino people because we believe that the days
have come when in self-defense, a nation may provide in its constitution those safeguards, the patrimony, the freedom to grow,
the freedom to develop national aspirations and national interests, not to be hampered by the artificial boundaries which a
constitutional provision automatically imposes.
19

It was not expected then when in a concurring opinion, Justice Laurel, who likewise sat in the Constitutional Convention and was
one of its leading lights, explicitly affirmed in a concurring opinion, later quoted with approval in the leading case of Antamok
Goldfields Mining Co. v. Court of Industrial Relations, 20 that the Constitution did away with the laissez-faire doctrine. In the
course of such concurring opinion and after noting the changes that have taken place calling for a more affirmative role by the
government and its undeniable power to curtail property rights, he categorically declared the doctrine in People v. Pomar no
longer retains "its virtuality as a living principle." 21
It is in the light of such rejection of the laissez-faire principle that during the Commonwealth era, no constitutional infirmity was
found to have attached to legislation covering such subjects as collective bargaining, 22 security of tenure, 23 minimum
wages, 24 compulsory arbitration, 25 the regulation of tenancy 26 as well as the issuance of
securities, 27 and control of public services. 28 So it is likewise under the Republic this Court having given the seal of approval to
more favorable tenancy laws, 29 nationalization of the retail trade,
30
limitation of the hours of labor,
31
imposition of price
control,
32
requirement of separation pay for one month,
33
and social security scheme.
34

Respondent Galo thus could have profited by a little more diligence in the scrutiny of Philippine decisions rendered with not
unexpected regularity, during all the while our Constitution has been in force attesting to the demise of such a shibboleth
as laissez-faire. It was one of those fighting faiths that time and circumstances had upset, to paraphrase Holmes. Yet respondent
Galo would seek to vivify and resurrect it. That, it would appear, is a vain quest, a futile undertaking. The Reflector Law is thus
immune from the attack so recklessly hurled against it. It can survive, and quite easily too, the constitutional test.
3. The same lack of success marks the effort of respondent Galo to impugn the validity of Administrative Order No. 2 issued by
petitioner in his official capacity, duly approved by the Secretary of Public Works and Communications, for being contrary to the
principle of non-delegation of legislative power. Such administrative order, which took effect on April 17, 1970, has a provision on
reflectors in effect reproducing what was set forth in the Act. Thus: "No motor vehicles of whatever style, kind, make, class or
denomination shall be registered if not equipped with reflectors. Such reflectors shall either be factory built-in-reflector
commercial glass reflectors, reflection tape or luminous paint. The luminosity shall have an intensity to be maintained visible and
clean at all times such that if struck by a beam of light shall be visible 100 meters away at night."
35
Then came a section on
dimensions, placement and color. As to dimensions the following is provided for: "Glass reflectors Not less than 3 inches in
diameter or not less than 3 inches square; Reflectorized Tape At least 3 inches wide and 12 inches long. The painted or taped
area may be bigger at the discretion of the vehicle owner."
36
Provision is then made as to how such reflectors are to be "placed,
installed, pasted or painted."
37
There is the further requirement that in addition to such reflectors there shall be installed, pasted
or painted four reflectors on each side of the motor vehicle parallel to those installed, pasted or painted in front and those in the
rear end of the body thereof.
38
The color required of each reflectors, whether built-in, commercial glass, reflectorized tape or
reflectorized paint placed in the front part of any motor vehicle shall be amber or yellow and those placed on the sides and in the
rear shall all be red.
39

Penalties resulting from a violation thereof could be imposed. Thus: "Non-compliance with the requirements contained in this
Order shall be sufficient cause to refuse registration of the motor vehicle affected and if already registered, its registration maybe
suspended in pursuance of the provisions of Section 16 of RA 4136; [Provided], However, that in the case of the violation of
Section 1(a) and (b) and paragraph (8) Section 3 hereof, a fine of not less than ten nor more than fifty pesos shall be imposed.
40
It
is not to be lost sight of that under Republic Act No. 4136, of which the Reflector Law is an amendment, petitioner, as the Land
Transportation Commissioner, may, with the approval of the Secretary of Public Works and Communications, issue rules and
regulations for its implementation as long as they do not conflict with its provisions.
41
It is likewise an express provision of the
above statute that for a violation of any of its provisions or regulations promulgated pursuant thereto a fine of not less than P10
nor not less than P50 could be imposed.
42

It is a fundamental principle flowing from the doctrine of separation of powers that Congress may not delegate its legislative
power to the two other branches of the government, subject to the exception that local governments may over local affairs
participate in its exercise. What cannot be delegated is the authority under the Constitution to make laws and to alter and repeal
them; the test is the completeness of the statute in all its term and provisions when it leaves the hands of the legislature. To
determine whether or not there is an undue delegation of legislative power the inquiry must be directed to the scope and
definiteness of the measure enacted. The legislature does not abdicate its functions when it describes what job must be done,
who is to do it, and what is the scope of his authority. For a complex economy, that may indeed be the only way in which the
legislative process can go forward. A distinction has rightfully been made between delegation of power to make the laws which
necessarily involves a discretion as to what it shall be, which constitutionally may not be done, and delegation of authority or
discretion as to its execution to exercised under and in pursuance of the law, to which no valid objection call be made. The
Constitution is thus not to be regarded as denying the legislature the necessary resources of flexibility and practicability.
To avoid the taint of unlawful delegation, there must be a standard, which implies at the very least that the legislature itself
determines matters of principle and lay down fundamental policy. Otherwise, the charge of complete abdication may be hard to
repel. A standard thus defines legislative policy, marks its limits, its maps out its boundaries and specifies the public agency to
apply it. It indicates the circumstances under which the legislative command is to be effected. It is the criterion by which legislative
purpose may be carried out. Thereafter, the executive or administrative office designated may in pursuance of the above
guidelines promulgate supplemental rules and regulations.
The standard may be either express or implied. If the former, the non-delegation objection is easily met. The standard though
does not have to be spelled out specifically. It could be implied from the policy and purpose of the act considered as a whole. In
the Reflector Law, clearly the legislative objective is public safety. That is sought to be attained as in Calalang v. Williams is "safe
transit upon the roads."
43

This is to adhere to the recognition given expression by Justice Laurel in a decision announced not long after the Constitution
came into force and effect that the principle of non-delegation "has been made to adapt itself the complexities of modern
governments, giving rise to the adoption, within certain limits, of the principle of "subordinate legislation" not only in the United
States and England but in practically all modern governments."
44
He continued: "Accordingly, with the growing complexity of
modern life, the multiplication of the subjects of governmental regulation, and the increased difficulty of administering the laws,
there is a constantly growing tendency toward the delegation of greater powers by the legislature and toward the approval of the
practice by the courts."
45
Consistency with the conceptual approach requires the reminder that what is delegated is authority
non-legislative in character, the completeness of the statute when it leaves the hands of Congress being assumed.
Our later decisions speak to the same effect. Thus from, Justice J. B. L. Reyes in People vs. Exconde:
46
"It is well establish in this
jurisdiction that, while the making of laws is a non-delegable activity that corresponds exclusively to Congress, nevertheless the
latter may constitutionally delegate authority to promulgate rules and regulations to implement a given legislation and effectuate
its policies, for the reason that the legislature often finds it impracticable (if not impossible) to anticipate and proved for the
multifarious and complex situations that may be met in carrying the law in effect. All that is required is that the regulation should
germane to the objects and purposes of the law; that the regulation be not in contradiction with it; but conform to the standards
that the law prescribes ... "
47

An even more explicit formulation of the controlling principle comes from the pen of the then Justice, now Chief Justice,
Concepcion: "Lastly, the legality of Circular No. 21 is assailed upon the ground that the grant of authority to issue the same
constitutes an undue delegation of legislative power. It is true that, under our system of government, said power may not be
delegated except to local governments. However, one thing is to delegate the power to determine what the law shall be, and
another thing to delegate the authority to fix the details in theexecution of enforcement of a policy set out in the law itself. Briefly
stated, the rule is that the delegated powers fall under the second category, if the law authorizing the, delegation furnishes a
reasonable standard which "sufficiently marks the field within which the Administrator is to act so that it may be known whether
he has kept within it in compliance with the legislative will." (Yakus vs. United States, 88 L. ed.
848) ... It should be noted, furthermore, that these powers must be construed and exercised in relation to the objectives of the
law creating the Central Bank, which are, among others, "to maintain monetary stability in the Philippines," and "to promote a
rising level of production, employment and real income in the Philippines." (Section 2, Rep. Act No. 265). These standards are
sufficiently concrete and definite to vest in the delegated authority, the character of administrative details in the enforcement of
the law and to place the grant said authority beyond the category of a delegation of legislative powers ... "
48

It bears repeating that the Reflector Law construed together with the Land Transportation Code. Republic Act No. 4136, of which
it is an amendment, leaves no doubt as to the stress and emphasis on public safety which is the prime consideration in statutes of
this character. There is likewise a categorical affirmation Of the power of petitioner as Land Transportation Commissioner to
promulgate rules and regulations to give life to and translate into actuality such fundamental purpose. His power is clear. There
has been no abuse. His Administrative Order No. 2 can easily survive the attack, far-from-formidable, launched against it by
respondent Galo.
WHEREFORE, the writs of certiorari and prohibition prayed for are granted, the orders of May 28, 1970 of respondent Judge for
the issuance of a writ of preliminary injunction, the writ of preliminary injunction of June 1, 1970 and his order of June 9, 1970
denying reconsideration are annulled and set aside. Respondent Judge is likewise directed to dismiss the petition for certiorari and
prohibition filed by respondent Teddy C. Galo, there being no cause of action as the Reflector Law and Administrative Order No. 2
of petitioner have not been shown to be tainted by invalidity. Without pronouncement as to costs.


G.R. No. L-28790 April 29, 1968
ANTONIO H. NOBLEJAS, as Commissioner of Land Registration, petitioner,
vs.
CLAUDIO TEEHANKEE, as Secretary of Justice, and RAFAEL M. SALAS, as Executive Secretary,respondents.
REYES, J.B.L., Actg. C.J.:
Petition for a writ of prohibition with preliminary injunction to restrain the Secretary of Justice from investigating the official
actuations of the Commissioner of Land Registration, and to declare inoperative his suspension by the Executive Secretary pending
investigation.
The facts are not in dispute. Petitioner Antonio H. Noblejas is the duly appointed, confirmed and qualified Commissioner of Land
Registration, a position created by Republic Act No. 1151. By the terms of section 2 of said Act, the said Commissioner is declared
"entitled to the same compensation, emoluments and privileges as those of a Judge of the Court of First Instance." The
appropriation laws (Rep. Acts 4642, 4856 and 5170) in the item setting forth the salary of said officer, use the following
expression:
1. One Land Registration Commissioner with the rank and privileges of district judge P19,000.00.
On March 7, 1968, respondent Secretary of Justice coursed to the petitioner a letter requiring him to explain in writing not later
than March 9, 1968 why no disciplinary action should be taken against petitioner for "approving or recommending approval of
subdivision, consolidation and consolidated-subdivision plans covering areas greatly in excess of the areas covered by the original
titles." Noblejas answered and apprised the Secretary of Justice that, as he enjoyed the rank, privileges, emoluments and
compensation of a Judge of the Court of First Instance, he could only be suspended and investigated in the same manner as a
Judge of the Courts of First Instance, and, therefore, the papers relative to his case should be submitted to the Supreme Court, for
action thereon conformably to section 67 of the Judiciary Act (R. A. No. 296) and Revised Rule 140 of the Rules of Court.
On March 17, 1968, petitioner Noblejas received a communication signed by the Executive Secretary, "by authority of the
President", whereby, based on "finding that a prima facie case exists against you for gross negligence and conduct prejudicial to
the public interest", petitioner was "hereby suspended, upon receipt hereof, pending investigation of the above charges."
On March 18, 1968, petitioner applied to this Court, reiterating the contentions advanced in his letter to the Secretary of Justice,
claiming lack of jurisdiction and abuse of discretion, and praying for restraining writs. In their answer respondents admit the facts
but denied that petitioner, as Land Registration Commissioner, exercises judicial functions, or that the petitioner may be
considered a Judge of First Instance within the purview of the Judiciary Act and Revised Rules of Court 140; that the function of
investigating charges against public officers is administrative or executive in nature; that the Legislature may not charge the
judiciary with non-judicial functions or duties except when reasonably incidental to the fulfillment of judicial duties, as it would be
in violation of the principle of the separation of powers.
Thus, the stark issue before this Court is whether the Commissioner of Land Registration may only be investigated by the Supreme
Court, in view of the conferment upon him by the Statutes heretofore mentioned (Rep. Act 1151 and Appropriation Laws) of the
rank and privileges of a Judge of the Court of First Instance.
First to militate against petitioner's stand is the fact that section 67 of the Judiciary Act providing for investigation, suspension or
removal of Judges, specifically recites that "No District Judge shall be separated or removed from office by the President of the
Philippines unless sufficient cause shall exist in the judgment of the Supreme Court . . ." and it is nowhere claimed, much less
shown, that the Commissioner of Land Registration is a District Judge, or in fact a member of the Judiciary at all.
In the second place, petitioner's theory that the grant of "privileges of a Judge of First Instance" includes by implication the right to
be investigated only by the Supreme Court and to be suspended or removed upon its recommendation, would necessarily result in
the same right being possessed by a variety of executive officials upon whom the Legislature had indiscriminately conferred the
same privileges. These favoured officers include (a) the Judicial Superintendent of the Department of Justice (Judiciary Act, sec.
42); (b) the Assistant Solicitors General, seven in number (Rep. Act No. 4360); (c) the City Fiscal of Quezon City (R.A. No. 4495); (d)
the City Fiscal of Manila (R. A. No. 4631) and (e) the Securities and Exchange Commissioner (R. A. No. 5050, s. 2). To adopt
petitioner's theory, therefore, would mean placing upon the Supreme Court the duty of investigating and disciplining all these
officials, whose functions are plainly executive, and the consequent curtailment by mere implication from the Legislative grant, of
the President's power to discipline and remove administrative officials who are presidential appointees, and which the
Constitution expressly placed under the President's supervision and control (Constitution, Art. VII, sec. 10[i]).
Incidentally, petitioner's stand would also lead to the conclusion that the Solicitor General, another appointee of the President,
could not be removed by the latter, since the Appropriation Acts confer upon the Solicitor General the rank and privileges of a
Justice of the Court of Appeals, and these Justices are only removable by the Legislature, through the process of impeachment
(Judiciary Act, sec. 24, par. 2).
In our opinion, such unusual corollaries could not have been intended by the Legislature when it granted these executive officials
the rank and privileges of Judges of First Instance. This conclusion gains strength when account is taken of the fact that in the case
of the Judges of the Court of Agrarian Relations and those of the Court of Tax Appeals, the organic statutes of said bodies
(Republic Act 1267, as amended by Act 1409; Rep. Act No. 1125) expressly provide that they are to be removed from office for the
same causes and in the same manner provided by law for Judges of First Instance", or "members of the judiciary of appellate
rank". The same is true of Judges of the Court of Agrarian Relations (Comm. Act No. 103) and of the Commissioner of Public
Service (Public Service Act, Sec. 3). It is thereby shown that where the legislative design is to make the suspension or removal
procedure prescribed for Judges of First Instance applicable to other officers, provision to that effect is made in plain and
unequivocal language.
But the more fundamental objection to the stand of petitioner Noblejas is that, if the Legislature had really intended to include in
the general grant of "privileges" or "rank and privileges of Judges of the Court of First Instance" the right to be investigated by the
Supreme Court, and to be suspended or removed only upon recommendation of that Court, then such grant of privileges would be
unconstitutional, since it would violate the fundamental doctrine of separation of powers, by charging this court with the
administrative function of supervisory control over executive officials, and simultaneously reducing pro tanto the control of the
Chief Executive over such officials.
Justice Cardozo ruled in In re Richardson et al., Connolly vs. Scudder (247 N. Y. 401, 160 N. E. 655), saying:
There is no inherent power in the Executive or Legislature to charge the judiciary with administrative functions except
when reasonably incidental to the fulfillment of judicial duties.
The United States Supreme Court said in Federal Radio Commission vs. General Electric Co., et al., 281 U.S. 469, 74 Law. Ed., 972,

But this court cannot be invested with jurisdiction of that character, whether for purposes of review or otherwise. It
was brought into being by the judiciary article of the Constitution, is invested with judicial power only and can have no
jurisdiction other than of cases and controversies falling within the classes enumerated in that article. It cannot give
decisions which are merely advisory; nor can it exercise or participate in the exercise of functions which are essentially
legislative or administrative. Keller v. Potomac Electric Power Co., supra (261 U.S. 444, 67 L. ed. 736, 43 Sup. Ct. Rep.
445) and cases cited; Postum Cereal Co. vs. California Fig Nut Co. supra (272 U.S. 700, 701, 71 L. ed. 481, 47 Sup. Ct.
Rep. 284); Liberty Warehouse Co. v. Grannis, 273 U.S. 70, 74, 71 L. ed. 541, 544, 47 Sup. Ct. Rep. 282; Willing v. Chicago
Auditorium Asso. 277 U.S. 274, 289, 72 L. ed. 880, 884, 48 Sup. Ct. Rep. 507; Ex parte Bakelite Corp. 279 U.S. 438, 449,
73 L. ed. 789, 793, 49 Sup. Ct. Rep. 411. (Federal Radio Commission v. General Electric Company, 281 U.S. 469, 74 L. ed.
972.) (Emphasis supplied.)
In this spirit, it has been held that the Supreme Court of the Philippines and its members should not and cannot be required to
exercise any power or to perform any trust or to assume any duty not pertaining to or connected with the administration of
judicial functions; and a law requiring the Supreme Court to arbitrate disputes between public utilities was pronounced void
in Manila Electric Co. vs. Pasay Transportation Co. (57 Phil. 600).1wph1.t
Petitioner Noblejas seeks to differentiate his case from that of other executive officials by claiming that under Section 4 of
Republic Act No. 1151, he is endowed with judicial functions. The section invoked runs as follows:
Sec. 4. Reference of doubtful matters to Commissioner of Land Registration. When the Register of Deeds is in doubt
with regard to the proper step to be taken or memorandum to be made in pursuance of any deed, mortgage, or other
instrument presented to him for registration, or where any party in interest does not agree with the Register of Deeds
with reference to any such matter, the question shall be submitted to the Commissioner of Land Registration either
upon the certification of the Register of Deeds, stating the question upon which he is in doubt, or upon the suggestion
in writing by the party in interest; and thereupon the Commissioner, after consideration of the matter shown by the
records certified to him, and in case of registered lands, after notice to the parties and hearing, shall enter an order
prescribing the step to be taken or memorandum to be made. His decision in such cases shall be conclusive and binding
upon all Registers of Deeds: Provided, further, That, when a party in interest disagrees with the ruling or resolution of
the Commissioner and the issue involves a question of law, said decision may be appealed to the Supreme Court within
thirty days from and after receipt of the notice thereof.
Serious doubt may well be entertained as to whether the resolution of a consulta by a Register of Deeds is a judicial function, as
contrasted with administrative process. It will be noted that by specific provision of the section, the decision of the Land
Registration Commissioner "shall be conclusive and binding upon all Registers of Deeds" alone, and not upon other parties. This
limitation
1
in effect identifies the resolutions of the Land Registration Commissioner with those of any other bureau director,
whose resolutions or orders bind his subordinates alone. That the Commissioner's resolutions are appealable does not prove that
they are not administrative; any bureau director's ruling is likewise appealable to the corresponding department head.
But even granting that the resolution of consultas by the Register of Deeds should constitute a judicial (or more properly quasi
judicial) function, analysis of the powers and duties of the Land Registration Commissioner under Republic Act No. 1151, sections
3 and 4, will show that the resolution of consultas are but a minimal portion of his administrative or executive functions and
merely incidental to the latter.
Conformably to the well-known principle of statutory construction that statutes should be given, whenever possible, a meaning
that will not bring them in conflict with the Constitution,
2
We are constrained to rule that the grant by Republic Act 1151 to the
Commissioner of Land Registration of the "same privileges as those of a Judge of the Court of First Instance" did not include, and
was not intended to include, the right to demand investigation by the Supreme Court, and to be suspended or removed only upon
that Court's recommendation; for otherwise, the said grant of privileges would be violative of the Constitution and be null and
void. Consequently, the investigation and suspension of the aforenamed Commissioner pursuant to sections 32 and 34 of the Civil
Service Law (R. A. 2260) are neither abuses of discretion nor acts in excess of jurisdiction.
WHEREFORE, the writs of prohibition and injunction applied for are denied, and the petition is ordered dismissed. No costs.


G.R. No. L-33693-94 May 31, 1979
MISAEL P. VERA, as Commissioner of Internal Revenue, and THE FAIR TRADE BOARD, petitioner,
vs.
HON. SERAFIN R. CUEVAS, as Judge of the Court of First Instance of Manila, Branch IV, INSTITUTE OF EVAPORATED FILLED MILK
MANUFACTURERS OF THE PHILIPPINES, INC., CONSOLIDATED MILK COMPANY (PHIL.) INC., and MILK INDUSTRIES,
INC., respondents.
DE CASTRO, J.:
This is a petition for certiorari with preliminary injunction to review the decision rendered by respondent judge, in Civil Case No.
52276 and in Special Civil Action No. 52383 both of the Court of First Instance of Manila.
Plaintiffs, in Civil Case No. 52276 private respondents herein, are engaged in the manufacture, sale and distribution of filled milk
products throughout the Philippines. The products of private respondent, Consolidated Philippines Inc. are marketed and sold
under the brand Darigold whereas those of private respondent, General Milk Company (Phil.), Inc., under the brand "Liberty;" and
those of private respondent, Milk Industries Inc., under the brand "Dutch Baby." Private respondent, Institute of Evaporated Filled
Milk Manufacturers of the Philippines, is a corporation organized for the principal purpose of upholding and maintaining at its
highest the standards of local filled milk industry, of which all the other private respondents are members.
Civil Case No. 52276 is an action for declaratory relief with ex-parte petition for preliminary injunction wherein plaintiffs pray for
an adjudication of their respective rights and obligations in relation to the enforcement of Section 169 of the Tax Code against
their filled milk products.
The controversy arose from the order of defendant, Commissioner of Internal Revenue now petitioner herein, requiring plaintiffs-
private respondents to withdraw from the market all of their filled milk products which do not bear the inscription required by
Section 169 of the Tax Code within fifteen (15) days from receipt of the order with the explicit warning that failure of plaintiffs'
private respondents to comply with said order will result in the institution of the necessary action against any violation of the
aforesaid order. Section 169 of the Tax Code reads as follows:
Section 169. Inscription to be placed on skimmed milk. All condensed skimmed milk and all milk in
whatever form, from which the fatty part has been removed totally or in part, sold or put on sale in the
Philippines shall be clearly and legibly marked on its immediate containers, and in all the language in which
such containers are marked, with the words, "This milk is not suitable for nourishment for infants less than
one year of age," or with other equivalent words.
The Court issued a writ of preliminary injunction dated February 16, 1963 restraining the Commissioner of Internal Revenue from
requiring plaintiffs' private respondents to print on the labels of their rifled milk products the words, "This milk is not suitable for
nourishment for infants less than one year of age or words of similar import, " as directed by the above quoted provision of Law,
and from taking any action to enforce the above legal provision against the plaintiffs' private respondents in connection with their
rifled milk products, pending the final determination of the case, Civil Case No. 52276, on the merits.
On July 25, 1969, however, the Office of the Solicitor General brought an appeal from the said order by way of certiorari to the
Supreme Court.
1
In view thereof, the respondent court in the meantime suspended disposition of these cases but in view of the
absence of any injunction or restraining order from the Supreme Court, it resumed action on them until their final disposition
therein.
Special Civil Action No. 52383, on the other hand, is an action for prohibition and injunction with a petition for preliminary
injunction. Petitioners therein pray that the respondent Fair Trade Board desist from further proceeding with FTB I.S. No. I .
entitled "Antonio R. de Joya vs. Institute of Evaporated Milk Manufacturers of the Philippines, etc." pending final determination of
Civil Case No. 52276. The facts of this special civil action show that on December 7, 1962, Antonio R. de Joya and Sufronio
Carrasco, both in their individual capacities and in their capacities as Public Relations Counsel and President of the Philippine
Association of Nutrition, respectively, filed FTB I.S. No. 1 with Fair Trade Board for misleading advertisement, mislabeling and/or
misbranding. Among other things, the complaint filed include the charge of omitting to state in their labels any statement
sufficient to Identify their filled milk products as "imitation milk" or as an imitation of genuine cows milk. and omitting to mark the
immediate containers of their filled milk products with the words: "This milk is not suitable for nourishment for infants less than
one year of age or with other equivalent words as required under Section 169 of the Tax Code. The Board proceeded to hear the
complaint until it received the writ of preliminary injunction issued by the Court of First Instance on March 19, 1963.
Upon agreement of the parties, Civil Case No. 52276 and Special Civil Action No. 52383 were heard jointly being intimately related
with each other, with common facts and issues being also involved therein. On April 16, 1971, the respondent court issued its
decision, the dispositive part of which reads as follows:
Wherefore, judgment is hereby rendered:
In Civil Case No. 52276:
(a) Perpetually restraining the defendant, Commissioner of Internal Revenue, his agents, or employees from
requiring plaintiffs to print on the labels of their filled milk products the words: "This milk is not suitable for
nourishment for infants less than one year of age" or words with equivalent import and declaring as nun
and void and without authority in law, the order of said defendant dated September 28, 1961, Annex A of
the complaint, and the Ruling of the Secretary of Finance, dated November 12, 1962, Annex G of the
complaint; and
In Special Civil Action No. 52383:
(b) Restraining perpetually the respondent Fair Trade Board, its agents or employees from continuing in the
investigation of the complaints against petitioners docketed as FTB I.S. No. 2, or any charges related to the
manufacture or sale by the petitioners of their filled milk products and declaring as null the proceedings so
far undertaken by the respondent Board on said complaints. (pp. 20- 21, Rollo).
From the above decision of the respondent court, the Commissioner of Internal Revenue and the Fair Trade Board joined together
to file the present petition for certiorari with preliminary injunction, assigning the following errors:
I. THE LOWER COURT ERRED IN RULING THAT SEC. TION 169 OF THE TAX CODE HAS BEEN REPEALED BY
IMPLICATION.
II. THE LOWER COURT ERRED IN RULING THAT SECTION 169 OF THE TAX CODE HAS LOST ITS TAX PURPOSE,
AND THAT COMMISSIONER NECESSARILY LOST HIS AUTHORITY TO ENFORCE THE SAME AND THAT THE
PROPER AUTHORITY TO PROMOTE THE HEALTH OF INFANTS IS THE FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION,
THE SECRETARY OF HEALTH AND THE SECRETARY OF JUSTICE, AS PROVIDED FOR IN RA 3720, NOT THE
COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE.
III. THE LOWER COURT ERRED IN RULING THAT THE POWER TO INVESTIGATE AND TO PROSECUTE
VIOLATIONS OF FOOD LAWS IS ENTRUSTED TO THE FOOD AND DRUG INSPECTION, THE FOOD AND DRUG
ADMINISTRATION, THE SECRETARY OF HEALTH AND THE SECRETARY OF JUSTICE, AND THAT THE FAIR TRADE
BOARD IS WITHOUT JURISDICTION TO INVESTIGATE AND PROSECUTE ALLEGED MISBRANDING,
MISLABELLING AND/OR MISLEADING ADVERTISEMENT OF FILLED MILK PRODUCTS. (pp, 4-5, Rollo).
The lower court did not err in ruling that Section 169 of the Tax Code has been repealed by implication. Section 169 was enacted
in 1939, together with Section 141 (which imposed a Specific tax on skimmed milk) and Section 177 (which penalized the sale of
skimmed milk without payment of the specific tax and without the legend required by Section 169). However, Section 141 was
expressly repealed by Section 1 of Republic Act No. 344, and Section 177, by Section 1 of Republic Act No. 463. By the express
repeal of Sections 141 and 177, Section 169 became a merely declaratory provision, without a tax purpose, or a penal sanction.
Moreover, it seems apparent that Section 169 of the Tax Code does not apply to filled milk. The use of the specific and qualifying
terms "skimmed milk" in the headnote and "condensed skimmed milk" in the text of the cited section, would restrict the scope of
the general clause "all milk, in whatever form, from which the fatty pat has been removed totally or in part." In other words, the
general clause is restricted by the specific term "skimmed milk" under the familiar rule of ejusdem generis that general and
unlimited terms are restrained and limited by the particular terms they follow in the statute.
Skimmed milk is different from filled milk. According to the "Definitions, Standards of Purity, Rules and Regulations of the Board of
Food Inspection," skimmed milk is milk in whatever form from which the fatty part has been removed. Filled milk, on the other
hand, is any milk, whether or not condensed, evaporated concentrated, powdered, dried, dessicated, to which has been added or
which has been blended or compounded with any fat or oil other than milk fat so that the resulting product is an imitation or
semblance of milk cream or skim milk." The difference, therefore, between skimmed milk and filled milk is that in the former, the
fatty part has been removed while in the latter, the fatty part is likewise removed but is substituted with refined coconut oil or
corn oil or both. It cannot then be readily or safely assumed that Section 169 applies both to skimmed milk and filled milk.
The Board of Food Inspection way back in 1961 rendered an opinion that filled milk does not come within the purview of Section
169, it being a product distinct from those specified in the said Section since the removed fat portion of the milk has been
replaced with coconut oil and Vitamins A and D as fortifying substances (p. 58, Rollo). This opinion bolsters the Court's stand as to
its interpretation of the scope of Section 169. Opinions and rulings of officials of the government called upon to execute or
implement administrative laws command much respect and weight. (Asturias Sugar Central Inc. vs. Commissioner of Customs, G.
R. No. L-19337, September 30, 1969, 29 SCRA 617; Tan, et. al. vs. The Municipality of Pagbilao et. al., L-14264, April 30, 1963, 7
SCRA 887; Grapilon vs. Municipal Council of Carigara L-12347, May 30, 1961, 2 SCRA 103).
This Court is, likewise, induced to the belief that filled milk is suitable for nourishment for infants of all ages. The Petitioners
themselves admitted that: "the filled milk products of the petitioners (now private respondents) are safe, nutritious, wholesome
and suitable for feeding infants of all ages" (p. 44, Rollo) and that "up to the present, Filipino infants fed since birth with filled milk
have not suffered any defects, illness or disease attributable to their having been fed with filled milk." (p. 45, Rollo).
There would seem, therefore, to be no dispute that filled milk is suitable for feeding infants of all ages. Being so, the declaration
required by Section 169 of the Tax Code that filled milk is not suitable for nourishment for infants less than one year of age would,
in effect, constitute a deprivation of property without due. process of law.
Section 169 is being enforced only against respondent manufacturers of filled milk product and not as against manufacturers,
distributors or sellers of condensed skimmed milk such as SIMILAC, SMA, BREMIL, ENFAMIL, OLAC, in which, as admitted by the
petitioner, the fatty part has been removed and substituted with vegetable or corn oil. The enforcement of Section 169 against
the private respondents only but not against other persons similarly situated as the private respondents amounts to an
unconstitutional denial of the equal pro petition of the laws, for the law, equally enforced, would similarly offend against the
Constitution. Yick Wo vs. Hopkins, 118 U.S. 356,30 L. ed. 220).
As stated in the early part of this decision, with the repeal of Sections 141 and 177 of the Tax Code, Section 169 has lost its tax
purpose. Since Section 169 is devoid of any tax purpose, petitioner Commissioner necessarily lost his authority to enforce the
same. This was so held by his predecessor immediately after Sections 141 and 177 were repealed in General Circular No. V-85 as
stated in paragraph IX of the Partial Stipulation of facts entered into by the parties, to wit:
... As the act of sewing skimmed milk without first paying the specific tax thereon is no longer unlawful and
the enforcement of the requirement in regard to the placing of the proper legend on its immediate
containers is a subject which does not come within the jurisdiction of the Bureau of Internal Revenue, the
penal provisions of Section 177 of the said Code having been repealed by Republic Act No. 463. (p. 102,
Rollo).
Petitioner's contention that he still has jurisdiction to enforce Section 169 by virtue of Section 3 of the Tax Code which provides
that the Bureau of Internal Revenue shall also "give effect to and administer the supervisory and police power conferred to it by
this Code or other laws" is untenable. The Bureau of Internal Revenue may claim police power only when necessary in the
enforcement of its principal powers and duties consisting of the "collection of all national internal revenue taxes, fees and
charges, and the enforcement of all forfeitures, penalties and fines connected therewith." The enforcement of Section 169 entails
the promotion of the health of the nation and is thus unconnected with any tax purpose. This is the exclusive function of the Food
and Drug Administration of the Department of Health as provided for in Republic Act No. 3720. In particular, Republic Act No.
3720 provides:
Section 9. ... It shall be the duty of the Board (Food and Drug Inspection), conformably with the rules and
regulations, to hold hearings and conduct investigations relative to matters touching the Administration of
this Act, to investigate processes of food, drug and cosmetic manufacture and to subject reports to the Food
and Drug Administrator, recommending food and drug standards for adoption. Said Board shall also perform
such additional functions, properly within the scope of the administration thereof, as maybe assigned to it
by the Food and Drug Administrator. The decisions of the Board shall be advisory to the Food and Drug
Administrator.
Section 26. ...
xxx xxx xxx
(c) Hearing authorized or required by this Act shall be conducted by the Board of Food and Drug Inspection
which shall submit recommendation to the Food and Drug Administrator.
(d) When it appears to the Food and Drug Administrator from the reports of the Food and Drug Laboratory
that any article of food or any drug or cosmetic secured pursuant to Section 28 of this Act is adulterated or
branded he shall cause notice thereof to be given to the person or persons concerned and such person or
persons shall be given an opportunity to subject evidence impeaching the correctness of the finding or
charge in question.
(e) When a violation of any provisions of this Act comes to the knowledge of the Food and Drug
Administrator of such character that a criminal prosecution ought to be instituted against the offender, he
shall certify the facts to the Secretary of Justice through the Secretary of Health, together with the chemists'
report, the findings of the Board of Food and Drug Inspection, or other documentary evidence on which the
charge is based.
(f) Nothing in this Act shall be construed as requiring the Food and Drug Administrator to certify for
prosecution pursuant to subparagraph (e) hereof, minor violations of this Act whenever he believes that
public interest will be adequately served by a suitable written notice or warning.
The aforequoted provisions of law clearly show that petitioners, Commissioner of Internal Revenue and the Fair Trade Board, are
without jurisdiction to investigate and to prosecute alleged misbranding, mislabeling and/or misleading advertisements of filled
milk. The jurisdiction on the matters cited is vested upon the Board of Food and Drug inspection and the Food and Drug
Administrator, with the Secretary of Health and the Secretary of Justice, also intervening in case criminal prosecution has to be
instituted. To hold that the petitioners have also jurisdiction as would be the result were their instant petition granted, would only
cause overlapping of powers and functions likely to produce confusion and conflict of official action which is neither practical nor
desirable.
WHEREFORE, the decision appealed from is hereby affirmed en toto. No costs.
SO ORDERED.