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DOCTRINE OF PREFERRED FREEDOM

Philippine Blooming Mills Employees Organization vs. PBM, 51 SCRA


189
Post under case digests, labor law at Tuesday, February 21, 2012 Posted by Schizophrenic Mind
Facts: Philippine Blooming Employees Organization (PBMEO) decided to stage a mass demonstration in
front of Malacaang to express their grievances against the alleged abuses of the Pasig Police.

After learning about the planned mass demonstration, Philippine Blooming Mills Inc., called for a
meeting with the leaders of the PBMEO. During the meeting, the planned demonstration was confirmed
by the union. But it was stressed out that the demonstration was not a strike against the company but
was in fact an exercise of the laborers inalienable constitutional right to freedom of expression, freedom
of speech and freedom for petition for redress of grievances.

The company asked them to cancel the demonstration for it would interrupt the normal course of their
business which may result in the loss of revenue. This was backed up with the threat of the possibility
that the workers would lose their jobs if they pushed through with the rally.

A second meeting took place where the company reiterated their appeal that while the workers may be
allowed to participate, those from the 1st and regular shifts should not absent themselves to participate
, otherwise, they would be dismissed. Since it was too late to cancel the plan, the rally took place and
the officers of the PBMEO were eventually dismissed for a violation of the No Strike and No Lockout
clause of their Collective Bargaining Agreement.

The lower court decided in favor of the company and the officers of the PBMEO were found guilty of
bargaining in bad faith. Their motion for reconsideration was subsequently denied by the Court of
Industrial Relations for being filed two days late.
Issue: Whether or not the workers who joined the strike violated the CBA.

Held: No. While the Bill of Rights also protects property rights, the primacy of human rights over
property rights is recognized. Because these freedoms are "delicate and vulnerable, as well as supremely
precious in our society" and the "threat of sanctions may deter their exercise almost as potently as the
actual application of sanctions," they "need breathing space to survive," permitting government
regulation only "with narrow specificity." Property and property rights can be lost thru prescription; but
human rights are imprescriptible. In the hierarchy of civil liberties, the rights of free expression and of
assembly occupy a preferred position as they are essential to the preservation and vitality of our civil
and political institutions; and such priority "gives these liberties the sanctity and the sanction not
permitting dubious intrusions."

The freedoms of speech and of the press as well as of peaceful assembly and of petition for redress of
grievances are absolute when directed against public officials or "when exercised in relation to our right
to choose the men and women by whom we shall be governed.

MMDA v Bel-Air Village Association, Inc.


Posted on November 18, 2012
GR 135962
March 27, 2000

FACTS:
On December 30, 1995, respondent received from petitioner a notice requesting the former to open its
private road, Neptune Street, to public vehicular traffic starting January 2, 1996. On the same day,
respondent was apprised that the perimeter separating the subdivision from Kalayaan Avenue would be
demolished.
Respondent instituted a petition for injunction against petitioner, praying for the issuance of a TRO and
preliminary injunction enjoining the opening of Neptune Street and prohibiting the demolition of the
perimeter wall.

ISSUE:

WON MMDA has the authority to open Neptune Street to public traffic as an agent of the state
endowed with police power.

HELD:
A local government is a political subdivision of a nation or state which is constituted by law and has
substantial control of local affairs. It is a body politic and corporate one endowed with powers as a
political subdivision of the National Government and as a corporate entity representing the inhabitants
of its territory (LGC of 1991).

Our Congress delegated police power to the LGUs in Sec.16 of the LGC of 1991. It empowers the
sangguniang panlalawigan, panlungsod and bayan to enact ordinances, approve resolutions and
appropriate funds for the general welfare of the [province, city or municipality] and its inhabitants
pursuant to Sec.16 of the Code and in the proper exercise of the [LGU's corporate powers] provided
under the Code.

There is no syllable in RA 7924 that grants the MMDA police power, let alone legislative power. Unlike
the legislative bodies of the LGUs, there is no grant of authority in RA 7924 that allows the MMDA to
enact ordinances and regulations for the general welfare of the inhabitants of Metro Manila. The MMDA
is merely a development authority and not a political unit of government since it is neither an LGU or a
public corporation endowed with legislative power. The MMDA Chairman is not an elective official, but
is merely appointed by the President with the rank and privileges of a cabinet member.

In sum, the MMDA has no power to enact ordinances for the welfare of the community. It is the LGUs,
acting through their respective legislative councils, that possess legislative power and police power.

The Sangguniang Panlungsod of Makati City did not pass any ordinance or resolution ordering the
opening of Neptune Street, hence, its proposed opening by the MMDA is illegal.

MMDA v. Garin, 456 SCRA 176, GR 130230 (2005)

Facts: The issue arose from an incident involving the respondent Dante O. Garin, a lawyer, who was
issued a traffic violation receipt (TVR) by MMDA and his driver's license confiscated for parking illegally
along Gandara Street, Binondo, Manila, on August 1995.
Shortly before the expiration of the TVR's validity, the respondent addressed a letter to then MMDA
Chairman Prospero Oreta requesting the return of his driver's license, and expressing his preference for
his case to be filed in court.
Receiving no immediate reply, Garin filed the original complaint with application for preliminary
injunction, contending that, in the absence of any implementing rules and regulations, Sec. 5(f) of Rep.
Act No. 7924 grants the MMDA unbridled discretion to deprive erring motorists of their licenses, preempting a judicial determination of the validity of the deprivation, thereby violating the due process
clause of the Constitution.

The respondent further contended that the provision violates the constitutional prohibition against
undue delegation of legislative authority, allowing as it does the MMDA to fix and impose unspecified
and therefore unlimited fines and other penalties on erring motorists.

The trial court rendered the assailed decision in favor of herein respondent.
Issue:
1. WON MMDA, through Sec. 5(f) of Rep. Act No. 7924 could validly exercise police power.

HELD: Police Power, having been lodged primarily in the National Legislature, cannot be exercised by
any group or body of individuals not possessing legislative power. The National Legislature, however,
may delegate this power to the president and administrative boards as well as the lawmaking bodies of
municipal corporations or local government units (LGUs). Once delegated, the agents can exercise only
such legislative powers as are conferred on them by the national lawmaking body.
Our Congress delegated police power to the LGUs in the Local Government Code of 1991. 15 A local
government is a "political subdivision of a nation or state which is constituted by law and has substantial
control of local affairs." 16 Local government units are the provinces, cities, municipalities and
barangays, which exercise police power through their respective legislative bodies.
Metropolitan or Metro Manila is a body composed of several local government units. With the passage
of Rep. Act No. 7924 in 1995, Metropolitan Manila was declared as a "special development and
administrative region" and the administration of "metro-wide" basic services affecting the region placed
under "a development authority" referred to as the MMDA. Thus:

The MMDA is, as termed in the charter itself, a "development authority." It is an agency created for the
purpose of laying down policies and coordinating with the various national government agencies,
people's organizations, non-governmental organizations and the private sector for the efficient and
expeditious delivery of basic services in the vast metropolitan area. All its functions are administrative in
nature and these are actually summed up in the charter itself

* Section 5 of Rep. Act No. 7924 enumerates the "Functions and Powers of the Metro Manila
Development Authority." The contested clause in Sec. 5(f) states that the petitioner shall "install and
administer a single ticketing system, fix, impose and collect fines and penalties for all kinds of violations
of traffic rules and regulations, whether moving or non-moving in nature, and confiscate and suspend or
revoke drivers' licenses in the enforcement of such traffic laws and regulations, the provisions of Rep.
Act No. 4136 and P.D. No. 1605 to the contrary notwithstanding," and that "(f)or this purpose, the
Authority shall enforce all traffic laws and regulations in Metro Manila, through its traffic operation
center, and may deputize members of the PNP, traffic enforcers of local government units, duly licensed
security guards, or members of non-governmental organizations to whom may be delegated certain
authority, subject to such conditions and requirements as the Authority may impose."

TEST OF POLICE POWER


LAWS
BALACUIT VS CFI
Facts:
At issue in the petition for review before Us isthe validity and constitutionality of Ordinance No.
640passed by the Municipal Board of the City of Butuan onApril 21, 1969, the title and text of which
arereproduced belowORDINANCE PENALIZING ANY PERSON, GROUP OFPERSONS, ENTITY OR
CORPORATION ENGAGED IN THEBUSINESS OF SELLING ADMISSION TICKETS TO ANYMOVIE OR OTHER
PUBLIC EXHIBITIONS, GAMES,CONTESTS OR OTHER PERFORMANCES
TO REQUIRECHILDREN BETWEEN SEVEN (7) AND TWELVE (12)YEARS OF AGE TO PAY FULL PAYMENT FOR
TICKETSINTENDED FOR ADULTS BUT SHOULD CHARGE ONLY ONE-HALF OF THE SAID TICKET
Petitioners are Carlos Balacuit Lamberto Tan, andSergio Yu Carcel managers of the theaters and
theyattack the validity and constitutionality of OrdinanceNo. 640 on the grounds that it is
ultra vires
and aninvalid exercise of police power.

Issue:
Does this power to regulate include the authority tointerfere in the fixing of prices of admission to
theseplaces of exhibition and amusement whether under itsgeneral grant of power or under the general
welfareclause as invoked by the City?
Ruling:
No, the power to regulate and fix the amount of licensefees for theaters and other places of amusement
hasbeen expressly granted to the City of Butuan under itscharter.However, the ordinance is not justified
by anynecessity for the public interest. The police powerlegislation must be firmly grounded on public
interestand welfare, and a reasonable relation must existbetween purposes and means.

The evident purpose of the ordinance is to help easethe burden of cost on the part of parents who have
toshell out the same amount of money for the admissionof their children. A reduction in the price of
admissionwould mean corresponding savings for the parents;however, the petitioners are the ones
made to bear thecost of these savings. The ordinance does not only make the petitionerssuffer the loss
of earnings but it likewise penalizesthem for failure to comply with it. The ordinance does not provide a
safeguard againstthis undesirable practice and as such, the respondentCity of Butuan now suggests that
birth certificates beexhibited by movie house patrons to prove the age of children. This is, however, not
at all practicable. Wecan see that the ordinance is clearly unreasonable if not unduly oppressive upon
the business of petitioners.Further, there is no discernible relation between theordinance and the
promotion of public health, safety,morals and the general welfare.Furthermore, there is nothing
pernicious in demandingequal price for both children and adults. Thepetitioners are merely conducting
their legitimatebusinesses. The object of every business entrepreneuris to make a profit out of his
venture. In fact, no personis under compulsion to purchase a ticket. It is a totallyvoluntary act on the
part of the purchaser if he buys aticket to such performancesOrdinance No. 640 clearly invades the
personal andproperty rights of petitioners WHEREFORE, a new judgment is hereby rendered declaring
Ordinance No.640 unconstitutional and, therefore, null and void.

LOZANO VS. MARTINEZ


146 SCRA 323, 1986
Facts:
The present case involves consolidated cases for crime committed for violation of B.P.22 or known as
the bouncing check law. The accused of these cases asserted that B.P. 22 isa violation of constitutional
inhibition that no person shall be imprisoned for non-payment of debts, and therefore, unconstitutional.
Issue:

Whether the effuse punished by B.P. 22 is the non-payment of an obligation.


Held:
The gravemen of B.P. 22 is the issuance of a worthless check, not the non-payment of an obligation. The
thrust of the law is to prohibit, under pain of penal sanction, the making of the worthless check and
putting them into circulation. Because of its deleterious effect onthe public interest, the practice is
prescribed by the law. The law punishes the act not asoffense against property but an offense against
public order. The legislature may not validly be considered as non-payment of debt ex contracts, and
anact may not be considered and punished as malum in se, but each act may be penalizedunder police
power as malum prohibitum because of the harm it cause to the public.Police power of the state has
been described as the most essential, insistent and illimitablepowers which enables it to prohibit all
things hurtful to the comfort, safety and welfare of the society
Lozano v. Martinez [GR L-63419, 18 December 1986]
En Banc, Yap (J): 9 concur
Facts: Batas Pambansa 22 (BP22; Bouncing Check Law) was approved on 3 April 1979. The petitions
arose
from cases involving prosecution of offenses under BP22. (Florentina A. Lozano vs. RTC Judge Antonio
M.
Martinez [Manila, Branch XX] in GR L-63419, Luzviminda F. Lobaton vs. RTC Executive Judge Glicerio L.
Cruz [Lemery Batangas, Branch V] in GR L-66839-42, Antonio and Susan Datuin vs. RTC Judge Ernani C.
Pano [Quezon City, Branch LXXVIII] in GR 71654, Oscar Violago vs. RTC Judge Ernani C. Pano [Quezon
City, Branch LXXVIII] in GR 74524-25, Elinor Abad vs. RTC Judge Nicolad A. Gerochi Jr. [Makati, Branch
139] in GR 75122-49, Amable and Sylvia Aguiluz vs. Presiding Judge of Branch 154 of Pasig in GR 7581213, Luis M. Hojas vs. RTC Judge Senen Penaranda [Cagayan de Oro, Branch XX] in GR 72565-67, and
People vs. RTC Judge David Nitafan [Manila, Branch 52] and Thelma Sarmiento in GR 75789]. Lozano,
Lobaton, Datuin, Violago, Abad, Aguiluz, Hojas and Sarmiento moved seasonably to quash the
informations
on the ground that the acts charged did not constitute an offense, the statute being unconstitutional.
The
motions were denied by the trial courts, except in one case, which is the subject of GR 75789 (People vs.
Nitafan), wherein the trial court declared the law unconstitutional and dismissed the case. The parties

adversely affected have come to the Supreme Court for relief.


Issue: Whether BP 22 is a valid legislative act.
Held: Yes. It is within the authority of the legislature to enact such a law in the exercise of the police
power. It
is within the prerogative of the lawmaking body to proscribe certain acts deemed pernicious and
inimical to
public welfare. Acts mala in se are not the only acts which the law can punish. An act may not be
considered
by society as inherently wrong, hence, not malum in se, but because of the harm that it inflicts on the
community, it can be outlawed and criminally punished as malum prohibitum. BP 22 is aimed at putting
a
stop to or curbing the practice of issuing checks that are worthless, i.e. checks that end up being
rejected or
dishonored for payment. The thrust of the law is to prohibit, under pain of penal sanctions, the making
of
worthless checks and putting them in circulation. The law punishes the act not as an offense against
property,
but an offense against public order. It is not the non-payment of an obligation which the law punishes,
nor is it
intended or designed to coerce a debtor to pay his debt. Further, a statute is presumed to be valid.
Every
presumption must be indulged in favor of its constitutionality. Where it is clear that the legislature has
overstepped the limits of its authority under the constitution, the Court should not hesitate to wield the
axe
and let it fall heavily on the offending statute.
3 Del Rosario v. Bengzon [GR 88265, 21 December 1989]
En Banc, Grino-Aquino (J): 12 concur, 2 concur in result
Facts: On 15 March 1989, the full text of Republic Act 6675 was published in two newspapers of general
circulation in the Philippines. The law took effect on 30 March 1989, 15 days after its publication, as
provided

in Section 15 thereof. Section 7, Phase 3 of Administrative Order 62 was amended by Administrative


Order
76 dated 28 August 1989 by postponing to 1 January 1990 the effectivity of the sanctions and penalties
for
violations of the law, provided in Sections 6 and 12 of the Generics Act and Sections 4 and 7 of the
Administrative Order. Officers of the Philippine Medical Association, the national organization of
medical
doctors in the Philippines, on behalf of their professional brethren who are of kindred persuasion, filed a
class
suit requesting the Court to declare some provisions (specifically penal) of the Generics Act of 1988 and
the
implementing Administrative Order 62 issued pursuant thereto as unconstitutional, hence, null and void.
The
petition was captioned as an action for declaratory relief, over which the Court does not exercise
jurisdiction.
Nevertheless, in view of the public interest involved, the Court decided to treat it as a petition for
prohibition
instead.
Issue: Whether the prohibition against the use by doctors of "no substitution" and/or words of similar
import
Constitutional Law II, 2005 ( 1 )Narratives (Berne Guerrero)
in their prescription in the Generics Act is a lawful regulation.
Held: Yes. There is no constitutional infirmity in the Generics Act; rather, it implements the
constitutional
mandate for the State "to protect and promote the right to health of the people" and "to make essential
goods,
health and other social services available to all the people at affordable cost" (Section 15, Art. II and
Section
11, Art. XIII, 1987 Constitution). The prohibition against the use by doctors of "no substitution" and/or
words

of similar import in their prescription, is a valid regulation to prevent the circumvention of the law. It
secures
to the patient the right to choose between the brand name and its generic equivalent since his doctor is
allowed to write both the generic and the brand name in his prescription form. If a doctor is allowed to
prescribe a brand-name drug with "no substitution," the patient's option to buy a lower-priced, but
equally
effective, generic equivalent would thereby be curtailed. The law aims to benefit the impoverished (and
often
sickly) majority of the population in a still developing country like ours, not the affluent and generally
healthy
minority.
4 Tablarin v. Gutierrez (J) [GR 78164, 31 July 1987]
En Banc, Feliciano (J): 13 concur
Facts: Teresita Tablarin, Ma. Luz Ciriaco, Ma. Nimfa B. Rovira, and Evangelina S. Labao sought admission
into colleges or schools of medicine for the school year 1987-1988. However, they either did not take or
did
not successfully take the National Medical Admission Test (NMAT) required by the Board of Medical
Education and administered by the Center for Educational Measurement (CEM). On 5 March 1987,
Tablarin,
et. al., in behalf of applicants for admission into the Medical Colleges who have not taken up or
successfully
hurdled the NMAT, filed with the Regional Trial Court (RTC), National Capital Judicial Region, a Petition
for
Declaratory Judgment and Prohibition with a prayer for Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) and
Preliminary
Injunction, to enjoin the Secretary of Education, Culture and Sports, the Board of Medical Education and
the
Center for Educational Measurement from enforcing Section 5 (a) and (f) of Republic Act 2382, as
amended,
and MECS Order 52 (series of 1985), dated 23 August 1985 [which established a uniform admission test

(NMAT) as an additional requirement for issuance of a certificate of eligibility for admission into medical
schools of the Philippines, beginning with the school year 1986-1987] and from requiring the taking and
passing of the NMAT as a condition for securing certificates of eligibility for admission, from proceeding
with accepting applications for taking the NMAT and from administering the NMAT as scheduled on 26
April
1987 and in the future. After hearing on the petition for issuance of preliminary injunction, the trial
court
denied said petition on 20 April 1987. The NMAT was conducted and administered as previously
scheduled.
Tablarin, et. al. accordingly filed a Special Civil Action for Certiorari with the Supreme Court to set aside
the
Order of the RTC judge denying the petition for issuance of a writ of preliminary injunction.
Issue: Whether NMAT requirement for admission to medical colleges contravenes the Constitutional
guarantee for the accessibility of education to all, and whether such regulation is invalid and/or
unconstitutional.
Held: No. Republic Act 2382, as amended by Republic Acts 4224 and 5946, known as the "Medical Act of
1959" defines its basic objectives to govern (a) the standardization and regulation of medical education;
(b)
the examination for registration of physicians; and (c) the supervision, control and regulation of the
practice
of medicine in the Philippines. The Statute created a Board of Medical Education and prescribed certain
minimum requirements for applicants to medical schools. The State is not really enjoined to take
appropriate
steps to make quality education "accessible to all who might for any number of reasons wish to enroll in
a
professional school but rather merely to make such education accessible to all who qualify under "fair,
reasonable and equitable admission and academic requirements." The regulation of the practice of
medicine in

all its branches has long been recognized as a reasonable method of protecting the health and safety of
the
public. The power to regulate and control the practice of medicine includes the power to regulate
admission to
the ranks of those authorized to practice medicine. Legislation and administrative regulations requiring
those
who wish to practice medicine first to take and pass medical board examinations have long ago been
recognized as valid exercises of governmental power. Similarly, the establishment of minimum medical
educational requirements for admission to the medical profession, has also been sustained as a
legitimate
exercise of the regulatory authority of the state

ZONING AND REGULATORY ORDINANCES


Ermita Malate Hotel & Motel Operators Association v. City of Manila [GR L-24693, 31 July
1967]
En Banc, Fernando (J): 7 concur, 2 on leave
Facts: On 13 June 1963, Ordinance 4760 was issued by the municipal board of the City of Manila and
approved by Vice Mayor Herminio Astorga, who was at the time acting Mayor of the City of Manila. The
ordinance (1) imposes a P6,000.00 fee per annum for first class motels and P4,500.00 for second class
motels;
(2) requires the owner, manager, keeper or duly authorized representative of a hotel, motel, or lodging
house
to refrain from entertaining or accepting any guest or customer or letting any room or other quarter to
any
person or persons without his filling up the prescribed form in a lobby open to public view at all times
and in
his presence, wherein the surname, given name and middle name, the date of birth, the address, the
occupation, the sex, the nationality, the length of stay and the number of companions in the room, if
any, with

the name, relationship, age and sex would be specified, with data furnished as to his residence
certificate as
well as his passport number, if any, coupled with a certification that a person signing such form has
personally
filled it up and affixed his signature in the presence of such owner, manager, keeper or duly authorized
representative, with such registration forms and records kept and bound together; (3) provides that the
premises and facilities of such hotels, motels and lodging houses would be open for inspection either by
the
City Mayor, or the Chief of Police, or their duly authorized representatives. The ordinance also classified
motels into two classes and required the maintenance of certain minimum facilities in first class motels
such
as a telephone in each room, a dining room or restaurant and laundry; while second class motels are
required
to have a dining room. It prohibited a person less than 18 years old from being accepted in such hotels,
motels, lodging houses, tavern or common inn unless accompanied by parents or a lawful guardian and
made
it unlawful for the owner, manager, keeper or duly authorized representative of such establishments to
lease
any room or portion thereof more than twice every 24 hours. It provided a penalty of automatic
cancellation
of the license of the offended party in case of conviction. On 5 July 1963, the Ermita-Malate Hotel and
Motel
Operators Association (EMHMOA), its member Hotel del Mar, and a certain Go Chiu filed a petition for
prohibition against the mayor of the City of Manila in his capacity as he is charged with the general
power
and duty to enforce ordinances of the City of Manila and to give the necessary orders for the faithful
execution and enforcement of such ordinances. There was a plea for the issuance of preliminary
injunction
and for a final judgment declaring the above ordinance null and void and unenforceable. The lower
court on 6

July 1963 issued a writ of preliminary injunction ordering the Mayor to refrain from enforcing said
Ordinance
4760 from and after 8 July 1963. After the submission of the memoranda, ruled that the City of Manila
lack
authority to regulate motels and rendering Ordinance 4760 unconstitutional and therefore null and
void. It
made permanent the preliminary injunction issued by the Mayor and his agents to restrain him from
enforcing
the ordinance. The Mayor of Manila appealed to the Supreme Court.
Issue: Whether the regulations imposed on motels and hotels (increasing license fees, partially
restricting the
freedom to contract, and restraining the liberty of individuals) is valid and/or constitutional.
Held: Yes. The ordinance was enacted to minimize certain practices hurtful to public morals. It was made
as
there is observed an alarming increase in the rate of prostitution, adultery and fornication in Manila
traceable
in great part to the existence of motels, which provide a necessary atmosphere for clandestine entry,
presence
and exit and thus become the ideal haven for prostitutes and thrill seekers. The ordinance proposes to
check
the clandestine harboring of transients and guests of these establishments by requiring these transients
and
guests to fill up a registration form, prepared for the purpose, in a lobby open to public view at all times,
and
by introducing several other amendatory provisions calculated to shatter the privacy that characterizes
the
registration of transients and guests. The increase in the license fees was intended to discourage
establishments of the kind from operating for purpose other than legal and to increase the income of
the city
government. Further, the restriction on the freedom to contract, insofar as the challenged ordinance
makes it

unlawful for the owner, manager, keeper or duly authorized representative of any hotel, motel, lodging
house,
tavern, common inn or the like, to lease or rent any room or portion thereof more than twice every 24
hours,
with a proviso that in all cases full payment shall be charged, cannot be viewed as a transgression
against the
command of due process. It is neither unreasonable nor arbitrary. Precisely it was intended to curb the
opportunity for the immoral or illegitimate use to which such premises could be, and, are being
devoted.
Furthermore, the right of the individual is necessarily subject to reasonable restraint by general law for
the
common good. The liberty of the citizen may be restrained in the interest of the public health, or of the
public
order and safety, or otherwise within the proper scope of the police power. 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.

De la Cruz v. Paras [GR L-42571-72, 25 July 1983]


En Banc, Fernando (J): 9 concur, 1 reserved right to dissent, 2 on official leave, 1 on sick leave
Facts: The municipality of Bocaue, Bulacan issued Ordinance 84 (Prohibition and Closure
Ordinance of
Bocaue, Bulacan) prohibited the operation of night clubs, and such clubs employing hostesses.
On 5
November 1975, two cases for prohibition with preliminary injunction were filed with the CFI
Bulacan. The
cases were assigned to Judge, now Associate Justice Paras of the Intermediate Appellate Court
(IAC), who

issued a restraining order on 7 November 1975. The answers were thereafter filed. On 15
January 1976, the
lower court upheld the constitutionality and validity of Ordinance 84 and dismissed the cases.
Hence the
petition for certiorari by way of appeal.
Issue: Whether the prohibition on the operation of night clubs, to foster public morals, is
reasonable and/or
valid.
Held: Reasonableness is consonant with the general powers and purposes of municipal
corporations, as well
as consistency with the laws or policy of the State. Sweeping exercise of a lawmaking power
could not
qualify under the term reasonable. The objective of fostering public morals, a worthy and
desirable end can be
attained by a measure that does not encompass too wide a field. On its face, the Ordinance is
characterized by
overbreadth. The purpose sought to be achieved could have been attained by reasonable
restrictions rather
than by an absolute prohibition. A prohibition is a clear invasion of personal or property rights,
personal in the
case of those individuals desirous of patronizing those night clubs and property in terms of the
investments
made and salaries to be earned by those therein employed. Republic Act 938 (An Act granting
municipal or
city boards and councils the power to regulate the establishment, maintenance and operation
of certain places
of amusement within their respective territorial jurisdiction) granted the municipal or city
board or council of

each chartered city to have the power to regulate by ordinance the establishment,
maintenance and operation
of night clubs, cabarets, dancing schools, pavilions, cockpits, bars, saloons, bowling alleys,
billiard pools, and
other similar places of amusement within its territorial jurisdiction. The power to regulate, was
amended to
likewise prohibit on 21 May 1954; but the title remained intact. The power granted remains
that of regulation,
not prohibition. The power claimed to enact the ordinance is at the most dubious and under
the present Local
Government Code non-existent. The law mandates the sangguniang bayan to "(rr) Regulate
cafes, restaurants,
beer-houses, hotels, motels, inns, pension houses and lodging houses, except travel agencies,
tourist guides,
tourist transports, hotels, resorts, de luxe restaurants, and tourist inns of international
standards which shall
remain under the licensing and regulatory power of the Ministry of Tourism which shall exercise
such
authority without infringing on the taxing or regulatory powers of the municipality; (ss)
Regulate public
dancing schools, public dance halls, and sauna baths or massage parlors; and (tt) Regulate the
establishment
and operation of billiard pools, theatrical performances, circuses and other forms of
entertainment. It is clear
that municipal corporations cannot prohibit the operation of night clubs. They may be
regulated, but not
prevented from carrying on their business.

Velasco v. Villegas [GR L-24153, 14 February 1983]


En Banc, Fernando (J): 10 concur, 1 reserving vote, 1 took no part
Facts: Ordinance 4964 was issued by the city of Manila prohibiting any operator of any
barbershop to
conduct the business of massaging customers or other persons in any adjacent room(s) of said
barber shop, or
in any room(s) within the same building where the barber shop is located as long as the
operator of the barber
shop and the rooms where massaging is conducted is the same person. Tomas Velasco, Lourdes
Ramirez, Sy
Pin, Edmundo Unson, Apolonia Ramirez, and Lourdes Lomibao, as component members of the
Sta. Cruz
Barbershop Association, filed petition for declaratory relief with the lower court, challenging
the
constitutionality of the ordinance as it allegedly amounts to a deprivation of property of their
means of
livelihood without due process of law. The petition was denied by the lower court as its
availability being
dependent on there being as yet no case involving such issue having been filed. Hence, the
appeal.
Issue: Whether Ordinance 4964 is a valid police power measure.
Held: The objectives behind its enactment are: "(1) To be able to impose payment of the license
fee for
engaging in the business of massage clinic under Ordinance 3659 as amended by Ordinance
4767, an entirely
different measure than the ordinance regulating the business of barbershops and, (2) in order
to forestall

possible immorality which might grow out of the construction of separate rooms for massage of
customers."

The Court has been most liberal in sustaining ordinances based on the general welfare clause. It
has made
clear the significance and scope of such a clause, which delegates in statutory form the police
power to a
municipality. The clause has been given wide application by municipal authorities and has in its
relation to the
particular circumstances of the case been liberally construed by the courts. Such is the
progressive view of
Philippine jurisprudence and it has continued to be.
10 Magtajas v. Pryce Properties Corp. [GR 111097, 20 July 1994]
En Banc, Cruz (J): 12 concur
Facts: The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) is a corporation created
directly by
Presidential Decree 1869 to help centralize and regulate all games of chance, including casinos
on land and
sea within the territorial jurisdiction of the Philippines (the constitutionality of the decree was
sustained in
Basco v. Philippine Amusements and Gambling Corporation). Cagayan de Oro City, like other
local political
subdivisions, is empowered to enact ordinances for the purposes indicated in the Local
Government Code. It
is expressly vested with the police power under what is known as the General Welfare Clause
embodied in
Section 16. Its Sangguniang Panglungsod derives its powers, duties and functions under Section
458 of said

Code. In 1992, following its success in several cities, PAGCOR decided to expand its operations
to Cagayan
de Oro City. To this end, it leased a portion of a building belonging to Pryce Properties
Corporation Inc.,
renovated and equipped the same, and prepared to inaugurate its casino there during the
Christmas season.
The reaction of the Sangguniang Panlungsod of Cagayan de Oro City was swift and hostile. On 7
December
1992, it enacted Ordinance 3353 (An Ordinance Prohibiting the issuance of business permit and
canceling
existing business permit to any establishment for the using and allowing to be used its premises
or portion
thereof for the operation of Casino). On 4 January 1993, it adopted a sterner Ordinance 337593 (An
Ordinance prohibiting the operation of Casino and providing penalty for violation therefore).
Pryce assailed
the ordinances before the Court of Appeals, where it was joined by PAGCOR as intervenor and
supplemental
petitioner. The Court found the ordinances invalid and issued the writ prayed for to prohibit
their
enforcement. Reconsideration of the decision was denied on 13 July 1993. Cagayan de Oro City
and its
mayor filed a petition for review under Rules of Court with the Supreme Court.
Issue: Whether the Sangguniang Panlungsod of Cagayan de Oro can prohibit the establishment
of a casino, or
gambling, operated by PAGCOR through an ordinance or resolution.
Held: The morality of gambling is not justiciable issue. Gambling is not illegal per se. While
it is generally

considered inimical to the interests of the people, there is nothing in the Constitution
categorically proscribing
or penalizing gambling or, for that matter, even mentioning it at all. It is left to Congress to deal
with the
activity as it sees fit. In the exercise of its own discretion, the legislature may prohibit gambling
altogether or
allow it without limitation or it may prohibit some forms of gambling and allow others for
whatever reasons it
may consider sufficient. Further, there are two kinds of gambling, to wit, the illegal and those
authorized by
law. Legalized gambling is not a modern concept; it is probably as old as illegal gambling, if not
indeed more
so. The suggestion that the Local Government Code (LGC) authorize Local Government Units
(LGUs) to
prohibit all kinds of gambling would erase the distinction between these two forms of gambling
without a
clear indication that this is the will of legislature. Ordinances should not contravene a statute as
municipal
governments are only agents of the national government. Local councils exercise only
delegated legislative
powers conferred on them by Congress as the national lawmaking body. The delegate cannot
be superior to
the principal or exercise powers higher than those of the latter.

Tano v. Socrates [GR 110249, 21 August 1997]


En Banc, Davide Jr. (J): 5 concur, 4 join ponencias of Davide & Mendoza, 1 on official leave.
Facts: On 15 December 1992, the Sangguniang Panlungsod ng Puerto Princesa City enacted
Ordinance 15-92

(taking effect on 1 January 1993; An ordinance banning the shipment of all live fish and lobster
outside
Puerto Princesa City from 1 January 1993 to 1 January 1998, and providing exemptions;
penalties and for
other purposes thereof). To implement said ordinance, Acting Mayor Amado L. Lucero issued
Office Order
23 (series of 1993) dated 22 January 1993 authorizing the inspection of cargoes shipped out
from the Puerto
Princesa Airport, Wharf, and any other port within the jurisdiction of the City. On 19 February
1993, the
Sangguniang Lalawigan of Palawan enacted Resolution 33 [A resolution prohibiting the
catching, gathering,
possessing, buying, selling, and shipment of live marine coral dwelling aquatic organisms, to
wit: Family:
Scaridae (Mameng), Epine Phelus Fasciatus (Suno), Cromileptes Altivelis (Panther or Senorita),
Lobster
below 200 grams and spawning, Tridacna Gigas (Takllobo), Pinctada Margaritefera (Mother
pearl, Oysters,
Giant clams, and other species), Penaeus Monodon (Tiger Prawn, Breeder size or mother),
Epinephelus
Suillus (Loba or Green grouper), and Family: Balistidae (Tropical Aquarium Fishes) for a period
of 5 years in
and coming from Palawan waters]. Puerto Princesa City and the province of Palawan
implemented said
ordinances. Tano, et. al., who were criminally charged with violating Sangguniang Panlalawigan
Resolution
33 and Ordinance 2 of Palawan in Criminal Case 93-05-C of the 1st MCTC of Palawan; and
Robert Lim and
Virginia Lim, who were charged with violating City Ordinance 15-92 of Puerto Princesa City and
Ordinance

2 of Palawan before the Office of the City Prosecutor of Puerto Princesa, questioned the validity
of the said
ordinances before the Supreme Court.
Issue: Whether the ordinances in question, which prohibit the fishing of certain marine species
in Palawan,
are constitutional and/or valid.
Held: Laws (including ordinances enacted by local government units) enjoy the presumption of
constitutionality. To overthrow this presumption, there must be a clear and unequivocal breach
of the
Constitution, not merely a doubtful or argumentative contradiction. In short, the conflict with
the Constitution
must be shown beyond reasonable doubt. Where doubt exists, even if well-founded, there can
be no finding of
unconstitutionality. To doubt is to sustain. In light of the principles of decentralization and
devolution
enshrined in the Local Government Code (LGC) and the powers granted therein to local
government units
under Section 16 (the General Welfare Clause), and under Sections 149, 447(a) (1) (vi),
458(a)(1)(vi) and
468(a)(1)(vi), which involve the exercise of police power, the validity of the Ordinances cannot
be doubted.
The ordinance also find full support under Republic Act 7611 (Strategic Environmental Plan for
Palawan
Act), approved on 19 June 1992; which adopts a comprehensive framework for the sustainable
development
of Palawan compatible with protecting and enhancing the natural resources and endangered
environment of
the province, which serve to guide the local government of Palawan and the government
agencies concerned

in the formulation and implementation of plans, programs and projects affecting said province.
The first
objective (to establish a "closed season" for the species of fish or aquatic animals covered
therein for a period
of five years) is well within the devolved power to enforce fishery laws in municipal waters
which allows the
establishment of "closed seasons." The second objective (to protect the coral in the marine
waters of the City
of Puerto Princesa and the Province of Palawan from further destruction due to illegal fishing
activities) falls
within both the general welfare clause of the LGC and the express mandate thereunder to cities
and provinces
to protect the environment and impose appropriate penalties for acts which endanger the
environment.

ACEBEDO VS CA

Municipal Corporation Proprietary Functions Police Power


Acebedo Optical applied for a business permit to operate in Iligan City. After hearing the sides
of local optometrists, Mayor Cabili of Iligan granted the permit but he attached various special
conditions which basically made Acebedos dependent upon prescriptions to be issued by local
optometrists. Acebedo is not allowed to practice optometry within the city. Acebedo however
acquiesced to the said conditions and operated under the permit. Later, Acebedo was charged
for violating the said conditions and was subsequently suspended from operating within Iligan.
Acebedo then assailed the validity of the attached conditions. The local optometrists argued
that Acebedo is estopped in assailing the said conditions because it acquiesced to the same and
that the imposition of the special conditions is a valid exercise of police power; that such
conditions were entered upon by the city in its proprietary function hence the permit is actually
a contract.
ISSUE: Whether or not the special conditions attached by the mayor is a valid exercise of police
power.

HELD: NO. Acebedo was applying for a business permit to operate its business and not to
practice optometry (the latter being within the jurisdiction PRC Board of Optometry). The
conditions attached by the mayor is ultra vires hence cannot be given any legal application
therefore estoppel does not apply. It is neither a valid exercise of police power. Though the
mayor can definitely impose conditions in the granting of permits, he must base such
conditions on law or ordinances otherwise the conditions are ultra vires. Lastly, the granting of
the license is not a contract, it is a special privilege estoppels does not apply.

CITY OF MANILA VS. LAGUIO, JR., digested


GR # 118127, April 12, 2005 (Constitutional Law Police Power, Regulation by Ordinance)

FACTS: Manila Ordinance No. 7738, prohibiting the establishment or operation of businesses
providing certain forms of amusement, entertainment, services and facilities in the ErmitaMalate area, to include motels and inns, was enacted by herein petitioners contending that the
said ordinance is a valid exercise of the police power of the State in order to protect the social
and moral welfare of the community.

Respondent Malate Tourist Development Corporation (MTDC) assailed the ordinance as an


invalid exercise of police power on the grounds that the Local Government Code grants the City
Council only with the power to regulate the establishment, operation and maintenance of
hotels, motels, inns, pension houses, lodging houses and other similar establishments, but not
to prohibit them.

ISSUE: Whether or not Ordinance No. 7783 of the City of Manila is a valid exercise of police
power.

HELD: Petition denied. The assailed ordinance is unreasonable and oppressive. An ordinance
which permanently restricts the use of property that it cannot be used for any reasonable
purpose goes beyond the regulation and must be recognized as a taking of the property

without just compensation. It is an exercise of police power that is violative of the private
property rights of individuals.